This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
Five Years Ago
“We are live in five…four…three…two…and we’re live,” said Bruce Mognee, the production manager for Kinkorx Ultra-Modern Radio. Each week Bruce tries to find a quality guest star for Derrix Weyd’s radio show. This week the powerhouse guest is the new owner of the Kinkorx Horned Hares Mesnuk Team, Jeqrix Grexenn.
Derrix leans into the microphone, in the small, dingy, radio studio in the old district of downtown Kinkorx, as Jeqrix Grexenn relaxes in the guest chair while facing his own microphone. “I’m Derrix Weyd, the host of this weekly radio show on Kinkorx Ultra-Modern Radio. I’m also the Sports Anchor for Kinkorx TV and the official voice of the Kinkorx Horned Hares. This evening we are excited to have as our very special guest the new owner of the Kinkorx Horned Hares, Mr. Jeqrix Grexenn. He is the founder and owner of Grexenn Furniture Stores. He is also the founder of the Grexenn Card and the very popular sales promotion, Buy new furniture for your lovely home from the Grexenn Furniture Store and let your Grexenn Card do the rest. It’s good to have you on our show this evening, Jeqrix.”
Jeqrix Grexenn smiled as he leaned into the outdated, dingy, microphone. “It’s good to be here. Thanks for having me.”
“For our viewers who are not completely familiar with you, let’s give them a little background. Can you tell us a little about yourself?”
Jeqrix leaned into the microphone. “I’ll be happy to. When I was a child, my family lived in Soxtuss, the small town in Xcuymir Territory. I attended Soxtuss City Schools. My parents both worked in Soxtuss. They owned a small food store on Main Street. It was called Soxtuss Foods. There wasn’t much to the downtown area—just a few stores. Soxtuss Foods was one of those stores.
I spent my youth working in our family store rather than participating in school activities. Inwardly, I enjoyed the business part, but selling food in our tiny town really didn’t interest me. I was slowly developing other ambitions.
As I grew up, I began to show more and more interest in the business end of my parent’s store. My parents felt that I had a good head for business. Of course, my parents were delighted with my interest in their food store.
After graduating from Soxtuss High School, I threw myself into their business. This made them even happier. I committed myself to running Soxtuss Foods for several years. I learned the business of owning and running a small retail food store. My parents were truly pleased with my natural born business skills.
As time went on, I began to think about a different type of retail. I started talking with my parents about my dreams. As I revealed my inward desires, they quickly become concerned. They could see their dreams of their son taking over the family business, fading. One morning we had a family discussion in our living room before work. We were discussing my growing dissatisfaction with the store. I remember the conversation so vividly.
My mom said, “We thought you liked Soxtuss Foods.”
I explained that I really like the business. I don’t like selling food. All of the work to ensure freshness and sanitation drives me crazy. My dad reminded me for the thousandth time. “Son, that’s all part of the business.”
“I know that Dad, that’s just not what I’m interested in doing,” I said.
My father exhaled loudly with disappointment and frustration. “Just, what are you interested in doing?”
“Dad,” I said, “I want to start my own business.”
My dad was so irritated. He asked me loudly, “Ok…just what type of business are you interested in starting?”
I said, “I want to start my own furniture store.” Both of my parents rolled their eyes. They were in shock. My dad asked me sarcastically. “Where are you thinking about starting your furniture business?” My mom just stared at the floor.
“In that empty space, on the corner,” I said proudly.
My dad exploded. “Here in Soxtuss! In that empty room?”
I told him, “In that opening. It’s been empty for a while. Ever since the drug store closed, nothing has reopened there. I want to open a furniture store in that empty business area.”
My mom walked out of the room. My dad said, “Son, be reasonable, it’s difficult enough to be successful selling something that everyone needs every day. But, to be successful at selling something like furniture that folks can put off buying for a long time. Well, it’s nearly impossible.”
That’s all I needed to hear. My father telling me to be safe. That it’s impossible. Those words echoed in my brain. They burned into my total existence. That instantly became my life’s ambition – “To do what dad called impossible.”
