Young Writers Society

Home » Literary works » Novel / Chapter » Realistic

E - Everyone

King of the Court [Chapter 16]

by InuYosha


Colin pokes Alex.

Colin pokes Alex again.

Colin pokes Alex for the third time. Or is it the fourth?

"Alex! I'm poking you!" shouts Colin furiously, repeatedly stabbing his fingers into Alex's upper back.

Alex doesn't even turn around. He simply continues staring at the tournament bracket paper. Who knew he could be so quiet? Had it been at least an hour ago that he was guffawing at Dwayne's bruises, and the fact that Dwayne wouldn't admit to why he had those bruises?

"Alex!"

"I'm fully aware that your finger is jabbing me in the back," Alex says in a monotone voice to the point where Colin feels he's doing this on purpose.

"Chris! Help me!" pleads Colin as he swivels around to Chris, but Chris doesn't budge either. After a moment of silence, Chris answers Colin's question by flipping a page in his book.

Colin stomps over to Chris, and looks at what book he's reading.

One Hundred Years of Solitude.

"Well, he might just as well be in one hundred years of solitude," grumbles Colin. He wheels around, facing Dwayne, but doesn't even bother to ask, because Dwayne is sleeping.

"Has the whole world just frozen in time?" screams Colin, slumping back in his chair in a dramatic "giving-up" way.

The door to Spencer's room opens, and Spencer enters, "Are you guys okay? Anyone want coffee?"

"Me," Chris replies.

"Me," Alex replies.

"Coffee?" exclaims Colin, "Drinking coffee at this young of an age can disrupt your circadian rhythm and develop into addiction!"

Even so, Spencer gives Colin an apologetic look and leaves to prepare the coffee.

"Circle Aiden what?" Dwayne inquires groggily, finally woken up. Colin wonders why Spencer even invited the entire team here. Chris came to read. Dwayne came to sleep. Alex came to violently stare at the tournament bracket paper.

"Circadian rhythm," corrects Chris, placing a bookmark in his book, "It basically means your sleep cycle."

Alex finally turns from the bracket, "We're facing Jackson Wills in our next match."

"Is that the name of a person?" Dwayne wonders, and then he stands to ask Alex, "And why are we facing one person instead of a team?"

Chris snickers, "Jackson Wills is the name of the school, idiot."

"Oh," Dwayne sits back down. Colin finds it amusing that Dwayne seems unfazed by any insult or physical pain. Even when Chris's insults are more insulting than 'idiot', Dwayne doesn't seem to care.It's different in some situations, though. Any time someone labels Dwayne as 'short', he explodes in fury, and the offender ends up facing his wrath. Marble Creek already knows not to use the 'S word' around Dwayne.

"What's special about them?" asks Spencer, sitting down with the coffee, "Will they be like Saint Helena?"

"No. Definitely not," Alex replies, "Saint Helena shouldn't have been a strong team, but it had a prodigy and a strong center. That's the basic foundation for a terrifying team. Jackson Wills is different. They are a much more . . . normal team, I would say."

"What does that mean? Are they weak?" asks Spencer. He hands the coffee to Chris and Alex.

"Definitely not," Colin replies, "When Alex said 'normal', he simply meant that the team itself relies more on fundamentals and traditional techniques.

"English please?" Spencer gives a confused smile.

Chris grins, "Basically, they're the opposite of us and Saint Helena."

"Yeah . . ." Alex sighs, "Saint Helena uses a focused solo attack with intense offensive rebounding, while we also use a similar strategy."

Colin smiles. He likes this about Alex. The way Alex isn't afraid or shy of admitting that he's good. The way Alex talks about his talent normally without being a braggart.

Ding Dong.

Spencer perks up, "Huh. Someone rang the doorbell."

"Better not be Jacob," growls Chris, "I told him not to follow."

Colin listens as Spencer stomps down the creaky stairs down to the first floor. A minute later, Spencer comes back up, grinning

"I looked through the hole in the door. There's a girl out there," Spencer says, "I think Dwayne should open it."

"Why?", Dwayne asks, suspicious, then he seems to realize, "Oh . . . you're too shy to do it, and you want me to do it, I see."

