Almost Starring Skinnybones

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Book: Almost Starring Skinnybones Read Online Free PDF
Author: Barbara Park
and Hollywood, and how you were going to be a big movie star and ride in a limousine, and how people all over the world were going to recognize you and—”
    “I never said
over the world,” I corrected, raising a finger in the air. “I said in most major countries and the parts of China with electricity.”
    Brian ignored me and kept right on talking.
    “And then you bought those sunglasses and started signing autographs that nobody wanted. My mother said the last time she went to the grocery store, you ripped her bag.”
    “She resisted,” I explained simply. “A fan should never resist. Someone could get hurt.”
    Brian looked at me strangely. “You said that Pudding Boy is a personal friend of yours.”
    I smiled and nodded. “Yeah. What a crazy guy.”
    “Listen to yourself, Alex!” he exclaimed. “Can’t you hear how you sound?”
    Before I could answer, he stood up and headed for the door.
    I followed.
    “Look, Brian,” I said. “All I meant to say was that even though I’m probably going to be very famous now, it doesn’t mean I’m going to change.”
    I paused. “Of course, I’ll probably have to wear a disguise from time to time, but—”
    Brian covered his ears and hurried out the door. Just as he was starting down the front steps, he stopped suddenly and whipped around.
    “Oh yeah. There’s one more thing, Alex,” he said.
    He put his hand on my shoulder. “No offense. But deep down, I really don’t admire you that much.”

    After he was gone, I turned off the TV and sat down in my father’s recliner. Then I gazed down at the ten little bald guys on my hands. I fought the urge to chew on their heads.
    I pushed the chair back to the reclining position, stretched out comfortably, and tried to relax.
    I closed my eyes.
    Annabelle Posey drifted into my mind. She was laughing harder than ever.

    T he next day
I stopped by Brian’s house to get him before school. Even when we have a fight, Brian and I walk to school together. It’s one of the unwritten rules of our friendship.
    At least it used to be.
    “Sorry, Alex. He’s already gone,” Mrs. Dunlop informed me when she answered the door. “He left a few minutes ago.”
    I was shocked.
    “What do you mean, he left a few minutes ago, Mrs. Dunlop?” I questioned. “Why would he leave without me? He
leaves without me. It’d be like a crime or a sin or something!”
    “Alex, he’s—”
    “I hate to walk alone, Mrs. Dunlop! Brian knowsit, too. I tried it in kindergarten a couple of times. A high school kid came by in a car and hit me with an egg.”
    “Have you ever been hit with an egg at high speed, Mrs. D.? It feels like you’ve been shot. I saw the eggshell, but I just thought some of my bones had splintered or something.”
    Mrs. Dunlop stood there rolling her eyes. She does that a lot when I’m around.
    “Look, Alex. I don’t know why Brian left without you. All I know is that about five minutes ago, he yelled good-bye and hurried out of here. I thought you were with him.”
    “Well, I’m not. I’m here,” I said, pointing to her porch. “And out there somewhere there’s a high-school kid with a handful of hen fruit just waiting to catch me alone.”
    “Alex, I really think you’re being a little paranoid about this. Kids walk to school every day without being bombarded with garbage from passing cars.”
    “You should have seen my shirt, Mrs. D. It was all slimy and sick looking. Worse than a runny nose.”
    Mrs. Dunlop winced.
    “It was a new shirt, too,” I remembered. “It said ‘I’m a Little Dickens.’ My grandmother brought it to me from the Bahamas.”
    Mrs. Dunlop made this big sighing noise and shook her head. “Have a nice day, Alex,” she said. Then she shut the door in my face.
    Mrs. Dunlop thinks she knows me well enough to treat me like that.
    I figured that Brian was too far ahead for me to catch up, so I didn’t bother to run. Besides,
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