Marianna Fan Club!

Elizabeth Koo

Our noble purpose is to research and to support Marianna Rossi in her time of need as it is our duty as respectable citizens of the school. We are not racist, ableist, elitist, or climate change skeptics. We will accept ANYONE who is willing to commit to our club. Please join! We meet in Room 141 at 2 to 3 pm to share our research results.

President/Founder: Victoria Dune
Vice President: Min Lee
Secretary/Scribe: Sue Addams
Members: Gigi Parrish, Akaash Singh…
Sponsor: Mr. Winkles (the 6th grade English teacher)
Activities we will do (not in order):
Stealing (we return all objects)
           NOTE: On the first meeting, we will provide sugar cookies (this is not INTENTIONAL bribery, so it does not break the school rules against bribery).
           NOTE 2: PLEASE COME (Mr. Winkles says that if we don’t have more than five members, he’ll stop sponsoring our club).
           NOTE 3: Speak VERY loudly to Mr. Winkles. Mr. Winkles is almost deaf (the first time we suggested starting the Mariana Fan Club, he thought we said ‘Marie Curie Club,’ which is the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard of).
Report 1–October 22, 2023 
           It was two in the afternoon. The president, vice president, and secretary (me) had all come 10 minutes early, but none of the lower-ranking officials had arrived yet. Mr. Winkles wasn’t there either. He was at a faculty meeting. Tori, the president, said that we’d have to start without them.
           Or, as she really said, “Suckers can lose their education, anyways.” I put it in for the sake of accuracy, not accordance.
           Anyways, we chat a little about the nuts and bolts at our first meeting.
Our motto is in Latin because, of course, all mottos should be in Latin. It’s Vive La Marinara! I told Tori that Min couldn’t spell “Vive la Marianna” to save her life, but Tori was too distracted finding photos of Marianna in last year’s yearbook.
We decided on a very democratic system, here, at Marianna Fan Club. Tori will suggest a plan, and Min and I can nod at it, which confirms we agree to Tori’s plan. At least…I think that’s how it works. The decision of our system was more or less tacit.
We each took a pin, struck a part of our hand, and did a blood oath to always follow the purpose of the Marianna Fan Club. The oath goes like this: I will always put the will of Marianna Rossi, daughter of Lucia Rossi, first. It was painful but worth it. I am now an official member!
Report 2–October 24, 2023
           We ate sugar cookies because Min forgot them last meeting. Gigi showed up temporarily to snag a cookie, but we wouldn’t let her eat one without doing a blood oath. She got freaked out about it and ran away. Tori got angry about that.
           “Can’t endure a little prick, can she?” Tori said. Tori can be vulgar sometimes.
           Anyways, after Gigi left, Tori, Min, and I swapped rumors that we had heard about Marianna.
“...danced in Lady N’s 2023 music video, XYX…”
“Her earrings are real diamond, not cubic zirconia.”
“Wore a Versace jacket to school yesterday…”
           Honestly, I didn’t find anything we filed that day particularly exciting.
Report 3–October 25, 2023
           “I had a breakthrough today,” Tori announced as soon as I walked in. “Number 1: since neither Gigi, nor Akaash, nor Ginny have shown up to our meetings yet, I rule them traitors to the Marianna Fan Club. From now on, we no longer associate with them.” Min and I nodded.
           “Number 2,” she said, “I saw Marianna do something strange in her locker today…fumbled around longer than she should to pull out a gym shirt…”
           “We should watch her closely at the gym tomorrow,” suggested Min.
           “Yeah,” said Tori, “Sue, you get the left side view. Min, you get the right. I’ll get the one in front. Okay?” Min and I nodded. It was a plan.
Report 4–October 26, 2023
           “I tried to watch Marianna über closely,” confessed Min, five minutes into our meeting, “But I didn’t want to seem like a creep in the girl’s locker room.”
           “I understand.” Tori looked very seriously at Min. “However, you made the blood oath, Min. And in making your blood oath, you are to put Marianna first–even before your pride.”
           “Sorry,” Min looked down and was about to cry.
           “Don’t say sorry to me,” snapped Tori. “Say sorry to Marianna Rossi.”
