Just for the hell of it I decided to revise a story I wrote over a year ago titled, “Let There Be More Blood.” A lot has changed in my life. And thanks to the experience of working with an editor on my book titled, “10KLRS,” my writing has changed as well. I like the Blood story so much I thought I would take a look and see what I could do with it now.
See what you think – The first version “Let There Be More Blood”
Read on for the revised version.
Let There Be Even More Blood
Ice canvased like a Pollock painting.
Ladies and gentleman, broomball!
A few times a week from my home in Tokyo, Japan I Skype my Mother in my hometown of Minneapolis to catch up on the day’s events and the weather. After a recent call I started reminiscing about Minnesota winters and how much I miss them. Winter does exist in Japan, but to get there we have venture a few hours outside of Tokyo. What I miss most besides the easy access are winter sports like cross country skiing, ice hockey and my favorite, broomball. Ask anyone who has never lived life in a winter wonderland what broomball is and 100% will reply, “What?”
To the untrained eye broomball looks like a poor man’s form of hockey in which participants unable to afford the necessary equipment like skates, sticks and a puck opt to dumpster dive coming up with used winter boots, brooms, and a volleyball. But a poor man sport it is not! In fact, broomball is a legitimate sport with teams, leagues and tournaments. There are commonalities with hockey such as six players to a side, an ice rink and goals. Other than that, it’s a game unto its own.
The lethal combination of rubber sole meeting the ice causes extreme slippage and a danger factor. Adding to this combination, a lack of head protection infinitely increases the chance of a noggin cracking. The broom is the centerpiece of equipment and used to bash the volleyball. The object of the game is simple, stay on your feet, avoid injury and put the ball into the opposing team’s goal. This is not an easy task due to the slick ice and the opposing team trying to slam you into the boards. While passing a hockey puck to a teammate may look easy, passing a volleyball on ice is next to impossible.
This game is all about timing with team members mostly overshooting their position sliding past incoming passes. Whereas with skates you stop on a dime thanks to the razor-sharp edges, old winter boots offer no stopping power whatsoever. Besides timing, it comes down to speed, balance and an understanding of physics. I failed out of physics in college so I ended up relying on speed, which explains why I nearly always overshot my mark crashing into the boards or taking out the opposing team.
Like Usain Bolt in the 100 meters in his starting position I am at one end of the rink praying to the ice gods that this time physics and gravity will work in my favor. Acting as the starter pistol my teammate screams at the top of his lungs “Unleash the fury,” signaling the start of my dash. Gathering speed as I go from one end of the rink to the other my only aspiration, remain on my feet, receive the pass just as I reach top speed, shoot and score. This was a rare occasion. Most of the time the ball would end up behind me and at bone breaking speed I would crash into the boards surrounding the rink injuring my shoulder and pride. Or the next best thing, slide headlong into the opposing team knocking them down like bowling pins in an alley. Whenever this happened spectators would yell out in unison “STRIKE!”
Hockey fans go to games to cheer on their favorite team, but the diehard fans know the real reason, to see fights. Fighting is the highlight. Hockey fights are barbaric and brutal in which tempers flare at the slightest infraction. Loyal broomball fans of course support their teams, but what really puts butts in the ice cold seats is the promise of seeing cracked skulls. To the tried and true, it doesn’t matter win or lose the rallying cry is the same – “True victory is ours only when enough blood is spilt!“
Battle weary and woozy from concussions, we retreat to our local watering hole to a glorious round of applause knowing we did our best for the fans. And if you look closely in the misty darkness surrounding the now empty ice rink, you just might see the ghost of Pollock mopping up the remnants of a well fought battle. He has a use for it.