1. to subject to the action of an electric current especially for the purpose of stimulating physiologically
2a. to stimulate or excite as if by an electric shock
b. to react as if stimulated by an electric shock
3. to coat (iron or steel) with zinc; especially : to immerse in molten zinc to produce a coating of zinc-iron alloy
Daniel now knew the game well. He had observed others throughout the last two years, noticing their subtle moves to win favor with just the right people. It was worse than chess–the quick, calculated repositioning of friendships as his competitors engaged in the right conversations to secure their success.
With fewer connections and less willingness to entertain the interest of others, Daniel knew he was the clear underdog.
He was hoping to galvanize enough support to make an early bid for Mark Espinoza’s former position. He approached many, but few talked and even fewer listened.
Frustration kept him planted as he tried to figure out a plan to move up in the polls before next week’s deciding vote.
He noticed a pair of bright red size 7 converse move past him, attached to the strong, graceful legs of Raquel Leiflen.
Suddenly it struck him! Raquel was the linchpin!
Beautiful, talented, and loved by everyone around her, Raquel had more influence than anyone he knew. If he could get her to listen and support his candidacy, he might have a chance.
With no other apparent options, Daniel made a last-ditch effort and walked over to Raquel, who he’d never had the nerve to even really look at for more than five full seconds.
“Hi Raquel,” he said, nervously.
Raquel looked at him with slight curiosity before reaching back into her locker.
“I need your help,” he ventured.
“I know,”she said. “Based on how things are looking, you’re in last place.”
Daniel felt small, embarrassed and utterly exposed.
“But I will help you,” Raquel said flatly.
Daniel looked up to see if she was making fun of him. She wasn’t.
“Why are you helping me?”
“Bobby is ahead, according to what everyone is saying,” she said. “A few years ago, he stuck gum in my hair. We had to cut chunks of my hair out and I still hate him for it.”
“That’s a long time to hold a grudge,” Daniel said, almost adding that the bitterness probably wasn’t the best thing for her, but decided against it.
“Yeah.. but I want to see him go down,”
Daniel could tell from her face that she was serious.
“I’ll spread the word, let everyone know I’m voting for you and you’ll win,” she said, closing her locker door and spinning the combination lock.
She smiled at him, all the malice back in hiding.
“Let me be the first to congratulate you, Daniel Perry; you will be the 2016-2017 head crossing guard for McClatchen Middle School.”
And with that she headed down the hall toward gym class, leaving Daniel filled with hope and certainty.
*This post was inspired by Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day, because they updated their webpage first.