Friday, July 06, 2007

New Beginning 310

Alex stepped into his new homeroom and looked around for an empty desk. At least this time he wasn't starting school in the middle of a term. Maybe he wouldn't be the only new kid.

There was an empty desk next to a boy who seemed too tall for his chair. As Alex moved down the aisle, the tall kid shoved his index finger up his nose.

"Not a good sign," Alex decided.

A boy sitting behind the tall kid tapped him on the shoulder. "You gonna eat your boogers again, Green Giant?"

"Leave me alone," Green Giant grumbled.

Alex slid into the chair opposite the tall kid.

Green Giant looked over at Alex and slipped his finger into his mouth. Alex's breakfast churned in his stomach.

A young, blonde woman entered the classroom. "Good morning class. My name is Miss McCain."

"Good Morning Miss McCain," the class said in unison.

That's when the gnome appeared on Alex's desk and beat on his hand with a tiny, wooden club.


“Thank goodness you’re here at last. We’ve been waiting.” The gnome hooked his club into his belt.


“You’re Alex, right?” The gnome bowed. “I’m Grimmel. We need your help.” The gnome looked over at Green Giant who had just finished hooking another chunk from his nose. Instead of eating it, though, he flicked it across the table. Alex flinched, but as the booger hit the desk it turned into another gnome.

“Not very elegant, I’m afraid,” Grimmel said. “This is Proxyl, my brother.”

“You’re boogers? Talking boogers?”

“We’re gnomes.” Alex glanced over at Green Giant again. “Don’t worry, he doesn’t know anything. That’s just the path from our world to yours.”

Alex felt queasy. “How can I help you? I’m just a kid.”

“In our world, you’re Alex the Adventurer.”

“New kid.” It was the jock who’d made fun of Green Giant. “Hey, new kid. You talking to yourself?”

“Come on,” Proxyl said. “We have to go.”

“No way,” Alex said. “I am so not going up that kid’s nose.”

Grimmel laughed. “Don’t worry, Alex. It doesn’t work like that. We don't go back the same way we come.”

“New kid!” It was the jock again. “I got a present for you!” Alex looked up in time to see the jock shift all his weight onto one cheek before letting out an enormous fart.

“Hurry!” Proxyl said. “The portal’s open!”

Opening: ILS.....Continuation: ril


Anonymous said...

I'm not sure a kid that age who gets picked on would say "Leave me alone". I'm very sure that a kid wouldn't think "there's a young blonde" when the teacher walks into the room. To a middle-ager no teacher is "young".

Otherwise, I liked it!

Bump in the Night said...

I agree with anonymous' comments. Nice, fast start, and it looks like it'll be a fun read.

If possible, consider mentioning what grade Alex is in. Booger-eating and taller than normal kids span quite a few years, and a more exact age would help this reader.

Loved the continuation, too.

Evil Editor said...

Unchosen Continuations:

“Ow!” Chair’s scratched against the floor as a bunch of kids turned to look at Alex. Great, he thought, that’s all I need.

Miss McCain looked across the sea of students directly toward Alex. “Is there a problem, Mr. -- ah -- Craigley?”

“No ma’am,” Alex said, looking at the floor in front of his desk. Snickers burbled around him and he tried to sink lower in his chair. Miss McCain turned her attention back to the blackboard.

“Alex!” The gnome was talking now, and it knew his name! Alex looked down at the little figure, no bigger than the first join on his thumb, dressed in a coarse brown cloak. He glanced around again to see if anyone else was watching. “Alex! The princess! We need your help!”

Alex winced, desperate not to draw attention on his first day. He noticed the tall kid staring at him while excavating, his index finger lost to the second knuckle.

“Alex!” The gnome was hitting him again. In one swift move, Alex swatted the gnome with the palm of his hand, leaving a sticky brown and red splodge on his desk. Jesus, Alex thought. Like I need this kind of bullcrap on my first day.


“Ouch! What was that for?”

The gnome looked up at him. “Save with Travelocity! You’ll never roam alone!” It hopped from desk to desk repeating its attack, but everyone else just ignored it.

When the gnome reached the front of the room, a kid wearing a yellow rain slicker snatched it out of the air and stuffed it into a flat cardboard box that had a fish drawn on it in crayon.

“Settle down class,” said Miss McCain.

Then someone way in the back ripped the loudest fart Alex had ever heard. He turned and saw an orange kid with a big head and hundreds of black spots all over his body, who was wearing mirrored sunglasses and reclining with both hands behind his head.

“Ahhhhhh,” said the weird orange kid loudly. “The cheese that goes crunch."

