””Editor’s Note: Prometheus Rebounds is written by Bill Danks, a former Hawaii resident and Social Studies and Creative Writing teacher at Maryknoll Schools, who was named Economics Teacher of the Year in 1981 by the Hawaii Joint Council on Economics Education. Danks also won three playwriting awards from the Kumu Kahua theatre group, had staged readings at Kennedy Theatre and the UH Art Auditorium, as well as the Hawaii Literary Arts Council’s conference “From Script to Screen.” He received Special Recognition for Excellence in Screenwriting at the first Hawaii International Film Festival, had poetry published in Hawaii Review and Ramrod, wrote for local Hawaii radio, television, and papers such as Sun Bums, and was a finalist in the screenplay competition at the Philadelphia Film Festival in 2003. His current book was named the Freedom Book of the Month for February 2004 by the The Henry Hazlitt Foundation. DEEP SONG, his second book, will be published in 2005. Prometheus Rebounds may be ordered for $15.95 online at http://www.Amazon.com or at http://www.Borders.com directly from Borders Personal Publishing (Pam Durant) at 1-(866) 954-2747 or through any Borders store (ISBN number 1-4134-3832-6). Hawaii Reporter is serializing this novel, beginning next week. One chapter will appear each Wednesday. To reach the author, write to Bill Danks at mailto:NovaZorro@aol.com”’
Somehow Prometheus managed to avoid Durk all day Sunday. That only delayed the inevitable, of course, and sure enough it was still early Monday morning when Durk spotted him crossing the far end of the gym on his way to the weight room.
That was strange. He called him by his real name. Not Jap or Gook or Slope or Yella Nigger, like he used to back on the playground. Not Shorty or Wimp or Stupid or just You! like he’d been doing at camp. He actually called him Prometheus.
“Hey, Prometheus…c’mon down here for a minute, will you?”
Durk had been working under the net with two guys who made even him look short. Prometheus figured one of them must have been a true seven-footer. The other one wasn’t far from it. Durk was smiling and waving eagerly for Prometheus to join them. It was strange how that smile wasn’t at all like his usual one. There was actually some warmth in it. Like a real smile. Like he was honestly glad to see Prometheus.
“Here you go, killer…” Durk said, lightly tossing the ball to Prometheus. “Let’s show these clowns the way rebounding’s supposed to be done.”
Prometheus started slowly dribbling the ball towards the basket. Suddenly the two giants made a break at him and he was forced to move faster. A lot faster. They still would have been all over him in another instant if Durk hadn’t jumped into action along his side, taking a quick pass from him and leading them away. Prometheus returned the favor and soon they had a real rhythm going between them. They were the first to score and that set a pattern for the next ten minutes. Their opponents not only had about a six inch height advantage on Durk and nearly a foot on Prometheus, but they were both powerfully built guys who knew how to use both their bulk and their strength to their benefit. In addition, they looked as old or older than Durk. They were either college players like him or in their sixth or seventh year of high school.
In any case it did them little good. Durk and Prometheus consistently out-maneuvered and out-shot them. As the game went on Prometheus started returning Durk’s ready smile. They were proud of themselves. After the last basket the big guys left, but Durk kept Prometheus out on the court giving him pointers on how to fake out an opponent. It was stuff Prometheus had never known before. He learned a lot from Durk that day.
That night he told Hobie all about it. They were playing a rather leisurely game together at the music camp, moving all around very lightly and gracefully, only occasionally bothering to toss Hobie’s mysterious blue sphere into the peach basket.
“He was real friendly,” Prometheus said. “I never saw him like that before in my life. I can’t believe it.”
“I can,” said Hobie with a frown.
“It’s so strange. He never used to be at all interested in how I played. He always ignored me. Totally. But now it’s like he really wants to help. Like he wants to show me stuff.”
“That he does.”
“But why? It just doesn’t make any sense. I can’t see that anything’s changed between the two of us…other than the fact that I hit him.”
Prometheus laughed. Hobie looked at him gravely. “You did more than that.”
“You hit him first.”
“Why the hell would that make him want to teach me anything?”
“It’s simple,” said Hobie. “He wants to teach you to keep on hitting first.”
“What do you mean?”
The old man