Prompt: Defenseman

Adam’s mother closed the door behind them. His father was off on a business trip, and Adam was content to sit on the couch until his mother addressed him. She worked long hours in the city, and was fone more than his father. Adam preferred it this way. His father could be strict, but his mother was terrifying.

She came back from the kitchen, drink of water in her hands. Her red blouse was still tucked into her black pencil skirt, her heels finally getting kicked off.

“What the hell is going on?”

“I told you mom. I don’t know. I barely even know the guy.”

“Clearly since you were the last one seen fighting with him. And clearly since pparently you’ve been at his house multiple times to party?”

Adam shifted. “You know how it is, everyone just goes to someone’s house,” he mumbled.

“Excuse me?” She said. “No I don’t ‘know how it is.'” What do you think this is? Some kind of trash town we dumped you in so you can smoke and do coke?”

“Mom! It wasn’t even coke ok. I just drank. Whatever he had, I don’t know. And for the record yeah this kind of is a trash town. A lot of kids have nothing else to send their money on but drugs.”

Silence. Finally, “don’t talk back to me. Ever.”

HE hung his head. “Sorry mom.”

“I’m so embarassed and ashamed. And now you could be arrested.”

“Arrested? Mom I didn’t do anything! And you said they didn’t have enough evidence to hold me!”

“Did you — and I am only going to ask you this one, so you had better answer truthfully — have anything to do with that boy’s death?”

“No mom, I swear.”

She sighed and ran a hand through her hair. “Go to your room.”

Not bothering to argue, Adam slithered up the stairs and went into his room, closing the door behind him. He pulled his phone out of his pocket, thankful that at least in all of this, she’d forgotten to take it from him.

The lock screen was bursting with notifications. He was about to unlock his phone when the window rattled. Adam looked outside.

It was Joshua, one of Marcsus’ defensemen.

Prompt: Forward

Before Adam opened his mouth, his mother spoke. “If you are not charging my client with anything, I suggest you let him go.”

Adelray looked at their watch. “We can hold him –”

“We have time,” Olander said. “And we can sit here all night.”

Adam pulled at the sleeve of his sweater.

“He has no comment,” his mother said, leaning back in her chair.

“All we’re asking is a simple question,” Orlander said. “You were the last person to see him alive. And we head it wasn’t a pleasant conversation.

“How do you know that?” She said.

“We can’t share details of the investigation, ma’am,” Adelray said.

“Nothing,” Adam said. “It was nothing.”

“Adam,” his mother said.

“No mom. This is dumb. It was just a stupid fight from that stupid party. Rick, one of the forwards on our team, left without telling me and I was mad and I just yelled at Marcus for it. That’s all.”

“Where did you see him?” Orlander said.

“At a party. Friday night.”

“Adam.”

“You yelled at Marcus because of Rick?” Adelray said.

“Ok fine. We were fighting over some dumb girl. Some girl that Rick liked and Marcus liked and Marcus was being an ass.” Adam tapped his hands on the table. “Marcus was always an ass. I can’t be the only one who’s ever yelled at him.

“Plus,” Adam said, avoiding his mother’s eyes, “Kid was a total party animal. I rarely went to his place but I’ve heard he deals in drugs. Like hard drugs. Whatever it was, I didn’t kill him.”

Adelray leaned forward. “Witnesses say you were very distant at the game you played the next night.”

“That was nothing. I just saw something and had a brain fart. Come on this is dumb. I didn’t do anything.”

His mother gripped his arm. “Either you charge my son with something or we are leaving. And I know you don’t have enough evidence to charge him.

“We still have plenty of time,” Adelray said.

“He can go,” Olander said, gathering up the folder. “For now. But we will have to ask for him again so we can finish our questioning. But it’s late. Go home. Go to sleep. We’ll probably call you tomorrow.”

When Adam and his mother left the room, Adelray turned to Olander. “Why did you let him go?”

“It’s late and he’s tired.

Prompt: Goaltender

Detective Olander sat down next to his partner, Adelray. Adelray had fire-red hair cut cropped to their shoulder, while Olander had black hair cropped close to his hair. Adelray was young; Olander was not as young.

“Well?” Adam’s mother sat with her arms folded. A criminal defense lawyer, She had driven down to the rink and yelled at the detectives for approaching her son without her knowledge.

