Sunday, November 30, 2008

Tammy the Little Mermaid, Part Three

This Thanksgiving, among other things, I was very thankful to stumble across the first two books in the Lisa and the Angels series (written way back when the girls weren't even Lisa and the Angels yet), both of which I thought were gone forever! Both are delightfully plotless wonders, and they're both even completed. I can't wait to post them here. You'll soon have the pleasure of reading about Cyndi being kidnapped and left for dead, Aunt Josephine's introduction, Cyndi hopping a boxcar and winding up in NYC, plus about a zillion outfit descriptions (Stacie and Cyndi even have a "style contest").

Meanwhile, as you will see below, there's still much drama to unfold in Fruitville-land...

Chapter Five

"Where's my script?"

"How should I know?" Christina snapped.

"Because I put it on my bed before practice, and now it's gone, and YOU'RE the only one who's been in here since then." Tammy folded her arms across her chest. "Give it back, Christina. Now."

"I don't know where it is!" Christina insisted, even though she knew perfectly well it was now in Beth Harris's dresser drawer. But she wasn't going to tell Tammy that! Especially not after Tammy had called her a "pig" and her best friend Janine a "loser."

Tammy sighed. "If you don't give it to me ... right now ... I'm going to steal your earring collection." Everyone knew that Christina's huge assortment of earrings were practically her pride and joy.

(Come on, Tammy, can't you come up with a better threat than that? Who announces to someone they're going to steal their stuff?)


But Christina wasn't fazed. "You would steal," she said simply, getting up and walking out of the room.

Tammy sat down on her bed and sighed again. Somehow, Beth had managed to turn the whole orphanage against her. It was only obvious Christina had stolen the script.

"If she won't give it to me, I'll just have to find it," Tammy said out loud.

She stood up and began to demolish Christina's part of the room. She tore all the covers and sheets off Christina's bed, dumped the contents of her jewelry box on the floor, emptied her two dresser drawers, and ripped all of her clothes from the closet off of their hangers.

(Sounds like Tammy's due for an appointment with the Fruitville guidance counselor.)

"Where is it?" Tammy groaned, frustrated. Wait! Maybe it was Janine. Or maybe Christina had just hidden it someplace with Janine's stuff. It was possible. Tammy decided to check.

She stripped Janine's bed of its covers, dumped out her dresser drawers, and so on. It wasn't with Janine's stuff, either! Where was it?

"WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!"

Tammy whirled around at the sound of the loud yell. It was Christina and Janine, both of them standing in the doorway, surveying their destroyed room. "What did you do?!" Christina wailed again, just as Janine yelled something angrily in Japanese.

"I was looking for my script," Tammy replied matter-of-factly. "If you hadn't stolen it, I wouldn't have messed up the room."

Christina and Janine began to shout at once, things like, "WE DIDN'T STEAL YOUR SCRIPT!" "I HATE YOU!" "LOOK WHAT YOU DID TO MY EARRINGS!" Tammy began to shout back at them. The three girls were so loud that none of them noticed Trisha, their adult supervisor, standing in the doorway until Trisha herself screeched, "WHAT IS GOING ON IN HERE?"

The roommates stared at her.

"Who messed up this room?" Trisha asked quietly. Janine and Christina pointed at Tammy.

"Why?"

"They stole my script!" Tammy cried. "I had to find it!"

"Did you steal her script?" Trisha questioned Christina and Janine.

"NO!" they yelled in unison. "I wasn't even in here!" Janine added.

Trisha turned back to Tammy. "Tammy ... did you have to destroy the room just because you misplaced your script?"

"I DIDN'T MISPLACE IT!" Tammy insisted. "They STOLE it!"

(Stop shouting! I'm starting to get a headache just typing it.)

"They tell me they didn't steal it, and I believe them. Now I want you to clean up this mess. You may look for your script when you're through."

"OH MY GOSH!" Tammy screamed. "THAT IS SO UNFAIR! CAN'T THEY EVEN HELP?"

"No, Christina and Janine will not help. It may be unfair, but life's not always fair. Now pick up your room."

"YOU pick it up," Tammy retorted, storming out the door. (If this was on TV, the studio audience would say "Oooh!" after that line.) She didn't know where she was going, she just knew she was going as far away from Fruitville as possible!

