Adventures In Boarding School

Author Tabitha Grey & Cordelia James

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A.N.(Tabitha Grey): Me and my good friend Cordelia James are working on revising one of her stories that I absolutely love! It was originally entitled Tales From the Boarding School. Now it's been revisited by Cordi and myself, and we're working on improving it. I hope you guys like it!

It's all fixed now.

A.N.(Cordelia James): Hey, I haven't really been active here at Fp.net since I moved to go to school. I'm so glad that Tabitha liked my story enough to email me and ask if we could fix it up and re-post it. I hope you enjoy it. We really enjoyed writing it - and I enjoyed living through some of these memories from my Jr. High days. BTW if we have any Doug fans, we don't own STUART. We get no money. Thank you!

I hope you like it!

Happy Reading!

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Chapter 1: STUART

I woke up one morning to the sound of a gurgling that I was not unfamiliar with.

Roommates with sinus problems... UGH!

"BRIDGET!!" I groaned and threw a pillow in the direction the snoring was coming from. The pillow made a thud and the snoring stopped for a second, and then resumed.

I rolled my eyes as I glanced at the clock. 4:30 - great. Unable to go back to sleep, I rolled out of bed and put my slippers on. The hard wood floor was painfully cold at this time of the morning, especially in January, and most especially in mountainous regions of England in January.

I grabbed my towel and my robe and other bathroom accessories, and started my trek around the room to the door.

I crawled around the four other beds and their sleeping inhabitants that occupied the room. It was incredibly cramped quarters in this room. These old Queen Anne Victorians were NOT meant to be boarding houses.

I slipped out of the room and into the hallway. It was still pitch black through out the house. Apparently no one else liked to get up at 4:30 in the morning. I couldn't imagine why...

I walked to the end of the corridor to the door to the bathroom. As long as I was up, I might as well have a shower right? And a warm one at that.

I had my hand on the door knob and was about to turn it when I felt a hand on my shoulder. I stiffened and turned around quickly, and screamed.

"Cordelia! It's just me," said the sweet voice of Miss Anne, the Matron of the house.

I sighed. "You scared me to death!"

"Sorry, dear. I hope you didn't wake everyone up..." She said as she looked around at the still closed doors to the other boarders rooms.

"They could sleep though an earthquake," I whispered.

"That's likely," Miss Anne smiled. "Well, I'm sorry I startled you, but what are you doing up at this hour?"

"Bridget was snoring... I couldn't sleep," I said, shrugging.

"Oh," she said smiling. "Well, go ahead and take a shower, dear. You'll have the only hot water shower this morning."

"Will do, Miss Anne," I said, as she turned around to go downstairs and start her morning routine, which consisted of cleaning and making breakfast for 15 girls.

Miss Anne was the sweetest old lady that I've ever met. She was like the grandma you always see in those old shows - you know, the one who makes you cookies and is just as sweet as can be? She took very good care of us girls in Poplar House, named after the tree in the front yard. She was very kind but very strict in some areas. She was a stickler for time. If she said dinner was at 5 you better be there at 5. There was also her house rules about having visitors... If you had a boyfriend, or a friend that was of the opposite sex - he may come to the house to visit, however, it had to be between the time you came home from classes and the time you had to be at the table for dinner. They could not, however visit after dinner, that time was dedicated solely to homework. Other than her rules, she was a wonderful lady with a kind heart. She was like our mother away from home.

I opened the door to the bathroom and turned on the light, nearly blinding myself. I grimaced as I shut the door, and placed my towel and toiletries on the counter. It was too bright for this time of the morning.

I went to the shower stall and turned the knob to hot, and pulled it out, waiting for the water to come flowing through it.

It never came.

I pushed the knob in and pulled it out again. This time it made a gurgling, groaning sound, and still no water emitted from the spout.

Frozen. The pipes were frozen... Great.

I went back to my room and glanced at the clock. The green, glowing lights told me that it was only 4:36. All of my morning frustrations only took six minutes. I placed all of my things down on the floor by my bed and I laid down for what felt like eternity until six when everyone's alarms went off.

