Flash Fiction written by members and friends of the MuseItUp Club. Submissions are invited for this page.*
Johnson Lost the Game
by Shea McCandless
“It’s about time the media
starts going after these people,” Fred muttered, flipping the front page of the Sunday paper to continue reading an
article about the Blackwater Organization accused of waging its own private war against Muslims in Iraq. “People shouldn’t take the law in their own hands. Doesn’t matter where in the world.”
“Honey? Have you seen the Sports page yet?”
“Didn’t want to look, Jennifer. Can’t believe we lost.” He
found page 15, smoothed it, and took a sip of coffee. “That kid made an
incredible shot. Gotta take my hat off to him.
Eric did everything he could.” Fred looked outside. A light dusting of snow during the night frosted the front lawn, reminding him of glazed doughnuts. His stomach rumbled. “Eric played
a great game. I’m proud of him.”
“You should see this, Fred. I think Eric already saw it.”
Fred raised his eyes. Jennifer’s hands trembled and her eyes glistened. “What
does it say?”
She folded it in half and laid it on the
table. The headline read, “Johnson Lost the Game.”
“Asshole!” Fred smacked his hand on the paper.
“Are you sure Eric saw this?” Fred pushed his chair away from the table, walked to the window and peered out toward
the driveway. “His car’s gone.”
He slapped his hand against the wall. “Damn reporter! That’s my son that guy is writing about.”
“You don’t have to tell me.” Jennifer’s voice grated like fingernails against a chalkboard.
Fred strode to the table and read aloud
the blurb beneath the headline. “Despite scoring 33 points and grabbing
17 rebounds, Eric Johnson failed his team and town by not stopping Hobb’s senior guard from scoring the game’s
winning points. When will he step up and become a true star?”
“Eric is my star!” Melissa, their six-year-old daughter bounced into the kitchen. Her
glowing smile faded as Fred crumpled the newspaper and threw it against the wall.
Fred bent down and picked her up, kissing
her cheek. “He is, sunshine, he is.”
He moved her brown curls away from his eyes and looked at Jennifer. “We
need to find our star.”
“Darling. Let’s go out back and see if those rabbits left any prints in the snow.” Jennifer plucked Melissa from Fred’s arms. “This
is the third time that reporter wrote something like this.” Her eyes glistened. “Eric wasn’t too happy last time.
You shouldn’t have said what you did about the media.”
“I want to go with Daddy,”
“Not now, little sweat-pea.” Fred tousled her hair. He took a sip
of coffee, grabbed his keys off the hook and stepped outside into the brisk morning air.
Backing his Ford Taurus out of the garage, he felt ready to take events into his own hands. This new reporter for the Sports page denigrated everything positive his son did for his team. It burned him.
The windows fogged. Fred lowered his window. He wanted to take matters into his
own hands. This was his son, and there was no way anyone else would understand
how he felt. He drove, imagining his hands wrapped around the reporter’s
neck, choking his manipulating words from his throat. He fumed at a stop light,
its red color reflecting his rage.
“Hey, Dad!” Eric’s voice floated through the air.
Fred started and stuck his head out the
“Dad.” Eric waved from his car on the other side of the intersection. “I
went to get some glazed doughnuts. Help cheer you up after the game last night.”
The light turned green. Fred laughed aloud. “Great game, son.”
© Shea McCandless
Shea McCandless lives in Brazil with his wife and two young sons.
American by birth, wanderer by nature, he is happy where he is now
because it's his mind that gets to wander. He is currently working on
a fantasy novel, "The Path of the Rose", that is already receiving
acclaim from reviewers.
Flash Fiction submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org .
include the words “Muse Marquee Flash Submission” in the subject line.
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