Skye was just swinging on her swing in her backyard. She had nothing better to do. She
was wearing brown shorts with a ruffle camouflage camisole with a yellow half shirt over it.
“Harry! Are you still on the computer?” Skye heard her Mom say.
“Yes!” Harry replied.
“Is it for homework?” She waited for an answer. “Harrison Friddle Denderson!!!” When Mrs. Denderson was mad, she called people by their full names.
“Yes, I am doing homework. I am working, at home. I am working on beating this level.”
“Well get off!” Harry Denderson was in 8th grade, and slacking off. He always played on the computer, almost never did his homework, and the highest grade he ever got was a D-. Cook Denderson, his little brother, was no better. He was in 7th Grade. He was a total book addict. You’d think he’d be so smart, but he read during school, all the time. Cook was mostly called Book. He didn’t know anything except authors, books, and characters. Skyler, or Skye, was good in school. As a 6th grader, she had a couple challenges, but not so many. She had short dirty blond hair and a pleasant attitude.
“Mom,” said Skye. “Why can’t I invite Allen over? Or Sophia?” Allen Crest and Sophia Zipple were Skye’s best friend.
“Because,” Mrs. D replied. “Your brother HARRY IS BEING A LAZY DAISY!!!” she yelled loud enough so Harry could hear. He hated being called a daisy. “And, Allen’s mother is at the school presentation, setting up, which reminds me, Skye, you are in charge while I’m gone. You know why, you are the most mature person in the house hold besides me and your father, who is working overnight today. Allen is babysitting for Lisa, his little sister. Sophia, I guess you can invite her. You two, though, are in charge.”
Thanks Mom, you da woman.
My name is Skye Johnson. Skye Johnson- What happens when people hear my name? They think-
Skye Johnson- Straight A+ student, lacrosse captain and MVP, prima ballerina, voted “Most studious”, Student Council VP, and Clarkson Jr. Mascot, Charlotte/Charlie the Coyote. What next? Nobel Peace Prize Winner?
Unfortunately, that is that. People think I’m a know-it-all. I’m really not. I’m not a “Little Miss Perfect.” People think I am. That is going to change. I want to be a B or A- student. I want to be a normal lacrosse player, not captain. I am going to be either more popular by this act, or less popular. Either way, I am changing. I want people to think Skye Johnson- Nice girl. I want to be normal. I am not what Bailey thinks. I am not just Madame Porckly’s ballet star. I am not just my teacher’s helper. I will follow these steps.
A. Get kids to like me.
B. Ask coach to not be captain.
C. Decrease my helping so kids don’t think I’m a teacher’s pet- I don’t want to be rude.
I am human. I am almost 13, but I’ve been painting circles for my whole life.
My day, started at the beginning goes like this: Chelsea (My little sis) gracefully woke me up by doing tap-dance on my back. Thanks for the backache, sis. Chelsea is in 1st grade. She doesn’t get the meaning of “Go gently wake your sister, Chelsea.” I didn’t get out of bed. Most people would say I have a problem of waking up, but I have no problem waking up. I just don’t want to leave my bed because it is too comfy cozy. Alex (My older sis) just made my day great by scream singing one of her songs from her stinking high school drama play, True Music. My sister goes to Clarkson High. She has the lead part in the play, as Snow White, but she shouldn’t have the part. First off, she bribed the judges because they wanted her to be the clumsy dwarf, and second off, she doesn’t look the part. Snow White is supposed to be pale with either black or dark brown hair. Alex is tan from the summer and has long dirty blond hair. Don’t ask me how I got stuck with medium length brown hair. Everybody in my family has blond hair, even my dad. But it is weird. Everybody has their own hairstyle. Alex’s is wavy, Mom’s is short and straight, Chelsea’s is curly, and Dad’s is, well, messed up. Mine wakes up and decides differently each day. I don’t mind. Also I have brown eyes, and no freckles. Everybody in my family has blue eyes and freckles, all except me. I don’t get it. It’s like I’m adopted. But I am not. I know that for sure.
“Who is coming to see the Clarkson production of True Music?” fabulously asked Alex.
