tagNovels and NovellasHaving Fun with Dycke and Payne

Having Fun with Dycke and Payne


Edited by Lunarosa

The Schneider's moved into a very large house, on an oak-lined street, in the suburbs of the city of capital of West Old Dominion State, South Carolina, when their son, Dycke was fourteen years old. All the other houses in the area were nearly the same as theirs, so no one had much more or less than anyone else. During the next four years of his life, Dycke learned to run far and fast because of an accidental mispronunciation of his name. A teacher called him "Dycke Schneider" during roll call and the class roared with laughter. He corrected her immediately, but it was too late. From that day on, everyone called him 'Dyke.'

He wanted to hang around with all the other guys in his area but they were all bigger and heavier than he was. Dycke was 5' 5" and weighed in at one hundred and forty pounds, soaking wet. When he tried out for the Junior Varsity football team, when he was a freshman, all he ever heard was "Let's run over Dyke!" They did, almost to the point of injury. His peers were more than 5' 10" tall and weighed more than one hundred and eighty pounds, so he started avoiding them on all the athletic fields. He was not immune to them even in gym class. They came after him like he was on the day's menu. To survive he learned to run fast and far. He was able to out run and out fox all of his tormentors, until they finally gave up trying.

Coaches saw this scrawny looking kid outrun their wide receivers, tailbacks, center fielders and mid-fielders and wanted to know who he was and why he hadn't been playing any organized sports, yet? When they found out, they were livid and nothing they could do would change his mind. Dycke was of Dutch/German heritage and as stubborn as the year is long.

Bob Short made an appointment to meet with Chadwiche Schneider, at his architectural and engineering firm in Charleston. He wanted to speak with Dycke in a place where he would be most comfortable and out of the prying eyes of his peers, He told Chad the stories that flashed around the school about his sons speed and agility and what a waste it would be to see them go untapped. The coach was invited to the Schneider home on one condition: Chad Schneider wanted no undue pressure put upon his son during the conversation and whatever decision Dycke made that evening was final and no further attempt to change his mind would be made. The men stood and would meet again that evening, at 8p.m.

Bacillica Schneider was the manager of the Community Savings and Trust in North Charleston, S.C. She kept very regular hours and you could set your watch by her setting her foot in the front door of their home in the evening. Chad told that they were going to have an after dinner guest and not to advise Dycke about it because it was going to be somewhat of a surprise to him. He told her what it was about and she agreed.

At 8:05p.m. the doorbell rang and Chad let Coach Short in and led him into his office. He asked Bob if he would like a drink or coffee and Bob said that water would be fine. Chad went into the kitchen for two glasses of ice water. He pressed the intercom button on the telephone and asked Dycke to meet him in his office and returned there himself handing the coach his glass and sat down behind his desk.

Dycke stuck his head into his dad's office wondering what was up and when he saw Coach Short sitting there his face went 'white.' His dad told him to relax. This was not going to be a hard sell. This is going to be a conversation between you and Coach Short and I am going to be here to make sure it stays that way. Okay? Dycke looked at his father and the over at the coach and said "Okay."

Bob Short started out by telling Dycke the story of his own childhood. He started out by say that he was always the smallest one in the group. The weakest one. The last one picked to play any game. The last one allowed on the school bus and often made to stand because the bigger kids would hog all the seats. Even as he grew older, They got bigger and he didn't. He stopped growing where he is today and they grew into giants. The coach told Dycke that before the schools banned it for being too violent, there was a game called "Dodge Ball." You had a round rubber ball, approximately. Twelve inches in diameter, that your grasp with one hand. All the kids in the class would stand, in a circle about 25 in diameter. The object was to throw the ball and hit someone on the far side of the circle and that person would be out of the game. The circle would get smaller and smaller until only two people remained and the circle was only ten feet in diameter. Then the winner would be declared after the last person was hit by the ball.

