New Parker Brothers Mystery starts today!
FATHER KNOWS BEST
Allen Parker drove his shoulder hard into the advancing lineman before spinning away toward the sideline, cleats digging into the frozen tundra of Bordermen Field. With a stutter step, he juked the linebacker that had come up to cover him, and with a burst of speed he was racing toward the endzone. Looking over his shoulder, he saw the ball sailing through the crisp autumn air, the sound of approaching footsteps thundering in his ears. Don’t look, he thought, eyes on the ball. The Converse Bordermen were trailing by five with mere seconds on the clock. This was do or die time.
The football arrived, grazing Allen’s fingertips, just as an energized free safety delivered a devastating blow into the young Parker’s right side. The ball tumbled from his grasp, but he managed to bat it once, twice into the air. Safety and tight end crashed onto the hard ground, the ball flipping end over end. With a last ditch effort, Parker reached for it, straining against the pain and then it was in his hands. He’d done it. He caught the damn ball. Somewhere a starter gun signaled the end of the game and an eruption of joy exploded from the bleachers.
Allen rolled over, football held close, and he looked toward the endzone. He was mere inches shy of the promised land. Mighty Casey had struck out. Gathering himself, he walked off the field with his comrades, their despondence and weariness made all the more so by the resonant cheers of the visiting Argylls. While Allen’s teammates fell into the comfort of their girlfriends and parents, young Parker’s eyes focused on the emptying bleachers. There was no father there waiting to say “nice try, son”, no brother to say “you’ll get ‘em next time, kid”. No, his father and brother were elsewhere this Friday night. They were tending to the family business… the business of hunting ghosts.
To be continued…