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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Hot Nights Cold Ice

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I write about ice hockey, so you would think that hot summer nights wouldn’t be my cup of tea but you would be wrong. This week is the second round of the playoffs and this is when I get all my best ideas and I know that I will have time to write those ideas soon.

I was watching a Boston Bruins game last week and it was hot. The players were hot and the crowd was over heated and uncomfortable. It brought to mind hot nights in the old Boston Garden of my childhood.

The old Garden opened in 1928 and as the hockey season got longer a particular weakness of the building was revealed. Fog. When the old Garden got hot, the rink would generate fog. The image of those ghostly players moving through the fog created by poor air conditioning has always left me with the idea of unworldly hockey players. Now I have a whole magical universe filled with, shape-shifters, wizards and fairies all from one image caused by a hot summer night over cold, cold ice.

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An excerpt from the short story Accrocher Ses Pantins by Elizabeth Inglee-Richards from my new anthology Wicked Slapshots

  Packing was something I did fairly regularly. Every year the season ended, and Jennot and I went home to Moncton. It had been the same since the team had moved from Halifax in the sixties. Before that we still packed to go home, but home was much closer then. That day I thought I may be packing for the final time, at least a final time for a long time.

Jennot was tired. He wanted a break from hockey, a break from the team, and a few quiet years before we came back to Massachusetts. A few years that he didn’t have to be called Trey. I could see him taking the place of Walter, the current goalie coach. I wondered if Jennot would want a break from me as well. It wouldn’t be the first time we had parted in our lives together. Hyenas don’t mate for life, like people think wolves do, and neither do Bouda.

Above our bed was our wedding photograph. Our original one. Taken in the summer of 1927. I took it off the wall and held it in my hands. The only piece of our original life left to us after all these years. My most precious belonging. I didn’t think many of our clan kept many reminders of the past.