Outside My Box Blog Hop at Tessa's Blurb
(You have until Dec 5 to join!)
Link to Part One
Link to Part Two
An Icky Valentine's Day
Danny was hauled off to the principal's office, and ten minutes later they came for Icky. She stepped into the principal’s office just as he finished saying, “…one more infraction of the rules and there will be serious consequences, Mr. Eldridge.” He looked up and saw Icky walking in. “Good afternoon, Miss Karp. Mr. Eldridge has something he’d like to say to you.”
Danny looked up from his hands, his face was flushed, and mumbled, “I’m sorry that I flattened you on the equipment and invaded your personal space.”
“Ahem,” the principal prodded.
“It won’t happen again,” Danny added.
Icky nodded her indifferent acceptance of the apology.
“Very nice,” the principal commented. “Now, Miss Karp, Mr. Eldridge tells me an interesting story about water-solvable—I assume he means soluble—poisons. Why is it that he would suspect that you poisoned his juice box?”
“I suppose because I was telling him about thallium sulphate earlier and then at lunch I discovered that someone had switched his juice bag. I suppose he thought that I was the one who did it.”
“Miss Karp, did you switch his juice bag?” the principal asked.
“Yes,” Icky answered.
The principal’s eyebrows went up in surprise at this admission. “Did…did you poison his juice?” he seemed compelled to ask.
“I’m just a child, sir. How would I get a hold of thallium sulphate?”
“I’m sure that I don’t know how you’ve ever even heard of thallium sulphate, but please answer the question.”
“I did not poison his juice, sir.”
The principal smiled and nearly let out a laugh. That was surely a statement he’d never expected to hear in his elementary school office. As he was rising from his chair to dismiss her, Icky spoke again.
“If I were going to poison someone, I’d be more likely to use ricin.”
The principal dropped back into his chair and gaped at her.
“Also a slow-acting poison,” Icky explained. “It’d be several hours before the victim showed any signs—trouble breathing, dehydration. It’s from the beans of a castor plant, a common ornamental in the
A glint of concern crept into the principal’s features.
“Oh, don’t worry. It tastes really bad, so it would have to be sprinkled on in very small amounts to be undetectable. Someone would have to eat approximately ten packs of Smarties all at once for it to be lethal.” Icky heard Danny shift suddenly in his chair next to her. Before he said anything, she added, “Stealing is a serious infraction of the rules, isn’t it, sir?”
“I...uh...ehrm, yes, yes it is, Miss Karp,” the principal said, seemingly confused at the unconnected statements. Not another sound came from Danny’s direction.
Icky stayed silent and stared at the principal in her dubious fashion. He sighed and gave his head a quick shake, as if that would help things make sense. Then he laid both of his hands on the desk and leaned forward. It was the position he took when he meant business.
“I’m going to send you back to class now, Miss Karp. As his punishment, Mr. Eldridge will be staying with me for the duration of the party. Now, there is to be no more talk of poison in this school—is that understood?”
“That will require a revision to the fifth grade science curriculum. Would you like me to inform the teachers?” Icky responded.
“I’ll speak with the teachers,” the principal assured her.
“You may also want to talk with the custodians,” Icky suggested. “I suspect they’ve got all manner of potentially lethal chemicals in their closet.”
“I’ll take care of it, Miss Karp,” the principal said, his smile tightening as he grinded his back teeth. “Now run along to that party.”
Icky ran along and the party passed without incident. She consumed four glasses of punch and seven cupcakes, but thought it best to avoid the Valentines candies brought in by the other students. You never knew what kinds of plants might have grown in their parents’ gardens. Before all the sugar and flour had begun to digest, the school bell rang and the children were dismissed for the day.
Alone in her seat on the bus, Icky looked out the window. She’d not seen Danny again after the meeting in the principal’s office. He had perhaps complained of a stomach ache by now and his mother had picked him up from school.
When he got home, he’d have trouble catching his breath and would feel very thirsty. He’d tell his parents that he was becoming dehydrated and would make all kinds of accusations concerning Icky, but they’d likely heard him say so many outrageous things about the strange girl over the years that they wouldn’t pay him much mind. They’d probably make him go to bed early, tired of listening to his gibberish and thinking that he might be coming down with the flu or something.
Danny would lay in bed very frightened. He might even cry himself to sleep. And then…
He’d wake up the next morning and realize that he was still alive, and that he didn’t feel any worse, and that Icky hadn’t poisoned him, after all. After that, one of three things would happen: he’d either be so happy to be alive that he’d repent for all his wrongdoings and become a nicer person, or he’d shrug it off and forget the whole thing instantly, or—and this was the most likely—he’d return to school and retaliate.
It didn’t make much difference to Icky what Danny did. In her unconventional mind, she’d avenged her Poindexter, and that was all that mattered. Yes, justice had been wrought at St. Ingnatius Elementary on this fine Valentine’s Day, and Isadora Cuthbert Karp was a hero to heroes, an intellectual mastermind, and in the end, a true humanitarian.
But she was still weird.