Chapter 23: Clucky the Education Chicken

"Faith activates God - Fear activates the Enemy."

~ Joel Osteen

"It's good to see you Regina." Toshiro said, somewhat half heartedly. What had he gotten himself into?

Regina smiled. "I've been really good actually. But Toshiro, I haven't talked to you for ages! Where have you been? What have you been up to?"

"I've been good ... I guess." Toshiro said. "But where's Straton though? Isn't he usually with you?"

Regina sighed. "He's been sick all this week."

Toshiro frowned. "Oh. I hope he gets better soon."

Toshiro looked sincere as he said those words, but did he really care what happened to Regina or Straton? They had stopped being his friend a long time ago. Anita and Max were his friends now.

Toshiro and Regina walked together on the way to class. Neither really spoke, until Toshiro turned into another hallway.

"Well I've got to go. See you." Toshiro said casually.

"Bye Toshiro! Let's hang out like this again some other time!" Regina replied with a huge smile.

It was odd. While the two hadn't talked for close to four years Regina, only now seemed to act as if nothing had happened between her and Toshiro. Why was that? Was she sorry for what had happened between him and her? Somehow Toshiro doubted it. It was more likely that Regina was so interested in hanging out with Toshiro only because she was bored without Straton. This thought wasn't pleasing, but at least this would be the last time he and Regina would have to speak for a long time. Wouldn't it?

Curtis and Veat entered the principal's office. An old man dressed in black, bearing a strong resemblance to the Monopoly man, sat in his desk. He smiled wide upon seeing the kids.

"Hello, I take it that you two are the new students that I've heard so much about." Said the man.

Veat and Curtis nodded in unison.

"I'm Veat and this is Curtis."

The man nodded. "It's nice to meet you both. If you haven't guessed, I'm the principal. I love meeting youth as passionate for learning as I am. Tell me, what made you want to come here?"

Veat shrugged. "No reason in particular. Actually the only reason that I'm here in the first place is because I have to be here."

"I'm here, because I want to learn Recess and Lunch Time!" Curtis cheered.

The Monopoly principal frowned. "Learning lunch time and recess is fine and all, but don't you kids want more? Veat, what do you want to be when you're older?"

"I-I don't know yet." Veat confessed.

The principal shook his head. "This won't do." He muttered. "You kids need a role model. Tell me, have you met Clucky yet?"

"Who?" Veat and Curtis asked at the same time.

"Clucky the Education chicken of course." The principal said as if it were the most common knowledge in the world.

"No, I can't say that I have." Veat said. "Who is he?"

"Clucky is our school's mascot. He's also a model student and someone that kids can really look up to." The principal explained.

Curtis frowned. "Clucky the Education Chicken isn't by chance a chicken, is he?" Curtis asked skeptically.

"He sure is!" The principal cheered.

Curtis cringed. "I-I don't like chickens much."

'That's an understatement.' Veat thought. Curtis was terrified of chickens. He had first seen a drawing of one at the orphanage and it scared him half to death. She couldn't explain the phobia or how it had come to be, but something, perhaps within the chicken's appearance frightened Curtis.

The principal frowned, but after a long moment of silence he broke into laughter as if Curtis had just told a hilarious joke.

"You really had me going for a moment. I mean, how could someone not like chicken?" The Monopoly principal asked.

"I-I just really don't like them." Curtis confessed.

"Ok, that was funny the first time, but now your joke's really starting to get old." The principal said.

"He really doesn't like chickens." Veat said.

"Nonsense. If you don't like chicken, then you obviously haven't met Clucky. Kids love him."

As the principal said that, a giant chicken walked into the room. Veat could tell that it was obviously a person in a chicken suit, but she wasn't sure if Curtis could tell the difference yet. Curtis screamed and hid his face underneath his arms.

The Clucky costume was massive. Its body barely even fit through the doorway. It was yellow with an orange beak and sunglasses. On its body was a misspelled T-shirt with the words Skool iz Khewl on it. Veat wondered briefly if the spelling errors were intentionally done, perhaps in a bizarre attempt to connect with the students or was whoever printed the shirt really that bad at spelling. Either way it didn't seem to set a good first impression.

"Clucky, give our new student Curtis a hug and show him that you're actually a pretty nice guy." The principal commanded.

The chicken obeyed and wrapped its arms around Curtis. This sight disturbed Veat. It was like watching something out of a horror movie, because Curtis would try to flail out of Clucky's arms and Clucky would only hug him tighter.

"Please stop!" Veat finally snapped.

She ran up, touched Clucky's back, and used her powers to make him release his grip on Curtis and lie down on the ground. Curtis also fell to the ground, breathing heavily from his surprise hug attack.

"You can't do that!" Veat said. "If Curtis isn't ready to face his fears yet, you can't make things worse for him by forcing him to hug a chicken!"

The principal frowned. "I suppose that's true. I'm sorry, but Clucky's a member of this school too though. If Curtis can't get over his phobia I'm afraid that he's going to have to study recess at a different school."

Veat nodded. She didn't think it was fair, but if Clucky was really as important to the school as the principal made it sound, then she had to go along with the rules no matter how ridiculous they seemed. Veat would see to it that Curtis would get over his chicken fear, even if it took all week.

-phantom130 5 (February 2013)