The Beast of Montenegro, Chapter 2

In a garage at Albuquerque, New Mexico, the following sign is posted:

“Don’t smoke round the tank! If your life isn’t worth anything, gasoline line!”

 

For a long while, Mrs. Crane had prohibited Mina from going to school. She believed her daughter would be proselytize like everybody else. But, because of compulsory laws it forced Mrs. Crane to relent. The last thing the Cranes wanted was the council to get involved. It only infuriated Mr. Crane.

On her first day of school, children were not kind to Mina. They taunted her for smelling funny and wearing gaudy clothes. Mina knew she was different. Her mother always reminded her of it. But, different didn’t make Mina feel special. The Cranes were very poor and Mina didn’t own many clothes, somehow, Mrs. Crane had provided her with a school uniform. They weren’t new and they didn’t look old, but children knew. Mina felt lucky to have them even if they made her look different.

School, at times, was a haven from home even if she was ignored by teachers and avoided by most children. It was a good day when they would overlook her and then there were bad days when they wouldn’t leave her alone. She was constantly called a freak and taunted as she went home. The Cranes were well familiar in the building they lived in, and everybody talked about the strange Cranes who barely were seen.