Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 8: Rip Her to Shreds
Part 4: No Blood, No Foul (Revision 3)
Part 4: No Blood, No Foul (Revision 3)
18 september 2014.
after school. Shira sneaks past the security of the special locker room built only for the football team in order to spy on the players and coaches before practice. Deactivating the flash and camera sounds on her phone, she takes pictures of what she finds. Head coach Mobley has his assistants feeding the linemen steroid pills like candy and shooting them up with growth hormone. She wonders if there’s more potent and dangerous black market stuff in those drugs. She notices that Bart isn’t taking any of the drugs. Might he be the connection?
“Shhh.” Dexter puts his hand on Shira’s shoulder.
“Dexter,” she whispers, “it’s you.” They kiss. She sneaks him outside and away from security so they can have a quiet private talk.
“They’re not supposed to be doing that,” says Shira.
“I know, darlin’. But nobody can do anything about it. There’s too many people betting too big. Something bad’s gonna happen, I know it.”
“Seems the big sport’s not the sport but the betting anymore.”
“Shira, we gotta find a way to stop this before it’s too late...”
“It’s already too late. It’s always too late. And we can’t say anything the godfathers can come down on us for.”
Dexter sighs in despair. “Is there anything we can do about it?”
Shira kisses him and holds him tight. “Don’t worry, Dex. I’ll find a way.”
Shira’ apartment. Dexter sits up suddenly in the early morning, drenched in cold sweat, awakened by a nightmare. Shira rolls over toward him, carelessly bare-breasted. “What’s wrong, lover?”
“I’ve got a really bad feeling about tonight.”
Shira sits up and hugs Dexter from the side. “About our night tonight?”
“No. The game. I’ve been getting bad vibes in the locker room for the last month, but it’s gotten really bad this week. Something bad’s going down on the field tonight, and it’s all ’cuz of those drugs Coach has been trying to force down our throats.”
Shira slowly lowers Dexter back to his pillow; she gets on top of him and gives him a long kiss. “Should we do something?”
Dexter nods. Then he rolls her onto her back, squeezes and kisses her breasts, sucks and nibbles them, making her moan...
19 september 2014.
school. Before class, in the library, Polly nervously points out to Shira one of the misfit kids angrily scribbling on a piece of paper. Shira recognizes Kenny Partridge from the Ranking Tournament. He was forced into it for the prestige of his rich and vain Corporate father; he lost so badly that he didn’t even make it out of the first round. Valiant Team have been sexually harrassing him ever since. The Valiants like to call him a girl and persecute him for being emo.
Shira knows Kenny likes to hang out in the library, where “real men” refuse to go out of fear for their “manhood.” She has Jennifer stand watch while she sneaks into the library boys’ lavatory while it’s empty. Carefully, she digs through the paper towels in the trash bin until she finds the paper. It’s a list of all the members of the Council and of Valiant and Pretty Teams. Before she leaves, she folds it up and sticks it in her bra.
Charmian, wearing her cheerleader uniform, confronts Shira in the hall. “What’s this rumor you’re spreading about steroids?”
Shira flashes a cockeyed smirk. “Your Highness, it’s [air quotes] ‘man essence.’ Don’t you know your Social Darwinism? A man’s gotta get every advantage in the blood-red Tournament of Nature.” She winks wickedly.
Charmian harrumphs contemptuously, turns on her heel, and flounces away.
“You suck!” taunts Freddy.
Nearby, Leila opens her locker only to find a barbaric shrunken head staring her in the face. She faints dead away; Shira hurries over to catch her before she hits the ground hard, then gently sets her down. She stands up to look at the head. Jennifer runs over. Shira takes the head out so they can inspect it. Two blond pigtails fall down to each side.
Jennifer asks, “Looks like Bunny Strakeljahn’s. One of Ollie’s souvenirs?”
“Won’t Bunny herself be amused when she comes back.”
They hear giggles behind them. They look that direction and catch a glimpse of Debbie, Kelly, and Christian scurrying away.
period 1. Leila is disturbed to find her textbook for this class gone, replaced by an obsolete edition. Shira loans Leila her own.
