This was my contribution to a writing exercise at one of the writing groups I attend, Re-telling a Myth. The aim was to see if the listeners could tell what the original myth was; which is perhaps a reflection on the quality of the writing, Not everyone got this one but see if you can. If not and you are interested, perhaps I’ll give you a clue.
Dam it !
A pair of cricket pads flew across the dressing room.
“Anyone got a spare pair guys?”
Only blank looks replied as the guys were more concerned with the team being soundly thrashed by the lightning bowling of their opponents.
“Well thanks for nothing, I’ll be in an over and a half at the rate they’re falling out there and I’ve no pads, I only asked to have the buckles fixed but as usual…”the rant went on but still nobody was listening.
Colin sat, not really wanting to look out of the large picture window and the green field of slaughter. Then he spotted someone who might be able to help and knocked on the glass.
“Freddie.” he waved frantically but the boy was indifferent, “Freddie, here.”
Eventually the small figure gave a visible sigh and stomped inside.
“Freddie my boy, I need you to do me a favour.”
“Now then, you can run quicker than me, take the keys and go to the car, there’s a spare pair of pads in the boot.”
“Oh but dad!” his annoyance more obvious now.
“Now then my boy I’ve been running round you and your game since you were six so let’s not have any more of it, I need pads and you’re going to get them for me.”
The boy ran a hand dramatically through is shock of blonde hair and stamped his feet as he snatched the keys angrily out of his father’s hand.
“There you go, quickest done is quickest mended.”
Any reply was inaudible but that was probably the best thing under the circumstances. Colin went back to the window to pray that someone could deflect at least one four or even a six from the ballistic over the wicket left-handed giant hurtling towards the crease.
Out in the corridor the small figure was running his hands along the polished panelling trying to drag out the errand until he reached a glass cabinet and, as he had his face to the floor, he banged into it and would have sworn if he had known how to.
Getting his balance back, he stared into the display and the shining cups and trophies of the many successes that the club had once been capable. His under 14’s team was actually doing far better than the adult teams, his efforts had been noticed which always pleased him.
Below the silverware, Freddie spotted the answer to his current disappointment, a pair of pads. Knowing how far away the car was this seemed to be the obvious answer, his dad would only be in for an over or two at most so what could be the harm.
The cabinet, fortuitously, was not locked. Freddie carefully extracted the items, closed the case and ran back to the changing room, this time rather pleased with himself.
“Here you go, how are we doing?”
There was no time to chat as the latest wicket had just fallen for only 2 runs and Colin was due in. In his haste he hadn’t noticed that these weren’t his spare pads and quickly tightened the straps behind his knees before heading for the walk of shame and the battle field.
He hadn’t got two paces outside before an older man grabbed his elbow and stopped him.
“Eh, Colin, what’s them you’ve got on?”
“Pads, what do they look like, come on I’m…”
“Pads they may but whose, that’s the question.”
“They’re…..” he looked down and realised that they weren’t his.
More importantly he also knew what they were, mainly because of the small engraved badge that was still attached to the left one explaining that they were the last pair to be worn but the highest scoring batsman in the history of the club.
“Freddie,” the call went up in a crescendo and the boy tried to slip behind the other players but failed.
“Where did you get these?”
“I…” he really didn’t want to say.
“When you’re the best batsman in Yorkshire history, then you can wear them but until, no. Put them back, read the sign and then go and get mine as you were asked.
By the time Freddie was 21 he was so good that he often wore the England cap and
at 6 feet 4 inches tall, his golden crown featured on many an international battle ground.