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“Why can’t I be the flag-bearer?” Sklippie asked, disappointed.
His teacher bit her lip and looked away. “Well... It’s that... Look, the other kid’s parents want a Greek boy to carry the flag, because it’s a national celebration you see.”
“And what am I?” the black boy asked.
“Look, Asklepios. Remember last year when you scored first in class again, and we made you flag-bearer?”
“Well, remember when the parents didn’t let their kids show up at the parade? Wasn’t that sad?” The teacher glanced towards Mr. Papadopoulos and his son. The father was fat and bald, and the son was a tiny version of him.
“Yes, miss...” Sklippie looked down at his feet.
“We don’t want people missing the parade, do we? Why put a wedge in the celebration when we can simply have someone else be the flag-bearer and avoid this sort of conflict?”
“So it’s okay with you, Asklepios? We know you are the best in class, everybody knows that. And usually it’s the best student who’s the flag-bearer, but this time we’ll have the second best. You’ll be right there, behind the flag-bearer, just not carrying it. Alright?”
The electrode sparked and Ace shook violently. “Oh man, why d’you do that?”
Sklippie laughed, filming the whole thing on his phone. “I needed to test the conductivity of real skin.”
“On me?” Ace whined, rubbing her hand.
“It’s science, Ace.”
“Then, ouch, bitch! Anyways, are you done now?”
“Nope. I tried it on myself, you. I need one more for the readings to be statistically significant.”
“Ty!” they said together.
“I’m bringing him over, you be ready to film.” Ace took off, excited to punk her friend.
Sklippie reset the capacitor switch and listened to the electric hum of the defibrillator. It was tuned way down, he didn’t want to make a heart stop, but it worked as proof of concept.