Baseball and snowmen
|I'd had snow imported from Antarctica and for the last seven hundred twenty-nine days, give or take a day or two, I had trained.
Now it was time. I slung the bat over my shoulder and stomped my feet to warm up my frozen toes. Walking out to the batter's box, I squared my jaw and nodded at the pitcher.
The first ball of icy snow came as a curveball. I smirked as I swung, hitting the cool orb hard enough to send it spinning over the pitcher's head. The ball landed with a splat in the middle of the field. I glanced to my left, noting how the chick from Canada already had four balls lobbed past her pitcher. From the corner of my eye I could see Mr. Nigeria smashing a ball into smithereens. I grinned. This was a game of precision and finesse. I didn't imagine Mr. Nigeria would come close to winning the gold.
Thirty minutes of hitting frozen balls into the field had my muscles straining and my heart pumping so hard, I was warming the snow under my feet. From what I could see, my snowman was coming along splendidly. I had the base and part of the middle of my man complete. A quick check on my opponents, however, had me sighing in frustration.
Miss Canada had smacked her last snowball, making a somewhat lop-sided snowman head. Her pitcher was about to chuck a carrot and two pieces of coal at her. I gripped my bat tighter and hit another ball. The snow blew apart and the crowd groaned with me.
Another glance to my left had me shaking in my boots. Miss Canada was swinging at a red, fluffy scarf. I shook my head in disbelief as the material fluttered across the field and landed around her snowman's neck. It looked like Canada was getting the gold.
But I still had time to win the silver.
I signaled my pitcher and he started throwing the snowballs faster. I bit my bottom lip as I concentrated on hitting each ball into place. My snowman grew the rest of his torso and his head. I ignored Mr. Nigeria and fought against the urge to peek at the other competitors around the field. Two pieces of coal came as fastballs. They hit their targets, creating my snowman's eyes. A hat followed, along with a carrot nose. Finally, the pièce de résistance, a blue scarf, came to me as a screwball. I hit, and missed. My pitcher tried again with an orange scarf. I swung too soon and missed again. My teeth ground together as the final scarf, blue with purple polka dots, flew toward my bat. It was the perfect cutter. My bat connected with a thwump that sent the scarf flying across the field...only to land in front of my snowman.
A tear formed at the corner of my eye and slipped down my face as a tiny icicle. The crowd cheered as Mr. Nigeria completed his snowman with a green scarf.
I watched as Canada took her gold, Nigeria his silver, and Jamaica their bronze.
I clapped and congratulated them as I resolved to spend the next seven hundred twenty-nine days training even harder than before. One of these years, I would win the Snowman Building at the Winter Olympics!