2012 Totem Head Story Contest Finalist:"The New Captain Fantabulous" By Morgan Peterson, 13 years old, Maryland.
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2012 Contest Finalist


The New Captain Fantabulous
Written By:   Morgan Peterson, 13 years old, Maryland.

So there I was, proving once again that I was the dopiest girl in the seventh grade, if not all of Freedom Middle School. I hadn’t meant to fall asleep. In fact, I had every intention of staying awake. But when Miss Marston, my curly, red-headed teacher, kept droning on and on through math class, I kind of dozed off. The next thing I knew, I heard someone sternly repeating my name.

"Farah!"

I jumped out of my chair. "Huh?" I mumbled in a daze.

"You mean, ‘Could you please repeat the question, Miss Marston?’" my teacher said.

I didn’t mean to fall asleep. I really liked Miss Marston with her jade green eyes and purple eye shadow, but some things were more interesting than math. Like the Captain Fantabulous comic books that kept me up late at night.

"Yes. What was the question?" I asked, sitting down.

"I asked you how to find the intercept using the slope-intercept formula."

"I’m sorry. I don’t know."

Rez, the school bully, snickered. Rez was short for Reginald Edward Zacharias. I only knew that because I heard his mom get mad and call him by his full name once. I seriously don’t know what his parents were thinking when they named him. Rez had spiky hair and a large diamond stud on his left ear. Of course he’d laugh at me. Boys always laughed at dopey girls, and I was at the top of the dopey girl list.

"Well, Rez," Miss Marston said, "do you know the answer?"

"I dunno. Why should I?"

"Okay, that’s it. Both of you will stay after school and re-do your lesson."

"Yes, ma’am," I quietly replied. At the sound of the bell, the class slammed their books shut and lined up.

"Sorry you gotta stay after school," my best friend, June, said, coming up behind me.

"Thanks. I guess I’d better cut off a little of my Captain Fantabulous," I said, looking back at her.

"You just can’t get enough of him, can you?" she said, her blue eyes sparkling.

"Nope." Who could? Captain Fantabulous was my dream man. He was the hottest man ever with his dark brown hair that was always perfect, deep blue eyes, bulging muscles and red and yellow elastic suit. If only he was real. But if he was, he wouldn’t like a girl like me. I had the most gigantic, nerdy glasses, because they were the only kind our insurance covered; and I had literally the frizziest brown hair in the world, ordinary brown eyes, and buckteeth. June, on the other hand, with her long, silky black hair, was gorgeous enough to be a model.

We walked into the cafeteria with our class and found a table.

"I’ll be back in a minute," June said, as she headed for the lunch line. June got everything! I never got to buy my lunch!

I sat down and opened my dented tin lunchbox. Peanut butter and jelly. Did my mom not know how to make anything else? I groaned. Then I groaned again when I saw Rez approaching.

"You’re gonna pay for making me stay after school," he growled.

"I didn’t make you do anything. You didn’t know the answer. That’s why you’re staying after school."

"What’s your excuse?"

"I need to go to bed earlier. Go away, so I can eat my lunch without smelling your B.O."

Rez, apparently taken back, went to his usual lunch table, shoving his nose into his armpit.

June came back with her tray of pizza, carrot sticks, and chocolate milk. Lucky Duck!

"What was that all about?" June asked.

The smell of pepperoni wafted towards my nose. I inhaled covetously.

"He said I was gonna pay for making him stay after school. I told him I didn’t make him, it was his fault, and his B.O. stunk."

"Wow."

I nodded, biting into my plain, normal, everyday, stale, soggy PBJ, wishing I had enough money to buy lunch every day.

After lunch was over, our class went out to recess. My friends and I grabbed a jump rope, and two girls started turning it.

As I was jumping, suddenly something smacked me hard in the back of the legs, knocking me onto the blacktop. My glasses flew off my face. I looked up to see an orange blur bouncing away, the blur partly from not having my glasses, partly from my tears. June helped me to my feet as Miss Marston came running. My knees stung. June handed me my glasses. I heard Rez laughing. My tears turned from pain to anger. Why was Rez so mean?

"Are you all right, Farah?" Miss Marston asked.

"My knees hurt."

"You should go see the nurse. Then come to the principal’s office."

"Yes, ma’am."

Mrs. Callaghan, our middle-aged nurse, always wore funny scrubs. As I walked down the hall, I wondered what crazy design she’d be wearing today.

"What happened, Farah?" she asked, after pulling open her office door. Her scrub had snowmen all over it. I wonder if she knew Christmas had ended four months ago.

"I tripped while jumping rope," I said, trying not to stare at the snowmen.

She sighed sympathetically as she washed my knees. The ointment stung.

"Well, you’re good to go, dear," Mrs. Callaghan said when she’d finished.

"Thank you," I said.

I limped down the hall to the principal’s office. Miss Marston and Rez were already sitting in front of Mr. Daigle’s desk.

"All right," Mr. Daigle said. "I understand that Farah got hurt while jumping rope because Rez threw a ball at her. Rez, was that deliberate?"

"Yes."

"Why?"

Rez mumbled, "Because I like her."

I gaped. What? Rez liked me? He certainly didn’t act like it. But…he liked me! Wow! I wasn’t quite sure how to take it. Mr. Daigle gave Rez a detention, and then dismissed us so we could get to class on time.

As we stepped into the hall, Rez turned to me and said, "Sorry, I’ve been such a jerk."

"That’s all right."

"Want to be friends?" he asked, holding out his hand.

I couldn’t believe it. Not only did he like me, he was going to let me touch his hand!

"Sure," I said, trying to hide my excitement as I shook it. As we walked into our next class, I realized I didn’t need Captain Fantabulous so much anymore.




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