Sunlight peaked though the window blinds like a slick serpent. Its bright beam attempted to illuminate the room, unable to reach its unseen target. There was a soft knock on the door and a female voice called from behind it,
"Butters sweetie, time to get up for school."
The boy that was hidden beneath the blankets stirred to life. His short, bright, golden hair was in complete upheaval. Butters rubbed his eyes viscously as he tried to subdue the grogginess in his mind. He set his feet down upon the cozy bedroom carpet and consulted the clock on his nightstand. With it only being five past seven; he would have plenty of time to get ready for school.
Butters made his way to the nearby bathroom, dodging the obstacle coarse of misplaced toys and clothes scattered throughout the bedroom. This morning's routine consisted of practicing his latest lyrics about oral hygiene while using his Wellington bear toothbrush. When the last remnants of toothpaste were rinsed from his mouth, he jumped into the shower singing all the louder. He always prefers to shower in the evenings but it seemed that hot water and shampoo were the only weapons he had to tame his wild hair this morning. Feeling refreshed and fully awake, Butters returned to his room. A dig in his messy chest of drawers and dressed himself in a fresh blue flannel shirt and green jeans. When his black sneakers were tied on, he headed downstairs.
The aroma of fresh coffee and maple syrup welcomed Butters to the kitchen. Linda Stotch was busy at work at the stove; she had a spatula in her hand as she softly hummed to herself. Chris Stotch was seated quietly at the kitchen table; his eyes were carefully examining the business section of the South Park Gazette. Linda was the first to notice her son enter the room. Butters walked over to his mother and hugged her.
"Good morning baby." She said gleefully as she returned the hug with a gentle kiss to her son's forehead.
Butters proceeded to join his father at the kitchen table. Sitting in his usual spot, Butters grabbed the Comics page from the stack of newspapers, hoping to get a few laughs in before school.
"Did you read this hon?" Chris asked out loud.
"Wal-Mart's sales have been sluggish recently; it's mainly because of their outrageously long checkout lines. The manager says that someone has been blacking out all the barcodes on all the merchandise in the store. Nothing is scans at the register, so they have to type everything in by hand." My father said, finishing with a chuckle.
"Oh I know, I must have spent two hours waiting at the register yesterday." Linda responded. Her soft face reflected only a fraction of the frustration it displayed the previous day.
It took ever bit of self control for Butters to keep his internal, maniacal laughter contained to just a malicious smile. He and General Disarray had spent all Wednesday afternoon at that store with permanent markers, ensuring that that every barcode and printed item number was rendered unreadable. Finally, the town was beginning to feel the wrath of Professor Chaos. Linda arrived at the table to bring Butters a heap of pancakes drenched in hot syrup.
"Oh boy! Pancakes and hot cocoa! Thank mom!"
Butter began munch down his breakfast. His rapid pace of eating was hampered by his mother stroking her hand through his golden hair.
"You need a haircut sweetie." She said idly.
"Y-yeah, I know mom. I'll go after school." Butters replied with a mouth full of pancake.
"Don't talk with your mouth full Butters! That's very rude." Said his father in a familiar, annoyed tone.
"And make sure you clean up your room too. It's absolutely unacceptable young man, and I shouldn't have to point that out to you."
"Yes sir." Butters responded obediently. Chores were not very high on his list of desirable Friday afternoon activities, but it was better then being grounded.
After finishing his breakfast and placing his dirty plate in the dish washer, Butters hurried back up stairs to retrieve his backpack. Now that he was fully equipped for the day, he waved goodbye to his parents and stepped out the front door. The sun was now perched just above the summit of a distant mountain. The air was warm from its soft radiating beams. The summer heat had pretty much melted all of the snow in South Park, leaving only dew to cover the neighborhood lawns.
Tweek was already waiting at the bus stop. The jittery blonde was equipped with his usual mis-buttoned, olive colored shirt and quirky mannerisms. He was currently guzzling down his second can of red bull.
"Heya Tweek!" Butters greeted the boy in his usual chipper.
"Gah!" The other cried back as he tossed the empty can to the ground.
Eager to initiate conversation, Butters started,
"Boy it sure is great that it's Friday and all, we've got a whole weekend ahead of us. Doin' anything fun tomorrow Tweek?"
"Ah! Tomorrow?! I don't think I'll be alive tomorrow man! A scientist from NASA was on Art Bell's show last night. He said some huge ass wave of anti matter from the center of the galaxy, is on a crash coarse with the earth. We're all gonna fry man!"
Panic was only a vain attempt in describing Tweek's voice. Butters wasn't phased by this.
