His jog to reach the center of the artificial turf took little time for him. With a gentle pull he returns his slipping knee sock right up to his ankle. Augustus Marshal, son of a military dictator had only one goal on his mind. He saw it with undaunted eyes glancing at the score board. Wide with confidence, his crystal sand eyes reflected a confidence. When the public wanted a glimpse as to what the boy was like his teammates claim when the game was at its toughest and the game on the line his eyes would almost spellbound them to make the impossible happen. An almost complete obedience followed his stare when meet with another human being. After high school his generals would say the same. Only his destructive favoritism would break their bonds.

Regardless, his heroic presents at the center of the soccer field broadcasted the teams excitement at the present. 2-2 with seconds to spare. He gathered his teammates to him. His plan would be laid out after he seized the ball. His opponents captain hastily anticipated this and sends a broadcast of his own. Stretching his skinny arms out in a straight line while pacing back slightly, singling to his own team to stay in line. A goal is going to be made.

Augustus left foot was his weak point, so he always strained his left toes to strike the ball first. Strengthening it for the right moment. With a fierce intuition he sweeps the ball underneath the defender. Yet he is cornered by three others, and the ball nearly escapes him. In a hurry he punts the ball to his teammate, Dylan Brown a champion of the grab and score. He too had the other schools goal line in site. He spans the fields length to take his shot. This moment defined Dylan’s passion for the game of soccer. He took an unapologetic swag onto the field. He knew that everyone knew he was the best kicker, defender, and shooter on the team. what was not known to many was Dylan’s bond towards his friend Augustus. Dylan went out of his way to help his teammates beat the odds. more importantly for Augustus too. Dylan took a glance towards the other side of the turf. Augustus never took his attention off him and dashed to create some separation. Dylan catches the hint as Augustus now prepared himself to snatch the ball. Another defender blocks his path, forcing him to retract a few strides back. Closing his window to make a score. Swift on his feet with a flare only seen in those able to react by instinct and not talent took back the momentum. He quickly leaped forward to nuzzle the ball from Dylan’s next pass. Augustus never known for his elite shooting was nick named the hammer, for his shots had too much force. Which did not always help him with accuracy. He needed a nail and Dylan always the loyal friend wishing to help his best friend shine, took the nick name the nail. Giving his team leader the time, he needed to control his strike.

In seconds, Dylan cut across two defenders with ease. Shifting the ball between him and Augustus. Each anticipating the others decision they guided the attention of the whole stadium to them. Augustus commands Dylan using his index finger, thumb and middle to call his next move. The two were in perfect unison. The ball rose in the air before landing face center before Dylan. He caught it with his effective Trivela pass. Linking him up in just the right angle to seize his next shot at the game’s MVP title. Yet his team awareness strained him to look over to Augustus and again redirects his shot to a pass.

Augustus conveyed with body language his arrogance as a smart player. He used his skill players to feed him the ball at the right moment and in this instant, win.

After his last pass Augustus drew half the field of defenders away from him. Rightfully so for Dylan was their star player helping his team all the way to eight straight wins. It only made sense to cover him. Shut him out down the field. Make it impossible to pass to another teammate feet away from the goal line. Mindful of the flashing red timer nearly reaching its end. Dylan made his flashy pass over the heads of the opposing team. Right into his leaders’ sphere with a few feet from the goalkeeper. Trevor Tyler, the county’s best goalkeeper gave a nod towards Augustus. Warning him—he had him beat already.

Between his planning and executing lays the boys inner faith in himself. His own desire for the MVP title posed a great risk to the team. if he missed the shame would be his alone. Nevertheless, the confidence in his piercing brown eyes gave his teammates courage. shifting the entire momentum of the game against his opponents. And Augustus made his choice to take the game.

Only an incoming striker and the goalkeeper stood in his way. The two tall lads per-read and watched his every move. the strikers mistake was he respected the boy’s family name. The goalkeeper’s fault was his ego which did not match the boys will. With a fake motion to the right Augustus catches the opponents off guard. He pounced on this advantage and he ranged his left striking leg. He cooled his inner nerves by believing his father was in the stands cheering him on. Where others would have been nervous Augustus saw it as an added pressure to keep him focused. His father being a man of action and flare. Expected nothing less than brilliance in his oldest son. Yet Augustus had a humble outward ego. in all his actions he wanted to always prove himself a worthy teammate until the end. Like his great father with his generals.

