Later on in the cafeteria, the mood was...well, there was only one word to describe it - sour. If that wasn't used, maybe acidic worked. But even better: Self-conscious of the fact that currently, they were all made up various shades of silly and different, a subtle fear of the feelings they had personally and were shared. Bad day, generally. The reverse boys and girls stood in the lunch line, all of them looking slightly frazzled from their cross gender experiences.
"If I hear one more joke about this dress, I'm gonna make them eat their father's testicles!" Erin said, glaring down the line. He could swear that all the reverse boys were undressing him with their devilish eyes, the pigs. This was impossible, as undressing Erin with one's eyes took forever, at least eight hours spanning across just Erin's rear end. A tiring experience for all the perverts.
"Why are you all sparkly glowey still?" Kayla asked Stacey. He elbowed him as he spoke, causing more glitter to fall off of him like a festival full of bliss and gay spirit.
Stacey sighed. "I have like hundreds of little glitter things on me," he said ruefully. "I look like such a prep!"
This would not normally be such a bad thing, as football players were prep-like in quality. But cheerleaders looked prep-stupid, quarterbacks looked prep-awesome. A subtle difference of vision and taste, but a difference nonetheless.
Wesley smiled at him. "Stacey, I know it sucks, but if it makes you feel any better I still don't think of you any differently!"
Stacey smiled back. "Thanks Wend...Wesley. God damn, our names are awful!"
"Who asked for your opinion?" Erin asked defensively.
"Uh, no-one?" Stacey asked, confused. He was about to think about the answer when some glitter dived right into his nose and he sneezed adorably. Damn his nose!
"Well, I don't think Stacey is all that bad!" Wesley said. "It's better than Kayla!"
"Hey!" Kayla said, annoyed.
"It's true, dude," Stacey said.
The queue moved to the counter. The kids were served their food - goop with a side helping of goop - and wandered off to find a table, trying to ignore the shouts, hollers and jeers of the un-gender bending kids. Their faces ruby and deciding to make war in person against those that mocked them, the kids continued on. Kayla saw a group of their classmates and headed over to their table. Stacey and the others squeezed themselves in with another group, who were being pelted with bits of rolled up paper.
"S-Stacey look at you!" Lacey said cheerily. "Why, you're all sparkly glowey!"
"That is the second time someone has said that, and it sounds stupid," Stacey said indignantly, just a step away from inducing himself to revolt against his fellows. "Stop it!"
"Where's Kenny - Kerry?" Erin asked.
They all looked around, and soon spotted Kerry standing behind them, with one hand resting on the table of a group of fifth grade girls. He was tossing his head back, laughing, and generally acting like a girl. Erin, incensed by this series of outrages against his character and gender, got up and stormed over to him.
"Oh, a sleepover?" Kerry was saying in a strange, high pitched voice. "But I don't have a sleeping bag!"
"Mah parents boug' me a large one 'bout three months ago," one of the girls, a cute blonde, replied. "We can share it!"
"Well, if you insist!" Kerry said, smiling victoriously. He would soon command himself to sell as lovers to himself all that stood before him.
The words were barely out of his mouth when Erin arrived at the table. He punched Kerry's arm out from under him, causing him to fall and bang his head on the side of the table. The sound was that of a weak kitten's stomach slamming against a soft sponge made out of flowers due to the hood and hair.
"You stupid idiot, don't fraternise with the enemy!" he shouted at his dazed friend, snarling a sick parlance to the wounded man-girl that sat prostrated at his feet.
"'Scuse me, fatty!" the cute girl said, glaring at Erin. "Get your freak ass away from mah frie - "
"Fuck you, Cartman!" Kerry shouted over her, not bothering to disguise his voice. His front in tatters, he gulped in fright and stared straight down for a second before turning his head to the girls who had until moments ago been but players in his beautiful game.
The girls did a double take and looked at Kerry, confused, before the truth dawned on them. They all glared at him, each glare more contemptuous than the last, and stormed off. At least their butts looked nice. Score one for Kerry!
