lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
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Title: Leslie McCormack And The Story Without A Title: Part 1B: Leslie McCormack Thinks It's All A Dream
Fandom/'verse: Original - For lack of a better name the Leslieverse
Notes: A revised version of my April 2017 Camp NaNoWriMo project
Summary: Leslie Cormack annoyed a R.O.B. (Random Omnipotent Being) and has now arrived in another world, and that's not the only change.
Warnings: Involuntary bodily changes and transportation by said R.O.B. The arrival of a bully and minions, a case of unwanted groping, and some strict teachers. Later sections may involve bullying, sibling strife, threats of or actual corporal punishment, at least one case of bigotry, and embarrassment for the main character.
Words: ~6100 words

Continuing from Part 1A: The R.O.B.'s Revenge or Leslie McCormack's Last Night On Earth

Part 1B: Leslie McCormack Thinks It's All A Dream

"Leslie! I'm not telling you again, get up before you're late! If you miss your bus..."

What? Groaning I stretched and tried to remember my dreams while my mother yelled from across the apartment. How can I be running late if my alarm... Why wasn't I hearing my alarm?

What was my mother doing in my apartment?

Tossing my bed sheet aside I sat up and stared at the just out of focus room. I didn't need my glasses to tell that it was not my bedroom. Or that it was not nearly as out of focus as I would have expected.

"Leslie, you'd better be moving!"

"Mom!" What are you doing here was left unsaid. That was not my voice. "What the hell?"

Looking around I spotted a pair of glasses right as my mother came to the door. I was frozen with one arm stretched out for the glasses staring at the tan colored fur that covered my arm when she spoke from the door.

"Well, you're finally up. You'd better get showered and dressed if you don't want to miss your first day of high school."

First day of what? What? I held the armless glasses up and looking through them I did not see my gray haired mother, survivor of a heart attack and a car accident. She had my mother's voice but looked more like something that should have been in a cartoon or maybe a monster movie. Golden fur. Canine ears. A pointed muzzle. This was obviously another dream. I fell back onto the bed and would have waited to wake up if my dream mother would have let me.

"No falling back to sleep, up! Shower, dress, breakfast. Now Leslie."

"Ugh, if I have to." What was going on? Fur on my own arms. My mother some kind of werewolf. This had to be the weirdest dream ever.

"Yes, you have to."

Shaking her head my dream mother walked away while I stood and stumbled in a daze out of the room and seeing a faintly familiar hallway followed old memories into to the bathroom. Looking in the mirror I saw a smaller version of my dream mother trying to balance a broken pair of glasses on a tan muzzle and wearing a rumpled pale blue nightgown. I blinked a few times and leaned closer to the mirror.


I didn't remember ever having worn anything like this. Whatever. Dreams don't have to make sense that's just the way dreams are. Pulling the nightgown up and over my head I dropped it on the floor before standing in front of the toilet.

"Really weird dream."

I was missing things down there that I'd always expected to see there. And the underwear I saw looked much more like something a girl would wear than anything I remembered ever wearing even as a kid. Of course since what I saw down there looked more like the pictures I remembered from sex ed and the occasional pornography shared by classmates this should not perhaps have been surprising.

If this wasn't a dream I would have been much more worried. But there was no way any of this could be anything but a dream. I might as well go along with it until my alarm went off and pulled me out. As long as I woke up when that happened. But I rarely included my alarm into dreams instead of waking unless I'd stayed up far too late.

I was pretty sure I hadn't done that.

So I showered, which felt strange with all the fur on my dream body. Then dried off as best I could with a towel and hair drier. Unless maybe it should be called a fur drier in this strange dreamland. Of course with this body I shouldn't have been too surprised by the dresser and closet. Skirts and dresses and a handful of pretty plain jewelry.

Looking through the closet I found a pair of pink of overalls which if you ignored the color was the closest I could find to my usual clothes. I found a yellow shirt to go with it and wandered out to the kitchen. Cold toast? Really dream? You couldn't give me better than that? You'd think my subconscious would give it too me slathered with melted butter like I like it. Monster-Mom brought over a pan and scooped out some eggs for my plate. She looked at me a moment and shook her head again.

"Remember to put some shoes on before you go."

"Huh?" Sure enough looking under the table I was still barefoot.

"I suppose I should take comfort that you aren't trying to grow up too quickly. But you do realize Scottie and Jamie both got up already. Jamie's already out waiting for the bus. How you slept through Jamie and I both yelling at you..."

