It's your first day of school. You just moved to this town and don't know anyone. What do you do to make an impression?
Response From Author, Lawrence BoarerPitchford:
Halloway stood on his porch looking out at the rural road just beyond the white picket fence. Though it was paved, the road was covered in a thick layer of dust, just like everything else in the small town of Bayford. Turning around he looked up at the thatched roof; the uneven lines of the roof sagged and rose like a wild sea. The frosted panes of glass sparkled in the morning sunlight. In the distance he could see a cloud of dust traveling toward his new home.
“Mummy? Why did we come here? I don’t like it, and I don’t want to go to this new school,” he said with a frown.
“Look my love. At one time we could get away with home-schooling, but your father and I have to work. Don’t worry. I’m sure you’ll make a good impression. Just don’t be afraid, and like we discussed, be outgoing,” his mother said as she handed him a brown bag with his favorite lunch tucked inside. She patted him on the head and waited for the bus to arrive.
The yellow bus pulled up. Kids were yelling, paper was flying around inside, and a mean looking boy leered out at Halloway. As he climbed into the bus, the mean kid came forward and sat next to him. The bus moved, and they were on their way to school.
Halloway could hear the bumps and jumbles of the road as the vehicle traveled along its way. They stopped again and a little red-haired girl got onboard. The mean kid looked at her, then stuck out his tongue at her. She looked out the window. Halloway could see her trying to hold back tears.
“So, yer the new kid?” the mean boy began. “I don’t like new kids. Every day you’ll have to pay me two quid to keep me from kicking your arse. Got me?”
Halloway felt the fear rising into his throat. He’d tried to plead with his mother, not to put him into this type of situation, but she was deaf to his plight. He looked out the window. The bully grabbed him by the chin and pulled his head around so they were face to face. “I said two bob, or I’ll bop ya.”
“I don’t want to get into a fight. My mummy said…”
The bully laughed, “Your mum? She’s a dike – do you know what that is?”
“A dam to hold back water?” Halloway retorted. The bully looked at him with dead eyes. “Also, I don’t like to be touched,” he brushed the bully’s hand from his face.
“You stop bothering that lad and sit over there,” the bus driver said, and the bully changed seats, next to the red haired girl.
The girl looked terrified. She tried to make herself as small as possible, but the bully crowded in on her. He pulled her pigtail and she sobbed. He stuck his tongue out again and she cried.
“Hey, meanie,” Hallowy said.
The bully looked over at him, “What new kid?”
Halloway pointed his finger at the boy, “lacerta,” he said.
The bully immediately began to shrink until he was flat on his stomach. His eyes bulged, and his arms and legs shrank in. Quickly he grew a scaly tail and every few second his tongue would shoot out and back in.
“Thank you,” the little red head said.
The whole bus began clapping, and many thanks were offered up. The bus driver turned back and shrugged his shoulders. “That boy will never learn. He should have known not to mess with you Egyptians and your wrappings and such. No harm done son. Now keep an eye on him. If he gets out and isn’t transformed back, there will be hell to pay. Oh, and I’m afraid I’ll have to tell your mummy about this.” He turned back and the bus drove on until they reached the Hill Top Academy of Magic.
True to his word the bus driver told the Headmaster and the Headmaster called his mummy. Halloway was given a warning, and twenty demerits, but wasn’t kicked out of school, mostly because he stood up for someone defenseless. From that point forward, he’d become the hero of the O’l HTAM; a honor that would last him until his resurrection.
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