Hobby

All Rights Reserved ©

Summary

40 years in their box, can the Wednesday win a trophy again?

Genre:
Action / Other
Author:
James Hardcastle
Status:
Complete
Chapters:
1
Rating:
n/a
Age Rating:
13+

Subbuteo

On the conductor’s whistle the train cranks out of the King’s Cross sleeper-maze and rumbles northward on the Cambridgeshire line. Street-side brick and windows give way to graffiti and industrial discard; then sheds and harlequin backyards dissolve into muddy fields and hedgerows.

I stow my travel bag but hold the team carry-case. The falcon football logo sits above a faded grey font label inscribed with ‘Wednesday’. It was forty years since the team were last ushered from the pitch and stowed away; unforgotten but unheeded. Now each player’s age-hued navy and white stripes, matt skin and leather hairstyle bring hand-painted imperfection back from the 1970’s. Their blue, embossed, veteran bases weigh as sure as ever. I flex my fingers. Will my playing skills be so well preserved?

I alight in Huntingdon and head across the tracks. I check in to the George Hotel. After a pint and steak pie, I wander down to the Montague Working Men’s Club. Brickwork, tile roof and marble arches shelter large timber doors. The chimney stacks thrust high into the dusk.

A man emerges. He lights a cigarette. His jeans sag beneath a retro football jersey that contours his belly and stoop. He wears an ear stud, an overgrown mullet, and stubble. His deep-set dark eyes regard the case in my hands.

“You’re here for the Tournament? I’m Zammo”

Inside, the high-ceiling hall echoes with hum and excitement. The bar is bustling. Several matches are underway. Engrossed players crowd floodlit table-tops, their figures ebbing across smooth green baize, between chalk sidelines. I quickly begin competing, my team notching up victories as my revitalized fingers find their rhythm.

The final plays out on Table Four, unremarkable until the final few minutes. A free-flick! The red-based defending quartet hold a statuesque, stoic line. From the netted goalmouth, the ’keeper narrows the near-post gap, red-sleeved arms raised and angled toward the imminent attack.

I draw a bead on the blue-striped figure at the edge of the six-yard box. The panelled ball lays a hair’s breadth from the attacking player, giving me the leverage for a chip-shot, or curve, and with it the knowledge that Zammo, roving at table-height to cover all trajectories, does not know which to expect.

My arching index aches to release. I flick, and my wrist spirals in follow-through. The player peels away with a rattling retort. The ball swerves, rising just enough to clear the base of the left defender in the wall, but his shoulder numbs the sting – and spin - from its flight.

Deflected, the ball drives onto the expectant edge of the far-post player. As Zammo corrects the ’keeper’s covering dive, so the ball ricochets agonizingly across his flank, and ripples into the far left corner of the net.

Back at the George Hotel, I close the window on an after-pub altercation below. I carefully return the Wednesday eleven to their stiffened card holder, put my new trophy in my coat pocket, and sit on the bed.
Continue Reading
Further Recommendations

Martha Carrillo: Loved it! This is quickly becoming my favorite series.

Martha Stuart: Hi absolutely love the story and I definitely recommend it I can’t wait for more of your stories

Ditse Servo: How should it end? What happened to Raelyn and who is her sister? What about their baby?

Cindy Ferris Damron: I totally Love it❣️I can’t wait to start the next book. Thank you so much for this story. Love your talent❣️❣️❣️❣️❣️

Nina: I personally think it's great. The plot started off a bit cliché but it changed. Even if it was cliché the whole way through, the writing style would bring it back. It shows that if you're a good author, it doesn't matter what you write, but how. I would definitely want to read on.

astaraxy: It’s as wonderful book with a great plot and lot’s of twists and turns. Only problem I have is rape being joked about commonly, especially from many of the characters in the book who are rape victims.

Rhonda McCartney: Loved this book when will Excaping the curse be out will you notify readers

PURPLE: I loved this! The ending was very unexpected but still very interesting. Well done!

Aimenlovegood: I loved this story ❤

More Recommendations

Darcie Ruchti: I’m really enjoying this book

Catrinayap20: The story is compelling. Good job writer! If you have some great stories like this one, you can publish it on Novel Star, just submit your story to [email protected] or [email protected]

Dea Spears: Looks promising. You can broaden your audience by publishing your story on NovelStar Mobile App.

Gillian: I loved this book, loved the writing style, plot and its overall feel good factor. Just makes you believe in what will be will be and whatever is for you won't go past you.

tammikelley1219: So far it's good. I like the twists.

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.