Matt has this plan to de-scare me.
This is the plan:
“Every night until Halloween I’m going to tell you a terrifying story at bedtime. At first you’ll be really scared, but every night you’ll get a little less scared. By the time Halloween comes, when you watch a scary movie, you’ll just laugh.”
He says it works every time, but I’m the first person he’s tried it on.
He was right about the gold gnome shoes.
What do you think? Do you think Matt’s plan will work?
Every year I take the Squid trick or treating in our neighborhood, which is okay – except she’s a lot slower than me and I could get a whole bunch more candy without her.
But this year I’ve been invited to Alex’s house for a sleepover. And we’d trick or treat in his neighborhood. With all the big houses. Where they give out all the big candy bars.
I think I can talk my Mom into letting me go and maybe Matt will take the Squid trick or treating.
The only downside is we’re going to watch the scariest horror movie ever – The Shrieking Skull. And I HATE horror movies.
Tommy’s going to be a werewolf.
Alex is going to be a ninja.
The Squid’s going as a bunch of grapes.
Hector – who has never been trick or treating because they don’t really have Halloween in Chile – is going as a chupacabra.
I still don’t know what I’m going to be.
I’m not the Evil Sorcerer Kragon.
I’m not the Slimy Snake of the Swamp.
I’m not the fox or one of the mice or even the Magical Rabbit of Gorlandia.
I’m the Nice Gnome. The really nice gnome. The really, really boring gnome.
There has got to be a way to convince Mrs. Burke that it would be better if I wasn’t the gnome. I just have to figure out how.
Every year, each 4th grade class does a special project. Mrs. L’s class designs an obstacle course for the whole school to run through. Ms. Lewis’ class makes a special lunch with food from all around the world. And Mrs. Burke’s class does a play.
Last year the play was “The Elephant’s Surprise” and it was pretty good even though the elephant’s trunk fell off halfway through the play. This year we’re doing “The Sorcerer’s Castle” and it’s really great.
The best part in the whole play is the Evil Sorcerer Kragon. He has all of these great lines and laughs like “Mwa-ha-ha-ha!” It’s the part I want and I know that I’ll be great – if Mrs. Burke let’s me.
My Dad announced that we all had to have special chores. Matt is in charge of carrying out the garbage and recycling and getting dinner started when Mom and Dad are going to be late. The Squid is in charge of setting the table, sweeping the kitchen and straightening the family room.
My job is to feed Ginger twice a day and walk her every afternoon. I know that Ginger is mainly my dog and I like playing fetch with her and she sleeps in my room, but it doesn’t seem fair. Matt and the Squid play with her too. Why can’t they walk her sometimes?
So far 4th grade is okay. Tommy, my best friend, isn’t in my class. And Samantha Grunsky, who already knows everything anyway, sits right behind me, but Mrs. Burke isn’t too bad. Well, not as bad as I thought she was going to be. And Hector, the new kid from Chile, is in my class. He’s quiet but he runs fast and isn’t annoying.
I just have to work on keeping my desk clean and remembering the rules of Mrs. Burke’s Empire.
- Stay at your desk unless you have permission to get up.
- We will all show respect to our neighbors.
- Always remember to put things away.
- Raise your hand.
I’m good at #1 and okay at #2, but I sometimes forget #4. #3 is complicated because even when I’m sure I’ve remembered, I find paper on the floor. But I’m working on it.
Tommy and I have been best friends since second grade. He is excellent at many things. He draws great cartoons. He can make his voice sound just like a sports announcer. He does a hilarious duck imitation. He can turn his eyelids inside out and it’s really gross and none of the grown-ups can stand it. But he also has a habit of blurting things out when it would be better to keep his mouth shut. Like the time he told my dad that we didn’t mean to let the air out of the car tire.
And this year we are NOT in the same class! The fourth grade is going to be the worst year ever!
He was wearing glasses with black frames and his clothes were all new. His shirt was tucked into his pants. He looked very neat, like someone who would take a bath without being told.
Hector is the New Kid, but he’s nice. Quiet. He’s from Chile and he’s a fast runner. Faster than me and Darren Thompson, who gave me a wedgie. (stay away from Darren Thompson)
Matt is two years older than me. “Two years older, two years smarter,” he says.
He’s starting 6th grade, which means he’s at a different school. Which is okay. Because he’s a bozo.
My little sister Mabel is starting first grade. My dad calls her “Squirt,” but I think “Squid” is funnier. She’s lucky. Her teacher is Mrs. Diaz and she doesn’t have homework on the first day of school.
“Don’t worry, Charlie,” my mom said as she turned into the mall parking lot. “When you get to know her, things will be fine. I think you’re lucky to have her. After all, she was Teacher of the Year.”
Mom doesn’t understand. I love her, but there’s a lot she doesn’t understand.
Like why black shoes are better than white shoes, why sometimes “stupid” is the only word that fits, why my older brother Matt is a bozo.
“Mrs. Burke has a million rules.”
“Wow,” said Dad. “That’s a lot of rules! Does she write them all up on the board, or do you have to memorize them?”
Sometimes when my dad’s being funny, it isn’t funny.