Rogue Cheerleader

Reads: 147  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 0

More Details
Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
Heather Colson has just arrived in Columbus, Ohio, for a rodeo event. She's staying at a Best Western hotel. She's lucky to get a room because there's a high school state cheerleader championship in town and all the other rooms are booked.

Later in the evening, some cheerleaders blast their television next door. Heather walks over and asks them to turn it down. They then blast the television again and start pounding on the wall, so Heather calls the front desk. Then after Heather falls asleep, someone knocks on her door around midnight. When she opens it, a tall cheerleader tells her she ran into her truck. But when Heather goes outside, the girl pulls a knife on her. She orders Heather to take a walk across a snowy field and into the woods. They soon end up down a hill and alongside a culvert, where the two decide to fight.

The teen cheerleader proves to be a formidable opponent who's hell-bent on paying the cowgirl back for getting her in trouble with her coach. And the culvert appears to be the perfect locale to exact her revenge.

This is the sixth novelette in the "Tough Girls" series and is every bit as action-packed as the others. The question is, who wins between the cheerleader and cowgirl? And what happens to the loser?

Submitted: September 12, 2016

A A A | A A A

Submitted: September 12, 2016

A A A

A A A


Heather Colson pulled into the Best Western Hotel lot, parked her Ford pickup and turned off the ignition.  She leaned back in her seat and closed her eyes.  She took a deep breath and slowly let it out through pursed lips, which rustled her blonde bangs.  After nineteen and a-half hours on the road—from Dallas to Columbus, Ohio—she’d finally made it to the site of tomorrow’s rodeo.  It was just after five in the afternoon, as the cold wind chuffed at the sides of her truck and rocked it on its chassis.  Snow was on the way according to a reporter she’d just heard on the radio.  And that was on top of the four inches already on the ground.

Heather grabbed her white cowboy hat and placed it on her head.  She stepped out into the cold January winds, clicked her lock shut with her fob and ambled toward the front lobby.  A couple girls passed her in the entryway and smiled.  She returned the smile and opened the second set of glass doors before entering Best Western’s lobby.

Six girls stood in line at the front desk behind an adult female, who wore sweats and a red fleece sweatshirt.  Farther down the hall, a dozen more girls congregated around a vending machine, where one girl pulled a soft drink from the open vent.The teens laughed as the girl opened it and watched it fizz and overflow.  Her mouth widened and she smiled, then shook the soda off her soaked hand.

Heather saw some other girls traipsing toward the adjacent hallway.  Some huge sporting event was apparently going on, but all Heather could think about was getting some sleep.  She hoped the room would be quiet tonight.

“Hi.  Welcome to Best Western,” said the young female clerk at the counter.  “How can I help you?”

“I need a room for two nights.  Non-smoking.”

“Okay.  Let’s see if I have anything available.”

“Oh, don’t tell me that,” said Heather.  “I’ve just driven all the way from Texas, and I’m exhausted.”

“I understand,” said the girl, “but there’s a state cheerleading competition in town this weekend, and many of the rooms are already booked.”

“Oh, I see,” said Heather.  She watched the girl’s fingers dance across the computer keyboard.

“I do have two single beds left on the top floor.”

“Is it non-smoking?”

“Yes.  There’s no smoking in this hotel.”

“Perfect.  I’ll take it.”  Heather handed the girl her MasterCard.

“You’re in room 650.  Just take the elevator to the sixth floor and hang a right.  It’s the last room down on the left.”

“Thanks,” said Heather, as the girl handed her the tiny white envelope containing her room key.  She strolled back out into the cold air and grabbed her suitcase.  The sun was just starting to set as dozens of girls walked outside and headed for their cars.  They were probably on their way to McDonald’s, Taco Bell or whatever fast food joints teen girls fancied today.

Heather dropped her suitcase on the bed and pulled her cell phone out of her jeans.  She called her friend Sally.  She answered on the second ring.

“Yeah, where are you?”

“I’m still in traffic,” said Sally.  “I’m about thirty miles away on 71 North.”

“Are the horses okay?”

“Yeah.  They’re great.  I just checked them twenty minutes ago.”