"Oh. I guess it must have been a good dream. Don't remember it."

"Well hurry up and eat. If I have to drive you because you missed the bus you're going to be in trouble."

"Okay, okay," I dug into the eggs which were surprisingly good for a dream. I don't think I usually noticed flavors much in dreams. The toast on the other hand was rather bland. And covered in disappointing cold, unmelted butter.

After I finished I rushed upstairs under monster-mother's glare and tugged on a pair of sandals, grabbed a backpack that looked a lot like the one I used to have, and ran down to the street corner to wait for the school bus. Sure enough there was a pack of children there all of whom looked like unusually realistic cartoon animal people too. Fox people, wolf people, possibly a cat person? Maybe? Ears looked like it but his tail was bushy. There were boys to one side, girls on the other, I was still trying to decide just what to do or say when I was saved by the arrival of the school bus.

For a dream this was boringly realistic. Apart from what we all looked like. I didn't get to just skip right ahead to school but had to sit there on the bus while it went from stop to stop and only a half hour later did we finally we pull up to the school.

It looked... Not a thing like the high school I remembered going to. Instead of a cluster of low buildings I saw a three story building and at least one more just as tall. When we got off the bus I looked around and followed the flow of students as teachers and staff pointed us towards the auditorium. It seemed the day was going to start with an assembly just like I remembered. Of course some insisted they wanted to put stuff in lockers or their homerooms first and others just wanted to stand around talking so it took a few minutes before I even got around the big building that faced the street and saw our destination.

This might have been some cartoon world but it was a pretty mundane auditorium. Brick walls outside, two sets of big double doors to let us in, and the loud echoing of hundreds of teenagers once we were inside. The stage lights looked like regular stage lights, the seats like regular auditorium seating, no crazy gigantic television screen out of an anime just a wide stage with a podium in front of some dark curtains. I kept going along with the flow and sat when the people in front of me stopped.

After maybe fifteen minutes an older woman came out through the curtains. It was just as boring as the presentations had been in reality. Principal Something-or-other Aquino welcomed us all to the new school year and tried to convince us it would be filled with the fun and excitement of learning. There was even a special welcome for all of us freshmen.

"Today you're taking another step towards adulthood. Today you take on greater responsibility for your education. Nearly a third of the classes you take in your time here will be of your own choice. You will receive the opportunity to explore your interests and see how they can serve you in life."

Then we got led in a pretty generic school chant by the cheerleaders. I'm not sure how chanting, "green and silver," over and over again with a few, "Ironwood Owls rule the desert," thrown in was supposed to make us excited to be here. I suppose it worked on some of the kids since it ended with some scattered cheers. Finally it ended with a guy who introduced himself as coach Clemson announcing when the first game of the season would be and how we should all come support our team. Sure, buy a ticket so I can sit on bleachers and watch a team I don't care about play against another team I don't care about. I'll get right on that.

It wasn't really all that different from what little I could remember of the real thing. Eventually it ended and we all shuffled out to figure out where we were supposed to be. Digging into my backpack I found a class schedule and decided to wander over to what was left of Home Room before I got marked absent. Not that it really mattered, but I guess even in dreams I'm not much of a rebel. Thankfully the room numbers were all in order and readable unlike so many dreams. So it didn't take long to find room 205 and follow Mr Carmichel's directions to my assigned desk where I sat and stared at my schedule. It was a perfectly normal schedule. Home Room, English, Physical Science, Physical Education, all classes you'd expect to see. No weird dream classes. No underwater basket weaving. No magic or space piracy classes. No made up foreign languages. The only unusual thing I could see was that there were seven classes unlike the six classes a day I remembered. I suppose it made an eight hour day when you included lunch. A perfectly normal bell announced it was time to head to my first class of the day.

A glance at my schedule had me thinking I'd just have to run downstairs for Algebra. Room 205 to room 102, easy, right? Only when I got to room 102 it clearly wasn't a math classroom. Not unless Algebra was going to be full of story problems about the periodic table and all things chemical. I stood and stared at my schedule and then the number on the door until someone helpfully pushed me out of their way. A big hulking brute of a wolf stopped grabbed me before I could fall.

"Are you okay?"

"I will be when I wake up."

"Heh. Not a morning person? Need any help, say maybe a Daniel's butt kicked?"

"What?" I shook my head when he pointed off at the guy who'd pushed me. "Do you know where Algebra is? It's supposed to be here in 102."

I held my schedule up and he took a glance at it.

"That's 102 in East Building, we're in the North Building. Try going that way."

