Friday Fast Fiction: The Fortunate Strain

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Dean walked into the dimly lit bar with a half dozen people on stools. He sat next to a fat man who appeared to be asleep sitting up.

          The bartender shoved a coaster in front of him.

          “JD on the rocks.”

          Dean thought the setting was fitting for someone about to fail. Six hours ago he shot a 76 in an attempt to qualify for a PGA card–the exclusive country club where he gave lessons required one. If he didn’t shoot five-under tomorrow, he’d be out of a job.

         He finished two drinks. The fat man’s head was now flat on the hardwood. The other customers had left. Dean heard a loud scream. The bartender ran to the door. ” Get out, fire,” he yelled before disappearing.

          Dean ran to the entrance. He went back and put his arms around the drunk’s chest and lifted him off the stool. His lungs were filling with smoke and the heat was almost unbearable, but he somehow managed the strength to drag the fat man to an exit.

          Outside paramedics put the drunk on a stretcher.

          “You saved this man’s life,” said an EMT.

          Dean nodded. For the first time in years he was glad to be alive.

          The next day there was a twinge in his right arm—he figured it was a muscle pull from dragging the fat man. On the practice tee he noticed his swing was affected by the twinge, but in a good way. His shots went straight down the middle. That afternoon he shot the lowest round in his life and qualified for a PGA card.


2 Replies to “Friday Fast Fiction: The Fortunate Strain”

  1. Incredible, but provocative. Do you realize there are scientists applying sensors all over the body trying to figure out how to improve athletic performance? They’ve gotten nowhere, but here what I project was an accidental muscle/tendon tear solves the problem. You are clairvoyant.


  2. Thanks for the label–a good one. This story was based on my golf swing that occasionally gave me rounds in the 70s, but usually cost me with wild shots based on swinging too hard. Well, I strained my arm and shot the best round of my life during the recuperation period. Once I was fully healed, I went back to out of bounds play. I am still wild.


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