MR. TIMOTHY CHARLES BAKER
... who contributed the following response to Writing Assignment #64):
The Final Interval Speech
Rumnif-Y! Today, is the day the stable boy from the Upper People's Republic of Shericksway-Latvia killed 25 men with his feet.
This game has evolved from men wearing shorts kicking a leather ball through a goal to men in suits of steel killing their opponents with a pink ball. I believe you, Rumnif-Y, are a diamond in the rough kind of talent. Your ancestors who grew up thriving in football passed down to you the superhuman leg power you need to be successful in this game. I believe you were born for this task. In 60 minutes, you will be holding the World Presidential Alliance Gobelkiball Cup.
Before you go out there, I have a few tips for you. I want you to close your eyes for a moment and imagine yourself inside the arena kicking the Gobelkiball through the skull of each man. See each one fall to the turf in your mind. Hear their grunts as the ball shatters their craniums. Feel the ball strike from your instep and sail toward your target. Taste your own sweat on your lips as your chase after the ball. Smell their fear. You are going to win if you see yourself winning. See it now.
I’ve watched your practices leading up to this match. I’ve seen how you can kick a Gobelkiball through a wall. You are no stable boy. Once you get out there, begin running towards the strongest man. Kill him first. The other two dozen men will watch stunned, paralyzed. It will prove to them – and yourself – just how tough you really are. After the first man is killed, it will rain unshakeable fear upon the remaining two dozen men. Keep the ball in front of you at all times. Some will resort to cowardly tactics. If you are attacked from behind, use your legs to kick behind you and to each side to give yourself some space. These men can’t touch your incredible leg strength and you may find the need to kick in someone’s chest.
I’ve had a nebulizer installed in your helmet. You’ll have more than enough prednisone to last the entire match. Run with no fear that you might end up winded, gasping for breath. The nebulizer has been pre-programmed to ensure you have wide-open lungs, even at an accelerated heart beat. Imagine running after the Gobelkiball breathing freely, for the first time outdistancing your opponents to get there first without coughing.
Your competitor’s strength is to come at you riding their airboards. You are at your most vulnerable if you find yourself next to the stadium walls. Keep in the middle of the arena. If you end up on the sidelines with a man racing down the wall at you, shoot the Gobelkiball at the feet. You’ll either knock them off their machines or shatter their tibias. No one can out run you. On the ground, you are unbeatable and the best part is they have no idea what they’re in for.
They see you as the meek, mild stable boy who has asthma. They see you as the man who hasn’t killed anyone before. They see you as an easy kill. The men you are about to face are relieved they are facing you and not my son. They are relaxed. They are vulnerable. In a few minutes, you will show the world you are every bit as horrific as he was. They are about to die.
Derriq-Pir wanted so badly to be fighting this match. You may have seen the picture of him chained to a World Government employee hospital bed. He was a good boy. He was the greatest Gobelkiball player I had ever seen. I know the government is somehow involved in his murder but we don’t have time to talk about this now. Go out there and fight with all you have because there are shady men in this world who wanted to see us fail today. These people who want to jettison us to space or who want us to be killed. Today, we will get our revenge. You are going to kill and kill and kill.
Open your eyes. The time has come for you to fight the Final Interval. Go out there and show them who you really are…the new Gobelkiball champion. Remember what I told you. Can you see yourself holding the Cup? What does it feel like to kiss that trophy?
Rumnif-Y, listen. The crowd is booing.