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   April 28, 2017

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The BIG DAY- A fictional Story.

The big day was coming, The National Stock Class Championship.  Nick Furious or bubba as called by his friends had registered the first chance he got.  Sure the drive to Florida was a long one but this day would live forever the first nation wide stock tournament.  He had waited anxiously cleaning his marker a beautiful Red VSC Phantom polishing every piece and replacing it back to its spot.  He went to his field and drilled at the range.  Getting his sight perfectly aligned in his kill spot of 75 yards.  He knew he needed to out shoot his opponents with the FIRST ball.  He couldn’t afford to miss.  He worked relentlessly while his semi friends laughed at him for shooting such a relic gun.  He did not get angry he did yell at them he just knew in his own mind that stock class was for winners not whiners.  He chatted online late into the night talking about the newest strategies.  He emailed pro-shops arranging for gun upgrades.  He had his gun modded so that it received his semis top of the line barrel and a new pump arm to fit over the new Freak barrel.  The pump was now silky smooth and he worked it perfecting his cocking motion.

 

            Days passed and Nick played hard and long.  He knew if he wanted to win in an area where it is the player not the gun he must truly be the best player.  He took on cocky players wielding their Electro-Pneumatic wonder machines that could let out streams of paint.  He was patient and in most cases with one solitary ball ended with what his opponent tried using hundreds to do.  Nick worked his positioning and helped the field owner set up the field to be just that of the fields he would soon be using.  Drill after drill he would be the best.

 

            The time came the week of the tournament.  It was a modified stock event allowing for only 15 round magazines and 12-gram co2 cartlets.  He drove from his cold and tiring town in Iowa through the bread bowl of America.  He stopped in several towns to see their paintball facilities.  Swelling with pride when people actually knew what stock class was.  He knew this would be a thankless adventure but it didn’t matter.  Because he would play with honor and respect.  He wouldn’t need to argue with refs or wipe away paint, because than he would know and others would know that the stock class way of life had been spoiled. 

 

            He arrived in Florida and stayed in a low cost motel out side of the Wide World Of Sports.  He watched as the press greeted big named paintball heroes.  Ed Poorman announced he would in fact be playing and promoted his new Evolution II super loader capable of firing of 17 balls per second.  Nick just laughed knowing that Poormans' skill lay in the number off paintballs he was given to fire.  His polished CCM pump was bought not earned.  Nick walked the fields eyeing the firing lanes as the big leaguers sat back and sipped drinks.  He double-checked his gear as they where soaking in hot tubs. 

 

            The first day of the tournament was a sunny Florida Friday.  The sun beat down happily against the hundreds of nervous players.  Nick shot through the prelims without faltering.  Each shot was crisp and perfect he had been perfect except for one game when it took him all of two shots to eliminate his opponent.  He congratulated each player of their play and granted them luck on there next game.  In an off round Nick went to see the commotion in a field with literally hundreds of spectators.  Ed Poorman was cowering behind his bunker trying to figure out why his opponent kept getting angles on him.  His opponent weaved around the heavy-footed Poorman.  Poorman took a clear hit to the chest and laid down immediately making the mark vanish.  Many spectators gasped watching the act.  I nodded in disbelief.  It was as if Jeremy Salm was in the woods sniping all over again.  Poorman was disqualified and was talking to the tournament sponsors trying to get things ‘settled’.   Nick at that time need to go back and play his semifinal game against a Russian who from rumors around the tournament had been training all year through his government.  He was sent to win and bring glory to his people.

 

            The match started with huge gains by both players.  They met at close to the fifty.  Each tried getting angles on each other but had no luck in getting a perfect angle.  They sat head on spread out by about 75 feet.  Nick knew something drastic would need to be done if he was to get the win.  That or an error would be made.  Suddenly out of the corner of his eye he noticed a small piece of jersey coming from the side of the bunker.  HIS ELBOW.  Nick knew the shot.  He had made it many times before.  It was just like the hanging pot at the field range.  He carefully snapped out.  Took his deadly aim and fired a single shot.  He watched in awe as the ball slowly floated towards his adversary.  Hoping and praying in the second that the shot would hold.  He watched in joy as the ball didn’t bounce but broke beautifully.  He had beaten someone who he was unsure of.  Both players stood and walked slowly to each other. 