“Okay.  You getting a hotel down by the arena then?”

“Yeah.  But it’s going to be awhile before I get there.”

“I’d imagine so from the traffic,” said Heather.  She sat down in a chair near a round table.  “Let me know when you get in.”

“I will.”

The rodeo was tomorrow night at Nationwide Arena.  Sally was transporting both of their horses from Tulsa, Oklahoma.  Heather had driven her single trailer up to Tulsa and parked it at Sally’s ranch.  She then drove ahead because she wanted to visit some relatives in Ohio for a couple days after the competition.

“I better go,” said Sally.  “Traffic is getting crazier by the minute.  And there’s a wreck up ahead.”

“Okay.  Be careful.

“I will.”

“Later.”

Heather had been friends with Sally since they were in high school themselves—a decade ago.  They both road the rodeo circuit and were competing in the barrel racing and calf wrestling events tomorrow night.

Heather set her phone down on the dresser.  She took off her hat and placed it down next to the cell.  She then grabbed the menu from the dresser and scanned the lists of restaurants in the area.  Best Western didn’t have a restaurant—just a room where they furnished a continental breakfast each morning.

Heather dozed off at eight o’clock, after consuming a small steak and potato from a nearby restaurant.  She slept in her clothes on top of the bedspread, as the television droned on low volume.  Around ten-thirty, she heard someone shout.  It came from the room next door.  A couple minutes later, the television started blaring.

“Shit,” said Heather as she sat up and placed both boots on the carpet.  She listened as the television continued blaring, then several girls started laughing and screaming.

“I’m going to put an end to this real quickly,” said Heather.  She didn’t know whether to call the front desk or confront the girls herself.  But she had to do something.  She needed to get a good night’s sleep to be prepared for tomorrow’s rodeo.  She decided to walk over and knock on the door.  Didn’t these girls have chaperones?

Heather made sure she had the room key with her.  She tapped the front right pocket of her snug indigo Levi’s, felt the key and flipped off her television set.  She then walked out in the hallway.  Several seconds later, she knocked on the door to room 648.

She heard some girls mumble something, then their TV went silent.  A short red-haired girl opened the door thirty seconds later.

“Yeah,” she said.  A taller brunette stood behind her.  She glared at Heather with her large dark eyes, as if she were interrupting something important.

“I’m staying in the room next door.  Could you keep the TV down please?  I have to get up early tomorrow for a meeting.”

“Okay,” said the redhead.  “We’ll keep it down.”  Heather heard laughter after the girl closed the door.  She walked back to her room, grabbed her tooth brush and started getting ready for bed.  She had just grabbed her belt buckle, preparing to take off her jeans, when the television started blaring again. Then someone knocked on the wall several times.  Seconds later, multiple girls were pounding on the wall.

Heather reached over and dialed the front desk.

“Hi, how may I help you?” the woman said.

“I’ve got some girls up here blasting their television and pounding on the wall.  This is even after I went over and asked them to turn their TV down.”

“This is room six forty-eight you’re talking about?”

“Yeah.”

“I’ll call them and ask them to turn it down,” said the front desk lady.  She sounded different than the one who’d greeted her earlier.

“I really appreciate it . . . Oh, one other thing.”

“Yes.”

“Can I get a wake-up call for seven a.m.?”

“Sure.  I got you down.”

“Thanks.”

Heather listened.  She couldn’t hear the phone ring over the loud TV, but someone turned the TV volume down a couple minutes later.

“Now then,” said Heather.  “Time to get some sleep.”  She called Sally to see if she’d gotten in okay.  She said she it took a couple hours from the time they’d spoken to get to the arena.  She was staying in a Holiday Inn Express not too far away.  All the cowgirls and cowboys had to meet down at the arena at nine a.m.  Then she had to get her horse ready for the rodeo events.

“I asked you to call me.”

“Sorry,” said Sally.  “I was hungry and grabbed something to eat.”

“You’re forgiven.”

“Thanks.”

