Read Flying Feet Online

Authors: Patricia Reilly Giff

Tags: #Ages 6 and up

Flying Feet (3 page)

BOOK: Flying Feet
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“I think I need a snack,” Charlie said.

They headed for the lunchroom.

O
utside, Charlie looked back at the yellow brick school.

He could see Habib across the yard. He was juggling two golf balls. Almost juggling.

They kept rolling away from him.

Mitchell was watching, laughing.

Charlie stopped. “Hey, guys.”

“It’s Charlie Flying Feet,” said Habib.

“I don’t want to think about that,” Charlie said.

“Think about cheese poppers.” Mitchell handed one to him and one to Sumiko. “I’ve had a ton already.”

“Thanks.” Charlie put his popper in his mouth. Cheese melted into a bread ball. Mmm.

“Mrs. Farelli grabbed me,” he said when he could talk. “She wants—”

“Mrs. Farelli is tough as nails,” Mitchell said.

“Almost as tough as Zelda A. Zigzag,” said Habib.

“She’s going to have a Come as a Character Day.” Charlie talked as fast as he could. “Next Monday.”

“Sorry,” Habib said. “I’m working on juggling.”

Mitchell wasn’t paying attention. He sprinkled cheese-popper crumbs on the cement. “It’s a lunchroom line for ants,” he said.

Sumiko leaned over to watch. But Charlie kept going. He hobbled toward Jake.

Destiny stood on the stone wall with Beebe.

Fifth graders were climbing over Jake’s pile of stuff.

So was Terrible Thomas, Jake’s cat. Oops. Terrible Thomas was Mrs. Thomas now. She’d had a bunch of kittens.

“Out of here!” Jake yelled at everyone. Jake was a yeller.

They all scattered.…

Except Mrs. Thomas and Charlie.

“Look at this, Charlie,” Jake said. “It’s all good stuff. Old but clean. There’s just no room for it.”

Charlie walked around the pile.

There were lumps of straw and pots of droopy flowers. A tin hat and eyeglasses without the glass. Curtains. Yellow bricks from when the school was built.

The bricks must be as old as Zelda A. Zigzag.

On top were the red Flying Feet.

“I was taking all this to the dump,” Jake said. “Then,
BAAAAM.
Two flat tires.”

Charlie sat on a falling-apart chair. It was almost an invention. A Three-Legged Tilting Seat.

He looked over at a broken door and a couple of pipes.

“I’ve got to get rid of this junk,” Jake said. “Mr. Randolph, the principal, will have a fit.”

“We could drag—”

“Drag it where?” Jake moaned. “I’ll never get my work done. The whole school is a mess. Cheese poppers all over the place!”

“We could put it all back on the truck.”

Jake sighed. “That’s a big job. It took me days to get it out of the storeroom.”

“Time for kickball,” Ramón yelled.

Charlie jumped off the chair. It kept rocking.

“I’ll help you tomorrow,” Charlie said. He ran over to the game.

“Charlie’s on our side,” Habib yelled.

Afternoon Center was over for today.

Charlie headed for the bus.

He nodded at Mrs. Dover, the bus driver.

Her baseball hat was perched up on her hair.

He went to the back. The whole school didn’t have to know that the new bus driver was his mother.

Sumiko sat next to him. Her face was red. “I’ve been running like a cheetah,” she said.

Sumiko was the smartest girl he knew.

She knew sixteen words in Japanese.

Whoosh! The bus started up.

“How about signing up for Come as a Character Day?” Charlie asked Sumiko.

“What?”

“You dress up as someone in a book.” He raised his shoulders. “You talk about—”

Sumiko shook her head. “Sorry. I’m training for the Olympics. Ramón says I’m a really fast runner.”

Destiny and Beebe sat in front of them.

Destiny patted a sparkly scarf on her head. “My hair isn’t so hot today. The beads keep falling out.”

“Mrs. Farelli said—” Charlie began.

“Make sure you look at Beebe when you talk,” Destiny said. “She can read your lips.”

“That’s really good,” Charlie said.

Beebe grinned. “Yup,” she said.

“About Mrs. Farelli,” Charlie said.

Destiny stopped patting her hair. “Mrs. Farelli is too tough for me.”

“It’s for next Monday,” he said. “We’re going to do Come as a Character Day.”

“I’m too busy. I’m going to be a ballroom dancer,” Beebe said.

Gina was sitting in front of them. “I’m too
busy, too. I’m going to be an opera star.” She opened her mouth.
“Tor-eeeeee-a-dora,”
she sang.

Gina was loud. Screechy.

“Stick to inventing. Don’t bother with”—Destiny waved her hand—“come as a … whatever.”

Charlie looked out the bus window. Next Monday was going to be the worst!

Just Mrs. Farelli and a bunch of parents.

And Charlie, by himself, as Peter Rabbit.

I
t was time for Afternoon Center.

Charlie was hiding in the mop closet.

Never mind that the mop was dripping.

Never mind that his shirt was sopping wet.

He could hear kids going down the hall.

Today there was knitting. Some kids were making scarves. Beebe was showing them how.

There was painting, too. Some kids were making flags for the walls.

But Charlie had to think.

The only two who wanted to come as characters were Trevor and Clifton.

Kindergarten kids!

Outside the door, he heard a meow.

It was Mrs. Thomas.

Sometimes she sneaked into school with her six kittens. Sometimes she came alone.

She thought she owned the mop closet.

Charlie opened the door a crack.

Mrs. Thomas darted in. She gave Charlie a quick scratch with one claw.

Yeow. Charlie moved over to give her room.

He peered out the door.

Sumiko was peering in. “What are you doing in there, Charlie?”

He opened the door a little wider.

He wanted to see Sumiko’s whole face. Not half a ponytail.

Sumiko leaned closer. “Are you going to stay in there all afternoon?”

Charlie thought about staying in the mop closet.

He could invent something new. Maybe a machine that made dollar bills. He’d be rich. Too bad it was against the law to make your own money.

BOOK: Flying Feet
11.48Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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