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Home Run!
By: Colette Calapristi Casey
©2014

All my life my mom and me have been best friends, partners in crime she would say. I remember a long time ago on my fifth birthday my mom told me she loved me to the moon and back. I got a telescope for that birthday and we saw just how far that moon is! Holy Cow! Mom must love me a lot.

Well I didn’t think anything could be any better than that birthday a million years ago, but I gotta say, things have been ok. Me and mom have been peas and carrots, Pete and Repeat and she always called me her co-pilot on how she used to say, “This spaceship we call earth.” Yeah, we like to watch Star Trek and Dr. Who. Someday I might be an astronaut. Mom says I’m smart enough.

I wasn’t too sure when Marty came along last year. He was a BIG guy! Lots taller than my Dad who is in heaven; or what I remember of him. Marty made me smile and when mom was around him, well, she was really beautiful. For a mom.

I mean, he seemed okay and he liked to play baseball. I was pretty good back then, so he was able to keep up with me. Marty had a good pitch and he started coming round more and more, which was cool, I guess. One day he came over wearing a pair of Vulcan ears! Me and mom just cracked up laughing all over. So he could play ball and he was funny.

I’m excited because today is the big-BIG game between the Spokane Sports and the Colfax Cougars. We’ve been working hard to get ready and Marty even stepped in to help coach with our team. Wait, I can’t find my socks….

“Charlie! Come on! We’re going to be late.”

That’s my mom.

“Come on sport—let’s get a move on,”

That was Marty.

“Cooommiinnnnnnnggggg,” Geez Louise, its not like I planned to lose my socks. Oh—there they are! Why are they in my Scout Tool Box?

“Come on Charlie—really!” mom again.

I ran down the stairs and saw both of them looking at me with that look. You know the look, like, if you were like a second late to class and the teacher is looking at you like, I dunno, you had planned to be late. You know what look I’m saying. Maybe it’s because they’re both teachers at my school.

Yeah, I know what you’re saying lucky guy – not. But I don’t mind. Most kids like my mom and Marty so its cool. I guess it wouldn’t be cool if Marty was like mean and rotten like Mr. Sorenson or like crazy ole Miss Gentric.

“Come on Sonny, load up- The Little League Championship is a big deal kiddo. We don’t want to be late.”

That’s my mom again.

I walked out to the van and Marty was already in there and it was running. I climbed in the back and listened to them talk all the way there. It was cool. Marty kept cracking jokes and making me and mom laugh.

We pulled up to the field and Holy Cow! There were a lot more people than usual.

“We’re here sport. You ready?”

That was Marty. Again.

“Yeah, let’s do this!!!!”

We got out of the van and mom grabbed her hair that was blowing in the wind like crazy.

“Geez, sure it blustery. Hope this wind doesn’t cause you fellas any trouble.”

Marty laughed and patted me on the back. “Are you kidding? We don’t let a little bit of bad weather stop us do we sport?”

“No way. We’re tough Mom!”

Marty patted my back. I kind of liked it when he did that or gave me a hug.

Me and Marty waved goodbye to Mom and ran over to our dugout. I started laughing the whole way over there.

Marty looked at me. “What’s up buddy? You going to be able to hold on a few more minutes?”

I was laughing from my belly now and looked over at my Mom who was just sitting down on the bleachers. She looked confused.

“HAHAHAHAHAHA! Wow, we’re really gonna get her aren’t we Marty?”

Marty laughed too. He patted my back. “Yeah buddy, I think we are.”

When we got to the dugout, Marty and Coach rounded us up for our pep talk. Those are always cool.

“Alright Gentlemen, we got some special instructions for you here. After the Pledge of Allegiance and the Star Spangled Banner, don’t run out on the field. I’ll let you know when its time.”

That was coach.

“Coach Robinson and Charlie have a job to do before the game starts. You young men understand? We’ll let you know when it’s time to go on.”

All the guys looked at me weird, but they nodded their heads. A couple guys tried to get me to tell my secret, but there was no way.

It took FOREVER for the Pledge and song, but finally it was DONE!

Marty looked at me and grabbed the microphone off the bench, then he took me out to the mound. It was way cool.

“Good Afternoon everyone. I ask that you indulge me for just a few minutes. My name is Marty Robinson and I’m the Colfax Cougars assistant coach. Some of you may be asking what the heck I’m doing here right?”