“Lexi, we wouldn’t miss it if a bomb hit us,” replied my Mom. Sorry Mom, but sometimes you can be too unrealistic. “Besides, free snacks!” Wow, that was odd. That’s usually Dad’s saying. Meanwhile Dad is “dancing” to one of the best pop songs in history, which just got bumped down to #8. Dad, how can I put this gently, he thinks doing an over-exaggerated runway walk is dancing. He’s singing the song “First Aid Love.” First Aid Love is like, the best song ever. Why Dad, did you have to bump to #8? WHY?!! Now “Too Hot for the Summer” is #1. It was #2, until it came along. Anyway, Alex is singing, Chelsea is whining because she doesn’t want her hair in a ponytail, Mom’s trying to calm Chelsea down, and Dad is now singing to “Gotta Dance all Day and Night.” It is so loud! I can’t even hear me chew my “Crunchy Corn Cereal.” And I chew loudly. Even on pasta. Then again, my pasta is usually under-cooked. If Mom bakes fried dumplings, they’re cookies, though burnt. If Mom makes corn, it’s odd flavored pop-corn. She isn’t the best cook. Mom always cooks, because Dad is always at work when she’s cooking. When he gets home, Mom is just about to serve a meal.
“Chelsea! Stop your jibber jabbering! I can’t hear the phone!” shouts Mom.
“Dad, you’re embarrassing me!” Alex yells.
“Lisa! Can you help me embarrass Alex more?” Dad says with a pan on his head. The news is playing on the radio, so we are good with ranking.
“Sweetie, I’m on the phone! Work call!”
I get my things packed and head out the door. I wonder what school has in store today.
I arrived at school today and met my friend Alex, Alex Turri, by our secret lockers. Its odd- my best friend’s name is my sister’s, but she is so much less annoying. I call her Lexi instead of Alex, but she understands. I don’t call Alex (the sister) Lexi like my mom does, so I don’t get confused. I call my sister Al and sometimes Albert, which usually annoys her. Albert stinks. Lexi rocks! She is just so cool, and either
(A.) She knows it and acts like she doesn’t or
(B.) She has no clue how calmly cool she is.
Lexi has an assortment of wardrobes. She has 6 closets: One for Monday, one for Tues, one for Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and one for the weekend. Monday is blue and scarf day. I haven’t mastered Tuesdays, but I’ll find out tomorrow.
Some people think she is spoiled, but I know her parents own a candy factory, so she has a lot of money and can buy anything she wants. She always pays me with love and fun, though.
Our secret lockers are lockers our teachers don’t know we have. They are right by our normal locker- We are at the end of the hall, right by the extra lockers. We took them and have two different. We have- Our original lockers. These lockers we put our backpacks and books in, and notes for school. There is a rumor that the teachers look at everybody’s lockers, so with our school one, we look organized and ready. Our secret ones are filled with electronics, photos, notes, gossip, all the fun stuff a girl would have. I even have a microwave disguised as a shoe/book holder. It’s really cool. We would be so popular if people knew. Unfortunately, we cannot tell anybody.
At the beginning of the day, we have writing. We get a 10 minute free-write each day, and I am finishing a story I am writing called “Painting Circles.” We don’t have a billion different teachers and switch subjects like most middle schools. We start that in 8th grade, to prepare us for high school. My teacher, Ms. Thorne, is really young, fresh out of college, and always uses the phrase “painting circles.” It means you’ve been doing extraordinary things, like painting perfect circles, which takes skill to do, but no one appreciates it, because they’re “just” circles. My story is kind of like my life story. This boy Ty is a great writer, and is so amazing, but no one seems to care. I am Vice President, but when I won, no one except Lexi and Mom and Dad cared. Even Lexi barely cared, because she’s secretary, so she was so fed up in her own glory to care. I congratulate everyone who wins things, even if I was running for the same thing, but no one does for me if I win. I don’t even think my parents cared that much, either, because Dad ran for president (Of the U.S.A) in his day, but he lost and Mom ran for Mayor of Chicago, but she lost too. I think they were the slightest bit jealous when I won.
“Bailey, you have been chosen to read your free write today!” announces Ms. Thorne as if someone stuck a pin in her thigh. Actually, I guess she knows how that feels, because sometimes she has random allergy attacks. Anyway, Bailey is now reading her story called “The Arch of July.” It is about a boat that gets stuck in a canal in July. It’s terrible, and everybody knows it. Bailey is the most popular girl in my grade, though she’s terrible at everything, except for styling her hair and applying lip gloss. Her locker is filled with lip gloss. They are all ordered in color order- Candilicous Cherry to Crème Brulee Creation. Crème Brulee Creation is black, though crème brulee is actually a golden brown. Whatever. All of the flavors are used, and by count, I think she has a little bit more than 130 flavors. There are about 13 colors, red, orange, yellow, light green, moderate green, dark green, light blue, blue, indigo, lavender, purple, brown, miscellaneous, and black, and she has about 10 of each. The only flavor I would like to try is Coco Nutty Contaminate. I live for coconut. Bailey’s most used flavor is Gorgeous Grape, mostly because she loves the color and the taste. Today Bailey is using Cinnamon Charm. I can smell it because I sit directly beside her.
