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Spelling Bees and Bullies


by cutiefluteyelephant4

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"Turmaculus."

     "Turmaculus. T-U-R-M-A-C-U-L-U-S. Turmaculus," Jen replied.

     "Very good, Jennifer. Now," Ms. Crabtree turned to Lucy, "Balthazar."

      Lucy, a young blue Aisha, thought for a few minutes, head bowed, brow furrowed.

     At last, she looked straight at Ms. Crabtree.

      "B-Balthazar. B…..A…..um, L……T-H……A……………S-R," Lucy bit her lip.

      "I'm sorry, dear, that is incorrect. Jennifer, can you tell me the correct answer? Balthazar," Ms. Crabtree turned to Jenny. Jenny rushed her words.

      "Yes, Ms. Crabtree. Balthazar. B-A-L-T-H-A-Z-A-R. Balthazar."

      "Wonderful, class, we have our winner for this week's spelling bee. Of course, she has been the winner for the past eight weeks, it's Jennifer! Congratulations once again, Jennifer, I'm sure Allyson will be positively delighted! Everyone have a nice weekend, now!" Ms. Crabtree gushed as the class filed out the door.

     Jen turned a deep shade of red. She knew her classmates thought she was a wonderful person, except on Fridays. Fridays, she was a vicious speller. She had won every spelling bee since school started. She also hated when Ms. Crabtree called her 'Jennifer.' It was her name, but she always went by Jenny or Jen.

      She grabbed her Fire Faerie Back Pack and Illusen Lunch Box, and filed out with the rest of the class.

      As she trudged out the school doors, the pretty Spotted Cybunny pulled on a small green button-down coat. The weather was cold, so cold. Jenny twisted the deep red woolen scarf Allyson had knitted her from a Woolen Scarf Knitting Set around her neck. That was much better.

      She sloshed through the snow unhappily, feeling embarrassed at the looks all her classmates had given her. She should have let Lucy won. She'd had her fame for the last eight weeks.

      Jen looked up from her self-scolding, and saw Lucy hurrying around the corner of the street, draped in a small, thin, torn cape, clutching a Tatty Notebook and a Tatty Pencil. Slung on her back was a ripped Punchbag Bob Back Pack. She looked so cold, weary, and embarrassed that Jenny felt as if her heart were torn in two. Why had she done that?

* * * * *

      "Allyson, this is delicious. I'm stuffing myself like a pig," Glory, Jen's youngest sister, said through a mouthful of Tchea and Meatball Noodles.

     Allyson cooked that night, which was usual. But, tonight, she had officially finished her Extra Creamy Soup stage. She had cooked Extra Creamy Soup every night for a week and a half straight. Jenny finally bought herself a pack of Blueberry Jam Sandwiches that she hoarded in her room, for after dinner.

     After the refreshing supper that night, Jenny retreated to her room to work on her spelling homework. How cruel that spelling was the only subject she had homework in. She aced through it, and sat back in her desk chair, thinking about how sad Lucy looked. She read in books all the time that poor creatures like that were always good of heart and easily hurt. This made Jenny feel worse. She vowed that from then on she would make an effort to reach out, and make Lucy her friend. She dozed off in her chair for the night.

* * * * *

     On Monday Jen skipped happily to school. The first thing she did after putting her coat and scarf away was to say hello to Lucy.

     "Hi, Lucy. How was your weekend?" Jen asked. Lucy looked at her like she was crazy.

     "Fine, I guess."

     "What did you do, silly?"

     "Sat around. Read. Did homework. Usual stuff. Why?" she said suspiciously.

     "No reason…" Jenny flopped down on her desk, confused. Had she come on too strong? Should she be a little bit less…peppy? She passed Lucy a note in class. It read:

     Hi Lucy!

     Want to come over after school?

     Jen

     Ms. Crabtree was droning on about the War on Meridell, and caught Jen flipping the note to Lucy.

     "Miss Jennifer!" she exclaimed, "I would have expected better from you! Detention after school, in my class!"

     Jenny turned a deep shade of scarlet. She glanced over at Lucy. Lucy was looking away from her embarrassedly. Jen was crushed. She must hate me now, she thought. She hung her head. After school, before she sat down for her detention, she asked Lucy herself. She shuffled shyly up to her, and asked in a soft voice, "Hi, Lucy."

