It has been a while since I have attempted any flash fiction or writing from a prompt, but I have lots of short stories backed up from when we ran the “Writing from a Prompt” sessions in Book Club.
I thought it was time to share some more with you.
I was completely out of my comfort zone with this one. I dislike sport of any kind and I know nothing about American football. However, I managed to come up with something and I am happy with what I created. What do you think?
Standing with the rest of his team Leroy looked up at all the adoring fans. How could he stand here celebrating a win when he knew the only reason he managed to score that winning touchdown. Thank god he had been excluded from this months random drug test due to a medical condition. The previous month he was excluded for some other reason, that he couldn’t remember. And the month before that. In fact, it had been over 6 months since he had been subjected to testing for various reasons and he was glad. He knew that his career would be over as soon as he was tested. He also knew that without the help, he’d never be able to keep playing like he was. Leroy wondered, scanning the sea of faces for relatives, how his downfall would affect his loved ones. The ones that actually bothered to attend his games anyway. Like his nan. She came to every home and away game. Bought all the merchandise, wore the shirts. His nan, Gloria, had raised him since he was 3. His mother passed away when he was 6 from a drug overdose and as Leroy hit his teens he got in with a bad crowd. He was always in trouble, and he was taking drugs. Gloria spent a lot of time and effort trying to get him clean, and just as she thought he was getting there he got drafted into a team. She had always been proud of him even when he was at his worst, but this was definitely a defining moment. She thought he was clean. She thought they’d never let him play if he was still on drugs. She didn’t know he’d simply swapped the drugs he was taking. Six months in a team, six months on performance enhancing drugs. Not quite the same as the weed and cocaine he was used to taking but they pretty much worked the same for him. They enabled him to block out everything that had happened by becoming the teams top player in the shortest amount of time.
Watching from the sidelines in her blue and yellow jersey, Gloria had never felt more proud of her grandson than she did when he was playing football. If only they could have seen him seven months ago. An absolute mess on a cocktail of drugs, all because he still hadn’t come to terms with his mother’s drug related death and he found a group of people willing to assist his habit. He was clean. That was all that mattered to her. Gloria knew that they carried out random drug tests on the players so she wasn’t worried. She came to every game and bought everything she possibly could so that she could show her support in the only way she knew how. Yet today after this game, when Leroy should’ve been over the moon with his winning touchdown, she could see something different in his face. He was stood with the others and seemed to be celebrating, yet she knew him well enough to know that he had something on his mind.
Sitting on the dank floor outside the stadium Elliott felt a tear roll down his cheek. Wiping his hand across his face, dragging a bucketful of snot all over it, he looked around on the floor for a tissue. Preferably one someone had dropped that hadn’t been used, or at the very least, one that had only been used a little. Not seeing one, he decided to use his sleeve. Again. Elliott was homeless. He’d been homeless since he turned 12. Not wanting to get lost in the system when his only living family member passed away, he felt his only option was to run away. So he took to the streets. Four years later and he was feeling sadder today than any other day. His favourite team were playing. He used to watch the game through the window of the tv shop but that had long since closed down. Nowadays he sat outside the stadium and tried to imagine he was listening to it on the radio. In amongst all the people filing into the stadium he noticed the team bus pull up and park. He was in awe of these guys. He could play football, just a little. As a child, he wanted nothing more than to play football professionally but he never managed to get there. Elliott felt it right to stand as the team passed him. A mark of respect so to speak. Most of them walked right by him without even a glance. Except one. Brian Golant. He noticed the boy but didn’t say anything. Brian saw the dirty clothes, ripped sneakers, red eyes and snotty face. He continued into the ground with the rest of his team after flashing a smile at Elliott. Elliott smiled a little in return. Feeling a bit better than he had been noticed for a change. Then remembering he was sat on a dirty floor he started to cry again. Inside the stadium, Elliott could hear the crowd going wild and the commentators egging them on. Announcing the team coming out. Straining to listen, Elliott didn’t hear Brian’s name. Or he might have missed it. He wasn’t sure. “Hey Kid” he heard a friendly voice. Turning to look who had spoken he noticed it was Brian. “Why you out here and not inside?” Brian asked. Elliott didn’t really know what to say, he could only answer with “I have nowhere else to go” “Well I happen to need an assistant. Are you any good at cleaning boots and kits?” Elliott looked up at Brian. Stared him straight in the eyes and smiled the biggest smile he’d felt in a long time.
Both of these took a long time for me to come up with them and I don’t feel like I am in a position where I would be able to write anything further so will leave this one as it is.