Ok, this is just one of a few short stories I’ve been working on lately. I thought that it would be a good easy start for my first posted work. I wanted to keep the first one simple.  I’ve been dreaming up and writing stories for years, but never finishing them. I’m so excited to be finally doing this after I’ve read so many other wonderful stories. Please excuse the grammar, as Word is not much better than I. Your comments are always welcome. alwaysastory@yahoo.com

Damned to hell!
By S. R. Betts

Chapter 1: The Game

I stand on the sidelines more than anything, but I love being part of it all, here in the thick of the action surround by my teammates and friends. Sweat, grass and dirt not only cake our uniforms but there scents mix in the air with adrenaline and testosterone. The crowd rallies us with endless cheers as we fight for every gain. Surely God is watching over us on this perfect autumn day and would usher us to triumphant victory.

Well ok, the Bayersville Eagle’s often don’t win, but we as a school are gung-ho on school pride. It’s homecoming week and it’s the Bayersville Eagles vs. Lautenton Razorbacks our historic nemesis. Ok, nemesis a bit to strong, it was a good rivalry, we didn’t hate them, despite that fact that then weren’t such a Christian of a high school.

Both sides’ players are taking a beating.  We’re making them earn every yard.  Hell, we’re actually keeping the score pretty even considering we’ve trailed the entire game. Normally, Lautenton would have pulled way ahead by now, that’s why the crowd’s so wound up. We actually wouldn’t be this close if not for some very fancy footwork and a few awesome passes by Morgan, that’s Johnny Morgan, Jr., he hates the name Johnny, but I still call him that or JJ, as his mom calls him, when we’re joking around. Anyway, Morgan played football at some big Northern High School before his dad got transferred down to Bayersville. Morgan’s football skills are more than just amazing; he also has this incredible way of just getting team to work together. Coach says if he doesn’t make it in the pros he’ll make an excellent minister some day. Needless to say everyone loves Morgan, including Gwendolyn, the second prettiest girl in school, our coach Reverend Daily’s daughter. Yeah, Katie, Catherine Sue Lansing, my girl, is still the most beautiful girl in Bayersville.  Thank the Lord I was already dating Katie when Morgan moved to town or she’d have surely gone for Morgan over me.

Anyway, Gwen broke up with Aaron, that’s Aaron Michael Blecker our former QB and now a receiver, the end of last season after he got caught getting too fresh with her after one of the games: The coach, yeah her father caught them. Aaron and Morgan look alike, so its not surprising that Gwen would go for Morgan, they like could almost be brothers, the All-American athletic look, light and wavy hair, tall and well built, you know muscular without the super jock look. The big difference is that Morgan has this piercing blue eyes and a never-ending smile.  

Oh Me?  I’m Jimmy; James Steven Railings that is. Second string wide receiver. And although second string, I was one of the most valuable players, well up to recently. I was more the assistant coach, honestly the Reverend didn’t have a clue when if came to running a team, I was the brains of the crew, just not so well coordinated as some as the others. I can’t complain, though, still one of the most popular boys at Bayersville Eagle High. I’m basically the average, but very fit boy-next-door, nicely trimmed dark brown hair, blue eyes and a healthy 5’11”, 165 pounds body. I come from a good Christian stock as mom says: lucky to get my dad’s handsome looks and my mother’s charm. They’re good people although dad does get pissed when I drop passes on the field. Enough about me though, its all about the game right now.

Forth quarter, under two minutes on the clock, the Razorbacks were up by two field goals, we have the ball at our own twenty-yard line after a touch back. It was all up to Morgan and our offense. The snap, the blitz and Morgan narrowly escapes the sack and downs the ball. Second down and once again the Razorbacks blitz but we are prepared with one of my own anti-blitz plays and Morgan is out of the box and in the clear long enough to get a line shot at to Brian, that’s Brian Michael Ungler, wide receiver, the blitz leaving him completely unguarded, Morgan effortlessly spirals the ball into his waiting hands. Ungler turns and runs another fifteen yards before a mountain of Razorbacks pile on top of him. The roar of the crowd switches to grimacing as we all watch as the refs pull the pile off Ungler; he finally emerges with a major limp. The Reverend looks at me, Ungler was going out I was going in.

We do a quick huddle and a run to positions to start again with a first and ten at our forty-five yard line. Morgan passes off to Brut, that’s Randall Darling but know as Brut cause he’s big and can run the down defensive lineman with little ever stopping him. He’s a sweet kid, but not the brightest light, if you know what I mean. After a few handoffs to Brut and another first down the Razorbacks where now wise and Brut being double covered is going nowhere. Unfortunately Aaron was being well covered as Moran had been passing to both him and Unger the whole game. Fuck, the call was to me. Morgan quick fired as the blitz came. The ball came blazing across the field and slammed into my arms and my gut, knocking the wind out of me, and then I went flying in the air and backwards tackled by a huge Razorback. I briefly see stars, but still managed to get my sore body up with the hand of my tackler.

Our last time out is called as I recovered and we went into huddle. Morgan shot out calls to me for my opinion; I made quick suggestions as best I could as still winded form the last play. Moran agreeing, called the plays to Aaron as he to notices my mental state.  

The Razorbacks do their best to draw a false start and finally call a time out themselves last second to try mess with our minds; Their mistake. My mind was clearing and I indicated to Morgan to change the play.

Morgan jumps back quickly out of the box before it crumbles and runs with the twenty-five yard line readying to throw to Aaron, then turning abruptly and sails the pass across the field into my awaiting arms. With a quick spin I jump towards the goal line only to be slammed again by the same linebacker. Everything goes black as my body is pounded into the ground.  

