Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Fumble on the Play

As I said before, I'd warn you when I had some fiction coming up. So consider yourself warned. As I was writing up tonight's post, continued from yesterday, I either got tired, or my kids got me tired. I'll stick with the latter story. So tonight, a little voice piece I wrote a few years back.

* * * * *

The Marianos weren’t really a laughing type of people. More like a yelling and hitting type people, you know? And the father, Rico, well he really wasn’t a laughing kind ‘cause he was dead, and today the Marianos aren’t laughing so much ‘cause they have to bury Rico, 'cause like I said, he's dead.

You know I remember how he’d always get red in the face like a strawberry when he was yelling, but that’s just what Coaches do, you know. He’d been my Coach for so long I didn’t notice nothing about that. But then one day in mid-season, when we were playing against this big name preppy school, Coach was yelling like usual. We had the ball at the thirty and there was an offside called against us, but Coach Rico thought the other team jumped first, so he got yelling at the refs. We didn’t really notice, because yelling was just what he did, but after the whistle went on the next play all the guys looked over, and we felt something was wrong, but we didn’t know why. Seeing Coach on the ground, we realized what was wrong, ‘cause we didn’t hear him yelling. He was dead. We lost that game. Coach Rico’s four boys were all on our offensive line. They left and the ref's called the game. We were down by six, so we lost.

Today was the funeral, and the team was here. We all sat in church and sang a few songs, and the four Rico boys, and their mother came out and talked about Coach. Then when it was all over. The boys got Coach Rico’s coffin and we started walking outside of the church. It was raining as we walked down the stairs, and I turned my head back to watch as the Marianos carried the coffin down the stairs. It was a big staircase, and pretty steep, but they’re big guys.

It was raining a bit, and my brother was nagging me about my umbrella, telling me to open it ‘cause his glasses were getting wet. He's such a wuss, and plays, like, back up left tackle. But he's my brother, you know, so I tried to open it, but the button wouldn’t push. I turned the umbrella over and smacked it hard on the ground, but the thing wouldn’t open, so I smacked it harder and it still wouldn’t open. Bro tried to grab it, but I told him I’d get it open. Then he said “Give it to me,” and I said No,” and he said “Give it to me,” and I said “No,” again, and he said “Give it to me,” again, and I said “No,” and then he grabbed it. Well there was no way I was letting him get his hands on my umbrella, so I pulled back, and his hands slipped. Well it was pretty slippery, so we could have guessed that would happen, but then I fell back and lost my feet, and fumbled the umbrella. It flew up in the air away from me.

A couple of hands reached up and tried to intercept it, but it had a good spiral going. It flew at the Mariano brothers, who were only halfway down the stairs. I remember yelling “Fumble,” and the Mariano boys looking up. Vito, the one closest to it reached out and caught it. He was smiling ‘cause I think he doesn’t usually catch things so good. Then his brothers yelling things like “You dumb effer,” and “What the eff are you doing,” and “You effing idiot.” Anyways, Vito dropped the umbrella, and reached for the coffin, but it was too late. All he could do was stand there big and dumb when the coffin smacked the stairs and the lid flew open.

Coach fell out, you know, and rolled down the stairs. He made a thump sound as he hit each step. Actually more like a squish. Everyone heard it so you can ask them. The Mariano brothers went after him, and Michael, the oldest, tackled Rico before he hit the bottom, and the other brothers landed on top of him soon afterwards.

I didn’t really see anything else, ‘cause Bro was all red in the face, and looking really pissed. He grabbed me and dragged me to the car saying things like “You idiot,” and “You stupid, stupid idiot.”

But I don't think it's really a big deal though. Actually I think the Coach might be smiling down from somewhere. He taught those boys to smother a fumble, and boy did they.

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