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The Marvelous Story of Roger Weedmont
and His Troupe of Magical Fleas !
(Book one / a 34,000 word - YA )
Roger is not a bad boy. As a matter of fact, all of his teachers like him very much. He does his homework. He pays attention in class. He does everything that a thirteen year old boy is expected to do in school. He does all of these things without complaint.
The only thing is, if you didn't already know Roger, he is much like the invisible man. Normally, kids want to be noticed. They wear their brightly colored sports shirts, or perhaps dress in the "Goth" style. They may even color their hair in various colors of the rainbow, just to stand out.
But not Roger. For Roger, being seen is not being seen. At the suggestion of his principal and friend, Mrs. Billows, they together start a "club" that requires that Roger obtain a pet. Roger's family has never had a pet before, and Roger attempts to find a pet that he can keep hidden from his parents.
Actually, Roger has some difficulty finding a pet, and a pet finds Roger instead!
This pet's name is Flip. "Flip The Magical Flea" to be exact. Flip is not your usual pet. Flip is a pet flea, and a magical flea at that. Flip has a bunch of magical flea friends as well, that he refers to as his "Troupe of Magical Fleas".
Flip (and his Troupe) agree to become Roger's pet. Life will no longer be boring for Roger. He will no longer be a wallflower. As a matter of fact, Roger is going to be marvelous!
Oh, there is just one catch...
By: Lorenzo Dion Lee & Linda Fakundiny-Lee
Artwork by: Linda Fakundiny-Lee
NOW PLEASE ENJOY THIS SNEAK PEEK OF:
" THE MARVELOUS STORY OF ROGER WEEDMONT AND
HIS TROUPE OF MAGICAL FLEAS! "
Read chapters 1-4 now !
Meet Roger Weedmont
"Can I help you?" "Excuse me young man, can I help you?” “What is your name, and for whom are you looking?” “Uh… I'm Roger... Yes, my name is Roger, and I was told to report here to meet with the new principal.” “Just a moment, let me take a look. Oh, Roger Weedmont is it?” “Yes ma'am.” “Fine, have a seat and the principal will see you as soon as she can.” “Okay, thank you.” Roger answered, while keeping a steady respectful voice.
“Let me introduce myself, my name is Mr. Flip-Itch-McJumpy, and I am a Magical Flea. Please make no mistake, but to be fair, the Roger Weedmont that I know now, is not the same Roger Weedmont that sits now before his new principal. I thought that it would be a good idea to tell this wonderful story, from the very beginning, because if not, it might just be beyond belief!
As you can probably already tell, this was not Roger's first time at the principal's office, and it most likely would not be his last. Roger was, well let's just say, that he was a bit of a quiet and private kind of boy. He looked very much like the other school kids, and probably felt like most of them as well.
His glasses did not feel as if they fit him correctly, and his arms felt as if they were far too long for his body. To Roger, his feet felt as if he were standing in a small boat, on a choppy lake. Roger just never seemed to feel confident or balanced when he walked. Roger's Father told him that this was because he was growing, and his body had a way of not being in sync, but he also said that in time, it would eventually catch up. For Roger, this was like saying “Hang in there kid, you look like a dork, and you walk like a duck, but don't worry, someday you will be normal." Roger always thought to himself, "What is normal anyway?"
Roger had a way of over-thinking things far too much. At least that was what his teachers had told him. And as for the principal, or should we say his new principal, he hadn’t even met her as of yet. His new principal was the replacement for his previous principal Mrs. Billows, who was now happily retired.
Mrs. Billows had been his principal for a long time, and Roger thought that he had, had her pretty much trained to his liking, just the way he wanted. Roger was not a trouble maker, but according to Mrs. Billows, he just wasn’t engaging enough. “Roger,” she would say, “You are not a bad boy. You are smart, and you get good grades, but I think you need a hobby. Perhaps you could join a school club? Maybe even an after-school club or a troupe of some sort? Now, what are some of your interests? Do you like Chess, Track, Martial Arts, or perhaps the Library Club?” “Maybe the school band or choir?” “Perhaps try your hand at acting?”
