Willie & Me

Free Willie & Me by Dan Gutman

Book: Willie & Me by Dan Gutman Read Free Book Online
Authors: Dan Gutman
He put another T-shirt over my head.
    â€œJust to make sure you don’t get any ideas about screaming for help,” he said.
    â€œLet’s get outta here,” Maglie said. “We can deal with the kid after the game.”
    â€œAfter we win the pennant,” Stanky added.
    The three of them went out the door. Just before it closed, Durocher came back, as if he’d forgotten something.
    He turned off the light.
    â€œEnjoy the game,” he said.
    Then he left, slamming the door behind him.

T OTAL DARKNESS .
    Why does this always have to happen to me ?
    I was kicking myself. I couldn’t believe that I had screwed up again . Why can’t everything go smoothly, just once? No matter how carefully I plan things out, whenever I go back in time, something goes wrong.
    It occurred to me that maybe I shouldn’t do any planning at all. I should just wing it. I’d probably be better off. I couldn’t be any worse off, that was for sure.
    Desperately, I pulled on the ropes that were binding my arms and legs to the chair. They weren’t tied expertly, but there were a lot of them and I couldn’t get them loose. I might have made things worse for myself by making the knots tighter. I pulled until I was out of breath and I felt my heart beating fast.
    I tried to twist my head all around and to bitethe cloth over my mouth, but I couldn’t get it off. I couldn’t yell for help. I tried to rock the chair back and forth. It may have been possible to topple it over, but that seemed like a bad idea, because it would be so easy for my head to hit the floor when I fell.
    There was nothing to do but sit there. I was stuck. I felt tears welling up in my eyes. I was so stupid.
    After my eyes had adjusted to the dark, I thought I could see a sliver of light under the door. I hoped there was an opening there. If not, I might run out of air. Maybe I was just hallucinating. My arms and legs were sore from pulling against the ropes.
    Still, I was grateful just to be alive. Leo Durocher and his henchmen could have tortured me, burned me, or killed me. Who knew what those guys were capable of doing in order to win the pennant?
    This is it , I said to myself. This is the last time I would travel through time. My mom was right. It’s just too dangerous. There are too many things that can go wrong.
    I was lucky Durocher and his boys hadn’t found my pack of new baseball cards in my back pocket. Without them, I would be stuck in 1951. Stuck in the past forever.
    I didn’t know how much time had passed since they locked me in the equipment room. I may have fallen asleep at some point. I wasn’t sure. It could have been hours, or it could have been twenty minutes. I thought I heard some cheering at one point. It could have been another sound. It was hard to tell.
    The Giants may have had another eyepiece for the telescope, I figured. Maybe the game was over. Maybe the pennant was already won.
    There was a sound outside the door. Footsteps, and then a hand on the doorknob. Oh, no, they were back! I prepared myself for the worst. The door opened. I squinted from the bright light.
    â€œDon’t kill me!” I tried to shout through the cloth over my face. “I won’t say anything!”
    The light flipped on and the cloth was pulled off. There was a guy standing in front of me. An African-American guy. He was a kid, really. He wasn’t much taller than me, and he couldn’t have been more than twenty years old. He was wearing regular clothes with a light gray sports jacket. He looked like he had seen a ghost.
    â€œSay hey!” he said in a high-pitched, sort of squeaky voice. “What are you doing in here? You shouldn’t be in here.”
    I tried to tell him what happened, but the gag in my mouth muffled my voice. He went behind me and untied the knot at the back of my head. The gag fell away. My jaw hurt, but it felt good to be able to communicate.
    â€œThank

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