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Call Me Crazy!
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By Gayathri

Chapter 1
Day 0
“Do you really think you can hit me?” she shrieked in her squeaky, high pitched voice. She raised her eyebrows, and I almost laughed, but I was too pissed for it to come out. I wanted to hit her for so long that it was ridiculous. How many times had I daydreamt about this moment when I could finally knock that self-absorbed smirk off her face forever? She was an idiot even to ask.
“I don’t think so, you bimbo, I know so!” I yelled back. She shrieked and stomped her foot, and I had to bite the insides of my cheeks to stop myself from laughing. She looked like a little kid having a fit, and I thought people only did that on TV. Oh well, Jessica has always had a flair for dramatics. She’s more fictional than real.
“Fine, then, I dare you to,” she smirked. “You could never hit me, but please, go for it.”
I didn’t hesitate. I unleashed my fist and it swung toward her face. I heard the sound of her nose breaking and felt a sharp pain in my fist. Blood poured down her face and dripped down her hot pink top. I knew I’d be in trouble, but it was extremely satisfying to see that smile wiped off her lips. I turned to come face to face with the school’s cop and stopped dead. Uh oh.
A few minutes later, I was sitting outside the principal’s office, swinging my legs impatiently. I shouldn’t have let her get to me, but she did. She’d always been able to get under my skin, even when we were little. She’d picked on me since first grade, when I was the only girl who didn’t wear the dress or skirt school uniform options and had played with the boys at school. We’d inevitably been in the same classes, forever.
The last time we’d reached the breaking point was in fifth grade. I’d been best friends with the same guy since kindergarten, Christo. His mum had been friends with mine since they were in college. Then Princess Jessica came along and decided she liked him. Of course, she went to him and demanded that he be her boyfriend and he bluntly told her to get lost. She instantly blamed me, as she’d done every time she didn’t get her way. She came up behind me with her clique and demanded that we break up. I’d rolled my eyes at her stupidity and had turned to leave. She pulled my hair out and I’d whipped around and pushed her to the ground. It basically ended up being me vs. them. And obviously, they won. I’d been missing a few chunks of hair and had a few small cuts and bruises. A few of Jessica’s friends had massive bruises, though, and one chick even had a black eye. The principal made the whole thing go away quickly, so they didn’t have to admit I’d been attacked by Jessica. Christo agreed to go out with her so they’d stop messing with me, and within a month’s time we didn’t even speak. Christo was against me now, and Princess Jessica got her way again.
Thankfully, in high school we only had one class together, Phys Ed. Today our teacher had to go talk to someone and had left me in charge. Everyone was supposed to keep running, unless they were taking short water breaks. Naturally, Jessica stopped to flirt with the football team that was practising. I went over to her to tell her to run, and she said no. Her cronies, the other freshman cheerleaders, came over. I told them they’d better start running before I bitch-slapped her, like the bitch she is.
“Bring her in,” the principal called, her high-pitched voice hurting my ears. The school-cop led me into the principal’s office and I sat down next to Jessica. He sat behind me, watching every move I made.
“Why did you attack Jessica?” the principal asked, glaring at me. I mentally rolled my eyes. Jessica’s mum and the principal were best friends, so it was no surprise that the principal would let me get away with this. Jessica’s mom was either friends with or sleeping with everyone in town. She got everything she wanted and anything she ever did was covered up.
“I never attacked her. Coach McIntyre left me in charge while she went and talked to Ms Carmen. She told me to keep everyone running, no exceptions. Jessica stopped running and went to flirt with the football guys. I told her to keep running and she rolled her eyes and refused. Then the cron – I mean, cheerleaders, stopped too, and I told them to move their anorexic asses before I herded them like sheep. They started mocking me again and I told them to get a life and run before I slapped her. She said she didn’t think I could hit her. I said I knew I could. She told me to and I did. I’m sorry I hit you Jessica. I’ll pay for whatever needs to be done for the fixing of your nose and cleaning of your shirt.” I said the last part sincerely. I was sorry. I knew I shouldn’t have punched her, ever if it felt really good.
