First Semester Time-Capsule by an Underdog: Growth

11 mins read

-4 weeks before this release was Act 2

Act 3: First Semester Time-Capsule by an Underdog: Growth

[A mass chain of people are lined up on a concrete path that leads to a light gray-ish building with a shifting pattern of black and marble tiles and angled roofs. At the end of the line a couple feet away from the base of a bell tower, bare trees and yellow leaves border the decline of the path downwards towards the building. A transparent figure with short blonde hair, dressed in a red tracksuit from head to toe, is seen ascending the unreasonably steep inclines of the Sharples roof. Sue Sylvester sits on the roof of Sharples with a bullhorn by her side, looking down on the crowd. Not bothered in the slightest by the unavoidable line fiesta, she smirks as she picks up her bullhorn with her left hand and begins to speak.]

Sue: “That’s community bonding, people! You think this is hard; try ordering from the GET App in front of the checkers by yourself, that’s hard! And once you’re inside, I can personally assure you straight from the top window with a front row seat that it’s going to be a shame fest. Oh, I’ve seen what happens down there. Will you eat alone because you self-identify with the moniker “busy overthinker” like the fool basically glued to the wooden tables-for-two or invite people to eat with you, just to successfully expose your anxiety that you’re bothering them just by not doing enough for the conversation?”

[The line continues to shuffle forward, with occasional line-skipping made possible by friendship. With everyone either consumed by a group eye contact contractor continuously swiping down on their smartphones, no one reacts to Sue. Sue shakes her head and puts down her bullhorn, a mean stare shifting between every face. Somewhere behind her, a girl dressed in a red and dark green sweater and jeans lifts herself over the highest slope on the roof and sits down next to Sue. Her hazel hair and clothes have a few soot stains on them, but her face betrays an exasperated expression beyond the soot.]

Sue: “Oh, hey there, Leia. I thought I smelled failure … What do you want? The last thing I want is a sleep-deprived, hot tea obsessor ready to lecture me on her Forbes list of the best packets of tea one can take from Sharples. Young lady, I could care less that the average temperature these days has been around 40°F. I will enjoy my cold protein shakes twenty-four seven; they’ve been my complete meal three times a day since like forever. Anyways, can you not see that I’m TRYing to instill some routine attitude-shaping into this reckless lot of miserable yappers?”

[Leia rolls her eyes as Sue speaks, and faces Sue with that exasperated expression. Her hands are shifting between clenched fists and resigned loose hands as she begins to speak.]

Leia: “You have a gift for annoying people and getting away with it, you know that? I mentioned how much I enjoyed hot tea ONCE in a conversation with you one wind-cursed cold day when this campus was attacked by emptiness over Fall Break, and now this is one of several greetings you barrage me with every time I talk to you. Before we start though, why in the name of all the readings I almost finished today did you want to meet up here? On the actual roof of a rock climbing wall, damn it!”

Sue Sylvester: “Well, as you know, I don’t feel like I get enough opportunities to vent my frustration. There are a thousand people to helpfully terrify by a simple command of ‘Get to class!’ through my bullhorn while I’m right at their back, but it gets old after the fourth person challenges me with a ‘What The “F***”!’ and still ends up scurrying away from the conversation like a squirrel. Climbing up the somewhat repetitive, but exceptionally well-cut surfaces of whatever kind of architecture this campus majors in gives me a sliver of that zest for life.”

[Leia’s face shows irritation, but she speaks with a slight smile forming at the end of her mouth.]

Leia: “I will end you if you try that on me again. I’m dead serious. Okay, now for why I’m freezing up here. Sue, I need the bullhorn back.”

[Sue has been staring at the crowd, making eye contact with people that catch her eye. For every person she makes eye contact with that runs away from the line, she pretends to scream into her megaphone a “You’re okay, kiddo” or “Protein shakes — what these spineless pre-pubescents miss out on” depending on how fashionably each one runs. A wave of understanding passes over her as Leia speaks, and she visibly panics for a second before she exclaims.]

Sue: “What? Wait, WHAT? Over my dead body you’re going to take the motivational instrument that breeds discipline and critical thinking through my outstanding communication skills.”

Leia: “Sue, I gave you the bullhorn sometime in October because apparently, you needed to speak louder during class. I knew that you’re incapable of attending class because you’d get kicked out faster than the arrival of the second slide of notes, but I was honestly too damn tired of your shenanigans to think about it. Since then, I’ve forgotten about it for the sake of my sleeping floormates.” Visibly sighs. “This is not what I signed up for. You know how many people have knocked on my door and literally begged me to get it back from you? TOO MANY! My name’s inscribed on that bullhorn and I’m about 60 percent sure I’m the only person who tries to talk to you. I have no idea why I do, but I digress. I need it back, Sue.”

Sue: “Leia, don’t you…” Leia suddenly lurches forward and swipes the bullhorn from Sue’s hands. She quickly backs away with her hand firmly gripped around the handle. Leia is standing on the other end of the front section of the roof across from Sue. “HOW DARE you just take the bullhorn from my hands and back away so I can’t do the same back to you! I refuse to comply with such a staggering extent of blatant disrespect. You’re going down, Leia, from so many more heights than this roof.”

Leia: “Honestly, you do realize that you’re probably gonna be able to steal it back within the next few hours right? I live on the top floor of Parrish, and the trees surrounding us are nowhere near the window. No one can realistically climb up here, and yet, somehow you make it in? I steal or confiscate some stuff from you as friends do, yet you always somehow have whatever it is in hand by dinner ready to hurl a torrent of vulgar, but richly imaginative insults at me. So basically, it doesn’t really—”

Sue: “I see the direction you’re trying to take this in. Well… get ready for the ride of your life, Leia. You are about to board the Sue Sylvester Express. Destination? HORROR!”

[Leia and Sue are standing on both feet, tense and alert. Despite being on opposite sides of the same roof, their reciprocal glares emulate so much unseen but present tension in the air that it causes the crowd below to take notice. No one says a word, paralyzed by trepidation. The sounds of their feet shifting slightly on the tiled roof, the almost-red light of the sun casting a spotlight on the two, and the auras of antagonism promise a grand clash of unspeakable devastation. The camera pans from the roof and marble-cake colored concrete tiles around Sharples to the Clothier Bell Tower. “Clang, clang, cling, clang. Clang, clong, cling, clong.”]

Author’s note:

Will they duke it out hand to hand? Or will a fierce battle of wits and sharp tongues collide in a nuclear reaction of atmospheric peace? We may never know who will come out alive in one piece.

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