“It used to fit real good, but it shranked.” Butch looked down forlornly at the t-shirt that stretched uncomfortably across his protruding belly.

Standing alone with him at the edge of the cafeteria as the rest of the fencing team practiced with each other, The Bird asked Butch whether he knew he’d used the wrong word. It’s shrunk, she told him, his shirt had shrunk.

“Oh! Really?” His face a storm of wonder and confusion. “No, wait. When something just happens you say shrunk, but if it happened a while ago, you have to say shranked.” His face now beamed calmed assurance. “So I guess we’re both right, you could say it shrunk and that would be technically correct, ‘cuz the shirt did shrink in the past, but since it was a while ago, you’d have to say shranked. But only if you wanted to be truly accurate.”

“Hey, Bird.” The tiny teen nearly jumped at the sound of Coach Dan’s voice, and sped to him with relief when he saw him call her over.

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