Pie in the Sky

Excerpt: Abby sits in the bleachers with daughter, Christy, at the high school’s 25th anniversary celebration.

Wolfie wobbled his way into the gym, waving pathetically at the few kids in the front row who cheered for him—probably friends of Ben who felt sorry for him.

Abby was horrified by the sight of her costumed son. “Why on earth would Ben volunteer to do that?” she asked, turning to her daughter who covered her face in her hands. “My God, that thing is rotting at the seams…look at it!”

Ben raised his arms to try and illicit more of a response from the crowd, but that just exposed his stomach, making him look like he was wearing a bizarre crop top.

Christy groaned after peeking through her fingers. “Now you know why I say Ben always embarrasses me at school. He will do anything to suck up.”

Mr. White, the principal, hitched up his pants to cover his rotund figure and swiped at the sweat beginning to glisten on his brow. “And now, the surprise you have all been waiting for…Wolfie here is retiring after twenty-five years as our mascot, and he is looking forward to a little R’n’R, aren’t you, Wolfie?”

Wolfie nodded, his lop-sided head wobbling precariously on his matted fur shoulders.

“And now I would like to introduce you to your new and improved mascot…Timber!”

Through the double doors leading to the change rooms, charged a large grey mass of fur, topped with a snarling row of fangs, and eyes that looked hungry. The new and improved mascot looked like a wolf on steroids bent on ripping the throat out of every student in the bleachers. A few of the girls screamed, and a few of the boys whooped. The cheers from the crowd turned to surprised “Oh’s” and “Ah’s” as the wolf proceeded to crash through every rope stanchion that the thoughtful cheer squad had laid out as a path to guide the furry giant. The wolf was eventually slowed by the ropes and metal poles tangled around him, until teachers ran to help him—which mostly consisted of ducking and dodging while the mascot kicked and thrashed his way out of the mess.

“Oh God,” Christy moaned, “Timber is high on the job.”

Wolfie was knocked to the side by his protégé as Timber took his place beside the principal, who took a few steps back to avoid his lashing tail.

“Er, say hello to the boys and girls, Timber,” said Mr. White, probably hoping the giant bobble head would move out onto the gym floor and terrorize the audience instead of him.

Instead, Timber fist-pumped the air and headed toward the canteen on the other side of the gym, where two pretty girls were leaning on the counter, ready to serve refreshments after the pep rally. One of them blew a kiss at the wolf, who feigned catching it and eating it in a rather rabid fashion. Timber then lunged for the counter, apparently unable to see the large blue recycling containers in front of him, which went flying, scattering juice boxes and cans across the gym.

“Okay, okay…” Mr. White tried to draw attention back to the scheduled program of events. “Now the cheer squad will lead you all in the school cheer.”

Abby laughed as she watched the befuddled girls search for missing pom-poms and try and regain some composure after Timber’s rampage. “Sure you don’t want to join the cheer squad, Christy?”

“I would rather die!” her daughter announced.

“Join this squad and you might not have long to live at all….” said Abby, bursting into more laughter as Timber tried to join the cheerleaders and only succeeded in recreating a scene from a bad horror movie. The entertainment ended early as Timber was dragged from the gym by the coaches, and the girls tended to their bruises and hurt egos.

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