for Short Shots, for Jase Anthony Schmeider, can a djinn help the soccer team?
Jase and the Djinn
Jase flung off his goalie T-shirt and threw it to the ground. It was his fault the team had lost 2 to 1. He should have stopped that last kick, but it had sailed past his hands and into the net. He didn't stop to shake the hands of the other team, or stop to wait for his parents to console him. He took off running till he hit the fence then slumped in the dirt and folded his head in his hands. He didn't care if he was being a poor sport, it didn't matter if his coach would be angry. He did care when his grandmother came and sat in the dirt beside him not saying a word.
Minutes passed in silence. Finally, he lifted his head, wiped away the few tears he had allowed, and not looking at Gran whispered, "I messed up bad,
"Yeah, you did, "she agreed, "we all mess up once in a while. The important thing though," she said, "is to clean up our messes."
Jase wasn't sure how he was going to do that right now but he didn't have time to think about it. Gramma was getting up, brushing the dirt off her jeans and offering him a hand up. "Your Mom and Dad left without you," she said, "I'm driving you home. But let's go get a pizza first."
Jase wasn't sure he could swallow a pizza past the lump in his throat...but he liked being with Gramma and didn't argue. Besides, it wasn't often he got time to spend alone with her without his noisy brothers and sisters.
Gramma picked a table at the back of the restaurant and ordered a small cheese pizza and root beer, his favorites. Jase was ready for a lecture but his Grandmother didn't say anything about the game, just asking questions about school and his friends.
He noticed that she kept fiddling with a necklace she was wearing. It was a tiny greenish blue bottle and had an even tinier stopper on top. Jase had never seen it before.
"What's that?" ,asked Jase, pointing to the necklace.
Gramma smiled and leaned over and whispered in his ear, "That's where my djinn lives. You might know the word as genie, but djinn is the proper word."
Jase became wide-eyed, "You really have a genie, a g-gin in there? Does it grant wishes?".
"First of all," said Gramma, IT is a he, and sometimes he grants wishes, but not always." She continued, "His name is Fred, he has green skin and purple dredlocks
and you may ask him today for the deepest wish in your heart."
Jase didn't quite know whether to believe his Gramma or not, but not to take any chances, he wished and wished and wished that he could be the best player on his soccer team.
"You might dream about Fred tonight," she said, "that's the best time to see and hear him."
"Gramma," said Jase, "I'm not really sure I believe a genie or a djinn lives in there."
"Don't worry," smiled Gramma, "he believes in you."
They finished their pizza and root beers and Gramma drove him back to the house. He didn't tell his older brother and sister about the djinn, they might make fun of him. But Jase knew that Gramma knew all kinds of weird stuff.
For the rest of that week everytime Jase went to sleep he would see and hear Fred in his dreams. But all the djinn ever said was, BE STRONG, BE BRAVE, BE KIND.
Jase sure didn't know how that was going to help him be the best soccer player, but he figured a djinn probably knew what he was talking about. All week long he heard Fred's words in his head: BE STRONG, BE BRAVE, BE KIND.
That next Saturday Jase couldn't wait to get to the soccer fields. He went early and hearing Fred's words in his ears, went and told the coach he was sorry for walking off the field last week. "That's OK, Jase, said coach, "do you want to play goalie again?"
Jase nodded yes and went to take his position.
They were at the final quarter and each team had scored only 1 goal. Jase knew it was up to him again.
BE STRONG, BE BRAVE, BE KIND.
The center of the other team positioned the ball quickly and kicked the ball high and hard. Jase was ready...but again the ball sailed high over his hands and into the goalie's net. They had lost again.
Yet somehow Jase managed to keep his cool, and smile, and walk over to the other team to shake their hands. He didn't throw off his shirt and run away with his head in his hands. He knew he might not be the best soccer player on the team, but he knew he was brave, strong, and kind.
Gramma came over and put her arm around him, "I'm sorry you lost the game. But glad to see you're being a good sport."
Jase hugged her and pointed to her green-blue glass necklace. "Gramma, he said. I don't think the djinn lives in there. I think he lives in here," pointing to his heart.
Gramma laughed, and agreed, and whispered in his hear, BE STRONG, BE BRAVE, BE KIND.