Soft Planet - Chapter 1
Xander felt a tug at his shirt. He looked down at the younger boy, who peered back. Armondo, holding a red, rubbery ball with one hand, pushed up to his toes and then, in slow motion, landed softly back on his heels.
"Oh, alright," said Xander. "We'll play just one round. But that's it, okay?"
The black-haired boy nodded sharply. He bolted towards an indoor court nearby, light frame gliding between each step, as if moving through water. Just inside the doorway he froze before turning to wait for his companion. A glittering of pale, pink dust rose behind, riding air currents warmed by late morning light streaming through a transparent dome. To one side a sagging, metal cage held dozens of solid-colored balls, similar to the one Armondo had in his grasp.
"So, will it be tournament rules or free-for-all?" Xander asked as he entered the room.
"Free-for-all with no time limit!"