First, let me apologize for my absence in posting new sections of this series. Due to a combination of day-job demands and trying to wrap up a new book, time has been short.
If you want to check out my newest book in the Frank Rozzani series, it’s available for pre-order on Amazon and will be released December 23rd. You can reserve your copy HERE. If you haven’t read any of my Frank Rozzani books, you can pick it up for $.99 HERE.
Now, on to the latest installment in my serial Extra Innings. In the last installment, we learned about Joe’s new found ability that he acquired along with his souvenir seat from the old stadium. Now we follow him on his journey as he begins to question the ability and his own sanity. Please enjoy this new installment of Extra Innings.
If you want to read the previous parts of this story, please click on these links:
Joe left the office and headed back to his apartment. He decided he should take a nap. Maybe after some rest, he would be able to think clearly about what he had been through in the last 24 hours. He changed out of his work clothes into sweat pants and a t-shirt. He settled into his bed and a fitful sleep overcame him. It was the kind of sleep where he was so overtired and dreams came to him in fitful bursts of disturbing images.
Joe dreamed that he was walking in a hallway and that doors on either side were opening with hands and arms trying to grab him. The hallway seemed like it was in an old hotel. It was narrow with doorways spaced uniformly on either side. The doors didn’t have numbers on them, but pictures. The first door had a picture of his parents. Skeletal arms reached out with bony fingers trying to grab Joe as he passed. There was a door with a picture of his ex-wife Beth. Feminine arms reached out to grab him while masculine arms pulled her back inside. There was a door from which two children who looked vaguely familiar, possibly from his earlier dream, reached out to him with sad eyes.
Suddenly hands were grabbing at him from every direction. He began to panic. He tried to avoid the hands and move away, but only felt paralyzed. He was finally able to move his head quickly from side to side and shook himself awake. He woke up in his bed, covered in sweat, and feeling like he hadn’t slept.
Joe needed to think. He peeled himself from the moist sheets and walked through the shower thinking about what had happened and what he was going to do. It was Thursday afternoon. He made a decision. He had three and a half days to figure this out. He would put together a plan that would show him if this phenomenon was real or if he was simply going crazy. Then he would act accordingly.
Movies and books about time travel disagreed on whether or not it was possible, or even safe, to change the present by changing events in the past. Marty McFly made his life better by influencing his parents early in their dating life. Other time travel classics speak of the doom and gloom that can be brought upon the present by doing something as mundane as killing a fly in the past. Joe would have to pick something small and then move on from there. But what could he change in the past that would be fit this category and let him see the results in the present? As any good accountant, he decided to sit down and think about it.
Joe brewed a strong cup of coffee and sat at the kitchen table with a yellow legal pad and a mechanical pencil. He started to think of events that had occurred throughout his life that were traced back to the years he had spent at Maxwell Stadium. He thought about his family, his extended family, his friends, and the other baseball fanatics that he had seen consistently over the years at Maxwell. Finally, the idea hit him. He thought of an event at a game five years ago that, if he could prevent it, would have a positive effect on someone’s life, but not so positive that it would alter history significantly. He had his first test that he would attempt.
The first task was to find the program book for the game. Joe deduced that the program book was key to landing him in the right time period based on his initial experience. Luckily, even though this was a specific game, he could easily remember it. It was in 2008. The Chiefs were in the playoffs against the Tidewater Tides, their AAA rival from Tidewater, Virginia. The Tides had come back to tie the seven game series at three games each. This was the seventh and deciding game. Joe remembered that, in the eighth inning of that game, an event happened that he could easily change and then check the results of that change in the present to help him determine if this was reality or, as he feared, insanity. The Chiefs had gone on to win the game and Joe easily located to the program book on the bookshelf near the TV. This shelf was the place where much of the memorable program books and other artifacts from memorable games lived. The book was on a specially made stand in a sealed plastic bag. Joe retrieved it and turned to face the seat he had purchased last night.
I’m really going through with it. This is a big step. If this doesn’t work, I might have to get help with my mental stability. If it does work…
Joe really didn’t know what he would do if it did work. Would he change the course of his life? At what point? What parts of it would he want to change?
It was too early to think about that now.
Before sitting down, Joe remembered that it was a cool, damp night during this game. He went back to his bedroom and put on a warmer shirt and his Chiefs windbreaker.
He went back to the living room, sat down in the stadium box seat, and put the program book on his lap. A feeling went through his body that was more than a static charge, but less than the jolt one would get from touching a live wire. When the feeling passed, Joe relaxed and fell asleep almost immediately.