BLACKNESS! Train heard a roar surround him and felt as if he was being sucked into the guts of a jet engine. At first, he could see nothing. Then, he noticed streams of light rushing past him like laser beams on track to the edge of the universe. He was spinning and tumbling out of control through space at unbelievable speed. He screamed but could not hear himself over the roar which vibrated through his bones. Galaxies, planets, solar systems whizzed by in the blink of an eye, but he could do nothing. Time seemed to slow down to a crawl. Train didn’t know how long he endured the trip. He realized it was over when he came to on the surface of some strange moon.
The grass had been mowed just yesterday. The smell was fresh and exciting. The field at Brown’s Corner Recreation Area was alive with the warm-ups of 30 twelve year-olds getting ready for the game. The Falcons were hot this year. They had the best pitcher in the league. A left-hander named McDery who threw a natural inside curve. The Dodgers were on a three-game winning streak Just last Saturday, they had creamed the Giants 8-1. Their big first baseman was a power-hitter they called Train. His real name was Terry, but his nickname stuck after the first game of the season when he shattered the catcher’s collarbone while stealing home. He’d run him over like a steam engine and didn’t even look back when the stretcher came. Train had stretched many easy singles into doubles and triples through the way he chugged around the bases. He put his head down and charged full-throttle until he got there. Not many kids stayed in the way once he got going.
Travel, adventure, gold. That’s what he wanted. Jason dreamed of horseback riding on a rugged mountain trail in search of a long-forgotten mine. Or maybe scuba diving in shark-infested waters to discover an ancient shipload of gold. Perhaps skydiving into a hostile jungle to locate a hidden temple full of jeweled treasure. But not today. Here he was pulling weeds from the garden as sweat trickled into his eyes.