            “You have beaten me!” proclaimed the Russian in awe. “ I am the champion I never loose.”

            “Good game friend.” Nick shouted, with an outstretched hand. 

            Nick ran to the posting board watching point totals and the proceedings.  He had made the finals.  He jumped with joy.  Many players complimented him on his amazing play and said that he needed to watch out next year.  Only one thing was left.  The finals game.  He still didn’t know whom he would be facing.  The judges didn’t even know.  Finally the main judge came out with a sad look on his face.  He had spoken to the tournament sponsors.  They decided that Poorman had been unfairly disqualified and would be giving another chance.

            “But we are already at the finals.” Nick yelled.

            The head ref simply nodded and said that Mr. Poorman would be playing in the finals.  Nick walked slowly from the tent and sat outside.  The Russia walked by and sat down. 

            “Ed Poorman has powerful sponsor ties, no?”

            “Its not fair, he paid his way to the finals, you should be there not him.”  Nick complained.

            “If you win the world of stock play wins.”  Nodded the Russian. “We are all filled with honor and integrity.  We shall win as a group.”

            Nick stood up and ran to his car.  He needed to be ready.  He wanted to school the weak-minded cheater.  He hand selected the balls and gently placed them into his 10 round tubes.  We checked over his gun and knew he was ready.  He walked over to field number one, were the game would be played.  He watched as the bleachers filled up around them.  People where standing 4 or 5 deep all around the field waiting to watch him play.  He took a deep breath lowered his mask and waited for the count.  Ed was casually standing by the dead boxes talking to a news camera. 

            “Why don’t you just stay there, make my job easier.” Taunted Nick. 

            The match started with a large gain by Poorman.  Nick slowly made his way around the tape.  Poorman was unloading paint and stayed at the bunker that he had first moved to.  Nick just laughed at how simply his adversary was attempting to play spraying paint and hopping one may find its mark.  The elimination would be too easy.  Nick carefully aimed behind his bunker were he knew Poorman was and darted out placing a shot perfectly over Poormans’ shoulder.  He then jumped up and ran to the next bunker over.  He had purposefully thrown the shot.  He wanted to teach this bad egg a lesson in defeat.  Poorman looked around trying to figure were the shot had come from while Nick set up for another buzz hit.  This time he aimed his trusty phantom right across Poormans’ back.  He fired it flawlessly skimming across his back but not breaking, that’s gotta hurt.  This hit made Poorman scream out.  He didn’t even know where the shots were coming from, the spectators knew.  Nick was moving by the time the ball was off.  He didn’t even get to watch his artwork.  By this time Nick was behind Poorman, who was cowering behind his bunker.  He had been so used to paying for success, even at this respectful tournament he had gotten to the finals without effort.  Nick decided the games were soon to end so he slowly and carefully positioned himself directly behind Poorman.  He took aim and remembered something Poorman had said to reporters earlier. 

            “Yeah stock is so easy just because you only have to dodge one ball at a time.” Laughed Poorman.

            “Dodge this.” Yelled Nick, to a Poorman surprised to hear a voice behind him.  Turning to watch a solitary ball smash into his mask.  A perfect shot.  One he couldn’t wipe.

            The crowd went wild.  The media persons all shook their heads in disbelief. 

“What an upset.” One reporter proclaimed.

“No what is upsetting is that tourney players get away with everything.  They have lost their honor in the game and that’s what upsets me.”  Corrected Nick. 

Nick drove home with a new found respect for himself and for paintball in general.  Sure Poorman had still come in second but he didn’t win by his old ways.  He was stopped in his tracks.  Nick won a brand new CCM pump and every thing he could have possibly wanted with it. 

“Why would I want that?  I’ve got old red.” Nick laughed.  He sold the marker and bought his home field a set of matching phantoms so that he could help spread stock play in the area.  He slowly but surely changed the way this noble game play had been seen. 

 

 

           

 

 

- Nick Furious


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