First Sentence Challenge, adapted from Teitho contest: It had seemed like a good idea at the time.
Characters: Evan Saunders, Tyler Hamilton, Michael Liu, Scott and Samantha Adams, Mr. Sharpe
It had seemed like a good idea at the time. Looking back, however, it probably hadn't been such a great idea...
Friday afternoon in late March. Evan Saunders and his friends are sitting around at Kylie's Coffee Shop, their usual place to hang out. He smiled. Even Michael had come along, something rare for the introverted Asian boy to do. Evan's glance shifted from Michael over towards Scott and Samantha, the twins, no doubtedly arguing about something or rather.
"Hey," Tyler, Evan's closest friend, interjected, setting his mocha down on the table. "What's going on?" His intense stare was directed at Sam, but it was Scott who answered.
"We're trying to figure out a good prank to play for tomorrow," Scott answered with a grin. At this comment, Sam rolled her eyes and Michael quirked an eyebrow in interest. "And Sam doesn't think my idea's any good." He pouted for a moment, but then he perked up again. Ignoring the stares that he was receiving from the others, he continued, "What'dya say we get the Sharpie this year?"
Tyler and Michael exchanged worried glances, but it was Michael who spoke up first. "I really don't think that is an advisable idea," he said, fiddling with his thumbs. Tyler nodded in agreement. Usually, they were the most sensible of the group.
"Aww, you're just afraid of some excitement!" Scott elbowed Michael in the ribs, which received a firm glare in response. "And, anyways, Sharpe could sure use some excitement! Man, can that guy ever keep a straight face!"
It was true. Mr. Sharpe, the chemistry teacher at their high school and their homeroom instructor, was notorious for being the strictest teacher at school. None of the students had ever seen him smile or laugh, except for an evil grin or an occasional crackle when writing a chemistry problem on the board for innocent, unsuspecting students.
"What're you going to do?" Evan asked, curious to know Scott's plans. He was usually the one to consider the logistics of everything, but be willing to go along with whatever was happening in the end. He finished off the last of his drink and set his cup down on the table.
"Well, here's the plan…" As Scott explained, everyone leaned in closer. A sly smile touched Evan's face and by the end of Scott's explanation, Evan was grinning.
"Sounds great!" he said. "When're we gonna get started?"
However, Michael eyed the others doubtfully. "Do you know how much trouble we could get into for doing that?" he asked, folding his arms across his chest. He had been the first one to finish his drink, a cup of tea, due to just sitting quietly and listening while everyone else was talking.
Scott leaned over towards Michael. "Aww, you just want to spoil our fun, don't you, Mikester?" he asked. Michael narrowed his dark eyes, but Scott continued. "Fine then. Evan'll join me. Who else is in?"
Tyler rolled his eyes and nodded. "Fine," he said with a sigh. "But remember it was your idea. If you get us into this mess, don't look at me to get everyone out." Everyone's eyes turned to Samantha.
She shrugged. "If we get into trouble, you're explaining to Mom and doing my chores for a whole month, bro," she said, arching her eyebrows. Now, they only had to convince Michael.
Fifteen minutes later...
"No, I'm not doing it and that's final," Michael said. "Mr. Sharpe will kill us if he finds out and I would much rather be alive, thank you very much!" Michael was beginning to get annoyed with everyone trying to convince him to take part in their prank on Mr. Sharpe. He glanced at the clock on the wall. "In fact, I should really be getting home about now. It's late." With that, he stood up and walked out, throwing his empty cup in the trash on his way out. He walked down Remington Street and was gone.
"Well," Evan said, turning back to everyone else. "That's that, I suppose. Are any of you up for doing it Monday morning?"
Monday morning. Riverdale High School in the back parking lot. Tyler groaned to himself. Why was he up at school before the sun had even risen? It wasn't even basketball season anymore, so he wasn't there to practice before school or warm-up for an early scrimmage on a Saturday morning. But suddenly, he remembered. Scott and Samantha Adams joined him and Evan wasn't far behind them.
"Ready?" Evan asked, grinning, despite the earliness of the morning. It wasn't even seven o'clock yet.
Tyler frowned. "Are you sure someone's going to be here to let us in?" he asked, eyeing his best friend doubtfully.