It was funny the way he said it. The people in the bleachers laughed.

“Well, I’m here because of what I love. I love baseball. I love kids. I love Charlie here. And, I love his mom Elizabeth.”

I was watching Mom and her face was CRAZY! She didn’t know what was going on!

“Elizabeth, you are the light to my field, the crack in my bat….

People started laughing and ohhing and awing and stuff like that. Marty just kept going.

“…the stars to my night and my one and only homebase. Elizabeth, I love you to the moon and back. Will you do me the honor of sharing your star field with me for the rest of our lives?”

Mom was starting to run to Marty and she was just bawling and laughing. It was hysterical.

Mom made it to the mound with me and Marty. Marty took my hand then took my Mom’s. “Will you guys be my forever family?”

I liked the way he said that. All of it. It made me happy.

Okay, so maybe me AND mom might have been crying. But you could barely see mine.

Marty let go of our hands, reached into his pocket and pulled out a diamond engagement ring with a REAL diamond. Mom was like shaking, but it was a happy shake.

Mom was saying “yes”, she was nodding “yes”, I think if there was another way to say yes my mom would be doing it.

Marty picked me up and gave me a huge hug. Best sixth birthday ever.

Prompt:

A little league event
A school teacher
An engagement ring
blustery

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corks

Let’s Make a Deal
by: Colette Calapristi Casey
©2014

John watched as the salesman’s face turned from friendly to menacing. His whole demeanor changed, but he wondered if it was just instant buyer remorse or something else.

The overweight salesman who only a moment ago was all smiles leaned into John. “Now you know this is an enforceable contract?”

John pulled back. “Of course. This isn’t the first time I’ve bought a car.” John knew this guy was stupid, but now he believed he was seeing just how stupid.

The salesman leaned back in his chair and stacked his legs up on the desk. “Yes, but I told you, we were a special kind of car dealer. You recall our name don’t you?”

John scoffed. He knew it was “Friendly Used Cars” for the longest time and didn’t even pay attention to the sign when he pulled in. “Yeah, I heard you guys changed it, but I didn’t really pay attention. I just know you’ve been here forever, so I figured it was as good as place as any to pick up a good used car.”

The salesman lit up a cigar and rocked back in his chair. “Oh sure, we’ve been here going on 50 years. We’ve sold a lot of cars to a lot of satisfied customers in this town, but you know we just kept doing our best to get folks in the right cars. We went above and beyond on almost every sorry piece of scrap we accepted in trade-in. Like that little car you brought in today. I saw the homemade bodywork, noticed the brakes were gone and you put in additive to hide the knocking in the engine. But we still gave you a great car in return with a high trade in.”

John rolled his eyes. He was wondering what this guy was getting at because he had already signed the deal. “So, if you knew my car had so many problems, why did you make just a great deal? The way I see it, you made the decision to make the deal. I just took it. That’s it.”

The salesman puffed on his cigar and chuckled. “Yes sir I did. And, we here at Karma motors are well aware of the motivations of certain people. “

John raised a brow. “Certain people?”

The salesmen took his feet off the desk and leaned over making and holding eye contact with John.

“Yes sir. Certain people like yourself. People who think they’re smarter than everyone else. People who don’t care what they leave behind in their wake. You sir, have just that kind of reputation.

John kept eye contact and started laughing at the man. “Are we done here?”

The salesman leaned back again. “Almost. I just ask that you read the fine print at the bottom of our Karma Motors contract.”

John put on his glasses and noted the fine print at the bottom of page 3. The print on this document but was especially small. He pulled it closer and began to read.

“This document constitutes a binding contract between John Ulrich and Karma Motors.”

John looked up at the salesmen. “Wow, didn’t realize you guys have custom contracts.”
The salesman nodded. “Keep reading.”

“Any deviation from this amendment to the contract will result in immediate and impactful consequences. You’re Karma has now been activated. If any of the following conditions are not met, Karma will be activated:
1.) Lying to people out of malice
2.) Manipulating others for fun
3.) Treating others as if you are superior or smarter
4.) Taking credit for others ideas
5.) Not completing an obligation and then blaming others.

