A thirty second slot in the early evening news. It was a start, but well short of his expectations. No substantive details and no description of how she died. A waste of a bottle of Chablis and a fish hook. The evening papers would be out soon, and there was always the late news; he would take it from there.
“You got a minute, Coach?” asked Tom Kennedy, the Bees manager. A tall distinguished man in a three-piece buttoned-down silver grey suit. He beckoned Mason into the visitors’ boardroom. “Take the weight off your legs, while I run through a few things with you.” He picked up the phone and made a short call.
Coach Mason sat down in a polished wooden chair and looked around. Longfield’s finest adorned the walls. Pictures of famous coaches beaming and holding trophies. There was even a picture of Coach Abel Kane, the latest rising star. He smiled to himself. Tom Kennedy would give him an extended contract, and he would too join the elite in the Bees boardroom after six seasons in the league. Okay, no trophies for a couple of years but solid performances throughout. “What’s on your mind Mr. Hanks?” he asked.
Tom Kennedy slid a piece of paper across the varnished table towards him. “The stats this past year or two are not so hot. We’re getting stale Coach. Babe George is bitching about the service he’s not getting.” He removed his spectacles. “And I agree; it’s time for a change of direction.”
“Change of direction?” asked Coach Mason. “What’s that mean?”
“Look at the stats. We’re not performing like we should. You know it and I know it.”
Coach Mason looked through the paper. He nodded. “We had a hell a lot of injuries.”
Tom Kennedy shrugged, as if it was all water under the bridge. “Anyway, that’s beside the point. I’ve decided that we need changes. A new approach.” He put his glasses back on, and looked at Coach Mason through cold grey eyes. “That means I’m showing you the door Coach.”
Mason was shocked to the core. “You can’t fire me? What about the big game Saturday?” he asked, “Gotta have a coach for that.”
Tom Kennedy got to his feet and walked over to the boardroom door. He opened it and beckoned to the person outside, who followed him in. “I’d like you to meet the Bees new Coach,” he said. “Coach Abel Kane. He’ll be in charge for the Saturday game.”
They would pay. All of them. Especially Babe George, the egocentric ladies man. How could they connive together to fire a genius, a master artist? And the police was another piece of shrapnel in his gut. They didn’t take him seriously, huh? Well he would make them sit up and listen. Now he had plenty of time to plan for Saturday. Yes it would be a big game. Coach Mason would make history.