Author: littlemisslibrarian PM
All Katrina Starr wants is to be a normal 13 year old girl. But that's hard to do when you have wings, antennae, and the ability to shoot stingers out of your fingers. The fact that her relentless arch-nemesis is trying to kill her mother doesn't help matters either. Whether she likes it or not, the people and animals of Philadelphia need her.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Family/Adventure - Chapters: 2 - Words: 3,130 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 10-06-12 - Published: 09-30-12 - id: 3062207
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"Katrina's coming with me! You know she loves animals!"
"No, she's coming with me! She needs to learn to think about people first!"
That was Mom and Dad, fighting over me again. Today was Bring Your Kid to Work Day. But they didn't need a special occasion to fight. I was 13 years old and so far I had heard my mom and dad say infinite times that they were gonna divorce. It never happens. But the tension crackles in the air like a storm. It's gotten so bad sometimes that I can barely eat. My mom says that she and Dad met in college, where they were both working towards a degree in biology. Mom didn't know why Dad was taking those classes until after their marriage. It was stupid, but that's their story. I found it wise to eat my breakfast in another room. Then Dad pulled out the lunchmeat, and I lost my appetite. I am a vegetarian. I just can't help thinking of slaughterhouses whenever I see a piece of meat.
Anyway, my mom, Dr. Jane Starr, wanted me to go with her to the Helping Paws Animal Clinic. I would have loved to go there, but my mom was fighting a losing battle. Dad finally won by saying that I went with Mom that one day in fall to write a report, and it was his turn to bring me to his work. Great, now I had to go to the animal testing lab. I glared angrily as Dad put on his name tag. The name "Dr. David Starr" shone in the fluorescent light.
I dragged myself into my dad's silver Mustang and slumped in the backseat. My dad was lecturing me again about the good the lab does for sick people.
"Katrina, don't be selfish. There are more animals than people, and they live shorter lives anyway. Would you rather test a potentially dangerous pill on a human? Animals don't care."
I heard it all before. I tried explaining my opinion to Dad at one point, but he wouldn't listen. It's not that I don't care for other people; it's the fact that they kill thousands of animals just to make one pill. That's not fair. I glowered at Dad with my icy blue eyes and played with my long red hair.
When we reached the lab, I dragged myself in and tryed to focus on nothing but the blue speckled tiles. It didn't work. I could still hear the animals and machinery around me. The air smelled like a hospital. My dad opened a door and we stepped into a windowless room with white walls and a big machine in one corner. In the middle of the room was a cold steel table, and on the table was the cutest kitty I've ever seen. He was light orange with dark orange tiger stripes all over his body. But he had an unsightly tumor on his head. Dad told me the tumor was cancerous. The cat was sitting on the table and staring at my dad like a tiger would stare at his prey. Dad told me that his experiment was a laser that was supposed to zap cancer with very little radiation. He sounded like a schoolboy presenting his science fair project to judges.
"But the subject must not move even a fraction of an inch or the laser will…well, we're not sure what it would do," he added on a more serious note.
Then he aimed the laser at the cat, who had started pacing up and down the table. He started the laser up and told me to get out of the way. The cat was still pacing. The laser was almost ready. The cat would soon be hit and die! Suddenly, I found myself flying through the air and landing on the table, shielding the kitty from the laser. This happened before I know what came over me.
Then everything really happened at once. A wasp stung me, the laser hit me and the cat, and both of us were sprawled out on the floor. I sat up and checked myself and the cat for any injuries. No injuries and the cat was cancer free! Dad ran out of the room like he had seen a ghost. What was wrong? I looked at my reflection in the table, and almost fainted! I had antennae and wings! So did the cat! I didn't want to be a specimen so I sneaked out of the door with the cat and we slinked down the hall, almost running into a lady with a stained lab coat and dark brown hair. She was too dazed to stop me, so I ran past her and out the door. I didn't want to attract any more attention so I tried out my new wings and prayed that they worked. They did! Soon the cat and I were airborne and homeward bound.
We flew over the church with the peeling white paint, and past the park where a little kid was attempting to walk a Saint Bernard. I cover my mouth to keep myself from laughing. The feeling of the wind in my hair was exhilarating. We flew over the dog shelter (the cat has a hissy fit there), and we finally reached the tree-house. I built it last summer in the old maple tree and furnished it with old furniture I bought from yard sales. I sat in a blue lawn chair and closed my eyes, trying to process what had just happened. I heard a car in the driveway. Mom was home! And she was coming this way to do the daily Tree-house Checkup! She thought I would try to hide illegal things in there. She was always suspicious of me, since I started skateboarding. She associated skateboarding with hoodlums and gangs. I covered the cat with blankets and flew out the back window and onto a branch. Whew, that was close! My heart was pounding so hard I was afraid Mom would hear it, but that didn't happen. I had to be really careful now. Mom's cell phone rang, and she answered it in the tree-house. I knew I wasn't supposed to eavesdrop, but I did anyway. Mom was talking to Dad.
