Lavender walked up the steps. She held the three bottles of water, two hotdogs, and her game program. She stopped at row 304. Checking her ticket, she saw seat 14. “Excuse me,” she said, raising her voice and showing a beaming smile.
Two large men looked up at her, smiled, and then stood. She now had enough room to inch past the two men. Stepping into the row, she worked passed four other people, and a drink vendor.
Lavender sat on the bench with the faded 14 painted on it. She put two bottles under her seat and began munching on one of the hotdogs.
Six minutes of match play expired since she purchased her food. Lavender watched as her favorite soccer team, the Smashers, ran over the field. To her, they seemed to be better equipped than the Titans.
The fan clubs started with their chants, each one taunting the other team. A few single fans dished out friendly ribbing as they passed each other on the steps and even in the seats.
A few more minutes ticked by and the Smashers scored a goal. With it being a home game, the bleachers erupted with cheers and thunderous noise.
A few minutes after the tumult died down, the Titans landed on the scoreboard. The cheering, though not as prevalent, was just as loud.
“That was an excellent play,” Lavender said to herself around the last half of her second hotdog.
The game resumed. “Oh, that was a bad call by the ref,” Lavender said with a grimace. Titan fans agreed and let others know with cat calls and name calling.
Williams, a player on the Smahsers acquired a yellow card a few minutes before the half. Again the Smashers fans in the stands erupted. A few individual fans scuffled and were escorted from their seat by security.
The fan clubs kicked their chants into high gear. Each club worked at outdoing the other club and then pushed it up a notch.
Lavender moved for the stairs before half time started. Her nose twitched as she landed on the walkway. A shiver danced over her spine, and her arms turned to goose-flesh.
“This can’t be good,” she whispered. Her head turned and her eyes scanned the crowd. Frustration, anger, and even resentment flashed across several spectator’s faces. “Oh, dear,” Lavender said and moved into the tunnel under the seats.
She hustled across the open space, past a concession stand, and dashed into the women’s restroom. Slamming a stall door closed, she focused on calm feelings and simple happiness. Lavender’s clothes shifted and morphed into something entirely different. Her shorts extended past her knees and hugged her legs. The peasant top shrunk and covered her arms to the wrists. An emblem of a dove appeared just below her collar bones. A swath of purple appeared over her eyes and around her head, holding her hair in place.
Lavender entered the restroom but her alter ego, Solace, exited.
A loud noise came from the seating area. Solace dashed through the same tunnel and found chaos ruling. Several people wearing Titans colors were beating a single individual wearing a Smashers jersey. Security guards were being pummeled by other people that didn’t wear any affiliation clothing.
Taking a large breath and exhaling, Solace took flight. Once in the air she reassessed the crowd. The two fan clubs had cleared the distance separating them and were in an all-out brawl with each other. Adults everywhere were fighting. A few teenagers were even involved.
The sight of two young children pulled Solace’s attention. They were in the way of two large men and about to be trampled. Solace hurried over to the younglings and stood in the path. “Peace and gentleness,” she said, letting the smile spread across her lips and lighting her eyes.
The two burly men paused, looked at Solace, blinked twice, and then looked around. Both men looked at each other then back to Solace.
“What’s done is done,” the petite hero said. “Let it go. Please see these children to safety.” Solace turned to show the two kids behind her.
“Oh, crap!” One man leaned forward and scooped up a kid, the other man ushered the second child in front of him. “We got this lady. Thanks.”
“You are welcome, good sir,” Solace smiled and scanned the crowd again.
“Ahhhh,” the high pitched voice said from over the soccer pitch. “My lovely sister has graced us with her presence.”
Solace turned to see her identical twin hovering out of reach. Aside from their costumes, they matched in every visible way. Their powers were even identical. The difference was how they chose to use them.
“Conflict,” Solace called out. “You’re the cause of this?”
“Sort of,” the slender black clad woman said. “I just enhanced what was already there. You already know this.”
Solace stepped from the steps and into the air. “Connie, stop this. People are going to kill each other.” In answer to her statement, two people were thrown over the railing to land in the grass of the pitch.
“That doesn’t matter,” Conflict laughed. “They want to do this any way. Otherwise, they would just stop.”
Solace turned, looking at the crowd. In just the few moments of conversation, it seemed as if the violence increased.
“If you won’t stop this, then I will,” Solace grimaced at her sister.
“Right.” Conflict let out a belly laugh. “You go into that and stop it. That’s hilarious, Ms. Pacifist.”
A loud banging noise sounded overhead. Solace looked up and saw the speaker. Her head darted to the wall of glass indicating the announcer’s booth.
Solace turned back and humphed at her sister.
Throwing her arms back and leaning into her path, Solace zoomed to the announcer’s booth. The door was already broken and four people were knocked out, laying strewn over the floor. Going inside, she saw two more people struggle with each other.
Solace reached up and touched both of their shoulders. “Calm down. I need help. Make it so I can talk over this.” Holding a microphone, Solace’s eyes bored into the two women.
Without even bothering to straighten themselves up, both women reached over and flipped switches.
A quick squeal of feedback sounded, but people kept fighting. Conflict looked at the booth.
“Excuse me,” Solace’s clam, quiet voice came over the sound system.
The people didn’t even acknowledge that someone even spoke. Conflict laughed louder.
Solace’s voice warbled, “Imagine there’s no heaven. It’s easy if you try. No hell below us, above us only sky.” Her voice picked up in volume and tone. A handful of people stopped and looked at the nearest speaker.
“Imagine all the people, living for today – aha-ah.” Solace’s words flowed and fit the familiar melody. More people stopped fighting. Three began mouthing the words.
Conflict looked at the crowd. “Come on! Get to it!” Conflict flew into the crowd. “You two,” she pointed at two men. “Fight!”
Both men looked at Conflict, then shook their heads. One made a dismissive gesture.
Conflict’s eyes turned into saucers. She clinched and unclenched her fists. “Stop it!”
“Imagine there’s no countries, it isn’t hard to do,” Solace’s voice filled the stadium. “Nothing to kill or die for, and no religion, too.”
Everyone stopped fighting. Several picked up the song and added their voices.
“NO!” Conflict smacked someone. She grabbed another person and locked eyes with them. “Kill Solace!”
The young man broke from Conflict and shook his head. “Get lost, creep!”
“Imagine all the people, living life in peace…You…”
The entire stadium picked up the song. Bodies swayed and smiles were passed along. People slowly straightened themselves up and cleaned up messes. They continued singing.
With a growl, Conflict flew from the stadium.
Half time was extended so the players and spectators could finish cleaning up. Lavender found her seat in time for the second half. “This is the life.” Lavender reached under her seat and pulled out a bottle of water. She took the first sip as the whistle blew starting the half.
“Imagine” Words and Music by John Lennon