I'm participating in the "Letting It Go" Blogfest by our Kyra Lennon who asks:
Was there a time when you had to let go of someone or something?
How did it make you feel?
How did you handle it?
Or if that's too personal, how about writing a piece of flash fiction?
Mine *is* a true story.
The laughing Cowboy spread his big hands and nurtured the medicine ball along the long rows of awe-struck customers.Below him, the Indians watched the ball, one of four lit up by spotlights. They waited for the Cowboy – or a buddy from another ranch – to drop into the arena, run through their defense, make the jump shot and win bragging rights.
Speeding along the second-to-last row, the crowd waited for the Cowboy to work the final row.He flew toward me, the ball barely touching the waiting hands in the wooden seats.
Rows of people craned their necks.
The shouts, “Go on, my son…” and “You can do it.”
I sprang forward, to clear the way for the running Cowboy, who sprung a huge smile and slammed the medicine ball into my back, where waiting fingers grasped the dimpled leather surface.###
It was my last shift as a ranch hand-server at Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Dinner Show.
(Tomorrow I’d be a ‘50s rocker-server at Annette’s Diner, also at EuroDisney.)
|Picture Courtesy: Richard Lovelace|
I’d seen the show many times and had talked to the Cowboy.
“Kid, your plan will be the greatest – if you can pull it off. I’m in. I’ll let our team know.”He clapped my shoulder and strode away, laughing. At me??
|Photo Courtesy: Mike Lewis|
During the show, Annie Oakley, Sitting Bull, Buffalo Bill and the buffalo were on form as the stagecoach escaped yet another close encounter of the Wild West kind.
Dessert was cleared. The medicine balls went to the back row of each ranch. The Cowboy worked the crowd, and as he sped by, he shouted, “You’ve got one chance. Make the shot, kid.”
The Cowboy continued toward the end of the last row – now passing an imaginary ball to the bemused punters.As the Indians watched the Cowboy, I hugged that medicine ball like it was my Momma and jumped into the arena.
The undefended teepee was about fifty feet away.Oh. My. Gosh.
I’m going to do this.
I took off and reached the teepee without trouble.
I prepared to take the shot.
My ranch hooted, hollered and pointed. One Indian turned… and saw a waiter about to make The. Shot.
“Dude, what the heck* are you doing in here?” (*Not the actual word.)
I looked at the teepee.Dang that thing was high.
“Hey, now, what are you doing? You can’t take the shot.”
I took the shot.
And jumped as high as I could... I let go, and watched the ball as it sailed and then teetered on the very edge of the hoop.My fingertips needed to only graze the ball and claim victory for the Blue Moon Ranch. I jumped.
I grazed air.
The ball fell, bounced off me and rolled along the dusty earth.I scrambled, grabbed and turned, but the element of surprise had left the building.
I was crushed by a tackle from the Indian who flattened me with no mercy.
The ball squirted away, and I lay there as another ranch's Cowboy put his ball away.I was crushed.
Twenty years later, I’m letting go of my dissapointment.
White men can't jump.