"She . . ." Spencer pauses for a dramatic effect, ". . . was wearing basketball attire."

Suddenly, Dwayne, who was about to march out of the room, stops in place and sits back down, "Nevermind."

Alex laughs, "Still scared they're gonna beat you up?"

"They did not beat me up!" protests Dwayne.

"Really?" Alex counters, "And you said the bruises were from . . . what again?"

"All right, all right," Colin stands up, "I'll just answer the door."

Colin slowly steps down the stairs and goes through a hallway towards the door. Spencer's house is actually quite large even though he has no siblings. After Colin opens the door, he sees a relatively short girl, although a bit taller than Dwayne, and has jet black hair, strikingly similar to Alex. However, the thing that scares him the most about this girl is the eyes. It's as if she's not just staring at him, but staring into him and through him.

"Are you just gonna stare at me?" the girl asks, taking two steps forward and pointing an accusing finger at Colin, "Where's your captain?"

"Wh-wha-wh-wh-what? Captain, yes, um he's upstairs," Colin stutters, "How'd you know we were here?"

"Some tall guy told us you'd be here," the girl replies. Colin nods. Either she is referring to Jacob . . . or a stalker.

"Uh, I'm Colin," Colin says, placing a hand out in front of him for a handshake. The girl ignores him and walks straight past him and up the stairs.

"H-hey, you can't just barge in like that!" Colin follows her up the stairs. Colin hears the girl say 'Hi', which is followed by a series of crashing noises-- either the result of her stomping around, or the result of Dwayne falling off his chair upon seeing a player from the girls' basketball team. Maybe both.

Colin gets upstairs just in time to hear Alex say, "Thea? What are you doing here?"

The girl, who Colin supposes is the one named Thea, replies, "Come on! There are these suspicious looking weirdos outside the gym and Bella sent me out the back door to get the boys' basketball team to scare them away!"

"Why doesn't the girls' basketball team scare them away themselves," mumbles Dwayne.

"Oh hey, you're the weirdo in the gym yesterday!" Thea says, excited, "Can I kick you again?"

"Woah, woah, woah," Alex stands up, "No kicking. I'll come with you. Do you all want to come?"

Colin shrugs, "Sure."

Dwayne sits back, "No thank you."

Chris gives no response, and Spencer also decides to stay.

"Looks like just me and you," Colin says as Alex and Thea start down the stairs.

They walk a few blocks down, since Spencer lives really close to the school. They go into the gym through the back door. Immediately, Colin is hit by a huge sense of power he had never felt before.

The girls' team's practice is like nothing he'd ever seen. He had thought the boys' team practices were well coordinated, but the girls' team had at least ten times more people. On one side of the court, players are playing a scrimmage, while some frequently switching off. On the other side, less experienced players practice rebounding, layups, passing, and dribbling.

A tall and slightly muscular girl walks up to them, "Just two of them?

"Bella, there are only five of them total," Thea crosses her arms, "And none of them look very intimidating anyways, except for Alex, but only when he's sad."

"Sad?" Alex inquires.

"Mind your businiess," Thea shoots back at him.

"Anyways, do they confront the door knockers?" Thea asks, turning back to Bella.

"Sure," Bella replies, and points to the front double doors, "Watch your step. I think someone spilled their water.

Colin and Alex walked around the court and went to the double doors. They opened it up, and sure enough there were three guys sitting out there, but they didn't look as scary as Colin predicted. In fact, they actually looked like they were from school. Colin had expected tall men with short, cropped hair and black attire and suitcases.

Two of them were sitting down. The other seemed to be collapsed on the ground.

"You guys?" Alex exclaims, "Come on in, and get Josh some water or something. I think he's having a heatstroke."

The collapsed guy, who is probably Josh, gets up, "I'm fine. Just tired. Anyways, it was about time someone opened the door. We were about to leave."

"Who are they?" Colin asks.

"They used to be on the boys' basketball team. Josh, Hunter, and Brady," explains Alex, pointing at each one left to right.

"We're here to re-join!" says Hunter. He flicks his long, brown hair back.

