December Bloom: "Purple Tam’s Skate Jam"

Many thanks to Paula N. for sharing her adult daughter’s unfulfilled wish that inspired me to write this month’s Blooming Good flash fiction story titled Purple Tam’s Skate Jam. Shortly before passing away after battling a serious illness, the talented creative extraordinaire Tami-Lu received purple roller skates that she never got to use.

"Purple Tam’s Skate Jam"

purple glitter roller skates

Tamara had ascended from the mortal world last November. Now she had a bird’s-eye view of the earth and could hear people’s conversations down below. One caught her attention: a group of women huddled outside a sport event center in Western North Carolina.

“Can you believe the airline lost our luggage, with all the uniforms and skates?,” one said.

Another spoke. “What are we going to do, team? Tonight’s the championship game.” 

“And we’re down one. Sam sprained her ankle. She can’t skate,” someone else said.

The rest said in unison, “We’ve got to beat The Swarm.”

“But how?,” they each wondered silently. 

Tamara picked out their earth coordinates and prepared to descend. She sewed custom designs that she stuffed into a sack. Then she slipped on her purple cape and soared down, landing behind a row of spruce fir trees. She straightened her hair clip and approached. 

“Hi, all y’all. My name’s Tamara. Let me help, please.” 

The team ceased talking and stared.

Tamara said, “I heard about what happened, so here I am. I sewed up some uniforms, check it out,” and Tamara reached in the sack and pulled out purple sequined bolero jackets, purple fishnets, purple satin shorts with matching tops, and protective wrist, elbow, and knee gear in varied sizes.  

“Help yourselves.” 

Without hesitation, the team members decked themselves out in hues of purple sparkle.

“The uniforms are way cool, Tamara, but girl, this is Roller Derby. We need skates and helmets.”

“No problem,” Tamara said as she snapped her fingers, spurring a downpour of metallic purple roller skates and helmets from the sky. 

Everyone found their size.

Then one of them asked, “Hey Tamara, have you skated before? We’re short a player.” 

“Never did, here. Pretty sure I can pick it up now,” Tamara said. 

“Great, c’mon, let’s go. Tamara – you can practice before the game starts.” 

Everyone gave a high-five, sprinted inside, and then watched Tamara circle and swerve around the flat rink solo with nothing but skating perfection. 

“You’ve got this, Tamara,” the team shouted. “Now you need a derby name. What shall we call you?”

“How about Purple Tam Jams? That’s me. Right?” 

During the final two-minute jam around the rink, cheers erupted from the crowd as the team in purple came from behind by ushering in enough points to beat The Swarm. Purple Tam Jams hugged her teammates, then receded back outside as the others greeted family, friends, and fans. She returned to the spruce fir trees, donned her cape and, while clasping her purple skates, rode an upward breeze toward the stars, smiling along the entire journey.


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