Jimmy Templeton’s Thursday Morning

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    I know this isn’t officially part of Marknew’s story. But I had to write this. And I got his and minimanmax’s stamp of approval, so here’s something for you guys needing a Pendant Change fix.

    "So, the police didn’t get in your face?" Chantelle asked, fiddling with her dreadlocks.

    "Well," said Arielle, "I got some funny looks when they opened the box and saw the nuns’ hoods. But once I explained the Big Sister plan I had in mind, they gave the thumbs up."

    A scowl furrowed Chantelle’s French roast coffee forehead. "Yeah, they gave me the search, too. Foolio clown Bennett and his guns."

    Sue tried to break the tension a bit with a smile. "Thanks for backing me up on this one. I’m sure glad for the help."

    "No prob, girl," Chantelle grinned. "Hey, Arielle, let me see one of those things." And she threw on a headpiece.

    "Hey, you look like Whoopi Goldberg!" laughed Sue.

    "I wish her accountant thought I did," Chantelle muttered.

    Arielle stabbed her waffle with her fork and poked the whole thing in her mouth on one gulp. "I can’t believe I’m hungry again after a full meal at home," she mumbled, mouth full. "Never dreamed I’d eat the school cafeteria breakfast."

    "Me neither," said another voice dolefully, as she walked up with a loaded tray. "800 million starving on this planet, and I’m pigging out."

    "Yo, Merita!" beamed Chantelle. "Welcome home, girl!"

    "Hey, don’t feel bad, ‘Rita," said Arielle, "ALL us girls have been pigging out lately. Growing bodies and everything. When’d you get back in the States?"

    "Yesterday morning," said Merita. "Counter rioters in our village torched our school."

    "Aw, no, I’m so sorry."

    "Well, you got any pics of Indonesia?" asked Sue.

    Merita shook her head sadly. "My pocket got picked in Jakarta."

    "What?!" exclaimed the others.

    "Yeah. It was right out of the Worst Case Scenario travel handbook, too. Bunch of beggar kids swarmed all around me asking for money or candy. Dozens of them. I couldn’t stir them with a stick. Then one of them pressed a piece of cardboard against my waist so I wouldn’t feel their fingers digging in my pockets. By the time I realized it and raised up some noise, they’d scattered, and gotten away with my digital camera."

    "That’s terrible!" lamented Arielle.

    "You shoulda yoked somebody," muttered Chantelle.

    "Oh, sure," Merita huffed, "big overgrown Amazon beating down an eight year old. That would’ve been great PR."

    "Well, at least you got out unhurt," Sue sympathized. "Lose anything else?"

    "No, that was it. So what’s going on here?"

    Sue, Arielle, and Chantelle brought Merita up to speed. They told how in the wake of the Big Muscle Switcheroo how a bunch of girls were hulking up and planning on threatening and harrassing the boys. One guy, Patrick O’Brien, had gotten so sick of it he’d gotten on the web and started the girlcott: the boys in school were going to totalliy ignore and disassociate themselves from their female classmates. Sue had proposed the idea of a friendly Big Sister escort for possible bullying victims, and Arielle brought the habits for volunteers.

    "Anybody else joining up?" Merita asked.

    "Mostly from our churches," said Chantelle.

    "What about the girlcott? What if someone doesn’t want our help, or thinks we’re going to give them a hard time, too?"

    "As long as we keep away 15 or 20 feet and just follow, they shouldn’t be too upset," said Arielle.

    "Yeah, I heard that some boys were trying to smuggle guns in to protect themselves," muttered Merita.

    Sue grunted. "Stupid Tenny. If she hadn–"

    "Uh, girls," said Chantelle. "Don’t look around, but you know Jimmy? By the window?"

    Sue glanced at him out of the corner of her eye. "Uh, yeah… isn’t he pretty good buds with Bennett?"

    "Well, he just reached out the window, got some kind of bag, and tucked it under his coat."

    Merita gasped. "Holy… you don’t think he’s…?"

    "Maybe he’s getting something else?" Arielle hoped.

    "Why would he sneak it in?" asked Chantelle rhetorically. "He’s searching around… don’t look at him! Now he’s leaving behind his breakfast untouched. Yep, he’s watching his six."

    "Oh no… say it ain’t so, Chantelle. You sure?"

    "I’m from the PJs, girl. I’m sure. He’s packing."

    "Oh, great," moaned Sue. "What are we going to do?

    Merita looked very thoughtful as she felt her pocket. "All things happen for a reason." She nodded with a soft smile. "Got a plan, girls. First, we’re going to approach him like good little children."


