Friday, October 9, 2009


She holds the trophy above her head as the stadium erupts in applause.

Despite the cacophony of hands slapping together and cheering voices, the single "boo" lances her in the ear. The trophy drops a few inches, a miniature tennis pro in gold hovering in front of her face.


The cheers evaporate. Murmurs travel around the seats in waves away from the man in the fifth row. He cups his hand to the side of his mouth.


She narrows her eyes and tightens her fingers around the base of the trophy, feeling the cold marble and metal bars. Her head spins, blood throbbing in her ears. Heat crawls across her neck.


She springs toward the divider between the stands and the court, her rubber soles squeaking against the clay surface. "Boo this, you son-of-a-bitch," she howls. The trophy swings in one hand as she hurdles a Lexus advertisement. The crowd parts, scrambling for the exits in a noisy bustle.

All except him. The man with black eyes still holds one hand against the side of his mouth. "You cheat," he says. His other hand pantomimes an injection.

She grasps the trophy in her left hand like a club and brings it down against the concrete steps. It snaps in two with a metallic tang. Both ends glint in the afternoon sun, sharp and jagged.

The man doesn't move.

She storms the final three steps and thrusts one crooked point into his torso, just below his left arm. The metal slips in too easily. She expected ribs...some kind of resistance.

"Gonna have to do better," he says, smiling, his mouth curling a little too far.

The blood hammers against her temples, her neck tight and bulging like match point. The other hand swings with a downward jab, driving the second fragment of trophy into the flesh between his neck and shoulder.

There is no blood.

"Sorry," he says, still smiling.

She stumbles backwards and collides with the back of a seat. Pain shoots across her back.

The man stands, plucks both pieces of trophy from his skin and drops them with a clatter to the ground. His fingertips tug at the bottom of his shirt and pull it over his head. They find the hole in his side and peel away the skin in both directions. The space grows, black and empty, nothing inside his chest.

His eyes almost sparkle. "Empty. Kind of like your victory."


Jamie Eyberg said...

It still amazes me you give these to us for nothing.

Aaron Polson said...

Jamie - Oh, I "get" something. I'm allowed to practice my craft in little bits...I can experiment. It's fun.

Cate Gardner said...

OMG! Excellent. The end reminds me of the plagarist.

K.C. Shaw said...

Hey, it must be Friday, or as I like to call it, Aaron's Free Fiction Day. :)

I liked that one! A little bit different, but very interesting.

Aaron Polson said...

Cate - My wife had a nutty dream where she was stabbing an attacker with a broken trophy...I never thought about Mr. Ridyard. Promise. ;)

K.C. - I'm always willing to experiment.

Fox Lee said...

Oh man, if that happened more often sports would be worth watching : )

Jameson T. Caine said...

That was really...surreal. I can definitely see the dream origins.

Aaron Polson said...

Natalie - I hear you there. I say bring back the gladiators.

Jameson - Surreal. Yeah. Dreams are weird like that.

Danielle Birch said...

I agree with Nat. Well done and thanks for sharing.

Tracy Lucas said...

Best thing I've read today.

And that's quite a lot!)