"Oh. Thanks."

This building was already three stories tall why did they need any more? Sure the high school I went to had five classroom buildings and a cafeteria but they were all only one floor and weren't even as big as each floor in this building. Stupid excessive dream architecture I guess.

Arriving at the correct room 102 before the bell but still only had one empty seat left. When I looked through my backpack and found the Algebra I textbook it was perfectly readable and had what looked like actual algebra lessons inside it despite being in a dream. This was all feeling very un-dream-like if you ignored what all the people looked like. It was impossible, if I was awake I should be sitting in front of a computer entering a stack of forms not sitting at a school desk preparing to be told how to identify the mysterious Mister X in an equation. But it sure wasn't feeling like a dream.

"Hey, you know Pyle Elementary is down the street, right?"

A tall, well taller than me, tawny brown wolf in a fancy dress that seemed to be made completely of ruffles was grinning at her oh so humorous joke. I opened my mouth and realized that I couldn't think of a single come back. Giving up I shrugged.

"No, actually I didn't know that."

That seemed to surprise her into silence and for some reason I added instead of leaving well enough alone I asked, "Which direction? Just in case I get asked to pick up my little sister."

"Mill and seventy-fourth." She pointed off in the direction of a main building. I think. "New around here?"

"Moved in a couple weeks ago." I couldn't quite decide whether she was still teasing or just curious.

"I'm Amanda," she smiled and I halfway expected her to offer a handshake but instead she asked, "Do you have a spare pencil?"

"Leslie, I've got a few to spare." I pulled a binder covered in dayglo unicorns from my pack and offered her one of the dozen or so pencils in the pouch at the front. I pulled out a sheet of paper to take notes on even through I shouldn't need it. I remembered getting straight A's in Algebra but it had been more than a decade.

"Nice unicorns."

"Unicorns are cool."

The binder was worn at the corners and showed the cardboard binding under the printed plastic, so it seemed I must have had it for a while. Real me couldn't have risked a cool binder like this in high school. That much pastel and glitter would have had be getting beat up. At least I could rock the unicorns in dreamland.

Amanda giggled so I added, "They are!"

At that moment the bell rang and the teacher stood up and quickly scrawled out, Mister Richard Jones, on the white board. "Good morning class. Today you begin your journey into the world of real math. We will be moving quickly and this will be real work unlike what you had in grade school. So if you find yourself getting lost come see me outside class or talk to a tutor. If you don't you will fall behind."

He then started right in on the first lesson which honestly I didn't find very challenging and didn't think I would have back the first time I was in school. Really it seemed more like pre-algebra, your basic x=2y+7 that anyone ought to be able to solve after a single class. But I made my notes and started in on the in-class homework and then began on what we were supposed to do at home which seemed really ridiculous even if it was super easy. Sixty math problems for homework? Not for the lesson, sixty that you were supposed to be doing after class. Whoever wrote the textbook was a sadist.

When the bell finally rang I just waived Amanda off she started to return the pencil, "Go ahead and keep it, I've got plenty. What's your next class?"

"P.E., you?"

"Computers & Keyboarding I."

"Ms Gerkin? My sister says she's okay as long as you do the work."

"Cool, has to be better than P.E."

Amanda shook her head at my cool and headed off for P.E. Meanwhile I looked at my schedule to get the room number and started working through the crowd to try and make it before the bell rang again. I just barely managed it, stepping through the door right as the bell rang.

"Do try and make it to your desk before the bell from now on."

"Yes ma'am." I looked around the room and sat at the only remaining free desk. The computer was nicer than the ones I remembered from school, but still looked older than what I used at work. Good old beige boxes and big clunky tube monitors. But the screens were nice high resolution ones... Which made sense when I discovered they were all gray-scale screens which I remembered from my sole computer class in school used to be popular for desktop publishing. Something about not doing color makes it easier to crank up the resolution. Judging by some of the books I could see on the shelves we'd either be looking at that or Ms Gerkin must also teach a desktop publishing class. Maybe she was the teacher for the school paper?

Right, now I was trying come up with backgrounds for people in my dream. Hello, alarm, you can start buzzing any time now.

When I poked the mouse a sign-in screen appeared, which was definitely something I didn't remember from school. DOS and Windows 3 didn't do sign in screens. So I looked around the room some more while she did roll call and then walked along the room passing out a scrap of paper to each of us. Looking at mine I saw in very neat handwriting, LESLIEM0218 / password0218.

"You all now have your user names and passwords. Everyone sign in and tell me if you have any problems."

