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King of the Court [Chapter 18]

by InuYosha


c/w: drug abuse

It was Kingsley's own fault that the kid with jet black hair ran off. He's probably going to call the damn police now. Hopefully he doesn't, because I need the other kid.

Right before that kid ran off, Kingsley had met the 'other kid', who was a crying mess. The other kid said his name was Dwayne, but the second kid, of course, didn't introduce himself.

Kingsley knew he was just excited after meeting this 'Dwayne', and got too aggressive when meeting the other kid.

"My own fault," murmurs Kingsley, but he knows being an "independent supplier of unperscribed vitamins" is something that isn't the easiest to do. Most of the time, he isn't lucky enough to snatch a crying kid off the street, but that day he struck gold.

And that gold will definitely make his life better than before. Kingsley is sure of it. That's the reason why he does this, and he knows it. Those people are going to get addicted at some point in there lives anyways. It's just a fact of life. If they're are going to start abusing drugs anyway, then why shouldn't Kingsley make some money off of it? There's nothing wrong with that.

Because life is important. He should do anything he can to preserve his life and his life only.

~ ~ ~

Just do it. You know it'll be fine. Alex does it too.

Stop it! You know it's wrong! Don't do it!

Dwayne growls. This is what his life has turned into. The endless bouncing of voices in his head. Every time it gets quiet, his mind goes back to arguing about whether he should take those super-tablets.

"Dwayne, can you hear me?" asks a person whose name Dwayne can't remember. Oh right, he's in school. There's a teacher.

"Yes," replies Dwayne in a monotone voice. He lazily taps his pencil on the desk, not even glancing at Mr. Teacher-whose-name-Dwayne-can't-remember.

"Then would you please answer question number six?" the teacher says. Dwayne looks down at his paper, and he finds that he has no idea what the answer is.

"I . . . don't know," Dwayne replies, slinking down into his chair.

"If you really were paying attention, you would remember that I answered question number six for the class just a moment ago," the teacher replies.

The teacher lets that sink in while the entire class snickers. That's what I hate about teachers. Stupid, stupid teachers.

Somehow, Dwayne survives the entire class. After class, Dwayne is confronted by . . . someone whose name he can't remember. She seems familiar. I growing old? Why do I keep forgetting names?

"What's wrong with you?" Someone-whose-name-Dwayne-can't-remember raises an eyebrow.

"What do you mean?" Dwayne attempts to navigate around her, but she is simply too agile. With that speed . . . I wonder if she plays basketball.

"Wait, I know you!" Dwayne realizes, pointing at the girl standing in front of him. She stares at him dryly.

"And do you happen to know my name?" she asks.

"Uh . . ." She's Alex's sister, so maybe her name is . . . um . . . --"Alexandria!" Dwayne smiles at his ingenuity until he sees Alexandria's face and realizes that Alexandria is not her name at all.

"At least you made an attempt," not-Alexandria says, "Chris just asked if my name was 'Alex', as if everyone in our family is named 'Alex'."

"What is your name?" Dwayne ponders for a moment, before finally coming to the conclusion of, "Alexa!"

Not-Alexandria-nor-Alexa blinks for a moment, and finally asks, "Are all guys this stupid, or is it just Alex's basketball team?"

"Uh. Just us?"

"Weirdo. Okay, but anyways, my name isn't important. What's important is Alex begged me to keep an eye on you idiots considering he is a grade above you, and I'm in the same class as you, Chris, Spencer, and the Crazy Trio," not-Alexandria-nor-Alexa says.

"Their names are Brady, Hunter, and Josh!" Dwayne says proudly.

Not-Alexandria-nor-Alexa sighs, "So their names are a higher priority than mine. Anyways, what's wrong with you?"

"Nothing."

This seems to satisfy not-Alexandria-nor-Alexa, because she shrugs, "Alright."

As she begins to walk away, Dwayne asks, "Wait, what's your name again?"

"Not Alexandria nor Alexa," she replies, and Dwayne is left standing there wondering if he got the name right or not.