The other kids hated him because they could never hit him. He was able to tumble. Tuck, dip and slide away from that ball and won nearly every time they played. This got him into more trouble with the big guys then he was in before. Dycke had to start running for his life every time they saw him. He had to stop taking the school bus because when he did the other kids would beat him up. So, he ran to school every day. A coach saw him run by his car on the way to school, one morning and recognized him. He had Bob called to his office and asked him if he had tried out for any of the team sports? Bob told him that he had not and the reasons for it. The Coach told Bob to come with him and brought him out to the track area of the school and introduced him to the schools track coach. He said "Coach! I have a winner for you."

Coach Short said "Dycke, one day I'll take you to my home and show you some of my trophies. Most of them are in storage gathering dust, but I keep my Olympic Silver Medal at home to remind me of how far I went from being mugged by my classmates to the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles."

Dycke's eyes bugged out of his head. He looked at his diminutive coach, who no one at school ever talked about and could not believe he was looking at an Olympic Silver Medalist. Dycke, finally, asked the coach what he wanted from him? The coach said to him that he hadn't even seen him run, yet, so how would he know?

Dycke looked at his dad, who just shrugged and then back to the coach and said the word destined to change his life "When?"

Coach Short said "I will pick you up, at 5a.m., Saturday."

Dycke yelled "5:00a.m. Are you crazy? It's Saturday."

The coach replied calmly, "You don't want to let anyone see you trying out for the track team, do you?"

Dycke said "Screw them, coach. I'll run for you tomorrow, after school."

Coach Short looked over at Chad Schneider and said "It works every time!"

2. Payne Temple

Payne Temple looked out her bedroom window from the second floor of her family's home wondering why life had been so cruel to her. She had a good personality, was a straight "A" student, on the Debate Team and had a 176 bowling average. She had a nice smile and a long lean body but at eighteen, she had never had a date and was still a virgin. Payne knew why, of course, the accident that had nearly killed her entire family three days after her and twin brother, Steven, was born, had taken away whatever facial characteristics and beauty away from her. The accident occurred two blocks away from where she was born and their lives were spared because there located just five blocks further away was a fire station. Spared? Yes. Unscathed? No.

Her parents' cars had been hit, broadside, by thieves driving a stolen vehicle, at speeds in excess of one hundred miles per hour. The thieves were being chased by police, both on the ground and in the air. They had robbed a high end jewelry store and killed all the occupants within. They were determined not to get caught and go to prison, again. They got their wish. When the Camry they had stolen hit the Lincoln Town Car, all four of the occupants died, either on impact or in the fireball that engulfed the car, short afterwards.

The Town Car is what save the Temple family from more serious harm and even death. The Camry had been traveling at seventy-five miles per hour, when trying to cross the intersection against a red light. Their car hit the hit the Lincoln's heavy steel framed center post and framing and pivoted backward toward the right rear door and over the back of the car, before rolling several times and exploding. It was the forward momentum of the Camry and the twisting of the metal inside the Lincoln that caused severe damage to Payne and her family.

All the Temple's had broken bone and lacerations from flying glass, except for Steve, who received just minor facial injuries. Payne was in the right rear seat. She received the most severe injuries of all and was flown to the University Hospital for treatment, where her prognosis was not good. The doctors believed she was bleeding internally. Her face had been smashed to the point, she was nearly unrecognizable and every limb on her body was broken. They decided the bleeding was her most immediate threat and set about to find its cause. Scans were taken of her entire body, all five pounds two ounces of it, to see if they could find and repair her damaged organs. Her heart, spleen and lungs were intact but there was a little blood in Payne's intestines. Considering all her other problems, the doctors decided not to operate but instead put Payne on Plasma and coagulating medications in an attempt to stop the leakage and save her life. They were extremely happy when the medications worked, quickly. They put Payne's body into a tiny hard cast, leaving her a little room to grow. She was put into the Pediatric ICU unit, as another team of surgeons tried to come to a decision on how to repair Payne's severely damaged face.

