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The Game by Deb M.

This story is an orphan – that is, the writer has not been active in the fandom for a long time, and the story has been rescued from the old, defunct Yahoo groups. So that we don’t lose the story entirely, we’re storing it here.

However the original author still owns this story. Should they reconnect with the fandom at some point, we will naturally respect whatever they want to do with their story.

Word count 1122

Here is my offering for the Sept. challenge, teaching. No beta, so please excuse any errors. Feedback, gently given, is welcome.

Scott drove the loaded wagon up to the barn, set the brake and dropped down from the high seat. Having just returned from Green River with the weekly supplies and mail, he seemed to be in an exceptionally good mood. Calling impatiently for Jelly’s assistance in unloading the wagon, he strode to the back to lower the gate. Whistling, he began to remove the items from the very back and place them on the ground.

Jelly appeared from the barn and sauntered over to Scott, followed closely by Johnny, with a quizzical look on his face. Scott usually disliked having to make the supply run, so his behavior was curious to both men. They both pitched in to help get the supplies unloaded and put away where they belonged. The last item to be removed was a long, shallow wooden box that would have easily held several rifles. The shipping label indicated it was addressed to Scott Lancer and had come all the way from Boston.

“Well, lookee here” said Jelly. “What in blazes came in that all the way ‘cross country?”

“It’s something Grandfather sent at my request” answered Scott, “and I can’t wait to teach Johnny all about it so we can enjoy it together.”

“What?” asked Johnny. “Whadda ya mean, teach me. Teach me what?

“You’ll see soon enough” replied Scott. “Murdoch will also be interested in
this, as it has strong ties to our Scottish heritage.”

“This I gotta see” exclaimed Jelly, as they helped carry the box into the

“Murdoch” called Scott. “Come see what Grandfather sent to me.”

Murdoch rose from behind his desk and met the others in the middle of the great room where the box was set down and gently opened. Smiles graced the faces of Scott and Murdoch as the contents were revealed, while confusion masked the faces of Jelly and Johnny.

“Garrett sent you a bunch of sticks?” asked Johnny.

“What in tarnation are you gonna do with some fancy sticks?” Jelly snorted.

“They are used to play a game that has been popular in Scotland for centuries” boasted Scott. “You recognize them, don’t you Murdoch?”

“I certainly do, Scott” admitted Murdoch. “I can’t believe you know about this game.”

“It was becoming very popular at Harvard when I was there and I got these from Grandfather for Christmas one year” said Scott. “I asked him in my last letter to send them to me.”

“You use these sticks to play a game?” Johnny asked incredulously. “Just exactly what do you do with them?”

“Well, Johnny, help me carry these out to the meadow and I’ll show you” said Scott.

“The meadow?” asked Johnny. “Why do we have to go there?”

“The game is played outdoors and the meadow is the perfect spot” replied Scott.

“This should be interestin’” Jelly stated.

“Murdoch, have you ever played?” asked Scott.

“I have, and I’d like to see Johnny’s first lesson myself” chuckled Murdoch.

The four men converged again in the meadow next to the outlying corral and Scott began to set up the tools of the game. He carried one of the sticks and a small leather ball to a spot in front of the men and motioned for Johnny to join him there.

“This is called a ball and the stick is actually called a club” stated Scott.
“The ball is set on this little wooden piece called a tee. It keeps the ball up
off the ground so you can swing the club and hit it. The object is to hit the
ball, with the club, as far as you can along a set course to reach a small hole in the ground called a cup and then use the clubs to get the ball into the cup. We don’t have a course set up yet, so this is just for practice. When we have time, I intend to set up a small course out here with a few holes so we can play.”

Scott placed the ball and tee on the ground and grasped the club in his hands, took his stance in front of the ball and swung. The ball shot up into the air and traveled quite a distance down the meadow.

“Here Johnny” said Scott as he handed the club to him and set another ball and tee. “You give it a try. I’ll show you the proper stance and then you give it your best shot.”

Johnny looked at Scott as if he had grown a second head and then shook his before stepping up to take his place like Scott had.

Scott showed him how to grip the club, how to stand and had him try a practice swing before moving him closer to the ball.

“Give it a try Johnny” Scott encouraged.

Johnny took a swing with the club and hit nothing but air. Surprised he had missed the ball altogether, Johnny swung again. And again, and again. Still the ball sat at his feet. Frustrated, Johnny dropped the club and made to pull his gun from its holster. Scott had anticipated this response and grabbed Johnny’s arm before he could complete the action. Murdoch and Jelly could be heard chuckling behind them.

“I know this is your answer to fishing frustrations, but you can’t shoot the
ball, little brother” said Scott. “Grandfather only bought a few of them and
they tend to get lost, so we have to be careful of them all. This game takes
some practice, so don’t be too hard on yourself.”

“I won’t be Scott” huffed Johnny. “I don’t believe clubbing an innocent ball
with a stick all over some meadow trying to get it to go into a little hole
would be much fun. I can’t believe you told me you find this so relaxing!”

“Well brother, I guess to each his own” said Scott. “I guess I don’t find some of the things you do to relax to my taste either.”

“You might be right, big brother” Johnny said with a smile. “I guess we each have our own tastes. Does this game have a name?”

“It’s called ‘golf’” Scott replied. “And I believe it will become more and more popular in time.”

“I’m not so sure about that Boston” said Johnny. “Seems kinda silly to me.”

“Give me some more time to teach you the game and we’ll see if you still feel the same way” Scott suggested.

“Well, big brother, you can try” Johnny chuckled, “but I ain’t never been too big on schoolin’.”

The End



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One response to “The Game by Deb M.”

  1. Could almost see Johnny’s reaction ! Well done !


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