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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Hard and Soft (04/23/09)

TITLE: Unbelievable
By Rachel Rudd



“I won’t do it and you can’t make me!”

“Michael sit down in that chair or you will have to visit Mr. Wilson, again, and you know what that means!”

Michael picked up his science book and slammed it down. He pushed the chair back into the table behind him and sat down, slamming his feet on the floor.

Mrs. Banks shook her head I bet that kid is standing up on the inside. How hard can it be to sit and do his work like the rest of the class?

Michael glanced at his book. Fourth Grade Science was written across the top of the book in big, orange letters. He opened the book and began to strum his fingers on the table, then he leaned over and pulled the girl’s hair in front of him.

“Ow,” Angeline screamed.

Miss Banks stared at Michael.” Michael, did you do something to her?”

“Yeah, I pulled that mophead’s tail. She needs to keep her dirty…”


“Whatever,” he shrugged his shoulders and walked toward the front of the room. On the way his elbow bumped into the heads of three of his classmates.


“Come in, Michael. Have a seat.”

“What’s she doing here?”

“I asked your mother to come because I have something to tell both of you,” Mr. Wilson stated. “This school has made a decision regarding your attendance here.”

Michael put his ankle on top of his other leg and stared out the window.

“We would really like to help you, Michael, but you haven’t let us. During the past six months you’ve been in here for disrupting the class six times, 3 times for hitting into other students, and once for fighting. It’s so hard to understand why you won’t let us help you to do better.”

His mother chimed in, “Yeah, you’ve sure been given plenty of chances.”

“Chances don’t mean anything if you never listen to me. You’re all a bunch of morons.”

“I will not have you talking to me that way, young man!”

Mr. Wilson cleared his throat. “Michael, being a private school means that we have different procedures for students who misbehave. You’ve given us no choice but to expel you. You have until the end of the week and then you must start at another school. “

“Yeah, well, at least I can get out of this dump!” Michael stood up and slammed the door into the wall.

“Michael, you come back here!” His mother yelled.


“What’s her name, Mrs. Banks? Can I hold him? How old is he?” The children crowded around their teacher as she walked across the schoolyard with her son.

“His name is David and he has just turned two. I have to get over to afterschool daycare to help out Miss Miller, but you can all talk to him there.”

“I’ll race you there,” one student said to the others.

“There they go. I bet they won’t give us a moment’s peace today. Oh, hello, Michael.” Mrs. Banks called as she walked toward the door. “I heard that you will start school downtown tomorrow.”

He shrugged his shoulders and leaned up against the wall. He glanced down at the little boy that was holding Mrs. Banks’ hand. “Who’s that?”

“This is my son, David. Would you like to say hello?”

“Hello,” David mimicked.

Michael bent down and looked him in the eyes. “Hello, David.”

“See. Mine.” David opened his hand and held out a helicopter.

“Do you like helicopters?” Michael asked. “They are pretty cool, aren’t they? My daddy used to fly them. Would you like to go and fly it on the swings?”

David grabbed Michael’s hand and pulled him in the direction of the swings. Mrs. Banks scrunched her eyebrows together. “I don’t know if that is such a good idea.”

“Don’t worry, Mrs. Banks I will hold on tight to him.”

“Oh, alright just be careful. His head is still too soft to get bumped.”

Michael picked him up and carried him towards the swings.

“Soft,” David declared and patted Michael’s chest.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Sara Harricharan 04/30/09
A pretty good twist, but a tad confusing. How did Mrs.Banks know Micheal? I wasn't quite sure on that part, I loved the bit where he took off to play though with the little guy.
Jae Blakney05/05/09
I think the confusion could be cleared up by tweaking the punctuation. Good job on showing Michael's personality.
Shelley Ledfors 05/05/09
I like your characterization of Michael. You did a good job of showing how someone can be hard, and yet have their soft, tender side as well. I'd like to see this story expanded...I think it was hurt a bit by the word limit. I'd like to know more about what happened to Michael.
Seema Bagai 05/05/09
You did a good job with the characterization here. The boy is realistic and wel-developed within the word count. Good job.
Lollie Hofer05/06/09
I could see this boy. I could see his face and its hardness. I could also see his heart and its softness. Good use of this week's topic.