"Dammit!" Kerry groaned. "So close!"
It was still a losing game.
Over on the "boys" table, things weren't going much better. Wesley and Beavis sat gazing at each other thoughtfully.
"Beavis, your hair is awful!" Wendy said eventually.
"Wesley, your clothes are awful!" Bebe replied.
They smiled at each other, both suddenly aware of the ridiculousness of the situation.
"How was the bathroom?" Wesley asked.
Beavis went pale. "Oh God..."
"It smells terrible, Wendy!" Robert said. She screwed her face up at the memory, as though the smell was still in her nostrils. "Imagine death, only imagine that before you died you shit yourself and they fried your stools. Now imagine that they urinated on it. Only then can you imagine it."
"My shoes touched the floor, so I threw them out!" Beavis said, showing her shoeless feet as proof. "I don't want to get AIDS or some strange boy disease that rips my skin off!"
What would such a disease be called? What affliction, stained by boys and colored by their environment, could conduct such a movement in their bodies and flesh as to render them torn and scarred? Definitely a thing for the council to discuss.
"Get some shoes, Beavis," Wesley said sternly. "We have football practice."
Beavis thought about this for a moment. "Maybe if I don't have shoes, they won't allow me to play," she said hopefully.
Wesley sighed. "If what Stan, uh, Stacey told me about their coach is true, then it won't matter."
Unfortunately for Beavis, Wesley's prediction came true. Lunch time ended and all too soon, the "boys" were outside on the field, dressed in full padding, running some wind sprints. As their sadistic coach looked on, they went through drills, including tackling and catching, and practiced throwing the ball, running with it, and going over plays.
The whole exercise was a spectacular failure. Many of the "boys" didn't play any sports, and a whole lot more of them, after that practice, didn't want to. They found the leather balls too heavy and tended to drop them, and only Wesley seemed to get the hang of throwing them. They could run with the ball, but the plays bamboozled them. Most of them were also good friends, and therefore reluctant to hurt one another, so many of the tackles were not exactly, in the coach's words, "crunching."
After half an hour of non-crunching tackles, girly throwing and dropped balls, they took a breather. Much to their collective disgust, they were all sweating profusely.
"I...I can't b-believe Sta...enjoys this..." Wesley managed between gasps for breath.
The others were too exhausted to respond. The coach walked up to them, shaking his head in disdain.
"Alright gentlemen, on your feet!" he said loudly. "Time for some more wind sprints!"
The "boys" looked at each other, and groaned. Impaled on stakes of their own discontent, they sorrowfully crawled from the wreckage one last time.
Stacey opened the door carefully, checking the school hallway to see how crowded it was. He really didn't want to face anyone, certainly not anyone he knew anyway. He walked down the hallway, ignoring the questioning stares of people who hadn't been paying attention to recent events. He turned down another hallway and reached his locker unscathed- well, untrue. His mental visage had been boiled and tossed asunder. But at least there wasn't more damage done.. Kayla joined him as he unlocked it, a little less unhappy.
"Hey! How was cheer practice?" He asked. It was good to be inside instead of outside, despite his sorrow for Stacey.
"What do you think?" Stacey snapped at him. "The only good thing is we did it out of sight!"
"That's good." Kayla grinned. "Did you have fun?" he asked sarcastically.
Stacey threw his duffel bag in the locker and glared at his Super Best Friend. In about three seconds, Kayla was going to be a Super Best Puddle in the Ground Due to Intense Anger-Heat. "Kyle, it is cheerleading! I'm waving pompoms around like a moron and saying these stupid cheers like-" He brought his hands together and clapped in rhythm, a super wide smile on and unknowingly bouncing to it, "- A-W-E-S-O-M-E, awesome awesome, is what we are, we're the football superstars! The fuck is that? Of course I'm not having fun!"
Kayla's eyes widened. "Gay." But at least he was good at it, the wonderful pansy bastard.
Kayla spotted Cartman and grinned. "Cartman gay!"
