Story continues from yesterday:
Luke, wearing full school uniform, was finishing his jam and toast when his mum entered the kitchen at half past seven. She was stunned. Normally she had to call him at least three times before he’d get up, and even when he was up he had to be constantly nagged to get dressed and breakfasted. He didn’t appear to have had a shower and he was wearing Friday’s dirty shirt, but Mrs Walker decided to let that go.
“Morning Luke,” she said, apprehensively, “everything ok?”
“Yes thanks Mum,” he replied politely, “I want to get to school early today so I’m bein’ organised.”
“So I see. Any particular reason?”
Mrs Walker, known by Luke to be very distrustful, looked closely at her youngest son.
“Ok,” she said, eventually, “well done.”
Luke smiled, put his gobstopper back in his mouth and went upstairs to clean his teeth.
He was at school a good twenty minutes before most people got there. Even Mrs Tebbut wasn’t there yet. He went in to his classroom.
He furtively looked around to confirm he was alone and then rushed over to the drawers. Everyone had a drawer with their name on. They kept their books and pencils and stuff in them. He found Kenny White’s drawer and pulled it out. Then he took from his bag Kenny’s droppings – 1 panda pop can, 1 crisp packet and one half-empty sherbet fountain. He pushed them into the drawer and closed it. Then he ran outside to kick a ball around on the playground until the bell went.
After the register had been called everyone had to line up for assembly. Luke took his place at the end of the line, followed the rest of his class into the hall and sat down on the floor behind class 3. He watched all the other classes file in and the assembly began. He sat still, faced forwards and pretended to be interested. When it was half way through he tried, quietly, to get Mrs Tebbut’s attention.
“Psst, psst, Mrs Tebbut,” he whispered.
She didn’t hear him. He coughed. She didn’t turn her head. He faked a loud sneeze. She frowned at him.
“Mrs Tebbut,” he whispered again, “can I go to the toilet?”
She silently shook her head.
“Please Mrs Tebbut, I really need to go,” he whispered a little louder.
The children near him started to snicker and Mrs Tebbut reluctantly gave in.
“If you must,” she hissed, “slip out the back.”
Luke did as he was told.
Once back in the classroom he grabbed his bag and exited through the cloakroom. He ran to class 6, the long way round so as not to pass the hall, and entered their cloakroom. He scanned the names above the coat pegs until he found what he was looking for. Yes! There it was. Haines.
On Haines’s peg hung Haines’s coat and into its pockets Luke deposited Haines’s droppings: 1 Tango can, almost empty, upside down; 1 crisp packet, almost empty, upside down; and 1 used piece of …… oh no! Luke found that the chewing gum he’d wrapped in paper when he’d recovered it from the crime scene, was now as hard as plastic and therefore unfit for purpose. He needed something sticky.
Of course! With almost no hesitation – he reminded himself it was for a very important cause – Luke spat what was left of his gobstopper into Haines’s inside pocket. Part three complete.
“Who are you? What are you doing in here?”
The man’s voice behind him made Luke’s cheeks flush hot. He turned round and reached into his bag.
“My brother is in this class,” he said, meekly, “’e forgot ‘is English book so I brought it for ‘im. I was jus’ lookin’ for ‘is bag on ‘is peg.”
He handed Jared’s book to the Year 6 classroom assistant.
“Oh, I see. Thank you,” he said as he took the book, “I’ll see that he gets it.”
“Thanks,” said Luke and ran back to his own class.
He opened the door just in time to witness Mrs Tebbut holding up a cola-soaked, sherbet smeared, grease-stained copy of the new History text book while shouting at Kenny White.
Luke sat down quietly and waited for lessons to begin.
You can read the whole of Chapter 3 here, and the first eight chapters are available in paperback.