Quirks Among the Orderly
by Nickety

Chapter One (Revised): Quirky Meets Blinky

Today's To-Do List

1. Destroy in Ms. Olleve's math exam.
2. Mock all survivors.
3. Mock all survivors after they acknowledge my existence.
4. Buy food for Prince. Hambil's. Hamsterchow = indigestion.
5. Kill brother for sending dog after Prince.
6. Kill dog for not defying brother's orders.
7. Do not get caught.

Having read the above, you're probably thinking, "Psycho. Delusional. Does not like puppies. Run." But it's nothing, really. Though before you proceed any further, you should know that I'm a little quirky.

Okay, a lot quirky.

And a little extreme on the emotional spectrum. Okay, a lot extreme. And I like to make to-do lists occasionally. Okay, everyday. And I talk to myself. Not in public, though. I'm not that crazy. Okay, not that I couldn't. No one knows I exist. And sometimes I want to rule the world. Okay, maybe not sometimes. And -

How about I just start over? Sounds good to me. Alright, then.

Hi. I'm Natti Gregor. I'm a freakgeekhybrid extraordinaire.

I don't know when I realized this. Maybe it was in third grade when I was told that I could never see my friend (and who, I later would realize, turned out to be my only "friend" for the next four years) Patrick Dellucks again. If you'd like the Cliffnotes version of Mrs. Delluck's little breakout ...

Patrick's Mother: Don't come near him again.
Me: Fine.
Patrick's Mother: (to Patrick) She's about to bite. Back away now. Slowly ...
Patrick's Mother: (grabs his hand and runs)
Me:: Insignificant cretins.

So I dragged him along with me to the cemetery one night for a sleepover. Big deal. How are you supposed to rule the world if you can't talk to the dead once in a while?

Mrs. Dellucks was a big talker. From then on, I was known as the Pink Freakster among parents - some kind of lame rendition of "Pink Panther" - and no one at school wanted to be my fwend. In fact, the entire community (besides my family, unfortunately) downright ignored me.

I don't mind. I'm a geek. I'm a freak. I have pink hair. Go, me!

Pink hair? Oh, yes. I have boy-cut hair that's bright pink. Contradict much?

I just do weird things sometimes. I'm - misunderstood. I do have good qualities, you know. Okay, maybe just one. I'm smart. I got brains to boot and a goal to trample all those around me and rise to the top as valedictorian. In fact, mention the name "Natti Gregor" at Pierton High School and they'll immediately say, "The smart girl." They're just not very big on the whole matching-name-to-face thing.

So that's what I am. A poorly conceived child who was born too brainy for her own good. It's not my fault people shun me.

Me: (frying ants on sidewalk with magnifying glass)
Me: (to ants) I control your fate. Bow before me.
Guy # 1: It's da pink-haired chick.
Guy # 2: Dude, whashee doin'.
Guy # 3: 'Ey, lettus see whachu doin'.
Me: Touch and I keel you.
Guy # 3: You do what to me now?
Me: (focuses magnifying glass on Guy # 3's forehead)
Guy # 3's Forehead: Sizzle. I burn.
Guy # 3: (screech) Mah head! Mah head!
Guy # 2: Dude, man.
Guy # 1: Yah, man, yousa freak.
Me: All in a day's work.
Me: (walks away and mutters to self) Insignificant cret -
Me: (collides with tree)

See? Not my fault.

... okay, maybe a little.

It was a Friday morning in Pierton High School, and a fine November morning to be in third period Math indeed. I was sitting in my usual spot (middle, center), twiddling my fingers and whistling to the tune of "I Know A Song That Gets On Everybody's Nerves". I'm quite the daydreamer. At the moment, I was contemplating the patterns I could make on the ceiling.

Then I noticed that Ms. Olleve, my math teacher, looked a lot bigger than usual. Did I miss something? No ... wait. There were two people up there today. I snapped back into focus just in time to hear her say:

"... we have a new student, Zachary Leaver."

Oh, new student. I studied the victim.

He wasn't much. Some guy with black, spiked hair and baggy clothing. Another stupid rocker.

I noticed a lot of girls' eyebrows raising. I rolled my eyes. He definitely wasn't the normal type they got all goo-goo over, but - I shrugged to myself. Let them fawn over him. I have more important things to attend to. Heh.

"... tell us a little bit about yourself, Zachary."

He didn't say anything for a second. Then, sighing heavily, he muttered, "I'm from Wisconsin ..."

Blink. Shrug.

Ms. Olleve ushered him on. "Go and find a seat, then."

I could almost feel every girl in the room inhale sharply. Pick me! they seemed to squeal. Sit next to me ! Ignoring their silent pleas, he flicked his gaze to me for a second, and then my pink hair.

