Friday Fast Fiction: The Shooter


Lenny was sDSC_0294 - Copyhort and stout with eyes on the verge of tears. It was hard to say “no” to him, maybe that’s how he convinced a top sports agent to come to the playground.

Jack leaned against the chain-link fence, eyes focused on the slender figure at the top of the key. His jump was effortless, his release smooth. A boy under the basket kept bouncing the ball back to the shooter –there was no break in his cadence and no misses.

Lenny snapped his fingers in rhythm to the jangle of the chain net. “I told you—he’s a machine.”

Jack had been lured to this playground court before by Lenny’s promises of another street player ready for stardom. None of them had made it through college. But Lenny said this kid was different.

“Can he move with the ball? “asked Jack. “And what about a 7-footer in his face?.”

“There’s nobody like him. “

Suddenly the drone of city traffic was shattered by two cracks from a pistol. As Jack went down to the ground he noticed the boy was still shooting the ball.

Lenny, still standing, laughed. “Hey, get up– that was a block away.”

“The kid has nerves of steel,” said Jack, straightening himself up.

“He’s deaf.”

“That’s the different part?”

“Yeah. But you can make it work, right?”

”What does the kid want?”

“To be treated like everyone else…and a full scholarship.”

Jack cleared his throat. “He’s got a full ride—the other part is up to him when he misses.”

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