Little Darren woke and, flailing at covers dampened with sweat, growled at the thought of the coming day.

The night before had been the school pageant. All had gone swimmingly, with Little Darren in the lead role of Harlequin, and as grand as he’d felt at the curtain call – like a comet streaking across the sky – that’s how abysmal he felt now, the morning after.

Why. Why. Why had he tried to kiss the native girl behind the giant leaf?

How she had recoiled at his misguided attempt!

He jammed the pillow over his head, but still he could hear her shocked exclamation.

“Little Darren NO!”

Already ringing in his ears were the high-pitched voices of the other kids at school, who would mimic her cry over and over all day, sending him straight to Windglum forevermore.

What could he do? He stood from the bed, shaking his head. Such a bad damn day it was going to be.