Excerpt from The Lost Tribes by C. Taylor-Butler (copyright 2015)
Chapter 9: Ode To Joy
Ben glanced from Carlos to the paper and back again.
“Want some company?”
“Sure, come on over,” Carlos shouted without taking his eye off of the net.
Bounce. Bounce. Crash!
Ben climbed over the deck railing and hopped the short fence. “I need a favor.”
“Can’t give you the answers to the math homework. Your mom called my mom.”
Ben frowned. His mother had the entire neighborhood on alert. “That’s not what I need. I’m working on a puzzle. Thought I could trade you some basketball pointers if you help me decipher a code.”
“Yeah, sure. Saw you practicing in the gym the other day. Dude, you crushed the competition. What happened? You used to play worse than me!”
Ben shrugged. “One day I was horsing around and everything just started to click. Know what I mean?”
“No, actually, I don’t.” Carlos studied the ball as if concealed the secrets to pro basketball. “Okay. What am I doing wrong?” He released the ball and clenched his fists in anticipation.
Ben caught the ball as it bounced off the roof of the garage and returned to Carlos. “You’re not lining up your shots.”
“Isn’t that the same as aiming at the basket?” Carlos asked.
“Sort of. But you have to visualize the hoop, determine the angle of trajectory, and then control the speed of release.” Ben released the ball. It fell through the opening of the hoop with a whisper soft “whoosh.”
“If you can explain basketball that way, then how come you can’t figure out the math homework? It’s kind of the same thing,” Carlos said, shaking his head as he rebounded.