So once upon a time a gallant knight rescued a beautiful princess from her lonely tower and they rode off into the sunset. That's how the story ends, but what if there was a sequel? Like, let's say—hypothetically speaking—the knight and the princess got married, had two kids, made careers for themselves, and then drifted apart as the years went by. Perhaps the knight was hypothetically named Eddie, the princess Lianne, and they lived in a nice little house in San Francisco, California. Their children, Audrey and Matt, had their share of sibling disputes but did enjoy each other's company, although neither would admit it. So how does the post-fairy tale story begin? At the end, of course.
It was a still day. The air was hot and dry. The sun beat down on glittering pavement, blinding the rushing pedestrians. There wasn't a single breeze to flutter the numerous flags hanging outside the tall buildings of San Francisco's financial district. Lianne sat at her desk, watching the second hand tick lazily toward the 12- willing it to move faster. The stifling office was quiet, poised, waiting for the clock to buzz in the end of another day. But today was not just any day. Today, Giants hats and flags were at the ready. Purses were packed and positioned for quick departure. Today, was the third game of the 1989 World Series, San Francisco Giants versus Oakland Athletics. The City was buzzing with anticipation for the ultimate Bay Area showdown.
On the other side of town, a gardener cut the power to his lawn mower and put away his pruners. The heat of the day had become more unbearable with each potted plant and every flower bed. Eddie's t-shirt was sticking to him as he checked his watch. 4:20 pm; he had 15 minutes to make it all the way to Candlestick to meet his buddies for the game.
Lianne and the girls pushed their way through the crowd towards the turnstiles. Sweaty bodies jammed up against each other as people fought to get into the stadium. Time dragged by as seats filled up and the hum of pre-game betting filled Candlestick Park. Loyally clad in black and orange, Lianne sat on her plastic chair, gripping her mug of beer. Cathy chatted her ear off about which team had the better chance of making the first run.
"Eddie boyy! Over here man!" A skinny bearded man with glasses knocked Lianne's mug out of her hand as he flagged down his friend. "Oh, uh, sorry." He smiled apologetically but quickly turned to make room for his friend.
"Charlie! Hey, how's it going? They're still warming up right??" A youngish man, bright red from the sun or the heat took the seat next to Lianne.
"Yeah, game starts in like, 20. God it's hot." Charlie stared absentmindedly at the baseball field.
"Um, excuse me, would you mind getting me another beer? You kinda spilled my entire drink." The blonde next to Eddie stared pointedly at Charlie.
"Uh, yeah, sorry. See, I only got like, 2 bucks and I need to take the bus home and…" Charlie trailed off with a hopeful smile and a no-can-do shrug.
"Charlie! Wait a second. Did you just knock this woman's beer out of her hands? C'mon, buy her another one." Eddie flashed a caddish smile at Lianne.
"No, really, I don't have enough money." Charlie didn't look very upset.
"Am I the only gentleman here?" Eddie stood up and glanced at Lianne. "I'll get you another drink." He smiled at her again, this time with a definite meaning in his grin.
"Oh thanks! That's really nice of you!" Lianne exclaimed with an equal twinkle in her eyes.
The man returned with two frothing cups of Sierra Nevada's finest Pale Ale. Lianne and Eddie clinked glasses before sipping the amber liquid. Cathy leaned over and whispered something in Lianne's ear which made her giggle and look embarrassingly over at Eddie. Eddie meanwhile smirked to himself as he stared at the small figures retreat into their respective dug outs for the pre-game pep talk. It was then the stadium grew very quiet. The air, in essence, ceased to move. It was as if no one was breathing. A low hum reverberated throughout the ball park. The concrete steps shook with the thunderous fury. The hundreds of mugs of beers sloshed over their sides, staining the floor. A whip cracked, breaking the stadium into a frenzy. The field rolled in undulating waves of green and brown. Screams punctured the stillness, clanking metal fence links clattered to the ground, a window showered a row of A's fans with thousands of sharp, stinging shards of glass. The baseball teams leapt out of their dugouts onto the field, yelping as dust clouded their sight. And then it was over. The cacophony was replaced with silence. A large fissure wound its way up vacated bleachers. The static of a fallen radio echoed throughout the field. And then it was empty.