Read by Zach Friedman
Audio Engineering by Chris Moody
Parental Guidance Suggested
Most of our listeners are familiar with Heffery DeRego’s Union Dues series both on escapepod and now his new series of the Team Shikaragaki on our podcast. If you haven’t yet been infected with the Union Dues bug, you will have the joy of getting to go back into our archives and escapepod’s Union Dues archives to catch up with the stories.
The smell of greasy hamburgers and the sound of calliope music sneaks into the small dark dressing room off the main stage of the Missouri State Fair.
Kitty and TK are already in costume, Johnny Toruko is in the back getting dressed, and Miss Jennifer is alternating between looking at her watch and glaring at us for not being quicker.
“Five minutes,” she says.
“Almost ready Miss Jennifer,” we answer in sing-song voice.
I’ve barely got my last white glove on before the Team Shikaragaki Go! theme music starts.
Kitty is out first. She handsprings across the center stage then leaps up and crouches on the light rig.
TK walks out next, waving and smiling. Her yellow tights catch the early Saturday afternoon sunlight and almost glow.
Some kids are waving drawings of us on homemade signs.
Johnny goes out next. He stops and makes a “bang-bang” motion with his hands until bolts of flickering blue/white lightning snake up his arms. He flashes each hand down and blasts the lightning into a grounded steel plate in the stage floor.
The fans, especially the young girls, scream so loud it vibrates the dressing room.
I was supposed to wait until our theme music hits the second bridge before taking the stage but all I can hear is the carousel, all I can smell is the food, and I come out early.