|The Raining King
Author: Fribe PM
A boy drifts through friends and life in his final year of school, as he prepares to leave his isolated Alaskan hometown. (Moved to Biography)Rated: Fiction T - English - Friendship/Humor - Chapters: 120 - Words: 142,908 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 7 - Follows: 7 - Updated: 06-16-13 - Published: 01-30-12 - id: 2993240
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Friday, March 15th
Alexis cracks my door open so early in the morning that my alarm hasn't gone off to get me up for school.
"Hey," she says in a normal, awake tone and volume. "Hey, are you up yet?"
Her waking me up feels like déjà vu. I roll over to my other side. "Ay, cheechako."
"What did you just call me?"
"Nothing. What do you want?"
"Do you not eat eggs around here?"
I blink and rub my eyes. "What?"
"Do you people not eat eggs?" she repeats, overpronunciating. "For breakfast. There aren't any."
"Then I guess not. Go buy some." My alarm begins to buzz. "Oh, great timing."
I hear her groan in the dark. "My sleep's all fucked, sorry."
"Yeah, so is mine, it's called getting up for school."
She pauses for a good five seconds, still standing in the doorway. "I'm…used to eating eggs."
"Well excu-use me, princess," I snort, and twist my way out of bed and onto the floor. "Eggs are really rare up here, you know, they cost like two dollars each. At least."
"No, I'm making that up," I say, and sidle past her. "I just have cereal every day; I don't know what else we have. Probably nothing like what you get at the academy or whatever."
She follows me out into the dark kitchen and open first floor. Neither of my parents are working today, at least early, so we're the first ones up.
"What am I supposed to do today?" Alexis asks, sounding honest and earnest.
You know, I get where they were coming from, sending her up here basically as a quarantine from her stuffy east coast socialite and hard partying friends, but rural Alaska isn't the best place for someone who likes drinking and is easily bored. It's not a friendly environment in that case. Easy to slip and go under.
I'm not used to hearing her sound vulnerable. "I dunno. Go see the sights, take a hike."
"I think it's raining out."
"Yeah, it does that." If she's trying to play by the rules here, I feel bad for her. She should have just stayed in bed. "Seriously, get outside. It's just rain. It'll probably stop."
I fish out a new box of cereal – in a Honey Comb phase – and pour myself a tall bowl. Three meals a day if I could, if I had to. Absolutely could eat that much of it.
"And then what?"
"Walk around town. There's a lot of cool stuff."
She gives a sulk and slinks back away towards the attic staircase.
It tears my heart out when I see people playing a game that I haven't been invited to. I want to be noticed so that they ask me to join in; been that way since I was a little kid. I'd make a point of walking past wherever the game was going on repeatedly, hoping someone would ask me to come in.
The difference today, as I hop into school on the early side, is that I like the game but hate everyone else playing it.
Blueball has broken out down in the basement level, on the exposed brick wall where a wide hallway dead-ends. The only place indoors where there's a wall and open area tall and deep enough to play it. We call it Blueball, but it has other names depending on where you are and who's playing. I think it's called Wallball in some places.
It's a very easy game to learn. You need a hard, flat wall – the side of a concrete or brick building is best – and another hard and flat surface below it, something paved. There's a ball, usually a tennis ball, or sometimes something bouncy like a racquetball. And you need at least four people for a good game. Four to a dozen.
You throw the ball hard or high off the wall and let it come either bouncing or sailing back towards the group. Someone has to try and catch it, unless you're playing with a bunch of wimps who are afraid to touch it. I hang out in the back with them if I don't feel like getting hit. Here's how you get hit; if you touch the ball without catching it cleanly, where it either bounces off of you or you try to catch it but drop it, you have to run for the wall. Anyone else can than pick the ball up and throw it at you. If the ball hits you before you reach and tag the wall, you're out. Sometimes we play the safer version, where you only have to throw the ball at the wall and not the person if they're touched, but usually only if a nagging teacher's making us do it.
Of course, if you get hit or drop it and have to make the dash for the wall, there's a chance someone could bean the crap out of you with the ball or nail you in the crotch or head. That's the risk factor of the game, and what makes it exciting. And what tells me at times to just hang out towards the back and let the ball come to me on my own terms. Wuss out, yeah.
It's a crowd of people I can't stand playing today; Lil Matt, White Dan, Chris Poland, and a couple of other faceless dick jocks.
"Kurt, you're gay, go away," White Dan says in his croaky, nasal voice.
I stride in towards the back of the group. "Hey, new game, I'm in."
"Well don't fuck it up."
First ball off the wall heads Matt's way. He catches it cleanly, takes a hop, then chucks the tennis ball high, almost up at the ceiling. It takes a high bounce right at Chris Poland. He tries to sidestep out of the way to trap the person behind him, but the ball glances off his shoulder. Everyone sees, and pounces.
"Aw shit!" he yelps, and streaks to the wall.
The ball skips my way; I'm the last line of defense before it escapes deep down the hallway. I let it takes a few more bounces past me before I chase it down and reach it with my back to the ground. I lean down to pick it up before it starts rolling, and somehow botch the pickup. I double clutch it, ball deflects off my fingers and takes another quick bounce on the floor before I swiftly grab it and throw a look back at the group.
"Oh, oh, I saw that, I saw that!" White Dan shouts, eyes widening, and he runs at me.
"Shit!" I drop the ball on the spot and take off sprinting towards the wall. White Dan clips me on the way by, knocking me into a stumble for a few steps, giving him enough time to reach the ball before I'm at the wall.
I guess he got off a good throw, because he drilled me right in the neck as I vault towards the wall with my hand outstretched.
"Yep, you're out," Lil Matt notes, holding the ball.
I fall back and rub my neck. "Yeah, yeah, I know."
"Hey faggot, I got you!" White Dan shouts from down the hall. Right as Mr. Nude rounds the corner from the locker rooms, eyebrows raised.
"Danny, you wanna watch your mouth, maybe?"
"What, what did I say?"
Mr. Nude gives him a droll glare. "Really?"
"What? I said 'fraggit!" White Dan protests. Mr. Nude gives him a wave and starts walking away. He pushes his luck too far. "Hey Mister Nude, you still beat your wife?"
He turns back around on a pivot. "Aaand that's the end of the game. Ball. Give me the ball."
A collective groan. Lil Matt bounces the ball down the hallway to the teacher, who takes out a pen and starts writing up something on a clipboard he was carrying. Hopefully Dan's getting sent away for a while.
And now you know why he'd been demoted to White Dan in the first place. The real Dan never would have ruined our fun.