Show and Tell (part 5)

The parent/teacher conference from hell

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The lunch room was chaos, kids were streaming here and there, finding seats with their friends, creating a cacophony of voices which made it hard to concentrate on his lunch. Just as well, he supposed.

It was meatloaf day, which was by far, the worst of the lunch menu. It was rumored that the meatloaf was the remains of lunches past, ground finely and ketchupped beyond recognition. Even worse (and more unbelievable) was that sometimes, students went missing, and found their way into the meatloaf.

“EDDIE!” Maddie slapped him on the back loudly.

Eddie jumped in fright, “Dangit girl, why can’t you just greet me in a normal way?”

She grinned toothily, “where’s the fun in that?”

Eddie rolled his eyes as his companion dropped her tray of mostly-but-not-completely edible lunch beside his and plopped down beside him. He eyed her as she dug into her meat composite cross section with gusto.

“Blech. You want mine too?”

Before he could finish his sentence, she had speared his from his plate and began working on it.

“Hey, I got a text from the ‘rents, we have to have a parent/teacher conference after school, so don’t make plans.” She mumbled around a mouthful of meatloaf and mashed potatoes.

“Aw man. Hope it won’t take too long, If we gotta hang here till it’s done, we might not get any game time in.”

Maddie nodded and shrugged, as she took a pull on her bottle of apple juice. “It is what it is, man. I just hope I’m not in trouble again.”

Eddie raised an eyebrow, “You been fighting again?”

Maddie grinned, “I’m scrappy, what can I say?”

“Bullies?”

“Yeah. You’d think they’d learn by now, they must be new here.”

Eddie snorted, “Mad. You’re ten, stop being a hero, and just enjoy life.”

“Lookit you talking, you’re only eleven, Ed. And only 3 months older than me, don’t get all adult on me,” She shoved the now empty tray away, “besides, I love beating on bullies.”

Eddie sighed, “Yeah, you do.”

***

Susan blinked, and a figure swum into sight as she came to. She tried to rub her aching head, but found that she was tied to a chair.

“Ned!” she called out with her best effort at a shout, but fell somewhat short and only managed a raspy mumble.

Her husband grunted, and looked around. “Sue, what happened?”

“I happened,” Principal Thrope said, her voice full of unspoken threat.

“So. Now that the two of you are awake, we can get started.” She unrolled a cloth bundle, revealing various tools, both blunt and sharp.”

“What’s going on here!” Ned shouted, his voice quavering.

“You and I are going to have a conversation,”  she pulled a rubber mallet from the collection of tools.

“Hey, there’s no need for violence. We’ll tell you whatever you want.”

The principal smiled, as if she was just offered a cold glass of lemonaid. “I know you will. But, in order to make sure you’re telling the truth, I’m going to have to use these,” She wiggled the mallet in their direction. “And to make it effective, I’m not going to use it on you, sir,” She pointed it at Susan. “I’m going to use it on her, and you’re going to watch.”

She nodded and his chair was pulled away from his wife’s and turned to face her.

“Well then, shall we get started?” she paused and lifted Susan’s chin, staring her in the eye, she leaned in and whispered into her ear, “just so you know, this is going to hurt him a lot more than it’ll hurt you.”

 

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Show and Tell (Part 4)

How the faculty of Sheridan Middle school got involved.

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By the time homeroom rolled around, Maddie’s stomach was growling. She was normally one to sneak a snack, but the whole superhero thing had her surrounded on all sides every time she had a free moment.

Maddie knew that something had just gone wrong, as the crowd around her shut up in unison, and a beat later scattered in all directions, leaping to their assigned seats. Turning, she saw Miss Meanor glaring at her and cringed. Time had taught her that being on the bad side of this particular teacher was a bad idea, not that she was a troublemaker by any means, just that she was perceptive enough to realize what was about to happen, if she didn’t throw some spin into play.

“Well hello Miss Meanor, boy am I glad to see you!”

Her homeroom teacher stared at her, nonplussed.

“Well,” she pressed on “I brought this in, and was hoping we could do a little show and tell.”

