Five, Six, Pick Up Sticks

AUTHOR: Carolina
CATEGORY: Cast/humor
DISCLAIMER: I don't own any of the characters. This is just a crazy idea of mine. All the characters on this story are 7 years old, so imagine them having a very childlike voice. I know the characters on er are not the same age, but for the purposes of this story, they are.
SUMMARY: What if the cast of er was still in elementary school?

Franklin Elementary School. A semi warm spring day. The pigeons sitting on the window sills of the building are disturbed by the sound of a bell, indicating the students it's time to go into their classrooms. A very elegant car parked in front of the school as a young boy of 7 walks out.

"Hurry up John" said his mom "you're late as it is, and eat all your lunch, don't forget that the teachers will have me informed if you don't. Maria will pick you up today" the woman added

"I know, mom" said little Carter with a tone of grown-up-wannabe "Bye" he said without looking back. He ran towards the tall building in front of him and opened the already closed door with a little difficulty. Inside, students were still retrieving things out of their lockers and getting ready for another day of Math, English and History. John walked up to his locker just as another boy approached him.

"Hi blockhead" the boy taunted

"Hi Dave" said John. Dave Malucci had been the Bart Simpson of the school since the day he stepped into the Pre-K classroom. He had this hurricane-like energy that never seemed to subdue. John had always been the good boy, always neat dressed and his homework always up to date. Both Dave and John were like water and oil, yet the two had been friends for a long time. Their relationship had been composed of cycles of pranks in which Dave was always to blame. Since John was the teacher's favorite, he always got away with everything. In exchange, John would try to help Dave with his school work, a task he would easily change for a lifetime of detention.

"You won't believe what I got yesterday" sang Dave in a tone of 'I have something you want.' John just gave him a questioning look. Dave looked inside his backpack and took the item out "It's the second Superman comic" he added with a little too enthusiasm

"Cool! How did you get it?" John couldn't believe his eyes. Even with all the money his parents had, they hadn't been able to get him something that rare.

"My uncle sent it to me from Italy. He said that over there people don't read those kinds of things and he got it from a man who has a book store" Dave said as he put his hand on the snug pockets of his jeans. Just then, another two boys came closer

"Hi guys" said little Mark Greene "WOW! Superman!" he said as he pulled the comic away from John's hands

"Whoa, whoa, be careful dude. That's worth a lot of money" Dave warned Mark

"I don't know what you guys see on Superman. Shaft is the man" said Peter Benton with an air of superiority. Peter had been friends with Dave, Mark and John for a long time, he was in some way the 'leader' of the group. His mom had wanted him to go to a school where black kids predominated, but his father insisted that Peter get the better education he could get and take advantage of all the opportunities. Peter was a boy of few words, but when he said something, it had to be done. After he made it clear that Shaft was cooler than Superman, he turned to his locker and took his books out. A second bell rang and all the boys headed for the classroom.

"Good morning class!" said a very jovial overweight teacher

"Good morning Ms Nelson" said some of the students in unison. The boys immediately went to their respective desks. Dave Malucci, as usual, sat on the back. John in front of him, Peter sat on the second chair of the row next to the window, and Mark Greene chose to sit next to little Elizabeth Corday, a choice that had caused him much taunting from the other boys.

"Mark has a girlfriend" sang Dave again in that teasing tone.

"Shut up Dave" said Mark as he turned around so that Dave could hear him clearer.

"Hi Mark" said little Lizzie with that British accent that made little Mark crazy with intrigue. Mark had always been the gentleman of the class. Always making sure that Dave wasn't giving the girls a hard time. He carried their books, their lunch, walked them home and helped them with their homework. But lately he had seemed to take a liking to Elizabeth. He was a gentleman with the other girls, but the boys noticed that he had been extremely attentive towards Liz, he even had lunch with her most of the time.

"Since that British girl moved here, Mark won't hang out with us anymore" whispered Dave into John's ear. John just raised his shoulders as if to say 'What are you gonna do' and opened his book. On the other side of the room, Peter had found his chair behind Cleo Finch. Like Lizzie, Cleo had only been in the school for a few months. Her and Peter being the only black students, they had become friends real fast. But unlike Mark, Peter didn't take shit from Dave, and Dave had learned not to tease Peter about 'having' a girlfriend. The fact was that Peter and Cleo were just friends, but as in every playground around the country, a boy being friends with a girl was enough grounds for major teasing.

