“Don’t you curse my name, Jeanie hissed, Now she had the look of a woman on the fringe, one who had lost control of her reasoning and sanity. Mark had pushed her to the edge and now she was simply fighting for her very survival.
Do NOT bellow at me, nor raise your voice above a whisper, Jeanie screeched with a voice that Mark did not recognize, He was terrified. And he should have been, the woman he loved was gone and this thing in her place was about to kill him.”
Here is the First Chapter of “Yes Master: Rise of the Witch” as a Preview
Chapter One: I Dream of Jeanie
When I first met Jeannie, I was in the eighth grade, and she was the new girl who had just moved to our school. It was the first day for her, but the middle of the school year for the rest of us.
Our home room teacher Ms. Payne checked her office slip, wrote her name in her attendance book, and asked her if she would like to introduce herself, while standing in-front of the entire class!!!
As a new student, I would have been horrified. I mean it would have been a struggle for me just to remember my name. Ms. Payne had a real knack for putting students on the spot.
I myself got in so much trouble sitting next to my two friends, Kyle and Carlos, that she moved me to the other side of the room.
Jeannie seemed very comfortable however, and introduced herself with a poker face that hid any underlying fear. Plus, she spoke in an organized manner that almost sounded like a speech she had rehearsed.
Jeanie started by telling us where she was from, the name of her old school, how badly she missed her friends, and how happy she was for the opportunity to make some new ones, and finally the reason she moved here in the first place.
Jeanie’s dad got a promotion, but if he accepted they would have to relocate within 30 days. Her father did not have a choice about the timing, otherwise her parents would have waited until the end of the school year instead.
Then Jeannie concluded by looking over at Ms. Payne to see if she was satisfied. Ms. Payne told Jeanie that we were happy to have her.
And we were.
I know I was because Jeanie, was hotter than hell. I have never seen a more beautiful red-head in my life, and redheads were my favorite. There was only one other empty desk in the classroom, and that the one in front of me. I sat in the second seat behind her. The student who previously sat there was an authentic Native American named Johnny Wolf. And he lived on a reservation with several other Indian families that composed an actual tribe.
I called him Johnny “Howling Wolf” because of his allergies, as he was constantly itching, sneezing, and coughing, and it was non-stop. Nothing against his heritage, but I hated sitting next to him because of it. One day it got so bad, I waited after class to complain to the teacher.
“Ms. Payne, I want to be moved back to my old seat.”
“No, I’m not going to do that, she said.”
“I don’t care where you move me then, just anywhere away from Johnny, I said.”
“Forget it, Ms. Payne said dismissively.”
“You can move Carlos or Kyle next to Johnny instead, I offered.”
“Thank You for telling me what I can do, she replied.”
Truth be told, I didn’t even want to breathe the same air with Johnny let alone sit next to him.
“Johnny sounds sick and I don’t want to catch whatever it is that he has, I said.”
“You’re exaggerating; besides it only sounds like Johnny has hay-fever, Ms. Payne replied offhandedly.”
Hay-fever, Bullshit, how did she know, was she a fucking doctor now, I think not?
I mean I never heard of someone coughing up a lung because of Hay-Fever?
Hell, my grandfather had bronchitis and he didn’t sound that bad, Mark stewed silently.
“Ms. Payne, how do you know that whatever Johnny has isn’t contagious?”
“Then I assume we’d all been coughing, she said.”
She won this round. Another month passed, and Ms. Payne gave each student in the first row a stack of tests, each student would take one and pass the remaining tests back.
Of course, I was sitting behind Johnny, and suddenly as he turned I guess he lost control and coughed right in my face. He didn’t even try to cover his mouth, not even with the tests in his hands.
I was so disgusted that in a fit of rage, I lost it, “Cover that shit hole, your filthy savage, I shouted.”
Ms. Payne had her back turned so she hadn’t seen how Johnny had just thrown up on my face.”
“Mark Winters, I am appalled, you apologize to Johnny this instant, Ms. Payne demanded.”
I got up and told her that I had to go to the bathroom to wash my face because Johnny hadn’t covered his mouth, before he decided to puke all over me.
After class, I stayed after again, to tell Mrs. Payne my side of the story, and that, if she had moved me, like I asked her to do in the first place, this whole nasty incident could have been avoided.
“Ms. Payne, Johnny’s condition sounds like it’s getting worse. I think he needs some modern medicine and not whatever their giving him out there on that reservation, because whatever it is, it’s not working.”
“What are you going on about, Ms. Payne said annoyed?”
“I’m talking about you blatantly overlooking your duties as a teacher, by ignoring one of your student’s serious health condition, I replied.”
