Grand Slam

Posted: July 22, 2011 by joemu362 in Uncategorized

For Chuck Wendig’s flash fiction contest.


Through the window, it looks like the world’s on fire.
It’s just me and Jimmy at Murphy’s Bleachers that morning – 4am, actually. The rest of the crowd figured they’d better get home while the getting’s still good, before the traffic backs up with folks trying to run. Me, though? I’m fine. Even under the blanket of sirens and shattering windows, I could fall asleep right here, snug as a bug. I smile to myself as Jimmy tops me off another shot of tequila. ‘course I’m happy. I’ve been waiting for tonight for a long time.
“Turn that up, wouldja’ Jim? I can’t hear the news.”
“Jesus Harry, you wanna watch what’s going on, may as well look out the fucking window. Shit!”
He ducks under the bar as another bottle of Rolling Rock smashes up against the glass, spraying beer and chunks of green every which way. Outside, a guy in a Red Sox hat is being beaten to death with a Louisville Slugger. No one bothers to help him. The attacker looks grotesque in the light of the trash can fire next to him, cackling and jeering as he takes another swing.
I take another shot of tequila.
Silhouettes of the rioters and looters dance a twisted mambo in front of their own fires as cars, apartments, and shops go up in flames.
“Turn on the sports, Jim. I wanna know what they’re saying about the game.”
He gives me this look like I just asked him for a quick handy, but he remembers who he’s talking to. He switches off the mute and turns it to ESPN. I fix my glasses and look up.
The Sports Center Guys are in an uproar, faces bulging and purple over their sweaty shirt collars. Pages and interns bolt behind the stage passing each other breaking news and new scripts, but the hosts start throwing punches and that’s the end of that. A happy balloon swells up in my stomach. Behind them on the screen, Wrigley Field looks like a giant crown, the red and blue of the emergency services crews like jewels on the rim. I can almost see the bar.
They switch to footage of Red Sox fans being carted away by the EMTs, who’re looking just as haggard and bloody as they are. World Series pennants fall like snow. Reports are coming in that Boston is just as bad, if not worse. Across the country, people are having to lock their doors and grab their guns as maniacs in baseball caps come dashing outside looking to start something. Funny part is, there’s nothing to start. It’s already over.
Outside, somebody starts shooting. Jimmy just looks at me and shakes his head. I smile and have another drink.
“Cubs win, motherfucker. Cubs win.”

  1. Jashin says:

    Had to laugh. My favorite writing is that which packs a lot of setting, action, and dialogue into a small space with a punch of a punchline. Nice work.

  2. BA Boucher says:

    Fantastic sell on the last line. The build up was perfect and the timing brutally delivered.

    Loved it

  3. joemu362 says:

    Thank you! I had a lot of fun writing it. (Probably because, like Harry, part of me is waiting for this day too.)

  4. Edmo says:


    Because we all know the world would end as we know it should the Scrub Tubs ever win. Nice, bro.

  5. Bob Bois says:

    Nice job. Fun story.
    Being a lifelong Red Sox fan, you can bet I was watching the heavens for the Four Horsemen in 2004!

    • joemu362 says:

      Oh man, tell me about it. My brother loves the Red Sox and boy did he go nuts! I figured the moon would be turning to blood any minute.

      (Sorry it took so long to get back to you here – it’s been a wild week!)

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