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The Out-of-Towner
by Pierre Richardson

Eating a doughnut, drinking a cup of coffee. He watched the monitors as hundreds of people walked up, down, left, right, sideways, and in circles. He often pondered when and why he would need to leave his chair next. He hated to do it but it was part of his 'job'. He leaned back, put his feet up, closed his eyes and tried to go to sleep.

Meanwhile, the generators were just firing up. A full out blitz on one of the nicest spots in the city had nearly begun. All the locals were there to throw down hammers, and even a few strangers had heard of the mission. A perfect 10-stair rail was about to be christened. The first trick was a fifth-try frontside 50-50 by local Roger Action. The next was a third-try frontside boardslide by Alan Vast: smooth as soy butter. People started trying harder tricks. Little did they know that somewhere, off in the distance...

The Guard awoke. His eyes focused on the TV monitor with the handrail and skaters. He slammed his fist on the table, unhappy to have to leave his seat to chase away a bunch of skate rats. He grabbed his flashlight and hurried out. He started jogging and then realized that he wasn't the same football star he was in high school.

The group of skateboarders saw him huffing and puffing towards them and knew they'd have to scram. He explained to the group that they had to vacate the premises. The out-of-towner pleaded for one last attempt at his frontside bluntslide. The Guard knew that the angry mob of skaters would be mad if he didn't give them one more chance and he gave in so that they would leave. "One last try, I guess, but I'm not responsible…" a mighty cheer from the crowd.

The one filmer got ready to possibly capture a flawless frontside blunt down the 10. The out- of-towner rolled up and pop! His board stuck. He pitched to flat, rolled over and his head met the concrete. His crumpled body lay there for what seemed like hours. People crowded around him to see if he was ok: he got up and everyone cheered. The Guard shook his head in disbelief. He wondered why anyone would want to do such a thing to themselves. But the out-of-towner knew why: to challenge himself mentally more than physically. He was hurt, but not too badly, and he was happy that he had tried. He knew he would try again, some day. The Guard stayed as they packed up the generator.

He walked back to his office, wondering more about why they were willing to go through such physical trauma just to land a trick. He quickly gave up. His coffee was now cold, his doughnut long gone.