I opened my first Grexenn Furniture Store in Soxtuss. Business was slow at first. It seemed that folks from Soxtuss either didn’t want more furniture or couldn’t afford new furniture. Soon I began to advertise. Even with advertising in the local newspapers and the occasional TV ad, my business still struggled.
One day, I came up with an idea. My idea was that I was absolutely certain coteries wanted my furniture they simply needed an easy way to purchase it. I invented the Grexenn Card. It’s a revolutionary idea. My card allows everyone to purchase my furniture and pay as they agree to pay. This proved to be one of my most successful ideas. Because of the Grexenn Card and the payment system that it entailed, my business became an overnight success. I began advertising in the regions newspapers as well as local TV stations. “Buy new furniture for your lovely home from the Grexenn Furniture Store in Soxtuss and let your Grexenn Card do the rest.”
This proved to be a very successful marketing strategy. I was selling furniture faster than I could stock it. Soon, I needed more space. I wanted my next store to be large and centrally located to everyone who wants new furniture for their homes. It had to be on main roads and in downtown Kinkorx. That was a must. Before long, I found the perfect location for my second store.
My second and much larger furniture store is on Vzxcout Drive in downtown Kinkorx. Just down the road from Kruxxblers Grocery Store and close to The Mesnuk Stadium Downtown. That’s the perfect location for my second and much larger Grexenn Furniture Store.”
“That’s a good location. There’s a lot of traffic in that area. So, how many stores do you currently have?” asked Derrix.
“As I already said, my first store is in Soxtuss. My second and main store is in downtown Kinkorx. My third store is in Bedsult. My fourth is in Jxobslyn. These are all in Xcuymir Territory. My fifth is in Wyluxx City, in Zeeton Territory. So far I have five stores in the chain of Grexenn Furniture Stores.”
“It all started in Soxtuss,” said Derrix.
Jeqrix smiled. “That’s right.”
“Do you have plans for more stores?”
“At this time, I’m holding with five. That seems to be a manageable number – five furniture stores plus a large warehouse—also in downtown Kinkorx.”
“It seems you’re interested in a different type of business as well,” said Derrix as Jeqrix Grexenn smiled, “I’m referring to the Kinkorx Horned Hares. For anyone who doesn’t already know, Mr. Grexenn recently purchased the troubled team.”
Jeqrix leaned into the microphone again. “That’s correct.”
“If you don’t mind me asking, what are your plans for the…problematic, winless mesnuk team?”
He chuckled. “I plan to rebuild the horned hares just like I built my furniture franchise. I believe the horned hares have some good talent. I also plan to recruit more talented players. Hopefully in time, the horned hares will be a championship team.”
“A championship team you say – like the Guytic City Fighting Tobacco Farmers? Mr. Xuro Qashlet, the billionaire business owner of the Tobaccos spends a massive amount of money on the payroll for his championship team. I doubt you can afford his players,” Derrix stated.
Jeqrix replied, “The Guytic City Fighting Tobacco Farmers are a top notch mesnuk team. There’s no doubt about that. And you’re right, I can’t afford the payroll that Mr. Qashlet pays out. He has many Myluxs due to his very successful business affairs – billions of Myluxs from what I hear. Only a billionaire could afford the Tobaccos payroll. The horned hares will be champions by hard work and desire. I will attempt to instill my work ethic into our team. If we can produce a championship mesnuk team, like the tobaccos, it will be due to hard work and determination, not with excessive payroll.”
“What do you think your chances are of producing a Sesla Championship Team without the huge payroll like the Tobaccos?” asked Derrix.
Jeqrix smiled as he answered, “Are you telling me I can’t do it? That it’s impossible? That’s what my dad told me – five stores and a mesnuk team ago.”
Derrix laughed. “Your point is well taken. No one would ever doubt your determination, drive, or persistence. Your business skills are also very strong – judging from your success in the furniture business. We’re all looking forward to seeing how quickly you can turn this very dysfunctional, losing mesnuk team into a championship team. If anyone can do that, you can. We have time for a call before we close this segment. Caller are you there? What is your question for Mr. Grexenn, the new owner of the Kinkorx Horned Hares?”
