Universal Love Worth its Salt (Part 1)

PREDAT0R

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 27, 2002
13,150
6,719
2004 Premiers
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
Other Teams
Edmonton Oilers, Newcastle
Here's the first part of a short story I started writing a few weeks ago. I ran it past REH and LR who both asked me to finish it, which I will in coming weeks. If I don't, feel free to cajole me. Hope you enjoy.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________



Worth its salt

The roar of the Tigers fans rang around the ground as the final siren sounded. Clarrie hit the off button on the remote and took a long swig of beer.

“Bloody coach is a no-hoper,” he said. “Off his flamin’ kadoova.”
“The whole bloody club is rotten at the minute,” said Alf. “Come on, let’s go for a walk or somethin’. Get some air. That footy has done my bloody head in.”

They grabbed a stubbie each for the walk and put another one in their pockets for good measure. It was dark out, and Alf zipped up the front of his jacket.

“Those young lads are all good though, don’tcha reckon?” he said, stepping out the front gate.
“Too right,” said Clarrie. “That young Butters in particular. Clean as a new penny.”


They half-wandered, half-staggered down the road in the dim streetlight, taking regular sips of Coopers Pale. They reached the end of the road. Across the adjoining street was a cemetery.

“Hey, you know God is buried in there, right?” said Alf.
“Did Russell die or somethin’?” said Clarrie. He chuckled, bringing on a coughing fit. Alf patted him on the back until it passed.
“No, not Russell,” said Alf. “Fos. The great Foster Neil is buried in there.”
“Go on with ya!”
“God’s own truth.”
“We’d better pay our respects,” said Clarrie. “D’ya know where ‘e is?”
“Course I do,” said Alf. “Better leave the coldies here. Outta respect n’all.”
“Right you are,” said Clarrie, depositing his open stubbie in a tuft of grass by the fence. Alf put his alongside. “Mine’s on the right, don’t you bloody forget!” he said.



Alf led the way through the gravestones to a section near the back. He stopped in front of a black marble tombstone. In the moonlight Clarrie could make out the carved silver letters on the stone: “Foster Neil Williams”. He made the sign of the cross. Alf took off his cap and held it in both hands. They stood in silence a minute.
Finally Clarrie said “If Foster had seen that game tonight he woulda’ turned in his grave.”
“Ya can’t watch the bloody football when you’re dead,” said Alf.
“Well I know that, I was just sayin’,” said Clarrie.
“But if Fos could see the state the club is in now, he would definitely turn in his grave,” said Alf.



“Ya just said dead men can’t see nothin’,” said Clarrie. “But you’re not wrong ya’ know…. If Foster Neil could see what that Hinkley and Koch have done to his beloved Ports, he would roll in that there grave.”

There was a rumbling sound which seemed to come from the ground at their feet.
“What in blazes was that?” said Clarrie, looking at his friend. Alf’s face was white, and it wasn’t just the moonlight.
“I dunno,” said Alf, “but let’s get out of here. I need a drink.” They turned and started shuffling between the gravestones, back towards the fence. As they walked, mist rose from the ground where they had been standing, but neither man was looking that way. They retrieved their stubbies and walked off through the gate. The graveyard was once again silent.



Fos wondered what he was doing in the graveyard. He looked down at his suit. It was his best grey one, and on his feet, his black leather shoes shone brightly in the moonlight. He took off his hat and looked at it. He was surprised by a trick of the moonlight that made it look like he could almost see through the hat. He put it back on his head and took a deep breath then looked around. He had been going wandering at night recently, so perhaps that was it. He’d snuck out from the home for a secret stroll and had a little memory lapse. But why had he gone wandering in a graveyard, he wondered. He shrugged and decided to head back. He had just walked through the gate and down the road a distance when he came upon two men sitting on a step, drinking beers. He thought he recognised one of them.

