• Vol. 06
  • Chapter 06
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The Referee

The players will be out soon – you should really get changed. You should get up and move, make yourself known, meet the managers and captains, let the teams know that you are here and you mean business.

But you like it here. Lying down, facing up. The serenity of the empty stadium, the uninterrupted quiet of the cloudless sky. Soon these stands will be filled with the uproar of heated cheers and violent groans – jeers from old and young – but for now everything is calm and you like it. No funny tummy, no aching head, just peace.

The players will be out soon to warm up: stretch calves, ping balls, test keepers. You should really get changed. Plaster that sham smile on your face. Come kick-off it will be your job to control the jokers, the jostlers, the swearers, the divers, the whiners, the downright disrespectful but for now it’s just you. You, the stadium and the sky. You close your eyes and let yourself drift off…
               “Come on ref!” shouts a coach from the mouth of the tunnel. Silence broken. Not knowing what to retort from afar, you sluggishly get up, conforming to his instructions like one of his players might. You’re only the referee but you’ll need to show them who’s boss when the whistle blows. You’ve already got ground to make.