And Then There Was Owen, Chapter 2: The Hit

And Then There Was Owen
A Parody of A Prayer for Owen Meany
By James Smyth, Adam Passarelli, Julianne Ellis, Miriam Miller, and Lili Xu

Chapter 2: The Hit
By Adam Passarelli

I remember the day quite well. Owen and I loved to play baseball. It was about the only time that Owen participated in any competition. We left like any other normal day. I went to Owen’s house to pick up his overly small body.

“HEY JOHN, IS YOUR MOTHER COMING TODAY?” Owen asked in his squeaky little voice.

“I believe so, Owen; stop drooling,” I responded. Owen’s eyes lit up in ecstasy. He had had a crush on my mother for as long as I could remember. I always caught him staring at her and being extra polite. “Anything for you, Mrs. Wheelwright,” I’d catch him saying. The bike ride to the game was noisy and rowdy. Owen and I had put baseball cards in our spokes to make more noise. I would hoot, and he would holler. We just loved to play baseball. Halfway down the street, Owen realized he had forgotten his beloved bat. It was an old aluminum bat that looked like it was used as a gang weapon rather than for its actual purpose.

“JOHN, WE HAVE TO GO BACK AND GET MY BAT. YOU KNOW I WON’T PLAY WELL UNLESS I HAVE IT.”

“Alright, we’ll get it. But hurry up. There’s some cute girls in the stands that I want to talk to.”

“JOHN, YOU DO KNOW THE ONLY REASON THOSE GIRLS TALK TO YOU IS BECAUSE THEY USE YOU TO TALK TO ME.”

“Whatever, hotshot, go get your stupid bat.”

We pedaled fast back to Owen’s house where we went inside and found the bat sitting next to a deathly urn. When Owen grabbed it, he had this awkward expression on his face. It was like he was picturing some great hit he was going to have. A smile crossed his face. It seemed odd, especially because Coach never let Owen swing.

“YOU SURE YOUR MOM’S GOING TO BE THERE, JOHN?” Owen said inquisitively.

“For the last time, yes, Owen, now hurry the hell up and let’s go.”

We finally made it to the field where lots of cars and bikes were parked. Saturday baseball games in Gravesend always attracted fairly large crowds. There were parents who loved to support their kid. There were those who tried to live vicariously through their kid, yelling and screaming at Johnny and Sammy that if they didn’t keep their eye on the ball they would never make it on the Yankees. And then there were those who showed up and didn’t even know their kid played baseball. Gravesend produced quite a few characters.

Owen and I walked up to the bleachers where the future love of my life was sitting. She had blonde hair, and her breasts were blossoming. She was easily the prettiest girl in school.

“Hey Steph, th-th-thanks for coming out to my game today,” I said timidly. She smiled at me. I saw her glance at Owen, and I thought for a second maybe Owen was right about her using me.

“You look cute in your uniform, John. Good luck,” she replied back. I blushed, not knowing what to say next. I thought for sure she thought I was completely ugly. She walked away to get a treat from the snack bar.

“Told ya she wanted me,” I smirked at Owen.

“YEAH RIGHT, SHE TOTALLY CHECKED ME OUT FIRST. IS THAT YOUR MOM COMING UP OVER THERE?” I glanced over to sure enough see my mother coming from her car. Owen started taking practice swings near the bleachers like he was swinging for the fences.

“Easy there slugger, with a swing like that you might actually get to hit something today. Anyways, Coach will never let you hit, so why practice?”

“I KNOW. I AM JUST PRACTICING. YOU NEVER KNOW WHEN IT’LL BE MY TIME.” My mom finally made her way up to us and gave me a hug first. She then bent down and gave Owen a kiss on the cheek.

“GOOD MORNING, MRS. WHEELWRIGHT,” Owen said in a devilish manner.

“Good morning to you, too, Owen. Are you going to hit a home run for me today?”

“OH, I SURE WILL TRY. COACH DOESN’T WANT ME TO, BUT I MAY HAVE A FEW TRICKS UP MY SLEEVE TODAY.” My mother laughed and proceeded to talk to me about other events. I have always loved my mom and had so much respect for how compassionate she was. She had taken Owen in like a son. She went to all his functions and stood up for him when he was in need.

Owen and I jogged onto the field and started warming up. I started stretching my legs, and Owen stretched his tiny little body. I was so excited for the game today. I started getting a little anxious knowing that Steph was going to watch me today. I looked around and saw her in the stands. I gave her a friendly wave, and she waved back. I saw her giggling with a couple of her friends.

“Man, I really think she’s the one for me, Owen. I’ve never felt this way about a girl before. I mean she’s pretty, nice, an-an-and her boobs. Wow.”

“WELL, YOU BETTER START THINKING ABOUT THE GAME BECAUSE THERE IS NO WAY THAT WE WILL BE THE ONES KILLED OUT HERE TODAY.”

“You’re right. A slip-up like that could be costly.”

The game was about to start, and the opposing team took the field. The fans went nuts, and you could hear sporadic fatherly voices of “Do it for Daddy!” We scored a couple of runs in the first couple innings, and we went up early. Things took a turn for the worst when Josh Marley had a fly ball hit him in the head and bounce over the fence for a home run. Josh’s dad screamed at him so much for the screwed up play that he left the game bawling. I’m not sure what was hurt more, the poor kid’s head or Mr. Marley’s ego.

It came down to Owen in the bottom of the ninth with a runner on second, behind one run. No one expected Owen to do anything but walk and put another runner on base. He had that glimmer again in his eyes as he picked up the black bat. I saw him stare at his mom as he stood in the batter’s box. For one second, I saw pure evil in his eyes. He was trying to pump himself up to have the biggest hit of his short life.

“Let’s go now Owen, help us out.” Again, he just stood there and smiled.

“Ball One!” the umpire shouted. The pitcher then threw two more outside pitches. I regret my next action very much. I assumed Owen would get his fourth ball and take his base. I never could have imagined what would happen next. Steph was waving at me from the stands, and my eyes became fixated on her beauty. She started blowing me a kiss, and I found myself daydreaming about our love.

“Holy shit, he swung the bat!” I heard my coach scream. I turned my head and saw the black bat soaring through the air. The bad had slipped out of Owen’s hands and was now venturing toward the crowd.

My mother never saw it coming. She was talking to a neighbor when the death bad hit her square in the head. She immediately fell over, and the crowd gasped. People rushed over and started to scream for an ambulance. Owen just sat there motionless in the batter’s box. I almost caught what I thought was a smile, but he continued to stand there expressionless. He murmured something under his breath, but I couldn’t make out what he was saying.

I sat there motionless and stunned. I had just witnessed the death of my own mother. She was the most important person in my life, and now she was gone. I started to cry and hide my head. The ambulance came; I continued to sulk, and Owen smiled at home plate.

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