GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ Meet Mr. Robbins from R.J. Sullivan's Y.A. Ghost Mystery: Haunting Blue | I Smell Sheep

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Meet Mr. Robbins from R.J. Sullivan's Y.A. Ghost Mystery: Haunting Blue

Haunting Blue Character Post: "Mr. Robbins"

I sat behind the desk, waiting for the last of the students to file in. Most of the kids in Senior English were prompt, no real discipline problems, at least not so far. None of them had shown any real talent, either. Well, it was only September, so anything could happen.

I'd assign a few more creative writing projects, including today's. I had no real hope of discovering greatness here, but then again, I didn't move to Perionne to discover great artists.

Then...she walked in.

I suppose if someone used a sentence like that in a story assignment, I'd write "cliché" next to it with my red pen. But never mind.

She had blue-dyed, spiked, unkempt hair. She slumped in her desk at the back of the room, so not even sure what color her eyes were, but I noted the punk jacket with cuts and slashes in the demim the half-tee, and the...the attitude. The sort of disrespect I'd fled years ago when I left Indianapolis to come here.

Who is she? And how can I get her out of my class as fast as possible?

My gaze darted to my stack of mail and a distinct green index card. Transfer student. I grabbed the card and scanned the information.

Fiona Shaefer. Transfer from Broad Ripple High School. Well, that makes perfect sense, doesn't it? Broad Ripple was a college town, the east side of Indy fairly overflowing with deadbeat college kids. Oh, and look at this. Her first day was last week, but she was already suspended for fighting in the halls.

Now I remember. Last week, the faculty lounge was abuzz about a new punk girl who had put Clinty Buckner in the hospital. Some of the teachers even gave each other mild fist pumps as they told each other the story. Disgusting. Sure, Clinty could be a troublemaker. Typical bully nonsense. But to hurt someone so bad that they're taken to the hospital...that's criminal behavior.

Before I can control it, I'm back in Indianaolilis, back in my middle school classroom. I feel the cold metal of the knife at my throat, and I'm pleading for my life. "You can't fail me, Robbins. You fail me and I'll cut you." He darted for the door and fled. Not that it mattered. I knew who he was, and I promptly reported him.

The police were called. But he was a minor, and ended up with a suspended sentence and community service.

And in a way you could say he won, because I left the school, fled to the country. To a school system where I hoped I'd never again have to deal with such nonsense.

The bell rang. I needed to start class. I stood before the students; all the while I avoided eye contact with the punk girl in the back of the room. Her notebook was out, scribbling furiously. Undoubtedly doodling, not paying attention.

I assigned the class a freeverse poem, answered a few questions, and discussed some basic techniques. The whole time, the punk in the back ignored me, the cocky, mocking smile never left her face.

After a few minutes, I couldn't go on. I intended the poem as homework, but I had to stop. "Let's take a few minutes to work on the assignment in class." I retreated to my desk and put my head in my hands. I could only hope to regain my composure before the end of the hour. Cold sweat beaded my forehead. Most of the students socialized, I pretended not to notice.

The bell rang 40 minutes later and a few papers were stacked up on my desk. The punk girl approached and slapped her paper on top. Then...she spoke to me. "Hello, Mr. Robbins," she said. "I'm Fiona Shaefer, the new girl."

I swallowed back bile. "Yes," was all I could get out. I couldn't believe it. I sat, intimidated and overwhelmed. I was right back in Indianapolis, a knife pressed to my throat.

"Well, I love poetry. I'm hoping to major in it after high school."

Her audacity left me speechless. I made a grunting noise.

She smiled her mock smile and shuffled out with the rest of the class.

I stared at the paper for over a minute before I gave in and scooped it up. Maybe I shouldn't jump to conclusions. Maybe... Then I read the poem and I knew.

American Idol Finalist
The camera eye
the single I
Ole One-Eye
down her shirt
and up her skirt
She’ll be singing
about teen suicide
I think

I shook my head, repelled. Disgusting. Exactly the sort of vulgarity I'd expect from a criminal like her. I should have known better than to get my hopes up.

I drew a deep breath and reached for my red marker. They say the pen is mightier than the sword, you little criminal. And now I'm going to prove it. Like a musketeer defending righteousness, I waved my weapon across the paper in three vicious strokes, defacing the poem with a large "F".

I released that breath. This isn't over. Getting that girl out of this school will be a long, tough battle. But I'd fled once to get away from criminals just like her. I won't flee again. Before the semester's over, I'll see to it she fails Senior English and is unable to graduate with her class.

And why not? It's nothing less than a criminal like her deserves.

Some interior artwork in Haunting Blue.

Punk, blue-haired “Blue” Shaefer, is at odds with her workaholic single mother. Raised as a city girl in a suburb of Indianapolis, Blue must abandon the life she knows when her unfeeling mother moves them to a dreadful small town. Blue befriends the only student willing to talk to her: computer nerd “Chip” Farren.

Chip knows the connection between the rickety pirate boat ride at the local amusement park and the missing money from an infamous bank heist the townspeople still talk about. When Blue helps him recover the treasure, they awaken a vengeful ghost who’ll stop at nothing--not even murder--to prevent them from exposing the truth behind his evil deeds.

Haunting Blue is Book One of the Adventures of Blue Shaefer

About the Author:
Haunting Blue is the first book of the adventures of punk girl Fiona “Blue” Shaefer. This is the 2014 revised edition by Seventh Star Press. Seventh Star also released Haunting Obsession, a Rebecca Burton Novella, and Virtual Blue, the second book in Fiona’s tale. R.J.’s short stories have been featured in such acclaimed collections as Dark Faith: Invocations by Apex Books and Vampires Don’t Sparkle. His newest project is the Red Lotus series of science fiction novelettes.

R.J. resides in Heartland Crossing, Indiana. He drinks coffee from a Little Mermaid mug and is man enough to admit it.

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