“My duties, Ms. Payne repeated?”
“Well, I don’t have him in any of my other classes, Mark answered.”
“It is not the school’s policy to recommend treatment or medication, nor are we authorized to give it. Now if you have a problem with that, maybe you should take it up with Principle White, Ms. Payne answered curtly, in fact I was going to sent you to his office anyway.”
“Well before you do, I just want to make sure that I have my facts straight, the school’s position is to just pretend that Johnny’s health problems don’t exist, I mean at least officially.
And if anything does happen to Johnny while he’s still on school property, the District can claim to have no prior knowledge, so if he actually dies in class, the Board may not get sued for negligence by the Native American Council.”
“I do not make those decisions, Ms. Payne, retorted, turning red, and looking both angry and embarrassed.”
“What about your Hypocritical oath, Mark asked?”
“My Hypocritical what, Ms. Payne replied?”
“What if what Johnny has is terminal, I mean those Native American’s have all the money in the world because of the casino’s, but they still choose to live out there on those reservations, like a bunch of…”
“Savages, Ms. Payne completed?”
“Yea, that’s right, savages, I mean why is it that the Indians are so self-sufficient with everything else, except when it comes to home-schooling their own children, Mark asked?”
“Maybe they want to modernize, and start indoctrinating themselves into society, Ms. Payne replied.”
“That’s fine, let them modernize, I’m not a racist, but I don’t want to suffer from whatever it is that Johnny’s suffering from, just because they don’t believe in the “White Man’s Medicine,” Mark made quotation marks with his fingers, is no reason for the rest of us to suffer.”
“Well, I can’t very well tell Johnny that he can’t come to class, now can I, Ms. Payne said defensively?”
You don’t have the authority, I bet Mr. White doesn’t either, Mark thought to himself?
“Why don’t you just call in the Army then, tell them it’s an outbreak, let the (CDC), storm in here and quarantine the entire town. Just give me a heads-up first, so I can sneak out first, I mean, I would hate to wind up on the wrong side of the plastic bubble, if you know what I mean, Mark said with a straight face.”
Ms. Payne burst out laughing.
Mark stared back at Ms. Payne in total amazement, more like shock. He wasn’t even trying to be funny, but whenever he got really upset about something, he started running off at the mouth, and then he couldn’t stop himself.
He waited for her to finish laughing, and then he said, “You know Ms. Payne, this is the first time, I think I ever heard you laugh, it sounded more like a revelation than a statement the way Mark said it.
“I didn’t know you could laugh, Mark continued.”
“Look, I can’t make any promises, but I’ll talk to Principal White maybe there’s something he can do, but as for me, my hands are tied.”
Despite her age and profession, Ms. Payne revealed herself to be a warm human being who actually had a sense of humor. She could even treat a student with respect, instead of just being another condescending adult.
Mark suddenly realized, maybe Ms. Payne was just another person stuck in the same horrible situation that he was in. They shared a common tragedy. It was like a worker from the boiler room of the “Titanic” who was top deck and speaking to a passenger from first class. Or maybe the captain himself, it didn’t matter now that the ship was sinking, they were all in the same boat.
Could it be, that Ms. Payne was just as disgusted about Johnny’s condition as he was?
But unlike Mark, she didn’t have the luxury of complaining about it, because she had a job to protect.
“You hate Johnny being in your class, as much as I do, Mark said out loud.”
Ms. Payne looked up at him again, but this time she was startled, she studied Mark and he saw a look of panic on her face.
She wondered if maybe she had said too much, and then after a delayed moment, her composure returned and she said dismissively, “Goodbye, Mark.”
Ms. Payne, the teacher had returned.
Mark slung his backpack over his shoulders and headed out. But before he left the classroom he stopped at the doorway and turned around.
“Ms. Payne, I would like to tell everybody that you have a very contagious laugh. But I don’t think they would believe me, maybe if they heard it from you themselves, you could help me convince them, and then Mark left without saying “Good-bye.”
Never in her eighteen years of teaching could she remember a student giving her a compliment. Not on her looks, not on her hair, not on one of her outfits. Nothing. Margaret Payne continued staring at the empty doorway.
Mark did learn that Ms. Payne had made good on her word however, because something finally changed regarding Johnny.
His parents admitted him into a regular hospital, where they discovered that much of his illness was due to allergies. But it wasn’t just hay-fever, Johnny had a rare condition because his lungs were super-sensitive.
The allergies from the dust and pollen created a constant state of irritation within the air sacks themselves. So, given enough time, and left untreated, his condition could have become fatal.