“Sydney,” Jessica sniffed and blood ran down her face. “Stop lying!
I couldn’t believe she was crying. She’d tried to pull that before, and it always helped her to get what she wanted. She was destined for television, and not the good kind, either.
“I’m not lying, Jessica, and you know it. “If we had a witness who wasn’t your friend, they’d tell you,” I finished. A small, mousy girl came in. I recognised her from Phys Ed, but I wasn’t sure if I could trust her. She was probably my best shot at getting out of this.
“Ma’am, I’m here as a witness to the fight,” she said calmly.
The principal smiled. “What happened?” she said, smiling warmly at the girl.
“Well, ma’am, we were running laps in Phys Ed, and Coach McIntyre got a call, so she left Sydney in charge while she spoke. Jessica stopped running and so did the other cheerleaders. I can’t tell you the whole conversation, but when I ran by, I heard Jessica asking if Sydney thought she could hit her, and Sydney said, “I don’t think so, bimbo, I know so!” Then there was a lot of shrill shrieking. Jessica yelled, “Fine, then, I dare you! You could never hit me, but please, go for it.” Then Sydney punched Jessica in the face.” The girl looked away from us.
“She’s lying!” Jessica yelled. A small part of me wanted to smile. Jessica wasn’t used to people standing up to her. I wondered who this girl was, and was grateful she had done what very few kids in our school would ever dare to do.
“Regardless of how it came about…” the principal looked mad at the girl for doing the right thing, “…fighting is not tolerated in this school. Neither is name-calling. Sydney, you have been suspended.” She glared at me.
“What?!” I exclaimed. “Jessica told me herself to punch her, and it was antagonising me. Let me guess, she isn’t getting punished at all?” I struggled with keeping myself from yelling again.
“You are the one who broke the school’s rules. You’re lucky; it actually should have been expulsion.” The principal gave me a death stare, then turned to the girl. “Francesca Thompson, go to class.”
“That’s not fair,” Francesca said. “It was Jessica’s fault as much as Sydney’s, if not more. Sydney was only doing what she was told to do, whether it be by Coach, or by Jessica, and Jessica started it.”
“I said, go to class. Now,” the principal said firmly.
My mum walked in.
“You can’t suspend my daughter. I’ve already pulled her out of school here. I have her file here to send to the new school. The incident report, filled out by Francesca here, is in the file. I’ve also filed a complaint with the school board about your favouritism toward certain students. Come on, Sydney.”
“I’m still pressing charges!” Jessica wailed.
My mum snorted. “Like that would ever hold up in a court.”
“Ma’am, if she presses charges, I have to take your daughter to prison awaiting trial,” the cop said.
“Bullshit!” I told him rudely.
“Well, I have to arrest you anyway,” the cop replied, handcuffing me. He led me outside.
“Don’t say a word. I’ll be there with a lawyer soon,” my mum yelled after me. A week later, I was in court. They were trying to put me in juvenile for a year, and my lawyer was pretty sure he could just get me community service. I sure as hell was not going to prison, and I didn’t want a criminal record. The day before I had to give my testimony, my friend came to visit me.
“Hey, crazy!” she smiled. My eyes widened, and the idea came to me.
“I need your help,” I whispered hurriedly to her. “If anyone asks, tell them I’ve been acting weird. Tell them you think I’m a lunatic. It’s my only chance.”
“Okay,” she said.
I nodded and helped her to her feet. “Remember, just improvise and follow my lead.”
“Got it.”
I silently took a breath. Here went nothing.
“Stop it Samantha! I promise I won’t listen to Johnny!” I shouted, grabbing her arm tightly. Her eyes widened.
“My name isn’t Samantha, it’s Ellie!” she exclaimed, pulling her arm out of my grasp. She walked towards the exit. She looked honestly surprised. I ran after her.
“No Samantha, you promised! You promised!” I shouted, grabbing the bars as they slammed shut and she ran away. I noticed people staring at me. “What?” I asked them calmly, before muttering to myself and playing with my hands. Then my lawyer whisked me away to a totally camera-free room.
