Friday, October 30, 2009

Chapter III. The Heroine

C 2004 By Gracie Prior
Chapter III. The Heroine
On the first day of school Butch looked around the room for his buddies. He knew Terry and Jimmy were in his class. He hoped they'd be here in time to claim the seats in front and back of him. As he sat idly twirling his new yellow no. 2 pencil, he looked at the door to Miss Grace's sixth grade class and in walked a vision in green and blue plaid. Being part Scottish, Butch loved plaids of every type, but that wasn't all. This vision was the very same girl he'd seen on the pogo stick two days ago. Only this time, her hair was all in one place and it moved fluidly as she walked way over to where he was sitting by the window. He tried to mentally think "safe" for the seats he was saving, but the girl bravely moved closer and closer to the choice spots.
He was frantic. The girl was approaching his aisle. She may be pretty, he thought, but she better stay off my turf. At that moment he heard a commotion and turned. Terry and Jimmy were racing to his row, their notebooks and pencil cases out front. It all came toegther in one mad push and shove. The girl sat down in front of Butch just as Terry, always the fastest runner, broke free and landed behind him. Butch saved the day by tapping the seat in the front row next to him and Jimmy sat down and caught his breath.
Butch glared at the girl and welcomed his friends. "About time, you guys. I tried to save seats, but you know." He nodded his chin at the girl, who was turning the back edges of her hair under and arranging her books in the desk.
"Yeah, tough break," Terry said looking at Jimmy who was still settling down. "You'll have to fight your own battles here, I guess." Butch noticed am impish grin on Terry's face as he said this.
Miss Grace arrived in a tailored navy suit, stood in front of the class, and cut the discussion short. "Class, we must get started by taking out our science books. We'll leave your seats as is for now. If there is any trouble, you will be moved. Otherwise, consider yourselves seated for the semester.
Butch glanced at Terry and frowned at Jimmy. He was truly upset that his perfect plan was foiled. It was the first year they were all in the same class. Oh, well, he thought you can't have everything.
The students began reading at the front of their science books, about the concept of polarization in magnets. The teacher was trying to explain by holding up two metal bars. Putting them together they attached and stuck in place. Miss Grace explained about how positive attracts negative. She turned one magnet around and tried to stick them together. When they wouldn't stick, she asked the class what the problem was.
Jimmy, who loved science, raised his hand and exclaimed, "Those poles don't attract each other."
Miss Grace asked him to explain.
"Well, for example," Jimmy said rather timidly, "if you put the same poles together, the bottoms will be slippery." Here the class snickered a bit. Jimmy went on, "I mean, you know, the bottoms will sort of fight each other and slip away sort of. The poles have to be opposite to stick together."
"So what you're saying, Jimmy, is that the two poles need to be opposite to attract and the same to repel."
A loud voice called out, "slippery bottoms, that's a new one."
The girl in front of Butch looked around at the rude person and since he was still grinning, Butch secretly took to heart the piercing glare the boy received. She raised her hand. "Miss Grace, Jimmy's answer helped a lot. I was always wondering about that funny slippery thing magnets do sometimes."
The class all looked at the girl, Mary, and settled down.
Miss Grace went on with another section in the science book. They were about to discover how electricity could affect metal when the bell rang for first recess.
Butch headed Jimmy and Terry off at Jimmy's desk as Mary slipped out the door. "Can you believe that? She's pushy, she doesn't even know us, but she stuck up for you, Jimmy. Imagine that."
(Will Jimmy be grateful for his rescue? Is there any hope for the club? Come back next Friday and we will enjoy a new installment together.)

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