This is the second and final story. I appreciate all the feed back I got last Saturday with my "Down The Line" story. It seemed to also spark some good discussion about writing in general that I enjoyed. If you read that story I posted last week you should pick up the connection between this one and that one. In this one I named my character but I liked not naming my character in the last one because I wanted the focus on baseball. This one is about the inner struggle of a character which is why he has a name this time.
I've also discovered that for whatever reason I'm drawn to writing the non-happy ending. Maybe it's my cynical side. Maybe it's all the bad baseball I've had to endure this season. For whatever reason I seem to be drawn more towards the struggle and reality of real life instead of the fairly tale ending. My final project for the class is to write a 10-12 page script. I've trashed the futuristic civil war due to government corruption story for a baseball one. That story ending has the potential to fall right along with all my other writing. I do plan on posting that but it may not be until next season.
Enough of my rambling here's the second story.
After striking out Tom Morning headed back to the dugout, his at bat was over. He had swung at what probably would of been ball four, tieing up the game and allowing Don Rivers an opportunity to win the game on a single, sac fly or heck even a ball in the dirt that could possibly get away from the catcher. Unfortunately for him he had contributed to his teams downfall by producing the second out. As he reached the dugout steps and slowly descended no one paid much attention to him instead focusing on Rivers who was now stepping into the batters box.
He removed his batting gloves, removed the helmet on his heads, stuck the gloves in the helmet and then threw the helmet into his designated cubbie. With his bat in hand he descended down the steps to the hall that would take him to the clubhouse and out of sight from the TV camera’s. He knew that as he walked off the field and into the dugout that at least one camera and the camera man that operated it would be trained on him. To escape he headed to the part of the ballpark that he would be alone.
As he walked the hallway he was aware of the clicking coming from his spikes and the clang of the bat as it lightly tapped the wall as he walked. He reached an intersection and at that intersection he felt the rage building. He was thinking of the questions the reporters and writers would be asking. It was the same questions all season long "Why are you struggling?" sometimes reworded and asked a different way. Some would even lend suggestions on what he needed to be doing.
It had not been a great season. He wasn’t hitting or running like he used to. He felt old. His body ached. The question of retirement had crept in his head more than once, but was brutally beaten back by the pride he still had for his ability as a player. He had been benched. He was working hard in the batting cage. The video room, things just weren’t clicking. There was talk that he needed to be released, traded or sent back down to the minors.
His thoughts were interrupted by the sudden surge of a cheer coming from the crowd, muffled by the passage way he was in. He began to feel a sense of relief. If something good had just happened the questions and suggestions would all go away. A win was a win and it healed all wounds and also took the focus off him. It didn’t make any of his struggles better but at least he would have a bit of relief while he continued to work at putting it all back together. His team even with his struggles had still managed to win inspite of him, so he guessed it could have been worse.
The he heard the groan of the crowd and realized his relief was not coming. He gripped the handle of his bat. His knuckles went white as he raised the bat above his shoulder and gripping it with his other hand began to swing. He was letting his rage go free. He had, had enough. He felt the stubbornly bat hold firm as it met the wall, he cocked it back again for another swing and this time felt it give just slightly. He continued his assualt on the corner of the wall. Splinters began to fly off the bat. He continued to swing his hands hurting from the vibration caused from the bat meeting the wall, something it was not designed for. He let out all his frustration until final the bat shattered completely.
He still held onto what remained of the bat as he began to collect his thoughts and found a small comfort in the effort he had just exerted. The crowds cheer peaked again and he wondered if this time it would be different. He stepped cautiously back towards the field, then heard the groan of the crowd. He turned back around, examining the intersection. He threw the rest of the bat down next to it’s shattered pieces and moved the opposite way towards the clubhouse.