When the Sticky Kid shuffles in the doorway, they're sitting on the rug, wiggling their fingers, but when they see her (him? it? they can't tell) they leap up. The Popular Kid stands first, as is the natural hierarchy of things, and the Ecological Kid and the Follower Kid fan out behind her. The New Kid stays seated, but only because she's untested. The Popular Kid's hand is splayed sassily on her hip. "What?"
The Sticky Kid fidgets. "Um... this-this be where'un the Wokey Club meets? Ain't- ain't too sure- nobody could tell me anythin'- said they- they dint' know-" His (they've decided 'his' on the lack of breasts under his stained shirt) mumble fades to a quiet mumble, and then an under-mumble, and then it vanishes entirely.
"Yeah-" the Popular Kid pops her lips- "it is. And it's the Woke Club?" She shoots a sly smile at her comrades over one shoulder, chuckling silently at his verbal ineptitude. "But that doesn't matter. What's it to you?"
"Nice one, Marcy," the Follower Kid says, but the Popular Kid silences her with a shut-up-and-sit-down hand flutter. The Follower Kid shuts up. The Sticky Kid breathes with his mouth open. The Popular Kid winces.
"He-LLO?" the Popular Kid says impatiently. "Anybody home?" Her hand goes up, as if to knock on his skull, but, seeing his greasy hair, it falls back down to her side. "Are you a-live?"
The Stinky Kid shook, mouth agape, seemingly at a loss for words. The Popular Kid's brows lower.
"I said," the Popular Kid presses, putting a definitive foot forward, "what do you want?"
"No, you din'," comes the Sticky Kid's little wisp of a voice, but the Popular Kid jerks back. The Follower Kid gasps, clinging to the Ecological Kid's arm, but the Ecological Kid shoves her off, braids swinging. The New Kid stays sitting, criss-cross-applesauce, looking from guy to girl, wondering what's going on.
"What did you say to me?" the Popular Kid squawks, a sound like a bird's rasp accompanying her words. The Sticky Kid trembles. "Say it a-gain, grubby!"
The Sticky Kid peeks mournfully out at her from underneath her curtain of greasy hair. (It's a girl, they realize- a stained bra strap peeks out from under the Sticky Kid's nasty-looking band shirt.) "G-grubbsy?"
"That's not the important part, stupid- repeat it! Repeat what you said! Now! Now!"
The Stinky Kid trembles. "I- you said you repeated what'chu din' say, is all," he stammers. "I was- was just tryin' to correct you. Din' mean to hurt your feelin's."
"My feelings?" The Popular Kid was swelling up. "My FEELINGS?!"
"Y-yes, your... feelin's," the Stinky Kid said, bewildered. "Din' mean to hurt 'em."
"MY FEELINGS ARE NOT HURT," the Popular Kid bellowed, and her entourage took the enraged silence that followed as a chance to demonstrate their differences- the Follower Kid put a hand on her shoulder and almost got bitten, the Ecological Kid surveyed the Stinky Kid through her recyclable glasses and flipped her braids back thoughtfully, while the New Kid had fled the scene some time ago. Nobody noticed their absence.
"How DARE YOU," she continued, her voice too loud to be considered reasonable, "assume that MY FEELINGS could be hurt by somebody as INSIGNIFICANT AS YOU ARE?!"
"... Insigniffycant?" the Stinky Kid repeated, seemingly not noticing the rest of her tirade.
"YES!" the Popular Kid screamed, and the girls behind her flinched. The Stinky Kid leaned back, eyes wide, as the Popular Kid advanced. "How dare you come into my club and think you can join us- as if you're woke- as if you care about the world- as if you take showers- as if you shave your legs-"
She was practically on top of the Stinky Kid now- she had her against a wall, and she was still going closer. "As if you could ever be as good as us- as if we would ever accept you-"
Her entourage stayed mute. The Follower Kid looked like she wanted to follow the New Kid's example, and the Ecological Kid's eyes were stretched so wide her glasses could barely contain them. The Stinky Kid went cross-eyed trying to keep the Popular Kid's face within her line of sight. The air in the room was one of deep, deep concern, but the Popular Kid continued as-iffing, her corkscrew ringlets frizzing up with the force of her rage. "As if we like you- as if you're not the ugliest person we've ever seen- as if you're one of us-"
The Stinky Kid's eyes weren't on the Popular Kid anymore- she was watching the two concerned girls, standing a few feet away. Her eyes lingered on the Ecological Kid's cloudy, circular glasses, on her dark skin, on her tight braids, on the Follower Kid's painfully straight hair and basic clothes. Something about her expression was judgemental, and the Ecological Kid bared her teeth. The Stinky Kid flinched away. The Popular Kid was pressing up against her chest, demanding her attention.
