I was surprised to discover I hadn’t already published this to Maximum Fiction. This piece, Annika, is another in my collection of bio-fictional shorts. I’ve dubbed the collection Evoctions because these short pieces seek to evoke the spirit of their subject. Several years old now, Annika is one of my earlier attempts in this form. It predates her retirement from professional golf.
Long time coming but now we know: every tourney graced by this daughter of Thor is a Lindisfarne in waiting. Quiet, please. And we hush as somewhere between hip and shoulder she forges Callaway into divine hammer, bringing down the thunder that engraves her saga: Sorenstam. Who now can fathom—beyond the crows feet elaborating her purposeful gaze—the chipmunk-cheeked enthusiast in braces, so timid she would rather throw a match than endure the agony of a victory speech? All big-girl these days, she strides into history the quiddity of Nordic self possession. Here she comes marching down the fairway, posture immaculate, head high, Oakleys riding cap brim—perhaps it’s no coincidence her aspect suggests a panzer kommandant in focused but affable Sally Sock caricature. No doubt she’s frozen rivals in her crosshairs when things get serious and the shades come down. After the last ball disappears into the cup, little surprise when Ms. 59 hoists the trophy. But it’s then, when the microphones attack, that she parries with a charm belying the myth of icy golf robot from Stockholm. Somehow astonished to be champion again, she rebuilds the shaken egos of the vanquished and almost apologizes for victory—humble counterpoint to our age of hideous self-declaimers.
Ever on the hunt for greater challenge, she dares herself to face the fear and build her own bridge to Asgard. “Go, Annika!” we shout. And she goes, sometimes in directions we least expect. Watch as she opens the universe’s Frigidaire and delicately plucks the moon from a Styrofoam package. Half tempted by its dimples to set it on tee for a drive into the Milky Way, she cracks its shell on the rim of her stainless steel bowl, pulls the two halves apart, and empties the liquid contents. With whisk she whips up a froth, then sprinkles in minced chives, salt, and cayenne pepper. The ingredients congeal in a sauté pan she wields above the sun.