The caller began. “Mr. Grexenn. It’s an honor to speak to you. I love your furniture and your stores. I carry a Grexenn Card in my purse. My husband and I respect what you’ve accomplished in your franchise.”
Derrix asked, “What’s your question for Mr. Grexenn? And we are short on time, so please be brief.”
The caller continued. “I would like to ask Mr. Grexenn how he plans to recruit new talent if he can’t offer huge salaries like Mr. Qashlet – the owner of the Guytic City Fighting Tobacco Farmers? Also would you consider allowing walk-ons to try out for the team?”
Jeqrix Grexenn answered, “Thank you for the kind words. I’m glad my Grexenn Card helps you. I’m glad you like my furniture. Thank you and your husband for your business. To answer your question, I believe there’s a lot of talent in this area that perhaps never received a proper or fair tryout by the previous management. I would like to announce a new policy by the Kinkorx Horned Hares. The practice sessions are always open to walk-ons. Any walk-ons will be invited to try-out for the team. This will be the policy as long as I’m the owner.”
Derrix remarked. “Thank you caller. That’s an interesting policy, Mr. Grexenn. I hope it works. We’re out of time. Tonight, my guest has been Mr. Jeqrix Grexenn. He’s the new owner of the Kinkorx Horned Hares. This is Derrix Weyd. I am the official voice of the Kinkorx Horned Hares. You’ve been listening to my weekly broadcast on Kinkorx Ultra-Modern Radio in beautiful downtown Kinkorx. Good night everyone.”
“And cut,” said Bruce Mognee, production manager.
In His Decrepit Rented Room In Old Downtown Kinkorx
Zith Fleen turned off his garage sale radio that he kept sitting on his milk crate nightstand beside his decrepit single bed. The very short, ex-college mesnuk player lay on the small, dilapidated, bed, in his dingy, rented studio apartment. He said, “So…the Kinkorx Horned Hares new owner is allowing walk-on tryouts. Maybe I’ll think about trying out for the team. I was a good mesnuk player in college. Too bad I’m so short. All Pirtt-Coteries are short Sesleans. I’m a short Pirtt – real short.”
He wiggled and settled in the middle of the small sagging bed. He mumbled, “I better get some sleep. The first shift at the gravel pit starts too early. I can’t be late for work again. Mr. Mounter gets very angry when I’m late. I can’t believe he talks about firing me for being a few minutes late for work. He’s on a real power trip.”
“Ouch!” Zith said painfully as another broken wire in the mattress poked his leg. “Another broken spring. I hate this pitiful mattress. I hate this dingy, old apartment. I hate my life.”
He fell asleep quickly.
As he fitfully slept, he dreamt of his glory years as a star high school and college mesnuk player at Kinkorx High and the University of Kinkorx. He tossed and turned as he sank in the middle of the saggy bed as he dreamt of the many championships that he was a major factor in winning.
On the high school and college mesnuk fields, being a Pirtt-Coterie wasn’t an issue. Running fast, hitting hard, and accurate throws was king – not genetic prominence—in his case, the lowest status. Professional mesnuk was vastly different—as he soon, very painfully, discovered.
Being a Pirtt-Coterie and a very short Pirtt at that, prevented him from entering the professional ranks after college as a mesnuk player or anything else professionally. Pirtts are not respected as citizens of Sesla and they are despised even more in the professional ranks.
Even though he was a star mesnuk player, his Pirtt-Coterie heritage robbed him of any professional job after graduation. Since college, he has worked and lost a series of random jobs. Several months ago, he was very lucky to acquire his current job at the Kinkorx Gravel Company where he drives a first shift excavator.
While sleeping fitfully, he was awakened by the low-hum of his cheap alarm clock beside his bed. He grunted and moaned as he wiggled out of the center of the sagging bed. “That was an awful night. I dreamt of my college mesnuk days – all of those championships. Those were the best years of my life. Why did I have to ruin it by dreaming about the gravel pit? I hate my job. I hate my life.”
