Ki­ley and Her Great Casts

Girls' World - - Fiction - BY KAREN BISCHER

The cast on Ki­ley Car­son’s leg was there to pro­tect her bro­ken an­kle while it healed, but it may as well have been an an­chor keep­ing her from do­ing, well, ba­si­cally any­thing!

“It could have been much worse,” Dr. Khalil had said. “You had a very clean break that won’t re­quire surgery, so your re­cov­ery time will be shorter.”

As if six to eight weeks in a cast wasn’t that long? That meant she’d be miss­ing the en­tire soc­cer sea­son, and pos­si­bly bas­ket­ball and in­door swim­ming, too.

Plus, the cast itched like crazy! The only way to scratch it was to use a plas­tic spat­ula her mom gave her — and even that didn’t help soothe the itch­i­ness very much.

“I hate this,” Ki­ley pouted the Satur­day morn­ing af­ter she broke her an­kle. She should’ve been out join­ing her soc­cer team, the Sparks, for their game against the Tigers. In­stead, she sat on the liv­ing room couch, try­ing to ig­nore her lit­tle sis­ter, Robin, and her friends, who were play­ing dress up in the other room.

“Ki­ley, I know the cast is un­com­fort­able and you’re sad about soc­cer, but you’ve been mop­ing around for four days over this,” Mrs. Car­son sighed. “You need to make an ef­fort to adapt, OK? The cast isn’t per­ma­nent.”

Ki­ley nod­ded but bit her lip. She was be­ing kept from the one thing she loved — the one thing she was re­ally good at. What was she sup­posed to do while her an­kle healed?

Robin and her friends, Emma and Sasha, burst into the liv­ing room then, gig­gling. Ki­ley sighed — Robin was al­ways try­ing to hang out with Ki­ley, and when her friends came over, it was even harder to get away

from them. She tried to get up and hob­ble away on her crutches, but then Sasha cried, “Ki­ley, your cast is so big! Does it hurt a lot?” Ki­ley nod­ded, “Yep. It’s the worst.” Sasha’s eyes were wide. “My dad said he couldn’t be­lieve you got hurt fall­ing down the steps be­cause you’re so co­or­di­nary.”

“Co­or­di­nated,” Ki­ley cor­rected her. She for­got Sasha was the daugh­ter of her coach, Mr. An­der­son. Still, she was pleased that her coach was just as in shock as she was that she’d fallen down the front steps. She could drib­ble, pass and score with ease — at least when she wasn’t in­jured — so a few stairs tak­ing her down was dis­ap­point­ing.

Robin chimed in, “There was a fox in Sasha’s yard last night, and a rac­coon got in her garbage the night be­fore. We’re try­ing to write a story about it to tell in class!”

“The fox and rac­coon sound bored,” Ki­ley said. “Maybe they can join a soc­cer team to keep them out of trouble.”

For some rea­son, the younger girls found this hi­lar­i­ous and started laugh­ing. Then, Robin and Sasha started act­ing out how the two an­i­mals would play soc­cer.

“Maybe you guys should write a play about it, in­stead of a story,” Ki­ley said.

“That would be so fun!” Robin squealed, and dashed off to gather some pa­per and crayons to start writ­ing.

Ki­ley hob­bled out of the liv­ing room and headed for her bed­room. She was read­ing

“We can prob­a­bly make the cos­tumes our­selves out of old pa­ja­mas and craft sup­plies!” Ki­ley said to the girls.

about a fa­mous Brazilian player when Ki­ley heard some­one call­ing her.

“Ki­leyyy,” came Robin’s voice from the other side of the door. “Will you help us with our play?” She sounded so frus­trated that Kylie felt bad for her. “You know, you did that play with your class last year,” she said.

Now Ki­ley un­der­stood. She made her way to the door and opened it. “Well, first you need to make a script,” Ki­ley told her sis­ter and her friends. “And once you know who your char­ac­ters are, you have to make cos­tumes and sets. And you also need a place to

put on the play. If you’re se­ri­ous about it, you could prob­a­bly do it in the school­yard.”

Robin looked at her friends, who nod­ded. “We’re se­ri­ous about it.”

