Friday, May 30, 2008

The Third Installment

Alright people, I have to warn you... This piece is unedited. I wrote it, and I'm posting. I didn't have time to read back through it, because I have to go to work in two minutes. So, as a result, this is some very dirty fiction. Enjoy!


Max jumped out of bed in the morning, feeling energized at the very moment he opened his eyes. He quickly got dressed with the clothes his parents had laid out for him the night before, then reached underneath his pillow to retrieve the lucky pen his mother had given him the night before. He stashed it safely in the pocket of his jeans, where the end of it stuck out a little, and he made his way to the kitchen.

“Good morning, buddy,” his mom said through a smile as she was standing by the table, about to pour him a bowl of cereal. “Did you wanna go through those words one more time?”

Max shook his head enthusiastically. “Nope! Now that I have your lucky pen, I won’t need any more help!” He patted his pocket, and his mom grinned at the top of the pen sticking out.

“Well, here’s some Lucky Charms to go along with it. Have a seat.”

He hopped up into the chair and she slid the bowl in front of him before pouring milk into it. He ate the cereal as fast as he could, while still eating the normal pieces first and saving the sweet marshmallows until the end.

When they were in the car on the way to school, his mother asked him from the front seat, “So, do you have that test first thing this morning? Or later on in the day?”

“Oh, it’s later,” he yelled up to her. “Not until after lunch.”

“Well, that’s too bad… I bet you’d like to just get it out of the way, huh?”

“It’ll be okay, mom. I know all the words now, I’m not going to forget them.”

She laughed as she pulled up to the school. She turned around, and leaned over the console to look at him. “Good luck today, Max. Dad’s gonna pick you up after school, and I’ll see you later on tonight when I get home from work. Okay?”

“Okay! Bye mom!” He said as he was already hopping out onto the sidewalk. She drove away as he ran towards the playground, his backpack bouncing behind him.

There was still about twenty minutes before the morning bell would ring and they had to go inside, and today was the day the girls were going to chase the boys.

Max dropped his backpack by the rest of the pile, and quickly spotted Katie. She was chasing someone else, but he knew that would change as soon as he made himself noticed. The trick was to make sure Katie noticed him before one of the other girls did.

He crept quietly along the outside of the playground, trying to appear like he wasn’t part of the game. Once he was on the other side, where Katie was, he waited for her to get close.

When the boy she was chasing ran by Max, he entered the game. Katie had been about ten feet or so behind the boy, but once Max jumped in her way, she stopped altogether.

Now it was Max’s time to make a move, and he did it with a taunt. “Hi Katie!” He said loud and slow, drawing his words out as long as he could. “I bet you can’t catch me…”

“I bet I could, Max…” She challenged back. The just looked at each other intensely for a moment, or at least, as intensely as two first graders could possibly look at each other, and then the chase was on.

It lasted the whole twenty minutes they had. Under the monkey bars, up the rope ladder, through the big plastic tube, down the curving slide. She chased him past all of the equipment on the playground, and by all of the other kids, and they didn’t stop until the bell rang.

With the cry of the morning bell, all of the running kids instantly slowed to a walk, and put their heads down as they walked over to pick up their backpacks from the pile. They walked into the school in a clump of chatter and laughter.

Max went through science lessons and math problems with ease. Someone was shooting spitballs across the classroom for a while during social studies, but they stopped once the teacher was done writing up on the board. Max wasn’t sure who had done it. The first half of the day flew by, and Miss Beardsley didn’t even mention the spelling test before lunch.

It was pizza day in the cafeteria, so this caused quite a stir amongst the kids. Some of the boys Max sat with started throwing all of the food they didn’t want to eat on one tray, and one of took his fork and started mixing it all together.

Before long, they had a slurry of pizza sauce, corn, jello, yogurt, apple juice, potato chips, soggy bread, a banana, and cheez-its. Once it was thoroughly mixed, they carried on with the tradition of daring each other to eat it, until Ricky Glaso finally took a spoonful of the brownish mixture and slowly raised it to his lips. After all of the laughter, gross noises, and one kid almost throwing up, it was time to go back to class.

“Alright, kids,” Miss Beardsley said before they were even settled back into their desks. “It’s time for the test.”

Max and all of the other kids were silent, and she could tell that there was some nervousness in the room.

“Did you all study the words?”

“Yes, Miss Beardsley,” they rang out in unison.

“Well, then you have nothing to worry about,” she comforted them. “You know what? I know exactly how you all feel.”

“Really?” Some of the kids asked, while others just sat there confused.

“Yes, really,” she went on. “Remember how I’ve told you about how I’m going back to school right now too? For my Master’s Degree?” Most of the children nodded. “Well, one of my hardest classes is tonight, and we’re taking a test too. I know what it’s like to feel nervous, but you’re all going to do just fine.” And with those last words of encouragement, she started handing out the tests.

Max took the lucky pen out of his pocket, and got right to work as soon as Miss Beardsley given him his test. He had no problem spelling ‘extinct,’ or ‘honeydew,’ and he was sure he even spelled ‘astronaut’ without a problem. He coasted through the entire test without so much as a second thought, and he was one of the first kids to finish.

There was an ear-to-ear grin on his face as he carried his test up to his teacher, and she smiled back at him after she took it from his hands. Max returned to his desk to wait patiently for the other kids to finish so Miss Beardsley could read to them.

At the end of the day, all of the kids rushed out of the classroom right when the bell rang, but Max stayed behind a moment.

“Miss Beardsley?” He said as he walked up to her desk where she was sorting some papers.

“Yes Max? What is it?”

“I hope you do good on your test tonight,” he told her shyly.

She set the papers down and smiled at him. “Oh, that’s so sweet of you…”

“Because I was really nervous about the spelling test today, even though I had studied. But my mom, she gave me her lucky pen to take the test with, and I know I did a good job.”

“I’ll bet you did,” she told him, “you’re one of the best spellers in the class.”

“Thanks Miss Beardsley… I want you to have this…” He reached down to his pocket and grabbed the top of the pen that was sticking out. “It’s my mom’s lucky pen, but I already used it so I don’t think she’d mind.” He held it up to his teacher.

She paused for a moment and smiled at him. “Are you sure, Max?” He nodded. “Okay then, thank you very much.” And she took the pen from him, still smiling, and slid it above her ear. “I’ll use it for my test later.”

He grinned back at her and said, “Good night, Miss Beardsley!”

“Good night, Max!” She called after him, since he was already on his way out the door of the classroom to go meet his father.


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