Fiction 59 Quarterfinals–Rebel

“I’ve decided to quit the team, Coach.” I gave him permission on the condition he talk to Coach directly and state his reasons. “Because I’m not having fun. You get angry even when I try my hardest.” Wow. Didn’t think he had it in him. “Okay bye.” He hung up the phone, his hands trembling. “I did it, Dad.”

K: Heh…I had to go back and see what the prompt was after this one. I like the POV on this one, focusing on Dad instead of Coach. This has to be a difficult moment for the kid, but I know coaches like this and I see why he’d do this. SILVER

MD: Without the prompt, this story wouldn’t make sense as anything other than a random snapshot of a phone call. Luckily, we have the prompt, and this gives the story more poignancy. This kid is potentially rebelling against multiple strong male figures in his life: the mean coach who is ruining sports for the kid; and his dad, who appears to lack belief in his child and probably sees quitting as a sign of weakness. I like the nuance, and hopefully I’m not imagining it. GOLD

W: The rare supportive parent has been mostly absent throughout this season. The story here is fine, but the stakes are pretty small because we’re observing the internal conflict of one character dealing with possible disappointing another character through a third character.

The story is from my life, though it was 20 years ago, so my memory of the dialogue may be a bit off. In other news, my scores were good enough to advance me to the semifinals! The next prompt will be about a thief. Results posted here next Monday.

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