Friday, 2 January 2009

Excerpts from My Forthcoming Novelisation of Goal!

"When your mother walked out on us, I promised God I would do everything I could to help you boys realise your dreams."

Grandma's face radiated ageing-ethnic sincerity, although Santiago, who was ethnic himself, only registered the ageing part. The old woman held out the cardboard wallet containing the plane ticket to London and her life savings; he hesitated for only a moment before taking it. She smiled.

"Now hurry up and take a shower -- the plane's leaving in an hour, and you smell like a mule!"


The beautiful flirtatious nurse poked the needle into his arm clumsily.

"Sorry!" she said, seeing him wince, "I'm only a nurse part-time; I'm mainly a model."


Santiago stood on the training field: a solitary early-morning warrior, backed by the luminous watercolour smear of a Tyneside dawn. He struck ball after ball into the gaping maw of the empty goal; as each was struck it was denatured, becoming no more a ball but a spherical-polyhedron time capsule, crackling with the energy of kick-ball divinity. The net bulged like the sail of some great vessel, afloat upon the sea of Time and heading inexorably for the gleaming treasure island of the Future.


Santiago sat silently in the otherwise vacant changing room, wearing only his underwear. The coach entered.

"I know you've got the skill for the English game, son," he said as he sat down next to the despondent youth, "but have you got the speed, the stamina, the haircut?" The coach ran his rough, heavy hand over Santiago's shaven head. "You'll never play in the Premiership with a barnet like this."

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