All items are under the contract and enforceable as signed by the above parties. If you violate any of the above conditions, you will receive exact Karma tenfold for each item including:
1.) Others will lie to you
2.) Others will manipulate you
3.) Others will treat you like you are stupid
4.) Others will take your ideas
5.) Others will blame you for their shortcomings.

Have a nice day.”

John looked up at the salesman and laughed. “You can’t honestly be serious.”

The salesman smiled. “Try me.”

John grabbed the keys to his new car and stood up from his chair.

“You need mental help buddy or you have a large deficiency in the brain department.” John said to the salesman.

The salesman smiled. “Ah, thank you. It’s always best to get the proof out of the way on the first day.”

“In here gentlemen!”

Two hospital orderlies came into the salesman’s office and proceeded to put John into a strait-jacket.

“What the hell? You can’t do this!!” shouted John.

The orderlies smiled. “There now buddy, we have a court order just came in. Said you are in need of psychiatric evaluation. Just for 24 hours and you’ll be fine. Not to worry, we’ll take care of you.”

John screamed as the orderlies carried him out the front door and into the waiting ambulance.

The salesman stood at the window waving goodbye to his satisfied customer. The owner of the car dealership came up behind him and patted him on the back.

“Now that was a good sale today Bob. That one will make a lot of folks happy.”

Bob turned to his boss. “We’ll we do what we can to make the world a little better place.”

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Change of Scenery
by: Colette Calapristi Casey
©2014

“Well ain’t this just the cat’s pajama’s!”

The man chuckled and took a sip of his rum and coke. He turned to the other woman at the table and winked. “You crack me up. I can’t believe you brought me here.”

“I only take my friends to the spiffiest places,” said Betty, a short brunette with bobbed hair and ruby red lips. Her cheeks blushed naturally which made her more endearing to those who knew her.

The other woman at the table smiled at the man and leaned into him. “I thought you’d get a kick out of this place. arrgggghhhh.”

Betty cocked her head. “What the hell was that?” She watched as the man and the woman leaned closer into each other and then kissed passionately.

Betty threw her hands up in the air. “Hey, hey hey you two! I ain’t no bluenose, but slow it down will ya? You just met and you’re already goofy for her!” Betty rolled her eyes, stood up from the table and walked away.

She walked to the middle of the room and tried to make sense of all that was happening. The place had changed drastically almost overnight. Gone were the white linens tablecloths, candelabras and her favorite paintings on the walls. Her comfortable surroundings had all changed so much that she had a hard time comprehending what she knew as reality.

She closed her eyes. She was not having fun and she didn’t like that at all. Betty looked around and zeroed in on a lone woman dancing in the middle of the room.

The woman was dressed very strangely to Betty. She wore a tied bandana across her head, a red skirt cinched on one side and a blouse that was way to big for her. Fell off her damn shoulders. However, there was one thing that caught Betty’s attention and that was string after string of pearls.

Betty came up along side the woman and whispered in her ear. “I’m a nut for pearls myself sister.”

The woman took the pearls and started swinging them to the music and singing along with the band “yeah, yeah!”

Betty laughed. “You’re all right, ya know?”

The woman nodded, laughed and gave Betty a hearty, “yeah, yeah.”

Betty and the woman danced side by side for quite awhile until Betty saw him walk into the room. She had seen him before. She couldn’t help herself, but she could never resist a man in a tux. Tonight however, he looked different. The sleek tailored tux that made her heart flutter was gone. In its place were a pair of red pants that looked like clown pants to Betty and his shirt, well, she had to admit, she didn’t really mind it. It looked a lot like the woman’s that Betty was just dancing with, but for some reason it looked a lot better on him with the buttons undone.

Betty cocked her head as Ryan moved closer. “Hey doll, you been in an accident or something.”

Ryan, a handsome man by any standard stopped and turned. His hair was a sandy blond and his skin tanned. But it wasn’t so much his looks that had captured Betty’s attention, it was his grin and that sparkle in his eyes that snagged her hook, line and sinker. Tonight however, one of those beautiful eyes was now covered with a patch. It reminded her of the time that her friend Mary and her guy Frankie rolled their car and Frankie lost an eye.

Betty repeated herself, “You ok doll?”

Ryan threw back his head and let out another laugh. “Yeah, it’s all cool!” he shouted.

Betty giggled and leaned into him. A wave of relief came over her, but she still couldn’t get over his getup. Betty had followed Ryan for as long as she could remember. He was the first one she could remember falling for since things changed.

