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Chapter 2

Chap­ter 1: A strange girl with strange dreams.

The Bus

Hag­gity slipped onto the green vinyl seat of the bus. Bas­tion slid next to her, eye­ing her as she pressed her fore­head against the win­dow, star­ing out at noth­ing in particular.

The bus doors hissed closed, and the bus grum­bled ahead. The manic voices of Haggity’s peers drowned out the top 40’s radio sta­tion that vainly tried to sedate them.

But Hag­gity didn’t hear any of it. Wad­ing deep in emo­tions she couldn’t name, she found her­self avoid­ing Bastion’s side­long glances, com­ing up with rea­sons to jus­tify her anger.

How could he expect me to go to Lucia’s party?” she fumed inwardly.

Thump.

Doesn’t he remem­ber how Lucia’s treated me? How they’ve all treated me?”

Thump.

I could never become friends with those peo­ple, even if I wanted to!” Hag­gity was win­ning her inner argu­ment, and her cer­tainty that she was right made her even more angry.

Thump.

The way they all look at me, as if they’re afraid of me…as if I can help being what I am.”

Thump.

What­ever I am.”

Thump.

Her anger reach­ing a crescendo, Hag­gity whirled in her seat, sat on her knees and glared at her attacker in the seat behind her.

Stop it!

Otis, a freck­led night­mare of a boy who tor­tured Hag­gity on a reg­u­lar basis, sim­ply smirked. Then, with a metal-toothed grin, he raised his foot and…

THUMP!

An extra big whack to her seat, just for her defiance.

Hag­gity, defeated, deflated back in her seat. She pulled her knees to her chest, and tried her best to fight the tears brim­ming in her eyes.

This was turn­ing out to be the most mis­er­able of days.

Bas­tion sighed. He raised up in his seat and lev­eled an even gaze at Otis.

Cut it out.” he said qui­etly, but in a tone that left lit­tle room for argument.

Otis’s smile van­ished. He low­ered his foot, even as he nar­rowed his eyes dan­ger­ously at Bas­tion. Their gazes locked for sev­eral sec­onds. Otis snorted a deri­sive “Pffft…” as he finally relented, turn­ing his gaze to the window.

Bas­tion low­ered back down, and turned to address Hag­gity. Her chin was on her knees, and she stared at the back of the seat in front of her. Her eyes were full of tears, but she refused to blink, lest she release them down her cheeks.

Hag­gie…” Bas­tion began softly.

Hag­gity, over­whelmed, buried her face in her knees and sobbed.

Bas­tion, uncer­tain of what to do, stroked her back in a lame attempt to comfort.

Lis­ten,” he started again, “You don’t have to come to that party with me. It was a stu­pid idea.”

She turned to face him, her cheeks red and wet with tears, “I can’t go,” she whim­pered, pleading.

I know.”

I’m sorry.”

It’s okay.”

But she could tell that it wasn’t okay. Bas­tion was disappointed…disappointed in her. It killed her that she couldn’t make him happy, but…what could she do?

Go to the party?

The mere thought of it pet­ri­fied her. Even in the com­pany of Bas­tion, they would stare, whis­per to each other, gig­gle conspiratorially…she couldn’t bear it.

As the bus rum­bled into the school park­ing lot, she finally had to admit…

She was dis­ap­pointed in her­self.

 

This is part of a children’s/young adult novel I’m writ­ing called Hag­gity Who? The Story of a Girl to whom Strange Things Hap­pen. Reac­tions? Crit­i­cisms? Please let me know!

Note: I’m also post­ing this novel on Press­Books.