His family moved Johnny to another tribe further North of the state, and Johnny lived on another reservation, but one closer to a clinic that specialized in his type of illness.
After Johnny left no one from the school ever heard from him again, Mark never got so much as a Thank You” let alone an acknowledgment, but if Johnny got the help he needed, that’s all that really mattered.
Anyway, Johnny’s exodus was the only reason why there was an empty seat in the classroom to begin with. And now the new girl Jeannie would be sitting there instead. Mark could not have dreamed up a better replacement himself.
Jeanie was so beautiful that Mark had to turn away as she walked towards him, and also so that he would not stare, but that was almost impossible, her beauty seemed magnetic.
Mark thought Jeanie might have been one of the most beautiful eighth grader in the entire world. And that was also because she matured early; and already had the body of an adult woman.
Mark had read somewhere that girls were maturing much earlier now than any time before in history. There was this theory that it was due to all the hormones, and steroids they put in the cow’s milk. Well if Jeanie ate her Frosted Flakes, she was proof of that.
She might have had the face of a 13-year-old girl, young, fresh, and innocent, but she had the mature body of a curvy, voluptuous vixen.
Her tits were fucking huge!!!
The contrast between her youthful, innocent looks, and her mature well-endowed body, only enhanced each other that much more.
Mark couldn’t help but wonder, if Jeanie’s body was as innocent as her face looked. But after she sat down, Mark began to have a hard time concentrating. He saw multi-colored spots, and instantly developed a headache, the pain throbbed until he had to close his eyes. He rubbed his forehead, and then his temples and try to relieve some of the pressure. If it got any worse Mark thought he might have cried out.
And then suddenly he started to get flashes of images. They were about Jeanie the new girl. Sometimes Mark got “visions,” for lack of a better definition. It didn’t happen with everyone, he wasn’t psychic in the broad sense.
Usually it was just a female who Mark found extremely attractive. Sexually attractive. Sometimes the pictures were accompanied by a sound, or a feeling, but mostly they were just images.
The last time this happened to him was with a blonde girl named Tiffany who was the first girl who had ever given him oral sex. Aside from kissing a girl or feeling one or two up, since fourth grade, Tiffany the blonde was Mark’s first sexual experience.
She was one of the most popular, and attractive girls at the school, but she was selfish and ultimately visions of her leaving him broken-hearted always overshadowed any sexual desire he felt for her. Tiffany was ultimately a selfish woman, and she would punish any man who loved her, even destroy him, and then leave as quickly as she came. Girls had conquests too. It was always the getting and not the having with Tiffany.
Mark didn’t know why Jeanie suddenly “activated” these flashing images within him the same as Tiffany had done before.
Was this a warning?
Silently as Jeanie sat down next to Mark the pictures kept exploding off in his head like silent flashbulbs, one after another.
Pop, pop, pop!!!
Sometimes the images were of a person’s past and other times it was of their present or current situation. Sometimes Mark even got glimpses of a future event. Sometimes it was all three.
Mark had the feeling that he could see things about the other person without them even being aware of it. I mean if they knew, they would have reacted right?
He would have.
But Mark didn’t know if his “mental-story images” of the person were accurate or if they were merely generated by his own imagination as fantasy.
He never got confirmation because he never asked the other person who he got the visions about to get confirmation.
How could he, without sounding like a crazy person or maybe a mutant freak from another world?
Mark made it a point, never to tell anyone about his “visions.”
Not to his friends, not to his teacher and certainly not to his parents. His father would quietly take him to a shrink, in another city to “fix” him.
You see, Marks father John was a prominent attorney who worked downtown, and was even planning to run for public office one day, he didn’t need his only son holding him back, with a history of mental illness. Not only would he be an embarrassment, but it may ruin his chances for public office forever.
I mean the little people always thought the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. And Mark wasn’t going to let no fucking quack put him on some experimental psychotropic medication that would do him more harm than well. Once they prescribed you on that shit, you never got off.
But worse than that, seen by a shrink would get him labeled as “crazy,” for the rest of his life. Being crazy was one thing; being confirmed as crazy, because your parents forced you to see a shrink, was something else. Mark would rather die first.
He closed his eyes and started rubbing them again to try and stop the flood of images that were pouring in. After Mark started to see enough of them, the images like pictures from a camera, or a single frame from a filmstrip, would start to formulate a story, like pieces of a puzzle that eventually completed a picture.
Now the images were repeating themselves again. Marks first impression(s) was that Jeanie had involved herself with something taboo.
