Cinnamon Fletcher just loves playing basketball.

She is really, really, good!

She loves the sound of the ball thudding on the floor.

She adores the squeak of her shoes on the floor.

She likes the smell of the gym, unless the boys have been in first as they stink!

She loves the feeling she gets as she runs and jumps, catches and dribbles, steals the ball and shoots.

When she scores it’s the best sensation ever.

It puts her in the best of moods when she passes to a team mate who scores.

When she takes the ball from the other team and dribbles to the basket it’s one of the greatest feelings ever.

Cinnamonjust loves playing Basketball.

She doesn’t have to win to have a great time, but winning is always nice!

She plays in a team with her best friend Effie Thomas.

Effie is tiny, Cinnamonis tall.

They play together and are perfect together.

They laugh and joke when they play.

Cinnamonknows where Effie will be on the court and can always find her to pass to her.

Effie uses her speed to take the ball to pass to Cinnamon.

They both score all the time.

They stop the other team scoring.

They are a real team.

Effie has long brown hair.

Cinnamon has short blonde hair.

Effie is not as tall as Cinnamon.

They are both ten years of age.

Cinnamon has a great sense of humour and is always laughing and joking.

Effie is a bit more serious and is a bit quieter than Cinnamon except when they are together.

They make each other laugh and do most things together.

They like to go to the park and play.

They love to listen to music together.

They go out on their bikes to ride together.

They adore swimming and love the seaside.

Effie and Cinnamon love to do Street Dance.

They visit town and wander around the shops together.

They love to try on skirts and shirts and dresses and shoes and…

At the moment they both think boys smell!

They are the very best of friends.

These are the Basketball Adventures of Cinnamon and Effie.

*******

Effie was practising her shooting.

The swish sound it made as it went through the net gave Effie goose bumps. She loved to score.

Cinnamon was passing her the ball and catching it as it went through the net.

Cinnamon jumped high to meet the ball as it came down.

She made sure she caught it with two hands, high above her head.

They swopped over.

Cinnamon scored and Effie rebounded.

Effie passed to Cinnamon who scored again.

They were like a machine.

Cinnamon ran to another spot on the court.

Effie passed to her.

Cinnamon scored.

Effie rebounded and passed again. Cinnamon dribbled, stopped with a jump and scored again.

This time Effie caught it dribbled to the side and shot the ball.

“Good shot!” said Cinnamon as she caught the ball, “My go.”

Cinnamon dribbled to the other side, jumped, turned and scored.

“Good job,” said Effie as she caught the ball.

Effie and Cinnamon knew that they would only get better if they practised.

They tried to practise every day.

It was fun, so they enjoyed their practise.

Others saw them working hard to get better at basketball.

They wanted to get better as well so asked to join in.

Effie and Cinnamon were happy to let others join them.

They knew this would make their team better.

Effie and Cinnamon worked hard on their own and together.

They worked hard at team practises.

Effie and Cinnamon made their coach happy as they worked so hard.

*******

Cinnamon and Effie had a big game on Wednesday night.

They were nervous all day.

They could not wait to play.

They both loved basketball.

They found it hard to concentrate on their school work, but knew they had to do their best in the classroom.

They met in the changing room after school.

Everyone was there, happy and talking.

Everyone was excited.

But nervous.

They put on their red and white kit, they all looked very smart.

Cinnamon said, “Let’s make sure we all do our best.”

Effie said, “Remember, your best is always good enough.”

Their Coach had some wise words for them and they went away to get warmed up.

The other team were really tall.

They looked really mean.

Cinnamon said, “Don’t worry girls we will be ok.”

Some of her team looked scared.

“It’s only a game girls,” said Effie smiling.

Their Coach called them in and said, “Have fun ladies!”

Cinnamon loved that she called them ‘ladies.’ It made her feel all grown up.

Effie got pushed over, but stood up with a smile.

Effie took the ball from the other team and passed to Cinnamon.

Cinnamon scored.

The other team missed and Cinnamon caught the ball.

She passed to Effie who dribbled down the court. She jumped. She shot. Effie scored.

Effie heard the swish of the net.

She loved that sound.

It gave her goose bumps again.

“Good job!” said Cinnamon.

Cinnamon caught the ball. She dribbled down the court.

She jumped. She shot. She scored.

Effie smiled at her.

Cinnamon smiled back.

“Good shot!” said Effie.

This was fun.

No matter how hard the other team tried, Effie and Cinnamon were better.

Their team played really well.

They won the game.

They smiled and were happy because they had played so well.

Their Coach was happy as well.

They had done what she had asked them to do.

They had done their best.

Their best was always good enough.

Cinnamon and Effie hugged their team mates and thanked the other team for the game.

They thanked the referees for their hard work.

They thanked the Table Officials for keeping the score.

They thanked all their fans who had stayed to watch them play.

Most importantly they thanked each other for being a good team.

They all went home happy and content, a good job done well.

Last Time Ever

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I entered this story into the ‘Leicester Writes Short Story Prize 2017 anthology’ competition. It was long listed and published by Dahlia Publishing in June 2017. I wrote it in 2013 and was rather pleased with it! Cinnamon Fletcher as her name implies was the sunniest...