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Tad Kershner

Everyone but Dragonfly stares.

Jordan's crushing Ally against the wall of E-wing, their faces glued together. Ally coos and runs her strawberry polished toes up and down along his black jungle boots like she's performing for the whole school.

Kaitlin and the Kaitlettes are all "Get a room!" but it's not like Kaitlin hides it when she and Zach smashface on the bleachers after practice.

Dragonfly is more interested in the tiny Chinese tiger that someone has painted on a post by her locker. These miniature paintings have been appearing for three weeks now, in all the ugliest corners of the school: Celtic knots and lotus blossoms and the Eye of Horus. Principal B keeps putting out threatening e-mails about defacing school property. Dragonfly thinks he really ought to give the unknown artist a job for brightening up his gray school and granting the inmates some reprieve from the monotony so they don't riot.

Dragonfly wishes she could paint. Instead, she makes beautiful things with origami. The inside of her locker is a vibrant treasure box of folded paper: roses and stars and swans perched and tumbled everywhere. Buried away at the back is a paint set she bought and used only once.

Dragonfly has black witchy hair. Spiky, wild witchy hair. She wears indigo-and-silver earrings with no makeup and a long rustly silk gypsy dress.

She carefully removes two purple butterflies from her history book and nestles them in with the cranes on top of Biology: An Introduction. Just as she slams her locker closed, Jenn comes crying about all the nasty things that Kaitlin wrote about Jenn and Brandon in the stall of the girls' bathroom. Dragonfly hugs her and strokes her hair while she sniffles...

In Print

Read the rest of Dragonfly's story in the January/February 2012 issue of Cicada Magazine, available now at your favorite bookstore or by subscription.

Cicada is a magazine for teenagers and young adults offering high-quality fiction and poetry dealing with the issues of growing up, leaving the joys and pains of childhood behind, and becoming an adult.

Welcome Cicada Readers

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Dragonfly Returns!

A special edition eBook featuring a new Dragonfly story will be out soon. Stay tuned...