Time was now an alien concept to her. She had no idea whether it had been hours or years since she had been sealed in. The walls of her cocoon-like prison were the beginning and end of her universe, containing all of the cosmos in this tight, musty little ball.
I’ve got to get out of here.
Mrs. Gardner flexed her body, straining against the tight capsule.
I’m starting to lose it…
She had been kidnapped by none other than Brother Rich, who wasted no time weaving her into her silky prison with his unparalleled weaving skills.
The pitch black darkness of the prison both blinded her and hypersenitized her eyes until they buzzed with a dull, omnipresent pain that did nothing to ease her torment.
Suddenly, she remembered.
Wait a second… I have powers!
Her brow wrinkled in concentration as she began to speak.
“You know, Andrew Jackson gets a bad rep. He was kind of abrasive, but he did good things for the country politically and led it with an iron fist when it was in most need of a solid economic footing.”
Light flooded into the cocoon as Mrs. Gardner’s cutting political commentary sliced through the spider-silk and spilled her onto the cold cement floor.
The room was enclosed by stark concrete walls that terminated in four sharp, uncomfortably uniform corners. It echoed with an omniscient silence — the kind that could drive a person mad if they experienced it for too long. A prehistoric layer of dust crunched beneath Mrs. Gardner’s outstretched fingers like a blanket of dirty snow. The only light in the space sputtered from a dying yellowed bulb swinging lightly from a decrepit chain.
“This place is sketchy as gosh…” Mrs. Gardner pushed herself onto her shaky feet.
I should probably try to find a way out of here…
The room’s only opening was a jagged crevasse that led into total blackness and untold horror.
Might as well go there!
Mrs. Gardner bounded over to the crevasse and squeezed herself through, careful to avoid the crooked lengths of rebar that stretched across the hole, until she dumped herself onto the floor of the other side.
She once again pushed herself to her feet and surveyed her surroundings. To her left was a heavy metal door, which was illuminated from warm light leaking through the bottom. To her left– was more darkness.
Trusting her instincts, me went left towards the light.
• • •
“Now what makes you think that, Mr. Layman?” Parker Rice grinned as he read the line from the teleprompter. Thomas Williamson and John Meyers were hard at work writing the show’s script in real time, and uploading the lines to the prompter mere seconds after they were written. They worked very hard to make the show’s dialogue seem improvised and organic.
“Well, you see Parker, Mrs. Gardner is headed directly for the den of one of the most dangerous contenders in these games… Coach Pierre!” Layman replied with gusto.
“Oh, I remember what happened to him!” Rice replied, “He got pounded into the tunnels by Coach Dickens!”
“That’s right, and now he’s waiting… for Mrs. Gardner to walk right into his trap.”
• • •
Mrs. Gardner’s hand trembled as she reached for the doorknob. She had no idea whether salvation waited on the other side… or something else. With the last of her resolve, she grasped the knob and flung the door open.
It was then that she realized the true gravity of her mistake.
Standing there was the hulking Coach Pierre, grinning at the sight of another opponent falling into his trap.
At this point, Mrs. Gardner had two options: RUN LIKE A MANIAC, which was her first instinct, or stay and fight like a true American.
She chose option number two.
• • •
“Wow, an intriguing move from Mrs. Gardner!”
“Gad-zooks! This’ll surely be fun to watch!”
Parker Layman shot Thomas a reprimanding glare for his word choice, then continued.
“You see, Mrs. Gardner has encountered the one and only Coach Pierre, who found himself in the tunnels after a particularly gnarly brawl with Coach Dickens. Now that he’s free, this battle is about to heat up!”
“Gee-willikers, Parker! This is gonna be one heck of a scuffle!”
Now he’s just messing with me, Layman thought as he locked another furious stare onto his mischievous teleprompter operator.
• • •
Coach Pierre lunged toward Mrs. Gardner to deliver the first blow.
Mrs. Gardner quickly dug into her purse, she pulled out her most trusted weapon: her rivet gun, “Jane.”
Aiming it at the Chemistry teacher, she popped off two shots, firing red hot rivets at his exposed head. One bounced off of Coach Pierre’s durable skull, but the other ricocheted off of the solid concrete walls.
“Your rivets of suffrage don’t affect me, Kim. I have altered my body’s natural magnetic field to repel any metal. So tell me, do you want to end this the easy way… or the hard w–”
Mrs. Gardner immediately propelled her life-sized statue of liberty torch to clobber Coach Pierre through the ceiling and into the upper stratosphere.
Mrs. Gardner climbed out of the hole she had just made and up into the scalding, undulating summer air. As she surveyed the surface, she noticed several faculty members making their way towards her. Mr. Carambat flew in and landed his Iron Man suit on top of Benilde Hall, Coach Dickens lowered himself from the roof of the Wolf Dome by his beard tentacles, Mr. Pichon hovered up on a junked car, Brother Ken rode up on a massive wave, and the KennyTron stomped out from behind the Briggs Center. They were all convening towards Mrs. Gardner’s position.
She heard Mr. Watkins’s words on the intercom:
“Let the final battle BEGIN!”
It seemed that Mrs. Gardner was in a pickle.
• • •