It’s beginning to look like spring on our little island. Although there’s still some snow on the peaks, the marsh lilies are blooming and the fish are biting. And while we don’t have baseball here, it’s sure to be on a few fans’ TVs. Thanks to everyone who took the time to write with us amid all this. It was fun to hear your stories!
Congratulations to Kandi McGilton, a first-time Mini Sledgehammer participant who nabbed the prize.
Character: A baseball fan
Setting: An intersection
Phrase: “Put on your seatbelt.”
by Kandi McGilton
Jake put on his Yankees hat, scooped up the burgers, hot dogs and condiments and made his way into the back yard to prepare his dinner. As he stumbled over chew toys and did knee highs over tea tables and accessories, dolls and overly girly bouncy balls, he silently cursed the gods for making this one task so difficult.
“Honey! Don’t forget to put cheese on the burgers! And don’t burn the hot dogs!” Camile, his wife yelled from the kitchen where she was preparing potato salad, fruit salad and lord knows what other kind of salad the woman could think of.
“Yeah, right, uh huh…” He muttered back to her as he set the food on the table next to his charcoal grill. It was hot out, and the last thing he wanted to do was stand in front of a fire, cooking for a bunch of in-laws he could hardly stand being in the same room with. As he stoked the charcoal and added a splash more fuel onto the fire just to see the flames rise, a smug grin crossed his face. “Honey do this, honey do that… women!” He snorted as if he’d just said the most sophisticated words of his life.
“I’m a woman.” A tiny voice came from behind him. As he swung around in his ‘Kiss The Cook’ apron, tongs in one hand, barbecue sauce in the other, he looked down on the most precious face on earth. He chuckled as he answered his four year old daughter.
“Is that so?”
Alyssa replied with her tiny fists balled on her hips just like her mother. “Yes, that’s so!” With that, her size 6 foot stomped down the grass.
“Well if you say so. What are you doing out here anyway, woman?” He said to her playfully as Jake ignored the cooking hot dogs.
“Mommy said to get out of her way and bring that stupid mutt too.” Alyssa nodded once in absolution.
“Rex? I thought I had him locked up in the bedroom. Did you let him out?” He raised an eyebrow at her and tried to give his best stern father look.
“No! I didn’t do it, he got out all on his own! Just like he ate dinner all on his own!” Alyssa squeaked in her childish voice, pointing at the golden retriever as he slobbered down the last of the hamburgers. Jake took one look at the dog and before he could yell at him to get off the table, Camile was yelling at him through the kitchen screen door.
“The dog! Damn it, Jake! Can’t you do more than one thing at a time? The family will be here any second! Rex, get over here! You stupid mutt!” Oblivious to his trouble, Rex darted for the kitchen. Alyssa stood there with her eyes lit up, her hands covering her mouth to suppress her giggle.
“Daddy’s in trouble…” She chimed.
“No he’s not.” Jake mumbled trying to salvage any food left on the table.
Camile’s cold as ice voice hollered from the kitchen. “Yes he is, because not only did the dog eat the burgers, but daddy burnt all the hot dogs too!”
He let out a string of curses, looking at his watch he knew he had at least 20 minutes to run to the grocery store before the Yankees vs White Socks game started. “Come on munchkin, we’re going to the store.”
“Yay! Can I get cookies? And root beer? And, oh! I want ice cream!” Her little frame bounced around him in excitement as they made their way through the house and out the front door.
“Hurry back, you know my dad likes to eat on time!” Camile called out before slamming the front door shut behind him.
“Women…” He said as he buckled Alyssa in. He couldn’t help but smile just a little as she crossed her arms and pouted at him.
It only took five minutes to get to the store, but in that amount of time his wife had managed to call and rush him through almost every isle for things she HAD to have.
“I’ve gotta go, now, you’re breaking up…” He said as he began to check out, giving her not time to speak as he hung up on her.
“Did you just hang up on mommy?”
“No, and if you want those extra chewy chocolate chip cookies, you’ll get on the same page as me and tell her the service here sucks.”
Alyssa giggled and nodded, happy to be in on the scheme.
Back in the car he realized they were now ten minutes late and there was no doubt a mob of angry Red Socks fans waiting to tear into him about being hungry.
“Put your seatbelt on kid, daddy might break a few laws!” He said as he buckled her in. The shock was apparent in her saucer like eyes and the look didn’t go away until they flew into the driveway.
“Well lookie here. Jake decided to show his face after all. We weren’t sure you’d show up seeing as the Yankees are about to be slaughtered.” Laughter came from deep inside the house at his brother-in-laws words. With a tilt of his chin, he picked up Alyssa in one arm, the food in the other and made his way into the house where the mob had assembled around the television.
Taking his cap from her father and placing it on her own head, Alyssa called out from beneath it to the family, “Us Yankees are going to kick your White Socks butts!”
© 2013 Kandi McGilton