Piker, Alletta and Steven Temple were taken to Charleston West Regional Hospital for surgery and care of their injuries. The senior partner of the Piker's Law Firm, Arthur Ravage, was with Piker and his family, when word reached them about Payne's condition.

Arthur Ravage had eaten more doctors for breakfast than he cared to think about, but now he had to rely on them to save the daughter of his friend and partner. He told the doctors at University Hospital, if they needed anything they did not have, to let his firm know and the firm would get it for them, whether it was a specialist, equipment or anything else. He told them "Do not Guess! "Do not Screw Up. Know what you need. Know what you have to do. Our firm will get you anything you want."

The doctors at University Hospital did as much as they could. They saved Payne's life. They looked around the country and the western world for ideas to reconstruct her face and the most brilliant minds in the field of medicine came back to the same conclusion: Payne was too young to undergo any form of reconstructive surgery. She would have to wait until the bones in her face had achieved enough mass and strength to be put back together properly. It could be between sixteen and twenty years before that would happen. In the meanwhile, form her face as delicately as possible, around the facial structure that remained. Not one physician sent a bill for his or her services after looking at this baby's face.

Six weeks after being placed in her body cast, Payne was cut free from her little cocoon. She screamed at the top of her lungs for her freedom and when she got it she did not calm down until she was in her mother's arms, sucking on her nipple and soaking in a warm bath. She nursed as she fell asleep but refused to release the nipple from her mouth. Every time her mother tried to remove Payne from her breast, she would start to nurse again. Piker brought Steven over to his wife and now she had both babies nursing at her breast. Piker smiled at the scene and started taking pictures as Alletta glared menacingly at him.

The doctor's had a conference with the Temple's, before making any commitment on how to approaching the surgery for Payne's face. She was now healthy enough to undergo the rigors of the operation, but her parents had to know, from the beginning, that the outcome was not going to be good and why. They showed the Temple's the stack of opinions they had received from all over the world in reference to operation and the decision was unanimous: Payne was too young to undergo any form of reconstructive surgery. The Temple's were crushed by the news that their daughter would be disfigured for all of her childhood years. Their only hope would be that at some future date she would be able to recover what their horrible accident had taken away from their daughter. The Temple's were given two choices for Payne's future care: Both of their recommendations were for hospitals with impeccable credentials and staffs with worldwide recognition. One hospital was in New York City and part of the states college system. The other was Duke Hospital in Durham, North Carolina. The Temple's chose Durham because of its closer proximity to Charleston and the trinity of doctors that would be working on Payne throughout the course of her treatments.

Over the next eight summers and five operations, the best the team of doctors could do for Payne was to make her face relatively flat but ovally shaped but with nearly no definition at all. Her nose was but a slightly downward bump on a featureless plain. Her doctors kept telling Payne, if they tried to do anymore, that in the long run, it would do more harm than good. It was very little consolation to an eight-year-old girl, with very few friends and others who made fun of her every day of her life. It was tough going and it would get tougher as she grew older. Payne knew she would have to develop a confident attitude to make it through the years ahead. She hoped the doctors were right when the said that one day she would be morph. like a caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly.

3. The Race had to be run.

By his senior year in high school Dycke had become one of South Carolina's elite long distance runners. He loved to run. He loved everything about it. Well, almost. He still hated athletes. They were cruel, merciless and useless human beings as far as he was concerned. Even his teammates hated him, most of the time. Coach Short had to make a code of conduct for the squad, concerning their treatment of Dycke, and that ticked them off more. Dycke was the teams' only consistent winner and his teammates were always demeaning him, on and off the track. With him, they had made the state finals as a team. Without him, at best, the team was a middle of the road finisher. Coach Short had thrown off a lot of good runners from the team because of their treatment of Dycke and this made him special. Even though he didn't act special, everyone knew he was coach's per project and that made them angry. The regular season was over. The regional meets were over. They were here in the State Finals and Coach Short sat them down and talked to them and asked them a bunch of questions:

"Who runs the hundred meters?" Two hands were raised.

Coach asked "Are you two angry with each other?"

"No Coach" they said.

