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Short Stories




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Waiting For Thetake-Off by Pankaj M Prasad Neale Steade An experience of waiting to take off. [674 words]
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The Wasp by Antoine Louis A Young Man's struggle against a Diverse Inhabitant of The Insect Population [1,424 words]
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And The Winner Is
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TITLE (EDIT)
And The Winner Is
DESCRIPTION
A summer camp sports competition has a surprise ending
[1,132 words]
AUTHOR
Liilia Morrison
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Writer and artist living in South Florida
[August 2016]
AUTHOR'S OTHER TITLES (22)
A Thousand Camels (Poetry) A caravan of long ago [173 words] [History]
A Treat For Heinke (Short Stories) A girl finds hope during wartime [1,028 words] [Spiritual]
A Werewolf? (Short Stories) A man entrances a woman in Miami, or is he a werewolf? [1,492 words] [Mystical]
As It Comes (Short Stories) A discarded, ragged notebook found on the sidewalk brings impressions and thoughts to the person who found it. [756 words] [Drama]
Down In The Country (Short Stories) The end of the line ain't what it's cracked up to be. [840 words] [Drama]
Endangered (Poetry) A love goes bad [45 words] [Romance]
Garlic, Ginger And Golden Seal (Short Stories) An old woman's recipe for a long life [1,868 words] [Mystery]
Grandma, I Love You (Non-Fiction) Memories of my maternal grandmother [1,027 words] [Biography]
How Lizard Lenny Svaed My Life (Short Stories) A woman escapes life under the El thanks to a man called Lizard Lenny [1,255 words] [Relationships]
It's About Time (Short Stories) Ups and downs in the world of quantum physics [1,475 words] [Humor]
Just Another Joe (Short Stories) A gumshoe takes it as it comes [1,096 words] [Health]
Kylie (Short Stories) Success is not always what we think it is. A girl chooses between fame or love. [1,700 words]
Magnolia (Short Stories) A young woman finds out what a magnolia smells like [1,208 words]
Ode To Wayne Dyer (Poetry) A light roast of self-help books [262 words] [Humor]
On Turning Seventy (Essays) A woman ponders the march of time [717 words] [Motivational]
Ovidio Gets A Smoke (Short Stories) A party turns sour but Ovidio ends up sittin' pretty. [1,160 words] [Suspense]
She Saw It All (Poetry) Statue of Liberty Saw 9-11 [190 words]
Teacups And Time (Poetry) A troubled, cold soul finally finds warmth [151 words] [Spiritual]
Thank You For Not Sleeping (Short Stories) Thoughts go all over the page during the night [1,257 words] [Mind]
The Mysterious Gypsy (Short Stories) Among old photos of Northern people, an exotic gypsy's photo appears. Who is she? [1,457 words] [History]
Tom's Moon (Short Stories) A little doll makes a difference [857 words]
Too Late For Coffee (Short Stories) An old man's last days with an angel [1,489 words] [Spiritual]
And The Winner Is
Liilia Morrison

“Look at her go,” Gerda said. She walked up to Astrid, her roommate, who sat on a canvas cot by the lake. Astrid was watching campers practice on makeshift tables set up nearby for Hellas Games. Hellas topped off the two month Crossroads Experience in the hill country near Montreal. This international girls summer camp focused on sports, drama and music. Songs and performances composed in this year’s camp were presented at the final bonfire. The main talk, however, centered on who won at the Games.

“That Elke’s a natural,” Astrid said. Elke, a short, blond girl, slammed the small, plastic ball to the edge of the game table, just short of missing it altogether. Her opponent Sonya, a muscular, wiry girl, missed every shot.
 
“I’m betting on Elke,” Gerda said.

“So am I,” said Astrid. “I’m also betting on Sonya to lose.”

“Hey, it’s almost time for the flag ceremony.” Gerda looked at a pine tree casting its shadow on the lake surface. In this primitive camp, there were no clocks or watches. Shadows cast by sticks or trees told the time of day.
 
“Want to go for a swim first?” Astrid said.

“I suppose. I hope the lake has warmed up a bit. I’m still freezing from this morning.”

At sunrise, the entire camp went lakeside, washing, brushing teeth and rinsing out garments. Drinking and cooking water came from a well. If a camper got caught smoking, drinking or going in the woods with boys of the nearby village, they got ‘kitchen duty’, or k.p. That meant pumping the well, peeling mounds of potatoes and taking out bones from cans of salmon.

Gerda and Astrid, wearing camp T-shirt and shorts, jumped into the now tepid, shallow water. They dunked under once or twice and remained floating on their backs. Both were smokers. It was hard to do the crawl, the butterfly or some of the other swim strokes, due to shortness of breath. Neither volunteered for the sports competitions for the same reason.