“OK,” Ki­ley said limp­ing back to the liv­ing room. She picked up some pa­per and a marker. “I can help you write your script.”

The younger girls clapped and cheered. Then, they came up with ideas for the play be­fore set­tling on a con­cept: Three bored an­i­mals that nor­mally wouldn’t play to­gether de­cide to start a for­est soc­cer team. Ki­ley wrote it all down, only ad­ding her own ed­its when the younger girls didn’t know the word for some­thing. Robin, Sasha and Emma then ran through the lines to­gether, with Ki­ley giv­ing them cues if they for­got a word or two.

Sasha frowned. “Where will we get cos­tumes from?” she asked.

“We can prob­a­bly make the cos­tumes our­selves out of old pa­ja­mas and craft sup­plies,” Ki­ley said to the girls.

“Yeah!” Emma added. “My mom made my brother a dog cos­tume last year for Hal­loween by pin­ning a tail to his old brown PJ’S and putting mit­tens on his hands for paws.”

“That’s great, but how are we go­ing to make a set?” Robin asked next.

“That might take some time,” Ki­ley ad­mit­ted. “Try to find some old rolls of wrap­ping

pa­per, and we can draw scenes on the white side. Also, if you have any fake plants, you can use them for the for­est. You can use my soc­cer ball, too!”

Over the next few days, Ki­ley helped the girls re­hearse, cre­ate their cos­tumes and de­sign the scenery, too. Her mother had even found some gi­ant sheets of poster board for the for­est scene in­stead of wrap­ping pa­per.

Ki­ley was sur­prised to dis­cover that she en­joyed cre­at­ing the scenery — ad­ding glit­ter to the smil­ing sun or ad­ding de­tail to the trees’ leaves. She wasn’t sure it looked per­fect, but it took her mind off miss­ing soc­cer prac­tice and the throb­bing pain com­ing from un­der­neath the cast.

“I’m so proud of how pa­tient you’ve been with Robin and her friends,” her mom said one day, while Ki­ley was work­ing on the scenery alone — long af­ter her lit­tle sis­ter had gone to bed. “And your art­work is so good! Maybe you should con­sider go­ing to an arts camp next sum­mer,” her mom said.

“Over soc­cer camp?” Ki­ley asked, with raised eye­brows.

“Soc­cer camp is only two weeks long,” her mom re­minded her. “I don’t see why you couldn’t try both next year.”

That sounded like a busy sum­mer. But the thought of maybe do­ing both ex­cited her.

A few days later, Robin and her friends were ready to put on their play. Ki­ley couldn’t be­lieve how ner­vous she was as she watched the play from the wings.

But the girls were amaz­ing! Ev­ery now and

A few days later, Robin and her friends were ready to put on their play.

then, one of them would for­get her line and glance over at Ki­ley for help. Ki­ley would smile en­cour­ag­ingly and mouth the line, and soon enough, each would re­mem­ber what she was sup­posed to say.

The au­di­ence cheered when the an­i­mal friends de­cided to all play soc­cer to­gether, and the play came to a happy end­ing.

Af­ter­ward, Robin, Sasha and Emma ran over to Ki­ley and danced around, smoth­er­ing her with hugs. “That was so much fun!” Robin squealed. “Thank you for help­ing us, Ki­ley.”

Ki­ley waved her hand and tried to hide her

blush. “You guys did most of the work. You were great up there!”

Coach An­der­son hugged Sasha, then smiled at Ki­ley. “I just wanted to tell you how great this came to­gether. Sasha couldn’t stop talk­ing about how much you helped point them in the right di­rec­tion,” he said. Ki­ley beamed. “Thanks, Coach.” “I was won­der­ing if you wanted to help me coach some of my younger teams while your an­kle heals?” Coach An­der­son asked. “I could al­ways use some­one with tal­ent and en­thu­si­asm that’s good with kids!”

“Yes!” Ki­ley grinned. “That’d be great!”

“I had no idea you were so multi-tal­ented,” Coach An­der­son added. “It’s won­der­ful to see you be­ing sporty and artsy!”

Ki­ley laughed and ges­tured to­ward Robin and her friends and then to her plas­ter­cov­ered leg. “Well, Coach, I owe it all to these great casts!” she said with a wink.

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