"There's no hot water," I said, as I watched them reach for their things to get ready to line up outside of the bathroom.

"What?" Rachel shrieked, with a look of horror. "I haven't washed my hair in two days!"

"That's just gross, Ray,"Emma said, laughing and getting dressed our school uniform. "Just don't go telling anyone that you did that, okay? I'm not sure that Ted would be all too impressed with that..." she said slyly looking out of the corner of her almond shaped eyes to see Rachel's reaction.

"UGH! You swear like I like him!" Rachel scoffed, her Californian lingo showing her roots.

"Honestly I didn't think you could use 'like' so many - like - times in one - like - sentence," Bridget said, her crisp English accent making it sound ridiculous.

"Shut up, Bree, you Brit!" Ray laughed. "I cant help it!"

"Yeah, we know. You've been here for four years and you still talk like that. There is no helping you," I said, laughing. I too began putting on my school uniform. It consisted of a plaid, pleated skirt, a white blouse, a sweater vest, and a blazer, as well as a tie, and knee highs. A longer coat was also an option along with gloves and scarves if it proved necessary because of the weather.

I walked over to the window and drew the curtains. The sky was thick and grey with clouds. It would more than likely prove necessary to use our coats and scarves by the end of the day.

"Well, at least P.E. will be cut today," Emma said, looking out the window next to me.

"No P.E.?!" Rachel shrieked the second time this morning.

"No, no P.E. I'm sorry, you don't get to see Ted in those horrendously tight shorts and shirt," Emma said, rolling her eyes. "I don't know why he just doesn't get a new pair of clothes. He's had those since first year!"

"He looks good in them!" Ray defended him.

We all rolled our eyes and said nothing. Ted was a good-looking fella. He was. However he had an ego the size of North America. Utterly obsessed with himself, he was NOT the kind of guy you'd go out with - but he was the kind of guy you'd like to have in those pictures from school dances...

Ted was a member of a group of guys in our class that we called STUART - Society To Undermined, Annoy, and Ruthlessly Torment. Six young men who had nothing better to do than wreak havoc on the entire faculty of Kings Academy. It wasn't as though they were just stupid kids who really didn't care about school work. They were smart - nearly all of them had 4.0 GPAs. They just liked their pranks.

Boys and their toys...

It wasn't until I was completely dressed and ready to head downstairs for breakfast that I realized that Amber was still asleep in her bed.

"Shit," Bridget said, dropping her backpack and walking over to the bed with the sleeping form in it.

Amber was a notoriously sound sleeper. It was more than a little hard to get her up. We had developed one strategy that has worked flawlessly since its birth, however. Bridget opened the window above Amber's bed and reached out onto the rooftop. She picked up a rock with a bit of morning due on it.

"Oh, my God - it's FREEZING!" she said. "My hand's going to go numb!"

She took the stone and placed it on Amber's cheek.

"AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!"

"Okay, she's up," Emma said, grabbing her bag and walking out of the room. The other two quickly followed. I grabbed my messenger bag and rushed out into the hall before I had to face the wrath of Amber in the morning. Some people were not morning people.

Why not just let her sleep, you say? Well, we cant. Part of the point of having roommates. We had to help each other out with homework and also making sure we all get up and out to school on time. Some days it just wasn't fun to have four roommates. Mornings was some of those times.

Down at the breakfast table, all 11 of the other girls who resided in Poplar House were gathering around, trying to sit near their friends and roommates. I took a seat at the end with Emma, Rachel, and Bridget. Everyone at the table looked a little on the edgy side. More than likely it was because of their lack of shower this morning. I'd be edgy too if I didn't take one the night before... Some days you just like to feel extra clean...

We started passing around the dishes of pastries, scrambled eggs, bacon and sausage. Ten minutes into the meal, Amber came down clutching her backpack and grimacing.

"Don't ever wake me up like that again!" she grumbled, sitting at the vacant seat on the other side of Rachel.

"Hurry girls, eat up quickly," Miss. Anne said, bustling in and out of the kitchen, carrying away empty plates. "You don't want to have to walk to school in this cold!"

