Saturday, September 4, 2010

The End of Francouer

The wind rushed through Pagan's hair. It tousled Beltran's. Even Bay, confused, concussed, felt its gentle comb. Not Francouer though. As he prepared with the other outfielders to hang glide to Hamlet Field (that's what it's called, right?), he felt no wind at all. No gushes, gusts, gales, streams, rivulets... he was even surprised he had air to breathe.

"Something's amiss," he said.

"You'll try again," said Pagan, but Beltran wasn't so sure. He had felt something was off with Frenchy by a sensation in his nose, that could loosely, but 48% incorrectly be called smell.

"Do you think it's the demon?" asked Bay.

"Could be. It's not his style though. He mocks me on the phone, but he's never removed the wind from my sterling hair."

The others took off, but Francouer, due to intense perplexion and a mild fear of death, did not. He went down to his room. He picked up his phone, though it had not rang.

"Demon?" he asked.

"I'm gone. So are you. Pack your bags Frenchy."

"Enough of your taunts!"

"Not taunts!" protested the demon. "I'm a mythic troublemaker of disproportionate proportions and don't you forget it! But at the moment I'm just trying to be straight with you. Real as applesauce. I'm headed southwest. You might want to see if you can beat me there. Get some good hacks in before I clobber your competency."

Francouer hung there like a three piece suit hung out to dry on a balmy Sunday that had suddenly lost its clothesline, its clothespins, its clothesconcept. In that moment, though he had never had in his many years, and before long it would be long forgotten, he knew the name of the demon that had taunted him from the moment he had graced the cover of Sports Illustrated.

"Thanks Satchel," he said.

"No prob French. By the way, my tormenting of you for your entire career, it's just a bet I made with Nancy. He said I couldn't get you out."


Francouer went to the top floor of the building, where management oversaw.

"Jeff!" said Omar. "Shouldn't you be on your way to um... the field, you know..."

"Village field?" Francouer offered.

"Yes, that sounds right."

"No, I shouldn't. I've been traded."

"I thought I made the trades around here." Francouer shrugged. The phone rang. It was Texas. Texas spoke. Omar said, "Really? Sure! Hey he's right here, do you want to say hi?"

But Francouer was on longer there. He had disappeared, demonlike, possessions in his satchel, on the roof, finding the wind suddenly, absurdly, of-coursely, but not coarsely, blowing his hair, shaking his mop, moving his skin cells and bones, whispering jokes from faraway lands...

... and blowing toward Texas.

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