Season Out of Time Rewrites: School Days, School Days

This is a sample of the rewrites I’m doing for Season Out of Time. It tells how Jim, the main character, meets Jaime. I’m channeling my inner sixth grader here:

It was the last day of sixth grade and Jim Koslow was determined it was going to be a perfect day. It was homeroom period, and he was sitting in Mr. Delaney’s science lab. He was wearing his Planet of the Apes shirt and a new pair of Nikes (Nike did rhyme with Mike, didn’t it?) and reading a new comic book his mom had bought him when they stopped for gas on the way to school. Yes, it was going to be a great day. They were going to watch films in the multipurpose room, Mr. Delaney was going to launch his model rockets at mid-morning recess, and they were having pizza in the lunchroom. How could it get any better than that?

“Jim.”

Jim snapped out of his reverie. “Yes, sir.”

Mr. Delaney was standing beside his desk. There was a girl with him that Jim had never seen before. “This is Jaime. She just moved here and is going to be spending the day with us. Could you show her where everything is?”

“Uh,…okay.” Did he mean all day? Lunch, recess, and everything? What would his friends—and enemies—think about that? They would probably sing songs about him. They were really mature that way. He could just hear it:

Jim and Jaime sitting in a tree/K-I-S-S-I-N-G./First comes love, then comes marriage/Then comes Jim with a baby carriage.

 “You can sit in this desk until class changes.” Mr. Delaney seated the new girl in the desk in front of Jim and went back to the front of the room where he had been counting the lunch money. Jim started to go back to his comic.

“Is that Star Wars?” Jaime asked.

“Yeah,” Jim said. “How did you know? This is the first issue.”

“My mom has worked in three different quick stop stores,” she said. “I’ve read just about every comic book there is. And a lot of other things. Not the Playboys though.”

Jim laughed at that.

“Have you seen the Star Wars movie?” she asked.

“Not yet.”

“Me, neither.”

“I want to though.”

“Me too. I read about it in one of the movie magazines.”

Jaime, Jim decided, was just about the coolest girl he had ever met. She was pretty too. He liked her brown eyes and her pretty face. She was wearing a white shirt with little ruffle things around the sleeve holes, blue jean pants, and sandals. She had cute little girl-feet with red-painted toenails.

“I like this room,” she said. “This must be where they teach science.”

“Yeah,” Jim said. “It is.”

“Is that a real skeleton?” The skeleton smiled gauntly from a cabinet beside the blackboard.

“I’m not sure,” Jim said. “We call him Mr. Sam.”

“How do you know it’s not a lady skeleton?”

“It’s kind of hard to tell.”

“The hip bones are different,” she said. “I think this one is a boy though.”

The bell rang, and Jim picked up his books.

“Where are we going now?” Jaime asked. Everyone had started talking at once, and it was hard to hear.

“Language arts,” Jim told her. “We’ve been writing plays, and we’re reading them in class today. I wrote one about time travel.”

They squeezed into the crowd.

“Hey!” Mr. Delaney called out. “Settle down. You’re not in the jungle.”

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