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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

So You Wanna Be a Bruin


Harvey was born to be a hockey player. Snow and ice were to him what roses and red were to poets. Other kids would beg their dads to fill up little rubber pools in the summer, but Harvey would start nagging at Halloween for his dad to fill up their rink, though it would never freeze before mid December.
While his sisters plastered their walls with pictures of David Cassidy, Harvey had just one poster: Gerry Cheevers in his goalie mask. From his desk or his bed, Harvey could count the stitches drawn all over it, dreaming of the day he would bear his own NHL scars.
From the first white-edged freeze to the last slush-covered game of the season, the tough-assed kids fought over who would play goalie. Names were called and sticks were slapped on ponds all across town as pick-up games on quick-shoveled ice began.
Harvey knew he wasn’t supposed to go out on the ponds. That’s why his father made him the backyard rink, goddammit, so his mother wouldn’t have to worry about some dumb-assed townie taking a stick to his head, or pushing him onto thin ice and into freezing pond water. But Mark Conway had double-dared him at school, and the boys were all headed to Musquashcut. If Harvey was to be the town’s next star goalie, if he wanted to be in Gerry Cheevers’ league, there was no question of who would play that Sunday against the dickheads from Hingham.

When Harvey’s little brother Tommy came looking for him after church, there was no one left on the pond but Harvey. He sat holding snow to his mouth, sticking his tongue through the upside-down V in his front teeth.
‘Lemme see,’ said Tommy. Harvey took the bloody snow away and smiled.
“Wow,” breathed Tommy. “Mom’s gonna have a fit.” Harvey nodded. He motioned for Tommy to grab his skates and stick.
“Where’s your glove?” Tommy was kicking at the hardened snow. Harvey shrugged.
“Did we win?”



44 comments:

  1. I loved your interpretation of this weeks challenge! Have to say I am a bit biased as my name is Harvey and I am a hockey fan. Nonetheless I enjoyed your story of Harvey growing into his passion and I was glad he didn’t fall through the ice after all the talk about dangerous ponds!

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    1. Thanks so much for the love, Harvey!
      Glad you enjoyed the story, too.

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  2. This is cool... I recall how playing hockey on lakes and on asphalt mattered (though less for me). A long time before artificial ice and hockey mums... and in Sweden hockey players is the coolest you can be today.

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    1. Where I grew up, hockey was a given in the winter, but I figure-skated, so we were always fighting with the boys over the cleared ice.
      Thanks, Björn!

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  3. Being from Florida, I didn't really get exposed to hockey until later. There is an ECHL team here that is a blast to watch now that we've lost our NHL team. Hmmm is Hingham close to Bingham?

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    1. Bingham doesn't ring a bell... Tony Amonte's from Hingham : )
      Thanks for reading, Melissa!

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  4. Great writing from an insider's point of view. It's obvious you know what your talking about and this "coming of age" tale is wonderful.

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    1. Hahaha - love the idea of me being an insider anywhere! I did grow up skating on ponds, though.
      Thanks so much, lumdog, glad you enjoyed it!

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  5. I love the voice. Awesome paragraph - Harvey knew he wasn't supposed to go out on the ponds. He's now on his way to acquiring those coveted battle scars. So well captured, kymm. Terrific writing!

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    1. We all knew we weren't supposed to be wherever we were half the time!
      So glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for the love, Steph!

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  6. Living in a desert climate most of my life, I never had much exposure to hockey. I like this story, but cringed at the teeth. Ouch!

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    1. I can imagine how foreign it must feel to you.
      At a certain age, it seemed every boy I knew had that hole in teeth. Sorry for the cringe, tho.
      Thanks, Janna!

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  7. Nice story, I especially like your second sentence - wonderfully written.

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    1. Glad you liked it. Thanks so much, Laura!

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  8. reminded me of a friend who got hit by a cricket ball and had that upside down 'v'! looked cute though it must'v hurt. Nice one there.

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    1. Half of my hometown looked like that when I was a kid : )
      Thanks, Habiba!

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  9. Did we win indeed. Though I personally will always encourage the chasing of dreams.

    Great story!

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    1. Chasing anything is always risky...
      Thanks, Jennifer!

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    1. Haha, who's to say, w&l?
      Thanks for coming by.

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  11. Cute! I could really feel the enthusiasm throughout the story. The enthusiasm of young boys. There's nothing quite like it. :)

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    1. Hahaha Enthusiasm. That's one way to put it : )
      Thanks for commenting, Margit!

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  12. I don't play hockey, but this translates very well to the passage of growing up. Nice one. (RogRites)

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    1. I don't play hockey, either.
      Thanks, Rog!

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  13. Regardless if they won or not, Harvey earned some rink cred. :)

    Great, realistic voice to this. Nice job!

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    1. Haha - pond cred, anyway!
      Thank you kindly, Ivy!

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  14. Love this line - Snow and ice were to him what roses and red were to poets. Nice one!

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    1. Thank you TIZ, and thanks for the love!

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  15. I;m a huge hockey fan (NJ Devils) and I really liked how you captured the feel and lingo and style of everyone involved.

    That last paragraph was perfectly, emotionally.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it, hockey fan! Thanks, Lance!

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  16. Love Harvey's energy and enthusiasm, which you get across so well. So, did they win?

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    1. Haha. Only Harvey knows for sure!
      Thanks for the love, Sarah!

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  17. My 'upside down V' front tooth didn't come from a hockey puck, but rather a rogue jungle gym attack. I really like the natural flow of this piece, like you were telling a personal story from your own past.

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    1. Those jungle gyms were vicious. I was never a hockey player, but they took up our skating space.
      Glad you liked it. Thanks, Tara!

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  18. Love this. I was worried it was going to take a sinister turn and I'm glad it ended the way it did.

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    1. You all have such dark minds... don't blame me! lol
      Thanks so much for the love, H.L.!

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  19. For some reason I felt he'd end up under the ice. Keep me on the edge until the end. Thanks for linking up!

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    1. Et tu, Trifecta? And you wonder at all the dark stories here... Thanks for commenting!

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  20. " Snow and ice were to him what roses and red were to poets."
    I liked that line. Captured Harvey perfectly. And I hope he won the game. :)

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    1. Glad you liked it. Don't worry about Harvey, he has plenty of games to win yet.
      Thanks, Michael!

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  21. I read this story at lightning speed because I was so concerned about what might happen to Harvey. The suspense was wonderfully done:~)

    And I sighed gustily when it was just teeth, which for a Hockey player is almost a badge of honor:~)

    As a person who lives in the deep South, I don't get to see very much real hockey, but do watch it on TV occasionally. My younger daughter is a BIG fan!

    My favorite line was this one: "From his desk or his bed, Harvey could count the stitches drawn all over it, dreaming of the day he would bear his own NHL scars." Now that's a line written by someone who appreciates hockey:~)

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the suspense. I totally agree about the teeth and the badge of honor.
      Unfortunately, hockey players were the scourges of the ice to us figure skaters... but that was a long time ago anyway.
      Thanks so much for your comments, Sara!

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