By Chris Crutcher
Those six tales from acclaimed writer Chris Crutcher are approximately athletes, yet will not be easily activities tales. the following he offers characters from a few of his best–loved novels, in addition to growing a few unforgettable new personalities, in stories of affection, demise, bigotry, heroism, and coming of age. a long time eleven+
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Extra info for Athletic Shorts: Six Short Stories
We’re both on our backs, wrapped head to toe, but my arm is woven under Dad’s neck, around his shoulder, and under his back, where my hands are locked. Dad strains with everything he has left to pull away; but my grip is tight, and I pull hard. A thousand ringing slaps alongside my head run through my brain, followed by a slide show of Dad belittling Mom, Dad telling us how to eat, Dad telling us when to sleep, when to laugh, never to cry, and I dig deep inside the meanest part of me for the power to force him down.
I fell in love with her in kindergarten, when she dared a kid named Alex Immergluck to stick his tongue on a car bumper in minus-thirty-five-degree weather for calling her a “big, fat, snot-nosed deadbeat,” a term I’m sure now that was diagnostic of his homelife, but that at the time served only to call up Melissa’s anger. Being a fat kid, I was interested in all the creative retaliatory methods I could get to store in the old computer for later use, and when I saw the patch of Alex’s tongue stuck tight to the bumper as he screamed down the street, holding his bleeding mouth, I knew I was in the company of genius.
Lay off! ” Dad stares into the bleachers, as if slapped back into consciousness himself, and I see his shoulders slump. He gazes back down at me, and I expect for an instant he’ll offer me a hand; but suddenly he’s walking across the gymnasium floor to the boos of the crowd. I beat the Great Cecil B. Rivers. So where is my glory? I didn’t stay to call play by play for the volleyball game. My love affair with Marilyn Waters will have to wait. I could no more have remained in that gym and borne my father’s shame than fly to the moon.