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By Tori S.
age: 12

Chapter One

Ha, ha! Their laughter was mocking me. I grabbed my book bag to cover my exposed underwear, but it had been replaced with a note stating “NERD.'' I ran out of the humiliating scene. I dashed down the hallway, skirting chuckling students. I barged into a classroom and the inhabitants all broke out laughing. I could feel my face go a few shades darker. I went out into the hallway and kept on endlessly sprinting and then I was falling, falling.

“And welcome back to Early Bird Monday on your favorite radio station in the whole state of Indiana. Today we have--”

I woke with a start, and then rolled over to turn off my radio alarm clock. “That nightmare was horrible, but it wasn’t the worst one,” I thought. I’d been having nightmares about starting high school for quite a while. Today I would have to live it. I shuddered.

I was going to Carston High and what one hears about it would scare any reasonable parent from sending their child there. Unfortunately, I don’t have reasonable parents. With that though, I knew I had to get up and leave before my dad got up. Although I’d heard him up late, I didn’t want to risk it.

I tumbled out of bed and put on a pair of worn blue jeans, a black t-shirt, and a pair of old tennis shoes way past their prime. I went into the bathroom and attempted to brush my unruly, fiery red hair. Then I brushed my teeth. I gazed into the mirror with hope. Nope. I had a volcano on the end of my nose, ready to erupt. No matter what I did, I always got horrible pimples and zits. tried my best to cover it up with some make up.

Then I went down to the kitchen to try and dig up something for breakfast. I got lucky, for there were some corn flakes in the cupboard. I made myself a bowl and cleared away enough beer cans to sit down and eat. I hurried up so I wouldn’t wake my dad.

When I was done, I packed my old, worn back pack and headed out the front door, careful not to slam it. I walked through the morning mist slowly, thinking about what school was going to be like.

I finally arrived at my bus stop. There were two other kids there, other than me. Five more arrived over the course of the next ten minutes. Some people stood in groups with their friends, but I stood alone. I didn’t have any friends who were coming to Carston with me. My only friend had moved away over the summer. “Don’t think about it. You’ll just start crying and then make an idiot of yourself,” I told myself.

Finally, through the mist, I could see the yellow of the school bus. It pulled up and everyone got on. I walked down the aisle, looking for an empty seat, but this was the last stop and most of the seats were already taken. I settled for a seat in the back, next to a tiny boy reading what looked to be a Star Wars book. He didn’t so much as blink when I sat down. “Must be pretty engrossed in that book,” I thought.

I bent down and opened up my book bag and delved into it to find my own book. I found it and got it out. The book was''Eragon'', my favorite book ever. I started to read, but was soon interrupted. Someone had come up behind the boy next to me and had pushed his face up against the window.

“How was your summer dork? I missed beating you up. Well, now we’re back and we’re going to have a little reunion,” the attacker growled in a deep voice in the poor boys’ ear. The assailant was a big boy who looked like he picked on kids regularly.

I knew I should keep out of it, but it was not fair, so of course I stuck up for him. “That is not polite, you know. Please leave him alone. He did nothing to offend you.”

“Why do you care?,” the bully inquired.

“It is just not right for you to beat him up. That’s all,” I told him.

“Whatever,” he replied. The goon gave the boy one last shove and then left.

The boy muttered his gratitude.

“I’m Amy. I’m a sophomore. I come from Grafton High,” I informed him.

“I’m Elliot and I’m also a sophomore. I look young because I skipped fifth grade. Why did you stick up for me? It will only cause you trouble from all the goons at this school,” he said.

“I don’t think it is right to beat people up because their different,” I enlightened him. By that time, we had arrived at school. We ended our conversation and walked to the doors of the bus. The bully who had beaten up Elliot shoved us to get by.

At last, I got out and then I stopped. A humungous mass of kids stretched before me. At first I was nervous and scared. Then I got over it and took a big breath and stepped into turmoil.

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