Ask and She Shall Receive
Johnny reminded himself that giving a woman exactly what she
asks for rarely turned out well for him.
He never associated a slow-pitch softball game with a viable
trigger for a 'female logic' land-mine; he was mistaken. Fate
never ceased providing Johnny with opportunities to test his
limited understanding of women.
Adult, co-ed softball leagues are comprised of an equal number
of former high-school athletes who stayed in shape, and participants
who fit more in the 'couch potato' genus. Johnny's team seemed
to have more potatoes than average.
Halfway through the game, Johnny's team trailed badly.
Johnny played centerfield, a position which came with the added
responsibility of covering for the plodding second baseman.
Jenny ran with all the swiftness of a refrigerator. Bless her
heart, she tried so hard, yet the results never matched the
Sue played catcher. She had a prime view of each opposing runner
as they scampered across home plate; like a greased turnstile
and nearly as effective.
PING! Another shot rang out from an aluminum bat and a white
ball screamed into the outfield, as runners took off around
the bases. The left-fielder, Bob, caught the ball after two
hops and wound up for a blistering throw home. He thought better
of his plan and tossed the ball, ever so softly, towards home
Johnny looked on with interest because, unlike most times, not
all the runners had scored yet. One currently rounded third,
running hard, but the ball was going to beat him home by thirty
"Arrogant little shit," Johnny muttered, "should
be out by a mile...eeee."
The 'e' dribbled off Johnny's tongue as the ball bounced off
Sue's mitt. The runner scored with a smirk; he didn't even slide.
"Come on, Bob! I told you before to throw it in here. In
fact, I told all of you!" exclaimed Sue.
"Bullshit, Sue, you couldn't even catch the soft throw,"
retorted a reddening Bob.
She had railed about this before, but everyone knew this league
was just about fun, and the team got walloped each week anyway
-- so everyone took her protests with a grain of salt.
"You have to throw it for real. No more of these floaters!
I need you guys to throw it to me for real! I'm trying my hardest,
I..." Sue choked up and swallowed any subsequent words.
Part-time team captain, Kenny, ended the conversation, pronouncing,
"Everyone shut the 'F' up, and let's play some ball."
Sue's histrionics having subsided, the next batter came to the
plate and promptly singled to left. The following batter repeated
the feat with equal flair, knocking a roller off the pitcher's
left shin. The next batter stepped up with runners on first
and second and despite the look of shock from the pitcher, she
ripped one into center-field.
Johnny ran towards second base at full stride with all the confidence
of someone who could still run track, provided all the races
were less than twenty yards. The ball dropped barely over the
immobile second baseman's outstretched glove and conveniently
in front of a sprinting Johnny. He reached out effortlessly
and snatched the ball with his bare hand. His arm moved naturally
into a throwing position.
Time slowed down long enough for Johnny to think, OK Sue, you're
not yelling at me for a soft throw.
Johnny glimpsed the runner rounding third base and a feverishly
beckoning Sue behind the plate. Instinct took over and Johnny
let it fly.
Nolan Ryan couldn't have thrown a more perfect strike.
As they took Sue to the hospital for her broken nose, Johnny
endured the unforgiving scowls of judgment from the rest of
the team. He couldn't help but sigh. Giving Sue exactly what
she asked for had turned out just as poorly as his track record
Johnny's understanding of women remained incomplete.
This is a contest entry for 'Crafting Truth Fiction'. Author
was supposed to use a true story and craft fiction from it.
The story was supposed to affect the protagonist's character.
I used that in an odd way perhaps, but that's how I roll sometimes.