Read Flying Feet Online

Authors: Patricia Reilly Giff

Tags: #Ages 6 and up

Flying Feet (6 page)

BOOK: Flying Feet
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I
t was early on Friday morning.

Too early for school.

No one would be in the classroom except Ms. Katz.

That was good. That was great.

At home, Charlie zigzagged down the driveway.

He carried the box with his new invention.

“Hurry.” He jumped up and down at the bus door.

He and his mother climbed in.

They zoomed over to school.

Charlie left the box on Jake’s junk pile.

No one would see it there.

His mother gave a quick honk. She was off to pick up the busers.

Mattheus, the guard, was at the door. “You’re early today, Charlie,” he said. “March yourself right in.”

Charlie could hear the band practicing.
Boom de boom.

Mrs. Thomas was taking a walk.

Charlie circled around her.

In the principal’s office, the light was on.

Charlie could see Mr. Randolph’s bald head.

Maybe Mr. Randolph never went home. Maybe he had a bed in his closet.

Charlie was glad he was going to be an inventor.

He wouldn’t want to live in the Zelda A. Zigzag School for the rest of his life. At night. In the dark.

He kept going.

Up the stairs.

Down to room 214.

Ms. Katz was working at her desk.

She poked at her glasses. She pushed back her stick-straight hair. “Hey, Charlie,” she said.

He wiggled his toes. All the Band-Aids were off now.

“I have a new invention,” he said.

“Lovely,” Ms. Katz said. It was her favorite word.

“It made me think—”

Ms. Katz stood up. “Thinking is good.”

“Could we still have Come as a Character Day?” he asked.

Ms. Katz blinked.

Charlie took a breath. “We could get rid of Jake’s junk pile, too.”

“That pile out there?” Ms. Katz’s eyebrows went up almost to her hair. “And what about characters?”

She leaned forward. “It’s Friday, Charlie. Come as a Character Day was supposed to be Monday.”

Charlie heard the bus outside. His mother was back with the busers.

The walkers were here, too.

Doors banged.

Feet slapped.

The bell rang.

Gina came down the hall.
“Mama mia, piz-za-rii-a,”
she sang.

Whew! She was loud.

Ms. Katz covered her ears. So did Charlie.

Gina passed the door.

Charlie knew she stopped at the water fountain. It sounded as if she might be gargling.

“Well, the Center is open on Saturday.” Ms. Katz smiled. “We could work on it tomorrow morning.”

She held up her hands. All her fingers were crossed. “We’ll give it a try.”

Charlie went to his desk. He put his books in a row.

He had a feeling.

Too bad it wasn’t a buzz.

He thought about his Flying Feet and his Junker Cruncher.

And what about last year’s invention? The Snowball Saver.

Not one of them had worked.

Maybe this new invention wouldn’t work, either.

He hoped it would.

Otherwise, everyone would be laughing.

Especially Larry.

O
n Saturday morning, Charlie looked around. Almost everyone was at the Center today.

“I had to come,” Sumiko said. “I felt sorry for Mrs. Farelli.”

Gina nodded. “Me too. Even though she’s tough as nails.”

“Besides,” Habib said, “the lunch lady has a great snack today.”

It was Charlie’s favorite.

Destiny and Beebe were giving them out. Fat pretzels with white salt dots on top.

Charlie chewed on the white pretzel dots.

Then he went with Mitchell to the Homework Help room. But there wasn’t any Homework Help on Saturday.

Today it was just a regular classroom.

Mitchell pulled out a paper and pen. “What should I write?”

“Write a story to go with my new invention,” Charlie said.

Mitchell stared up at the ceiling. “What’s it called?”

Charlie stared out the window. What was it called?

Nothing yet.

“Wizard Walkers,” he said, after a minute.

Charlie looked at the stone wall outside. Jake was taking off the tarp.

He’d show everyone his invention there.

He looked over Mitchell’s shoulder. “Nothing is on your paper,” he said. “It’s just a big blank.”

“Listen, Charlie,” Mitchell said. “I have to think first.”

“Start with the title,” Charlie said.

“Why don’t you go outside?” Mitchell said. “Help everyone with Jake’s pile. You can watch everyone practice.”

“I hope you know how to spell ‘wizard,’ ” Charlie said.

“Of course,” Mitchell said. “ ‘W-i-s-s-e-r-d.’ ”

“Good.”

Outside, Destiny ran past him.

She was carrying a watering can from Jake’s pile.

It was full of water now.

It sloshed across the schoolyard.

“Out of my way, Charlie,” Destiny said. “I have to water those half-dead plants in the junk pile. I’m going to save their lives.”

Charlie followed her across the yard. He found the box with his invention.

He found a penny, too. A penny for luck!

Ms. Katz rocked back and forth on the three-legged tilting chair. Her hair was flying around.

Everyone dug through the junk pile.

They were looking for things to go with their characters.

Angel opened a box. “Here’s a blue ribbon for my hair,” she said. “I guess I’ll be Alice in Wonderland.”

Gina tossed Charlie’s red Flying Feet sneakers out of the way. “They’re really junk,” she said.

Sumiko scooped them up.

She held them in the air.

She squinted at them.

“Not junk at all,” she said. “I know what to do with them.”

“All this straw.” Jake scratched his head. “I don’t know where it came from.”

“Never mind,” Habib said. “I know what to do with it.”

He dragged some of it away.

Charlie stood there with his hands on his hips.

Jake’s junk pile was smaller.

The stone wall looked bigger.

Never mind,
Charlie told himself.

He was going to be brave.

He had to do it.

T
he bell rang.

It was Come as a Character Day.

There was no time for snack.

But who wanted snack anyway?

The lunch lady had warmed a huge pot of red soup with lumps.

Outside, everything was ready.

Jake had used the bricks to make a yellow
brick road. It went straight to the stone wall.

He’d put a bunch of chairs out, too.

Destiny and Sumiko stood behind the pile. They were getting ready.

Habib and Mitchell were getting ready, too.

Charlie held the paper Mitchell had written.

His invention box was right in front of him.

He was ready. Maybe.

Mr. Randolph, the principal, came across the yard. Mrs. Farelli was next to him.

Her nose was red, but she was smiling.

People were at the gate, too.

“Wow,” said Mitchell. “There’s Zelda A. Zigzag. She looks just like her picture.”

Charlie looked up.

Larry walked with Zelda A. Zigzag. He helped her to her seat. A special seat Jake had brought from the office.

But she pointed to the three-legged tilting
chair. “I’ll sit there,” she said. “I like adventure.”

“Hey,” Sumiko said. “Even the bus driver came.”

All the seats were taken.

Beebe gave out programs. “I made them last night,” she said.

Ms. Katz stood up. “Come as a Character Day is in honor of Mrs. Farelli. We’re glad she’s back.”

Charlie blinked. It was true. He
was
glad.

Everyone clapped.

“Now we’ll begin,” said Ms. Katz.

Trevor Petway hopped out from behind the pile. His friend Clifton hopped, too. They wore paper rabbit ears.

“Graaaaahhhh!” they shouted. “We’re Peter Rabbits. Tough ones.”

Gina came out next. Her hair was slicked back. A curtain hung from her shoulders. She wore the ruined eyeglasses from the pile.

“Do you know who I am?” she asked.

“Everyone knows that,” Zelda A. Zigzag said.
“You’re Harry Potter. And we know your story.”

BOOK: Flying Feet
3.29Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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