My dog ate my homework.

It was as simple as that. So why did I have to make it sound so complicated when my teacher asked? Well that's easy: I'm a complex person. That and the fact that my teacher would never have believed that excuse anyway; kids overuse it too much.

And so, I was faced with a predicament. Say the true or tell a lie. I took the easy way out; I told a lie. Good thing I was always good at making up stories on the spot.

"Carson, where is your homework?" Mrs. Manson asked, raising her bushy eyebrows to her forehead.

I cast my eyes down to my desk as my mind groped for an answer.

"Well you see, Mrs. Manson…..No never mind. You wouldn't understand." I mumbled. Thank the lord for those acting classes I took this summer!

I snuck a peek at my teacher. Her narrow face softened and she bent down to my eye level.

"Dear, you can tell me anything. What happened?"

I took a shaky breath and raised my eyes to her. I hope she falls for little kid acts. Makes me thankful I'm young.

"Well, um…..I can't say anything. He'll…..he'll beat me if I say anything."

My voice thinned out into a frightened whisper. I shivered, thinking of a dead puppy. It's all in the act. I inwardly smirked. Teachers are so gullible, especially if you're a small, cute girl in the fourth grade where they think you're innocent.

Well, that's not true for me, is it?

Mrs. Manson clenched her jaw, the look in her eyes molding into hardened determination. But luckily it was not directed at me, which meant one thing: she's falling for it. I tucked a short strand of my stringy blonde hair behind my ear, keeping my eyes constantly down.

"Who will beat you, dear? And what do you mean?"

Mrs. Manson's voice took on an urgent tone, causing excitement to ignite within me. At this rate, I could definitely become a convincing actress. The class had stilled around us, every single nine year old hanging onto our every word.

Nosy people.

My voice quivered as I forced the words out, my mind reveling in the satisfaction of revenge. I was totally going to get Bryant back for that one time he left me at the mall.

"M-my c-cousin, Bryant. We visited my aunt and uncle this weekend and I brought m-my homework and everything. I did it, too, Mrs. Manson. I swear. But just when I finished, B-bryant took it. H-he stole it from me and made m-me w-watch as he fed it to his dog, Mrs. Manson. I-"

My voice cracked and I immediately stopped. I looked into my lap, crying fake tears. I should win a trophy for this. Shocked silence took to the atmosphere as Mrs. Manson smoldered with rage.

But then she saw me curled up in a fetal position like a fragile child. She immediately calmed down and began to soothe me. I almost scoffed. As if I needed it. But my pride kept me from giving myself away. This was just too good!

"Shh….shh, its okay, Carson. It's alright."

She gently rubbed my back and had I been a cat, I would have been purring madly.

But that didn't last for long. Soon she drew her hand away and placed her chin on the edge of my desk. Her caring blue eyes looked right into my puffy green ones. For a moment, I almost felt bad for tricking her.

"Okay, dear. Now I want you to tell me. Did Bryant threaten you?" She was sitting loosely on her knees, tilting her head at her question. Her arms were gently rubbing mine, a consoling measure.

Pretending I couldn't muster the strength to speak, I nodded, teary eyed.

"What did he say, Carson? Tell me." There was an edge to her voice. Satisfied evil thoughts clouded my head.

Mission: success.

"H-he told m-me if I ever told a-anyone what h-he did, he'd beat m-me."

My voice shook with unshed tears. But inside I was smirking.

Take that, Bryant!

Well there was that and the fact that I might actually get off for not doing my homework. Ah, today is my day. At that moment, Mrs. Manson stood up, startling me. But I passed it off as a spasm due to crying. She didn't question otherwise.

Instead she told me with upmost confidence, "Carson, if anything like this happens again, I want you to tell me. And I'll exempt you from homework this time around."

With one last concerned glance, she turned away to begin class, not noticing the evil smile implanting itself on half my face.

This was a story for the grandkids.

AN: If you READ, I'll be happy. If you ENJOY, I'll be happier. If you REVIEW, I'll be a shooting star.