Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: In-Law(s) (05/08/08)
- TITLE: Band of Outlaws
By Lyn Churchyard
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Eric is a total dweeb. He picks on the little kids at school and loves to try and make me look like an idiot in class. I don’t know how Carrie got to have someone like Eric as a brother. My mother says he’s a stinking rat, because his parents were killed two years ago. Okay, my mother didn’t actually call him that, but I’m sure that’s what she meant. I’ve tried being nice to him, but the more I try, the stinkier he becomes. Like in Math today, Mrs. Holtzinger made him sit next to me, and when I went to the bathroom, he changed some of my 1s to 7s on my homework. I had to stay back after school and do my homework again. I tried to explain to Mrs. Holtzinger, but she didn’t believe me, and now I’m going to be stuck with Eric the dweeb for a brother-in-law.
My mother put this big calendar thing on the wall to count down the days to the wedding. It had all sorts of pictures and stickers on it to show each step of the way. Dad shook his head and laughed. “Your mother loves making a huge deal out of a simple wedding.” Even I know a wedding isn’t just a ‘simple’ wedding.
Eric got meaner and nastier as the wedding got closer and I kind of figured it was because I was going to be a bridesmaid, and he had to be my partner for the wedding. This meant he would have to wear a suit and bowtie. I decided that if he was going to get mean, I was going to blab about the monkey suit. It wasn’t long before some of the other boys started pretending they were monkeys whenever they saw Eric at school. He didn’t catch on at first, but when he realised what was happening, he went all quiet and looked embarrassed.
Carrie took Eric and me to have a final fitting for the wedding. She made us stand together to see how we looked. The shop assistants started oohing and ahhing about how “cute the two little children looked.” Eric and I aren’t exactly little kids. I mean, he’s almost thirteen and I’m twelve now, so I sort of felt sorry for him, because he really did look pretty neat in his suit, but I wasn’t about to tell him.
Then, one week before the wedding, there was a fight in the schoolyard. Someone said Eric was fighting, so I ran over ‘cos I wondered who he was picking on this time. But it was Eric who was being picked on. Two eighth graders were beating up on him. I didn’t stop to think. I just charged the biggest one and head butted him in the stomach. He dropped to the ground and started puking. Mrs. Holtzinger came running from the admin block and the other kid took off. Eric’s nose was bleeding and his eyes looked kind of funny.
“Eric Thomas, this really is the limit. You, young man, are about to be suspended.” I’d never seen Mrs. Holtzinger so angry.
“Mrs. Holtzinger, it wasn’t Eric’s fault. Those two boys were beating up on him and I tried to help him.” Did I really say that?
We both had to wait outside the Principal’s office while Carrie and my parents were called to the school.
“Um, thanks for helping me Katy, and for telling Mrs. Holtzinger what happened.”
I looked at him for a minute. Eric the dweeb was thanking me? I shrugged. “Well, I figured if your sister is marrying my brother, that makes you my brother-in-law; and part of our family and family take care of one another.”
“Yeah,” Eric said with a grin. “I guess that means I can’t pick on you anymore. I mean, you will be my sister after all.”
“How about that... you and me are going to be brother and sister-outlaws.”
My parents and Carrie couldn’t understand why we were laughing so hard when they came out of the Principal’s office. Maybe we’ll tell them one day.
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