Kris followed Anya into the building.
The expansive foyer was filled with chattering teens.
She glanced up and saw that the ceiling was nearly all glass like an atrium.
If one continued straight it would lead you through another set of double doors.
But Anya turned right along with several other older teens. She took another right and into a spacious classroom.
As Kris walked past the door, she noticed a sign that read – Year Ten.
There were three rows of individual desks.
Lockers lined one side of the wall while on the opposite wall were four wide windows which looked out to the main parking lot.
Kris continued to follow Anya’s lead as she went to the lockers and was surprised to find one with her name on it.
Mimicking Anya, she pulled off her coat and placed it inside her locker.
Anya walked to the middle row and took the desk near the back.
Were the desks assigned or chosen at random?
Not seeing any marking or signage on any of the desks, she claimed the one in the row closest to the windows directly across from Anya.
As she sat, she noticed Deanna sitting in the first desk in her row.
Within moments, everyone was seated.
Kris noticed there were two desks that were vacant.
“Guess they won’t be here.” She heard Anya say.
A man entered the classroom and closed the door.
He wore a dark gray suit and carried a briefcase as he made his way to the front of the class and set it down on the rectangular table.
“Good morning, class.” His alto voice drifted through the room. “I will be taking Ms. Tudor’s place for the remainder of the school year.”
A sudden wave of hushed voices washed over the student body.
Ignoring them, he opened the briefcase and pulled out a book and a large stack of papers and set them on the table.
“What happened to Ms. Tudor?” Someone whispered behind her.
“I dunno, dude.” A guy answered.
Kris studied the man.
He wasn’t any older than Dan -er Dad.
Not much to look at. He wasn’t attractive but wasn’t ugly either.
Homely would be a better term to describe his neatly manicured brown hair, dark eyes, and wide nose.
Kids continued to whisper around her.
Even Anya was talking about the former teacher with a girl in the first row.
She noticed then that Leia sat silently behind Anya.
The brunette’s face was pale. Her expression was of someone who just received terrible news.
The man straightened and loudly cleared his throat several times until everyone stopped talking.
“My name is Art Munts and I will be teaching this class for the rest of this term.”
Someone’s hand from one of the desks in front of her went up.
“Yes?” The teacher acknowledged the lanky boy.
“Where’s Ms. Tudor, Mr. Munts?” He asked.
Mr. Munts glanced to his right and appeared to be lost in thought as he stared out of the windows. He turned his attention back to the boy.
“Since this will be made public later today, I see no reason why not to tell you.” He replied as he rested a hand on top of the pile of papers. “It appeared that sometime over the winter holiday that Ms. Tudor was abducted from her home.”
Everyone gasped in unison, but no one said a word.
“The police are fervently investigating in hope of finding out who did this and as to the whereabout of Ms. Tudor.” Mr. Munts said.
“Sounds as if they think she’s dead.” Someone nearby whispered.
“Now, let us turn our attention to class.” Mr. Munts picked up the paperwork. “Your most recent essay has been graded.”
Mr. Munts walked through each row placing the paper faced down on each desk.
Kris was shocked when he set one down on hers.
How was that possible since she really wasn’t here prior to the winter break?
Mr. Munts returned to his desk and faced the class.
“You may now view your paper.” He said.
Flipping over hers, Kris glanced at the title first – When Is A Short Story Not A Short Story?
Her eyes then drifted to the single written letter in red beside the title, and her mouth dropped.
Oh, you’ve got to be kidding?!
She groaned as she slumped in the chair.