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Monday, October 22, 2012

A Cowboy; an Indian & 1 Night in Paris ("Let It Go" Blogfest)


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?

It has to be related to "letting go," with a maximum of 500 words.

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.

Cast of Buffalo Bill's Wild West/photo by Greg Auch


Kyra Lennon said...

The level of your awesomeness just keeps getting higher and higher! Loved this so much!

Thanks for being a part of the bloghop!

M.J. Fifield said...

I have to echo what Kyra wrote. Terrific story. I especially loved the last line.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

No, we can't jump!

Suzi said...

That totally made me laugh. I guess you were not meant to be a basketball player! :)

Dani said...

Again, you do not disappoint! Love this! No, they can't jump, but they do make great dads! And tell great stories!

jaybird said...

Mark- this was just fabulous. The writing, the feelings, "twenty years later, I'm letting go of my disappointment"- loved it. And "White men can't jump"! LOL

Good, good stuff!!

Elizabeth Seckman said...

White girls can't either :/

And the factt hat you insinuated yourself into the show...loving your awesomeness!!

~Sia McKye~ said...

lolol! O the indignantly of it all. Well perhaps white man can't jump quite that high. lol!

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Nice story. Your entry was fun. Mine's full of...angst. Great how you always keep us smiling Mark.

David P. King said...

Well written and highly entertaining (if not hysterical). Great entry, Mark! :)

Morgan said...

You have sooooooo many great stories... SO many. You need to write a memoir!

Nancy Thompson said...

I must say, you have the most fascinating past. Memoir-worthy material!

Carrie Butler said...

Hah! I'll echo what the others said. Start on that memoir! ;)

Suzanne Furness said...

Brilliant, Mark as always.

Unknown said...

Hahahaha, sometimes it takes us awhile to let go of disappointment.

Elise Fallson said...

Would have been a riot to have seen that live! I'm sure Blue Moon Ranch has forgiven you, kid. (;

Cynthia said...

Saying hello from the blog hop...thanks for sharing your story...Hey, you tried your best, and that's what's important. =)

Jackie said...

Dude, you crack me up! Seriously. I need to visit your blog more often to get my laughter fix!

M Pax said...

I bet that was awesome to watch, until the disappointment part. The rest of it is worth remembering though.

Jaycee DeLorenzo said...

You're made of awesomeness, did you know that? Loved this!

Samantha May said...

Please tell me there is a video of this somewhere...*giggles*

I mean, uh, I'm sorry you went through something so horrifying :P

T.J. said...

That was great LOL Considering I can't walk a straight line sober, trip over absolutely nothing and still don't know how I broke my ankle catching a ground ball - I am impressed with your "almost" dunk LOL

dolorah said...

You're so cool Mark :)


Tammy Theriault said...

loved the pics with it! awesome...blog hopping here

michelle said...

I loved the energy in your piece, Mark!
"white men can't jump" - that was the best! LOL.

Mary Aalgaard said...

Well, you made it a fun experience for lots of folks.

Melissa said...

LOL - Yes. A video. I want film footage. :D

Nicole said...

You might not be able to jump, but man, you can write! Thanks for a good chuckle. ;)

Nick Wilford said...

Great stuff here, Mark! Enjoyed this a lot. :)

Nick Wilford said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lynn(e) Schmidt said...

The last line made me laugh. Nice post.

Gwen Gardner said...

Aww. Let it go, Mark, let it go. Great story, complete with awesome photos:)

Anonymous said...

Nice color choice on the blog. It is really easy on my eyes and I have bad eyes too so that's a really big compliment lol

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