A Bang Bang Play
Jack Neary, author
Eddie Sheehan is a guy. That's all he is. He delivers mail for the USPS, he pays the bills for his wife and two kids, and he umpires local softball games. When we meet Eddie, that's exactly what he's doing. He's umpiring a softball game. It's a predominantly male saloon league, but on this night one of the pitchers is predominantly female, and gorgeous, and Eddie finds himself widening her strike zone whenever he can. She's that kind of pitcher. Her coach is a jerk, and her boyfriend, and a drunk, and after the game, Eddie happens to see something he didn't normally see after such softball games. He sees the pickup driven by the drunk and abusive boyfriend veer off the country road and plummet down an embankment towards a lake. He gets out of his car, and watches unseen as the truck stops at the edge of the water. He sees the gorgeous pitcher screaming at her wasted boyfriend, and then observes as she grabs an aluminum softball bat, beats the guy unconscious, then gets out of the truck and pushes it into the lake. And that's where the story begins. Eddie doesn't report the incident because he feels sorry for the girl. And he continues to feel sorry even as he reads in the paper that what he and only he saw was an accident. He feels sorry that the poor girl had to go through such a horrible time, but feels good she is going to be able to survive and throw some more strikes without this idiot demeaning her. She's getting away with murder, yeah, but…she's so hot. He feels good about what he hasn't done. Until the pitcher becomes famous, nationwide, with a touring four-woman softball team. (She's that good a pitcher.) And when the endorsement and commercial bucks start rolling in for the curvaceous hurler, Eddie feels less sorry for her. And, with the help of a less-than-bright USPS co-worker with a savant-like talent for plotting crimes, Eddie decides to blackmail the girl. Eddie Sheehan was just a guy. That's all he was. But things have changed.