Obscene Gestures

All Rights Reserved ©

Chapter 11

The next few weeks were filled with scoutings and conversations with top notch players in the women’s hockey league all over the country. Tess was exhausted, she had to admit but she was going to see this first phase successful. She spent her nights in a different hotel room in a different city, right alongside Karina, Meda and Damon. Apollo made it a point to video chat with her every night after dinner to check on the progress of the recruitment. Tess was also recording the events for posterity. Every interview, every conversation, everything was being documented. She’d insisted on it. She had also released a schedule with the local and national sports networks to garner coverage for this groundbreaking event in women’s sports.

She sat in front of the camera with Veronica Wilson, a local news anchor for Detroit’s WDTV. Veronica often covered the Sounders games. She was known for her caustic criticism as well as her expert analysis of stats and player weaknesses. She was an all around badass in the sports news field and presented herself as a ‘no holds barred’ kind of reporter. Just the kind Tess wanted to promote the Fury.

“So, Tess you are the daughter of Sounders legendary goalie Yadkin Pritchard.” Tess nodded with a big smile. “You know, your dad was my favorite player. I had his posters all over my room and never missed a Sounders home game while he played. He was as dynamic off the ice as he was on it, the real deal in all aspects of his life. What was it like growing up with him?”

“My dad was amazing, Veronica. Mom wanted a little princess but Dad wanted to expose me to everything. Mom couldn’t have any more children after me due to complications. He wanted me to have choices in my life. He never let me forget I could still be a girl and play sports at the same time. So, here I am,” she giggled, “just girly enough to make Mom happy and able to play with the big boys on the ice.” Veronica nodded her head.

“I can see that,” Veronica laughed. She showed a clip of Tess playing the game that got her an invitation to the women’s Olympic hockey team. “You play a lot like your dad. Here we see your talent in spades, so much so you received an invitation to play in the Olympics. But you didn’t. As a matter of fact, you stopped playing altogether after college. What made you quit?”

“My dad instilled the love of the game in me from day one. When he died, nothing mattered to me anymore, especially hockey. Hockey was the one thing we connected deeply over. Anytime I was having a bad day or struggling with something, Dad would suit up and take me to DeVole Arena. We would play, he would coach and by the time we were done, I had what I needed.” Tess stopped. She blinked rapidly to hold back the tears that threatened to fall. Swallowing around the lump in her throat, she continued.

“Dad was the heart of the game for me and suddenly, the heart was missing. I couldn’t bring myself to suit up anymore. The thought of playing without Dad…I just couldn’t do it. Losing my hero and my best friend was harder than I ever imagined it would be. My whole life stopped for about a year.” She chuckled and wiped a stray tear that had escaped from her cheek. “But thank God for Meda and the Dakiedes family. If it weren’t for them, Mom and I would not have gotten through the darkest time of our lives.”

“Tell me about that.” Tess went on to tell Veronica about everything the twins had done to bring her back to herself, how Damon stepped up to be the father figure she needed and how the whole organization rallied around her and her mom after Yadkin’s death. “I was blessed with some incredible people in my life. They are still rooting for me and cheering me on.”

“I love it!” Veronica exclaimed. “That’s what hockey is all about. Now let’s talk about this new endeavor by the Sounders organization to bring women’s hockey to our fair city. I have to say whoever came up with the name the Fury is a friggin’ genius.” Tess laughed in agreement.

“Yes, she is. It was our head coach’s idea. With the team we’ve put together, it fits. I’m so excited to have the opportunity to play with some incredibly talented women. Detroit better get ready is all I got to say.”

“It seems to have let off a chain reaction around the country,” Veronica said, leaning into Tess as the camera focused on her next comments. “Boston being the latest on the bandwagon with the formation of the Blaze. That makes six teams so far and that doesn’t scratch the surface. There’s talks of Denver, Los Angeles and Vegas coming in on the action. How does it feel to be a part of history?”

“Oh girl it feels fan-flipping-tastic!” Tess exclaimed. “I can’t tell you how exciting this is. I mean, first my best friend Meda makes it in the men’s league and she’s kicking ass all over the place. Now there’s an explosion across women’s sports to bring us into the twenty first century. Seeing all these old adages that women can’t play in a man’s world absolutely disintegrate is indescribable. It’s truly momentous and something I’m so grateful for that I get to witness in my lifetime.”

“Agreed, girl, agreed.” Veronica turned to the camera to address her virtual audience. “The Fury will begin preseason training in the next month, once renovations to the women’s locker rooms is complete and the training facilities have been equipped to handle both teams. It’s a true moment in history, folks and I for one will not be missing a single game. So, get ready Detroit to face the Fury, coming to DeVole Arena very soon! Stick with me for updates and more interviews with the amazing women who will be bringing the heat! These badass warrior women got the skills to pay the bills! That’s all we have time for today. I’m Veronica Wilson, your favorite sports analyst. Peace out, Detroit!”

The camera cut and the women talked animatedly for the next hour. “Girl you are crazier in person! I love it!” Tess squealed. Veronica laughed.

“I seriously thought you would be a total hockey princess but damn girl, you are a queen! I played soccer since I could walk but never got the chance to go for the big leagues. Frankly because there wasn’t much call for a female professional soccer player. Now, my nieces will benefit from what you and Meda have started. I cannot wait to see those old farts shrivel up and blow away with this new era you are bringing in.”

“Girl I know! I’d like to get with you to do a live show featuring the foundation Meda created. You are a groundbreaker yourself, Veronica. A woman reporting sports? I mean, I see your commentaries here but also featured on ESPN and Fox Sports Network. You are powerful, woman! Let’s collab and use our skills to keep pushing the envelope.”

“I like the way you think, Tess!” Veronica laughed. “Let’s do it!” The ladies made an appointment to meet in a couple of weeks to get a schedule together of regular exposure. As Tess left the studio, she was hyped. She was practically skipping to her car. Once she was safely tucked in her car, she let out a loud scream of excitement and did what she always did when something momentous happened in her life. She called Meda.

“Girl you are not going to believe it!” She relayed all the details to Meda and soon both women were squealing like piglets. They were going to meet with Karina in the morning to go over everything in preparation for the ongoing relationship with Veronica Wilson and WDTV. They would also be meeting a couple of new prospects, a promising young forward and defensewoman. Tess had watched footage of both women and was pretty excited to meet with them. If they proved to be just as dynamic in person as they were on video, they would round out the Fury’s player roster nicely.

“Right now, I’m really hoping Courtney Jones and Samantha Hoenig are what we need to complete the lineup. They are both really good. Courtney will be the youngest on the team at nineteen. She’s practically a baby but damn that girl can fly!” Meda agreed.

“Yes she can. Sam’s stats are awesome but Dad always said there’s more to hockey than stellar stats. I can’t really make any kind of opinion until I see them both in action. So, make sure to bring your gear tomorrow. We’re going to suit up with them and what they got.”

Continue Reading Next Chapter

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.