The next morning, immediately after Homeroom, Dave, Louise and Karen stood in the Principal's office. Mrs. Ramierez stood with them. They all faced Mr. Avery, who sat behind his desk.
He said, "Miss Torelli. I thought you settled this problem for all of us yesterday, in a very satisfactory manner."
Louise said, "So did I sir."
He said, "Mrs. Ramierez. Are you certain that Miss Torelli killed Miss Bennet, during Yesterday's Gym class?"
"Yes sir. The vertebrae in her neck were severed. No question about it. That's why I gave Louise four stars, along with an A plus."
The Principal said, "It looks like those stars have lost their twinkle."
He spoke to Karen. "Were you really dead Miss Bennet?"
"Just as dead as I was at the end of the rope sir."
"Mr. Krendell, your reinstatement is dependent upon Miss Bennet's being dead. Did you pray for her again?"
Dave said, "No sir. I had no idea that Louise killed her, until she told me about it after school."
Louise asked, "And why would he have been praying for her, when we were about to celebrate my killing her?"
Karen said, "When I showed up, they were about to celebrate, by engaging in unprotected sexual realtions."
"That's not true." Louise said, "I have my implant."
Mr. Avery said, "I don't want to know about that. What I do want to know Miss Bennet is why you've been killed, and come back to life a second time."
Karen said, "This time I heard the voice of God Himself.
"He said, 'Karen arise, and choose life, so that you and your children will live and possess the Land, that the Lord your God has given to you.'
"Then I arose again from the dead."
Louise gasped. The others looked startled.
Louise said, "That's blasphemy! Dave, yesterday you said you thought that something I said was heresy. What she just said is blasphemy."
Karen said, "This isn't blasphemy. When I said, 'I arose again from the dead', it just came out sounding that way."
Mr. Avery spoke. "Whatever it is; blasphemy, heresy, or even Ehrling's Universal Theory, I don't want it happening again."
Dave told him, "This isn't any of those things, sir. This is the Hand of God. The words that Karen just repeated are the Word of God, straight from the Bible."
The Principal said, "The Bible is often quoted, by people who are perpetrating a hoax, Mr. Krendell."
Karen said, "This isn't a hoax sir. What I just told you is the truth."
"The truth? I'll tell you what the truth is Miss Bennet. The truth is whatever we tell you it is, and all of you had better believe it."
Mrs. Ramierez made a soft gasp.
The man said, "Do you have a class to teach Mrs. Ramierez?"
"Then I won't keep you from it. Good day."
"Good day Mr. Avery."
Mrs. Ramierez went out the door, shutting it behind herself.
"The truth is," Mr. Avery went on, "that I don't want any more dead cheerleaders coming back to life in my school; and I'm going to be keeping an eye on you three, to make sure it never happens again."
Louise said, "I don't see how it's possible to prevent it. He prayed for her, and he said that he loved her, and God brought her back to him. How can anyone fight that?"
Avery said, "Easily, in Miss Bennet's case. She's no longer a member of the cheerleading squad."
Karen said, "And my family's not getting the extra rations any longer either."
Dave said, "Can't Karen join the warrior girls’ squad, Mr. Avery? Her family'll get the extra rations that way."
The Principal said, "No she can not. Miss Bennet has a very embarrassing way of not staying dead. It don't want that happening again."
Karen asked, "But what about the extra rations?"
"Your family will just have to get along, like most other people in this City. As far as I know, nobody's starving."
She said, "My father's talking about getting a lawyer."
"The School Board has lawyers, and the law, on their side, Miss Bennet."
"He's still gonna get a lawyer."
Now Dave said, "Excuse me Mr. Avery, but am I still suspended?"
"No Mr. Krendell. As long as there are no more resurrections, you may return to your classes right away."
Dave said, "Thank you sir."
The Principal said, "Now all of you get back to your classes."
Dave, Karen and Louise all left the office.
There was a knock on the door.
Mr. Avery called out, "Come in!"
Mrs. Ramierez entered the office, and shut the door.
"Mr. Avery." She said, "I think there's something you should know. I am a Practitioner of the Jephthan Religion. I am also a Jephthahn Priestess, and I perform human sacrifices regularly."
He said, "I respect your Constitutional right, to participate in your chosen Religion to the fullest, Mrs. Ramierez."
"When I was sixteen, I was chosen to be sacrificed myself."
Mr. Avery said, "I hope you're not going to tell me, that your beating heart was ripped out."
"No sir, and my head wasn't chopped off either."
"That's good to know."