"M-My dad said that nothing on that show is true, he says he will ground me if I ever listen to it. But sometimes, when I can't sleep at night, I turn it on and listen to it with h-headphones, so that he would never know."
The school bus soon rolled up to the corner, and Tweek and Butters boarded it. The short ride to school was fairly uneventful, if you didn't count the latest argument between Stan and Token concerning their affection for Wendy. Butters now made his way through the crowded school hallways, taking extra care to steer clear of the groups of 6th graders along the lockers. Luckily for him, they were busy gawking at a centerfold from the latest edition of Penthouse Magazine and he managed to reach his locker without a single bruise or wedgie. He opened it to retrieve his set of books and notes for his morning classes. But, unfortunately, Eric Cartman noticed the boy's arrival and descended upon his favorite victim.
"Good morning Butters." He said in an overly innocent tone.
"Mornin' Eric!" Butters answered back brightly.
"You know why I'm here Butters." Cartman said in a dangerous tone, he was holding his hand out to Butters.
"Oh!" The blonde boy said in realization. He opened his backpack and handed the fat boy a folder. Eric opened it and began to examine the enclosed documents.
"Your handwriting is too God damn messy you black asshole! I might loose points because of it!" A rotten frown was spread across his plump face.
"Wuh-well Eric, your handwriting usually is messy. Mrs. Garrison at least won't suspect that I did your project for you." Butters offered, hoping to defuse the situation.
"She better not suspect anything Butters." Cartman responded, threatening the smaller boy with a dark glare.
Butters closed his locker and prepared to walk to class. But before he could walk away, he was slammed hard against the lockers. Butters never got the chance to respond to Cartman's violent actions. He was now pinned by Eric's iron hand, gasping for breath. He began to tremble as he looked into the dark amber eyes of the large boy in front of him.
"It seems that my mom forgot to give me my lunch money today. I will need you to, hmm what's the word? Ah, loan, yes loan me some." He said in very diplomatic tone.
"Um well, Eric I dunno. I-I kinda don't got any money." Butters answered back, without looking away from the Cartman's malevolent eyes.
"Butters, your terrible liar, so don't fucking try."
Cartman didn't see the need to coax Butters into giving him what he wanted. He simply slipped his hand into Butter's back pocket and grabbed the boy's wallet. The stress of separating Velcro echoed through the halls as he opened it and stuck his fat fingers inside. Butters simply stood there helplessly as he watched Cartman fished out a crisp twenty dollar bill. Suddenly his heart lurched, causing him to break his submissive silence.
"Oh no Eric! Please! My grandma gave me that!"
"Shut the fuck up! This is MIEN!" The other responded in his typical whiney voice while holding the money up at Butters' face. Eric then tossed Butters' nearly depleted wallet back at the poor boy's feet and strode off.
Luckily, Butters was able to withhold the tears that were beginning to water in his eyes.
"Crying is for the weak, and you're not weak."
He thought to himself. He bent over and retrieved his wallet from the dirty hallway floor.
"At least Eric is so short sighted that he didn't pay attention to all the one dollar bills I've still got in here. I'll still have enough for lunch." He muttered to himself as he evaluated the object. A second later the bell rang and Butters suddenly realized that he was all alone in the hallways.
"Oh hamburgers, not again!" He cried out as took off running to his classroom.
Ms. Garrison had already begun her lecture when Butters entered the room.
"Butters! You're late to my class again!"
"I-I'm sorry ma'am, I swear it won't happen again." Butters mewed as he took his seat near the front of the classroom.
"That's what you said last time numb nuts! See me after class."
"Yes ma'am" Butters somberly answered.
Ms. Garrison resumed her comical and biased lecture on the peaceful history of the Middle East. A few hours later, the bell rang and the fourth grade students of Ms. Garrison's class poured out the door to eat lunch. Butters stood out from the crowd as he approached the teacher's desk.
"You wanted to talk to me Ms. Garrison?" Butters asked, while nervously kneading his knuckles together.
"Sit down Butters." Garrison commanded while gesturing her hand at an empty chair next to her desk. Butter obeyed while staring up at his teacher, unable to foresee what would happen next.
"Butters it seems you have been having some serious problems lately."
"P-Problems? Like what?"
"Well for starters, have you seen what you got on your geography test last week?" The teacher asked.
She reached into a drawer in her desk and withdrew a stapled set of papers. And with a flop, one of the papers landed in front of her student. Butters was horrified to see a gnarly looking F minus scratched on top of the page. What was even more discomforting was that he could remember studying long and hard for that test. From the sunny state of California, to the distant Maine in the east, he had memorized the names of every state capital.
