American Stories. Boomer. Episode 6. Autumn Leaves by the American author Dewey Edward Chester. Enjoy your day, Yareah magazine readers!
It was deep in the game. I was tired….pushed to exhaustion. My teammates were fighting among themselves: “Gawdamn, Nick! Hold onto the fuckin’ ball,” Crabtree screamed.
“Shut up!” Nick screamed back.
I whispered to calm them : “Quiet men.”
I kneeled inside the huddle and looked up. They were battered and bruised
— scared, fighting a bitter foe. Evening shadows had already covered the field.
Blood streamed from my mouth. I had to think fast, or we would lose our Souls, then ultimately, we would lose the game. “Red right Dive, Four G-Pull!” I barked.
At the snap, I rolled out, my arm cocked, Butkus smashed through. But I flipped the ball to Nicholas, Mac threw the block —- and we all turned the corner for ten tough yards.
“Gawdamn, Fletcher!” I grumbled a moment later. “Pay attention to what I tell you! You missed your block.”
Montgomery smirked: “He’s a jerk!”
“Up your ass!” was Fletcher’s reply.
I sneered. “Shut up!” I pointed out the facts: “We’re fighting against ourselves. That’s what they want.”
Our huddle grew silent. I looked into their faces. Fletcher’s nose was gashed to the bone. He had blood smeared over his jaw.
“Blue Right Dive, Forty-nine G-Take!” I ran it from a split-T that burst me up the middle.
“Don’t let me down, fellas,” I laughed aloud, “You know what I need.”
They all nodded, but Fletcher whined, “I’m not sure,” and the others grew nervous.
“Snap the fuckin’ football!” I said contemptuously. “Butkus is your man!”
The whistle blew. I scanned the enemy defense. Big Butkus was moving back and forth. But Fletcher, underneath me, was shaking; terrified of missing his block.
I decided to gamble that Butkus would fake. At the snap, Fletcher roared out. He caught Butkus completely off guard.
Afterward, I purred: “Fletcher? That’s the way to do it!”
I knelt down and said: “Fire Draw, Forty-one Y-Zig Out.”
I lined them up and threw a perfect strike to MacArthur —-who caught it at the forty. Mac was amazing —- the enemy was hanging on his back, yet he made the catch without breaking stride.
“All right! Green Pitch, Wing T-Pull!”
A pain shot up my spine; into the back of my head. I shrugged it off and ran the ball myself; through daylight….then cruised to another first down.
“Keep it up!” I yelled, and again I used my option.
But Chicago was smart. They clogged up the middle. So I sprinted outside the twenty-nine…where I couldn’t get up. I was hurt.
Butkus stood over me, snarling. “Suicide, Sonny,” the giant roared in laughter.
But Nicholas rushed up in time to carry me back to our huddle.
In pain, I gasped, “Blue, Red, Six and Even.” I feathered the football toward the flat…where Nick caught it, but he was slammed viciously to the ground.
An Official yelled: “Fifteen yards!” He threw a red flag.
“You’re stupid!” I said to Butkus, whose face had turned purple.
I gathered my men: “All right, here we go!” I looked at Nicholas, writhing in pain, “Can you go?” I asked.
“Yeah, Michael, I’m fine!” Nick lied.
“All right. All right. Here we go. Red right freeze! Wing and go!”
Chicago’s Safetyman moved up close. But gazelle-like MacArthur sliced through the secondary.
“Sunavabitch!” the Chicago Safetyman screamed out, realizing he’d been beat.
Over his shoulder, MacArthur caught my football, then bulled his way to the one.
“Yeah! Yeah!” I cried out, above the crowd noise.
Montgomery leaned inside our huddle and whispered a secret, the way football men always do.
“Okay,” I reasoned,” we’ll do it!”
I studied Nicholas, carefully. “Can you go?”
Nick smiled. He would always do the job.
“Twenty-six Drive to win this gawdamn game!”
I crouched under Fletcher and whispered out, at my opposition, “Here we come! You sons of bitches!” I faked a toss then swirled…..to place my football into Nick’s hands.
But Butkus moved in quickly —-!
“BAM! BAM! BAM!” Fletcher, MacArthur, Earl Walker and Montgomery —- all got their one good piece of Butkus.
And right after them came Nicholas, thundering through a gaping hole, to win our biggest game.