From Across A Muddied Football Field


It started at a football game. The cacophonous howling of students cheering for their school, full of academic pride, filled Eddie the Eagle’s ear-holes and rattled his skull. He’d been here a thousand, maybe a hundred thousand times, but he never got used to the noise. It wasn’t like the students actually cared about who was winning, because it was never Enloe, so he didn’t understand where all the hype was coming from.

Eddie glared across the field in the dying afternoon light, looking for something (or someone) more interesting to watch than the game. His sharp eyes landed on a voluptuous figure of a peculiar violet shade. Just the sight of that purple monster made him want to vomit up the concession stand hotdogs he had eaten earlier. Or maybe they would’ve made him hurl regardless.

It was Eddie’s old enemy and classic rival: Purple Elmo. For centuries they’d been at each other’s throats, game after game, from August through October. It was a never-ending cycle of vengeance and hatred egged on by the students of both schools. 

Broughton normally made Enloe subject to ridicule during the anticlimactic football games, but for the first time, Eddie felt things would be different. And he would start by making sure that oversized grape-flavored Nerd knew it.

Eddie marched across the field between the first and second quarters, determined to show the Broughton mascot what’s what. Purple was standing on their team’s side behind the bench, entertaining a particularly rambunctious gaggle of freshman girls with selfies. Eddie scoffed. That blank smile might have satisfied the oblivious fans, but he knew better. That was the expression of a psychopath.

“Are you done stroking your ego, or should I wait here for a few more minutes?” Eddie spat, making Purple whirl around, abandoning the group of girls, much to their disappointment. 

Purple rolled their eyes. “Oh, what a surprise. It’s Eddie. You should probably stop following me around, it’s honestly such fan behav— watch it!” they snapped at a football player that shoulders them mid-insult, causing them to lurch forward.

“Saved by the bell. Anyways,” Eddie continued, “Do you see that score?” He points with a feathered hand towards the glowing board. Six to zero, Enloe being the former score. Eddie watches with satisfaction as Purple’s smug expression shifts to one of mild irritation.

“So what? It’s only the second quarter. Still plenty of time for my team to whoop your a—” Purple was cut off by a misshapen pass flying just over the top of their head.

“How did that even happen?!” Purple exclaimed.

Eddie shrugged. It was just the classic romantic comedy energy that Enloe maintained. He looked out over the horizon past the rows and rows of bleachers, temporarily forgetting his opponent as the sun sunk into a pool of brilliant oranges and lavenders. He could just imagine soaring through those skies, the sunset warming his heart and wings. It really was a romantic evening.

An indigo hand flitted across Eddie’s vision, bringing him back to reality. Purple stood indignantly in front of him as he continued to ignore him.

“Helloooo, Bird Brain? Hey!” they shouted. “If you’re gonna ignore me, at least get off my side and go entertain your own people or something!”

“Huh? Is someone talking?”

Get out, the game is starting again!” The booing began from Broughton’s side as Eddie attempted to stumble his way across the field before the players got back on. He turned around just in time to see a linebacker barrel into Purple, the collision causing their knees to buckle, collapsing forward onto Eddie with a thump.

Woah. Eddie had never seen them up so close. He could focus on every strand of indigo fur, the depth of their googly eyes, their warm breath on his face. He didn’t want to admit it, but he could stare at them forever, and he would have if it weren’t for Purple’s next words:

“Whoops,” they said in a hushed whisper, “My bad.” But they made no movement to get up.

Eddie chuckled nervously. He didn’t know where this blooming feeling in his chest came from, but he was glad it was there. Even though it arrived with his worst enemy.

“Hey, uh… I don’t think you ever properly gave me your name…”

“Oh, I guess not.” Purple gave a small smile, one Eddie wished he saw more often. “My real name… is Latipac.”


“It’s ‘capital’ backwards.”

“Oh… lovely name.”

The two couldn’t tell the difference between shouts of anger and cheers of support, drowning it all out in the love of the other’s gaze. In that moment, it didn’t matter to either of them which team would win or lose, all that mattered was that they won each other’s hearts. But Broughton lost. The end.