The Slugger

5-10-12  The prompt:     Pick a song from your childhood and use the first lines as the starter, and in the body of the story

30-minute writing, fiction

“Playmate, come out to play with me.  Tell your mother can you come out!  I’ve got the stick from my Ma’s old broom, and we’ll use your ball.  All of the other kids in the gang are waiting down at the lot, except for Stinky and Max, cause they gotta work.”

The vacant lot between the tenements was our kingdom, and ocean, and battlefield, and Dodger Stadium.  We had a blast, cause there were no adults around, except for the old cripple from down the block who came back from the war deaf and shakin’.  He keeps staggering up and down the block, and one day he even walked right in front of the ice wagon and almost got run over by the horse.  He’s harmless, though, and he never bothers us when we’re playin’.  He even smiled at me once.

Today, we had enough for two teams, even if they were small teams.  I decided to be Babe Ruth, even if I am a girl.  He coulda been a girl if he was born one.  And he’d probably be the greatest girl baseball player of all time, too.  So I’m gonna be him.  Teddy, I bet, wants to be Joe DiMaggio.  He’s always spouting off about how Joltin’ Joe is the best, but I know he’s fulla baloney.  I’m the world’s greatest.  Anyone who says I ain’t will get a punch in the kisser.

When I got home, Ma had a whole pile of clothes to iron and fold, so I helped her fold.  I tried to help  her iron once, but she didn’t appreciate it too much. I don’t want anyone to think I’m useless, and throw me in an orphanage.  That would be awful.

I went next door to my friend Dottie’s house, except it ain’t really a house.  It’s a walkup just like I got.  We don’t know anyone who really owns a whole house.  Gee, that would be swell.  So I says to Dottie, her real name is Dorothy, but if I call her that she gets all heated up, and doesn’t play with me.  So I says, grab your coat, and bring your dollies three, and we’ll play like we’re Mrs. Hoffmeier from down the block, and take the kids for a walk to the park, except we can’t really go to the park cause my mother says its too far to go alone, and she’s still busy ironing and folding.

Dottie had her dolls in the carriage, and didn’t we look special strolling up and down the sidewalk like we was something.  The old cripple went by once, and he smiled at the dolls in the carriage, and smiled at us and drooled a bit.

When we got tired of strolling with the children, I told Dottie it was probably time to go home for supper, and I’d see her tomorrow, and maybe we could have an adventure in the park with the children and even go sailing on the ocean.  We’ll climb my apple tree, and watch Tom Mix at the theatre.

I ran home, and Ma had finished folding, so I put clothes away for a while, then just sat with her in the kitchen.  I told her all of the adventures I had with the gang, and how I wanted to be Babe Ruth when I grew up, and how me and Dottie looked so grand as we took the children out for a constitutional.  Ma smiled a lot, and just kept boiling the meat and cabbage for supper.  It’s usually just us, cause Pa has to work so hard, and he doesn’t get home until it’s time for bed, and then he comes in and reads a bit of the newspaper to me and kisses me on the forehead.   Bedtime sure seems to come early when you have a whole day of fun.

Gee, ain’t life just swell.

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