Rory Saves The Day

Submitted into Contest #244 in response to: Begin or end your story with a character taking a selfie.... view prompt


Kids Inspirational Friendship

We all have dreams, and some actually do come true like in this story for a character called Rory who loves football and plays in a team with his school friends.

The week started like any other week for little Rory, a school child of 9 who lived in a small cul-de-sac in Silfield. He really hated going to school because he wasn't the most academic and he preferred playing sport. Rory endlessly watched videos of football skills on the internet when he could, sometimes when he should be doing homework or even at night under the covers on his iPhone. There was no stopping him - even when he was eating dinner he would be daydreaming about scoring a goal in the world cup and winning the game for his country!

The end of the week could not come fast enough because Rory had a cup match himself to look forward to, and it was against the league leaders. Rory took training quite seriously and as a striker he was regularly getting goals during practice, but he found it hard to slot home against teams in games.

Friday at school was dragging on and his teacher Ms Penny noticed that he was not looking too well so sent him to the nurse to do a check up.

“Well Rory your temperature is a little high. Have you had enough to drink today?” The nurse was quite sure that he was suffering no more than a cold that should be gone in a week. Rory nodded and then started to cry.

“What's up? Something seems to be bothering you.” She held Rory's hands as to comfort him.

“I've a cup match this Sunday and now I won't be able to go because I will be stuck indoors with this.” Rory continued to cry and the nurse handed him a tissue from the box nearby.

“Ah, of course... You're our little star baller. Maybe an early night will help you to start the healing process.” She sat with him a little while longer before sending him back to class with a glass of water.

Mrs Joseph, Rory's mother, came to collect him from school that afternoon.

“Rory was not himself today, a bit of a cold I think. Should be gone in a week.” Ms Penny told Mrs Joseph as she was about to leave the playground.

“Thank you for looking out for him. I'll have to keep him in this weekend if it gets any worse!”

When they got home Rory's mother gave him some paracetamol and a hot drink and told him to go and have a rest for a bit.

“But what about my football on Sunday? It's a cup match against Hardley FC, the league leaders!” Rory got upset again and his mum hugged him.

“We will see. If you are better on Sunday then you might get a chance to play.”

Rory fell asleep in his school clothes for a few hours as he was exhausted. His mother woke him up for dinner but he didn't want any, even though it was his favourite pasta meal.

Saturday morning and Mrs Joseph texted Rory's football coach to say that he won't be making it to the game, Sunday, being unwell. His coach was very sorry to hear that he wasn't feeling well but will put him on the bench as a sub if he did manage to make it to the game. Rory was glad there was still a space for him just in case.

“I'm so gutted that I may not make the game tomorrow... I have to score against the league leaders. It would have made me so happy to get a goal.” Rory told his mother that he was really sad that he was not well.

“You never know, and at least he has held a space for you on the bench, so he must miss having you around!”

They ate Saturday lunch together which was left overs from the meal the evening before, then Rory went back to his room and started watching football videos on ''. This was his favourite place to watch all the football skills and read articles about all the fantastic players that ever lived.

One video he saw showed how to do a rainbow flick and Rory was keen to learn new skills, but because he was poorly he had to stay indoors right now.

“Dinnertime, Rory. Come and get it! You need to eat to get better or you won't even make the bench tomorrow!” Rory's father shouted up the stairs and he went to eat his meal. All the way through dinner he was thinking about how his trick could win the game, if only he was able to play tomorrow.

One sleep remained and Rory was packing his football bag in the hope that he could get to play. He packed his shirt and shorts first, without a single crease in them. He hunted for his socks in his room too, before finding a clean pair in his drawers. Shin pads too were placed in his bag last.

Rory also had to clean his boots or he would be shouted at by his coach, but when he found them and looked closely, there was a hole in the toe box.

“Oh no! I must have taken them off last time not realising my toe had gone through! This isn't fair, what am I going to do?” Rory went to his mother and showed her the tear hole that had started to form in his boot.

