Selection from “Stories from Fontana High”

[This is a short piece of a short piece from Book of Perverts, a compilation of experimental erotica by Ric Royer and Miriam Atkin]

1
It was only 8:30 in the morning and an air of nervousness already filled Ms. O’Shey’s homeroom. It was so quiet you could hear an eraser drop, and the usually boisterous students were not quite feeling up to talking. Why? Because today is the big test!

Susie Brannen chewed on the end of her pen, going over possible test questions in her head. Behind her, Todd Banks was so sleepy from cramming the night before, he didn’t even have enough energy to flirt Tanya (by throwing paper clips at her of course!). Bianca and others from her study group sat huddled over her history textbook, flipping through the pages, worried that they may have missed something.

Not everyone seemed concerned about the test. Alex was dozing off with his head on his desk, a couple students looked wistfully out of the pediment-crowned lancet windows at the beautiful morning they were missing out on. In the back row, the threat of the big test couldn’t rattle Max, who was leaning on the back two legs of his chair, hands behind his head, thinking about his moves on the basketball court, fantasizing about scoring that slam dunk to win the game!

Johnny leaned over to Cindy Gorman, who was calmly triple-checking her notebook, “I can’t wait for graduation. What good will the details of the French Revolution do me when I plan on being a Hollywood star!?”

Johnny took advantage of his leaning whisper to get a peek at Cindy’s notebook, knowing that Cindy ALWAYS had the right answers!

“Get a good look, Johnny?”, she said as she caught his wandering eye. “Hey brainiac, I was just, uh, admiring your handwriting!”

They both laughed.

That’s when Principle Rhineblat made an unsuspecting visit to room 301.

“Good morning students. Good morning, Ms. O’Shey.”

“Why, good morning Principal Rhineblat. And to what do we owe this honor?” Ms. O’Shey said with a twinkle in her eye that totally grossed out the students.

“I was just stopping by, and I know there’s a big test today, so I just wanted to wish everyone good luck! Oh, and, uh, that reminds me, Cindy Gorman, may I please have a brief word with you in the hallway please? The rest of you can get back to studying.”

Cindy felt a sudden flutter of nerves in her stomach as she followed Mr. Rhineblat out the door. She likes Mr. Rhineblat A LOT, and thinks he’s really nice, but it always sounds ominous when the principal asks to speak with you! Yikes! He led her down the narrow meander-tiled tetrastoon and settled behind one of the Tuscan columns of tuff.

“Cindy, everyone knows you are a bright student, I would even call you a star student, and being a star student comes with unique responsibilities. I have heard rumors that other students frequently cheat off of your tests, and worse yet, that you let them do it. Now I don’t need you to confirm or deny this, I’m just reminding you that cheating is cheating, no matter what role you play in it. Understood?”
Cindy dropped her head, and softly spoke. “Yes, Mr. Rhineblat, sir.”

“Oh Cindy, don’t look so sad, you’re not in trouble. I just don’t want you to feel any peer pressure from any other students, or feel bad for anyone because of your own scholastic excellence. Helping others sometimes means letting them rely on themselves. Now let me see that smile.” She eagerly smiles for him, exposing a big mouth full of braces. Mr. Rhineblat did not return the smile, though. He gazed intently at her mouth, “Oh gosh”, Cindy thinks to herself, “do I have some toaster strudel stuck in my braces again?!”

Her smile started to give at the thought of food in her teeth, but Mr. Rhineblat insisted: “No, keep smiling. Hold it there.”

Cindy’s eyes nervously darted left and right as she stood there with her smile now unnaturally open. The principle spread his thumb and index finger to the corners of her lips to stretch her mouth even wider, lifting her lips up and down for a deeper examination of teeth and gums. He brings his other hand up to her mouth, and inserts a finger, rubbing it across her braces.

“Yes… yes, very nice”, he says in a bassy whisper, “Mmm, very good work”. More fingers now join the inspection, all the way from wisdom tooth to wisdom tooth. “Tell me Cindy, who is your orthodontist?”

“Da-a sha-huh-ees!” She mumbled from her open, quivering mouth.

“What was that? I’m sorry Cindy, but you’ll have to speak more clearly.”

Cindy straightened herself, and took as deep a breath as she could: “DA-ER SHEH-UHN-EES!”

