“Psst. Hey, Tony.” Carter Wilkens said in a quiet, classroom voice. “Are you getting any of this?” Carter sat in the far-left corner of Mr. Chestnut’s ninth-grade history class. Standing at 6’3”, he was the tallest kid in his grade, and also the skinniest, by far. The top of his head could be seen from miles away, and he had a voice incapable of whispering.
“Man, shut-up. Are you trying to get us detention? You know I get one more and I can’t play this weekend.” Tony Atwell was the starting guard on Newville’s varsity basketball team: a feat no other ninth-grade student accomplished this year—not even his best friend, Carter, made the team (although, that’s because Carter was a tall bundle of skin and bones who would fall over if a light breeze tickled him). Tony was the exact opposite of Carter. Whereas Carter could be carried around by a single ant, Tony could stand his ground against most things. It would take the strength of a hurricane to knock him off balance. He was short and sturdy; with a physique well beyond his peers. And he made sure to show off his muscles—given to him by what had to be God, because he was doing nothing else to gain them—by wearing a tank top everyday. “Just,” he paused to look around the room and make sure no one was paying him any attention, ”just talk to me after class, alright?” he gave Carter a stern look to show he was serious. Tony was not one to mess around
“Yea, whatever—but I can’t take this teacher anymore, man! He doesn’t do squat, and I…”
“Excuse me, Mr. Wilkens! Is there something you’d like to share that’s more important than this video on how the early colonists planted seeds?” Mr. Chestnut, his chest puffed out and breathing heavy, waited for a response. He didn’t get one. “I didn’t think so! Now please, watch the film and try to learn something.” Mr. Chestnut was the ninth-grade history teacher; or, a-fat-tub-of-lard-who-sat-and-did-nothing-but-yell-and-eat-all-day, if you asked any of his students. He looked like his name: His skin was light brown and covered with hair like spider legs; on top his head—where hair should be—were a few strands of wet hair mushed to the right; his face was round and produced never-ending beads of sweat. His body was a run-down, bounce house, and his shirt, the size of a tent cover, hid all but a few chest hairs trying to escape the smell of two-day-old sweat. No one has ever seen the lower half of his body; which was concealed behind the desk he never left.
“I just can’t fail this class or…” Carter sighed and brought what he thought was a whisper a level softer, “or I have to repeat this class. We have to do something.”
Tony nodded in agreement, and the two friends went back to watching the worst video ever created: now you see, the seeds must be planted in moist ground or the lives of the colonists could be ruined.
“We have to do something.” Carter repeated into his notebook. And something, they would do.