A cold sweat broke out on Darryl’s face, sprinkling into his eyes and onto the ice, forming small puddles. His arms pumped furiously, his biceps burning, his shoulders screaming for peace. But he would not allow it, the relentless master.

It seemed like the handle would snap under the strain of his white-knuckled grip…that is, if his bones wouldn’t first.

Darryl concentrated. Only him and the rock…him and the rock…he was one with the rock, was the rock.

But then, a competitor burst from the slab of ice beside him and rammed his burly frame into Darryl’s. Darryl cried out and fell to the floor, feeling a sizable lump already forming beneath his mop of hair.

The competitor grunted with satisfaction and resumed Darryl’s place, sweeping his broom with long, hard strokes. He won the game.

Darryl ended up in the hospital with a concussion and a broken femur.

Yes, it was a tough, hard way to live, but for some, the Underground Curling League was the only way.

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