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Cramped “Quarters” Chromatone rotated the plus-sized BenWa balls in his meaty paws. He’d been in this situation before: only four on the scoreboard in the final heat and everything riding on this last insertion. His partner, Trixie Tendrix held the regional record, but she was nearly stretched to the limit as it was. The crowd roared and the TV cameras dollied in for the close up. Cramped Quarters rolled one of the balls between his thumb and forefinger, leaned in close and inserted it into his partner’s waiting sport-hole. The crowd hushed. The ball slid in with some effort, but otherwise without incident. The crowd went wild.
Just one ball left to take the championship. Trixie gave him a look of encouragement as he leaned in for the last ball. Trixie only had to hold it for a count of three to win. Quarters had to lean his substantial weight into the effort, but finally managed to ply in the last ball. Trixie’s face was screwed up in concentration, trying to hold the last ball in. 1...2…3! They’d done it! Cramped Quarters turned around in triumph and so didn’t notice that Trixie was losing her grip. She couldn’t hold it any longer and in a moment she let loose; the steel balls shot out of her “game satchel” at thirty-two feet per second, striking Cramped behind the right ear. He dropped to the floor in a pool of blood as the cameras ate up the scene. The ratings for BenWa Balling were never higher, but after the Cramped Quarters incident, the sport adopted new safety regulations. Some say it just isn’t the same, and never will be.
Date Written: May 21, 2003
Author: Ewan Snow
Average Vote: 4.44444