Attic, part 86

In school the next day, Jenny was sitting in her seat, waiting for class to start. She was looking at the key, turning it over in her hand, when Josh came up..

“You look distracted,” he said, sliding into the seat next to hers.

“Hi Josh,” Jenny said, “no, not distracted. Not exactly.” she was silent for a moment, staring at the key. “Do you ever think about the future?”

Josh laughed. “I’ve got enough trouble thinking about the present. The future’s going to happen anyway, whatever I do. It doesn’t need me to think about it.”

“Yes,” Jenny said seriously, “but which future?”

“Is it just me,” Josh said, “or is this conversation starting to get weird? Nice key, by the way.”

“Thanks,” Jenny said. Then she looked up toward the door. “Teacher’s coming.”

“The teacher never comes this early,” Josh began. But just then the door swung open and their new teacher walked in. “Hey,” Josh said, “how did you…”

“Morning kids,” the new teacher said, walking briskly to the desk in the front of the room. “Mr. Symarian ain’t comin’ in for a while. I’m gonna cover your English class. Nice to be here.”

Jenny smiled at Josh. “Right on time.”

Their substitute teacher was surprisingly short and completely bald, with a compact body and round head. When he reached the teacher’s desk, he turned to face the class. “You can call me Sid.”

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