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The Softball Game
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The Softball Game
by Twig

Crane Mansion

Ivy stood in front of the mirror, holding up a pair of designer sports pants and an expensive, silk-screened T-shirt. She tilted her head to one side, surveying her appearance.

"Ivy?" Julian stood in the doorway, "What on earth are you doing?"

Ivy jumped slightly, but made no effort to hide her latest acquisitions, "I'm…uh… preparing."

"Preparing?" Julian took a swig of amber liquid out of a glass, "Preparing for what?"

Ivy did her best to look disdainful, "The charity softball game to keep the Russells in town. The Cranes have been invited to participate, so I figured I would. I suppose it's too much to hope that you'll put in an appearance?"

"They want me to play baseball?" Julian sounded positively horrified.

"It's *softball*," Ivy corrected him with a scowl, "And at least I'll be free of *you* while I'm at the field."

Julian weighed his options, "Did you say that this was to keep the Russells in town?"

"Yes, it was Grace Bennett's idea," Ivy sighed.

Julian shuddered at the mention of Grace's name, "Ah, well, I suppose I should go and support the local townsfolk."

He gave Ivy a playful tap on the shoulder, which she chillingly ignored.

"Knock it off Julian."

Julian pouted, "I'm merely fulfilling my husbandly duties."

"Save the act for someone who actually gives a damn."

"Fine," Julian grumbled, taking another sip of his drink, "Sorry to have bothered you DARLING. You can go back to planning your…whatever it is that you're scheming about now."

"I do not *scheme*," Ivy retorted, indignant.

Julian ignored her as he stumbled back down the long hallway.

"Well Sam," Ivy said to the mirror, as she fitted an expensive, custom made baseball cap over her dyed blond hair, "Time to prove what a wonderful person I can be."

Before she could do any more to plan the perfect softball outfit to capture Sam's heart, her cell phone rang, effectively shattering her daydream.

"Hello?" she snapped, annoyed, "Oh! Millicent! Hello!"

Her face brightened at hearing the sound of her dear friend's voice. "Oh…yes…well…

about that shopping trip tomorrow, Millicent, I don't think I'll be able to make it after all…no, there's no problem, its just that I'm participating in a charity softball game, and…what?…Yes, you did hear me right. I said a charity softball game…no I'm not crazy Millicent, I don't know what would give you that idea…well, we could always use some extra moral support down at the fields…yes I mean you!…oh come on, it will be, uh, fun…I'm not taking any medication Millicent!….THAT'S A HORRIBLE THING TO SAY TO YOUR FRIEND!…I see…down at the fields tomorrow…starts at eight am…yes…GREAT! Well then, I guess I'll see you there…bye Millicent."


Russell House

TC stood, arms crossed, staring his wife down and waiting for an explanation.

"Eve, what is all this crazy talk about money? We aren't in any financial difficulty! And why is Grace Bennett organizing a charity softball game to keep us in town?"

Eve could tell that he was fighting very hard to keep his infamous temper in check. "TC, I can't tell you why we're moving…I just told Grace that because I thought it would be easier for her to accept."

"Easier to accept than what? We aren't going anywhere until you can explain to me what just happened."

Eve sighed, "TC, this is impossible for me to explain to you. Please just trust me. We're doing the right thing by moving."

"We aren't going anywhere if the Bennetts have anything to say about it!" TC limped over to the refrigerator and removed a soda, which he drank in a large gulp.

"I know," Eve said softly, "Oh Grace…why did I lie to you?"

TC, as was always the case with the residents of Harmony, did not seem to her monologue.

"This is awful," Eve whimpered, "I can't believe this is happening. What am I going to do?"




Harmony Softball Field

Illuminated solely by moonlight, two figures crept from the shadows and onto the freshly mown grass and soft dirt of the softball field.

"Oh Timmy," the first figure said, clapping her hands together, strings of gaudy bracelets clacking together with a tremendous noise, "This is perfect!"

Timmy, the living doll, looked at the old woman and sighed, "Timmy thinks this is a bad idea."

"If I went along with you whenever you thought something was a bad idea, Dollface, then I'd never get anything done!" Tabitha scolded lightly, sprinkling some blue powder into the dirt along the base path.

"What is Princess doing now?" Timmy inquired of her, sniffing at the blue dust and then sneezing explosively.

"You silly bag of stuffing!" Tabitha whacked him lightly on the back, "I'm spreading evil! When the good folk of Harmony take the field tomorrow, they'll find themselves plagued by a string of bad luck. It will be the perfect diversion to lure Charity over to the dark side!"

"Timmy doesn't want Charity to go over to the dark side!"

Tabitha ignored him, "This is perfect!" she cackled, "perfect, perfect, perfect! They won't know what hit them!"

Her maniacal laughter echoed on through the still night, occasionally joined by the worried exclamations of a living doll.

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