Aunt Cathy Pt. 45

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{Disclaimer: All characters in this piece are eighteen or over}

More story than sex, skip on by if so inclined. Peace!

Game day around the house always had a bit of light hearted somber to it. Today however the tone was definitely geared more towards the latter side. Cathy was still asleep when I got up to have my shower, when I finished she greeted me in jeans, a tee, and no socks waiting to help me get my suit on.

“I wasn’t going to leave without waking you up Cathy.”

“Oh believe me I know. Your too smart to get…” She put a finger on her forehead. “I was going to say murdered, but I think obliterated (that came with a wink) is better for this game day.” That wasn’t directed at me but at the team we were about to face, and it eased a lot of the tension when I laughed. She went about getting me all suited up nice and tidy while I watched every move she made.

When it came time for the tie there wasn’t one, and while I was busy looking around she pulled out a long slim box wrapped in a ribbon.

“Looking for this?”

“What’s that?”

“Open it.” Inside was a hand-spun silk tie in our team’s colors, it probably cost more than my whole suit. I didn’t know what to say as she flipped the collar of my shirt up and placed the tie around my neck. “You are a captain now, and should dress accordingly.” It had been a while since the whole captain thing had crossed my mind, and as she went about expertly making a Windsor knot (something I never got down) all of coach’s speeches came up. I suddenly realized I was going to be expected to make one to the team before we hit the ice.

“Oh boy.”

“What’s wrong lover?” I told her and she had a quick, simple answer to my dilemma. “Just tell them what you told me.” I had forgotten all about Cathy’s assertion in last night’s shower, like I said I was dead tired.

{{“You know you’re going to win this game, right lover?”

“No, I don’t. I have no idea how the game will go. What I do know is that it will be played full of hard work, dedication, and desire. As long as we do that… they’re fucked.”}} That was going to be a good rock to build on.

Cathy sniffed. “Smells like you three have breakfast ready.” This was the first time Cathy had been around for a game day, she didn’t know the ins and outs.

“Nope. Not mine, or sob’s or pop’s,”

(Here’s a riddle. How is it possible to make putting on socks sexy? Answer: Be as beautiful as my aunt and lean over with THAT cleavage, and look up with THOSE eyes) “Incredible.”

“What is?”

“Never mind. We’ll have a team one later, this breakfast is for all our beautiful women. You really are an amazing woman, thank you for this tie, it pushed all the right buttons.”

She started hauling me to the Kitchen. “Good, I’m starved!”

“Good on what? The buttons or the breakfast.” She didn’t turn around just giggled and gave me a butt shimmy.

It was only six am, but the four ladies of the house, plus Mitsy, Bonnie, and Deidra, were all in the kitchen animated and loud. Pop and sob both looked game faced with coffee in hand; when they saw the tie Cathy got a thumbs-up from each. I grabbed a joe of my own, huddled up with them and asked the most obvious question I could. “You ready.”

They both gave me the most sardonic “NO!” I’d ever heard. Something that got me a loud ‘you asked for that’ snort from Mom. The caffeine didn’t help the already buzzing, antsy feeling in the kitchen, so the sound of the bus turning into the drive was met with relief. For us three though, it added, not subtracted.

Coach never let us get individually driven to the rink during any playoffs. Before we had Silver the Greyhound (yeah we named that bus a thousand times till this one stuck) we had a Blue Bird school bus that got painted every year. The only thing similar between Silver and that one was the sound system. Coach was an audiophile. In our home rink he’d tweaked the already existing sound system (which was supposedly just a P.A.) into a full-on shake the foundation’s rig.

Why it added for us was that he would blast a song for each team member; individually. Since me, Pop, and sob, all lived under the same roof now, we’d hedged bets on what style the refrain would be, figuring not one song could be picked. I took anything metal. Sob said Abba (the guy’s a monkey wrench), and Pop decided classic country.

We all lost.

Sister Sledge blasted the morning birds with ‘We Are Family’. He’d picked a good one. Not only took care of the new housing situation but also covered the team as a whole. The only thing left now was to get on the bus. And we might of made it out the door with just some misty eyes and well wishes, but lady spring wasn’t at her best yet so the three of us still had a mud pit to transverse.

