001 – Garden of Dreams
Location – Spokane Valley, Washington
Date – Thursday the 8th of September, 2016
Part VI – Early Afternoon
As she changes into her loose, worn clothes for P.E., Hannah notices a large, strange coin fall out of her jacket pocket. When she picks it up to inspect it, she finds that it’s not a standard coin, not even a coin from another countries currency, at least she hopes not. On one side, a cherub has been engraved into it, along with the words ‘Guardian Angel’ above it. The words ‘lucky coin’ are repeated and circle the edge. On the other side, there is a four leaf clover and the words ‘A guardian angel to watch over you and protect you’, engraved on it. Hannah wonders about where the coin came from and thinks that maybe Charles had put it in the jacket at some stage. Regardless, Hannah believes it to be a protective charm of some kind and decides to put it into the jackets inner pocket so it won’t fall out as easily next time. Hannah passes some girls who are still changing and over hears them talking about a mini blonde lady they saw entering the gym moments earlier.
Huh? What’s that about?
As Hannah opens the doors to the gym, she finds that the some of the boys in the class are helping pull out the basketball ring from against the wall at the far side of the court, a small blonde-haired woman in a tracksuit, a squeeze whistle in her hand, and a clipboard in the other stands behind them with both hands on her hips supervising. Hannah looks to her right to find that a large fish-net sack full of basketballs sits on the ground against the wall. Hannah approaches the blonde lady.
“Hi, are you taking the class? Miss?” Hannah inquires.
“Ms. Art Pendra,” Ms. Pendra responds. “And yes, I am”
“What happened to that weirdo substitute teacher Mr. Steins who was going to take the class today” Hannah questions.
“What’s your name?” Ms. Pendra asks, ignoring her question, bringing up her clipboard.
“Oh, uh, Hannah Hummings, I should be around the middle on the list” Hannah points approximately to the middle of the class role.
“Well, I should say that he double booked himself today and had to leave,” Ms. Pendra ticks Hannah’s name off on the role. “But really, he fell in love with the school nurse and drove off after her when she left for lunch, that’s what I saw anyway. He does seem like the kind of man-whore who would neglect his job to chase tail, doesn’t he?”
Huh? Isn’t that taking it a bit too far? This teacher seems like even more of a freak, or at least doesn’t know how to hide it.
“I assure you that I’m not the kind of freak you’re thinking of…” Ms. Pendra claims, under her breath.
“Huh? Did you say something Ms. Pendra?” Hannah furrows her brow.
“Nope, nothing” Ms. Pendra states.
Ms. Pendra is only just over five feet tall Hannah thought to herself. She looks even younger than that weirdo teacher, she could be a freshman. She has intense teal colour eyes, a serious face, and long, straight blonde hair that reaches her shoulder blades. Despite her stature, she sure brings a ferocious atmosphere to the gym.
More and more students begin to fill the courts and begin to sit down in front of Ms. Pendra as per her instructions. The school has two full sized basketball courts right next to each other, with a fishnet drop-curtain separating the two of them.
“Miss, are we playing Basketball today?” one boy calls out.
“Nope, we’re playing baseball, can’t you see the baseball and bat in my hands?” Ms. Pendra sarcastically retorts.
The gym fills with laughter. The boy’s ears grow bright red as he tries to hide his face by curling into a ball. Hannah feels a bit bad for him.
“Today we are indeed playing Basketball, for those of you who are still a bit slow on the uptake.” Ms. Pendra continues. “Please refrain from calling out your questions without raising your hands first. Unless you want to be roasted, I suggest follow that rule”.
“Miss?” another boy raises his hand.
“Yes! It’s sinking in already,” Ms. Pendra celebrates. “What is it?”
“Since you are a substitute, and it’s only the start of the new school year, some of us were thinking that you could just let us do our own things this lesson” the boy continues.
“No” Ms. Pendra responds instantly
“Aww, c’mon, please?” another boy responds.
“Hmm, Okay, does everybody want to do their own thing this lesson?” Ms. Pendra bellows.
The entire class agrees.
“Okay, how about this” Ms. Pendra poses. “I need to be able to supervise everyone, and I can’t do that unless you are all in the same area, do you agree?”
“Yes” everyone aspirates.
“Okay, then how about I name a particular date during the year?, for example ‘December the Eighteenth’. If you were born on the date that I call out, and you are the first to raise your hand like so,” Ms. Pendra raises her hand in the air, keeping it there. “Then you will get to pick the sport that the class will play, sound reasonable?”
“Yes” everyone recites enthusiastically.
“Okay, then the birthdate is…and no lying” Ms. Pendra quickly states.
Everyone prepares to shoot their hands up like rockets.
“September…,” a third of the classes hands go up and then back down in anticipation. Some stay down due to not being born in September. “…the Ninth”.
Hannah’s hand shoots up. If she wins, then maybe she can end her school life on a high note. Another boy’s hand shoots up too, much faster than Hannahs’ unfortunately.
“Okay then,” Ms. Pendra continues. “Looks like we’re playing Basketball”
“Huh?, why?,” the boy who won against Hannah asks disapprovingly. “I put my hand up first like you said, why are we still playing Basketball?”
“You didn’t put your hand up first, I did” Ms. Pendra corrects him.
“No Fair!,” the boy calls out. “you cheated!”
“I didn’t actually, I just made it so I would win regardless. I am born on the 9th of September and I put my hand up first, so…,” Ms. Pendra cites. “We’re playing Basketball. Also, how are you in high school? Your grammar is terrible”
“Okay, now that that’s settled, let’s play some ball!” Ms. Pendra beams.