Monday, April 06, 2020

Clear as Ice - #HockeyFiction Prompt Fourteen

Today's prompt is offsides.  

Note: The top of this post has been edited to reflect counting by prompts. Previous entries: Prompt one - which includes the what and who, prompt two, prompt three, prompt four, prompt five, prompt six, prompt seven, prompt eight, prompt nine, prompt ten, prompt eleven, prompt twelve, prompt thirteen.     

Sienna did not get a call inviting her to go watch the Domes game against the Oaks.  It took her until the day of the game to realize that's what had been itching at her.  It was funny.  A month ago she wouldn't have cared, wouldn't have even known there was a game.  But having been invited to three, it had started to feel like a thing that would just automatically happen. 

She could buy a ticket of course.  She checked online, and there were still tickets available.  But maybe she would just watch it at home, the way she had for the away games. 

She and Jay had met up at the coffee shop again and Raven had sent her home with a bunch of brownies.  There were never brownies at the hockey arena so this was fine.  She had grabbed takeout from a nearby Vietnamese place. 

And she settled in with the game streaming, she kept her phone up.  She had joined a chat for the fans and folks on the podcast.  Her first appearance had gone well and they were having discussions about bringing her back on to do a regular feature. 

Someone had helpfully explained what offsides meant because the announcers for the game just told her it had necessitated a stoppage in play and a face off. 

SiennaClear:  Appreciate it folks, I'm learning.  Slowly but surely. 

The Oaks scored and there was a bunch of ughs and boos let loose in the chat. 

NumberOneDomeFan:  Mulvenna sucks.  They should put Stop in. 

ATMPMod1:  Hey, folks, just a reminder that we all love the Domes, but we want to critique specific player behavior on the ice, not make blanket statements. 

There was more mumbling with folks declaring their love for Stop or Al or Tseu.  Hockey players went by so many names, Sienna often found it was like reading a regency historical novel where the duke character would have a first name, a last name, a title, and different people called them some variation of each of those names. 

Actually, that was a great idea for a KeKi post.  Sienna grabbed a notebook.  Everyone had lots of names, personas, especially folks who existed on social media. 

There was something in the announcer's tones that made her look up at the screen again.  An Oak player skated across the ice, the Domes player behind him looking way to far behind.  The Oak player flicked his stick and Mulvenna dropped into a butterfly, but the red light behind him followed by the cheers of the Oaks players said it was too late.  Sienna watched the slo-mo replay. 

"Right through his five hole," the announcer said as the puck passed between the goalies skates while he was still dropping down. 

That had to be so hard, Sienna thought. 

Sienna thought about texting Al, but probably he didn't want to talk to anyone right now.  Sienna had caught herself scanning the shots of the bench, for glimpses of him. 

Sienna tugged her shirt and realized she had forgotten to put on her jersey.  She usually only wore it when she went to a game in person.  Of course that meant she'd worn it to the Blizzards game too.  But what could it hurt right?  And if it didn't work she just wouldn't ever tell anyone. 

She went over to the closet and grabbed the jersey sliding it on.  These things were so warm when you were sitting inside. 

Sienna check on the chat again. 

NumberOneDomesFan:  I told you that Mulvenna sucks.  They should put Stop in. 

There was more agreement this time. 

Keymaster: Folks, Stop gets a day on the bench like everyone else.  Heerema's a top ten scorer in the league this year for a reason. 

NumberOneDomesFan:  Hey Sienna, tell us the truth, you wore Stop out didn't you?
Sienna read it twice before the text disappeared before her eyes. 

Underneath a new message appeared.  
ATMPMod1: Okay folks, we've got a user on timeout.  Going forward, let's try to leave the penalties to the players. 

An alert appeared that she had gotten a private message.  "Hey, Sienna, we wanted you to know the user who commented on you has been moderated.  We apologize, that's not the environment we're trying to create here.  If there are additional concerns we can address, let us know." 

Sienna appreciated it.  She logged out of the chat anyway.  It was just too much.  Kunyk scored for the Domes next, and Sienna patted her jersey. In the end the Domes had a rocking third period and pulled ahead just before the buzzer.   

Jay had been right though.  Tangling with sports fans was a dangerous proposition.