As usual, Ryan always had people around him and tonight was no different. She didn’t mind that he was always busy when she was around, sitting people for dinner, bringing drinks, cracking jokes. She just liked watching him. She’d been watching him for a very long time.

“Here you are folks, the show’s already started in the bar, so it could be a little loud during your dinner.” Ryan explained

The man and woman who were just seated started laughing. “That’s the whole reason we’re here isn’t it?” stated the woman.

Ryan smiled. “Yes, well that’s what the aim is. I’ll give you a heads up though, tonight could get kind of dangerous.” Ryan winked at the couple and smiled.

Betty perked up. Danger? Well danger was her middle name. She started to laugh, but then stopped. A thought came to her mind of the night the cops showed up and pinched everyone in the room.

“You better watch out Ryan, I’d hate to see anything happen to that beautiful mug.”

Ryan laughed again. “Don’t worry about me, I’ll be able to take care of myself,” he said, then he took the woman’s hand and kissed it. Betty felt a pang of jealousy.

The night continued on with people coming and going and Betty drifting between those enjoying a meal and those on the dance floor. It was almost business as usual, except for the hats, the baggy clothes and…and….

“Pirates? That’s what it is! Why are there so many crazies dressed like Pirates?”

At that moment, Ryan appeared at the door with a gun in his hand and behind him were all the people she had come to know and love with guns and swords.

Her heart began to race, her mind filled with thoughts of mass shootings, or a case of contagious crazies, something, anything had to be done! Nothing was making sense at all!

BOOM!

Betty screamed and ducked under a table while Ryan and his friends came through the room firing their guns and yelling.

“Stop it Ryan! Stop it!!! What are you doing???”

Betty covered her ears waiting for the screams, but they never came. They never came because in their place was laughter! Betty crawled out from under the table and saw Ryan standing on a wooden plank and writing with a pen on a giant whiteboard, “Tonight’s Booty—2 for 1 deserts and half price cocktails.” The crowd roared!

Betty ran to the middle of the room and screamed. “What is going on? Have you all lost your marbles? Why are you all acting like this??”

Betty couldn’t take it anymore. Nothing in her life made sense and tonight…tonight was the worst, because it reminded her. Betty stopped and felt a cold chill go through her.

“It was that night. The night it all changed.” She heard Ryan across the room.

“Yeah it was!”

She turned toward him but he wasn’t talking to her, he was talking to someone else. She realized he had never spoken to her, only around her.

Betty felt a breeze continually grow stronger until it was so windy her hair blew around her face and the fringe on her dress danced wildly. The feather in her headband flew into the light and her pearls jangled across her chest. The wind was accompanied by something else, it was something that filled her with a sense of the familiar and it was warm.

Betty turned around and saw it all. She saw the night the mob bosses raided the club she where she was dancing, she saw the shot that went through her heart, she saw time pass and her wander from moment to moment and then she saw Stevie. Her heart leapt in her chest.

Stevie was hers forever and ever. She can’t believe she had forgotten him, but now that she sees him, it’s as if he was never gone.

“Hey there’s my girl with the gorgeous gams,” said the man standing in a tux surrounded by a bright light.

Betty felt breathless.

He continued on, “You gonna make me wait longer than I already have doll?”

Betty ran to his arms and hugged him with all her might.

“Whoa, you trying to crack a rib sweetheart?” Stevie said with his trademark grin and twinkle in his eye. The same look she saw in Ryan, but seeing it in Stevie now, she knew this was the real deal.

Betty remembered it had been so very long since she actually touched someone. “Oh Stevie, its been like such a bad dream. I’ve been so confused by everything. Once everything made sense, then it didn’t.”

Stevie held her closer. “Well, you know, ain’t that just like you. You always had to do things your way. No one could tell you where to go, what to do, but that’s what made me love ya doll.”

Stevie took a step back and looked over Betty. “How do you stay so beautiful eh? And why am I the luckiest guy in the universe?”

Betty could feel a tear run down her cheek. She touched it and realized that her tear was one of relief and happiness.

“Ah Stevie baby, get me outta here.”

Stevie winked, “Anything you say babe. Let’s blow this popsicle joint!”

A large theme restaurant
A confused ghost
A whiteboard
Windy

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