“Good evening, Mr. Stock. Please step over here so we may have a look in that backpack, please,” bellowed the school’s vice principal, Mr. Stuckley. “Planning to do homework at the homecoming dance, are we?”
I turned my head to see who Mr. Stuckley was speaking to. So did the two volunteer mothers manning the ticket table, and I found amusement as both their facial expressions drew noticeably uncomfortable once seeing the target of Mr. Stuckley’s attention. It was Adam Stock, another sophomore in my class who was dressed-to-impress this evening wearing black jeans, a tuxedo-printed t-shirt, polished cowboy boots, and a top hat that would make Slash envious.
There was a knock at the door and suddenly the Christmas lights went out.
Although startled by the abrupt rap, rap, rapping noise of boney knuckles on a metal-lined door, Vanessa kept her head down for an instant longer, just long enough to finish reading the last three lines of text on her Kindle’s screen.
Who’s that?, she thought. Do I want to get up and answer the door? And why did they unplug my outdoor lights?
“Lock the door,” said Alvin, “and have a seat over there on the couch.” The boy said nothing but complied with the request. “On second thought, draw the blinds closed, too. One can never be too careful.”