Pee Wee Division
Fillmore vs. Randall
Name: Jason “The Jerk” Fillmore
Abilities: Mockery and bullying Weaknesses: Girl germs aka “cooties,” studying and Dad
Name: David “Gimpy” Randall
Age: 9 years
Abilities: Enhanced running and jumping
Weaknesses: Schoolyard bullies, loose soil and math
Witnesses say the accused, Jason Fillmore, pushed the victim toward the bus as it was pulling out of the King Brook Elementary schoolyard. The boys were in a spot blind to the driver of the bus who did not notice anything until she had driven away and could see the boys in her mirrors.
The injured boy, David Randall, suffered two crushed legs and was rushed to the hospital where he underwent experimental surgery to save his life if not his legs. Details are sketchy at this point, but the boy is said to be recovering under the watchful eye of the doctor who performed the surgery. No charges are being pressed against the driver of the bus, Nora Black, at this time, but she remains on sick-leave until further notice.
Well-wishes can be sent to Saint Sebastian Children’s Hospital or PO Box 3.14159, B.F. Ohio, 45678.
“They are not proto-types, per se. They are just not in mass production yet,” Doctor Sean Mabox said, handling one of the prosthetic legs. “As far as cost, it’s not that much more expensive than the usual prostheses, upfront anyway. The upkeep costs will show, eventually. But your insurance covers it, and I think that for an active young person, these are the better choice. Let me remind you also: Just because I have installed this one, by no means are you stuck with it. The knee joint is pretty much a standard part as far as prostheses on the market these days and so they are interchangeable with other types and models.”
The other prosthesis was all plugged into my knee or whatever and the foot part was twitching. The doctor said it was “feeding off signals in my nervous system to calibrate with my body.”
“Do we need to make any special modifications to our house or yard?” Dad asked.
“Not necessarily, but I recommend keeping him on hard ground at least until he learns how to handle things like sand, snow and ice. I’ll let you look at the brochures and discuss things while I go make some phone calls,” he said.
They say that Jason is too young to go to juvie, but everybody is suing the heck out of his parents. I can’t wait until I see his face back in school. I’ll show him who’s boss. The doctors want to keep me for a couple weeks even though I am “healthy as a racehorse,” just so they can make sure there aren’t any glitches in my new legs. That means I get teachers-aides bringing me homework and stuff, so I don’t fall behind. That would have been cool if I had a brain implant to help me do my homework, and I could use my x-ray vision to look at girls’ underwear, like Martha Tessing’s.
I always get butterflies and my throat gets lumpy when I try to talk to Martha. It doesn’t matter if I like her though, considering I already saw her kissing Jason on the bus. Still, I could probably use a rumor like that to make sure she doesn’t become friends with Jason, even if I can’t make her my girlfriend. Our dads all play golf together and I know Mr. Fillmore would get pissed if he heard that Jason was kissing girls.
After a month of therapy Doctor Mabox said I can go back to school even though there will be like a week left. That’s okay. I am sick of him anyway, making me do things I know I can do, like go up and down stairs and pick up papers and small things off the floor without falling on my face. I can’t wait to try the real stuff like I read in their ad in “Incredible Android Super Changer” comics.
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I don’t know what everyone in class will think of me though, so even if it is 200 degrees out, I am wearing pants and the Doc Martens boots I got for my birthday with the flames running all over them. That will show them that I am tough and I mean business.
They’re all whispering as I walk to my seat. They probably didn’t even know I was in school yet because I had to go in early in the morning, like before they even had time to turn on all the lights inside. (I spent most of the morning in the Principal’s office talking about boring, annoying things like what activities I missed and how to ‘transition’ back to normal school life even though it’s almost summer.)
Mostly the kids shut their mouths when I look at them, but I know what their body language means. If I had bionic ears I could hear what they were saying when I am too far away, and I would remember it until I could plan a prank against all of them, but Jason is my first target. I’ll deal with the rest if they don’t stop after they see what I do to him.
I’m going to wait at the top of the playground tower for him. That’s always been HIS command post. Now I have it. It was easy with my new legs. I ran out here like a blur as soon as the bell rang and I climbed up the slide tower like Spider-man.
Jason looks mad as a hornet as he climbs his way up the tower to where David is waiting for this face-off to begin. What is David thinking? What could Jason possibly be thinking?
David crouches down as Jason approaches the top of the tower. Is ‘gimpy,’ as he’s known to most of the kids, having second thoughts? It’s too late for that now little man. It’s every child for himself in this tower-top-brawl here today, ladies and gentlemen. Where are the teachers when you need them? This looks like it could get out of hand in a hurry.
David is just waiting for the moment to strike. My question is, will he risk going over the edge, or keep things on that ten-foot square, wooden platform fifteen feet in the air. I’d say odds are pretty even if he does stay put.
Most people take it easy after coming off an injury, but not David. He’s more fired up than ever. I tell you, I have never seen such determination in so young a contender. He must feel invincible.
Here he goes; David lunges at his adversary, slamming him against the one of the safety walls. It’s a short-lived advantage though. Jason is bigger and perhaps wiser. I can tell he’s done this sort of thing before, folks. Ooh, Jason is going straight for the neck. What will David do? A knee to the groin…that should buy him some time.
David is quick to his feet, but apparently Jason has enough sense to grab David by the leg. Maybe Jason has a crotch guard on, or maybe David’s kick was off in some way, or maybe Jason just knows he can’t waste time writhing in pain. Whatever the case, David seems to have his work cut out for him.
It looks like David is trying to get to the suspension bridge. That could get nasty. If I were him I’d kick myself out of the situation I was in first. There’s no telling how easy that task will be with his prostheses, but there’s no sense in wasting energy kicking and clawing at the same time. It’s good to plan ahead, but don’t get so focused on the next move that your opponent can anticipate it and counter-strike.