Butters examined the test closer and he couldn't believe that he would have written down that Austin is the capital of Montana. He continued to look down the page to find that he had answered every single question incorrectly, the blood drained from his cold face as he realized the grave situation that he was in. But then he noticed something very peculiar, on the top of the page was written his name, 'Leopald Scotch'. Butters could never remember a time that he wrote his real name on anything but government registration forms. The handwriting on the test was sloppy and yet oddly familiar. Slowly, a creepy sensation of realization was enveloping him as the scenes from a memory entered his train of thought.
It was an unusually warm summer day at South Park Elementary School. The fourth glade classroom was stifling hot, even with all the windows wide open. Butters' blonde hair was soaked in his own sweat. His face was concentrated on the paper in front of him, his hand whipping it occasionally to keep the streams of perspiration rolling down his temples from smudging the ink on the page. The rest of the class was locked in a similar struggle. Wendy was silently whispering to herself while moving her pencil across the test, checking the accuracy of all her answers for the third time. Stan's asthma was completely agitated by the ripe, heat filled air. He gasped in a fresh dose of medicine from his inhaler while examining his test with his light blue eyes. Eric Cartman, however, had his own eyes fixed solidly on Ms. Garrison. The teacher was oblivious to this since she was busy humming along to the lesbian folk music playing on her iPod while filing her nails smooth.
Butters finally dropped his pencil down to his desk, and began to get up from his desk. Cartman saw his moment of opportunity had arrived.
"Butters" Cartman whispered at the boy who was sitting next to him. Butters snapped a cautious glance at Cartman.
"Let me see your test for second, I just need to check one of my answers." Cartman asked quietly.
"N-No Eric, I-I…" Butters began, but the look of death on Cartman's face immediately made him reconsider. Cartman's eyes were narrowed into small slits, telepathically telling Butters of the doom that awaited him if he continued to resist. Resolved to escape this fate, the smaller boy discreetly passed his test to Eric. He then glanced up to notice that Garrison was daydreaming while starring blankly into the ceiling, her iPod volume so high that he could hear the music in his far corner of the room.
Cartman took far less time then Butters expected him to need in order to compare answers. When he was done, Butters snatched his paper back and turned it in to his teacher. Butters returned to his seat, only for Eric to shoot him a big, malicious smile that spread from ear to ear. This puzzled the other boy for a while, he didn't truly find out the meaning behind it until now. His mind flipped back into the present.
"Ms. Garrison ma'am, this ain't my test. Someone must've switched mine out with theirs." Butters said, being careful not to name Eric Cartman. The consequences of helping a cheater were far more severe then just an F on a test.
"What makes you think that sugar tits?" Garrison responded in a skeptical tone.
"Well uh, I never write my real name like that. It ain't even spelled right." Butters said, trying to convince his teacher.
"That's right; you lost even more points for misspelling your own god damn name."
Butters opened his mouth to object further, but his teacher cut him off,
"Enough! I will not be lied to by a nine year old little boy! There's no way that this isn't your test Butters. I've had these tests with me from the moment you turned them in. So I suggest you stop before you get yourself into even more trouble."
Ms. Garrison's student was shocked and unable to believe in what he was hearing.
"You've been late to class three times this week." She said. Butters once again tried to defend himself,
"B-but Eric Cartman…"
"This has nothing to do with Eric; I'm talking about YOU Butters! I don't tolerate tardiness to my class. And don't you dare try to make up an excuse for it." Her tone was noticeably angrier.
"You can't keep your smartass comments to yourself and you still make silly faces at me. I've had it Butters! I've already called your parents; we will all be having a conference on Monday to discuss your appalling behavior."
Butters' face was mortally terrified with his teacher's last sentence. He actually began to tremble.
"Y-you t-told my p-parents?" he stuttered out in a force whisper.
"I did Butters, it seems like it will be the best way for me to finally reach you. Now go eat lunch and don't be late coming back." Garrison finished with her finger pointing straight at the door.
Butters looked back up at his teacher, his icy blues eye were filled with unspoken sorrow.
"GET!!" she yelled impatiently, making the boy flinch.
Butters immediately hopped off the chair and ran down the hallway towards the school cafeteria. The lunch period was nearly over. With his appetite stipend and most his money in the fat clutches of Eric Cartman, Butters bought a carton of milk from the lunch line. Sipping on the soothing white liquid, he set out to find a place to sit. His usual spot next to Stan and Kyle was taken today by Jimmy Volmar. Butters looked over to find Craig's table completely filled with his usual posse. He finally found a seat next to the solitary Kevin Chang. The Chinese boy, who rarely spoke, was concentrating on his book. He gave Butters the annoyed look of someone who wanted to be left alone as the other took his seat. But Butters didn't care, so he remained planted in his seat. The conversation he had just had with Ms. Garrison was replaying itself in his head. What was he going to say to his parents? The bell soon rang and two hundred kids took off racing towards the playground for recess.
