The Tennis Gods

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Two Rivers


Could it be, some have powers?

Submitted: April 07, 2018

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Submitted: April 07, 2018

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“I’m glad to see you could make it,” James Wilson said as Janice Smith sat down beside him.

“Did I miss anything?” she asked.

Frank Thomas answers sitting next to James. “Not really, beginning of the second set, score: one set to zip.  Yep, Cheryl Steel lost every game in the first set.”

Janice looks towards the playing area.  “It couldn’t happen to a better person!  Her opponent?”

Frank answers, “Anna Court, her mother Margaret Court, was world famous, but her daughter, not so good, rated 170th in the world.”

“So, what we’re giving our blessings to Anna?” Janice asks.

“Not exactly,” James says as he stares down at Cheryl Steel on the court.

Janice looks at James and then at Frank.  “You’ve got to be kidding?”

“Bitter?” Franks asks.

“Yeah?  She stole my boyfriend away with her big blue eyes, strawberry blonde hair, and five-seven figure.  Why wouldn’t I be a little bitter?”

James continued ogling Cheryl.  “You have to admit she is the prettiest player on the circuit.”

“Don’t remind me!  Why her, Janice asks.

“She called on the tennis gods to be good to her.  That’s why we’re here” Frank explains.

Janice sighed, “Mercy,” and reached into her purse for her sunglasses.  “She really is terrible!” Janice exclaimed.

“Look are we going to do this or not?”  Frank asked.

“Well, it has to be unanimous,” James added.  “It has always been that way.”

Frank asked again, “Janice, are you in or not?”

“You know we’re not gods of anything, right?” Janice asked.

“It has always worked. We predict and it happens,” Frank said curtly.  “And time is wasting.”

“I know we did it last year sitting in your living room eating pizza and watching the U.S. Open on TV,” James said to Janice.  “And we promised ourselves this year, we’d attend the Open in person and pick the lowest rated player and move the person to the top.”

“It was a game!  And we didn’t know…”  Janice trailed off.

“What that it would be your ex-boyfriend’s lover?”  Franks said.

Suddenly, Janice jumped to her feet and yelled at Cheryl in one of those rare quiet moments in a match.  “YOU STINK!  CAN’T YOU EVEN HIT ONE GOOD SHOT, FOR PETE’S SAKE?”  Cheryl continued to serve not looking up, and the tears began to roll down her cheeks.  She stopped her windup and wiped them away. 

“Feel better?” James asked.

“Yes,” Janice answered.  “If we’re going to do this, we have to make the second set close with a tie-breaker.  The third set can be wide open.”

“Janice?” James said.

“What?” she answered.

“Cheryl crying…and it looks like she’s praying,” Frank cut in.”

“Oh for heaven’s sake!” Janice said and then turned.  “We are going have to call each shot, and agree, on our decision, but… last year Jake was with us.”

“Oh, I’m sure he’s out there somewhere rooting for Cheryl.”

“Yeah,” Janice sighed. 

Just then Jake slid in beside Janice.  Janice looked up surprised.  “Cheryl and I broke up,” he said.  “She said she didn’t want to be hooked up with a loser like me.”

They all looked stunned.  Then James looked out at the court.  “Are we sure we want to do this?”

Jake said, “Yes, more than ever.” 

“So, Cheryl has beauty and now we’re going to give her wealth and fame?” Janice asked.

Everyone was quiet and Janice began to get up to leave.  Frank grabbed her arm.  “We have to prove we can do this.  Last year we sat and watched the final on TV, and we got lucky, but this year we are here with all our baggage.  ‘From the bottom to the top.’  That’s what we said.”  He hesitated.  “Are we the tennis gods or was it just a bunch of crap!”

They all started to turn their attention to Cheryl wearing her pretty, little pink outfit, her platinum bracelet, her golden eagle necklace.  No pretense or swagger, but a melody of motion, music that comes only once in a generation to some sports.  “Gosh, she is so beautiful,” Jake said.  No one turned or said anything for a long moment.  Then Janice said, “We are the gods of tennis, but she the goddess of beauty.”

When the match ended two sets to one in favor of Cheryl, they got up to leave.  Jake looked back one last time at Cheryl on the court. Just then Cheryl hit the winning ball into the stands and Jake reached up and grabbed it.  “Better cherish that ball,” Janice said.  “It will probably be the only thing you’ll ever get from Cheryl ever again.”

Just then Jake looked at a little girl with her mother.  The little girl looked up at her mom, “Someday I want to be just like Cheryl Steel!”

Jake put his hand out the little girl with the ball in it.  “Here, I think Cheryl and the tennis gods would want you to have this.”

“Thanks!” she said, and then turned to her mother, “Mom, are really tennis gods?”

“No, honey, it just an expression.”


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