~ ~ ~

Not realizing it, Dwayne finds himself walking towards the meeting spot with that strange man from the day before.

"I need to do this," Dwayne decides, "Because my mind is going to explode if I don't."

Just like before, Dwayne turns the alley and finds a shadowy figure standing there. The darkness looms onto Dwayne, but he knows it's safe. He trusts this man.

"Is that you?" Dwayne asks tentatively.

The man's warm voice responds, "Yes, it's me. Have you made your decision?"

"Y-yes. I want one of those tablets," says Dwayne, "They're free for the first one right?"

"You are correct," the man hands a small unlabeled container to Dwayne, "I'll be waiting here tomorrow if you want more."

Dwayne stares at the container for a moment and then turns back to ask how much he's supposed to take, but the man is already gone.

~ ~ ~

Alex wants to go somewhere different for his evening stroll, but he seems drawn to the same place he went yesterday. Something tells him that he won't regret it.

He sees Dwayne, just like before, except this time, Dwayne is holding a small container. Dwayne is holding a small container.

Alex tenses up, feeling his feet move before his mind does.

. . .holding a small container.

Dwayne sees at Alex, but doesn't move. Alex's body moves on its' own as his right arm swings back, preparing for a powerful slap.

. . .a small container.

Alex furiously knocks the container out of Dwayne's hands and grabs his shoulders, "What are you doing?"

"Wh-wha?" Dwayne, who seems like he had just woken up, and seems to see Alex for the first time.

"What are you doing?" Alex growls, "Do you have any idea what could be in there?"

Dwayne stays silent for a moment. Then, he looks up and glares.

"I bet you know what's in there," he says with so much vitirol that Alex nearly forgets that this is Dwayne and not Chris.

"I . . . don't," Alex blinks, giving Dwayne an inquisitive look.

"Don't think I didn't notice!" Dwayne says, "You play basketball too good! You must have been doing something! And I finally figured it out! You take those super-tablets!"

"I have no idea what you're talking about!" Alex shouts, "I don't take illegal drugs for basketball! That's insane!"

Dwayne sneers, "Sure, you can hide it from me all you want, but I still know the truth."

Dwayne reaches down to pick up the container, when Alex steps on it, crushing everything underneath.

~ ~ ~

"No!" Dwayne screams, and finally, he explodes. He's keeping it away from me! He doesn't want me to be as tall as he is! Dwayne wheels on Alex and brings his fist back for a powerful punch. The punch lands right on Alex's stomach, but Alex doesn't budge.

Dwayne screams and bawls, punching Alex as hard as he can, but Alex stands still.

"Fight back! Fight back, you idiot!" Dwayne shouts. Alex simply places a hand on Dwayne's shoulder.

"I wouldn't punch a teammate," Alex says. Dwayne stares for a moment. He feels the entire world enclosing in on him. Everything he thought he knew began to dissolve.

'I won't punch a shorty like you.' That's what they told me. They didn't care if I was a threat or not. They didn't think of me as a worthy opponent. I picked fights with all the tall people. They all laughed at me. But Alex . . . he didn't laugh.

People like Alex aren't cool because they're tall. They're cool because they don't care if they're tall or not.

And suddenly, Dwayne regrets those years of despising those extremely tall people who were popular. He realizes that instead of bitching and moaning about others who were taller than him, that he should have believed in himself. Being short wasn't a curse.

"I-I'm sorry," Dwayne feels his eyes welling with tears, as he begins to sob. He leans on Alex with his eyes closed and his legs beginning to feel weak.

"Come on, Dwayne," Alex says, "Go to bed. Tomorrow, we have practice."

"Okay," Dwayne begins to walk away, but then he hears Alex say something else that makes him want to start sobbing again.

Alex smiles, "Let's show them how much of a giant you are on the court."


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Sun Sep 26, 2021 2:38 am
Que wrote a review...



Hi there InuYosha!

I saw your chapter lurking near the back of the Green Room, so I thought I'd come review for you today. :) Just a fair warning I have not read any of your other chapters, so a lot of my questions might already be answered!

