in fiction •  2 years ago

Sigh. Yeah. I do. Mostly--really mostly--I just pimp other people's. For six weeks I've blasted out links to eight posts in Best of Steemit, all by other people, every day. And most days I've put up what are just the beginnings of stories, not complete ones, just my training exercises, sort of like an athlete putting up practice sessions without broadcasting the actual game.

No more. At least, not today.

Today, I'm gonna post a story I wrote. If it's not very good, don't savage me. Five hundred words is precious little space to tell a story. Disclaimer: If you are not up to speed on your Red Sox/Yankees hatred, or a specific first baseman nicknamed the Iron Horse, this story's kicker won't mean anything to you.

Damn Yankees

Death and taxes come for us all, and leave us little choice. But I was going to choose the death part, at least.

“You’re serious,” Jack said, staring.

“I’d say ‘as a heart attack,’ but that seems disrespectful, given the surroundings.”

“I’m not going to kill you. Where would I even get the gun?”

I rolled my eyes. “You’ve known me how long? You think I don’t have that covered?” I looked over at the can of juice, willed my arms to move and hands to clutch it, but they wouldn’t. I knew they wouldn’t. I was a carpenter for forty years, and look at me.

Jack saw, and held it for me. I sucked it down. Tasted like vinegar. Like everything in the care facility. I nodded—could still do that—and he put it on my tray.

“They arrest people for murder, you know.”

“I can fix it. No one will know,” I said.

“They might find a cure. You’ve got, what, another two months? Maybe one more Opening Day.”

I meant to spit, but only a dribble came out. “No one’s finding a cure in two months. Too late for me anyhow.”

“I’m not a fan of killing people.”

“You’re killing a dead man. I’m lying on the battlefield, begging you to end it. You can’t do that?”

He looked unsure, which was as good as him saying he would, after fifty years. Been through a lot together.

But his eyes pleaded with me. “Find some other way, Marcus. I can’t shoot you. I couldn’t even shoot Buckner, though God knows he deserves it.”


“You’re wicked smart. You always was.”

Not smart enough, but then, how do you outwit something like this? “I’ll think of something,” I said. So tired. “Tomorrow. Come back.”

He nodded, patted my hand. “Pitchers and catchers in a week. Sox look good this year.”

“Always do. Then comes April.”

He laughed, and came back the next day. I was ready.

“That old car. Your broken Buick. You still have it?”

He nodded.

“Bring it, tomorrow. Take me for a drive.”

“That’s the spirit!” he said. “Pretty country out there.”

I smiled. “I wanna go look at it, one more time.”

We went out into the country, a place with a view from a hill, and I told Jack to get out and take a photo for me.

He did. I prayed for one more burst, just one last chance. My leg only moved a little, but I pulled it up with my wrists—hardest thing I ever did—and got it to the accelerator and jammed it down. The old Buick leaped off the hillside like a deer and into the air.

Then I could let gravity take over, and end it. The ALS wouldn’t get me. Death is death, and it comes to us all, but I would be damned in Hell before I would let Lou Gehrig’s disease be the cause of it.

Go Sox.

In my house, when we refer to the Broadway show Damn Yankees, even my eight-year-old knows the name of the show is "Damn...and that other word we don't say because we don't swear in our house."

This is actually in honor of my brother Jason, who is a Sox fan, whereas I am a Dodgers fan and reserve the top level of hatred for the Giants, as is only right and proper. Still, there is no hatred in sports--outside of Man City/ManU, or possibly Real Madrid/Barcelona--like the Red Sox and Yankees. I do know people that would commit suicide before they'd die of a disease named after a Yankee. Not a joke.


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Brilliantly written, very moving. I can imagine how hard it would be in such a situation.


Go fighting, or don't go.

Nice - yeah, I'm sure a lot of non-sports fans missed the ending, but I got it and I'm Canadian - just watch the world series...sometimes...Well, okay, if the Jays are in it :)


Which they never are. It's okay--the last time my Dodgers were in it, I was 19 and living in Hungary.

I agree with @gmuxx on the great writing. Not big into sports, but it is touching anyway. Most of us at least know someone who knows someone in a horrible situation with their health.


I'm grateful that you liked it--especially because I know you can write and you know what you're talking about. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

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I would be honored, being, myself, quite a connoisseur of gems and of OCD.

As a one-time recipient of your Best of series, I have to say that you do a really good job highlighting the posts. You don't just mention it with the hope of the ones you mentioned paying attention to you. Instead, you really take the time to digest it and write thoughtful comments about it. Not a lot of list makers do that, so kudos to you!

With regard to this, this was great. I'm more of an NL guy, but I'm familiar with what you wrote. I can't say if a lot of people would immediately get the story, but no one can deny that it was nicely written. I'm sure a lot of baseball fans would appreciate it, but I know fans of fiction would really enjoy reading through this. Nice descriptions, and you evoke a lot of emotion with this. Great work!


Thanks. I'm a Dodger fan since forever, and the NL is the only real baseball league, no matter that the schedule treats everyone the same now.

Thank you so much for commenting. It means a lot to me.

Congratulations! This story has been curated by The SFT. :-)

It has been added to the Literary Reading Room at the SFT Library.

Well done cristof, took me into the story. Go Sox.

Terrific last line! Adds some really dark humor to an otherwise somber story.

What an amazing story and tribute!


Thank you! Thanks for stopping by.