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Chapter 1: The calling

In the back of the classroom, Les Logan opened a yellow folder on his desk and pulled out an unfinished comic book page from a stack of sketches. His friend Aki who was sitting next to him saw this and shook his head in protest. Les faced Aki and then pointed to the front of the room where a newspaper stretched across the teacher’s face like a sail tight with wind.

A quick nod from Aki signaled that he would join in the fun. Les passed the page across the aisle, but it slipped from Aki’s hand, and spun like a helicopter blade to the floor. Les bent over to swipe the paper off the ground but caught his elbow on the corner of the desk and a bang ricocheted off the walls of the study-hall.

The newspaper folded down to reveal Mr. Pym’s sunken eyes. Above them, eyebrows as white as chalk crawled across his brow like a furry caterpillar. The teacher stared at Les as he tried to sit back in his seat and look like nothing happened.

“Mr. Logan, I should have suspected as much,” Mr. Pym said, put the newspaper down flat, and stood.

The teacher’s head tilted with a curious look as he clasped his hands behind his back and walked down the rows of desks with a slight waddle. Each student froze as he passed. Mr. Pym then stood before Les and pointed to his desk.

“What sort of contraband is that?” Mr. Pym asked.

Les looked up to Mr. Pym with wide eyes and spun the dial on his watch.

“It’s not contraband. It’s graphic design homework Mr. Pym. Me and Aki teamed up on a project,” Les said. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see the fear streak across Aki’s face.

“Oh, is that so? Fine. You are both allowed to work on the project together. Quietly,” Mr. Pym said, scanned the classroom, and continued, “but as for the rest, you will be silent.”

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