October 27, 2004 by Josh Trudell

The radio whispered in time with the soft whistle of air through tubes, rising, falling and rising again. Outside, the season’s first snow fluttered down, catching the window’s glow before landing on maple leaves still tinged with orange and red. They would be brown and dead when the snow melt uncovered them in the spring.

Inside, framed yellowing photos of men in wool uniforms, wearing caps at the jaunty angle of a seven-year-old boy, covered the walls. Neat stacks of plastic cubes, each holding a ball with faded blue ink on one side, lined a bookcase.

The radio sputtered a bit, and his rheumy eyes rolled in response. “Foulke…” he muttered, squinting in pain and frustration.

A crumpled blue cap with a spoked red B hung from the top right corner bedpost, where it had been religiously placed every night for the last three weeks, after being thrown and catching there during a blowout loss. The effort had cost him a bloody coughing fit, but he couldn’t stand it any longer.

The next night, a miracle had happened, and like people all over New England, he didn’t change a thing for the next three weeks, so the cap stayed where it was.

Now, he couldn’t change anything. He listened, but his eyelids grew heavier and heavier. They settled closed as the radio sputtered again.

“…"Swing and a ground ball, stabbed by Foulke. He has it. He underhands to first. And the Boston Red Sox are the World Champions. For the first time in 86 years, the Red Sox have won baseball's world championship. Can you believe it?"

The roar of the crowd was as loud as if he was sitting at the game…and then it broke off into static, which died out.

The growing storm whipped away the signal, leaving him silent, in silence.