I awake staring into the most beautiful blues eyes as I lay there on the damp ground. It’s just me and those incredible eyes, not a sound, not a movement, not even my any sensation of my body, I like I’m floating, no swimming in those eyes. I know I’ll be ok.

Then the roar of the crowd and the waves of blinding pain suck me back to reality.  Morgan is screaming at me. “Are you ok, Jimmy, Jimmy you hear me? You ok? Talk to me bro!” I can see the concern in his face, yet I can’t seem to speak. I ‘m still lost in his eyes.

Then he’s gone, replaced by Reverend Daily. “James, listen to me! Let me know you can hear me son. That was one heavenly play there, but we need you off the field to get the extra point!”

“Extra point.” I manage to speak. Holy Shit! Sorry um, awesome dude! I made the touch down! “I’m ok.”  I manage to spit out as I slowly start moving my aching body. “Fuck!” That hurts!

“Now James, I sure you’re in pain son, so I’ll let that slide, but remember that’s just not acceptable language.  Now, are you hurt? Can you move? We really need you off the field.”

“Yes, Reverend. Sorry Reverend.” I manage to say, but my mind’s really thinking, “You fucking asshole, give me a god damn minute, show me a little compassion you bastard. All you fucking care about is the game.” Then I reprimand myself and I roll my body forward in agony, I shouldn’t think that way. Lord, please forgive me: My penance is my pain.

“Aaron, John! Help James off the field.” Reverend Daily orders and marches away. Aaron and Morgan flank my sides and toss my arms over their shoulders, it hurts like… well it hurts, but it also felts good to be between my two buds. I listen to them both chatter about the play as they basically carry me off to the sideline. My teammates knowing I’m in pain all individually ruffled my hair for the game tying play. Still with both arms abound Morgan and Aaron; we watch at the extra point clear the goal post.

15 seconds counting for the return kick and one play, the game was over. The crowd’s going wild: We had won! It was the fucking, whops sorry I know better but it was Fucking Awesome! Homecoming game against the Razorbacks: Fucking Awesome!

The team’s going crazy too, all the sudden I’m yanked from Morgan and Aaron and carried across the field by the team like a hero. The bliss of the moment totally overruling my body pain: I fell so incredible! God was watching us today.

We party on the field for another 20 minutes, as friends and family join in our celebration. We hug everyone like twice. Morgan and I like four times. It just feels so good to celebrate together. Gwen and Katie find us and exchange kisses and hugs, but then quickly depart saying that we are both sweaty and reek. We don’t really care we’re just too high on life.

The Reverend finally orders us to hit the showers and we begrudgingly celebrate our way back to the locker room, and despite the reverends yelling we continued to party as we we’re just too wound up to do anything but hoop and holler as we undress, throwing our clothes at each other and flinging soaking wet tights at bare asses.

Morgan was just to my left at his locker as I strip; he always takes one by me. He’s looking at me with a big… eating grim, “Man, you are going to be black and blue tomorrow! I can already see you’re red,” Morgan states as he reaches out and traces the bruises on my abdomen. My body tingles where his finger traces, it actually feels kind of good. His eyes sparkle and I can’t help but grin ear to ear.

“You should probably soak for a while.” He cautions matter-of-factly.

“Yeah, but the tub here sucks and I really want to just get a shower and go out and celebrate with the boys,” as we grab our towels and headed off to join the rest in the showers.

“Well, if you’re up to it later, why don’t we go back my place afterwards and we can soak in the hot tub.”

“Yeah! Sound awesome! ‘Mind me, let mom know!”

The showers are packed, everyone’s pushing and shoving to take claim to the dozen showerheads the flank both sides. God I loved the locker room after a game, well a winning game anyway. Here we can be boys, walk around naked and hoop it up as much as we want.

“Ok boys coming through,” as the QB/Team captain, Morgan clears the way for us. “Make room for the player of the day. No pushing and shoving he’s taken enough for the team today!” We commandeer two showerheads, but also get butt slaps from everyone in the process.

As we shower I again noticed Morgan smiling at me. Our eyes lock: There were those eyes again; the images from lying of the field came poring back into my head. I get lost in them for too long. Blood starts flowing in the wrong direction and I have to jar myself from their beautiful depths and quickly turn the water to ice cold.

“What the fuck! Jimmy, get a hold of yourself! What’s this all about? You’re losing it man!” I shake the unwelcome thoughts from my head. “It’s just the excitement of the game, the male bonding B.S. It’s nothing silly,” I tell myself. “It’s nothing!”

“You ok Jimmy?”

“Yeah fine, just feeling the game, feeling a little hot, it’s a bit steamy in here with all the showers going. I’m going to get dressed.” I quickly part from the showers and head back to the locker. Morgan follows not far behind.

Aaron and Unger sneak up behind us as we’re towel drying and pummel our naked asses.
“Pizza and Party at my place! The girls are going to meet us there! Dads got a surprise for us waiting too!” Ungler announces as he moves onto the next victim.

“Party at Ungler’s!!!” Aaron’s shouting as we finish dressing.  I couldn’t help notice Morgan seems a little excited downstairs as we dress.

“God, Jimmy what the fuck you even looking there for anyway.” I know I’m blushing as shoved my stuff into my duffle. Morgan grabs my ass as he motions for us to leave.  

Tossing me his cell “Tell your mom you’re staying at my place, we’ll walk back from Ungler’s. I think I know what the surprise is… We don’t want to be driving later,” and we’re off to PARTY!!!

Well almost.  Reverend Daily is waiting for outside the locker room directing everyone to the playroom for post game payers. Ten minutes of dutifully thanking our Lord for his inspiration, his guidance and his protection in taking us to victory then a stern lecture on proper celebrating. Then we finally get on our way.

To be continued....
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