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Cricket the Early Years Part 10
By
frogprince

Cricket the Early Years Part 10

The pranks continue, but Cricket knows who R.W. is.

It was Friday, the weekend before the Spring Concert. Cricket walked home with Naomi to spend the weekend at her house. Naomi planned to have a few friends over for a small party. The girls played in Naomi's room trying to keep her brother out. Her brother always wanted to be around when Marcia was there. After thirty minutes of playful fighting, her brother gave up.

Shortly after the family ate dinner, two more friends arrived to spend the night. Melissa and Jill went to school with Marcia and Naomi and spent every lunch period with them. Before her brother interfered, Naomi moved the girls into her room. The girls held hands in a circle, twirling, laughing, jumping up and down and squealing. They were so happy to spend time together out of school.

When the girls quieted, they set up the sleeping arrangements and sat on Naomi's bed. Melissa wanted to know about the card Marcia got earlier in the week. Marcia did not want to talk about it. Naomi filled them in but only with a brief story. They shook their heads and looked at Marcia.

"Can we help find 'R.W.'?" Melissa asked.

Marcia with a sad expression replied, "We have his name, but we do not know who he is and what he looks like. Maybe you have seen him."

Jill read the name on the list Marcia showed them. She did not know what he looked like, but knew of the family. He was the only child in the family. She looked at Naomi and Marcia and she waited for Melissa to tell what she knew, which was nothing.

"I do not know him, but I do know his family offered the special lunch after the Spring Concert," Jill spoke softly.

"That is a big help. Now we know something about him. We can make a plan to get information on him quickly." Naomi blurted.

Marcia sat and stared at the card and the list, which sat in the middle of a loosely formed circle of friends. She placed her hand on the papers. Naomi covered Marcia's hand with hers. Melissa quickly added her hand to the pile followed by Jill. Marcia's head rose up and she looked into the eyes of her friends. She knew they would do anything to solve this mystery. They would help her recover her dignity and help her exact the proper revenge.

As soon as their hands split, the girls laughed and rolled off the bed. They lay on the floor smiling and squirming around. The girls slowly left the room and went to change into their pajamas. They stood in the bathroom changing and looking at each other in the full-length mirror. They played with each other's hair and tried different hairdos. When they finished, they joined the rest of the family as they watched TV.

At ten o'clock, the girls stood and went to Naomi's room. When they entered the room, there were snacks of milk and cookies laid out on Naomi's desk. The girls quickly consumed everything left there. When they finished, the girls lay on the bed looking at the ceiling of the room. With the lights off, several small stars and planets glowed. Phosphorescent stars and circles dotted the ceiling, which simulated the night sky. The girls tried to count the stars, but gave up quickly. They fell asleep looking at the stars.

When they woke up in the morning, they washed up, got dressed and ate breakfast. After breakfast, they went back into Naomi's room to play with hairstyles. Marcia's hair was long blonde with a slight wave to it. Naomi's hair was black and had curly ringlets. Melissa was a redhead with long naturally curly hair that was heavy and thick. Jill was a brunette with long soft straight hair.

Jill and Naomi took a turn at Marcia's hair. They tried a ponytail high up on her head. It did not look right and fell out quickly. Next thing they tried was two ponytails on each side of her head. They looked terrible. Jill took one side of her head and Naomi the other and proceeded to make two lovely braids from her hair. When they finished, Marcia loved the style. She decided she would keep it that way all weekend. The other girls did the same with their hair. They looked so cute together.

After lunch, the girls went for a walk around the area where Naomi lived. As they walked, Naomi pointed out the homes of some of their classmates. As they approached a very large house set way back from the street, a girl about their age came down the lawn. Naomi tried to cross the street, but failed in her attempt.

As the girl approached, Marcia saw why Naomi wanted to cross the street. The girl was Sarah, Marcia's nemesis from her old school. She stopped and looked at the four girls.

"Hello Marcia. What are you doing around here?" Sarah asked icily.

"We spent the night with Naomi. It was a nice sleepover," replied Marcia.

"It is too bad 'R.W.' was not around to torment you some more." Sarah taunted.

"I don't have to listen to you anymore and you can't taunt me." Marcia spoke loudly, as she swung knocking Sarah to the ground.

As she fell, she slid along the grass and stained her clothes on the newly mown lawn. Sarah lay on the grass shaking her head clearing the bells ringing in her head. She sat up and looked at Marcia. The four girls turned around and walked back toward Naomi's house. Sarah stood up and watched them leave. She watched until they were out of sight. She brushed her clothes off and walked slowly back to the house head hung down in defeat.

As the girls approached Naomi's house, their attitude became one of triumph and glee. For Marcia, the physical altercation was a small victory against Sarah. It was spontaneous, but felt good. She had a big smile on her face that became a giggle and soon a big laugh. The other girls joined in the mirth and started dancing around Marcia, as they walked. Marcia felt that the weekend was the best she had in a long time.

