The next day, Emma gasped in horror as she learned about Charlie’s new plan. “Going bad is a bad, bad thing,” she cried out as the others sat around in the Pet’s Cafe.
“It’ll only be temporary,” said Charlie. “I’m going to go bad just to show them that being bad is wrong.”
“What if we all went bad along with Charlie?” Billy suggested. They all stared at him.
“Really?” said Olivia. “You think WE should all go bad? Are you nutters?”
“Being bad comes with a price,” said Tancred, “one that I’m not willing to pay.”
“Well, I’m going bad along with Charlie, so if you don’t like it, then you can’t be his friends anymore!” Billy snapped, and then stormed off.
“Whoa, Billy,” Charlie said as he took off after Billy. “Where did *THAT* come from?”
“What? That? I’ve been doing it for years,” said Billy. Charlie nodded. He had to remember that Billy was just 9 years old, and he had lived among the Bloors since he was a small boy. So of course, he would behave in that fashion. Billy said, “If you want to go bad, then you got to dress in black and talk tough and act like you have a bad attitude. It’s really easy.”
“Yeah,” Charlie agreed. “Let’s hit the stores and see what we can find that will help me…go bad!”
When Amy, Paton, Maisie, and Grizelda were about to have dinner, a very different Charlie Bone came and joined them. He had dyed his hair black and he was wearing dark blue jeans and a black shirt. Even his shoes were black. All four adults gasped in horror as they saw him.
“Charles Bone!” Grizelda cried out. “What have you done to yourself?”
“So what? I got a makeover,” Charlie snapped. “What is your problem, Grandma? Can’t handle the bad boy-ness that is me?” The others could barely speak; they were so stunned to see the new Charlie.
Grizelda said, “But Charlie, I thought you wanted to join our team. Not this.”
“Really?” Charlie scoffed. “Well, if I want to go bad, I need an attitude adjustment. Like I can’t be dressed all nice while I’m bad, right?” No one responded. “Now if you don’t mind, I have bad boy things to do.” He then stormed into his room without a second glance.
Maisie cried out, “I hate his outfit! It’s horrible!”
Amy cried out, “I can’t believe that Charlie’s…gone bad! It’s like…I’ve become that mother!”
“What mother?” Maisie cried out.
“That mother whose children do terrible things,” said Amy. “I knew I never should have sent him to that school; it would only be a matter of time until he…cracked.”
“Which means I have some serious beef with the Bloors,” said Paton. “No one should be that bad that a child would want to go bad.”
Grizelda should have been happy that her grandson had come to his senses, but she wasn’t. Not where the issues of why he had gone bad were in play. She would need her sisters’ help to reel Charlie in. But even that would not be enough, as far as Charlie was concerned…