Published by Margaret Finnegan at Smashwords

Copyright 2012 Margaret Finnegan


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The usual geniuses had red and blue first-place ribbons on their science fair boards. The usual geniuses themselves stood in front of these testimonies to their brilliance and wore the nonchalant confidence of the high achieving.

Willie – not being a usual genius – did not have a ribbon on his board. Like the rest of the rabble, he stood by his board in lonely silence. Occasionally, he pulled at the too-large tie his mother made him wear and, when he thought no one was watching, gazed at passing girls.

The mother of a boy he’d played with in elementary school came up to him. “Willie! Look how big you’ve grown. I wouldn’t have known you but for the name on your board.”

“Hello, Mrs. Kleeve.”

“Don’t you love the science fair? What’s your project? Show me.”

Willie pointed to a box standing on a table. The box was full of sand. In one corner there was a pool of water, and, in another corner, there were some plants that looked like corn. In a third corner, an earth-colored blob kept banging against the side of the box.

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