When they got to Naomi's house, Jill's mom waited to take Melissa and Jill home. They left and Naomi and Marcia continued toward some woods at the end of the street. Marcia walked along a small path into the woods, as Naomi followed. She walked along listening to the sounds of insects, beetles and birds. She looked ahead and saw that the path opened on a small clearing.

The clearing opened on the shore of a small stream. Along the edge of the stream, several footprints of large animals were in the mud. Marcia recognized deer prints, raccoons and what could have been wolf. She wondered if it was her wolf family. Naomi caught up with her and looked at the footprints. Marcia explained the different prints and Naomi loved it. They both liked that animals lived near their houses.

Marcia sat on a rock near the edge of the woods in the clearing. Naomi sat with her and listened to the stream and the birds singing. Crickets chirped behind them from a clump of flowers and weeds. A chipmunk ran across the clearing carrying a piece of bark in its mouth. As he ran, he tripped on the bark and rolled along in a ball. Naomi and Marcia laughed. Marcia almost slipped off the rock as she laughed.

Saturday night and Sunday were quiet contemplative days for Marcia. As she sat on Naomi's bed, she looked at Naomi and asked, "Who do you think 'R.W.' is?"

Naomi shrugged her shoulders and replied, "I don't know, but we have his name I think."

"We have his name, but what can I do to get back at him for these pranks? I want him to know we found him and he did not get away without me getting him back." Marcia said.

They chatted for a long while about things to try for pranks. Nothing seemed right for the revenge. Marcia thought, "What would be good? Can it be revenge, but not hurtful? Can it be funny and humiliate him as he did me?" Before she could answer any of the thoughts, her mother came to take her home. She reluctantly left Naomi's house and went home.

Monday and Tuesday at school were quiet days. The girls searched for 'R.W.', but they did not know what he looked like. They eliminated many of the boys in the school. Marcia's stalker watched her every day at lunch and smiled at her confusion. His friends felt left out of the joke as he smiled at the girl's confusion.

The Spring Concert came and the school was abuzz with the thought of music and a real catered meal. Marcia sat with her class next to Naomi and sang along with the music. Naomi kept nudging Marcia to be quiet. Marcia ignored her. When the music ended, the classes filed into the lunchroom. Each class had its designated area. Marcia and her class sat quietly and waited for their meals.

As she waited, Marcia looked around at the whole school in one room. She thought, "'R.W.' is here. Where can he be?" Just as the thought died in her mind, a waiter walked up to her and her friends. He spoke to the teacher for a moment. She motioned to Marcia to join her. After a few moments, Marcia and her friends walked with the waiter to her customary lunchtime table. The waiter proceeded to seat each of the girls and stood ready to take their orders.

Marcia sat at the table blushing red, as the rest of the school watched in surprise. Another waiter removed a sign that read: "Guests of Roger Wolfson." It was another prank, which embarrassed not only Marcia, but also her friends. She felt that this was no longer pranks, but stalking and harassment. Everyone knew who her tormentor was. He became very open about his choices. She had to meet this boy.

From her customary seat, Marcia surveyed the sea of faces. She scanned the whole lunchroom and everyone looked toward her. Everywhere she looked, she saw curiosity reflected back at her. Everywhere that was except from one table. At that table was the boy who watched her every day. He smiled at her and waved. He gestured as if taking a bow. Marcia knew in that moment, he was 'R.W.' and he showed how bold he could be.

She leaned toward Naomi and whispered scowling, "I know who 'R.W.' is. He watched us for weeks now from a table here in the lunchroom."

"Where is he? I want to see this guy. He made me angry with the display and I want revenge on him." Naomi replied with venom in her voice.

Marcia gestured in the direction of the smiling boy. Naomi looked up at him scowling. She saw the boy stopped smiling and turned to one of his friends. She watched, as the two boys spoke. As they spoke, they looked at Naomi with curiosity in their eyes. She quickly lowered her gaze and returned to talk with Marcia. Their banter ended, when the principal stood in the center of the lunchroom addressing the gathering.

"On behalf of the Wolfson family, I wish to welcome you to our annual lunch following the Spring Concert. Roger Wolfson will be leaving us at the end of the school year to attend high school. Stand up and let us see you please Roger." The principal looked first at him and then at Marcia as a signal to her. The lunchroom erupted in a loud round of applause, as Roger stood and acknowledged the adulation.

The principal continued, "I would also like to acknowledge our guest of honor, a new student here who transferred in after Christmas break. Her name is Marcia Shaw better known to all of you as 'Cricket'."

The principal gestured toward the table where Marcia and her friends sat. Marcia and her friends blushed and tried to hide, but the applause and cheers were louder than for Roger. She very slowly stood to recognize the students. She gestured back to the principal, but he turned to praise her too.

As the applause died, Marcia sat and lunch began. As the rest of the school ordered their meals, the waiters delivered the girl's food quickly. The lunchroom buzzed with excitement, as the girls ate their meals in silence. Dessert was the highlight of the meal. Students got a full size hot fudge sundae, made to their order.