It was Kingsley's own fault that the kid with jet black hair ran off. He's probably going to call the damn police now. Hopefully he doesn't, because I need the other kid.

Right before that kid ran off, Kingsley had met the 'other kid', who was a crying mess. The other kid said his name was Dwayne, but the second kid, of course, didn't introduce himself.

Kingsley knew he was just excited after meeting this 'Dwayne', and got too aggressive when meeting the other kid.

I think Mailicede covered what I was going to say about this, namely that the repetition of "other kid" is a little excessive here. But, one thing that I liked was the part in italics that represents Kingsley's thoughts here, as well as the quotation marks used around "this 'Dwayne'". I'm a new reader, but I feel like the way you've written this part has helped characterize Kingsley already!

And that gold will definitely make his life better than before. Kingsley is sure of it. That's the reason why he does this, and he knows it. Those people are going to get addicted at some point in there lives anyways. It's just a fact of life. If they're are going to start abusing drugs anyway, then why shouldn't Kingsley make some money off of it? There's nothing wrong with that.

Because life is important. He should do anything he can to preserve his life and his life only.

Whoa! Things are ramping up already. Tiny grammar thing here--it should be "their lives". I'm guessing this isn't the main character? I'm seeing a PoV change coming up so if this isn't your typical narrator, I love the way you're getting into his head and way of thinking here. It's really interesting to see the way he absolves himself of guilt and the way his priorities align! And I think it will be more interesting as I get to see the other characters...

Just do it. You know it'll be fine. Alex does it too.

Stop it! You know it's wrong! Don't do it!

Dwayne growls. This is what his life has turned into. The endless bouncing of voices in his head. Every time it gets quiet, his mind goes back to arguing about whether he should take those super-tablets.

"Dwayne, can you hear me?" asks a person whose name Dwayne can't remember. Oh right, he's in school. There's a teacher.

"Yes," replies Dwayne in a monotone voice. He lazily taps his pencil on the desk, not even glancing at Mr. Teacher-whose-name-Dwayne-can't-remember.

I like how this passage begins with a line of thinking that is related to the last passage, so the storyline is clear (even for a new reader!), and then I like also how it solidifies into a current time and place as Dwayne slowly comes back to himself. I think the "Mr. Teacher-whose-name-Dwayne-can't-remember" shows off some humor both in Dwayne's character and in your writing style. :)

The teacher lets that sink in while the entire class snickers. That's what I hate about teachers. Stupid, stupid teachers.

Oooof. Poor Dwayne. I thought that maybe these lines could have a little more depth to them, or a little description. I'm not sure if it's in Dwayne's character to repeat "stupid" twice as he does here, but I think that stuck out to me as being a little underpowered. Then again, something does seem to be up with Dwayne, so who knows!

Somehow, Dwayne survives the entire class. After class, Dwayne is confronted by . . . someone whose name he can't remember. She seems familiar. I growing old? Why do I keep forgetting names?

"What's wrong with you?" Someone-whose-name-Dwayne-can't-remember raises an eyebrow.

Oh dear, something is happening! aaah I hope he's okay eep!

"Weirdo. Okay, but anyways, my name isn't important. What's important is Alex begged me to keep an eye on you idiots considering he is a grade above you, and I'm in the same class as you, Chris, Spencer, and the Crazy Trio," not-Alexandria-nor-Alexa says.

This is a really brief segment with this character, but it feels strange to have her actively not give her name and state that it isn't important. I think my instinct would be to indignantly give my name in a situation like this before moving on to the important things -- then maybe Dwayne forgets it again a second later.

"Y-yes. I want one of those tablets," says Dwayne, "They're free for the first one right?"

"You are correct," the man hands a small unlabeled container to Dwayne, "I'll be waiting here tomorrow if you want more."