“Alf? Alfie is that you?” he said to the man. The man took a sip of his beer but didn’t turn to look at Fos. “Hey, you there,” said Fos, raising his voice. “Is your name Alf?”. But neither of the men acknowledged him. “Beg your pardon,” said Fos, tipping his hat to the men. “My mistake.” He continued on down the road, but then looked again over his shoulder. He turned back in the direction he was walking, a frown on his face. It sure was a strange night, Fos thought. He put it out of his mind and kept walking. He had meant to head back to the home, but instead he found himself walking in a different direction. He didn’t know where he was going, or why, he just felt he had to go that way. He kept walking for about ten minutes, and after turning right onto Fifth Avenue, he saw a long fence and had a flash of familiarity. He kept walking along the fence until he came to a little cream building with a pitched roof. Yes, he thought. I know this place. The Port Adelaide Bowling Club. And that means-- he kept walking a little further, until over the fence, a grandstand came into view.

I’m home, thought Fos, and he smiled broadly as he walked into the carpark. It was a good while since he had been at the Club, and the buildings seemed to have changed. He walked over to the high fence and gate which led into the outer section of the ground. The gate was locked. He shook it a couple of times to test the lock. He looked up at the high chain-link fence, grabbing handfuls of it. He wished he was on the other side. Then he looked around behind himself, and the oval was there. Alberton Oval. Hadn't he been outside the gate? He’d thought so, but then, everything was a bit of a muddle this evening. Fos walked over to the boundary fence and then out onto the oval. The dewy grass looked glorious in the moonlight. He walked over and stood in the middle of the centre square. He let the silence and the moonlight bring the memories back to him. Flashes of black and white bars came to him, white panels on the back of guernseys with black numbers in them. And more than any of them, the number one, flashing proudly past. Courageous physical acts, echoes of cheers bouncing off the grandstands, flashes of premiership silverware. The smell of liniment, grass, leather, mud and blood. Finally the echoes trailed off, the flashes faded, and the smells receded.

Fos walked over to the grandstand, and in the moonlight he read “Fos Williams Family Stand”. They generally name things after someone after they’ve passed, he thought. He held his arms out in front of himself, and there was that trick of the light again. It looked almost like he could see through his sleeves, his arms, and all. He knew then that it was not simply a trick of the light, and now that it occurred to him, he’d always known. The first time, with his hat, and well, always, if the truth be known. This should have been a shocking realisation, he thought, and yet he felt perfectly comfortable with it. What’s more, he knew why he was there, why he was back at the Club, his Club, back home again.

There was a feeling in his gut that the Club was in trouble, and somehow he knew this to be true. He also knew that he was there to make a difference, though he did not yet know how. Anyway it was still the middle of the night, and no-one would be here until morning. Fos climbed up to the bench seats, sat down on one and removed his hat. He lay down, closed his eyes, and wondered if ghosts could sleep. He chuckled at the thought. For a moment he wondered grimly whether if he drifted off, he might never again be back. Then he did indeed drift in and out of sleep, albeit one punctuated by visions of the glory days on the oval below, and also wondering what the problems might be in the club at the moment. Shortly before the first rays of sunlight hit the oval, a black cat wandered out from under the grandstand. It stopped in front of the spot where Fos was and sniffed the air for a long while. Finally it flicked its tail and strutted off, completely disinterested in the soft sound of ghostly snoring coming from the bench seat.

The oval changed from a shadowy green to bright emerald as the sun rose higher. Cars started filtering into the car park one by one. Fos walked over and sat on the kerb of the car park. A grey Honda arrived, engine sputtering, and a rotund black-haired woman emerged. The smell of floral perfume filled the air as she walked near the place Fos was sitting. He rose to say good morning, then realised for the second time that people, living ones at least, could not see or hear him. So he just sat back down on the kerb and watched the people slowly file into the Club. A few more cars arrived, and people got out and walked inside. Some of them were strapping young men - Fos could tell they were players. He had a good feeling about them. Then a black car arrived and a man emerged. He wore a dark suit and had one of those new-fangled mobile telephones in his hand. He’d stopped with the car door open, and was looking at something on the screen. Fos thought he recognised the man. He walked over and looked at him more closely. The man’s sandy blonde hair was a bit more grey than he remembered, and there was less of it. The face was more lined, but there was no doubt it was that Norwood goalkicker, Keith Thomas. Fos wondered what Thomas was doing at the P.A.F.C. He put his face right up to Thomas’s and looked in his eyes. There was a flash of recognition, and Fos realised that Thomas was now a Port man, part of the administration. “Well I’ll be-” he said to himself. Thomas closed his car door and walked inside. Fos followed.
 

