plastic tees

anthropwashere  asked:

Prompt if you're still taking them! "All you gotta do is swing."

At five years old, Danny learned how to push himself on a swingset. His mother, with her hair larger than her head, sat him down proudly in the seat and watched him.

“Push me!” he told her, feet wiggling, pudgy hands clamped around the ropes.

“No honey, you’re going to push yourself.” Maddie took the swing next to him. It groaned under her weight and creaked harder as she got it moving in rhythm.

Danny swung his small feet and jerked the rope. “I dunno how.”

Maddie dug her feet into the dirt to stop herself. She stood and moved behind her son, offering him a small nudge.

“It’s easy. Just swing, Danny.”

At seven years old, Danny’s father introduced him to baseball. Jack had tied small cleats to his son’s feet, fitted him with a helmet much too big for his head, and set him in front of a plastic tee. 

“This is baseball, Danny. You’re gonna be great at it.” Jack plopped a yellowed and worn ball on top of the tee. Danny wasn’t watching. He had crouched and started pulling up fistfuls of grass from the lawn. 

“I don’t wanna.”

“Yeah you do,” Jack answered lightly. He produced a bat from behind his back, immediately reclaiming his son’s attention. Danny put out two eager hands to take the prize. 

Jack offered the bat, which Danny took in his elbows, halfway up the bat, and locked his fingers wherever they seemed to fit. Danny’s eyes focused on the bat as he jostled around against his chest. He lunged toward the tee, but with no success.

“Give it here, Danny. I’ll show you.” Jack unwrapped his son’s fingers one by one, slid the bat from its elbow trap, and choked up on the grip. He crouched, and readied the bat over his shoulder. He released it, sending the poor baseball flying.

Danny watched, wide-eyed and mesmerized. “How’d you do that!?”

“It’s easy. You just gotta swing,” he answered with a smile.

At fourteen years old, Danny lay panting in a puddle of his own ectoplasm. He looked up, making out only hazy shapes. One blue. One orange. One green.

He could hardly remember how it’d started, who’d been hunting who. His parents, him, the ghastly green creature that had brought them to their knees. 

Danny blinked, setting his arms under his body for support. The shapes took on detail. He could see his mother backed into a wall, her foot jutting to the side in a way that suggested her ankle had shattered. Jack sat next to her with his thumbs pressed to the profuse bleeding that gushed from his inner thigh. The ghost stood above them, eight feet tall with its head cocked as it curiously surveyed the two injured hunters. 

Danny tried for an ectoblast from his palm, but the effort made him dizzy. His hand only fizzled faintly. 

“Jack, Maddie, run!” he wheezed. Danny clawed at the brick wall beside him and forced himself to his feet. 

“Brilliant suggestion, wish I’d thought of that,” Maddie answered, eyes glued to the towering creature approaching her. The sarcasm in his mother’s voice stung; Danny heard it so rarely. It was defeat. It was anger in the face of hopelessness. 

Something glinted to Danny’s right. A dropped Fenton weapon. It was small, composed of only a handle, maybe six inches long.

He lunged for it, gathered it up in his hands, and fought to maintain his balance. “Hey ugly!” he shouted to the gooey threat, pointing the handle. “Get away from them!”

“Don’t bother Phantom,” Jack muttered. He’d released one hand from his bleeding leg and slid his arm across the pavement to his wife. She took his hand and held it. “You don’t know how to use our weapons. You’ll just get yourself killed.”

“Oh I don’t?” Danny flipped the handle over and dug his nail into the seamless hatch he knew would be there. It flipped open, and inside rested a small trigger. When Danny pressed it, it unleashed a torrent of energy that congealed into a four feet long pole, bladed at the end. It buzzed, dripping with green ooze that would likely kill him were he to touch it.

The new weapon had drawn the opposing ghost’s attention. It turned its wide, mucusy eyes on Danny and blinked. Its face was bug-like, laced with pincers that could cleave a human in half. A long snake-like tongue shot from its mouth, which Danny barely dodged. 

Maddie and Jack watched quietly, intently. Jack’s protests had quieted. 

