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The Pizza Party by Theo Baker

The Pizza Party by Theo Baker

Author:Theo Baker [Baker, Theo]
Language: eng
Format: epub
ISBN: 9781536211047
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Published: 2019-12-16T16:00:00+00:00


After Frankie and Ashley had left, and after Fidel himself had personally brought over a piping hot pizza, Papa Pete and I sat and talked over my third dinner of the night. I told him everything. I can talk to Papa Pete about this stuff, and I never feel like I have to lie or bend the truth. My parents used to get really angry at me, before we learned about all my weird brain issues. And though they’ve been more understanding lately, I can still feel pretty defective when these things come up. Like they secretly want a better version of me or something. Sometimes it can even feel like I’m some sort of giant bug that can’t do anything right. I mean, they’re always trying to get me to go on all these special diets and buying me all these educational video games and — well, it can get tiring, and I feel so bad when I let them down because I know they’re trying. . . .

But Papa Pete is someone I can talk to about it. Sure, he’s not thrilled when I tell him that I procrastinated for three weeks. But he knows that I’m trying. OK, so I don’t always really try. But even when I don’t try, I don’t feel like I’m a bad person in front of Papa Pete. So I told him all about the latest hole I’d dug for myself.

“This is terrible, Hank.”

“I’m really sorry, Papa Pete.”

“The pizza, Hank, the pizza. Fidel is . . . I’m going to have to call his mama.”

“But what am I gonna do? Don’t you know a lot about World War One?”

“Why would you think that?”

“Weren’t you in the war? Maybe I can interview you about it.”

“World War One?”

“Yeah,” I said.

“How old do you think I am, Hank?”

I shrugged.

“Hank, when was World War One?”

I shrugged again.

“I think we have our work cut out for us. Come on, Hank. Let’s get this place cleaned up, then we’ll see about your project. You’ll think of something, but first get up and get the blood flowing, eh?”

I slumped to the table. “Papa, I don’t have time to clean . . . and do my project! And look after Locust Breath!”

“Who?”

“Wait — where is she? Where is Katherine?”

I had the Zipzer sense that something was deeply wrong. Ashley had gone into Emily’s room earlier to check up on the walking shoe leather, but from my seat at the table, I saw that Emily’s door was still open a crack. I was doomed!

“Oh, no!” I screamed as I ran over and threw open the door, hoping to see those creepy eyes staring back at me from the pillow. I even half expected to see a skin-suit that Katherine had molted out of. But all I saw was the pillow. And on the floor, the writhing tub of locusts.

I checked everywhere in Emily’s room. Under the bed. Under the covers. In her closet, where she keeps a stereo that is always on, playing jungle sounds.



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