Len Joy lives in Evanston, Illinois. His short fiction has appeared in FWRICTION: Review, The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, Johnny America, Specter Magazine, Washington Pastime, Hobart, Annalemma, and Pindeldyboz. He is a competitive age-group triathlete. In June 2012 he completed his first (and probably only) Ironman at Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
Len, in the beginning chapters of American Past Time excerpted here, Dancer Stonemason appears to live out a baseball player’s dream: pitching a perfect game in front of his family and carried off a hero on the day he gets called up to the Big Leagues by the St. Louis Cardinals, the team he’d followed as a boy. But the duration of game precludes the call up. Still, “No matter what else happened they would always have that game. That moment. And Doc was right. He was young. He’d get another chance.” With a growing family and money beginning to get a little tight, the words seem ominous. Can you give readers a hint of what’s to come?
If Dancer had come out after three innings, as they had planned, his whole life would have played out differently. The doctor is not always right. Sometimes you only get one shot.