The ward of castoria, p.15
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       The Ward of Castoria, p.15

           Robin Silverglate
 

  *****

  About half way through first period, Bryn realized Dane’s seat was empty. She briefly wondered where he was because Dane had specifically said he would be in school today. However, she did not wonder for long because she had to concentrate on the teacher’s lecture. When the bell rang, she reluctantly moved to second period. She dreaded seeing Kayla, but knew it could not be avoided. She sat in her desk and waited for the inevitable snarky comment that Kayla usually said when she walked near her seat. Yet it never came.

  When the bell rang to start class, Bryn looked over to see if Kayla was absent, too, but saw that she was sitting at her desk. Bryn watched her reach into her pocket and pull out a tin of mints. She popped one into her mouth and sat back in her chair. Then, Kayla looked at her and the oddest thing happened. Her face turned a bright shade of red which sharply contrasted against her pale blond hair. Kayla’s eyes widened in fear and she covered her nose with her hand. Bryn was astonished by this strange behavior and watched Kayla slink down in her chair with her hand resting on her nose.

  Bryn eventually turned to look at Mrs. Frank who was writing on the board, but in her peripheral vision, she noticed Kayla slowly sit up. She remained a little hunched over her desk and kept her hand over her nose. Bryn thought this was so unlike Kayla. Usually, she exuded confidence and reveled in being the center of attention, but now it looked like she was deliberately trying to avoid it. The time flew by and Bryn was pleasantly surprised Kayla never looked her way again. As soon as the bell rang, Kayla got out of her desk and ran in the direction of the bathroom.

  On the way to her next class, Bryn suddenly remembered she had forgotten her economics textbook in her father’s office. Her teacher had specifically told everyone to bring it for that day’s lesson, so Bryn made a quick side-trip to pick up the book. It was her father’s planning period, so he was just settling down at his desk when she arrived. “I need to pick up my book,” she said as she walked across the office to get it. She saw Beck in the corner grading some papers so she decided to ask, “Is Dane all right? He’s not in class today?”

  Beck’s eyes tightened a little before saying, “He woke up feeling sick this morning. I’m sure it is just one of those 12-hour illnesses and he’ll be back soon.”

  “Hope he feels better,” Bryn said politely. The warning bell rang and she left the office with a quick goodbye. On her way to class, she saw the Evil Stepsisters standing at the foot of the stairs. They looked at her and abruptly stopped their conversation in mid-sentence. They each touched their hands to their noses and walked away in different directions. Bryn couldn’t help but laugh at their bizarre behavior.
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