Broken Wings (Broken Wings 1) - Page 64

“No, sir,” I said, and then I covered my mouth with both of my hands quickly because my stomach was starting to send up more than laughter. It took two hard swallows to keep it down, my eyes bulging with the effort.

“Go!” he commanded with a sense of panic as well as anger in his voice.

I rose much too quickly and awkwardly and fell against him. He jumped back as if I was on fire. As fast as I could, I scooped up my books and charged toward the door. Behind me I heard the rest of the classroom laughing. I fumbled with the knob and went out, closing the door behind me. The churning in my stomach stopped for a moment, but the corridor seemed to turn on its side and then right itself. I hiccuped so loudly, the sound bounced off the walls, echoing all the way to the end of the corridor. With one hand against the wall to steady myself, I started down the shiny tiled floor.

The librarian, Ms. Beachim, came out of the faculty room and paused to look at me. She lowered her glasses over the bridge of her bony nose and peered.

“Are you all right?” she asked.

“No,” I said. “I feel like I’m inside out.”


“Like a sock when you take it off,” I told her. Then I laughed, and she stood there gaping at me with her hands pressed against the base of her throat.

I straightened my shoulders and tried to walk a straight line, but I guess I had drunk more orange juice and vodka than I normally did, especially in the morning. The world would not stop swaying. I was getting more and more seasick.

Finally, I reached the principal’s office. When I stepped in, I paused, or at least I thought I had. Even though my feet were planted, somehow it was as if I was still moving.

Mrs. Tagler looked up from her desk. As soon as the principal’s secretary set eyes on me, her eyebrows lifted and her lips went into a crooked smile. She had a hairdo and a face that reminded me of a praying mantis, especially with those long, thin arms she kept bent at the elbows and those hands with finge

rs curling inward.

“Now what?” she asked.

“I thought he was going to call and lodge a complaint,” I said.


“Mr. Croft’s shirt is out of his pants,” I said.


“He’s a mess.”

I giggled, and she let her jaw drop enough for me to see the gold crown in the back of her mouth.

“You were sent to see Mr. Bloomberg?”

“No, I was asked to pay him a friendly visit,” I replied. “To see how things were going and if there is anything I can do to help improve the school,” I added, and, before I could stop it, hiccuped.

She nodded knowingly.

“Sit down,” she ordered as she rose like a gusher to her full six feet of height. Her husband, I was told, was only five feet five and had to be careful he didn’t get poked in the eye by one of her breasts. She always wore those stiff pointy bras that looked like they had been borrowed from Madonna’s costume closet.

Mrs. Tagler went into the principal’s office, closing the door behind her. Only seconds afterward, the door was thrust open and Mr. Bloomberg stood there glaring out at me. Something in my face told him the whole story. His bushy rust eyebrows curved downward when I hiccuped again.

“I don’t want to talk to you in the state you’re in,” he said. “Go directly to the nurse’s office. I’m calling your mother.” He turned to Mrs. Tagler. “See that she goes to Lila’s office,” he said, and she nodded.

“Come along, Teal,” she said, her voice softer now.

I stood, remembered my books, and reached down, knocking them every which way.

“Oh, forget them,” Mrs. Tagler said. The phone was ringing. Mr. Croft had finally gotten himself together enough to call, I thought. She picked up the receiver and listened.

“Yes, he knows,” she said. “Thank you.”

She considered me, wavering before her. She seemed to go in and out of focus, and that made me smile. Then came another hiccup, and another.

Tags: V.C. Andrews Broken Wings Horror
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