“Ow,” I moaned as I pulled myself off of the floor and back into my chair. Suddenly I realized nearly everyone was laughing and joking. About me. Apparently I was the only one to see anything and definitely the only one to fly backwards out of her chair and onto the hard floor. My cheeks turned red as the usually sneaky torments transformed into full-on catcalls and owl screeches. They pierced my soul, making me feel ashamed, despite having done no wrong. My tears, which I couldn’t say if they were from embarrassment or the pain in my elbows, wings, and head, were just about to spill over.
“All right, that’s enough!” yelled Mrs. Plumbottle, overcoming the jeering crowd of my class-“mates” by a level of volume exponentially higher than theirs combined. She gave them The Stare of the Accused. They fell silent, but their triumph was still very evident on their not-so-concealed, smirking faces.
“Are you alright, Miss Emmaline?”
I nodded. She could tell I lied.
“Any last questions before class is over?” She searched our faces for “a question mark on our foreheads,” as she says. Nobody said zip.
Those few seconds felt like eternity before the bell rang. I packed my books into my bag as quickly as I could. People kept bumping purposely into the back of my chair on their way out, muttering their final stinging comments before they went. I tried to stand up to leave, but Waximitt flapped his wings in my face, snarling, “Sid down, ya smarty-pants, and git yer head on straight.” I had no choice until they were all gone, heading to fill their growling bellies with all manner of poor foods and sweets optional at lunch time.
I pushed my chair back to the table a bit harder than I intended to. I mumbled an apology as I headed for the door. “Miss Emmaline,” spoke Mrs. Plumbottle. I halted in my tracks.
“Would you do me a favor, please?”
“Um…what is it?”
“Could you draw what you saw on the board, please? It would mean a great deal to me,” she explained as she sat down at her desk in the back corner. “I’m doing some research,” she continued, “about the number of people who can translate extensionals naturally in their head. Don’t worry, it’s not a test,” she replied to the nervous expression on my face. “I just want to see what you can do. Alright? Good!” she concluded cheerfully, as she ruffled through some test papers from yesterday.
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