[This week’s challenge from The Daily Post is to write in the “gonzo journalism” style popularized by Hunter S. Thompson. My current project is not a first-person narrative (and I have no intention of changing my narrative structure just for this challenge), so I’ll attempt to meet this week’s requirements by emphasizing the subjective perspective of the principal character.]
Coach Dan took a step in Dr. Schmidt’s direction, touching lightly on the back of Jimmy’s bicep as he passed. Momentary resistance, then Jimmy rushed to his side.
Dr. Schmidt was talking to one of his students, Ed. Kept Rex from advancing to the state epee tournament last year. Ed’s sweaty hair was matted to his head, his breathing fast and loud. He looked confused, frustrated. “Thought that — was my counter-parry,” huffed Ed, waving in the direction of the fencing strip behind him, then raising a water bottle to his lips with his other hand.
“You were too close,” responded Dr. Schmidt, pointing with both index fingers at Ed. “You did not give ze director ze space to zee your parry!” Coach Dan remembered a cofmment Double-J had made last year, how whenever the coach of the En Garde! fencing academy got excited, he sounded like a second-rate comic hamming it up in a World War II parody.
Hearing the two men approach, Dr. Schmidt turned to face them. It wasn’t until then that Coach Dan had realized how correct Jimmy had been — the good doctor was very white today, from head to toe. Silver hair slicked back like a sheet of ice on his head; white coaching jacket with black stripes on the collar and sleeves; white undershirt, the En Garde! logo (foil, epee, and saber crossing blades over the school name printed in Old English script) printed in black on the chest; light gray track pants, with a double purple pinstripe down the outside of both legs; white sneakers, immaculately clean. Even his pallor seemed paler to Coach Dan today, making his long thin nose seem like a ski ramp on the side of a mountain.
“May I help you, Mr. Jacobs?” Dr. Schmidt sounded annoyed.
Ahuud — Coach Dan swallowed, clearing the mucus from his throat — “excuse me, I wanted you to meet my new assistant.” He looked to his right, saw that Jimmy had indeed followed him. “Jimmy — Dr. Schmidt.”
“Assistant?” Dr. Schmidt extended his right hand in Jimmy’s direction. “I did not know there were any fencing coaches looking for jobs in this area. Did you just move here?”
Coach Dan could feel annoyance emanating from Jimmy like halitosis, as he shook Dr. Schmidt’s hand. “I’m not a coach, and I wasn’t looking for a job. I’m a caterer, and coach here — ” he pointed with his left hand at Coach Dan — “he asked me to help with his team.” He leaned forward, looked squarely into Dr. Schmidt’s eyes, their right hands still firmly clasped. “You good with that, right?”
“Of course!” replied Dr. Schmidt, suddenly releasing Jimmy’s grasp and raising both hands in the air. His face beamed, like sunlight reflecting from a snowy field.