Toys in Cross: Baseball

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Grief is a fearsome weapon.

Victor Gordon moved to Cross with his mother from Detroit. His father had died of fever, and his mother, one of the Coffins, decided to move back to Cross to be close to her family.

Victor grieved for the loss of his father and those intangibles that accompany a drastic move. His friends were no longer around to offer him sanctuary. He could not lose himself in baseball, which was his favorite sport. There were some boys in town who played, but there was no real team on which Victor might play, not like Detroit.

One day, when he was walking home from playing ball, Victor stopped in front of the train station and looked upon it. I watched him walk into the station, and a few minutes later, he left again, his bat over his shoulder, glove in the crook of his arm. His face was grim, and tears filled his eyes.

He returned a short time later, still with his bat and glove, and coins could be heard jingling in his pockets. Before he could step into the Cross Train Station, his uncle and a trio of male cousins arrived, running down the street and calling out to him.

I heard them tell the boy he couldn’t leave. His mother, rest her soul, had said Victor was to live with them. It was then that I learned of his mother’s death and the power of the boy’s grief.

He stopped in front of the station and told his relations to leave him be.

When they continued their advance, he dropped his glove, took up a batter’s stance, and waited.

His uncle Micah was the first to reach him, and Micah didn’t live to regret that fact.

The boy swung the bat and struck his uncle with enough force to send him flying across the street and through the window of the haberdashery. His cousins either saw and didn’t believe or saw and didn’t care.

Victor’s aim was true, and he killed all three of his cousins, their broken bodies sprawled in on the other side of the street.

He dropped his bat, turned, and entered the station.

I suspect he made it to Detroit.

His bat, like so many other toys, is in my library. It smells of wood and blood and grief.

#horror #monsters #supernatural #death

Published by

Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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