Evan nodded. "Yep," he grinned. "I talked to Mr. Wilson and he thought it was a good idea. You know how Sharpe can get on people's nerves and Wilson's probably just glad someone's going to do something to get him to lighten up a bit!" Mr. Wilson was the physics teacher at their high school. "And he volunteered to keep Sharpe occupied while we did that!"
Samantha scoffed. "As if!" she replied. But she turned back towards the others. "Come on. We don't have a lot of time to do this." With that, the group ran towards the chemistry lab.
Once inside, Evan and Scott got to work immediately, switching the places of all the various bottles of chemicals that were safe enough to be left out. Samantha rearranged the pictures on the bulletin board in the back of the classroom and Tyler started taping pictures over some of the elements on the plastic periodic table that hung on the side of the room. He also mixed up the order of the books – all chemistry and biology related – on the shelf. After Scott was done helping Evan rearrange the chemicals and the glassware, he hid the chalk in the fumehood in the back of the room and turned the faucets extra tight. Evan went to work rearranging the molecular models around and making new compounds, most of which did not even exist. This entire process took nearly until the bell rang for classes to start and they all sat down in their assigned seats right before everyone else came in.
Michael was the first one to enter. He sat down in his seat next to Evan and immediately pulled out his book and ignored Evan completely. Other people came in and took their seats. A few of the students noticed the slight changes made about the classroom, particularly what had been done to the periodic table, but no one said anything. They were all quiet; most of them were studying for a world history test that Mr. Ackerman was giving that day.
It was right before the tardy bell rang when Mr. Sharpe came running into the room, letting the door close swiftly behind him. He gave a quick glance over everyone in the room and frowned slightly. Usually, the sophomores in his homeroom were quite talkative. But then again, it was a Monday and he'd caught word that Ackerman was giving a history test over both the world wars to all of his classes later that day.
But he frowned. There was something else that was odd. Oh well, he thought to himself. He walked over towards his computer and turned it on. As per usual, the screensaver with the periodic table of elements popped up, but there were also musical notes coming from the speakers. Hastily, he snapped the speakers off. What was going on? He never turned the speakers that came with his computer on.
Ah, yes. He smiled. Today was a perfect day for a demonstration for his homeroom students. It was a rare occasion that he did such a thing, but today was a special day.
"Now, if you will all gather around the back hood," he said, his long legs easily carrying him towards the back of the room. He stooped down to pick up a 5-gallon water jug that was translucent blue. He held it up for everyone to see. Now, where'd that ethanol go? he frowned to himself. He had put it out on Friday evening before he left school, but it wasn't in the fumehood where it had been earlier. Instead, there was a bottle of diluted sodium hydroxide in its place. He frowned.
"If you'll excuse me for a moment while I locate the ethanol," he said, setting the jug down on the floor. He opened the cabinets and immediately narrowed his eyes and frowned. Nothing was where it was supposed to be. He turned quickly towards his students. "Alright," he said, his voice cross. "Who is responsible for this?" He was met by silence. Most of the students looked down at the ground and none made eye contact, neither with him nor with any of their fellow students. To do so would to make trouble.
"Fine then," Sharpe narrowed his eyes even more and crossed his arms. "You can stay in here for the entire day until someone confesses." Everyone was even more silent than before. It was going to be a long day. But Sharpe's ears caught sound of laughter coming from next door. Without saying anything to the students, he flung open the door to the biology lab next door and raised an eyebrow. Inside the lab, Anthony Wilson and Josiah Alton, the physics teacher and biology teacher, respectively, were laughing.
Sharpe narrowed his eyes at Wilson. "Do you know what is going on?" he demanded to know.
Wilson let out a chuckle. "Well... it's a long story, but you'll have to ask your students about it," he grinned and Sharpe let out a loud sigh. But right before he turned to go back into his classroom, he heard a voice call out,
"Happy April Fool's day, Mr. Sharpe!"
One week later...
"That's the last of the glassware, sir," Scott said, putting one of the Earlenmeyer flasks back into the cabinet.
"You may go now," Sharpe replied, nodding in approval at Scott's work. "Perhaps you should consider working in a lab sometime." Scott's mouth fell open.
"Uhh..." he said, not sure how to respond to that. "I guess I'll see you later and, sorry about the trouble we caused." Before Sharpe could reply, Scott made a quick exit out the door. Though they had gotten into trouble, it had been a good idea at the time. And, it had all been worth it to see the look on Sharpe's face. Scott grinned. He couldn't wait until next year...