“I probably won’t,” I tell Miss Kelly.
She’s worried that I’ll throw up in the middle of class. She’s asked me about seven times already if I’m ok.
I guess it’s fair. I’m in a bad state. Nerves, you see. At lunch I made a stupid promise to meet Karl and his buddies and head to Bony Finger Canyon.
I also promised to bring the skeleton arm that gave the canyon its name. But I don’t know where it is. Nobody does.
There’s a good chance that tonight will end with a beating. Definitely humiliation. Oh, and ghostly mutilation. There’s that, too.
I’ve been trying to come up with a plan to avoid bodily harm. My first thought was to fashion a crude arm from junk that I could find in my basement. Maybe slather some meat from the fridge on it and show it only when it’s dark out. That was the frontrunner until I realized that I’m not that handy with crafts.
I should have paid more attention in grade two.
The eleven-billionth wave of nausea hits me and I’m forced to put my head down on the desk.
“Philip, are you sure you’re alright?” I hear Miss Kelly call from the front of the room.
“Yes,” I try to mumble with enough conviction that she’ll leave me alone for two minutes.
I open one eye and see the answer staring right at me.
It’s Mr. Granley’s empty eye sockets.
Why didn’t I think of that before? Well, I guess the whole canyon dare proves that I’m not the sharpest crayon in the box. But still. I’m not that dumb.
Mr. Granley is the name that some class in the distant past gave the plastic skeleton that hangs in the corner of the room. I heard there was an actual teacher named that, but he died, or something.
I look closely at the connections between the bones. They’re held together with heavy wire. If I can find something to cut it with, I’ll be one step closer to getting through the night.
There’s one class left in the day. I’ll have to sneak back into the room after school.
I hope I can pull off the, if not perfect, then at least adequate, crime.