“Katie’s got the lurgy! Katie’s got the lurgy!” They chanted, taunting her as they rode home on the bus. Katie shuffled down in her seat trying hard to become invisible, to blend into the background but with her bright orange hair she knew it was impossible.
“Don’t sit next to her you might catch it! Urgh!” Spat out one of the girls.
“I bet she’s covered in spots, everywhere!” There was a collective laugh and Katie clenched her eyes shut.
“It’s because she’s dirty. She needs to be scrubbed clean!” Another sniggered. The three girls were a couple of years older than her and their collective presence intimidated the rest of the bus load of children.
Their taunts had become more scathing but Katie had done her utmost to avoid being anywhere near them, both in school time and on the ride home. Today she was a sitting duck. Her stomach ache ploy hadn’t worked today and Mrs Bush had kept her back a few minutes asking her if she was alright now, making her late for the bus home. She’d missed getting her coveted seat right at the front behind the driver, where she knew she’d be safe. Now for the rest of her twenty minute ride to her stop, she would be subjected to their name calling.
Katie’s eyes fixed on the familiar roads as she kept her face angled to look out of the window. She’d gotten hardened to the teasing. Carrot top, ginger didn’t bother her any more. In fact she was ever grateful of J.K. Rowling’s Weasley family and Ron for making red hair almost cool. But of late her torturers had shifted their focus off her hair colour and were now zeroing in on her freckles.
Just ignore them, she said to herself as she counted the seconds to her stop where her mother would be waiting for her.
There was sniggering and laughing and Katie thought that her indifference to them may have finally made them give up, until one of the girls sidled up to where she was sitting.
“You’re so ugly.” She pulled a face and her comrades laughed. “Your face needs to be white.” She jibbed but Katie turned away and gathered her bag hoping she’d just leave her alone. Her stop was the next one so Katie stood up to leave, relieved she had an excuse to get away, but before she could shuffle out of her seat the second girl grabbed her ponytail from behind her seat while the other two tried to paint over her face with white correcting fluid.
Katie struggled against them, lashing out with her hands as the toxic liquid burned against her skin, wherever it landed, flicking all over her face. During the struggle one of the other children alerted the attention of the driver just as he pulled up to Katie’s stop and he called out to them halting their assault. Katie instantly ran down the bus to the open door where she knew her mother would be waiting. Her eyes stung from the toxic liquid that had been splattered into her eyes and in her frightened hurry she pushed passed the concerned driver. Her vision marred by tears pooling in her eyes, the stinging increasing as she fumbled, and in her haste she tumbled down the steps of the bus falling onto the hard tarmac headfirst.
Break the Cycle is an anti-bullying anthology of 14 stories by 14 different authors. Each story features a different scenario.
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