IT WAS MORNING.
“Brrring!!!” It was 7 o’clock. Riley’s alarm clock was ringing. Riley Foley was 11 years old. She had peachy pink skin, and freckles like giraffes had spots on her face. Riley was one of the shortest in her 5th-grade class. She lived in a bright blue house on 23 Taft Avenue in Newton, Massachusetts. It was a sunny April spring day. The cherry tree next to Riley’s house was bearing the first of its beautiful flowers of mid-spring.
Riley slapped her hand lazily on her bedside table until her alarm clock fell off the shelf and broke (the classic way to turn off an alarm clock when you’re tired and it’s a Monday). She stumbled downstairs tiredly for breakfast.
“Morning Mom,” she greeted her mom, sleepily.
“Good Morning! Egg or oatmeal for Breakfast?” Her mom greeted energetically.
“Both, please,” Riley answered, a little bit less sleepily.
Riley’s mom wanted Riley to have healthy food for breakfast. Riley had a presentation for school that day. Riley was going to bring her pet milk snake and show how fascinating they were. Her pet milk snake was named Mason.
“You probably should go feed Mason. He’s probably hungry,” Riley’s mom suggested as she was flipping the egg to cook the other side.
“Okay,” Riley said. Riley went to her room to feed Mason. When she came back down, her egg was ready for her.
“Orange juice or cranberry juice?” Riley’s mom asked Riley.
“Cranberry, please,” Riley said.
Then a loud, satisfying whistle came from the tea kettle.
“Looks like the waters ready for oatmeal!” Riley’s mom announced in a jolly manner. She began pouring a glass of cranberry juice for Riley.
Riley’s mom took out the oatmeal packet and asked her, “Cinnamon or plain oatmeal?”
“Plain, please,” Riley answered.
“Here it is!” Riley’s mom announced, serving Riley a glass of cranberry juice and a bowl of oatmeal.
“Now when you finish that, go put your shoes on and get your backpack,” Riley’s mom told Riley.
“Okay, mom,” Riley answered.
Riley finished breakfast and went to put her shoes on. “Don’t forget to bring Mason!” her mom called from downstairs.
“Okay, mom!” Riley replied.
Riley ran upstairs to her room to get Mason. She picked up the cage. Mason hissed.
“Oops! Sorry, you’re overwhelmed,” Riley said calmly, slowing down her pace to calm down Mason.
Riley’s mom was already in the car and she was starting it when Riley came downstairs to put her shoes on and get her backpack for school. Riley got straight into the car, and she was off to school.
Riley got to school just when the bell was ringing.
“Bye, Riley!” her mom called.
“Bye, mom!” Riley called as she was going into school.
She put the cage with Mason on the floor beside her desk and looked up at the whiteboard.
“10:00 IS OUR PRESENTATION ON ANIMALS,” it read, in a peachy orange whiteboard marker.
“Good morning, class! In case you didn’t see the whiteboard, at 10:00 we will have our presentation on animals!” Ms. Rivera announced.
Ms. Rivera was Riley’s teacher. All of Riley’s friends ironically had pets. Her friend Brian had his pet Lemon shark, Lira had a pet sea turtle, George had a sparrow, Maria had a hamster, and Emily had her fish, Kara.
Even though Brian had a shark, the most noticeable was Megan’s pet which was a capybara. Megan would always remark proudly that she wanted to use capybaras on her clothes when she grew up because she wanted to be a fashion designer. Megan and Emily always argued about the use of animals and how people should use them and domesticate them.
Megan would say, “Hey Emily! I have like the bestest idea for clothing of the future.”
Then Emily would groan, “What is it?” because she knew that if she didn’t answer, