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Komodo Dragons, Neodymium Flakes, and English Teachers

Evenhandedness seemed, to Jim-Jam, The One and Only, Ariel O’Neily, to be increasingly rare among grownups. Accordingly, he deemed it is important to ship select computer files to his gym teacher. That man had often claimed, in front of the teen’s peers, that Jim-Jam grinned like a lunatic and folk danced like an ape. As per waffle ball, the gym teacher compared Jim-Jam to an alley cat with hemorrhoids.

That instructor was completely oblivious to the fact that Jim-Jam was ordinarily occupied with matters of greater consequence than with Staffordshire knots or with running for home base. The young whiz kid’s mind was filled, for instance, with designs for breeding insular giants, i.e. for breeding “megafauna,” that is, Komodo dragons. J.J. meant to acquire a female that had already benefitted from superfecundation, one that had previously grooved with a giant lizard of the opposite gender, and, thereafter, was being sold at market rate.

At the same time as it remained beyond J.J.’s ken to fathom where he was going to store a thirteen foot-long killer, let alone where he was going to raise any member of her brood that survived hatching, such problems were of greater merit, in his esteem, than was whether he was selected as a guard, as a forward, or asked to sit on the bench. Jim-Jam’s hideaway lacked the space for even a single, full-sized, scaly predator. What’s more, Jim-Jam had yet to resolve how to supply his future pet and her clutch with the heat, the dry air, and, per head,  the monthly equivalent of a goat or a small horse (in fresh meat or in tepid carrion). Surely, whether he attempted a front handspring over the vaulting table or not was of lesser importance.

As for the lack of compliance, with local zoning ordinances, that possessing such beasts would evoke, Jim-Jam planned not to fret or even to check his municipality’s rules. If his mom discovered that he was breeding giant reptiles, there would be ends far worse than community fines with which to reckon. So, even as Master O’Neily’s peers busied themselves with the correct manner in which to strap on their bracers and with discerning among hen and index feathers so that they could win at golf archery, Jim-Jam was calling up, on his watch/web browser/Q-tip washer, information about how Komodo dragons make due, when overly hungry, with meat they scavenge from human bodies exhumed from graves.

That spectacular, spectacle-wearing boy fretted; he possessed no such source of comestibles. Aside from killing the social standing of Snorkel Preenberry and of the Diskin Twins, Jim-Jam had committed no acts even bordering on murder. Not even his messing with his physical education teacher’s email accounts constituted assault.

When the bell rang, which sprang J.J. from Raymond Charles High School’s exercise room to the building’s main hall, J.J. fretted some more. History was next. For a second year, the techno teen, the one savvy in fixing busted trombones, perms gone crazy, and math tests with scores well below the Antarctic’s latitude, had been assigned to Emanuel Atkins, the man who had previously partnered Jim-Jam with Snorkel Preenberry, and who had, consequently, caused Jim-Jam’s afternoons to be filled with more anguish than is experienced by European brown hares held fast in the clutches of American red foxes.

Having being forced, first by Snorkel’s mother, and later by the louts, who finessed the black market in gewgaws for Snorkel’s father, to kiss up to young Master Preenberry, and to forge homework for the lad, Jim-Jam had burst. No longer could The Prince of Suffixes, of Prefixes and of Alleyway anyway fixes suffice with retribution actualized merely by dint of tweaking the software that encoded Raymond Charles High School’s interscholastic sports statistics or by posting photoshopped fantasies, of Snorkel involved with the wrong end of a sheep, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on renren (Asia, afterall, had been the source of those compromising animes which Mr. Preenberry had sent to Snorkel). So, after he short circuited, Jim-Jam began to fancy finding solace in his getting his neighbor literally devoured.

Being chomped upon, though, would require Jim-Jam facilitating the brooding of his future, large, Asian reptile. Consequently, Jim-Jam needed not only housing for his forthcoming pet, but he also was required to establish a trade relationship with the youngest members of his county’s 4H club (he meant to glean their pullets and pigs that failed to ribbon).

