Behaving Badly

In a tiny room, in a tiny building, in a tiny town

Principle Mackey sighed tiredly and took off his glasses, rubbing his shiny forehead.

"Mr. Cullen, I just don't understand it. Your brother is a model citizen, your mother is a respectable woman of the community, and your father is a world renowned doctor. Why do you keep ending up in my office?"

A boy was seated in a plain brown chair with wooden arm rests. Actually, sitting did not describe his position. The boy was slouched down, sprawled out on the chair with his feet propped up on the principal's desk. Principal Mackey swatted at his feet until he removed him. Running a tan hand through his now tousled bronze hair, the boy smirked.

"Well John-" he folded his hands together like the older man had his.

"It's Principal Mackey to you, Mr. Cullen."

The boy shrugged. "Okay Mack, here's the deal. When I was a really little kid . . ." He drew off strategically.

The principal looked heavenward in silent prayer that this would be a turning point.

"My mother always told me that I was supposed to be creative, find myself. Well, I have found myself. I love mayhem. In fact, it's a big part of my life. I like to be creative it's the way I express myself."

The principal dropped his head in his hands.

"Edward," he groaned.

"Yes John," he said promptly.

"Mr. Cullen."


"There are limits to creativity, when your search for . . ."

"My identity."

"Yes, your identity continues, there must be limits for you."

"Your pamphlet doesn't say anything about limits in here, actually," the boy countered, "I do believe it directs you to pass limits."

"What pamphlet?"

The boy reached in the back pocket of his baggy pants and whipped out a green tri-fold brochure.

The principal grabbed the pamphlet and skimmed through it.

Surpass limits you thought you couldn't . . .

Find yourself; it's important for you to know who you are . . .

Be creative; don't let anything hold you back . . .

The principal closed his eyes, no longer wishing to see the growing smirk on the teen's face.

"For the love of . . . Edward, it means within reason."

"I find what I did perfectly reasonable."

"Within school policy."

"Well you see John-"

"Principal Mackey."

"Mack, it doesn't specify in the pamphlet, so how was I supposed to differentiate?"

"Edward, I can't let you go unpunished for this act of, heaven help me, mayhem."

The boy's eyes gleamed at the word.

"It wasn't a big deal."

"Edward, I-"


The principal sputtered indignantly.

"Mr. Cullen, making America's Most Wanted posters and putting Mr. Banner's picture in for one of the Top Ten Most Wanted pictures and posting it around the school is a very big deal."

"Well, they try to apprehend people that commit heinous crimes after all."

"Heinous crimes?"


"What possible crime could Mr. Banner, the biology teacher have committed?"

"Several, but the most important is probably murder."


"Yes, over the years, I have personally witnessed hundreds of cold-blooded murders that Mr. Banner has committed."

"Edward," the principal muttered in warning.

The boy flashed his hands up innocently. "I have proof. I have a picture of Mr. Banner standing over one of the bodies with the weapon that killed it."

The principal stared at the boy; he was seriously starting to creep him out.

"Give it to me."

The boy handed over the photo and the principal took it, he almost didn't want to look at it.

He looked down and started rubbing his forehead again. He started shaking. The boy couldn't tell whether it was crying or laughing, either way, the boy found it amusing.



"For heaven's sake Edward, dissecting frogs is part of the curriculum, not murder!"

"Tell that to the SPCA."

The principal didn't even want to know, but the boy filled him in on it anyway.

"The Society of Prevention to Cruelty to Animals."

"Edward, I'm giving you a detention."

The boy smiled mildly. "Fair enough."

The principal frowned. He shouldn't be giving in so easily.

"One more incident like this and I'll suspend you."

"What else have I done?"

"Don't get me started on the fire alarm incident."

The boy looked at him in disbelief. "I smelled smoke, how was I supposed to know that the cafeteria just burnt the mystery meat?"

The principal was definitely laughing now. A very disturbing, crazy laugh.

"Leave Mr. Cullen, before I change my mind about your punishment. I have to introduce the new student to the school and I do not want her first impression of the people here to be you."

The boy shrugged off the chair and pulled out a flat billed hat and put it on backward.

"Later John."

"It's Principal," the door slammed, "Mackey," the principal finished tiredly.

What am I going to do with that boy?