“Welcome to Mountain View High School.” Said the guide.
The wide-eyed 8th grader peered out from the shadow of the tall freshman and glanced at the magnificent pile of dirt.
“Now don’t get too close… legend has it there are Things growing in there.” Whispered the powerful freshman. His shadow along with his friends’ shadows began to tremble. No amount of Ambassador visits or orientation days could prepare them for the mystery of The Fountain.
“How’d it disappear?” One brave 8th grader asked.
“I heard Superman got mad and smashed it.” Chirped a shadow.
“I heard someone stole it because they were upset it wasted so much water” piped another.
“No, no…the story is much more grand… and scarier. It all began with a slice of cheese pizza….” The gaggle of 8th graders leaned closer to hear the miraculous tale of how Mountain View High School built a fountain and then lost it.
The pizza cart was in its usual hustle and bustle when suddenly there was a scream from somewhere in the disfigured line leading down from the cart. A boy stood in the middle of the quad with his cheese pizza held high in the air.
“I HATE CHEESE!” He yelled, disatisfied that the cart had run out of more decadent choices. As kids rushed away from the manic sophomore one could spot the pizza slice making a perfect arc from his hand to the floor. Now, historians have disputed whether it was the boy who flung the pizza out of his hand, or if the pizza flew by itself. No one will ever know because no one ever saw the sophomore again. It is said that people like to look up at the sky on a dark, clear night and see his face on the moon.
In a few weeks the Pizza Incident was forgotten along with the cheese pizza that decomposed into the cement of the quad…or did it. See, no one bothered to check because it was just an ordinary piece of cheese pizza. Perhaps if it actually had something spicier to offer the world, the scholars of Mountain View would have paid more attention to it.
Things at Mountain View returned to their normal pace and soon admin announced plans for an original Spartan fountain. Naturally, the mood was cheery and even a ribbon was cut to signify the beginning of a new Spartan endeavor. Jack hammers broke the gilded surface of our school and construction was projected to take 3 months.
Finally, after much anticipation, the fountain was to be placed on its throne. As fountains like dirt, it was surrounded by dirt.
Admin decided it would be best to install the fountain at midnight to decrease the chance of defacement and other silly things teenagers do to express themselves or whatever.
As we try to compete with the Athenians, our fountain had to be impressive. The Spartan Fountain required its own entourage. There was the crane crew in charge of air lifting the 100 foot fountain from its chambers, placing it on the dirt which the dirt crew made sure to smooth out and level to perfection, so that lastly the hair and makeup crew could make sure the fountain was all dolled up for its 15 minutes of fame.
And 15 minutes was all it received. For after the crews and admin and other people who wander Mountain View High at night, packed up and left, the ground began to rumble. And then all at once, the beautiful fountain was gone.
In the morning, photographers, news reporters, tv reporters, stood at disbelief at the spot where the missing fountain once sat, looking over its future kingdom. There were frowns, there were tears, someone suggested digging through the dirt, but another condemned that suggestion as it would be a disgrace to the Fountain’s legacy.
Weeks rolled by and the pile of dirt, once so young and smooth, laid curled up in clumps, mourning its stolen fame, and eventually just looked like a pile of dirt. Everyone missed the Spartan Fountain. Even if they didn’t see it, they believed in its beauty.
One sunny February afternoon, as the pizza cart waited on impatient tummies, there was a rumble from the ground. The air smelled like cheese and students began thinking they were experiencing déjà vu. When the shaking stopped a piece of paper laid in the middle of the quad. “I took the fountain. Just as you took my chance to be a pepperoni pizza.”
I guess that’s the way the world works. We take things because we want to be more than just cheese.