Goal. The crimson flashers buzzed the final score 3-2. the whole stadium shook the air with roars of cheers and praise for the hometown team.

Augustus leaps into a fresh bash of autumn air. a sense of his triumph gave him a wonderful dynamism feeling of energy. Which manifested into praise for his teammates and his best friend Dylan. Augustus wanted to believe he would never forget to mention how he got the win. yet he still wasn’t perfect. And when the crowds of parents and students came up to him he praised himself on his quick leadership at the end.

the flock of crowds in the stands mashed together were overjoyed their favorite son came out on top. Dylan this time felt cheated. he wanted nothing more than to break his triumphant victory. But, Dylan wasn’t a vengeful kid and he still presented Augustus with MVP honors in front of everyone. And for his loyalty in Augustus mind. Handed the MVP honors back to Dylan In a public gesture of friendship. strong and dependable became Dylan’s promise to his hometown friend. Augustus loyalty to him shined in that moment. Dylan felt like he gained his payment in full after he saw the joy on Augustus strikingly handsome face. Both had the hearts of lion cubs just one of them wanted to be king.

Augustus embraced the crowds descending onto the field. Giving them each a fair amount of attention. They cheered and hailed Tristan’s oldest son,

“God bless the Marshal family.” A woman shouted.

He waved his hands and gripped the hands of those wishing to touch the son of Tristen and Jane Marshal. A huge wave of grateful love for the son of their very own American war hero was not lost on Dylan. But He could never understand the spectacle of hero worship.

“God bless your family boy” an older man shouts from the back. Augustus thanks him with a small bow of his head. Among the increasing crowds he saw Dylan packing his bag. As he looked around at all the excitement. his cheeks began to tense up pressing against his teeth like a shark’s gills. Did his friend now regrate helping him ? Surrounded by the crowds Augustus knew it would be too late to catch his friend. After a while, the stadium emptied and the team’s family celebrating on the field went their own way. Back to the many busy lives they led. Accustomed to staying late after the game to practice. The MVP winner took the time to observe his surroundings. The field he just played on for 2 years felt like another home. when he would take the time to exactly listen to his mother’s advice he was most changed by her philosophy of the home. The home is a person’s center their sanctuary. For Augustus, the longer he excelled in a place, mastered the space around him. he believed his mother that because he practiced here, and he triumphed here. while hundreds of on lookers watched. He owned the field and everyone on it. but his victory felt incomplete. Where was his friend Dylan or his father? did he hide in the background not wishing to take his spotlight? Augustus dismissed the thought. His father though a great man loved the attention he earned from the many life’s he has changed. Augustus refocused his mind and attitude. His goals were not to worry about his father’s favor but to win his own glory.

Augustus stole back a smile as he saw his friend coming out of the school. “Dylan!” he shouted with all his heart.

“Hail to the MVP!”

Augustus lowered his eyes before he rised them up again on Dylans blue eyes.

“You’re the real MVP.”

“Don’t do that. you’re the hero. The Great Generals son.”

“I couldn’t do it without you man. you’re my right arm. . . Leg in this case.”

“You could have said that to your countless worshipers.”

The two stood awkwardly to each other waiting for the others affection. And when Augustus didn’t make the first move, they walked the field as Augustus took the ball and passed it to him. Dylan with a lazy motion to the right cupped it in his heal and the two played a little pass.

“Your father never showed up, did he?’

Augustus tried to hide the sting of the question.

“Yeah it looks like it.”

“Well between running the country and seeing his other family I’m not surprise he has no time.” Dylan shot another jab at Augustus who believed America was still a democracy and his family was one. And not two separate lives his father led. But Augustus knew the truth.

“My Dad doesn’t run the country. Your father does. The people voted him into office.”

Dylan ignored him. “The entire government met this morning. They could be preparing another civil war. It’s all you’re moms fault.”

“I had no idea. My mom said nothing. Dylan if I knew he wasn’t coming today I would have given you the shot.”

