Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Clear as Ice - #HockeyFiction Prompt Sixteen

Note: The top of this post has been updated to correct the counting. Previous entries: 
Prompt one - which includes what's happening and a link to the person who started this idea, Prompt two, Prompt three, Prompt four, Prompt five, Prompt six, Prompt seven, Prompt eight, Prompt nine, Prompt ten, Prompt eleven, Prompt twelve, (day off in between), Prompt thirteen, Prompt fourteen, Prompt fifteen.   

Today's prompt is draft.  


Al waited until they were on the bus to the airport in Toronto before checking his phone.  Just as he'd hoped there was a text from Sienna. 

Sienna: Good game. 

Al: Thanks. 

Sienna: Are you on the plane? 

Al: Bus now, then plane. 

Sienna: Cool, text me when you're back in DC.

Al: Okay. 

He pocketed his phone.  Kunyk was looking at him.  "Texting your sister?" he asked.

Al frowned.  "What do you know about my sister?"

"So not her then.  Parents?" 

Spruce leaned over the back of his seat in front of them.  "What are we talking about?"

"Stop is texting someone very intently." 

"Really?" Spruce said.  "Who is it?  Is this why you're watching rom coms?" 

"Rom coms are great." Mulvenna leaned over the back of his seat, so now Al had three sets of eyes trained on him.  He'd honestly rather be back on the ice, if this was the grilling he'd get off of it.  

"I was just texting a friend that I'd be home later tonight." 

"Do you have friends that are not on this bus?" Mulvenna asked.

"Are you guys this lacking for entertainment that we are counting friends now?"  Al asked. 

"I was honestly just teasing you, dude," Kunyk said.  "You looked so serious that I thought for sure you were texting your agent or something.   But then you smiled and got all squirrelly when I asked you. But you can have secret friends if you want." 

"Tell me the secret," Spruce chanted. "Tell me the secret." 

"Has anyone got Nyquil?  Some sort of sleeping pill. Chloroform maybe," Al asked.

"Hey," said coach who Al hadn't seen walking down the aisle until just then, oops. "No drugging your fellow teammates." 

"So," Kunyk said, "other teammates are still on the table.  Yes."  He fistpumped.

"And I'm walking away so I have plausible deniability later," said Coach. 

They all snickered.  
"Are we gonna have time to play a game on the plane," Spruce asked.  "Or are you fogies all going to sleep." 

Mulvenna pillowed his hands under his cheek and made fake snoring sounds. 

"Boo," Spruce said. "I need new friends." 

"Hey," Kunyk said ruffling Spruce's hair.  "Just remember fogies wake up early and know how to charm hotel staff." 

"Ugh," Spruce said.  "I hate you.  It was bad enough I had Hrkac as my roommate all last year.  This year I was supposed to have some privacy."  Spruce had been drafted last year.  First year players often had to share a room on road trips.  This year he didn't.

"I don't know why you need privacy to dress up like a princess and sing Disney songs.  That seems like the kind of thing that would go over better in groups," Kunyk said.

"It's called cosplay, duh," Spruce said.  "And I do do it in groups.  But only with people who like respect the characters.  Not people who confuse Elsa and Merida." 

"Those are completely different characters," Al said. 

"I know!" Spruce said.  "But this dude," Spruce pointed to Kunyk, "saw a red wig, a bow and arrow and somehow thought that was an ice queen."  Spruce shook his head. 

"Wait, why is this about me all of a sudden. Does everyone even know there is a Disney princess named Merida?" 

Al and Mulvenna both nodded. 

As the team filed off the bus, Al could hear Kunyk going up and asking the other players.  Al was sure the other players were confused, but honestly, everyone had post game entertaining themselves while they travelled rituals. 

"How complex is your cosplay?" Al asked.  "And do you bring it to every trip?  Is that why your bag is so huge?" 

"We can't all be one suiters like you, Al," Mulvenna said. 

"Wait," Spruce said.  "You have one suit?  I thought for sure you at least had two identical suits." 

"I do," Al said.  "Trust me, all it takes is one spill to learn to bring a spare."
"Okay.  And no, I don't bring it to every game.  Kunyk busted into my room to do whatever when we were playing Chicago at the same time C2E2 was happening." 

"Wait it was?" Mulvenna asked.  "That wasn't this year, right?  I'm gonna be so bummed if that was this year." 

"It was, dude, sorry.  But if it coincides again, I'll let you know," Spruce said.  "Usually C2E2, New York, and Seattle, are the ones I keep an eye out for when we get the schedule.  A lot of the rest are in the off-season." 

Spruce and Mulvenna started talking favorite conventions and Al slipped his phone back out of his pocket to text Sienna.

Al: Getting on the plane now. 
He couldn't wait to get back to DC. 

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