Hey everyone! Normally I wouldn’t do this, but I have nothing else to post at the moment, so I’ve decided to share with you a prologue to the book I’m currently working on. I haven’t edited it yet, so I’m kind of embarrassed to post it, but I’ve decided to do it anyway. I hope you all like it, and I’d be super happy to hear any feedback or questions you might have. Enjoy!
“…and be sure to have an educationally prolific yet provocative summer!” Sadie mimmicks Mrs. Primper’s voice perfectly, incorporating just the right amount of faux sugary sweetness. “Gosh, doesn’t she know how wrong that sounds?” She makes a face in disgust, inciting me and our other friends, Lacey and Colette, to laughter once again.
I think the four of us are high off the liberating yet sort of nostalgic final farewells of the school year. It is the very last day of sophmore year, after all. That alone entitles us to throw maturity to the wind and have a little fun as we walk these hallowed halls of Princely Prep arm in arm one last time before summer break officially begins. I take a deep breath in through the nose and catch a whiff of my horrible Geometry teacher, Mr. Amunrune’s, nasty smelling old man cologne. The guy’s only twenty-nine but he smells and looks like he already belongs in a nursing home due to his balding head and ginormous bifocal glasses. Plus, early retirement would probably be a wise choice for him considering the guy can’t teach math to save his life. Oh, and did I mention he’s also mean, nasty, unattractive, and nerdy? Definitely will NOT be missing him this summer.
We stop when we get to Sadie and Colette’s lockers. And by locker I mean state of the art stainless steel closet-like structures, each with a combination in a different variation of pi. For example, mine is 3.14843. Pretty cool, right? Not.
Lacey pretends to get misty eyed and says, “Let’s all take a moment to say what we’re going to miss most about this place this summer. For instance, I am deeply going to miss the shining faces of the nerds as they greet me each moring in homeroom with a bright bracket filled smile and a, ‘Top of the marnin’ to ya,’ and the classic, ‘How are you fairing today, m’lady?’”
Sadie pats Lacey’s shoulder sympathetically to mime consoling her. “That was beautiful, Lace,” she says a bit mockingly. “I feel your pain. I, personally, am going to miss watching the heated arguments of the Debate team as they demonstrate their technique for us during one of our much loved school assemblies. It will be hard not hearing one of the Shorties say, ‘Just go ahead and disregard that,’ for three long, desolate months. Colette, would you mind taking it from here? I feel an emotional breakdown coming on.” She pretends to swoon and I catch her, laughing at this charade my friends are putting on.
“Ahem.” Colette clears her throat. “I shall sorely miss the library and all of its alleviating resources.” We stare at her in confusion. The library at this school we all agree is actually really nice and something to be desired so I don’t know why she would feel the need to make fun of it. Plus, it was basically like her second home for the duration of the nine month school year. “Kidding,” she adds as we continue to stare at her, unblinking. “Lighten up, my colleagues. Are your ties on too tight? School’s out, remember? Time to loosen up.”
We nod and give polite chuckles. We love Colette but sometimes she can be a bit dense when it comes to joking around. She is a classic level genius, though, so I guess she’s excused.
“Well,” I step in, “I will certainly miss going to football games in the fall to root and cheer for our fantastic team … oh, wait. We don’t have a football team because Princely still holds the record for least athletically inclined school in the county! My bad.” My friends laugh and roll their eyes at the dorkiness of it all.
Sometimes we really can’t believe how awful our school is. I mean, the campus and facilities are beautiful and well kept and the classroom materials and eqippment we use are all Grade A and cost a pretty penny also, but there’s just so much left to be desired when attending Princely Prep. For example, we all basically have no social life outside of school since the enrollment is up to a grand total of 202 students and all of the boys are … awkward … to put it nicely. Trust me when I say they’d much rather spend their time writing new programs for their TI-89s and hosting study buddy parties instead of doing normal things like hanging out on Friday nights, going to movies, and throwing cool parties that don’t involve the use of textbooks. Lately, just passing one of the nerds in the hallway has almost made me want to puke and run away. They have no interest in girls whatsoever. Not that we have ANY interest in them either. Oh, but if they do find a girl they like, all forty guys band together and choose the exact same girl to crush on and obsess over as if she’s the school’s own version of the beautiful Angelina Jolie.
Also, it’s just so hard to have a normal face to face conversation with any of them when they get hung up over stupid things. Take for example these Bane Outtake videos someone posted on Youtube. It’s sort of like this blooper reel for the movie The Dark Knight Rises but with an extra dose of dumb and idiotic. Anyway, they thought it was hilarious and it was all they could talk about for like a month straight. It’s stuff like that that is practically driving every girl here out of her mind with insanity.
“Just think,” Lacey breaks my train of troubled thought. “This time next year Fergus will be standing here with you.”
“Yeah, I can hardly wait,” I say dryly. Fergus, my fourteen year old brother who has attended a boarding school up on the north coast until now, will fit in perfectly at this school. Nerds with calculators—just his type of thing.
“Please, try to contain your intoxicating elation,” Colette teases.
I open my mouth to respond but at that moment a deep, feminine voice booms from behind, “Last minute rendevous, ladies?” Mrs. Primper eyes us over the top of ruby red framed glasses. Her gaze is one of deep disapproval, though for what reason I can’t imagine why. She just finished giving her famous end of the year goodbye speech at the closing school assembly not ten minutes ago. What could we have done to displease her in such a short amount of time? From the look we’re getting I have a feeling she’s about to answer my question.