Mrs. Billows stared at Roger with her eyes opened wide, just waiting for him to give her some type of response. He thought to himself, “Chess? Boring. Track? No, I could fall. ”Also, if he had participated in track, he would then have to have wear shorts. Even with long pants on, Roger already looked like he was riding on a chicken’s back.
“Martial arts? Too Dangerous. Library club? A Sleeper. School Band? I would have an asthma attack trying to blow into a horn? Acting? I thinketh not.”
All of these clubs seemed like bad ideas to Roger. He normally would have started looking around the room, as if to wait for an answer to magically appear out of thin air. But this time, nothing came to his mind.
Out of what would always seem like pity, Mrs. Billows would say “Well Roger, why don’t you think about it a bit, and I will see you next week in my office?” Yes, that is correct. Mrs. Billows thought that it would be a good idea for Roger to see her weekly. I suppose that Mrs. Billows’ line of thinking was, that if Roger was not going to join a school club, then she and he would become a club of two, she and Roger. A club of two, just unto them.
The Never-Ending List Of Afterschool Ideas
Please let it be known, that even though I am a magical flea, it does not mean that I know everything. It does however mean that I have the ability to make what should not be able to happen, happen.
One day, before Roger and I had our “agreement”, you know, our “Pet and Owner agreement”, his Guidance counselor caught him in the hallway at school. She was fully loaded with a barrage of curious questions. She said to Roger, "Hello Mr. Weedmont. If possible, might you have some spare time to stop by my office? I like to check with my students from time to time, especially with those that I have not spoken to for a while, just to see how things are going, and also to if there is anything that I can do for them.
"Roger slowed his walk down, looked at his guidance counselor, and then finally stopped. He replied "Yes that would be okay, I guess that I could come and see you". She said to Roger, "Will you be having any free time today or any free classes?" Roger replied "Yes I have a free Pass today. I can come see you, later today".
Roger had earned a free pass. This means that when a student is caught up on their school work, they are given a free period during which they can do just about anything that they would like to do. Some study, or others may “hang out” and socialize with other students that have a free Pass. And then, there are others that choose to nothing at all.
Roger’s free time had approached, and he walked over and knocked on the counselor’s door. She asked him to enter and have a seat, and she smiled at Roger as he fumbled around a little bit with his backpack, and then finally sat down in the chair facing her, from across her desk.
She then looked at Roger and asked, "So, how are things going Roger?" Roger answered, “Fine". Then his counselor suggested to him, “Roger, I would like to give you a few ideas on some afterschool activities that you may want to try. I believe it is good for every student to have something to do in their time off. Most students choose some type of hobby or activity. They all come to me for suggestions. Everyone that is, except you?”
“So Roger, are you involved in any afterschool activities?” Roger answered, “No”. She asked, “Why not”? Roger answered, “I don't know”. With that, his counselor ruffled through some papers on her desk and said, “Roger I have been thinking about you, and I think that I may have come up with some suggestions as to some great afterschool activities for you. I think that this will be a very good thing for you.”
Roger stares blankly at his counselor without blinking. He thinks to himself, “Oh boy, here is yet another person trying to get me to become more social, as if I'm not already? I guess the least that I can do is to hear what she has to say. Who knows, she may actually have some good ideas.”
"Roger, I am going to suggest that you do a little volunteer work. On my list here, I have some volunteering ideas. These are some ideas that you can choose from? I have also narrowed it down to some that you might even enjoy? You could try going around to your neighbor’s houses, and ask them if they would like you to do a chore for them? Or, you could think about possibly trying your hand at botany or perhaps some sort of outdoor science study. Maybe try your hand at being a towel-boy for one of the sports teams?”
Roger became increasingly dizzy as she continued to read to him her never-ending list of ideas. Before she had the chance to add any more ideas to the list, Roger quickly interrupted her and said, “I think I wouldn't mind the “helping people with chores” thing, or maybe the drawing thing? Maybe even the science thing. But I don't think I would be interested in the botany thing. And I definitely wouldn't like being a towel-boy for any sports team, especially not a school team.”