“So Pauline squashed the grape, and saved the boat from going into the canal. The end!” That is all I hear of the story, since I was too busy day dreaming.
Now we have social studies. In social studies we have student council meetings. I sort of love social studies, except for when Allan, the president, is gone. He is today.
“Skye, looks like you’ll be filling in for Allan today!” Ms. Thorne looks pleased. I look like a puddle of goop. “C’mon, get the gavel and go up there. Don’t be shy!” she coos. I walk up the stairs to the mini stage we have in our classroom. Ms. Thorne loves plays and “meetings,” so she got what used to be the auditorium for the room. We had a new one built. The auditorium was really small, sort of larger than the average classroom, so she had no trouble fitting in. “C’mon, say the words!”
I tap the gavel three times. “This meeting will now come to order,” I wait for silence. I continue- “Last time we um, uh, we worked on ways to promote school spirit. We will continue with this today,” I look as nervous as an armadillo. “We said every Friday we wear our school colors, rusty red and white, like a coyote,” Oh, how I wish Allan was here. I am totally freaking out, not like the poised self confident person I am. “Now we will think of ideas!” Randomly, a bursting of confidence has injected into me like a shot. I feel like I know what to do now. “And now for the Vice President’s report!” I jump into place and try to be two people at the same time. The class looks excited, like a great thing is about to happen. “Okay, we need 4 people to think of ideas, 6 to create a poster to promote school spirit wear, and the rest of you to help treasurer count box tops and donations from the Give a dollar to a scholar. As we know, the donations were to people who are really smart but cannot afford college.
“Karen, Jesse, Patricia, and Collin, you guys think of ideas. Lexi, Kelsey, Jonathan, Rob, Billy, and Roy, you make the poster. The rest of you count box tops and money, and I will split down middle to decide who does what,” I make a chopping sign with my arm. “Lina, Paul, Tom, and Grace, you are on side one. Side one will count box tops, and side two will count the donations in total. We counted them separately at the last meeting. We will add up the total funds and announce it tomorrow. Thank you!”
I feel like part A. of my plan is working- Getting people to like me more. Now I just have to help out a little less.
“Student Council is done today. Thank you Skye, for making this entertaining!” Ms. Thorne sounds so enthusiastic. I’m glad. “You may go to lunch now.”
We are going to talk about our Winter Musical,” Ms. Thorne pronounces musical mew-sick-cahl. “We are going to stage a musical, called Winter Greene,” Huh, so Alex won’t be the only one in a play. “Winter Greene is about a girl who doesn’t believe in Christmas Spirit. Her name is Michelle Greene. It is based on A Christmas Carol. She is visited by 3 ghosts, blah blab blah. You know the story. For the part of Michelle, we need a good actress. But, as much as Michelle is an important part, the 3 ghosts need to be perky and fun. Auditions will be held in my room, as usual. I am counting on some of you to be there- She looks in my direction and the drama geeks. There are many “groups” at my school. There are the geeks, drama geeks, Jerky Turkeys (Jerky boys), popsicles (Popular girls), parrots (boys who talk a lot), parakeets (Girls who talk a lot), and everybody else, the normal. I am definitely my own category- Blue Skye. Blue as in sad, and Skye is my name. A “blue sky” is a great happy thing. Blue Skye is an oxymoron in a strange way- Blue skies are happy things, but “blue Skye” means sad Skye. Well, it’s strange, like I told you.
“…in your Social Studies textbook…..” I didn’t even hear what page Ms. Thorne said.
“What page?” I whispered to Cassidy (she sits next to me.)
“42. Didn’t you hear-
“Daydream.” I replied.
School is finally done for the day. I am so happy! I don’t have any homework- I did it all during study hall. My school puts study hall at the end of the day, which isn’t the best time, because everyone can do their homework before the end of school. So why am I still at school? The musical auditions. I need to make it! I want Alex (Albert, not Lexi) to be jealous.