"Shut up you dirty Jew!" Erin shouted at him. He turned and looked Stacey up and down. Gulping quickly, he said something quite profound:
"You're still all glittery and crap!"
"I know!" Stacey said, exasperated. "The cheer coach even complimented me on and said it highlighted the pep and spice! I have no idea what that even means, but I know I don't like it!"
"Yeah! You look so...sparkly glowy!" Kayla said, gazing at him with fascination.
Stacey slammed his locker shut, incensed. "Where is that from!?"
Stacey sat in his sister Shelley's bedroom, staring in the mirror with horror. He let out a small cry as Shelley yanked his short black hair back, forcing his head to one side. The view from sideways on was no better. He still looked like a freak. There were times when you looked like a freak and it was okay, like just after you woke up or after you escaped from a flooding cave. Sometimes you were raggedy Andy and you had to grin and bear- or you could try to knock yourself out. Still, this was worse.
Shelley grabbed a bunch of hair and forced round it, to make a pigtail. She did the same with the other side, forcing Stacey to cry out again. She stood back and admired her handiwork, laughing maniacally like a Bond villain reduced to really petty crimes against order.
"Oh, that does look good!" she said. Stacey thought he detected a slight hint of sarcasm, then realized that the sarcasm was so heavy that it had completely crushed his sense. Sort of like a tidal wave tossing a buoy into a skyscraper- yeah smartasses, there is a wave. Good job with the detection system. Couldn't have figured it out otherwise.
"Shelley, please, I just want to stay in - " he began, voice quaking softly.
"Shut up, Stacey!" Shelley snapped. "You don't look so pretty when you talk - or, well, that is what my friends say!"
"Yeah, thanks for that trip!" Stacey said sarcastically. "I sure had lots of fun in the mall with you and your friends!"
Shelley looked pleased. "Really?"
"No. I was being sarcastic." Stacey replied flatly, more dumbfounded than anything else. How did she even get the C average she had? She didn't even know East from West, and now her sarcasm detector took the week off to help her conscience censor kidnap her morality. Her brain was like Detroit, only it smelled worse and a smaller population of brain cells to human beings.
For a moment, Stacey thought Shelley looked hurt. She laughed it off. "No shit, dumbass. Now sit still!"
Stacey sat up. He'd had more than enough of this shit. "Shelley, this hurts!"
Shelley shoved him back down again. "It only hurts because you're a baby and your hair hasn't grown out yet," she said, as Stacey squirmed uselessly in her grip. "Come on, you'll look pretty with ponytails!"
"The last thing I want to do is look pretty!" Stacey said, rolling his eyes, then realizing that didn't really help his position any as he had some crap on there.
"Yeah, I can tell that. But you look good with eye makeup!"
"I look like an idiot!" Stacey cried indignantly.
"Truth in advertising then, Stacey." She grinned evilly at him in the mirror and reached into her makeup case. Stacey's crossness turned to horror as she produced a red lipstick, and he began to squirm again. No way, no fucking way! he thought as Shelley pulled the top off and brandished the lipstick like a weapon whose owner was skilled in it's deadly application.
"Pucker up, Stacey!" she hissed menacingly.
She was just about to apply the lipstick to Stacey's quivering, protesting lips when there was a knock at the bedroom door. He heaved a sigh of relief as Sharon came into the room. Saved by his mom! Shelley gave him a threatening look and stepped carefully around the side of the chair, to block him from Sharon's view. Keeping one hand tightly on his shoulder, she concealed the lipstick behind her back in the other.
"I hope I'm not disturbing your fun!" Sharon said, smiling at them. It seemed to be painted on and cracking.
"No, no fun being had here!" Shelley replied casually. "Just talking!" She gave Stacey's shoulder a warning squeeze.
"Tell Shelley to let me go!" Stacey yelped out of fear and pain. He moved around in the chair, trying to see Sharon round Shelley.
Shelley shrugged. "I'm not stopping him!"
Sharon gazed at her daughter, then, before she had time to react, walked around the other side of Stacey's chair. She stared at her other "daughter"'s hair. "What did you do to it?" she asked warily.