After supper, sunburned, mosquito bitten, exhausted campers retired to tents. These tents consisted of a large canvas cloth suspended on wood poles and flaps that tied down. Short wooden pegs pounded into the ground kept the tents from flying off in the wind.

Elke was in the same tent with Gerda and Astrid. They had eaten a meal of baked beans, cole slaw and hot dogs. There had been a short supply of water, so most of the campers went to sleep thirsty that night.

“Elke, why don’t you go with Gerda and Astrid for a little detail I gave them,” Solange, the counselor of the tent said. Solange was sophisticated and a natural leader.

“What is it?” Elke said.

“Oh, they’re just going to the kitchen to get a can opener.”

“Come on, Elke, go with us,” Gerda and Astrid said.

“I’ll give you extra credit at the commissary,” Solange said.

The moon was bright that night. The kitchen tent, much larger than the others, stood close to the lake, next to a small group of pine trees. Cooks and kitchen helpers, recruited from the village, had left for the night.

“You wait here,” Astrid said to Elke.

Gerda and Astrid crawled under the tent, leaving Elke standing outside.

“Where the (expletive) are the can openers!” Astrid said from within.

“Hey, I think I found the knives and forks,” Gerda said.

Finally the girls crawled out of the tent, holding a small can opener with a corkscrew on one end.

“Let’s get out of here,” Gerda said. All three ran back to their tent.

“Here, have some. You earned it,” Solange said to Elke, offering her a paper cup with red wine.

“I’m okay,” Elke said.

“Oh, come on, Miss goody-two-shoes,” Astrid said,” Afraid you won’t slam those balls at the Games tomorrow?”

Elke took the cup. It was lights out time. The others were too busy having their nightcap to notice Elke pour the contents of the paper cup on the ground behind her cot.

The Hellas Games were on. Campers wore their dress outfits, consisting of pure white blouses and dark blue shorts. Neighboring camps were invited to the event, as well as relatives and friends of the campers. Large flags of the countries represented few overhead, snapping smartly in the wind.

Elke stood, waiting her turn in the competition. The camp supervisor, Mrs. Thurgrow, walked up to her.

“Elke,” she said, “was that you by the kitchen tent last night?”

“Yes.”

“I see. Well, good luck in the competition.”

“Thank you.”

Gerda and Astrid appeared from the crowd. “What did she want?” Gerda said.

“Oh, she wished me luck,” Elke said.

“That’s good, because we made some heavy bets on you.”

The crowd gathered around the forest green table, leaving enough space for the players to volley and retrieve the balls.

“Look at her go,” Astrid said. “She’s got it all right.”

“She’s slamming that ball as if it was the devil himself,” Gerda said. “I can just taste that steak dinner in town tonight.” They both laughed.

Suddenly the crowd was booing. Elke, using the style that made her a winner, now hit the balls too hard. Four times in a row, the ball went past the table edge. Sonya, the opponent, climbed ahead quickly.

“What the (expletive) are you doing?” Gerda yelled. Elke could not hear her above the boos of the crowd.

“You creep, you nerd,” Astrid screamed.

“Oh shut up,” Solange said. She had been standing behind the two.

Elke did not go to the bonfire that year. She checked out the day before.

“So how was your camp experience this year,” Mrs. Thurgrow asked when Elke came to the camp office for her release papers.

“I think everybody was disappointed in me,” she said. “I mean, I did lose the game.”

“Yes, you did, didn’t you?” Mrs. Thurgrow said.

“Something happened, I don’t know what. I just didn’t want to win anymore. It doesn’t make any sense. It’s the only thing I did well and now I’m a failure.” She began to sob.

Mrs. Thurgrow sat down stiffly next to her. Her white and blue uniform was starched to perfection. The gold braids and medals on shirt pockets gleamed in many colors.

“Oh that,” Mrs. Thurgrow said. “That was just child’s play.”

She walked over to a desk and brought a tissue to Elke.

“People like Sonya will go on trying to catch the brass ring, to master the games of life. People like Solange, Gerda and Astrid, they will do the same.”

“What do you mean?” Elke said.

“Don’t think I don’t know what happened. I’m not the supervisor of this camp by accident. You say you lost your will to win, right?”

“Yes.”

“Don’t you see, that’s the answer?” Mrs. Thurgrow was suddenly childlike, eyes bright.

“What answer?”

“That’s the true mastery.”

Mrs. Thurgrow stood up. “I wish I had what you have found.” Her shoulders drooped as she walked toward the makeshift door of the tent. The canvas flap fell limply to the side.











 


      

 

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COPYRIGHT NOTICE
© 2007 Liilia Morrison
STORYMANIA PUBLICATION DATE
June 2007
NUMBER OF TIMES TITLE VIEWED
1670
 

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