Brooklyn, Bewitched

A Short Story

All Brooklyn is under a spell.

Radios blare from every apartment—the game sounds as if it's being broadcast from one distorted loudspeaker—and the moment the last out is called, the bleating begins. Babe O'Leary hears the cacophony from every direction: every driver in Brooklyn must be leaning on his horn.

By the time she gets herself down the stairs and out into the street, the borough's gone mad. Even sleepy Eleventh Street is jammed. A cabby pulls his hack over and jumps out to kiss the cheeks of housewives who look like they're auditioning for a burlesque routine. Up the street two young mamas who've brought out pots and spoons to join the racket dance around like trained monkeys, their toddlers pirouetting at their feet.

Babe says, “Whoopdeedoo,” but she doesn't need to lower her voice to assure her safety in this mob. No one hears her. The Brooklyn Dodgers are the National League champs and no one is paying the least attention to Babe O'Leary, Yankee Fan. Her neighbor Nosey Bruscelli perches up against a fire hydrant, shaking her fist like a demented demon. When's the last time Babe saw Nosey outside the building? Has she ever, in fact, seen Nosey outside the building? She approaches warily.

“I thought you were a Joe DiMaggio fan.” In the crisp fall...

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About the Author

Valerie Sayers, chair of the English Department at Notre Dame, is the author of six novels, including The Powers.