“It was a Saturday night, and I was going back home with my family. It was raining, and the road was slick when a big semi truck came around the bend, out of control! We slipped and hydroplaned as the truck was getting closer and closer to us. The truck was coming at a blazing speed. Then… smash.”
Smash! It was a Saturday night, and I was going back home with my family. It was raining, and the road was slick when a big semi truck came around the bend, out of control! We slipped and hydroplaned as the truck was getting closer and closer to us. The truck was coming at a blazing speed. Then… smash. It all happened right then and there. Now, life is not so great: bullies, chores, and dreams. I’m trying to figure out which ones are shattered and which ones are not.
My name is Dom. I am 11 years old, and I am into hockey even though I’ve got two prosthetic legs from the accident. Sure, you can skip to the end to see if I make it to the Olympics, or you can read the story of my life, but it’s your decision. I also have a very annoying sister named Kelley. She is 13. Hey! That reminds me. The Olympics playoff games are on TV. Round one is tonight! It’s Canada versus Sweden. They’re both very good teams, but I think I will go with Sweden.
“Dom, time for school. You’re going to miss the bus!”
That is my mom. Don’t mind her, she is an engineer. But she is very cool. Also my dad’s a novel writer. Every night, he has a magnificent story to tell me.
School is terrible. There is one kid whose name is Chester, and he is the worst bully ever! He wedgies me, then as if it can’t get any worse, he hangs me on the fence until a teacher comes and finds me, and he trips my best friend, Kim, and I on the bus, then embarasses Kim and I about how Kim hangs out with a kid with prosthetic legs! Then comes the laughs and humiliation. And worst of all, he says I can’t be a hockey player at all.
I have been stuck in a dump with Chester and my classmates for five hours! The last bell will ring in three… two… one… ! RIIING! I sprint out of the school in less than five seconds! Record time! Yes! Dad’s home, and Mom’s home, too! That never happens, only on special occasions! I walk in.
“Hi, son!” My dad booms. “We are going to Tim Tim’s Pizza!”
“We are?” I say in disbelief.
“Yup. To celebrate my new novel I wrote. I’ve got a good feeling about this one.”
We arrive at our destination, and my mouth already waters. But that changes as soon as I see Chester. Incredibly, he’s at Tim Tim’s with his family too. I ask to use the restroom. Chester must have seen me because when I walk in the restroom, I see fat o’ Chester. I try to sneak past him. He catches me on the spot!
“Hey, lard ball!” He says. “Get over here!”
Faster than you can say lard ball, he shoves me in the stall. I’ve had enough of Chester, so I punch him square the face! I run out of the restroom with Chester on my heels. I run back to the safe zone. The food is waiting in for me, and when I sit down on the table, my heart is beating out of my chest.
“I‘m stuffed,” I say as we pile in the car.
“Make room for dessert!” says my mom, excitedly.
“What is for dessert?” Kelly asks.
“I hope it’s not Bomb Bombs!” I say in disgust.
“You have no taste, Dom!” Kelly mocks.
“Stop you guys!” explains my mom, sounding a little ticked off.
“Home sweet home!” my dad says as we pull in driveway.
We walk in the door. It smells d-lish. Must be cupcakes. Cupcakes are my favorite dessert ever! I see tons of cupcakes on the table, and we eat them all up. After cupcakes, we all go to bed. I am so tired after a long day. I can’t believe what I did. A cupcake never tasted sweeter.
The next day, on the bus, Chester is not acting like himself. He’s not mean or nice. He’s acting different. But he picks on little kids. So, I go up to him and… Blam! My vision goes black. Next, I wake up, and kids are circled around me, and Chester is being taken away by a teacher. No more Chester! When I get home, Mom and I talk about being a hockey player, and she thinks I should be a novel writer like my dad.
“But I don’t want to be a novel writer!” I say. “Let me try out for the team at least. Please!”
“Fine!” she says at last.
Slap! That is the sound of a top shelf snipe slap shot. By me! I thought I did very well in tryouts. The next day, I found out!
“Mom, what team did I make?” I said excitedly.
“Checking now! The A team!” said my mom in response.
“Whooh!” I yelled with great pride.
“Practice is Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.”
“And dinner time!”
Kelly, of course, is there first, so she gets dibs on the chair, plate, food, and dessert!
The next day on the bus, my hockey teammates gather around for a talk. Not like a team welcoming thing and stuff like that, but a talk about the rules of being on the team and what to do and what not to do, like being a snitch. It is an easy talk. The dump is in eye range.
After school Kim and I walk home together because Kim is coming over to my house to play on my Xbox 360 490s. Not to brag, but it is the best kind, and it costs a lots of money. And I’ve got lots and lots of games. I have a big den room with a small trampoline and a soft landing spot: beanbags! And outside, I’ve got another trampoline, but it is much larger than the other trampoline. We also have a spa, pool, and pool room to hang out.
On the bus ride to school, it is the same but not with Chester, and not like the past days. I am sitting with Kim and talking about the Xbox 360 490s and about how excellent it was.
Then a kid from my hockey team named Walker says, ”Give up hockey, dweeb!”
“No! I will not! Don’t change me!”
“Fine! Deal with the consequences!”
“Stop!” says Kim.
“We will settle this at practice . No Leg!”
“We’re here!” says Dad.
“Bye.” I say as I get out of the car.
As I walk in, Walker is there, the guy from the argument this morning. I try to avoid him but can’t.
“Hey! No Leg! Come here, No Leg!”
“Ha Ha! No Leg!” says another teammate.
And practice was exactly the same.
As I get in the car, I am thinking I should quit hockey. And maybe Walker is right: having no legs is bad.
But right then, my mom asks, “How was practice, honey?”
“Not good.” I say in response. “Mom, I think I should quit hockey.”
“Quitting is for losers, and are you a loser?”
“So don’t quit.”
Sunday morning is my first hockey game ever! When I get there, people are everywhere, and there is a large deck with all the parents of our hockey team. On the other side of the rink, is the other team’s locker room and deck.
And the game begins with me on the third line aka last, of course! And when I go on, it is 0 – 0. I thought our team was good, but so is this the other team, so I need to step up my game. As I step on, the thoughts raced through my brain. Quitting is for losers, and are you a loser?
Because of the long shifts, we have one minute left, make that 50 seconds left. I’ve got the puck on a two on one break away. I make the defender fall with 10 seconds left, short right! So now, it’s a one on one with the goalie. I take my best shot. It goes top shelf! The goalie gets very mad and shoves me over, and I don’t care. My teammates are teammates now because they are hugging me and calling me champ! I have scored a perfect first goal! I think I will be an excellent hockey player!
Chapter 7 – Nineteen years later.
“Dom Nikson scores the winning goal for USA!”
That is the announcer. I’ve got camera people all around me! This is amazing. I made it, from worst to first! Yup, I made it to the Olympics after all the years of being an underdog. I did it!