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Excerpt from Chapter 4: The Big Game

“So this is what it all comes down to,” Rashid thought to himself. All the years of the pursuit of excellence. All the sacrifices. All the denials of social pleasures. All the endless practices. All the summer workouts. All the winter and spring workouts. All the years of determination. All the injuries, pain and past disappointments. And, now, it all comes down to this fifteen second period of life. In that freeze-frame reality, Rashid knew that this moment, this very strange moment of twisted reality, was the very the moment he was born to live out. In that surreal moment, Rashid knew that this night, at “Tiger Stadium,” at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Trumbull, on a cool November evening in the fall of 1960… he had a rendezvous with destiny.

Excerpt from Chapter 5: The Game of Life

Suddenly, out of nowhere, Sammy saw a young doctor bend over the man and yell out “Code Blue!” “Code Blue!” Within seconds, four nurses were with the doctor, and the doctor was bent over the man pressing his thumb and index finger at the top of the man’s throat as if he were trying to straighten out the man’s windpipe. “We need an airway!” yelled the doctor, and then calmly asked the man: “Give me a history; what happened?” “Everything is black,” the man feebly replied. “I’m losing it. I’m going toward the darkness.” The woman blurted out: “He was swarmed by bees and he’s having a difficult time breathing.” “Anaphylactic shock!” yelled the doctor. “Get a gurney, oxygen, Effeneferin, Prednisone and warm blankets.” The two little girls were sobbing. Their fragile little minds could not process anything other than terror as they saw the strongest man in their world, their father, going down helplessly. Sammy was also overwhelmed by the life and death struggle he stumbled upon, but, even in his own state of shock, he couldn’t help but admire the leadership of the take-control, cool headed, young doctor that everyone in the Northwest Detroit Hood now looked up to… to take charge of a medical emergency that, to Sammy’s eye, seemed to be quickly marching toward a final, fatal outcome. In that same moment, Sammy clearly realized that only the cool-headed young doctor stood between life and death in the struggle which the man seemed to be losing.

Excerpt from Chapter 6: Life… Levels the Playing Field

Unvalidated, unnoticed and exhausted, she collapsed into her bed and fell into a fitful sleep. She dreamed that she ran away to join the carnival, but the distorted, misfit faces of the carney workers screamed when they saw her and ran away from her. She dreamed that she went to church alone, and, as she walked into the church, the congregation got up and walked out on her. She then knelt in prayerful submission, finally looked up toward the altar where she saw a sign that read: “God is tending to others Brenda; please call back another time.” At that very moment, someone got the drop on her from behind, and she felt forceful hands on her throat… squeezing the life out of her as she struggled to breathe. She was slipping into unconsciousness as she struggled against the frozen muscle paralysis of her deep sleep rapid eye movement dream stage.