I was looking for way to improve my writing, something that would help generate ideas when I came across this writing challenge from a Facebook page link that I found on a blog post. So I have decided that this is one way to start and will be begin with day ones challenge of taking a strange dream that I have to write a story that makes sense of it.
A loud thud sounded as the ball got kicked into play. I can feed all the adrenaline that I had pumping, my hear that was pounding, my blood that was just rushing so loudly in my veins that I could hear it in my ears, it all seemed to calm down as my instincts and brain took over. The ball was at my feet and I knew I had to focus in on what was going on around me to figure out how to get the ball to the opposing team’s side and off of our side. A few calm dribbles forward to draw a defender up to me, I looked around for someone who I could pass the ball to.
I play it back to the last defender before my goalie, the stopper and move to find a way or give her something to work with. As the ball is being passed around and I am moving in and out of player, I feel some eyes on me. It must be someone on the other team looking to mark me or waiting for me to get the ball to then apply pressure but the eyes that are on me don’t feel like they belong to any of the girls on the field.
I move to an open spot with no one on me and receive the ball. I have a few moments before a defender comes running up to me. I control the ball with a soft one touch, placing the ball a few feet in front of me and as soon as the defender gets to close, I quickly cut the ball to the opposite, away from where she is leaning into. I get by her quickly enough and surge forward before another defender comes to help. Taking the ball I dribble quickly in and out, faking one way, going another and when I can’t shake her, I pull the ball back and try to cut the ball another way. She gets a little lazy with her defending, getting sloppy with her legs and allowing for an opening which is just enough for me to put it through her legs and go by her.
I keep dribbling up the field and as I draw closer to the corner of the field to make the cross, I feel the eyes get closer, the staring becoming harder and more obvious. Unlike being able to shake the girl, I couldn’t shake this feeling that I was being watched. Was it a scout? Was it another coach? Was it someone who knows me or seen my play before and likes to watch me play? I see a few of my teammates and try to place the ball into the middle, far enough away from the goalie. From my kick, the ball goes sailing up and just enough out…but onto the head of the other team and the ball is cleared away from their side onto ours.
I take the moment to look around, to maybe catch the eyes of the person but I don’t see anyone. The stands aren’t full of people but I know most of them, parents, siblings, friends, boyfriends of players, fans for the other team but no one stuck out to be anyone strange or who didn’t look like they belonged. I took my focus away from the search and went back to focusing on the game. I ran back to help my teammates as the ball was punted back into play by our goalie.
As one of our players fought to gain possession of the ball against the other team, I looked to get in better position should she need help or need an outlet, someone to pass to when she got the ball in her control. I job over closer to the sideline that she was facing with the ball, where all of our substitutes and coaches were. As I am bouncing on my toes, deciding on my next movement. I feel the eyes again. They’ve moved. They’ve gotten closer. I try to shake it and not distract myself by looking around. I am focused. Which is when I feel a small pinch, like I got stung or bit by a bug. I slap the back of my neck where I felt it but I don’t come away with a bug. It was a phantom pinch maybe, a feeling that I got pinched when I really didn’t.
I ignore it, though it starts to feel like an itch moments after and I scratch at the spot quickly to then let it be when the ball comes to me. I trap the ball and play it down the sidelines to my teammates, who then passes it back as I make my way down, a quick give and go and I dribble down the side, drawing defenders away from the middle, leaving my half back open. I pass it to her as a girl tries to collide with me to kick the ball out which is gone before she is even in reach. Satisfied, I move toward the middle in case she needs back up but I find that my legs feel heavy. I start to slow down to a walk and think that maybe I should call for a substitution, I must have been playing for most of the half. When I look at the score board it’s only been 15 minutes. I should be fine. I shouldn’t be this exhausted or feeling so tired. But I do. I feel so tired. So tired even that I could nap right on the floor. I don’t know why but the grass looks so inviting and would be so nice to sleep on. Nothings else seems to register in my mind. Not the game, the players, the coaches, the fans, nothing. I don’t even think that I register to them or anything that I am doing. I just start to lay down and as I do, I get the feeling that this has happened before. The pinch, the lethargy my body is feeling and want to sleep, it has happened before when I was younger. I thought I had escaped him but no.
Now I know to who those eyes belong to, who had been staring at me the entire time and who even now as I try to keep my eyes open, starts to make his way toward me. The one who I had thought was my prince charming but in reality was my prince of darkness. It has been years since I set eyes on him. I thought he has given up on me. Part of me is in fear of him but another…another part is relieved that this game of cat and mouse is over with. As everything starts to get blurry and I can no longer seem to fight wanting to close my eyes, the eyes that had been staring and watching, waiting come in to focus. Grey eyes. Wolves’ eyes that were staring at its captured prey. Those grey eyes that haunted never-ending dreams.
“You found me”, I managed to say though rather groggy.
“And I always will”, he says back as my eyes surrender to the darkness.