"As if you deserve to be around us- as if you have as many friends as I have- as if, as if, as if-"
"Y-y'got a problem with the as-iffin's, missum?" stammered the Stinky Kid, trying ineffictively to push the Popular Kid away. "Cound'cha... cound'cha move back and w-we could talk your as-iffin's out?"
The shrieking laugh that followed the Stinky Kid's offer of help could easily be classified as demonic. The Popular Kid's cool was gone. "Cound'cha- cound'cha- cound'cha- missum- do you HEAR her?" Her pitch rose and rose until it was a broken squeal. "How STUPID is she? Can she even TALK?! AHAHAHAHAHA!"
The Stinky Kid's eyes flicker down to the Popular Kid's, as if checking to see if they had turned a glaring red. "M-missum, you got a demon problem?" he managed. (The bra strap had shifted, and they could see- the Stinky Kid was a male after all. His bra strap had turned out to be the dirty spaghetti strap of his grimy undershirt, which explained the lack of bosoms.) "'C-cause, my Uncle Timmy-sina, h-he be performin' exysizzums ever week o-on him church members... he gots special discounts f-fer family friends..."
"FAMILY FRIENDS?!" the Popular Kid howled, and the Stinky Kid threw his arms over his head. She was spitting in his face, practically- she was pressed up against him, in a way that might be romantic if she hadn't been going completely insane. "FAMILY FRIENDS! DO YOU HEAR HIM?! DO YOU HEAR HIM?! FAMILY FRIENDS! AHAHAHA!"
"He doin' a diskunt for girliefriends, too," the Stinky Kid volunteers, obviously attempting to turn the conversation in a rational direction. With one hand he shoves his greasy, shoulder-length dreadlocks behind his dirt-smudged ears. "Lotsa diskunts. He run fairs, too, in his offy-times. He vice-princeepal manjer of fairs, all of 'em."
"DISKUNTS!" she bellowed, caught in a paroxysm of uncontrollable laughter. Her posse, behind her, was backing up. The Ecological Kid was gathering up wooden beads and the Follower Kid was cowering. "GIRLIEFRIENDS! AS IF ANYONE WOULD EVER DATE HIM- AS IF- AS IF- AS IF I'D DATE HIM! AHAHAHA! AHAHAHAHA! Kiss me," she said abruptly, and everybody froze.
A long second of silence passed. Her friends were frozen. The Stinky Kid was frozen. The class pet, a worm made out of tape and paper, was frozen. The New Kid was out somewhere, probably calling the police, but even she felt a slight second of freeziness. Everyone's eyes were on the Popular Kid, and she knew it.
She tossed her hair, back in her normal environment- the weight of everyone's gaze burning into her soul. "Whatsa' matter, kid," she hissed, her mound of curls flopped lazily across one shoulder. She was in command again. "Don't know how to kiss a girl? You already called me your girliefriend, didn't you? Hm? Oh, are you scared? Are you afraid to kiss me? You can't kiss me? Are you-"
The Stinky Kid obeyed, and for one second, they stuck. When the Stinky Kid pulled away, the Popular Kid's mouth was covered with a ring of dirt. With a thump, the Follower Kid collapsed.
The Popular Kid stayed still for one second, exactly how long the Stinky Kid had kissed her for, and then she let out a tremendous "EW!" and banged through the art-room door. Footsteps echoed down the hallway, running footsteps, and then the door swung shut.
The Stinky Kid's eyes went back to the Ecological Kid, who was crouched beside the Follower Kid, attempting to wake her up. Her eyes were on the Stinky Kid's, though, and under her glasses, a wry smile was forming.
She shrugged. "Welcome to the Woke Club, dude."
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hey kate! will you be posting a story this week? i can't wait to hear another of your wonderful works. :)
TOO BUSY- school, school, pain. school, school, pain. help me, i'm dying-
SCHOOL IS MAKING ME CRY, I'M DYING ASWELL. we'll press on kate, we shall. #painintheass good luck to you, you can do it!
i love you platonically, girl-
right back at you, kate, right back at ya -
postie, postie, postie. welcome to the woke club, ya'll-
Hey Kate. Haven't seen you around for a while. Hope you're well. :)
I would notice if you died. Don't die.
won't. promise. gotta stay alive for your stories, d! :D
You gotta stay alive to save the world. As Princess Leia would say: "Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope."
mhm. gonna get rid of global warming, misogynists, and homophobes this sunday. i'm saving the racists for next weekend. just a normal saturday for my generation! 😎