"Then why are you angry at Dycke? He doesn't run the Hundred."

The two looked at each other and said to the coach "I don't know."

The coach said "I'm not going to go throw these questions out to each of you, but I want you to think about this: Does Dycke run anything shorter than a mile? Does he throw the shot put? The discuss? The javelin? The high jump? If not, why are you guys' on his case? He is the only reason we are here. I'm not asking you to kiss his butt. I'm not even asking you to be nice. Just don't be confrontational with him all the time. Give him a break guys, pleases. Now lets go out there and do your best and see if we are the best of the eight teams the state has assembled here. Okay?

The team responded with a rousing okay and started for the warmup area just as Dycke walked into the locker room to get changed. He heard the cheer and saw the team file out and he asked the coach if he was late?

Coach Short told him that he was right on time, as usual, but he told the rest of the team to report early because he wanted to talk to them without him present.

Dycke said "Coach, the season is over after this meet. It really doesn't matter anymore."

Coach Short said "It matters to me and it will matter to them as they start to grow up. Now get changed and go warm up. The five thousand goes off first."

Today began the final test for these student athletes: The State Finals in Track and Field Events. South Carolina fields its best eight teams from top point totals from statewide competitions. In this event, however, each winner and the overall winner would be the State Champion. Best of all, this year the meet was being held in the Columbia, the capital of South Carolina.

Fort Dorchester and Northwood Academy had a competitive history, going back seventeen years, with Dycke's Dorchester team with a slight advantage. He intended to keep it that way. Unlike other track events, running the mile or longer is a mental game, as much a physical event. Runners want to keep their opponents thinking one thing while doing something else or to do exactly what the opponent is thinking, without letting the opponent know it, until it is too late: Drive the opponent crazy and he will lose the race, all by himself.

Coach Short warned Dycke about two runners that could cause him trouble in the upcoming 5000-meter race. Harry Rodgers from Sumter High School and Steve Payne from Northwood Academy. Harry was easy to see. He was a tall lanky African-American, with legs that looked like they went to his shoulders. He was about 6'2" and maybe 200 pounds. Dycke said to himself "Thank goodness it's hot today."

Steve was still in his warm up jacket and Dycke could only see the bottom half of him. His legs were lean but muscular, like his, and were about the same height as Dycke was now, about 5'10". He thought this guy might be fun to race with.

Coach Short came over to Dycke and told him that everyone he had spoken to had bad-mouth Temple because he had a tendency to slow down at the end of races when he felt he had them won. Dycke nodded to his coach and told the coach that instead of taking the lead, as he normally did, he was going to run in the middle of the pack until about the 4000-meter mark. He would then cozy up to the leader's shoulder and see what happens.

As Dycke went onto the track to loosen up with the other seven runners, he remembered a rerun of an old Bill Cosby show he had watched with his parents. Cosby was to play racquetball against an opponent who was better than he was. He decided to try to psych the guy out by acting injured. He moaned and groaned, while grabbing his right arm until the other player bought into his act. Cosby, of course, won the match. Dycke grinned and started kneading his left quadriceps deeply. He stretched it, kneaded it and stretched it again. He sat down to take off his sweat pants and while on the ground he leaned forward and grabbed his toes, grunted and grabbed his thigh. His coach ran over to him and asked him if he was okay? Dycke said, just loud enough for everyone to hear, "Coach, I'll do the best that I possibly can."

The runners were called to the line and the gun sounded. Everyone waited for Dycke to take the lead but he did not. Usually, Dycke was the rabbit. He always set a pace that was so grueling that only the elite runners stayed with him and the other fell by the wayside. Yet, here he was, mired in the middle of the pack, looking like he was laboring, and the race was just beginning. After four years of losing to this bastard, the other runners thought, they were finally going to get their revenge and beat him.

The runners started to thin out into a long line, with Dycke in fifth place about 20 yards behind the leader. Harry Rodgers' had pulled out of the race because of leg cramps, so there were only seven runners remaining.

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