In 1978, Jerry Hairston, Sr. met his wife, Esperanza, while he was playing ball in the Mexican League. In 1979, Hairston went on a road trip to Oaxaca, and while he was gone, Esperanza was visited by a door-to-door salesman with a wide grin, coal-black eyes, and a disarming laugh. She tried to politely rebuff his sales pitches, and he feigned defeat. He asked for a glass of water before leaving.
Now, it's not my place to spread rumors or falsehoods as to what happened after that, but all I know is that after the visit, there was an egg in the Hairston household. It was a strange egg -- a humming, glowing thing that Esperanza wouldn't let out of her sight. When Jerry would wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, he could hear her talking to the egg. Whispering, cooing, promising.
Then came Scotty. He was a jovial, energetic sort who would have fit in perfectly with the other kids at school if it weren't for the scales and forked tongue. They called him names. They isolated him. They pulled on his vestigial tail. They called him names, like "snake face" and "snake mouth" and "ass snake." He put his head down and fantasized about how he'd get his revenge.
Scotty was talented. He was athletic, strong, and fast. His gifts gave him a shot at a normal life, and he played baseball at Central Arizona College. In March, some of his classmates invited him to go to spring break in Scottsdale, where he saw a few spring training games. He never really remembered who won by the time he got to the bar. He loved the weather -- warm, cloudy days, with just a sprinkle of rain every so often. He didn't have a care in the world.
Until he saw him. Juan Marichal. The Dominican Dandy. He was in the bar one day, laughing loudly at something the bartender had said. Scotty walked up to the pitching legend, sat down, and asked if he could buy him a drink. Marichal looked over, grinned, and said, "Do you know who I am? I'm Juan Marichal, and I can afford my own drinks, ass snake."
The blood froze in Scotty's face. He stammered something unintelligible, backed away, and tripped over a bar stool as he tried to make his escape. He begged the tears not to come, and he was grateful that they didn't until he was well away from the bar, away from the staring ghouls who watched him make an fool of himself. He knelt down. He knelt down and swore revenge.
Back in the bar, a man with a wide grin and a disarming laugh sat in the same stool that Scotty had approached. The man was most definitely not Juan Marichal. He was something wholly different, a man borne of fire, with a silver tongue and a pair of coal-black eyes. He threw the bartender a crumpled twenty and ambled out the door. Though no one could see the wide grin, and no one could hear the disarming laugh in the din of the bar, they were there. They were there.
Also, Scott Hairston is the devil's bastard child and an ass snake.