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Excerpt from Scott and the Naughty Boy Factory - a complete chapter book.Scott knew what he had to do. His instincts screamed at him to run away as fast as he could, but he couldn’t leave the others behind and he was too afraid of the robots. Instead, he turned toward the boys closest to him and said, “Guys, this just doesn’t feel right. If we go in there, we’ll never be the same again. I am not giving up my fun. I don’t care how bad we are, no boy deserves that. We can’t just stand here like zombies. We have to do something!”
His hands fisted at his sides, he faced Mr. Little. “Excuse me, Mister Little.” Everyone turned to look at him. He stood a little straighter and coughed to hide his nervousness. “I don’t get it. I know I’m not a very good listener, because everybody’s always telling me to open my listening ears. And I know I’m not a good cleaner, because I’m really good at making messes, but I hate to clean them up all by myself. My manners are okay, but I do like to stick my tongue out at bratty girls, and my mom says I talk too loud.
“Fixing that stuff made a little bit of sense to me. I guess.” He looked at Dusty and took a nervous breath. “But fixing us so we can’t wrestle or chase each other or play ninja...that doesn’t make sense. That’s just fun stuff. My grandma says that’s what boys are born to do.”
The other boys enthusiastically agreed with him. Some gave him a thumbs-up and others just smiled and nodded their encouragement.
“Can’t we have any fun? Scott put his hands on his hips, determined to have an answer. “Does being good all the time mean we can’t sword-fight with sticks or throw snowballs or smash bugs or thump on each other…ever?” He took a step closer to Mr. Little and added, “Grown-ups were little once, too. You’re a grown-up. Didn’t you ever play like that when you were our age?”
Mr. Little rubbed his fuzzy hair and gazed at them. “Yes, of course. I wasn’t always a grown-up you know.”
***I skipped a small section here to stay close to the word count ***
“Enough of this nonsense, gentlemen. No one has ever left The Naughty Boy Factory without the full treatment. Ever. No exceptions.”
Scott heard a collective sigh as every single boy let out the breath he’d been holding.
Mr. Little gestured toward the door in the heel. “Everyone, please follow me inside.”
Scott stood his ground and met Mr. Little’s eyes. “No.”
“What…?” Mr. Little spluttered. “What did you say?”
“I said no. I’m not going in there. If I let you do your top-secret stuff, I’ll lose all the best things about being a boy.”
Scott heard a collective gasp as the other boys reacted to his boldness. “I understand why we were sent to this place, but hands and feet aren’t the same as manners and listening and eating yucky, green foods that make us gag. Hands and feet are all about playing and having fun. What you’re doing is wrong, and I think you know it.”
“You tell him, Scott! We’re with you all the way.” Dusty clapped him on the back for support.
“We’re still just kids, Mr. Little. Nobody is perfect - not even grown-ups. My mom complains all the time because my dad leaves his shoes in the middle of the floor and never closes the cupboard doors. And my dad is always mad because Mom has piles of clutter everywhere and never cleans the refrigerator. Who’s going to fix them?” he asked. Without waiting for Mr. Little to answer, he finished, “Nobody! That’s who.”
Mr. Little blinked.
Thanks for reading. Now, go check out more blogfest posts! Thanks D.L., for hosting the fun. Those muffins were delicious!