Dwayne stares at the container for a moment and then turns back to ask how much he's supposed to take, but the man is already gone.

oh noooo
Little thing here but did the man (Kingsley?) give him a single tablet or several? In terms of effects I'd think it would take a little while/multiple doses to have an effect (although to be fair I have no idea what kind of drug this is), but in terms of price/the "first one" being free, it would make more sense to have it be a single tablet, with the point being that Dwayne wouldn't need to question the dosage if it's only one.

Alex wants to go somewhere different for his evening stroll, but he seems drawn to the same place he went yesterday. Something tells him that he won't regret it.

He sees Dwayne, just like before, except this time, Dwayne is holding a small container. Dwayne is holding a small container.

Mailicede noted this part already, but I just wanted to say that here as in general you could have some more description. Are they in a neighborhood? City, park? You're very good at jumping right into the action and getting to the key points, but it's also a good idea to linger sometimes and add detail. You don't need entire descriptive paragraphs for sure, but you can just add some little lines of description here and there to spice things up, especially since a lot of your plot is focused on dialogue and thoughts/actions of characters.

"I have no idea what you're talking about!" Alex shouts, "I don't take illegal drugs for basketball! That's insane!"

Dwayne sneers, "Sure, you can hide it from me all you want, but I still know the truth."

Dwayne reaches down to pick up the container, when Alex steps on it, crushing everything underneath.

OOF -- conflict!!

"No!" Dwayne screams, and finally, he explodes. He's keeping it away from me! He doesn't want me to be as tall as he is! Dwayne wheels on Alex and brings his fist back for a powerful punch. The punch lands right on Alex's stomach, but Alex doesn't budge.

Dwayne screams and bawls, punching Alex as hard as he can, but Alex stands still.

"Fight back! Fight back, you idiot!" Dwayne shouts. Alex simply places a hand on Dwayne's shoulder.

"I wouldn't punch a teammate," Alex says. Dwayne stares for a moment. He feels the entire world enclosing in on him. Everything he thought he knew began to dissolve.

I really like what you did here. <3 Again, I don't know these characters very well, and I've just barely seen Alex, but immediately I can feel the contrast between Dwayne's bitterness and anger and then Alex's mild statement of "I wouldn't punch a teammate." I absolutely LOVE how calm and gentle he is, it was completely unexpected but it works so well. :) Nice nice job on this.

Alex smiles, "Let's show them how much of a giant you are on the court."

<3 <3 <3 So wholesome :') I love it

Just a super quick note that you have some minor language (d*** and b****ing) so you might want to give this chapter a 12+ rating based on the Content Ratings Guidelines.

Other than that, really nice job on this chapter! As a first-time reader, I don't know where this fits with your overall plot arc, but I think that you've done a really nice job on this chapter and I like the themes that you're exploring here. :) Some of your strengths here are your humor, your quick-paced dialogue and action, and your character moments. I'd be happy to review some of your other chapters if you'd like, just let me know! Good luck with you writing, and have a great day!

-Q




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Tue Jul 27, 2021 8:17 pm
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MailicedeNamedy wrote a review...



Hi InuYosha,

Mailice here with a short review! :D

Already in chapter 18. I have forgotten, that we are so far into the story. So let´s start:

The fact that Dwayne is really thinking before he even starts is something I really like. It not only gives his character the weakness to do something illegal to win, but also shows the strength and good conscience in him to help stop it. Like the little angel and the little devil on both shoulders.

I particularly like the fact that he has to be rescued from his deep path of thought by a teacher and the reader learns that he is at school. I thought that gave the previous scene a lot more unease. What I particularly liked about the scene was also this simplicity in the school class. I felt like I was sitting there (not as Dwayne :D). I suppose in every school there is a teacher like that and a pupil like that. I've witnessed this kind of thing more often, even as a tutor.

The fact that Dwayne forgets many names either shows that he has been smoking too much weed or that he is so conflicted in his own world that he can no longer perceive anything. I like this detail. Dwayne goes back. Oh my God! Dwayne don't do that. You've already let me down big time with this one. But I like that he assumes that Kingsley is like a pharmacy where he can get all the information he needs. You really portrayed this point very well - very realistically - how Dwayne is completely away from the actual world in tunnel vision and only has one thing on his mind.

