Story:What It Takes

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What It Takes
Written by Shataivian

Chuck threw his hat down on the ground and stormed off in no particular direction in the dining room with one hand on his hip, and the other rubbing the sides of his jowls. Darcy was drying some glassware with a rag in the kitchen.


“Can’t imagine that was anything good,” she plainly said.


“Got dammit,” Chuck uttered under his breath.


“What is it?” she asked, bored of his tantrum.


“Just got back Ogun’s report. He’s gonna be out for the next two weeks.” Chuck paced a little with both hands now on his hips. His voice was annoyed yet hushed, almost like he could cry were it ever possible.


“Well, bless his poor little soul. He best be sure to get plenty of rest.” Finished with the dishes, Darcy entered the dining room with Chuck, drying her hands off on her apron. “Whacha bellyaching for? Ya got Cici and Tucker.”


Chuck scoffed in response. “It’s more than that.” His voice was still hushed and worried. He sighed. “I’ve been trying to work this season out and how we’ll be entering next season, and…” Darcy sat in one of the dining chairs at the table and placed her chin between her thumb and index finger.


“You need money,” she sighed. “Right. You need a trade.”


“Well, eventually. But I need to figure out whet to do without Ogun, and…”


“Forget that. He’ll miss a few games, sure, but he’ll be back. Leave the lineup to the coach.” All Chuck could do was scratch his head and sheepishly join Darcy at the table, albeit on the opposite end, far from any possible physical contact. “How much money you got left in next year’s budget?” Her eyes never made contact with Chuck’s


“$4 million,” he gruffly sighed.


“That ain’t even gonna cut it for the draft budget.” She thought for moment then laughed suddenly. “And your big budget-breaker is out! Aww that’s funny,” she laughed concluding in an amused sigh. Chuck groaned. “Well, who you willing to give up?”


“No one!” His voice elevated for a moment and Darcy’s left ear snapped in Chuck’s direction. “I mean… They’re all doing great.”


“Then it’s Craig.” Darcy planted her paws on the table as if to settle the matter and stood to her feet.


“What?! Why Craig! I’m already down a Big! I can’t get rid of…”


“Craig is the only bargainin’ chip you really got.” She turned to Chuck and pointed at him as she spoke. Chuck kept his head down and his ears turned back. “He’s the only one on a restricted contract.”


“I don’t even understand what you’re gettin’ at.” His voice was slightly frustrated, but his head was still turned away from her. She paced; her head tilted up at the ceiling as she thought.


“Which teams still ain’t got a full roster yet?”


“Well… Off the top of my head, there’s Seattle. There’s Winnipeg… And there’s Tallahassee. Let me check for sure.” Chuck reached into his back pocket and pulled out his phone to double check his memory.


“Well, Seattle’s sittin’ pretty. Pretty sure there ain’t nothin’ you can offer ‘em that they won’t counter back and make your life a hell,” Darcy snickered. “Tallahassee would just be plain dumb, and you already done that with D’A.” Chuck groaned as he continued to check on his phone. “Winnipeg then.”


“If you’re looking for a team with an extra slot AND the available budget, Winnipeg ain’t it. Their budget’s maxed as is now.” There was a tinge of retaliation in his voice. He never looked up from his phone. But the silence that followed forced Chuck to clear his throat as an almost apology.


“So, it’s Seattle, or Tallahassee huh?” she sighed.


“Hold on. Let me see if there’s…”


“Tallahassee,” she abruptly determined. “It’s already the dumping grounds for all your other players. They got Dylan, Harrison, they had D’A. What’s one more?”


“Now, hold on! You damn near jumped down my throat when I traded D. Angelo to them! Said it wasn’t smart to trade to the same division!”


“Exactly. How could they turn down such and dumb offer?” Darcy couldn’t help but laugh. Chuck’s ears just dropped as he took the barrage.


“There’s Edmonton. They’ve got the slots and the…”


“Oh, stop pussyfootin’ around!” she snapped. Tallahassee is your best bet to get what you need. Listen! You’re offering a $1 million contract, while you need a couple million for next year. What on earth would make this a fair trade?”


“Well…”


“Think, Chuck! With Tallahassee, you’ll be offering a division advantage AND a $1 million contract. No one else will get that!”


“Darcy… I don’t know…”


“Dammit, Chuck!” Darcy stomped her foot. “When you gonna man up!” She was staring daggers at Chuck.


Just then, Galileo shuffled into the room. He had a quilt over his head and was picking at his lip. “Mama?”


“Oh, baby,” she said, scooping him up and placing him against her hip. “You don’t have to pick at it.”


“Lip’s better?” the pup tried to confirm. Darcy didn’t answer. She looked to Chuck instead.


“Y-yeah… That’s right. It might feel funny… B-but… it’s all healed now…”


“Bye-bye fur?” Galileo asked. Chuck couldn’t answer.


“But that’s okay, right?” Darcy asked back to him in a cheery voice.


“Yup!” the pup nodded and squirmed out of his mother’s arms, dropping behind him his quilt and taking off into the living room. Darcy smiled as he ran off, then scowled at Chuck.


“Stop tiptoeing and do what it takes to get things done.” She spun around and stormed out of the dining room, leaving Chuck to let her words ring in his ears. His hands fell to his side. His phone went dim. He looked over his shoulder into the living room where Galileo was watching TV and eating fruit snacks. Chuck sighed, then slowly enter the living room, and sat beside him on the couch.


“Son…” he spoke softly. “I wanna talk to you… man to man…”


Featured Characters

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