     Lucy looked at her nonchalantly.

     "Hey."

     "I was, ah, wondering if you, um, wanted to come over after my, er, detention," Jen stammered. What an awful thing to hear herself say! "After my detention." It sounded terrible. She had hardly a sliver of hope now. She had first totally embarrassed herself in front of this girl, and then got into detention for passing a note to her.

     To Jenny's joy, Lucy looked at her in a blank way and said, "I guess. I'll wait for you."

     Yes! Victory! Now, Jenny thought, are we friends? Or do we have to bond at my house? Ooh, this could be trickier than I thought…

      After Jenny's hour-long detention, they walked to Jenny's home in silence. Jenny felt uncomfortable and embarrassed. She risked a glance at Lucy. Lucy appeared to have no emotion, or if she did she sure didn't show it often. Jenny made conversation as well as she could, but avoided the spelling bee as much as possible.

      "Wow. A Bride of Frankenstein Usuki," she said, pointing to the large window in the Usuki Shop they passed.

      "Want a smoothie?" Jenny offered. Lucy nodded, and Jen turned out her pockets. She found she only had enough for one.

      "You can have it or I can have it," she joked, but apparently Lucy took her seriously.

      "I want it!" she almost shouted.

      "Okay, okay, no need to shout," Jenny said, walking up to the window and asked for a small blueberry smoothie. Jeez, Louise, whatever happened to 'sharing is caring?' That was awfully rude, Jen thought. But I guess she's so poor that she's used to using every opportunity she gets to eat, she finally reasoned.

      When they arrived at Jen's house, they slung their backpacks on the floor and went into the kitchen. Jen had called ahead to let her owner know that Lucy was coming, and so Allyson had baked her practically famous Chocolate Chip Biscuits. Jenny took one, just to be polite and not be a hog, but she noticed that Lucy took six. Allyson looked a bit uncomfortable, and so did Jen, but she again reasoned that Lucy was poor and hungry. So she went along with it and gave Allyson an "I'll tell you later" kind of look. They went upstairs.

      "Want to play with Usukis?" Jenny asked. Lucy nodded.

      They picked dolls. Jen took the Woodland Elf, her favorite, but Lucy put on a pout and yelled, "I want that one!!" Jen reluctantly handed her precious doll to her guest. She once again reasoned that Lucy never got what she wanted because she was so poor, and what was a stupid doll anyway?

      It went on like this for the rest of the afternoon.

     Lucy got the first turn in Kacheekers, and Jen had to be It in tag. Jenny was practically forced to watch three hour's worth of shows that Lucy wanted to watch, and only one episode of hers.

      "Okey dokey, well, I guess it's time for you to go home now. Whew, I'm wiped out! What a fun afternoon!" Jen went on. Lucy looked at her funny.

      "Well, don't I get to stay for dinner?" she asked impatiently.

      "Ah, sorry, we're kinda low on groceries and don't have that much in the pantry. You know how it is," Jenny said.

      "Oh, I know, all right! No one wants the poor girl to stay for dinner! They don't want scum like her eating at their respectable table! Fine! If that's how you want it, fine! Just fine!" Lucy thundered. Jen looked at her straight on, and made a decision. She was not going to stand for THAT. She had spent the last of her money on a smoothie for Lucy, watched all of Lucy's shows, played all of Lucy's games, and now she was supposed to let this stand? No way.

      "Lucy, maybe if you were nicer to people you'd have a lot more friends and be a lot better to hang out with. You should try being less selfish and let others have fun, too. When you master that, then I will invite you over for dinner. Until then, sorry. I will show you to the door now." Lucy stomped out and ran off without a word. Allyson walked over and smiled at Jenny.

      "Way to go, hon. Way to stand up for yourself. I guess bullies can come in most unusual forms, huh?"

      "Guess they can," Jenny sighed sadly. She'd really tried to do a good deed with Lucy. But she tried her hardest to make a friend, and that's all that mattered to her.

      And next Friday's spelling bee was coming up. Who knows what might happen.

The End

 
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