HumpDay Quickie #29

Posted: July 30, 2014 in Hump-Day Quickies
Tags: , , , ,

The Catcher and the Rye

by Cathy Lennon

It was Oleta’s fault. If she hadn’t stood there with her hand on her hip and a sneer on her face, he would’ve just left him. Even after a bottle of jack. Even then. ‘Cos he’d never been a violent drunk. Not like some of the guys he knew. Dwayne rubbed his eye and the pain in his hand was like an explosion, shockwaves travelling up to his shoulder.

Over the tannoy someone made a joke. The guys all laughed but no one turned to smile at him. He sat behind them, separate like they already knew. The people were starting to trickle down the bleachers. He watched them through throbbing purple patches.

Coach Mercer tilted the peak of his cap up and pushed towards him. ‘You’re drinking in the last chance saloon, son.’ His eyes narrowed when he saw the bruises. Dwayne said nothing. ‘The guys are relying on you. You remember the strategy?’ He swallowed bile and nodded.

When he walked out to the field, his right hand felt the same size as the gloved one. It burned like it was on fire. He felt the pain in every part of him and the pain would make him strong. The game was all that mattered now. Everything would be perfect. It would be sweet like his dreams. He would choreograph and control it and everyone would see what he was capable of.

He looked out through the bars of his visor at Matty, tossing the ball from hand to hand, waiting. Dwayne crouched low and signalled, each finger stiff with agony. The buzz died away and his breath stilled, anticipating the pitch. When it didn’t come he looked from side to side. The hitter turned around and frowned. Dwayne mouthed at Matty who still held the ball in his hand. ‘What?’

People craned forward, his team mates all looked him. Then he noticed the sirens and lights. ‘C’mon!’ he yelled. ‘Remember the strategy!’ He was still crouched, fingers pointing, when the two officers stood over him. The fat one got out some cuffs. Even then Dwayne didn’t realize it was game over.

  1. Really enjoyed this! Well done, Cathy.

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