Chapter 3

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A sharp pain on the back of my neck broke my concentration.

My eyes snapped open. “Ow! What was that for?”

The teacher, Ms. Slaphappy, held her ruler threateningly as she glared. “Pay attention, young man! You’re supposed to be practicing!”

Third day of lessons on halo usage.

“I was,” I growled, “Until you assaulted me.”

“No you weren’t. You had your music on.”

“Yeah. You said to meditate. I use music to–”

“DON’T TALK BACK AT ME YOUNG MAN!!” She slapped me with the ruler about ten more times as she yelled.

I clenched my fists. Closed my eyes and tried to stay–


I jumped out of my seat. “I’m not going to sleep. I’m trying to remain calm. And you’re making it very difficult. So just walk away. Now.” I shook my head. “Or, better yet, I will.” I turned around to leave the room.

A hard slap on my bare, featherless wings. “DON’T TURN AWAY FROM ME!!”

I wheeled around. Let out an eagle-like screech. A war cry. Warning her to back off before I do something I’ll regret.

My temperature was rising. I’d stuffed a few of my feathers into my pocket earlier, for emotional comfort. Now they were rising to the flash point, threatening to inflame at any moment.

I had to stay in control. Had to get away from this lunatic.

I ran to the bathroom and locked the stall. Put my headphones back on and meditated. Deep breaths. In 1… 2… 3… 4… hold 1… 2… 3… 4… out 1… 2… 3… 4… Repeat.

Several minutes later, I was ready to come out. I checked my watch. Class was only half over, but there was no way I was going back for more abuse.

Instead, I headed to the principle’s office. Time to report Ms. Slaphappy for her insane use of corporeal punishment.

I smiled. I couldn’t (legally) set her on fire, but getting her fired would be almost as satisfying.

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