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Short Fiction by Jonathan Mitchell

"Ooooohhh gross," said the spandex-clad, earring-in-pierced- bellybutton, partially-dyed-pink-haired 16-year-old girl. "Whoooaaa bitchen," said the uneven-hair-lengthed, tank-topped, baseball-cap-on-backwards, earring-in-pierced-left-ear, sandle- clad 15-year-old boy.

They, and a schoolfull of other teenagers from Century High School had crowded around the dead body of Graham Gerlach, the mildly mentally retarded (full scale Wechsler IQ score of 74) teenager who had either just committed suicide or had tripped and fell while feigning suicide for the sake of attention.

His skull was cracked, oozing with a subdural hematoma and trauma-induced subarachnoid hemorrhage. What had once been the meninges of his brain was now mush on the concrete in sort of a blot. Also, blood was oozing out of his skull in one blot, two blots, several little blots all around and in one big blot. Some of the teenagers smiled. Others were starting to cry.

It was September but the sense of summer filled the air. If not summer, maybe a sense of spring, for with all these teenage chicks around, it felt like spring to Graham Gerlach. After all, there were more girls around than he could count. Thin ones, fat ones, some with zits, some homely, some pretty. One in particular stood out in his first period American History course. Graham did not know it at the time but her name was Monique Fitzgerald.

Graham was being mainstreamed at Century High School. Much to his chagrin, he had gone to special education, or 'exceptional schools' as they were euphemistically called, but now he had been mainstreamed which meant he was finally going to be treated like a human being.

The School for the Educationally and Developmentally Handicapped, Graham's former exceptional school, had been a boys only school. Except for the teachers, none younger than 35, Graham had had no exposure to females during the school day. Shunned, if not ridiculed by peers, Graham had had no friends and no opportunity to interact with girls his own age.

Principal Arbuckle was coming up the walk, near the X building, the tallest building at Century High where Graham Gerlach had either managed to jump off of or slip off of. On his left, two paramedics and a uniformed cop. On his right, plain clothes police detective Sgt. Derek Sargent of the Sexually Exploited Juvenile Crimes Division. The good Sergeant maintained his visage, a no-nonsense Joe Friday facial expression. Principal Arbuckle was visibly upset.

"Look at all of the problems I have to contend with as a high school principal. Now we have a new fad, this mainstreaming and full inclusion nonsense. It always ends up like this, one headache after another, and I am the one left holding the bag who has to explain all of this to parents, the superintendent of schools, and the Board of Education," carped principal Arbuckle.

He was looking at the detective, who listened attentively without commenting, and still maintaining his Joe Friday visage.

Principal Arbuckle continued. "The parents of these kids want them to be just like everyone else's. They go out and see Forrest Gump or read Jerzy Kosinski's Being There and they think somehow that life will miraculously imitate art and their developmentally disabled offspring will triumph against all odds, in spite of all the problems it causes for everyone, especially an underpaid overworked high school principal."

Sgt. Derek Sargent finally replied. "Sexual harassment is against the law. It does not matter whether the harassee is male or female. It does not matter if it is between adults in the workplace or juveniles in the schoolyard. Also, a death has occurred so this bitch may be facing involuntary manslaughter charges. Such a shame she is under 18 and can only be tried in the juvenile justice system."

On Graham's first day of school, because of all the girls surrounding him, he felt like a one eyed dog loose in a slaughter house. The bell rang, signalling the start of Graham Gerlach's first period American History class. He knew he had to succeed in public school in spite of his being slightly retarded. His parents and his teachers at SEDH, and the school administrator, who screened him to see if he was fit for mainstreaming, had all warned him that if this did not work out he would be sent back to special education. He had been pubescent for a few years with virtually no exposure to adolescent girls. Most of his brain was retarded but certain portions of his hypothalamus were not aberrant. Certainly he was not hormonally aberrant.

What is that geek looking at? wondered Monique Fitzgerald, Century High's loveliest femme fatale, to herself. This person was all wrong. His weird stare, the very little bits of impediment-ridden speech she had heard, his whole demeanor, it was all wrong. He was some sort of retard and he was looking right at her. It was tiring having all these guys, teens, teachers, everyone else ogling her, but this guy did it for so long and in such a weird fashion and was obviously such a god damned retard. She just couldn't stand it.