As he stared at the low-buzzing clock he said, “My garage sale clock didn’t work right. I set it for the loud alarm. I’m late again! I’m in big trouble. Mr. Mounter can’t fire me. I’m a good excavator driver.”
He jumped out of bed and quickly dressed. He hurried out of the small, run-down, rented apartment in the old downtown district of Kinkorx. He jumped into his car and speeded away.
Zith hurriedly drove his small, rusty car along the old streets through the abandoned warehouse district toward the Kinkorx Gravel Company. “I’m in major trouble. I’m late for work – again. The last time I was late, Mr. Mounter said I couldn’t be late again or he’d fire me,” Zith said while in a panic as he drove.
As he frantically drove the brief distance through the old downtown district, he said, “I’m going to get fired again. I know I am. Mr. Mounter’s going to fire me—just like the other bosses. He’s on a power trip. All my old bosses have been on power trips.”
In minutes, he speedily drove into the sandy, pothole filled, gravel pit parking lot in the old downtown district. He parked with a jolt and said while panicking, “Mr. Mounter’s crazy. I know he’s going to fire me! I just know it!”
He frantically exited his small car with a thousand rust holes and slammed the door. He hurried across the small parking lot to the small office. The building was at the entrance to the Kinkorx Gravel Company. The hourly time clock hung on the wall next to Mr. Mounter’s old, small, messy desk.
As he frantically entered the creepy, spider infested, cobweb covered office, much to his horror, Mr. Mounter was sitting at his desk. With fear, he stepped to the time clock and frantically searched for his time card.
As he searched, while in a panic, he briefly glanced at his boss. The dagger glare he received from Mr. Mounter cut through his trembling body like a double-edged sword.
“You’re late again, Mr. Fleen,” Mr. Mounter said evilly. “Don’t give me that broken alarm clock excuse. Come up with a better reason for your lack of respect for our rules.”
Zith trembled as sweat ran down his forehead and face. He frantically searched for his time card. “You won’t find your time card. I have it in my desk,” said Mounter with evil glee, “I thought I made it clear the last time you were late – which was only last week. The next time you were late—I’d fire you.”
He shook from panic as he helplessly stood before his towering boss. Panic sweat ran down his forehead and face. Even in his chair, Mr. Mounter was taller than he was. “Please Mr. Mounter,” he groveled as he perspired, “I know I have a problem getting to work on time. I still get my work done. I’ll work through my lunch to make up the time—like I always do,” he pleaded while nervous sweat rolled down his forehead and face.
Edd Mounter hurled a deadly, killer scowl as he proclaimed, “If I let one employee get away with excessive tardiness, before long all the employees are running over me. Unfortunately for you, I must set an example of how this company deals with employees who break the rules –”
Zith frantically pleaded as he trembled and perspired, “Mr. Mounter. I’m only twelve minutes late. All of the late punches on my time cards have been less than fifteen minutes. I always work through my lunch to make up the time.” He began to grovel even more. “It wasn’t easy to find this job. It took months. I don’t know if I can find another job in Kinkorx or the desert for that matter. No one likes to hire a Pirtt.”
Inwardly Edd was enjoying the groveling immensely. Forcing the employees to constantly beg for their jobs gave him a sense of superiority that he got from nowhere else. It made him feel like a God. “If I let you get away with tardiness, everyone will be tardy.” He hurled a vicious scowl that cut through Zith’s being. “There’s no need to continue this conversation. I must set an example for the other employees. This is how we deal with insubordinate employees. Your –”
“Please Mr. Mounter,” he interrupted and begged, “Please don’t fire me. I’m hardly an insubordinate employee –”
Mr. Mounter interrupted sharply, “I already have. Remove any personal belongings. Your paycheck will be ready on the normal payday. That will be all.”
“Please Mr. Mounter,” he pleaded and begged, “I’ll do anything. I need this job. Please don’t fire me.”
“That will be all!” exclaimed Edd sharply, “Don’t forget your belongings – if you have any.”
