Copyright © 2009 Kathleen Wallace
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned or distributed in print or
electronic form without the express, written permission of the author.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are the product of the author’s
imagination and any resemblance to any organization, event, or person, living or dead, is purely
Cover art by Deena Fisher.
Published by Kettlestitch, an imprint of DrolleriePress.
All Rights Reserved.
Please do not duplicate the contents of this book without permission.
MARYTWODOGS CLUTCHED HER BOOKS TIGHT AGAINST HER CHEST,DUCKING
her head as she tried to walk faster. Maybe they wouldn’t see her. Or if they did, they would leave her
alone. She had hoped with school out for the summer the teasing would stop. She’d been wrong.
“Do you smell something nasty, Amber?” The voice made Mary’s heart sink. “All of a sudden, it
smells like dog crap.”
Under Mary’s feet, the cracked sidewalk seemed to sprout bits of rubble. Tears blurred her eyes, and she
tripped, skidding on a loose pebble. Instinctively Mary’s hands flew out to her sides to catch herself as
she fell, her books flying away from her to land with an ominous rip somewhere off to her left. Her right
hand betrayed her, though, landing on a glittering shard of glass. It stabbed into the meaty part of her palm,
under her thumb. Mary gasped at the sharp pain.
“Yeah, I smell it too, Cissy.” A chorus of giggles. “I think it’s coming from that clumsy mutt lying on the
ground over there.”
Mary pushed herself upright with her good hand. Keeping her head down, she glanced around under her
lashes in search of her books. Just ignore them, she said to herself. Find your books, and go.
As she searched, she heard footsteps come close. A red tennis shoe appeared in her field of view.
Slowly, Mary raised her head, cursing the tears that spilled from her eyes to roll down her cheeks. The
blood from her hand hit the ground with a steady plopping sound.
Standing close to her were two girls with long blond hair, their blue eyes sparkling with malice. One of
the girls, Cissy, reached out a hand and poked Mary hard in the ribs. “Hey, Red Girl. Why are you crying?