Alex smiled to himself. With classmates like this, there’s no way anyone would make fun of his enormous forehead nipples.


"Hey!" shouted Alex.

The entire class turned to stare at him.

"This kid is in my seat!" shouted the gnome.

"All right, Franklin," soothed Miss McCain. "Now you know that none of the seats are assigned here."

"But I always sit near the giants! How else can I see the board?"

"Well, Franklin, I understand. But this boy is new, and probably didn't know. What's your name?"

"Alex," he said, dejected.

"A monkeyboy!" snorted someone in the back.

Some girls a few rows over giggled. Alex glanced at them. One covered her eye with her tail.

First day here, and he'd already been outed as a human. Alex sighed and slid out of the chair. Forget fitting in--this was going to be like every other school on the outer planes.


Alex launched across the room onto the teacher's desk before he realized he'd moved. "Gnomes!" he shrieked. "We've got gnomes!"

Howls of laughter roared around the class. He stopped squealing like a girl and felt his face go red. Didn't they worry about rabies or fairy plague? Didn't they know anyone who'd lost a family member to Ichibod's Sleep?

He flinched when the teacher placed a hand on his arm. "It's okay, Alex. That's just the class mascot, Dweezil. He must have gotten out of his cage again. Tony, put the gremlin back, please. Thank you. Now Alex, why don't you sit back down?"

Slinking back to his desk, Alex avoided the smirks of his new classmates. He was doomed. He'd never live this one down. Even the Green Giant grinned, finger up his nose.

"Thanks for taking the heat off me, bro," he said as Alex tried to slide under the desk.


"You're new." The gnome was talking to him. Alex glanced around to see if anyone had noticed. He looked over at the tall kid who put his finger up his nose again.

"It's my second semester," the gnome continued. "Listen. I've got to tell you something."

"Psst!" It was the tall kid. Alex looked over and the kid put another big, juicy specimen into his mouth.

Alex gagged. "Jesus," he shouted, "would you keep your freakin' fingers out of my face!"

"Beware of the booger man," the gnome said, and disappeared.


GutterBall said...

HA! Ril, that was perfect!

writtenwyrdd said...

OMG, that continuation is the most priceless one next to the dead guy as a lawn ornament. ROFL, ril!

And, ya know, someone should really write that one. It would sell. Oh yeah...

Author, I liked this. It seemed real, it was interesting, and the gnome's appearance did indeed hook me. I really don't have any nits to pick, either.

Anonymous said...

Author, I was confused by the age of Alex, mostly because the clues in the first paragraph don't tell me what grade he's in.

"Homeroom" isn't used in elementary or middle school (jr. high) around here. If he's about 10-12 years old (elementary age) it's just "classroom." Kids that age say "middle of the year" not "middle of the term."

If he's 12-14 (middle school age) it's called "Block" not "homeroom."

Of course, this may all vary depending on where in the world this story takes place.


Anonymous said...

"You gonna eat your boogers again, Green Giant?"

I stopped reading. Even when I was 10 or 12 I had no interest in tomes replete in explicit depictions of bodily functions. I do not see the humour.

I would rather read a book full of Fucks, Shits, Piss, Cunts, Cocks, and Tits than even a single paragraph containing the word "Booger". And I certainly wouldn't recommend either type of story to a child's developing mind.

But of course, that's just

pacatrue said...

I had home room in 4th and 5th grade down in Louisiana. Basically, home room came into existence whenever we moved from having the same teacher all day long to a set of different teachers and classes.

Anonymous said...


I had homeroom too. But that was a few years ago. :-) My kids had their "class room" (sometimes leaving that for math or science.) In middle school around these parts it's now called "Block."

I'm sure it's different in different places, I was just wondering if author had done current research for the age group.

(as a side note, some other aspects of this don't quite ring true to me as written from a kid's point of view. Most eight year old boys I know might feel right at home with a booger-picker. Or they might think it's funny. There's always one booger-picker in the class, and most boys don't think it's all that gross or strange.)

--DM (who isn't a teacher, but put in *years* volunteering in elementary schools.

Chris Eldin said...

Hi Author, I liked it,but would like to add to what ME said.
If your book isn't really about scatalogical humor, then I would open with something else. For someone who doesn't like this kind of humor, it's a real turn-off (see what ME said). So you could be inadvertently turning editors away and not knowing why.
If your book is based on scatalogical humor, then look carefully at the agents or houses you want to target, and see what books they're selling.
Personally, I want to see more about the gnomes.
And the continuation was great!!


Anonymous said...

I would rather read a book full of...

Yay! My book has a market!