Monday, August 22, 2011

Spanner 13.5: Way to Be a Lady

...from previous

Chaos Angel Spanner — Chapter 13: The Battle of Evergreen Park
Part 5: Way to Be a Lady (Revision 2)

1 october 2014.
The freshman class president, Lady Bird Penner (her full name), is, like her mother, a Southern belle of the most florid variety. Her stated goal is to marry a lord, though this might be a bit of vicarious living on the part of her mother, who married a mere Navy captain. Most people are afraid to make fun of her because, beyond her family’s military and Corporate connections, she has some very dangerous friends (if you know what I mean). Still, Shira and Jennifer are not most people.

She assaults them as they sandwich-hug Mimi. They glare at her. “And what was thatfor?” says Shira with a warning. Expecting a confrontation, a crowd of students in blue begins to gather around them.

Lady crosses her arms stares back. “I should be askin” you people that.”

“Excuse me, your ladyship, but that is called a “hug.?. As in what friends do to friends who just lost their best friends” But I don’t expect you people to understand that. You’re way too caught up in your imperious egos.”

Lady gasps. “Well, I say!

Jennifer clamps her hands together in front of her chin, imitates Lady’s gasp, and says in an even more florid aristocratic Southern accent, “Well, what do you say?” Several kids in the growing crowd laugh.

“Are you two makin’ fun o’ me?”

Together, Shira and Jennifer say, “Yes.”

“You people are actin” like peasants!” Lady turns her head with delicate contempt. “A lady keeps her distance.”

“You know we don’t have a ladylike bone in our bodies, Lady Lady,” says Shira. Several kids chuckle and giggle at her preferred nickname for Lady.

Jennifer flicks out an ornamental Chinese fan, puts the back of her hand to her forehead, and falls back sighing into Shira’s arms, pretending to faint. Then she opens the fan and fans herself delicately. Shira stands her back up.

“That’s not funny, Jennifer!” protests Lady. “Stop that this instant!”

Jennifer mock swoons again, this time for the crowd; their titters grow into laughs. Angrily, Lady turns from them and flounces her way down the hall. The crowd stops laughing and parts to let her leave; they make way because they don’t want to risk getting in trouble with her family.

after school. Several girls, including the female members of Team Bremelo, stay behind to shower together in the girls” locker room near the pool. It still smells freshly built. Shira notices that even though Mimi is showing the courage simply to join them, she remains very reluctant to take off her clothes in front of them. After Shira puts her gym clothes into their bag and puts it in her locker, instead of heading straight for the showers she walks over to the furiously blushing Mimi.

Shira puts a comforting hand on Mimi’s shoulder. “Hey, what’s wrong?” Mimi is too afraid to speak. She can only shake her head. Shira hugs her, making her blush deeper. She lets go and says, “You can do it, Mimi. You know you’re among friends who don’t care what you’re wearing as long as you’re naked in the shower.”

“But I can’t?”

Shira stares deep into Mimi’s eyes. “Yes, you can do it. You’re here to do it. Just take a deep breath and put your clothes into your locker and walk to the shower as if you had no fear.”


“Pretend it’s totally normal for you. Act as if.” Shira winks, then leaves to shower.

“Okay...” Reluctantly, Mimi takes off her clothes and puts them into her locker. She turns to face the showers, takes a deep breath, says “This is normal for me” under her breath, and walks to the showers. She can feels several pairs of eyes pointed at her. She blushes even redder and reminds herself, This is normal. Then she hears the other girls applaud and cheer her. For the first time in her life, she realizes that she no longer needs to feel embarrassed even when no one can see her. For these girls, she realizes, this kind of thing is normal. She feels an elation she has never felt before. She walks proudly to the showers next to Shira, turns on the nozzle, and flashes her a huge grin.

Shira pumps her fist. “Yeah! That’s the spirit!”

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Copyright © 2011 Dennis Jernberg. Some rights reserved.
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