Chapter 6 – February 6A

The first Thursday

Clang of metal lockers, sneakered feet squeaking on tiled hallway floor, bubbling murmur of separate conversations. Loud laugh. “Hey.” Murmur.

Rune looks down the hallway to his left. 206, third door on right. Students, teachers walking by. 209, first door on left, Butch’s next class. The son of First Baptist Church minister was always early, he and Rune usually passed each other at this time. Wait outside 211, he’d see the outline of Butch’s broad body waddling up the stairs, sun from skylight would be in his eyes. Get to 206 just before the bell. Wait.

“Something wrong?” Miss Kinney, Honors US. On his right, just behind. Rune turns to her. Looks confused, a little annoyed.

“Nah.” Waves greasy hair off his forehead. “Just — hanging out. Before my next class.” Looks back down the hallway, all thin teenaged bodies.

“You enjoying fencing?” Rune turns to her suddenly, how did she know — Aurora, call her O.K. Has a different class with her, probably talks as much there as she does in practice.

“It’s great.” Still no waddling shapes, getting close to the bell. “I gotta go.”

Walks across and down the hall. 210, 208 —

“Hey!” Butch’s voice behind him.

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