Another old file I dug up… I wrote this some time, forgot when. Then I stuck it inside a Geography book and forgot about it. This is the original, I haven’t edited it yet so don’t kill me!

The Penalty Shot

“Ughh…” she groaned as the impact jolted her bones and she lay on the hard ground. She felt so overwhelmed and exhausted, but she knew rest was impossible for now. That’s it, I had enough, she muttered in her mind. Silently, she staggered up, struggling to find a grip on the smooth wooden surface, sliding on the film of sweat lubricating her body. Her strength had deserted her early in the game, but now it flooded back like a raging river, carrying with it a fierce anger at herself for slowing down, for showing signs of weakness.

She looked up and found she was already standing at the line; the whole hall went silent as she motioned for the play. Her teammates found themselves glancing uneasily at a face that was as smooth as marble, devoid of emotion and frigid eyes that seemed so different from the usually warm and friendly glow. She felt her eyes slip away from them, blocking their hopeful stares that demanded success. I know, I know, she lamented wordlessly. Their eyes penetrated her skin and she struggled to retain her composure. She knew what they wanted; what they insist she deliver, and she had only one chance, one chance with no room for mistake. It was sudden death.

Her gaze shifted to The Enemy, they surrounded her completely. They were as cold and cruel as sharks, bloodthirsty and desperate. They’re quiet eyes glinted with mockery and mirthless laughter echoed in her mind, then her anger was aroused. They had attacked her weaknesses mercilessly during the lapse of her energy, but now… She flashed a slight smirk and she caught the faltering of sureness in their eyes. Fear invaded their confidence and faint doubt seeped in, injected gloatingly by her fake gesture of confidence. She smiled inwardly as she received the ball; it was in her court now. The Enemy knew, it was her turf, they wouldn’t do anything, for now…

Solid rubber pounded on the hard surface as she tried to recollect the chaos that now raged in her mind. Thud, thud, thud… Each time it hit the ground, her thoughts rippled and vibrations coursed through her bones. She couldn’t concentrate, No! I won’t make this mistake! She shook off her doubts; she forced her mind to blank out. She knew they counted on this to bring her team to victory. She let her instincts take control; she bent low and noticed a bead of sweat dangled on the end of a strand of hair hanging over her eyes. Thud, the ball pounded upwards and that drop of sweat fell slowly as if in a dream, she closed her eyes, seconds before the chance would slip through her fingers forever.

All around her she could hear bated breath held in their throats and an unearthly silence filled her surroundings; all eyes were on her, piercing her calm, some praying for a miss and some awaiting a win. This is it, she thought, and then she understood, now was time. She swiveled her head up to the target sharply, tightened every muscle, every tendon, exhaled, and made the shot.

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