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There Once Was A Boy Named Webster

There once was a boy named Webster. He lived in his shoes. Not like that fabled little old lady, no, for he did not actually reside in them. But he never took them off. Webster did not have too many friends. He really only had the one whose name was Asher. Asher had a lot more friends than Webster, or Web as Asher called him. But Asher preferred Webster over them all. Maybe it was because Web liked to read and to draw pictures, or maybe it was because Web and he had been friends since they could remember. One thing was for sure; wherever Asher was Webster was and wherever Webster was Asher could also be found.

So it was peculiar when Web was found by himself in library one Tuesday afternoon. Not because Webster was in a library, of course not, that was all too a familiar sight to the townspeople. It was the fact that Asher was not beside that sparked their curiosity. Hushed rumors flew through the library keepers, and the books seemed in on the talk too. Webster could feel it. He was already uneasy with his task of being there. And on top of that, Asher was not with him to lend a humourous joke. But to pile on top of that, the books, who had been his friends for as long as Asher had, were whispering about him. He could care less about the librarians whispering about him, for he had a knack to ignore humans talk, but the books! Webster was so distraught over the betrayal he almost forgot why he was in the library in the first place.

It was a lovely Tuesday and all the children were out of doors, playing some childish game Web had declared ridiculous. But he did not ever stop Asher from joining in and hoped his dear friend was out enjoying the balmy climate. All of a sudden, an angel graced past him and Webster forgot all his worries about Asher and the gossiping books. He was focused completely on her. The seraph glanced down at Web and smiled a polite, uninterested smile. But the part of her smile that was uninterested was not registered by Webster, the brainy, highly intelligent fourth grader. He was in love. Or so he thought. Asher had not yet thought of girls beyond squirmy, squeal-y, squirmy, cooty-infested pests. Up until last Thursday, Webster could not have agreed more. But then Iris came to town and Web was a changed man, as his mother had called him. He had, upon hearing her say “man”, puffed out his chest and flounced out of the room. But all that confidence was lost under Iris’s gaze. Webster thought she was the beautiful-est, sweetest, “purdiest” girl he had ever set eyes on.



NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING!


That was what Webster had told Asher when Asher had inquired Web about what he was to do at the library alone. Little did Asher know that Web planned to spy on Iris. And that is exactly what he was doing. In the thirty seven minutes Iris had been in the library, Webster had discovered exactly how she walked (in a kind of floating motion, his notebook read), he knew the precise movements she used to brush her bangs out of her eyes (an angry, choppy flick…unlike her, the notebook read again), and he knew how she yawned (angelically, written inside a heart.) His love did not waver one bit when he observed Iris did not share his love in literature. It, in fact, grew stronger. Webster thought it cute how she rolled her eyes at the stack of books in front of her. By nano increments, he scooted closer to Iris. First, only by a chair length. But gradually, becoming impatient, by a whole table. Webster thought she did not notice him but she did. And she was not impressed. Iris could feel eyes on her and goose bumps rose on her arms. Uncomfortable, she became even more irritated and slammed books all too hard, causing the librarian’s attention to be redirected. The sinewy bespectacled woman glared up from behind her horn rimmed glasses and silenced Iris with a single look.


Webster decided it was time to make a move. As he was building up the courage, he nonchalantly packed up his notebook, pen, and other miscellaneous objects. Then, in one bound, circled the table and strode off to Iris’s table. He was walking with his head down and so he did not discover that Iris was absent from her seat. Webster stood, head hung, in front of where he thought she was sitting and mumbled a greeting. When no one replied, he peeped up from beneath his collar. Finding no soul before him, he peered around the library. The sight of Iris’s retreating back sent disappointment surging through Webster. He pulled his collar around his face and slung his bag over his shoulder. Webster passed the librarians without a single glance in their direction. Girls are overrated, he thought. And then he went out to play.





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