Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Joy (05/18/06)
TITLE: Skye In The Clouds
By Kenny Blade
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Skye was Glorious’ little brother. She couldn’t remember ever seeing him frown. She couldn’t recall ever hearing him complain. Most days Skye was too weak to go outside. Glorious would pull back the curtains in his room and slide his dresser against them, pinning them to the wall. Skye would sit in his favorite chair and watch Glorious play basketball in the back yard.
When he could venture outdoors, Glorious would help him into the front seat of her father’s broken down pickup. He always said he would fix it. Glorious was glad he never got around to it. It was Skye’s favorite place in the whole world. He would sit behind that huge steering wheel and travel the world as he watched Glorious go one on one with Michael, then Magic, then Larry. Each time with only seconds remaining and the game on the line, Glorious would duck her shoulder and drive to the basket. Time would elapse as the ball rolled off her fingertips up into the cylinder and slip through the net. Thousands of fans would cheer as Glorious strolled away, having made another game winning shot.
As the sun drifted to sleep in the cool of the evening, Skye would pull the duct tape covered light switch on the truck’s dashboard and Glorious would play on. ”Think I can touch the rim?” Glorious would call out. “Sure you can, “G”! You can jump as high as the clouds!” Glorious would bend down and glide her fingers through the dirt for luck like always, then run as fast as she could toward the goal. Leaping into the air with the gracefulness of a young doe, she strained with all her might, falling just short of the rim. Landing just beyond the goal in the tall grass, she always promised herself that she would try again tomorrow, and this time she would touch the goal.
Winter was especially difficult for Glorious. The bitter cold could never stop her from playing ball. The elements were no match for her desire to shoot hoops. She just hated that her mom never let Skye sit in the old pick up in the winter. He couldn’t even sit by the window because their parents were afraid he would catch a chill. He had become weaker with each passing season, and Glorious was afraid sometimes that he would never get to see her play again. “Think I can touch the rim?” She would scream loud enough so the whole world could hear. Glorious didn’t care who heard her. She was only talking to Skye.
Christmas break was over. Glorious despised that. School only seemed to get in the way of playing basketball. Popping her head into Skye’s room like she did every morning, she said “ I’m off to school, Skye. I’ll be back at three. I’ll pull your bed close to the window so you can see me. We won’t tell Mom.” Skye didn’t respond. Glorious slipped into his room and sat down by his side.“ I don’t feel so good “G”.”. “I’ll get Mom and Dad!”, Glorious whispered as she began to hurry from the room. “ No, “G”. Hold my hand.” Unsure of the right thing to do, she sat back down close to Skye, squeezed his hand and brushed the hair from his eyes.
Skye closed his eyes and turned on his side, resting his head on Glorious’ lap.
“You think I can touch the rim “G”?” Tears rolled down her cheeks and fell like spring rain on Skye’s cheek. "Sure you can Skye.”, she whispered. “ You can jump as high as the clouds.”
Glorious Jones is still a baller. Sometimes, after she’s won another game with only seconds left on the clock, she’ll bend down and glide her fingers through the dirt. Then she’ll glance over at her dad’s old pick up truck and smile. “Think I can touch the rim?”, she’ll scream loud enough for the whole world to hear. Glorious doesn’t care who hears her. She’s only talking to Skye.
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