Monday September 26th, 2016

The exercise:

Our writing today shall revolve around this question: are you listening?

I don't think I could ever coach toddler soccer classes. I learned that today, if nothing else.

The community center called the other night to let me know that they didn't have enough kids signed up to make two separate classes, so they were combining the two into one. This was disappointing news, as Max and I quite liked having a smaller class (there were six total in his class last week).

But they were all together this week. Which, for the record, is a much better option that just cancelling them both. But it was more like twelve kids. And I'd say about a third of them were borderline incapable of listening to what the coach was telling them.

Yes, I know they're toddlers. But... goodness me. Plus: they really feed off each other, so when one or two start acting out at least three more follow their lead.

Chaos.

Pure chaos.

Anyway. Max still managed to have fun.

I needed a coffee afterward.

Mine:

I will transform these kids. My years of experience and knowledge will spread over and enshroud them like a warm blanket on a winter's day. My techniques and skill will be bestowed upon them. They just need to be willing to put in the work.

"Coach?"

My awards await me. Coach of the Year? That was mine before I got out of bed this morning. I'm gunning for Coach of the Century. Greatest Coach Ever is not beyond my grasp. I just have to get them to listen to me and to do as I say. The rest will follow as it should.

"Coach? Emily asked for a bathroom break twenty minutes ago."

They should count themselves lucky. There are toddlers out there who would kill to be in this class, learning at my feet. Most of them are in jail though. Sadly.

"Hey! Would someone tell the janitor to get in here with a mop?!"

I should demand a raise. Clearly, I deserve one.

2 Comments:

Greg said...

That sounds like an interesting class. I can only hope that as it progresses the more disruptive kids drop out and you come down to about 8 kids who all want to be there for the best reasons. Certainly it sounds challenging at the moment, but maybe entertaining at times too?
I think your narrator needs the Coach of the Century award, absolutely. He's got the toughness, the disregard for the players' comfort to force them out to do their utmost, and the desire for glory! Promote him now!
Oh, and poor Emily, obviously. (I really like the "Most of them are in jail though" line btw, that's pretty much perfect.)

Are you listening?
"Are you even listening to me, Miss Katto? You cannot perform in the Auberge, no-one can. It has been declared a heritage site and there are three committees fighting over the rights to preserve it appropriately. Though, and here I would appreciate it if you were not listening too clearly, I sincerely hope the committee to preserve it in formaldehyde have an accident in that overcroweded SUV they use." Freddie Mayhew, an unusually short man with a thatch of thick black hair, eyebrows like caterpillars mating, and a nose that looked like the entrance to a jungle -- probably Conrad's Heart of Darkness -- leaned back in his chair and sighed heavily. His feet were propped on his desk and his coffee cup smelled suspiciously of spirits.
"That's why we want to perform there," she said, trying not to sigh herself. "The Auberge is the only place in this city where Marco Kwan perfor-"
"And that is why it's a heritage site!"
"That makes no sense!"
There was a moment of silence. Then Freddie blew his cheeks out, stared up at the ceiling, and sighed like a cow in labour. Despite the conversation Katto was impressed.
"Look," he said.
"No, you look," said Katto instantly. Freddie held up a hand.
"Cards on the table time, Miss Katto," he said. She paused, waiting. "You're not the first people I've had in here wanting to perform in the Auberge." Katto waited some more, her breath catching in her throat. "And I think your silence is an admission, personally. They all want to try and follow some instructions that Marco Kwan left behind. And..." Freddie stared at the ceiling some more and Katto waited. Her mind was racing: she'd suspected she couldn't be the only one to have followed the clues, but now she was wondering who else had tried this. "And... you want to perform a piece called Are you listening, don't you?"
She couldn't help it, she sat upright in shock.
Freddie lowered his feet -- they didn't touch the ground -- and opened a drawer in his desk. He took out a handful of what might have been jewels or might be coloured glass. There were six in total; four sparkled and two were dull.
"You're doing better than everyone else," he said, looking at them. "So I'll tell you what Marco told me."
Another shock -- Freddie had known Marco?
"The instructions put the last two in the wrong order deliberately, as one more safeguard. You need to come back here when five of these glitter."
Katto still said nothing, she stared first at the jewels and then at him.
"I have high hopes for Partners in Rhyme," said Freddie with a smile, sweeping the jewels back into the drawer. "But please, don't perform in my city or I'll set the Gendarmerie on you."

Marc said...

Greg - oh yeah, definitely entertaining at times. Mostly because I'm not the one in charge.

Hah, thanks for the kind words on mine. I quite liked that line as well :)

Great scene here. Loved the descriptions of Freddie, and the story line developments were utterly intriguing. You've got me wanting more, despite myself :P