This year I launched a fun project on Twitter, challenging myself to tell a story in a series of twenty five daily tweets in the run up to Christmas. In order to celebrate the end of Tweetmas and to say thank you to those of you who followed along and showed your support, I’ve bundled up the entire story and posted it here. I had a blast with this project and I hope you all are having a wonderful holiday season. Here is the final story, Soccer Punch:
Spectator cocoa steam wafted above the cleat-clad ark lineup but Jill’s whistle was frozen in her lips.
Desperate for warmth, she scanned the sidelines looking for a familiar face. That’s when she saw him.
Flint McConnell, the goalie’s older brother, was there, his michaelangelic jawline nestled in a thick wool scarf.
Al, Jill’s 43 year old partner, screeched his whistle, starting the game, and the parents erupted in shouts. But not Flint.
With his hands in the pockets of his North Face, Flint watched the game in silent interest. Jill hoped he was watching her too.
She blushed red against her bumblebee uniform and reconsidered as the cold wind brought a brackish dribble to her nose.
Utilizing Al’s suggested tissue pack, Jill turned her attention back to the game, trying to focus on the next two hours of work.
The Blue Bobcats dribbled down a frosty sideline only to be thwarted by the Red Rubies, who took possession in a clustered coup.
Jill did suicides, keeping up with the action. Then the ball flew over to her side and that’s where the slide tackle happened.
Jill blew her whistle and directed the play, feeling powerful in her role of authority. Maybe Flint would admire her leadership.
She stole a glance and realized he was staring right at her. Her body, warm from running, grew even warmer with his attention.
This had to be perfect. She freed one gloved hand and prepared to flip her cold, glossy ponytail.
As she raised her pale palm past the top of her white spandex turtleneck, his eyes widened.
She looked him dead on, a smile on her purple lips. With a single hair flip, she had the entire sideline staring at her in awe.
Cheers arose from the crowd. Jill, still looking at Flint, confidently slipped her hand back into the burrow of her glove.
She took a stride, basking in the warmth of their attention. Then the flying soccer ball whacked her in the face.
Hot, sticky embarrassment engulfed her. Despite the subzero weather, Jill began to sweat under the suffocating heat.
Al blew his whistle and urged her to ask a coach for ice. Jill hung her injured head and tried to skirt the staring eyes.
The game started up again. The longer Jill sat out, the more the cold returned to her, mixing with her unease.
She was so stupid! Distracted by a boy who didn’t even know her name. Shame mingled with the icy sweat that clung from her pores.
She snuck a peek down the sideline. A bunch of parents stood in line at the snack stand. Sure enough, Flint had fled the scene.
Jill cursed herself. In an instant, she had gone from his sister’s referee to the freak with a dent in her head.
She knew she would never be able to live this moment down. She knew she had blown her only chance to impress him.
Then a voice addressed her from behind. Cautiously, Jill turned, awaiting the heckles of a player’s scrappy younger brother.
But there was Flint holding two hot chocolates. He offered her a warm smile and one of the steaming paper cups.