He lowered his head in disgrace. He slowly exited the small, spider-web infested building and walked toward his embarrassing car. “What am I going to do? It was hard to find this job. Nobody wants to hire a Pirtt. I don’t have any money.”
Disgracefully, he entered his small, rusty car. “I can’t pay the rent. I’m going to lose my apartment. I’ll be living in my car again – soon. I hate living in my car.” He slowly drove out of the sandy, pothole-filled parking lot.
As he pondered his latest firing, he slowly drove along the old, downtown roads. “No one wants to hire a Pirtt. I don’t know where I’m going to get another job. That job took a long time to find. I’ll be living in my car soon.”
After several minutes, he drove in front of his old, adobe brick, rented apartment and depressingly parked. He slowly exited his car and trudged to his old, decrepit front door.
His head was still lowered in disgrace as he entered his small, rented apartment. “I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. It’s hard to find a job. No one likes to hire a Pirtt. My job record is bad. A few small mistakes and I always get fired. What am I going to do?” he mumbled. He depressingly flopped into the small bed and immediately sank into the middle.
As he lay depressingly in the decrepit bed, he turned on the radio. Seqre Tarser, the roaming news reporter for Kinkorx Ultra-Modern Radio was reporting live from the Kinkorx Horned Hares locker room. “…Mr. Grexenn. You admit that you’re organization doesn’t have the payroll to pay for the top athletes like some of the other owners,” said Seqre.
“You mean like Xuro Qashlet, the billionaire owner of the Guytic City Fighting Tobacco Farmers, the defending Sesla Champions?” asked Jeqrix Grexenn, owner of the Kinkorx Horned Hares and Grexenn Furniture Stores.
“Yes, that would be one example. There are others.”
Jeqrix replied, “I built my furniture company with hard work, sacrifice, and a commitment to providing good furniture at affordable prices. I didn’t start with a big payroll and I don’t have a big payroll now. I don’t believe I’ll need a team filled with high salary players to win. I need players that will not accept losing.”
“So…you want players with low salaries that won’t accept losing. Where may I ask, do you think you’re going to get these players?” asked Seqre.
Jeqrix Grexenn replied, “Everyone grew up playing mesnuk in their yards. Many of the high school and college players were very talented. For numerous reasons, very good players that have the desire and talent to play are not playing professionally. I believe there are talented players that given the opportunity, would play. I am opening the Kinkorx Horned Hares practices to anyone who would like to try-out for the team. All walk-ons will be given an opportunity to prove themselves. This open policy starts with today’s practice.”
“That’s very interesting, Mr. Grexenn. You don’t really believe there are championship players standing on the street corners just waiting for this opportunity – do you?” he asked sarcastically.
Jeqrix smiled. “I wouldn’t put it like that. However, I do believe there are quality players that will respond to this invitation. To anyone who is listening to this broadcast, if you know you can play mesnuk professionally, come to the practice field today or any day. I would like to see what you can do.”
Seqre smiled and shook his head in bewilderment. “Thank you Mr. Grexenn.”
He walked away and continued, “The new owner of the Kinkorx Horned Hares, Mr. Jeqrix Grexenn, has begun a new policy. From today forward, their practices are open to the public for walk-ons to try-out for the team. We hope this proves to be a successful policy. This is Seqre Tarser, the roaming news reporter for Kinkorx Ultra-Modern Radio, reporting live from the Kinkorx Horned Hares locker room.”
As Zith lay on his bed, he began to reminisce about his high school and college mesnuk years. “Those were the best years of my life. I was a good mesnuk player. Too bad I’m so short – and a Pirtt.” As he reminisced, he drifted into a dream-filled sleep. The hours passed as he slept and dreamt about his glory years as a high school and college mesnuk star.
Later That Same Day
While Zith sprawled on his small, very well worn couch with his legs hanging over the side, he watched TV. He tried to make sense of his latest plight. He mumbled as he watched TV and thought, “I don’t understand why Mr. Mounter had to fire me. I was never more than a few minutes late. I always worked through my lunch to make up the time. I operated the excavator properly. He never liked me. I was surprised when he hired me. I knew he didn’t like me. I always thought it was because I am a Pirtt – although I don’t know.”
