Day three in my Fortnight of Flash series, where I will write a piece of flash everyday for two weeks. This piece is a true account of something that happened to me yesterday. A beautiful game indeed.
Your thighs sting from the ball, your thighs stopped a goal from going in. Your thumb is a ghost pain of sprain from the last challenge, where you were sandwiched into beef slab, a defender’s torso. Press on anyway, cleats dig and tear through mud. They are a magnet to the ball, your cleats, the ball is a black and white blur. A light rain comes down, it’s forty one degrees, the grass has give, run in streaks, don’t stop, not for another’s shoe, not for another’s body.
Run through this man, you are 40 but 12 on your little league team. You can keep going, run up to that opponent, feel that second of hesitation, a force field around the the ball sitting there, go on, do it, slide a foot in and steal the ball, under pressure, the way the ball locks onto your foot, the blur of opponents in black around you, his feet sneaking left, sneaking right. His body opened up around you, bigger than you are, a shadow bearing down. Look for the blurs in white to get the ball to. Your eyes can’t see what your feet are doing, fight the good fight, turn, stretch, find an angle, the voice behind you is a teammate.
“Man on, got drop.”
Try not to give the ball away, find the voice, give it a place, keep that cleat stuck to the ball, try a burst of pace forward, under pressure. Bend that right foot,arch it more, big defender in black draped over your view, get that cross off, nice, a high tight arc of a cross. There is power in release of pressure, and you are still running, even thought it’s a missed pass to the other side. Your view is clear again, but you are due at the other end for the counter attack. Turn those cleats. Run back down. Start again.