The Hollow Men

Winning not Winning

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It’s been more than three months since I last blogged. I’ve been mired in self loathing, swamped by rejections from all the heartless agents of this United Kingdom.

However, NaNoWriMo has somehow come around again and I’ve started a new project (The Lost Lives of Eliot Lynton) which I hope will reignite my enthusiasm. Obviously, since I need to write 1,667 words a day I’ve taken to procrastinating and so this week’s #quickfic distracted me.

Obviously a reference to TS Eliot's famous poem, The Hollow Men
Obviously a reference to TS Eliot’s famous poem, The Hollow Men

So, with the above quote, and the clues given about how topical it was (it’s the day after Bonfire Night and #EliotDay) I wrote a story about rugby.


Winning

If we win this one, she’ll be fine.

Stop thinking that. Now that you’ve thought that, it means if we lose, she’ll die.

“Crouch!” The referee calls.

My arms are wrapped over the shoulders of our two props, Greg and James. They’re so massive my feet almost dangle on the ground. I feel like Mum must do when she’s being carried from the bedroom to the bathroom by Dad. Small and feeble.

“Bind!”

James reaches forward with his free hand and grabs hold of the opposing player’s sleeve. He’s grabbed back. I feel some jostling from behind as our pack prepares itself. The familiar feeling of excitement, of adrenalin surges through me. I grimace at my opposite number.

If we lose, she’ll die.

“Set!”

I’m hurled forwards as Greg and James lean into the scrum, interlocking our heads with our enemies. There are hollows, stuffed with heads and elbows and knees. Everything is hard.

I can only see the mud. It seems like it’s only a few inches in front of my face.

In comes the ball, tossed in at ridiculous angle, a cheating slant. Greg roars and heaves us forward. My shoulder wrenches back. I think I can feel the bones grinding, but I don’t care. Somehow I stretch my heel around the ball and hook it back into our pack.

Then we surge ahead.

And the ball is gone, taken by the backs.

I scramble to my feet.

If we can score from here, she’ll be fine.


The actual winners, and particularly worthy ones I think, are here