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E - Everyone

King of the Court [Chapter 11]

by InuYosha


A/n: I finally drew up some official art! Observe: Dwayne is towering above Chris, who is glaring at Dwayne (like usual), and Dwayne's feet is one 'Chris-head' higher than Chris's feet!

Jacob had called the four of them into the locker room to talk about something. Alex was left outside to warm up.

"What is it?" Dwayne asks, scratching his dyed blonde head.

"I hope all of you know by now that Alex is . . . a bit abnormal," Jacob says, looking around at the four of them.

"Yeah, we know that," Chris sighs, "Can we leave now?"

"Will you stop being so impatient?" Jacob says.

Seething, Chris glares at the floor, because he'd probably be called out for disrespect if he glares at Jacob.

"Anyways," Jacob continues, "As I was saying before I was rudely interrupted, Alex is a bit abnormal. He doesn't practice basketball like the rest of you do."

"How does he?" Spencer asks. Dwayne is specifically staring at Jacob, with his eyes shining, most likely wondering how he could be like Alex.

"Alex goes through intense athletic training to be that skilled, but it's not good for his growing body. Of course, he does . . . other things, but that's for him to choose to reveal," Jacob says.

"That's impossible," says Colin, "He's still a middle-schooler!"

"How else do you think Alex knew what other exercise facilities are in this complex? How do you think he knew how much people visited and what quality they were?" Jacob counters.

"He's got a point," Spencer says.

"What point?" Dwayne stands up, eyes angry, "I don't see any point in this other than getting rubbed in our faces that Alex is ten times as good as us! We are allowed to try, too!"

"That's what I'm talking about. What Alex does is unhealthy," Jacob motions for Dwayne to sit down, "For a middle-schooler to go through what most adults can't handle is terrible. Don't hurt your bodies by trying to be like him."

"That's not fair! If he can do it, we should do it, too!" Dwayne argues.

"No," Jacob says firmly, "Don't do it. Also, the game's about to start again. Get warmed up."

Everyone in a worse mood from which they came in the locker room, exits the room.

When the game starts again, Chris is genuinely surprised. Dwayne is less sad then earlier. He suspects this is because Dwayne immediately feels replenished when there's any sort of crowd. Attention seeker, sniffs Chris.

However, there's also something different that Chris notices from the beginning. Alex and Dwayne are working together in a smart way. Alex breaks past Saint Helena's defense with full speed, while Dwayne stays behind to defend against any steals from Alex.

After a few minutes, however, it's obvious the entire team is exhausted. Well, actually, the entire team is exhausted except for Spencer, who apparently barely feels a thing.

When the third quarter nears its end, Chris is breathing heavily. He can feel the air breathing through him as he's breathing the air. He can feel that no matter how many times he gasps, he just won't be able to regain his breath.

"Chris!" Colin shouts from somewhere. From the direction, Chris looks up and sees a ball speeding towards him. He stumbles backward before the ball hits him, and he grabs the ball, reducing the force. However, he can feel how strong that pass was. Did Colin really do that?

Chris glances around for red. Just any red color. Although he is tired beyond sanity, he still knows to just throw to the red. The goal. The hoop is always red.

His eyes land on the bright red. Like a stop sign. Stop. Slow down. Think before you shoot.

Chris calms down, and notices a defender coming towards him. He does a pump fake, where he pretends to shoot, and then ducks around the defender. From there, Chris jumps as high as he can, remembering the times when people asked him if he played center because of that height.

Chris throws the ball.

It sails higher and higher and higher. When the ball reaches the apex of its flight, it begins to fall. Sinking and sinking and sinking through the air. The unforgivable air that won't let Chris breathe.

But something is wrong. Chris sees the ball bounce off the red. As if the red is mad at him. Strange.

In a blink, Dwayne is up near the red, and he grabs the ball. Mid-air, and right next to the red, Dwayne drops the ball into the red, and through the white.

Score.

And that's when Chris slams onto the court with a thud, finally overpowered by pure exhaustion and stress.


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258 Reviews


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Sat Jun 12, 2021 3:27 pm
Plume wrote a review...



Hey there! Plume here, with a review!

Ooh, this was a great chapter!! I really liked the information you gave us, that ending was just SPECTACULAR, and the drawing helped tie it in together really nicely!

One thing I really enjoyed about this section was the ending. I think I've said this before, but you're really good at writing things as they're in the moment. You use really short but effective sentences that just draw the reader along with them in such a great way. I love the super simple paragraphs you have, some that are one sentence (Chris throws the ball) and even some that are just one word (Score). They're really great to reflect the tone of the moment, and it works so well. I feel a lot of the time, people get laden down with too much prose to describe all of the tiny details happening, but you get right to the point and made the writing feel like it's moving. It's so, so well done.

I'm really curious as to what training regimen Alex follows. You'd think that it would have been brought up before this, especially since we've been in Alex's POV before. It makes me wonder if that isn't entirely true, but I can't really think of a reason why Jacob would lie. If it isn't a lie, I feel like it might be beneficial to mention it before now, you know? It seemed a little random to me as it is now. (If you have already mentioned it before, forgive me for forgetting.)

I also want to caution you against stretching the tournament out for too long. It's already been two chapters, and even though it hasn't gotten old yet, I'm worried that there might be a part where it'll seem too stretched or it'll get old. Again, this hasn't happened yet, but I feel like it might if you make the tournament last longer than, say, three chapters. I think the way it is now makes sense for it to be broken up, but just keep in mind of your pacing.