"I was a Jephthahn Warrior Priestess, who was killed while fighting in a Holiday Combat Game. I was then a naked dead girl, who everyone including me, expected to be cooked and eaten as a holiday dinner."
That day at lunchtime, all the Homecoming Dance decorations had been cleared away from the Cafeteria. The tables and chairs were back in place. A sign on the wall outside the kitchen entrance declared.
3 Warrior Sausages &
1 Blood Drink"
Students were seated at the tables, having lunch. Each Student had 3 long fat sausages on a plate, and a plastic cup of diluted blood, on a tray in front of him or her.
Louise was seated at a table beside Alyce. Alyce's bloody nose and black eyes had been treated in the Gym's Infirmary, at the end of Monday's class. She was no longer injured, and she showed no bruises.
Louise told her, "I was having a really terrific day! I killed the slut who was after my boyfriend! I got two A pluses and four gold stars! My boyfriend told me that there was no one who he wanted to fuck more than me; and he wanted to give me the best fucking I've ever had!"
"Oh that's wonderful!"
"Now Karen Bennet's showed up again, once more, and ruined everything."
She sighed. "Dave Krendell prayed for Karen Bennet. He said that he loved her, and God brought her back to him--twice! How can anyone compete against that?"
Alyce told her, "Dave Krendell isn't the only guy there is Louise. Just take a look around."
"That's easy for you to say Alyce. On Saturday night, you were chosen Homecoming Queen. Then you did it with Jimmy Haskins. I was ready to do it with Dave then, but I wussied out."
"Listen." Alyce told her, "The Team's gonna be at the Glad He Ate Her Lounge, after practice. Since you've decided to rejoin the Team, you'll be welcomed. Larry Landis'll be there, and I've heard him say that he'd like to do it with you again."
Louise asked, "Isn't he dating Sarah Denski?"
Now Dave Krendell came out of the Kitchen, carrying a tray with 3 sausages on a plate, and a cup of blood drink. He saw Louise seated with Alyce, and he came over to their table.
When he stood beside them, Alyce said, "Hi Dave."
Alyce had finished her sausages and her drink. She stood and picked up her tray.
Louise said, "Good-bye Dave."
She also stood and picked up her own tray.
Dave said, "Wait Louise."
He said, "You shouldn't have run out like that yesterday. You weren't wasting your time."
Alyce said, "What do you know. Even better than we thought."
She stepped away from Louise and Dave, carrying her tray to the disposal unit.
Louise sat down again. Dave sat beside her.
She asked, "Is it better than I thought? You said you loved her. You didn't say that about me. You said you wanted to fuck me, but you didn't say you loved me."
"That's the same thing," he reminded her, "that you said to me, but we'd be off to a very good start."
Louise asked, "What about Karen Bennet? You prayed for her, and God brought her back."
"The girl, who I used to date, was dying on the end of the rope that I'd just brought out. Do you expect me to have no feelings at all?"
"What were your feelings toward her after I left yesterday?"
"My feelings toward her are as dead as she's supposed to be. They died when she did."
"Did you fuck her anyway?"
"Why not? Not afraid to of it like I am; and she brought it to you like room service."
Dave said, "I have no idea why God brought her back; but He certainly wouldn't have done something so extraordinary, just so a high school cheerleader could get back with her ex-boyfriend."
Someone was standing behind them. They turned to look, and found themselves facing Karen. She also carried a tray with sausages and blood drink.
She said, "I don't object to people talking about me behind my back, as long as they're not saying anything nasty."
Louise told her, "We weren't saying anything nasty. We're trying to figure out what's going on."
"What have you figured out?"
Dave said, "I told Louise that God brought you back, because He has some extraordinary plans for your future."
Karen said, "I'm not the only one involved in this Dave. He may have extraordinary plans for you too."
"Tell me Dave. When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, who was the extraordinary one; Lazarus or Jesus?"
Dave thought it over.
Then he said, "They were both extraordinary."
Karen told Dave. "But if Jesus hadn't prayed for him, Lazarus would have stayed dead. Now on Saturday, I was just an ordinary, sexy dead cheerleader, in a tight tee shirt, hanging at the end of an ordinary rope. If you hadn't prayed for me, my classmates might be sinking their teeth into my well cooked flesh right now. That makes you even more extraordinary. That means that you are the one who God has chosen for some extraordinary things."
Louise asked, "Chosen for what?"
Karen said, "Isn't it obvious? Dave's the one, who God has chosen, to raise the dead through prayer."
Classes ended at 2:30. At 3 o'clock, warrior guys and girls were in the gym, practicing with plastic weapons. The cheerleaders were on the sidelines, rehearsing their routines.
