The patio section of Walnut Hill was filled to the brim with people. All drawn from the former Episcopalian gently and Roman Catholic elite of Vicksburg. Here, ladies dressed in long flowing black cocktail dress's sipped wine from goblets of made from fine crystal. In front of them there stood something puzzled the onlookers a booth of some kind. Three of the booths sides where enclosed with hard clear plastic, the other side, the one facing the ground was open.
Adding to the mystery of the onlookers, there could seen sitting inside of the booth a wooden three legged stool. Adding to the mystery was the presents of a clear storage tank. A yellow cork had been placed in the center of the tank, the stool was located under the cork. Flanking the tank where two cheerleaders dressed in there uniforms.
To the left stood a girl with brunette, her long brown hair was pulled back in a sporty ponytail. A bundle of blue and white ribbon had been tied around the base of the ponytail. She wore a form fitting sports shirt that was emblazon with letters "SKA" the shirt was stripped with blue and white strips. The shirt was tucked into the waistline of a blue and a white stripped pleat skirt. White athletic ankle socks and white sneakers rounded out the outfit.
To the right there stood a girl with bleach blonde hair, her long golden locks was likewise pulled back into a sporty ponytail. Instead of blue and white, green and yellow ribbons had been tied at the base of her ponytail. She wore the same uniform as the girl to the left. But the letters "SJA" where emblazon her shirt and her shirt and skirt was stripped in yellow and green too. Like the blonde hair girl, white athletic ankle socks and white sneaked finished off her outfit as well.
"Welcome," Came a sudden booming voice. The voice belonged to a tall, lean man dressed in a rented tux. His short black hair was slicked back and a sly grin crossed his face. "Welcome, ladies and gentleman to the first, and we hope not the last. Walnut Hill Charity Vote. Tonight we have two lovely cheerleaders from two rival schools." He said smiling softy. The young man took a deep breath before peering toward Susan.
"to the left. We have the lovely Ms. Bell of St. Katherine's Episcopal Academy." He said smiling softy as he walked up to Susan and held the cordless microphone up to Susan. "Would you mind telling us a little about yourself. I mean." He smile turned to the gathered crowd and winked. "Many of us know about you, your quite the headline chaser. I mean you've been in more write ups in the last four years than most aldermen here." He said. The little remark caused few to chuckle and a few to scowl.
Susan blushed and peered toward the young man. Taking a deep breath she folded her hands behind her back in a very lady like fashion. Releasing her deep breath she peered into the microphone and started to speak.
"Well, I'm Susan Bell.. most just call me Sue or Susie. I'm a sophomore at St. Katherine's Episcopal Academy. I've been into cheerleading since my eight year. Kind of young to game. But I'm learning."
"And what got you into cheerleading?" He asked smiling as she noticed her cheeks flushed with color. "And do you have any other hobbies beside cheerleading?"
Susan blinked and blinked again as she slowly opened her mouth and started to speak. I was kind of drafted by our couch Mrs. Berkins, she kind of made me a honoree member of the squad. While I was just a 'Honoree' member." She held up her two hands and with her fingers made the "Quotation" sign when she said 'Honoree'. "I was allowed to do all kinds of fun stuff. There was a dunking booth and a pie throwing event. And heck, I was even allowed to cheer in some games. I'm a fast learner, so I learned the basic cheers real quick. And over the summer I learned the more advanced cheers and even attended a few cheer camps." She paused. She could feel all eyes trained on her. "I guess it paid off, because I made the squad for real this year."
"Okay cool." The guy said. "We'll thanks for being part of our show. We'll get back to you in a bit." And with that he walked across and peered toward the blonde haired women. Smiling a little he held the microphone up to her.
"And you must be the lovely Catherine Stark." He said smiling as he peered toward the blonde beauty who seemed more composed. "it's a pleasure to have you here today. I must say your performance in this years production of 'Gold in the Hill's' was amazing again this year.
"Thank you." She said smiling. As she fluttered her eyelash's toward the young man standing before her. "I try to bring some Jackson, charm and refinement to this small backwater. I'm flattered you have chosen me to take part in this.. This little vote." She said sighing softy. A mummer of approval's floated among the gathered crowd.
The young man nodded his head. He was quickly finding Catherine not as fun or as shy as Susan. Putting on a fake smile, he moved onto the next question.
"So, beside being a budding actress, do you have any other hobbies. Our are you a career cheerleader?"
"I'm a career cheerleader. Unlike some," She shifted her eyes toward Susan who was blushing like a bride at the alter. All the eyes focused on her, was quickly becoming a little more than she could stand. "I've had to rely on my own hard work, long hours of practice and.. In some cases family connections." she said, implying in a way, that she was the better cheerleader of the two. Her ploy seemed to work, as a few women started to golf clap as she finished her speech.
"Wonderful." He said smiling softy. "Again it's a pleasure to have you tonight Ms. Stark."
The young man then peered toward the crowd. Smiling again, he started to speak again.
"As many of you know, the local foster home 'Apple Estates' has been serving our community for generations. As such, it should come to no great surprise to all that there sprawling plantation has been turned into one of the leading foster homes in the state of Mississippi. And is the only such home in are region. " He paused and then started speaking again. "Running a home is not cheap by any means. The Apple's relay on charitable donations, government grants and state funding to keep the doors open. Its with this thought in mind, the students of both St. Katherine's Episcopal Academy and St. Josephine Roman Catholic Academy have put there long standing rivalry aside. And from there ranks elected two lovely ladies to put there cleanness on the line."
The young man took a deep breath and then stepped toward the edge of the stage, smiling softy he peered toward into the eyes of a few people before resuming his speech.
