The words I was given to create today’s flash fiction story based on word prompts were

asshattery, conjuncture, clavicle, siren, whipskillet, and Lutherans

Out of the Mouths of Babes by LLD

The Lutherans from the local church were holding their annual summer festival complete with the church softball tournament. The flyers were posted at every store, church and placed on the front window of every car by the kids from the Sunday school classes. It was advertised on television, the newspapers, online and by mail and email.

The week-long event was the major fundraiser for the church, bringing in tens of thousands of visitors. Between tickets, entry fees, donations and purchases, the income from the event covered 75 percent of the annual budget for the small church, the rest covered by tithing, Sunday plate offerings, seasonal festivals and the occasional bake sale or rummage sale.

At this conjuncture of church and non-church going folk, it always amazed Kelly that the players in the tournament seemed to lose their charity and kindness when they competed in the yearly games. The teams competing went from friendly neighbors, congregation and townsfolk to the height of asshattery during the emotion filled competitive tournament. As eliminations progressed in the course of the week, tempers increased on the playing field.

More than one ump had ended up with a punch in the gut or knocked flat on their behinds in the red dirt, followed by expulsion from the game or a technical foul for the troublemakers. Of course that got the crowds involved too and the volume of voices often reached a feverish pitch.

The previous year, Pastor White had ended up with a broken clavicle when players from the opposing team took offense at his hand raised in an unfriendly gesture at them when he slid into home plate past the catcher’s fumbled attempt at tagging him out. Three of the players charged in from the field and tackled the pastor just as he was heading toward the dugout. Everyone close by heard the crack of the bone as they plowed into him, that is everyone but the ump who was off in la la land flirting with an attractive redheaded woman standing at the fence wearing a pair of Daisy Dukes and sporting spiked high heels and a bare midriff.

Kelly had laughed at the blatant distraction getting the ump to look away. She knew the woman was married to the first baseman from the Presbyterian Whipskillets, one of the men who plowed into Pastor White and sent him on an ambulance trip to Mercy General Hospital.

When he was arguing with the ump over questionable calls, she had heard language coming from the minister that would have made a sailor blush. Normally he was a soft spoken, fairly mild-mannered man who said not an angry word to anyone and preached with a gentle soothing voice, but the siren call of softball made him morph from Jekyll to Hyde.

By the end of the annual tournament and week long summer festival, the Lutheran church had surpassed its previous years’ budget intake by 20,000 dollars, which put plenty of extra money in the church coffers, a fact announced by this years’ bruised and black-eyed Pastor White at the following Sunday services. Every event and game in the tournament had been overflowing with participants and gawkers.

Sweet little Sarah White, the pastor’s normally polite and gentle 6-year-old daughter stood up screaming and cheering at the good news and yelled out, ”We kicked those damned f***ing lowlife skum sucking cheater’s bastards asses!” imitating her father and all the other player’s words that she had heard during the games.

At first the congregation was silent in shock at the outburst, but within moments, a roar of laughter went up to the rafters and tears from unstoppable laughter rolled down the parishioner’s faces from laughing so hard. Kelly’s stomach ached afterward from raucous laughter.

Red faced, Pastor White took his daughter’s hand and rushed her out the door.

The next week the bulletin board in the church lobby sported a sign-up sheet for mandatory classes for all softball team members and optional for everyone else in the congregation. The classes were titled, “Learning Good Sportsmanship” and “ How to Be a Good Example to Your Children” with a big photograph of little Sarah White in a pretty dress playing tea party with her stuffed animals pinned above the lists.

The sign-up sheets were full. The internationally known and sought after motivational speaker hired to lead the classes had charged 20,000 dollars total for the two seminars.

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