Jeffrey Giligan trudged over to his locker. What a genius scheme that had been. Never had he felt so violated and embarrassed. The school nurse had made him do all sorts of things, checking him in places he didn’t even know he had. Jeffrey hated obeying all the demands he had made, like he was some kind of slave useful only for his master’s entertainment. The one thing that had given him the strength to put up with it was the thought of getting out of this prison, but after the nurse was finally finished, the only reward he had gotten was the sentence of having to stay late after class! That was apparently the punishment for wasting the nurse’s time. It was obvious, of course, that Jeffrey wasn’t really sick but had only been acting. Rubbing his nose furiously for several minutes and pouring near-scalding water from the bathroom sink onto his face hadn’t been enough to pull the wool over the nurse’s eyes. He sighed in frustration and scratched his nose.

Bradley, the moron whose idea it had been, popped up beside him like a nearsighted bunny out of its den. “How did it go? Did the plan work?”

Jeffrey grabbed him by his collar and shoved him behind the open door of his locker. “How do you think it went? Does it look like I got out of school?”

Bradley blinked. “Oh…what was the problem? Were you not convincing enough?”

Jeffrey coughed. “The pwoblem is that you’we an idiot! The nuwse checked me out and could tell I wasn’t weally sick! Now, because of you, I have to stay late aftew class!”

Bradley’s eyes fell. “Oh, I didn’t think about that. If only you could get sick for real, then they would have to let you leave.”

Jeffrey suddenly sneezed. “Well, I don’t think I can just get sick at wi – at will – AATHCHWOOO!” He sneezed again, and this time a giant sticky blob landed right on Bradley’s shirt. The chubby boy touched Jeffrey’s forehead, and Jeffrey pulled his hand away savagely. “What do you tink you’we doigg?!”

Bradley’s eyes shone with admiration. “You did it, didn’t you? You really did get sick!”

Jeffrey felt his own forehead. He suddenly felt horrible, but seeing the look in Bradley’s eyes, he passed it off as being his plan the whole time. “Like I said, you’we plad was tewwible. Dat’s why my weal plad was just to get iddo that woom full of sick kids fow a while. I dew I would catch someting ebentually!”


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