Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters or worlds used in this story, including (but not limited to) Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dora the Explorer, Go Diego Go, Harry Potter, and Plants vs Zombies (look carefully). No harm is intended toward any of the copyright owners. This story is intended for entertainment purposes only.+++++ON EXPLORERS, SLAYERS, MONKEYS, BACKPACKS, AND FOXES
by Listener+++++Continuity Note: The story takes place in August 2009 -- so, before "On Ramona Flowers". Since Dora the Explorer never ages, let's say she's 14 and just starting high school when the story opens.
This story is COMPLETE. It has about 5500 words (five chapters) -- although I reserve the right to add future chapters if I have further inspiration. It has not been beta'd -- any mistakes are mine and mine alone. The chapters in this story are substantially shorter than the ones I usually write.+++++ONE: EXPLORERS
"In wisdom gathered over time I have found that every experience is a form of exploration." -Ansel Adams
Dora had been at the school all day, and she was bone-tired. Of course, she wouldn't let that show -- not to her friends, not to her classmates, and certainly not to her new roommate.
Who showed up late.
Who dumped her stuff on the bed that Dora had clearly picked out as her own.
Who used language that even Diego's sister Alicia would blush to hear, when she wasn't speaking rapid-fire French that Dora could barely understand.
And now Bianca was down the hall, yelling at the RA -- a nice enough girl named Michelle -- about not having a private bathroom.
Dora hoped Bianca would be gone long enough to do this. She took out her little video-camera and turned the lens on herself, forcing a smile. "Thanks so much for exploring with me today!" she said, cheerful as ever. "What was your favorite part of the day?" Dora paused, hoping that the sounds of Bianca and Michelle's argument didn't get onto the tape. "Mine too!" she finally said. "Thanks for helping me today. Bye!" She waved into the camera, then hit the button to shut it off. Tomorrow, she'd go down to the computer lab -- of course Bianca had a laptop of her own, but Dora would have to share with the other students -- and e-mail the videos she'd taken today.
It had been a not-so-minor point of contention between Dora's family and Miss Faith, the Dean of Students, but in the end the school's guidance counselor, Dr. Frost, had stepped in. "I think it's admirable how much of her time Dora spends documenting her travels," he'd said. "As long as she's careful not to reveal anything sensitive, I think it's all right that she keeps doing them."
"And who's gonna watch 'em all?" Miss Faith had asked. "You?"
"If need be. Or perhaps we can make it an assignment for the trainee watchers."
There had been much eye-rolling from Miss Faith, but she'd eventually relented. Dora was glad for that: since she'd been a girl, she'd been recording her adventures; her dad, who worked at a TV station in Dora's hometown, would edit them into little stories she could share with kids stuck in hospitals. Hence the ending of all of her videos.
Dora put the camera into her top desk drawer and pushed the door closed so she could change into her pajamas. Hopefully, if she pretended to be asleep when Bianca got back, maybe the other girl would go to bed quietly. Then they could try again in the morning.
No such luck. Even though Dora had shut the light off, Bianca slapped the switch until the fluorescents turned on, and then stomped around grumbling in a mixture of French and English.
Dora pulled her pillow over her head.This slayer business is harder than it looks.+++++Your continued readership (and reviews) are, as always, greatly appreciated.
I realize that Dora is bilingual, but she is skilled enough by now to not drop Spanish words into conversation at random. However, Bianca is French, and is still uncomfortable speaking English. That's why, as Bianca appears in future chapters, she'll say the occasional French word or phrase, while Dora won't do the same in Spanish.
In tomorrow's chapter: Dora gets "evaluated". (Yes, I'm posting all five chapters in one week.)