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LA HOODRAT Chapter 5: Birds of a Faux Feather

August 12, 2012

Perched atop the ceiling’s beam, a pigeon shakes furiously. Its beak opens–a lion’s roar erupts. An abandoned feather floats downward unto…

The crowded, loud school cafeteria.

The feather lands on a half-finished plate of cafeteria slop.

Carlos sits next to Novus…

CARLOS: I don’t know why we steal cafeteria food, man–tastes like shit.

Novus eats like he hasn’t eaten in a week.

CARLOS: Why you eating so fast?

NOVUS: (mouth full, gibberish)

Eida plops down next to Novus.

EIDA: Got your stand-in lined up.

Big swallow…

NOVUS: My what?

EIDA: You have an appointment today.

GIRLY GIGGLES float towards them…

Carlos nudges Novus, juts his chin…

CARLOS: Check it out.

Cheerleaders sit huddled together at a neighboring table…Eida sports her meanest Dirty Harry.

Leader of the pack, NANCY, and a small ENTOURAGE stand, strut in their direction…Nancy flicks long blonde locks a la retro Farah Fawcett in slow-mo.

Carlos and Novus sit hypnotized…

CARLOS: I’m in love.

NANCY: Hi, Novus.

NOVUS: Uh…uh…Hi, Nancy.

GIGGLE, GIGGLE…Nancy’s eyes drift to Eida.

NANCY: Oh, look…it’s Dora the Explorer. Can I have your autograph, Dora?

GIGGLE, GIGGLE.

EIDA: Don’t you have some pom-poms to shake?

GIGGLE, GIGGLE…they head back to pom-pom clique…

EIDA: I’m gonna ram a pom-pom right up her butt.

CARLOS: Can I watch?

EIDA (to Novus): No fraternal-izing with the enemy.

NOVUS sits dazed, stares at Nancy: Huh?

CARLOS:  Homie, you better hit that.

EIDA:  I’m gonna hit you if you don’t shut up, Carlos.

CARLOS:  Why you trippin’?

EIDA: This fool has to focus. We’re running a business.

NOVUS (still dazed): Huh?

                                                               **

The school hallway sits silent, void of foot traffic.

Eida stands in front of Principal Stanley’s office…an arm wrapped around SOCORRO, (40’s), sweet, hefty chica. Socorro smiles, accentuating several chins.

EIDA: Meet Socorro–your new mom.

SOCORRO: Si.

Gawk…

NOVUS: Hell.To.The.No.

EIDA: Who’s gonna meet with the Principal?

SOCORRO: Si.

NOVUS: She doesn’t even speak English.

SOCORRO: Hmmp. I spick berry good.

Gawk some more…

NOVUS: How do we look like family?

EIDA: You look like Socorro’s grandfather–he came from Ireland.

SOCORRO: Si.

NOVUS: Forget it.

EIDA: You want the Principal going to your house? He’s gonna find out about your…situación.

NOVUS: I won’t answer the door. He’ll go away.

EIDA: What if he comes back…again and again, bobo? What will you do then?

Blank stare.

EIDA:  Thought so.

                                                             **

Later…

Principal Stanley growls behind his desk at Novus and Socorro.

PRINCIPAL STANLEY: So… you’re Mrs. Williams?

SOCORRO: Jess.

PRINCIPAL STANLEY: Figures.

NOVUS: I look like my father.

PRINCIPAL STANLEY: Where is your father?

Novus is about to say…

SOCORRO: Mi marido berry, berry bad…he run away con una puta sinvergüenza–

(My husband ran off with a shameless whore)

PRINCIPAL STANLEY: Uh…We’re here to talk about Novus, aren’t we?

SOCORRO: Jess.

PRINCIPAL STANLEY: Mrs. Williams, I’m concerned that Novus may be headed down the wrong path–

Socorro seizes her overstuffed purse; slams it across Novus’ head…BOINK!

NOVUS: Ouch! Why did you do that?

SOCORRO:  He berry, berry bad boy. I punich him.

Principal Stanley slides back in his chair, surprise lights up his eyes…

PRINCIPAL STANLEY: I like your style, Mrs. Williams.

SOCORRO: Sank jou berry much.

Novus rubs his head….

PRINCIPAL STANLEY: About the suspension…

SOCORRO: Ech-you-me?

PRINCIPAL STANLEY: Novus’ behavior would normally require me to suspend him.

She nods, but doesn’t understand a damn word he’s saying.

SOCORRO: Eh…jess.

PRINCIPAL STANLEY: However, these extenuating circumstances behoove me to reconsider my position on the matter.

Socorro ain’t getting it–at all.

SOCORRO: Eh…jess.

NOVUS: It’s okay, Principal Stanley, you can suspend me.

PRINCIPAL STANLEY: Listen up, young man…I’m talking to your mother.

BOINK! Purse slams again.

NOVUS: Ouch!

SOCORRO: Compórtate, mijo!

(Behave, boy!)

Principal Stanley grins…

PRINCIPAL STANLEY: I must say, Mrs. Williams, your parenting skills are exemplary.

Socorro bats her eyelashes, blushes a little…even though she has no clue what he said.

PRINCIPAL STANLEY: Under the circumstances–because of your very special parenting skills, Mrs. Williams…

Socorro giggles. Novus rolls his eyes.

PRINCIPAL STANLEY: Novus is welcome to stay in school.

SOCORRO: Eh…no. He no more school here. We go to Alabama.

PRINCIPAL STANLEY: Alabama?

SOCORRO: Jess. Miami too many immigrant.

PRINCIPAL STANLEY: (sarcastic) Really?

SOCORRO: Mucho competition.

Pause…

PRINCIPAL STANLEY: Alabama, huh? Maybe I’ll swing by, look you up.

SOCORRO: (indignant) I no go with strange hombres.

Novus moans…

PRINCIPAL STANLEY: No…no, I’m not looking to–

SOCORRO: (stands) Jou berry fresh…

(to Novus)

Vamonos mijo…

BOINK! Slaps purse against Novus’ head again…

NOVUS: Ouch! What did I do?

To be continued…

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