Heather placed her cell and room key on the dresser near her cowboy hat.  She then ambled over and flipped off the entryway light.  She left the bathroom light on but closed the door.  That’s so she could see if she needed to get up during the night.  She ambled back across the room and clicked the standing lamp off by the desk.  Only one lamp remained on—the one on the nightstand next to the bed.

Heather sat down on the bed.  She listened for several minutes as the mumbling waned down next door.She decided to lie on her bed in her clothes in case she had to get up again.  She had just fallen asleep when she heard a knock on her door.

Heather’s eyes shot open.  She gazed at the alarm clock.  It was 11:49 p.m.

Boom . . . boom . . . boom.  Three knocks this time.

Heather’s heart started pounding.  She stood, walked over to the desk, stuffed her room key into her front jeans pocket and donned her hat.  She traipsed over and peeked through the peep hole.  On the other side stood the brunette girl whom she saw earlier.  She was dressed in a red sweater and black tights.

Heather opened the door.  She stared at the girl who stood about 5’9”—five inches taller than she.  The girl probably weighed 135 to 140 pounds.

“Can I help you?” said Heather.  She tilted the brim of her hat over her eyes, a habit she had when she first started talking to people.

“That your blue Ford pickup outside?”

“I’m not sure.  There’s probably more than one.”

“Well, I’m talking about yours,” the girl said.  “One of my friends saw you get out of it earlier.”

“What’s the problem?”  Heather felt her heart sink.

“I just ran into it.”

“What?”

“I was out getting a late snack at the convenient store down the road.  When I pulled in, I slid on some ice and hit your truck.”

Heather pursed her lips.  What next—a fall off her horse tomorrow in front of thousands of fans?

“Let me get my coat and I’ll be right out.”

“Take your time.”

Heather grabbed her leather jacket and walked into the hallway.  Her truck keys were already in her jeans.  The floor was silent and no one else was around.  A few of the bulbs had burned out near their rooms, which rendered the hallway unusually dark.  The two walked to the elevator.

“After you,” said the girl.

Heather stepped into the elevator and hit “L” for the lobby.  The girl stepped in and shot her a quick glance that Heather didn’t see.

“So, you’re a cheerleader?” said Heather, as she glanced over at her.

“Yeah, up in Cleveland.”

“I see.”

“We’re competing in the state championship here.”  The girl scanned Heather from head to feet.  “What’s your story?  Are you a cowgirl or something?”

“Yeah, a professional rodeo rider.  I’m competing tomorrow against some other cowgirls.”

“Cool,” the girl said.  “I’ve never met a rodeo cowgirl before.  And a professional one to boot.”

“Really.  It’s no big deal.”

“Sure it is.”  The girl looked up at the illuminated numbers above the elevator door, as the unit passed the second floor.  “And you’re not from around her either, I gather.”

“No, I’m from Dallas.”

“I was going to say Texas or Oklahoma from your accent,” the girl said.  “Imagine that, I’m in an elevator with a real Texas cowgirl.”

“That’s right.”  Heather rolled her eyes.  She was now fuming but tried not to project her anger.

The elevator pinged, then the door opened.  Heather stepped out, headed for the front door of the hotel, opened it and walked into the cold night air.  She didn’t know why she had parked so far away.  Usually, she moved closer when she stayed at hotels, after she located her room.  Her truck was parked on the far end of the parking lot near an open field.  In the distance, trees bordered the fringes of the dark field on two abutting sides, where a hundred yards of pristine snow lay before it, shadowed by the night skies.

Heather walked behind her truck.  She bent down and examined the paint on both sides of her fender.  “Where did you hit me?”  The girl didn’t answer.Heather paused a second; she then stood and looked back at the teen.  The girl held a knife at her side, which glistened under a nearby parking light.  The knife was at least four inches long.

“Wait a minute,” said Heather.  She stuck her hands up by her ears.  “What’s going on here?”

“Not here, cowgirl.  Too many security cameras.  Let’s take a walk.”

The girl approached her.  Heather put her hands up again and backed up.  The girl’s voice deepened.

“Turn around and walk toward the far end of the field.”

(Sample only. Go to my bookshelf to order rest of story.  Only 99 cents.


© Copyright 2017 Rick Suttle. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments: