11/4 Sneak Preview

Here’s some more words from the new book in progress!

Thus, the dread ogre Johnny had two arenas in which to torment me: the school bus and the third grade classroom. Like any seasoned warrior, Johnny tailored his methods to suit the pair of environments perfectly. The bus ride was his preference, I would imagine. Our bus driver, Bill, was a kind man, with a quiet smile and a caring voice. He also wore hearing aids, and they didn’t work very well. He just couldn’t catch everything looking up in his mirror, and a certain portion of his passengers used this to their advantage. The food chain on the bus was clear: sixth graders ruled, fifth graders were the next step down, and so on. As a first grader, I had few if any rights. Only the intercession of older students kept Johnny from ruling the bus with a frightening iron fist.

Johnny would call me names. He would make fun of my clothes. Emotional torment was his preference, probably because he knew he could say almost anything he wanted and the bus driver wouldn’t hear him. I first heard many swear words from Johnny’s foul mouth. Sometimes he just said these things for shock value, sometimes he would call me dirty names. Johnny wasn’t content to just spew filth and hurtful attacks via his mouth, though. He liked to steal my stuff. While I was looking out the window, trying to ignore him, he would take my homework. If I read a book, he would reach up and take my pencil. If he was feeling particularly daring, he would look in Bill’s mirror, watching for a safe opening, and swipe a book from out of my hands. He would take anything he could use himself forever, often taunting me with it for weeks. If it was homework, he would wad it up and toss it toward the back of the bus, where I, as a little kid, wasn’t allowed to go. Books, though, he would throw at me as he exited at his stop. Minor cuts and bruises would often be the result. Johnny was a creep, of the highest magnitude.

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