Swing for the Fences

When Connie and her sister were teenagers, they lived half-a-mile from Dickson Street, which was party central in the college town of Fayetteville, Arkansas. After Mom and Step-Dad had gone to bed, the girls would out slip out their bedroom window and hang out with friends until the wee hours of the morning.

Before they left, the girls would place a folded strip of paper in the door jam. If the paper was there when they returned, no one had entered the room. Paper on the floor meant someone had opened the door and they could expect to be beaten with a belt by their step-dad at breakfast. It was a risky venture, but sounded like a good idea at the time.

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, our in-house security guard who monitors paragraphs for dotted “I’s” and crossed “T’s” is Pauline Blart Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to participate in this exercise of madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

copyright - David Stewart
copyright – David Stewart

Living across the street from a softball field is nothing to brag about, especially in this neighborhood. The lights stay on until after midnight, people scream, cars peel out, and the place smells of soured beer and urine.

Last week, out of boredom, I decided to forgo watching another rerun of Antique Roadshow and take in a ballgame instead. A couple of teams from the Women’s Industrial League were on the field.

Lo and behold, Rachel Crofton was playing third base for Kawneer. She caught me looking at her and smiled. Walking off the field, her butt swung back and forth like a rusty gate.

50 Comments on “Swing for the Fences

  1. Dear RC,

    First I have to do my duty as security guard and inform you that line three you appear to need a “to” between decided and forgo. Please do not let this kind of carelessness happen again or I’ll be forced to take action. Secondly, likening a woman’s backside to a rusty gate is insulting if not funny. A third infraction will result in confiscation of your joy buzzer which I’ve only recently returned.


    Pauline Bart WF

    PS Home run! 😉


    • Dear Pauline,
      I intentionally left the “to” out to prove your vigilance to the rest to the rest of the Fictioneers. I have since flagged it with a strike-through so they’d know I was caught.

      I expect some of my female readers may take exception with my comparison of Rachel’s wiggle to that of a rusty gate, but in the spirit of Donald Trumpism, I shall not apologize.

      Take my joy buzzer if you must, just don’t pierce my whoopee cushion.


  2. Comparing a woman’s backside to rusty gate is taking literary license to the extreme. I’m with Pauline Bart on this one. I think your whoopee cushion needs to be pierced for Donald Trumpism. The world has room for one only Donald trump – we cannot take any more 🙂

    Fun story about Connie and her sisters 🙂


    • Oh, I forgot to mention, Rachel is an illegal immigrant who took the third base job away from a hard working, red-blooded American girl whose hips sway with the grace and beauty of a tightly wound pendulum clock.


      • Dear RC,

        I feel my crochet hook coming after your whoopee cushion so beware! And if we want to be honest here, a red-blooded American girl would have long black hair and moccasins. Just saying.


        Pauline Bart WF


  3. The Women’s Industrial League?? Sounds heavy. Love the story, and the sizzling suggestive power of the eye contact between the two, but I’m wondering if Rachel’s hips creaked when they swayed.


  4. Hilarious, Russell, but I’m afraid the ladies are going to be after your joy buzzer and whoopee cushion both. You offend one woman, you offend them all. I’m too old to care one way or the other. I totter these days, I don’t swing, as my swinging days are behind me. You can accept that as a pun or not. 😀 — Suzanne


  5. Evidently there are some perks to living across from the baseball diamond to make up for the stale beer and urine. I think an avid baseball fan was born at the end of this story.


  6. If she’s out on a sports field, playing, maybe it doesn’t matter what her bum does?
    Good piece Russell.


  7. Dear Russell,

    I’m afraid that after reading your wonderful, subtle, and one of your best stories ever, I was not concerned about you possibly having offended women, blah, blah, blah….

    All I could think about was oiling the gate.

    Well done.




  8. Standing united with my sisters, I’m waving my knitting needles at you in a threatening way and try not to laugh. I mean, industrial league… the swing must be somewhat metallic. More than the rust, the belt of that stepdad upset me. I hope the paper stayed in place…


    • One night the paper fell out on its own. The girls didn’t sleep a wink anticipating a severe thrashing which didn’t happen. They were more careful from then on.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Well done, Russell, for alienating and antagonising half of the planet in 100 words.
    This may be a new FF all-comers record.
    (FF – Fearsome Femaledom)


      • I would have thought that with your dashing, James Dean-like good looks, augmented by those apparently jaundice-riddled eyes, you would have the fairer sex falling in heaps at your feet.
        But hey, what do I know about such matters?


    • Glad you thought it was a home run. I would’ve been happy to made it to second base. Connie and I both played softball for a good number of years.


  10. Call me crass, but I happen to love that last line. In fact, strike throughs and joy buzzers aside, this is one of my favorite pieces of yours, Russell. It’s got a wry, bittersweet tone that struck a chord for me. I didn’t see the ending as much as a punch line as a wistful last glance. Love it.


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