She watched while we typed in what was on the scraps of paper. Soon enough a boy on one side of the room raised his hand. She looked at his slip of paper and then at the screen.

"The numbers on the end are the month and day of your birthday. What number would you write for October?"

"Ten, but you crossed out the zero so I didn't think I was supposed to type it."

"Everyone, when we write zeros in this class we will do so with a bar running through it like this," She went up to the board and wrote a zero with a slash through it and then next to it a rounder O without a slash, "The letter O will be written plain like this. Keep in mind with a computer you must use zeros for zeros and the letter O for the letter O. It is the same with ones and the lower case L. The computer is not a typewriter and you cannot get away with mixing any similar letters and numbers. If you do then as young Mister Thomas found the computer will complain."

She then turned on a projector and placed a transparency on it with the title Password Management.

"The first thing we will do is cover how to change your password, this should be the first thing you do any time you sign in to a new account..." The next hour was a bit of an adventure. These computers were not running DOS or any version of Windows but something called Bell ScholarOS, which looked a lot like my few glimpses of Linux. Ms Gerkin also had some strong opinions which she didn't mind sharing with us. Like that we should regularly change passwords, the importance of knowing how to tell a computer to do what you wanted and not just how use it as an expensive typewriter, and a certainty that modern video games were going to rot our brains. "You will find some classic games on your workstations. You will find these all require you to be able to type and to think, not simply allow yourself to be hypnotized to flashing colors."

I think even as strict as she was I would have enjoyed a class like this in school. Even if we did spend fifteen minutes running a typing tutor program it looked like it would be much more than just a keyboarding class. When the bell rang everyone started to grab their bags only to freeze when Miss Gerkin smacked a ruler on her desk. "Who has signed out of their account?"

I was glad I was one of the handful who raised their hands.

"Sign out before leaving class. If I find you have left and have not signed out you will lose ten points each time. Further if another student sits at your workstation when you have failed to sign out you will bare responsibility for any action they take with your account. If they delete your files you will simply have to recreate them."

That was a lesson my first supervisor had drilled into us. Sometimes she'd even send goofy emails to the rest of the office from our accounts if we forgot to sign out or lock our workstations.

Third period brought me to what dream me had to have picked for an Easy A class, Music I. I'd never taken it in high school or college but it couldn't be that hard could it? Back in grade school it had only ever involved standing on one side of the room trying not to sing too far out of key while the teacher plunked a song out on an old piano. Easy. Well, it would be easy as soon as I figured out which building room PA 105 was in. It took an embarrassingly long time to realize that of course there would be a map on the back of the schedule where it made sense for it to be. PA was the Performing Arts building, which was of course the auditorium building.

I made it in before the bell. Maybe I wasn't sitting before the bell but I was in the room. Mister Terzi was thankfully not as strict as Miss Gerkin. There were no desks, no chairs, only a tiered floor that started rising about five feet into the room. There were maybe twenty others milling around the room most of whom looked as puzzled as I was. Mr. Terzi waited until the last chime of the bell faded before speaking up, "Good morning students! Welcome to Music Level One or as I like to call it Welcome to the World of Music. If I do my job right you should finish this year better knowing just what you enjoy most about music. Some of you may go on to join the band, choral, or one of our instrument focused classes like piano or guitar. Let's start by picking up a copy of our syllabus, song book, and one of the white pouches, then take out your Music Theory textbook."

Like Keyboarding we mostly just reviewed what we would be learning over the course of the year. How to read music which he insisted wouldn't be as hard as we thought, finding out what our voice type was, and learning about different kinds of musical instruments. The pouches turned out to be plastic flute-like things he called recorders that we'd get to take home for practice. I don't know how much we were expected to be able to do with a fancy whistle but Mr Terzi seemed to think we ought to enjoy it. At least it was homework that didn't have a word count. After that it was a quick question and answer session to see what everyone's existing knowledge was. Which for most of us was not much or nothing at all. Then again if any of us already know how to play an instrument or were in a choir or something like that we'd probably be in a different class. It wasn't terribly exciting but if I was stuck in a long dream this wasn't so bad. It wasn't boring like Algebra or a lecture that could have been a training session at work for Keyboarding.

Which is probably why the bell so rang much sooner than it felt like it should even if the clock said it was right on time. Getting the recorder and papers stuffed into my pack I looked at my schedule and sighed when it still said what I'd remembered it saying before.

