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Cricket the Early Years Part 11
By
frogprince

Cricket the Early Years Part 11

Marcia gets her revenge, but makes a new friend in the process.

The classes all sat waiting for the third bell, which signaled the start of the school day. The school went quiet, while it waited for the morning announcements. Before the announcements began, a loud scream echoed through the halls into every room. Soon the putrid smell of a skunk penetrated the air in every classroom.

Naomi looked at Marcia and they both smiled trying to contain outright laughter. Of course, they missed the prank and did not know who the victim really was. They knew what happened and their classmates looked questioningly at the giggling girls. Marcia wanted to leave the room to investigate the source of the scream. Naomi and Marcia squirmed in their seats wanting to get up.

The teacher left the room and walked down the hall. The class got up from their desks. They went to the doorway to gawk at what was in the hall. They could not see much, but the putrid smell was stronger. Marcia and Naomi pushed to the front of the class and ventured into the hallway. The janitor and a few teachers stood around looking at a white pillowcase, which moved around on the floor.

The janitor saw the girls and shooed them back into their classroom. Reluctantly, they returned to their room and waited for their teacher to return. Ten minutes later the teacher returned and everyone returned to their desks. Shortly after they sat down, the announcements began. There was no announcement made about the incident or the skunk smell. Marcia and Naomi looked puzzled at each other. They felt that there was still something to happen.

It was quiet until lunch when the classrooms erupted with hungry students. They walked down the hall next to the locker where the prank happened. It stood open as a silent monument to the scary incident. The janitor stripped the floor and washed out the locker. Some students stopped and gawked at the sight. Marcia and Naomi hurried past the area without looking at it. They went quickly to the lunchroom and sat quietly at their table.

As the lunchroom filled, the rumors spread about the prank. No one knew who planned and executed it, but it was the best one ever. Marcia and Naomi remained quiet watching and listening. Marcia searched the room looking for R.W., but he was not there. She grew curious, was it R.W. who was the victim of the prank.

Suddenly, the crowd entering the lunchroom parted as the principal entered. As he passed, the crowd flowed back to watch what happened next. He looked around the room. When he spied Marcia and Naomi, he walked to their table. He bent low and spoke softly, "Please come to my office when you finish lunch." He stood up and quickly left.

Marcia and Naomi nodded their heads and looked at their lunches. They missed his leaving, but the rest of the room looked on in total surprise. The girls sat in silence, heads bowed eyes closed. They turned, looked at each other and were sad. Their part in the prank surfaced and the principal knew about it. They wondered what the principle would be telling them. They finished lunch and slowly walked to the office.

The girls entered the office. The principal looked up and said, "Take a seat please. Do you know why you are here?"

"Yes sir," they replied in unison.

"That was some prank you pulled this morning. Fortunately, no one was hurt. We have two very scared participants however. The skunk is one and Roger Wolfson the other."

"Are they both all right? We meant no harm. That is why the skunk was in the pillowcase. All we wanted was the smell." Marcia told him.

"You achieved that for sure. Mr. Wolfson is at home to calm down from the scare you gave him. I suppose, you are wondering what I will do with you?"

The girls nodded their heads.

"Considering that no injuries happened and the circumstances behind this prank, I decided not to punish either of you. However, I will be watching both of you until summer vacation starts. Behave yourselves and you will be fine. Step out of line and punishment will be swift and severe."

"Thank you, sir."

"Now go back to lunch. By the way, it was a beautiful prank, nicely done."

The girls stood and quickly left the office. Outside the office, they ran down the hall. After they turned the corner away from the office, they stopped and high-fived each other. Laughter erupted from both girls.

"We did it. We got back at Roger without punishment. This is so cool! Wait until the rest of our friends hears about it." Marcia said.

"Do you think we should tell them?" Naomi asked meekly.

"Sure, it will come out anyway. Why not hear it from us first?" Marcia asked.

"I don't know," replied Naomi.

The girls hurried back to the lunchroom and took their seats at the table with their friends. Their friends wanted to know about why the principal called them to the office. Marcia explained what happened. The table broke out in raucous laughter when they heard about the prank. The girls were so loud that the whole lunchroom watched with great curiosity. When the girls left the table to go back to class, word spread quickly throughout the school about the prank and who did it. Marcia and Naomi became heroes in the school. Everyone knew Roger was a prankster. To have him the target of a prank was a big deal.

Before the day ended, the whole school knew about the prank, the skunk, the target and the perpetrators. When Marcia and Naomi walked out of school, everyone stopped and cheered. Naomi blushed and hung her head low trying to hide. Marcia smiled, waved and boldly walked toward her house, as she dragged Naomi beside her. Once out of sight of school, Marcia hugged Naomi, took her hand and continued home.