“Now whose bull shitting?”

“You were the star player. We couldn’t have won without you.”

“I’m the son of the President of the United States of America and you get all the attention.” Dylan finally let’s go his anger. Though he wished he said it to his father and not his best friend.

“I’m not the one in charge…”

“No man, you love all the fake praise. Just like the Dictator.”

“Stop calling her that. its my father they love.”

Dylan kept the ball and circled the field a bit before striking a pass to Augustus.

“They love my father because he keeps us all safe.” Augustus felt he was running out of excuses.

“For the Constitution and the People of America. Right?”

“Whatever man.”

“Hail the son of Caesar.” Dylan took his striking leg and kicked the ball into the goal line. “Goal!”

Augustus flung his arms in the air in defeat. Not knowing how to please his friend.

“Are you still coming to dinner Dylan my mom’s cooking.”

Dylan continued his way off the field. ignoring his friends’ question.

“Hey what about dinner at my house? this is the first night my mom will be back.” Giving up on shouting Augustus returned to practice. Conditioning his weak left leg for the next season.

Finally, after twenty minutes alone, it was time for Augustus to head home. He couldn’t help but remember not seeing his father in the stands. As he pulls his gym bag over his shoulder. The thought set Augustus heart racing and his tears flowing. More than he would like to admit he waited for him after the game. He even practiced harder even as his body sweat and aches. Hoping his father would see him in the act of perfecting his game. The volley, the no look pass, he practiced it all as if he were learning it for the first time. He left nothing to second guessing or chance. He knew his muscles were exhausted, so he did it through the pain. There was no need for him to think he let his instincts kick in. After 30 minutes waiting in the car his father never came.

His sea green viper beeped off the alarm as Augustus dropped his bags in the back seat. He turned on the ignition and hit the gas.

Today Augustus took as always, the long way home. The back roads were his weekday favorites to pass the time. Augustus born into the popular Marshal family enjoyed a unique position now in America. he was born into wealth in fact It could be said his family held the benchmark for possessions in America. second only to the Vanderbilts in Louisiana. This privilege afforded him his own road to and from his highschool. Yet his road runs side by side with the last visible traces of the civil wars. Many times, Augustus had to force blast debris off his road. Sometimes at night military gun fire could be heard. Until one day he had a ten-foot-high gate put in covered with wood. it kept nearly everything out he did not wish to see from the wars.

The night was settling in around the neighborhoods along his drive home. A presidential curfew was in effect since the heaviest periods of the war. Most residents living in what houses that still stood stayed home. While many roamed the streets lost in dreams of yesteryear. Each night Augustus passed Pennsylvania Avenue. just as he does this night and on this presidential road, he notices the emptiness on the grounds of the White House. not a light on. not a soul to guard its historic halls. he throttled the gas paddle and sped his way down a looping grass hill. At the foot of the hill his mother’s estate emerged. Looming large like a marble mountain peak over a small enclosed forest. untouched by military drone strikes. A landmark of the once Naval observatory grounds. It also was the former residents of the vice president. Now His families personal estate home it had gained the reputation as the center for all political commerce were American influence dominated. Tristan Marshal and Jane Marshal the two most prominent figures in modern history resided there. Suddenly he felt afraid for them. what could it be? his body and inner instincts felt it first. Before his body could catch up to his panic. He speeds through his driveway yelling, “Is it WAR?”

Black iron gates branding the seals of the Vice president office flash a weeping navy blue as the cars head beams cast over. Bring Augustus worry if his mother would really be home today. With her many occupations taking her all over the world he would be lucky if he had a day or even a morning with her. Dylan did mention a meeting at the White house today. War?

if war did break out where would she go?
immediately Augustus felt a horrible feeling of dread again. He guarded himself as soon as he stepped out of the car.

His home felt cold. distant and dark. None of the lights were on. At least one light would always be kept on in the kitchen it was off. Eight people lived in his house plus the guards. Cautiously Augustus ran inside. He first reached the kitchen. Checking first the power switches, nothing worked. The Livingroom, upper bedrooms, the guest rooms nothing seemed to draw on any power. it was not until he reached his father’s study did, he realize the entire state mansion was dark and he was alone.

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