"P.E., why do I have to have P.E.?" I could just skip it. Wasn't like this was work or even real life. It was just a dream. I wouldn't be walking around high school in pink overalls with a bunch of talking dog people in the real world.

"You've got P.E. next too?"

"Hey, me three."

I looked up to see a guy and girl and tried to remember their names. Yancy and Claire? Something like that.

"Yeah. Not my favorite class."

They must have studied their school maps better or something because they headed straight for the gym while I followed along with the occasional glance to the sides to see if there was anywhere the school property wasn't edged with a fence. No luck. Pretty much purely on instinct I started to follow Yancy off to the left after entering the building only to have Claire grab my arm.

"Leslie, hey Leslie!"


"You really don't want to go that way."

"Why... oh." Right inside the door to the left and right were two more doors. With big brass letters that spelled out boys on one and girls on the other. "Um. Thanks."

"Were you even listening to anything we said?"

"Sorry. I just don't really like P.E. much."

She huffed and let go of my arm before we went through the door on the right. A large woman, rather wolfish looking, stood there dressed like a pretty stereotypical coach. The complete outfit from the track clothes and the whistle hanging from her neck to the clipboard she was consulting as we came in.


Claire answered, and hey I'd remembered her name right, Claire Marshall, she was given a lock, told to grab her bag off the table behind the coach, and go to the locker that was written on it.

"Leslie McCormack."

A combination lock got slapped into my hand and I looked over the table until I found a stapled bag with my name and the number 314 written on it in black marker. Wandering deeper into the locker room I felt a blush starting to set in as the others who had arrived were doing exactly what you'd expect them to do in a locker room. I did my best not to look at anyone and instead just the numbers on the end of each row of lockers until I found 314 which was only a few over from Claire's locker.

The bag turned out to contain a P.E. uniform. Yay. A pale green shirt with Ironwood High in purple letters above a purple line art drawing of an owl and a purple skirt with pale green edging. Actually, when I looked closer it was some sort of skirt and shorts combination I was sure I'd heard a name for, probably something silly like skorts. I did my best to pretend no one else was in the room and just changed as quick as I could. When I finished Claire grabbed my arm again and pointed off to the side.

"Let's get out there before the coaches yell at anyone."

Out there was still inside the gym where we were lined up in the order we arrived. Just standing there I could feel the air on my legs and tried to tell myself no one was going to think there was anything weird about my dream self wearing a skirt, or skort, or whatever it was called. I'd worn shorts plenty of times but it still felt like there was more of a breeze on my legs than there ought to be when we were inside. Maybe it was the fur.

Maybe two minutes after Claire and I came out the coaches started directing the last of the students who came out to stand against the wall by the door. Almost a third of the class ended up standing over there. So almost as many as were in the other classes I'd been in. It looked like P.E. was nearly a double sized class.

A guy also dressed as a coach standing next to the lady glared at the latecomers.

"If you bothered to read your handbooks you would know that you have five minutes from the bell to finish changing and be in line. Today and today only we will be giving those of you who were late a break. You will only be expected to run one extra lap around the gym. Don't be late tomorrow."

Pretty much what I was expecting for P.E. The class clearly designed to provide employment for fitness themed sadists. Home of dodge ball and more blatant injury inducing games like football. Flag football wasn't a contact sport? It didn't involve knocking other students to the ground? Yeah, keep telling yourself that. No I'm not bitter.

But first we all get to run around the outer edge of the gymnasium floor until the coaches said we could stop.

If I had to be in P.E. at least I was some kind of wolf, fox, something creature. Surely I'd have a better time with this than I had in real life. I was able to keep thinking that for all of half a lap. By then I was panting pretty hard and I had a stitch in my side before I even finished that first lap. I was also pretty sure that someone had tried grabbing my tail. Sure enough I felt it again just before a blond furred guy who was bound to be recruited for the basketballteam raced by casually reaching out to run his fingers through the tail of a girl a few places ahead of me. Asshole. And of course he wasn't getting called on it. I was halfway through my second lap when the coaches had mercy and assaulted our ears with a whistle blast.

"Alright, line up, four rows starting on the marks."

What marks? I hadn't noticed any marks. The people closer to them must have seen something because they started forming up. I looked around and sped up so I could be next to Claire since at the moment I really didn't feel like being next to other guys. Somehow that just meant I ended up with the asshole to the right of me when we were done lining up.

"Make some space. We'll start with some easy stretches. Arms out straight, bend at the waist and touch your toes with your fingers."

