Varsity Squad by Thoth
“Here we go Greene High! Here we go!”
“Here we go team, you know the scene, let’s make the other team GREEN!”
“No, no that won’t do, it still sounds like it’s missing something. It’s got potential but let’s work on it,” Susan Faria, their advisor said, before dismissing the cheerleading squad of Greene High School, named after their benefactor who brought industry into the town of Gull’s Cove in 1790, Jonathan Greene.
“Don’t look now, but there’s Bill Redrose, science, computer and audio visual geek, ugh! A triple-decker loser,” Vicki commented, noticing the unkempt teenager sitting on the bleachers watching them practice.
“Let’s wave to him, probably the only thrill he’ll ever get,” Beth laughed, waving to Bill while the others giggled, and made gagging signs with their index fingers. Karen Pulgas, captain of the Greene High Varsity Cheerleaders, waited until the rest of the squad entered the school before turning and talking to Bill. She began telling him not to let what the others say get him down and in fact she, as she put it, “kinda liked him.”
For the next several days they sat on the bleachers and talked. Karen appeared to take an interest in his activities. “So you’re in the astronomy, megabytes and audio-visual clubs, wow fascinating,” she crooned, blinking her eyes.
“You really shouldn’t wear sweaters with holes in them all the time,” she suggested, while Bill nodded. “And maybe you should wear some khaki pants instead of jeans and last but not least, you should do something about your hair, it’s a mess.”
“You’re right there,” he agreed, “I should comb it more often.”
“You really should cut it a little shorter too. If you’d like I can do it Saturday night then afterwards we can go out for a pizza.”
“Cool, I’ll see what’s goin’ on and call ya,” Bill said enthusiastically while she sat, smiling while brushing her silken mid-back length blonde hair.
“Talk to you tomorrow,” she told him before leaving to catch her bus.
She is right, he thought to himself, I could use a trim. His hair just touched the collar of his sweater but it was sort of stringy. She’ll cut it in a few more days, he thought before heading home. For the next two days Bill awaited the coming of Saturday night with excitement, he never imagined in his wildest dreams he would be going out with any of the girls on the Varsity team, he was sure they all despised him. For the next two days they talked on the bleachers, the other girls had gone off to their lockers and either gone home or were involved with other school activities.
“I hope you don’t get too much flak from the other members of the team, I know they’re not that crazy about me.”
“I’m sure they’ll get over it, is Saturday still on, haircut and pizza?”
“Sure is,” Bill answered with a big grin.
“Great, well, gotta go. See ya tomorrow at around seven?”
“I’ll be there, 51 Seaspray Road, right?”
“Yup, that’s it, see you tomorrow.”
If the last few days seemed to take eons, the next two hours before going to meet Karen at her house seemed to take an eternity. Finally, at quarter past six, Bill made his way to Seaspray Road.
“Hey, hey, what’s up?” Karen smiled, as she opened the door, leading Bill to the cellar. She had already placed a metal folding chair in the middle of the floor. Being a warm night, she wore a blue skirt and green halter top, she was stunning, as far as Bill was concerned.
“Let’s get started,” she said, snapping a pair of scissors, and then draping a white sheet around Bill.
“Let’s see what can we do?” she giggled, snipping her shears before making the first cut.
Snip, snip, snip.
Bill could hear the shears cut through his hair, giving a sudden cold sensation by his right ear. He realized his hair was going to be a lot shorter when she was finished but for a gorgeous girl like Karen, it was worth it. He watched as strands fell into his lap, he began to get a little nervous. She kept cutting and cutting when, from out of nowhere it seemed, the rest of the cheerleading squad emerged as if they were hiding in the basement all along. They all surrounded Bill and Karen, muffling laughter.
“Oh my God!” Vicki exclaimed, bursting into peals of laughter, followed by Beth and four others. Bill’s heart sank, he began to realize he was tricked. Karen never really wanted him, she only used him as a pawn in her idea of humiliation. He looked helplessly at Karen who just smirked and kept on cutting and cutting, as clumps of hair slid onto the floor and to his shoulders. The other girls were in hysterics.
“Here you go, sweetie, all done,” she mocked holding a mirror in front of him. To his horror, his head looked as if though it had been cut by a blind person, it was all uneven and she even left several spots that were less than an inch.
