Buns of Steel, Chapter 6: Charlie’s Escape


     “Dang Charlie! You missed the lay up, again! Come on man!” David was always quick to pick up Charlie when he fell short. He extended his hand to help Charlie up off the floor. “Man, you didn’t see that foul though?” Charlie asked. “Dude,” David replied, “you’re lucky you didn’t get called for traveling; then I’d really have to clown you. Come on let’s get back.” The two hustled back to help defend their team in a zone defense. David and Charlie loved playing a zone. They pretended to be kings; protecting the basket as they would a kingdom.

     The offense came down the floor on Charlie’s side of the court. The ball managed to get by the defense on the wing, and Charlie refused to let himself be scored on. Charlie effortlessly stole the ball, but couldn’t seem to break away from the double teamed defenders in his path. Charlie managed to pass the ball to David who had rotated to the top of the key. David dribbled down the court to keep the defense on him, and passed the ball back to Charlie. From just inside the three point arc, Charlie received the ball and took the shot. It flew through the hoop to win his team the game just in time to end gym class.

     Back in the locker room Charlie hoped the guys would forget about the lay up he missed, but some of them just wouldn’t let him live it down. “Hey Chuck! You trying to do your daddy proud or what? You can’t score a “G” ducking bunnies like that!” Allen Duncan was the cruelest kid around. David gave him a hard push. “Shut up man! You don’t know nothing about Charlie or his pops.” The boys in the locker room kept laughing and teasing Charlie. “Ya’ll better shut up before I make you shut up!” David shouted. “Hey! What’s going on in there?!” yelled their gym teacher from his office. Charlie’s face suddenly became hot. He looked down at his hands; they were terribly shaking. Charlie grabbed his change of clothes, and stuffed them in his book bag. Everyone was too busy laughing and packing up their stuff; no one noticed Charlie walk up behind Allen.

     “What did you say?” Charlie asked him. Allen didn’t even get a chance to repeat his words before his lip began to bleed. “Come on Charlie, let’s get out of here!” David grabbed him before he could throw another punch. The two ran out to the hallway and didn’t look back. It was the third time that week Charlie didn’t make it to his last period class. David on the other hand, had never missed school before.

    “Let’s go to the park, and shoot some hoops,” Charlie suggested. “I can’t. I gotta get this lab done that’s due Friday,” said David. “Then why’d you even come?” asked Charlie. “Man, you were going off back there on Allen; I had to get you out of there. Then we just started running and I just went with it. You had my adrenaline pumping!” David told him. “You almost as crazy as me man,” Charlie laughed. “Nah, you the crazy one,” replied David. “He deserved it,” Charlie explained. “Allen always talking reckless, so I put my money where his mouth was. He act like he ain’t see that buzzer I nailed right at the end. Stupid ass.” David laughed in response to Charlie. “What? I know you saw it too!” Charlie exclaimed. “That thing said swoosh bruh! I know your brain tape caught that! My shot was on the map today!”

     “Yeah boy, we seen you out there,” said David. “Mmhm. Gimme my props,” replied Charlie, holding out his fist. The boys reenacted their secret handshake before David continued playfully taunting Charlie. “Man, you was attention grabbin’ for sure, but what you need to do is check on your left handed lay ups.” Charlie gave him a look that said, ‘explain, but proceed with caution.’ “For real dog, ya rhythm is just a lil off. Sometimes it looks like you don’t know if you should dougie, or do the runnin’ man.” Charlie sucked his teeth. “Shut up. I don’t care what you say. Gym was cool today; cooler than all the fireworks on the fourth of July.”

     “Yeah alright man. I’ll check you later. Stay up,” David told him. The boys shook hands again before departing. Charlie walked over to the basketball court, and began to shoot around. After getting one of his rebounds he noticed a strange man lurking just outside the court’s fences. Charlie took another shot and glanced back at the fence. The man he thought was watching him had disappeared. Charlie figured it must have been his imagination.


How do you think Allen knows about Charlie’s father?

Why do you think Charlie skipped school?

Why do you think Charlie hit Allen without getting a teacher involved?

Do you remember who was watching Charlie on the basketball court? 


Buns of Steel. You don’t want to miss what happens next!