A boy gets golden soccer cleats with special properties
|The Enchanted Soccer Cleats
The short, skinny boy with black hair and brown eyes sat down on the bleachers as his older brother ran on to the soccer field.
"Mason! Come on! You're playing, right?" Nick shouted.
"Yeah..." he sighed. "Guess I have to..."
Mason wasn't that much into sports. Mason was only twelve years old and he really didn't care that much for soccer. The only reason he was playing it was because of Nick, his older brother. Nick was sixteen and he was a true champion at it and it showed. Nick proudly showed his shelves with his collection of soccer medals and trophies in his room, and their mother just couldn't stop bragging about all the awards her oldest son had won while playing for the team on all their many road trips and tournaments.
But for Mason, the truth of the matter was, he would much rather just stay home and hold his game controller in his hand and play games on his Xbox all day long. There wasn't anything better to do over the summer or on those long, hot Florida afternoons after school than to play several rounds of HALO. He didn't care about sports unless he was playing a sports-related video game. His mother, on the other hand, pushed him into playing something, preferably a team sport.
His mom signed him up for baseball in the fourth grade. It was a complete disaster. Mason couldn't throw, bat, or run. He was too slow and un-coordinated. They hated him on the team and he ended up spending most of his time sitting on the bench. Football was out of the question, and his short stature really didn't help when his mother tried to get him to sign up for basketball. So, since football seemed just too dangerous, soccer seemed like the only other sport to try out, since ice hockey was out of the question in Southern Florida.
Mason finally got up and walked over to the bench where the rest of his teammates were. After a short pep-talk from the Coach, they all ran on to the field and started kicking the ball to one another. Jason, one of the other kids on the tea, became very annoyed when Mason kept kicking the ball too hard, or too far away from him.
"Dude! Can't you kick the ball to ME for a change?" Jason groaned. "You need to play something else besides soccer, dude... Like bowling or something!"
"Shut up, Jason!" Mason growled.
"Hey! Don't tell me to shut up, pinhead!" Jason shouted, as he walked up to Mason and gave him a shove.
The two boys started shoving until the Coach came between them and sent them both to the bench to cool off. After a few minutes, Mason just got up and walked over to the bleachers on the side of the soccer fields, near the snack bar, where two older men were sitting.
"The players sit on the bench by the field, son..." the man with the red jacket said.
"Yeah... It's old guys like us, who come to watch soccer because we can't play anymore, who sit on the bleachers..." the man with the brown jacket added.
"I guess I should join you guys..." Mason mumbled angrily.
"What's that, son?"
Mason just ignored it for the moment. He didn't feel like talking.
"A young, strong soccer player like you should be out on the field, kicking that ball into the goal!" one of the men continued.
"They...." Mason said softly, as tears started rolling down his cheeks. "They don't want a loser like me on the team... I'm gonna quit the team..."
The two elderly men turned and stared at each other for a moment, before they turned an looked at the boy, who was sitting next to them. He was fully dressed in soccer gear, but he was clearly upset. The men realized they had to help the kid out.
The man with the red coat got up and sat on the boy's left as the other man got closer to him, on his right.
"The name is Aaron... Aaron James..." the man with the red coat said, as he extended his hand to Mason for a handshake.
"Mason... Mason Chance... " Mason said softly. He almost felt ashamed of saying his own name.
"Barney Styles..." the other man said, shaking Mason's hand as well.
"What seems to be the problem, my young friend?" Aaron asked the boy.
"I'm such a loser... I can't play no stinkin' soccer... I'm only here because my big bro is so good at it... I'm no jock... I'm a geek... I just wanna play video games and be left alone... But mom insists that I play sports so I stay active and not get fat... I hate it!" Mason grumbled.
"Well, no wonder, kid! Look at those old cleats you're wearing!" Barney remarked, as he pointed to Mason's old cleats.
"I got those from Nick... As soon as he had outgrown his cleats, he passed them down to me... Just like everything else I got in my room... Hand-me-downs! These cleats are like three years old!" Mason complained. "They even got holes on the sides!"