"As most of you know. Ad's in both the "Vicksburg Republican" and the "Vicksburg Herald" featuring these two lovely ladies have been cropping up every so often for the last month or so. The whole idea behind those adds was to get you." The young man then pointed toward the gathered crowed of people. "Yes you to donate money toward getting one of these girls slimed, in are slime booth." He then turned away and patted the side of the booth. "In just a few minutes, One of my helpers is going to hand me a envelope that contains the name of the lucky, or should I say unlucky girl. Who will taking the slime."
"But before we do that." He said smiling as he started toward Susan. "I would like to hear a closing remark from each of are lovely ladies." He then held the microphone toward Susan.
A deep blush colored Susan's face as she peered into the mike. Taking a deep breath, she opened her mouth and spoke.
"I would just like to thank everybody who donated there time and money into making this thing work." She said smiling. "You guys are just so, so, so epic." She said giving two thumps up. "Hopefully we've raised a lot of money for the 'Apple Estates'."
"Well chosen words." Pondered the spokesmen. "And you Ms. Stark. Do you have any closing remarks." He said holding the microphone up to the lovely blonde hair women. Who was almost rolling her eyes at the girl standing beside her.
"Even though this idea is totally dumb." She said flatly. "I would thank everybody who donated there money and there time. It really nice of you guys. Hopefully next year we can do something a little better."
"Oh?" The young man said taking a deep breath and rolling his own eyes this time at the attitude being displayed. "And what would you suggest?"
"A Charity ball. There all the rage down in New Orleans, Natchez, Greenville and Baton Rogue. it's a shame, Vicksburg, has to fall behind, considering where already behind in so many things."
"I see, we'll consider that next year." He said in a sour tone of voice, as he took the vanilla envelope handed to him. Smiling softy he cut it open and removed a neatly founded piece of paper. Clearing his throat and putting on a fake smile he said.
"And the one chosen is.." He paused to build the tension in the air. "Susan Elizabeth Bell, who raised.. Twelve hundred dollars. The top three donations included one for two hundred dollars by troop 1400 of Vicksburg. The Bell family also donated some twenty dollars. And the staff and students of St. Katherine's Episcopal Academy also donated some.. Four hundred dollars." The man smiled and looped a arm around Susan. "So, your mum donated twenty dollars to see you get gunged, how does that make you feel?"
Susan blushed a little and peered toward a long red haired women standing in the crowd. A ghost of a small smile graced her face as she watched the women standing up, helped up from her seat by a man with short brown hair. Once she was on her feet she started to make her way toward the stage.
"Oddly enough, I was expecting that." She said blushing, all attention now seemed turned toward her as Ms. Stark gently made her way off the stage as the red haired women strode onto the stage. Smiling softy she offered Susan a little smile as she wrapped her arm around her shoulder.
"We'll." He said holding the door of the both open and slowly directing Susan into the booth with a nod of his head. "I think, we should give her the honor of pulling the cord today aye?" He said smiling softy as he watched Susan, breaking away from her mothers hold and stepping gently into the booth. Once she was seated, she smoothed out her skirt and sat straight back, her head positioned perfect above the plastic nozzle that hovered above her.
Once she was seated, the door was gently closed behind. A louder than normal clicking sound be heard as the door was closed, trapping Susan inside. Once Susan was seated, the host turned toward Isabella, who smiled sweetly as she peered toward her daughter.
"Now." He said smiling sweetly as he held the release chain out for Isabella to take. "I'm sure, being the mother to a sixteen year old comes with its own set of rewards, heartbreaks and headache's." He said in a soothing, oily tone of voice.
Isabella only nodded her head, as she watched a crew of three stagehands, take turns passing buckets to each other. Bucket by bucket, the vault above Susan was filled and soon it was filled to the brim with red slime. Once the last bucket was in place, the workmen returned to the shadows.
"She a good girl." Isabella praised as she smiled toward her daughter. "She does her chores for the most part, keeps a pretty clean room." She paused and folded her arms across her chest. "And is something of a mother hen to the girls of her troop. I swear she fusses over them more than a mother would a newborn child."
That statement earned a few light hearted laughs from the tux wearing gentleman and a few giggles from the women. All the women seemed to turn and smile toward the pair on stage.
"So, all in all she a good girl." He said nodding. "But I'm sure, there have been times that she's really gotten under your skin." He said holding out the cord for Isabella to take. Smiling softy she reached up and took the cord. She gave her daughter a knowing smile.
"On the count of three, pull that cord." He said as he started the countdown. Once the magic number three was reached. The cord was pulled and a massive waterfall of ice cold slime was released. The massive downpour drenched Susan's shoulders, causing her squeal in shock as the thick, cold sludge ran down her shoulder blades and into the creases of the outfit.
Within seconds the downpour was doming at the top of her head, splattering the thick slop in the four directions before settling down into a steady downpour as the blue messy totally covered her head, soaking her ponytail and covering her top. Soon her tanned legs where covered in soupy mix and her white sport shoes totally covered. A chill was settling in over her spine as the coldness from the slime was starting to seep down into her sporting outfit. Slowly a small smile formed across her red painted lips as she tossed a few droplets of slime down upon the floor.
"Well Susan." The host said smiling. "We all know you love to chase a headline, so.. We'll be looking for this story in the tomorrows edition of the 'Vicksburg Republican'."
Susan could nod her head softy, for her tongue was quite tongue tied. The host only smiled another smiled, that appeared both amused and feral at the same time before shouting.
"Aright everybody! That's the end of things. We hope you had a good time, and thank you all for your donations."