Friday, August 22, 2014

The Game: Part 1

The following is the second short story that Dustin Brackbill and I wrote together. This time he was responsible for finding a story starter. Instead of Googling prompts, he goes all creative on me and comes up with a Brackbill original that is both fun and very challenging. Again we did not (as of yet) discuss our ideas for the story. But, considering the complexity of the story, that may change.

PROMPT: A Sunday at the ballpark brings 6 people to one place for very different reasons. One is looking for his birth father after twenty years. One is watching her husband. One is after a new career. Two are on the run from the law. And one is ready to die. Plus, one of them is about to kill another unless it can be stopped by the end of the game.

*The following is unedited.

The Game

Part One: Take Me Out to the Ballgame


Why is it so damn hot all the time during July? Seems like I was just complaining about the endless shoveling, and then my allergies, and now this sweltering heat just makes me wilt. Maybe another beer will bring temporary relief. First stop when I get to the ballpark - look for the guy walking around with the five buck cheap beer bucket instead of the inflated $8 bottles at the stands.

God, I am grumpy. This constant complaining and irritability must be from the damn heat. Or the developments with my family life. Or going to a ballgame on a Sunday when I should be picking up my kid. Most likely, all three.

I need a vacation like a carnivore needs a steak. Time to put the difficult stuff aside, maybe have a few more beers, and maybe even find a girl. I love my kid, but a fresh start with some time alone (or accompanied) would bring a welcome change.

I wonder if that’s what my real dad thought when he gave me up and walked out two decades ago.

I suppose I could ignore the other excuses and just blame things on him. It wouldn’t be the first time. My mom certainly did it plenty, until she just stopped talking about him all together. We were better when she faced facts, worked hard, and learned to appreciate every day. Those lessons carried through my adolescence loud and clear. Now things started getting jumbled and full of old wounds and doubts.

Last week mom sent me a text: “got info on yur real dad if you want it. xoxo ~mom” I was just getting off work and stopped for a full minute in the rain outside my car as I processed her casual statement with major implications. What does she know and for how long? I finally got into the car and called her.

“Hey mom, FYI, that was more call-worthy than text-worthy. Save texts for tv shows and game updates please!”

So, she gave me the scoop, and said I had this one chance, this Sunday, to meet him. It wasn’t an easy choice; in fact, I tossed back and forth until early this morning. Then I just knew - it was time to meet. Time to start a new decade with a new chance to make life right. But, man, was I thirsty before I got up the nerve to make this happen. I had time - unless this snotty lady in front of me kept complaining to the gate attendant. Seriously, give me patience Lord!!

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