“Fifteen percent,” Jennifer corrects Mr Smith.
“Are you denying my expertise, Miss Blair?” he huffs.
“As a certified amateur historian, yes. Oh, and by the way, it was even better in the Soviet Union than it was in the Old Confederacy. Communist Party membership was strictly limited to five percent.” Her sweet smile says So there. She strokes the shrunken head’s long hair.
After class, she blocks Kelly’s way just outside the door, shows her the head, and smiles. “Do you know what this is?”
Kelly resists the urge to scream. She shakes her head. “Uh, w-what is it?”
“It’s what’s left of someone who is not a Final Girl. Back on Blake Island, I took extreme measures to avoid becoming this, and that’s why I’m a Final Girl. So please don’t provoke me. You might not like it.”
period 2. Students scream as the spiders get loose. Some of them squash spiders while the more squeamish flee the classroom screaming. Mr Jones climbs up on the desk and desperately tries to yell for order.
Once the spider problem is dealt with, Mr Smith demands, “Who did this? Who’s responsible? Whoever did it gets a week’s detention! Confess!” Even Shira looks at him innocently and shrugs.
After class, hiding the head behind her back, Shira sneaks up on Christian. “Boo!”
“Eeek!” Christian spins around to angrily confront her. “What in God’s name do you want, Thomas?”
Shira holds the head right in front of Christian’s face. “Your idea of a funny idea, I presume. Didn’t turn out too funny, actually.”
“Get that thing out of my face!” Shira lowers the head to her side.
“I’ll tell you what, Christie. If any harm comes to Leila, I’ll tell Rob you did it, and he’ll hate you forever. Better yet, I’ll tell Nancy you tried to hurt Rob. Now won’t that be funny.”
“Please, please get away from me.”
“Don’t make him hate you.” She smiles and sashays away.
period 3. Shira and Jennifer decide to speak only French in Mrs Turnipseed’s class just to bug her. “Pourquoi?” asks Polly.
“Elle ne parle pas anglais,” replies Shira with a wink.
Leila decides to add some dirty French of her own, making Shira and Jennifer laugh helplessly and trade French obscenities of their own. Their argot puzzles the few other students who actually know some French. Debbie, known hater of Romance languages, storms out in a huff. Mrs Turnipseed angrily kicks Shira, Jennifer, and Leila out of the class.
“What was that for?” asks a flustered Leila.
“Debbie,” Shira says. “You stay with Jennifer, I’ll go have a nice chat with Miss Becket.”
hallway. Debbie opens up her locker as if trying to tear off the door, throws her books in, and slams it shut. When she turns to go back, she finds a blond-pigtailed shrunken head staring back at her. She shrieks and jumps. The head lowers to reveal the grinning face of Shira. “You—”
“Where’d you get this. From daddy? Does he have a collection? Sometimes the one-eyed man likes to surprise me. So where’d he get it?”
“Contraband seized from a serial killer? What’s his name?”
“Uh — Thorwald?”
“As in Oliver? Say, I know him. I beat him up after he whacked that baby-raping senator back in D.C.” Shira takes a good look at the head. “Say, isn’t that from one of the whores he and his butt-buddy got away with killing? Ah, folie à deux, like Kelly and Charmian...”
Debbie throws a punch at her head; Shira easily ducks it. She watches Debbie run away.
library. “Jen, I’ve got us one little lead, thanks to Debbie,” says Shira.
“Did she say anything?”
“After I laid out my theory, she guessed our dead cutie may have been the work of our old fiend Oliver Thorwald.”
“Which strongly implies that he’s got something to do with Leila.”
