Chapter 1W

The team recognized the voice that offered the greeting, as he was notorious for being easily the shortest student in the school. He waved at the team with a nervous smile. A girl stood next to him, although it was clear from their body language that she wasn’t with him — or even, it seemed, conscious of anyone in particular. Her eyes were pointed in the direction of the team, yet seemed to be focused on a point several feet beyond them.

The boy, wearing blue jeans with a white t-shirt under an unzipped hooded sweatshirt with long ties dangling from the neck, spoke again. “I was wondering,” he said, passing his right hand flat over the top  of his head” if  there was a height requirement for being on the team?”

“Butch!” cried Bernie, walking forward from the team and extending his hand. “I was wondering if you’d ever take me up on my invitation.” Bernie was smiling broadly, happy for the first time that day that his best friend from his earliest school days was joining the team.

“Actually,” said the Coach, also stepping forward, “those of your stature have a distinct advantage in a fencing bout — if you know what you’re doing,” he said with a wink.

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