           “I’ll sneak a gift basket in her locker tomorrow,” promised Min. “It’ll have mini cinnamon rolls, orange scented shampoo, bunny erasers–it’ll cost three months of allowance.”
“Okay,” Tori nodded. “Did you watch Marianna, Sue?”
I gulped even though I didn’t need to gulp. “Yeah, she uses Chanel perfume.”
“Really?” Tori’s head snapped up, “I didn’t get a good enough look to see that it was Chanel.”
“Yeah. Eau de Parfum. That’s why she smells so good all the time.”
“But that doesn’t make sense,” Tori muttered darkly. “Our recent observations on Marianna this summer led us to the conclusion that she is 5% likely to fall victim to vanity.”
“Well, that’s what I saw.”
“Let’s look again.”
Report 5–October 27, 2023
           “I can’t believe it!”
           “Neither can I!”
           “It’s an outrage! I bet even the gossip lines are going haywire as we speak!”
           We raved for about thirty minutes before Min finally settled down and asked an intelligent question.
           “What do you think Bear Evans meant, pulling Marianna out of the locker room like that? She looked so embarrassed!”
           “Probably just trying to threaten her,” declared Tori. “I mean, why else?” There was silence for a couple of seconds.
           “Actually, that makes so much sense,” said Min, “Marianna Rossi was so pure…so perfect. I bet Bear has something against her.” Her eyes narrowed. So did Tori’s.
           “Tomorrow, we go to Bear’s locker and find out for ourselves,” growled Tori, “Remember the notes we took from Spy Kids and keep quiet when we get there.”
           “I don’t have a boy’s uniform,” I said.
           “Come over to my house, and I’ll give you my brother’s,” Min replied.
           Marianna had always had our backs from the start: she let Tori cheat off her history test, brought Min to the nurse after Min had knocked out a tooth, and gave me water at soccer practice when I thought I’d died. In our most desperate times, she had saved us. Now we were going to save her.
Dear Ms. Dune,
           This is Lauren Fischer from the Athletics Department. I would like to report to you that we found your daughter, Victoria Dune, in the boy’s locker room with Min Lee and Sue Addams. The girls were wearing newsboy caps and school boy uniforms. Let’s just say, they were caught in a matter of seconds.
           I would just like to make it clear that under no circumstances should a girl be wandering around in a boy’s locker room. Particularly, as your daughter explains it, “To infiltrate the enemy’s forces for the pursuit of justice. Vive la Marinara!”
           I had to give the girls a warning, but if this accident continues, I will have to suspend them from athletics. We need to protect our students’ privacy.
           Thank you for understanding.
                       Lauren Fischer (she/her)
Report 6–November 1, 2023
           “I don’t get it,” Tori fumed. “We should petition to fire Ms. Fischer.”
           “Yeah,” Min sighed. “We were only trying to protect Marianna from scum like Bear Evans.”
           “Yeah,” I added on helpfully.
           “I am proud of what I did!” Tori was still red and white with anger. “I may have gotten detention and about five scoldings in one day by idiots, but I did it for a noble cause!”
           “Me too,” said Min, stroking Tori’s arm to calm her.
           “Me three,” I stroked Tori’s other arm. She slowly regained her composure.
           “Yes,” she said after a minute or two, “We did find out that Bear Evans is scum. We even have proof of it too!”
           Min fumbled around with Mr. Winkles’ Promethean Board, and soon we were watching our results with big, self-satisfied grins on our faces. Take that Ms. Fischer!
VIDEO–October 27, 2023, by Tori’s Apple Phone 12
(Marianna Rossi is dragged out of the locker room by Bear Evans)
MARIANNA: What do you want?
BEAR: You know what I want.
MARIANNA: Mentos? Money?
BEAR: Of course.
MARIANNA: (laughs) Well, I don’t have money, boy. Back off.
BEAR: Please. I forgot it. I need to eat lunch.
MARIANNA: Uh…(shakes her head)
BEAR: If you don’t, I’ll–I’ll…I’ll starve!
MARIANNA: Fine. You better pay me back.
BEAR: When have I not?