"You're crazy! People don't just turn into bugs"
Dad was calling about me! I had to be really, really careful now.
"Go to a psycho ward!"
There was a pause.
"I swear, we should have ended it years ago! I don't want to listen to another one of your crazy laboratory stories!"
Another pause, then she angrily slammed the phone closed.
This couldn't be good. I flew down from the tree and hid under the porch, where I found the hat I lost last week. I checked it for bugs, and then I put it on to hide my antenna. Then I slipped inside through my bedroom window and folded my wings. Then I realized something: I had left in Dad's car, and I was supposed to return in Dad's car! Idiot, I scolded myself. I hid in my room until I could hear Dad's car, then I zipped out the window and clung to the pipes under the car, which was a scary experience because I was inches from the street. I hid that way until Dad was in the driveway, and then I slipped out and quietly walked up the porch steps and opened the door.
"Hi mom, I'm home!" I sang.
"He's coming; I wanted to get out of the car as quickly as possible."
"I can understand that," she said, anger making her voice sharp.
"I see you found your yellow sunhat," she said in a softer voice.
"Yep. It was under the backseat."
I walked up to my room and lay on my bed, trying to make sense of the day.
"Outta my way!"
A red-haired girl with braids and freckles dropped her book and I stepped on her hand when she reached for it. Those blue eyes looked just like that unethical Dr. Jane Starr. The frizz of her hair brought me back to a week ago when I found out Riley, my poodle, had a cancerous tumor in her stomach. Dr. Starr put her down after examining her, saying that there was nothing she could do. Lies! She managed to cure my friend's Rottweiler when he had the same problem.
I shoved my way past the sardine-can-like crowd. The seniors told me that this was the only way to get through the crowd, especially for "puny freshmen" like me. Anyway, I had to dissect a frog today, which I was looking forward to. This class would be the best thing that has ever happened to me since Riley was killed.
I finally reached the science lab and walked through the door. Girls were staring at me so I ran my hand through my spiky, blonde hair and acted casual. They blushed. I reached my desk at the back of the room and took my seat. There was a dead frog in front of me. I couldn't wait to start so I grabbed the scalpel and cut the frog before the teacher could stop me. Unfortunately, I also cut my finger in the process. I let out a scream of pain and put my finger in my mouth without thinking. I felt dizzy and…fainted. In my defense, I thought I had cut a major artery. When I woke up all the kids in my class were staring at me and laughing! I looked down at my hands, and almost fainted again! They were green and slimy, just like a frog's! I got up and grabbed my lab partner, who was studying me behind glasses thick enough to be goggles, by the shoulders, and then I shook him.
"You should have stopped me," I screamed. I had to find someone to blame. I shouldn't have been that stupid. Unfortunately, when I tried to let him go, my sticky fingers stuck to his plaid shirt. The boy screamed like a little girl and yanked my hands off his shirt. Something was really wrong with me!
I ran out of the classroom, ignoring the science teacher waving a detention slip threateningly at me. Then I raced down the hall. I passed George the janitor, who was too busy mopping the white tiles on the floor of the bathroom to notice me. Ms. Roth's hamsters peered at me with their beady eyes from the Spanish classroom. Then I barged through the main doors of the Jane Goodall High School, which had a stained glass picture of chimps grooming each other. I sat in a nearby puddle until I heard the dismissal bell. I stuck myself to the back of the bus and rode home, gagging when a fly went into my mouth. I thought frogs were supposed to like flies! Well I'm not a frog; I'm a human. When I got home I ran upstairs before Mom could see me. I was lying on my bed when Mom called me down to answer the phone. I looked down at my hands again. Good, the transformation was temporary. I walked down the spiral stairs and took the phone.
"Hello," I said cautiously.
"Johnathan Roger! Why did you run out the school building yesterday?" It was my science teacher, Mr. Yancey.
"I guess I was sleepwalking."
"Very funny, mister," Mr. Yancey said. "Detention for a month and you get a conduct referral!"
"Oh man," I muttered.
"I thought so! Your detention starts tomorrow. Just tell your friends on the football team you won't make it to the championship."
Then he hung up.
That was not fair. The championships! Of all games! And detention is the most humiliating punishment anyone can get. I kicked the bed in anger, which only made me feel worse because I stubbed my toe. I should have seen that coming! So I settled for pounding the lights out of my punching bag. My tongue felt weird, so I stopped. I breathed heavily, and my tongue flopped out and dangled inches from the floor. It looked exactly like a frog's tongue. My eyes grew so wide I thought they would pop out of my head. I screamed and my mom came rushing in. She saw my tongue and we both started screaming.
4 | Wasp Girl