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Flash Fiction
596 words
SHJ Issue 6
Fall 2012

Armageddon on Monday Night Football

by David Memmott

We can expect an epochal battle tonight, Howard, as two perennial powerhouses lock horns for the right to face the Oriental Express for world domination. It’s an interesting matchup. The contrasts couldn’t be starker. The Western Eagles will be looking to strike early through the air with the long bomb. This Eagle offense has loads of weapons to reduce the field to cinders but relies on a stingy defense to capitalize on mistakes made by the Mideast Oil Kings to maintain their advantage. You can count on the The Kings to crawl out from under a smoking rock undeterred. They will do what they do best, erase that Eagle advantage by wearing down their defense with a gut-busting, jaw-breaking ground game, the product of a well-drilled squad that will have to drill even deeper, tonight, to strike pay dirt. The Kings’ fullback, The Persian Knight, isn’t afraid to bang heads with that Eagle line and something’s gotta give. The clock may decide this one. Time of possession is key. If the Kings keep it close, that Eagle defense may run out of gas. Conditioning is everything this far into the season, and the staying power of the Eagle front line has been suspect in its last couple of crusades.

We’re in the fourth period, folks, and this has been a head-knocker. These true-believers are killing each other. The Kings may have fewer weapons but have cut into that Eagle advantage with a simple but effectively improvised attack—straight up the middle with an explosive charge. It’s a standoff of Biblical proportions.

Third and seven on the Eagle twenty-six. The Kings need to hold the field. Ahmed and The Persian Knight need more help from the Koran against these odds. Ahmed takes the snap and hands off to his power fullback. The Persian Knight ducks under his mountainous right guard and finds a hole to hide in. It closes quickly, but that big offensive line compresses it into a black hole and rolls it over their opponents. The Knight gave up his body on that one, Howard. Everything depends on the sacred spot. They do a body count, clear the field of collateral damage and bring in the chains. But the chains are broken. The Kings are going for it! The Eagle line is playing with mouths open. “Praise Allah!” The Kings shout in their huddle, sensing an upset, waiting for a prayer to be sent in from Dubai.

Eagle’s linebacker, Samson Samuel, has been hitting hard all day. What can you say about this guy? He’s all heartland. He dances up to the line on a blitz then backs off, narrowing his eyes, setting The Kings’ quarterback in his sights. Dead on his feet, Ahmed takes the snap. Oh, what a bone-jarring collision! He can’t keep his head on. Samson mistakes it for a fumble, scoops it up and starts running the opposite direction, picking up blockers. The Persian Knight walks untouched into the endzone.

We’re all even. One minute left. Through a cacophony of fundamental fandom, chanting and singing, trumpets and drumlines, human waves waving, Achilles Jones misfires, blowing out a whole section in a desperate attempt to constrain these martyrs. In the waning seconds, he avoids a fierce rush, steps up to fill his pockets and throws a long bomb. A Hail Mary, three hail Marys, five hail Marys. Right into the endzone. Tall Timber Tillman from Oregon gets a hand on it, bobbles it. Oh, he can’t hang on, Howard. It looks like we’re going to sudden death.


SHJ Issue 6
Fall 2012

David Memmott’s

newest poetry collection, Lost Transmissions, is available from Serving House Books. He is a Fishtrap Fellow, Rhysling Award winner, a recent Playa resident, 2010 Spur Award finalist for best Western poem, and recipient of three Fellowships for Publishing from Literary Arts, Inc.

Poems recently appeared in on-line journals, Elohi Gadugi and Fiddleback. He is editor and publisher of Wordcraft of Oregon, LLC and managing editor of Phantom Drift: A Journal of New Fabulism. He lives in La Grande, Oregon.

“...we have been born here to witness and celebrate. We wonder at our purpose for living. Our purpose
is to perceive the fantastic. Why have a universe if there is no audience?” — Ray Bradbury