“You'll have to just go and watch if you are feeling any better tomorrow. Can't have your toes getting mashed with no protection.” His mum hugged him and tried to calm the little boy who by this point was sobbing so hard.

The day of the match came and Rory's dad had taped up the right boot to the best of his ability for his son.

“There, it's not perfect, but it might see you through some game time.”

Rory was feeling better that he might have a chance to get on the pitch after all. His cold had also started to subside a bit after careful treatment and a bit of tender loving care. The match was due to kick off at 10:30 sharp so he got himself up and showered before he came down for breakfast.

“Scrambled egg, toast and beans for my brave footballing son!”

His dad put a plate of food down on the table and soon it was gone. Every. Last. Bit.

“Steady, don't be giving yourself indigestion now! Enjoy your football today.” Mrs Joseph also saw how fast Rory had eaten his food.

It was almost the time when they needed to leave and Rory got to the car with his football bag with all his kit, and they were off.

When they arrived, his coach was really pleased to see him, and soon sent him to the changing room with the rest of his team to get into his clothes for the game.

“Rory you know you are on the bench for the first half. I wasn't sure if you would get a chance to play. Hope you feel better.” The coach gave instructions for the game.

“Yes coach. I didn't want to let you down. Football means so much to me!”

The game started, and soon Rory's team were trailing a goal down. His team mates on the field were starting to show failure.

“Come on lads! Keep going, you can do it!” The coach yelled out at the kids.

Five minutes later and they had turned it around with an equaliser in the fifteenth minute when a defender ran through and scored on his own! The bench erupted with joy to this and Rory was so pleased as well as he celebrated with jumping up and down.

At half time there was silence in the changing room as the boys all tried to keep their head in what was going to be a very exciting second half.

The coach went to Rory who was still playing the rainbow flick clip over and over in the back of his mind since watching it on the previous evening.

“Rory, I will be bringing you on for ten minutes in the second half. Are you ready?”

“Yes coach, very much so. I want this win so much!” Rory announced as if it was to a whole assembly of people. His team mates looked at him, and it geared up the battle that was about to happen for the cup!

Out they went for the restart, and Rory was really excited and anxious to when he was going to be brought on... Just as the opponents scored again!

He had to fix this score line...

“Coach! Coach! I'm ready to play...!” Rory shouted loud and he took his coat off and stood up for instructions.

He had his moment coming and he ran onto the pitch for the subbed player, who was the scorer for his side already.

A minute later Rory was dancing through the defence and he had scored, with his left foot!! The second equaliser... could luck be on their side today?!

Rory held his nerve and knew that he had to produce something extra special to win this contest. He ran through the rainbow flick skill in his head again, over and over, and he was off towards the ball.

With a little nudge he gained the ball and he brought it into some space on the pitch, waiting for someone to tackle him. As soon as there was a player he flicked the ball up in the air with his feet and it landed in front of him where he could force the ball through the goalie's legs and into the back of the net!

The whistle went and his team went absolutely crazy.

“Where did you learn that? I didn't teach you it.” His coach was astounded.

Rory got the man of the match for his efforts and his desire to win the game.

There was a lot of cheering and he was lifted up as a hero, above his team mates heads. When he was safely on the ground again he ran and got his phone which was being kept safe by his mother, who watched the celebrations happen. Rory got his medal and went to get the cup and took a selfie with it. That was sure the best day of his life... Ever!

April 01, 2024 17:32

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Sofia Mullan
01:50 Apr 11, 2024

This is a good story with a clear goal and likeable protagonist. The inclusion of Rory's illness and the damaged boots add tension and make his eventual success more satisfying. Great work!


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Julie Grenness
22:45 Apr 10, 2024

Well done. This story provided a great response to the prompt. Exciting, action packed, well chosen imagery and credible conclusion with a happy ending. Worked well for this reader.


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Kristi Gott
03:29 Apr 09, 2024

Wonderful story of a little boy's dreams and his triumph on the game. It gives the reader a window into the life, thoughts, and feelings of the little boy. Well done!


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