This writing assignment --- Take the featured picture and write a five hundred word story about it. I present--
The stadium felt cathedral-like as autumn settled over its empty seats and now quiet scoreboards. The grass, covered by tarp, hid the baselines and the pitchers’ mound. A cold wind from the north brought unwelcome melancholy to this place of summer.
Owner Sarah Magnuson, opened the thermos and poured tea into a pewter teapot, which she then set on a linen cloth spread over a bleacher seat and weighted down with two stones. She set out a plate with finger sandwiches and helped herself to one. The sound of footsteps made her look up in time to see Darin McCrory loping easily up the steps toward her.
“I’m sorry, I’m late,” he said. He kissed her on the cheek and sat down.
“No such thing,” she said. “Have some tea.”
Mrs. Magnuson poured the tea into two china cups and offered him one. Studying his good looks, she noted that as he approached his mid-thirties that he became more striking. People watching him enter a room were overwhelmed by his beauty. Besides his physical presence, Darin McCrory was the sweetest person she ever knew. She never knew anyone who disliked him.
“Another season gone,” she said, raising her cup in toast.
McCrory brushed thick blonde hair from his face and smiled. “Here’s to next season,” he said.
“Not for me.”
McCrory raised an eyebrow. She shrugged and faced the field. “I’m selling the team. I’m too old for this now. I was always too old. I should have sold when my husband died.”
McCrory touched her hand but she remained unresponsive.
“What about me?” he asked, hurt immediately discernible in his voice.
“You’ll be fine. You’ve got a few good years left. Your fastball isn’t what it used to be. You’re throwing more junk. But you’re not ready for pasture. And when you are, you’ll always have TV.”
“I wasn’t talking about baseball. I was talking about us.”
Sarah Magnuson laughed. She reached over and patted the side of his face. When he tried nuzzling her palm, she pulled back. “Act your age,” she said. “I’ll act mine.”
McCrory looked down at the field and appeared to sulk. She savored that moment, feeding on his misery, envious of it. She watched him struggle to find words and when she felt he was on the breaking point she stretched languorously and said: “Perhaps you should go now.”
“I’ll call you later,” he said.
McCrory looked back over his shoulder, but she made sure she was busy pouring the remaining tea back in the thermos and putting away the china. Folding the linen, she watched him vanish into one of the stadium’s tunnels. Her lips formed a smile and she ran her tongue over her lips.
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