He continued to mumble while trying to make since of his latest crisis as the TV set played. He recalled what the new owner of the Kinkorx Horned Hares, Mr. Grexenn had said, “To anyone who is listening to this broadcast, if you know you can play mesnuk professionally, come to the practice field today or any day. I would like to see what you can do.”
Zith mumbled, “Maybe I’ll drive to the practice field tomorrow morning. I hope Mr. Grexenn lets Pirtts tryout. I know I can play mesnuk professionally. I just need a fair chance.”
He continued to watch TV and think about his dilemma as the evening passed. He also imagined what a tryout for the Horned Hares would be like.
The Following Morning
As Zith woke from his dream-filled, fitful sleep, he realized that he didn’t have a job to go to. “What am I going to do?” he wondered depressingly as he lay in his decrepit bed. “It’ll take weeks to find another job—if I can find a job at all. I’ll be living in my car again – and soon.”
As he lay depressed, he remembered the owner of the Kinkorx Horned Hares. He said, “I was a star mesnuk player in high school and college. After college, no mesnuk team would talk to me. They all said I was too short. The horned hares are accepting walk-on tryouts. I’ve got to start searching for a job today. Maybe I’ll start at the horned hares practice field. What can it hurt?”
With overwhelming doubt, he rolled out of the sagging bed and quickly dressed. “I better skip breakfast. If I do get a tryout, I’ll need to run fast.”
With a lack of confidence in his endeavor, he exited the small, rundown apartment and walked to his rusty car. He was attempting to physic himself up as he jumped in.
As he drove away, he began talking to himself. “If I get a fair tryout, I can make the team. I’m still fast and strong. If the owner doesn’t care about how short I am, I can play mesnuk – I know I can.”
Zith’s focus was on the tryout as he drove while continuing to build his confidence – verbally. “I can play mesnuk professionally. I just need a fair chance. I know I can.”
After several minutes, his heart began to pound when he saw The Mesnuk Stadium Downtown. As his anxieties were racing, he imagined playing mesnuk in the ginormous, futuristic, enclosed, dome stadium as a Kinkorx Horned Hare.
With sweaty hands, he drove past the magnificent, beautifully landscaped building with its statues of the former Chief Generals of Xcuymir Territory.
He continued along the downtown Kinkorx Street to the Horned Hares practice field. He nervously drove into the nicely paved parking lot and parked next to the field. “Here it is. I’m here. I hope this works,” he said with a slight panic.
He nervously watched the Kinkorx Horned Hares practice. He said, “Look at the size of those players – they’re huge. I’m so small. Who am I kidding? I’ll never make the team…I have to try.”
With sweaty hands and a pounding heart, he exited his car. He looked at the players and said nervously, “Here goes.” His heart pounded as he walked onto the practice field.
As he approached the players, one of the coaches said to him, “I’m Jeqrix Grexenn, I’m the owner. I’ve never seen you before. Are you here for a tryout?”
“Yes!” Zith said with enthusiasm while concealing his host of anxieties.
Jeqrix asked, “What’s your name?”
“Do you want to change or are you ready?” Jeqrix asked.
“I’m ready!” Zith said excitedly as his anxiety level quickly abated.
“Join the other players. We’ll evaluate you as the day progresses,” Jeqrix instructed.
Zith asked with surprise, “You’re going to let me practice with the Kinkorx Horned Hares?”
Jeqrix laughed. Then he replied, “Is there a reason why I shouldn’t?”
“No Sir!” Zith exclaimed loudly.
Jeqrix said, “Those players are a lot bigger and stronger than you,” he smiled, “I’ll bet you’re faster. As I’m sure you already know, speed is very important in mesnuk. I’ll give you the rest of the day to prove yourself… Start practicing.”
“Yes Sir! Thank you Sir!” Zith said excitedly. His heart pounded in his chest as he ran as fast as he could onto the playing field.
