“Welcome to the dodgeball arena.” Ashley spread her arms wide to take in the carpeted room for playing dodgeball.
Boxes, pillows, and foam tubes were scattered across to arena for cover.
Jules, Venus and I followed Ashley out into the middle of the arena.
“We’re playing ricochet dodgeball today, ladies. That means that the ball can bounce off things and hit you, and you’ll lose a life. You’ll each start out with ten lives. If you hit someone, you get another life, but if they hit you, you lose one. If you catch a ball, the person who threw it at you loses a life, and you gain one.
“If you run out of lives, you’re out of the game. Head-shots don’t count. The person with the most lives at the end of twenty minutes is the winner. Probably the most important rule if that there are no teams. It’s every girl for herself. You got that, Venus, Jules? You are not on the same team.”
Ashley pointed to three screens displayed above the dodgeball arena. The read “Jules Bailey,” “Tori Lee” and “Venus Abbe.” Each had the number 10 under it.
“The screen with your name is where your points will be shown,” Ashley continued. “Remember: NO TEAMS. Good luck, girls.”
We ran to hiding spots around the room and waited for the game to start. Ashley tossed the dodgeball into the air, yelled “Go!” and ran to the sidelines, where Charlotte, Teresa and Sianne were cheering.
I dashed out from behind some gigantic pillows where I had been hiding and scooped up the ball.
Venus had been going for the ball, too, and was standing right beside me. I turned to her and threw that ball at her.
It hit her in the leg.
Our screens changed: Tori: 11. Venus: 9.
Venus grabbed the ball off the floor and glared at me.
I ran for cover, swung myself over the foam tubes, and landed beside Jules.
Venus ran toward us and threw the ball. It hit Jules in the arm, missing me by inches.
Jules scrambled for the ball rolling around behind us, but I wrapped my arms around it first.
I tapped the neon-yellow ball against Jules’s foot.
I scrambled away from Jules and crouched behind a box.
Com’n, Tori! I yelled at myself. You’re the undefeated dodgeball champion at school. Get some people out!
As Venus and Jules rushed by my hiding spot, I aimed the ball at them. It bounced off Jules and hit Venus’s leg.
“That’s two pointed for Tori!” I crowed.
I left my hiding spot and took cover behind an overturned table, waiting for Jules or Venus to pick up the ball.
Fifteen minutes later, I threw the ball at Venus, who had only one life left. It hit her in the back and she fell to the floor. Venus was out! It was just me and Jules now.
I ran out and picked up the ball. Jules had just stepped out form behind the pillows I had hidden behind earlier, and was just where I wanted her.
I chucked the ball at her.
She raised her hands and caught the ball.
Jules launched the ball at me and it struck my shoulder.
I flung the ball at Jules, but she spread her legs wide and it zipped between them.
As I ran for cover, Jules threw the ball at my retreating form. It grazed my arm and ricocheted off the box beside me, hitting my leg.
I was beginning to think that I might not win the dodgeball challenge. I’d forgotten how good Jules was at dodgeball!
Jules closed her eyes, satisfied that she had hit me, the undefeated dodgeball champion, so many times. I took that moment to swoop in on her and hit her with the ball.
Beep! The twenty minutes was up, and we were tied: 10 to 10.
Ashley came onto the court and took the ball from Jules.
“We were prepared for a tie breaker,” Ashley said.
Jules and I stood across from each other, the ball in between us.
“Sudden Death,” a recorded voice boomed over the loudspeaker. “The first person to be hit loses. Fans, feel free to join in the count down. Three . . . ” Everyone on the sidelines chanted along with the voice. “Two . . . One . . . Sudden Death!“
Jules and I rushed for the ball. I scooped it up first and tagged Jules square in the chest.
“And Tori Lee from Team Tori is the winner of the dodgeball challenge!“
Charlotte ran into the arena and wrapped her arms around my neck.
We were beating Team Jules by one point. We just needed to win one more challenge — either the Cooking challenge or the Horseback Riding one — and we would win the whole BFF Wars.