Cancellation

[Switching back to The Daily Post’s Weekly Writing Challenge, Oh, The Irony, for this post]

“They can’t make it.” Coach Dan scanned the pool of disappointed faces surrounding him. “Coach Simons left me a message today, said there was a mixup at the Academy, the bus they thought they had for the trip was already in use for the soccer team. Make-up game. So, no scrimmage today.”

He was certain the first sound he’d hear in response to the news would be a dismissive snort from Double-J, moaning frustration from Annie, a gentle sigh of disappointment from Rex, a sarcastic laugh from Rune. Perhaps even The Bird, who had become more confidently vocal at the last few fencing club practices, would be the first to ask a question. He certainly didn’t expect Butch to speak first.

“Well.” Butch rubbed his round stomach. “Guess that’s ironic.”

“No it isn’t.” Annie reached back and pulled the band that held her ponytail, her brown hair cascading over her shoulders. “That’s not what it means.”

Double-J laughed, walked away from the semi-circle the team had formed. Butch stared back at Annie, defiance in his round face. “They were the ones who wanted to scrimmage, and now they’re the reason why we’re not having it. That’s what irony means.”

“Think what she means — ” Rune wiped his greasy curls from his forehead — “is there’s more to irony than something not working out the way you expected. It has to be like, you know, they told us not to be late — ”

“That doesn’t make any sense.” Rune’s confused look made it clear he didn’t understand Butch’s protest. “How could we be late, if we were already here?”

Rune shook his head, and looked back at Annie. Coach Dan noticed everyone’s attention had turned toward her. She wore her annoyance like an uncomfortable overcoat, as hands moved swiftly behind her head and pulled her hair through the band, then came forward, her pony-tail coming to attention again. “I think we need to start practice now.”

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