Friday, October 9, 2009

Midnight Golf

Jack felt bloated. Mexican food did that to him, to say nothing of the three beers he’d quaffed with dinner. Well, you couldn’t eat jalapeno poppers without beer -- just not possible.
Jack switched off the Golf Channel, slipped on his tennis shoes, and started for the door. “I’m going for a walk, Honey,” he shouted into the kitchen, where his wife, Doris, was finishing with the dishes.
“At this hour?” she shouted back.
Jack checked his watch. “It’s only ten.”
He was out the door before his wife could say anything else, like put out the trash.

Jack lived across the street from the Canyon Meadows golf course and liked to walk along the canal that ran through the course, reliving the good golf shots he’d made that week and going through the rotten luck he’d suffered as a result of the ‘golf gods’ exercising their perverse sense of humor at his expense.

Hmm, it is dark out here, Jack thought, as he picked his way carefully along the canal. As he made his way along the 9th Fairway he heard a kind of ‘click’ that sounded suspiciously like someone hitting a golf ball on the sweet spot. Can’t be, he thought. Too dark. But then he heard voices. Someone said, “Good shot.”
Jack edged closer to the fairway and, squinting into the dark, made out four shapes moving along the fairway. A thin layer of ground fog made them appear to glide.
Jack followed as the players walked to their next shots, all grouped nicely in the middle of the fairway. All the players were carrying their bags. From the players’ size and the timbre of their voices, they appeared to be men.
The players hit their approach shots, which arched high into the air and quickly disappeared from sight. And yet, the men congratulated each other with; “Nice shot!” and “Pin High!” and “Putting for a tweet.”

Jack walked up on the cart path that overlooked the 9th green and watched as the men took turns putting, demonstrating incredible accuracy given the conditions.
“Hey, you guys are something else,” he shouted, walking out of the shadows. The men turned and looked at him.
Jack walked down to the green and stood looking at the golfers. They studied him with undisguised interest.
“You guys always play golf at midnight?”
“It’s not midnight,” one of the men said.
“Hey, how about I join you?” Jack said. “Play the back nine?”
“We have a foursome,” another said.
“So what?” Jack said. “It’s not like there’s anybody out here pressing you.”
“Where are your clubs?” Another of the men asked.
“I’ll borrow from you guys.”
The men looked at each other.
“Come on, be sports. I won’t take too much of your money,” Jack said with the lopsided grin he’d used so successfully with the girls in high school.
“All right then, you can join us.”
“But,” said the guy, “You should know, we play for blood.”
The men smiled.
That’s when Jack noticed the fangs.

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