Wow, look at the arm strength in Jason. He is pulling David away from the bridge like nothing. They don’t call him Jason the Jerk for nothing, and still no one has tried to break up this fight. What’s this now, it looks like Jason got freaked out when he finally realized he was pulling on a fake leg and just let go.
Using the moment wisely, David is up on his feet and is running away from the bridge he was just trying desperately to reach. He wants to be anywhere else and the safest way down is the corkscrew slide of course. Oh, and he is taking Jason down with him, both boys head first. That’ll send the blood to your brain in no time.
A crowd had gathered at the bottom of the slide, led by none other than Martha Tessing, the prettiest and nicest girl in the fourth grade and Ms. Moore, the Playground Monitor.
“What’s going on here boys?” Ms. Moore asked.
“Nothing,” David said. “I was just up on the tower and got my leg stuck, so Jason came to help me get it unstuck.”
“Yeah, and I don’t know my own strength, so we fell down the slide,” Jason continued.
The crowd pulled back so the boys could right themselves.
Ms. Moore knew the boys were up to something, but it wasn’t worth causing a scene with all the buses and carpools coming and going.
“So I don’t need to drag you both in to the principal’s office?”
“Please, no. My father will kill me enough as it is for getting dirty.”
“Okay then, settle down. Your rides will be here soon.”
The kids languidly went their separate ways. Jason’s two best friends converge on him like a scene from West Side Story.
“Dude, why’d gimpy go all psycho on you, well aside from the obvious?”
“He threatened to tell on me again for kissing Martha.”
“Oh, yeah, I forgot he knows about that,” one of the boys said.
“You idiot, that’s how this all started with me pushing him under the bus and everything. Kissing her was just a stupid dare anyway. You guys are so lame.”
“So just tell David it was nothing. Martha knows it was nothing.”
“But she doesn’t know about the dare,” Jason said, kicking an empty Coke bottle into the gutter.
“Nobody knows about the dare,” the smarter of the two other boys replied.
“And I thought we could keep it that way. Your, Incredible Android Super Changer action figure makes a nice addition to my collection and I don’t want to lose him.”
“Whatever, Jason. One of these days I’ll super-double-dog-dare you and I’ll get it back.
“I’ll be waiting,” Jason said as he ran toward the crowd of kids waiting for their rides.
“I heard that David called Jason's sister a fat cow.”
“I heard that David caught Jason kissing a girl on the back of the bus and he was going to spread it around, but Jason didn't want people to know.”
“Yeah, I heard that too.”
“I heard they made his new legs from a dead guy.”
“I heard it was a lady.”
“Maybe they are Mrs. Carter's, the lady that died last week when her kitchen caught on fire.”
“But if she got burned up, her legs couldn't be used again.”
“They just stuffed her bones back into David's legs, cuz his were all crushed.”
“Eww, that's gross.”
“If I were David I would never want to walk again, knowing I had old lady legs.”
“What are you kids talking about?” Mr. Drembel, the science teacher asked.
“Nothing,” they agreed.
Across the playground, David spun himself nauseous on the tire-swing.
“Are you happy now, David?” an unannounced voice asked. “You could have gotten yourself hurt again.”
The boy looked for the source of the voice but he was so dizzy, it looked like she had legs on her head and four arms on each side. It was hard to count because everything was swirling around. David didn’t care though because at least this way he could talk to her without feeling like he was going to vomit.
“Why do you care if I get hurt or not? You like Jason better than me. I saw you kissing on the bus,” David replied.
“Ugh, you boys are so stupid. I have no idea why he kissed me. After he did it, he and his stupid friends were laughing about something. I bet you didn’t notice that, did you David?”
“You heard me. They laugh every time they come near me, like it was all some big dumb joke.”
“So you don’t like him?”
“Not even remotely a little bit. If I could take it back and start that day over again I would.”
“Me too,” David replied, looking at his legs.
The weight had lightened slightly from David’s back hearing that the girl of his dreams was uninterested in his mortal enemy, but that didn’t mean she DID like David anymore. And Jason was still Jason.
“Now come on, we’re going to miss the bus,” she said.
A thought came to David.
“Let me carry you. I can run better than ever now.”
He tried to pick up the girl, but lost his footing and both kids fell.
“Don’t be silly, David. I can run just as good as you.” She clambered to her feet and offered him a hand up. At his refusal she took off on her own. She didn’t need any more rumors started because she was holding hands with another boy besides the one she had been seen kissing.
The batteries in my legs must be just worn out from using all my super-skills today, David thought as he limped toward the line for his bus. I’ll have Mom and Dad look in the manual when I get home. As for Jason ‘the jerk,’ and Martha, David would have all summer to worry about them.
And the winner is…
Sweet Martha’s Morsels of Love
1 handicapped boy (separate recipe not included)
1 average girl (any will suffice)
Gently stir the boy and girl in a variety of situations in various grade school settings and then separate for 15 years. Reunite them with the help of a college roommate. Allow to ferment at room temperature until the girl’s belly has at least doubled. Use wisdom and care to make sure the child blossoms knowing who they are and not letting the Jason Fillmores of the world burn their crust.
To all the Martha Tessing-Randalls out there, thank you. I know it’s not anyone’s job to save lost souls when they aren’t willing to improve themselves, but I suppose love does that to a person.
And, thank you, to all the Jason Fillmores, for pushing people like me under the bus whether literally or figuratively. I can’t begin to imagine how my life would have gone, had you not done that. Still, I find myself falling into moments of disarray where nothing makes sense and I allow myself to wonder, “what if?”