“Ah, Dr. Stephanies. Yes, she IS good. Very nice work indeed.” He pulled his fingers from her mouth just long enough to lick his index and forefinger, before putting them back against her braces, now sliding them furiously back and forth.

“Wider Cindy… wider.” She strained to open, drool escaping from the sides of her mouth. He was breathing heavily and she could feel its heat against her face as he crouched his back to get a deep look inside. He craned his neck towards her, then back, repeatedly, in and out of her face. He grew red, made a breaking sound, and then suddenly he withdrew. “Okay, almost time for the first bell, Cindy…” he said while removing a handkerchief from his pocket to wipe the spit from her chin, “get back to class.”

But Cindy was frozen, she couldn’t, or didn’t want to move. She couldn’t speak either, she just stared at her principle, biting her lip. She started to whimper. Mr. Rhineblat unconsciously squeezed the moist handkerchief in his fist, staring down at her from his square frame. He seemed to grow taller, and her smaller. He was now towering over her as her dog-whining became more animated. Neither of them felt compelled to break this moment too soon, but they both knew that fun like this couldn’t last forever!

Through clenched teeth, Mr. Rhineblat gave Cindy a resigned order, “Go on, I said get back to class… and good luck on that big test.”

With immediate brightness, Cindy obliged, “Sure thing Principal Rhineblate! It means a lot to me that you consider me a top-notch student, and I won’t let you down!”  Cindy turned quickly, her skirt bounced and twisted with her, and she skipped gleefully backed to homeroom. The ivory dancing satyrs that filled the grottos along the pteroma seemed to grin at her as she passed by, and she grinned back, saying to herself, “Star student! You hear that world? I’m a star student!”

2
From inside the classrooms, a deafening squeal of feedback followed by a few annoying thuds of a tapped microphone signaled vice principal Delaney’s morning announcements.

“Good morning, Fontana high students!! Welcome to another great day of learning and fun!” Mrs. Delaney paused for a moment, waiting for the students to applaud wildly, but – as usual – she was met only with an audible groan.

She carried on with a sigh, “First, a few announcements..” She ran down a list of after-school activities, pep rallies and boring special assemblies. Then she said, “But I have saved the best for last! I’m very excited to announce that we’re going to have our first ever Fontana High Talent Show!”

A buzz of excitement filled the classrooms. Everyone was pumped!

“All you have to do is sign up your act in the front office by this friday, and the winning performer or group gets to perform their piece at the Augusta Springs Country Club’s Cancer Awareness charity ball in the spring!”

Cheers could be heard ringing through the entire school. Brian, the class clown stood up in Mrs. Warner’s homeroom, and screamed, “Now THIS is cool!”

Lilly gave her brother Chad a nudge. “Here’s your big chance, buddy. All those years of playing air guitar are finally going to pay off.”

“Oh, sis!” He said with an embarrassed smile.

Lilly turned to Madison and Heather, her drama club friends. “We should totally do this!” she said.
“Totally!” Chad agreed, butting in with enthusiasm. Madison and Heather giggled with delight at the idea of performing with a triple threat like Lilly, they looked at each other and in unison replied, “We’re game!”

When the bell rang, the students poured into the vistas created from the yawning enfilade, and talked enthusiastically about the talent show. Chad caught up to his sister, who had the rapt attention of Madison and Heather.

“We’ll be awesome!” she said, a note of steely determination in her voice.

“Awesome to the tenth power!” Chad interjected.

Lilly gestured to the gang to follow her, and the group slipped away to the semicircular exedra overlooking the arabesque parterre gardens.

The three girls took up all the space on the marble bench to begin planning, leaving Chad to kneel next to them. “Ok, here’s my idea-” Lilly began, “A doo-wop girls group! We’ll sing and dance with 50s hairdos and retro outfits!”

“That sounds like a fabulous idea!” Said Madison, “Retro is so cool!” added Heather.

“But Lilly, what about me?” Chad said, confused. “I mean, if it’s an all girls group, will it have only girls in it?”

“Duh, of course, Chad!” Lilly shot back as the other girls laughed at Chad. They huddled together to start brainstorming ideas, as Chad slowly turned to leave.

“We’ll need to find the perfect song and-” started Heather, “come up with some showstopping choreography!” finished Madison. But Lilly was only half listening because she noticed Chad’s crestfallen look, his slumped shoulders and the way he dragged his feet as he walked away slowly.