To Stacey's relief, Shelley loosened her grip on his shoulder. "Oh, I'm thinking ponytails would be cute when she has longer hair!" she said excitedly. Stacey looked at her, alarmed. Longer hair?
That would be bad. But then again, that quarterback from Remember the Titans had long hair, and Stan loved that movie. And Joe Namath rocked the long hair. Maybe…?
Nah, it was too faggish. To hell with long hair and those who force such styles upon the poor, unfortunate souls who struggled against such onerous oppression
Sharon smiled, clearly lost in dreams of ponytails and ribbons. "Yeah, she probably would."
Stacey shot out of the chair and ran towards the door. He had to get away from these mad women. "Mom!" He cried out in dissent against this heresy.
"Hey, what is wrong with that?" Sharon said defensively. "You would look cute! Besides, I had ponytails when I was your age!" She walked out of the room, pausing quickly in the doorway to add: "By the way, dinner's ready."
Stacey sighed with relief and trudged after her. "Thank God." He was grateful for any little bit of respite he could get. He had to fight Shelley off ten times a day, and he didn't always win. Yeah, it was tough being Stacey Marsh, Captain of the Cheer Squad and little sister of the Worst. Person. Ever.
Dinner was the usual quiet affair. The whole family sat round the table, eating one of Sharon's delicious rice dinners. Randy sat in silence for any number of reasons, but probably because he and Sharon had exchanged words about a week ago and he had decided to ignore her for the next week. Stacey kept his eyes fixed on his food, waiting for it to start. 3-2-1...
"Goddamit Billy, why are you dressed like a fofu here at the dinner table again?" his Grandpa, Marvin, asked in annoyance. His cheerless face had muscled into a dark, gloomy frown as his eyes pierced through Stacey's skull and preceded to skull fuck him.
Stacey closed his eyes. And so it begins...again.
"I don't want to, Grandpa. I'm being forced to," he said with a weary sigh.
"What do you mean 'being forced'?" Marvin asked. "When I was your age, I was fighting on the playground because of my heritage!"
Stacey looked at him, surprised. "What is it about your heritage that got you attacked?" he asked.
Marvin thought for a moment, but came up with nothing. "Just grow a pair if they took it from ya or use what ya got and kick off that damn Frenchy-poo fag-nasty outfit you got on and put on some real clothes! You look like a goddamn poofter!"
Sharon shut her eyes and massaged her temples. "Just be quiet and eat your creamed corn dad," she said patiently. She slaved over this dinner and she didn't want some obstinate old windbag ruining another perfectly conceived and executed dinner. Damn the Marsh family.
"No, dammit!" Marvin said loudly. "First he goes around prancing about like a Queen of Priscilla, then he starts doing that fofu cheer stuff, and now every night he comes to the table dressed like a Malaysian hooker!" And if anyone would know about Malaysian hookers, it would be Marvin Marsh and his dozens of debilitating venereal diseases he received decades ago.
"She takes pride in all her accomplishments!" Sharon said desperately. "Honey, do that cheer you did for Shelley earlier!"
Stacey could feel the eyes of everyone in the room upon him. Even his dog, Sparky, looked at him expectantly. That was probably because Sparky was confused; he really liked to wrestle with Stan and try to hump him even though the kid had no idea what was going on, but all of a sudden Stan was suddenly just not as attractive anymore. Sparky wasn't all that great a dog, in all honesty.
"I don't want to!" he cried. "Shelley made me do it for her cellphone!"
"Oh, so now your sister is ordering you around!" Marvin said in disdain. "If you end up sucking like a Hoover or getting humped like a French whore, I guess that wouldn't be your fault either!"
"Not another word from you!" Sharon said to him angrily. She turned back to Stacey, smiling sweetly. "Sweetie, show him!"
Stacey sighed and got down from his chair. He took a deep breath. If there was a God, He would strike him down now. He took his start position for the cheer with all the enthusiasm of a someone being led to the gallows.
"B-E AGGRESSIVE, B-E AGGRESSIVE
We aren't timid, we are strong!
