Born Immortal Chapter 6

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Friday afternoon found Astyr at Gwen's house with Michelle, Gwen and another girl who was a senior getting ready for the football game later that evening. Astyr's cheerleading uniforms hadn't arrived yet so she was borrowing one of Gwen's and getting ready at Gwen's house was easier since she needed to learn how to apply the makeup that the girls on the squad wore for performances and Gwen's house was close to the school. Gwen was almost the same size as Astyr but was annoyed when she discovered that her uniform was tight across Astyr's chest, it never looked like that when she wore it. The four girls finished putting shiny red and black hair bows on their high ponytails and put the rest of their things back in their bags.

They left Gwen's house to walk the three blocks to school in the chilly fall evening air. They had jackets on over the black, red, and white cheerleading outfits they wore but the only protection for their legs from the chill was the skin colored tights they had on under the short pleated skirts of the uniform. They entered the locker room and put their bags away as they waited for the rest of the squad to arrive. When everyone was accounted for and Gwen had finished her pre-show inspection to make sure everyone's heavy black eye makeup, dark red lipstick and false lashes were correctly applied, they grabbed their fluffy pom-poms and headed over to the football field. Being a small Division 1A school, the facilities surrounding the field weren't elaborate, but football was still a big deal in these parts and there was a decent sized poured-concrete stadium seating structure on one side of the field and several steel and aluminum bleachers way on the other side for the visiting team's supporters. There was an enclosed control room centered at the top of the cement seats and the field was surrounded by four very large light poles supporting enormous light arrays that bathed the field in harsh, yellow, artificial sunshine.

On each side of the field at the 30 yard lines were benches for the teams and coaches. These were occupied at the moment by the assistant coach and a couple of kids who were setting up a big green cooler with the word Gatorade printed on the front.

The cheer squad made their way to the 50 yard line on the home side of the field in front of the cement bleachers and dropped their pompoms on the ground against the chain-link fence that separated the spectators from the field. The girls started to do some warm up exercises and before they were finished, the seats were more than half-filled with excited fans chatting away to each other. There were large numbers of students who tended to stay with the same people they hung out with all through the day, all of them trying to carve out territories for their own small clans and yelling across the spaces to get other members of their groups to join them. In the spaces in between these groups were adults, most of them in couples, a few with smaller children heavily bundled up seating between and beside them. There was also the occasional high school couple sitting close together not really paying attention to anything around them.

The marching band was filling up the seats on the bottom at the far right and there was a discordant racket in the air as they started to tune their instruments in preparation for the game. The section of seating that they filled turned into a solid block of white broken only by the black and red accents on their uniforms and the flashes of gold and black from their instruments. As they finally settled down, Mrs. Kane started them into a lively rendition of the school's fight song. Gwen took her cue and led the cheer squad out onto the field and they lined up into two columns forming a path through which the players could take the field.

Hakon came running with the rest of the boys on the team behind him and the crowd took to their feet in a roaring cheer for the new team captain who had saved them from yet another defeat when he joined the team before last week's game. He was everyone's golden boy and it was a long time before the crowd quieted. By the time the visiting team came out to a smattering of polite applause, Hakon was putting on his helmet while talking to the coach about last minute strategies.

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