read by Melissa Bugaj of the Night Light Stories podcast
Originally published in Shiny
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
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.
Rated PG for School Spirit, Goats, and Life in the J.H.