Losers Lament

by Rachelle Howe

PE has taught me survival of the fittest. Every week we engage in some grotesque ritual of sport that results in sweat, blood, and tears. The Alphas size up the weakest members of the pack, waiting... watching. We'll fall prey to them. It's just a matter of time.

The worst is Ronald: Ronald S. Hutterman, Esquire. How I loathe that name! It belongs to an obnoxious little red-headed rich boy who belongs to equally obnoxious red-headed parents. They donated the left wing of Richardson Heights where Ronald’s full title is transcribed in giant, gaudy gold print. I hate Richardson too: it is a “very selective, private academy" which prides itself on the “wide range” of vapid pupils it can stuff into the old-style walls. Victorian and ancient, the Academy was commissioned in 1807 by its founder, Lucian D. Bennet, a local entrepreneur -- all of which seems irrelevant to me at the moment, as I am once again pegged with a searingly fast, and equally as painful, dodge ball.


"You're out, Baker!" yells my PE teacher, Mr. Moore. I sulk, as I do every Tuesday, to the sidelines.

“Yeah, you’re out, mouse!” taunts Ronald.

I’m the ‘before’ picture of a supermodel: “mousey” russet hair, and squinty hazel eyes. I’m lanky and awkward. The lower half of my body rarely gets memos from the upper half. I get that. He calls me a mouse -- well, my shoes squeak, but I don’t. Next game, it's on!

Gritting my teeth, I wait and watch while the rest of my classmates annihilate each other.

"Winner! Red team! Blue, time to get back in it! Line up!" Mr. Moore shouts. We comply, fingertips and sneakers resting against the back wall of the gym. His whistle blows and we sprint to the row of red, rubber balls, some lucky enough to acquire them, the rest scattering. PANG! Lucy Archer is victim number one. I scoop up her discarded ball with a flourish that Hermes would be proud of. Ducking behind another girl, I have Ronald in my sights. Oh, soon, I will have sweet justice! Soon I will avenge my fragile and tattered ego—


"You're out, Baker!" yells Mr. Moore.

I sulk, as I do every Tuesday, to the sidelines.


Author's Note: The Assignment: Write a short-short story under five hundred words about an equally short period of time i.e. a birthday party, buying a couch, naming a dog, etc.

Sub Author's Note: I know it's not a poem, but thanks for humoring me anyway.

Posted on 09/04/2006
Copyright © 2022 Rachelle Howe

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