PW #212: YA Contemporary: OUT OF LEFT FIELD
Manuscript Status: Finished.
Mentor Name: Lori Goldstein and Chelsea Bobulski
Mentee Name: Kris Li
Title: OUT OF LEFT FIELD
Word Count: 67,000
A love of baseball has bonded Marnie and Cody since the first grade. But when a 90-MPH pitch sidelines Cody and Marnie takes his place as pitcher in the playoffs, the curveballs—the team’s resentment, the rival pitcher’s support, and Cody’s true feelings—come at her instead of from her.
In my seventeen years of experience in this thing we call life, I have come to an understanding: there are three kinds of idiocy.
The first I like to call Mundane Idiocy. This is the kind of idiocy that happens when you, say, walk into a dark room thinking you can manage without the lights and then stub your toe real hard on the edge of a table or something. It happens to the best of us.
The second kind I call Voluntary Idiocy. Things like sticking your tongue on a frozen poll or prodding a beehive with a stick or eating fourteen brownies in one sitting would fall under this category.
And the last kind of idiocy is Cody Kinski.
So here I am in the bleachers of my high school baseball field on a cool May night—crickets chirping in the darkness beyond the bright stadium lights, the smell of French fries hitching a ride on the gentle breeze—and I’m on my feet, on the tips of my toes, waiting in vicarious anticipation like everyone else. Usually the excitement level at our baseball games never gets higher than the occasional collective anticlimactic gasp, but our team is far from what you’d call usual. And this particular game is miles away from typical.
It’s the bottom of the seventh—the last inning. There are two outs, two strikes, Kyle’s on first, Cody’s at bat. We’re down, five to four, and our chances of turning it around are borderline zero.