When we were finished we went into the living room and waited for the bus to come and get us for school. There were two buses on which everyone from the school fit. There were five classes and each and no more than 35 students. My class only had 30 students, 16 girls and 14 boys. My class were the fourth years at Kings. We were ever so close to escaping, but not close enough. One more year awaited us after this one.... That was one year too long for me.

We patiently awaited for the bus to arrive, however, there were some who were less patient than others.

"So, Rachel..." an obnoxious voice from the far side of the room said with a sneer. "When are you going to ask out Teddy? Or did you already, and he just said no?"

The group that surrounded the heinous voice giggled.

"Lay off, Amy," I said, my eyes narrowed. I cocked my head and smirked, rasing my eyebrows, and said, "I don't see you with Scott..."

As I had mentioned before, there was a group of six young men in a society we called STUART. In this society, Scott was the ring leader. It was also common knowledge through out all thirty of us - including Scott himself - that Amy had the hots for him.

"Shut it, Cordi. You don't know anything. For all you know, I could have gone on a date with him last weekend," the obnoxious voice of Amy accosted me from across the room.

I smiled. "Scott might be low, but he's not so low as to sink to dating you..." There was an 'ooh' that spread across the room as all eyes turned to watch the reaction that would emit from Amy.

Amy's already rat-like face scrunched up in dislike. Instead of Amy answering, one of her feeble henchwomen did. "And you think you're better, is that it?" Mary, who was Amy's right hand, sneered at me.

I nearly laughed but I kept my composure long enough to answer this sad attempt to get the better of me. "Now, did I say that? Or is it just your insecurities talking?"

Now, Amy was a scrawny, rat-like girl. She had little or no meat on her bones, so to speak. However, Mary was not so lucky. She was out of proportion in almost every area. Her face was too round and her neck was too thin, and her chest was too broad. She looked off balance. We never made fun of her weight directly, no matter how paranoid she was about it. But, I have to admit, she did look quite funny when she got up and huffed out of the room towards the door with Amy and the other two henchwomen Valerie and Kelly.

The bus had just arrived, and we were all on our way out the door, when I realized that I had forgotten my coat and scarf.

"Damn," I said, as I rushed to the stairs.

"Cor," Amber called from the stairwell, "What are you doing? You're going to miss the bus!"

"I forgot my coat - I'll be right there!" I called down as I rushed into our room to retrieve my coat and scarf.

When I finally reached the front door the bus was pulling out into the street and away from where I stood.

"Perfect," I muttered, watching my own breath make smokey tendrils in the air.

I sighed and started walking down the front steps and out onto the street toward school. A great start to the morning.

As is usual after a combat of quick wits is exchanged, I thought of all the other possible things I could have said to Amy and Mary. I was so engrossed in beating myself up for what I didn't say, I failed to notice the figure approaching me.

In a flash, there was an impact on my whole right hand side, and my bag flew off my shoulder and its contents sprawling all over the floor. Along with that I heard change spill out onto the pavement as well.

"Damnit!" a male voice said. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see a figure rushing to pick up the coins.

I began reaching for my books and my messenger bag. "You know," I said, throwing my belongings into my bag, "you really should watch where you're going."

"'Delia," said the deep male voice. "What a pleasure it is to see you this morning."

I turned to face the young man crouched on the pavement next to me, scrawling for pennies. It was none other than Scott Edwards. The same Scott that was the head of all pranks that STUART came up with and enacted. Some of them were quite ingenious, I must say. However, there were also an equal amount of really stupid ones that still failed to catch the teacher's attention... How, I'll never know.

I shook my head. "'Morning, Scott. Should I ask what you're going to do with those, or should I take a wild guess?" I said, motioning to the pennies on the ground.

"Guess!" Scott said, excited. "I want to see if you have a sneaky and undermining mind."

"Oooh, looking for a seventh member to your little cult?" I said, helping to pick up some of the pennies.

"Now, now, it's not a cult! And you know that! We provide entertainment to the masses via teacher humiliation. Why, we're heros!" he said, quite seriously, yet with a smile on his face.

"Yeah, yeah, whatever you say," I said, standing.