He walked past to Omar Admed, who sat behind me.

"Can I sit here?" he asked him quietly.

I snapped around in my chair. Oh, no you can't. Omar was one of the few people who talked to me. Cutting my hand across my throat violently, I mouthed, "Omar. No. NO." But Omar just shrugged and left, clearing the seat.


Okay, fine. Plan B. I glared at the new guy. Glare. Go away, and take your little dog, too. Glare. But he sat down anyways.

I slumped in my chair. No one ever listens to me.

"Now that everyone's settled," Ms. Olleve said, retrieving a stack of papers from a drawer in her desk, "I think it's time for the" - everyone groaned - "math portion of the school-wide standards exam. Clear your desks, and when I give you the exam, please keep it face down ... "

I straightened up right away.

It was my favorite week of the year - Exam Week. This was where we took a test for every subject on each day of the week. It was my time to dominate. I haven't been beaten on any exam for nine years. I didn't intend to be beaten this time, either.

Ms. Olleve came over with a pile of papers. I took an exam and kept it face down as she instructed, my fingertips twitching uncontrollably. The equations and variables were calling out to me. Natti ... Naaaatti ... I rubbed my hands together ... and as I did ...

Fwoom! A gust of wind ripped through the room. The lights flickered violently -

- and went out.

Complete dark. Soft whimpers. Me, bent over my desk. Then - a ring of fire erupted out of the blackness, encircling my dominion and putting my prone figure into sharp relief. Screams all around me. Terror contorting their mangled faces. They watched the fire burn wildly, licking at the legs of my desk. My back began to straighten. My limbs returning to life. Basking in sparks and flickering light, I rose from the flames.

"Come forth, my minions. Muwahaha ... !"

... ahaha. Just kidding.

Actually, I was poking my eyebrow with the eraser end of my lead pencil and staring at the blackboard. It wasn't very clean, and could use a good Windex scrubbing. Vaguely, I heard Ms. Olleve talking to the new kid behind me.

"You just caught us on our big exam week," she was explaining. "If you'd like to sit out - "


"Are you sure? Did your old teacher already cover - "

"Whatever, I'll take it."

Ah, but even a dirty blackboard couldn't destroy this fine Friday morning. Exams. I love exams. And math.

Math is like blood. You need blood. If you don't have blood, you die. Or, math is like oxygen. You need oxygen. If you don't have oxygen, you suffocate, writhe a bit, and then die. Or, math is like -

Bzzt. Bzzt. Tap-tap.

- water. You need water. If you don't have water, you go thirsty, your insides shrivel up, you go insane, and then you die. Every scenario ends with the same ultimate fate. No one wants to die, except for those who do. Which is why -

Tap-tap. Bzzt. Bzzt.

- you need math. What other things are like math? I began to scratch the side of my neck as I thought about it. It's a terrible habit and makes me look like I have ticks.

Speaking of insects ...

Bzzzzzzt. Bzzt-bzzt. Tap-tap. Bzzzzt.

Something kept buzzing in my ear. I think someone was trying to talk to me. Which is weird, because Ms. Olleve was at the back of the room now and no one talks to me if they can help it. I also started to think that someone had been tapping me on the shoulder for quite a while now. It was getting rather annoying.

I rolled my eyes to the skies, turned around, and hissed, "What?"

I blinked.

The new dude - Zachary? Whatever, he's Blinky to me - was blinking at me, and doing it very creepily, too. It was a slow, calculating blink - not in a stoned sort of way so much as the kind that reminds you of face-offs in old Westerns.

I waited a little, and once I got tired of blinking back at him, I repeated, "What?"

"I need a pencil."

I gritted my teeth. Underachiever. I opened my backpack and took out my pencil box. It's a very nice pencil box. I arranged the compartments by pencil softness - very convenient. He didn't deserve a 2B, so I extracted a 3H and slammed it on his desk.

"I want that back."

Blink. "Fine."

"And stop blinking at me. It's annoying."


"I said, stop."

Blink. "Whatever."

Stupid Blinky. I nearly launched at the guy to strangle him for defying a direct order, but unfortunately for me and luckily for him, Ms. Olleve said at that moment, "The exam will end in forty-five minutes. You may begin ... now."

I glared at him. They were all on his side. I turned back to my paper and started on the first problem.

Note from the author: I do not own Cliffnotes, the Pink Panther, "I Know A Song That Gets On Everybody's Nerves", or Windex.

Revised! If you liked the old version, I'm sorry, but too bad. Heh. I'm mean. So mean that I didn't update for months and months. But you don't want to here me complain about why, so I will tell you this: I'm hoping that the new chapters will be as funny as the previous ones, but probably not . I changed my style a little bit. It's a little darker, not more dramatic, but not every line is going to be humorous.