I’d Rather Field Than Fly

short story, The Devil, humor, flash fiction, Modern PhilosopherWe were watching the Yankees game.

During a commercial break, there was a commercial for the latest mega budget superhero flick opening in theaters soon.

That was when The Devil put down the Sunday paper and asked, “If you had the choice, would you rather be a superhero or a professional baseball player?”

Let me add that when he posed this, he was well dressed in an impeccably tailored suit.

I took another sip of my Snapple and then smiled.  That smile was not the result of drinking my favorite beverage, but rather because I loved a good philosophical question that got the Deep Thoughts flowing.

“Being a superhero would definitely be tempting, but there are so many negatives involved,” I finally replied once my brain had fully processed all the Deep Thoughts.  “Someone is always trying to kill you, you are on call twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, you have to keep your identity a secret, and since you don’t get paid, you have to work a real job, which is constantly in jeopardy because you are always mysteriously disappearing in the middle of the work day.”

“What if you were a billionaire like Bruce Wayne?” Lucifer countered.

“Then I’d have to live with the hatred building up inside me because I’d witnessed my parents’ murder as a child,” I replied without hesitation.  “Even the Wayne fortune isn’t enough to pay for all the therapy I’d need to begin to feel normal again.”

short story, The Devil, humor, flash fiction, Modern Philosopher“So you’d rather play the field than fly?” The Prince of Darkness asked with a chuckle.

“Without a doubt,” I assured him.  “Baseball players are heroes, too, but they don’t have to put their lives in danger.  They get paid good money to play a game in front of adoring crowds.  They get half the year off, they travel first class and stay in fancy hotels, and the closest thing they have to a homicidal archenemy is a pitcher with a wild streak on a division rival.”

“That all sounds well and good, but you’d really prefer the power to hit a fastball a long distance over the ability to fly, run at amazing speeds, or melt things with heat vision?” Satan persisted.

I took a long sip of my Snapple and nodded.

“I’m a really big fan of staying alive,” I confessed.  “While superpowers are awesome, they come with the price of someone always trying to destroy you in the most diabolical ways.  I just want to drive in runs, play solid defense, and help my team win a World Series.”

“Plus, now that I think about it, being a baseball player would leave me a lot of time for my writing.  I don’t think any superhero has that kind of free time, especially not with the shape the world is in today.”

“And who would want to read anything written by one of the Avengers?  Or the dark, depressing poetry that would crawl out of Batman’s twisted mind?” The Devil asked as a grin spread across his handsome face.

At that point, the game came back on, and I had an excuse to end the conversation and turn my attention back to the Yankees.

Of course, it was difficult not to think about what it would be like to be out there on the field with my heroes.

short story, The Devil, humor, flash fiction, Modern PhilosopherI knew I was right to pick baseball over the life of a superhero.  That wasn’t even a difficult choice.

I was just relieved that my Sunday guest hadn’t asked me to pick between playing baseball and being a Jedi.

Talk about impossible decisions…

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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