    Jimmy Templeton scanned the halls nervously. He’d gotten the .38 in, but how was he going to get it out? He smothered a curse; if he ever found out who ratted them out…!

    No. Stay focused. No going off half-cocked. He took a breath to calm down. Then he kept his eyes roving around the hallway. Two girls passed by on his left. Eyes forward. He thought he saw Celia rounding the corner. He quickly ducked into the boys’ bathroom and waited for her heavy footfalls to pass. Once he did, he looked out and saw her broad back and swivelling hips as she rounded a corner and disappeared. Good, good. Ninja’d her out. Then around the same corner came someone else. Chantelle.

    Oops! They made eye contact! "Hey, Jimmy! What’s happening!"

    He quickly pivoted toward his class and got moving. Boomph! He went headlong into Arielle’s shoulder. She looked down to him. "Jim, you okay?"

    He faked a left, and headed right toward a causeway outside. He’d have to double around and risk being late, but he had a silence to keep up, and a gun to keep hidden. Then he saw Merita standing by a pole. She was back in school already? What about jet lag? Shouldn’t she be sleeping it off?

    "Jimmy!" someone cheerily said. Distracted by paranoia, he looked there.

    Oh no! Sue! He was about to dart left, but Merita was already sewing up the distance. Now with his back literally to the wall, Merita was closing in on his left, and the Great Wall of Sue, Arielle, and Chantelle came sweeping on his right and forward. He was surrounded. Fear and a fight-or-flight mode blended with angst and a little despair. If the school goody-goodies were bailing him up, what were the BAD girls going to do?! Bennett was right. This WAS a war.

    "Don’t touch me," he growled like a cornered animal.

    "No, no, don’t get the wrong idea!" Merita said, holding up her hands.

    Bennett started to reach for his pistol, but didn’t want to give them any clues. He just kept his hands loose and ready as he scanned for an opening for escape.

    "Look, we know you’re in the girlcott," said Sue. "We know you don’t want to talk. You don’t have to. Just listen, okay?"

    Jimmy stayed tense.

    "I know you were… are good buds with Bennett," she continued. " I heard about how Tenny rolled him. And how his other "friends" laughed at him just as hard." She leaned in just a hair. "I also read on the website how you visited him and tried to cheer him up. You were a real friend. I wish I’d heard of it sooner, so I could have spoken up."

    She took a breath and let it out. "I want to be better friends with all the boys. I really do. But everyone gives me such a wide berth. They stay away from me, Jimmy. They’re scared of me. Sweet Sue. They treat me like I’m some sort of monster." Her head drooped. "And what I’m scared of is… they might be right."

    She pointed to a glass window. "I mean look at me! I have to face this every day in the mirror! I look like the freaking Incredible Hulk! A she-male! Rupaul! I don’t even feel much like a girl anymore! I don’t even know if I am!"

    Jimmy stared at the reflection. For what it was worth, he didn’t think she looked that bad at all. Sue still looked lovely. Beautiful. In fact, he thoguht the new mass gave her figure quite a bit more "oomph."

    Then he saw her face and her eyes. She was starting to cry.

    "I hate this ‘Change!’" She stooped to the ground and pounded it with her fist. "I wish it never happened! I hate it! I absolutely, totally HATE IT!"

    Despite the light tremors, Jimmy’s face softened quite a bit. Despite the fact she now weighed almost double what he did, and kneeling made her look even wider… she looked absolutely helpless. She kept sobbing for a while, and finally sniffled a bit.

    "Jimmy…? May I ask a major favor? I… I know we’re not supposed to touch you guys but…" She slowly turned her tear-streamed face up to his. "I have to know if … Jimmy, would you please hug me? I need to know if I still feel like a girl or not."

    Jimmy stared at her. She looked so vulnerable. He glanced around. He didn’t see any of the other guys. It was just him, Sue, and her fellow Biggie Chicks.

    After a moment to search his heart, and despite feeling like he was going to be very sorry later, he nodded. And he tenatively reached forward around her neck.

    Her perfume smelled great. Her blouse was so soft. Her tears were warm against her cheek. And while she felt solid, there was enough girlish huggability around her arms and chest. She was no drag queen. She was 100% female. There was, as the old joke went, simply just much more of her to love.

    "Thank you," she whispered. "Thank you so much. You ARE a sweetie." Jimmy simply nodded. But before he could let go, she whispered, "Is it okay if I hug you?" And before he could say yes or no… well, say yes, really… she wrapped her arms around his back and pulled him in.

    "Mmmmm," she cooed. "You know, I don’t think you’ve really gotten any weaker. You’re still pretty wiry. You still working out?"