Principal Arbuckle, the uniformed cops, the firemen paramedics, and plain clothes detective dispersed the crowd. The principal informed the students that the detective would like to ask them some questions. The paramedic examined Graham and officially pronounced him dead.

Two male teenage boys, smoking cigarettes, walked together at the mall side by side, talking.

"So did you ask Fitzgerald out?"

"Yea, she blew me off, another blot."

"Yep another blot on yer record."

"Well I figured I would probably blot but it don't hurt to try. That's what ya got to expect. After all, she's the hottest Betty in the school."

Graham was still enjoying public school, being treated like a normal human being for the first time in his 17 years. He particularly enjoyed all the girls around him, but couldn't get that particularly cute one out of his mind. Lunchtime came quickly and Graham relaxed, brimming with satisfaction over eating lunch in a regular public school cafeteria with normal kids. His retardation being milder than most in the exceptional schools and everyone knowing how hard he tried, he was one of the few chosen to be mainstreamed at Century High.

Well, speak of the devil, Graham thought to himself as Monique Fitzgerald sashayed into the school cafeteria, wearing shorts and a rather tight blouse, advertising her well endowed breasts. Graham wondered if she might walk his way. Monique walked in his direction, right towards him. She came right up to him.

"Hi, my name is Monique, Monique Fitzgerald, what's your name?"

From the shock of Monique coming right up to him to talk to him, Graham was too nonplussed to answer at first.

"Grawam Gerrach," he replied.

"Is this seat taken?" asked Monique in the most sensuous voice she could muster and sat right down next to him. His first day of public school and the most gorgeous female he could imagine was sitting right next to him.

Monique immediately noticed that Graham's shirt was on backwards and inside out. Since Graham's brain did not work quite right, he often did not put on his clothes correctly.

"I like the way you've got your shirt on," chimed Monique. "It's really sexy that way," continued Monique licking her lips sensually. Graham started blushing a little bit, still too shy to say anything.

Because both students stood out from the crowd in their own unique way, they drew attention sitting together and a small crowd of students started accumulating around the cafeteria lunch table where Graham and Monique were sitting and conversing.

Monique then sat even closer to Graham. She then put her arm around him. The neurons in Graham's hypothalamus started firing very rapidly.

"Graham, I think I'm falling in love with you. Will you be my boyfriend?" asked Monique.

"Yea, whoa, ooohaoaha," went the teenage crowd, managing to egg Monique on.

"Wow, Monique Fitzgerald likes ya," said a boy who had been rejected by Monique previously.

"Ya rearry loff me?" asked Graham.

"Yes, my dear."

Monique continued. "Meet me after school and we'll go out to Jack In the Box for a burger."

Graham felt like his penis was going to pop out of his pants. He heard the bell ring and knew he had to get to his next class because lunch period was over.

The next school day Graham went to the Jack In the Box to meet Monique. He managed to scrounge up enough cash to buy them both a burger and a soft drink. Three o'clock passed and Monique still did not show up. She had told Graham she loved him. She had meant it. She would show. Graham waited some more, another three hours until six o'clock. Monique still did not show. Graham would have waited longer but he knew that he would have to walk back to his parents' house. They wanted him to be back by dinner.

"Wehh weeeh ya? Wehh weeh ya?" inquired Graham to Monique upon seeing her in the hall at school the next day.

Monique laughed hysterically.

"You really think I would go out with a slimy retard like you? ahahehahahdhahahahahaha." Monique started pointing to Graham and saying to her girlfriends, "He really thought I would go out with him."

They all started laughing hysterically.

Graham started crying. "I shoowww you, I shooow all you." He then proceeded to run out of the hall.

The first four periods of the school day passed quickly. Now it was lunchtime. Graham looked up at the X building, the tallest building at Century High. He noticed a bolted-down ladder on the side of the building. He started to climb it. A classmate noticed him climbing the ladder and pointed it out to some other students. As Graham reached the top of the ladder and was close to the roof of the X building a crowd of students began to congregate. Since it was lunch period and no classes were in session, all the students were there. The crowd watched as Graham tottered near the edge of the building.