Recess filled Butters with hope; perhaps he could get his mind onto better things. He quietly lined up next to the other boys of his class as Stan and Craig each took turns selecting players for their football team. The group of students who were waiting to get picked got smaller and smaller until Butters discovered that he was standing all alone. Without a word, Stan and Craig turned to their respective teams and began to organize their players. He was surprised by this; usually Stan picked him right after Kyle.
"Hey Stan, why didn't you pick me?" Butters called out to Stan. The other boy turned around to him with an expression of annoyance. He sighed at Butters and said,
"Butters, you've been playing horribly dude. You fumbled the ball three times yesterday. I'm trying someone else today." Stan turned his back on the other boy and returned to his team.
With his hope of having a fun recess crushed, Butters walked over to the secluded section of the playground behind the monkey bars. He found a comfortable spot underneath a large oak tree and plopped himself down on it. After looking around to find himself all alone, he buried his face into his hands.
Could this day get any worse?
"Is that you Leopold?" A polite voice called out from behind him.
"Oh, h-hey Pip." Butters tried to greet the kid with false happiness.
"Why the long face Leopold?" Pip asked as he examined his friend's body language.
Butters shook his head; he never understood why Pip couldn't just call him Butters like everyone else.
"Oh, i-its nothing. I'm just tired." Butters lied. Pip was always fun to play with, but he wasn't good at listening to others.
"Very well then, I shall go see if Stanley will let me play American football with him."
Pip wandered off, leaving Butters there in his spot beneath the tree. The bell finally rang and Butters reluctantly returned to his class to weather out the remainder of the day.
Butters passed the remainder of the afternoon by taking note on Mrs. Garrison's lecture over the industrial revolution. The final bell of the day rang, releasing the students to their weekend festivities. With his mind numbed by the newly arrived freedom of the weekend, Butters skipped his way home. He immediately got to work on cleaning his room; perhaps if it was good enough, his parents wouldn't be very sore with him. The slam of the front door announced their arrival and the foolishness of that notion.
Butters trembled his way down the stairs to find both of his parents staring at him with an apprehensive look. His mother initiated the terrifying ordeal,
"Butters, your teacher called us today at work. I was shocked to hear what she said about you. You! My son!"
Butters rubbed his knuckles together, hoping that it would quickly pass.
"You got an F on a test?! And then you tried to lie about it?! And what did we say about making silly faces?" Linda shouted, stopping to catch her breath.
"I-I'm sorry mom" was all that Butters could say in the overwhelming disappointment of his parents. His father now took over,
"Sorry isn't going to do it this time buster, your mother and I now have to take time off from work to go talk to your teacher next Monday. You are grounded mister!"
Those last four words took a moment to sink in for Butters. The worst of his fears had been realized, and his weekend was now completely ruined. His chin lowered itself to his chest.
"Get upstairs to your room right now mister!" His father commanded in his voice that resembled a Marine Corps drill sergeant.
Butters retreated to the safety of his room and sat himself at his desk, which faced the only window in his room.
"Grounded again for something I didn't do."
Butters thought and couldn't help it but feel very depressed. He moved closer to gaze out his window. A utopian spring time Friday afternoon was playing out before his eyes. He could make out the figures of Stan, Kyle, Kenny and many of his other classmates playing soccer out on the fields near his house. On the street two homes down, Bebe and Wendy were jumping rope; their other girlfriends were watching them while giggling with each other. On the opposite end of the street, Richard Tweek was joined by Jimbo and Randy Marsh on lawn chairs. They too were laughing with each other while taking liberals sips from their cans of beer. Everyone was enjoying the magnificent weather and soft, majestic evening sunlight, all of them except for Butters.
Instead, Butters decided to keep himself occupied with his latest project. A huge model of the Sears Tower in Chicago was constructed out of thousands of blocks of plastic, multicolored Lego blocks in the corner of his room. As he examined the progress of his creation, he heaved out a sigh of frustration. The money that Eric had stolen from him earlier that day was going to be used to buy more blocks for the completion of the skyscraper. At least he still had the materials to make the buildings that surrounded the tower. Boutiques, delis and a Harbucks coffee shop soon surrounded the tower. Daring only to leave his room for the bathroom; he worked well into the night until he could barely keep his eyes open. A tired, hungry and disheartened Butter climbed into his bed and descended into deep sleep.