The Future of Miss Powers - Cover

The Future of Miss Powers

Copyright© 2021 by Lazlo Zalezac

Chapter 6

“Watcha doin’?”

“Taking pictures.”


“The art teacher wants me to take a bunch of pictures.”

“You’re taking Art, now?”

“I guess. She wants me to document, using photographs to capture my vision, what I see of the world with artist’s eyes.”

“So you came here to take pictures of me being all manly on the football field.”

“No. I came here to take pictures of the cheerleaders being all cheerful on the football field.”

Steve laughed and slapped Danny on the back. He said, “I’ll introduce you to them.”

“No need. Everyone knows who they are, and I’m already a celebrity here at school,” Danny said with a grin.


“Everyone knows about the creepy guy.”

The smile left Steve’s face. He glanced over at the cheerleaders and grunted. “You don’t seem upset by that.”

“It is what it is.”

“It’s wrong, is what it is.”

“What if I were to tell you that I danced with Denise this morning?”

“Denise who?” Steve asked.

Danny pointed over at the cheerleaders and said, “That Denise.”

“You’ve either got third degree burns or frostbite,” Steve said. “She’s either hot or cold, and not in a good way.”

“Let’s just say that she wasn’t happy.”

“I’m not surprised that she wasn’t too happy about being there. She’s got a nasty personality. I hope that she didn’t unload it on you.”

“Mrs. Shapiro kept her off balance, so it wasn’t too bad. Denise wasn’t too happy about having to dance with the creepy guy, but whenever she would say something, Mrs. Shapiro shut her down,” Danny said.

“I wouldn’t want to dance with Denise. She’s not a nice person.”

“So she’s like that most of the time?”

“All of the time. She thinks she’s the original A-lister, but the fact is that she’s just a bitch. I’m just a defensive back, so I’m not quite up to her social standards. I also don’t go to the after game parties, so that makes me not worth her time. She only goes after the star.”

“I suppose your grades also hurt your social standing,” Danny said.

“No. I think you’re about the only one who knows I’m a straight A student,” Steve said. He glanced over in the direction of the cheerleaders.

“Is that why you aren’t dating any of them?” Danny asked. “Are you too smart for them?”

Steve said, “Don’t make the mistake of painting them as dummies. They aren’t.

“Val is about as smart as they come ... well ... maybe not compared to you. She’ll probably end up being a lawyer or something like that. With a little time for her to prepare, she could probably swap quotes with you all day long. She has a phenomenal memory.”

Danny said, “She’s pretty and knows it. She’s stuck up as hell.”

“That’s true, but it’s a defense mechanism for her. However, she does have a nice side that comes out once she gets to know you.”

Danny said, “To be honest, I really wouldn’t like to know any of them.”

Steve looked at Danny for a second trying to make up his mind if he should say something or not. He could understand why Danny was saying that, but it wasn’t all that fair to the cheerleaders. A couple of the cheerleaders were actually kind of nice.

“You’re doing the same thing to them, that they are doing to you.”


“Judging them without any facts to support your judgment. They’ve labeled you a creep. You’ve labeled them bitches,” Steve said.

“Don’t forget ... I was dancing with Denise this morning. I got my fill of facts,” Danny said.

“You’ve never talked to Val. Like I said, she’s really smart. You’ve never talked to Sun. She’s got a bubbly personality.”

Danny said, “If I were to take my camera over there and try to take their pictures, I’d get run off the field. I’m sure that the word around the school tomorrow would be about what a pervert I am.”

“I wish I could say that you’re wrong, but you probably aren’t,” Steve said.

Danny asked, “So why aren’t you dating any of them?”

“The girl I like thinks that I’m just a jock out to add another notch on my belt,” Steve said. “She doesn’t want to be someone’s trophy of the day.”

“I’m sorry to hear that.”

“So am I,” Steve said.

“Who is she?”

“Stephanie Morris.”

“I don’t know her.”

“She’s pretty shy,” Steve said.

“Maybe you can point her out to me sometime.”

Steve said, “You know, the way people label each other does a lot of damage. You’re the creep. They’re the bitchy cheerleader crew. I’m the asshole jock. Stephanie Morris is the wall flower.”

Danny said, “Dave Blood said, ‘You can’t control how you are perceived, and you are a fool if you waste any energy trying to do so. Vanity will get you nowhere.’ I guess those perceptions are what define us to others despite who and what we really are.”

