Monday, September 17, 2012

The Volleyball Gladiators

Dear Readers,

So it was Saturday, and I had been sleeping when my mom bursts into my room and thrusts her cell phone into my hand. I groaned and murmured, "Hello?"

"Hey, Jessie!" burst Mei's excited voice. "It's me, Mei. Me and the girls were just wondering if you wanted to do like some backyard volleyball after practice today."

"Mmmhmm," I agreed.

"Great!" cried Mei. "So at the park just after practice? If your mom wanted, my mom was wiling to drive us all over there."

Mom nodded and gave me the thumbs-up sign. "Sure," I said.

"Can't wait!" Mei grinned from the other end. "Bye, Jessie!"

"Bye." I snapped the phone and handed it back to Mom, falling back into bed and sleeping about another hour.

After volleyball practice, Mei's mom was true to her word and carted Mei, Amy, Cara, me and some other girls over to the park where the volleyball nets were. Mei grabbed a volleyball from the car and some bottled water and then waved goodbye to her mom, who drove off for the mall. According to Mei she would come and pick us up in a few hours.

"So, let's get a game going," said Cara, cracking her knuckles. "OK, I'll be one captain. Jessie, you be the other."

I was kind of surprised at the sudden rise in command, but nodded quickly.

"I pick Mei," Cara quickly said.

"Amy," I nodded.

We had finally divided everybody out. I was about to serve the ball. I threw it up in the air, but before I could hit somebody else from behind me crushed it down right on my head. I fell to the ground, dazed.

"Hey!" yelled Amy, running over.

I rubbed my head, looking up. In front of me was a tall, athletic boy surrounded by a whole bunch of other boys. And they were all glaring--at us.

"Are you OK, Jessie?" Amy asked, helping me to my feet.

I shook my head to help clear it, but it still throbbed. "I think I'll be OK," I assured.

Then Amy turned to them. "What was that for?!"

"She got in the way," the boy shrugged. "We wanted to play, and she had our ball." The boy twirled the volleyball on his fingers.

"That's my ball!" cried Mei. "I brought it from my house. Now give it back!"

The boys laughed, and the leader stepped forward, narrowing his eyes. "Who's going to make me?"

All of a sudden I had either the brightest idea ever or the stupidest. I quickly stood in between Amy and the boy and narrowed my eyes.

"Fine," I started, "play a game against us. The first one who gets to twenty wins, and the other team leaves."

"What about the ball?" demanded the boy.

"Well, it's Mei's," I pointed out. "If you don't give THAT back, I'll just have them call the police." Amy had already whipped her cell phone out.

The boy glared. "Fine."

We girls went onto our side. Amy whispered to me, "Jessie, that was ingenious! How on earth did you think of it?"

I chuckled. "Either it was ingenious or incredibly stupid. I just hope we don't get creamed."

"Are you kidding?" snorted Cara. "We're like the best team in the state!"

"Girls," I pointed out.

We started the game with Cara serving. As the game progressed, I could tell that the height on the other team was helping them. They were already winning 15 to 12. We had to do better, or else we were going to lose and not get to use the court.

Amy spiked it and the score went up to 15 to 13. She had been one of our lead scorers because she was like the tallest. Then Mei and another girl called Marie did a nice set and scored another point.

But then the guys took over and got another point, too. I was sure it was going to be pretty helpless. But we'd just have to play our best.

Finally, it was 19 to 18. Game point, with us losing.

We all huddled.

"We've got to come up with something that'll get us two more points," pointed out Cara desperately. "There's got to be something." She turned to me. "Jessie?"

I had only given us like three or four of our points, hardly a lead scorer. And yet she was turning towards me. I took a deep breath and outlined a shaky plan. They nodded. It would have to work, and then we would only have on chance to get yet another point.

It was our serve. Cara served it off, and of course the leader hit it. He was definitely the lead scorer on the other team. He sent it flying right towards an empty spot, which was quickly covered by Mei.

Mei faked towards Amy for just a second, where the boys started to look. Then she hit the ball with lightning speed, whipping it towards me. I quickly spiked.

We cheered and hugged.

We needed one more point.

Now they were guarding me and Amy. Mei finally scored the last point. We'd won!

"We won!" cried Cara, moving over to the net so that she was face-to-face with the leader with only the net between them. Her eyes narrowed. "Now leave."

They threw the ball at us and then left.

We'd won!!! =D How awesome is that???


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