Tammy was stomping upstairs to the lobby when she heard an angry voice yell, "TAMMY MORRIS ... GET BACK HERE THIS INSTANT!" Sighing, she turned around. Trisha was standing at the bottom of the stairs. Her face resembled a thundercloud.

"What do you want?" Tammy grumbled.

"DON'T YOU EVER TALK THAT WAY TO ME AGAIN! I WILL NOT CLEAN UP YOUR ROOM, YOU WILL, RIGHT NOW ... NO, WAIT! NEVER MIND!" Trisha marched up, grabbed Tammy's wrist, and started pulling her along.

"Where are you taking me?" Tammy asked disgustedly.

"TO MR. DIBIAZ!" (Mr. DiBiaz was like the principal of Fruitville.)

"Why?"

"YOUR SASSY MOUTH!" They reached the top of the stairs and Trisha pulled Tammy into the auditorium. Mr. and Mrs. DiBiaz were sitting on the stage, gazing at each other lovingly. (Is that all they were doing?) They looked up when they noticed their visitors.

"Trisha? What's going on?" Mr. DiBiaz asked, concerned.

"Nick? Do you KNOW what this girl did?!"

"No, I don't," Mr. DiBiaz replied, sounding slightly amused. "What did Tammy do?"

"I said 'pick it up'," Tammy explained. "Big crime, huh?" (Shut UP, Tammy!)

"IT'S HER SMART-ALECKY MOUTH! First she misplaces her script and accuses poor, innocent Janine Yamamoto and Christina Chase of stealing it! Then she literally tears her room apart looking for the script. I come in and tell her to pick the room up, and she tells ME to pick it up!!!"

"Is this true, Tammy?" Mr. DiBiaz asked quietly.

"Yes," Tammy replied. "But they stole my script! It was on my bed..."

"Then I have no choice but to punish you," Mr. DiBiaz interrupted.

"Punish me? I didn't even do anything wrong! Christina should be punished."

"No, Christina should not be punished. Christina didn't do anything. But you sassed Trisha." (Apparently tearing the room apart is no big deal in Mr. DiBiaz's mind.)

"That's not fair!" Tammy cried. "She didn't give me a chance to tell my story!"

"Life is not always fair, Tammy."

"Life is not always fair," Tammy mimicked. (Monster.) "Jeez, is that all you guys know how to say?"

"WHAT?! Are you sassing me?"

"No, but knowing 'life's not always fair' isn't going to make me agree that I should be punished!"

"I think you ARE sassing me! I think this calls for a night in time out!"

"Time out?" Tammy snapped. "We don't even have a time out!"

"We do now! And you will be its first visitor. The practice room by the choir room is now our official time out booth. Trisha will escort you there, and YOU WILL STAY THERE UNTIL LIGHTS OUT! Tomorrow morning you may miss first class ... BECAUSE YOU WILL BE TOO BUSY CLEANING UP THE MESS YOU MADE!"

(Wouldn't it make more sense to tell her to clean it up first, then send her to time out?)

"Fine. I don't care. But aren't you even going to find my script?"

"NO! YOU WILL FIND IT YOURSELF!"

"She is Ariel, Nick," Mrs. DiBiaz reminded her husband. "Maybe she can memorize her lines in time out."

Mr. DiBiaz sighed. "Okay. Whatever. I'll send an orphan to go find it. BUT RIGHT NOW YOU MARCH OVER TO THAT BOOTH!"

"Okay," Tammy said simply as a smiling Trisha led her away to time out. She really didn't care. Time out might even be nice. Tammy could finally get away from everyone who hated her so much, and she could memorize her lines, too -- if Christina ever gave her script back.

***

"You guys! You guys! Tammy got in trouble!" Christina cried gleefully, running into the Harris sisters and Jinnie Nye's room.

"She did?" Beth grinned. "What happened?"

"She messed up the room looking for her script, and sassed Trisha and Mr. DiBiaz. Now she's stuck in the practice room, and they're calling it time out!"

"Cool!" Everyone started to laugh. "She's getting what she deserves!"

"Well, I need her script now," Christina said. "Mr. DiBiaz is making me 'find' it for her. I'll just tell him it was under Tammy's bed!"

