New PDF release: A Terrible Beauty

By D. W. St. John

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As O’Connel came through the door, Celia handed him a message. “Mrs. Sandoval just called again. ” Solange caught her eye as she passed through the swinging door at the counter. Celia knew why she was here and didn’t like it. Why should she be different? Recoiling from the frosty stare, Solange followed O’Connel inside, curious what to expect. The vice principal’s office was a small, windowless room not much bigger than a janitor’s storeroom. A small desk and two chairs filled it. An old paddle, drilled with holes, hung on the wall, thick with dust.

He can’t punch me now, I’ve got him tied up. ” He showed them, yelling with each kick. “I’m still hanging on so he can’t punch. ” He lowered Moses gently to the mat by his sweatshirt. “Remember, kick his left knee and you’ll be under him when he goes down. In real life put him down hard and fast. Here I want you to lay your partner down easy; don’t drop him. ” He stood. ” A hand went up. “Why do we have to kick him in the shins? That’s like what a little kid would do,” Frank said. ” “Hoo, yeah, sure have.

Frank was first. All went well until the take-down, when he hesitated, scratching his head, ears crimson against white hair. ” On the second try he got it, and O’Connel went down slapping the mat. The circle cheered, and Frank swaggered back to the circle, skinny arms held wide. “Ah, I guess I made you eat some mat all right, huh, Mr. ” O’Connel got up stiffly. ” From her place in the shadows Solange smiled. She liked Frank. One by one they took turns. Chelsea was last. When it came to kick she faltered.

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A Terrible Beauty by D. W. St. John

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