A Little Junior Derby Vignette

Wrote this after Head Reffing a Junior Roller Derby bout. Not entirely sure where I’m going to go with it but I’m liking the characters and such so far so we’ll see.



Hearing the official’s call, the Little Monsters’ jammer drops lower, her blue eyes glancing at the opposing jammer trying to gauge which direction she’ll go. Something tells Valkyrie that she’ll try and cut high and take the outside lane which is exactly where Val wants to go.


Fine. It’s on. Valkyrie thinks glancing up at the scoreboard. The Monsters are up by 3 but this is the last jam and if she can’t get lead and hold them off, they’ll lose the bout. Not gonna happen, she thinks fiercely, rocking onto her toe stops as Loki’s music pulses through her. The Little Monsters form a wall of blockers on the other side of the Belles from Valkyrie. All except Typhoid who managed to get herself into the Belle’s line. The twins, Frik and Frak, are hip to hip ready to help Valkyrie or more likely block the Belle’s jammer.


The whistle sounds starting the jam and immediately a skater in Monster’s green slams into the blocker in front of her. Typhoid Mary, Valkyrie’s offensive blocker, doing her job and making the opening for her teammate.


There’s my hole! Shoving off, Valkyrie cuts toward it, trying to stay aware of the Belle’s jammer as she does. Within moments the hole starts to close but not before she can get a grip on Typhoid’s belt and uses it to propel herself through the gap.


Two more strides has Valkyrie breaking through the pack and hearing the exhilarating sound of two whistle blasts. Glancing to the left she sees Critical Hit, her jam ref, pointing and holding up his hand, the signal that she’s the lead jammer. And a grunt of success tells her that Typhoid just put a big hit on the other jammer as she tried to sneak through.


YES!! Valkyrie shouts internally, a fist pumping in victory. Looking up at the clock, the blond skater sees that there is still twenty seconds left on the clock. Maybe I can score a few more. With that she puts on a burst of speed, accelerating around the track. Her ice blue skate wheels are a blur as she flies around the turns, long legs crossing over to maintain her speed, and pale blond braid trailing behind her.  


Moving this fast across the track, the spectators a blur, Valkyrie imagines herself with wings, golden and glowing, spread out behind her.The wind on her face and the blur of the fans make it feel almost like she’s flying.


Within seconds the pack is back in view, a wall of Belle’s and Tyhpoid now hovering like some kind of avenging angel waiting to strike.


A quick glance over her shoulder, shows Valkyrie that the other jammer is only thirty feet or so behind her and catching up. Let’s do this, she thinks focusing on the players in front of her, trying to anticipate where her teammate will make the hole this time. One of the Belle’s blockers looks back and sees Valkyrie, calling to her own teammates, “Green Jammer coming up!”


Her lips twitching in an almost smile, Valkyrie uses the sudden attention to swing wide, pulling the blockers with her. And giving her own blocker a perfect target.


“Typhoid!!” signals Valkyrie as she cuts hard to the inside, just as her teammate expecting the calls pushes to the outside catching one of the blockers and shoving them into their own teammates.


Flying through the hole, Valkyrie immediately starts tapping her waist turning to Crit so he can clearly see her calling off the jam. With a smile of his own, the dark haired boy blows four short blasts on his whistle ending the jam and the bout for Valkyrie and her Monsters.

Staring Out the Window

Written on the train from Geneva to Zurich

The train rumbles down the tracks, with the views of Swiss lakes, mountains, tunnels, and cows flashing past like a montage from the Tourism Board.  Various artists fight for attention on my ipod, from GaGa to Sinatra.  And I stare out the window.

Memories of the past days mingle with those from a decade ago. Faces that have changed and faces that have stayed the same.  Old faces no longer recognizable. Visits to places remodeled, renovated, and just gone, replay themselves in the ever present cinema of my mind. And I stare out the window.

Paths taken, and paths not taken route themselves in my head, map them onto the sails of the boats in the lake, and the billboards of towns.  Questions about current ambitions, broken goals, new ones made, and those in between rattle in my head. And I stare out the window.

The train tilts on its side through a turn.

Familiarities that seem years behind rise up and yet recede. Interactions that once came with ease now seem strained, even frayed, like meeting people from a dream half remembered. And yet they mingle as if made to. And I stare out the window.

Thoughts of other places, other lakes, other views, and other cows interrupt the feed; other connections and familiarities that I recognize are also starting to fray, and lose substance. Can I stitch them back together, fray check them, should I? And I stare out the window.

Gaga ends and Jim Croce takes over. Saving time in a bottle. If only.

My eyes grow heavy. The train tilts again and then rights itself. The picture show in my head dims and fades. The clacker clacking as it runs out film. And I stop looking out the window.

First Sentences

So for christmas this year I got “What If?” a book of writing exercises. I am going to try and crank out a new one once a week. The first one is to write 10 first sentences. Here’s my crack at it. Any thoughts/opinions is greatly appreciated.

  1. James stared at the cracked shell of the subway train, letting the memories of those few minutes inside before it flipped wash over him.
  2. “Liam, we’re over.”
  3. The rain washed over David as he held Valeria, the most annoying, frustrating, beautiful, courageous woman he’d ever met and ignored questions of what they were to do about those in the manor house behind them.
  4. “You’re sending me to Science Camp?”
  5. The press of college students in the Spring pressed in around me, the guys and girls desperate to get out of Psych 101 and into the beautiful Spring day, I had wanted that to before last summer and night at the lake.
  6. If asked what one object could completely change your life, I never would have said one can of spray paint.
  7. I stared at the picture of Melissa and I holding each other under a waterfall, remembered how beautiful she looked that day in the Smokies.
  8. Slowly I crept through the open window, taking every pain to keep as quiet as possible until I caught my chucks on the windowsill and tumbled face forward into the principal’s office.  James Bond, I am not.
  9. Damon stared out the window at the moon and stars as the day ended on the most bizarre fourteenth birthday I had ever had.
  10. How had this happened?

What Do You See?

When you look at me you see things I fear do not exist.

You see Strength, all I see is one who endures because there is no other choice

You see Courage, all I see is a man too scared to be himself

You see a Rock, all I see is sandstone barely holding himself together

You see Good, all I see is a man doing what others expect

The man I see in the mirror is strained, faded, and lost.  The one you see is amazing, honourable, and confident.  I like your image of me better than my own.  So maybe I’ll stop being myself, and start being the man you see in me.