The Ball that Disappeared

sandlot

“You can’t throw it over that fence. No one can,” said Pudgy.

The rest of the children egged Hugo on. Hugo tossed the dirty baseball in his hand, sweating his next move.

It wasn’t that he didn’t think he could do it – he knew he could. But if Hugo lost that baseball, he would have nothing left to remember him by.

“Just give me another ball,” said Hugo. “I don’t want to throw this one.”

“No!” said Pudgy. “It’s the only one we got.”

“But it’s my ball!” said Hugo.

“What’s the matter, too chicken?”

Hugo shook his head, then spit on the ground. He rubbed the spit in with his foot to buy himself some time.

The baseball had been a birthday present from his father. Hugo never forgot what his dad said to him that day:

“I know, I know. It might seem like a crappy gift, giving you a worn-out baseball and all, but I’m doing this on purpose. Hear me out, now – This baseball’s dirty, beat-up, and worthless. But none a that matters, because… Hugo, are you listening? It’s important to me that you hear this.”

Hugo rolled his eyes. “Yeah, dad.”

“Good. This baseball rolls along just like any other ball, and regardless of how hard it gets hit, it’ll always, and I mean always, find its way back home.”

He didn’t know it at the time, but those words proved to be the last he’d ever heard from his father.

“Just throw it already!” yelled Pudgy. The other kids continued to laugh.

Hugo narrowed his eyes, like something on the fence had caught his attention.

“What?” said Pudgy.

“How about I throw it at the fence? If I hit it on a line, will that shut you up?”

“Hit the fence on a line?” Pudgy turned to the other kids. “The wind has a better chance of throwing Hugo then that happening!”

Now the kids were cracking up hysterically, one of the boys laughed so hard he dropped to the ground and clutched his stomach.

Hugo snarled, then whirled the ball back and threw it with all his might.

The other kids watched with amazement, in disbelief at how fast the baseball flew.

“Woah,” said Pudgy.

The ball zipped through the air, remaining on a line as tight as a wire. It smacked the fence in no time.

“Holy crap, Hugo!” Shouted Pudgy. “You got a rocket launcher for an arm?”

The kids slapped Hugo in the back, shocked at how hard the skinny kid could really throw. The only one who wasn’t celebrating, however, was Hugo.

Measles noticed it too. “Guys,” he said, “Look!”

Measles pointed at the fence, right where the baseball had collided. Rather than the mark Hugo had hoped to leave behind, there was a hole.

“That’s Old Man Semos’ yard!” said Measles. “You’re not actually thinking of going over there?”

“Why not?” said Hugo.

“Because Old Man Semos got a guard dog as big as a horse!” said Pudgy.

Hugo gulped.

“And if that doesn’t kill you, Semos will,” said Measles.

To be continued…

  • Thomas M. Watt

For the love of good Brandy – Part 2

(part 1)

FOR THE LOVE OF GOOD BRANDY – PART TWO

“Tom, wait!”

Tom lowered his meat cleaver at Brandy’s approach. He had been fighting with Mike, who had come to his home in an effort to win back the gorgeous blonde woman.

“Don’t hurt him!”

Tom looked at Mike, who was still holding his switch blade and breathing intensely. He wanted to kill the man for coming to his property and trying to take back the woman whose heart he had crushed; the woman who Tom had given his heart and soul to piece back together. Tom turned around and called out to Brandy.

“He’s not going leave without you, doll. He’s come for a fight, so that’s what he’s gonna-“

Tom stopped his sentence short when he felt a sharp pain in his gut. His mouth came open and he struggled for air. He slowly looked to see Mike’s smiling, twisted lips tugging up his long rolling beard.

“That’s my doll, not yours,” said Mike.

Brandy screamed. “You monster!”

Mike ripped the knife out of Tom’s stomach, leaving the handsome man to crumble to his knees. Brandy turned around and stormed back inside, locking the door behind.

Mike looked down at Tom as blood puddled on the ground around him.

“Suck it cunt,” said Mike.

He spat on Tom then stepped on his side as he walked over him. He licked the blood off the switchblade with his tongue, then smeared the sweat from his beard with his sleeve. He proceeded towards the front door. Brandy was his, and he was going to make it known.

* * *

Brandy sat on a stool inside. She needed to hide, and she knew it. Mike was coming, and he was going to be violent.

But she couldn’t think clearly. Tom, the love of her life, had just been stabbed in the gut. He was dying, and there was nothing she could do about it. The best she could do was call the police.

Brandy got up and raced over to the phone. She dialed 9-1-1 and waited for the operator.

“Hello?”

“Operator! Oh my God, thank God!”

“Mamn, what’s wrong?”

“My husband!” Brandy got too choked up to go on.

“Mamn? Is there a problem with your husband? Did he do something to hurt you?”

“No, no, I just,” she lost her words again. Tom was outside bleeding to death. She needed to be there for him. She needed to tend to his wound.

“MAMN! Is this a prank call?”

“NO!”

“What did your husband do to you, mamn? What’s wrong?”

“Nothing, no!” Brandy paused, took a deep breath, then gathered her words. She opened her mouth then tried to explain what happened as calmly as she could. “He just got-“

Before she could get in another word, the line cut out.

“Hello? Operator!”

Nothing but the humming tone of a dead line was left to comfort her. Brandy covered her mouth and her eyes went wide.

“Operator?”

The window from the back door exploded to fragment. Mike punched out the pieces that remained. He stepped into the living room then flipped out his switchblade.

“Excited to see me?”

Brandy’s bottom lip shook as she spoke. “What do you want?”

“To get another taste.”

“I’d rather die.”

Mike laughed, then started walking slowly towards her. “That’s fine with me.”

TO BE CONTINUED…

– Thomas M. Watt

– Author of A New Kingdom