13 Comments

Coach

“One out!”  The umpire cried as the pitcher got set to throw.

“Strike one!”

Sam shook his head.  Ump wouldn’t know a strike zone if it bit him in the ass.   “Good eye, Charlie!  Good eye!”  Sam yelled at his son, Charlie. Sam held his breath as the pitcher wound up.

“Strike two!”

Sam groaned.  It was right there, son.  You gotta hit that ball.  “Shake it off!  Just put it in play!”  The pitcher wound up again and Sam leaned forward.

Crack!

Sam jumped to his feet.  Holy crap, he hit it. “Run, Charlie!  Dig in!  Dig in!”  Charlie ran through first, like Sam taught him.  Safe!  Sam clapped.  Hard.

Charlie side-stepped off first,  like a pro, taunting the pitcher.  Get back, for God’s sake.  You’re too slow.  You get out and our power hitter won’t get to bat because God knows this kid’s gonna strike out.  “That’s right, Charlie!  Keep him scared!’

The pitcher wound up as Charlie got further away from first base.

Smack!

Little League Baseball:  Tagged OutCharlie took off.  A line drive right to the second baseman’s glove.  Charlie, stuck between first and second, frozen.  Like a damn deer in headlights.  “Get back to first!  No, go to second!  No, first!  The ball’s at second base!”

Charlie, confused, shuffled back and forth as the first and second basemen tossed the ball back and forth.  He couldn’t hear his dad.  He couldn’t see the ball.  Suddenly, his dad’s voice carried over the crowd.  “Second base” it said.  Charlie dug for second and got tagged.

“Out!”

Losers again.

Kid doesn’t know his butt from a hole in the ground.  Why would he run to second?  “Good game, Charlie, good game. ”  Charlie sniffled.  If you listened to me we would’ve won.  “Want an ice cream cone?”  Charlie threw his glove to Sam and ran toward the concession stand, the game already forgotten.

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             This week we’re going to play Victor/Victoria. If you typically write from the male perspective, switch it up to the female. And if you generally write female, go for the male. While this is going to be easiest for those writing fiction, if you’re writing memoir, share a memory from a brother/husband/father’s perspective.

We’re going to keep it short. As difficult as that can be for the more verbose of us, myself included, it makes it far easier to visit the more links and share our thoughts and opinions. So, let’s go for a nice, easy 300 words.

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13 comments on “Coach

  1. Oooohhhh! I remember little league and this stuff all to well. I miss these moments. You got it down though because it brought right back memories of the same “pickle”!

  2. Great contrast of dad’s thoughts versus what he says. And nothing I know of brings out that competitive streak like little kids sports events.

  3. I hope I’m not a parent like this, but I am sure it’s inevitable that some of those thoughts pop up, especially from a parent who’s quite interested in the sport.

    What I like about it is that the father is able to (it seems) hide his more negative thoughts from coming out in front of his son.

    • Hard to like that parent, isn’t it? And yet, at the end he made the boy feel good about himself.

      Nice, vivid scene. I was a little disoriented for the first few para’s; I didn’t know who our narrator was–I thought it was the boy for a little bit.

    • I think a lot of fathers have unrealistic expectations for their sons and sports. Rather, a tendency to live vicariously through them. Unfortunately, a lot of fathers don’t censor themselves. I’ve heard them say some of this stuff out loud. Sad, but true.

  4. Huh – a more complicated character than he initially appeared!

    Some notes:
    “Get back, for God’s sake. You’re too slow. You get out and our power hitter won’t get to bat because God knows this kid’s gonna strike out. “That’s right, Charlie! Keep him scared!’ – I liked this, how the father held in what he was really thinking in support of his son.

    Of course, later:
    Like a damn deer in headlights. “Get back to first! No, go to second! No, first! The ball’s at second base!” – As if the father was doing any better….

    Of course, all Charlie hears his second, so he runs there – and the father doesn’t know that: “Kid doesn’t know his butt from a hole in the ground. Why would he run to second? “Good game, Charlie, good game. ” Charlie sniffled. If you listened to me we would’ve won. ”Want an ice cream cone?” Charlie threw his glove to Sam and ran toward the concession stand, the game already forgotten.

    Yet he still makes fun of his kid in his head – what a terrible thing! But, he doesn’t say it out loud, which is good.

    I am very conflicted here. Which means = awesome writing!

    -Barbara @ de rebus
    www(dot)barbaragildea(dot)com

    • I think he’s a good dad. It’s one thing to think bad things, it’s an entirely different ballgame to actually say them. (See what I did there?)

      Also, I like that you caught that it was the dad’s fault Charlie got out, though dad doesn’t realize it. Kind of makes him look like an ass when he thinks that last thing, huh? So I guess I’m conflicted about Dad, too. A good dad can still be an ass. 🙂

  5. You took us into the head of a dad, and did a great job! The back and forth between what the dad was thinking and what he was saying was a nice touch.

  6. It wasn’t immediately obvious to me that this was Charlie’s dad. It wasn’t until I read the other comments that I realized that Dad was thinking one thing and saying something completely different! But now that I’ve figured that out it reads very well, and very insightful.

  7. Great job, it was very vivid and captured Dad and the scene well. Unfortunately, more often not, it seems that the stuff Dad was thinking is what actually gets sad, I was glad that this Dad was a little brighter than that…

  8. I once dated a guy who umpired little league. Parents were BRUTAL. I remember thinking, when did this sport go from knocking a few balls around on the field to something so sinister? Such wonderful examples they made for their kids.

    Your character Dad was considerably less vulgar with his internal voice than those parents were at my ex’s game.

    And I’m thrilled you ended at the concession stand, and turned it back into “just a game”.

    Nicely done!

    • Thank you! All baseball games should end at the concession stand. I preferred “suicides” to ice cream cones, myself.

      I’m sorry I didn’t respond earlier but your comment got routed to my Spam folder. Hate when that happens.

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