So kick those boys in the barn
Gooooo Cows! Yeah!"
Stacey's hands dropped to his sides and he glared at the floor as the all the fake enthusiasm drained out of him. Sharon clapped excitedly as Shelley stifled her laughter with her hand. Marvin shook his head at the sight of his grandson being emasculated, and wheeled slowly away from the table.
"Wow, that was really good!" Sharon said over-enthusiastically. "Are you having lots of fun?"
Stacey stared at her. "No!"
"Why not?" Sharon asked, disappointed. Or was she? Sharon didn't know anymore. Was she still being excited just to get through it, for Stacey's sake, or for her own? God, she didn't know. Being a mother was tough. You had to deal with scraped knees, suspensions, puberty, and sometimes serious gender bending and family issues. Why didn't she just get a cat?
Stacey leaned his forehead against his hand. "Do I have to tell you? Really?"
Sharon sighed deeply. "I'm sorry. I'm just trying to be supportive."
"Well, just don't patronize me!" Stacey snapped at her. He started to feel bad, but not much. He was starting to hate females. "May I be excused?"
"But you haven't finished your dinner!"
"I know. I'm not hungry right now."
Sharon looked him with maternal concern. "Okay, well, I'm not going to force you. Just remember that tonight is an early night, we've got church in the morning."
Stacey rolled his eyes. "Oh God. Don't remind me."
But he sure would be. That Sunday dress belonged to Shelley when she was seven, but since they hadn't been able to find one in his size, he'd have to squeeze into it. It made Stacey question whether or not a just and caring God would allow this sort of thing to happen. After concluding it probably didn't matter and that he was going to go to hell anyway, he let the matter rest.
He got down from the table and left the dining room. As he headed upstairs, his head slumped onto a sparkly picture of a butterfly emblazoned on his chest. It smelled like flowers.
"It isn't working." Sharon sighed as Stacey went up the stairs.
"Who cares? She is ten times better now." Shelley replied, all smiles. She meant it as well: Shelley was happier and after Stacey learned her place and took her orders, maybe she'd like it as well. And Shelley would never have to leave her room again as Stacey would wait on her. She felt all tingly. Was that her evil bone?
"Shelley, please put yourself in his-" Sharon began, but was elbowed by Randy. The two then looked around as if the eyes and ears of millions were upon them. Clearing her throat, she continued. "Shelley, please put yourself in her shoes." She corrected herself, mindful once again of the thing which is not there.
"If I was her, I'd kill myself for being such a turd still about all this."
Sharon rolls her eyes in resignation as she turns to her husband. "Randy, am I doing a good job?"
This entire time, Randy has been eating his rice with gravy and the creamed corn. He looks over at her very casually, deciding whether or not to continue ignoring her.
"You're doing a bad job." Randy impassively uttered as he ate some more rice, already bored with her.
"Do you have a better idea, Einstein?" Sharon retorted violently, insulted and wounded by his impudence and emphatically annoying attitude. She should just marry a handsome man with a big dick and get it over with.
Randy sighed as he looked at his wife." Yeah. Don't embarrass him like that. Imagine putting yourself in "her" shoes. What you did tonight was embarrassing. I know we're supposed to make the kids feel better about the situation, but that requires you going that extra step and showing why "she" should feel better. Don't force our kid to like something "she" doesn't." he finished, eating more rice and dully animating his movements.
"I…guess I see your point. But wait, since when did you become so smart?" Sharon asked, half in awe of her husband and half still deciding whether or not to shove a fork into his skull.
"Good day at work." Randy muttered as he continued his grazing.
Stan's room had been neutered. His beloved football lamp and poster had been replaced, and the room was now a slightly bright purple. The poster was replaced by Twilight stuff, God rest Stan's broken soul. His bed was also purple with one long, large pillow in place of several smaller ones. His old drawer was locked, and his closet was packed to the brim with new clothes. He picked up the telephone and dialed 719-840-3585: Kyle's number.
Someone would have to save him.