Probably should have seen it coming, then again, two other fellows should have seen it too. Mary was waiting at the back door with gum boots. The rally cry of ‘PICS’ blew up and they took no shortage of glee, or pictures, watching us well-dressed Ümraniye Escort young men donning old farm boots over our suits. It was a good rib and eased more tension. As I passed Mary she tapped the phone peeking out from her top. (if you can figure out how to market that cleavage as a phone holder you’ll get rich fast) “Inspiration.”

Getting on the bus had its expected raunch’n’roll. There was no shortage of testosterone-fueled fist bumps, derogatory comments at the other team, and just general anticipation. Coach was the only driver but we were all sitting in the cockpit of a dragster waiting for the Christmas tree to flash green. That all kept up till we heard coach go “What the fuck?”

The diner we had made a pilgrimage of attending for playoff games had signs overall it’s windows, ‘CLOSED FOR GAME’ It had all of us wondering ‘what’, but coach took it a step further and went to knock on the front door, a kid janitor answered, they talked, and he came back on silver with a head shake. “Kid doesn’t speak English well, I don’t know what’s going on. Mickey D’s on the bus boys, won’t be the first time.” The door closed, silver hissed, and me, sob, and Popoff looked at each other.

This team was made up of a lot of different districts, being such not all of us attended the same schools, us three did and knew the kid. He was an English major that worked on the school newspaper as an editor, something was not right. Getting to the rink caused more questions about exactly what was going on. The back lot was full of local news trucks, not just the reporter on the street type, but full-blown local network crews. We’d find out soon enough they were

not just outside but had press booths in the rafters.

Coach was livid pissed, way more than the painting scene. It was clear he hadn’t been informed, much less clued in on all this. He kept the door shut while he assessed the situation, then spoke.

“Acknowledge people, but don’t speak. Keep your hands at bay, no gestures, and head to the room. Understood?” A silent assent was made. “Good. Captain get your team to the locker room, I’m right behind you.” My first real taste of leading didn’t get us ten feet before someone or another was pushing something in our faces looking for a comment. I just smiled, shrugged, and nodded, hoping that big open gate of a doorway we were heading for didn’t move away.

Coach already had a vein bulging in his neck, when we got in the rink his forehead grew one. Fireworks and swooping spotlights came from the ice, all of which were focused on the City Wolves’ side of the rink. We’d walked into a media show. And nobody, in our whole organization, so we thought, had been told about it.

There were two doors to get into the locker room. The first one led from the main basement area to a hallway that gave way to one that gained access to the locker room. The first one opened, the one to the locker room didn’t, and that did it for coach.

This door wasn’t just a normal door, it was steel and made to put up with po’d hockey jocks. With just one freakishly solid kick he sent it into the locker room, then turned to address a group of stunned hockey players. “Unless you’re going to forfeit the game, be high time to cool off and start getting dressed. After you gentlemen.”

We’d never played under this kind of pressure. We had no pomp intro to greet the team announcements, hell, none of us had ever even met a reporter before. “Get ready, I got some calls to make.” With that, he disappeared out the doorless frame. Sometime later a sugary cigar smell brought the heads of a dejected hockey team up, he looked like Hannibal from the A-Team.

A huge grin with a stogie hanging from it pointing due north, he sat on the edge of the desk and fired it up, something he only did after we’d won.

“Don’t panic, we’re still in this, but listen up. The restaurant we

usually hit? Owned by Clarissa Dawson. This rink? Run by Dawson and associates. We were supposed to get all the documentation and forms about this media shit, but none of it hit our office. The secretary in charge of that… a third cousin to Mama Dawson.” I didn’t get two inches off my seat before he pointed dead at me. “Sit!”

“Who remembers Stonehenge sound?” A hand shot up.

“Me! They did the sound for the veterans game we played.”

“So they did. They’re also doing this game, and they still have all the music and sound we used. Now, I was able to get a hold…,” He gave a comical snort. “Of a few pounds of dry ice, you all remember what you did that game, formations and such?” This time the assent wasn’t so silent. “Good, you’ll be doing it again.”

The cigar hit the floor and was crushed. “You’re going to get a skate pre-game, I want that skate recon. Fuck your end, and hit their end. Check everything from the ice to the boards. Ceiling to under the ice. Don’t miss a damn thing. That’s up in two hours, occupy yourselves.” He stood up and very calmly left.