As the students finished their meals, they slowly drifted out of the lunchroom. Marcia and her friends sat at their table and watched the lunchroom empty. Marcia watched Roger closely as he ate with his friends. He occasionally looked at her and smiled. The last time she looked at him, he raised his glass in a toast gesture. Marcia glared at him and rose to leave the table.

Marcia and her friends left the lunchroom, but Naomi hung back and waited for Roger to leave. She stood against the wall thinking of what she would say to him. He walked out of the lunchroom and Naomi grabbed his arm. She pulled him away from his friends who walked on without him. She spun him around and stood on tiptoes looking into his startled face.

"What do you have against Marcia? What has she done to you? Why are you tormenting her?" Naomi spat her questions at him.

He tried to answer, but Naomi continued to rant. Finally, when she stopped, he answered, "I have nothing against her. I admire her for taking on Sarah and putting her down at the sleepover. When she came here, I was king of the pranks. With her here, I feel threatened. If you tell anyone I will make sure you are a target for things."

"Don't worry. Your secret is safe with me for now." Naomi scowled as she replied.

She quickly walked down the hall and caught up with her friends. They turned and looked back at Roger who stood with a befuddled look on his face. They continued to their lockers to get their jackets and go home. The rest of the week was quiet and Spring Break started for the girls and the rest of the school.

The week started with bright blue sky and warm weather. Naomi and Marcia spent most of their time exploring the woods near Naomi's house. They saw many small animals and evidence of larger ones. The oddest thing they found was a young skunk. It did not spray the girls, but gave Marcia a great idea for her revenge.

She commented to Naomi, "wouldn't that smell be nice in R.W.'s locker?"

"That sure would. How can we do it without getting sprayed?" Naomi asked.

"I don't know yet, but will work on it this week." Marcia shot back with a sly smile on her face. Naomi felt that Marcia had a plan.

Friday dawned with a cold gray sky and an increasing threat of snow. The girls met at Naomi's house and quickly went to the woods. Marcia carried a pillowcase to use as a capture bag for the small skunk. The plan was to capture the skunk and bring it to school Monday morning. They would put the pillowcase containing the skunk in R.W.'s locker. When he opened the locker, the skunk would fall out and spray in the pillowcase not hurting anyone.

As the girls left Naomi's house a light snow fell. It melted, when it hit the open ground. They walked slowly in the woods because the snow stuck to the trees and the ground. It fell faster and the sky grew very dark. The girls got to the spot where they saw the skunk, but it was gone. The girls trudged home slowly in the accumulating snow. They failed to capture the skunk, but felt there were other days for that. School was in session for nine more weeks.

With the days turning colder for a week, Marcia forgot about the skunk. Naomi and she concentrated on school. The thought of revenge escaped from their minds. Three weeks before the end of school, Naomi saw R.W. and remembered that revenge lurked for him. When she saw Marcia, she reminded her about the plan for revenge. Marcia agreed with her and the sense of urgency ratcheted up in their minds.

It was a Tuesday afternoon and the weather was clear and warm. Naomi and Marcia walked quietly through the woods toward the home of the skunks. They approached quietly and saw several skunks eating the newly growing grasses and the worms that surfaced because of the wet mud. The skunks did not run or take a defensive position was the girls walked to them.

One of the skunks stopped eating, waddled over to the girls and rose up on his hind legs. He begged for some food and attention. Marcia bent and picked up the polecat. He did not protest and when he was in the pillowcase, he settled down and went to sleep. The girls gently carried him home and put him in the garage in a small cage with food. He crawled out of the pillowcase and ate the food. He curled up in a makeshift bed and went to sleep.

The girls went in the house and ate dinner. When they finished they checked on the skunk that still slept. The girls went to Naomi's room where they giggled and had trouble sleeping. Only two and one half weeks of school remained. Tomorrow would be the day of revenge and the school would know Marcia got her revenge. Safe in that knowledge the girls slept through the night.

The girls woke early and dressed for school quickly. They ate breakfast and gathered their school bags for the day. The last thing they did was to get the skunk and put him in a carry bag. He did not mind the jostling in the transport from home to school.

The girls arrived at school early and sought out the janitor. He promised to help the girls if they needed to open any lockers for their revenge. They found him in his little workshop drinking his coffee and reading the sports page of the newspaper. He looked up as they entered and smiled.

"Good morning young ladies, may I help you?" He cheerfully asked.

"It is time for revenge," blurted Marcia with a broad smile.

He got his keys and led the girls to the locker they wanted. He opened it and stood back, as the girls put the pillowcase with the skunk inside. They slowly closed the door and relocked it. When it was over, they walked away to wait hidden away until R.W. arrived.

The girls waited and watched the locker. The first bell rang and students began to enter the school. Twenty minutes later the second bell rang and everyone went to the classrooms. Marcia and Naomi reluctantly left their hiding place and went to their classroom too.

R.W. was late or was he?

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than storiesspace.com with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

Copyright © Copyright 2012, 2013 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 by Cal Erickson, aka frogprince

Posted with permission at storiesspace.com

All other rights reserved.

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