Batter Up! – By Larry Centor
Micro Fiction / May 3, 2009

The pitcher nodded at his catcher’s signal, glanced at the wisp of smoke that was the leadoff batter, and went into his windup. The ball hurtled straight at the batter, who sucked in some wisp, then bent in toward the plate. “Strike one!” said the umpire, pumping his right fist for emphasis. The wisp whirled around and screamed, “Are you out of your mind? That was inside!” “This is your only warning. I called it a strike. Now face the pitcher, or I toss you.” “You’re going to toss me?” The umpire ripped off his mask, stepped right up to the wisp and bellowed, “You’re outta here.” “You can’t toss me. I’m God!” “You’re a batter in a ballgame – and you are gone!” The umpire turned away, the wisp of smoke following in a series of agitated puffs. “I’m not just a god; I am God,” screeched the wisp. “I don’t care who you are. Here, I’m the boss – and you are gone! Any more and I’ll take it to the league office.” “I am the league office.” “And what would you decide?” asked the umpire, quietly. The wisp seemed to shrink as it turned and trailed slowly…