TITLE: Battery Brothers
GENRE: YA, Sports
"Give the ball a ride, Andy!" Daniel rested his tall, wiry frame against the brick schoolyard wall.
I assumed a batting stance--knees slightly bent, knuckles aligned, right elbow cocked, eyes glued on Jason Huckabee, the pitcher. Also my cousin.
Jason spit on the blacktop. He was about six foot, stocky. Me, I was just a regular-sized seventeen-year-old.
I twirled the stickball bat, my breath clouding in front of my face.
Jason planted his gorilla-sized sneakers on the chalk-drawn pitcher's line. "Two down. Nobody on. Seven to three--good guys."
"Bring it," I muttered. A gust of wind slapped the scarred side of my face, making my left eye twitch.
If Daniel had been pitching in today's two-on-two, brothers-versus-brothers stickball game, our cousins Jason and Nathan wouldn't have any runs. Daniel's 88 mile-per-hour heat would have done the job. But Daniel didn't pitch tennis balls. Not anymore. Not after being tagged a phenom and scouted by the pros. The risk of him throwing out his holier-than-holy arm at sixteen was too great.
Jason wound up, a herky-jerky motion. The pitch smoked in high and tight, forcing me to backpedal.
"In the box?" I asked, grinning at him.
"Just missed." He scooped up the rebounding ball. The pitcher, having the best view of the 32-by-24-inch box sprayed on the wall, got final say on balls and strikes.
"Don't pitch wild like that when I'm your catcher, Cuz."'
"Andy, you gotta make varsity first." Jason bounced the tennis ball to himself.
Final cuts were tomorrow.