“Sadie,” she begins in that proper voice of hers, “I noticed when you got up to accept your ‘Cheerful Student’ award that the length of your uniform skirt did not exactly meet the standard requirement of half an inch above the knee. I was quite embarrassed for you and expect that little situation to be taken care of over the summer, yes?” Sadie nods her head vigorously so as not to be considered disrespectful to one of the leading authorities at Princely Prep. “We have a dress code for a reason, mind you. Oh, and magenta nail polish? NOT acceptable.”
She gives Sadie one last frown before fixing her eyes on Lacey. “Do my eyes deceive me or is something missing today?” Lacey looks down to see what the problem is. Mrs. Primper leans in closer. “Your tie, Miss Jordan. You seem to have displaced it for the occasion. I call that tacky and oblivious.”
I gulp as her gaze shifts to me. Her vision immediately locks in on the three hair ties I’m wearing around my wrist. Not a big deal, right? WRONG. “Those are strictly prohibited,” she says, over-emphasizing each syllable of the word. “And you forgot to button the last three buttons on your blazer, Miss Evans. Careless mistakes like that are what might possibly discourage others from enrolling at this school.” Out of the corner of my eye I see Sadie try to hold back a snort. The rules here are so ridiculous sometimes.
“Dear, Colette,” she moves on, clasping her hands under her chin in admiration. “Perfect as always. You three should take a leaf out of her book every now and then. I try to be nice and lenient about dress code but it’s hard when students like you are constantly playing by your own rules instead of respecting the rules that have already been outlined for you.” Here she pauses to give us the meanest glare yet. “Need I remind you of the Princely Code of Conduct? I believe ‘We appeal respectfully and courteously’ is one of the rules. Learn it. Live it. Love it. I will be expecting more out of you girls as juniors now so I suggest you learn to play by the rules while you still have the chance. Have I made myself clear?” Her eyes are like daggers, shooting into the deep recesses of our minds and hearts.
“Yes, Mrs. Primper,” We chorus like the good brainwashed students we are required to be.
“Good. Have a wonderful summer, ladies.” And with that, she stalks away, head held high with pride as always.
We hold our breath and wait to speak until we are positive she is out of earshot. Oh, good, she seems to have found some other poor, innocent victims to harass farther down the hall.
“It’s the last day of school for crying out loud!” Sadie bursts out. “Dress code is irrelevant now, or doesn’t she get that?”
“Ah, ah, ah,” I shake my finger at her. “We must always tactfully and tastefully obey the rules while on school property.” I’m using my best Queen of Princely (aka Mrs. Primper) voice now. “Rule number one of the Princely Code of Conduct specifically states, ‘We cheerfully and promptly obey the authority under which we are placed.’ Even if we have to fake a smile till our cheeks burn and we need plastic surgery to fix the damage done.” I add this last part to the rule we have had memorized and drilled into our heads since the first day of freshman year. I like my version better, though.
And apparantly so do my friends for Sadie jumps in with her version of the next rule. “We love and honor one another even though chivalry is clearly dead in this school, judging from the number of doors I have had slammed in my face this year by almost every guy in this school.”
Lacey’s turn. “We do not point out the shortcomings (specifically the short heights of all forty boys enrolled here) of others in order to build ourselves up. Because the only building being done here involves the ‘building’ of a mathematical equation rather than the building of muscles required to form a decent football team.”
We look to Colette for the next part but all she says is, “We do not tell lies.” She doesn’t enjoy dissing the school nearly as much as we do.
It’s my turn again. “We do not disrespect the classroom and teacher by passing notes about the giant wart on Mr. Amunrune’s upper lip or interrupt Mr. Gnocchi’s bore me to tears lecture with something even the tiniest bit more interesting like what’s on the lunch menu at school that day.”
“Nice,” Sadie laughs. “We also do not spread rumors or gossip about Mrs. Primper’s horrible spray tan. That would be an insult to Oompa Loompas everywhere.”
“Oo, burn,” Lacey says. “We avoid cliques, clubs, or games that exclude others even though our entire school is essentially one giant clique itself.”
“I’ve got the next one,” I say. “If we make a mess, we clean it up. Because heaven forbid we drop so much as an eraser shaving on the gleaming tile floor. We wouldn’t want the janitor to actually have to do his job, now would we? Colette, would you do the honor of reciting the last one?”
Not batting an eyelash she states, “We appeal respectfully and courteously and treat one another with patience—in other words, we tolerate each other at best.” She grins and I give her a high five.
“The sweet taste of community!” Sadie crows.
“Harmony Falls’ finest,” I agree.
“I say we blow this popsicle stand, girls!” Saide announces, throwing her arm around Lacey and Colette’s shoulders. “We have three months leave from prison starting now so I say we make the most of it while we can. Anyone thinking sleepover at my house for a Josh Hutcherson movie marathon tonight?”
“A J. Hutch marathon?” Lacey echoes. “I’m there!”
“Ditto,” Colette and I agree.
“We can help plan your sweet sixteen bash for next weekend,” Sadie tells me.
“Sounds like a deal to me!”
We link arms and begin our last stroll down the hallway for the summer. At the top of the staircase we find our path blocked my a ten person huddle of nerds sharing calculator code numbers so they can send each other new programs over the summer. “Awesome!” A freshman enthuses to his friend. “I can’t wait to send you the graph of the isotope in the shape of a radioactive spider I discovered last night!” I shudder to think that might be my brother next year.
Sadie glances over at each of us and says with a completely straight face, “These boys—they’re gonna kill us, girls.”
I couldn’t agree more.