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RussellEbertHandball

Flick pass expert
Nov 16, 2004
56,669
76,025
SE Oz
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
Other Teams
The Mighty Blacks
Well done PREDAT0R on continuing on after the your first draft. Good timing for 2 reasons.

Aussie drama that received critical international acclaim Glitch, re people being brought back to life, season 3 commenced on telly last night, (which I missed because still getting home form the footy and watching the cricket, so have to watch on iView), and given the off season is going to be tough to not be negative 100% of the time, we need something with a bit of imagination, unlike the admin of our club seems to be delivering.
 

GremioPower

"You Are Not Port Adelaide"
May 26, 2017
7,309
12,351
Uruguayana, RS (BRA) [last: Rockville, MD (USA)]
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
Other Teams
Grêmio, DC United, Clev. Indians
Here's the first part of a short story I started writing a few weeks ago. I ran it past REH and LR who both asked me to finish it, which I will in coming weeks. If I don't, feel free to cajole me. Hope you enjoy.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________



Worth its salt

The roar of the Tigers fans rang around the ground as the final siren sounded. Clarrie hit the off button on the remote and took a long swig of beer.

“Bloody coach is a no-hoper,” he said. “Off his flamin’ kadoova.”
“The whole bloody club is rotten at the minute,” said Alf. “Come on, let’s go for a walk or somethin’. Get some air. That footy has done my bloody head in.”

They grabbed a stubbie each for the walk and put another one in their pockets for good measure. It was dark out, and Alf zipped up the front of his jacket.

“Those young lads are all good though, don’tcha reckon?” he said, stepping out the front gate.
“Too right,” said Clarrie. “That young Butters in particular. Clean as a new penny.”


They half-wandered, half-staggered down the road in the dim streetlight, taking regular sips of Coopers Pale. They reached the end of the road. Across the adjoining street was a cemetery.

“Hey, you know God is buried in there, right?” said Alf.
“Did Russell die or somethin’?” said Clarrie. He chuckled, bringing on a coughing fit. Alf patted him on the back until it passed.
“No, not Russell,” said Alf. “Fos. The great Foster Neil is buried in there.”
“Go on with ya!”
“God’s own truth.”
“We’d better pay our respects,” said Clarrie. “D’ya know where ‘e is?”
“Course I do,” said Alf. “Better leave the coldies here. Outta respect n’all.”
“Right you are,” said Clarrie, depositing his open stubbie in a tuft of grass by the fence. Alf put his alongside. “Mine’s on the right, don’t you bloody forget!” he said.



Alf led the way through the gravestones to a section near the back. He stopped in front of a black marble tombstone. In the moonlight Clarrie could make out the carved silver letters on the stone: “Foster Neil Williams”. He made the sign of the cross. Alf took off his cap and held it in both hands. They stood in silence a minute.
Finally Clarrie said “If Foster had seen that game tonight he woulda’ turned in his grave.”
“Ya can’t watch the bloody football when you’re dead,” said Alf.
“Well I know that, I was just sayin’,” said Clarrie.
“But if Fos could see the state the club is in now, he would definitely turn in his grave,” said Alf.



“Ya just said dead men can’t see nothin’,” said Clarrie. “But you’re not wrong ya’ know…. If Foster Neil could see what that Hinkley and Koch have done to his beloved Ports, he would roll in that there grave.”

There was a rumbling sound which seemed to come from the ground at their feet.
“What in blazes was that?” said Clarrie, looking at his friend. Alf’s face was white, and it wasn’t just the moonlight.
“I dunno,” said Alf, “but let’s get out of here. I need a drink.” They turned and started shuffling between the gravestones, back towards the fence. As they walked, mist rose from the ground where they had been standing, but neither man was looking that way. They retrieved their stubbies and walked off through the gate. The graveyard was once again silent.



