The Hacky Sack to Hell by Spencer Wile
When Ben kicked the hacky sack for the first time, he felt like he was in a Beatles movie. On that Sunny Wednesday afternoon in Mission Park, Ben kicked hacky sack with his friends for the first time. Yellow light filled everything. He felt as if he was glowing too, laughing and just doing nothing with his friends. His friend Bobby said that it was getting late and he had to study for an exam. Ben didn’t want to stop kicking hack. He liked the way the hack made contact with his foot.
On any day of the week you could see Ben kicking away in a circle of people, smoking cigarettes and juggling his time away. When the hack hit the ground, Ben lost that fluid sensation that he’d been enjoying so much the past few weeks. His buddy Larry thought it a bit strange how he winced when someone in the group let the hack fall. “Fuck!” he’d shout. And begin his tutorial on how to keep the hack in play.
He never knew what the draw to the game was, but there was something about it that just seemed cool. After discovering all the ways he could stall the hack on his feet, knees, and head, he couldn’t stop thinking about the moves he could create. They seemed endless. When it was time for his classes, Ben said “Fuck it” and kept kicking. He was now kicking with mastery levels of the game, or so he thought. Ben’s professor saw him kicking hack in front of the art building one afternoon. “I’d like to have a quit chat with ya Ben,” said Professor Kurpatawitz.
“Sure. What’s up?”
“You’ve missed class the past two weeks. You seem different. Not yourself. It there anything going on with you? I’m just concerned. You’re the best student in the class. I’m just going to say this to you Ben. Hacky-sacking is the devil’s sport. Every time you kick that little voodoo bag, you’re kicking your way to eternal damnation. You wanna live in hell, Ben? Is that what you want? It’s dark magic, Ben!”
Ben held his hacky sack in his hands as he ran away from Professor Kurpatawitz. He didn’t know what his Professor was saying. He didn’t care. After he’d made his way off campus, he found a place where he could gather his thoughts. He saw his classmate Evon walking with another girl downtown. They spotted him and walked over. “Ben, you look awful. Are you okay? What happened to you?”
“I’m just tired. I gotta go,” Ben said.
He hurried off toward the center of the local park. Clutched in his hand, the hacky sack burned. The orange-red sunset behind the redwood trees shed just enough light so that Ben could practice. He saw a long dark shadow grow into a figure out of the corner of his eye. Out of its head, two large dreadlocks grew like horns.
“I’ve come to play the game with you, Ben.” The man stepped closer and revealed a face so repulsive that Ben dropped his hacky-sack.
“Ahh! Ha! Ha! Ha! One point for me Benny! Now I serve!” Ben saw that when the man tossed up the hack that he had hooves instead of feet. Luckily, Ben caught the hack with his knee then let it drop to a stall on his shoe. “Stop fucking with me! Please! I don’t want to play anymore,” said Ben.
“Ha! Ha! Ha! It’s too late for that now Ben. Kick the hack!” Ben kicked the hack up and the man turned around and allowed the hack to fall into his hoof. “Hoof stall, bitch!” The man flung the hack, surrounded with flames, back at Ben. He screamed at Ben, “Professor Kurpatawitz was my best student. Ha! Ha! Ha!”
With a series of inside and outside foot kicks, Ben managed to put out the fire. But when he did, he lost sight of the hack because the sun had gone down. He could never tell if the hack hit the ground. All he could see was black.