"We couldn't stand watching you idiots play with a five-man team, so we're going to play with you kids now!" declares Brady, who has so little hair up on his head that Colin can barely tell if his hair is blonde, white, or nonexistent. Brady has slightly wider shoulders than the other two in the trio, although Josh is the tallest.

"You're joking," Alex blinks, "Didn't you all quit?"

"Well, we're back! Sorry for abandoning you, bro," Brady replies. He ruffles Alex's hair, which is definitely something Colin would never do, but surprisingly, Alex doesn't react. He simply nods.

"All right. We need more players anyways. And by the way, you're not the captain anymore. I am," says Alex, "And we have a college student as a coach, so we're not in great shape."

"Where is Jacob anyways? Haven't seen him in a while," Colin wonders.

"He still has a life, you know," Alex grins, "He is a college student after all. He's majoring in computer science, I think."

"All right," Brady says, "Since the girls have the gym, where do we go?"

"Spencer's house. He's one of the players. Just go down Stanton street a few blocks and turn left on Wildemont. He's the one with the white, two-story house and two small trees in the front yard," Alex says.

"Got it. Where will you be?" asks Josh.

"In the gym. I'm going to attempt to negotiate a mutally agreed practice schedule for both teams," says Alex ruefully, "But I might come back with a black eye or two."

"Yeah, I think they only let us in because they wanted us to help them," Colin chuckles.

"Alright, Colin, you can go with them," Alex says, "I've got this handled."

"What are you two still doing in here?" shouts Thea from the court, as she charges toward the two of them. Josh, Hunter, and Brady had already left, probably precognitively sensing the danger.

"Who is she anyways?" Colin asks, "You two seem very familiar with each other."

"She's my little sister," Alex sighs, "See you soon, Colin."

He closes the door and Colin flinches as he hears crashing noises from inside. No need to ask what's happening.

Dwayne and Alex are unfortunately in the same club now.


Note: You are not logged in, but you can still leave a comment or review. Before it shows up, a moderator will need to approve your comment (this is only a safeguard against spambots). Leave your email if you would like to be notified when your message is approved.







Is this a review?


  

Comments



User avatar
239 Reviews


Points: 21849
Reviews: 239

Donate
Thu Aug 26, 2021 12:17 pm
RandomTalks wrote a review...



Hey!

I noticed your work has been in the Green Room for a while, so I am here to bump it out. Unfortunately, I haven't read the previous chapters, so forgive me if I don't always get the context.

What I really liked about this was the general lightness to it. It feels like a natural scene that is going on and does not need any superficial or too dramatic element to wrap it up. There were many characters in this chapter and of course I am not familiar with them so it was a little difficult to keep up. Strangely I had no trouble following the general plot of the chapter. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that this chapter consists mostly of dialogue. Maybe if you add in a little more scene description or character exploration then it would be different. Still I loved the dialogues between the various characters, so I am not complaining. It was humorous at points and very entertaining, and at no point did I find it boring. You maintain a steady pace and you stick with the flow throughout. Maybe that was also why I did not have trouble following the plot without really knowing it.

Some other points I noticed:

Had it been at least an hour ago that he was guffawing at Dwayne's bruises, and the fact that Dwayne wouldn't admit to why he had those bruises?


This sentence is phrased a little awkwardly and I think if you reconstruct it like this, it would work a lot better: "Had it been already been an hour since he was guffawing at Dwayne's bruises, and the fact that Dwayne wouldn't admit to why he had those bruises?"

Colin wonders why Spencer even invited the entire team here. Chris came to read. Dwayne came to sleep. Alex came to violently stare at the tournament bracket paper.

I found this part really humorous as well as interesting as it tells us something about these characters in a light and fun manner. It is really good technique to include information in this way.

"Looks like just me and you," Colin says as Alex and Thea start down the stairs.

The dialogue here should be "Looks like 'it's' just me and you." You have the 'it's' missing.

"Bella, there are only five of them total," Thea crosses her arms,

It should be "only five of them 'in' total". You have the 'in' missing.

That's all I noticed.

This was a really nice chapter on it's own. Maybe someday I will get to reading this from the start. Until then, keep up the good work and have a great day!




InuYosha says...


Thank you for the review!