The skate coach was talking Escort Ümraniye about was a sudo practice you sometimes got, it’s more a way to familiarize yourself than get anything done. We did like we were told and skated around their boards in what felt like a hundred revolutions before mats started to be thrown down to stop us, but that came late, we had the info.

“Every corner has washboard ice, same thing next to the blue line. They’re gonna be passing and shooting up a few inches.”

Sob added, “Yeah, and ours ain’t better.” He wasn’t supposed to know that and it drew a look from everyone. “So I took a look! Shoot me. Either either It’s a goddamn bounce house.” That was needed info, he got a pass.

Popoff had a more serious note to add. “The boards are alive and dead. One spot may send you both flying, the other may break…” He stopped that short and gave me a fucking weird look, a new weird look. I did not need new and weird right now. “Don’t check hard first-period man.”

Coach clapped his hands. “All right then gents, you have your info.

You will not be embarrassed by the introductions, and you are a goddamn good team.” He clicked on a television and we got our first media onslaught. The suiting up had been slow at best, that T’V’ put a snail’s pace on it. People were piling into the arena, whooping and hollering while reporters grabbed nondescript fans out to make waves.

We may have covered the introductions, but we had no way to make up for the merchandise booths the Wolves had set up. Tee’s, stickers, flash drives, hats… they had it all. Right about this time you could feel the air starting to dissipate from the sails, but once again one of them seldom heard voices on our team piped up. One lady reporter had been way less than kind toward us, (words like rube had been used) and he put forth an opinion, and suggestion.

“You know something? That one reporter got a great rack, Do you think we could get her in one of the original Tee’s our ladies made? An… maybe stuff an apple in her mouth?” It was a shot back at a shot and nothing more, and it got all of us jocks back in synch.

Nothing was not a thing, along with everything.

Time got sucked up in jibs and big small talk till Coach punched the television off and pointed to the clock. “One and a half hours till ice.” It got quiet then. Somehow our whole day had passed us by. In ninety-five minutes we’d be in it. And I still didn’t know what to say.

Coach had let us keep our phones with strict orders of no video out.

In, however, was acceptable, mine went off. The grin and laugh that it gave me had even coach wanting to look. Cathy had sent me a video.

All our girls were waltzing, unabashedly, towards the stadium doors. Tan-colored suede thigh-high boots (stilettoed; what a shock) met up with country cut-offs. True to form, the you might be nude body suits had been replaced with the family-friendly kind. Their faces were only the work of Deidra. She put our team colors into glamorous shades and fades. Our women looked jet set, not street corner.

My phone came back just as the clock hit thirty till game. No speech had even started to form. “I need to take a piss.” That was a lie, I just need some… inspiration.

Mary hadn’t sent a well wishes text or an E-card. She’d sent a video. One she’d made while still in most of the nurse’s uniform Dee had given her, and it was reversed. The heels and stockings were still there, the dress was gone, and she looked positively rabid. Her chest was covered in a thick, washed-out, rainbow of soap. The more she slowly caressed her breasts, the more opaque our team crest was revealed. It ended with what had been her start.

“Put one in my hol…” A blown kiss, a wink, and a giggle followed. “I mean the goal for me babe.” There was a message in that babe. Mary loved baseball, and that babe had a definite New York twang to it. She’d never called me that before so I got the Yankee reference at once. The Babe. The Great Bambino.

An extraordinarily talented, fur coat touting, cigar chugging, media darling legend, that screwed the nuts down when needed. That is where I found the meat for my speech.

“Damn it, Mary. You are good.”

The clock was the first thing I wanted to see, it told me twenty-five minutes till ice. Coach was the second thing. He would have the final words but I wanted to make sure I was allowed the time I thought I had. He gave me a nod and motioned to the front of the room. Nobody snickered, rolled an eye, or did anything less than give me their respect. And Lord, that got them mine.

“Gentlemen: Two questions. First, Clayton? When wolf dude beat you on that penalty shot halfway through last season, even though the rink was pretty much empty, what was his reaction?”

He thought for a bit, “Way too exuberant.”

“Popoff when you got chucked into the boards and had to sit while we lost, what did dude do after he hit you?”

“Fist pumped his team and rode his stick. Ümraniye Escort Bayan What are getting at?”

