Mr. Tinker sat me down in front of the class, and began to pace in front of me. Wyatt walked over to his seat, which was directly in front of Mr. Tinker’s seat. That seat is where Mr. Tinker places his “favorite student,” and Wyatt earned it because of how many times he had fallen asleep during a lecture. I really wished I was in Wyatt’s seat instead of being humiliated in front of the class.
“Now I’m not doing this for your punishment, Mr. Oliveira. Your tardiness is a perfect catalyst for today’s lesson. I want to see how you can convince me that you are telling the truth.”
That was a blatant lie. What lesson could possibly benefit from an interrogation?
“Today we will learn about persuasion, something cultists and protectors of irreligion are very good at, and have been doing for years. We’re going to test Mr. Oliveira here. Then, we’ll talk about the history of many of these cults and their methods of...persuasion.”
Mr. Tinker’s teaching methods had always been peculiar. I recall one time he used Wyatt as an object for systemic oppression, saying his “dark skin was a plague on the rest of the world.” It was a racism lecture that Mrs. Sands took quite an offense to.
“State your name and occupation,” ordered Mr. Tinker, who stood erect and looked down upon me for intimidation. Sadly for him, he did not frighten me one bit.
Still, I hesitated in answering, “Elijah Oliveira. Uh, I don’t have a job.”
“Your occupation is student,” Mr. Tinker answered immediately.
I remained speechless, raising an eyebrow at Mr. Tinker, who started again, “Tell me the reason why you and Mr. Sands were late to school today, Elijah.”
“A Dweller tried to mug us this morning. He said he needed cash to leave Old Tenebris and when he refused, he attacked us.”
Mr. Tinker thought over his rebuttal, stroking his invisible beard once again. He then hunched over and examined me, “You don’t look hurt at all.” He squinted forcefully; I almost thought his eyes would soar out of his head. When he was done scrutinizing me, he walked towards Wyatt, and did the same thing. “Wyatt, you don’t seem hurt either.”
“Are you kidding me?” Wyatt rolled his shirt sleeve up, revealing a discoloration in the shape of a blue ring. It was hard to see under his dark skin, but it was noticeable enough. There was no way he formed a bruise this morning, because I intercepted the only punch the Dweller threw. I need to thank Wyatt later for keeping our little secret about today.
Still, when did he sustain that injury?