Specifics

"Anyways," Jacob continues, "As I was saying before I was rudely interrupted, Alex is a bit abnormal. He doesn't practice basketball like the rest of you do."

"How does he?" Spencer asks.


Something about that last question felt a little unnatural. To me, it just doesn't sound like an appropriate response to what Jacob said. I think it also has something to do with the ambiguity of what Jacob says. When I first read it, I thought that rather than stating he practiced in a different way, he just didn't practice at all, which made the next part confusing for me. I think that by changing it to something like "He doesn't practice basketball the same way the rest of you do" would help clear that ambiguity up.

Overall: nice work! I think these chapters just keep on getting stronger and stronger and are a true testament to your immense writing ability!! Keep up the great work, and until next time!!




InuYosha says...


Thank you for the review! Yep I did make this one game last WAY too long, so I'm going to shorten future games haha



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Sat Jun 12, 2021 3:19 pm
Plume says...






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Mon May 10, 2021 5:45 pm
MailicedeNamedy wrote a review...



Hi Yoshikrab,

Mailice here with a short review! :D

Let's start right away:

Jacob had called the four of them into the locker room to talk about something. Alex was left outside to warm up.


I know how it ended in the last chapter, but I would have liked to see a short introduction with the halfway point. This way, the reader has context, as you have written, but not enough context.

The conversation between Jacob and the group is very good. I like seeing how Jacob has gradually changed since his first appearance. Here he has very much demonstrated what his strengths are and how he can use them cleverly. As a coach, he comes across as persuasive and stern, but also thoughtful to look out for the good of the team. It was a smooth read and, above all, it felt real. I can imagine hearing a conversation like that during halftime.

In terms of content, I love that one learn that Alex is doing athletic training. (I don't think it's been mentioned anywhere before.) Jacob's comment that it's not good for Alex's body could be seen as foreshadowing him not being able to participate in an important game, but at the same time, looking at Dwayne, I can also see him wanting to emulate Alex. Especially Alex not being with them in the loose room during half time, I find interesting. As captain of the team, I would be interested to know what Jacob wants to discuss with the rest of the team. (Unless Alex is so full of himself that he thinks Jacob is discussing a strategy he doesn't need to use).

"How else do you think Alex knew what other exercise facilities are in this complex? How do you think he knew how much people visited and what quality they were?"


This reasoning by Jacob is fine, but for me it is not the right answer to the fact that Alex does athletic training and Colin thinks he is just a middle-schooler. Here it would fit better if Jacob would mention how well-trained Alex looks. Jacob seems to be trying to avoid Colin's actual comment.

Everyone in a worse mood from which they came into the locker room, exits the room.


The sentence feels a little strange when I read it. I would rephrase it a bit so that you don't need to use the second "room". "Everyone in a worse mood than before going to the locker room, went back to the court" or so I would put it. Also, I would make another blank line after this sentence, because here the focus is back on the game and in my opinion, the "main character " goes from Jacob to Chris.

However, there's also something different that Chris notices from the beginning. Alex and Dwayne are working together in a smart way. Alex breaks past Saint Helena's defence with full speed, while Dwayne stays behind to defend against any steals from Alex.


The chapter feels a little too short, and I think this would be the best place to add a few more sentences. In the last chapter number 4 and number 6 were introduced, but in this one they are not even mentioned and I think this is where you could place it well. You've already had a good approach to describing what Chris notices, but it kind of stops in the middle of the description.

He can feel the air breathing through him as he's breathing the air.


He can feel the air flowing through him as he's breathing would sound better. :D In combination with the next sentence, you used "he can feel" twice. You can see it as anaphora, but I think you would have to add another sentence or change the second sentence a bit.

Chris glances around for red. Just any red colour. Although he is tired beyond sanity, he still knows to just throw to the red. The goal. The hoop is always red.

His eyes land on the bright red. Like a stop sign. Stop. Slow down. Think before you shoot.


The second half is good, but I think you used red too often in the first half, which lowers the drama and tension.

It sails higher and higher and higher. When the ball reaches the apex of its flight, it begins to fall. Sinking and sinking and sinking through the air.


You've done a good job with the first and last sentences. I like how it ends with the same style as it began.

The unforgivable air that won't let Chris breathe.

But something is wrong. Chris sees the ball bounce off the red. As if the red is mad at him. Strange.

In a blink, Dwayne is up near the red, and he grabs the ball. Mid-air, and right next to the red, Dwayne drops the ball into the red, and through the white.


I notice here that you tried to use the red to indicate the white, but I think it takes away some of the drama, as I mentioned earlier. I would rephrase it or write it differently. Maybe add a few things, like what is the opposing team doing? What is the atmosphere like in the stadium? You could talk about Chris' shot first, then how the other characters/participants in the stadium become aware, but Chris himself only sees the ball and the basket as if in tunnel vision and doesn't notice anything.

The ending is probably what struck me the most, as I am now asking what will happen next. Is Chris just exhausted or completely wiped out and unable to continue playing?

The chapter was short and exciting. I like how in the first half the action moved towards the dialogue, which you pulled off well. The second half was a bit short and I think you could add some more there, because here the game feels to me like it's a ghost game. Not only are the spectators missing, but also the opposing team, degraded to nameless creatures. The chapter had some "flat" phases in the second half, where I think it will get better in the next one.

Enjoy the rest of the writing!


Mailice




InuYosha says...


Thank ye for the review! I have read everything u said and have stored it within my mind. :))))




True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are, it requires you to be who you are.
— Brené Brown