Dottie looked at the clock. It seemed as if time stood still. School was almost over and she could not wait for it to end. She wanted to go home and practice her karate. Well, practice as best as she could. Her parents would not let her take karate lessons. They wouldn’t let her do anything.
She looked across the room and smiled at her friend Gordo then quickly stopped and looked down. Her teacher, Ms Culpepper, had gotten onto her for communicating in class. To Dottie, communication was talking. Ms Culpepper felt differently. One time, she and Gordo spent a week in detention just because they looked at each other and smiled. Dottie believed Ms Culpepper was an alien sent to Earth to punish school kids and break their spirit so they could take over the world. Apparently, no one told Ms Culpepper when they were briefing her for her mission of mass destruction that humans could not communicate telepathically.
When Ms Culpepper turned her back again, Dottie snuck a peek back at Gordo and stuck her tongue out. Gordo snickered and then looked down when Ms Culpepper spun her steely gaze around at the class. He and Dottie made quite an unusual pair. Gordo’s real name was Gordon. Everyone called him Gordo because that is the Spanish word for fat. It used to bother Gordo but after a while he got used to it. Now the only person that calls him Gordon is his mom. Even his dad and little brother call him Gordo although his mom gets onto them for calling him that. Dottie would not call him Gordo if she thought it bothered him. She knew what it was like to be made fun of. The kids in her class call her Karate Dottie. They love to tease her about her fascination with martial arts.
Gordo was the largest kid in fourth grade, both by height and weight. It was whispered on the school ground that he was really eighteen but had been held back so many years that he became a permanent fixture in the classroom. That rumor combined with his bright red curly hair and splash of freckles across his face made him an easy target for ridicule. He was good natured so none of the other kids were afraid of him despite his size. The same was not true of his best friend Karate Dottie. They loved to tease her as well but her temper and force of willwas legendary at EC Segar Elementary School. If you are going to pick on Dottie, you better do it from a distance or be very, very fast. She has the ferocity of a wolverine protecting its den. Picking on Gordo with her nearby had the same result.
Dottie looked across the room and caught a glimpse of her reflection in the aquarium filled with shimmering goldfish. She sighed. Her blond hair, worn in pigtails and bright green eyes irritated her. She craved the dark silky hair and chestnut brown eyes of the people she saw in her favorite karate movies. Last summer, she decided to dye her hair black. She didn’t have any dye so she decided to use black india ink. Her mom caught her halfway through the job and was VERY upset. Dottie didn’t know what was worse, her mom catching her or the next two weeks she spent with her hair blond with uneven black streaks and ink stained hands. It did nothing to help her reputation as an outcast and a very strange little girl.
Dottie steeled herself and looked up again at the clock. Less than two minutes left in class. Ms Culpepper droned on, oblivious to the fact that she was keeping Dottie from her true purpose in life. Like a runner in a race, Dottie slowly got into position to bolt out the door. Her hand reached down and wrapped around the strap to her light lavender backpack. She was careful not to close her book, she had made that mistake once before and it cost her a lengthy conversation after class. Every muscle in her body tensed, ready for action, until finally the sweet symphony of the dismissal bell rang.
Next: Episode 2 A Deadly Dryer and a Pet Cemetery
Words and pictures copyright 2016 SF Varney