Mar 30, 2020 9:48 AM
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The new crop of freshmen is mostly pretty ordinary. They're fresh out of middle school, playing with new identities, seeing how the batch from this neighborhood react to the batch fed in from the other side of town. They're bonding or forming petty enmities over music and fashion and flash-in-the-pan romances; they're developing opinions about their teachers and the quality of the cafeteria and how early they have to get up in the morning to catch the bus.

Here, sitting by herself writing in a prettily-bound notebook, is a twelve-year-old. Must have skipped a couple grades.
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Suzy is bored and Arthur isn't in the cafeteria yet, so she's looking at the freshlings. Most of them are bland. The writer might be interesting, though.

So she sits down across from her. "Hey, watcha writing?"
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"Just some personal notes." She shuts the notebook and puts her pen away. "Hello."

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"No weird stories? People with stories stuck in their heads are the best. Oh, I'm Suzy, shouldve said that first, probably."

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"I'm Isabella. I've been known to come up with stories, but I wasn't writing one just then."

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"Well, if you do it again, tell me some. Most people are boring, there's not enough stories to go around so they all share the same ones."

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Arthur wasn't that far behind Suzy, as it turns out. "Hey, Suze, trying to recruit minions already?"

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"Maybe! She was writing something in a fancy book, that makes her interesting."

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"Minions?" wonders Isabella archly.

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"Suzy gets 'cunning plans'. And then wants people to help her go through with them. For some reason, she thinks other people will be convinced more easily than me."

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"Just because you think they're silly..."

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"Oh no, you were right, selling honey from secret beehives on the roof totally would have worked if we stuck with it. Absolutely."

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"The roof wouldn't be a particularly good place to put beehives, in terms of logistics or in terms of things for the bees to eat. And you need a fair number of of beehives to get enough surplus honey to sell more than a handful of jars. You can do a little beekeeping in your backyard, if you only want a small quantity, but the equipment's expensive for a high-school budget and you wouldn't get very much return on the investment," says Isabella. "There are easier ways to make money."

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"Oh no, our dreams of anarchy honey are ruined. Such a shame, such a shame."

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"OK, so that one wouldn't have worked, but..."

No comeback occurs to her. Topic-change! "Have you kept bees yourself?"
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"I've met people who keep them."

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"Are they around here? I want to see it done in person sometime, at least."

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"No, nowhere near."

This is not a lie yet. If she has to say they're in Washington, that will be a lie.
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"Damn. Well, I'll get to it eventually."

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"Suzy ask you the boring questions yet? Classes, whatever?"

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"It didn't come up. I'm loaded up on AP courses, and regular Spanish and choir. I'm hoping to get into college no later than two years from now - maybe one, or as a January admit next school year, if I can pull that off."

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"Wow, you're blowing through school, aren't you? And you're pretty small for a freshman. There a story there?"

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"I'm twelve. As of last week. I skipped a couple of grades."

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"Well, guess I know the smartest person in the room whenever you're around. Big plans ahead of you?"

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"I'm thinking maybe medical school."

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"Seems good. My folks are doctors, actually."

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