She was in a cult. No, she was a student of the occult. Wicca, she practiced witchcraft. Jeanie had belonged to a school, no a coven. She had a natural talent for Wicca. But something had happened. She was a novice, a very gifted student, but inexperienced and undisciplined.
Jeanie was “expelled” from the coven because as a student she practiced on her own, outside of any supervision, which was dangerous and forbidden.
Suddenly Mark wondered it this tied in with her move, was this the real reason for her relocation.
Was she banished?
Wicca, was a religion, witchcraft were rituals. Every religion had rules, but the rules of Wicca were stricter than most. And Jeanie had disobeyed theirs.
Pop, Pop, Pop!!!
A boy. No, he was a man. In her other school there was an older boy, named Joe…John…Josh.
His name was Josh, and Jeanie was instantly infatuated with him, Josh was her first crush. He was older than Jeanie, but because of her intelligence Jeanie was mentally, if not emotionally, his equal.
The two of them even shared some of the same classes, Jeanie was allowed to skip a grade (actually two), because of how smart she was. But Josh never seemed to notice her, Jeanie was very attractive, but in a girlish way.
Cute, but not sexy, like a woman. Jeanie did not know why Josh was not interested in her; it was because she still looked “under-developed,” more like a child than a woman. And Josh was a breast-man.
Pop, Pop, Pop!!!
One-day Jeanie overheard Josh talking to one of his friends, he said that he needed to go to the Mall this weekend to buy some new shoes. Jeanie made plans to arrive at the mall first, so that she could “accidentally” run into him.
He didn’t say what time he was going exactly, so Jeanie was going to get there when the Mall opened and wait for him, all day if necessary. When she finally saw Josh walk in, Jeanie walked over and made up an excuse to talk to him.
Josh smiled, flirted, complimented her, and even laughed at her jokes, Jeanie was sure that Josh was going to ask her out.
But then just like a heart-breaking scene from a romantic comedy, a very well-endowed female walked past them, and this girl’s timing could not have been worse for Jeanie.
Like an electric magnet that had suddenly switched polarities, Josh’s attention immediately switched from Jeanie to the other girl in an instant.
Jeanie looked to see what had suddenly captivated Josh’s attention, her “boyfriend’s” attention, when she saw the rival female. She became vaguely aware that she had seen this girl before, her name was Brenda, and she was also in the same class that she and Josh shared.
Suddenly, Josh made up some horrible, transparent excuse to leave so that he could catch up with the other girl before she got away. Jeanie had been outclassed, simple as that. Game, Set, and Match.
Josh’s reaction was so abrupt that it would have been comical under different circumstances, but the shock of his sudden abandonment was devastating, and the humiliation she felt in his absence was monumental.
Jeanie couldn’t even move at first, her body frozen; her mind refusing to accept what had just happened.
He left me for Brenda?
Yes, she was an older, mature, and more endowed, but certainly not prettier???
She looked like a whore!!!
And Josh left her for Brenda right in the middle of the mall where everybody could see her humiliation. She might as well have been the lead actress in a tragedy. Her face suddenly turned red from embarrassment.
She could not stop it. And when it did, it brought out her freckles. She could even feel the heat coming off her body from her embarrassment.
Suddenly Jeanie wished she could turn invisible so that nobody could see her as she forced one foot in front of the other, feeling like a fool, trying to maintain her dignity, even holding her breath hoping that it might prevent her from bursting into tears, at least not until she made it to the bathroom.
Jeanie was in the stall for almost twenty minutes, long enough to make sure she got it all out of her system. She wanted to make sure that she made it out of the mall before she started crying again.
She wanted to make it home this time. Josh was Jeanie’s first crush and he was devastating. She cried herself to sleep that night wondering what she did wrong, and why she wasn’t good enough for Josh.
For the rest of the week Jeanie was inconsolable, she wouldn’t eat, or sleep, or confide in anyone, she was becoming dangerously underweight, until she could no longer deny the truth.
Jeanie was determined to win Josh’s affection at any cost. It was unfair what had happened to her. She felt like she had been setup. Why did that bitch have to walk past her at the exact moment Josh was about to ask her out?
Now she had heard that they were even dating, but this girl Brenda, had not won Josh, she had stolen him, and with an unfair advantage!!!
Jeanie was going to use a magical incantation that would emulate the body of this other woman, that way Josh would be as interested in Jeanie as he was this Brenda, and then Jeanie would be able to compete against this other woman on a level playing field.
Pop, Pop, Pop!!!
But this incantation was a very dangerous thing to attempt. First, Jeanie did not the experience, Second the spell was not a one-person ritual, and third, she did not have permission from the coven to perform it.
