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Bludger Blues - Kids Stories by Katiebug from Folsom, USA

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Abnegation Amity Candor Dauntless Erudite Tris Four Eric Jeanine

Author Katiebug Town Folsom
Age 14 Country USA
Rating 3 Date 12th Jul 2004
Topic Quidditch
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Title Bludger Blues
I dismounted my broom, swinging my legs over with the ease of many years of practice. My right arm hung limp at my side, my beaters' club dangling from my sore fingers. I was oblivious to my teammates around me, patting me on the back and whispering sympathetic words somewhere along the lines of, 'Nice try, you almost got him.' I only stared disconsolately at the soft, muddy ground beneath me, wishing passionately that the game had turned out a different way. I had let the team down in the one play that really mattered. My mind played the scene back like one of Omnioculars that some of the fans had.

***

It had been going so well. It was the championship game of the Amateur Quidditch League. My team, the Prankster Pixies, had an unbelievable lead against the Dazzling Dragons, 130 to 20 only half an hour in. The Dragons' defense wasn't going so hip, especially after I whomped their keeper in the stomach with a bludger. It had begun to rain pretty harshly, weighing down my robes and turning my arms to lead. My trained eye happened to pick out a flash of gold through the cloak of rain. The Snitch! I deflected a bludger and urged on our seeker, a newcomer named Henry. Unfortunately, Henry was on the opposite side of the field, squinting through his thick-rimmed glasses as he maneuvered his broomstick through the speeding players. I felt a twinge of envy. Seekers always seemed to have more dexterity on the broomstick than us beaters.

A bell rang, announcing another goal by the Pixies. I pumped my club in the air, shouting the teams' victory cheer and favorite saying, 'Pixie's got your nose!' Thus, I was caught off my guard when I saw a blur whoosh past me, and I recognized James, the Dragons' seeker, plummeting towards the Snitch, which was still flitting around within eyeshot. I looked around frantically, and heard that all too familiar whistle... a bludger heading my way. I thanked the stars for this perfect opportunity as the bloodlust common to all beaters washed over me.

I swung my club back, my muscles coiling up like a snake preparing to strike. My ears filtered out all sounds - the beating of the rain, the cheer of the crowd, the whistle of the wind - all except one... the hiss of the bludger as it advanced towards me. I could judge everything from that hiss, be it the distance of the bludger, its speed, its flight path... literally everything. I leveled my eyes on the target - James, his wet hair plastered against his forehead as he hurtled towards the golden Snitch. I trusted my ears to determine when to swing the club. I felt utterly confident in my abilities to stop this seeker in his tracks.

But just then, as my power and confidence reached its peak, an infinitesimal thought infiltrated my mind - what if I missed? I scoffed at this. I hadn't missed since I was still in Hogwarts! But WHAT IF… I tried to push the thought aside, but it stood its ground resolutely. I concentrated on the bludger again and unleashed the fury of my swing, one that could easily kill a dragon… and I mean a REAL dragon! I waiting for the arm-numbing, bone-tingling crash which left my arm swollen and sore for days… but none came. The bludger hurled past me, keeping the same path. I looked down at the club in my hand in disbelief. I had missed.

Nearby, James did a show-offy flip and caught the Snitch. I saw every beat of its tiny wings as it struggled to free itself from the enemy’s grasp, buzzing fiercely. I knew the crowd must be going wild, but I heard nothing. I brought my hands up and wrenched at my hair in frustration, screaming my rage as the scoreboard flipped to read the final score: Dragons: 170 Pixies: 140. I floated to the ground, looking the other way as the exultant Dragons engulfed their seeker, forming a sphere of joy of which I was entirely left out of…

***

As I replayed the scene, my anger at myself slowly melted off me. I didn’t know why, but I suddenly felt happy somehow, as though a 500 lb. weight had been lifted off my shoulders. As I looked at my teammates I realized that I was not alone in my sorrow. I felt an incredible bonding with them, more even than when we win. As I walked off, mud spattered and dejected, I repeated that old adage to my teammates and friends:

“You win some, and you lose some.”