The next Weekly Rumpus features fiction from Nicole Matos!

Here’s an excerpt:

RollerDerbySavedMeCropTo watch roller derby for the first time is to be exposed to sturm und drang, the metrics of which you might not have a clue. The rules are byzantine enough to require a hefty PDF; aspiring skaters are subjected to endless pen-and-paper tests, athletics crossed with the DMV. And yet I promise you-roller derby is understandable. It offers a parable, human and basic. Two teams, in two colors, equal numbers and strength. Two opposing scorers, “jammers,” each sanctified with a star. All other players are “blockers”-the jammer-hitters, the soul stealers, the personification of life’s brutal impediments. Both jammers race to pass the pack as many times as possible without breaking any rules, or their faces, or dropping dead of exhaustion.

Nicole Matos is a Chicago-based writer, professor, and roller derby girl. Her credits include Salon, The Classical, THE2NDHAND, Vine Leaves, Chicago Literati, neutrons protons, and others. She competes as Nicomatose #D0A with the Chicago Outfit roller derby.