"Okay. Here. Wait 'til you see it!" Beth tossed Christina the script. The mint green cover had been ripped off so only the front page and back page showed, and those pages were filled with little scribbles and notes. (I wonder what the notes said. And these girls are such freaks ... all of them!)

"We're not supposed to ruin our scripts," Beth reminded Christina. "So she'll get in trouble again!"

"Okay by me!" Christina laughed. "I gotta go give this to her. Bye!"

"Bye!" the sisters and Jinnie chorused back.

By dinnertime, everyone in the orphanage knew about Tammy and time out.

"I saw Mrs. DiBiaz bringing her her dinner on a tray," giggled Kendra Hogan.

"She doesn't even care!" added Wendy. "She probably likes it in there!"

"Aren't you guys being kinda ... mean?" Megan asked hesitantly, fiddling with her silverware.

"She called you a whole bunch of names," Beth said.

"Well, I know. But I don't think everyone should be mad at her. Right now, she's probably more hated than one of the snobs, or Virginia Vaughn or someone." (Leave Virginia Vaughn alone.)

"She deserves it," Stella insisted. "She deserves it."

Chapter Six

Tammy had decided to ignore everyone at the orphanage. Ignoring them was the best way to handle them. When Mr. DiBiaz let her out of time out and a bunch of orphans crowded around, giggling, she ignored them. When she crawled into bed that night and Christina and Janine made some wisecracks, she ignored them. And the next morning, when the three girls were getting ready and Janine and Christina made some more cracks, she ignored them.

So this is what it feels like to be a nerd, Tammy thought sadly, after her roommates had gone down to breakfast and she was alone in her room. I'd feel sympathetic toward them, but they hate me, too.

It wasn't fair. It seemed to Tammy like she'd lost everything this year. First she lost her parents. Then she was whisked away from her town and lost her home, and friends, and puppy Snookums. Now, because of Beth, she'd lost her friends at the orphanage, too.

"At least I still have my looks," Tammy muttered, staring into the mirror. (Beyond shut up.) But even those could be ruined soon. Beth or someone else might sneak into her room while she was sleeping and cut all her hair off, or worse.

Tammy tried to memorize some of her lines, but she just couldn't concentrate. The thief who had stolen her script had ruined it, too. Tammy was a fairly neat person, and the scribbles and markings on her now cover-less script were starting to annoy her. They made her look like some rebellious punk that didn't care about her belongings.

Tammy got up and looked in the mirror again. She fingered her honey-colored curls. She was pretty alright. Beautiful. (Ugh x 1,000!) But was that any reason to be hated? Stella was pretty, too. Tami was pretty, Megan was pretty, Meg was pretty, even Beth was kind of pretty in a tough-looking way. They were all well-liked -- no one ever turned against them.

"I must have done something," Tammy decided. "But what?" She knew she could be a little conceited sometimes, but it was all pretty much a joke. She definitely didn't hate herself, but she didn't worship herself, either. Maybe Beth had gotten the wrong idea. But Tammy never even talked to a lot of the girls that were mad at her!

She couldn't figure it out. It wasn't because she only talked to pretty people, because that wasn't true. She talked to Belinda, and Ericka Steinberg, and Deena, and Kendra Hogan. They weren't exactly beauty queens. But she was nice to them! (How big of her.)

She didn't really make fun of the nerds, she kept her distance from them. Tammy didn't think she had said anything to offend Beth. So what was it?

"Oh, well," Tammy sighed. "I'll probably find out sooner or later."

***

The orphanage's school started at 8:15, and Tammy's first class was language arts. Unfortunately, the orphans were classed by age, and she was with Beth and Stella. She sat by Meg, and the first thing Meg did was move her desk over by Dustie Rawlings and Erin Wells.

"Fine. Like I care," Tammy told her. "Like I'd want to sit by you."

"No one wants to sit by you," Meg retorted.

"Now, Meg," said Miss Jenkins, the teacher. "You don't sit over there. You're over by Tammy, aren't you?"

"No," Meg lied.

"Yes you are. Move your desk back."

"I don't want to sit by her!" Meg and Tammy cried in unison.

