For complete access to IGMS...
Existing Users - Please Log In
|- - - - P r e v i e w - - - -|
On the Winds of the Rub' Al-Khali
by Stephen Gaskell
. . . continued from issue 42 . . .
Outside, dark bloated clouds had amassed. We'd only played three points when the first thick
spots of rain fell. They felt warm against my skin.
"We better get in," Wai Tat said. "There's no such thing as a light shower here."
I didn't want to go back in, didn't want to go back to the lonely path that I was furrowing. "One
more point?" It wouldn't change the game -- Wai Tat was already leading three-nothing.
"Okay, last point wins."
I played harder than I'd ever played for that point. Wai Tat would normally humor me a little, let
me win the odd rally, but since the game hinged on this one point he didn't want to lose. The
tennis ball tore around, a ragged yellow blur. Apart from the steady thrum of the rain, the only
sounds were the squeak of the ring in the middle of the pole, and the low thud of our bats against
ball. The ring edged higher, lower, then higher again. I was almost there.
Wai Tat scuffed his shot, and I had my chance. I pulled back my arm, tensed my muscles, and hit
The ball flew true, whacking against the communal lounge window with the string trailing
behind. Several of the mathematicians looked up, and a couple wandered over to the window.
They shook their heads disdainfully.
"I'll give you that," Wai Tat said. He was soaked, his shirt sodden and his hair slicked down
against his cheeks. Streaks of mud laced the bottom of his trousers. "How about a game of go?"
"Come on. I'll teach you."
I headed in, happy not to be going back to the mathematics yet.