When the girls arrived at Marcia's house, they ran to the door and burst into the house. Mom stood in the kitchen and the noise of their entry startled her. They quickly went to Marcia's room, closed the door loudly and fell onto the bed rolling, laughing and screeching. Mom knocked and entered the room wondering what the noise was about. The girls laughed so much that they could not talk. Mom left the room sensing things were normal for these girls.

Naomi's mom picked her up and took her home, leaving Marcia to tell her mom what happened. She went into the kitchen, sat at the table and watched her mom prepare supper. Her mom asked about the day. Marcia told her about the prank, but left out who did it. Her mom told her that the school should expel the ones who played the prank. Marcia nodded in agreement.

After supper, Marcia went to her room. She quietly sat doing her homework, but thinking about her mom's comment. Would they expel her? What would her mom do? Should she tell her mom? Before she decided, her mom knocked and told her, "time for bed." Marcia washed up, changed and crawled into bed. The answers could wait for another day.

Marcia fell asleep, but it was a restless night, as she pondered her mother's reaction. She wanted to get to school and listen to the rumors, as they flew around. She woke up with the sun as it rose over the horizon. She dressed and was ready for school before breakfast. Her mom who had to wake her normally registered surprise, when she appeared at the table. She ate her breakfast without a word. She left the table, gathered her books and waited for Naomi's mom to pick her up for school.

When they arrived at school, the students watched Marcia with new-found admiration. She was the school's latest hero. As she walked to her locker, several students followed in her wake. She halted in front of her locker. Her locker was not visible. Instead, there was an elaborate sign with the words, "You Win. You are now the queen prankster of the whole school. You dethroned the king." The signature read Roger Wolfson. Marcia slyly smiled, but also felt saddened by it.

She carefully removed, folded the sign and put it inside her locker. Marcia stood looking in her locker, as a single tear rolled down her cheek. Her prank backfired. Instead of revenge, personal satisfaction, happiness and victory, she felt sad, defeated and lost. She took down a class hero and humiliated him. She felt nothing for him. Her heart was cold and uncaring. She gathered her books and slowly walked to her classroom. Naomi walked with her, but did not understand why Marcia was sad.

For Marcia, the day was a day of loss and sadness. At lunch, she sat at her normal table and ate quietly. Occasionally, she looked up toward where Roger usually sat. He was not there. The table was empty. Her friends chatted about the prank and told her it was brilliant, but she did not hear them. Her mind and heart were elsewhere, trying to hide and run away. It hurt to win and be exalted as the new leader.

Marcia learned a valuable lesson from her prank. She learned that revenge can be sweet, but it comes with a price. That price can be high and result in the loss of something else. All the time she saw Roger, as he looked at her across the lunchroom, she saw a friendship develop, a friendship that would last even when they separated. It would span time and continents. She had to find Roger. She needed to talk to him. She wanted him to know how she felt.

Marcia left her friends at the table and walked outside the school to the bleachers at the athletic field. Roger sat there with his friends. As she approached, he stood and walked toward her. Their eyes met and he saw sadness in her eyes. She saw his eyes light up at her being there. Then a strange feeling struck them both. It was confusion, why were they confused. They were two young people, but there seemed to be a bond there. What was that?

"Hi, Marcia, that was some prank you pulled on me. It really scared me. I spent the day at home getting the smell off."

Marcia twisted looking at the ground, as Roger spoke. She felt so embarrassed at the attention and admiration. When she looked up, all she said was, "thanks, it was not an easy thing to do."

"I was sorry that I embarrassed you with Valentine's Day and the Spring Concert. I did it because of your reputation and the pranks against Sarah. She was such a pain. The whole school hated her because how she treated everyone. You were the first and only person to take her down." Roger continued.

"She was trouble and gave me a very hard time when I transferred into the school she attended. She was vicious and cruel. I knew that she would never be a friend and she went out of her way to torment me. I had to do something. It was fun at first, but it escalated into a contest of wills and I won or thought I did." Marcia spoke wistfully.

"Word of your victories spread here and the school watched as Sarah tried to regain control. They loved seeing what you did." Roger happily chatted.

"I never meant to hurt anyone then or now. I was angry and hurt, but that is not the true me. I was hoping you saw me for who I am," the words softly and wistfully came from Marcia. "Can we be friends and not rivals?"

Roger looked at her and his face softened with a small smile. "We can be friends. That might be nice, but I am leaving this school in two weeks. What happens then?"

