“And for homework, write the essay using examples from things like last Saturday’s baseball game.” My English teacher said. Great, I thought. I have not even seen that game, not even on TV. And I knew “things like last Saturday’s baseball game” meant “last Saturday’s baseball game.”
I am ten years old and home-schooled. I liked my English teacher, but I did not like English. How is it possible for a fourth-grader to write an essay in one week, with so much homework for science class?
The next day I was supposed to start homework. However, I was not allowed to turn on the TV. That made it impossible. I decided to walk my dog, a terrier called Csupor, first, and then argue. Then I decided to go biking instead. I would put a blanket in the basket and put Csupor in. “Come on, Csip-csup!” I said. No reaction. “Cupcake!” She was there in an instant. I think she liked being called that. I put her into the basket and rode down the street. Cupcake did not mind much because she was used to riding in the basket.
Half way down the street I stopped. I had no reason to, but I just stopped. I started fiddling with something on my wrist. I fiddled around with it for a while. Then I stopped. I realized I was turning the hands on my wrist watch. It showed 3:20 Saturday – ten minutes before the baseball game started! “I wish I were at AT&t Park right now!” I said out loud. One moment later, I wished I had not said anything.
A murder of crows were headed toward us, no doubt they wanted something. They flew up to us, circled us, and entirely blocked out the sun. Cupcake ducked. She liked chasing crows, but not hundreds of them at once!
The crows came closer and closer, until I could have reached out and touched them. Then suddenly they flew off in one direction and totally disappeared.
I looked around. We were at the AT&T Park! According to the clock on the score-board, it was 3:20 pm. But…it’s Saturday, I thought. A million thoughts struck my head at once, like lightning strikes a telephone pole. Had I time traveled? Did time pass at home while I was away? How am I going to go home? Those were all unanswered questions.
I still had my bike. Good. Cupcake was still there. I felt my wrist. My watch was gone! The clock on score-board said I had eight minutes until the game. Eight minutes to find my watch. I looked everywhere, even in Cupcake’s mouth. 3:27. Three minutes.
A single black crow flew over the field. It dropped something and flew on. I caught the object. And it was….the watch! What luck! And just in time, too. It was 3:30.
As it turned out the game was Giants vs. Dodgers. The Dodgers were up to hit first. By the end of the first inning the Dodgers were two runs ahead – the score was 3 to 5. The game went on. The second inning ended. The score was still 5 to 6. The Giants were losing. Now it was the third inning. The Dodgers pumped their score to 8. The Giants also made it to 8. There was one last hitter: Madison Bumgarner, my favorite player. “Go Bumgarner!” the crowd cheered.
The pitcher threw the ball. I craned my neck to see. I was on the opposite side of the field.
“Strike one!” yelled the umpire. “Strike two!” It sounded like “stik tu”. Umpires rarely speak (or yell) clearly.
On the next pitch, Bumgarner hit a foul ball off to the right. Now it was the pitch to decide the game. No-one was standing on the bases, so Bumgarner would have to run all the way around . He swung. The bat collided with the ball midair, and sent it flying toward me. First base…, ball still flying….second base. He was going to make it. The ball was flying right towards me! I leaped to the right, catching the ball midair, and then painfully rolling around twice on the asphalt. I had caught it.
I stood up just in time to see Bumgarner touch Home plate. The Giants won! The score was 9 to 8, I had the ball, the watch, Cupcake ,and my bike; it was time to go home.
I twisted the hands on my watch to show the exact time that I left. “I wish I were at home right now!” I said. And….there came the crows, a shiny black cloud, just like before. They circled and circled, came closer, circled even more closer until suddenly they vanished entirely and I found myself halfway down the street, just how I had left.
I rode home slowly, thinking about the game.
Later as I was finishing the essay at home, I thought about the game. Yes, I thought: It is Wednesday, and yes, Saturday was only ten minutes ago.