If you would like to catch the beginning of the story, click here for Chapter One.
“Please restrain yourselves from sharing hot air in class,” sniffed Ms Crow. “Now, if you are all quite finished laughing at Tim and Bertha, face the front and let’s have a maths test!”
“AWWW!” Everyone groaned. No-one had studied for a maths test.
The class quickly settled down and got out their maths books. Thomas and Bertha had bright red faces as they tried to concentrate on the mental maths questions Ms Crow asked. Bertha couldn’t wait for the day to end and Thomas was angry, thinking Cecil had something to do with his embarrassing gas escape. Spotty Sally kept glancing over and snickering at him. It was very hard to concentrate with her squeaky giggles.
Cecil sighed. He had this strange feeling in his chest. It was a heavy sadness every time he thought about Thomas and Bertha. Even the farty noises hadn’t amused him. He felt sorry for them! This was the first time Cecil had ever felt sorry for anyone.
The nib of Thomas’ pencil lopped off to one side as he pressed down on his maths book.
“Oh come on!” he shrieked in frustration.
Ms Crow’s eyebrows nearly touched her hairline. “Thomas! What is wrong with you now?”
Thomas’s eyes filled with angry tears. He swiped them away and sniffed loudly. “My pencil broke Miss.”
A podgy hand stretched across with a newly sharpened pencil. Thomas looked up to see Cecil with his hand out. He scowled, not wanting to accept the pencil offered by his friend. The hurt look on Cecil’s face made Thomas feel a little guilty. Not guilty enough to accept the pencil though. He sniffed at Cecil and turned away. Cecil pulled his hand back slowly and slouched over his maths book pretending to stare at the numbers on his page.
“Do you have a pencil now?” asked Ms Crow, not impressed at all.
“Yes miss!” Thomas lied. He shuffled in his seat and pretended to hold the broken pencil.
“Okay, let’s continue then,” she said. “Number five…what is twelve times nine?”
She continued droning out the sums in her birdlike voice until they reached the last mental sum.
“Right hand your books forward. I will mark them right now so please take out your books and read quietly.” Her shoulders flapped up and down sending her long dark hair into a ruffled mess. As she sat down, her dark eyes focused on Thomas sitting quietly at the back of the classroom. He hadn’t moved since his pencil broke and his face looked pale and sticky.
“Are you feeling alright Thomas?” she asked, tilting her head left and right.
Thomas shivered. “Yes miss!” he answered.
He hadn’t written out the rest of the mental maths answers because he didn’t have another pencil. His book still sat open in front of him on his desk. He panicked when he noticed Ms Crow watching him and he didn’t know what to do.
Ms Crow’s gaze never left his face.
“Are you sure Thomas?” she asked again.
“Uh huh, yeah!” he squeaked, praying she wouldn’t get up and check on him.
How was he going to get away with not completing the test and keeping his book when he should have handed it in?
“I think I will come and check on you Thomas. You are not looking well,” she muttered as she slowly got up from her chair.
Thomas’s eyes grew bigger. His heart beat a thousand times faster and a cold sweat broke out on his top lip. Ms Crow would never let him get away with this.