From Defect The fight is going down tonight. By the time school lets out, word has spread. Even the Student Council types who have thrown the rare "Hey" David's way turn their backs on him. "Just because you look weird, that's no reason why you have to act weird," kids whisper. "If people like David just tried to fit in, they wouldn't have so much trouble." "It's really not Kael's fault." That would be Kael Grimes, David's main tormentor. David's ingrown hair. David's zit that never goes away. This is Minnesota, where people stare at anything new or different, but Kael has been watching him for eight months, six days, and about three hours. In other words, since David started high school here at Valley View High. Right now Kael and clowns are clustered twenty lockers down the hallway--as usual thinking David can't hear them. One of the many things Kael doesn't know about David is that his flesh-colored "hearing-aids" are there to keep the sound out . "I shouldn't have to look at that freak all day," Kael mutters. He's a short, wiry wrestler type with blond-tipped brown hair. "His head looks like it got run over and squashed," a pal chimes in. "His mother must have smoked crack or something." "Maybe she drank a lot--there's that thing called feeble alcohol syndrome," Kael says. David has been waiting for this moment. He gives his locker a major, theatrical I've-finally-had-enough slam and stalks up to Kael. Heads turn; people nudge one another. "Whoa, watch out!" somebody says Excerpted from Defect by Will Weaver All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.