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Little Lord Faunty
Trying to find a place not too crowded ....
I (Jerry Vilhotti) live with my very understanding wife, living with a writer you know, in a simpler place in time among the Litchfield Hills and we both helped in bringing into the world three children of whom we are very proud.
|AUTHOR'S OTHER TITLES (3)
A Literary Collage: Five Tributaries (Short Stories) A newish art form [1,938 words] [Drama]
Just A Bloody Card Game (Short Stories) A strorella. [979 words]
Too Big To Fail (Short Stories) When does the boy father of the man grow up to being? [709 words] [Comedy]
Little Lord Faunty
Byrom Hoover Bush sort of liked this thing but he couldn't play it very well; instead of being some wing-footed base-stealer his feet and some other physical actions stuttered like his speech: all words beginning with a consonant he bobbled like hot potatoes but words starting with a vowel he could say as smoothly as dirty lint sticking to his twenty year old Brooks Brothers suit which now became a Cleveland Indian uniform with funny smiling guy smiling at his opponents. but he always knew there would never be enough vowels in life and he giggled as he recalled his speech therapist's suggestion he whistle before saying a word that began with a consonant. He annoyed many people with those Spike Jones tunes. Byrom's father and grandfather often called him a disease that had yet to be given a name.
"You see, Byrom, all the people can be fooled but only a bit at a time until they all have completely swallowed a lie as a truth!" his father said affecting an accent of an old ancestor whose ancestors painted themselves blue.
Always, when Byrom was pitching to a face that was his father's, his grandfather was always on deck swinging bats and both of them were at the ready to clobber his every pitch but if he were the batter then his grandfather or his father were the umpires calling him out after only two strikes.
When Byrom stuttered that that wasn't fair, his father told him in his most dismissive manner that those were the rules of their game! So he should tuck away his smile-less mouth and get on with it.
"Now shut up and pitch damn it!" his father said as he waved his father to be the umpire behind the plate; a person who had the uncanny ability to thrust his neck far out that had always made the little boy in Byrom who would father the man he would become stare at him in awe and then it became a look of terror.
Byrom threw what he thought was a Bob feller fast ball with all his might reaching the speed of twenty miles an hour; trying to put to rest all the purblind doomsters lurking around him that had built homes in all the things he had attempted.
The father missed falling to his knees; hissing that that was indeed unfair since he was expecting a change up going at a speed of five miles per hour. This made Lou the captain playing short laugh loudly. Byrom smiled but made sure he covered it with his glove for he understood he needed an upper plate and knew the mileage a good smile could get one - as his father often said with his eyes half-closed.
Byrom's next four pitches were ruled "baws" despite all of them catching some part of the sides of the plate above the knees and below the armpits. Rocky, also born in The Bronx where his friend Johnny was shouting from centerfield pasture that the ump should get a thicker pair of glasses!
Byrom felt a bit like Satchel Paige looking behind him to see if anyone were catching up and indeed he was nearing the age the great pitcher was winning games when others had retired to shoot ducks from the sky and to spit tobacco juice into their companions' eyes.
Upset, Byrom began to walk toward home plate but midway he was met by his grandfather's cavernous nose that had hair sticking out like the legs of spiders; the very same length the ladle his grandfather had used on his head when he was a child for not pivoting properly when eating soup or rotating correctly when playing with his meat, potatoes and greens. Often Byrom hid himself deeply inside the mashed potatoes; nearly drowning in the gravy; always afraid he had done another bad thing which would be administered to by his father, in the grandfather's study, with a long wooden match so alive licking Byrom's quivering palm until the five year old would land like a baseball in foul territory.
Byrom asked permission to ask a question. "Speaks for spakes!" his grandfather shouted. The old man still resented having to take care of his son and his family for two years after Percival had been dismissed from a prestigious chemical firm. He often asked him why indeed had he sent him to an elite school - sacrificing so much of their savings. Byrom, who his mother Jenny Blue of Buffalo tried to name after the great poet with a club-foot and this mother and father's song would always be "Shuffling off to Buffalo" until Byrom's wish she should die of the vapors came true because she would tell the father that Byrom had committed his fifth infraction, asked if it were true that before 1913 only the very rich paid taxes and welcomed doing so to show how wealthy they were and proud of it!
"See what I mean about the damn gadfly?" his father said annoyed that Byrom had been dismissed from nearly a hundred positions - just to spite him and the well to do whom he had wanted to join but was prevented in doing so by the lack of lots of moneys. His eldest son Stephen would become a minister tending to the wealthy sinners who would assure entrance into heaven by buying a piece of the house while on earth.
Byrom would not ask the next question for fear he would be thrown out of the game. He had no allusions about winning. He didn't want to lose so he wouldn't ask his father and grandfather if the game of polarization between the rich and the poor often repeated by politicians who were involved in a game of "buy one and get one free" to insure that their patrons always had the upper hand - making the well off feel superior thinking they were cleaner and not infested with animal traits as the inferiors were - all the six pack carriers burping their way to hell - was a reason for class warfare?
Byrom straddled the rubber just like the great Herb Score once did; not liking his father's big lead off first base. Byrom charged toward him freezing the man with a cold face and even colder body in place but just before he could tag him - Byrom tripped and dropped the ball among the green green grass of the infield which hadn't been mowed for a long time by the home team to give their runners a better opportunity to beat out struggling ground balls - just like the Yankees would do led by two platoon Casey when he wasn't sleeping in the dugout.
"Balk!" his grandfather shouted gleefully - giving his ladle sign. Another balk? How many balks were there going to be in his life? Byrom wondered as he looked deeply into the pocket of his glove. He didn't want to lose. He knew winning was impossible but he just didn't want to lose .... END
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© 2009 Jerry Vilhotti
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