En route to history, Jim-Jam mentally perused complex algorithms. He wanted to determine whether or not his lizards ought to be able to spy upon their prey before feasting or straight away gulp them down. His equations left him with inconclusive results, but cheered him a bit. It was uplifting to contemplate, via discrete definitions, the rendering of bullies into unidentifiable pieces. Perhaps he ought to, as well, let his dragons taste certain short-sighted editors.

Jim-Jam had intended to publish his findings on his low-dimensional molecule-based networks, the ones he manipulated as part of his larger project on paramagnetism. Despite the brilliance of his hypothesis and of J.J.’s subsequent delvings, including, but not limited to the resounding external validity of his findings, the editors of Radioanalytical Chemistry in Field Mice and of Organic Nuclear Chemistry, respectively, deigned to reject his text. Those scientists had written back, many months after J.J. had gallantly offered to share his research with their publics, that his treaties on super strong lanthanide-based magnets, his treaties on achromatic reflecting lens, and his treaties on zero-field splitting were of no interest to their readerships.

Stoutly, Jim-Jam next sent an abstract of his work, on the importance of minding one’s d- or f-electrons when keeping track of the severity of axial chromatic distortions, to the nonjuryied, popular, British periodical, Science Day. The scholars on that masthead, too, turned him down, choosing to devote their pages, instead, to piffling pieces on spey casting in fly fishing and on the comparative utility of biological flocs employed to work sludge.

While Mr. Atkins called roll, J.J. contemplated additional murders, Lynnie Lola used her compact to regard her newly fringed orange and blue hair, and Ralph Boston, champion bb shooter and closeted ballerino, played solitaire on his mini notebook computer. Ralph’s parents had gifted him with that contraption when he passed tenth grade.

For two entire moments, Jim-Jam sat as still as a Leporid fatigued from dodging and changing directions. Thereafter, he tried to contemplate the relative worth of readjusting the tape on his glasses and tried to estimate the time it would take for him to redraft the blueprint for the addition he wished to build to his Make-It-or-Break-It-That-Will-be-Fifty-Dollars-an-Hour-to-You-Mister Workshop but he could not clear his head of images of carnivorous lizards, of heinous editors and of overbearing bullies and their mothers. As a result, he missed Mr. Atkins’ remarks on the history of literary treatments in pamphlets.

Regarding his fingernails in a rather ungentlemanly manner and inhaling, loudly, first, Mr. Atkins strode to Jim-Jam’s desk. It was imperative that every one of his students understand that contemporary mass media were mutations grown from the widely distributed leaflets of the Colonial Era and that those misshapen vehicle of ideas were blameworthy in their failure to reflect the values of greater society. Rather than safeguard the trust the minions had bestowed upon them, in Atkins’ mind, those broadcasting outlets adversely impacted common folks’ home as well as adversely impacted the common market. O’Neily seemed completely ignorant of their manipulations.

As his teacher moved toward him, the adolescent entrepreneur drifted, again. He mentated about a recent storm, which had furred the pine shelves above and behind his workbench with mold, had cast a sticky, grey-pink sheath on his rubber band ball and had water logged his map of subterranean railroads. In addition, spillage from that weather event had rusted, beyond repair, his pie pan bingo set and had ruined his favorite pair of yak hair shoelaces. By the time that Jim-Jam had sluiced his junior bow and arrow set from the wreckage’s debris (he could have excelled at golf archery had he applied himself), it was already infested with leaf-eating ants.

While traveling to Jim-Jam, Mr. Atkins wacked Ralph upside the head and smiled uncomfortably at Lynnie Lola. The former was a product of social promotion, while the latter belonged to the minority of teens who refused to pierce their face with common kitchen items or with objects originally devised for closing up garments. Atkins circled Jim-Jam’s desk and raised his hand a second time. He wanted to rouse, in the class’ chief doofus, a feeling of responsibility for searching out the history and decay of civilization’s ethics. Just as he was about to wing a smartboard eraser at the child, Mr. Atkins noticed the bright advertisement on J.J.’s desk.

