Today is Friday and not just any old end of the work week day, but the one that I promised to launch my serialized story. That’s right, this is the premiere edition of Fiction Friday.
There was a tie in voting. One for “High” School and another vote for Swim Day. Even though the post-apocalyptic story of Swim Day is normal fare for me I decided to go with the YA tale of a spunky teenager caught in the middle of the war on drugs. I haven’t tried to do YA before so please feel free to point out to me when I make a mistake.
Hope you enjoy the fiction and if you do – Please tell your friends.
“When is the school going to get serious about the war on drugs?” Jackie leaned back and watched Principal Skinner respond to the question. A notepad sat in her lap and she held a mechanical pencil in her hand, ready to jot down whatever he said during the interview.
“The school is serious about student involvement with drugs.” Skinner clasped his hands together as if performing for an audience. Either that or it was one of those well practiced responses that he threw out when required. “We have always taken the war on drugs seriously. All you have to do is look at the programs we offer to combat the threat to the younger generation.”
Jackie scribbled his reply along with a comment about him giving a canned response. She could already tell that this was going to be her best piece yet. Hard hitting. Investigative. Relevant. She was so focused on the success of the article that she barely heard Principal Skinner interject his own line of inquiry.
“Now, Jackie. Is it really necessary to pursue this topic with such vigor? After all, it’s only a high school newspaper. I can tell you all about the band we have lined up for the Spring Blowout. Or how about the new cheerleader uniforms that are on order?”
“That’s kid stuff. Teenagers are the future leaders of the world. We need to take an interest in the problems that surround us or how else can we be expected to solve them?”
“Fair enough,” said Skinner. He offered a smile, but it looked forced. “Go ahead and ask your next question.”
Jackie sat up straighter and looked Principal Skinner square in the eyes, just as she had seen her favorite movie character do. Lena Holmes would have been proud of how she delivered the brow-buster question. At least, she would have if she really existed.
“How can you account for your failure to curb drug abuse on campus?”
Principal Skinner’s face grew tight – and red. With measured moves he stood up and straightened his suit jacket. Only after a considerable pause, while the color returned to his face, did he speak.
“How familiar is Mr. Lee with your journalistic efforts?”
“I talk to him about it every day. Why?”
“Perhaps it’s time for the school paper to make a few changes and let some of the other students try their hand at reporting. It would be a shame for anyone to miss out on the opportunity to see for themselves if this is a career they would like to pursue once they graduate.”
Adults over-reacted all the time, but this seemed ridiculous even for Principal Skinner. Besides, he was probably just hoping to distract her with the threat so she’d give up on the current line of investigation. It was about time that he learned that Jackie Romano played hard ball.
“You haven’t answered my last question yet.” Jackie stood as well.
Principal Skinner paused before the door and turned just enough show a wicked smile on his face. “Oh, no! I believe that your last question as a reporter is - What will I do next?”