Overtime by David Skuy

Book: Overtime by David Skuy Read Free Book Online
Authors: David Skuy
the school?” A.J. said. “My mom’s probably waiting for me outside to take it home.”
    “Sure,” they all chorused. Charlie grabbed a box and with the others hauled it out to the curb. He looked at all the kids filing past to get into the school. Would it have been too much to expect a few of them to come for breakfast?
    What would they think of a skate-a-thon?

    A distant rumbling in the clouds threatened another downpour. The ground was still wet from the morning, but for now the rain held off. The sinking feeling in Charlie’s stomach grew with each step. If they didn’t get a good time, the skate-a-thon might not work at all.
    “Gus will come through,” Charlie said, mostly to convince himself.
    “I got the names of a few more rinks if we need them,” Pudge said, waving a paper in the air.
    “We need the Ice Palace,” Julia said. “Otherwise people can’t walk to the rink.”
    Charlie didn’t even want to go there. “Maybe we won’t get the best day or we’ll have to cut down on the hours. But it’ll be okay — Gus loves us.”
    They went in and headed straight over to Gus’s office. It was a legendary spot in Terrence Falls, filled with classic hockey memorabilia: signed photos of famous players, sticks from the fifties and sixties, old skates hanging from wall hooks, equipment scattered about — it was like visiting the Hockey Hall of Fame in miniature.
    “It’s the Rebels,” Gus declared in his gravelly voice.“But who’s your lady friend?”
    “This is Julia,” Charlie said. The warm greeting boosted his confidence. “Hi Gus,” he said. “We wanted to talk to you about some ice time.”
    “You guys sure are serious about defending the championship, aren’t you?” Gus said.
    “It’s not for the Rebels …” Charlie said.
    “A bit of shinny? I love you guys — never too much hockey. I got some time early Sunday morning.”
    “It’s for a fundraiser,” Julia interjected, “for Terrence Falls High. We’re raising money to fix the roof. If we don’t hit our target, the school will close and we’ll all have to go to other schools.”
    “So we had this idea for a skate-a-thon,” Charlie added. “We wanted to rent the ice for a day. We’re collecting pledges and a bunch of kids will come and skate.”
    Gus scrunched his nose. “You need a whole day?”
    “Well … not necessarily the entire day,” Julia said. “But … you know … a chunk of time.”
    Gus didn’t look happy. “I’d love to help you, of course. I’d do anything I could. But other than a couple of hours here and there, like that Sunday slot, we’re totally booked. You know how busy this place gets after the summer. If you’d talked to me back in April or May, we could’ve swung it.”
    “We didn’t know about it then,” Charlie said.
    Gus seemed genuinely upset. “You could try the Flemington Arena, only I doubt you’ll have much luck there. I know for a fact Cliffcrest is booked. Ice time is as scarce as hens’ teeth.”
    Charlie didn’t exactly know if hens had teeth, but heguessed they didn’t.
    “There’s Ted Beeve over at St. Briar and Central. I know the manager there. Let me give him a call.”
    Gus picked up the phone and dialled. After a quick conversation he hung up and shook his head. “Sorry, kids. All the rinks in town are booked.”
    Charlie made himself sound cheerful. He didn’t want Gus to feel bad. “No problem. It was just an idea. We can do something else.”
    “Good luck,” Gus said, “and if I can help you some other way let me know.” The phone rang. “I’ve gotta take this,” he said and waved. They waved back and left. Outside the office Pudge pulled out his list of rinks.
    “At least we won’t waste any more time running around to those rinks. According to my list we have one last chance — Humberside,” Pudge said.
    “Which is where?” Julia said.
    “About an hour away. I think it’s near that Kennedy West High School

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