“Mom, it’s okay,” Adam said. He’d been given no time to shower, so his hair was slicked close to his head and his body odor was trapped in the small interrogation room. “I didn’t do anything wrong.”

“We hope not,” Adelray said.

Olander placed a folder on the table. He opened it, pulled out some pictures and slid them in front of Adam. One was a headshot of a boy Adam’s age.

It was Marcus, the goaltender from Ridgehigh, their rival school.

Adam flitted his eyes upward. “Yeah I know him. Every hockey player here does. We’ve all either played together or against each other.”

“Surely you can’t be implicating my son in whatever this is,” his mother flicked the mugshot photograph.

Adelray took it back. “Of course not,’ they said.

“We are however,” Olander said, reaching back into the folder, concerned about this.” He pulled out three more photos and slid them to Adam.

It was hard to tell that any of these pictures were of Marcus. Adam leaned in closer, then grabbed the pictures and threw them in the direction of the detectives. He leaned under the table, grabbed the trash can and threw up.

“Surely you can’t be serious to show a child this?” His mother said.

“Child?” Adelray raised an eyebrow. “Adam is what, 17? Hardly what I would call a child.”

“This is bullshit,” she said. “My son and I are leaving. Can’t you see how disgusted he is by these?” She picked up the pictures. “This is horrible. But clearly my son is as shocked as I’m sure you are.”

“Of course,” Adelray said, gathering the pictures and putting them back in the folder. “We can see he is clearly… upset.”

His mother shook his head as she leaned over and patted Adam’s back. Come on honey, let’s go home.”

“Before you do,” Olander said. “We have to ask your son a question.”

“I think you’ve used up your questions,” she said.

“Why,” Adelray said, ignoring his mother, “were you the last person to see Marcus alive?”

 

Prompt 3: Shot

Adam lined up to take his shot. One of his teammates skated by and yelled at him. “Do you see something in the stands buddy?”

“Yeah, another teammate said. “Maybe it was a hot girl

The shot went wide.

“Enough, boys,” the coach said.

“Yes,” Adam said as he turned around. “I had a moment. Ok? I messed up.”

The rest of the team started filing off, their ice time over. But Adam grabbed a puck and teed it up for another shot. This time it went in.

Max skated by and patted him on the shoulder. “It’s okay, man, they’re just messing around.”

“I know.” Adam grabbed another puck. “I just feel like such an idiot.”

“Boys,” their coach called. “We have to get off the ice. Time’s up.”

“Yes Mr. Duffy,” Max said. He bent down and picked up the loose puck. “We’d better go before we get yelled at. Or something.”

“Or something,” Adam said.

The two boys took off their helmets and skated off the ice, marching up the ramp that connected the rink to the locker rooms.

Max held open the door. “Seriously man, what did you see?”

“I don’t know.” Adam paused once Max followed him inside. “Something was just different. And strange. Like,” he glanced around to see who was watching. Satisfied that the few people in the waiting area were not the least bit concerned, Adam turned back to Max. “Have you ever had like an out-of-body experience?”

“Dude,” Max laughed. “You’re kidding, right?”

“Not like, in the literal sense. That’s just what it felt like. Like I was super dazed. I don’t know. It’s not a big deal. It’s just now like my parents are worried.”

“They think you’re under too much stress and maybe they’re right.”

“Why? Because I have some AP classes?”

The waiting area was much warmer than the outdoor rink, and Adam could no longer see his breath. Max narrowed his eyes. “Dude come on you know that’s not why. The other guys might joke around and all, but it’s different. I know…”

“It’s nothing like that, I promise.” Adam started walking toward the locker room and was about to grab the door handle when someone walked beside him.

“Adam Hoover?”

He looked at the tall police officer. “That’s me?”

“We have to take you into the station for some questioning.”

“What?” Max said.

“Wait,” Adam said. “Why? What’s happening?”

The locker room door opened, almost hitting Adam. Mr. Duffy stepped out and wedged himself between the child and the officer. His glasses framed a youthful face, short black hair stiff with the cold.

“Officer, this young man is a minor, as I’m sure you’re very well aware.”

“I am, Mr….”

“Mr. Duffy.”

“Mr. Duffy. And I will call his parents to the station, of course.”

“You will not take him without an adult present,” Mr. Duffy said.

The locker room door vibrated and some of the boys poked their heads out, some only half dressed.

