[It will get better after Chapter I, I promise...]
Ms. Bennett perched on the edge of her ancient oak desk, glaring at the class over her spectacles with piercing black eyes. She was a stick thin woman, formally dressed in a black suit, with a cold smile. It was rumored she was in the Navy, which explained her military standard of discipline. After-school detention was getting off lightly from her point of view. However, she rarely sentenced anyone to this punishment because, as she was all too keen to remind us, she had to stay behind as well. For a few smarter classes, she would be unknowingly paid off, as there was no one within a hundred mile radius with a sweeter tooth.
"... I want your papers on hydrocarbons on my desk as soon as the term begins."
Her rough, broad accent was that of a true Scot. I never enjoyed listening to it much, and as she doesn't stop talking once class has started, maybe it explains why I don't enjoy chemistry. My mind doesn't think in terms of science, it never has, it never will.
"... I want a thousand words and no less..."
Who could write a thousand words on hydrocarbons? Why would anyone want to at least? They're wasted words if you ask me, every one. They could be spent on an english essay, in the marvelous streets of Italy with Shakespeare, or in a geography report, exploring ancients wonders hidden from the world.
"... and I want a decent effort from everyone. Yes, that means you Declan! Last time was..."
The clock was ticking towards 3:40. Tick, tock. My eyes flicked up to the time, the old face that hang from the wall, torturing us with slow painful minutes, then back down to my paper. At the back of my jotter I could find a little relief from Ms. Bennett's never-ending lectures. An unsharpened pencil lay in my hands, until my the mists of my mind revealed a new illustration.
"... I hope everyone was listening to my instructions, because I will not be repeating them, Alex..."
My back straitened in the chair as I heard my name.
"I've been watching you all lesson. Never once have you given your attention to me."I held my breath as she stormed towards me. Carefully, I closed my book and put down my pencil. Maybe she didn't notice.
"Whatever is in your book must be extremely interesting if it's more important than your assignment..."A skeleton hand reached out. Everyone stared in my direction, hoping to catch a glimpse of something exciting.
"... and I'm sure the rest of the class wants to know what it is. I know I do." I should've seen it coming. At least I would've been prepared. Unfortunately, she had caught me completely off guard. What choice did I have? Hesitantly, I folded over the back page and handed it over, bracing myself for her response.
"Just as I suspected! We've got ourselves a vandal class!" She raised her voice, waving my jotter around in the air. "What do Indiana Jones, Jim Hawkins and Frodo Baggins have to do with chemistry!"
I blushed as I heard giggles from the back of the class. "Um, miss, that's Bilbo Baggins." That got more of a response. My already angered teacher turned red with rage. There wasn't one of my classmates that failed to laugh. But one thing was certain, this meant real trouble.
To my surprise Ms. Bennett changed her approuch. "And who's this boy here." She pointed down to a smaller coloured scribble. "The one with the silly orange hair and white fluff-ball?" This was more than simply unexpected. We were seeing a strange, slightly idiotic side to our serious teacher.
Don't laugh, Alex. Don't do it.
"Well, miss, that's... eh... Snowy and Tintin." All I got was a vacant look in return. It seemed I had truely baffled her. "Tintin? Y'know. The fictional journalist from Brussells and his dog, Snowy?"
An explanation would be wasted so I stopped, hoping I could escape soon.
Tick, tock, tick, tock.
The entire student body screamed as they sprinted from their classrooms. I tries to grab my bag and run, but it was captured in the grasp of my furious superior.
My holiday might have to wait...