“C’mon kids, get out your math books,” called Mrs. Rugg.
Some groaned, but others enthusiastically pulled out their hefty, neon green
math books bearing the the words “Holt Mathematics” in thick white letters. Along with these books, the classmates pulled out their Math journals, spiralbound notebooks filled with graph paper and bursting with arithmetic and ‘math doodles’. The class usually used slideshows for math, but there was a storm raging outside and the power was out. Suddenly, Sarah, one of the students, saw fit to call out.
“Energyyyy!” she called. Jacob quickly joined in.
The scene that followed was later referred to as “The Pineapple Incident.” However, that is a different story. After about ten minutes, Mrs. Rugg managed to take control of the situation again.
“Alright class, turn to page five hundred sixty seven,” she commanded. From there, the math lesson commenced as usual for all the students—save one.
Mira Williams had woken up that morning at seven o’ clock, hastily thrown on some fresh clothes, brushed her teeth and hair, and gulped down a cup of cocoa. After getting in the car, she remembered that her math was on the counter and ran to get it, only to find that her dog had chewed it into tiny pieces. After trying to salvage the situation by sticking the pieces together with Elmer’s Glue, because there didn’t seem to be any tape on hand, she jumped in the car and arrived at school just as the bell rang. She was utterly exhausted.
As the math lesson started, she noticed something strange about her math book. It was wiggling, pages, cover and all, as if trying to break free from some invisible trap. As she stared in disbelief, it began to wriggle free from its speckled book cover and crawl about on the desk, and the instant it shed its speckled skin it lunged towards Mira. It hit her in the stomach and she nearly cried out, but thought better of it. What if she was only imagining it? She would look like a fool. Besides, even if it was real, she didn’t want attention drawn to herself. Mrs. Rugg had already told her twice today to concentrate on the lesson, and she certainly didn’t want to get into any further trouble. So she grasped it in both hands and held it tight.
Making an agreeing nod as her classmates chanted an answer to a question she hadn’t heard at all, she attempted to stuff the book back into its cover. Sarah was giving her a funny look, but the book was below the top of the desk so it appeared that Mira was simply twitched sporadically at random intervals. She attempted to keep a straight face, which is difficult when you have a heavy math book clawing at you left and right.
The demonic entity had already given her enough paper cuts for a month, and she didn’t know if she could keep it contained much longer. She opened her desk as quietly as possible, keeping the monstrosity at bay with one hand, and grabbed the first thing she could find, which happened to be a gel pen. She stabbed the book with all the force she could muster, and it began to bleed ink and make an awful gurgling sound which sounded rather like someone chanting pi while drowning. While it was occupied thus, she stuffed the creature into the book cover. Having bought herself some time, she rummaged around her desk for a safety pin and pinned the book to its respective cover. Glancing at Sarah’s book, she turned to the correct page and gave sigh of relief.
“All right, Mira, what should we replace the variable x with?” asked Mrs. Rugg.
Mira didn’t know the lesson at all, much less the problem.
“Err, can you repeat the question?” she said as innocently as possible.
“Were you listening at all?”
Mira hung her head in shame.
“All right, Mira, remember your goal, and don’t let me catch you daydreaming in class again. Okay, get paintbrushes from the counter, class, we’re painting out model volcanoes,” she said.
Mira only sighed and chose a paintbrush with a particularly pointy end.