"Hi Peter" said Cleo with her mature tone.

"Hi Cleo. Guess what? My dad bought me a new basketball. He says you can come and play anytime you want" Peter and Cleo had started their friendship with the discovery that they both enjoyed basketball, among other things. "After that we can see Shaft, my mom is making brownies today"

"Okay" smiled little Cleo

At the front of the class, in the first chair of the middle row, sat little Kerry Weaver. Kerry had always been the A student, always raising her hand to answer every question, always helping the teachers after class, spending her lunch time inside the principal's office trying to come up with future plans for the school, she even was the hall monitor, developing her leadership skills early in life. Kerry had only a few friends, among them Elizabeth, and some of the boys, particularly Dave, teased her because she was smart and liked the teachers. There was another reason why Kerry got teased. Her limping was one of the major reasons why the other kids were reluctant to be her friends and why she had to compensate with good grades and extracurricular activities.

Next to Dave sat Jing-Mei Chen. Little Deb had been in the school since she was 4, that making her a year younger than the rest of the students. Deb was smart as a cat, she was always 3 steps ahead of everyone, and even knew how to handle Dave, a secret only she had the key of.

"All right class" shouted the teacher as she slapped her hands so everyone would pay attention. "Let's start with our Math. Today you were supposed to finish pages 51 through 54 on your manual, and I expect them all in my desk by the end of the class."

"Oh, no" said Dave as he slapped his hand on his forehead

"Is everything ok Mr Malucci?" observed the teacher

"Yes Ms Nelson, there was a mosquito on my forehead" lied Dave "But I got it, don't worry" Dave always had a sly way to get away with lies. Of course, every teacher knew when he was lying, but they had to hand it to him, the boy sure had a big imagination.

"Now, can anyone tell me, how much is 3 times 7" only 3 hands showed. "Kerry?"

"Twenty one!" said Kerry with a big smile on her face

"Very Good Kerry" said the teacher

"Thank you Ms Nelson" Kerry said, proud of herself

"Thank you Ms Nelson" Dave mocked Kerry from the back. Kerry turned around and gave Dave a look of 'I'll get you later', Dave just showed her his tongue

"Now" continued the teacher "Can anyone tell me-" just then the teacher was interrupted by someone opening the door, gasping for air

"Abigail Lockhart, you're late again" said the teacher to the little form in front of her with her hands on her hips and a very strong tone

"I'm sorry" said the little girl with puppy dog brown eyes. Little Abby had been a mystery to everyone in the school. Most of the time she was late for class, always had that cute sad look on her face. The other girls walked around with new shoes and clothes. But Abby always seemed to have those old dresses which were the cause of her always being cold in the winter. All the teachers knew that her family was poor, which was the reason why they went easy on her, but they also wondered if there was more than that. Sometimes Abby would fall asleep in class, and she rarely participated. She was also too small and skinny for her age, but Abby was one of the smartest kids. So the teachers always tried to encourage her to speak more. They asked Kerry once to try to get Abby involved into other things inside the school, but to no avail. After apologizing for being late, Abby walked slowly and found her desk in front of John's.

"Abby's family is so poor, that for Christmas they leave Santa coupons instead of cookies" Dave spoke up. He never seemed to know how to think before he opened his big mouth.

"Dave Malucci! What have I told you about making fun of others?" said the teacher

"Not to?" said Dave

"Exactly! Now you apologize to Abigail right now for being an insensitive boy" she said, wanting to substitute 'boy' with something else

"I'm sorry Abby" said Dave, not really meaning it

Abby turned around "It's ok" she said in that baby tone she never seemed to outgrow. She turned back and grabbed her notebook from her backpack. John, who sat in between Dave and Abby, took out a pencil from his pencil case and tapped Abby on the shoulder. John had noticed that Abby never seemed to be able to locate her pencils, so he made it a habit of bringing more than one pencil in case she needed one, which was often. Abby just smiled at him as she took the pencil in her hand.

