Photo by Paul Hum
Here’s the part with the pigeon, which was cut for length.
I was using the pigeon to break up the tension of the big fight between Gnash and Jock–sort of like cutting to Gabby Hayes, standing in the doorway of the saloon during a gunfight in the Old West.
CHAPTER 5: SHORT BENCH
The voices died down and became silent. The crunch of shoes on the dry in-field dirt and far-off curses and laughter from the soccer players were the only sounds in the Pits, as the baseball crowd looked towards Jock and Gnash at centre field.
A grey speckled pigeon, stabbing with his beak at a cigarette butt in the dirt behind home plate, turned its nervous, darting, pin-prick eyes on the scene.
Coop took off his baseball cap and ran his fingers through his sweaty faux hawk, and then tamped the cap back down onto his head.
And then, in a sudden outburst, Gnash angrily threw his glove onto the ground, wound up with his foot and gave the glove a kick that sent it flying towards third base.
“Seriously?” asked Jock, rhetorically. And then he added in a squeaky sing-song taunt, “and is that how we treat our equipment?”
“Shut up!” yelled Gnash, his face beet red. “Shut up! Shut up!”
Gnash launched himself toward the much taller boy, charging at him with his head down like an angry goat. Jock was caught off-guard by the attack, and soon he was on his back on the ground with his glove over his face, covered by Gnash who was landing blows anywhere he could find a soft spot.
The dugout cleared as the entire team ran to pull the boys apart. They converged on the dust-up, each boy grabbing a limb or a piece of jersey and yelling at the two to stop fighting.
With a furious flutter of its wings, the old pigeon scrambled up the hill behind the home-plate fence, cigarette butt clenched in its tiny beak, desperate to flee the angry scene.
You do remember Gabby Hayes, right?