by Joshua Tyler
A short story where Geoffy Mantis discovers a friend who claims to make everything better.
| Ridiculed laughter was always a living nightmare for eight-year-old Geoffrey “Geoffey” Mantis. Geoffey always kept to himself, he never did have any friends. Sitting alone in his corner of the classroom at his elementary school, Geoffey always had his Dr. Destructo action figure. No one ever bothered with Geoffey for one reason or another. Teachers, classmates, and even school counselors all agreed on one thing, Geoffey was special. No, not special as in mentally or physically handicapped. Geoffey was just a one-of-a-kind special type of kid.
Geoffrey Mantis topped out at four feet and three inches. He was the tallest kid in his class, and skinny as a stick, weighing only about 60 pounds. If it was not for Geoffey’s height or weight that had people noticing him, it was his bright fire red hair. His hair made a pouf on the top of his head, and it was bright; you would take a double-glance back because you thought you just walked past a clown in the middle of Folkswood Elementary. But it was not his hair, height, nor his weight that the bullies made fun of him for. Geoffey’s glasses, the size of two magnifying glasses placed next to each other, and as thick as the bottom of an old soda bottle, were the reason for his ridicule. Geoffey was also the first kid in his grade to get braces. Braces were not the “coolest” thing to have in the third grade, especially if you were not a “cool” kid.
So Geoffey sat alone in his corner playing with his Dr. Destructo like any other day. Dr. Destructo just destroyed an alphabet block model of San Francisco, only 30 miles from Folkswood Elementary (Geoffey at times would stare out the window at the Golden Gate Bridge thinking ‘That bridge really stands out . . . just like me. But I bet big bullies don’t pick on that bridge. That bridge could crush big bullies, but not Dr. Destructo. Dr. Destructo could destroy that bridge no problem.’). Crashing and laser firing noises ejaculated from Geoffey’s mouth, his arms gesticulating in an imitative manner of his action figure as it knocked over a block skyscraper. Geoffey placed down with care his beloved action figure to build up another building for Dr. Destructo to knock over. Amanda Baskett, the ‘Preppy Princess’ of the third grade, rushes over in her pretty pink dress to scoop up Dr. Destructo.
“Hey look, Brace-face is playing with Dollllls.” She announced to the class, waving the action figure back and forth like a pendulum by the action figures’ right foot. The entire class begins to laugh uncontrollably, pointing and sneering at Geoffey and Dr. Destructo. Amanda begins to imitate Dr. Destructo’s movement with her head; Amanda’s braided pigtail sway back and forth, looking like two playground swings swaying in the gentle breeze of a summer day.
“No he’s not,” Geoffrey said quietly to himself, he never let anyone insult Dr. Destructo, but then his voice begins to grow, “He’s a collectors 1923 first edition action figure that my grandfather gave to me. If you wouldn’t have a peanut brain you might of known that Miss Amanda Baskett-case.” That was what Geoffey’s parents called Amanda behind her back.
The entire class was in shock, some “Ooo-ed” while others gasped. A few children cheered Geoffey on and one even applauded. Amanda turned a bright red with furry, the same shade and hue as Geoffrey’s hair. She hurled Dr. Destructo across the room with as much force her little arms could carry that action figure, sending it crashing into a wall. Dr. Destructo, now known as Dr. Destructible, smashed into the wall and his arm fell off and broke into three places. Amanda averted her attention back to Geoffey. No one had ever made Amanda Baskett this angry before.
“You’re a jerk Geoffey! No one makes fun of me!” Amanda bellows as she pulls har arm back, ready to lash out in furry at Geoffey. At that moment that teacher, Mrs. Pross had Amanda’s tiny rage fuelled fist clasped in her own much larger hand. Mrs. Pross was a giant, muscular woman. Not only does she intimidate her class, she intimidates her husband. People say she looks like the old World War II propaganda character Rosie without the bandana. Many other people say that she could intimidate the Incredible Hulk if she had married him.
“In the hallway now, Miss Baskett,” Mrs. Pross demands of Amanda in her deep rich voice “I will not tolerate fighting in my class”. Amanda ran outside the classroom with the quickness of a frightened deer avoiding a car. The class knew Mrs. Pross approved corporal punishment, but they never knew if she actually beat a child. After the door closed behind Mrs. Pross, the classroom erupted in a roar of excitement, but mostly disappointment from the students who wanted to see a fight. Geoffey was now on his knees after he gathered up what was left of Dr. Destructo’s arm. Geoffey cups his hands around the broken pieces of the arm and he mourned the cold plastic that once was his only friend.
Don’t Worry Geoffey, everything will get better. The pieces of Dr. Destructo’s arm snap back to one piece and replace its self where it was once connected.