“La de la de la de la da daaaaah,” Ms. Thorne sings. “Okay people. We got to move it, move it! I will teach you the dance, and you have to sing your song to the beat of your feet,” She shuffles as she says that. “Recite your monologue and, yah!” I recite my monologue from the musical Levitation. I am pretending to be Kinzella (pronounced kin-sell-uh), a fair maiden who loves a man named Slaisho (pronounced salay-she-oh. I know, it should be spelled Salashio or Slashio, but I did not write the script), a thief and an outlaw. Kinzella cannot marry Slaisho because her wealthy parents want her to marry rich and snooty Duke Jacque of Craziblin (pronounced Crass-ih-blinn), or if possible, Kalitzo (pronounced call-it-zo. Sorry with all these “pronounced whatever.” I just cannot live with you saying Slasho [pronounced slash-oh. Sorry!]) In this monologue, Kinzella is weeping as Slaisho is sequenced to death for stealing from a butcher shop.
“Oh, wait! Stop! Please! Slaisho has no right to be mangled! This is thy second offense in this village! The poor lad has no money, as he is in debt for hundreds! He only acts this foolish way in hopes for his mother, Eliza Beth, can stay on this ground, for she is old and weak. Be humble for this gentleman- he has not been taught right opposed to wrong!
“As we have all been taught 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 to 10, Slaisho has had no instruction whatsoever. He deserves to be spared. Think, please, just imagine a time that you have done wrong, and have been forgiven and spared by someone, even your parents. We’ve all made mistakes, some larger than others, but we’ve learned from them. Slaisho will, I mean has, learned from his mistakes. He will be right. He can turn gentle. Just please, oh please I say, spare him. Spare him as God does you, just please, please.”
Okay, I get it- A little more than a monologue. It’s more of a speech. And you probably think it is too old-fashioned, but it requires skill to say it with meaning and expression. If I just read it like this then you would be bored because I would not stop and that would be boring because I would have no expression and I cannot do that if I want to have a part in a musical and even if I did read it with a little expression or breaks it still would be weird because an actress has to have both expression and breaks or otherwise she is a really boring person and that would be bad because…….. You get the point.
“Excellent! Brilliant, Skyler!” Yes, Ms. Thorne calls me Skyler, my full name, when she thinks I’m being excellent. “You are a girl that has talent! It sounded just like a boy-crazy girl in distress! You sing like an angel, dance like a freak- in a good way! You have expression and did not recite too fast, with many breaks in the right spot- (I told you so!) you just have plain old talent, and you can use it like a 16 year old driver with her car!” Like I said, told you so! Breaks and expression are important!
Today is Tuesday, and I have discovered Lexi’s outfit secret- Tuesdays are TWOsdays. What I mean by that is she tries to, I mean DOES wear two of the same colors on different articles of clothing. It looked so casual, different each time, which is why I never figured it out.
OMG! Ms. Thorne posted the cast list for Winter Greene! Everyone is checking in out! Fortunately, I got here early for patrol. Patrol directs traffic, helps the Elementary students get to the bus (they are just a block away), and monitor the hallways. I’m hallway monitor, right by “Thorne Road.” “Thorne Road” is the hallway right by Ms. Thorne’s room. I check it out. Here is the cast list-
Michelle- SKYLAR JOHNSON
Ghost #1(PAST) - KAREN MILLER
Ghost #2(PRESENT) – PATRICIA HAYES
Ghost #3(FUTURE) – BILLY SHWAEISTHAL
Mama- LEXI TURRI
Papa- KETH RICHARDS
Carolers- KATHERINE RUIZ, LINA SEMALHAWK, KARRI BALWDWIN, CASSIDY LIM
Townspeople- KYLE STURN, JENNA ARNOLDS, RJ TEMPLEMAN, DYLAN KIRTHSAW, GRAM ZIFTY, EMMA GERALDS
OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I GOT THE PART OF MICHELLE GREENE!!! SILENT LIBRARY SCREEM! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! Oh, sorry about that. I’m supposed to be poised about this. I can still get parts A. and B. done. Ms. Thorne will totally want my help now. Well, maybe not if I can help it….
“…..And we need one person to pass out papers. Skye, would you like to?” asks Ms. Thorne.
“No thank you,” I reply. I’ve never said no to a teacher. I add, “Maybe another time would be good.” She looks surprised, trying to figure me out. Most teachers assume that if a child is acting differently than usual, they’re either going through that “middle school” stage or they’re up to something.
“I will, Ms. T!” jumps in Bailey. Fortunately, Ms. Thorne decides to pass them out herself.