User avatar
790 Reviews


Points: 82958
Reviews: 790

Donate
Mon Jun 28, 2021 6:14 pm
MailicedeNamedy wrote a review...



Hi InuYosha,

Mailice here with a short review! :D

This was again a very unique chapter in its way. It seems like you are trying to get more into the plot here and introduce new characters. I think it seems well written and I also enjoyed getting to know the new characters. I think, however, some could do with a bit more description of their appearance to give a better picture.

The chapter doesn't feel crammed, although there is a lot going on that day with Alex and co. I liked the conversations, which showed me that the characters already know each other well and the shenanigans they have with each other I also find well staged. You notice more and more a development into a real team. Before, they were more of a group, but now you can see that they are pulling more in the same direction.

But I didn't like your transitions so much. For example, the one where Alex goes to the gym and you describe Spencer living close to the school. I see it as if you tied two chairs together with a rope, but the knot isn't strong enough to hold it, so it breaks apart. I think either you remove such "transitions" and add a new paragraph with dash in between so the reader realizes that a short time jump has been taken over, or you expand at those transitions and add "new ropes to tie the two chairs together."

Otherwise, as I said, I liked the chapter. I liked that the content was so much and the plot showed a great reveal. Most of all, I liked that you saw two sides (if not three) of him. Firstly, the point of how he attunes himself towards his team, and secondly, towards Hunter and co. It's like a shift where Alex rises to the top, and realises that it makes him "smaller". I like that.

Other points that struck me:

Who knew he could be so quiet? Had it been at least an hour ago that he was guffawing at Dwayne's bruises, and the fact that Dwayne wouldn't admit to why he had those bruises?

I find your second question here a little oddly posed because it definitely feels like it needs to be asked separately to the rest of the sentence.

"I'm fully aware that your finger is jabbing me in the back," Alex says in a monotone voice to the point where Colin feels he's doing this on purpose.

I like how Alex is the calm himself here. Definitely a good way to be a leader of a team.

One Hundred Years of Solitude.

The internet told me what kind of book it was and I was able to read the first few pages. Have you read it?

He wheels around, facing Dwayne, but doesn't even bother to ask, because Dwayne is sleeping.

Until now, for example, the reader didn't really have a clue where the friends were. To me it still seemed like maybe they were at the gym or something, then there was the moment that Dwayne is sleeping. A good way to not tell the reader where you are, but still insert it indirectly, would be if you described a little bit at the beginning of the chapter (or after poking) what the place where they are look like. What does the room look like? What is striking about it? Where is the group spread out? These questions would certainly give the reader a picture, but still not everything, because they are now wondering where they are. Which house is it? Etc... You could also give hints that point to Spencer, for example.

Chris snickers, "Jackson Wills is the name of the school, idiot."

One of those moments I like very much because it highlights Chris aka Stickman but also the point where I ask if he knows this himself or is just pretending. Since he's reading an interesting book, I think he already has a clue about it. I love that he seems smarter than he pretends to be sometimes.

“Definitely not," Colin replies, "When Alex said 'normal', he simply meant that the team itself relies more on fundamentals and traditional techniques.

I thought of "normal" more as something else. (I had the impression they were talking about the team being different; so I thought that it was a girls' team). But anyway, the inverted commas at the end are missing here.

"English please?" Spencer gives a confused smile.

I think there is a comma needed after the “English”.

Ding Dong.

I'm already in chapter 16 of your story. I can see that you have made progress on some points, but there is still one thing that sometimes makes me wonder if Alex and Co. are not the last people on earth. Your story has many moments where it comes alive and is exciting but based on the few descriptions, the overall picture is a little jarring. It's as if the characters are floating through empty space.
I chose this point because it would have been the perfect opportunity to introduce Spencer's house here. At least the rooms Alex saw, the hallway and maybe briefly peeked into a living room or something. That's something I still miss about your story, of course, it's not necessary, but I think it's about time you tried new methods as well. Because you already proved that in this chapter, that you have a will to do so. :D
When you write, what do you see? Do you see Alex and Co. Sitting somewhere? Do you see what the weather is like? Because the reader doesn't see that. The reader has to imagine for themselves the objects, smells, places, other NPCs. Would you present this (For example, in the sense of describing the house, or on the way to the gym (what does Alex see there? How does he behave? Is there a pigeon flying around somewhere? Are there children playing with the ball in the street? Etc...)) With things like this, it sometimes helps to sit down somewhere where there are people and observe them to see the world a little bit. That's how you create your reality and your liveliness in the story. If it's a game, you can leave it out, of course, but like in this chapter, it seems doll's house-ish. I would be pleased if you would try to insert such small passages, even if only as "placeholders", which are not for your story. (For example, use the opportunity to observe the people outside and describe that. :D)

Spencer's house is actually quite large even though he has no siblings.