The players watched as he ran speedily onto the field. “Wow! You can really fly. You’re kind of small… Good luck!” said Ti Gurmis, one of the Horned Hares players.
“This is Zith Fleen,” said Jeqrix Grexenn loudly, “He’ll be practicing with us today. Good luck Zith!” Many of the players and Head Coach Jo Mydos said, “Good luck Zith.”
“Zith. You’re on the blue team. Back to work! Everyone circle the glymog,” yelled Coach Mydos.
The blue and the red teams circled the 42 inch diameter, circular glymog, in the center of the mesnuk field. Coach Mydos posed as the enforcer. He tossed the sludder into the air.
The two teams immediately battled for the 18 ¼ pounds, rounded edged, rubber coated, acute triangle shaped, sludder. The blue team recovered the sludder.
Zith and his team ran toward their kloxyn. A horned hare threw the sludder to Zith. He caught it and charged toward the 48 inch high, 36 inch diameter, ½ inch thick walled, opened at the top and bottom metal cylinder, that was fastened to the ground, at their end of the 460 feet long and 380 feet wide mesnuk field.
As Zith attempted to throw the sludder into their kloxyn, a gigantic member from the red team collided with him. The force of the collision resembled being run over by a fully loaded semi-truck and trailer. Zith and the sludder went flying through the air.
A member of the red team caught the sludder as Zith hit the ground hard. The red team speeded toward their kloxyn, at their end of the 460 feet long mesnuk field as the blue team pursued.
Zith recovered quickly from the massive crash at the hands of the red team and speedily pursued. As the red team member threw the sludder into the air toward their kloxyn, in what appeared to be a score, Zith leaped high into the air and caught the sludder. He tumbled to the ground while maintaining possession of the sludder.
He quickly stood and began running as fast as his short legs would pump toward their kloxyn as both teams pursued. Due to his impressive speed, he was the first to reach the kloxyn. He dropped the sludder into their kloxyn, scoring two points.
The blue team cheered. Head Coach Jo Mydos looked at owner, Jeqrix Grexenn and said, “Zith is small but he’s tough—and fast.”
Jeqrix bobbed his head as he replied, “His speed and toughness are impressive.”
“Let’s see if he can take the pounding,” said Coach Mydos loudly. He tossed the sludder to the red team. A player caught it and ran.
The red team ran speedily toward their kloxyn. They passed the sludder. Zith leaped into the air and tried to catch it. A red team player plowed into him as he flew through the air. The force was so strong that it sent Zith flying through the air and crashing to the ground.
He immediately got up and ran like a rocket. Zith leaped and flew into the red team player that carried the sludder. He crashed into the huge player sending the player flying through the air in one direction and the sludder in another.
After catching the flying sludder, Zith ran as fast as his Pirtt legs would go. He left the other players behind as he ran to the blue team’s kloxyn. He dropped the sludder into their kloxyn – scoring two pints again. The blue team cheered – again.
Coach Mydos looked at owner, Jeqrix Grexenn again and bobbed his head. “Impressive!” said Jeqrix. Coach Mydos threw the sludder to the red team again to keep the game going.
As the practice went on throughout the afternoon and into the evening, Zith continued to show his speed, aggressiveness, and toughness. With each massive hit, he became more battered and bruised but he never slowed.
By the end of the practice, Zith was tired and beaten up. He was also the top point’s scorer of the day. He had out scored all of the other Horned Hares players. “Zith stop by my office after your shower,” said Coach Mydos.
“Yes Sir!” said the battered Zith.
“Hit the showers!” yelled Coach Mydos.
The players ran to the locker room – including Zith. “It’s good to see you again, Zith,” said Cottir Greem, a former University of Kinkorx mesnuk teammate.
“Thanks. I never thought I’d be here. The new owner’s making some positive changes,” Zith replied as he prepared to shower with the Kinkorx Horned Hares mesnuk team.
“Great job out there today Zith. Your speed and toughness are impressive – for a little guy,” said Team Captain, Guiss Korter as he laughed.