Dave and Louise came out of the locker rooms, dressed in their gym uniforms. They stepped up to an open bridge table, which was set up just beside the gym's main entrance. A clipboard lay on the table, with a sign up sheet in its clip.
Alyce was among the cheerleaders. She waved at Dave and Louise. They waved back at her.
Dave picked up a pen, on a string tied to the clipboard.
He said, "Once we sign this list, the extra rations are ours."
Out on the Gym floor, Jimmy Haskins nudged Larry Landis. He waved his hand in the direction of Dave and Louise. They both headed over to the bridge table.
Dave had finished signing his name, and Louise was signing hers, when Jimmy and Larry stepped up beside them.
Jimmy asked, "Why are you joining the team Krendell?"
"Same reason as everybody else. Extra rations."
Larry asked, "So you gonna stay with the Team this time Louise?"
"Yes. This time I'm staying 'til the end of the season Larry, or 'til the end of my life."
He put his arm around her waist.
"Then it'll be nice to have you back."
She slapped his hand away.
"Just as a warrior." she told him. "This time I won't be a slut."
"Fine with me. Last time you weren't all that great as a slut."
"Neither were you Larry."
Louise stepped away from the bridge table, and headed over to the cheerleaders.
Now Jimmy said, "Listen Krendell. We don't want you on the team."
"You got no business telling me that. I've got as much right to join the team, as every other student."
"That's not what I meant. You'll be more helpful to us if you stay out of the fighting all together."
"Come on Haskins. I can't be that bad; and if I am, I'll be killed off before I could do all that much damage."
Now Larry spoke. "You'll be more helpful to us, if you're not killed at all."
Dave told him, "The families of equipment handlers don't get the extra rations, Landis."
Jimmy said, "Karen Bennet told us, that you prayed for her and that's why she came back."
"And I got suspended for it."
Jimmy looked around. Then he lowered his voice.
"If you get killed, you won't be able to pray for us, like you prayed for her."
Dave said, "Forget it. I'm in enough trouble with Avery already. He said I was an antisocial, religious fanatic. If anyone else comes back to life, Avery will see to it that I get expelled permanently."
From the middle of the Gym floor, the Coach called out.
"Hey Haskins! Landis! Are you here to practice, or here to talk?"
Jimmy and Larry moved away from Dave, and headed back out to the Gym floor.
Sarah Denski came up to Larry, looking angry.
"What were you doing, putting your hand on her like that? I thought you said it was over."
"It was over last year. Just one time, and she wasn't that great."
"Then why'd you put your arm around her?"
Larry headed over to Jimmy.
Now the Coach shouted, "Krendell! Are you still the equipment handler, or are you joining the team?"
Back at the table, Dave saw Jimmy and Larry stop what they were doing, and stare at him.
Dave called out; "I'm joining the team Coach!"
"Good! Weapons are over there!"
Jimmy and Larry put their heads together and whispered.
Louise was among the Cheerleaders, speaking with Alyce.
Alyce asked, "So are you and Dave still together?"
"Dave's not sure about anything, but Karen Bennet believes that God has extraordinary plans for their future."
"Do those plans include Dave?"
"She thinks so, but she's only guessing."
"Then you'd better make sure you've got him nailed down quick."
"Right. By getting him to nail you down."
"Believe me, he'll forget all about Karen Bennet. Just don't wussy out this time."
"I won't. Not with Bennet on the prowl."
"Good." Alyce assured her, "It'll work. It worked for me with Mike Patterson. Believe me. You'll have him smiling all the way home."
The coach stood beside the bridge table, looking at the clipboard.
He called out, "Hey Torelli!"
Louise called back. "Yes Coach?"
"You've signed up for the warrior team, not the cheerleaders; so pick up your shield and weapon and start training now! You've got less than two weeks to get into shape before the next game, so you got to start now!"
Louise went over to the side of the Gym, in front of the stands, near the locker room entrance, where plastic swords, spears and shields were piled. She picked up a sword and shield and stood beside Dave, who also carried a shield and sword. They stepped out onto the Gym floor together.
Jimmy Haskins, Larry Landis and Sarah Denski approached Dave and Louise. The three warriors closed in on the two trainees.
Jimmy and Larry both took on Dave, and began pummeling him with their swords.
Sarah stood in front of Louise, looking angry.
Louise said, "Hi Sarah. How's your jaw?"
She whacked her sword against the side of Louise's head and shouted.
"You stay away from my boyfriend, you slut!"
Then the two girls started whacking at each other hard.