“Who is Dave Blood?”

“He was a musician.”

“I never heard of him.”

“That’s not surprising. I believe that he was, more or less, a second rate celebrity, although I’m sure that he had a fan base. He had to quit playing because of tendinitis. He died back when we were getting out of diapers,” Danny said.

“That’s kind of a weird legacy.”

“I suppose it is,” Danny said. “He was actually a little better educated than your average musician. He studied the language, culture, and history of Serbia-Croatia. He went to Yugoslavia and did some work there until everything blew up with NATO bombing the hell out of the area.”

“I guess even second rate celebrities get labeled and have to live with it.”

“Yeah. I sometimes wonder if his music was actually his hobby rather than his calling.”

“So is photography going to be your hobby or calling?” Steve said gesturing to the camera.

“I don’t think it will be either. I’m not going to run out to buy an expensive camera, that’s for sure. This is just an assignment from the art teacher.”

“Do you mind a suggestion from a dumb jock?”

“You want me to talk to our center?”

Steve laughed. The team’s center had a reputation for being exceptionally dumb. He was one of those who was getting through school by reading ‘educational’ comic books, and getting C’s just for attendance. It might have been laziness, but if so, it was the kind of laziness that could get you killed in the long run.

Steve said, “Don’t take pictures of people. Take pictures of insignificant things. I think that would impress your art teacher.”

“Like what?”

“Take a close up picture of the football or something. Make it hard to see what it really is. Artists really get off on turning the everyday into something special.”

“Pablo Picasso said, ‘The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider’s web.’ Is that what you’re talking about?”

“Exactly,” Steve said.

“You might have a point.”

“You wouldn’t want to argue with good ol’ Pablo. He’s a well known artist,” Steve said.

“I guess you could say that he’s well known in the art world,” Danny said with a smile.

Steve said, “The coach is here. I better get to practice.”

“Good luck.”

Thinking about Steve’s advice, Danny looked around for something to photograph. His eye was drawn almost immediately to a young woman sitting alone on the bleachers reading a book. She was near the end of the bleachers. It was kind of an interesting view. There were the empty rows of seats above and below her. From just the right location, the upper part of her body was framed against the sky. Her head was down while she read a book. He moved a little, increasing the amount of empty bleacher that was visible through the camera while maintaining her silhouette against the sky. He snapped a picture.

He turned to look back at the cheerleaders. One of the girls was standing there with an expression on her face like she had swallowed lemons. He snapped a quick picture of her. He didn’t worry about framing the picture or anything. He just liked the way her face was scrunched up, looking ugly as sin.

Danny wandered around the school for another thirty minutes, taking pictures of one thing or another. With a digital camera, he could see the results immediately. Some of the photographs were a little interesting, like the empty pizza box leaning against a trashcan, a small pile of pebbles on a patch of asphalt, and a scrap of paper hanging through the edge of a locker. Others just kind of fell flat. He took two pictures of different pieces of paper. One looked interesting and the other didn’t. He felt a little bad that he couldn’t explain what the difference was, between the two photographs.

He looked at his watch and realized it was getting late. He packed up and headed home. He had college classes later, and needed to get some homework done. His normal study routine had been turned upside down as a result of the schedule changes. He was going to have to make some adjustments to his life, if he were to continue with the revised schedule. He still hadn’t committed to it.

His father came home from work to find Danny at the table working on his homework. He watched Danny work through a couple of his calculus problems.

“It’s about time to head for school,” Danny’s father said.

“I know. I’m finished with my homework, or I will be after I solve this problem.”

“Good,” his father said.

His father went into the kitchen to prepare a light snack. Danny had a class at 6:00 and another at 8:30. He had a short break between the two classes, and usually ate a meal at the school cafeteria. It made for a long day and his father was worried about how Danny would manage to balance everything if he changed his daytime class schedule.

Shortly after Danny finished working the last homework problem, his father returned with a plate of veggies, a bowl of ranch dressing, and a bowl of fruit salad. The two men dug into the food.

“So how was school today?”

“Interesting,” Danny said. “I may have actually learned some things today.”

“That is different,” his father said.

“The art teacher gave me a camera and told me to take a bunch of pictures. That was kind of interesting,” Danny said.

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