I liked the ending and that it was told from Alex's POV (although I would have liked to read it from Dwayne's POV). The way you did the repetition with Alex's train of thought felt like an echo and I liked his reaction. Alex really cares about his team. I liked how it took Dwayne a while to get out of that point. I'm very happy about that and yet sceptical that he doesn't seem backslidden in some way. You did a good job of portraying what he's thinking and feeling, and he realises that's wrong too.

Some other points I caught during reading:

It was Kingsley's own fault that the kid with jet black hair ran off. He's probably going to call the damn police now. Hopefully he doesn't, because I need the other kid.
Right before that kid ran off, Kingsley had met the 'other kid', who was a crying mess. The other kid said his name was Dwayne, but the second kid, of course, didn't introduce himself.
Kingsley knew he was just excited after meeting this 'Dwayne', and got too aggressive when meeting the other kid.

I usually don´t put three whole paragraphs as a quote, but as they need to be together, I thought, why not? So, first off, I like how start already. It's a quick recall of the previous chapter, and I also like that you didn't take so long to explain a lot more. I also noticed that you named the dealer Kingsley. I looked at the last chapter again, but the guy didn't have a name then. I think that because several new characters appeared in the last chapters, where the reader is still supposed to remember the name, you should rewrite the beginning a bit so that people know who Kingsley is right away. Then I have to say that these three sections read a bit repetitive. It's like going in circles here because you manage to insert "kid" seven times. Especially the beginning with the "ran off" and the train of thought seem repetitive. I would rewrite it a bit like this:
“He´s probably going to call the damn police now. Hopefully he doesn't because I need the other one. Kingsley was standing alone in the shadows and was angry about himself. He knew that he was too excited after meeting this “Dwayne” and got too aggressive when meeting the second visitor. Right before the kid ran off, Kingsley had met the boy called Dwayne, who was a crying mess.”

This is just an example here, but I think it gives your introduction more oomph. :D

If they're are going to start abusing drugs anyway, then why shouldn't Kingsley make some money off of it?

This is something I always wonder about drug dealers, because when the addicts are too addicted, there starts a point where the dealers can only sell their drugs on credit, and the money rarely arrives. I think there has to be something like a middle ground, to keep the addict hooked until you let him back in the water.

Mr. Teacher-whose-name-Dwayne-can't-remember.

Yeah, I know him. That was this English Teacher I had in 10th grade.

I growing old?

Is here an “am” missing or is this some sort of abbreviation of the youth?

"Uh . . ." She's Alex's sister, so maybe her name is . . . um . . . --"Alexandria!" Dwayne smiles at his ingenuity until he sees Alexandria's face and realizes that Alexandria is not her name at all.

As much as I like this joke, I would stay with only two Alexandria´s and remove the third one to replace it with “she”. So after the meeting - do we got the name already of her? I don´t think so.

Alex wants to go somewhere different for his evening stroll, but he seems drawn to the same place he went yesterday. Something tells him that he won't regret it.

I would add some more details here. What else is his evening stroll, where does he go, does he change his route daily, etc?

Overall, it was a very great chapter. There was just a difficult start at the beginning, but I found it to be a very clearly character-driven chapter for Dwayne and Alex.
So how should I call you? Inu, is that all right? It´s a bit hard to pronounce it with all the syllables in it. At least for me .:D Strange question to ask at the end of a review.

Have fun writing!

Mailice




InuYosha says...


i wrote a long reply for this but for some reason it keeps on destroying itself



InuYosha says...


anyhow tysm for the review, um

lets see

1. that thing u mentioned about the devil and the angel-- i drew that once actually haha

2. "I growing old?" is a typo. Never heard of an abbreviation like that.

3. call me yosh ^_^



InuYosha says...


(also, yeah that was WAY too many 'kid's LOL but i mean kingsley kinda groups them all into one category: kid)




Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity.
— Charles Mingus