“Thanks,” said Zith as he laughed politely at the humor. He spent the next several minutes quickly washing with the team. After borrowing a sweat suit from his former U of K college mesnuk teammate, Cottir Greem, he hurried down the hall to Coach Mydos’ office.
As he entered Coach Mydos’ office, he said, “You wanted to see me Coach.”
“Yes Zith. How are you feeling? You took quite a few big hits out there today?” asked the coach.
He smiled. “I feel great. Nothing bothered me. It was awesome to be playing mesnuk again,” Zith replied with enthusiasm.
“Where did you play mesnuk before?” asked Coach Mydos.
“I played high school mesnuk at Kinkorx High and college mesnuk at U of K. I loved it,” Zith replied.
Coach bobbed his head in approval. “Any pro offers?” he asked.
Zith shook my head. “No Sir,” he replied. “Every team thought I was too small.”
“You are small, but tough and fast. Even with the pounding, you were the high scorer. Do you think you can keep that up?”
“Yes Sir Coach!” he said excitedly as my heart began to race.
“Mr. Grexenn and I talked. We liked what we saw today. You need time to get used to being hit. You won’t see any playing time in a game any time soon, but we would like to offer you a job. The salary will be low – especially at first. As you prove yourself and score game points, your wages will improve. Do you need time to consider the offer?”
“No Sir Coach!” Zith said excitedly. “I want to play mesnuk.”
Coach Mydos chuckled as he said, “All right then. We’ll see you tomorrow morning. Practices start at 8:00. Make sure you keep scoring points.”
“Thanks Coach! I won’t let you down.” Zith hurried out of the office.
kathryncoard: I really enjoyed this book. It was a fast paced book, that kept me interested . Yes, it was political commentary, which I found to be relevant to many things happening in the world. The snippets from the journal show the " boiled frog " analogy that is clearly relevant . Interesting that peop...
harry142018: This story was gripping and very professionally written. With lots of twists and slight of hand tricks, the author deceives the reader until finally showing their cards at the end. With several subplots all intertwining to create the main plot, this really is an interesting and engaging read.
Jasmine Chow: As I read this story, I was reminded some what of Terry Pratchett, especially some descriptions of politics and economics. The sci-fic setting is quite intriguing. Writing style is quite lovely and grew on me slowly. I was also slightly reminded of Mark Twain, especially his book A Connecticut Ya...
cassandrab: Delightful SciFi (for a change)! I am not a SciFi fan: mostly the genre is far too dystopic for me. This book (written by a high-school friend) is, on the other hand, generally upbeat. Yes, Earth's future is threatened. But Earth has a chance to plan a response. And (spoiler alert) ultimately win...
EchoOblivion: I was hooked from start to finish - couldn't put it down! Excellent story, compelling characters, well-built world and just the right amount of mystery. I would definitely recommend if you are a fan of post-apocalyptic sci-fi, with a few zombies-like creatures thrown in for good measure. Can't wa...
Dru83: This is the second or third time I've read this one and I just love it. It has just about everything you could ever want packed into one scifi story. It still has some parts that are a little rough in terms of grammar, punctuation, and word usage, but it's still an awesome story. I love how detai...
Leah Brown: This was an amazing read! I was hooked from the very first chapter, holding my breadth to see what would happen next. The characters are rich and vibrant, and the world Danielle has created is fascinating. If you love YA, you MUST read this book. Such a smart, brilliant debut novel. I loved it!
Dru83: This is perhaps my favorite part of the Olafson story just because it is here that were are introduced to his "gang". The characters are so diverse and complicated that each of them could just about spawn their own story. Eric's buddies are just so captivating and the plot just rolls along. Again...
Hawkebat: Playing both Kotor I & II and Swtor I found the story line interesting and it held me until chapter 35 Very good story and plot flow until then, very few technical errors. I felt that the main character was a bit under and over powered, as it fought for balance. The last few chapters felt too f...
dragonswilleise: I loved this book, it was nearly impossible to put down from start to finish. It was fast passed without being overwhelming and slowed down where needed. Overall this was an amazing novel that I will definitely recommend to others.
FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"
Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."