The Lions Share

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short story in the form of a news article.

Submitted: January 23, 2012

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Submitted: January 23, 2012

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A A A


 

The Lion’s Share

By Evan Reming

Saturday, March 14th, 1959

 

The year is 1934, and everyone fucking loves baseball. Kids want to be baseball players, adults wish they had been baseball players, and baseball players have the highest self-esteem of anyone, ever. I myself never much cared for the sport, or any sport for that matter. Well, I didn’t until very recently. You see, starting about five or six years ago, a new team showed up. They called themselves the Sathard Lions. They were a group of twenty-five perfect baseball players. The team was literally unbeatable. If it weren’t for their enormous salaries, every other baseball team would have just quit the game forever. Luckily, for the public, money kept it going. The Lions were undefeated for the first 4 years they played. Lions memorabilia started cropping up everywhere. Business was booming for everyone. Even I, who never gave a damn about sports at all, finally started actually caring a little bit. Everyone was absolutely enthralled by the continual victorious streak.

However, since this is not the point of my story, I digress. The part that I and the rest of humanity really became interested by was the breakup. This wasn’t some drama-filled ordeal or anything, just a termination of a group. The newspapers said it was the players’ decision to split the team, that it was an attempt to make the game fair again. No one was quite sure what would happen, as the players would all be invaluable assets. A compromise was issued, where each player would pick a new team to be on, such that no team had more Lions players than any other team. There ended up being more teams than Lions players though, so some teams got the short end. However, the teams without Lions players managed to get the best non-Lions players, all of whom wanted desperately to defeat even one of them. The schedule for the first season with the newly divided teams was created such that only one game involving any Lion was occurring at any given moment, so everyone could pay attention to every single one. This was a profitable decision indeed. The first game with a Lion player team after the split was a landslide victory for the Lion-having team. Everyone was happy with this, as now they had twenty-five teams to cheer for. The next four games were the same way, with an utter victory on the Lion-having side. Game five was the next absolutely interesting game: two Lion-having teams up against each other.

The game was almost at a standstill for a long time. Neither team had scored; neither team had even hit the ball without the opposing Lion getting him out. Eventually, after more than a dozen innings, the unthinkable happened: one of the Lions missed the ball. Finally, the Lions were defeatable, albeit only by Lions (as the opposing Lion was the one who had hit the offending ball). I think I am on the same page as everyone when I say that I wish this had been the end of the Lion’s story, that the most interesting thing that happened was that they could be beaten. However, four days after game five, the Lion who had missed the ball was found dead in his home. The autopsy revealed that the cause of death was a heart attack. Foul play was suspected, and all baseball games were suspended until this was ascertained. After a lengthy investigation, local and federal detective and investigative teams came up with no evidence of anything malicious. Baseball continued.

Game six, seven, and eight were again Lion-having versus Lion-lacking, so nothing happened there. Game nine ended after 21 innings (incredibly quick innings, so this isn’t nearly as bad as it sounds. Again, the Lion who lost was found dead within a week, this time due to an aneurism. The same hubbub surrounded the death: games postponed, investigations, a nation on the edge of its seat. Again, no foul play was found, so games continued. This time, however, the Lion’s catcher, a Mr. Franklin Williams, decided that he didn’t want to risk the same thing happening to him. In a statement he made publicly, he declared that he had “no intention of endangering [his] own life any further, and [would] be retiring from baseball effective immediately,” much to the chagrin of his team and fans. There was widespread discussion as to what the other players would do in light of this. The discussion was cut short, however, when Mr. Williams was found dead.

It was at this point that a panic started. How could the Lions be expected to survive if they aren’t allowed to lose a game, or quit entirely? A new schedule was created so Lion-teams would only face those who didn’t have a Lion, but a week later, all copies of the schedule were found to have disappeared, and the one who proposed it went into a coma. The schedule returned to how it had been. Now the teams were trying to figure out new strategies. If the Lion on one of the teams doesn’t play, will he still die? It was a gruesome set of trials, but every one of them failed. If the Lion doesn’t play, he dies; if the Lion isn’t the cause of the loss in any way, he dies; if neither Lion plays, the one on the losing team dies. The rules were changed to allow for tied games automatically after nine innings, but then both Lions died. At this point, there were eight dead Lions, and the nation was in an uproar. All baseball games were cancelled, but on the days that games were scheduled, the Lions that were to play would die. A press conference was held and the board in charge of the League said, essentially, that they had given up any hope of keeping the Lions alive. It was at this time that the original coach of the Lions decided to show up. No one had seen him since the break up of the team, but he was here now.

There was a second press conference held, but this one wasn’t broadcast, lest it be something useless or embarrassing. I had started working for this newspaper by then, and was present at the event. As I recall, the coach took the podium nervously. He looked as if he hadn’t slept in weeks. After a beat, everyone in the room started shouting questions at him. He began his speech, “I'm not sure how to say this, but the Lion’s are cheating.” The once rambunctious group of viewers stood stunned at the news. All of the Lion’s equipment had been checked, and they had been held to the same standards as everyone else, so how could they have been cheating? He went on to explain everything, how he did what he did, why he did it. There was no hope left for the unlucky players. He apologized, and everyone there knew that he wasn’t to blame. Now, the final in the series of scary events happened here. Every single writer was eager to write the story about this for the next day news, except me. My column ran, and continues to run, only on Saturdays. Everyone who wrote about it experienced one of three things at the moment of completion: death, a coma, or natural disaster leading to a coma or death. No one ever reported on the press conference successfully. I was the lucky one. I don’t know how I managed to be the only one. I’ve been waiting twenty-five years for this. I figure that if I wait until every Lion, the coach, and anyone in a coma related to this all died, then I could get away with it. I'm still not sure if I will. At this point, I don’t really give a fuck. I'm sick of hiding, and I can’t live with it anymore. If I don’t tell, I’ll burst. You see, he di


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