Anyone for Cricket?

Anyone for Cricket?

A Story by martinos74

A stranger enters a typical English serenity on a summer's day.

Anyone for Cricket?
It was a day in early July, 
The sun was shining, 
We were winning at sport and the nation was busy finishing strawberries and cream to the taste of a Scottish tennis success, 
We wanted to claim it is our own but knew we couldn't, but we tried our best. 

I was in the park trying to fry and extreme hangover out of my body, 
Going cold turkey in the hot sun like some kind of junkie. 
My Guatemalan blanket does wonders for attracting attention, 
Not what I wanted in this state of affairs. 

A man brushes by dressed in grubby tracksuit, with top and bottom not even matching, 
He looks Albanian or Algerian or some kind of eastern country that we're bred to mistrust, 
I raise my guard. 
He walks with a limp and stumbles around,b 
I raise my guard, 
I hear him muttering to himself as he ambles along, 
I notice his deformed arm, skinny, bent in half and held to his chest as if it were a sling, 
Please don't talk to me, 
Especially not today, 
I raise my guard, he walks by, 
I am undisturbed and can return to my toxic sweat and distant stares. 

In the distance I see a group of young adults, 
Not the youth, but a little further on, 
Over the cooling breeze their conversation flitter my way, 
I detect an accent, I think it's American. 
They are spread out in a square, one holding a cricket bat uncomfortably in his hand, 2 trying to create a makeshift wicket out of bottles, and a few others spread out in a baseball square. They're definitely American. 
Bless, I think. 
What a shame they'll never understand the intricacies of such a beautiful game. 
One of their party draws my attention as she is particularly attractive and the sun backlights her golden hair like some kind of shampoo commercial. They are having fun in good old London. 

Enter left the limping man. He has no shame and walks straight up to them asks if they are playing cricket and if he can join. The main man clocks him straight away and realises his afternoon has suddenly been thrown into a world of confusion. He doesn't want this character to spoil his day, he could be a nutter, it could be awkward. This is London after all. But he can't tell him no in front of all of his friends. That would be politically and socially unacceptable. The main man looks like a good man though and let's him play. 

Limping man empties his pocket... 3 bottles of water, a mass of toilet roll and a huge ball of keys, then he heads off to bowl. Someone throws him the ball to his injured arm which he drops and everyone looks around uncomfortably. 
In his strange gaited way he looks like he knows what he is doing and takes a massive run up and charges in. The ball flies through the air and lands abut 5 metres wide. Awkward silence. Everyone looks around as they realise the scale of the situation and they feel slightly trapped om this sunny summers day full of innocence. 

He bowls again and it's fast but a good un. Relief is felt in this whole field of amateur cricketers who have never graced this sport before. It's going to be ok. 

I watch them play for another 30 mins. They clap louder every time he bowls or hits the ball. They are still a little worried, a little tainted by his presence, but they ploughed on through and will no doubt have something to remember about this summers day in good ole England. 

My faith in others humanity is re-lit and I depart right, to prepare for the week ahead. 

London, England : July 2013 

© 2014 martinos74

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This is gnarly. I genuinely dig it and read it a few times, and each time found a grin sneak up on my face. Rad style and delivery.
Keep groovin
Trish :)

Posted 8 Years Ago

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Added on March 30, 2014
Last Updated on March 30, 2014
Tags: poetry, spoken word, storytelling, short story, sound recording




I'm interested in exploring poems, stories, words, rhythms, lyrics and sounds. more..

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