James Cardigan was a tiny, tiny boy but he had muscles like rope. He never took his shirt off so no one knew. He saw the athletes walk down the hallways of Tahoma High School, all neck and shoulders and he smiled to himself. He’d have a hard time of it except he was good at things, quick up the rope and more or less competent at football and basketball so he was pretty much invisible.
Of course he couldn’t keep that sort of thing up for long. Sooner or later you get found out, and James Cardigan got outed on a balmy May day when one of the hovercrafts climbed up the canal wall and landed atop an entire class of eighth graders come to look at the school they were doomed to attend next year. He didn’t have much use for eighth graders having been one himself until recently, but on the other hand death by hovercraft seemed a little excessive. So out he went and sank his fingers into the black flap of the skirt and hauled the thing back to the canal.
Well, after that they wouldn’t leave him alone. He was just about to drop out of school when the Biker showed up on his doorstep, hair stiff with glue, and said, “Come on.”