Hey Arnold!: "Dodge Ball"

**Notez: Here's a little piece of insanity done in Phoebe's POV... This is based on an event that happened to me in Elementary School. Phoebe is just like me...anywayz, enjoy! ^___^;

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Our gym teacher finally decided what to play for the next five days on Monday afternoon at physical education...dodge ball. Dodge ball is a traditional game for us fourth graders to play all through our years at school. I remember our first game of dodge ball in kindergarten...

~~~~~

Helga socked Eugene in the stomach with a ball, sending the boy to fly back, crashing into a trashcan. "I'm okay..."

Helga was always pretty strong for her age, which is a reason she can be so confident in 'Old Betsy' and 'The Five Avengers'. She grinned and turned to me as I hid behind her back from any approaching balls.

"Heh! I told you I can win this whole game by myself, Phebes!" Helga boldly stated.

I nodded, "Yes, your ball throwing is very...um...violent..."

Helga seemed pleased with my statement. A light grunt came from behind us and we turned to see Arnold throw a ball with Gerald. Helga blinked blankly and stared at Arnold.

"Um, HELGA!" I cried.

Too late.

*WHAP!*

Helga was socked in the back and she fell forward. I uncovered my eyes and blinked as she got up, angry. The short, blonde kid who hit her on the other side of the chalk line quickly hid behind a nearby comrade. The gym teacher must've foreseen bloodshed, so he blew the whistle and called Helga out. Before I knew it, I was the only one left standing. I blinked and slowly looked across the row of boys in front of me, taunting me by getting closer until their toes almost touched the line. They played with the rubber, red balls in their hands, and then they chucked them all at me. I was hit and the game was over. Some of my teammates glanced at me in disappointment, but said nothing. Helga put a hand on my shoulder, smiled and we walked out with the rest of the class.

~~~~~

The game started quickly. I was on one team with Helga, Gerald, Arnold, Eugene and a few other people including Lila. Helga picked up a ball, gave the opposing team a wicked grin and waited for the whistle. I attempted to make myself useful by waiting to actually catch a ball.

"Hey, Phoebe," Helga whispered. "I can be your shield if you want. Heh. I can beat that whole team by myself."

I smiled, "I appreciate your selflessness Helga, but I'm actually quite fine."

Helga shrugged, still eyeing the team. "Okay, but if you get in a jam, look for me. I'll be pulverizing the idiots on the other team. Okay?"

"Agreeing!" I chimed.

The whistle blew, and before I could blink, Helga's ball was gone and more were flying all over the place. Eugene got out first, probably by Helga's, so I waited for an easy ball to catch. My eyes wondered around my team, first glancing at Helga who chucked two balls at once, laughing proudly when she hit her target. Arnold and Gerald did their share too, but it wasn't long before one by one, each person on my team got out. Soon, it was I, Brainy, Helga, Arnold and Gerald on the battlefield.

"Oh looooook, there's only fiiiiivvve babies left on the teeaaaammm!" Harold taunted from across the line as his remaining six teammates laughed.

"Shut up and throw, pig boy!" Helga snapped.

Arnold agreed, "Yeah, quite hogging the balls, Harold!"

Helga seemed pleased that Arnold agreed with her, after all, Helga's ultimate secret is her odd love for him. She put a fist on her hip and waited. We didn't have any balls on our side, and the kids who were out on the sidelines waited patiently until they could be set free by someone catching a ball. The other side tensed up, knowing we were beyond ready to catch almost anything thrown at us. I remembered Helga's offer for her to be a shield, but I pushed the idea out of my head again. I didn't want to be the only one left.

"Okay baaaabbbies!" Harold taunted, positioning himself to throw his ball with his other comrades. "Here it comes Heeeelllll---"

"Oh shut up and throw the---OOOOF!" Helga was cut off abruptly by Harold's ball smacking her in the head, causing her to fall backwards.

The gym teacher's whistle instantly blew as we rushed over to Helga who looked very out of it, one eyelid half closed.

"Helga?!" Arnold gasped.

Helga's eyes slowly trailed up to him and a vague smile spread across her lips, "Oooh, Arnold!"

Oh dear.

Helga continued unconsciously in her state of shock and dizziness, "How I treasure each time you ask if---!"

She was cut off abruptly in her dramatic poem when the gym teacher pulled her up and tapped her cheek to snap her out of it. "Hey! Helga! Are you okay?!"

Helga shook her head and dropped onto her feet. "Yeah. I'LL GET YA, PIG BOY!"

Harold snorted and mumbled his usual "Madame Fortress Mommy" expression and sourly sat at the sideline due to the fact headshots were illegal. Helga rubbed her head and stormed out back into our side as the gym teacher blew the whistle, telling us to begin again. Arnold looked confused, but shrugged and walked back into his position. At least Helga didn't say anything more...