His guidance counselor perked up in her seat and with a smile she said, "Okay then, this is great. This is wonderful Roger, this is just wonderful! Now everything else is pretty much straight forward. As for the art thing, I recommend that you maybe try using chalk and possibly draw outside on the ground. This way it makes less of a mess, and you can pretty much be free as to what you would like to draw. And of course, you will never run out of something to write on!" (She chuckled to herself).
"Well then Roger, I think that will just about do it. Thank you for coming by, and make sure that you check with me, and let me know how things are going for you." Roger reaches for his backpack, clumsily drops it on the floor and trips over it. He attempts to leave her office and finally gets his things together. Then off he goes, giving a half-hearted smile to his counselor, all the while, heavily concentrating on his new project, “Afterschool activities”.
Flip continues: “I have to say, Roger really did try each and every one of those chores or afterschool activities, but as his guidance counselor had put it, with mixed results.
Attacking The Never Ending List
First, Roger tried the “art thing”. He asked his mother to take him to the local art store. He eagerly purchased an assortment of colored chalk along with some cloth gloves (to keep his hands from getting soiled) and he was ready to go! Unfortunately, it did not take long for Roger to figure out that this probably was not the afterschool activity for him. Although he got the hang of it, and he found it quite entertaining, it came to a sudden and abrupt halt.
Well, for some reason, Roger decided that his sidewalk art was so good, that he was going to share it with everybody. Roger would race home after school and gather his art supplies. He would then wander down nearby streets and draw all afternoon on sidewalks, writing on driveways of neighbors and also some non-neighbors.
Finally, one day, shortly after he had started his drawings, as he was on his way to school, a lady was walked towards him from the school holding a little child's hand. She stopped and stared at Roger and said, "Excuse me, but aren't you that young man that has been putting graffiti all over the neighborhood?" With a shocked and petrified feeling on the inside, Roger's first impulse was to lie and say “Absolutely not ma'am, I would never do such a thing, because I am a good boy." Instead, Roger stared at her without saying a single word. The lady asked "What is wrong with you, are you deaf? Or is it that you can't speak?” Roger began to fidget around until he thought it was just the right time to walk off. As he was walking away, he could hear the lady yell to him,” I am watching you!” So after this encounter, Roger abandoned his “art” afterschool activity.
So down the list he went, onto the next item. Roger thought to himself, “Doing a chore for neighbor, I think I can do that”. That night Roger opened his desk drawer to pull out a blank sheet of paper, and he simply wrote down at the top of the page “Do a chore”.
Then he stopped and thought for a moment. It seemed pretty simple. I would just walk around, find some nice old lady's house, knock on her door and say “Excuse me ma'am, my name is Roger Weedmont. Is there any chore around your house that needs to be done, that you don't like doing? Because if there is, I am your man!
This sounded good to Roger. This would be the plan for the next day after school activity. This is what he was going to do!
Throughout the next school day, Roger was excited at the prospect of doing an act of kindness, or a chore of some sort for someone. He could see it now, whenever a little old gray-haired lady would have someone over for tea, she would proudly exclaim “Do you wonder why my house looks so great?” That is because Roger Weedmont was here performing an act of kindness!”
Actually, Roger kind of liked the sound of it, and he repeated it to himself again and again, because he was fond of how it sounded. Let's see, he thought…“That's because Roger Weedmont was here performing an act of kindness for me.”
The school day was finally over, and it was time for Roger to take on the responsibilities of his (now second) afterschool activity. Roger was ready to go. He ran home to drop off his backpack. He grabbed his gloves and then canvassed the neighborhood for someone that was in need of a chore to be done.
Roger walked and walked, looking around until he found the perfect house. And then there it was the perfect house. He walked up the driveway onto the walkway which led him to the front door. The door was closed so he knocked on it.
Roger knocked several times yet no one answered the door. Roger thought to himself, “What if I took this “doing a chore for someone” thing a step further? What a wonderful surprise it would be for someone, if they came home and found that the chore that they had always wanted to do, but never had the time to do, was already done for them? Yes, he thought, this would be a great idea!