Fos wondered what he was doing in the graveyard. He looked down at his suit. It was his best grey one, and on his feet, his black leather shoes shone brightly in the moonlight. He took off his hat and looked at it. He was surprised by a trick of the moonlight that made it look like he could almost see through the hat. He put it back on his head and took a deep breath then looked around. He had been going wandering at night recently, so perhaps that was it. He’d snuck out from the home for a secret stroll and had a little memory lapse. But why had he gone wandering in a graveyard, he wondered. He shrugged and decided to head back. He had just walked through the gate and down the road a distance when he came upon two men sitting on a step, drinking beers. He thought he recognised one of them.

“Alf? Alfie is that you?” he said to the man. The man took a sip of his beer but didn’t turn to look at Fos. “Hey, you there,” said Fos, raising his voice. “Is your name Alf?”. But neither of the men acknowledged him. “Beg your pardon,” said Fos, tipping his hat to the men. “My mistake.” He continued on down the road, but then looked again over his shoulder. He turned back in the direction he was walking, a frown on his face. It sure was a strange night, Fos thought. He put it out of his mind and kept walking. He had meant to head back to the home, but instead he found himself walking in a different direction. He didn’t know where he was going, or why, he just felt he had to go that way. He kept walking for about ten minutes, and after turning right onto Fifth Avenue, he saw a long fence and had a flash of familiarity. He kept walking along the fence until he came to a little cream building with a pitched roof. Yes, he thought. I know this place. The Port Adelaide Bowling Club. And that means-- he kept walking a little further, until over the fence, a grandstand came into view.

I’m home, thought Fos, and he smiled broadly as he walked into the carpark. It was a good while since he had been at the Club, and the buildings seemed to have changed. He walked over to the high fence and gate which led into the outer section of the ground. The gate was locked. He shook it a couple of times to test the lock. He looked up at the high chain-link fence, grabbing handfuls of it. He wished he was on the other side. Then he looked around behind himself, and the oval was there. Alberton Oval. Hadn't he been outside the gate? He’d thought so, but then, everything was a bit of a muddle this evening. Fos walked over to the boundary fence and then out onto the oval. The dewy grass looked glorious in the moonlight. He walked over and stood in the middle of the centre square. He let the silence and the moonlight bring the memories back to him. Flashes of black and white bars came to him, white panels on the back of guernseys with black numbers in them. And more than any of them, the number one, flashing proudly past. Courageous physical acts, echoes of cheers bouncing off the grandstands, flashes of premiership silverware. The smell of liniment, grass, leather, mud and blood. Finally the echoes trailed off, the flashes faded, and the smells receded.

Fos walked over to the grandstand, and in the moonlight he read “Fos Williams Family Stand”. They generally name things after someone after they’ve passed, he thought. He held his arms out in front of himself, and there was that trick of the light again. It looked almost like he could see through his sleeves, his arms, and all. He knew then that it was not simply a trick of the light, and now that it occurred to him, he’d always known. The first time, with his hat, and well, always, if the truth be known. This should have been a shocking realisation, he thought, and yet he felt perfectly comfortable with it. What’s more, he knew why he was there, why he was back at the Club, his Club, back home again.

There was a feeling in his gut that the Club was in trouble, and somehow he knew this to be true. He also knew that he was there to make a difference, though he did not yet know how. Anyway it was still the middle of the night, and no-one would be here until morning. Fos climbed up to the bench seats, sat down on one and removed his hat. He lay down, closed his eyes, and wondered if ghosts could sleep. He chuckled at the thought. For a moment he wondered grimly whether if he drifted off, he might never again be back. Then he did indeed drift in and out of sleep, albeit one punctuated by visions of the glory days on the oval below, and also wondering what the problems might be in the club at the moment. Shortly before the first rays of sunlight hit the oval, a black cat wandered out from under the grandstand. It stopped in front of the spot where Fos was and sniffed the air for a long while. Finally it flicked its tail and strutted off, completely disinterested in the soft sound of ghostly snoring coming from the bench seat.

