Hazy Shade of Winter

(Author’s Note: I’m BAAAAAAACK! I’ve been gone for the last month or so in the attempt to complete a TESOL Certification. Therefore, I had to drop the blog while I focused on getting all the tests out of the way. BUT, I am now back. And…here we go. ^_^)

Hazy Shade of Winter

by Miles Rost

On the campus of the University of Oregon, the air was becoming bitterly cold. December was not normally known for cold and snow, but for this year, it blitzed across the western United States with a fury rarely seen in any storm. While the city of Eugene was not known for being full of snow, the entire city was blanketed with nearly a foot and a half of snow.

Walking down one of the main streets of the campus, Mike Carlton was admiring the buildings with their roofs full of snow. It was unusual to see a thick coating on top of Willamette Hall’s strange shaped entrance, or a pile of snow that shut the front of the Volcanology building. Mike smiled as he watched a shovel crew scrape the snow and resulting ice-melt off the amphitheatre.

He crossed the heart of campus and angled to go across the plaza, the long strip of green park that stretched from just below the heart of campus across to the west side of campus. He stepped onto the path that cut across the plaza, looking to pass by the statue of the Pioneer Mother and head towards the library. As he took the first step, he heard the carillon bells from the student union behind him, and smiled.

1 o’clock on the nose, he thought, as he smiled at the quietness.

A quietness that was shattered with a loud *THWOCK* and the sting of cold and pain on the right side of his face.

“BOMBARDAMEN!” he heard from one side of the plaza, lined up with a slew of guys behind hastily erected snow-barriers.

Mike looked in horror at the guys, and looked the other way to see if there was the possibility of escape.

He was faced with 16 sorority girls with snowballs in their hands.

He started running from both sides, hurtling over one erected snow barrier and ran straight towards the Physical Education building. The girls and a few of the boys from the plaza started to chase after him, trying to pelt him with more snow than they could even imagine.

To Mike’s shock and surprise, he heard a loud series of *THWOCK*s from behind him. He took a glance behind him and saw that half of the girls and guys that were following him were felled by a series of pink snowballs, lobbed from the direction of the psychology building. For a second, he sighed in relief.

That is until a pink snowball splat in the road right next to him.

He looked up at Straub Hall, the psychology building, and saw a motley crew of girls and guys on the roof, lobbing at people that seemed relatively unscathed.

“Aw HELL naw!” he said, as he continued running past the Physical Education building. He knew where he needed to go, because there was no way that he’d survive if he kept being outside.

He ran past Hayward Field, the running track used for the Olympic Timetrials, now covered in what looked to be virgin snow. He payed no thought to it, as he ran across Agate Street. Like a comically tragic anime character, he ran up the stairs and smacked straight into the doors of the Knight Law library.

Surely, I can take refuge in here! Lawyers don’t have fun or a sense of humor.

Yet again, he was proven wrong as a series of dark blue snowballs rained down upon him. Deftly dodging them, he realized that there was no hope. He did not want to fight, but he was given no choice.

He ran back to the former football field and launched himself into the untouched snow. He looked around like a madman, looking for containers of any type. Within a few minutes of work, he created a sizeable number of snowballs. As he succumbed to his snowy bloodlust and launched the first of his snowballs at an unsuspecting faculty member, one thought entered his mind.

If you can’t beat ’em, beat up on ’em.

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Oh Sherry!

(aka Sherry and Scott: Part 2)

by Miles Rost

Sherry Makinami and Scott Schmidt looked out at the plants that grew outside of the Hamilton Dormitory Complex, while they each sipped on a cold drink. In the aftermath of the events from earlier that day, word had spread to parts that two girls had it out with each other, but without a punch thrown. While no one really knew what happened, Sherry knew. And she was still shedding tears.

Scott looked down at her, his arm wrapped around her shoulders. He leaned her head against the crook in his shoulder as he sipped on his soda.

“Think you can tell me now what happened?”

Sherry looked down at his hand, sighing.

“I don’t like talking about it, honestly.”

“And yet, to make sure I know what I’m getting into, I need to know.”

She sat up and looked him square in the eye. She took a breath in, readying herself for the story that she was about to tell.

“It started in high school. I was being picked on for many reasons, most of which were incredibly childish and petty. One day, it went too far. And I just got mad at this one girl. I just kept thinking about how she just needed to go away, to just shut up and leave me alone. I didn’t realize it until after her body hit the floor that I caused her to die. They called it a stroke, but I know that it was me who did it. With my mind.”

Scott looked into her eyes, piercing the veil and seeing the true feelings in her mind.

“And this thing you have, it only happens…when you’re stressed?”

“Not really. It’s more either when there’s a lot of danger happening, like with Delia wanting to have her goons beat you up; or it’s when someone really makes me angry. I’ve learned to control it so that it doesn’t hurt people who I love when they disappoint or cause me anger, but the limiters come off when something I love is threatened.”

Scott continued to look into her eyes.

“So that means my brains won’t go splat if we have an argument, right?”

