Return of Myles 3L

With swollen red eyes, Myles scanned the members of the Bark Bay High School fencing team, who had instinctively gathered around Coach Dan as Myles approached. Their former captain — second in foil at last year’s state tournament, four-year starting quarterback, career assist leader on the basketball team, drafted but not signed by the Cincinnati Reds in the amateur baseball draft — and currently just another nameless college freshman at State, raised his right arm to chest level, and pointed an accusing finger at his former teammates.

“You’re a bunch of losers.” He fully extended his arm, his accusatory finger now pointed directly at Double-J. “Powerless rebel.” At Rex, “Pariah.” At Annie, “Scared little girl.” At Bernie, “Spaz.” At Butch, “Lard-ass.” At Kassie, “Freak.”

Coach Dan held up his right hand, palm facing back at his team. “And me? What sobriquet will you honor me with?”

Myles lowered his right arm, smiled venomously at his former coach. “Oh how noble, coach, trying to defend these poor wretches who’ve fallen under your spell. Tell me, does it bother you to know that you’re just using them?”

Coach Dan flinched, but did not answer. Myles raised his chin, called out to the team behind him. “Has he told you about his fencing career? How he blew out his knee before his first tournament, and never recovered?”

“Yes.” Annie followed her response with a cold stare back at Myles.

Myles laughed, taking a step back. “Doesn’t that tell you why he started this team, after a decade of not fencing? He’s having a mid-life crisis, folks! You’re just puppets to him, he’s vicariously living the fencing career he couldn’t enjoy through you!” He leaned forward, clapped twice, then stood upright, his face filled with mock wonder. “But wait — none of you are quite as good as he was, back in the day.” He pointed at Rex. “Perhaps you’ll qualify for states this year, in epee, but no, you’re not going to medal, the Academy’s too strong.” He held his arms wide. “There was only one person, one fencer who could realize his unfulfilled potential.”

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