Chapter One

"Before It Got Scary"

I looked up at the girl I was fighting. She had a mean look and she tried to kick my nose. I grabbed her bare foot and tried to knock her down. But she was bigger than me and didn't go down. She hopped on one foot and said she was gonna get me. I let go of her foot. Her other foot kicked me in the tummy. Ow! It hurt! I rubbed my eyes. I was crying but I was mad. I looked at her green belt. It looked so much prettier than my yellow belt. I wanted a green belt too.

I tried to punch her but she put her hand on my head. Her arms were longer. My arms were too short.

"Smelly baby!" she said. "I bet you wet your bed."

That made me very very mad! How did she know I wet my bed sometimes? I never told nobody!

I kicked at her. My leg was too short. I was six. She was eight. My head was tall as her chin. I could beat her if I could hit her but I couldn't hit her!

She kicked at my nose. This time she hit it. Ow! It hurt! It hurt so bad! I couldn't see. I was crying. I rubbed my eyes.

When I could see her I ran at her and jumped. I kicked her in her fat tummy with both feet. She fell down and cried and cried. She made sounds like she was gonna throw up.

"OK, match's over," the teacher said.

"She cheated!" the bigger girl said. "She's mean and nasty and smelly and ugly!"

I kicked at her. But the teacher blocked my foot with his hand. His hand was fast like lightning.

"The match is over," he said. "I see you trying to hit each other I'll throw you both out of my class. Now shakes hands."

The bigger girl looked mad at me. I looked mad at her. If the teacher wasn't there I'd kick her again. But I held out my hand to shake hers. She got up and walked off.

"Good match," the teacher said. And he walked off. I was mad then. I was mad when I got dressed. I was mad when my sister came to take me home.

"Why are you mad?" she said. I said what happened. "Don't get mad," she said. "you beat her didn't you?"

We walked to the bus stop. We had to walk by a store with beads for a door.

"Let's go in here," my sister said. Her name is Annie. We'd never gone in there before.

We went in. A lady with a rag around her hair was sitting on a rug all different colors. Her dress was all different colors too. She was barefoot.

"Hi, kids," she said. "I'm Zelda."

There was all kinds of things she was selling. Rings and necklaces and perfumes that smelled funny and candy cigars and candy cigarettes and giant fuzzy dice and dresses and shirts and pants all colors or with flowers on them.

We looked and we looked and we looked. Then Annie said "We gotta go now. We must have missed the bus! Come on Gloria."

We went to the door to go. But it was raining really really hard!

"It's raining too hard to go now," Zelda said.

"But we have to go home," Annie said. She was sixteen.

"Maybe it will stop soon," Zelda said. It didn't look like it. It looked like it would rain all day and all night.

I started dancing.

"Why are you dancing?" Annie said.

"I gotta pee pee," I said.

"Is there a bathroom she can use?" Annie asked.

Zelda pointed. "Go to the back of the store and open the door on the left."

I ran to the back of the store. But I get left and right mixed up. So I went to the door to the right.

"No!" Zelda yelled. She was running after me. "Don't open that door!"

But it was too late. I opened the door on the right.

And that's when it got scary.