*****

I'm sad to report that we lost. Helga was a little out of it and got hit and I soon followed. Brainy was too busy looking at Helga and he got hit too. I was talking to Helga when Arnold and Gerald sat down, which basically means we lost. My mind usually ignored these kinds of foolish sporting games, but this bothered me. I never accomplished anything in playing dodge ball.

"Hey, what's the matter, Phebes?" Helga asked as we walked out of the school.

"Oh...nothing Helga," I sighed,

Helga stopped, giving me a mixed expression of concern and anger, "Don't worry about that stupid game! It's not like there's an award for winning or we're fighting for the sake of our own lives. It's just a stupid thing we have to do in order to pass gym."

"I know that, but..." I paused. "...But everyone seems to be good at it, except for me."

"So? Look, Phebes, everyone has a strength and weakness. My strength is socking people. Your strength is being smart! So what if you can't play dodge ball, it's a pointless, stupid game!" Helga beamed. "We'll never see it again when we leave this crappy school. Your future boss isn't going to ask you to play dodge ball with him, am I right?"

I smiled, "I guess you're right Helga! But, it still would be a nice feeling to do something than act invisible in the game."

"Maybe," Helga said. "Come on."

"Following!"

*****

The next day at gym class, our game began again quickly. Helga once again beamed at the opportunity to hit kids with balls without getting in trouble. I tried to catch some balls, but someone would run in when I was about to catch it and catch it for themselves. Suddenly, the gym teacher blew his whistle sharply and stormed in to Arnold who blinked. Harold ran over and argued whether or not Arnold got hit. I tapped Helga on the shoulder as she looked over the remaining kids on the other side, probably deciding who to hit next.

"Helga, what happened?" I asked, motioning to Arnold.

"Ah, the football head almost got hit on the leg, but Harold is arguing that he was hit," she replied, trying to sound bored.

I shrugged and decided to step away. Helga, out of the corner of my eye, sneaked away to the furthest wall and pulled out a heart shaped locket. "Oh, Arnold! Your innocence is clearly seen by my eyes! Yet, the dreaded lies that come out of Harold the pig boy's mouth may take you away from me! Oohh..."

She blinked as a wheezing of breaths from Brainy echoed behind her. I saw him step close to her back and touch her shoulder. Helga's eyebrow scrunched down in annoyance and she backhanded him in the face boredly, listening to him drop to the ground. Helga was a very talented writer, yet she had no idea because of her unhappiness.

"Okay! I'll go out!" Arnold sighed heavily as he stormed to the sideline.

I saw Helga's expression twist in shock and anger. She clenched her teeth and picked up a loose ball, storming towards the line. I could tell she would go for Harold. The whistle blew, and blinded by rage, a ball smacked her in the stomach, but she didn't flinch, she kept coming like an indestructible robot bent on destroying half of the city. The gym teacher had to drag her out after blowing the whistle three times sharply. With Brainy unconscious, I suddenly realized.

"Eep! I'm the only one left!" I glanced helplessly at Helga who snapped out of her silent rage.

"It's OK, Phoebe! You can do it!" Helga cheered.

My other comrades agreed, equally happily and reassuringly. I had to do this. I had to! Harold, Stinky and three other boys stepped up to the same exact spot as the boys stood in kindergarten, each tossing the ball up and down in their palm.

"Oh looook! One baby leeeeft!" Harold taunted.

I must've visibly flinched because Helga called to me, "Don't be nervous! Just concentrate on the balls, Phebes!"

"Yeah!" Gerald agreed. "They're idiots anyway!"

"HEY!" Harold whined.

He turned back to me, grinning slyly. I concentrated on the movement of the balls, watching them go up and down.

"On three guys," Harold hardly tried to whisper.

"THREE!" they screamed and chucked the balls.

I ran aside and for a brief moment, closed my eyes, opening my arms unconsciously. I felt a ball smack against my chest and I clung to it desperately, falling to the ground on my backside. Suddenly, a loud whoop echoed the gym and a herd of feet stampeded to me. A pair of hands stood me up and I opened my eyes to look into Helga's beaming face.

"Phoebe, you did it!" she whooped.

Helga quickly picked up a ball and joined in on all the kids chucking them at the other team. "HEADS UP, PIG BOY!"

I laughed as a loud wail echoed the gym, Harold's wail precisely. My heart sang as Gerald and Arnold ran up to me, congratulating me. The whistle blew, and we had won! My whole team surrounded me, whooping and cheering at me. Helga placed a hand on my shoulder as everyone rushed out of the gym. We took our time as I smiled.

"Looks like you really did it, Phoebe!" Helga laughed, patting my shoulder. "Great job, Phebes."

"I really did it! I...I feel so happy!" I exclaimed.

Helga nodded, and then looked down at my arms.

"Um, Phebes?"

"Yes Helga?"

"You can drop the ball now."

"Dropping!"