The oval changed from a shadowy green to bright emerald as the sun rose higher. Cars started filtering into the car park one by one. Fos walked over and sat on the kerb of the car park. A grey Honda arrived, engine sputtering, and a rotund black-haired woman emerged. The smell of floral perfume filled the air as she walked near the place Fos was sitting. He rose to say good morning, then realised for the second time that people, living ones at least, could not see or hear him. So he just sat back down on the kerb and watched the people slowly file into the Club. A few more cars arrived, and people got out and walked inside. Some of them were strapping young men - Fos could tell they were players. He had a good feeling about them. Then a black car arrived and a man emerged. He wore a dark suit and had one of those new-fangled mobile telephones in his hand. He’d stopped with the car door open, and was looking at something on the screen. Fos thought he recognised the man. He walked over and looked at him more closely. The man’s sandy blonde hair was a bit more grey than he remembered, and there was less of it. The face was more lined, but there was no doubt it was that Norwood goalkicker, Keith Thomas. Fos wondered what Thomas was doing at the P.A.F.C. He put his face right up to Thomas’s and looked in his eyes. There was a flash of recognition, and Fos realised that Thomas was now a Port man, part of the administration. “Well I’ll be-” he said to himself. Thomas closed his car door and walked inside. Fos followed.
WOW!!!! I would buy your book!
 

GremioPower

"You Are Not Port Adelaide"
May 26, 2017
7,309
12,351
Uruguayana, RS (BRA) [last: Rockville, MD (USA)]
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
Other Teams
Grêmio, DC United, Clev. Indians
Thanks buddy. I don't have one yet - come back in about a year or two ;) :D
This is how I have read it:

PRELUDE

The roar of the Tigers fans rang around the ground as the final siren sounded. Clarrie hit the off button on the remote and took a long swig of beer.

[...]

A few more cars arrived, and people got out and walked inside. Some of them were strapping young men - Fos could tell they were players. He had a good feeling about them. Then a black car arrived and a man emerged. He wore a dark suit and had one of those new-fangled mobile telephones in his hand. He’d stopped with the car door open, and was looking at something on the screen. Fos thought he recognised the man. He walked over and looked at him more closely.

CHAPTER ONE: KEITH

The man’s sandy blonde hair was a bit more grey than he remembered, and there was less of it. The face was more lined, but there was no doubt it was that Norwood goalkicker, Keith Thomas. Fos wondered what Thomas was doing at the P.A.F.C. He put his face right up to Thomas’s and looked in his eyes. There was a flash of recognition, and Fos realised that Thomas was now a Port man, part of the administration. “Well I’ll be-” he said to himself. Thomas closed his car door and walked inside. Fos followed.
Your introduction is ready. Just pick some key characters: Thomas [as you already did], Hinkley, Koch, The Board, Wines, Jonas, Boak, The Coaching Staff, Pauly V., the "Happy-Clappers," BigFooty [;)] etc., and you have your chapters.
 
Last edited:

PREDAT0R

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 27, 2002
13,150
6,719
2004 Premiers
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
Other Teams
Edmonton Oilers, Newcastle
This is how I have read it:



Your introduction is ready. Just pick some key characters: Thomas [as you already did], Hinkley, Koch, The Board, Wines, Jonas, Boak, The Coaching Staff, Pauly V., the "Happy-Clappers," BigFooty [;)] etc., and you have your chapters.
Oh god ... I'm not planning on writing a novel along these lines mate. My first will be something quite different. This is just one of a stack of short stories I'm writing to help develop my writing chops. ;)
 

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GremioPower

"You Are Not Port Adelaide"
May 26, 2017
7,309
12,351
Uruguayana, RS (BRA) [last: Rockville, MD (USA)]
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
Other Teams
Grêmio, DC United, Clev. Indians
Oh god ... I'm not planning on writing a novel along these lines mate.
You weren't, you mean. That's the problem with art. It never comes how we planned it. The poet is the instrument of the muses, mate. Even if you didn't want it, I humbly understand that you indeed have written the introduction of a book.

My first will be something quite different. This is just one of a stack of short stories I'm writing to help develop my writing chops. ;)
How long is this first post? I have imagined a short book.

Forget what you had planned. Embrace the voice of the Muse! Mate, Fos coming out of the grave... He is YOU!

