The kid of the punch-clock hero and villain couple has an interesting life.
Her parents named her Everest. Possibly out of a desire to fit in
with the ridiculous names of their gated, elitist community. She shared a
school with three Porsche’s, two Kilimanjaro’s, and at least five kids with way too many silent Q’s in their name.
She was waiting for
the very day that she was old enough to change her name to something
blandly ordinary. Like Elizabeth. Or Mary. Even Kylie would do. She
spent random free moments scouring books and magazines for ordinary
Mabel was her current favourite. Old-timey and ready for
shortening to May. You could get far with a name like May. It was like
Spring. Full of optimism and the hope of new things.
All Everest was full of was rocks, snow, and dead bodies.
ride on the bus was less eventful than normal. Only ten pretenders attempted to suck up to her in order to get one or both of her parents’
autographs. They vanished quickly enough when they found out she charged
the same rates as the fan club.
And the bullies were hardly any better. Calling her ‘stuck up’ when she turned aside the pretenders. Tripping her up or shoving her around as she trod the halls. Daring her superhero mom to come and rescue her.
was why she ate lunch on the roof with some of the other social
rejects. Her few friends. Most of them were on The Spectrum. Everest
didn’t mind. The silence was companionable and the sporadic
conversations more interesting than
And they all had reason to despise the mainstream.
“Aw. Look! It’s the nerd central pity party.”
great. Quellijana. The queen of the mean girls. Everest sighed her deepest sigh and said, “Go find someone else to annoy, Kelly-anna.”
“It’s pronounced Quellijana. I can hear the difference, you ignorant racist.”
“Whut?” winced Travois. “How in the name of anything is Everest racist?”
keeps mispronouncing my name to fit the white oppressors? I’ll have you know I’m part Gaelic, part Viking, and part Inuit on my great-great-grandmother’s side.”
“White enough for me,” said
Kilimanjaro. One of the three black kids in the entire school. His skin
was so dark that it had a sheen like a peacock’s feather. He was also
the resident expert on what was racist. His one trump card.
Quellijana sneered at him. “Huh. That’s reverse racism. I should report you.”
“Sooo…” said Everest. “You’re admitting that racism usually comes from you?”
“Oh go jump off the edge, Everest. Nobody really likes you.”
That was the last straw. “Fine. I will.” One step. Two steps. The third met air.
That’d show her.
She changed her mind halfway down and tensed. She didn’t want to die! Quellijana was not worth killing herself over.
The final crunch at the bottom never came. She could hear people rushing over and babbling. But it was awed babbling.
She was hovering an inch above the sculpted gravel pathway.
Everest thought, Up,
and slowly levitated back to where Quellijana was staring, gape-mouthed, at her new relationship with gravity. “Next time you tell
someone to jump off something, Kelly-anna, make sure they won’t actually
The girl fainted.
Everest stepped calmly back onto
the roof as if getting her flight powers was the most normal thing in
the world. “Okay. Spuds out. Let’s see who loses and has to drag her to
the nurse’s office.”