back into a submissive posture at once, raising one hand in a feeble
salute. 'Yessir, Mr. B.' he said sheepishly.
The opposing team used up all their remaining time outs, blowing the
last ten seconds out into nearly ten minutes before the game finally
ended and the Mad Dogs walked off the field with a 36-30 victory.
Ron left hand in hand after the game, making their way towards the Pink
Sloth. 'Another win for the Mad Dogs!' said Ron cheerfully.
to you.' said Kim warmly. 'But the dance? I thought we talked about
KP.' he said, blushing slightly. 'I kinda got carried away.'
Stoppable.' came a gruff voice behind them. Kim felt a tingle of worry
as about four members of the opposing team, including the quarterback,
stood glaring at them with expressions that were anything but congratulatory.
'Me and the rest of the team were wondering where you learned to run,
but now we're more curious where you learned to dance.'
seem to catch the sarcasm or the hostility that was radiating from the
four jocks. 'You like the bon-diggity moves?' he said cheerfully, doing
a half-baked version of the bon-diggity dance. 'The Ronster's got a
million of 'em!'
him. 'So not the time for it, Ron...' she muttered. If they tried
anything, she was ready to leap into action, but whatever the four jocks
had been planning, they seemed to have forgotten it as they broke out
laughing while Ron danced.
guess.' said the quarterback. 'You learned it from Elaine on Seinfeld,
am I right?'
in his dancing, looking confused. 'Seinfeld..... Seinfeld.....' he said,
rubbing his chin. 'Not familiar with it.... Is it a law firm?' Kim sighed
and put her hand back over her eyes.
a TV show.' said the quarterback, looking smug. 'Nine seasons? Highly
face brightened. 'Oh so that's why your team loses so much!'
he said. His voice carried no malice, he merely sounded like a student
in class who finally understood a nagging question. 'You spend too much
time watching TV instead of practicing!'
players shook their heads and started off. 'If winning means being such
a geek, then enjoy your victory.' said the quarterback, waving
'Heh.' he said. 'I wonder what all that was about?'
her head, and wondered with dread if pictures of Ron's dance were going
to be in the local newspaper when they reported on the game....
Later at Bueno Nacho, Kim tried to ignore it as some of the other diners
who were celebrating the Middleton victory pointed and whispered as
Kim and Ron took their usual booth. She saw some of them doing 'torso
only' versions of the bon-diggety dance and smiling. She felt her cheeks
attention was soon drawn fully to Ron, who was inhaling the Nacos in
front of him, then after washing them down with his soda, he let out
a hearty belch.
said Kim, her eyes narrowing. 'We discussed this too - the face stuffing
hello?' he answered. 'We did discuss it! And as I recall
the inarguable conclusion was cheese!'
Cheese!' squeaked Rufus, who was noisily devouring his own Naco.
her voice low, leaning in closer. 'Ron - don't you remember that thing
about eating too much too fast?'
face went utterly blank. 'Huh?' he said.
impatiently. 'You tried to prove the health class wrong? Binge eating?
Experimental serum? You became a fifteen-foot tall orange behemoth?'
mouth opened in amazement. 'What? When did that happen?'
'It was just a couple of months ago! You learned your lesson and said
you'd eat responsibly!'
Ron said. 'That doesn't sound like me at all!'
heavily and again covered her eyes with her hands.
Club Banana later still. It was nearly closing time already, but she
reasoned there were still a few minutes in which she could gaze longingly
at the things she'd like to buy. Monique's face brightened as Kim came
up, GF?' she said. 'Dare I hope you're here to clock in and help out?'
when I'm actually scheduled to!' Kim answered. 'I just came in
for some 'me' time.'
something blonde and cheesy was missing.' said Monique, looking around
as if searching for something. 'I heard on the radio the Mad Dogs won
again - so where is our hero of the hour?'
the arcade.' said Kim. 'And it's more like hero of the split-second.
Once he saw he'd made the winning touchdown he kicked up his heels and...'
said Monique, her eyes opening wide. 'In front of everybody?
'The full BDD.'
groaned sympathetically. 'Oh girlfriend - no wonder you needed
someplace to hide...'
so much as temporary refuge.' Kim shrugged, going through a set of shirts
on their hangers, and taking a few out to drape over herself to see
if they'd fit. 'Ron's the greatest, but sometimes he can be so....'
- Ronnish.' Kim answered. 'I wish he could be more.....'
said Monique. 'Intelligent? Tactful? Debonair?'
said Kim quietly. 'Just a little... better than he is now. I
know he's capable of it, he just...'
Monique was saying, ticking off on her fingers. 'Socially adept? Insightful?
said Kim, though she was smiling.
interrupt girl, I'm only part-way through my list...' Monique said,
wrist communicator let out a four-note beep and reflexively, she raised
her hand and punched a button, bringing up Wade's face on the screen.
said Wade, but then his eyes flew to Monique. 'Ah... Monique....'
he said, and his voice went syrupy.
backed out of view at once, the Valentine's Day incident still fresh
in her memory. 'Later Kim,' she said quickly. 'I think I gotta - check
the inventory - or something....' and she darted off towards the back
craning his neck as if trying to raise himself out of the communicator
screen to follow Monique's exit. 'Wade!' said Kim sharply. 'You called!
I'm over here!'
sorry Kim.' he said, his voice slowly shifting back to a business-like
tone. 'I just got word that Adrena Lynn is on the move.'
a name I haven't heard in a while.' said Kim. 'I thought after that
one encounter she joined a convent or something....'
out a chuckle. 'Not likely.' he said. 'She's still chasing the ultimate
thrill - and at the moment that means coupling her normal stunts with
robberies to spice things up a little.'
us a location and we're there!' said Kim. 'Once I pick up the Lord of
the Dance...' Kim shut off the Kimmunicator and dashed out of Club Banana
towards the arcade. Evil may never rest, she thought, but that always
made evil tired....
in a darkened dell beneath the overhanging crags of a mountain, a dome-like
hut made of shaped tree branches sat with a thin plume of blue smoke
rising from a hole in the very top.
skeletally thin man stood at the entrance. A number of crows were flocking
to the hogan, perching on the branches of trees that were clustered
around the hut at the forest edge. Their rude croaks and cries grated
through the still air.
done well my friends.' said Maze to the sable birds which jostled on
the branches. 'Return to the forest, but be ready when I call you again.'
And with a storm of flapping wings the birds scattered, rising into
the air and wheeling towards the woods, their cries fading to silence.
and entered the hogan. Inside was a crudely formed statue, a roughened
man-shaped lump of stone. Maze tied a curious brand to the palm of his
right hand with a pair of leather straps and stood before the statue,
bringing his hands together and closing his eyes. He began to chant
in a low voice.
seemed to happen at first, but as he continued to chant, the shadows
which lay on the ground and on the walls of the hut began to shift,
as if the sun were moving quickly from day to night. Maze's eyes squinted,
and beads of sweat began to appear on his forehead. He trembled, gritting
his teeth, and chanted louder.
pooled like dark water around the statue, then crept up until it covered
the stone figure like a cocoon of darkness. Maze's voice was strained
and labored, and sweat was pouring down his cheeks, his face twisted
- Sipimottakiksi, Sipimottakiksi,
Emet - Nikaahtomaana nitaanistsi'toyiiwa!