Written in January 2013, this short story is one of my better fictional works of seventh grade, and middle school. I was told to write a short story that had irony in it.
“We’re going to throw it again, right?” Steve whispered.
“No, not this time,” answered Bruce.
“Really?” asked Steve, surprised.
“Yes, we’re going to beat Rabun Gap,” said Bruce, really pouring on the sarcasm.
“Oh, you’re joking,” realized Steve.
“You’re a little slow, aren’t you?”
The Highland Valley Tigers soccer team was going to do what they had been doing all season: lose. Everyone knew that.
What most everyone didn’t know was that the Tigers’ 0 – 12 record was no mistake. They had lost all their games on purpose.
The Tigers had fourteen players. All of them had sworn, at the beginning of the season, that they would do their best to lose all of their games. Every single one of them wanted to get revenge on their P.E. coach. They had failed P.E. class, and to them, it was all Coach Mike’s fault. They decided that they would lose every game to get revenge on their coach. They believed that winning even one game would leave Coach satisfied, so they tried especially hard to lose all season.
Why were they on the soccer team in the first place? Coach Mike had given them Fs for their P.E. performance, so of course they had come to him asking for a way to bring up their grades. He told them to join the soccer team, which he would be the coach of. They all reluctantly joined the team.
Due to some dumb rule that least one team from each city is automatically into the tournament, the Tigers made the playoffs with a twelve-loss season behind them. They were the only team in their city. Another dumb rule stated that it was the Tigers turn to get a bye in the playoffs. There were only three teams participating in the “tournament”, so the Tigers were facing Rabun Gap in the championship. Not that it mattered. They knew that they were going to throw this game.
The soccer game started off normal enough. The opposing team completely dominated possession, while the barely touched the ball. The only abnormal part was that the other team was unable to score, no matter how obviously the Tigers were slacking on defense. By halftime, Coach Mike was encouraged.
“Guys, this could be our first win! How cool would it be if our first win was in the championship game!”
The Tigers were having issues stifling their snickers. Not only did Coach Mike think they were going to win, but he thought that winning the championship was a big accomplishment.
In the next half, Rabun Gap got very close to scoring three or four times, but still kept missing the goal. The clock read 1: 34 in the second half when both teams started getting really desperate. If the game was tied at the end of the second half, the game was over. No overtime, league rules. The Tigers were in trouble. To tie this would mean exactly what they didn’t want – Coach Mike would have coached them “all the way to the championship, to tie a much older and advanced team.” To Rabun Gap, this would mean that they failed to beat the worst team they had ever played.
There was fifty seconds on the clock when Rabun Gap’s forward passed back to his teammate to escape the Tigers “defense”. The Rabun Gap defender, located inside his teams’ box, took a big windup and kicked the ball, hard. Bruce Davis happened to be standing a couple yards away. He turned, afraid to be hit by the ball.
At the same time, Ryan Diamond was located a couple feet in front of the Rabun Gap goal, playing goalie.
He didn’t want to be standing here. All year, he had played goalie for his team, and had touched the ball six times. He had been scored on once.
He was sure that this would be another one of those games where he would never touch the ball. He wanted to sit down, but he wasn’t quite cocky enough to do that. He glanced up from his goalie gloves to see John, his teammate, receive the ball and wind up to kick it downfield. This would guaranteed that Ryan wouldn’t touch the ball for at least another thirty seconds.
John kicked the ball. Same old, same old.
Sighing, Ryan looked back down at his goalie gloves.
Bruce, Tigers forward, was sick of waiting for the other team to score. He had spent the game jogging around, doing nothing, but apparently wasn’t making it easy enough for Rabun Gap to score.
He followed around the Rabun Gap defender for a while. Bruce had played him enough times to know his name was John.
John received the ball from his teammate, and kicked it in an upfield direction. Bruce flinched and turned away. You didn’t want to get hit by this guy. It would hurt. A lot.
Bruce felt the ball nail his shoulder, and was upright long enough to see it sail towards the goal.
Standing on the sideline, Coach Mike was silent for once.
Usually he was yelling, yelling, yelling. But today he had yelled so much that he didn’t feel like it anymore. He just watched in awe.
What had happened to this team?
These kids had been losing all year. They hadn’t even scored a goal. Obviously this was because they didn’t know how to play soccer. But suddenly, the other team couldn’t score! It must’ve been all that defense work that they had done in practice yesterday.
He watched the ball nail Bruce and sail a mile in the opposite direction.
He didn’t feel a bit sorry for Bruce, but he did feel sorry for Rabun Gap goalie. The ball nailed him in the head, hit the crossbar, hit the goalie’s head again, and went in the goal.
1 – 0, Highland Valley Tigers.
The Highland Valley Tigers jogged to the sideline in misery. The Rabun Gap Eagles walked to the sideline in misery. The only person happy was Coach Mike.
The teams exchanged high fives in line, and circled back to their benches.
Sulking in the back of the line was Bruce, who felt like a failure. It had been his idea, after all. The mastermind had torn apart his own plan by “scoring” the winning goal. As he saw Coach Mike’s expression, he was rewarded with a whole new dose of annoyance.
Coach Mike had a lot to say. It was all encouragement, but it always leaded back to how great of a coach he had been. But as he went on and on, he noticed how upset his team looked.
“Okay, what’s wrong with you guys?” he asked.
“We won, that’s what’s wrong,” Bruce answered with a mischievous grin.
Realization crept across Coach Mike’s face, then fury.
The P.E. failures had won the ultimate game, and stolen the ultimate trophy. They had gotten their revenge by enraging Coach Mike.
1 to 0, Highland Valley P.E. failures.