Sherry’s face turned to horror, before she closed her eyes and breathed.

“No, Scott. I wouldn’t do that to you. If you executed my mother and father in cold blood, then yes. But I know you, and I know you wouldn’t do that.”

Scott smiled, and laid her head back down on his shoulder.

“Even with knowing what you can do, I wouldn’t leave you.”

She snuggled into his shoulder and sighed contently.

Oh, Sherry. Our love holds on. Even through scanner events and strange dealings.”

Sherry looked up at his face, as he stared out into the darkness.

I should’ve been gone, long ago and far away. But, now I know just why you stay.

He looked down at her again and smiled.

“You’re worth it.”

They spent the rest of the evening and late night looking out at the people, just holding each other and being content. As the evening wore on, they never noticed the peculiarly placed plumbing van on the other side of the street.

“Got eyes on the target, Vincent?”

“Yep. I think we’ll be able to get her this time. And this time, it won’t end up in fiction like ‘Firestarter’.”

*********************

“Meow Meow!”

The sound of Scott’s “meowing cat alarm clock ringtone” helped to rouse him from his sleep. He stretched his arms out, and looked at his bed. Noticing that no one was there, and breathing a sigh of relief, he sat up and went over to the window. He opened it and looked out on the sunny quad, overlooking Humpy Lumpy Lawn.

He noticed a pair of nice looking legs tanning in the mid-morning sun, reading a book. He looked at her and grinned, as he got himself dressed.

He walked out to the lawn in flip flops, a hawaiian shirt, and cargo shorts. He stopped just before, and took a look at the nice pair of legs, attached to a beautiful rest of a female form, and he plopped down next to her.

“You are the best sight to see in the morning,” he said to her.

Sherry looked up at him from her book and gave him a peck on the cheek.

“Very few people are talking about yesterday. I’m back to being largely anonymous.”

He brushed a strand of shoulder-length maroon hair out of her face. He admired her face for a few seconds.

“I don’t know how long that will be, though.”

Sherry looked up at him, puzzled.

“What if I became student union president and serenaded you in the middle of the amphitheatre?”

Immediately after the word “serenaded”, she started to blush a color that nearly matched her hair.

Scott looked at her and smiled. He finally found something that he could use for later.

Seems that you know that there’s a fever that you’ll never find nowhere else. You can feel it burnin‘.”

Sherry closed her book and sat up onto her knees. She brought her face close to his, and looked deep into his eyes. He felt her pierce his soul, and he hers.

“Maybe you can serenade me over lunch at Rennie’s.”

He smiled, and lifted her up.

“Let’s go. We don’t have classes until 1.”

They left the lawn and headed towards the other side of campus. They walked across the street, and passed the van that was still sitting next to the curbside.

Scott was about to say something, when he felt his world go black. The last thing he heard was the muffled scream from Sherry, as he slipped into unconsciousness.

Somebody’s Eyes

by Miles Rost

College was always a bit of a bear for some students, especially those who are in relationships. Even more so for those who are waiting for a relationship. It happened at every campus in the known world, and the University of Oregon was no different.

Sherry Makinami was a vivacious student in her sophomore year at UO. She was lucky to be in her Music History program, and also lucky to have a great friend in Scott Schmidt, someone who she met on orientation day in freshman year. She looked towards him as someone who was not only there when the chips were down, but someone who she could easily give a lot of attention to. She wished that she could have more with him than just friendship, but he was already taken by an insanely controlling and jealous girl, Delia Mendez.

It was a cold October day when her chance finally came. She was walking towards the Knight Library, where she worked part-time as an information desk researcher, getting ready for an intense evening and night of studying. She walked towards the doors, when she was wheeled around, a hand firmly grasping her arm. She looked up and into the eyes of Scott, who looked as though his face was red and bleary.

“Sherry, I need to talk to you,” he said, firmly but with a waver in his voice.

Sherry just nodded and went with him to their favorite campus hangout, the popular Rennie’s Landing. Over a couple of Rennie’s burgers, Scott laid it out for her how Delia kicked him to the curb for the leader of the Multicultural Center. He told her how much of a mistake it was, and how he felt like she spoiled him for others.

“Scott, I have something you need to know,” Sherry said, looking into his hazel eyes, “I have waited for a long time to tell you, and I know this may not be the proper time, but I want you to give me a chance.”

Scott looked at her, a little puzzled by her request.

“Delia treated you like a toy. I would never do that. We’ve been friends for nearly a year and a half, and I want more.”

“More?”

“I want you. I love that we’re friends, but I want us to do more. I have been falling for you for a long time, Scott.”

Scott finally was able to put two and two together, and he was quite shocked with her admission.

“I need a little time, but ask me in a week. I need to heal a bit from Delia.”

“Take the time you need. I will be patient and wait for you.”

After a week had passed, Scott answered Sherry with a yes, and they both started dating each other. For the next 4 months, it was an incredible time of fun, getting to know each other further, and even the occasional snogging in the basement music rooms underneath Spiller Hall.

