Story Go Round 10/19/2001, round 1, #3


Chester McFisticuffs ws an unimaginative gerbil from New Hampshire, right? That's what we all thought that summer, as we passed around our first cigarette. Behind the school house in the garbase can area we divided up the spoils of knocking over the new kid, feeling pretty good about the haul. Mrs. Lowry got her cut, the biggest, for driving, of course. She was the one who brought him up, wringing her hands with her faraway glance. The sighting of the gerbil caused unprecedented panic in Mrs. Lowry's homeroom. The Patrol Snakes the school board paid to circulate thru the school usually took care of any mammal under 1 lb.

No one asked Chester what he thought of all those shenanigans. No one ever asked him what he thought. But there was a good reason for that - they knew that all he'd ever do was stare unblinkingly at them, the small poor-me expression on his furry face eating away at their conscience till even ing.

But behind that fuzzy visage lay the still-sane mind of the boxer. Unblinking stare, Chester had become the image of authority lacing their dreams and every white lie. Even Bobby, with the alcoholic father & oversized spanking paddle, got stomach aches when he saw rodents. Ah the power of the disturbingly mild. It could bring down cards stacked on top of each other precariously, it could make a madman insane. In this case, it was too late for that. They had all gone mad years ago, after the winter of '78. Only New Hampshire had escaped the full fury of the fell wind, and they could never forget or forgive. None of that was Chester's fault, of course. If it weren't for the Patrol Snakes, they'd all have smothered each other by now.

Amber is purple; John is pink; Alan is blue; Terry is orange