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The Snob School, Outcasts, and Witchcraft

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A city boy and a rich school is not a good combination.

That’s what I told my aunt the day she stole me from Cleveland and sent me here. But that’s another story.

Walking into a room where every face belongs to a stranger is scarier than confronting a gang in which you stole something from. At least in that scenario some faces would be recognizable. As for here, friends? I have none.

“Name?” my teacher asks as soon as I enter my first classroom.


She is an elderly woman with way too much flab hanging below her neck.

“Goose,” I reply, scanning the room for an empty seat.

The class snickers. I can feel their eyes, as if they are evaluating me.

“Very funny,” the teacher scoffs, “Now what’s your real name?”

I am caught off guard, and the class continues to snicker.

“Clay,” the name sounds foreign in my mouth as I try to remember the last time someone ever called me it.

“Alright, Clayton,” the teacher spits out the words as if they taste sour, “have a seat.”

No welcome to your new school, nothing.

I desperately seek a friendly face among the strangers. I make eye contact with a girl with the brightest blue eyes I have ever seen, and she gives me a soft smile. Before I am able to take two steps in her directions, she quickly turns and whispers to her bleach blonde friend, “He looks like a drug dealer.” Except, it wasn’t exactly a whisper considering half of the class could hear it.

The gratuitous comment leaves me overly aware of how different I look from the rest of the boys. Their neatly cut hair and jeans held to their waist with a belt highlight the fact that I do not belong here.

The bell rings and I hop into the nearest empty seat. Without wasting a second, the teacher immediately begins to pass out papers.

“We will be starting The Crucible this week, and I would like you and a partner to brainstorm what you know about the Salem Witch Trials. I’d also like you to read the background notes on Arthur Miller and answer the questions assigned with it. I, of course, will be assigning the partners.”

I breathe an inaudible sigh of relief. This, at least, would force someone to make contact with me.

“…Clayton and Joanna…”

The girl with the bright blue eyes smiles at me.

“Joanna’s the girl with the purple hair in the back. I think you’ll like her.”

When she talks, I notice how unnaturally white her teeth look.

“I think I see a perfect couple!” the bleach blonde exclaims in mock excitement, which is followed by a couple of aww’s.

My heart sinks. It’s only first period and my already poor reputation is about to by ruined by some Joanna chick.

I reluctantly pick up my book bag and drag it to the back corner of the room. The girl with the purple hair has her feet propped up on her desk, showing off her bulky combat boots and is scribbling furiously into a notebook. She brings her dark, almost black eyes to mine.

“Yes?” she asks.

“Um, I’m your partner.” I make the disappointment clear in my voice to prove to nearby ears that I did not want to be associated with her.

“No, you’re Joanna’s partner. I’m just Jo.” She says in annoyance.

“Jo?”

“What? It’s a boy’s name? Well I think Goose is a stupid name” she grins at me and snaps her gum.

I decide not to explain to her the story behind my name, the name my brother Derrick gave to me before he left to serve the country. He had given it to me when I was young and yearned to be a part of his gang. As I attempted to follow him around, he said, “You’re just like a goose trying to keep up with its flock!” The name stuck, even my own mother called me it before she kicked me out. But explaining this to Jo would require me to converse with her more than I had to.

“Well I think purple hair is stupid,” I snap with the childish urge to not let her have the last gibe.

Jo glowers at me and forcefully throws her notebook onto her desk.

“My mom is suffering from pancreatic cancer,” she says, loud enough to cause many faces to turn in our direction, “I’m not like those who wear pink to support breast cancer simply because everyone else is. My hair is purple because, in case you didn’t know; purple is the color of pancreatic cancer.”

“Joanna!” the teacher yells from her desk.

“It’s Jo,” she mutters.

She snatches the notebook from her desk and continues to scribble.

“I’m sorry,” I apologize quietly once the class’s focus returns to their work.

“You’re no different from anyone else at this school,” she seems calmer now, “Judgmental. You’d probably fit right in perfectly if it weren’t for your appearance. The popular kids aren’t going to snatch you up if you look like that.”

She gestures towards my unkempt hair, worn out hoodie, and jeans with gaping holes in them.

“But don’t worry, you don’t need that. We all know that friends are for milking benefits from and lying to. You’re so much better without them. Just look at me,” she says, twirling a piece of purple hair around her finger, “I don’t have friends, so I can do whatever I feel like without worried about being shunned for it.”

She reaches into her bag and pulls out a thick book.

“Spells and Charms for the Teenage Witch,” she reads aloud, “I got it not long after I found out we were starting The Crucible this week. No one else here would be caught dead with this. I personally find witchcraft fascinating.”