“Go back inside, boys,” Mr. Duffy ordered.

Their social studies teacher, Mr. Duffy had been strict but fun. None of the boys had every seen him angry. But now his face twisted in unimaginable ways as he kept the officer from even looking at Adam.

“If you want to take the boy in,” Mr. Duffy said. “You have to call his mom here and have her go with you. Otherwise I’m not letting him go.”

 

Prompt: Icing

Payal chewed her nails as she looked at the T.V. “Damnit,” she said as the Predators iced the puck. She threw the wet rag on the table and frowned.

“Please, don’t curse while you’re on a shift.” It was her manager, blond-haired Becca. Becca was just a year older than Payal, a senior in their high school. But much like her hair, everyone considered her golden. Payal nodded as she tugged at her TGIF’s shirt, noticing how ill-fitting it was on her but well-fitting it was on Becca.

“Sorry, Becca,” Payal finished sweeping the crumbs off the table. It was a Wednesday night so the place was empty, unless the chairs were occupied by ghosts. Which, it probably was. She leaned against the table and turned back to the TV, aware that her inattention to work would earn her another scolding. But there was nothing to do anyway.

Bells clanged as the door opened. Putting on her best smile, Payal turned around. And then she frowned.

It was some of the boys from the hockey team.

Payal was surprised they were out this late. Wait, no, she wasn’t. Keeping her smile on, she walked over to the door.

“How can I help you?”

It was a group of boys from her grade — Max, Lyle, Ankit, Sol and Adam. Max smiled. Adam hung in the back, unsurprising after his gaffe had cost the team the game last night.

“Just you five?”

“Yeah,” Max said. The charmer of the group, with his dimple, neat black hair and deep brown skin. He was the only one of the group who knew how to socialize and act normal.

“Well,” she gestured behind her, “it’s pretty empty so… is there one place you want to sit?”

Max shrugged. “Anywhere is fine.”¬†She just stared at him.¬†Ankit pointed to a table near the door. “There, Max said, “We’ll sit there.”

Payal nodded, gathered menus and walked to their table. She shifted back to the cash register and chewed on a nail as she watched them. Adam seemed like a normal human being, no starry eyes or lack of awareness.

Still, she wondered what he’d seen.

Because she’d seen it too.

Faceoff

Adam watched the puck in the referee’s hands. It was so small, yet so large. Large enough for the players to spot, large enough for them to snap it up on their sticks.

He bent his knees further, hunching his back over the spot where the puck would be in seconds. But just as he was directing his eyes downward, a flicker of light from the stands distracted him.

It wasn’t from a camera, though. Adam knew what light from the flash of an obsessed hockey parent looked like. So without thinking, he straightened up.

The puck dropped to the ice.

But Adam could no longer see nor hear anything, his eyes focused on the space where the light, where the whatever it was, had come from.

He didn’t even notice the other team scoring, their celebration just pieces of peripheral vision.

Something was there.

He knew it.

So he dropped his stick and marched over to the other end.

He couldn’t even hear his teammates, his coaches or the referees trying to stop him.

It wasn’t until he walked over and touched the glass where it all stopped and he remembered where he was.

There was a hand on his shoulder. He turned around.

Marc, his captain, was saying something. His helmet was tiled up, unstrapped, the cage bent open. “Hey man. What’s going on? Are you okay?”

Adam shook his head and then nodded it. “Yeah I’m fine. I just, I just…”

“You just what?”

“I just thought I saw something strange. I don’t know what got over me.” Adam unstrapped his own helmet, tilted the cage up and took it off.

“Man, you must be really stressed.”

Adam looked at the scoreboard. It was now tied, 1-1. “Crap, did I do that?”

“Well, you lost the faceoff. But the rest of the team also didn’t prevent it from happening, so. I don’t know. You must be really stressed out. Maybe you should…”

Adam shook his head. “No. It’s fine. I know. I am stressed. But I want to play. He would — he would want me to play too.”

Patting Adam on the shoulder, Marc nodded before he skated away. With two minutes left in the game, Adam secured his helmet and skated back to the bench.

List 2: Things to doodle

  1. What you see outside the window
  2. Random lines and circles
  3. Letters in cursive
  4. A bird
  5. An object to your right
  6. What you hope your future is
  7. What you did yesterday
  8. A scene from your favorite book
  9. A pet you wanted as a child
  10. A cup of coffee