“Much better don’tcha think?” Beth asked, tugging on the longer ends of Bill’s hair.
“Ooooooohhhh handsome ha, ha, ha,” they all cackled as he yanked the sheet off and ran from the house.
Realizing he had a long walk ahead of him, he took some paths through the woods that led to his backyard so as to avoid contact with anyone. Karen and her friends opened cans of Coke, and toasted, celebrating the wherewithal used to wreak the embarrassing demise of William Redrose, super geek. Bill lay in bed, refusing to leave for anything. The following Monday, he was sporting a crewcut. Life at Greene High was back to its regular routine, Bill just explained he “wanted something different” and his friends left it at that. Occasional, soft chuckles from the girls involved reminded him of Saturday night, but the girls surprisingly kept quiet about the incident. They had such a goody-goody image something like this would blow it, Bill thought in disgust as he slunk by. Squad practice for Karen, Vicki, Beth and the others continued per usual, until Wednesday when their advisor announced that a meeting would take place at the mall, nothing way out but different from their normal meeting place, the school cafeteria.
“Maybe we’ll have some real food instead of that cardboard covered in red sauce and cheese they try to call pizza,” one of the girls remarked, followed by laughter.
When Saturday came, they all met in front of the Gull’s Point Shopping Mall. Susan signaled for them shortly thereafter, she had been at the mall for several hours. She was carrying several big boxes.
“Follow me to the Ladies’ Room, we need to change,” she announced.
Not being sure this was an official or last-minute meeting, some of the girls wore their uniforms while others didn’t.
“With some consultation, I put together some new attire for the cheerleading team. Go and change and I’ll wait right here.”
It seemed quite a long time that they were in there, probably being that the mall had recently gone smoke-free and she couldn’t have a cigarette. Vicki finally came out registering a curious expression. Being one of the ones out of uniform, her tight designer jeans, multi-button red sweater and her expensive shoes were carefully placed in the box she was given, what she had on made her look as if she stepped back about four decades. Gone were her curvaceous thighs, hidden under a long green skirt that came to her knees, the conservative white blouse she had on did nothing for her blossoming breasts either. She stood by Susan’s table talking to her when the others followed. They were bearing the same looks; confused and a strong dislike for their attire. Susan lined them up and did a close inspection. All their blouses had the last two buttons unbuttoned, she told them to button their shirts to the top.
“That’s it, buttoned up to your necks please,” she instructed in a firm but kind voice. It was here Vicki protested announcing she refused to carry this “masquerade” further until she knew what was up. Susan explained calmly that this was to be the new uniform for the varsity cheerleaders, she also informed her and the group that they had other business to attend to.
“Fuck this,” she said, unbuttoning her blouse, “I’m outta here.”
Calmly, she walked over and faced Vicki, slapping her across the face, and screaming for her to button her top button. Shocked, she complied, followed by a thank you from Susan. She then told them to follow her to the Mall Hair Stop, located on the other side of the mall.
“Great, other people will see us too, let’s just hope the football team isn’t here,” Vicki groaned.
“It’s Saturday, they’re probably still sleeping off their beer bash,” one of the others assured her. At the salon, they sat and waited, wondering what exactly was going on. Inside, the salon looked unused, the chairs stood facing the mirrors, and the capes were neatly folded over the backs of them. The sound of chatting carried into the fluorescent room, it was the sound of several women talking.
“I think they’re here,” a voice said, sounding as if someone came out of a closed room.
“Hi Mandy, this is the cheerleading squad. I thought a makeover would do the trick.”
“Hold on,” Beth said, sounding annoyed. “First of all, I go to Laura over at her salon, and second of all, I just got my hair done last week,” she told Susan, inspecting her newly styled and French-braided black hair.
The others in the group looked dumbfounded too, they began chatting amongst themselves.
“Actually, Karen, why don’t you go with Mandy? These other young women can tend to the rest of you.”
“OK, I could use a trim anyway,” she sighed, noticing some split ends.
She followed Mandy to a private area just behind the salon. The staff were quite attractive, wearing pleasing and appropriate attire. Some wore frilly dresses while others were wearing jeans and sweaters. Mandy had on a polka dot dress with a frilly short skirt. Her hair was cut short, but longer on the top and short on the sides and back, though not too short. It was tousled and looked as if hairspray kept it from falling in her face. She sat Karen down and leaned her back for a shampoo. She seemed pleasant enough, asking about school and cheerleading. Karen began to feel comfortable with Mandy, even though she was nervous about new stylists, ever since her waist-length hair was unmercifully chopped into an above the chin bob by some nitwit hairdresser when she was in the seventh grade.
