Chapters 30-31 Summary
The Bleeding Scream
Arriving at school in costume is, for August, “absolutely awesome.” He does not have to keep his head down. He actually wants to be seen. In the halls, he passes a kid wearing the exact same Bleeding Scream costume he is wearing. The kid high-fives August in passing. August is thrilled, although in the back of his mind, he guesses the kid would not have done that if he had known who was under the mask.
August thinks today is “going to go down as one of the most awesome days in the history of [his] life” until he arrives in homeroom. There he finds Darth Sidious and knows immediately it is Julian beneath the mask. Two mummies are hanging out with Darth Sidious. They all watch the door, clearly waiting for August.
But Julian and his friends are looking for Boba Fett, not Bleeding Scream. August walks right past them and, without knowing why, sits down in a seat that is not his own. He listens as Julian and the others discuss how much the melted face of Darth Sidious looks like August.
As August continues to listen, one of the mummies says that if he looked like August, he would commit suicide. The others ask the mummy why he spends so much time with August, and the mummy says the principal asked him to. “He always follows me around. What am I supposed to do?” he says.
August knows the voice of this mummy: it belongs to Jack Will. He always thought Jack was his friend. Without saying a word, August gets up and leaves. He starts to cry silently under his mask.
After the bell rings, August retreats to a bathroom and thinks about the names kids call him sometimes behind his back: “Rat boy. Freak. Monster. Freddy Krueger. E.T. Gross-out. Lizard face. Mutant.” He tells himself he always knew how mean kids could be—but this time is different.
For a long time, August cries alone in the bathroom. Then he goes to the nurse’s office and says he is sick. The nurse calls his mother, who soon arrives to pick him up. She offers to get a taxi, but he says he can walk. She is upset that he is missing Halloween, especially when he says he is too sick to go trick-or-treating.
August hangs out in his room and avoids school the following day. All weekend, he thinks about what Jack said. As Part One ends, August decides he never wants to go to school again.