Thursday, October 8, 2009

Surviving Golf

A response to Nathaniel Lee's "Playing Properly" in Mirror Shards:

"Don't even talk to me about local courses," Raymond sneered. "Manicured lawns and geometrically perfect 'lakes.' Those places are about as real as a pornstar's tits."

"Then where are we going?"

Raymond pointed. Ahead, the woods closed in around them, an old forest-god, grinning snaggletoothed and hairy, with entwining vines and mysterious culverts. Water dripped down unseen pathways. In the distance, something howled, abruptly cut off.

Smiling, Raymond set down his bad. He withdrew a club, one with a spiked handguard on the grip and a jagged razor on the reverse of the head. "We're going to play real golf."

My scene:

Jason sank his last putt -- an easy shot off the side of a steep hill that dipped towards a marsh. Jason breathed a sigh of relief and turned his back on the muddy water that boiled with the sinuous coiling of some unseen beast in the water. He had no more balls left and knew that Raymond would insist that Jason play from inside the water trap.

"That was interesting," said Jason.

"Ready for the back nine?"

Jason's face dropped, "But what about the time?"

"Exactly," the dying afternoon light flickered red in Raymond's eyes, "It's best played after dark."

"Maybe another time." Jason lied, he had no intention of ever coming he could here again. There was something to Raymond -- energy, a sense of urgency and a hint of anger -- that Jason had admired in the boardroom, when Raymond was on his side, but out here it didn't feel right, he felt like the target.

"Suit yourself, I'll play the back nine without you." Jason's heart beat hard, he'd carpooled with Raymond. "By the way, the wolves out here are a little like sharks... they can smell your blood."

Jason looked down, his polo shirt was torn through so you could see his midriff where the claw marks continued to drip blood. He'd fought the wolves off once, he could do it again.

"I'll walk. I'll see you in the office on Monday." Jason felt bitter but there was little he could do about it. Raymond stood there flawless untouched by the hazards of this course.

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