#ThursThreads – week 49

My first attempt at a Thursday Threads story:

Prompt: http://siobhanmuir.blogspot.com/2012/12/thursthreads-challenge-that-ties-tales.html

“Adam.”

“Kyle.”

“Brendan.”

“Kelli.”

The names echoed throughout the gym, called out rapid-fire, without excitement. They were always the same, no matter the game. Dodgeball. Basketball. Track.

“Alix.”

“Alex.”

“Alyx.”

Everyone knew the order. There could have been thirty Alexes in the class and no one would have gotten confused. This was a dance we’d been doing since first grade, in gyms, on playgrounds, in classrooms, at dances, at birthday parties.

“Susie.”

“Rya.”

“Jamal.”

I looked over at Mr. Collins, sitting on a stool in the corner. How many times had he seen this burlesque show, I wondered. Alex and Jordan. Britney and Jason. Michael and Jennifer. Cain and Abel.

I caught his eye, and he nodded, his face a study in pity and disgust. He knew as well as I did that there was no point in me staying for the end of the charade. Unless it was required by the rules, I’d never set foot on the court. Technically, I wasn’t allowed to leave class, but there were no mysteries in this school. I wasn’t the first kid to spend gym class in the library, and despite what was coming next, I wouldn’t be the last. I had no illusions about my ability to change the world.

The doors shut behind me, cutting off the last names in the ritual. I closed my eyes and whispered along, chanting the invocation until the answering explosion.

Who would get picked first next time?

Doesn’t matter, I’m the only one left.

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