Handball

Ellie stared from the stands, dreaming of the goalkeeper. He was diving around, squelching the mud into his body. It wasn’t the first time she’d gone to watch him play; she knew there was something about him, something that entranced her.

A tap on her shoulder broke the spell; she'd forgotten that she wasn’t here alone. Ellie could tell Chrissy didn’t want to go watch a local football game in a soggy field; she’d been promised shopping and calamari.

“Which one is he anyway? The one you fancy.”

“I never said I fancied him; he’s just, he’s interesting.” Ellie pointed as discreetly as possible at the goalkeeper. “Him.”

Chrissy huffed. “He’s a six, a seven at best - what’s so interesting about him?”

“Just watch.”

They watched him in silence. He jumped and floundered; he wasn’t a good goalkeeper, and he was getting desperate. He was letting in goal after goal until one rebounded straight off him like a cannonball being fired.

“There! Did you see it?” Ellie tugged at Chrissy’s sleeve.

“Yeah, he saved a goal - very interesting Ellie.”

“Didn’t you see how?”

“No.”

“Were you even watching?”

Chrissy crossed her arms. She just didn’t get it. It was only football.

They watched the striker from the other team tear down the pitch. It seemed like he already had it in the bag but when the striker booted the ball towards the goalkeeper, he saved it again. This time Chrissy saw it.

“What was that?”

“You saw it too, right?” Ellie’s excitement bubbled up inside her.

“I know the goalkeeper is allowed to use his hands, but this is something else.”

The ball flew towards the goalkeeper again. It looked like he deflected it with his chest, though Ellie and Chrissy saw it again for themselves; an arm, a fist, shoot from the goalkeeper’s chest, punching the ball away.

“How are we the only ones who can see this?” Chrissy whispered.

“I don’t know, but he doesn’t know how to control it properly yet,” Ellie looked at Chrissy.

“You were right to bring me here. Do you think he knows what he is?”

Ellie’s eyes flashed red.

“I don’t think he does.”

“Your eyes, Ellie - careful.”

Ellie’s eyes turned blue once more. “Sorry, I guess he’s not the only one.”

Chrissy laughed. “We’ll talk to him, but I want lunch first, and that shopping trip you promised.” The thought of calamari made her stomach claw at her skin. “You know where he lives, right?”

“Of course.”





Comments

  1. Really enjoyed this: just the right mount of strangeness, introduced at just the right time. A small diamond of a story.

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    1. Thank you, Ross! I'm glad you enjoyed it!

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