"Hmmm... We can fix them up for you, my young friend!" Aaron said. "But, you must promise that you'll be back here by tomorrow!"
Mason stared at the old man for a moment.
"What will you do to them?"
"We will make them into soccer cleats which will make you play like you were qualifying for the World Cup!" Barney grinned.
"What?" the boy said in complete disbelief. "That's impossible! I got NO soccer skills at all!"
"Mason... Just give us one chance, alright?" Aaron said calmly.
"But.... Why would you guys want to help a kid like me?" Mason wondered.
"We're too old to play... but this would give us the chance to see our creation help YOU play... Please don't quit the team!" Aaron pleaded with the boy.
"Give us one chance to help you!" Barney added. "We used to be professional soccer players... A long time ago... This way, we can pass on our soccer skills to you!"
"Uhh... Okay... I'll be here..." Mason said.
"Wear the new cleats we'll give you tomorrow, okay?" Aaron asked the boy.
"And for God's sake... PLAY!" Barney added.
Mason stood up and turned to look at the men. Could he believe them?
Mason removed his old cleats and left them with the two men. Aaron took the cleats in his hands and held them in his arms.
"The cleats of a champion... The cleats of a future World Cup star... This is soccer history in the making..." Aaron smiled, as he hugged Mason's old cleats.
Mason thought that these guys were crazy. Who was he? A loser. A nobody. But,e he would just walk home, wearing his socks.
Meanwhile, Aaron and Barney took the cleats to their old house, which was just behind the soccer field!
Another man, a few years younger than them, appeared. It was Charlie.
"You guys ready for your medicine? Both you guys need to go in for chemo next week. I know how much you guys hate it..." Charlie said to the two men.
"We know we're dying, Charlie... But we have a new purpose now..." Aaron said, as he set the old soccer cleats on the table. "We're going to play soccer again!"
Charlie gasped when he saw the cleats.
Aaron pulled a bottle holding a special serum out of the closet. Then, he opened a thick sorcerer's book.
"Okay, Barney... I will become his left cleat... You will become the right cleat... We will change the boy's cleats to gold as we change his old cleats into new, living, golden ones! Then... When the boy wears them... We will bombard the kid with killer soccer skills... Over forty years of professional soccer playing and coaching skills will be transferred into one twelve-year-old boy..." Aaron smiled. "We'll get to play soccer again!"
"I can't wait to be worn by the kid!" Barney grinned.
"What about me?" Charlie groaned.
"You will deliver us in a box to a kid named Mason... he will meet you at the bleachers at three in the afternoon... he is short with black hair... Make sure he puts us on and goes off to play!" Aaron ordered. "He is the only one who can fit and wear the golden cleats!"
"Got it.... but..." Charlie sighed. "I'm gonna miss you guys..."
"Hey... when you're talking to the kid's cleats... you'll be talking to us!" Barney grinned. "No more cancer treatments... No more doctors... No more chemo... We'll be playing soccer with this kid from now on!"
Then, Aaron and Barney hugged Charlie before they got into a dark room where they read some verses from the spell book. They poured a potion over Mason's old cleats before they each drank a specified amount from the same potion. Lastly, Aaron and Barney began to shrink... They dwindled down as their bodies began to merge with the cleats on the floor before them. Their clothes fell to the floor as their hands and arms fused together, as well as their legs.
Next, their bodies began to cover the old leather forms of the old cleats that were on the floor, somehow injecting many decades of soccer knowledge and experience into them. The old, worn and torn leather and rubber cleats began to strengthen and tighten instantly. The old, white and stained leather slowly began to change color as well, turning into beautiful gold. The soles, the studs, and the spikes magically turned to hard, strong and pure gold!
"Ahh... golden cleats!" Charlie grinned, as he picked up the new, shining shoes. "You guys are gonna make some kid really, really happy!"
Charlie grabbed an old, unused shoe box and carefully placed the beautiful cleats inside of them. Then, he wrote the name 'Mason' on the box with a marker.