Two smart looking girls throw us both dirty looks. Jo doesn’t seem to notice.

“Did you see the girl with the really bright blue eyes,” she leans towards me and whispers in my ear, “I hope this book will teach me how to transform her into a newt.”

I look at the girl who had ridiculed me only five minutes into the school day. I have a hard time fighting the smile that results from her picturing her as a lizard.

“I wonder what else is in here,” she traces her finger leisurely across the title, “Well, I guess I’ll find out in the woods at the back of the school during lunch.”

I cannot tell if I am supposed to take that as an invitation. However, I can’t help but find that stupid book intriguing.

“Can I join?” I ask sheepishly.

“Can you bear to be associated with me?” she asks.

The bell rings, and I realize that Jo and I had managed to complete nothing. Jo quickly shoves her things into her bag and begins heading towards the door.

“Friends?” I ask.

She looks at me as if I am crazy.

“Friends? I have none.”



Join the Discussion


This article has 16 comments. Post your own!

Paradise_Lost said...
Nov. 22, 2011 at 4:22 pm:
I like it! A few grammatical mistakes here and there, but I love it none the less!
 
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AngelsLullaby said...
Nov. 21, 2011 at 8:09 pm:
I really liked your writing. It's ridiculous how people think they're better because they have more money and they judge based on looks. I went to a charter school for 2 years and i was judged and bullied every day. Then a couple months before i left the school i dyed my hair black and wore nicer clothes (for yearbook pictures) and thats when people started being nice to me. Crazy right? Anyways great work and keep writting :)
 
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CarrieAnn13 said...
Nov. 15, 2011 at 8:26 pm:

Okay, I have a bit of criticism.

1.  “Before I am able to take two steps in her directions…”  Did you mean ‘direction’?

2.  “My hair is purple because, in case you didn’t know; purple is the color of pancreatic cancer.”  That semicolon should be a comma.

Other than that, this was a great piece of fiction!  Excellent work. :)

 
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AnimaCordis said...
Nov. 15, 2011 at 11:07 am:
Reading witch books when the class reads 'The Crusibal' man, that girl has guts! I really like this. I also like your use of sentence long paragraphs, I like the 'goose' or 'clay' chracter lots too. For improvement i'd say give Jo some kind of flaw, at present she's perfectly rebeilious. That's just a thought though.
 
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milforce said...
Nov. 13, 2011 at 5:17 pm:
Really nice job! You are excellent at portraying personalities. It's a very interesting and unfortunately true story. Keep it up!
 
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Jappyalldayeveryday said...
Nov. 13, 2011 at 1:22 pm:
Sometimes I feel the exact same way--that everyone is fake and judgmental. But then I remember that everyone has a good side and a bad side, and you have to look at both. I'd like to see the good side of the blue-eyed girl. But other than that this story is pretty good. I like the purple hair :)
 
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Mystiecub said...
Nov. 12, 2011 at 4:04 pm:
Hmm, really REALLY interesting...I don't know what else to say.
 
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Danealle said...
Nov. 11, 2011 at 3:27 pm:
Nice idea, had me thinking of karate kid for some reason. Your own personal style of writing is very evident. 
 
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Emiri said...
Nov. 10, 2011 at 3:41 pm:
"Friends? I have none." i really like the descriptions of Goose and Jo. Now what shall happen? I want to read it. I like your writing style, which is one of the three major components that make a fiction piece good.
 
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sunny.all.day. said...
Nov. 10, 2011 at 3:08 pm:
This is a great start! I was hoping for more, but it was interesting :) 
 
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natty5 said...
Nov. 9, 2011 at 9:07 pm:
This is great! I loved the characters
 
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IceFox416 said...
Nov. 8, 2011 at 5:53 pm:
Wow . . . really good! I love how in only that little bit, you get to know the main charector really well! Great job!
 
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Signed_DK said...
Nov. 8, 2011 at 5:18 pm:

Oh my goodness. I love it. Good cliff hanger and a hook to get you started (oh my I sound like my english teacher!).

Lets just say I <3 it!!!!!!!!!

 
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RayBaytheDinosaur said...
Nov. 8, 2011 at 12:55 pm:
I really want more lol you should keep writing it it was really really good =) i noticed a few grammer mistakes so you may want to have someone look it over but the stories so good it makes up for it xD
 
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DaylightDarkness said...
Nov. 8, 2011 at 12:00 pm:
This is amazing! It seems an awful lot like the first chapter of a book, which is what is should be because i want more.
 
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CrazyCreative95 said...
Nov. 8, 2011 at 7:59 am:
I love this! Your writing left me hooked. I think you should continue your writing! You're very good.
 
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