“I actually know some p-pretty good instructors,” Danny breathed out. He jumped into the air despite the pain that welled in his gut. “I know how to power these things up…and I know how to use them.”

The bug-like creature had just enough time to stretch its jaw when Danny descended. The machete cleaved it straight down the middle, and Danny slipped through just in time to avoid its snapping mandibles. 

The thing shrieked as it crashed into the ground,its head and torso peeled down the center. Its ectoplasm pooled on the ground, tongue flopping uselessly. Danny buckled to his knees with it.

“It’s easy,” Danny panted. He thrust the weapon across the pavement to Jack and Maddie. it skittered to a halt by their feet. The ghost boy smiled up at them, “when all you gotta do is swing.

Poems for my Grandma.

I was at my friend’s wedding when I got the news. It was a text in my phone from my sister Amy.
“They found grandma…”
All I needed to see were those three words and I immediately knew. Even though she was still barely alive at that point. Even though she was still breathing and getting brain surgery that night. But the odds were low.
We prayed for a miracle. I wrote her a letter that night that began “Dear Grandma, I am writing this to you in the hopes that you will wake up to read it…”
As soon as I got the news, I felt it immediately. I walked out of the reception as quickly as I could and out into the parking lot so I could cry without making a scene. I cried so hard that night. I felt numb and shocked. I had heard of so many other friend’s grandparents dying before, and in my mind I always rationalized it- “Well, they were old so they must have been expecting it.”
I learned that just because someone was elderly when they passed doesn’t make it any less painful for their family and friends.
As I stood in that parking lot with two of my friends, I cried out her name over and over. It was all I could say. A flood of emotions washed over me. Sadness- the thought of her lying there, her last memory being alone. Regret- I should’ve called. Should’ve written her more letters. Why didn’t I call more? Shock- I will never see her again. I will never talk to her again.
Two weeks it’s been and it still doesn’t feel real. She was the grandma I grew up with. I went to her house to visit on weekends- my first weekends away from home. She lived an hour away in the most idyllic, sleepy, little town- Lodi, California. She was tough but she was sweet. She cooked us such good food- the most amazing homemade pizza and burgers. Chocolate sheet cake. Peach pies and apple pies and rhubarb pies. She made these homemade rolls that are better than any other I’ve ever tasted. She sang and played the piano all the time. I can hear her vibrato as she sang God Bless America. She was SO proud to be an American. She loved this country so much. She also loved God so much. She had some of the strongest morals I’ve ever seen.
I miss her so much. I am so sad that I will never see her again. Life doesn’t feel quite complete knowing she is not here anymore.
Here are a few of the poems I wrote throughout the last two weeks about her and what I felt.

I wrote this one the night I got the news.

I.

I cry for the pain, a little bit
But more than that
I cry for the love

I cry for you, grandma,
And how you loved us

I cry for family
Broken heavy hearts

I cry for mom,
Breaking down on the phone

Maybe this is your time,
Maybe you are meant to go home

I hate thinking I already made my last memories with you

I cry for the pain but more than that-

I cry for the love.

***

II.
my grandma is dying

grocery store, bright plastic lights
tie-dye tee shirt, numb heart

my grandma is dying

“I like your shirt”

my grandma is dying

why does buying groceries tonight seem such a strange thing to do?

[my grandma died tonight.]

thinking about packing a black skirt and a black sweater
thinking about funeral words and
not enough time
thinking about phone calls never made
thinking about lonely fourth of julys and arthritis hands that haven’t been held since
he passed 28 years ago
thinking about long afternoons sitting alone
what did she do to pass the time?
i wish i could’ve been there
wish i could have shed some light
what could i have done
to make it alright?
i know she’s at peace
so why aren’t i?

***

III.

it is raining so hard
and i am going to see my friend before she moves away
my grandmother died
two nights ago

what a strange feeling
on this tuesday morning.

***

IV. LODI

You are so sweet
You are so dear
You hold some of my best memories here
Dusty dirt roads
Rows and rows of vineyards
Grapes and lemon trees and railroad tracks
Flat and green and full of life yet
Sleepy, enchanted
Almost unchanging for
My twenty-four years
I think I’ll always love you most
Because of who you are
And because of who you hold.

***