an original short story by Gillian Lister
Charlotte ducked behind the pussy willows while she watched a toad jump side to side and to and fro. She watched it for hours and hours, until her mom called her home for dinner.
"Charlotte, sweetie, come inside for some hot dogs!"
"Charlotte, sweetie, come inside for some hot dogs!"
Charlotte's room was decorated with frogs and had green walls. Even all her stuffed animals were frogs.
"Why are you so obsessed with frogs?" her brother, Luka, asked as they were sitting down at the dining room table.
"I am not obsessed!" Charlotte yelled, spitting hot dog everywhere. "I just like frogs."
"Then explain your bedroom."
"Don't be rude to your sister," said her mother. "You're obsessed with race cars, you know, and I'm obsessed with gardening, and your father's obsessed with cooking."
"So it's not weird to be obsessed with frogs?"
"No, sweetie. I think it's great."
The next day at school, Charlotte walked to her locker to get her science books. Charlotte’s locker was right beside her best friend’s locker.
"Hey girl!" Ava, said. "How goes it?"
"Good, I guess."
Ava was a total fashionista. She knew about all sorts of styles. Just then, the bell rang.
"Gotta go," Charlotte said.
"Sure, you don't wanna miss science class."
"You mean my favourite class!" exclaimed Charlotte and ran to Room 217.
"Okay, guys!" said their science teacher, Ms. Welder. "We are going to go around the room and each student will pick an animal and then tell me their habitat. Let's start with, hmm...Charlotte! Okay, so what animal are you doing?"
"I'm doing a frog," Charlotte said.
"A frog again!" yelled the class bully, Tyler. "You're about to turn into a frog yourself! Just wait 'till you kiss one!"
The class burst into laughter.
"Quiet!" yelled Ms. Welder.
But she was too late. Charlotte ran out of the classroom crying.
She was in the bathroom for half an hour until Ava came in.
"Charlotte, I've been looking for you every- hey, what's wrong?"
"You know that boy, Tyler?"
"Oh, the boy in your science class?"
"More like the big fat jerk in my science class!" yelled Charlotte angrily.
"He can't be that bad," said Ava.
"Have you even met him?"
"Well, um...no," Ava said.
"See, you don't even know what he's like. He's a big meanie."
The next day Charlotte was going to math class when Ben, a boy in her science class, came walking down the hall.
"Hey, Charlotte, I've heard of this new species of frog that this guy named um… Andy Chapman, discovered.”
"What kind?" Charlotte asked.
"It's called, um, the...Three Speckled Toad."
"Oh, I've never heard of that kind," Charlotte said.
After school, Charlotte ran to the pond to look for the “Three Speckled Toad”. She brought a camera and binoculars. At least she thought they would be helpful. Charlotte was at the pond until bedtime. Still no sign of the toad, but she saw lots of other kinds of frogs and toads.
When she got to school the next day, Charlotte was walking to phys-ed class when Ben walked over.
"Hey, have you found the frog yet?"
"No, I haven't, and it's a toad not a frog," Charlotte said.
"Whatever, same thing," Ben said and wandered off.
After three days, Charlotte got fed up and decided to call the so-called “Andy Chapman” who had discovered the “Three Speckled Toad”. She dialed the number and a man with a deep voice answered.
"Yo, what's up?"
Charlotte then asked, "Um, are you Andy Chapman?"
"Why yes, I sure am," he said.
"Well, have you ever discovered a new species of toad?"
"I don't know anything about toads. I collect baseball cards," he said.
"Oh, okay," Charlotte said. "Must have called the wrong number."
After Charlotte hung up, she went to her laptop. She searched Andy Chapman Three Speckled Toad. She waited. Suddenly something came up: There are no results for your search.
"Weird," Charlotte said, and went to her room for a good night's sleep.
The next morning Charlotte's cell phone rang.
"Hello?" Charlotte said.
"Hey girl!" the voice said, and immediately Charlotte knew who it was.
"Hey, Ava! Uh, I can't talk right now. Can you meet me in the janitor's closet at school?"
"Sure thing. Bye!"
Charlotte got dressed and headed to school extra early. When she got there she ran to the janitor's closet right away.
She saw Ava sitting on a worn suitcase with a disgusted look on her face. "This place is so dirty,"
"Okay, we wanna get revenge on Ben!" Charlotte said.
"Oh yeah," said Ava with an evil look on her face. "Wait, why?"
"'Cause he told me there was a new species of toad and I searched for three days, but it turns out there is no such thing and the only guy named Andy Chapman is a guy who collects baseball cards."
"Whoa!" Ava said.
"So what's one thing you know about Ben?" asked Charlotte.
"Well, I know he loves hot dogs," Ava said. "He'll go crazy if he sees one."
"Perfect," Charlotte said. "Just perfect."
Later when the bell rang, Charlotte walked over to Ben.
"Hey, Ben," Charlotte said, "They're selling hot dogs in the cafeteria."
"What?" Ben yelled and ran to the cafeteria.
Ava hid behind a chair when she heard Ben's scream. Ben ran into the cafeteria screaming, "Hot dogs! Hot dogs! Hot dogs!"
She saw all the way up to when the chef told him they didn't have any hot dogs.
It turns out everything went perfectly! Ben got his worst payback, Charlotte went back to looking for frogs that actually existed, and Ava went back to doing her normal thing – fashion designing.
And Charlotte learned not to trust anyone without proof!
~ The End ~