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Rated: E · Short Story · Contest Entry · #2205407
After five years of failing, maybe this would be the one. Writer's Cramp 11/13/19
Go, Panthers, Go!

The team had set out with such high spirits. They could almost feel the Championship Cup in their hands, finally. For the five previous years they had made it to the last round, only to suffer a humiliating defeat.

This was going to be the year that they won.

It seemed like the entire town had come out to cheer them on. Disappointing the spectators was not an option; it had to be a victory, nothing less was worth contemplating.

Yet, at half-time, they were losing. Not by a lot, but the confidence had gone; vanishing when the team coach was spotted holding his head in his hands. If he didn't believe that they could do it... well, who could?

"What are you doing out there? You're all playing like a bunch of substitution rejects, not the town's top players. Will you just pull your act together and get on with it?" The coach did not even try to hide his anger.

Some would later claim that it was this that turned the game around, especially the coach himself. Others claimed that it was the black cat that ran straight across the field that changed the fortune of the Panthers.

No one knew where it came from or who it belonged to. Just an average black cat that appeared from somewhere among the spectators couldn't have brought them luck, could it? It has to be said, Ms Hendry claimed that it had been no ordinary cat but was itself a black panther; no one paid much notice, for wasn't she just one known for her fanciful notions.

The Buzzards fans stood in shocked silence, as one minute into the second half, the Panthers equalized. They weren't going to stop there. The coach was jumping up and down, shouting out encouragement. Leaving the match to be a tie was not an option; it had to be a win.

Just one minute before the final whistle, the Panthers scored. The townsfolk were up on their feet, cheering and shouting and clapping their hands, while those that supported the Buzzards saw the cup slipping from their own team's hands.

Later, when things calmed down somewhat, there was a search for the cat. It had earned itself a very special celebratory dinner of all the very best ingredients. Whether it had changed the outcome directly or not, depended on who you spoke to. Certainly those of a more superstitious nature claimed that it had.

The entire town was searched but not so much as a single piece of black fur was to be found.

Ms Hendry claimed to see a strange woman with long black hair, heading away from the pitch just after the whistle for the second half was blown. Then again, she always had been known for her fanciful notions.

(468 words).

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