“I sure hope not...”
stadium. Another Friday night high-school football game, and the Bremerton Knights are continuing their long tradition of losing. In the summer, the creaky old stands of Memorial Stadium light up with the victories of another team in another kind of football, the Bremerton Pumas of the Kitsap Soccer Club, as they continue their quixotic quest to join Major League Soccer. On weekend afternoons during the first semester of the school year, the high school soccer teams own their competition even as Dorian’s new lacrosse team struggles for wins on Saturday mornings. But on Friday nights in the fall, it becomes home to the latest in a long tradition of losing teams. After three hard quarters, after which the Knights fall behind the Peninsula Seahawks 30-7 (a typical Bremerton score, with the one score resulting from Dexter’s 55-yard TD run), team captain Bart Green complains to his defense: “What the hell are you guys doing? I came here to win! I didn’t wanna be saddled with a bunch of losers!” Hoping for a last-quarter comeback, Bart pushes his defensive teammates (and bullies the coaches into pushing them) to the breaking point.
Peninsula still score two touchdowns on them. The biggest defender on the field breaks.
Injured on the play, 350-pound defensive tackle Joey Brown goes on a rampage. The offensive lineman who hurt him insults him again, but Joey is no longer in any condition to handle it; the two fight viciously, and Joey ends up killing him accidentally. In his blind fury, he beats his way through an army of players trying to stop him, injuring several on not just the opposing team but his own, killing an official. The line coach runs onto the field to scream at him; Joey strangles him to death. Not even police in riot gear can handle him. He has to be put down with an elephant tranquillizer. The students in the stands can only watch in horror. Some of the cheerleaders have to be put under sedation and sent to the hospital to recover.
Head cheerleader Karen collapses into her cousin Shira’s arms. “I knew this would happen eventually!” she sobs. “I knew it!” Dexter runs over from his place near the coach on the home team sideline to hug Shira and Karen as tight as possible; they put their arms around him. Dexter cannot keep himself from crying with Karen, and his tears make Shira cry. Their night together will have to wait.
Shira mutters darkly, “Die Young, Die Strong, Dianabol...”
principal’s office. Vice Principal Falconer locks the door to her private office and turns to leave when she sees Shira. She jumps in shock.
“What the hell are you doing here? You’re not supposed to be here!”
Shira is not smiling. “Have you seen what just transpired down on the field tonight?”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
“As in player berserk, three dead, game forfeit? More egg on this school’s collective proverbial face? This time it’s sticking, and it stinks.”
Falconer storms up into Shira’s face and barks, “We have to win any way we can, just like any other team. That’s the way it is, Miss Thomas, whether you like it or not.”
“Anything it takes, yeah. Such as driving football players into complete... steroid... psychosis... just to get even the slightest edge over the competition, all for the sake of the all-important bettors. This was ’roid rage, Major. And it just lost us the game and the last shreds of your potential prestige. Think about it, Major.”
“Get out of my office right this—”
“Steroids! Do you know where you get ’em? Of course you do.” Shira leans closer to the vice principal and flashes her a “gotcha!” smirk. “Of course, you can’t get ’em through legal channels. After all, they’re banned from sports worldwide. I’d like to know who you got the stuff from. Who knows, I might even know ’em.” She winks.
Falconer gnashes her teeth. “Even if I did anything ‘wrong,’ no one will ever believe you. You simply don’t have the standing.”
“The pull, you mean. Anyway, I’ve done what I came here for, so now I’ll leave.”
Shira spins on her heel. Slowly she strolls to the door. She turns back to smile at Falconer and fire one last Parthian shot. “Consider yourself lucky you were able to keep this in the dark this long. But you’d better hope now that this remains between us. Otherwise, I’ve got video.” The smile vanishes. Shira exits the door and slams it.
Honey, be extra careful with Shira Thomas, Alan Fleer had told her. She’s more dangerous than you think. Especially if she finds out about us. She had laughed then. She believed their secret was safe. But for the first time, Honey Sue Falconer realizes the full import of his words. For the first time since she came to Bremerton, she truly knows fear. She takes her iPhone out of her purse and calls him.
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Copyright © 2011 Dennis Jernberg. Some rights reserved.
[Revision 2, 7/19/11: Mostly unrevised from the first draft.]
[Revision 2.1, 10/2/11: Corrected text errors and one big HTML error.]
[Revision 3, 10/14/11: Corrected text errors, slightly expanded scenes, added new school scenes dated 9/19/14 (after the first scene set that day).]
[Revision 3.1, 10/22/11: Callbacks to 3.1.]