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Rated: 13+ · Prose · Sports · #701733
A Writer's cramp short story about wishes made and tennis racquets broken.
Prompt: Write a poem or story using: a tennis game, a sports drink and a broken racket.

You know how when you break someone’s something-or-other and you offer to pay to replace it, the someone always says, “No, no, you can’t do that. I wouldn’t hear of it,” and then, even though you feel bad and everything, you’re kind of off the hook?

Well that’s not what’s happening now. In fact, it never happens to people like me - people who have gobs and oodles of money. I broke Ralph Peen’s tennis racquet in Central Park, and so I’ll be buying Ralph Peen a spectacular new one. That's the way it goes when you're rich. People assume you'll pick up the tab for just about anything.

It’s not even like I broke Ralph's racquet in one of those McEnroe tantrums you see out on the courts sometimes. In fact, it's really Ralph's own fault. I was executing a quick back-step to the left corner of the court for a Hail-Mary return and ~OOF~ I tripped over Ralph’s half-full bottle of fire-engine-red plutonium drink which is supposed to replace one's electrolytes but is definitely not supposed to be left sitting on or anywhere near the play area.

The racquet went flying. I went flying.

Thirty-three pinpoint droplets of knee-blood later, I struggled into a sitting position and gained a skewed mouse-view of Ralph all stooped over his broken racquet, which had bounced off the chain link fence and landed all strung-out and dented on the cold, unforgiving asphalt.

"Hey, Bernard, are you okay?" Ralph shouted in my head. The Ralph outside my head said nothing, however.

“Hey," I called, sarcastically, “Is your racquet okay?”

Ralph jerked his head sharply to one side, and a salty droplet formed on the pavement beneath him. "No," he whimpered.

Oh, please. Was he crying?

“I’ll buy you another one,” I offered.

After all, I had just won the biggest lottery jackpot in the history of lottery jackpots. Even if it was his own stupid fault for leaving that nuclear-waste of a beverage in such a dumb place, money was nothing to me now. Unfortunately, it was still everything to just about everyone I knew.

I could buy Ralph any tennis racquet he wanted, and he knew it.

“Okay,” I barely heard him murmur-mumble.

He mustered all of his pathetic acting ability to hide his greed from me - the one who could fulfill his every material desire...the one who could fulfill anyone's material desire. I'm so sick of the money...I just came out to play a tennis game, for God's sakes.

I purchased for Ralph the finest tennis racquet ever made – the Wimbledon Quatro-Metal Ultra Feather-Light Windsweeper. Then I told him to take his racquet and his mad scientist experiment of a red substance and its bottle and get the FAULT out of my sight.

The very next day I took the elevator to the top of the Empire State Building with a huge, heavy sack of thousand-dollar bills. Like a Twenty-First Century Santa in breezy July, I let loose upon the New York sky my entire fortune, won fair and square along with a lifetime supply of windswept, whispered urgent warnings to be careful what you wish for.
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