Miss Jenkins sighed. "It is time for new seating. Maybe we can change. Would you girls rather pick your seats or have me assign them?" (Why do teachers even bother asking such a question? A couple of mine used to do that.)

"Pick!" everyone cried, except for Tammy, who didn't care one way or the other.

"Okay. Quickly choose a partner to sit by, and then take out your packets from last week."

The girls began rushing to sit by their best friends. Tammy was about to sit next to Megan, the only person who hadn't really said anything to her, when Erin ran over and practically fell into the chair. "This is my seat," she hissed.

"Okay, I'll sit over here," Tammy replied simply, dumping her books down on the table with the computer.

"What a loner," Beth snickered from the desk in front of her. "You don't even have any friends to sit with."

"I'm not a loner," Tammy said. "I'm just too good for any of you."

"Yeah, right," Stella replied. The girls had to begin their work then.

During a spelling test, Tammy noticed Beth passing a note to Stella. Stella read it, grinned, and stuffed it into her desk. An idea was starting to form in Tammy's head.

Right before the literature session began, Tammy grabbed Stella's reader from the shelf next to the computer table and hid it in a cupboard. Miss Jenkins told the class to go get their readers. Tammy grabbed her own and sat there, looking casual.

"Hey!" she heard Stella cry. "Where's my reader?"

No one answered.

Stella turned to Tammy. "Give me my reader!" she ordered.

"I don't have it," Tammy replied calmly. "See?" She pointed to the name written on the inside front cover of her book. "It says Tammy Morris, not Stella Smith."

Stella ran to the front of the room, yelling, "Miss Jenkins! Tammy took my reader!" Quickly, Tammy reached into Stella's desk, grabbed the note, and stuffed it into her own reader. No one even noticed!

Miss Jenkins was walking to the back of the room. "Tammy?" she asked. "Did you take Stella's reader?"

"No," Tammy replied. She wasn't worried. If Trisha had believed Christina and Janine, Miss Jenkins would believe her.

And she did! "Stella," Miss Jenkins said kindly. "Maybe you accidentally put it somewhere else. Here, I'll check this cupboard ... oh, here it is!" Miss Jenkins handed the reader to Stella, who scowled at Tammy.

"Now," Miss Jenkins continued. "Everyone turn to page 130, read the story, and complete the questions. When the bell rings, you can leave."

Tammy turned to the story. The B.F.G. (Roald Dahl!) She pretended to be reading, but instead, very quietly unfolded the note and started to read that:

Stella-
Do you have any idea of some tricks to play on you-know-who? We've already stolen the script and gotten her in trouble. I can't think of any more tricks! But I do have another idea. I was thinking of, maybe, doing like a petition thing. We can write "We, the following, do not like you and think you'll be terrible as the lead in our play! Quit the role before we make you quit" and then have everyone sign it. I know everyone would! Do you like it? Grin if you do!
-Beth

(What absolute witches. Who tells someone to "grin"?)

Tammy angrily read the note three or four more times. So that's what they were trying to do! Make her give up her lead role! Tammy couldn't believe they would actually start a petition. What a jealous bunch of babies!

To think, she thought disgustedly. They were actually almost succeeding! Tammy had been debating whether or not to just quit the role of Ariel -- she couldn't concentrate on the part, knowing everyone hated her. But she didn't have to worry about that any more! Now that Tammy knew what the others were up to, she would show them. She was not going to let them upset her anymore, or get her in trouble, or play tricks on her. And she was not going to quit her role -- she was going to be the best Ariel there ever was!

*******************************************************************************
Coming up next: More play practice, and Tammy hooks up with Brett!

3 comments:

Sada said...

Love Christina's prized earring collection.

And OMIGOD, can't wait to read the kidnapping story!

Cory said...

I'm so excited for the kidnapping story. I remember you mentioned it in an earlier story, I was sad that it was apparently lost forever.

Also, was Tammy supposed to be likable, or were you purposely trying to make your readers hate her?

tctill said...

Cory, sadly enough, I think she was supposed to be a sympathetic character!

Also, I am definitely going to post "Me and Snobby Stacie" next. The kidnapping/tying to a tree scene is actually fairly brief (it's just one of Cyndi's many misadventures). However, I also have an actual kidnapping story (Carrie and Racquelle are the victims) which will be posted sooner or later.