You know why you are writing this: the club needs you! :)
 

davo999

Team Captain
Nov 5, 2009
348
360
Aldinga Beach
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
Here's the first part of a short story I started writing a few weeks ago. I ran it past REH and LR who both asked me to finish it, which I will in coming weeks. If I don't, feel free to cajole me. Hope you enjoy.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________



Worth its salt

The roar of the Tigers fans rang around the ground as the final siren sounded. Clarrie hit the off button on the remote and took a long swig of beer.

“Bloody coach is a no-hoper,” he said. “Off his flamin’ kadoova.”
“The whole bloody club is rotten at the minute,” said Alf. “Come on, let’s go for a walk or somethin’. Get some air. That footy has done my bloody head in.”

They grabbed a stubbie each for the walk and put another one in their pockets for good measure. It was dark out, and Alf zipped up the front of his jacket.

“Those young lads are all good though, don’tcha reckon?” he said, stepping out the front gate.
“Too right,” said Clarrie. “That young Butters in particular. Clean as a new penny.”


They half-wandered, half-staggered down the road in the dim streetlight, taking regular sips of Coopers Pale. They reached the end of the road. Across the adjoining street was a cemetery.

“Hey, you know God is buried in there, right?” said Alf.
“Did Russell die or somethin’?” said Clarrie. He chuckled, bringing on a coughing fit. Alf patted him on the back until it passed.
“No, not Russell,” said Alf. “Fos. The great Foster Neil is buried in there.”
“Go on with ya!”
“God’s own truth.”
“We’d better pay our respects,” said Clarrie. “D’ya know where ‘e is?”
“Course I do,” said Alf. “Better leave the coldies here. Outta respect n’all.”
“Right you are,” said Clarrie, depositing his open stubbie in a tuft of grass by the fence. Alf put his alongside. “Mine’s on the right, don’t you bloody forget!” he said.



Alf led the way through the gravestones to a section near the back. He stopped in front of a black marble tombstone. In the moonlight Clarrie could make out the carved silver letters on the stone: “Foster Neil Williams”. He made the sign of the cross. Alf took off his cap and held it in both hands. They stood in silence a minute.
Finally Clarrie said “If Foster had seen that game tonight he woulda’ turned in his grave.”
“Ya can’t watch the bloody football when you’re dead,” said Alf.
“Well I know that, I was just sayin’,” said Clarrie.
“But if Fos could see the state the club is in now, he would definitely turn in his grave,” said Alf.



“Ya just said dead men can’t see nothin’,” said Clarrie. “But you’re not wrong ya’ know…. If Foster Neil could see what that Hinkley and Koch have done to his beloved Ports, he would roll in that there grave.”

There was a rumbling sound which seemed to come from the ground at their feet.
“What in blazes was that?” said Clarrie, looking at his friend. Alf’s face was white, and it wasn’t just the moonlight.
“I dunno,” said Alf, “but let’s get out of here. I need a drink.” They turned and started shuffling between the gravestones, back towards the fence. As they walked, mist rose from the ground where they had been standing, but neither man was looking that way. They retrieved their stubbies and walked off through the gate. The graveyard was once again silent.



Fos wondered what he was doing in the graveyard. He looked down at his suit. It was his best grey one, and on his feet, his black leather shoes shone brightly in the moonlight. He took off his hat and looked at it. He was surprised by a trick of the moonlight that made it look like he could almost see through the hat. He put it back on his head and took a deep breath then looked around. He had been going wandering at night recently, so perhaps that was it. He’d snuck out from the home for a secret stroll and had a little memory lapse. But why had he gone wandering in a graveyard, he wondered. He shrugged and decided to head back. He had just walked through the gate and down the road a distance when he came upon two men sitting on a step, drinking beers. He thought he recognised one of them.

“Alf? Alfie is that you?” he said to the man. The man took a sip of his beer but didn’t turn to look at Fos. “Hey, you there,” said Fos, raising his voice. “Is your name Alf?”. But neither of the men acknowledged him. “Beg your pardon,” said Fos, tipping his hat to the men. “My mistake.” He continued on down the road, but then looked again over his shoulder. He turned back in the direction he was walking, a frown on his face. It sure was a strange night, Fos thought. He put it out of his mind and kept walking. He had meant to head back to the home, but instead he found himself walking in a different direction. He didn’t know where he was going, or why, he just felt he had to go that way. He kept walking for about ten minutes, and after turning right onto Fifth Avenue, he saw a long fence and had a flash of familiarity. He kept walking along the fence until he came to a little cream building with a pitched roof. Yes, he thought. I know this place. The Port Adelaide Bowling Club. And that means-- he kept walking a little further, until over the fence, a grandstand came into view.

