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Hollyatris, The Dunce

If you were to ask who Hollyatris Arroway is in this little town, you’d get a laugh and a few humorous jokes about you.
“He thinks there’s a girl named Hollyatris….Yes, can you believe it? Hollyatris?”
But you’d be right. My name really is Hollyatris, and if anyone hates it, I agree wholeheartedly.
My father named me. I’ve been laughed at because of my horrifyingly long name, yes, but I’ve learned to brush it off. I, of course, have tried increasingly hard to make friends. But do they like me?
To that I say, Heck no.
Hollyatris Arroway will never be recognized as ‘good.’ The most I’ve been recognized as is ‘mediocre.’
They look at you. They look at how dirty your sandals are, and they look to see if your hair is perfect. Of course, the Arroways have never been a family to receive awards for such cleanliness. New sandals are a present for which we must save for months. And so is my predicament as we catapult into another school day. Cordove Boyer gives me that little smug look that I hate so much. As Mrs. Alae sits in her hard, wooden chair, she begins the roster. “Cordove,” she says. Cordove waves her hand lazily. She doesn’t like to learn, she loves to tantalize.
“Hollyatris?”
I wave my hand enthusiastically. Knowledge is like my number one priority. Unlike Cordove, I love learning new things and using them to help the people in the village. The other day, I helped the swordsman measure the sword’s hilt!
“Hollyatris, can you pay attention, please?”
I notice that my head is in my hands. I want to learn how to be a hero. To be like Cordove. To be adored and loved and respected…
But I was Hollyatris, and there was no way. Not only was I the class dunce, I was antisocial, which limited my friends to my imagination.
And Cordove’s face never had dirt on it, for she hired servants to do her bidding. I’m surprised that a servant doesn’t go to school for her. Lady Boyer mocks my dirty dress and face, if we are unfortuanate and cross each other’s paths.
Cordove is horrible, too. “Go away, Arroway.” “Out of my face, Holly-ay-tris.” I had told her many times my name was pronounced Holly-ah-tris. She just does it to try to annoy me, but doesn’t she know she’s called me names so much they mean nothing to me?
Cordove picks up her pencil, and so do I. Mrs. Alae instructs us to write our names. This was easy. It was easier to make a pencil form words than it was for a mind to comprehend in insult, to me. And I would not brood over this.
Hollyatris L. Alloway
Cordove shows me hers, and in a split second I wish I knew how to write like that, so elegant.
Cordove K. Boyer
“This work is to be done by yourselves, children.”
I try a bit harder.
Hollyatris L. Alloway is a dunce from a broke family. Have fun! –Cordove
Without really thinking, I begin to daydream. I begin to daydream that one day I will slay something fierce, leave Cordove Boyer crying into her handkerchief.



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