Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Dreamer's Puck

A response to Kristine Kathryn Rusch's post on the difference between dreams and goals in "Freelancers Survival Guide".

Beetle laid back with his feet splayed over the ends of the hammock strung between the edges of the goal posts. There really wasn't enough room for Beetle to fit on the hammock and his head lolled off the edge as his neck bent ninety degrees. His feet hung barefoot above the ice and his eyes were covered by his cap.

Moran, Navy's right wing, had the puck and slapped a ricochet off the ice wall as he sped past the defender and hit a pass to Navy's center who smacked a clear shot at the goal. Baaa. A sheep shimmered in the air before the goal standing on green sod that floated in midair. The puck bounced off of the sheep and towards Moran. Beetle made another save. Army cheered.

Slivers of ice exploded when Moran pushed forward and got a jump on Army's defenseman. He whistled around the edge of the goal and the left wing provided a pick for him that not only took out the defenseman chasing him but also rocked Beetle's perch. The crowd hissed at the referee but he couldn't penalize Navy for rocking the dreamer when it had been Army's defenseman that had hit the goal. Moran pirouetted before the goal so that he could wind up and slap a point blank shot at the goal. Another sheep half submerged in the ice blocked the puck. The other Army defenseman swept in and picked up the deflected puck and batted it forward until he passed to their center. Only seconds remained in the third period and this was only the second time Army's offense had the puck.

Army's center skated through clear ice until at the last moment he veered left as he pitched the puck towards the upper-left-hand corner of the goal. Nothing materialized and the puck slid into the goal. The fans screamed.

The buzzer for the end of the game rang. Army had won by a score of one to zero even though they had been outscored on shots on goal by fifty-seven to one. They were right, Beetle was a natural hockey dreamer.

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