“Your friend called… said you had some kind of idea?” he asked.
“Yeah, I’m gonna be crazy. Like, legally insane. An asylum looks better than jail, and it looks better to me on a record,” I said, smiling brightly.
“Good luck with that,” he chuckled. “That plea rarely works.”
The next day in court, I walked in with my McDonalds breakfast. I left it sitting on a table and went up to the jury.
“Hi! Johnny says you should be blown up, but I’m not gonna listen. He might hurt me, though,” I said, cringing from an imaginary person.
“Are you okay?” one woman asked hesitantly.
“No!” Johnny has a knife, look!” I yelled, pointing. “You have to stop him! Where’s security? Stop it, Johnny; you made me do bad things, now I’m going to jail! No!” I ran and hid under the prosecutions table. After a few moments, I crawled out and looked at the door. “That’s right, Johnny, leave!” I walked back over to the table and started eating my pancakes with my hands and drinking syrup.
The judge walked in.
“Are you anorexic?” I asked her. She was really thin, so it made sense. “Here, have some pancakes!” I ran over, pushing my demolished pancakes soaked in syrup towards her. She looked both disgusted and surprised.
Ellie came in.
“Samantha! You came back! I’m sorry! Johnny won’t come in between us again! You’re my friend!” I howled across the room.
She began to cry.
“Sydney, it’s Ellie, please stop it. I miss my old friend!” she wailed and left the courtroom.
“No! I won’t do it!” I screamed, going to the corner. I sat with my knees curled to my chest in the foetal position, rocking back and forth, fingers in my ears, repeatedly screaming ‘no’.
“Councillor, control her!” the judge roared.
I jumped to my feet. “The power of them speaks to me, they are my only commanders. I must do as they say, I have to, I have to!” I ran back over to the jury. “They say you’re evil. The evil doers must be punished. You’ll see. You’ll all see when they come for you.” I walked back to the skinny judge who refused my pancakes. “You know I asked you nicely to eat,” I told her. “But it looks like you need help.” I put a bit of pancake on the plastic fork that came with the meal, and made aeroplane noises while moving it towards her mouth. She jumped back.
“Has this girl had a mental health test?” she squealed. I jumped onto the table, hugging her tightly. I knew my show was almost over.
“Minnie, can I have your autograph?” I asked her.
“No, ma’am,” both my lawyer and my prosecutor said at once. A security guard pulled me away. My hands were still clutching the judge’s shoulders.
“They want me to kill you, Minnie,” I whispered loudly to her. I let go of her shoulders and hooted, and acted like a wild animal until the security guard pulled me away. “We wish you a happy Christmas and merry Easter!” I called out to them as I left the room.
I was put into a small room alone. The walls were a hideous grey and had no windows. The only light came from a single fluorescent bulb that hadn’t burned out yet. The table was bolted to the floor, and there were cold, bare stainless steel chairs on opposite ends of the table.
A therapist came in. He had salt and pepper hair and harsh grey eyes that matched the colour of the room.
“No! I don’t want to die! I’ll listen, I swear!” I screamed, backing away as far as I could.
“I won’t hurt you,” he whispered to me.
I whipped around. “Shut up, Johnny, Jayd, Mikael and Ayleigh!” I turned back to the man. “I’m a kangaroo!” I yelled, jumping up and down.
“Who’s Johnny?” the man asked me.
I pointed. “Right here, in the black shirt.”
“I don’t see anyone,” he said.
“Well, sir, then that means you are either blind or an idiot,” I told him. “I heard thunder, Zeus is angry. Can you send Hermes in? I have a message for Zeus.”
The man just stood there, looking confused. “Whom?”
“Hermes,” I said simply. “I have a message for Zeus.”
“Where are they?” he asked me.
“Well, no one ever knows where Hermes is, but you can call them though Isis and Zeus, on Mount Olympus, of course.”
The next day I was sentenced to a year in North Nevada Mental Institution. Twelve months, three-hundred-and-sixty-five days before I was free and clear.


Challenge accepted.



Brian Falkner Books