Jae worked fast to bring the ball to the enemy’s court but two players blocked his way before he could cross the midline. He tossed the ball overhead. The players’ fingers brushed against the ball but Logan’s hands caught it.
Logan spun around and threw the ball towards the basket.
It flew all the way to the other side and hit the backboard. It hit the ring and finally went in the basket.
The clocked stopped running and the horn rang throughout the gym.
The signal that the game had ended.
Woodland’s chipmunks won two consecutive games and qualified for the championship.
Their supporters stood up and screamed at the top of their lungs.
Teammates jumped in triumph.
The mascot rose up and down the sign board in its hands, bouncing on its heels.
The cheerleaders sprang to life and chanted their victory.
Logan patted Max in the back when he came up to him for a hug. All the while, Logan’s eyes scanned the bleachers. He had done it a number of times throughout the two games but his face remained unhappy.
When Jae clapped his shoulder, he shrugged it off with a side smile.
Unable to bring himself to the spirit, he jogged towards the cooler to get some water but it turned out to be empty so he glanced over at Jae to tell him that he was going to look for some water.
The one locker Logan had to own… it had to have a code.
Alex had been ready to pick the lock. One of her dad’s friends was locksmith who taught her how to lock pick, much to her father’s dismay. It had been a thrilling skill she developed.
But luck just wasn’t on her side, was it? She groaned in her mind. What could possibly be Logan’s combination? She didn’t even have a good guess—not even his birthdate!
She shook the lock in frustration. It rattled against the metal.
The, the door to the locker room creaked open.
She could hear someone grumbled under their breath as they walked. She looked at her surroundings and found no place to hide. Damn, what should she do? She wasn’t supposed to be here! Not to mention, who’d want to stay in a stinky locker room?
The wall near the corner had a whiteboard and a cork board on it. The whiteboard contained the team’s strategy/discussion while the corkboard contained several photos from throughout the years. It also had motivational quotes, some bought and some handmade, and had random things pinned out with labels like “A piece of the winning ball from 2000s championship game.”
Alex stood before this wall with her arms crossed and stared at its contents as if completely invested in their worth, deciding not to hide at all.
She had a backup plan anyway.
“I can’t believe—” Logan began to say once he passed the corner when he noticed someone else was in the locker room. His hands stayed on the towel he head wrapped around his neck.
“So…” Alex glanced at his direction, pointing at the cork board, “Is this where your infamous lucky socks will be after you graduate?”
Logan’s wide eyes focused on her. She wore their gym uniform and a pair of white sneakers. Her stance and demeanor seemed as if it wasn’t weird for her to be in the locker room. Logan opened his mouth several times to speak but words just couldn’t find their way out of his throat.
Alex smiled teasingly, “Unless you plan to have my phone up on this corkboard, can I please have it back?”
She outstretched a hand towards his direction but Logan didn’t move from his spot. The sight of her caused his heart to race and his brain to disconnect from his body. Against the grimmy locker room, she glowed like a night light.
At least in Logan’s eyes.
Alex snapped her fingers, “Earth to Logan?”
“Xa-Xandra! Hey!” He finally said, clearing his throat. Slowly the signal from his brain to the rest of his nerves reconnected.
“Yes, that’s my name.” Alex licked her lips and tucked a loose strand of blonde wig hair behind her ear, “I came as you asked so can I have my phone now?”
“What are you doing in the lockers? The gym is way over there.” Logan pointed behind him. Connection to arms and hands was a success.
Alex bowed her head and shuffled her feet a little. Peeking through her lashes, she confessed softly, “I kind of got lost from going to the bathroom. The door here looked like the one near the gym so I opened it. I realized I entered the wrong door but these kind of caught my attention.”
She tilted her head towards the corkboard which Logan seemed to notice only now.
“Oh!” He exclaimed, “Oh, I see. Well… uh… yeah that’s our motivational wall.”
Logan walked over to one of the benches. His legs and feet seemed to work now. He sat and wiped the sweat off the side of his face. Then, he smelled the towel, instantly regretting it. Where was a cologne when he needed one? Or even just a deodorant.
“I figured.” Alex chuckled and tapped a finger on a particular picture, ” You had Justin Bieber hair, huh?’
Did he have any body spray in his bag? Logan wondered in his mind, barely registering what she said, “Yeah, I—wait, what? Don’t tell anyone about that!”
Alex smirked, “Why not? I’m sure everyone had that phase.”
Logan groaned, ruffling his hair a bit, “Maybe but your brother won’t let me hear the end of it.”
Alex blinked in surprise and realized he must have meant her comment about his vomit session at the carousel. She pressed her lips together, thinking if she actually crossed a line with one. She happened to be at that amusement park with Emily. Emily came to stay at Aunt Lilly’s place who forced them to go out and have fun. She didn’t even knew the guy was Logan until she saw him in school and recognized him from that park.
“How is Alex?” She asked him, watching his expression.
Logan stared at the floor with a scrunch on his eyebrows, “Well, he does his best to not make any friends I give you that. We didn’t necessarily get along in the beginning but eventually… yeah, we still don’t get along that well.”
He reached for a bottle of water from the reserved cooler next to the bench. He twisted off the cap and drank almost all of it in one gulp. It had been an unexpected week.
Synopsis: Somewhere in the universe, there was an altar. On it, laid a bloody eye as big as the sun itself. It burst with light and bathed the entire star system in red.
"The aura of an ancestral artifact!" Someone's voice rose in surprise.
The Great Galactic Era had begun.