None of this mattered to Jeanie, she convinced herself she was doing the right thing. Besides she knew if she asked, that her request would be denied on principle. Jeanie didn’t even think she could bring herself to ask for a sexual endowment, it would be humiliating. Childish, immature, unrealistic, and insane.
Josh was not her husband, and this was not a mating ritual. You could not rush or force nature. And those who tried were doomed. But no warning would deter Jeanie, she was determined!!!
A woman scorned, a woman in love, could move mountains, and God help the fool that stood in her way, they would be crushed. Jeanie was a brilliant student of the Wiccan arts, a very gifted apprentice, but she was young, and she did not have the power, confidence or experience to complete such a complicated ritual.
Jeanie had performed the magic rite meticulously, and it had been effective, despite her inexperience, partly because Jeanie herself was still in puberty, and so her body quickly began to change and the results were astonishing.
Her body began to grow into the same form and shape of Brenda, the other woman. But something went wrong. And that is why there is no substitution for experience in any field.
Some variation or deviation. Maybe something unnoticed or forgotten, Jeanie did not know what specifically. But something was left out, or overlooked, and as a result the other woman died.
Pop, Pop, Pop!!!
When the elders found out what Jeanie had done; the mother superior Janice, shook her head in both shock and amazement. She told Jeanie that she could not believe that she herself had not been killed during the incantation.
What she attempted, had never been tried before, which was a true testament of her abilities, and her potential. Jeanie was by far the most gifted student Janice had ever tutored.
In time Jeanie, herself would have been the one to replace Janice, because of her ability. It was only natural for her to be the next to lead in succession, for Jeanie was the most capable, the most gifted. No one could deny her ability.
But now none of that would ever be possible. Janis was Jeanie’s mentor, and personal teacher, and she was unable to have children of her own. So, she loved Jeanie like her own daughter, and she was the most protective of Jeanie, especially with her being the youngest member of the coven.
But Jeanie had to be held accountable for her actions the same as everyone else. No one was above Wiccan Law.
Pop, Pop, Pop!!!
During the next full moon all thirteen members of the coven gathered outside the courtyard. Twelve in a circle and Jeanie in the middle. Every woman present was clothed only in a hooded robe, and crying miserable, and that included both Janice and Jeanie.
Another senior member of the council, Teresa, a beautiful blonde, seductive and alluring tried to speak in Jeanie’s defense, “Mother Janis, forgive this child, I beg thee, her intention was not malice.
“Yes, she was reckless. yes, she was foolish, but this folly was first loves sake, and who among us has not been deceived by love, or made a fool of by the same, not once but many times even afterwards.”
It suddenly started raining in large, cold and heavy drops. And every woman except for Jeanie, put the hood of their robes over their heads to keep their hair from getting wet.
Janice could not rule on intention, but on outcome alone. Jeanie could not have preferential treatment.
Janis spoke, “I did not make the laws, sister Teresa, and Jeanie was well aware of them from the onset, the laws are in place to prevent exactly what happened, from happening, now we all have blood on our hands.”
Another woman, Cassandra, now hooded, and her face hidden in the shadow of the moonlight spoke up, “She is but a child, Mother Superior, have mercy on her for she is young, she is young and her heart is pure, Cassandra repeated.”
But Janice shook her head. “She was old enough, old enough to know better, yet she chose against the law, and now she must be held accountable because of it.”
Jeanie took off her robe even thou she was completely naked underneath, and threw herself on the ground, kneeling before Janice grabbing her from behind the knees, and begging her for an alternate form of punishment, it was very bad form to beg forgiveness before the verdict was even given.
“I will take the lash until my back bleeds and scars, Jeanie said, Or the fire until it scorches and sears my flesh, they could even scrub her skin with steel wool, and salt water afterwards. That could be fatal.
The wind started to howl, and it carried Jeanie’s appeal to the heavens, but there was would be no latitude given from Janis, she alone would make the decision, and that decision would be final.
Janis spoke: “Jeanie you have caused the death of another, although unintentional, you were selfish, reckless, and dangerous. You knew the law, but ye broke it anyway. Had this other woman lived, another punishment may have been considered, but as it stands, the punishment will fit the crime.
Jeanie was already crying hysterically. Janice raise her voice so she could be heard above the wind, “Jeanie, you are now excommunicated from our sisterhood forever, and swear an oath upon your life that you will never practice Wicca again, either now or in the future, with or without assistance, and then Janis looked down on her, that is the judgement upon you,”
The group of women repeated their response in unison, “So mote it be.”
