Sam was making the list.
“Steve Parnelli?” I protested, “Why? He’s nice.”
“Carson has a crush on Steve Parnelli,” Sam said with a sneer.
“I do not! But, he’s always been nice and polite to me and he’s never been mean to Sharon, even though he hangs out with those guys.”
“You just have a crush on him like every other girl in school, because he’s soooooo gooood looking,” Sam scoffed.
“I do NOT!” I shot back before he even finished. (He was really making me mad.) “He’s just nice is all. Just because someone is popular doesn’t necessarily mean they’re bad, you know!”
“Carson is right, Sam, Steve is nice, at least he’s never been mean to me,” Sharon said.
“Well, why doesn’t he call off the pack then? He could, you know.”
Sam kinda had a good point, but I kept my mouth shut.
“How do you know he hasn’t tried?” Sharon asked.
“Because they all do what he says and if he’d tried, none of this would be happening to you,” Sam reasoned.
“Maybe he doesn’t know,” I offered, a little lamely.
“Yeah, right,” said Sam.
“All I know is he hasn’t been the tiniest bit mean to me and I thought this list was about people who had been mean to me,” Sharon said.
“Fine, I’m scratching his name out, but if you guys don’t think he has everything to do with this, you’re crazy,” Sam said as he crossed Steve off the list.
“For the record, Carson, are you sure you don’t have just the tiniest crush on Steve? I wouldn’t blame you if you did,” Sharon asked.
“I’m certain!” I said, a little too loudly.
“Yeah, because she has a great big HUGE crush on him,” Sam so generously offered.
“SHUT UP!” I screamed and then hid my face behind the telescope because I could feel it getting hot, which usually means it’s getting red.
Judy came back with Madame Defarge who was licking her chops.
“What’s going on?” she asked.
“We’re taking down names,” Sam said, continuing to write.
“Names for what?”
“For the revolution!” said Sharon
“We need to put them in code,” I grumbled while pretending to look at something very interesting through the telescope.
“We need to go to the library and get a code book,” Sam said, “Do you know where the library is?”
“Sure,” said Judy, “It’s on the third floor.”
Sam, of course, had meant the public library, but we followed Judy to the third floor and into a large room with floor to ceiling book shelves crammed with what looked like thousands of books. The shelves had sliding ladders attached to them, so you could reach the high shelves and slide them to anywhere in the room you wanted them to be. There were two huge floor to ceiling windows on either side of a large antique writing desk with a quill pen and an ink well and blotter. There was even a card catalogue, like in the public library that even used the Dewy Decimal System.
“Wow!” Sam blurted out, before he could realize he was acting happy, “This is the coolest house anyone ever lived in! How did you say you knew these people?”
“I didn’t.” said Judy, maintaining mystery.
Sam shrugged, “Whatever.”
“Let’s get to work,” said Judy, going over to the card catalogue and opening a drawer marked “C”. “Here we go, Codes and Ciphers, by R. W. Metzger,” she pulled a card from the file reading it. “520.617 that should be right over there.”
“I’m on it!” I said, climbing a ladder.
Judy left us to ourselves saying to have fun, and went to do her own thing. I don’t know if she really realized what we were planning exactly. Not then anyway, but then again, maybe we didn’t either. We were just excited by possibilities and having something that was secret and just ours. We spent the next couple of hours sliding each other on the ladders while one of us looked up books in the catalogue and called out the numbers to the one on the ladder and one pushed the ladder from one shelf to the next. We kept changing places because the ladders were kind of like a ride. It was super fun.
Some of the books were actually on planning a revolution. Some were on strategies of warfare and some on codes and ciphers. We divided up the work. I like languages, so I was in charge of communications and of creating the code. Sharon was in charge of revenge fantasies, since we figured she’d be best at thinking up the proper punishment for each of her individual tormentors, and Sam was in charge of strategy.
“All of these revolutions have names,” Sam said, looking up from a book he was reading. “We need a name.”
“Scapegoats,” Sharon said, “Judy said I was a scapegoat.”
“Just goats.” I said. “The Revolution of the Goats.”
Everyone nodded and I felt really, really happy.
Sam designed our logo. He was unhappy with the “G” around the goat and felt bad that it wasn’t perfectly round. We all loved it so much and reminded him that goats were not about being perfect. We are perfect in our imperfection we said. He felt a little better then, but it bothered him the rest of his days.