Seated in her styling chair, Mandy combed out Karen’s blonde hair, allowing it to cascade over the black cape like a golden waterfall. She combed it a few seconds longer before gathering it and letting it fall behind her. Suddenly, without warning, and a snip, snip, snip, she took her shears and cut her mane right up to her earlobe. She moved so fast, Karen couldn’t say “ouch” before she was done. She could hear the others – some were crying, others were exclaiming their disbelief. She heard Vicki ask, what this fuckin’ bitch was doin’ to my hair, which resulted in a hard slap across the face.
“Mandy, you cut my hair too short,” Karen told her, about ready to cry.
“Not really,” she said, holding her cut hair in her hand, before placing it on the white counter in front of the mirror.
“You seem to like my brother, so I thought it would be fitting to give you the same haircut he has. Oh, allow me to introduce myself. I’m Mandy… Mandy Redrose, Bill’s older sister.” She produced a set of Osters from her station. Karen looked, with tears welling up in her eyes, as Mandy ran the humming clippers up her nape and over the crown of her head. Clumps of hair rained over Karen’s eyes and shoulders; and some strands stuck to her face where tears were streaming down her cheeks. She looked into the mirror to see that her blonde hair was now relegated to being a fur stole adorning the shoulders and front of the cape. The top of her head was reduced to a quarter-inch stubble in no time. Though it seemed like hours, it only took Mandy two minutes to complete the job.
“Maybe next time you’ll leave the cutting to the professionals, hmmmmm?” she asked, holding some of Karen’s hair in her hand and twirling it in her fingers before putting it in a plastic bag. She looked at the last of the hair in her lap before it was put into the bag and given to her.
“I just want to say that what you did to my brother was sick! So by the time this grows to where it can be styled again you can think about how my brother felt. Here, you can have a souvenir from my shop,” she told her, handing her the bag of hair she saved.
After Mandy left, Karen looked into the mirror, not recognizing the shorn waif staring back at her dressed in her green skirt and high buttoned blouse. She went back into the main room where she saw her friends. A pile of hair lay behind each of the chairs where they were sitting. She looked to Vicki and Beth whose hair was reduced to a quarter inch while the others were given very short pixie haircuts. All their hair too was being gathered in a bag and given to them. Beth’s braid lay in her lap before being placed in a bag..
“Don’t bother with threats about suing, I got permission slips signed by your parents. And with you being underage they still have the right to do this without your consent,” Susan announced amongst mumbles of lawsuit threats.
“Maybe you will understand the idea of humiliation for a while until all this grows back. I can assure some of you that you’ll be of legal drinking age by the time you reach your full length. How ironic, here I commissioned beautiful women to take your beauty away from you, maybe in time you’ll realize that beauty should be cherished and not used as a weapon to hurt others.”
“I know some hair grows faster on some people than others,” Mandy said to Karen, rubbing her head. “I always figure about a half-inch a month, so since we’re even, and I don’t carry grudges, I’ll be more than glad to style your hair again, in maybe about… a year? Ha, ha, ha,” she laughed, before walking off.
Susan reached into a shopping bag saying there was one last touch to their uniforms. In her hand were glasses, not the designer kind of the new millennium but the ladies “cat’s eye” glasses of the fifties. She told them they were to be worn for the rest of the football season at all the varsity games. She placed them on the faces of the girls and snapped a group photo for the yearbook, a group of shorn girls dressed in nerdy outfits holding bags of their shorn hair. The following weekend was the first of many games the Greene High School Football Team would play. In their new attire, the girls went through their routine.
“Here we go Greene High! Here we go!
“Here we go team, you know the scene, let’s make ’em scream, let’s send e’m home colored GREEN!
“Gimme a G, Gimme an R, Gimme an E, Gimme an E…”
The chant continued, and sitting on the bleachers was none other that Bill Redrose. He had his camera and equipment and began shooting footage of the game. His attention was divided between focusing on the game and his new girlfriend, who really admired him for what he was.