2009 21 Jan

Chapter Four – Saying It Out Loud

Author: Shawn Categories: Violet's Vengence

Being Friday, the teachers didn’t demand too much so Violet mostly daydreamed through her first set of classes. She hated her first class – Algebra. Putting letters with numbers just made her head hurt and it didn’t make a bit of sense. Typing class was boring, but busy. Civics was all right visit site. At least the teacher made it interesting most days.

She had study hall before lunch. Violet had been going to the library, studying all about animals and being a forest ranger. She thought it would be fun to be a forest ranger. To take care of nature, animals, and make sure people didn’t mess it up. She decided she would try to work for a park until she got enough money to go to college.

That’s what she daydreamed about, mostly. Being far away, working in one of the big national parks. She had read every book Nevada Barr had ever written and had imagined herself in every scenario. In the Sierra’s of Yosemite National Park, the hot high desert of the Guadalupe Mountains, on the sinking island in Dry Tortugas.

Today though, she just doodled in her notebook and kept thinking about her Pa. Would he really make her go with him to hunt? She knew she couldn’t stop him if he made her. When would it be? He hadn’t said anything about going hunting this weekend. If she could find out when, maybe she could sneak off to J.B.’s.

No, that wouldn’t work. The first place her Pa would look would be J. B.’s. The bell rudely brought Violet back to reality. Sighing, she shoved her notebook into her pack and went to the lunch room.

She and Jim-Bob always sat at a table in the back corner of the cafeteria. She tossed her pack on one of the chairs and got in line with all the other teenage cattle members.

“Hey, look Wade, it’s rabbit girl.”

Violet turned around and saw Wade Hopper and his cronies laughing at her. Her eyes narrowed as she made a “tsk”.

“Hey, York, why don’t ya just go eat the grass outside?” Wade baited.

“Bet you could find some bark out there, too, freak.” Tossed one of the drones named Kyle.

Violet just calmly looked Wade in the eye. “If I should eat the grass, you and your beastie boys should go eat with the roaches in the trash.”

She turned back around and grabbed a tray while they ‘ooo’d’ and laughed some more. Today was pizza day. She grabbed some slices of cheese pizza and headed to her table.

“Hey, J.”

“Hey, Vi. Whatcha doin tonight?”

“Gotta check the nursery. Get through another supper.”

Jim-Bob nodded and took another bite of cheese pizza. “I wish English was over already.”

Violet smiled. English was her favorite class. It was also the last class of the day. “Ms. Childers is pretty cool, J. She ain’t gonna embarrass you on purpose.”

“I shoulda written ‘bout somethin’ else, but I couldn’t think of nothin’.”

“It’ll all be over ‘fore you know it, J.”

“Yeah, and my life, too.”

“Drama queen.”

“Pine cone eater.” He smiled and ran his fingers through his thick black hair.

Violet chuckled. “As if.”

They ate their pizza in a comfortable silence. Jim-Bob noticed Violet shaking her head at the table.

“What’s buggin?”

Violet looked into Jim-Bob’s dark green eyes, her eyebrows drawn together. “If I don’t say it out loud, maybe it won’t happen.”

“Say what?”

Violet just shook her head again.

“Now I know for sure somethin big’s buggin. What is it?”

Violet stared at her hands. A stuttered breath spilled out of her mouth.

“Violet?” Jim-Bob dropped his pizza and took her hands.

“Last night I thought I was gonna get another beatin’ at supper. Mama stopped him. But …” her voice wavered and she took a deep breath. “I think he’s gonna make me go huntin with him, J.”

“Shit.”

“Why would he do that? He thinks I ain’t normal. I think he’s sick to enjoy murderin defenseless animals.” Violet looked at Jim-Bob with tears filling her amber eyes. His started to water at the sight of hers. Violet never cried unless she lost one of her animals.

“Maybe he was just mad, Vi. Your Ma would stop him, right?”

“She ain’t for it, but you know how he can get. Dammit!”

“Maybe you could come over. Is he thinking this weekend?”

“I dunno when. I thought of holing up at your place, but he’d know where to find me.”

Shrilling through the cafeteria, the bell sounded the end of lunch. “We’ll figure somethin out Vi, OK? Don’t stress it too much. See you in English.”

“Yeah, trying not to J. You don’t stress English, maybe I can think of somethin for ya.” Violet smiled.

The two friends picked up their lunch trays, deposited the half-eaten pizza into the garbage can and headed into the busy hallway.

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