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Old 06-04-2011, 11:07 AM
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Josiah922 Josiah922 is offline
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Default Fiction Short Story - Spark of Valor



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The Spark of Valor


Peter sat in on the side of the basketball court waiting for the others in his 6th grade PE class. Physical Education would not be Peter’s gift in life. Nerdy little string bean would definitely sum up the physic of Peter Chuamette.

One by one the other boys ran out of the locker room after changing their clothes and sat in a line beside the basket ball court. Peter straightened up as the coach yelled, “Boys yall have got 10 seconds before I get my paddle and light you up. Get the move on now!”

The coach was Coach Johnson. He was the coach of the Waverly Middle School and ‘lighting up’ the backsides of wayward boys with a paddle was his favorite process of motivation. Peter had never been “lit up”, but he had seen several boys go through the paddling for fighting in the gym, stealing or cursing and it made him squint when the paddle hit so hard it made the boys’ toes almost leave the ground. Needless to say it didn’t take but one or two examples and most boys got the message.

The boys finished coming out before the coach had counted to ten and then he addressed them, “Alright boys settle down. Today is calisthenics and then basket ball drills. I want to see everyone complete the three different shots I am setting up for you. You will divide into three groups, make a line and work on that shot until you can do it. Alright Pat, Daniel and Jamal are in charge of the stations. Let’s go. Divide up.” For the next 5 minutes they stretched, did a few jumping jacks and other smaller exercises to stretch their muscles..

Basketball like most sports was not Peter’s strong point. Oh he was tall. He was skinny and tall, but he could not get a ball in a hoop 4 out of 5 times. Just could not make his hands throw it in the proper arc. When the coach stopped the warm up he started out with the “layup” line. This he could sort of fake because he was so tall it was kind of hard not to miss the basket. They formed the line and one at a time tried to execute a layup.

Ten minutes later they swapped to the next station which was a standard free throw and it was there that the trouble started. The trouble was in the form of another 6th grader named Derrick Horton. Derrick and two of his friends had come up with the bright idea of starting with the easiest task first and then just not rotating to the other stations. Jamal, the boy in charge of the station, was Derrick’s friend and did not make the boy change to the next station. They would take their shot then, instead of going to the back of the line, they would go back about half way down the line and “break in line” in front of the first wimp they came across.

They shot again and rolled back in line. When they saw Peter, everyone knew what would happen. The more muscular boy stepped in front of Peter into the line. “Excuse me,” was all Peter said. It was all he had time to say before Derrick spun around grabbed Peter by the shoulders and threw him out of line. Peter stumbled and fell to the floor of the basketball court with a squeak of his tennis shoes.
“Yaaahhhaaaahaaa!” laughed Jamal at the front of the line with several other boys snickering and congratulating Derrick with pats on the back.

It was little, but it sparked again to life inside ‘down deep’ in that part of a man where his soul lives. Peter did not know what it was. He had been picked on most of his life with acceptance that the stronger could just do that if they wished. Peter was not strong and he realized that. He had even accepted it in the past just content with ‘getting out of’ any physical abuse that he could, but something was different now and he did not know why. “Hey!” reverberated through the gym.

Everyone paused. That was out of place. It was not a giggle, squeak of tennis shoes, ‘high five slap’ or even just a normal “Yeah!” yelled after an awesome shot was performed. No, that was an attention grabbing yell of confidence.

The words that followed next were chosen out of haste. Peter did not know what to say. He just said what he thought and the words boomed out of him “No, I will stand!!” Echoes bounced around the basketball court walls as he rolled up to his feet. He took two steps toward the line, back to his original place, when Derrick stepped in front of him inches away the boys face to face.

The coaches whistle cut across the gym in short quick blasts as the coach began jogging across the gym. “What is happening?! What is going on here?!” He asked as he pulled the boys apart.

Several of the boys who Derrick had broken in front of spoke up. “Derrick is cutting in line coach!” and “Derrick pushed Peter to the ground,” were fired back at the coach.

“Derrick, in my office, NOW!” was yelled by the coach to the boy.

Derrick got as close as he could to Peter as he walked past and spoke only two words, “After school.”

Peter swallowed, but tried to calm himself as he got back in line.

Time seemed to speed up. The rest of the time in the gym ended in seconds. Lunch seemed to last five minutes. The classes that afternoon were 15 minutes each. Before he knew it, he had his backpack in his hands and walking to the outside of the school waiting on his ride to come.

As he walked out he saw his older brother waiting at the door. He bowed his head a little as he passed, “Hey Warren.”

Warren was two grades ahead of Peter and built of sterner stuff than his younger sibling. “You ok?”

“You heard?” asked Peter as he walked to the edge of the parking lot and the row of cars.

“I think the whole school knows,” answered Warren as he sat on the fender of the nearest car. “He meeting you here?”

“I don’t know. He just said after school,” said Peter to his older brother.

Just then Peter noticed Derrick and the older boy walking toward him from out of the school. The older boy wasn’t known to Peter, but he guessed it was a friend of Derrick’s. They walked to within 3 feet of Peter and stopped and turned to Warren. “You here to protect this little … chicken?”