"Now, can anyone tell me how many prime numbers there are between 1 and 20?" the teacher continued. Again, Kerry was the first one to raise her hand "Someone besides Kerry? Elizabeth?"

"Seven?" said little Lizzie

"Very Good Liz. Now, can you tell me-" the teacher was interrupted again by a knock on the door, she rolled her eyes at the fact that she couldn't seem to finish her lesson. "Come in" she shouted in that high pitched voice everyone hated so much. All the kids get up from their desks as a tall man entered the room

"Good morning Principal Stewart" said the kids in unison

"Good morning kids. You can sit" they all followed orders "Class, I'm here today because I want to introduce you to another student who will be on this class"

"Oh dear" the teacher added, not realizing that she had only meant to think, not speak. The principal gave her a disapproving look and she motioned him to continue.

"Anyway. I want you all to give a nice welcome to your new class mate, Luka Kovac" the principal motioned the boy to walk in, as he did.

"What kind of name is that?" shouted Dave from the back

"David!" the teacher shouted back

"Settle down now. Luka, is from Croatia, his dad got transferred to the United States and he will be attending this school indefinitely. I trust that you all will give Luka the welcoming he deserves, remember that some of you are only a few pranks away from suspension" he said, his eyes wandering to Dave, who just looked down. "Good day class, Ms Nelson" the man said as he tapped Luka on the back and walked away

"Well, it is so nice to have you here Luka. My name is Ms Nelson"

"Hello Ms Nelson" were little Luka's first words. Immediately all the girls were fascinated by his accent as they leaned over their desks to take a better look. Dave looked around in disbelief

"Oh come on! Just because he's from another country? My family came from Italy" said Dave, trying to get all the girl's attention

"Luka, why don't you sit here next to me" said Jing Mei

"Ok" said Luka as he walked towards the back and sat next to the Asian girl with the pig tails. All the kids followed him with their eyes. Peter and Cleo just turned back towards the teacher, Kerri and Liz stared at Luka with fascination and giggled, Abby and John just smiled to him, and Dave just gave him a weird look. Luka just smiled back and got all his things together.

"All right, maybe now we can finish our lesson. Now..." The teacher continued with her math lesson until the bell rang, meaning a history lesson was about to begin. As the teacher left the room and the kids waited for the next teacher to walk in, the kids all got up from their desks and started to behave like, Little Lizzie and Jing Mei walked over to Kerry

"Isn't the new boy cute?" Lizzie asked Kerry, having already asked the same question to Jing Mei.

"He is" said Kerry with a mischievous smile. The three girls just stood there talking about the new boy while Peter and Cleo just remained in their seats, and made small chat, not at all caring about the fact that there was a new student. On the back, Dave and Mark had seated in front of Luka

"Hi" said Dave, testing the ground he was about to walk on

"Hi" Luka repeated

"Hey, your name is like Luke Skywalker's" observed Mark, always fascinated by everything

"Yeah" said Luka "Star Wars is my favorite movie"

"Cool" said Dave as they all sat close and started to talk about wanting to be a Jedi when they grew up. John had been observing them carefully, he had a way of observing new students before approaching them, as if he could somehow determine if they were 'cool' or not by analyzing them. He turned around when he heard someone's voice.

"Hey Abby" said Lizzie as she knelt down between Abby's and John's desks "what do you think of the new boy?"

Abby looked at Luka, taking her long straight hair out of her face so she could look at him better and turned around to face Liz again "I don't know" she said sincerely

"Don't you think he's cute?" Liz tried to force her opinion

"I guess" said Abby as she made a weird face. John just looked up and threw his hands in the air "Girls" he said to no one in particular

"You're just jealous" said Liz before she walked away. John just gave Abby a look.

The history class began as the teacher walked into the room, with a bunch of books on his hands and a cowboy hat on his head. Mr. Bassett was the kids favorite teacher. He always recreated his History lessons, often making the kids act out the roles of the past presidents, battles, and important events, like the first moon landing. After the English class the bell rang again and all the kids ran out to the playground.

Part 1    Part 2   Part 3
Sequel: Young At Heart
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