Roger took it upon himself to take a look in this person’s back yard. He saw (what seemed to him) to be a pile of junk, so he loaded a few of the “junk” items into the small wagon attached to his bicycle, and hauled them away. Roger then returned back to the same house and continued loading some more ”junk” away. As he was loading his wagon on his third trip, the front door swung open, and a man rushed out of the house with a telephone in his hand. He screamed out “Hey you! What do you think you're doing? Are you out of your mind?” Roger jumped to attention, snapped his head toward the man's direction and promptly stumbled in reverse. The man continued “Are you the kid that's been stealing things from my yard? Stealing my expensive collector’s yard art work?”
The man continued shouting at Roger, and Roger began to nervously take the items from his third “dump run” trip out of his wagon, and he placed them down in the middle of the man's lawn. The man however, wasn't finished with poor Roger. “Don't you move? Don't you dare move?” Roger began to walk backwards faster and faster until he finally turned around and made a beeline for his bicycle. He jumped on it and started pedaling away as fast as he could. In the background, he could hear the man screaming, “Help me, help me! Call the police! I've caught the lawn art thief! Hey you, kid? What's your name? Stop!”
The man was still yelling as Roger reached the end of the block. Roger quickly turned right, and promptly went to his home to hide.
Roger's Final Attempt
It was now painfully clear to Roger that his second afterschool activity was also a disaster. So being the non-quitter that Roger was, he went on to what was his third and final chosen afterschool activity. He looked down at his list of activity choices. The last two were already scratched off. The art thing and doing a chore for someone, was out of the question.
All that was left was the scientist activity. So true to nature, Roger prepared for tomorrow's afterschool activity. Roger was sure that this one would go better than the others. After all, it didn't involve any interaction with people, and how bad could it be looking at a few bugs and writing down what they are doing? Maybe looking at a few plants, draw a little sketch of them. Nothing could possibly go wrong here.
The next day school flew by. Roger was really excited to finally have an afterschool activity where he could finally report back to his guidance counselor, just how much fun he was having doing it. Roger gathered his equipment. He grabbed a magnifying glass, and of course, a pair of gloves, his inhaler, his eye drops for allergies, his cortisone cream, his dust mask, his protective eye goggles, that went on top of his normal eyeglasses, a pencil, a pad of paper, and being that he was usually very thirsty, probably he would need to grab himself some bottled water.
Roger stuffed his supplies inside of a bag, and off he went. Without a hitch, Roger looked at plants, and he watched and examined a few Beatles. He dug through shrubs, looked at grubs, and smiled at the grasshoppers. Roger couldn't help thinking to himself “Now this is not all that bad. I have some notes and I have done a few sketches. All in all, I am doing pretty well this time!” Just as Roger began to exhale in relief, he noticed that his throat was very quickly becoming swollen and sore. He thought, well this is a bizarre new symptom for my allergies?
This was the last thought Roger remembered having that day, just before he ended up in the emergency room at the hospital. You see, it turns out that somehow Roger contracted poison oak on his tonsils. And although the emergency room doctors had never seen or read any documented cases of this happening, they were able to treat it successfully.
It was so unusual however, that Roger was featured on the first page in his favorite magazine “Allergist Weekly”. Roger quickly deduced that he would probably become a local celebrity, and being that he did not want to be hounded by other students at his school for his autograph, Roger asked if his face could be “black dotted” in the article. You know, just to protect his privacy. Needless to say, his third afterschool activity was also a complete, absolute and utter bust.
You see, thank goodness for Roger, I found him that day. Roger did not select me as his pet; however, I selected Roger as one, although to this day he does not know this.
You see, the way it works is like this, we fleas, we magical fleas, pick out two or three people that we may want to become attached to, and we watch over these people for all of their life. However, when Roger told me this next story, after I had become his magical flea, it is no wonder that as I saw him doing this, I knew I was in for a handful.
(End of sneak peek)
These have been a few excerpts from the MS of :
“The Marvelous Story Of Roger Weedmont and His Troupe of Magical Fleas!”
By: Lorenzo Dion Lee & Linda Fakundiny-Lee
Artwork by: Linda Fakundiny-Lee