It is colder at night than outside. When you have recognised what sounds strange in this sentence, you will also see what is strange in yours. :D It doesn't make sense that way, even if it is used as a kind of rhetorical device (alogism), this sentence seems unnecessary and rather bizarre.

"Why doesn't the girls' basketball team scare them away themselves," mumbles Dwayne.

Dwayne is posing a question without a question mark. :D

"Oh hey, you're the weirdo in the gym yesterday!"

I don't know if this is right or not, but it sounds so strange. Shouldn't it be "from the gym"? Or is this some kind of dialect you're building up here?

"And none of them look very intimidating anyways, except for Alex, but only when he's sad."

I don´t know why, but this was funny to read. :D

"Well, we're back! Sorry for abandoning you, bro," Brady replies. He ruffles Alex's hair, which is definitely something Colin would never do, but surprisingly, Alex doesn't react. He simply nods.

Here is one of those points where I find Alex so interesting and where you manage to portray his character great. These new traits that you see in him make him more adult but still a child. I like this conflict.

Just go down Stanton street

The „street“ has to be capitalized.

"She's my little sister," Alex sighs, "See you soon, Colin."

That's the biggest revelation I've read in this chapter and I think in your story in general. I'm no longer sure if it was implied except for the brief point where Alex said he had a brother (was that in the last chapter?). In any case, I find it a very interesting revelation and would find it very exciting if you could learn more about Thea. (There hasn't been much so far). Alex seemed to mention that in passing, as if he wasn't that interested in introducing his family. But here I go back a bit further; wasn't it mentioned at some point that he lives alone / not with his parents? Or am I on the completely wrong track there? Definitely my highlight in this chapter! :D

I feel like I went into too much detail about some things and left out others, but somehow the review seems so long now. Well, all in all, it was a great chapter. As written, I like your new method here and it worked well in many places! :D

Have fun writing!

Mailice




InuYosha says...


Heyo! Thanks for the review! ^_^

The internet told me what kind of book it was and I was able to read the first few pages. Have you read it?


ah yes, I read a few pages as well. It's actually supposed to be a really good book, but I never had the patience to push through those huge paragraphs. I did read a bit of it though!

That's the biggest revelation I've read in this chapter and I think in your story in general. I'm no longer sure if it was implied except for the brief point where Alex said he had a brother (was that in the last chapter?). In any case, I find it a very interesting revelation and would find it very exciting if you could learn more about Thea. (There hasn't been much so far). Alex seemed to mention that in passing, as if he wasn't that interested in introducing his family. But here I go back a bit further; wasn't it mentioned at some point that he lives alone / not with his parents? Or am I on the completely wrong track there? Definitely my highlight in this chapter! :D


Ahaha yeah I feel like Alex's personal life is like an ongoing mystery in here, and to be frank, I really have no idea what to do with it. Thea was a fun start, I would say, I guess I will try to put his older brother somewhere here (he DOES have an older brother hehe). Same thing with the other players.

Thanks for the review! :D :D :D



User avatar
18 Reviews


Points: 41
Reviews: 18

Donate
Sun Jun 27, 2021 10:07 pm
HJYoung says...



Jesus Christ Yoshi your still going at these!? 16 Chapters jeez I remember when there were like 4




InuYosha says...


Thank you! Haha I really had to persevere ^_^



HJYoung says...


Sure seems like it. Keep writing!



User avatar
18 Reviews


Points: 41
Reviews: 18

Donate
Sun Jun 27, 2021 10:07 pm
HJYoung says...



No reviews from me sadly😬





Nothing says criminal activity like strong bones. ;)
— Magebird