I’m home, thought Fos, and he smiled broadly as he walked into the carpark. It was a good while since he had been at the Club, and the buildings seemed to have changed. He walked over to the high fence and gate which led into the outer section of the ground. The gate was locked. He shook it a couple of times to test the lock. He looked up at the high chain-link fence, grabbing handfuls of it. He wished he was on the other side. Then he looked around behind himself, and the oval was there. Alberton Oval. Hadn't he been outside the gate? He’d thought so, but then, everything was a bit of a muddle this evening. Fos walked over to the boundary fence and then out onto the oval. The dewy grass looked glorious in the moonlight. He walked over and stood in the middle of the centre square. He let the silence and the moonlight bring the memories back to him. Flashes of black and white bars came to him, white panels on the back of guernseys with black numbers in them. And more than any of them, the number one, flashing proudly past. Courageous physical acts, echoes of cheers bouncing off the grandstands, flashes of premiership silverware. The smell of liniment, grass, leather, mud and blood. Finally the echoes trailed off, the flashes faded, and the smells receded.

Fos walked over to the grandstand, and in the moonlight he read “Fos Williams Family Stand”. They generally name things after someone after they’ve passed, he thought. He held his arms out in front of himself, and there was that trick of the light again. It looked almost like he could see through his sleeves, his arms, and all. He knew then that it was not simply a trick of the light, and now that it occurred to him, he’d always known. The first time, with his hat, and well, always, if the truth be known. This should have been a shocking realisation, he thought, and yet he felt perfectly comfortable with it. What’s more, he knew why he was there, why he was back at the Club, his Club, back home again.

There was a feeling in his gut that the Club was in trouble, and somehow he knew this to be true. He also knew that he was there to make a difference, though he did not yet know how. Anyway it was still the middle of the night, and no-one would be here until morning. Fos climbed up to the bench seats, sat down on one and removed his hat. He lay down, closed his eyes, and wondered if ghosts could sleep. He chuckled at the thought. For a moment he wondered grimly whether if he drifted off, he might never again be back. Then he did indeed drift in and out of sleep, albeit one punctuated by visions of the glory days on the oval below, and also wondering what the problems might be in the club at the moment. Shortly before the first rays of sunlight hit the oval, a black cat wandered out from under the grandstand. It stopped in front of the spot where Fos was and sniffed the air for a long while. Finally it flicked its tail and strutted off, completely disinterested in the soft sound of ghostly snoring coming from the bench seat.

The oval changed from a shadowy green to bright emerald as the sun rose higher. Cars started filtering into the car park one by one. Fos walked over and sat on the kerb of the car park. A grey Honda arrived, engine sputtering, and a rotund black-haired woman emerged. The smell of floral perfume filled the air as she walked near the place Fos was sitting. He rose to say good morning, then realised for the second time that people, living ones at least, could not see or hear him. So he just sat back down on the kerb and watched the people slowly file into the Club. A few more cars arrived, and people got out and walked inside. Some of them were strapping young men - Fos could tell they were players. He had a good feeling about them. Then a black car arrived and a man emerged. He wore a dark suit and had one of those new-fangled mobile telephones in his hand. He’d stopped with the car door open, and was looking at something on the screen. Fos thought he recognised the man. He walked over and looked at him more closely. The man’s sandy blonde hair was a bit more grey than he remembered, and there was less of it. The face was more lined, but there was no doubt it was that Norwood goalkicker, Keith Thomas. Fos wondered what Thomas was doing at the P.A.F.C. He put his face right up to Thomas’s and looked in his eyes. There was a flash of recognition, and Fos realised that Thomas was now a Port man, part of the administration. “Well I’ll be-” he said to himself. Thomas closed his car door and walked inside. Fos followed.
Well done, very enjoyable and lucid , look forward to more .👍
 

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