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Dark Side of the Court

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Dark Side of the Court As the searing sun slowly set in the attractive ginger hued sky, a rusted and ramshackle vehicle laboured along Oakland Hill Road in such a manner that it seemed as if it weren't meant to reach its destination. What now seemed a worthless hunk of scrap to onlookers used to be a vibrant red special edition Ford, though so much time had passed that it had little resemblance to what it once was, besides the shape. It had been serviced a few times in its fifteen year history, the last one being almost six protracted years ago; the year 'she' had left the two who were seated inside, amongst the filthy interior. The owner of the dilapidated Ford was surveying the road for the correct house, number 62, as the two had only recently moved from Boston to Philadelphia. Out of the open window on the front passenger's side popped a small, pale white hand, which motioned as if it were pointing at something. 'Look dad, there it is,' muttered the son, who was quite obviously not overjoyed at the event. 'Ah ha, finally we made it, eh Timmy?' exclaimed the father, attempting to ignore his son's attitude. Timmy, or Tim for short, didn't give an answer but was amusing himself by avidly watching a faded green leaf fall gracefully from the tree in front of their new home; a modestly sized semi-detached wooden house, which had belonged to a friend who had recently moved abroad. With the car finally at rest, the two stepped in front of their new home. There was an uneasy silence between the two whilst they unloaded the car in an almost machine-like fashion. 'I sure hope I have the key!' Tim's father chuckled to himself. Once again there was no audible reply. Quite obviously, Tim was not amused. He was, like their car, a discontented fifteen year old. ...read more.


Then, after a typical scavenger's lunch, Tim played some more. It was as though the ball had hypnotised him after its first spin. Indeed, the whole afternoon had passed. The now grubby Tim didn't realise this. The strong stench of sweat emanated from his drenched T-shirt. A long shower followed by well earned nap got him through the rest of the day until David returned at around eight. The two of them didn't make any form of contact throughout the evening; it was a bizarre scene when the two sat at the dinner table, made up of a large cardboard box covering one of the junk piles. Nevertheless this similar routine was to take place for a number of days. At first it seemed as though father and son had reached a compromising situation, but it wasn't long before the routine was disrupted. David was the first to attempt a conversation, funnily enough about sports, but he was simply shut out cold-heartedly by Tim. As time progressed however, his father lost patience with him. One evening the alluring smells of spaghetti bolognaise drew the eager Tim to the dinner table, which had now been upgraded to a basic two seated one. It was true that he hadn't eaten a proper meal for days and, though he realised his distrust of his father, the smell of properly cooked food was too good to resist. Once David had eyed him at the table he approached Tim with a wry smile. Tim sniffed with elation, 'Smells good, Dave. What have I done to deserve this?' 'Nothing...' his father responded severely, before lifting Tim's plate with his left hand and powerfully tossing it at the wall. The sound of the plate breaking was a familiar one, but this time round Tim sat in utter disbelief, his mouth wide open as though he had just seen a ghost. David, almost hyperventilating in his authoritative anger, stood with blazing bloodshot eyes solely fixated at Tim, and bawled, 'There's your dinner, son! ...read more.


Several beads of sweat were blown off his forehead by the gusty wind, which now whistled wildly in the woeful wilderness of downtown. Roy could see he was hot under the collar, but didn't say a word. David found it hard to breathe. He bit his tongue hard; hard enough to taste the bitterness of his own blood. It couldn't compare with the icy wind that was shooting at him from every angle. Suddenly, the metal grated gate giving entrance to the court opened with great force. The two of them locked eyes for a few seconds before automatically entering. There was an eerie sensation as the wind howled and attacked them both. It was difficult to keep on their feet. Their clothes flapped violently. An ice cold chill travelled down David's spine as a single basketball rolled over from the dark side of the court and halted at his feet. His stomach churned as he inspected it; the visibility of a horrendously bloody handprint making his heart sink even lower than the Grand Canyon. He hesitated to shine his torch in the direction from which the ball had come from. Roy gestured for the torch but he firmly denied with a shake of his head. David's hand became strangely spasmodic. Nevertheless, he gripped the torch with both hands and forced it toward the darkness. The powerful beam penetrated it like a knife through butter. David took a huge gulp as he slowly but surely searched around. Roy was shaken by a massive gust of wind that almost knocked the mighty guy clean off his feet; he recaptured his balance uneasily before hearing the torch drop hard onto the court floor. He turned in disgust at the illuminated sight. 'I'm so sorry David. I'm sorry that I was right about those kids.' Roy spoke sympathetically, but wasn't heard. The wind wailed as though it were a banshee. David simply stood without any palpitation, rock solid and pale. His head was burning with guilt as he gazed at his son, who lay dead on the dark side of the court. ...read more.

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