Friday, August 21, 2009

Maddie's Red Revolution

Maddleston Heplick (Maddie) is on his second attempt to influence the fashion at Cloverdale Middle School. His previous attempt failed, sending him to the bottom of the food chain where he joined the other bottom feeders at the school. For one year his ego survived on recognition’s table scraps thrown his way by the odd cheer leader who thought he was “kinda cute” and the one or two jocks that remembered they hung out with him once or twice in primary school “before he got weird”.

Two weeks ago Maddie’s uncle returned from his Hawaiian vacation. Maddie's mother hosted a welcoming home party. While everyone feasted on roast pig and poi, Uncle stood and tapped his coconut on the table to get everyone's attention. He reached into a shopping bag and presented a treasure trove of gifts from the beautiful islands. One gift for every family member except Maddie, his only nephew. Uncle graciously gave him three Hawaiian shirts. Maddie was "blown away"( to quote his exact words). He carefully inspected each shirt for defects. He knew his uncle. Generous yes, but if he could save a dime and buy something second hand or on the cheap he would. Each shirt was perfect with that crisp new feel and smell.

That evening Maddie laid in bed staring at the hypnotic colors and floral patterns hanging in his open closet. He knew the middle school hadn't seen anything like them before. He would be the first. This was the answer - his ticket to popularity. He closed his eyes and dreamed of walking down the hall toward his locker wearing one of his new shirts. Everyone in his vision stopped and stared. Some dropped their books in disbelief. Teachers came out of their classes to witness the phenomenon. He heard an announcement over the loud speaker telling students he was in the building. The cheer leaders waited for him near his locker.
"There he is!" Lori Neddles screamed. "Get him!" There was a rush of blue and white coming straight for him. They pushed him against the lockers, pulling at his shirt in an attempt to rip it from his back. He broke free only after getting slightly bloody from the numerous scratches on his neck and arms. He ran down the hall looking for sanctuary. They were catching up. He turned the corner and saw the one place where he would be safe. He opened the door and disappeared into the boy's locker room.

Maddie walked to the back of the dressing room. He examined his shirt. Two buttons were missing. He sat down on a bench to catch his breath.
“Dude, that shirt is sick. Where’d ya get it?” He turned toward the hallway exit. There stood Todd Miller, the lord almighty of the jocks. The most popular boy in the 8th grade was talking to him. If he played his cards right, and didn’t say anything stupid, he might be invited into his circle. When you’re in Todd’s circle your life changes. Suddenly you get text’s. You find out where the Friday night parties are - parties with girls - hot girls. You sit on the back table in the cafeteria. You get a locker near the exit by the bus stop. You become somebody.

The alarm clock woke him up. The beautiful dream vanished into memory. It was the first day of school. Maddie showered, brushed his teeth and spent an unusual amount of time on his hair. He stood in the doorway of his open closet examining his shirts. He was faced with the most important decision of the school year? Which of the three shirts would he wear? Would it be the blue, yellow or red. In the end he decided on the red shirt. Red is the color of revolution and a revolution was coming to Cloverdale Middle School. A bottom feeder was about to be catapulted into the spot light and move from a lonely existence in the muck to the dizzying heights of popularity.

He waited outside for his mother to find the car keys and camera. Just before leaving he posed for the picture above. He jumped into the car, fastened his seat belt and did a quick hair check in the mirror. Everything was in place. His destiny awaited......

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