    Jimmy checked himself before he said no. Was this a trick to get him to talk?

    "Hey, Chantelle?" Sue said. "You think he still feels like a boy to you?"

    Jimmy looked up to Chantelle. She opened her arms a little, and looked expectantly. He nodded. She reached behind him, pulled him close, and let her plentiful chest be his headrest. She let her fingers glide across his chest, and down to his stomach. "Oh yeah. Sure does. Hey, Arielle, Merita. What do you think?""

    And just as she let go, Merita stepped up to his left, and Arielle to his right. And they engulfed him in a hug sandwich, with Jimmy as the meat. "Mm-hmm," went Merita. "Grade A, all-American, government inspected 100% lean guy."

    "Yup," went Arielle. "He’s got it."

    That was the code word. Sue glided up and entwined her arms around again. Chantelle slipped her arms around his stomach and they all tugged close. "How about that, Jim?" Arielle said. "You’ve got four she-Hulks wrapped around your finger all at the same time."

    Jimmy had turned red as a beet, and was sweating up a storm. But he had a slight smile.

    Sue gave his lips a light peck. Arielle gave him a tickle. Chantelle bounced him lightly as she sang, "It’s gettin’ hot in here." Merita gently blew in his ear.

    The petting continued. A kiss here, a tickle there, a rub there, a light, playful pinch somewhere else, here a cuddle, there a snuggle, and giggles all around. It started off slowly. Then a little faster around: Arielle, Sue, Chantelle, Merita, and so on. Soon it sped up and closed in gradually, getting a little hotter, a little heavier, a little cozier, a little snugger, until they were touching and patting him like an old electronic game of Simon. Finally, when they were at top speed and out of breathing room, Chantelle and Merita hefted up, tilted back, and with a "whoooOOOOaaaa!" they all tumbled onto the grass in the courtyard, with Jimmy in the middle.

    They all sat up, laughing like idiots. Clamped down in Merita’s lap, Jimmy was breathing like he’d just finished five hundred-yard dashes in a row, but had an ear-to-ear grin.

    "See?" Chantelle said. "We’re not all thugs."

    Rolling off onto the grass, Jimmy nodded furiously, and held up his hand as if to say, okay, okay.

    Then he felt behind his back.

    Very quickly, he patted around it. Then his eyes grew Simpson size with panic as he patted around his body almost as fast as the girls did. Then he stared at each one as if they’d just stuck a knife in his ribs.

    "Whoop!" went Arielle, staring at her bare arm. "Look at the time! We don’t want to be late for class!" And they scooped him up to his feet, and quickly ushered him into the building. Jimmy glowered at them all.

    "Hey, look, you know what I said?" Sue smiled. "I meant every word of that. And I needed that. Thanks." She looked at him with earnest compassion and gentle offering. "You have any problem at all, I mean anything, you come to us, okay? Loan for lunch money, protection, shoulder to cry on, PMS jokes… if it’s legal, you name it."

    Jimmy nearly trembled with anger. But finally he just exhaled.

    "I know, I know," said Sue. "Girlcott."

    Turning away, Jimmy headed on to class. The girls saw him clap his hand on his forehead and pull it down his face with a groan as he disappeared down the hall.

    When he was out of sight, Merita muttered, "Well, girls?"

    Arielle moved her jacket, and showed the gun butt sticking out her waistband. "Got it."

    Everyone sighed in relief. "Great job, everyone," said Merita.

    "Sue, girl," Chantelle chimed, "that Jaws got NUTHIN’ on you in the acting department."

    "I wasn’t acting," said Sue. "Just exaggerating a bit."

    Arielle shook her head. "One down, and how many to go? We can’t do that with all the guys. They’ll figure it out quick. And Jimmy sure looked ticked."

    "He’ll get over it when he sees he’s not the one in juvie hall," said Sue. "Or, heaven forbid, the hospital or morgue."

    Merita nodded. "We saved Jimmy. That’s the important thing."

    Dingalingalingaling! Chantelle cringed. "Crap! The bell!"

    Arielle covered the gun. "Head on to class. I’ll turn this in. This is more important than a tardy."

    Sue got ready to go. "What if they ask for names?"

    Merita went along. "Just tell them we found it on the causeway. That’s true enough."

    And as Arielle dashed to the office, the others went to their classes.


    Nice interlude!



    Indeed. It’s a lovely beginning. Definetly it will be great to see what happens next.



    Very good!

    Mark Newman

    Very enjoyable. Big high school. Lots of room for lots of characters, either here or in other schools, colleges, workplaces, towns, etc.

    Thanks Jimmy.

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