• Britt Leigh

What Happened to Gordon Montgomery?

Otherville has been my work in progress for a little over two years now, and it is finally coming together. Through the editing process, my novel has taken on a life of its own and I'm extremely excited to introduce you to some of Otherville's main characters!

What is Otherville, you ask?

Otherville is a place that exists between our world and the afterlife. Some might consider it a purgatory of sorts, but O-ville's residents consider it an unsolvable mystery, a place that holds impossible secrets to the wonders of eternity. How do you get to Otherville?

You die.

Just like Gordy.


***


Gordon Montgomery sat at his dad’s quickly declining kitchen table, a plateful of scrambled eggs in front of him.


“How are you feeling, son?” James Montgomery asked.


“Honestly, I’m feeling great, dad,” Gordy answered honestly, shoveling a forkful of eggs into his mouth. “I’m ready for this.”


James picked up his empty plate and patted his only son on the shoulder. “I’m proud of you, Gordy. Today will change the rest of your life.”


Gordy smiled and inhaled the rest of his eggs. He thought to correct his dad’s sentiment, but refrained. They both knew it wasn’t just Gordy’s life that was about to change. Since his mom abandoned both of them at Gordy’s birth, Gordy grew up watching his dad make sacrifice after sacrifice so that Gordy could have a shot at something greater. He couldn’t remember how many times his dad had said, “I’m not hungry, son, you go ahead and eat,” or “It’s just another shift. I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” Still, despite all of the sacrifices his dad made – the extra overnight shifts at the factory, skipped meals, and missed opportunities with women – he never missed a football game.


Not one.


And the sacrifices paid off. Upon Gordy’s graduation from high school, he accepted a partial football scholarship to Temple University. Pending Gordy’s ability to improve his grades, that scholarship held the ability to become a full-ride through college. Something both of them had dreamed of for years.


As a walk-on freshman, he quickly rose through the ranks to become one of the starting running backs. What he lacked in size, he made up for in grit and determination.


“I’ve never had a player as focused as you,” Coach commented at the end of his freshman season. “I’m glad to see that your grades have improved. I spoke with the rest of the staff and we got the green light to offer you a full scholarship if you keep your grades up for your sophomore year. Hang in there. Your hard work is going to pay off for you, kid.”


That was a little less than a year ago. A full scholarship would change everything, not to mention the fact that professional scouts were rumored to be attending the game. Temple’s disdain for Penn State football had blossomed since their victory over the Blue and White a few years ago. It was destined to be an incredible game.


***

“And now, your Temple University Owls!” The announcer’s voice boomed through the Linc.


Gordy trotted onto the field with the rest of his team in tow. He took a knee in the end zone and said a silent prayer, asking God to help him put on a show. He hopped back up to his feet and headed for the sideline, waving to his dad as he joined the rest of his teammates on the 50-yard line.


“This is it, baby!” The quarterback screamed. “Today is the day we beat Penn State! Every moment is this moment. And this moment is all we got! Play like you’ve never played before and leave it all on the field! Owls on three. One. Two. Three!”


“OWLS!” The team cried back as the captains ran to mid-field for the coin toss.


“I hope you brought your A-game today, kid,” coach clapped Gordy on the shoulder.


“You know I did,” Gordy replied.


He wasn’t lying. By halftime, Temple was up fourteen points and Gordy was on pace to beat the school rushing record for a single game. With only one game left in the season, it would guarantee him the school record for most rushing yards in a single season.


“Alright boys,” coach started during the halftime pep talk. “This is your moment. This is what we’ve been working towards since summer two-a-days. They are fighting, but we are fighting harder. They want it, but we want it more. They are hungry, but we are starving!!! They might be a second-half team, but we are a whole game, can’t stop, won’t stop, leave it all out on the field kind of team, and WE WILL NOT QUIT. WE WILL NOT GO DOWN. Let’s go out there and SHOW THAT CULT OF A UNIVERSITY WHO WE ARE!”


Gordy and the boys cheered as they huddled in the center of their locker room, helmets raised above their heads in solidarity. Nothing was going to stop this team. They were a force. And they weren’t backing down.


Temple’s offense took the field at the start of the half.


“Touchdown off the snap,” the quarterback said. “It’s time we shut these Penn State fans up once and for all.”


Gordy nodded and lined up behind the quarterback. He visualized the opening the offensive line would make, the open field beyond it, and the sweet sensation of his third touchdown of the night.


“Three fifty-one! Three fifty-one! Rover, set. Hut! Hut!”


The center snapped the ball to the quarterback who handed it off to Gordy. Gordy looked up and it was just as he imagined it. He cut to the right and then hard to the left, shaking off a blitzing linebacker and then a defensive end. The offensive line brought down two more linebackers and created the gap Gordy had envisioned just a few moments ago. He sprinted through the gap, stiff-armed a cornerback and picked up speed.


“He’s at the fifty, the forty, the thirty…” the announcer was on his feet in the press box. “He could break the school record today!”


Gordy could feel the safety on his heels. He only had a few feet on him, but it had to be enough.


“He’s at the twenty! Ohhhhhhhhhhh!” A hush fell over the crowd as Gordy laid motionless on the ground.


“He’s down at the twelve. Folks, he’s not moving.”


The entire Temple bench cleared to kneel beside their fallen teammate. Mr. Montgomery stood motionless, his hand grasping his chest and tears in his eyes.


“Please, boy. Get up. Get up,” he implored silently.


But Gordy didn’t move.



Want to know what happened to Gordy next? Keep an eye out for Otherville!

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