On the paper, it tells how there is an opening for school newspaper editor, and they’re having interviews? Interviews for an editor? Ms. Thorne explains how they need someone with good grades in writing and editing, and someone who teachers recommend. Everyone looks at me, like they know I’ll get the job.
“Anyone interested? If so, raise your hands.” About seven hands are raised. She adds, “You won’t get paid.” Three hands go down. “Oh, Skye, Lexi and Bailey, interviews are in Mr. Turn’s classroom today at lunch, right away. As the rest of our class works on our expository writing piece, which Skye, you already turned into me, you may write your resumè, and I will hand you your report cards to put in your files.”
She hands me the report card.
“Skyler….” I open the file. “Glorious job!” Dang it! Straight A’s!
“Ugh, c’mon!” Lexi, Bailey and I say at the same time. “What’s the matter with you?” I ask.
“4 D’s!” says Bailey.
“C+ in math!” includes Lexi.
“Straight A’s!” I tell them. They shoot me a strange look. This is why Ms. Thorne likes me so much! I’ve been getting good grades, actually, excellent grades, and this is foiling most of my plan! I can’t just try to get answers wrong! I’ll think about this later.
At lunch I go to Mr. Turn’s room for my ‘interview’, which I still don’t understand why. He calls me in first. I’m supposed to keep what happened in there confidential, probably even to my diary. I guess someone might read it. All we did was talk about me, and why I would be good as an editor. That’s it basically.
Later on I get home to see my parents waiting for me at the table with Chelsea. They look angry, not at me, but in general. I see a manila file folder sitting in the middle, like the ones that we get for report cards.
“Alex will be home any minute.” My mother blankly speaks.
1 hr. later
Alex strolls in as if she didn’t know or care about anyone at the table.
“Alex. Sit. Down. Now.” Mom strikes. I take one look at her face and fall out of my chair. “Young lady, where were you and wha- Oh my goodness gracious! What did you do?!”
“I just went and got a makeover. What’s all the fuss about?” Alex’s hair is blue with a pink highlight, she is as tan as a caramel candy, and has a tattoo of a bloody wolverine on her cheek!
“I, just, but, you, grounded for life, sit down, ugh, I’ll deal with you later. Your father and I need to tell you something. We need to move. With three kids in here and me pregnant, there’s just not enough room.”
I don’t know if I told you this, but Mom is pregnant, so she’s been dealing with a lot of stress lately. She can’t go to work because she’s due in 2 weeks, and without her working, we are practically broke. I suggested to Alex that she should give the money she earns working at Yogo Freeze, the frozen yogurt place, to Mom. She said “No, get out of my room, loser! Mom and Dad don’t need my freakin’1 buck an hour pay! Leave, NOW!”
A "NEW" PAPER-
Mathlete Go Athlete!
Tryouts for the basketball team were this week in the gym during lunch. Many people tried out for the positions, but only 10 people made it on the team. The team finalists included Jonathan Millazzi, Collin McFarley, Sebastian Couch, Dylan Pozet, Joey Conelli, Robert Egyptian-Town, Samuel Portion, Zachary Legweek, Keenan LaGirl, and Alex Morison. Coach Thomas was very surprised at the results of these men, and was proud to declare that this year’s Team Captain is Alex Morison. “I am very happy that Morison has suddenly taken an interest of sports. I look back and remember how he had C’s and D’s, with maybe a B [Physical education grades], and I wanted him to work harder. I knew that if he tried, he could be extraordinary.” says Coach Anderson. “He worked too hard in handwriting and math trying to be the best at everything he learned.” says English teacher Alaina Uppen. “He was extravagant, but he just didn’t seem like he was challenged. Every time we would take a test, he would get 100%. He was a straight A+ student in all of his grades except for gym, and now that will change.” If only the team had a name. Coach Anderson says that Team Captain always chooses the name, unless the school already has one. “This means Morison gets to chose ‘Old Lacky’ this year.” He suggests the Winifred Whales or The Winifred Walruses, or of course, The Winifred “Whaz Ups.”
Also Morison has also tried out for the school football team, lacrosse team, swimming, track, cross country, and tennis. Let’s hope he makes it!
“Kids should follow their dreams. Whenever you get a chance to make your dream come alive, don’t miss it. If not, your dream will explode like when a 40 year old man tries to make microwave oatmeal, and that goes ‘SPLOOSH’.” says Morison. He knows that from experience, just like many of us.