The sun beat down hot on Tommy as he stood there in the lonely post of right field. Beads of sweat dribbled from him. They dropped to the earth in large fat beads.
The heat and the boredom were getting to Tommy’s brain. Nothing ever happened in right field. The other team always hit to the center fielder or to the left fielder. Right field was the lowest a player could go. Tommy was there because he wasn’t a very good ball player.
His entertainment had become attempting to hit an ant hole with his rivulets of perspiration as it broke from his forehead, gathered speed between his eyebrows and screamed off the end of his nose.
“Plop,” the sweat would say as it struck the ground.
The ants would scurry to the left or to the right of it.
“Pilot to bombardier…” Tommy heard in his head. “Another pass, we have then on the run,” he added.
Plop, plop, plop.
Tommy heard it as the batter connected with the stitched up piece of rawhide.
“Where is it?” Tommy questioned to himself.
The bombing mission would have to wait. There was an enemy bandit closing in quick somewhere near twelve o’clock high. Tommy’s every muscle had to be fixed on it. He had trained for the kill.
Suddenly he saw it. The ball was high overhead and sailing towards him. At first Tommy just stood there, motionless. He was trying to figure out where the ball was going.
“Back pedal, back pedal!” his mind raced as his feet began to move.
Tommy’s eyes were fixed upon that sphere as it flew directly overhead. Tommy kept backpedaling. He had one hand up, reaching for the ball. The other hand was outstretched behind him, searching for the fence that he knew must be close by. The ball was just out of reach as he leaped into the air to meet it.
Tommy heard himself hit the fence more than he felt it. His body seemed to propel itself higher and higher. Then he realized he was half way over the fence.
Slap! Tommy’s mind reeled in the amazement at both the sound and the feeling in his glove. The ball had landed squarely in his mitt. His glove had never felt so bulky or so heavy before. But he had just made a spectacular catch.
“Tommy? Tommy?” a soft voice came to him.
It had a familiar ring to it. He knew that voice well.
“Tommy?” It was Mom calling him.
A muffled click and a bright light overhead pierced the darkness as Mom called out to him again.
Tommy opened his eyes and looked around. Mom was bending over him. He was wrapped in a tangle of blankets and bed sheet.
“Get up, Tommy,” Mom said, “you fell out of bed.”
Tommy blinked a couple of times and obeyed Mom, as any nine year old would do. He climbed back up into the top bunk of the beds and Mom pulled the covers up around him. Then Tommy drifted off into sleep again.
Mom turned off the light and looked back at Tommy. He was smiling because he knew he had made the catch.