Keith lifted the wooden lid that covered his desk only to recoil in shock of the sight he beheld.
“My sketchbook,” he noted. “It’s gone.”
He had barely been gone for a matter of ten minutes, but those ten minutes that he spared to eat his lunch had turned out to be a grave mistake, as he now realized.
“Hey, Eris?” he spoke. “Are you seeing this?”
“If you mean the fact that your sketchbook is missing,” she said, with the roll of her eyes evident in her voice, “yes, yes I am. However,” she spoke, raising her nihilistic tone to one that now mocked the boy standing by her. “If you mean that I am seeing the fact hat you’ve lost your sense of normalcy, then I noticed that eons ago.”
The boy rubbed his pale temples in disdain, sending a glare worthy of only a child of Medusa towards the curly-haired tower of sarcasm above him.
“I’m serious, Eris. That had spoilers for my manga in it. It could get leaked and my spotless reputation would be soiled forevermore!”
“You don’t even have a manga,” she shook her head sadly. “It’s just a little comic you doodle about an angel and a devil who fall in love. And its on your Instagram, not even physically published.”
“But Eris,” he pleaded. “Help me find it, at least.”
“I can’t say no to that face.” She sighed. “Fine, at least give me a minute to find Zack and Connie.”
Ten minutes later four middle-schoolers were grouped around the crime scene, stating the fact of the case which had now come to be known as the ‘Case of the Stolen Strokes of Heaven’ as Connie dubbed it.
(‘But Keith’s art isn’t that great”, Eris complained. ‘Yes, it is,’ Connie declared. ‘So there.’)
“So you and Keith went down to eat lunch,” Zack summed up. “For ten minutes, and then he returns to find that his sketchbook has disappeared off the face of the earth.”
“That’s pretty much it.” Eris concluded. “Connie seems to have no input on the matter though, do you, Connie?”
“Nope. Nada. Zilch. Nahi.” Connie affirmed in four languages.
Eris rolled her eyes. “I wish I didn’t ask, you braggart.”
“Guys,” Keith spoke, for the first time in 10 minutes. “It’s been a while and we haven’t got any closer to figuring out suspects.”
“For once,” Eris noted. “Keith is right.”
“For once?” Keith exclaimed in outrage.
“Oh my God, would you two stop? Look, kids are coming into the class right now.” Zack rattled off. “We’ll scan them for any guilty faces. Eris, try not to look like you’re going to murder everyone in cold blood. Connie, stop grinning like an escaped mental hospital admittance, and Keith? Just, try not to cry? I guess?”
“I’m too tough to cry.” Keith spoke.
Connie coughed into her fist. “Just yesterday you were crying about snakes.”
“They don’t have proper eyesight! They can’t read manga!” Keith wailed.
Just then, the most petrifying danger, even worse than hurricane Irma, stormed into the class with a sour look of resignation on her face, her eyes flittering from student to student pronouncing, I hate that, I hate that and I really hate that.
It was math class, and Mrs. Johannesburg was back.
Who is Mrs. Johannesburg, you may ask? Well, you’re certainly been lucky to not know her. She was the principal of the school, nicknamed ‘The Demon Teacher’ by her pupils, who doubled as a math teacher for, well, let us just call them…special classes. In particular, Eris’ class.
She despised Eris and her gang. Eris with her curly hair, rude demeanor and sarcastic behavior; Keith with his lack of interest in the subject and constant doodling in class; and Zack with his tendency to identify loopholes, ask stupid questions and distract the class, they were the absolute worst.
But she loved Connie, for no apparent reason other than the fact that she kept finding more and more excessively complicated ways to do a simple sum.
Eris groaned, and Keith shifted his seat behind her to be shielded from the demon teacher as much as possible. Zack leaned back in his chair to leisurely think of the worded pranks he would pull this lesson.
Connie sat up front. Teacher’s pet, Eris thought, with an exaggerated roll of her eyes.
“Aargh!” Keith whisper-yelled to the dark-skinned girl to his front. “What am I supposed to do in class?”
“Look on the bright side,” Eris remarked. “You’ll listen today and scribble some notes, hopefully, instead of doodling all the time. At least you could pass the upcoming Maths teat this week.”
“Very helpful,” Keith snorted. “Especially since you’re going to sleep all lesson.”
“No, I’m not.” Eris retorted. “Now take out your book, she’s already started.”
“No, I won’t.” Keith snapped. “In fact, I’m going to-”
But we will never know what Keith was going to do, for it was Mrs. Johannesburg who did something, and that something was rapidly whipping around to face Keith and deliver one of her famous snide remarks.
“Mr. Katana,” She sneered. “I’m sure we’d all love to take a lesson from you in Maths, wouldn’t we? After all, not many of us have received the honor of getting straight F’s in this year.”
Keith visibly winced. “Sorry.”
Keith dug out his notebook and sighed, he honestly hated this class from the bottom of his heart.
Five thousand zillion bajillion years later, or maybe not, it just felt like that to Keith, the class was over. Keith stuck his hand back inside his bag to pull out his science notebook when his hand clasped around a familiar shape.
“My sketchbook!” He exclaimed in surprise.
Eris burst into peals of uncontrollable laughter as she looked into the camera of her phone.
“And that is how to trick a Keith!” She beamed into the mike.
“Oh. My. God.” Keith’s jaw dropped onto the floor. “It was you! You lying, sneaky, dirty, piece of-”
“And this is the part where you-” She was cur off short but a guttural yell from Keith as she sprang to her feet and sprinted in the direction of Zack.
“RUN!” She laughed into the phone as they darted around chairs and dived under desks.
Eris was stopped short by Keith catching both her legs as she flailed her arms and planted face-first in the ground as her other friends gathered around.
Keith placed a leg on her head, retrieved the phone and put in the ending shot.
“Okay, so, Zack and Connie,” Keith stated. “What have we learned today?”
“Never mess with Keith’s sketchbooks,” They solemnly spoke in unison. Or, you’ll get it.”
“Well spoken, my friends,” Keith spoke smugly. “Understood, Eris?”
“Get off my face,” Was Eris’ groaned response. “God, you’re such a dork.”