"But... would you be interested in being the seventh member?" he raised his eyebrows at me and wiggled them a little.

"I'd rather not get into so much trouble," I said, looking away. "Anyway what would you want a girl in your little club for anyway?"

"Well, it's widely known that girls are trusted over boys. Innocent little 'Delia Brown. No one would suspect it. It's genius," he said, knowingly.

"Ahh, so you've considered it before?" I asked, amused. "But why not Amy? She'd be perfect!"

He winced at the sound of her name. "Don't make me sick. Did you know she stole my gym shorts last week?"

I did in fact know that, and thought it was the funniest thing in the world. "I had no idea..." I said in false wonder, on the verge of laughing.

"You DID know! Why didn't you tell me?!" he said incredulous. I started laughing.

You see, the relationship between Scott and I was hardly one of romantic interests. We were both into music. I found out that he could play the piano and he found out that I could sing. We'd been winning talent competitions for the past three years.

We weren't great friends, however we understood the nature of each other. I knew that he was a prankster that wasn't really into academics at all, and he knew that I was of the musical nature and worked hard for my 3.5 GPA.

So obviously me joining STUART would be out of the question.

"I'm disappointed in you, 'Delia," he said, shaking his head at me. "You've wasted all this time with out even TRYING to guess what will be done with these pennies that I have in my hands."

I wasn't sure that I wanted to guess, for fear that I may be right. I looked at the bag of coins in his hand. "Lets see... You're going to... pay off a teacher for better grades?"

"With pennies?" he said, raising one eyebrow. "Come on, you can do better than that..."

"You're going to..." I said, really thinking. Suddenly, it came to me. Pennies were ideal for throwing. They were tiny so you could hide them easily, they were permitted on school grounds, unlike paper airplanes, and they were just hard enough that if you hit a teacher with one, it would hurt... or you could break something from far away... "You're going to throw them... and possibly break something...?"

"Oooh, very good 'Delia. However, we wont break anything on purpose. It's just the possibility that we MIGHT break something, that's the fun part," Scott said, smirking. "However, the odds are ten to one FOR us... heh."

"Evil genius," I said, sarcastically. This was one of their more stupid and flawed plans. They usually were a bit more creative. They actually planned out their other pranks. Like breaking the copy machine on a test day so that we didn't have to take the test - you know, other things of more consequence. Not something this trivial. "So what are you going to do if you break something?"

"Nothing."

"That's stupid," I said, utterly not impressed.

"What?"

"Well, if you break something, you're just going to have to pay for it - or serve detention, right? So why bother?" I said, starting to walk.

He followed. "Well, yeah, but we're BREAKING things," he said as though I was stupid.

"And the point is...?" I asked, not at all understanding.

"To break stuff," he said, with that 'duh' attitude.

Well, that's great.... lets just break stuff for no apparent reason, shall we?

Stupid boys.

"Again, stupid plan," I said, with a sigh. "I would think that some one who came up with the plan to rid the school of all of their text books last year would think of something a little better than 'to break stuff.'"

"I did rid the school of their texts last year, didn't I?" he said, proudly. I could tell by his face he was remembering last year during the summer months before school, six kids set fire to the books that were laying out on the field during the summer cleaning. It was a momentous event. The police never found out who it was, but we all knew.

None other than Scott, Ted, Ulrich, Adam, Reed, and Tom. Or STUART. Did I mention that their first initials spell out STUART? Another reason why the name is so fitting.

"Earth to Scott! They're still looking for you guys, you know," I said, with a warning tone.

"Oh please," he scoffed. "I'll be all the way back to Boston when they figure out who did it."

I shook my head and smiled. Fearlessness. Utter fearlessness. They were all the same.

"So... uh..." he said, letting out a long breath.

"Sew buttons," I said, looking out of the corner of my eye at him.

"My grandmother says that," he said, scoldingly. I just laughed.

"So, what?" I said, finally.

"So what are-" he began, but he never finished.

"HEY SCOTT!!!" came a cry from a little ways behind us.

We stopped and turned around. Walking toward us were the other members of STUART - the TUART part.

"Hey, guys!" Scott said, turning to look at me. "We have another member!"