Three days. Michael looked out the window of his bedroom, watching the rain continue to drip from the eaves. He wondered if it would ever stop. Gazing off into the distance, he let his mind wander to the baseball fields where he would now be playing in the semifinals of the city Little League tournament.
He saw himself standing on the pitcher’s mound, the sun warming his back as he prepared to throw the first pitch. Winding up, he hurled the ball across the plate as the umpire shouted “Striiiike one!”
Michael smiled as he fell deeper into his daydream. Winding up for the second pitch, he released the ball and watched it fly past a swinging baseball bat. “Striiiike two!” the umpire called. Wiping the sweat from his brow as he caught the ball thrown by the catcher, he prepared for a third pitch. “This game is mine,” he mumbled under his breath.
He started into the windup for the pitch just as three circus clowns ran onto the field from the stands, their destination being third base. Upon arriving, each of them stood touching the bag, taunting as Michael stared at them. “Pitch the ball, Michael,” one of the fans yelled.
Frowning, Michael started into his pitch, throwing it high as he turned to glance again at the clowns on third base. They began to laugh and dance around mockingly. One of them picked up third base and the three of them ran off the field.
“What are you doing?” Michael screamed. A silence fell over the crowd. “Pitch the ball, Michael!” his coach called from the dugout. Michael just stared at him. “But they stole third base!” he replied. The silence over the crowd thickened. “Michael, pitch the ball. There is no one on third base,” his coach replied.
Confused, Michael began his next pitch just as he caught a glimpse of colorful clothing in the crowd near first base. The pitch was high. Michael stared at first as one of the clowns calmly walked onto the field to first base, knelt down, and walked off the field with first base.
“Where are you going with that?” he screamed at the clown. “Michael, are you okay?” called his coach. “Pitch the ball.” Michael, anger rising inside of him now, yelled at his coach, “But they stole first base now too!” The silence over the crowd remained. No one laughed. No one said a thing. Silence.
“Michael, there is no one on first base. Go ahead and finish your pitching.” Michael sighed, then began his windup. It was high again. “Full count!” yelled the umpire from behind home plate.
At this, the three clowns ran to home plate, each with a baseball bat of his own, taking up stances awaiting his pitch. “Go away!” Michael screamed. “All of you just go away!” His vision went black just as he heard the songs of a carnival being played on an accordion.
He woke up to find himself in a darkened bedroom, nighttime obviously fallen upon him. He tried to rub his head, only to find his arms bound in position in front of him by a tight straightjacket. “Mom!” he screamed. “Mom!” Silence. Out from under the bed, a single clown crawled. He winked once at Michael, walked to the door, and exited the room. Then the rains began.