Dream Tunnel

Dream Tunnel by Arby Robbins Read Free Book Online

Book: Dream Tunnel by Arby Robbins Read Free Book Online
Authors: Arby Robbins
Tags: Sci Fi & Fantasy
never said the words before in her life and was simply mimicking what she had heard somebody else in the stands yelling.
    Crane smiled and nodded his head.
    As both teams ran down to the Bulldogs’ end of the court, Number 44 moved in close to Crane. “Try that again next time down and see what happens.” He elbowed Crane in the ribs.
    One of the Bulldogs hit a three-pointer.
    Back down the court, the Phillies passed the ball to Crane again.
    This time when Crane was about to take the shot, Number 44 ran at him and knocked him down before he could release the ball. Crane hit the floor hard.
    The foul was called, and Crane limped to the free-throw line. His back and elbows were aching. He missed both shots and knew his shooting streak was over.
    The next few times the Phillies had the ball, they didn’t pass it to Crane at all. He checked the stands. Conroe was still there, but he was sure she was no longer impressed with his playing. The more he thought about it, the angrier he got. He began to ask for the ball—and when his teammates still wouldn’t pass it to him, he began to demand it. Finally, the ball came to him.
    Number 44 backed off a few feet, but Crane knew that if he attempted a jump shot, the guy would plow him down. That made him mad. He knew he needed to take a deep breath and relax—to cool down. But he rejected that thought as his anger continued to well up. Instead of taking the jump shot, he put the ball on the floor, dribbling toward the basket for a layup.
    Number 44 positioned himself to block Crane’s path to the basket and take the charge. Crane could either pass the ball to someone else, pull up for the jump shot, or continue toward the basket, knowing full well he would be called for an offensive foul. It was too late for a change in course. Crane picked up more speed, running at his defender with all his might. Just before he reached him, he leaped into the air—his anger thrusting him higher than he’d ever jumped before. He let out a ferocious, primal growl as his left knee popped the defender square in the jaw, slamming him to the floor. Crane’s body continued to float toward the basket.
    Both teams and all the spectators gaped as Crane’s right hand raised the ball a full foot above the rim and dunked it through the net. The ball fired straight down into Number 44’s face, hammering the back of his head into the hardwood.
    When Crane’s shoes touched the floor, he heard the referees’ whistles blowing wildly. Yes, he was being called for an offensive foul, and the basket wouldn’t count. So what? He didn’t care.
    The Philly fans cheered.
    The Bulldog fans, what few there were, booed.
    Number 44 jumped up and pushed Crane. “I’m gonna kill you!”
    “Take it easy,” Crane said, his anger subsiding.
    “Sure, I’ll take it easy—after I do this.” He punched Crane in the stomach, knocking the breath out of him.
    Crane’s blood boiled. He swung at Number 44 with blind rage, connecting with his nose. The boy’s nose began to gush blood, and regret overwhelmed Crane. “I’m sorry, man, really. Are you okay?”
    He glanced over at Conroe. She seemed stunned.
    Had his terrible display of anger ruined his chances with her?

    A t afternoon recess, Conroe walked around the yard by herself, thinking about the basketball game that morning. She had seen Crane lose his temper before—many times. It was one of the few things she did not like about him. But to be in the same room with him when it happened was even more ugly than watching it on the time travel computer.
    They had planned to take another Dream Tunnel trip during recess. She had decided it was time to tell him the truth. Now she wasn’t so sure—about anything.
    “That was quite a show your boyfriend put on this morning.”
    Conroe turned around. It was Tonya and the gang. “Yeah.”
    “A day or two in Solitary will do him good. Maybe it’ll make a man out of him.”

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