Sparks Will Fly
August 23, 2012
— Embarrassing Performance, Football Manager, Home Loss, Hopeless Manager, mark hughes, QPR 0-5 Swansea, QPR Manager, Queens Park Rangers, Rollicking
By Roge Slater
The dark haze of silence hung in the air, the atmosphere decidedly subdued. All that could be heard was a soft whimpering, like that of a terrified child, an almost strangled murmur just audible across the room as the perpetrator struggled in vain to keep his emotions in check.
Surveying the scene, heads were bowed, no-one wanting to make eye contact or look at the closed door which they all knew would soon open, bringing fate and retribution ever closer. The only movement was the slow, apprehensive raising and lowering of the player’s chests as they sat in apparent gloom awaiting their fate.
Finally, it was time.
Preceded by solid, measured footsteps on the floor outside, the door handle gave a slight squeak as it moved, then the door opened. Not flung to the wall as some expected, but pushed gently and allowed to slide smoothly open. There was no accompanying sound. Nor did anyone enter the room.
The whimpering immediately silenced and, looking up as if some telepathic command had been given, the team – acting as one for the first time that afternoon – raised their heads and focused on the doorway…
Adjusting to the bright light, each made out a silhouette. Stood stoically between the frame as if solidly defending his territory (something that had sadly been amiss in the previous ninety minutes), there was the faintest movement. A trembling, as if caused by a buildup of pressure suppressed deep inside, like a volcano about to erupt or the rush of pressure through the air – unseen but often felt – before an earthquake or tornado. It was swiftly followed by a single deep inhalation of air, then a slow, controlled release.
The fear in the unseen eyes of the players intensified as their expectation and anticipation rose, their minds each imagining the worst fate from their childhoods and their homelands, each separated by their history, but in the present all together, all having failed as one. Straining to see through the glare, they were desperate for a hint of what was to come. There was no reaction from the doorway, the faint trembling remained evident, but there was nothing else.
They could not see the eyes that were searching the room, moving from each partially illuminated face to another in turn, the features on each reflecting the light from the corridor. Continually scanning the room as if looking for a target – the first victim; they sat unmoving, each uncomfortable in the gloom, each imagining that they were the one, yet wishing and hoping that they would be spared the inevitable wrath.
There was a moment, the most fleeting fraction of a second, when each sensed the change. A millisecond when blood pressure rose beyond all reason, the feeling so intense that eyes were bulging and skulls were set to fracture, but as quickly as it came, the sense dissipated as a sound emanated from the shape in the doorway. A deep, thoughtful Gaelic tone, cultured by years of travel and press interviews.
“Well, that was fucking crap, wasn’t it?”
Sparky had spoken, and the door closed.
Sparks Will Fly by Roger Slater is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.