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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2118717-Hooked
Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Action/Adventure · #2118717
Cody's a bull rider with a decision to make: family or career A Flash Blog Contest Entry
Hooked

Cody glanced at his reflection as he left the locker room. At 5 foot, 9 inches, he didn’t seem the cowboy type. He flexed his arms, the muscles bunching into tight knots. He smiled. “Time for the big guns,” he whispered as he walked down the corridor. The only sound, beyond the dimly heard yelling of the crowds, was the whisper of his rope dragging. With a deep breath, he entered the world of mayhem.

Ignoring the cacophony, he worked his way down the stands that towered behind the chutes. He saw chute number 6 and nodded to the men that crowded around it, trying to get caged behemoth into position. “Okay, boys, let’s do this!”

Cowboy perfume! The smell of sawdust and livestock filled the air as Cody lowered himself onto the back of Take Off, a large Brahma bull. The final round. I just need eight more seconds, Lord, he thought, crossing himself.

Cody slid the helmet down, clipping the chin strap. Grabbing the rosined rope, he pulled and wrapped his hand tightly. The bull gave a small jump and Cody held the side of the bucking chute to steady himself.

“You’ve got this one,” Rory shouted over the crowd noise.

“Not yet. Talk to me in about thirty seconds,” he shouted back.

Cody took a deep breath and nodded to the gate man. The world blurred as Take Off leapt out of the enclosure, twisting to right. Cody was ready with countering movements.

One thousand one, one thousand two …

The bull leapt again, twisting left. Cody felt himself pulled to the right and threw his arm to the left to counterbalance. His legs clamped down as he tried to keep himself from sliding outside. He kicked trying to keep his spurs from getting caught.

One thousand three, one thousand four …

Take Off jumped once more and began to spin to the left. Cody leaned into the spin, relaxing a bit.

One thousand five …

The buzzer sounded, startling Cody. What the hell? Sensing his distraction, Take Off leapt again, throwing Cody into the air. He tensed just before impact.

Jumping up, he ran to the railing, jumping up to clear the arena as Take Off made a half-hearted run at him. The bull snorted once and then strutted around the arena taking a victory lap.

Rory grabbed his vest and hauled him over the railing. “You were disqualified for hooking your spurs. That is against the rules.”

“Hooking? No way! It was a perfect ride.”

“Sorry Cody. Not according to the judges.”

Cody pulled his helmet off and watched as Take Off went out the exit chute. “I’ve got rules too. Next time, you’re mine,” he promised. He rubbed his knee and put weight on it. Nothing broken, thank you Jesus. Even if he didn’t win the event, he’d made enough money to get to the next contest.

Walking back down the corridor, forcing the limp to subside, he thought of his wife and kids waiting. “All things considered, I’m a winner,” he laughed, already planning for the next contest.

Cody settled his Stetson as he walked out of the arena locker room.

“Daddy!” The words almost reached his ears before he was tackled by Jillian and Cody Jr.

He got as far as “Whoa guys …” before his words were cut off.

“Did you win?”

“Nope, but I did pretty good and that means …” He reached into his jean pocket, producing a stack of bills. He peeled two ten-dollar bills off, handing one to each. “… we’re off to the midway. Try not to spend it all at once.”

Julie came up and took his arm, noticing the flash of pain on his face. “What did the doctor say?”

“A few bruises, a few loose teeth; nothing out of the ordinary. I’m fit to ride.”

She stared hard at him.

“Okay, okay … he said I should follow up with Doc when we get home. But for now,” he lifted her into the air, “we have some fun to catch up on.”


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An entry for April round of "The Flash Blog Contest - Closed
Prompt: Open - Write a story 300-800 words in length. It must be a complete story with a resolution. Then, write one blog entry 300-800 words in length
Story: Word Count – 679
Blog:   Word Count - 384
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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2118717-Hooked