Marcia smiled, "I don't know, but at least the next two weeks can be fun."

The two new friends walked around the school-building chattering and laughing. Classmates of both of them saw them together and rumors spread about them. What were they planning? Was something new afoot between them? No one knew and every one waited. The two never saw all the attention they got. Their world brightened and the days slowed, as they became friends and spent time together.

A week before school ended, Roger asked Marcia, "Can you take next Wednesday off from school?"

"Why? I have never skipped school. My marks won't suffer, but I am afraid to just run off like that." Marcia sheepishly replied. "Sure, I will skip school. Can my friend Naomi come too?"

"A couple of my friends and their sisters and I are going to the amusement park for the day. We like the rides and I thought you might like to come along." Roger added hopefully. "My big brother is home from college. He and his girlfriend will take us and stay with us all day."

"I guess we can go. Will you pick us up here at school?" Marcia asked happily.

"Yes, my brother will have the van and we will all meet here at school." Roger enthusiastically replied.

Marcia went to her classroom and sat next to Naomi. She whispered to her, "We are skipping school next Wednesday."

Naomi looked at her horrified. "What? We can't skip school. What will we do? What if we get caught?"

"We will worry about all that later. Just be ready. We are spending the day at the amusement park with Roger, his family and friends. It will be fun."

Wednesday dawned sunny and clear. Marcia and Naomi rose and dressed for school. In their backpacks, they carried spare clothes to change into for the amusement park. They left for school and walked briskly to make it there on time. They went to the locker room near the athletic field and changed into their other clothes. They went to the back parking lot, which was deserted and only used for events at the field. They waited quietly hidden by some trash barrels.

Two of Roger's friends approached their hiding place and greeted the girls. They introduced themselves and congratulated Marcia on beating Roger at pranks. Marcia shyly thanked them and looked about for Roger. She spied a white van, which pulled up to the gate of the parking lot. Roger got out and waved them to come over and get in the van.

Marcia wanted to go to The Palisades Park, but it closed in 1971 long before she was born. She heard her parents talk about the wonderful times spent there and the old wooden roller coaster. She knew the song made famous by Freddy Cannon about the park. The only other park she knew was Six Flags. It was an hour away, but it might not be open yet during the week.

Roger sat next to Marcia and chatted with her the whole trip. His brother made sure no one saw them leave and followed the back roads to the amusement park. He and Roger had a big secret about the day. Neither one told the others. The park was open weekends only. This Wednesday was a special day at the park. It celebrated start of summer vacation by opening for schools to have special trips. The fourth, fifth and sixth grades from surrounding schools could attend for a reduced fee. Marcia and Roger's school dispatched buses from the school to the park.

They arrived at the park and Roger's brother paid the admission for the whole group. They got their passes and entered the park. Marcia and Naomi stood in the park and looked around starry eyed at all the kids there. Soon they spotted some of their classmates and ran to them.

"What are you guys doing here? Are you skipping school?" Marcia asked excitedly.

"You didn't know? We and the upper grades got a special outing to the park provided by the Wolfson family. Why weren't you on the bus with us?" Her friends asked.

"We rode with Roger and his brother in the family van." Marcia replied sheepishly.

Marcia looked at Naomi and smiled. Roger beat her again. She was happy now and just spun around with her friends. Her day was complete. She walked over to Roger and punched his arm. He grabbed his arm, but looked at her smile and laughed back. He knew he had won the day.

The group walked around the park going on rides and trying some of the games. Roger won a stuffed bear for Marcia by throwing basketballs and not missing a shot. She was happy, but also wary of him. At lunch, they sat around on the ground under a big tree. The day seemed to go by slowly and no one cared. Roger stood up and declared it was time for the big rides. A loud groan came from the girls in the group, but they went along.

Roger pulled Marcia along to the front of the roller coaster car. They sat and pulled the bar back to hold them while the ride moved. Marcia shook with terror and anticipation as the car slowly climbed to the top of the highest point. As they went over the edge, Roger threw his arms into the air urging Marcia to do the same. Marcia followed and found the feeling exhilarating. She kept her arms up through the whole ride. The plunge from the top pushed her stomach up into her throat, but she resisted the urge to get sick. She fought it through the twists and turns of the car and at the end walked off slowly.

Roger looked at her at the end and saw her face flushed as laughter erupted from deep within her. She had a great time on the ride and she found a new friend and ally in Roger. The day was a total success for Roger. He showed Marcia a good time and made a friend.

The two friends spent the day together surrounded by friends and had a wonderful time. One day fifteen years later, they would meet again, fall in love, but tragedy would strike and ruin one life and hurt the other deeply.

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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