Friday, June 05, 2015

Holy Fudgesicles

By Jason Bougger
Young Adult, 237 pages
Cover art by Trisha FitzGerald
Purchase from Barnes and Noble, Smashwords or Amazon
Getting run over by a bus can ruin your day, but it doesn't have to ruin your summer. The accident leaves ninth grader Kyle Hickman seemingly dead at the scene as he makes a quick visit to an unexpected afterlife. He awakens unscathed with a new sense of being, an unclear mission, and mystical healing powers.

Holy Fudgesicles follows Kyle as he comes to terms with the new life resulting from his powers, while taking on the increasingly difficult tasks of covering his tracks and fulfilling his purpose.
“We’ll never get laid playing Dungeons and Dragons.”
Those were the words my pal Chris used to convince me to put down the dice and pick up the pigskin.
The words that so eloquently hit me over the head, telling me I was a dork.
They were also, of course, the words that ran through my head as I died.
I suppose it shouldn’t have come as a big shock to anyone. I always did lack the basic coordination required to succeed in any kind of athletic activity. But on that infamous Sunday afternoon, when Zack and Mike reluctantly hit the backyard to throw around a football with me, I knew something great was about to come down the horizon for all of us.
Our gaming group consisted of Zack, Mike, and Chris, but it was Chris who was the first to drop out. He was right, of course. It was time to give up the silly kid’s stuff and start trying to fit in if we wanted our lives to amount to anything.
It was time to put the days of role playing and video games behind us. In their place: sports, beer, and girls. We were, after all, entering our final summer vacation before starting high school.
So with a canceled gaming session, I felt we had no alternative but to try following the killer advice given to me by Chris just an hour earlier. I dusted off the unused football my dad bought me for Christmas last year and brought it over to Zack’s house.
“What the hell are we supposed to do with that?” Mike asked, using the same tone he might have used to ask why someone would bring an antique porcelain statue to a pre-school birthday party.
“I don’t know.” The thing still felt awkward in my hands. “Throw it around, I guess.”
“Why would we want to do that?” He grimaced, backing up a few steps as he said it.
I thought about it for a couple of seconds, looking at the way he wore one of his too-tight-shirts tucked into his too-short-shorts really making his gut stick out, and then the correct answer came to me: “Because it’s what the cool kids do.”
Zack poked his head out from around the corner. “What? We’re not cool?”
“No. We’re not,” I said, staring squarely at his mullet.
“But I’ve got a Monty Python’s Flying Circus DVD on in the living room as we speak.”
“You know what? We’ll never get laid watching Monty Python’s Flying Circus.” I didn’t let the fact that I was standing in his front door stop me from throwing the ball directly at him. Or at least attempting to throw the ball directly at him. Since that was the first time I had ever actually thrown a football, it just kind of spun out of control in his general direction.

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