"JUMP, JUMP," yelled a number of students in the crowd enthusiastically.

Graham looked down at the ground from the 15-foot-high building. It looked a bit frightening from all the way up.

"I gonna keeel meself, I gonna keel meself," yelled Graham. Graham did not want to die. He knew it had to end eventually. A teacher would see what he was doing and bring him down from the roof. He did not know what else to do though. He felt he had to do something to allay the pain Monique had inflicted upon him.

Graham then tottered a little too close to the edge of the X building. He slipped and fell head first, landing on his head, dying instantly.

A crowd had gathered by this time, consisting of the entire school, teachers and students, all of whom had seen Graham plummet to his untimely demise.

"Sheesh, all this over one lousy girl," said a student bystander out loud. Mr. Roberts, a math teacher, overheard the comment about a girl. Being a math teacher, Mr. Roberts was able to put two and two together and figure out the rest of the story or at least what had happened, except for the specific girl's name. He then relayed what he knew to principal Arbuckle who subsequently called the police and fire departments respectively.

Sgt. Sargent started interrogating a girl asking her if she knew the name of the teenage vixen who had sexually harassed the deceased Graham Gerlach. She denied knowing the name. He asked one kid then another and they all denied knowing who had inadvertently led Graham to his demise. He was not getting any quick answers. The cop decided that it was time to talk tough.

"Look, you kids. There are laws about accessory to manslaughter in this state. They apply to people who refuse to cooperate in an investigation and evade telling the truth to a peace officer. I'll charge each and every one of you if necessary, and they'll send you to juvie camp. They put kids in little cells there, bunch 'em up like sardines, and kids get the shit beat out of 'em in those places by the other inmates all the time. Think it might be wise for you to cooperate."

"It was Monique Fitzgerald who did it," blurted out Jane Winslow, a fairly plain girl who was jealous of all of the attention that Monique was always getting from all of the boys in the school. Some of the other students gave Jane a dirty look.

"I want to talk to Ms. Fitzgerald now," said Sgt. Sargent to the crowd of students, none of whom were attending their after- after-lunch classes in light of the lunchtime suicide.

Jennifer Simmons, Monique's sixth period English teacher, whose class Monique would be in now if it were not for the lunch period debacle spoke up, "I don't see her anywhere, Sgt."

"She's not here. She cut school before lunchtime today to see her boyfriend," said Katie Talbot, a girl who was friendly with Monique but intimidated enough by Sgt. Sargent to speak up.

"I want you to get me Monique's address," said detective Sargent to principal Arbuckle. "I'm gonna go to her house later and have a little talk with 'er." The detective then directed the paramedics to remove Graham's body and take it to the morgue so his parents could identify him.

A loud knock came at the door. "This is the police, we have a warrant for Monique Fitzgerald's arrest. Open up right now."

Monique opened the door. She smiled as she let her boyfriend, Bifford Rohrbach, into his own small apartment near the university he attended. It was cool dating an older 21-year- old guy with his own apartment. High school boys were so boring. She also loved the fact that he had trusted her enough to give her a key to the apartment, the apartment where he hung his coat on the chair, smoked his weed, drank his vodka straight, and crammed for his poli sci exams, and boinked Monique whenever opportunity allowed.

"Assume the position," said Biff.

Monique put her hands up against the wall in mock compliance. Biff started playfully frisking her.

"I am afraid we are going to have to require a strip search, ma'am."

Biff then started removing Monique's clothes and massaged her breasts and vagina. They went on the bed and started engaging in a variety of creative foreplay.

While she was engaging in foreplay with Biff, Monique thought about that disgusting retard whom she had sandbagged yesterday. It had been so hilarious. She knew he had been undressing her with those morose Huckleberry Hound eyes of his. She had to take action against him, put him in his place. The guy did not walk right, he did not talk right; he was a guy who did not even know how to dress right or put his shirt on straight.

Biff then penetrated Monique's vagina with his penis and all thoughts of Graham were put out of her mind. He was just a blot.

The End

Copyright 2004, Jonathan Mitchell - All Rights Reserved.