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I AM NOT LOOKING FOR CRITIQUE, I AM PROVING A POINT. My dear Nic has recently pointed out to me that my writing was becoming too poetic, and did not contain enough action. I promised her that I would do something about it-and so I have written something to the other extreme.

“I’m serious!”

“No?! It can’t be true!”

Nita Cinders was perched on the periphery of a wooden fold-up desk. Her friend Sophie Milenovski was also sitting rather dangerously on a desk, but not, fortunately, a collapsible one.

“What can’t be true?” enquired another bright voice, as Nita’s perch collapsed effectually onto the floor, Nita following suit as is the case in most such situations.

Completely ignoring the noisy event of her friend’s impromptu fall, Sophie answered the question mechanically, seemingly recounting a recitation that meant nothing to her understanding.

“Annually, and on average, three spiders drink from your mouth while you’re asleep, and two of these spiders are swallowed.”

“Gracious!” the vivid voice of Chic Masterton exclaimed, evidently accentuating her non-existent surprise to satisfy the expectations of her friends. “Gracious!”

Nita giggled delightedly at the little drama from her comfortable place on the floor.

“Nita! What are you doing on the floor?” The intruder was bossy Stacie Whitt, the Head Girl of the school. “Pick yourself up at once. And you two, stop gossiping and restore that desk to rights. Whole-school assembly at half past two.” And Stacie was gone with a riling rush of tenuous dignity.

“It was just a joke. I wasn’t doing any harm,” groaned Nita, picking herself up with a lazy air. “None of us were really that enamoured with Sophie’s lovely anecdote—sorry, Sophie. I didn’t mean it!”

“I suppose the whole of Limeys Park is going to turn out for Stacie’s silly assembly. I’m guessing it’s hers by her insistence on it,” Sophie said in her swift efficient way. “She’s never that bothered about anyone else’s meetings.”

“Unless it’s the Head’s. She has to uphold punctuality and all that or look like an abysmal Head Girl—which she is, of course. Hey, great news, guys! The bolt vanished when the desk broke;” it was Chic, examining the desk. “I can’t fix the darn thing without it.”

“I’ll go,” Sophie said gloomily. Then, on all fours, she scuttered about the floor, searching unwillingly for the missing bolt.

The End

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