Jeanie looked up at the Janice and pleaded, “Please Mother, you are my only family, do not abandon me, I would rather you kill me, than banish me, death itself would be a kinder fate, but to live without my sisters, that is unbearable, Jeanie cried.”
“Some punishments in life are worse than death, Janis replied, and you more than anyone should know that, and they exchanged a knowing look between them.
“Swear the Oath, or suffer the curse Janice warned.”
“Please you are the only mother I have ever known, Jeanie begged.”
Janice slapped Jeanie in her face hard, and Jeanie fell on her side and into the mud, it covered one side of her face and body. Janice waited patiently for Jeanie to get up and then repeated her demand, “Swear the Oath or suffer the curse, Janice repeated.”
Jeanie did not see hatred in the eyes of Janis, pity, anger, but most of all disappointment.
“I will suffer Both woman we’re broken-heated. The curse Jeanie said bravely.”
And so, the mother superior announced what her fate was to be.
To never be loved!!!
And after Janice announced her judgement, she warned Jeanie, “Do not call me your mother, or these other women your sisters, for we are not your family anymore, nor shall we ever be again.
The lightning illuminated the sky as if for effect.
And then Janis walked away from Jeanie as the rain continued to come down, but now even harder. It was as if even Nature itself was washing its hands of Jeanie.
Now she was no longer kneeling, Jeanie fell into the fetal position, and screamed hysterically, “I am alone, I am alone, I am alone, I have no one, I have no one, I have no one, she yelled over and over.”
And each time she cried out, the lightning flickered and the thunder sounded above to drown her out. Yet no member of the coven would stay to comfort Jeanie, help her up, cover her with her robe, or even look back to see if she would be okay.
The group silently followed Janis, back into their small concrete fortress that was the courtyard, and shut the iron gate behind them, which locked with a metallic rattle.
“Mr. Winters, can you give me the answer, Ms. Payne asked?
“Mark jumped back in his seat, his “visions” were gone, the story was over. Hearing Ms. Payne’s voice brought Mark back to the present. To the here and now.
“The Answer?” Mark said, clearing his throat.”
“Yes, the answer, weren’t you paying attention, Ms. Payne asked?”
Hell no, I wasn’t paying attention, Mark thought to himself.
How could she even ask him that with a straight face, wasn’t that the reason why she called on him in the first place, she caught him not paying attention.
Mark had already decided to ask Jeanie out after class but if Ms. Payne made him look like a fool, it could ruin his chances with her, and he hadn’t even introduced himself yet. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. A good impression.
“I’m sorry Ms. Payne, I couldn’t hear you, can you repeat the question, Mark asked.”
Ms. Payne scoffed.
“Who shot our 16th President Abraham Lincoln, Ms. Payne repeated?”
“Uh……That John…. Telephone…… Booth guy, Mark finished quickly.
The entire class erupted in laughter.
“That-is-not-funny, Ms. Payne said, to the class enunciating each word carefully to let the room know she meant business. All of you quiet down this instant, she commanded.”
“When the class quieted down, Ms. Payne returned and picked up exactly where she left off, “You mean John “Wilkes” Booth, Ms. Payne corrected?”
“Yes, that’s exactly who I meant, Mark answered.
I guess Ms. Payne didn’t want to look like a fool in front of the new girl either, Mark thought to himself.”
“Then why didn’t you say so in the first place, Ms. Payne asked, putting him on the spot again?”
What? Are you fucking kidding me?
I gave you the right answer now move on bitch, Mark thought to himself.
Why was Ms. Payne giving him such a hard time?
Was Ms. Payne deliberately trying to embarrass him in front of the new girl, because she had never acted like this before.
“Ms. Payne, you told us last semester that if we couldn’t actually remember the answer; to associate something with it instead, like an image.
So, I took the last name “Booth,” and I tried to link of a picture that I could associate with his last name. And Telephone Booth was all that I could come up with. Telephone Booth and John Wilkes Booth, Mark said, putting his two hands together into one.
Ms. Payne was both, amazed and confused, the latter because she had never told the class to link words with pictures. Mark made that up on the spot.
There was a pause while Ms. Payne stood standing and trying to remember when she had said that, Mark per-emptied a comeback before she could respond.
“Look, Ms. Payne, I don’t know why you’re always calling on me, unlike these snobby rich girls, I like your casual shoes, he said pointing at them for effect and giving her the thumbs up for approval. Mark wanted the attention off him and back on Ms. Payne.
Ms. Payne herself looked down at her shoes, and then, once she knew that she’d been had, lifted one of them up to check the underside to see if she had anything stuck on them.
“No, the other one Mark said.”
