Copyright 1981 by Robert Red-Baer
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without express written consent of Robert Red-Baer.
"William!" An ungodly sound,
that name. The ugly sound pierced
his eardrums-- a little dart sticking in his comfortable brain.
There were thousands of little
William darts inflicting little
William wounds underneath his skull. Every time one would loosen up and
fall out, she would stab his mind with a replacement.
He could kill his mother for
giving him such a sharp name.
He would kill her now if she wasn't already dead. He really would.
"Why don't ya shut that ****ing
trap, Fish Mouth!" His wife,
right behind him, didn't hear it of course. He never could shout it
enough to penetrate her impenetrable brain. She doesn't like cursing,
Marian says cursing is bad. She refuses to believe they actually do it
in bed-- ****ing, that is. And as far as Marian is concerned they don't
"****", they "make love," and the two are not related in the least to
other. William could care less what they called it, or if they ever did
it again. He'd just as soon go to a football game as dirty-word with
wife. In a few minutes he would turn the TV on-- the Green Bay Packers
were playing. The blank screen stared quietly at him as he sat back in
the armchair and waited, Marian swaying silently behind him. Ah
football. Those were the days-- the days of William
the great end,
the greatest pass receiver of Middletown High School.
"Give me a W!"
"Give me an I!"
"Give me an L!"
"Give me another L!" He didn't
mind being called William
then. No sir, not then.
"Give me an I!" The seven
cheerleaders jumped up throwing
their legs apart and William would make that amazing cutaway catch he
noted for. He charged and dodged over the goal line, leaving all his
attackers sprawled behind him on the perspiration stained grass field.
All the fans screamed and jumped up and down and hollered with ecstasy
and the cheerleaders jumped and threw their legs apart.
"Give me an A!" Marian was a
cheerleader then. One of the
seven that jumped up. She didn't jump any higher or spread her legs any
further than the rest of them. She just happened to be the one he
"Give me an M!" M
stands for Marian. That ass. That
Marian. Better at leading cheers than anything. Better jumping and
her legs than lying down and spreading them.
"What does it spell?!"
really hurt. That one really hurt
his sensitive mind. He felt it push and poke-- the hated dart pushing
poking through his mind-- touched that sensitive area, the funny bone
his brain. He had to stand up and shout. It was something he had to do.
"I'm not a dart board!" he shouted, "My mind is not a dart board!" He
much better and sat down again.
Looking at the old High School
pictures on the wall and his
football trophy made him feel just like he used to. Good
Manders, the passes he threw. The passes that felt
so good when
William pulled them down into his body-- holding the football close and
protecting it from his vicious attackers-- practically pressing it
himself as he carried it for a touchdown. Then the crowd would cheer
the cheerleaders would jump up and down, Marian included, and he and
would hug each other and congratulate each other for being such a good
"Yea team!" The crowd shouted
and shouted, "Yea team!" and
"Yea Harry!" and "Yea William!" The unbearable roar of the crowd was
music that sent blood flying through his body. Blood never ran so fast
as it did during those moments. The great moments of the football
Blood zooming. THE BLOOD ZOOMED AND CHARGED THROUGH HIS BODY! "
That game was almost as good as
a good lay, eh William?!"
"That's right, Harry. Maybe even
better, eh Harry?!"
"Nothin's better'n a good lay. I
know that, William."
Harry was the best quarterback
in Middletown High, the best
they ever had, until he quit the team and got married. That fool had to
get married, because THAT FOOL GOT A GIRL PREGNANT!
never played football again. William cried when he found out and then
went to Marian-- touched Marian-- talked to her-- ate her food-- rubbed
lips-- pulled hair-- ate ice cream-- hated Marian and married her. He
her and slept in the same bed with her.
He looked at the blank screen
again, avoiding Marian's bug-eyed
stare from behind his head. It had been fun searching through the old
earlier and finding her moth eaten cheerleading outfit. She
so nice in it. She used to jump up and down;
spreading her legs
for the cheering crowd, she really looked great back then. When they
first married they were called the all-American couple. The all-star
and the toe-touching, leg spreading cheerleader. He looked at the large
white "M" in the center of her maroon sweater. It stood for Middletown.
No! It stood for wide mouth Marian-- her mouth all stretched and
from leading cheers. His eyes came back to the TV screen, he would turn
it on any second now.
Without turning, he shouted,
"Shut up, Stretch Mouth!" He
knew she wouldn't hear it. Marian was posed in mid-air with her legs
apart-- her hands touching her toes. William walked over and dusted his
trophy. The best end of "seventy-nine" and Harry was the best
and Middletown was the best team. He turned on the TV and the crowd
and cried with joy. Marian always did look nice in her cheerleading
the maroon skirt and panties and the white socks and tennis shoes. Yes
it looked real nice on her.
He had to tell her and he did,
"Stop throwing those darts
at me. I don't want anymore darts in my mind. I am not a dartboard!" He
looked up at the light fixture and the rope hanging from it. He never
it would hold a hundred and twenty pounds. "The Packers are playing the
Colts today, Marian. It's nice that you're cheering for them. You never
liked Harry, did you? Well no matter, he doesn't play football anymore.
He's the quarterback that had to get married, remember?" Marian was
in mid-air with her legs spread apart. They were announcing the
line-up for the Packers. If it wasn't for dart spitting Marian, William
would be in that line-up, he really would be. He sat down to watch the
game and there was a dull thump behind him.
William stood and walked back to
Marian, "Now look what happened.
Your knot came loose and you banged your leg against the chair." He
lifted her leg and tied it back to her wrist. "Stop sticking your
out at me Marian. It's time to start cheering for me."
William pulled his green helmet
over his ears and fastened
the chin strap as he pulled away from the huddle and moved into his end
position. The crowd was roaring and jumping up and down, blood ZOOMED
CHARGED through him as the ball was snapped. William ran down the field
and made the cut he was famous for, pulled the ball from the air, into
his gut and hugged it tightly, keeping it all to himself. Marian was
him in her cheerleading outfit. She was touching her toes in mid-air
her legs apart. But she wasn't cheering, everything else was usual, but
she wasn't cheering. A little dart floated from her protruding tongue.
It hit William in the mind and
he dropped the ball, much
to the disappointment of the crowd.
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