Prompt: Set time for 30 minutes. Write a fictional narrative about basketball or something basketball related.
The ball felt foreign to her. As if it had come from another planet with it’s bumpy, scaly surface. Yet, as her hands fondled it, yearning to sense a connection, she felt a slight spark in her stomach. The round ball became an extension of her. She pushed it to the ground with a firm hand and it returned as if her palm held a secret command button. She bent her knees and drove the ball back into the ground with a little more force. It returned again. She shuffled her feet and passed the ball from her right hand to her left and back to her right. She moved with the ball, purposeful and full of drive. It wanted her at the top of the key and within the blink of an eye, she was there. Ther ball demanded that she stop.
“Set up for the shot,” it whispered. She squared her shoulders but something felt off. She dribbled, stepped back, and her foot moved to what she felt was her spot. She squared her shoulders again and she smiled. This was home.She held the ball in the cupped palm of her right hand which was in front of her left. No, not in front but slightly ahead and to the right. Her left hand sheltered the ball keeping it in place. She was ready to make the shot. Her first shot in twenty years. Had it really been that long? This felt so right- as if for the last twenty years she had been searching for the thing that would bring her back again.
“Go ahead, you’ve got this.” She launched the ball toward the hoop following through with strong arms and a snapped wrist. The ball swirled through the air and for the first time she caught the scent of rubber and musk that she had missed for so long. With knowing eyes, she watched the ball reach its highest point, arch and decline towards the basket, then pass right through it.
“It’s another three points for Michele “the Machine” Douglass. She had a rough start this season, but in game ten, things are looking up. This is her third three-pointer of the games”
The announcers voice trailed off, replaced by the roar of the crowd. She smiled and welcomed herself back to the game. It had been far too long. Far. Too. Long. But now it was time to play defense and she had to shake it off. She turned to hustle back down the court, the cheering and screaming from the crowd becoming a muffled sound of chaos and confusion. A whistle blew – a long drawn-out high-pitched noise flooding above the cheering – smacked her head. Her neck snapped back and she heard a loud buzz. The quarter was over? They were winning by four?
Review the last play.
“Keep putting up those threes, Machine. Keep it up!”
Another buzz accompanied by a repetitive beep that seemed to get faster as each minute passed.
Michele turned back to the court but couldn’t find her footing. She couldn’t move. The lights blinded her and her temples burned. The lights blinded her. She tasted salt. Iron. Fear. Confusion. Unknowing.
“Oh my goodness. What has happened?”
“Come on, Machine! Nail that three. You can do it!”
She launched the ball again, this time as the buzzer sounded.
Then there was nothing. Silence. Blackness.