White Picket Fences Chapter 4

White Picket Fences Chapter 4

A Chapter by Gabalicious!

            It takes only about twenty minutes to get to the baseball field that we practiced at. Winding through the neighborhood full of thick trees with heavy branches filled with leaves large enough to cover your face it was easy to take your time and turn twenty minutes into a half hour. Summer had come early this year with a lazy summer breeze already rustling the canopy above the neighborhood.

            “Do you think Pete really killed his wife?” Jessie looked up at me hoping I would tell him that it hadn’t happened.

            “Well I figure that if his wife had died normally he would have had a normal funeral instead of burying her in his back yard.” I kept looking forward.

            “We should tell the police.” He took a few steps faster than normal to keep up with me.

            “We weren’t supposed to be in his yard, we could get in trouble for even being there.”

            “Well than we should tell Mom and Dad, they would believe us.” He almost sounded like he was begging me.

            “If we tell Mom and Dad and they go talk to Pete then Pete might kill them. What we need to do is get proof and give it to Mom and Dad so they can tell the police. That way Pete will just get arrested and he can’t hurt anyone after that.” We walked around the red brick elementary school and headed through the playground behind it.

            “How do we get proof?” Jessie looked concerned.

            “I don’t know yet. Hey do you remember when you got stuck up that tree in third grade?” I pointed at the ancient tree in the center of the school playground.

            “I remember when you convinced me to let you push me up the tree and it was to high to jump down from.” Jessie stabbed his eyes at me.

            “You were such a baby about it, I’ve seen you jump down from branches higher than that.” I laughed at him.

            “Everyone was watching and I got scared.”

            “It’s alright, I wouldn’t have jumped either.” I pushed the bill of his baseball hat down over his eyes.

            “You couldn’t have even got up there without help, no one in the school is big enough to lift you.”

            “Whatever, Tim could have gotten me up there.”

            “Tim is big but he’s a wimp, remember that time you tackled him and he got that big bump on his head? You got in a lot of trouble for that.” Jessie kicked at the little playground pebbles on the black top.

            “It wasn’t really my fault, we were playing soccer and he had the ball. He should have expected it.”

            “Brad, soccer isn’t really one of those sports you tackle someone in.”

            “It is when we play it.” I smiled. “Hey lets hurry up, they have already started practice.” I could see the team already throwing the ball around. We both started running across the field that separated the schools playground and the baseball diamond.

            When we arrived at the field Jessie ran up and set on the bleachers and I ran out to third base. Dan was pitching the ball to Dave our coach who was hitting the balls to the different fields. Tommy was in right field, Ken in center and his brother Steve in left. Andy stood a few steps off of first was a perfect first baseman. He was left handed and very tall making it easier for him to reach for some of the wild throws to first base. Jeff stood in between first and second and Ed played shortstop. Chuck, who was at least two hundred pounds, squatted behind the plate.

            “Three you’re late.” Dave shouted as he hit a line drive about shoulder height right at me.

I reached forward with my glove and snatched the ball out of the air and threw it to second base and watched as Ed threw it over to Andy at first base. “Sorry, I left a little late.” I kicked the dirt in front of me.

“Take five.” Dave commanded.

Normally taking five was a good thing, but to Dave taking five or taking three meant taking laps around the backstop along the first base line around the homerun fence and back down the third base line back to the backstop five times or three times whatever number he decided. I rolled my eyes and dropped my glove on the third base and started to run.

“Add two more to that. Don’t roll your eyes at me.”

“Yes Coach.” I put my head down and kept running. I set a pace I would be able to keep for the entire seven laps and chugged away. Eventually Jessie fell into step with me, which made the running a little easier.

“Hey Brad?” Jessie puffed.

“Yeah.”

“What kinda proof are we gonna get?”

“Not right now kiddo I can barely catch my breath.” I huffed at him.

“Alright, after practice.” He headed back to the bleachers as we came up to the third base backstop.

I kept running, even though my body didn’t want to. My mouth was thick and felt like it was filled with cotton and my thighs were burning. I was by far not the fastest on the team but I usually had endurance. I hoped that the cigarette earlier didn’t do this to me and I was just tired. It couldn’t be the cigarette, Steve and Ken smoked all of the time behind the school and they seem to be okay. I finished my laps and stopped behind the backstop, bent over I sucked in all the air I could to catch my breath.

“Three, your up.” Dave called me up to the plate. I walked through the chain-linked gate and approached home plate. I grabbed my bat and put on the plastic helmet. I still hadn’t caught my breath but I had ten pitches before I had to run it out. From behind me I could hear my brother cheering for me.

“Hey everybody, Brad brought his own cheerleader!” Ed laughed.

I stepped into the batters box and Jessie had stopped cheering for me. Grinding my hands around the neck of the bat, I pulled my left foot slightly out and turned my body a bit to the left. I bent my knees and waited for the first pitch, swinging with all of my strength I whiffed the pitch and missed.

“Maybe your girlfriend should start cheering again.” Ed continued to laugh.

Resetting my stance I waited for Dan to deliver the ball. As the ball came down from the mound I could see the little sphere colored red. Dan had thrown me a fastball and I took advantage of a good pitch swinging my bat as hard as I could I tried to direct the ball at Ed. I connected full on, the ball screamed through the air directly at Ed who raised his glove at chest level to catch it. He must have misjudged the ball because it hit him square in the mouth. Ed fell backwards and the baseball went straight up in the air. I dropped my bat and trotted up to the mound and watched Ed sit up. His face was covered with blood and it was dripping down on to his uniform. Dave came running in from the bench. “Maybe if you had a cheerleader you would have caught that Ed.” I stood next to Dan.

“Nice hit.” Dan said under his breath.