MARIANNA: Actually? That’s–
(Marianna Rossi stalks away from Bear Evans)
The Crime Column from The Cunning Ham (a student-made magazine) 
           On Tuesday, November 3, 2023, vandalism was found in three middle school girl bathrooms. All the vandalism was graffiti ranging from “Bear Evans is scum” to “Vive la Marinara!” Personally, I’m mostly confused about why ‘they’ added the marinara part.
           I said ‘they’ because the culprit(s) of the graffiti have not been discovered. We obviously don’t put cameras in the girls’ bathroom. Most likely, the culprits went inside the bathroom during a busy time like athletics, skipped class, and did the graffiti before the seventh graders came in. (Below, I’ve attached a list of suspects who skipped class yesterday).
           The bigger question is who could have beef with Bear Evans, anyways? Bear Evans is the current class president of the eighth grade. His catchphrase is “love ya” with a wink, which is, by the way, a great catchphrase. 1 out of 2 girls in middle school have a crush on him.
           The culprit will face major consequences, according to the head of the school. Consequences like suspension because not only is vandalism of the school property against E.L. Cunnigham’s core values, but also because the culprits used PERMANENT MARKER. If you, reader, ever do vandalism, DO NOT use a permanent marker. The janitors are still freaking out about the fact that even Mr. Clean doesn’t work on this marker.
           In conclusion, that’s the crime column for y'all. Have a nice homecoming!
Over and out,
           Lilly Roberts
David Martinez
Liam Eaton
Pasphaë Mitchell
Tori Dune
Min Lee
Sue Addams
Report 7–November 10, 2023
           We couldn’t meet for a while because Mr. Winkles said he couldn’t host us. He was going out of town–to New Orleans–for a conference and left his classroom locked. Tori tried to ax kick the door open, but she was wearing dress shoes. Her toes had to be bandaged after that.
I suggested we find a more reliable sponsor to host our club, but Ms. Limpy, the other sixth grade English teacher, said that all the sponsors had other clubs to take care of. Stupid clubs if you ask me. Who cares about the Environmental Club and global warming when you have Marianna Rossi? Right?
Anyways, we started our meeting thirty minutes early by skipping out of athletics. (Tori had bruised toes, Min had a concussion, and I had a bad “headache.” None of us could participate).
Now Min stood at the front of the Promethean Board, tapping a toe impatiently, waiting for Tori to come in. Tori came in.
“Greatest news!” Min finally cried out just as Tori shouted, “My feet hurt!”
           Min rolled her eyes.
“Well, if you don’t want to open this with me,” she said, holding up a composition notebook with white seashells and orange starfishes on its cover, “I’ll open it–”
“OMG!” Tori shrieked. She starts pawing at the journal, “How’d you get it?”
“Yeah, how?” I stepped forward and started flipping through its pages, scanning a few words here and there.
Min smiled and tapped her lip with a finger, “O-o-oh, I don’t know–”
“Tell me!” demanded Tori, trying to get a look at the journal.
“Please, Min,” I added.
“You know how Marianna was sick from the flu yesterday?”
“You snuck into her locker and took the journal. Oh! I’m so glad we learned Marianna’s locker combo!”
“That’s so genius,” Tori danced around.
“But we better return it by tomorrow,” Min said pointedly, “Or she’ll notice we stole it.”
“It’s fine,” Tori mucked a hand. “I think you should bring sugar cookies as a celebration.”
“I’ll think about it.”
“Now let’s look at that journal,” shouted Tori, “How’s it going, Sue?”
“Uh,” I said, uncertainly. “Okay…”
I gave Tori the journal. She flipped through it for a couple seconds. Her face became paler and paler by each second. Paper white to snow white to translucent. Then, she burst into tears.
“OMG,” wailed Tori, “These definitely look like Mrs. Rossi. Big eyes. Curly hair. Definitely.”
“Are you sure?” Min gently took the journal from Tori and flipped through it, “Oh, wow…wow!”
I grab a tissue box. We spend the rest of the thirty minutes crying our faces off. Because as rumor has it, Mrs. Rossi died from cancer.
Report 8–November 11, 2023
           “So, guys,” I said, “I returned the journal.”
           “Good for you,” Min replied dully, “I bought sugar cookies.” Her eyes are still puffy from yesterday.
           “Yay!” Tori cheered. She did a spinning hoof kick in the air. Min laughed. I smiled. Just like that, the Marianna Fan Club regained its morale.
