The ball went up. Up. Up. Out. Further. Higher. Further.
Thirty thousand fans held their collective breath as time stopped and held them transfixed. Glen clutched at his sinking heart. Still there was hope. Maybe. A mighty west wind had held center field yard unbeatable all afternoon. The ball rose higher. Glen's heart sank deeper.
Surreal, it seemed, as the slow motion play unfolded below. Like clay puppets struggling to scramble, but without actual muscles to propel them with any efficient motion. Fate seemed to mold their motions frame by frame in a stop/adjust/stop/adjust/stop/adjust impossible to believe lackadaisical series of jerky hiccups. Excruciating.
The pitcher's pained face was fixed on yonder far yard. The catcher's mask was off, his stance and body language one that said, "Dammit, I told you he'd hit your heat. He knew it was coming. Why don't you ever listen to me?"
The center fielder made his way back. Back. And the ball went up - and back. But wait - a sudden downward trajectory! Glen's heart pumped again with the glimmer of hope, with the scarcely believable but just-might-be-possible chance. He fixed his eyes westward, his mind taking a snapshot of the backdrop of azure skies spotted here and about with puffs of cumulus, his nose registering atmospheric conditions heavily dosed with scents of beer, popcorn and corn dogs. Then the play. The play that would decide everything. This was it. It all came down to now. With his back against the wall, the player leaped - glove wide, high above the fence.
Horse-hide met cow-leather in an eye and ear popping catch that could be heard throughout the entire massive stadium. The fearsome reign of silence that had been lord of the arena began to slowly crumble. The very fabric of the air began to tear apart as thunderous peals of shouts and roars of victory pummeled the heinous dictator and banished it forever into exile.
Glen sighed, let go his grip on his jacket just outside of the heart, and turned to his wife. They hugged, jumped up and down, hooted and hollered together. The impossible had become a reality. The little guys had beat the big bad guys. Celebrations would ring the city's all-night hours alive with the joyous sparkle of a million happy-go-lucky and inebriated townsfolk tonight.
Thirty thousand held their breath as the pitcher let his heat fly. Smack! The ball flew up and away, streaking out into center field like a laser guided missile on a search-and-destroy-every-heart-in-the-arena mission. Glen grabbed his heart and choked, gasping for not only air but some glimmer of hope. Players scrambled about in a flurry. Center fielder was the last chance, the only possible one to stave off certain doom, an end to what had been the most improbable of journeys all season.
The ball went out and up. Just as it seemed all was lost, the center fielder leaped right at the moment when the ball fell just enough to ...
He caught it! The stadium erupted in waves of disbelief and torrential screams of victory. We won! We won! We're number one! The champions!
Glen and his wife grabbed each other and jumped for joy in a hopping happy dance. Hometown would be party town tonight.
Two different styles, different approaches to writing the same scene. And of course you can go anywhere in between. Which style do you like best, and why, and for which kinds of scenes do you think fast pace is better than slow pace and visa versa, especially in the mystery/suspense book genre?