Clear Eyes Full Heart

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Chapter 12

Drake and Katrina were sitting on the couch watching Drake’s old favorite childhood show Lost Tapes. They were watching the Chupacabra episode, and Drake nudged Katrina when the show got to the part the people were attacked. ” So is this that how you got to America?” he teased. Katrina smirked and threw a pillow at him ” I’m the one who attacked those people. That’s what they get for being stupid.” ” Are you also the guy who dumped them off?” ” No, that’d be your mother,” Katrina said, throwing another pillow at him. The two got into an impromptu pillow fight laughing when something crashed through the window. Katrina gasped as they heard a car speed away. Looking for the object thrown, Drake saw a brick with a note attached. Trying to hide the fact he was shaking Drake picked up the note. It read thusly.

" See you this Friday, felon.” Drake crumpled up the note and threw it on the ground angrily. ” Who could have done this?” Katrina asked, covering her mouth with her hand. ” Easthaven most likely, we are playing them this Friday.” ” We should call the police,” Katrina said, grabbing the phone. A few minutes later, an officer was standing in their living room taking notes. ” And you don’t know who did this?” the cop asked. ” No sir,” Drake said. ” Alright, I’ll take this brick back with me to the station, and we’ll see what we can find. We’ll also send someone over to check periodically.” Drake boarded up the window, and he and Katrina went to bed.

The following Monday after school the Panthers went to the practice field to see it had been torn about but. Deep tire tracks were everywhere on the field. ” Son of a!” Drake muttered. Coach Bud was clearly not happy but trying to keep his composure for the sake of his team. ” We’ll practice on the game field today, and I’ll make sure they pay for this.” After practice, King flagged Drake, Andy, and the other captains down and made sure no one could hear them. ” We’re getting revenge tonight.” ” What’s the plan?” Drake asked. ” We’re splitting up the team in two. One part is planting toothpicks in the practice field and the other in their stadium. Drake I know they threw a brick through your window over the weekend, they wouldn’t stop calling my mom all night and said some vile things, they’ve made this personal.”

At two-thirty in the morning, the Panthers dressed in black clothing were on the Easthaven Timberwolf field planting toothpicks deep into the ground, chuckling at their cleverness. When the team was finished they scattered, dark circles under their eyes and stupid grins on their faces. When they got to practice that day Coach Bud could hardly contain his laughter, ” I heard it took them nearly four hours to pick all those toothpicks up.” The team had a good laugh, and it took Coach Bud a few minutes to get their attention. ” As funny as that is, I’m afraid there have to be repercussions, so we’re going to be doing stair laps. I hope it was worth it gentlemen.” The team groaned and started doing their stair laps while Coach Bud excused himself to relieve himself of his laughter.

When the team got to their locker room that morning, they found their locker room in shambles with crude graffiti spray-painted all over. Drake opened his locker to see his cleats were ruined and adult magazines full of scandalously clad men in his locker. ” Ah how nice of them to leave me their team photos,” Drake said, holding one of the magazines up. ” I’m not going to judge them, but I will say it’s no surprise they decided to spend their money on that,” King remarked. Coach Bud sighed after taking in all the damage ” Gentlemen, I know you’re angry, I’m angry too, but there will be no retaliation, save all your anger for the game Friday night. Drake, get yourself a new pair of cleats before practice today.”

During lunch that same day Drake was in a shoe store looking at cleats when a manager approached him. ” Sir I’m gonna have to ask you to leave,” ” And why is that?” Drake asked. ” Because you’re one of those Panthers. We don’t like your kind around here.” ” Excuse me?” Drake asked. ” You heard me.” ” Look, I’ll buy cleats; I’ve got the money.” ” I don’t want your money criminal,” the manager said before spitting on Drake.” Drake closed his eyes, gritted his teeth, and clenched his fist as he felt it hit his forehead. He took a deep breath and walked away, flashing the smug manager a look of loathing before leaving the store. He walked to his car and hopped in. Instead of starting his car and going, he yelled angrily and slammed the steering wheel with both hands. It doesn’t matter how many games I win or how hard I try to change my life; these people refuse to see anything but my record! Drake looked at the security camera watching him, flipped it off and drove away.

Friday Night

The Panthers sat in their away uniforms, the usual banter that went on between them non-existent. Each player was laser-focused as they waited for the first round of the playoffs. Coach Bud exited his office and looked at his team, ” gentlemen; I know every single one of you has been under a lot of scrutiny this past week. I know you’re angry and you have every right to be. That’s good, but I want to remind you that playing with anger and playing recklessly are two different things, No stupid plays tonight. Understood?” ” Yes, sir!” ” Alright, Samson break em down!” Samson stood, and the rest of the team followed his cue roaring ” listen up! These fools just picked the wrong fight! These fools don’t know who they’re messing with! They don’t want to be here! They don’t want to be here! Panther Pride on three! 1,2,3!” ” Panther Pride!”

“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the first round of the Texas Triple-A State Playoffs where a win means you are one step closer to the State Championship, you lose, and you play basketball. Introducing first, the defending Texas Triple A State champions, the Easthaven Correctional Panthers!” Loud cheers and spiteful boos greeted the Panthers as they ran on the field. ” And now introducing the Easthaven Timberwolves!” Even more deafening cheers and spiteful boos came from the fans as the gold and teal Timberwolves ran on the field. ” Ladies and gentlemen, we are going to have a dogfight on our hands. There is no love loss between these two teams. There is a lot of bad blood, a lot of water underneath that bridge. The coin toss has been decided, pass out the ammo; let’s go to war.”

