The Last Wish

The crack of the ball as it smacked against the weathered Louisville Slugger echoed against the old elm trees surrounding the park. He stood at that dusty home plate, frozen in his post-swing stance as he watched that ball soar clean over the centerfield fence. Lee’s Family Restaurant, who’s billboard promised a free burger for every ball hit over it, would be serving some free burgers tonight, he thought.

The ball disappeared in the distance. He grinned and began his victory lap around the bases as the fans of the Cozad Tigers Little League team went plum crazy. No one thought little Billy, the boy who rode the bench all season, could do such a thing. No one, from the Coach on down to the sorta ‘slow’ fella who served up fresh, hot barbecued ribs after the game ever paid much attention to little Billy.

But they didn’t know about little Billy’s wish. The wish of a forgotten little boy who wanted nothing more than to hit that winning home run. As he crossed home plate, he looked up, smiled, and died.

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