Rated PG for School Spirit, Goats, and Life in the J.H.
The Goats are Going Places
by Tina Connolly
Once in the most boring lunchroom of the most boring junior high school in the world, there sat a girl who refused to be bored for one more minute. Renee Ryder cut P.E. and found some interesting girls who liked to hang behind the shop building and get artistic with spray paint. She decided to be their leader. With Renee in charge, the girls got very good with spray paint. In the amount of time it took a red light to change, they could paint an entire ocean on a car, with goldfish and seahorses and two dolphins doing it. But then they got busted for tagging the vice-principal’s minivan, and then Renee was snarky and got expelled, which was fine with her because she’d mastered both the graffiti and the girls by now and it was all so boring.
Renee’s parents shrieked, which was also boring, but then Renee’s aunt Simone stepped in and said Renee could come live with her and go to
the very best junior high in the City. Renee’s mother, who often called her sister something rhyming with witch, cackled. “Whatever happens to you, you’ll deserve it,” she said.
“Six bedrooms, a hot tub, my own flatscreen the size of a bed? You bet I deserve it,” said Renee. She packed her ripped jeans and her cans of spray paint, her old teddy bear and her lighters, and went to live on 1313 Strega Place with her aunt.
About the Author
Tina Connolly is the author of the Ironskin trilogy from Tor Books, and the Seriously Wicked series from Tor Teen. Her novels have been finalists for the Nebula and the Norton. Her very first Escape Pod appearance was in #209, when “On the Eyeball Floor” was narrated by Norm Sherman, and she’s been providing narration for PodCastle since our miniature episode 23, about 8 months prior to her first publication with Escape Pod. Her stories are collected in On the Eyeball Floor and Other Stories, from Fairwood Press. She is one of the current co-hosts of Escape Pod, and her narrations have appeared all over.
She is extremely delighted to have had both her stories and her narrations featured on all four Escape Artists podcasts. Find her intermittent, Parsec-winning flash fiction podcast at Toasted Cake, or find her at tinaconnolly.com.
About the Narrator
Melissa Bugaj is the proud mom of a nine-year-old boy and seven-year-old girl. She is a special educator in her sixteenth year of teaching.
Mel has taught all grade levels from preschool to grade five in both general and special education. This past year, however, she left the world of elementary school to teach Special Education in a High School Conceptual Physics and Chemistry class. She survived her first year of being the shortest person in the classroom and was enthusiastic to get back to teaching velocity, gravity and atoms for the 2014-2015 school year.