A bright spring monday found the couple walking from the dormitories on the east side of campus toward their first class of the day, all the way on the other side of campus. They talked about what was going to happen in class, and just enjoyed each other’s time wrapped around each other. As they passed the campus amphitheatre, Sherry’s maroon colored hair started to feel like it was standing on end. She felt very unnerved by what she felt. She looked across the amphitheatre as they continued to walk, and she found what was causing the problem.

She saw Delia Mendez staring and glaring directly at her. Never blinking, it was as if she was trying to bore holes through Sherry’s head.

She looked at Scott, and moved her head closer to his neck, resting it on his shoulder. Scott looked down at her and wondered why she was a little more close now. He liked it.

Everyday for the next week, the same exact thing played out multiple times all over campus. Even when Sherry wasn’t around Scott, she still felt those eyes boring through her.

She finally couldn’t bear with it, and she finally broke down and told Scott during one of their downtimes.

“I think Delia is stalking us.”

“Why would Delia be stalking us?” Scott wondered aloud, “She dumped me for Tarik Narala, the head of the MCC. I’m not interested in her, I’m only interested in you.”

“I don’t know, I just think that she may not be with Tarik anymore. And she may be trying to force her way between us.”

“If she’s doing all that you’ve said, then it looks like we’ll have to be a bit more guarded.”

Sherry blinked, hesitating to ask what that meant. She usually knew what that was code for: to hide and go to classes separately.

“What that means, Sherry, is that I will have to start looking out along with you.”

Sherry breathed a sigh of relief.

“I’m sorry for seeming worried, I just have this feeling that she knows. I have a feeling she won’t let go of you, and that she’s waiting for a right time to take you back, away from me.”

Scott moved in and gave her a firm, loving hug.

“That is not going to happen. She tried to make me her toy. I remember it. She won’t be grabbing me from you.”

She moved in closer to him and rested, relaxed in knowing that he would be with her.

The next morning, they walked together towards their first class, as usual. This time, though, at the same area as the previous weeks, the couple now came face to face with Delia and a few others who made a line across the main path. Sherry and Scott stopped just before the line of people, and looked at Delia.

Delia pointed her dark skinned hands at Scott.

“Give him to me.”

Sherry looked at her, and gently moved in front of him.

“No.”

“Sherry Makinami, I am going to take back my property. There is nothing you can do about it.”

Sherry looked at her, and she steeled her resolve.

“I’m sorry. You set him free, and he came to me. He came straight to me. He’s mine, and he’s not a plaything.”

Delia chuckled, and returned to a sour looking face.

“You will hand him over, or my guys will take him by force.”

“Is that a threat, Delia?” Scott said, “Because if it is, that means that I feel like my life is in danger.”

“Oh, you know me, Scott. I wouldn’t do that. I just happen to believe that you are still mine, and I am going to take you.”

Sherry looked at her, finally disgusted with everything. She was getting mad, and this was not going to be good if Delia did what Sherry thought she was going to do.

“Over my dead and mangled body, Delia.”

Delia just smirked.

“Granted.”

She put her hand out and gave a swift forward motion. The men in the line next to her proceeded to walk over to Scott and grab him.

Sherry realized that he was now officially in danger, and she had to act. She took off her glasses, and stared directly into Delia’s eyes. She stared for a good long time, moving her hands from her side to her head. Her face started to form into a snarl of concentration, her eyes never leaving contact.

Delia didn’t notice it at first, but she noticed quickly that she was starting to get a small headache. As the seconds went by, the headache got worse and worse. The pain increased tenfold, and her eyes opened wide in a panic. She started to scream out loud from the pressure that was building in her head. It was unbearable, feeling like her head was being torn apart. The last thing she saw was Sherry’s hand moving swiftly down into the ground, and the sidewalk coming up quick to meet her.

As soon as Delia’s face planted into the sidewalk, the men that were getting real close to hurting Scott suddenly let go.

“What the hell are we doing here? We’re missing practice!” They said to each other, mumbling about things and grabbing their stuff to get out of there.

Scott looked at Sherry, who was now kneeling on the ground and in tears. Her face was covered in tears, the water pouring down her face like Multnomah Falls. He walked up behind her, knelt down, and hugged her tight, yet gently.

“I…” she started saying, through sobs, “…I didn’t want to do that. But….they were going to hurt you…”

He held her and quietly shushed her, whispering in her ear to let all of it go.

“I guess I need to tell you about this, Scott…” she said, sniffling, as it was going to be a long story that would easily take a couple of days for her to tell.

He just kept hugging her, and looking at her. He slowly moved around to the front, and looked straight into her eyes.

“I love you no matter what, Sherry. Let us talk about this over at Rennie’s. It’ll be easier for both of us,” he told her.

Somehow, in her heart, Sherry knew that things were not going to be the same between herself and the student populace of the University of Oregon. However, she knew that she had a keeper in Scott, and she would reveal everything to him that day.