It was possible to order, from the pacific island of Rincah, bacon culled from wild pigs, mozzarella made from water buffalo, and unclaimed Komodo dragon eggs. The media were once more undermining commonplace morality; Star-Striped, American breakfast was being reinvented. Mr. Atkins snatched the bright page from Jim-Jam’s desk, chuckled excitedly and paced to the front of the classroom.

From his desk, the teacher announced an essay assignment involving the assessment of local cable stations. A’s, the teacher sniggered, would only be awarded to students who illuminated, objectively, all of the ills of inaccurate reporting.

Jim-Jam heard nothing. His mind remained tuned to his clubhouse’s ruin, a loss which had also brunted his musical abstraction, the one he had constructed of horse hair and of B and high E acoustic guitar strings, and his of prized superparamagnets, those ionic bits characterized both by an unusually high concentration of ferro and by an ability to behave independently. At least, being backordered, his Komodo brooders had not been impacted.

During his lunch break, Jim-Jam texted an ally, the young professor, who was up for tenure, in the Department of Sustainable Living, at the Maharishi University of Management, in Fairfield Iowa. J.J. did not bother IMing the adjust instructor, in the Microcomputer Support Certificate Program, at Montana Great Falls College of Technology, since Jim-Jam needed a single credit card number given over to his neighborhood’s pizza shop. A few minutes before the bell rang, which admitted the Jim-Jam to trigonometry, an anchovie laden pie showed up on the playground.

Following the sounding of the late bell and the disappearance from the school’s exterior of all but the most dedicated scoffers, Jim-Jam opened the pie’s cardboard box and then placed the still full carton beneath Mr. Atkins’ classroom window.

In short shrift, a raven and a ground jay began fighting over the slices. The former dove from among the trees edging the school property. The latter hopped over from its duties at the school cafeteria’s dumpster. Wings and beaks blurred more than cheese and sauce. That ruckus, in turn, brought Mr. Atkins to his window.

Waving his arms in a pinwheel-like fashion, the teacher shooed away the skyfish and slammed shut his glass barrier. The birds and a few of their respective cronies, returned for more salty fish, more salty cheese and more salty crust. Their calls again disrupted Atkins’ lecture. The teacher’s directive to his tenth graders, to be quick to marry and to have many children, was repeatedly interrupted by squawks and by ripped feathers.

Elsewhere in the same building, Jim-Jam O’Neily folded his Komodo dragon advertisement back into the sleeve of his Physics book. It had been a small matter to slip into Atkins’ class and to siphon that paper, plus Atkins’ attendance record. His equilibrium restored, J.J. tried to heed his math teacher’s explanation of Euler’s formula. Although that formula lacked the parsimony of the Jacobian matrix, it sufficed in its role of demonstrating a relationship between real and imaginary variables. That formula sufficed, as well, to confuse the majority of students in the class.

They exerted themselves, mightily, to grasp how the complex exponential function of cis(x) could work when cis was operated upon by a complex number. If asked, Jim-Jam would refer those boys and girls to the Taylor series. Meanwhile, his instructor labored to illuminate the inferiority of real analytical functions.

Jim-Jam returned to thinking about dastardly editors. There was no reason why intelligent, book-learned people would fail to comprehend the grandeur of his experimental techniques, unless, supposed the teen, his mind surfing images of the Preenberry Family served up as reptilian snackums, the media were truly culpable.


KJ Hannah Greenberg and her hibernaculum of sometimes rabid imaginary hedgehogs roam the verbal hinterlands. Some of the homes for their writing have included: AlienSkin Magazine, AntipodeanSF, Bards and Sages, Big Pulp, Morpheus Tales, Strange, Weird and Wonderful, Theaker’s Quarterly Fiction, and The New Absurdist. When not disciplining her imaginary friends, Hannah serves as an associate editor for Bewildering Stories. She has also worked for Tangent Online as a literary critic.

Read more stories (including other adventures of Jim-Jam O’Neily) by KJ Hannah Greenberg


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