The following afternoon, Charlie walked over to the soccer field, carrying a plastic bag. Once he reached the bleachers, he set down the bag on the first row of the bleachers and pulled the box out of the bag. Then, he just waited...
About fifteen minutes later, a quiet, shy boy sat down next to him, and gave him a curious look.
"Hi..." the boy said to him.
"Hey, kiddo... Are you Mason?" Charlie asked him.
"Yeah... Who are you?"
"I'm Charlie!" Charlie said, as he shook the boy's hand.
"Where are Aaron and Barney?" the boy asked. "They said they would be here!"
"Well... They kinda are... They'll come later!" Charlie said. "I came instead... I have to give you this..."
Charlie removed the lid from the box and pulled out the shoes.
Mason's eyes became big as saucers and his jaw dropped open.
"Holy cow... Golden cleats?" the boy gasped out loud.
"Yeah... These are for you!"
Mason picked up one of the cleats and stared at them in complete disbelief.
"These must be... really... REALLY expensive!" Mason whispered, as he intensively studied the golden shoe.
"Put it on, kid!"
"What? Are you crazy! I can't afford these cleats!" Mason shouted.
"They are YOURS, kid!"
Mason stared at Charlie for a moment. He had to be dreaming.
"Nobody has ever given me anything this nice before...."
"PUT... THEM... ON!" Charlie insisted.
Mason removed his sandals from his feet. He was already wearing his athletic soccer socks and his shin guards under his socks.
He put the cleats on his feet. They were soooo comfortable! They felt like his old ones... but even BETTER!
"Wow... I'm the only kid with golden cleats, for SURE!" Mason whispered.
"Now... hit the field, kid..." Charlie said.
"Get on the field! Go kick that soccer ball!" Charlie shouted, becoming impatient. "Get on the field and start PLAYING!"
"What? With THESE?" Mason pointed at the golden cleats on his feet.
"Move it, kid!'"
Mason jumped to his feet and started running. He ran faster... and faster... and faster! He had never run so fast in his life!
He sat on the bench during the game, as usual. Finally, three players came out near the end of the match. There were five minutes left. The Coach shouted at him. It was his turn! Mason ran onto the field and the ball was kicked his way! The score was tied and Mason dribbled the ball towards the goal.
A defender came right towards him, but Mason stopped and kicked the bill right between his legs! He tricked him! Then, Mason passed the ball to Harry, his teammate, as Mason moved towards the front of the goal.
Harry returned the ball in a kick that sent the ball flying high over everybody's heads, soaring almost right over Mason's head!
Mason then turned with his back towards the goal, leaped in the air, and flipped his body around so that his head was pointing towards the ground and his legs were pointing towards the sky.
Then, Mason executed a perfect bicycle-kick, kicking the ball into the goal with such force, that he had caught the goalie with complete surprise!
Mason landed on the ground and was mobbed by his teammates, who celebrated the amazing, game-winning goal! The Coach couldn't believe it! Was that Mason who scored that goal?
Meanwhile, Charlie looked on from the bleachers with a huge grin on his face...
After soccer practice was over, Mason ran home. He kept his cool, new, golden cleats on all day and all night long, and he even slept in them.
Mason had never seen Aaron and Barney again. But, occasionally, he would wake up in the middle of the night after having strange dreams of playing in big soccer tournaments in foreign countries. He even had dreams of playing in the World Cup. When he was in dangerous situations during a game, he would hear voices in his head, telling him what to do. It was like there was always someone there, coaching him in soccer.
Mason started to gain confidence as he started adding his own medals and trophies. New awards and certificates began to fill the wall in his bedroom, and he began to travel to other cities and schools to play in matches against other schools. And during one match he even ended up playing against Nick's team... and won!
Mason became a total soccer-crazy kid and ended up playing for the pros. As he grew bigger and older, his enchanted soccer cleats grew with him. For some reason, the cleats were never too small for his feet. And Mason continued to play soccer as long as he was able to wear them, and for many years afterwards...