Game Over!

8 Jul

footvolley

Foot volley, which is a mixture of soccer and volley ball is a way of life in Guarã, a small city in a remote part of the Amazon valley in Brazil. Players use their legs, feet and head to get the ball over a net. It sounds like a fun way to pass the time and it can be, just not in Guarã. There, winning a game can mean you get to live another day or will be burned alive bound by old car tires and doused in gasoline. It harks back to the worst days of the Roman empire but instead of Caesars presiding over the tournaments, there are drug dealers deciding the fates of athletes.

If parents see that their child is particularly good at foot volley, they sometimes will sell all their possessions to ensure their child has a bus ticket, one way, out of Guarã. The child will sometimes grow up in the company of relatives without their parents because the parents are too poor to make the bus fare to get themselves out. In some cases, parents end up dead for sending away a good prospect.

José had no parents to care for him or to sell possessions to get him out of Guarã. José lived on the street in a pack of about 10 boys. He was the best of around 4 really good players. When they weren´t playing foot volley, training foot volley or trying to get something to eat from the trash, the pack was usually either sniffing glue or trying to get their hands on it. Not José. Some time ago, José found some text books in the trash while looking for dinner. José was taught to read by the church and he was grateful and did not want their gift to go in vain.

José had won so much that he had built himself quite the name in Guarã. He was like a local celebrity. He was forced to go to the big outdoor “funk parties” as they were called, thrown by the local drug dealers. He was paraded around like a mascot. He despised them all. He despised the drug dealers who he saw as poisoning the community. He despised the party goers and useless people lowered even further in his eyes for idolizing such horrid people. He despised the cops who were easily bribed by the drug bosses and would abuse street children in every sense of the word for their own pleasure.

One night José lay in his concrete bed, in reality a sewer tunnel opening, trying to get the images out of his head of what he saw that day. He had won a major day long tournament closed with not only the murder of every loser but their depraved torture as well. José had seen a lot up to this point but this was worse than anything he had seen. His mind went back and forth from the torture to the faces of the spectators who watched in ecstasy and cheered on the torturers. He was forced to watch from a rickety homemade throne that was spray painted gold and had worn purple pillows fixed to it to make it look like a real king´s chair.

As he laid there, tears rolling down his eyes, he smelled smoke. It was not the usual smell of bonfires which were frequent during the nights after a tournament. It had a more chemical smell. He went out from his makeshift bedroom and climbed an electrical tower. A few thatched roofed houses were on fire. There was little to no response, probably because of the level of intoxication of the people. For the most part of the population, they were passed out drunk.

José thought quick. He knew how he could help. Help himself, help his city, help his country, help the world. He made his way to the police precinct which looked no different than the front office of a land fill. He went to the patio where the few broken down vehicles were parked. He grabbed two 20 liter canisters and went running. As he approached the burning huts he poured some of the liquid from the canisters into discarded water bottles and aluminum cans. He then proceeded to throw them near the flames.

Where the bottle and cans hit, great little explosions took place and the flames quickly spread. He was throwing containers of gasoline into the flames! He then moved on to huts that were not on fire and started to throw flaming soda cans onto the roofs. When they were sufficiently ablaze he went to the only houses in the village, slipshod building decorated by what looked like by psychopathic children, and started to fling his mini Molotov cocktails over the walls. In no time they were on fire as well.

José, satisfied with his work, started for the outskirts of the village. It was getting hot as the fire was spreading rapidly. He was surprised by the lack of commotion on the street. Surely some people were not so drunk as to burn to death without waking. He didn´t care either way. He made his way to the outskirts of the village, climbed a little foot hill and watch the fire do its cleansing.

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10 Responses to “Game Over!”

  1. Priceless Joy July 8, 2015 at 2:39 pm #

    Wow! Wonderful story!

    • Ryan July 8, 2015 at 4:06 pm #

      Thank you! I did one of those exercises where I found the picture first, then wrote the story. I´ve never done that before. I am glad you liked it.

      • Priceless Joy July 8, 2015 at 4:30 pm #

        You would be good at flash fiction. Do you ever have an urge to write short stories for flash fiction challenges? There are 4 challenges, one of them being mine. They are a lot of fun. You write your story using 50-200 words.

      • Ryan July 8, 2015 at 4:49 pm #

        I am always up for a challenge!!!! When I was younger, I would write these micro stories. I found by hand was better than typing.

      • Priceless Joy July 8, 2015 at 5:10 pm #

        Okay. I sent my challenge out early Tuesday morning and it will be accepting stories until next Monday night. I have a photo prompt.

        Sunday Photo Fiction (this is still open for stories this week) They have a photo prompt.

        https://sundayphotofictioner.wordpress.com

        Monday’s Finish the Story (this is open until next Sunday to receive stories) On this they give you a photo prompt and the first sentence to your story:

        https://mondaysfinishthestory.wordpress.com

        Rochelle just sent out her challenge post this morning and it will be open all week accepting stories. This is a photo prompt challenge.

        https://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com

        Check them out and see what you think. I think they are fun and addicting!

      • Priceless Joy July 8, 2015 at 4:31 pm #

        Just in case you’re interested, this is the url to my flash fiction:
        https://flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com

        If you are interested, I will get you the url to the other challenges.

      • Ryan July 8, 2015 at 4:51 pm #

        This is very interesting indeed! I would need to organize myself (which is difficult lol) but I am game!

  2. Bruce Goodman July 8, 2015 at 6:06 pm #

    Horridly excellent!

    • Ryan July 9, 2015 at 7:35 pm #

      Thanks Bruce! I got a bunch of friends to read this. Other expats in Brazil. They were like “Uh….it was….hmmmm……good…..very dark…..but…..uhhhhhh……good…..” I got a good chuckle out of their response.

  3. Susanne July 8, 2015 at 7:36 pm #

    I wish this were a true story. Sorta. Regardless, I like your version of poetic justice.

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