Toe touches, twisting in place, windmilling our arms, hoorah for fitness. Oh, that was different. Each of us was passed a piece of paper taped to a square of particle board along with a stubby pencil tied on with string.

"Starting today you will be tracking your progress. A quarter of your grade will be based on showing improvement or for those of you meeting the standard by maintaining your scores."

The list was a whole series of exercises I hated. Push ups, crunches, and even something called a burpee which was a cruel form of torture where you're told to go from standing to squatting to kicking your legs straight out and then back to squatting and standing as fast as you can as many times as you can between whistle blasts. An even dozen exercises in all that had me wondering if I'd fallen out of bed and this was my dream's way of explaining the pain. Because by the end of class my arms and legs were sore, by belly was sore, my shoulders were sore, and I'd discovered that yes cartoon dog people can sweat and it's not a good feeling.

Finally we were allowed to turn in our papers and head back to the locker room. Or at least those of us who weren't late, the coaches called out everyone who had been late and made them start running another lap before they'd get to shower and head for lunch.

The promise of hot water was enough for me to ignore the lack of privacy and the horrible rough towels that were provided. I noticed most everyone else had brought a towel and I didn't have any doubt why. When the hot water ran out right at the end of my shower I was very happy not to have been one of the slowpokes who'd had to do a lap at the end of class. Fur or not ice cold water was nothing I wanted anywhere but in a drinking glass. As bad as the towel was at least it helped a little with warming up again. But I wouldn't have wanted to be in that stream of ice water for a whole shower. Heck, even after getting dressed again I was tempted to grab one of those towels and use it for a blanket. But getting outside in the sun was even more tempting.

"Who let a boy in here?"

Hearing that I rushed to finish tugging the straps of my overalls into place and looked around to find a girl almost as tall as the asshole and two obvious minions smirking at me.

"Well? Why aren't you over where you belong?"

"Why should I be over there?"

Amazon girl poked me in the chest, shoved really, hard enough to knock me back into the lockers.

"Because that's where the boys belong."

"Would I be wearing this if I was a boy?" I plucked at the pink dyed denim of the overalls and started praying that this dream wouldn't go any more nightmare than simply enduring P.E. had been.

"Don't care if your a sissy that doesn't--"

"Lucy, shut up."

I turned and stared at Claire who didn't look at all intimidated by the Amazon and her minions. She actually looked almost bored.

"I think we would have noticed a boy in the showers. Is that really the best you can do? Not, I don't know, ask why she was wearing her little sister's clothes--"

"Hey!" Overalls weren't that uncool were they?

Lucy and Claire stared at each other until Amazon Lucy rolled her eyes and walked on by with her posse, taking the time to push me against the lockers again.

"Um. Thanks."

Claire turned just as unimpressed a look on me as she'd given her cousin. "Seriously, you are not pulling off the cute look. Add some bows, add something with lace, or don't bother. You look like a grade schooler."

"But overalls are... okay I overslept and just grabbed stuff. But I like this."

"I didn't say it couldn't work. Just put some thought into it. Maybe brush in some color. But not so much you get sent home or to the showers."

Grabbing my backpack I sighed and shrugged. "I guess so. I've never really been fashionable."

"You don't need to be a fashionista, just put a little more into it. Like any effort into it."

"Well I guess, but I overslept. Mom's probably still upset about that."

Claire ran through some ideas to make what I was wearing work while she went to her regular locker where she grabbed a cloth lunch sack. I made polite, I'm listening, noises from time to time but it wasn't like I'd need any of what she was saying after I woke up. As if I'd be dreaming good fashion advice in the first place. After promising to spend more time thinking about what I was going to wear in the future I headed for the cafeteria only to get a sinking feeling as I approached the doors.

I knew I hadn't stopped to put anything in my locker. I wasn't even sure where it was. I hadn't seen anything to eat when I was looking in my backpack for other stuff. Which since I didn't remember making a lunch at home or grabbing anything to bring. But I didn't remember seeing anything to buy lunch with either. Digging through my backpack didn't find any food and I didn't find so much as an old penny.

With a sigh that rapidly turned into a groan I turned away from the line I'd been approaching and just wandered while trying to ignore the complaints coming from my belly. Finding a quiet spot I sat on a bench and watched a line of ants carrying tiny crumbs off to their nest. I don't know just when I started crying but once it started I couldn't stop. I sat hugging my backpack in my lap and settled for trying to keep it as quiet as I could. Which I thought I was doing a good job with until I rubbed some tears away with the back of my arm and found myself looking up at an older lady in a plain gray suit.
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