Void Tales #3: Batter Up

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It was a warm summer’s day. The grass was the greenest it’d been all year. A light breeze wafted through the blades, inspiring them to dance to its gusty rhythm. The cheers and calls of a gathered crowd seated in simple wooden benches tiered to maximize visibility filled the surrounding fields. Young humans played a game of ball. The one where someone throws the ball and someone else hits it with a very specifically shaped piece of wood. If the person who hit it did so well enough, they’d be able to run around the designated game area. As long as they hit certain spots and didn’t get touched by the ball, they could keep running until they got back to where they started. That meant they scored a point.

Yes. It was that game. The people seem to love it very much. Sometimes, though, they get a bit too excited. Perhaps even aggressive… 

Sometimes the older ones start screaming instead of cheering. It makes the little ones nervous and upset, but the big ones like to think they know what’s best. They say mean things. Things they don’t mean, but they want their specific spawn to win. It’s very important that their spawn is the one that makes the points. As a team sport, it is not understood why teamwork is not encouraged over individual achievement. The little one with the wooden bat is mostly alone. Its teammates are either spread across the field on their progress markers or well behind them in a protective seating area. Yes, the one with the wooden stick is fairly isolated, but it is not understood why they are heckled so from the seated onlookers. The ones on the field also get berated when they fail to retrieve the ball correctly. It is somewhat disheartening. The little ones do their best. Sometimes the big ones don’t see it that way.

A game, is what they call it, but sometimes it looks like a blood sport of sorts. Unless clothes are stained or lips split, the little ones didn’t play hard enough. It is as though some games are not designed to be fun. A strange concept, but one to be easily understood. Conflict manifests in many different ways. Sometimes it looks like rival teams scoring points. While it is technically game, it is a contest of skill. The better team will go further in their bid for victory. Most of the time, however, the little ones seem to simply want to play.

The bigger humans have a version of the game all to themselves. They form attachments to teams and individuals and collect items bearing insignia and faces. They wear special apparel and yell at television screens. It is lucky the other bigger ones playing cannot hear them and their heckling or it would surely ruin their performance.

It is easily understood that the bigger, or adult, version of the game is far more important. Therefore, more is perceived to be at stake. What is not understood, is why such vehement lust for victory is imposed on little ones at crucial developmental stages of their lives. If a mature human desired to groom their spawn to play this game with other adults, would they not be more encouraging than threatening? Curious.

Perhaps we should find out how they would react to us playing their game. Would they holler and bellow words of disdain and anger? Would they cheer and shout for our victory? Would we win against them? Could we win against them in a game that they created? Are they even prepared to look upon us with their dim mortal eyes? We could very well blind them. Is it worth the attempt simply to understand this strange game of stick and ball? Is it not too primitive and beneath our ken?

There are enough of us who are curious about these mortal games. Perhaps we could teach them one of our own? Could they even begin to grasp the complexity of what we call games? Would they even find them fun? Probably not. That can be a discussion for a later date.

For now, let us tear open a rift and move through on claw and tendril. Things wrought of nightmares come to play a game of ball and bases. Victory will be ours. How could they ever compete? These humans are persistent, but they are nothing compared to our might.

We shall play your game.

May the best creature win.

Batter up! Or so they say…

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