Playing to Win
I wasn’t talking to Jenny because of the trick she’d played about my needing to wear a netball skirt, but still badly wanted to improve my game so Emily wouldn’t have to see my losing to her little daughter each week. That left Morgan, who as you might imagine played quite a lot of sports with other girls who belonged to her so-called community. Sure enough she said they could fit me in for netball when they met that weekend.
The Skirt Scare
I was at netball practice. Five minutes in I caught the ball then stood with feet rooted to the ground, knowing that the way these girls played I didn’t have much more than a heartbeat or two. Fright overcame me and I fumbled the pass so that Suzette, who was on the other team, smartly swept it up. I groaned at my own hopelessness. Why wasn’t I getting any better?
Jenny was going to a party and I wasn’t invited. I walked her to the bus stop that evening, she with her fair hair up and smelling somewhat more of perfume than she usually did. Her black dress, stockings and high heels were most unlike her customary sports kit or gym clothes, so much so it was enough to quicken my heartbeat. In fact I couldn’t keep my eyes off her, and she seemed to notice because at last she said:
The Netball Diaries, part one
Jenny had introduced me to Emily Sparks, a family friend whose daughter Suzette was younger than me and starting netball practice that Saturday. It turned out I was right to have a sinking feeling about the last part! Jenny insisted however that if she and I were determined to make a go of it, then my performance at sports had to improve. Somehow or other she eventually talked me into it, though like any self-respecting boy I was pretty sure I’d never live it down!
The Things we Find, Chapter Two
For Neetra it was business before pleasure. She spent the rest of the day looking over what Joe had brought back for her, which she had to admit was romantic in its own way, though the real romance kicked off later when she gave each of her Christingles a new candle and took a long preparatory bath in the best galactic mud. It wasn’t that the transition to her little-girl self was temporary. Neetra felt she owed it to her fringe-and-pigtails persona to do what that one had dreamed of, and liked to keep lines of communication clear to her throughout.
The Things we Find, Chapter Three
As soon as Croldon Thragg wasn’t quite so busy Joe was going to propose the construction of a bridge between Nottingham and the factory. Our hero envisaged everything being in walking-distance one day. Next morning however, while such plans were still on the drawing-board, he let his rotor-blades take the strain and took the Valour up while Neetra still contentedly snored.
The Things we Find, Chapter Four
As soon as Joe’s plans were known in Nottingham, a change came over the city. Neetra felt it as she walked to the Media Centre one evening, brownstone edifices on either side of her shading in tone with the reddening russet sky, their portals and window-arches already black. There was more in the air than autumn leaves. It reminded our heroine of the long-ago October she created Nottingham on Earth, just as it was perhaps this Nottingham’s first October now. Destiny somehow always seemed to come into that time of the year. On the outside steps stood a figure and a membrane Neetra knew well.
The Things we Find, Chapter Five
Nottingham’s Mini-Flashes flocked to the cinema when the advertised hour came. It was a tunic-and-pants convocation on the grandest scale yet seen, and every row and box and gallery tingled in the softly-lit hush. There were people and beings besides Mini-Flashes too, helping crowd the auditorium to capacity, all called to this spot on this night by the prospect of thirty-seven seconds which might bridge that far lengthier duration between then and now.
There was a big tournament at the weekend which Jenny and I were going to together, so I got up early the day before to get some practice in. It wasn’t any good though, because Jenny was right – I really did have two left feet. By the time she came to join me it was mid-morning, and what with stumbling about the outdoor court missing pretty much every shot I was just about as hot and bothered as could be.
She Came From The West Midlands
I was going into town again with Jenny’s sister and we were waiting at the bus stop. A girl with little bunches in her long straight hair came along to wait too. From first glance I couldn’t keep my eyes off her as she approached, and I think she noticed because she smiled. Then she walked into the bus-shelter and positively filled it up with her nice clean smell.