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Miss Chapman

Page 4

Laura Fulton

On one side was the Pritchard boy. She recognized him from church where his father was a deacon, in line to become an elder. The others, all standing in a loose semicircle around him, were boys she knew to be his friends and football teammates.

Opposite Pritchard and his gang was the one known to her only by reputation, Tucker Casey. She thought his last name was, in fact, something different. Rumour had it that Shirley Casey had been divorced, some sources said more than once, others said she’d lived in sin with several men but never remarried. All Miss Chapman knew was that her last name was Casey so Tucker was called Casey too, regardless of whatever his birth certificate might say.

She couldn’t see what everyone was worried about. All the boys were doing was just standing and talking. Actually, no. Tucker, the one rumoured to be the meanest boy in school, wasn’t saying anything. John David was saying something, and all the other boys were laughing and pointing. If anything, it looked to Miss Chapman like the other boys might have been picking on the Casey boy.

John David is much bigger than Tucker, anyway. I don’t know what they expect Tucker to do. It’s ten against one!

Just then, John David looked back over his shoulder at his friends. They stood between Tucker and the school with their backs mostly turned to her, but there was a bit of an angle. All Miss Chapman could ascertain from her vantage point was that some of John David’s friends looked confused by something he’d said and that John David himself looked pleased. Deeply pleased.

[Smug. He looks smug. I wonder what he said?]

Whoa! Look at ‘em put up his dukes!

John David better watch out!

That little bastard.

Miss Chapman looked back at Tucker in time to see that he had, in fact, put up his dukes. His fists were poised in front of his face and his feet were staggered like a proper boxer. When he threw his punch, timing the blow to coincide with the turning of John David’s head, the results were spectacular.

Even from the window of the teachers’ lounge, Miss Chapman could see the arc of blood fan from both nostrils of the bigger boy’s nose. The resulting pandemonium was to be expected, children running in all directions, the gang of John David’s friends pelting towards the school calling for the teachers, yelling how Tucker had gone crazy and beat up John David.


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