Blue sits alone in the back of his classroom with Minion. The rest of the class is gathered around Wayne Scott and Mrs. Braswell as they lead them in childish song. They just finished practicing Home on the Range and are starting on Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Blue listens momentarily to the new song once, memorizing it instantly, and then returns his attention to his invention.
He is soon deep in concentration with his tongue stuck out of the corner of his mouth as he works. He fits the final piece in place and examines his handiwork. It looks right, but there's only one way to be sure. He needs to test it on something.
He pockets the gun and walks over to the back of the room where the classroom hamster lives. He glances back to make sure no one is watching. He isn't surprised that they aren't. They ignore him as much as possible. He removes the lid and puts his blue hand into the aquarium. The little rodent approaches his hand and sniffs it cautiously. Its little whiskers tickle the boy's fingers. He carefully cups his hand under the little animal and lifts it from its bed of wood-shavings. He pets the furry thing for a moment, glancing back again to make sure no one is watching.
He places the animal on the counter and quickly draws and fires his new gun at the innocent creature. Instantly there's a bright light and the hamster shimmers into a glowing blue cube, faint wisps of vapor curl off it. It worked! Or, at least, half of the process did.
He hides the gun in his pocket, picks up the cube, and drops it into the hamster's habitat. He lifts the water bottle from its position hooked on the side of the cage and holds it over the cube. He pokes at the small ball bearing at the end of the tube to release a few drops of water directly onto the compressed matter. The cube flashes and shimmers into a dazed-looking hamster. The boy watches the animal shake itself and then waddle over to the exercise wheel and begin running.
Blue watches the animal for a few minutes, insuring it has returned to its normal behavior. Once satisfied, he returns the hamster's water bottle and puts the lid back on the cage. Then he gets a cup of water from the sink in the corner of the room. He notices the teacher glancing up at him. He smiles at her and shows her the cup and returns to his seat. Satisfied, she returns to the rest of the class and introduces them to one more song: The Itsy Bitsy Spider. Blue dutifully listens to one boring verse and then decides to test his invention on Minion.
The hamster was a good safety test, but it couldn't give him feedback on what the experience felt like or if there were any lingering effects. He draws his gun from his pocket and aims at his best friend. The fish smiles trustingly at his master and promptly shimmers into a cube as the weapon's beam hits his sphere. Just as expected. Blue tips his water cup over the cube and it transforms back to his friend.
But wait! Minion is floating upside-down in his bowl with his tongue lolling out. Oh, no! The boy taps on the fish's sphere and Minion shakes himself and turns right-side up again. He's fine. Apparently, the process leaves the subject dazed for a second. He'll have to ask his friend about the experience once they're back in their cell, where it's safe to talk.
Blue is so engrossed in the experiment that he doesn't notice the sing-a-long circle breaking up. The children return to their desks. The teacher asks if everyone had completed their reading assignment for class. Everyone nods except Blue, who rarely acknowledges anything the teacher asks unless addressed directly. The teacher notes his lack of agreement and interprets that to mean he had not read the assignment. So, she calls on him. "Blue, did you read The Cat and The Hat like I assigned last week?"
Blue looks at her, "Not last week," he answers, "I read that when I was six months old."
The teacher frowns, annoyed at his obvious lie and the fact that he hadn't done the assignment. "I had hoped you'd have done as I asked. If you don't know the story, how can you participate in the discussion?"
"I said I read the story when I was six months old," Blue tells her, "Uncle 67366 gave it to me. I remember how it goes."
"Blue, no one can read at six months old."
"Humans can't read at six months old," he corrects her, "But I could."
This assertion flusters the teacher, "I won't tolerate lies in my classroom, Blue."
"It's not a lie. Ask the warden," he insists, "Last night I read A Midsummer Night's Dream. Dr. Seuss is really too easy for me. But I remember the story, if you want me to discuss it with the class."
"Don't compound things with more lies, Blue," she tells him, "No six year old reads Shakespeare."
Blue is insulted. He wasn't lying. He clenches his jaw and narrows his eyes. Then, to prove he's telling the truth, he recites:
"If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber'd here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend:
if you pardon, we will mend:
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to 'scape the serpent's tongue,
We will make amends ere long;
Else the Puck a liar call;
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends."
The teacher blinks, "You read that last night?"
"Yes," answers Blue, "But I guess you'd rather hear about a talking cat barging into a house and scaring two children and their minion."
It finally dawns on Mrs. Brasswell that her strange student may be more advanced than she is qualified to teach. She doesn't want to admit this, however. Instead she crisply tells him, "Alright. If you're so smart that our reading is below you, then let's see how well you comprehend what you claim to have read. I want you to write a five page report on A Midsummer Night's Dream. Summarize what it's about and tell me what you think of it. Please turn it in to me Monday morning. In the meantime, try to pay attention to the class's discussion of the assigned reading, please." With that she turns on her heel and returns to the front of the room where she determinedly ignores the blue boy for the rest of the lesson.
That's fine with him. He's already beginning on his book report and is halfway finished by the time the class is released for recess.
Outside Blue sits alone, on a swing. He wishes he were allowed to bring Minion outside with him, but knows it would only make the fish a target. He rocks himself slowly back and forth on his swing as he watches the other children play.
Eventually Mr. Goody-two-shoes flies up to him and smirks cruelly, "You think you're so smart, don't you?" he asks.
Blue is wary of answering that question. Of course he thinks he's smart. With this head, how could he be anything else? But he doesn't think that's the right answer in this case, so he just shrugs noncommittally and says nothing.
"Why'd you want to go and make Mrs. Brasswell look stupid?" he asks Blue.
"I couldn't help it. I just answered her questions about the reading. It isn't my fault she didn't believe me," he answers.
"You should have just read the assignment like the rest of us."
"I did. I don't see how it matters if I read it last week or 5 years ago. I still remember the story."
"Nobody remembers things from that long ago."
Blue is getting really tired of everyone calling him a liar. He stands up and faces the other boy. "It's not my fault that you and the humans have such tiny brains."
"You calling me stupid?" Wayne challenges.
"Only compared to me," Blue answers.
"That's it!" Wayne Scott pushes Blue and he flies across the playground to slam into the pavement under the basketball hoops forty feet away.
Blue moans and picks himself up shakily. He looks over to see Wayne Scott stomping toward him with his eyes glowing orange. Panic makes his heart flutter and he tries to think of what he can do. Finally he remembers his dehydration gun. He draws the weapon and aims it at the other boy. "Stay back or I'll shoot you," he warns.
"Oh, I'm so scared," Wayne taunts, "You're going to blast me with your scary laser."
"It's not a laser," argues Blue.
"Who cares," says Wayne, "I'm going to make you cry like a little baby." He is right in front of Blue now and he draws his fist back, preparing to strike.
Blue fires his gun. The beam strikes Wayne square in the chest and he looks down at himself confused. Blue scrambles back before checking to see what had happened. Mr. Perfect hadn't turned into a cube, but instead he's standing there stark naked. A blush creeps into the popular boy's cheeks as Blue starts to grin and then to giggle. Then he laughs out loud and is joined by the other children on the playground.
The teacher hurries over and hustles Wayne into the schoolhouse. As he leaves, Blue notices the blue square on the ground where the nude boy had been standing. The gun had worked, then. It had dehydrated the boy's clothing, but not the boy himself. Blue wonders why not. He picks up the cube and hurries into the schoolhouse to tell the teacher what had happened and to return the other boy's clothing.
Its years before Wayne forgives Blue for humiliating him that day.