Report 9–November 12-22
           My hand got tired, so I made a list of information we’ve gathered over Marianna.
Uses Vogt Hairspray (Min tried Vogt Hairspray and ended up with frizzy curls. Conclusion: Marianna has special hair).
Most recent eraser is shaped like a turkey (Min, Tori, and I have decided to go fall shopping ASAP)
Bad habit: chewing her nails (I’m wearing nail polish, so I can’t chew my nails. Tori chewed her nails to bits).
The name Marianna means star of the sea (All “Sue” means is lily–a dumb, old flower)
VIDEO–November 25, 2023, on Sue Addams’s Android 10
KANG LEE passes something to MARIANNA. The camera zooms in. The ‘something’ is a white, oval shaped object. MARIANNA gives him a buck. Someone touches the camera lens.
VOICE: No phones out of your lockers!
Report 10–November 26
           “Marianna wouldn’t.”
           “She could…”
           “No!” Tori was insistent.
           “Face the truth,” said Min dejectedly, “Marianna is using drugs. Perhaps after her mother died or something.”
“And you think Kang is her drug dealer? Kang is nice–”
“There is hard video evidence against what you just said.”
Min leaned back.
“I’m sorry, Tori, but that’s just the way things are.”
And with that–oh! Tori said I can’t record anything else in here. We don’t want evidence against us for what we’re about to do. But all I will say is it is for a noble cause.
Those were our intentions.
Patient: Kang Lee
Physician: Dr. Danny Young
Analysis: The patient slipped on water before being repeatedly kicked in the shin. No serious damage done but a slight fracture. The patient will be excused from athletics for the next month.
Dear Ms. Addams,
I’m sorry to inform you that your daughter, Sue Addams, has been suspended from the school alongside Victoria Dune and Min Lee.
It was reported by Linley Hoofman and Isabella Garcia (as well as multiple other witnesses) that the girls had collaborated to attack a fellow eighth grader, Kang Lee, by kicking him in the shin repeatedly.
It is school law that under no circumstances can violence be tolerated at our establishment. Instead, I suggest that your daughter manage her anger issues by seeing our wonderful school counselor.  
Thank you for understanding.
Principal Laurence
Report 11–December 12, 2023
           We’ve just come back from suspension, and Mr. Winkles has declared he’s no longer sponsoring our club. He said the principal wouldn’t let him. Honestly, I understand. The principal is a completely unreasonable person. Tori and Min tried to explain to him what had happened, but Principal Laurence wouldn’t listen to anything we said. What a tyrant!
           We’ve agreed that we won’t let the tyrant bully us. We will continue our club though we haven’t found an exact time to meet. Min has yoga every Wednesday. Tori has karate every Tuesday. And I have English tutoring every other day.
           But, against all odds, we will prevail! Even in the face of death! Vive la Marinara!

About Me (submit at the end of class)
Name: Marianna Rossi
Age: 13, going on 14
Hobbies: Drawing. I like to draw random people in my journal from time to time.
Favorite candy: Mentos. Sometimes my friend, Kang, sells Mentos to me.
Favorite subject in school: History
Things my classmates know about me: My boyfriend is Bear Evans.
Things I’d like my classmates to learn about me: My mother had cancer when I was three years old. That’s correct. But the rumor that she died from cancer…that’s wrong. She’s alive. She can still cook pasta and dance and play the piano. So, whoever left casseroles on my doorstep…forget about it!!

Elizabeth Koo is 13 years old, and she attends the Kinkaid School in Houston, TX, an exciting place to live–especially as new homes and restaurants pop up. However, Houston is also infamously humid. This is partially the reason why Elizabeth prefers to stay indoors reading, knitting, or listening to music from Hamilton or Hadestown. During the winter, she also enjoys playing soccer with her friends. This year, Elizabeth is looking forward to her big transition into high school. It’s nerve-racking but also thrilling!

"Sugar Cookies" by sinksanctity is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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A magazine for teen writers—by teen writers. Under the Madness brings together student editors from across New Hampshire under the mentorship of the state poet laureate to focus on the experiences of teens from around the world. Whether you live in Berlin, NH, or Berlin, Germany—whether you wake up every day in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North or South America—we’re interested in reading you!