The entire class erupted in laughter again.
This time she didn’t yell at the room to quiet down, she waited patiently. Maybe Mark had earned that laugh. But before she spoke again, Mark panicked.
Maybe he had gone too far this time, and he should have quit while he was ahead. He couldn’t help himself, he was still reeling from the images that he’d seen from Jeanie’s past and now his mind was racing into over-drive.
Mark couldn’t have stopped his mouth even if that meant a one-way ticket straight to the principal’s office. Better to die a rebel than look like a fool.
Now that the class was quiet again, a composed Ms. Payne with a Mona-Lisa smile scanned the classroom. Her body language proclaimed: I am the adult here, so I will be the bigger person.
Her tone and mood seemed much lighter when she spoke the second time, “Well, I hope the rest of you will be able to associate pretty pictures with answers because there’s going to be a test, next Monday, and you can bet that question will be on there.
The entire class grumbled as if in protest and then Ms. Payne stood in front of Jeanie’s desk, “I’m sorry, honey, but that includes you as well.”
Jeanie nodded without looking up at her. Suddenly the bell rang, and everybody got up and filtered out of the classroom and into the hallways. Mark straggled behind as most of the class disappeared, some of the girls turned around to size Jeanie up again, up before they left.
Now It was common for Ms. Payne to leave for the teachers’ lounge to refill her coffee during the bell in-between classes. When she left with the rest of the class, after the bell rang, Mark took that as a good sign.
Kyle and Carlos, who sat together on the other side of the classroom, were waiting for him by the door, but Mark waved them on impatiently to leave, but trying not to be too obvious.
He didn’t need those two idiots sticking around, he needed to have Jeanie alone when he spoke to her, if they stayed they would only try to make him look bad, and fuck things up for him.
Jeannie didn’t act like she was in a hurry so while she was taking her time collecting her things, Mark tried to keep pace; desperately thinking up an excuse to talk to her, now that he had the opportunity he had drawn a blank.
When he couldn’t think of anything clever, he was just going to say “Hi,” before she got away, but when he turned to face her, she was already looking at him, and caught him off guard, he froze, as then he smiled.
“Hey, he said.”
“You were funny, Jeanie said.”
“How do you mean, Mark asked smiling.”
“Complimenting her shoes, Jeanie returned.”
“Yea, but I wasn’t trying to be funny; Ms. Payne really did catch me daydreaming, and then he checked the doorway to make sure she hadn’t double-backed.”
“So, you were lying when you said you like her shoe’s, Jeanie asked?”
“Oh, there okay, but I’d wish she buy some new ones, she wears the same outfits on the same days, and on the same day of the week, sometimes the other kids make fun of her, So I was really just trying to help her out.”
Jeanie laughed again, Oh, Really, Jeanie said beaming.”
“Hey, some people can be so mean, besides, I like your shoes a lot better, Mark smiled.”
Jeanie laughed again, she hadn’t been this nervous talking to a guy in a long time, but she did have on a cute pair of “shoe-boots” that were a fashionable style at the time.
“Our Homeroom Teacher “Ms. Payne,” is well named because she loves to try and cause me grief, every chance she gets.”
“You the bad boy, defending her, Jeanie asked?”
“Alright, maybe I’m exaggerating, but this time my distraction was legitimate Mark answered.”
“What distraction was that, Jeanie flirted.”
She didn’t mean to sound flirtatious, but it came out that way and she couldn’t prevent it when it did.
“Well for one thing, Ms. Payne’s voice itself is a distraction. You ever hear the voice of the guy that does the Garfield the cartoon cat in the Movies.”
“Yes, Jeanie said.”
“Ms. Payne’s voice is a little like that, she has no inflection, and for someone who has a “boring” voice she sure loves to hear herself talk.”
“Are you sure you’re not exaggerating again, Jeanie asked?
She’s the reason I daydream Jeanie, he said, didn’t you have a Ms. Payne at your old school, Mark asked?”
Old School, that sounded strange him saying that, and the realization, instantly struck her with fear.
“Yea, but her name was Ms. Harp, Jeanie replied.”
“Ms. Harp, Mark asked, like he didn’t believe her.”
And you, he said shyly
And me what, she asked?
“And you had me distracted, Mark replied.”
“Why me, she asked?”
Why you! Don’t you own a fucking mirror? It might have something to do with those two-bowling ball titties strapped to your chest, he thought to himself.
“Well, it’s not every day we get to meet a new student from a faraway land, and that’s very exciting for these parts, Mark answered.”
“Exciting, what do you mean by exciting, she asked?”
