A collaborative squash novel featuring eleven writers BREAKING GLASS
Chapter FOUR by Jamie Crombie
Hoskin was Florencia Perez’s coach, but their relationship of
player/coach was not your typical relationship. The degree of
interaction was at a level never seen before on either the men’s or the
women’s pro tour. Erika had waited for twenty years to finally get a
pupil in which her skills as a coach could be fully appreciated and
utilized. An ex touring pro who had an uncanny knack at winning every
close match was her own personal claim to fame. Unfortunately, when
those wins came they were in the first round of qualifying in some
small rinky-dink tour event. Those matches didn’t bring her much
recognition as a top player or even as a potential coach.
Erika had absolutely no physical or
technical skill so her ability to win any pro match was a testament to
her ability to think. It was this attribute, which she knew with the
right talent, and guidance would create not a great player but a world
champion. But who knew other than the twelve people who came out to the
1st round of the Slago Open that Erika was a master tactician.
So when it was time to hang up her
racquet, she wasn’t exactly scooped up by some of the most prestigious
clubs in the US. For so many retired pros, the US squash scene was the
place to earn a living. When she took a job as an assistant coach
at New York Junior Academy, she was only ever given the kids which all
the other six coaches didn’t want. The combination of a male
denominated sport with a squash pedigree, which didn’t light up the
page, left her with little options as to who she was left to work with.
But with the help of the public library in New York, Erika was able to
further master her skills as a tactician like no other through her
desire to read every single book on how wars were won. A resource
used by no other coaches but with the right mind and body as a pupil,
this advantage could rewrite the book on how to play squash. So when
Florencia was handed to her on a platter, it was as if this was another
reject for Erika. She knew that she couldn’t blow this golden
opportunity. Secondly, her sense of paranoia kicked in, so nobody was
going to steal her future star from under her wings, and this is when
her gem started her mysterious path to the top.
Usually when you get this close to
the actual start date of a tournament, your checklist of items to
complete as a tournament organizer would have shrunk to a manageable
level. But to John’s dismay his list of items seemed to have this very
sick sense of humor. The checklist had this incredible ability to add
an item just as quickly as John checked one off the list. He checks off
the list that his stadium seating has been completed only to add that
the seats have sticky syrup covering many of them so they would have to
be individually cleaned by hand. His PA system was completed only to
have a two speaker’s blow a fuse and somehow have to be completely
Maybe it was these constant
disruptions to the master plan, which had John up before his 6am alarm
clock was set. But either way, he was up when the head of the court
construction, Phil Peters, called him at 5:45 am.
“Hey Phil, what’s up .“
“What do you mean two glass panels are missing?”
“So you are telling me, at 6 fucking
am in the morning that the two panels for the glass court were never in
the container to begin with and why am I hearing about this for the
first fucking time just hours before the qualifying start?”
John was shaking he was so mad, but
as an event organizer you have to go into survival mode and switch off
your emotions and try to come up with a resolution. As Shelley Anderson
had already dealt with the Head of Security at the docks, it was time
to get her back involved. One quick phone call to her cell and a
request to be in his room in five didn’t go over well but was agreed
upon with a quick yes.
Even with five minutes notice and 6
in the morning, Shelley still looked good as she walked through the
door to John’s hotel room. John proceeded to tell her the news about
the missing panels and the need for answers as to their whereabouts.
“Get that fucker on speaker, now,” John demanded.
Shelley quickly dialed his number and
waited for an answer. Eight further attempts later a groggy voice
picked up the phone and Shelley laid her phone down on the table while
putting it on speaker for both John and her to hear.
“Hi, Victor this is Shelley.”
“There seems to be a problem with the court.”
“Two of the glass panels weren’t in the container.”
“What do you mean, there is a new deal, I already paid you the argued upon price.”
“Did you just say my skinny white ass wasn’t worth $20,000?”
“You son of a bitch.”
“What do you mean dial this number?”
“I’m not dialing any number, you…” Click.
There was only a ring tone on the
other end and Shelley and John were stunned at the development that was
just presented to them. Shelley can’t believe her sex appeal had failed
and John didn’t know what the hell this all meant. Either way, they
About the Author
JAMIE CROMBIE Jamie
Crombie is a retired professional squash player. He captured 19 PSA
tour titles and achieved a career-high world ranking of #32. More
recently, Jamie reached the semifinals of the Canadian National Men's
Open at the age of 45. He has been a lead actor in Cromski videos and
is the owner of 03 Sports.