Having optimized her stats to a round one thousand in the game of unrequited love she develops an interest in passing along her pain to the undeserving.

First draft pick: that rookie from work who struggles to look her in the eye at intermission, bowled over with being at the same place, same time at the only pitch happening in this tiny town. Perhaps she will invite him over for coffee and make coffee—pour his coffee into a girly floral cup and then for herself choose wine. When he fumbles his drink onto her carpet she will watch him dither and apologize and let him wonder ever after which of his mistakes was the decider—just as she torments herself with the ever-tightening noose of Why.

There can only be one winner of this world series. Time to bulk up, shrink her heart with a steroid kick and work up a stomach for the gods' game of killing flies for sport.


Carol Reid lives on the west coast of Canada. Her stories have appeared most recently in Matrix, echolocation, Mosaic and Camroc Press Review. She likes the Cubs and the Bucs (it runs in the family).