FP349 – Regulations
Welcome to Flash Pulp, episode three hundred and forty-nine.
This week’s episodes are brought to you by the Bourbon Lounge podcast!
Flash Pulp is an experiment in broadcasting fresh pulp stories in the modern age – three to ten minutes of fiction brought to you Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings.
In tonight’s tiny tale of futuristic competition we question boundaries and swing at a possibly unsporting sports event.
Written by J.R.D. Skinner
Art and Narration by Opopanax
and Audio produced by Jessica May
Every spectator in Howard J. Lamade Stadium was on their feet except the eldest, Wallace Hart.
Mitchell, his son, looked down from his standing ovation and frowned.
“Come on, Pa!” said the forty-eight-year-old, “even you have to cop to the fact that that was amazing.”
The old man simply shrugged.
With a moist clearing of his throat, Wallace replied, “boy, seeing some punk with cybernetic springs in his heels snatch a pop-up is as exciting as watching a bunch of high-powered hydraulics assemble a minivan back at the Ford plant.
“They should start calling it the Machine League and stop pretending it has anything to do with the original game.”
“Oh yeah,” said Mitchell, as he joined the throng in returning to their seats, “it was better when it seemed to take six days to finish at a run apiece.”
Retrieving his gallon of soda, the jersey-wearing son prodded his father and pointed beyond the centerfield fence.
“Hey, Dad, check it – yes, over there, with all the gray hairs: It’s a three-decade-long game from your time!”
Snorting at his own joke, Mitchell took a pull on his beverage as a busload of late-arriving grandparents shuffled into their seats.
“I understand playing to maximum potential, but sometimes rules are there for a reason,” replied Wallace, a grandfather himself. “Deregulation changed this from a sport to a science experiment. Look at that opening crack, when the Robinson kid rounded the first two bases in less time than it took you to realize he’d hit the ball – at that point why not simply go to a top-speed dragster exhibition?
“Better yet, if he wins MVP do they give it to him or the doctor that cut off his legs and replaced them with those carbon fibre pistons? Doesn’t the pit crew that’s maintaining him deserve some credit?
“You can call ’em coaches, but I’ll call ’em what they are: Mechanics.”
Before Mitchell could answer a two hundred mile an hour pitch blew past the plate, ending the current hopes of the titanium-boned batter and the trio waiting twitchily on the stadium’s bases.
As silence descended over the crowd the Little League World Series prepared to enter its second inning.
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