“You’re a mystery Jeanie, nobody knows anything about you, Mark explained.”
She noticed Mark was using her first name a lot, and he seemed very comfortable doing so, that was amazing considering they had just met.
“Even after I told you and the entire class my life’s story, Jeanie exclaimed.”
“Yea, I can’t believe Ms. Payne made you do that, I hate standing up front just to give a book report, let alone telling my life’s story to a bunch of strangers, Mark agreed.”
“Oh, my God, Mark, I was so embarrassed, please tell me I didn’t look like a fool, Jeanie begged.”
“No, you were cool, maybe a little shy, but for your first day, you did great, Mark complimented her.”
“I have to admit, out of all my teachers Ms. Payne was the only one who made me do that, Jeanie said.”
Mark moved in to whisper, she smelled of expensive perfume. It was intoxicating. “I should warn you Jeanie, Ms. Payne is a real bitch, so don’t take anything she does personal, I heard she even drinks in between classes.”
“Thank you, Mark, Jeanie said, smiling, you’re good at making a new girl feel better.”
“Well, I wasn’t born here either, I was a new student myself at one time, but even then, I had the luxury of starting fresh in September like everybody else, I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to move in the middle of the year, Mark said compassionately.”
“You don’t know the half of it, Jeanie replied.”
Then give me your number and I’ll call you after school, Mark wasn’t the least bit nervous, nor did he hesitate.
Wow, Jeanie thought to herself, how could she resist.
My number, she balked!!!
Mark handed her his pen and paper, if you give me your number I can call you after school, since we don’t have time now, he turned around again to check the doorway.”
Jeanie stared at him, and behind those emerald-green eyes, Mark could see her trying to decide if this was a good idea or not. He nodded slightly as if silently encouraging her.
“Mark, I don’t even know your last name maybe we shouldn’t rush into anything, Jeanie said.”
“My last name is Winters, he replied offering his hand so that she could shake it.”
She took it, but with the same side, she was left-handed.
“Yes, and I’m the new girl, Mr. Winters, you understand if I don’t, Jeanie said a little defensively.”
“And you just made your first friend… I mean if you want me…”
Jeanie flipped over the front cover to write but stopped when she saw notes from a previous class.
“Uh, can I write on the back page instead, she asked?”
“Just write over the notes, Mark replied.”
Jeanie laughed as she quickly found a blank page and scribbled, her number.
“Okay there you go Mark Winters, she said.”
He looked at her handwriting, and murmured, “Jeanie Winters.”
“What did you say, Jeanie asked fearfully?”
Mark looked up at her, “I’m sorry Jeanie, I must have thought one thing while saying another, Mark said disarmingly.
Jeanie looked at him a little suspiciously, as she handed him back his pen.
“Thank you, Jeanie Grants, Mark corrected himself speaking her name correctly the second time.
“Jeanie never took her eyes off him while Mark put his notebook away and slung his backpack around his shoulder; then he picked up Jeanie’s pink backpack and handed it to her.”
“Thank You, Jeanie said accepting it.”
“We better go, Jeanie, Mark said, as he noticed the other students for the next class pouring in as he walked beside her.
“Do you know where your next class is, Mark asked.”
“Yes, I memorized my schedule, Jeanie said.”
“Jeannie, I was just thinking, you gave me your number, and that was good, but my timing is really bad, so I don’t have to guess, can you give me a specific time to call you, just so I don’t wind up talking to your dad, he asked.”
Jeannie laughed, “How about Saturday around noon.”
But that’s still three day away, Mark said.
“Well, now you have something to look forward too, Jeanie smiled.”
“Saturday then, it’s a date, Mark confirmed.”
A date, No, No, I didn’t agree to a date, I just said you could call me, you know like outside of school, but inside Jeanie lit up like a Christmas Tree, Instinctively she squeezed her notebook closer to her chest. A date, she thought and then Jeanie started blushing, it brought out her freckles.
Ms. Payne was returning from the teachers’ lounge to her class with a fresh cup of coffee. She had just poured a shot of baileys creme from a disguised container that she hid in the back of the fridge on the bottom shelf. This would be her third shot of the day.
She reminded lagging student to get to their next class before the second bell rang, but she was distracted, as she sipped her Irish Coffee, she wondered if the Mall was having a sale on shoes this week-end.
To be continued…
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Professional writer and novelist. College Graduate Communications 25 Years Computer Graphics and Art Genius IQ Eidetic Memory Test Tube Baby Used to Bull Eye WAMPRATS in my T-16 back in Beggars Canyon Favorite Quote to a Woman: Shhhh, No More Talking..... View all posts by rath1967