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By Max Sandberg
Of course, after the incident, none of them wished they had met him, but at the time, he seemed like one they 'ought not to mind of, but to feel sorry for, which was how people generally treated him. Jimmy Three-arms they called him one day... "Yeah, you. Jimmy Three-arms. I want you on my team." "Forget him, Joe. He wouldn't be no good anyway. Just looka him. No-un could catch with that thing." "But think if he could. Come on. Our team -- right outfield," responded Joe. Jimmy lugged himself over. No-un could catch with that thing ringing through his ears. He'd show them -- a little extra weight meant nothing. A sound, the ball went flying straight for him in the outfield. He caught it easily, maybe even lazily. Jimmy'd caught dozens in the park during his free time. No different now. "See, that's why we got him. Maybe slow, but sure can catch. Nice catch, Jimmy," praised Joe. Two innings later, Jimmy got up to bat. Three strikes means three chances. One of these should work. The first ball, Jimmy tried right handed, but it felt too awkward to hit. The second ball, he tried lefty, but again, couldn't get enough power. Why do I have to be so weak? Jimmy wondered now. Could it possibly work; my third arm? I have to try so they won't hate me for losing. At first, the pitcher hesitated, as if not sure where to throw the ball. He ended up closing his eye. C’mon arm, don’t fail me now. Jimmy Three-arms took his bat back. -
Jimmy opened his eyes. The ball had gone out of the park, but so had all the kids. He only closed his eyes for a minute. “I knew I shouldn't have used it," he whispered to himself. Why do they always run? Then he noticed someone left trampled into the ground from the stampede that must have occurred near the gate. Jimmy carefully approached him, sure not to scare him by putting on his trench coat over his stomach. The kid looked pretty bad; he called the hospital. -
"Are you awake? Good, he's waking up! Someone call the doctor." "Where am I? Gah, not you. Get me away from that freak," yelled presumably the kid. "What seems to be the problem? The patient is awake?" quite obviously the doctor asked with some concern. "How did I get here? Did it bring me?" hissed the kid. "What's wrong with him? I saved his life. Why doesn't he accept me?" argued possibly Jimmy, most likely in a corner. “I didn’t save his life, I caused this.” "Jack, do you have some problem with this kid?" came a stern voice, implying the father, so you don't have to get confused. "Dad, this kid was the one who put me in here. Which reminds me, how long have I been here?" "I believe I can answer this,” came a profound voice. “Jack, you've been in a coma for eight years. As unfortunate as it is, it means you will never get a future as a working man. You'll have to go through high school as an adult and everyone will look at you funny. You must never give up though. Just because you’re an adult without experience doesn't mean you can't go on learning and living. You just need more of a push than some other people," but by the end, he let out a short burst of laughter. "No, really it has only been two weeks, so you missed a baseball game."
At this, the dad got up and stared down Jimmy in the corner before advancing menacingly. I thought as much. I'm out. Jimmy, like a wild animal, jumped up and ran out of the building without a sound for all his mass to produce. "Why did you do that? You scared him off," came another voice, which then must have been the mother, came deduction. "I know, but you know we can't afford this. We aren't rich, Jane." "Let's just be thankful Jack is alive, John, and don't go hunting this kid down," worriedly talked John out of threats of Jimmy came Jane. "I guess you're right, but if I ever see that other kid again, I'm going to... cut of his third arm." -
Jimmy Three-arms didn't really live in a home. He walked back to a garbage pile every night, lying on old blankets with holes so he would at least look decent. If it was raining that night, he’d sleep in a tree or use it for a shower. Jimmy had a home once, a long time ago, but one day his mother threw him out for fear of him and told the father Jimmy was dead. Afterward that, Jimmy would only come up in a conversation every once in a while. "It was congenital. We didn't do anything wrong," they would say. But in their mind, there slowly crept a fear and knowledge that it couldn't have been congenital. A month after the accident, she blamed the father. “Don't matter too much now, 'cause young Jimmy's dead. In fact, I’m leaving,” so ended the argument. There seemed a problem; one last thing to take care of that Jimmy forgot to do before he got home. Then, off in the distance, there came a line. Hard to tell the distance from the night, Jimmy kept forward, but with more caution, expecting. The line seemed not to be moving, so Jimmy relaxed. There materialized an object which flew through the night air and struck Jimmy in the stomach. Bending down, Jimmy saw it was a baseball and knew.
"Hey Jimmy. Remember us from the game. Let's give him a lesson that we won't stand for his kind," one of them snickered. "Let it be known that Josh’s group stopped Jimmy. Step up to bat, gang." Jimmy backed up. Don't want to go through this again. "Leave me alone, I didn't do anything." It was too late to calm them down, for the tension had risen too high. The gang advanced upon Jimmy, who knew he could not escape the wrath of a wave of rocks before he was a good distance away. "C'mon, Jimmy, you know what you did. You took Jack, and more importantly, you showed us the power to take out the entire town. Not all at once, but you couldn't be stopped. Think about it, whole police brigades chasing you down and you not even caring. How could we live with a potential threat like that? You see, you just don't belong here, and I guess we are the only ones going to do anything," smoothly threatened the gang leader. Jimmy had been backing up this entire time, when he hit something soft behind him. He felt paralysis in his legs, as if something were holding him back. He tried to move, but he simply didn’t have control. Jimmy Three-arms, sobbing, took out his third arm. He grabbed Josh, and used his other two arms as a wedge against Josh’s head. After knocking him out, he started shaking. Jimmy remembered this from a time when he was a kid when he threw a fit and could not stop. If only they knew what was about to happen. They did not know, however, and therefore continued to pelt Jimmy with sharp stones and punches. Jimmy's third arm grew angry, and without control, threw one kid five feet away onto the ground. Searching for another target, the third arm proceeded to grab a package of raw hot dogs and put them in a microwave. By now, the remaining gang members were punching Jimmy, who was throwing them off one
by one with his other two arms. When there were two left, the third arm took action. It started suffocating Jimmy, grabbing at his mouth, opening it, and then stuffing hot dogs down Jimmy's throat. Horrified, the spectators ran, presumably home, where they could forget the whole incident. The hot dogs calmed Jimmy down, but when he looked at the ground, he started sobbing uncontrollably until sleep came to free him. -
Of course, if Jimmy had not gone that way, this all could have been avoided. Why did Jimmy go that way as opposed to some other route? The answer is so simple Jimmy himself knew it. It had done it again. "Why are you doing this?" he would yell out into the night frequently. To the neighborhood, this would seem to be just pointless howling from a neighborhood coyote at some inanimate object the moon was, being left remaining as the last from a demolition of the forest left to their kind. Nowadays, Jimmy was caring less and less, but the third arm shined brilliantly from the deserted outpost composite pile in the dull, dark night of uncaring sleepers.
E.Q. "What was Jimmy's third arm?" then “What did the ending mean?”
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