“Those are only two instances out of a ton they’ve pulled. I don’t know why I didn’t make this connection before, but, every single time was either a girlfriend night or some kind of family thing. They are show-offs. And with a rink full of media? They’re gonna be distracted to the nuts.

I punched the television back on, everything was inside the arena now, and just as I had hoped, more than one of their team was out playing the star. With twenty-five till a do-or-die game. “We have sixty minutes full of chances to win. That first twenty is going to be played with them show-boating for the media.” Everybody got eye contact.

“We’ve never worried about that, and don’t start now. Run the fucking scoreboard up till they catch on. We can play them at their best for the last two. If we play hard, dedicated, and full of desire… They’re fucked.”

I turned looking at coach while I sat down, and he did the unexpected. “Nothing to add. You heard the man. Go win.” Usually, we never screamed and yelled after a talk, this time we roared. With Five left till ice, we headed out to our backboard gate, all the while wondering how the hell we were going to beat a fireworks show.

A massive long tunnel with racks full of dry ice running down each side met us and we were shuffled in. Over top of the ice ran lengths of garden hose, they were perforated but you couldn’t tell by just looking at them. Four people had leaf blowers with tactical spots attached to them at the ready, the whole thing was major weird. Sob summed it up, “The house that Jerry rigged?” We sat and listen to the fireworks and crowd cheers, then the whole rink went black.

This arena was a lot bigger than ours and had a killer sound rig. Our Veterans Day intro had been the sound of B-17s, B-25s, and C-130s revving their engines, in this rink it made your feet buzz.

Water started pouring on the dry ice as AC/DC’s Thunderstruck started to play, it went for a few bars until the tunnel filled with a heavy cloud of fog. As the gates to the ice opened and the spotted blowers came on, Coach stood in front of us not letting anyone leap out. The fog, streaked with search lights, started to billow out onto the ice, our shadows looked huge in it as we shuffled around dying to go.

The song of course had been edited. When the break in the song came where Brain sings, “You’ve been…” it echoed three times, during which coach said, verbatim…

“FUCK THE FORMATIONS, SKATE LIKE THE DEVIL!!”

The word thunderstruck hit at the same time coach yelled “Go!!!!”

And all hell broke loose.

The aircraft engines roared back to life accompanied by a banshee of an air raid siren and Angus ripped into his solo. Every spotlight in the arena started swooping, some flickering lighting, all of them raying beams through the fog. I don’t know who was more caught off guard by it all, us, the other team, or the crowd. What I do know is when it was over, and we lined up against the Wolves, they were none too happy about not having a damn thing against us as far as the intro went.

After the National Anthem, Dawson mouthed asshole to me, and I took a gamble. If he didn’t get it, was just a retort, but if he did? It would piss him off. I just sang two words, “Rebel, Rebel.” He got it lividly, how we didn’t get into it right off the bat is a mystery.

Let me explain that rebel thing. David Bowie has a song called Rebel Rebel, one of the lines is, “Don’t know if your a boy or a girl.” I knew he probably had an inkling we knew about his brother, but most likely wasn’t sure. So it served two purposes. One: Piss him off. And two; make him have something more than this game to think about. I know but I had plenty of reasons why it wasn’t uncouth.

They won the opening face-off and almost as fast fell into their own trap. A defenseman dumped the puck and it found the ice ridge built up in the corner and jumped over the net. Clayton found it in midair and with a bat sent it to the center of the blue line. Landed right where sob had been hovering. He chick chicked the skate blades and was gone. Two seconds later we were up by one.

The next goal came about after I’d messed up and let their forward undress me leaving Clayton in the hot seat. He caught a piece with his skate and a loving goalpost stopped it, but he didn’t hold it. Somehow he caught both lines changing at the same time and had a wide open sheet of ice between him and their tender, who wasn’t paying attention.

I have two reels of that game housed in an electronic photo album, both of them unbelievable. I’ll tell you about the second one later.

Maybe he remembered the whole Popoff puck disappearing in the dark ceiling thing, but that’s what he did. Base balled it up into the rafters on an angle. It clattered and slid in before the dude even got his water bottle down. It wasn’t a cheap play, there hadn’t been a whistle, and the play was alive. He just kept his shit about him and scored.

We got one more in before the period ended, this one was just a hard worked for tic-tac-toe play. Was nice to go up three but they had caught on. Now it would be forty minutes of grind, and that helped us immensely.

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