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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Writer's Life (05/13/10)

TITLE: The Rookie
By Rikki Akeo


I thought cheerleaders were supposed to cheer in unison. Instead, each one shouts to a different theme and all I hear is the resulting chaos. Only during an active game of basketball will they eventually rest their voices, but, I’m not playing right now.

I hate basketball-- when my crumpled paper hits the rim of the wastebasket only to fall to the floor. Nope. Not my game.

My paper mate is seated beside me as we wait on the bleachers. A loyal friend he is, always repeating my words back to me when I finally do have something to say. He goes everywhere with me. Nothing like my friend, Hewlett, who’s always grounded to the house.

We’re waiting on Coach. He always has the perfect play in mind and I’ve learned that his expertise far outweighs my petty knowledge of the game. The team always gets a victory when we wait on Coach.

If you’re wondering why I bother playing a game I despise, let me tell you that I often wonder myself. That is, until I remember how much I loathed my paper mate who turned out to be my best friend. He was instrumental in my learning years and I remember hating him for it. I could’ve missed out if I had remained ornery.

That got me thinking.

Is it possible that the other team somehow feels threatened by me?

I mean…they’ve already sabotaged my locker and they’ve stolen my uniform. Why would they do that when I obviously suck at the game?

That’s when Coach approached me.

“Sometimes, other people see things that you don’t. With proper coaching, I see an incredible player with MVP potential. Besides,” he chuckled, “over inflated basketballs don’t respond well.“

Indeed, the last thing I could do was boast. I was awful, but, improving and I knew I had Coach to thank.

As I waited from the bleachers, I observed one of my teammates making a slam dunk. My growing love of the game made me wish it was me.

Coach signals that it’s time.

I shun the noise from the cheerleaders, shifting focus to Coach‘s quiet voice.

Suddenly, foul is called right there on the court as the opposing team claims I dribbled over my teammates slam dunk.


The referee, a moonlighting Jewish carpenter, applies mercy and the game continues.

I beat the buzzer by a few seconds with the handiwork that leaves even me-- utterly amazed.

My paper mate recites everything. Our buddy, Ed It, offers his help.

That’s one for the team.

Like I said. I don’t like basketball when my crumpled paper hits the rim of the wastebasket only to fall to the floor.

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This article has been read 716 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Brenda Shipman 05/22/10
Clever & original. Never thought of writing as a game, but I like it. Favorite character - "Ed It". Too funny!
Amanda Brogan05/23/10
Interesting . . . I like paper mate, Hewlett, and Ed It! :D

It's true - sometimes we have more talent than we ourselves see, and it takes encouragement and coaching to bring it out. That's the writer's life! ;)
Carol Penhorwood 05/23/10
I think you have a winner here. Great job!
Carole Robishaw 05/24/10
This was really good. I enjoyed tis different view. I did find one small typo: "As I waited from the bleachers" should probably have been watched from?

See you in a few weeks, roomy.
Lyn Churchyard05/25/10
That's what my problem is... I don't have a basketball hoop!

Creative and different. Sometimes, the opposing team tries to steal your gameplay too, and that is when you really need to rely on the Coach to sort it out. I really liked this, well done.
Beth LaBuff 05/26/10
What a fun metaphor you've used. Your referee's mercy warmed my heart. I enjoyed your creativity here! After reading this… I think I need to upgrade my writing tool. :)
Susan Montaperto05/26/10
I liked all your characters, Ed It, Papermate & the Coach.
Thank you for writing a very entertaining story.
stanley Bednarz05/27/10
Congratulations on EC. It's no small feat getting over the fence from our happy herd.

With this story, you just may have created a whole new meaning for the word, "original."
Angela M. Baker-Bridge05/27/10
Congratulations on a very creative entry. The title may fit the story, but not the author!
Beth LaBuff 05/27/10
Congratulations, Rikki, on your ribbon AND editor's choice award for this super creative story!