The teacher glanced at the scrapbook, and back to Maddie.

She scowled and held her hand out. “I’m going to have to look at it first.”

Beaming, Maddie closed it and placed it into the proffered hand, “Thank you!”

Returning to her desk, she dropped it in front of her and flipped it open. The color drained from her face, and she flipped through it faster until she suddenly stopped, leaped to her feet and clasped a hand over her mouth.

“Madison, are these…”

Maddie grinned, “yeah! They’re my parents!”

Miss Meanor dashed towards the door, but spun on her heel, snagged the scrapbook, and pointed to the class and shouted, “nobody move!” before disappearing into the hall.

***

Miss Meanor threw open the door and rushed into the principal’s office.

The principal, a middle aged woman with a severe appearance glanced up with a dangerous look, “Is something the matter, Dee?”

She nodded quickly, and shoved the book in front of her boss, pointing to the picture that had captured her attention.

“…Is that?”

“Madison Grey. She said it was her parents.”

“Which ones?”

“Does it matter?”

“No. Not really. I’ll take care of this. You get back to class,” she closed the book and passed it back to Dee, who scurried back to her classroom, slamming the door on her way out.

The principal picked up the phone and pressed a button.

“Edna? I need you to call in the parents of Madison Grey, 5th grade. Pronto.”

With a satisfied grunt, she hung up the phone and leaned back in her chair.

“After all these years…”

 

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Another Tome is found (Part 2)

The day had been long, and golden fingers of the last few minutes of daylight lit the office. An old oscillating fan cast its gaze back and forth over the room, its’ whirring drowning out the dozen other lesser sounds that the office made in its’ daily business. Less than hustle, but somewhat more than bustle, the agency had managed to stay alive in the dog days of summer, just barely managing to make ends meet.

The phone rang, and Jane, a thin black girl who had once been considered the office beauty before the death of her mother, now answered the phone, as if by rote. The smiles that could be heard through the phone from her, were now gone, and only a faint trace could be found if you listened real hard.

She set the phone in its cradle and strode to the large desk in the back. On this large wooden desk, sat a smaller identical desk. Seated at this small desk was The Professor, the manager/owner of the Metroplex’s premier supernatural detective agency. Standing a solid eleven inches high, she was a simulacrum of Althea Harrison, a mage who was well known by those who were in the know of recent events. She sat there, playing a video game on a cell phone on a stand on her desk, meant to emulate a computer screen.

“Professor. We just got a call from team EmJay. He’s en route, and wants a full staff meeting.”

The Professor reached up and pressed the button on the upper edge of the phone to shut it down, and stood, sending her desk chair rolling backward.

“Did he say what about?”

“It was Nate. EmJay was resurrecting.”

The Professor looked startled, “Was there trouble?”

Jane shook her head, “I don’t think so.”

“Good. OK, gather the crew.”

“Yes ma’am,” Jane made a beeline for her desk and began making calls.

***

Ramon answered his cell, as he sat on the stoop of his house, watching his son play tag with his friends.

“Hola,” He took a drag on the cigarette that he had been nursing. His eyebrows raised as he listened to the voice on the other end.

“I’ll be there,” He rubbed his shaven, tattooed head wearily, flicked the butt into the street and stood, stretching. Whistling to his son, he jerked a thumb at the house. Tapping him on the head as his son ran past, he grabbed his satchel from the coat hook just inside the doorway and buttoned up his slate grey shirt to hide his beater.

“Chica! I’m headed to the office. I’ll call if I’m gonna to be late.”

From within, his wife replied, “You betta!”

***

As the car pulled into the underground parking, Nathan turned on the overhead lights, bringing me fully awake.

“Thank you for flying Nateway, please bring your seats to the fully upright position, and wait until we come to a complete stop before deplaning. Thank you, and have a nice day.”

Flexing my fingers and toes, I did a quick inventory to make sure everything was working as intended, I unbuckled my seatbelt.

“Thanks, Nate. Did you make the call?”

“Yeah, we should have a full house.”