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Story 2

Rhonda Eudaly

Rhonda Eudaly is a bright, talented, funny, and fun redhead, and a gifted writer. Fortunately she has chosen to use her talents for good, creating fantasy stories that are also funny and fun.

This is Rhonda's second appearance in 4 Star Stories.

The only thing we can say by way of introduction about this story from Rhonda is that she has significant unresolved public/parochial school issues.

4 Star Stories is delighted to present for your winter reading enjoyment, Rhonda's hilarious story of academic mayhem, Knock Down, Drag Out.

Knock Down, Drag Out

By Rhonda Eudaly

"Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Are you ready to rumble? Hines Arena is standing room only tonight as thousands of spectators wait in hushed anticipation for the Tag Team Event of the Millennium. This No-Holds-Barred Cage Match is unprecedented in history. It's been a fight waiting to happen, and you'll see it live. Right here. Tonight."

"We're about to get underway. Tonight's referee, Ed Dravecky, has just entered the ring."

The crowd stirred as a middle-aged man in the traditional black pants and black and white stripped shirt stepped through the gate of the fencing surrounding the ring. Dravecky seemed unnerved by the crowd of well-behaved spectators.

"Good evening, ladies and gentlemen." Dravecky's voice boomed through the arena. "Welcome to Extreme Ultimate Savage Fight Night! Tonight's fight is different. Though this is no-hold-barred, there are rules. Tonight's purse is for charity and benefits Holy Haven Domestic Violence Shelter and Literacy Foundation. But that's not all that's at stake tonight. Tonight is a Title Fight. Winners take all."

A buxom, 20-something girl wearing a private school uniform designed for a much younger child sashayed into the ring carrying a large, engraved, gold rectangle sporting the Latin phrase, "Silentium Est Rutilus". A chorus of oohs and ahs flowed out of the crowd, as well as a heckler crying, "Dress code violation!"

The girl glared into the crowd and left the ring.

"Yes, tonight's bout is for the coveted 'Golden Ruler'. The winner of tonight's bout walks away not only with the trophy, but the title of 'Most Feared Educator'.

The groundswell of excitement peaked in the polite applause reserved for art galleries and the opera, which seemed to unnerve the referee even more. Marian allowed herself a tight smile as the referee gestured toward the opposite side of the ring.

"Let's get started. In this corner, weighing in at an average of 130 pounds, wearing the traditional black and white wimples, and five-time winner of the Golden Ruler. Led by Mother Superior Theresa Mary Margaret are The Sisters of Perpetual Harmony. Welcome the Nuns!"

Half the people in the stands jumped to their feet in a tidal wave of plaid skirts and ties as a team of four women dressed like penguins-with-attitude sailed into the cyclone fenced ring. They did not acknowledge the crowd with more than a stern look. The wave receded abruptly as the spectators took their seats.

"And in this corner," Dravecky gestured in Marian's direction. "Weighing in at a scrappy 120 pounds average, sporting severe hairstyles and sensible shoes, and also five-time Golden Ruler Champions, led by Marian, welcome the Librarians!"

The other half of the stands rose as Marian stomped into the ring leading three women with hair pulled back so tightly they looked like recipients of botched face lifts. As the spectators cheered, to a woman, Marian's Librarians glared, put index fingers to their lips and shushed the spectators. The sound quit abruptly.

Dravecky swallowed hard in the sudden hush before continuing. "Tonight's rules are simple, if unprecedented. One--no name-calling or swearing. Two--no chewing gum. And three--when you're ready to tag in, raise your hand and wait to be called on. Any questions?"

There were none. These rules had been passed down for generations. The nuns and librarians stared at the referee.

"Captains to the center of the ring."

The two stern-looking women broke away from their teams and stalked toward the referee. "Okay, Mother Theresa and Marian, I want you to shake hands and have a good, clean fight. There will be points for sportsmanship."

Both women shot him a withering look that made him take a step back. Then they turned back toward each other and bounced on the balls of their sensibly shod feet. Mother Theresa Mary Margaret crossed herself before shaking Marian's hand. Marian gave the nun's hand a savage squeeze.

"Go with God, my child."

"You first, Mutha..."

"Marion!" She didn't miss Dravecky's warning look.

"Superior. Mother Superior."

"Step back."

The two women took a step back from each other. The bell clamored, and the fight was on. Hands went up around the circumference of the circle as nuns and librarians spread out to make tagging easier. Theresa Mary Margaret and Marian circled each other for several seconds, eyeing each other for weaknesses. In blur of black and floral print, the proverbial gloves came off as the smack down began.

Mother Theresa Mary Margaret wrapped her rosary beads around Marian's neck and used the librarian's bun as a handle to smash her face into the mat.

Marian reached out questing fingers and tagged another librarian who flung index cards into the faces of anyone wearing black. Vicious paper cuts ensued to the horror and delight of everyone in the stands.

"Ladies and gentlemen," the announcer, in the hushed excitement of a world-class golf announcer, said over the PA system. "I don't think Dewey ever meant for his Decimal System to be used quite like this."

Theresa Mary Margaret released Marian in order to protect her eyes and face from the flying index cards. In so doing, tagged another nun, allowing Marian to gain her feet. The librarian head-butted the nun in the gut and slung Theresa Mary Margaret fireman-style over her shoulders and started to spin. She launched the nun as far as she could into the cage walls.

"Flying nun!" someone in the crowd shouted. Every woman in the ring instantly shushed the unseen heckler.

The brawl went on for an hour, leaving combatants and spectators spent and exhausted. The referee picked his way through the collapsed and contorted bodies, struggling to pick a clear winner. No woman was completely down for the count, but the delay made a clear call difficult. Marian had to do something.

"Never before in the history of Fight Night has a match been so difficult to call. The school board judges may have to declare a draw."

The crowd growled and snarled. Obviously the spectators were not about to settle for a tie. Dravecky checked and double checked the rule book and went to the instant replays--also never before used in the fighting world. Not everyone was down for the count. Suddenly, in a heroic effort, Mother Superior Theresa Mary Margaret and Marian the Librarian struggled to their feet. The entire arena held its breath in anticipation of what would happen next.

The two women slowly circled each other, fell into a headlock position, and swayed back and forth for a moment. Then, in slow motion, both women toppled, with Marian on the bottom. Just before it seemed to be over, Marian flipped Mother Theresa Mary Margaret and pinned her. Dravecky went down beside them and slapped the mat as he counted.

"One, two, three! You're out!"

Dravecky grabbed Marian's hand and held up her arm. It was clear. The librarians had won!

As the celebrations and post-bout interviews began, one reporter asked the inevitable question. "Where did you learn that last move?"

Marion looked into the camera and said, "The reference section, of course. You can find everything at the library."



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