Dr Lucifer McCaringpants

short story, fiction, The Devil, Sundays with Satan Short Story Series, baseball, humor, first day of spring, Modern PhilosopherThe sound of a baseball smacking against the leather of a glove is unmistakable and brings a huge smile to my face.

The Devil, however, is fairly indifferent to it.

“Why exactly are we outside having a catch when it’s barely above freezing and there’s still snow on the ground?” he whined as he hurled the ball in my direction.

“Because tomorrow is the first day of Spring and there’s still snow on the ground,” I replied as I snatched the ball out of the air.  “Spring doesn’t really come to Maine, though, until the baseball season starts, so I wanted to toss around the ball to help hasten its arrival.”

“I don’t feel as if it’s helping,” Lucifer shot back.  “And I’m not exactly dressed for it.”

He wore his usual impeccably tailored suit, but had removed the jacket out of fear of tearing a sleeve with his unusual throwing motion.

“You’re wearing pinstripes,” I pointed out as I tossed the ball back to him.  “You look like you’re one of the Yankees.”

“Are you sure this doesn’t have anything to due with the fact that I found you asleep on the couch when I arrived at noon?” The Prince of Darkness pressed as the ball smacked off the end of his glove, and he scampered after it in thousand dollar Italian loafers.

I shrugged and motioned with my glove that we should head over to the porch for a break and some Snapple.

short story, fiction, The Devil, Sundays with Satan Short Story Series, baseball, humor, first day of spring, Modern Philosopher“Maybe,” I confessed as I led the way to the porch.  “The dark clouds found me again,  and it got so dark that it tricked my brain into thinking it was night so I curled up on the couch to go to sleep.”

A look of concern crossed Satan’s handsome face as we reached the porch chairs.

“What caused the dark clouds to return?” he asked as he reached into the cooler to remove two bottles of Snapple, one of which he handed to me.

“I had a bit of an incident on St. Patrick’s Day,” I finally revealed and tossed my glove down onto the porch in anger.  “I sent Melissa an email.  Nothing serious.  Just asking how she was and updating her on my life.  It’s been eight months, so I figured whatever hard feelings she had would have passed.  It’s impossible to get through St. Patrick’s Day without thinking about your ex who lives in Ireland, you know.”

The Devil nodded in understanding.  “I figured you might be wrestling with that demon this week, but I didn’t want to ask about it.”

I took a very long sip of my Snapple.

“It was a long, stressful week, and all the talk of St. Patrick’s Day caused her to be on my mind,” I explained glumly.  “I knew I shouldn’t have written to her, but I missed her, and you know I have serious abandonment issues.”

“I take it her reply was not what you had hoped?” Lucifer asked delicately.

“I don’t want to talk about it,” I snapped a little too harshly.  “She said something that really hurt me and it’s been gnawing at me all weekend.”

short story, fiction, The Devil, Sundays with Satan Short Story Series, baseball, humor, first day of spring, Modern PhilosopherThe Prince of Darkness grabbed the baseball from his glove.  “Hence the sudden desire to throw around the baseball?”

“Actually, the last time I had a catch was when Melissa visited and I was trying to teach her to play baseball.”

“I didn’t want the upcoming season to be ruined because baseball reminded me of her,” I told him after pausing for another sip of Snapple.  “The Yankees mean too much to me, so I needed you to help me move past this.”

“As much as you seem a little lost without a love in your life, you are far worse off without your beloved Yankees,” Satan teased me as a devilish grin grew on his face.

“The Yankees have never abandoned me,” I reminded him.  “Even in the dark years of the late 80s and early 90s, they were still there for me.  I so desperately wanted to be good at baseball and follow in the path of my idols, but I was just so bad at it.”

“Some people aren’t athletically gifted,” The Devil put it politely.

I laughed very hard as I thought back to my days on the diamond, when I was much more likely to be hit by a pitch than to hit a pitch when I was at the plate.

short story, fiction, The Devil, Sundays with Satan Short Story Series, baseball, humor, first day of spring, Modern Philosopher“I was a great third baseman, but couldn’t hit to save my life,” I said with a heavy sigh.  “You can work on fielding alone by throwing a ball off the garage, but you need someone to pitch to you and help with your batting stance.  I had no friends and my Dad was too old to get out there with me, so I hit like a kid with no friends and a Dad who was too old to teach him how to be a better hitter.”

Lucifer pouted and then reached out to pat me on the shoulder.  “Do you want me to pitch to you now?  It’s never too late to work on your swing.”

I smiled and downed what was left of my Snapple.  “What’s gotten into you?  Why are you all Dr. Lucifer McCaringpants all of a sudden?”

The Prince of Darkness shrugged.  “Spring is coming.  There’s just something in the air.”

“Baseball weather,” I told him and broke into a huge, much needed smile.

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About Austin

Native New Yorker who's fled to the quiet life in Maine. I write movies, root for the Yankees, and shovel lots of snow.
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