The Timberwolves kicked off at the whistle which James fielded at the twelve. ” Furgeson gets the kick-off, and he heads up the middle. He is juking Timberwolves left, and right, he spins out of the way, and he has nothing but daylight ahead of him! He’s at the forty, the forty-five crosses midfield with one man to beat, and he jukes the kicker out of his shoes! James has no one around him as he reaches the forty, the thirty-five, the thirty, the twenty-five, the twenty, the fifteen, the ten, the five and the Panthers will strike first!” The Panthers were all business as they kicked the extra point to make the score 7-0. The Panthers lined up for the kick-off, and the whistle blew. ” And it’s an onside kick! The Timberwolves are caught totally off guard! The Panthers come up with it!”

Drake and the offense ran on the field and lined up, no need to huddle. ” Down! 345! 345! Set Go!” ” Drake takes the snap and drops back to pass, he fakes to King and throws, and it is going to be caught by Viktor Morgan at the twenty! He’s going to rumble to the thirteen before being brought down. And that’s going to be First down Panthers.” They lined up in the huddle ” we’re going Halfback Option on two. Ready?” ” Break!” The Panthers lined up in the I-Formation ” Down! Blue 18! Blue 18! Set Go!” ” Drake takes the snap and drops back to pass, no wait he hands off to King who goes up the middle. He’s not going to be stopped, Touchdown Panthers!” After the extra point, the score became 14-0. The Panthers kicked off to the Timberwolves who brought it back to the twenty-three. On their play, they tried handing it off only for King who drop their Running Back who dropped the ball which was recovered by the Panthers.

" Run’s Wideout Reverse on two,” Coach Bud said. Drake nodded and joined the huddle on the field. ” Wideout Reverse on two, ready?” ” Break!” The Panthers lined up in the Shotgun Formation ” Down! Gold 33! Gold 33! Set GoGo!” ” Drakes takes the snap and hands off to Anderson who hands it back off to Ferguson, and he jukes a Timberwolf right out of his cleats! He spins out of the way of another defender, and he is going to break free! He shrugs off another Timberwolf as he heads into the endzone. Touchdown Panthers and this is not looking good.” The extra point made the score 21-0 which it remained for the rest of the first quarter. The second quarter started with the Timberwolves struggling to do anything with the ball before punting it away which King returned to the Timberwolf forty. The Panther offense hurried to the line, not ready to let up on their hated rivals quite yet.

" Down Set!” ” Drake takes the snap and rolls right, he fakes to King and sheds a tackle on the keeper. He sheds another tackle and another. He just will not be brought down! And Drake is gonna be brought down at the ten!” Drake stood up and hurried back to the huddle ” Fullback Buck Sweep on one. Ready?” ” Break!” The Panthers lined up in the Strong Right Formation ” Down! Red 80! Red 80! Set Go!” ” Drake takes the snap and pitches it to Samson who is easily going to run this in. Touchdown Panthers!” The Panthers were not in the mood to celebrate as they kicked the extra point to make the score 28-0. To add insult to injury, the Panthers kicked another Onside kick and recovered it. On the next play, Drake threw a forty-yard pass to King for another touchdown. With the extra point, the score 35-0 which was the score at the half.

If the Panthers were considering showing mercy, they kept it hidden well. When they went back on the field, they stiffed the Timberwolf who returned the kickoff at the goal line and scored a Safety on the next play to make the score 37-0. The Timberwolves, tired and weary and possibly even frightened of the Panthers kicked off which King returned to the forty. Drake ran to the huddle ” I-right 24 Switchblade on one. Ready?” ” Break!” The Panthers lined up in the Pro Set ” Down! Green 30 Green 30! Set Go!” ” Drake pitches to King who drops back to pass, he throws, and it is going to be caught by Drake with only one man to beat. They’re not going to catch him, touchdown Panthers!” The score became 44-0 after the extra point. They kicked off to the battered Timberwolves who wanted the game to be over as they lined up on offense.

" Down! Set Hut!” The Timberwolf quarterback threw to a wide receiver only for King to hit him hard enough to knock the ball in the air which Drake caught and be shoved out of bounds at the thirty-five. Drake ran to the huddle. ” We’ve got Inside Zone Fade on one, ready?” ” Break!” The Panthers lined up in the Singleback Formation ” Down! 390! 390! Set Go!” ” Drake takes the snap and drops back to pass, he throws, and Anderson will catch it! Touchdown Panthers!” The Panthers kicked another extra point to make the score 51-0. The rest of the game consisted of the Panthers bullying the Timberwolves as if toying with them, taking more joy in not letting the Timberwolves score than actually scoring more points themselves.

In the final seconds of the game, the Panthers lined up in the Victory Formation and were about to take a knee when Drake stopped ” Nevada! Nevada!” he said, signaling an Audible. ” Red 50! Red 50! Set Go!” ” Drake drops back to pass, and he throws a sixty-yard pass to Victor Morgan, touchdown Panthers in the final seconds of this massacre. 57-0 is the final score.” The Panthers celebrated on the field as the Timberwolf players and fans silently avoided them, not being able to look at them without flinching. Drake went back to the locker room, showered, and met Katrina by the entrance. They walked to Drake’s car and stopped. His Mustang’s windows were shattered. Seething Drake went to expect his car to see a note pinned to his car. ” See you later.” Signed SC

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