Warren smiled as he grabbed Peter’s backpack off roughly then threw it to the ground near his own next to the tire of the car. “Nope, I am not going to do a thing,” said Warren as he folded his arms and got more comfortable on the fender.

Peter breathed. This wasn’t unexpected. Warren and Peter were only a few years apart and siblings got into many fights in the course of growing up. He turned away from his brother and stood facing the other boy.

Derrick headed Peter. Once again they were inches apart face to face. Derrick circled Peter, once, twice and then without notice Derrick stronger arms encircled Peter clasping his arms to his side. Peter could not move hardly at all.

Peter remembered three weeks ago when it all changed. Once again he was laying on the ground after school and his brother was running up to him chasing off the boys who had hurt his brother. They got home and he had hid the fact of the fight from his parents again. His oldest brother was home and he asked he for help.

Allen was his oldest brother. He was a full 13 years older than Peter. So while Peter was 11, his oldest brother was 24 years old. Allen had made it through the police academy and taken karate for several years. It was here Peter turned for help. Peter explain the problem to his eldest brother. Peter ended with saying simply that he was scared and he wanted to stop feeling that way.

Allen starred at Peter for a long few minutes. “Valor - strength of mind or spirit that enables a person to encounter danger with firmness. Having valor does not mean that you are unafraid, but that even if you are afraid you still do the right thing.” It did not take long before the older brother worked out the strategy.

Peter remembered what had happened so far. First and foremost there was no way out of the fight and Peter and his brother’s knew it. Warren had told all that he knew of the boy Derrick. Both Peter and Warren knew it. While Peter had never stood up to Derrick it was not the first time Derrick had hurt him. He would not quit till Peter was on the floor in pain.

There were two of them. Allen had worked with Peter over the years. Single attackers, multiple attackers it did not matter. Control one and attack the other. The scenarios were all the same, hit quick and hard. Allen voice was remembered in Peter’s ears “If a fight lasts over a minute, find a way out.

“Get that backpack off so you can move,” Allen voice echoed in his mind. Peter had not remembered until Warren had staged it all so perfectly roughly taking off his pack like he was mad at his brother, when in truth, he was helping.

Continuing to play on that Peter had turned away from his brother forcing his back to him. Peter knew that Derrick liked to grab you from behind using a bear hug. Which means, if he wanted to do that, Derrick’s own back would be to Peter’s older brother.

Then it came to the death grip of a hold that Derrick had led off with again. This was conquered by Peter’s oldest brother. Warren had been the “bad guy” and the stepped through the moves time and time again.

Peter breathed again as the words, “Whatcha gonna do now?” came to his ear and Derrick called Peter a vulgar name. That flame grew again. At first description some would have called it anger, but Allen had warned Peter about that. Anger is a negative emotion that consumes you. “And you do not want to lose control. You want to use the strength inside you, but not give over control to rage. Focus and use the things that we have gone over.” No this feeling was stronger than rage. Anger would be bright and hot but will (eventually) burn itself out. This was that thing that would not go away. Even if you knew you would lose, it was that thing in a person that would make them still step forward into the adversity. Peter was ready, prepared and today he would stand.

The hold snapped him back to the present and was now squeezing air from his lungs. Peter stepped forward and pushed down and forward with his arms. He turned slightly to the right and brought his right elbow back into the boy’s solar plexus. “Ugh!” Derrick sounded as his diaphragm forced its way up a little.

Peter took Derrick’s hand by grabbing Derrick’s thumb with his finger and wedging his thumb in the back of his wrist. As soon as the hold broke, Peter looped around to Derrick’s back taking Derrick’s arm up behind him in an arm bar. Peter pushed it slightly higher forcing pressure on the shoulder joint. Derrick called out, “Arrrgh!”

It was then the trap sprung. Derrick’s friend stepped forward and reached out for Peter. He only had a split second. Peter snap kicked forward straight between the boy’s legs. The boy grabbed his crotch and fell to the ground.

Peter then stood firm and placed his right leg in front of Derrick. He pushed Derrick’s body forward and tripped the boy face first into the dirt. Peter landed on top of the boy and pushed the arm higher as he placed his mouth next to the boy’s ear. “You will never hurt me again!”

Teachers were running to the boys. Already people were saying that it was Derrick and his friend that had attacked Peter. They had to pull Peter off of the boy on the ground not letting go off him until the teachers had him in hand. It was over.

And just like that Derrick was defeated. Oddly enough Peter knew that the defeat was not because Peter was able to hurt the other boy, but because Peter took away Derrick’s power to hurt him. Derrick knew this as well and would never again pick on Peter.
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Old 06-04-2011, 03:41 PM
outfield outfield is offline
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A diamond in the rough. I like that.
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Old 06-05-2011, 05:04 PM
dan3 dan3 is offline
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great little story - thanks
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Old 06-05-2011, 07:47 PM
223shootersc 223shootersc is online now
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nice story, great life lesson
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Old 08-02-2019, 09:45 PM
texican2 texican2 is offline
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Another good short story....

Texican....
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