“Thanks.” I watched as most of the team ran towards Ed.

“His teeth went right through his lip!” Tommy stared at Ed in horror. Dave stood Ed up and started walking him off the field. As they walked by I could see that Ed’s two front teeth had gone through his bottom lip. Ed saw all of the blood and started crying.

“Practice is over, Brad I will come by tonight and let you know if Ed is alright.” Dave looked back at me before turning back to Ed and walked him off the field to his car.

“Don’t worry about it coach, I don’t really care.” I shouted after them. Dave stopped for a moment and looked back at me before getting into his car. Jessie came running out onto the field and the rest of the team started walking up to me or off in their own directions.

“Good hit Brad, were you aiming for him?” Jessie looked at me.

“Maybe, you didn’t let him bother you did you. I like it when you cheer for me.” I put my hand on his head.

“Not really, he’s a jerk.” Jessie straitened his hat.

“Hey Dan, my Dad is gonna pick you up tonight so we can go to the cages okay?”

“Sure, I better get home and have dinner before you come by.” Dan and most of the team that was standing around all started to head off.

“Can we practice now Brad?” Jessie picked up my baseball bat.

“Yeah, but lets work on your fielding. Anyone can hit a ball, but you have to learn how to catch the ball first.” I walked back to the bleachers and grabbed his glove and tossed it to him. 

“Okay.” He looked a little disappointed.

“Go stand out by third base and I’ll throw you some balls. Remember stay in front of the ball and keep your head up, make sure that you can see the ball go into your glove.” I stood a few feet in front of home plate and waited for him to get into position. Jessie stepped a foot off of the bag and leaned forward into a half crouch. “Are you ready?”

“Yeah.” He looked so determined. He licked his lips in anticipation of the ball.

“Alright here it comes.” I threw the ball at a diagonal at him but slightly to the right. The ball bounced along the ground almost directly at the third base. He took a step to his right and reached out for the ball. The ball hit his glove and fell to the ground. Jessie picked the ball up and threw it back to me. “Good stop, but the runner would have been safe at first. What do you think you did wrong?”

“I don’t know.” He stood straight up and looked at me.

“You didn’t stay in front of the ball or watch the ball go into your glove, you just reached out and tried to stop it.”

“It was off to the side and it was coming at me fast, what was I supposed to do?”

“Go stand on second base.” I watched as he put his head down and ran to second. “Okay now stand like you did when you were at third base.” I watched as he got down into the crouch. “Now I want you to run to third base while the front of your body is facing home plate the whole time.”

“How do I do that?” He looked confused and frustrated.

“Just move your left leg in towards your right leg and at the same time move you right leg towards third base. It’s kinda like galloping only sideways. Don’t cross your legs over each other just sorta shuffle only fast.”

“Okay let me try.” He started moving sideways slowly and clumsy at first but by the time he got half way he started to pick up his speed and wasn’t tripping over himself. “Like that?” He said from on top of third base.

“Yeah, now do that around the entire base line and then we can try ground balls again.” I motioned with my finger around the baseline.

“The whole thing?’ He looked at me like he didn’t believe it.

“Yes the whole thing, and then we will work on some ground balls and then we can go so we can practice batting at the cages tonight.”

He took in a deep breath and started down the third base line. He rounded home plate and then first base before he started standing up straight and slowing down. By the time he got back to third Jessie looked worn out.

“Okay, are you ready to try the ground balls again?” Jessie nodded. “Okay, remember that you have to shuffle to the side if the ball is of to the side.”

“Got it.” Jessie got back down into the crouching position.

I threw the ball at the ground again, this time right at him. He stayed down and caught the ball in his glove and threw it back to me. It was less clumsy than the first time but the runner still would have been safe. “Good job now lets do it again.” I threw the ball at him a good twenty times more some he successfully caught and threw back others either got past him, or he bobbled. I didn’t want to tell him that he wasn’t very good at throwing the ball so I just focused on him catching the ball. “You ready to go home?”

“Yeah.” He fell on the third base. I could tell that he was tired and ready to be done.

I walked over to the plate and picked up my bat and met him where he sat. “Good job, if we keep working on it you will be better than I am.” I reached down and grabbed his outstretched hand and pulled him up.

“I doubt it.” He kicked at the dirt on the field.

“Sure you will just don’t give up.” We started walking home. Normally Jessie carried the bat and gloves but he looked pretty worn out.

We were almost halfway home before Jessie remembered our earlier conversation. “So what kind of proof are we gonna get on Pete.”

“I don’t know, maybe we will dig up Milly and take a picture to give to Mom and Dad. I’m not sure yet, do you have any ideas?” I looked over at him; he was staring at his feet thinking.

“We could just make Mom and Dad to ask him. Maybe he would tell the truth.” He said it like it was a revelation.

“Yeah he might, or he might kill Mom and Dad and burry them in his backyard too.” I looked as the bright idea faded from his eyes.

“Well I’m not digging her up, will you?”

“If I have to, let me think about it for a while.” Jessie and I didn’t talk the rest of the walk home. Instead we just stared at the ground and thought about how to prove that our crazy neighbor had killed his wife.




© 2008 Gabalicious!



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I don't have any critiques to offer. The story flows nicely, and I didn't notice any grammatical errors.

I felt sort of sorry for the kid that got the ball in his mouth, but I saw why it happened too. I can't wait to read the next chapters. :)

Posted 9 Years Ago



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Added on February 9, 2008
Last Updated on February 14, 2008


Author

Gabalicious!
Gabalicious!

Denver, CO



About
I was born and raised in Chicago, where my family still lives. Thanks to them I have a large amount of material to draw from in regards to my writing. I have finished several short stories, one of whi.. more..

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