Temerarious Tabias: Don’t mark the shark tank

"Tabias picks up, now he’s to the right, he shoots! He…he…misses!” 

Father’s voice dropped on the last word. The ball ricocheted off the post.

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The hockey net remained empty on the hot pavement. Father was the goalie, but yawned in the late afternoon sun. There hadn’t been much excitement in the net anyway. His glove was sewn together too many times and his goalie mask had a faded bruin on it.

Tabias groaned and dropped his stick. “Let’s just go now.” He stopped the flame-coloured ball with his shoe, his bear ears laid down in defeat. “I quit. I’ll never get a goal.”

“That’s not the Tabias I know,” Father retorted, tossing his own stick to Tabias. Cracks covered with tape and splinters possible on the edge. Tabias rolled his eyes, swatted the ball with the force of flocking ducks.

The ball screamed past Father and broke through the net. It didn’t stop there — it snapped like lightning on the kitchen window. A crack shattered the silence outside as the ball collided and Grandmother’s scowling face appeared behind the broken window.

“Time to go!” Father ran like a panther past Tabias, “You’ve marked the shark tank!” 

The back door squealed open and Tabias ran like a hurricane from the blues being sung, or screamed. Either way, he didn’t want to stick around for Grandmother’s wrath. 

“Let’s make like an avalanche and blow outta here,” Father laughed as the truck seemed to grow wings and flew away from Grandmother’s.

They had won tickets for the Edmonton Oil Kings vs Prince George Cougars, right here in Fort St John.

Tabias sat shotgun, the song on the radio was twangy and he knew all the words. He sang so loud, he didn’t hear the smack as the rock landed on the hood of the truck. 

Father slammed on the brakes and cursed. “Young punks!” He slammed his door cursing the little devils. They had thrown a rock over a row of hedges.

Father yelled at the green wall as the teens flapped away, tripping over each other like penguins. Back in the truck, Father sighed. “You can’t let a small bump ruin your day.” He restarted the truck.

“That doesn’t look like a small bump,” Tabias said, motioning to the dent.

The traffic grew heavier as they approached the arena. People flooded the streets, storefronts propped open doors, and parking lots spilled over with vehicles. Trucks, mostly. They joined the long line of people waiting to enter.

“Oh, the good ol’ hockey game,” Father sung as they drew closer to the entrance. “The best game you can name.” He held out the tickets for the ticket master.

“This is next week,” the man said, handing them back. Father’s eyes shot up to the signs. Indeed, it was Latin dance night at the arena.

“Oh, for wild sake,” Father cussed.

“Is this the right time to give up?” Tabias inquired.

Norma Rrae is an author based in Fort St. John. Read more of her works at notmewriting.com.

© Copyright Alaska Highway News

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