“Hey Chad!” she called out to him, “Do you really want to be in our girls group?”

Without hesitation, Chad replied, “Well, sure.”

Lilly and the girls whisper to each other, then Madison and Heather ask, “Do you think you have what it takes to be a girl?”

“Uh, I think so? I can wear and dress and a wig if it’s for a skit, if that’s what you mean.”

“Tsk, that part is easy. If you really want to be in our girl group, and win the big prize, you’ll have to first prove you are worthy of being a real girl!” said Lilly.

“Okay, so…so what do I have to do?” He said nervously.

The girls shared a mischievous stare and proceeded to lead him beyond the quadriporticus and through a narrow pergola formed of hornbeams which opened up to an expansive field. Chad was stunned to see this idyllic landscape. There were a number of bright green trees and a series of large, flat stones, curiously set beside a slowly moving stream. “Wow! I’ve never seen this spot before!” Chad said with excitement. “These stones, are they, like, marking where old principals and teachers are buried or something?”

“No goofball, they’re just stones. This is where the cool girls hang out. It’s a secret place, GIRLS ONLY! And if you tell anyone, Chad, I swear you’ll be in big trouble with your big sis!”

“Ok, ok. I pinky swear. So what now? What do I have to do?”

Lilly sits down on a stone, and with a slight squint in her eye she said, “We watch you.”

“Watch me do what?”

“Nothing.”, said Lilly. “We just watch. You stand there in front of us, and we’ll watch you.”

“That’s it? Ha, piece of cake!”Chad said, expecting a reply, but instead receiving an austere silence from the girls, which confused him.

“Ok, so you watch me. For how long?” He asked. Madison and Heather answer in harmony with a sing-songy, “You’ll find out!” The two girls then approached Chad with a grin. Grabbing him each by one arm, they ushered him a few feet back from where he was standing. Heather holds up a piece of black cloth near his head, Madison grabs the other end, and they walk around him like a maypole before meeting behind him to tie the cloth off, making a blindfold.

“Wh- What’s this?”

“We said we watch you, silly, not you watch us.” Said Lilly, as she sat cross-legged on her stone.
Chad stood there for a second, then asked “So when do we start?”

And the two other girls, now joining Lilly on seats on flattened stone answered, “We already have.”
Chad huffs, then puts his hands on his hips with a smirk, “Man, this is easy!”

A few seconds pass. The girls look directly at Chad, without any expressions to be found on their faces. Chad whistles a tune to break the silence, then stops. “Should I be, like, doing something?”, but he hears no response from the girls. What he does hear is the stream rushing a little louder, and the wind stirring the leaves on the trees.

A dull uncomfortable turning-over in his stomach buckles Chad’s legs. He puts his hand to his gut and feels it pulsating from its sudden disturbance. All of his senses are in overdrive, except for his eyes, which see nothing. The stream picks up, the birds screech, the wind whips. He thinks he hears voices, but can’t be sure what he’s actually hearing underneath the roar of the water.

The three girls continue watching, their serious faces still as the stones, but he thinks he hears their laughter. “Are you laughing at me? HEY!” he shouts. He feels the wind circling him, making him wonder if the girls are now dancing around him. He senses bodies close to his, and jerks his face violently left and right at the thought that the girls might be reaching in to kiss him on the cheek. Now they are teasing him with flowers.

Something undulates inside of him, he jabs the side of his fist against his twisting stomach. A snarl emerges from his insides, a snarl from the sky. No longer does he think the girls are running around him, but that he is spinning. They are spinning him, around and around. His head is light, dizzy. He can no longer take it, he screams, he tries to reach for his blindfold, but he feels as if his arms have been bound to his sides. He screams for help, but the intensity of the stream drowns out his cries. He chokes, cannot breathe, laughs as if being tickled by hundred probing fingers. Laughter, laughing, mummified, blackness and then all black as he loses control of his body. He limply collapses downward, where his head strikes a stone. As his blood flows down the side of his face, the flow of the stream subsides. The sound is reduced back to a murmur of water, and a chirping of birds.

Lilly walks towards her brother, bends over to remove the blindfold. She takes a long look at his face, and turns back to the girls. “Hey, I just thought of a perfect name for our girl group… The Snickerdoodles!”