SUCKING DOWN WATER by Tanner Cipriano

We’re at the PVC fountains next to the concession stands.

It’s hotter than hell out here so Coach is mercifully giving us an extra water break.

Not to say drinking water helps with the overheating due to the thick pads, but still… at least he isn’t holding us out there on the black tar field against our will.

I see Packer standing next to Sal, both of them trying to get every drop that they can.

Sal is my brother. Well twin brother to be exact.

We are both members of the Detroit Catholic Central football team, but he is the more athletic one and I’m mostly just here because Dad says we have to do some sort of exercise and I figured a team sport would be better than running a solo cross country race.

Wolfer pushes his way through with a few grunts. Nobody calls him out for cutting the line because we all know he could kill us on the field if he wanted to.

Finally, it’s my turn and I sidle up to the DIY water fountains and start sucking down as much water as my dried up stomach can take.

Every drop against my skin feels like a giant water balloon crashing against desert floor, and I stay a little bit longer than I used to while the guys behind me (Barnauskas and Bowen) start to get antsy.

“Cmon Tanner, you’ve been up there forever.”

“I just started,” I garble between gulps.

Just then, Coach blows his whistle.

“Finish up and get back to the 50 yard line! We’ve got special teams to practice.”

I swallow my last bit of H20 and wink at Barney and Bowen.

“All yours, boys.”

I detach myself from the fountain as the two of them push each other to get to the Sacred Hole of Water before the other one.

I trip on my shoe laces and everybody laughs at me, especially Sal.

The Attack will happen in 7 months.