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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

It's Time for NaNo Excerpt

Here I am, updating my blog posts when I should be trying to fit new words into my novel. I do happen to need over thirty thousand in the next couple weeks. Ahhh, well. :D

From this year's NaNo novel, I present: High School Revolution
The Counter-Revolutionary Football Scene. Posting it serves a double purpose. One, obviously to share part of my novel with you. Two, to find out if you understand the scene. I get football because I watch it with my dad and brothers, and my awesome bro DJ talked out this scene with me to make it awesome. The question is, does the average reader who may not understand foobtball get it?
So without further adieu:

With Robbie as quarterback, the student section of the stands was full of supporters—all of them trying to cheer and forcing themselves to shout encouragement. With only a few minutes left in the fourth quarter, the score was Frances Academy six, Washington High School 84. We only had a touch down because a Washington player fumbled on the four yard line and a sophomore, Leon Elba, scooped it up and ran in for the touchdown. We missed the extra point because Robbie tried to kick it. He missed the ball completely and landed on his back. It looked painful. I had to shove my fist into my mouth to keep from laughing. Down on the field, Danton put his helmet over his face, his shoulders shaking until Robbie limped over to the sideline.
We had the ball back, one of the few times we got possession during the game. I expected it’d last about thirty seconds before Robbie threw an interception, or fumbled, or ran right into the opposing team’s center. It was a wonder the kid could still stand after taking twenty-three plus sacks (I quit counting early in the third quarter).
Robbie stood several feet back from Jack {Last name}, our center, in a shotgun formation, preparing to pass the ball. I groaned ahead of time. Robbie hadn’t completed a pass the whole game. After he threw ten straight interceptions in the first quarter, someone forced him to start calling running plays, which hadn’t worked either. Two running-backs, Elba and a senior I didn’t know, flanked Robbie’s sides. He yelled out what sounded like random numbers to me. Elba turned toward Robbie, taking a step. I thought perhaps he was arguing with whatever play Robbie called until he flashed in front of Robbie and grabbed the snapped football. The kid had quick feet! Elba ran around the lineman. The ones who saw who carried the ball started blocking with more fervor than they had the whole game. Elba spun around some bewildered Washington linemen. We’d gained twelve yards by the time Washington’s fifth-string players hauled him down.
The Frances Academy crowd roared in approval for the only first down conversion of the game, most of them probably forgetting they shouldn’t support something that clearly went against what Robby had planned. In fact, our fearless leader looked like the only one in the stadium who didn’t agree with the play change. He shouted at Elba, jerking his thumb back toward the bench. Elba stalked toward Robbie and grabbed his helmet, yelling something in Robbie’s face. Robbie wound his hand through the material at Elba’s neck, screaming back, but Elba jerked away. He shoved against Robbie’s pads, knocking the much smaller player to the ground.
Robbie scrambled up, looking to the sidelines, probably in hopes that Coach Hibbert would punish the defiant Elba. Coach just stared back calmly, arms folded across his chest. The only thing to break the silence was the shrill keen of a ref’s whistle. Frances Academy got called for a delay of game and lost five yards. But Elba stayed on the field, and Frances Academy’s original first string rushed back onto the field despite Robbie’s screaming for them to get off.
On the second play Jack snapped the ball deftly to the side, past Robbie into Elba’s hands. Elba squirted through the defense somehow and ended up thirty yards downfield, in the end zone.
I screamed louder than anyone in the stands. We all knew there was no chance we’d come back from a seventy point deficit in only a minute and a half—but if everyone on the field was defying Robbie Pierce, it meant his three week tirade was over.
For some reason, the players let Robbie try and kick again. I saw why when Elba held his hands out for the snap from Jack. As Robbie ran forward to kick, Elba snatched the ball and tossed it into the center of the end zone, right into a waiting Frances Academy player’s hands for an extra two points.
My cheering screams turned into gurgling laughs. I didn’t know where the football players finally got the nerve, but their coup made everything I’d been through since my defection worth it. When I turned to survey the joyful students around me, my eyes caught Polly’s a few rows down. She glared daggers at me and ran a cast encrusted hand across her neck, signaling I was headed another swirlie. I looked back up at the field, eyeing the triumphant figure of Danton, pumping his fist into the air, and doubted she or Robbie or anyone who still supported them would get a hand on me. Excitement shattered through my chest. I grinned at the thought of not fearing school every day.
After the two-point conversion, a couple linemen brought Robbie over to Danton and threw him on the ground. Danton grinned and sat down on him. The kicking team went in, led by our usual kicker, one of Louie’s old crowd. He sqibbed the kick a few feet up the field toward the waiting Washington players. One of the inexperienced players near the front jumped on it, but the ball shot out from underneath him. A pile of Frances Academy players pounced.
When the offense took the field again, Louie lined up behind the center. Kids I knew hated him before the revolution burst into loyal cheers. True to form her turned and waved at the student section, letting us all know that the pre-swirlie Louie was back.
We had time for only one more play, but Louie looked confident. After the ball snapped, every single lineman blocker harder than they had all year, giving Louie a full thirty seconds to find the right pass. He let loose a perfect spiral into the air. Still an apprehensive hush settled over the fans—as if this play meant winning the game instead of simply narrowing the ginormous deficit down to sixty-four points.
It landed safely in the waiting hands of Leon Elba, who jammed it up into the air from the end zone.

1 comment:

  1. Fun scene - I understood it fine and I'm not a huge football guru :-)


About Me!

I've been writing since I was old enough to grasp a crayon--my grandma even has an early copy of a "book" I made her. I have a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Wyoming and will (hopefully) soon be starting a graduate program in English. When I'm not breaking up impromptu UFC fights in the living room or losing miserably to my boys at Uno, I'm ... well, writing or editing, of course! I'm married to my best friend, and we have three rambunctious but simply amazing little boys.


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