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Mem is on the playground watching evil.

First grade recess. Marta is trailed by Yammer, who always talks back. Any time Yammer is frightened or threatened, Yammer yells at the person. Yammer is quiet right now, but Mem knows.

Nancy, Becca, Berry and Ralph-the-strange are whispering. They glance at Marta. They pretend not to see Yammer. Around them stand Bean, Flossie, Sherry and Sol. They all seem to enlarge and grow as Mem watches. Except Sol. Sol seems hesitant.

They are playing tag and Becca is it. "Aren't you playing?" says Becca to Mem. Bean looms. Mem shakes her head.

"I'm IT!" sings out Becca and runs. The group scatters. They all run in different directions, at first. Mem is sitting, looking at the grass but she looks up some. The directions slowly converge as Becca and Bean chase first one and then another. Converge on Marta and Yammer.

Becca chases Nancy, who runs right by Marta. Becca throws out an arm and tags Marta on the shoulder, hard, knocking her down. Yammer jumps for Becca and is intercepted by Flossie. "I'm not playing!" yells Marta, crying, holding her shoulder. "You meanie!" yells Yammer, screaming at Flossie. They are rolling on the ground, punching each other.

The timing is rather perfect, as the playground monitor is at the other end of the playground, separating two other kids who are fighting over turns with a basketball. Marta is howling. "You're it!" says Becca viciously. She turns away, ignoring Yammer and Flossie. They both have nosebleeds and torn clothes. The playground monitor turns and heads towards the group, fast. The other girls are in the way, Marta and Becca can't be seen, only heard. Ralph-the-strange is on the edge of the group, edging but not participating, shifting from one foot to the other. Sol is hiding. Mem plucks blades of grass and clover heads. It's almost time...

The bell rings and the girls turn towards the school, moving towards the line up sedately. Only Marta is on the ground, crying. The monitor is leaning over her, holding out her hands. Mem gets up and moves to the line, after the boys have joined it.

Ralph-the-strange lags the girls and waits for the boys. He joins the line after Mem. Marta is last, sniffling. Ralph turns and offers her a clover head. And she takes it, after a glance to see that no one is watching but Mem.

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