Mrs Dwyer left the tense corridor meeting, walking down the stairs far too slowly. The girls thought she would never get to the bottom; never be out of sight.
Del wanted to laugh from exhilaration at their having got away with it, but she couldn't. There wasn't time! Instead they ran to the windows. "Hide them," Del moaned. "Hide them, quickly."
Clothes were hastily yanked inside the windows again, hung over various radiators and in shower cubicles. One lot had no space so was actually hung over a bedroom door. "Just hope no one comes up soon," Spook said quietly. "Or we could be in trouble."
As they peered hopefully out of the window they could see Mrs Dwyer making her way back to the main school building. She looked up and saw them. With a slight wave -- well, it was really just a jerk of the hand -- she acknowledged their presence. It was just as well the last pair of knickers had been tugged inside a moment before, or their pink frills would have been all too obvious.
As soon as she turned away the girls relaxed. Sara stared at them. "Never, ever, ever put us through that again. Please."
"Look at it this way," said Spook cheerfully. "We got the cleaning done at twice the normal speed, right? So surely that's as good thing."
"Look on the bright side," Del agreed. But a moment later she too collapsed. "I give in. Sara's right. It's okay for you, Spook, with your crazy hardcore cadet exploits. But I'm not very good at this sort of activity. I should get special dispensation because I fail at being useful."
"You don't fail," said Spook. "Except for one thing."
"And what's that?"
"You haven't posted in A Clock Against The Window for months now!" She laughed aloud at the expression on Del's face.
"It's not my turn!" she exclaimed. "You guys were supposed to be catching up on my chapter count before I posted again. So. Where are those chapters?"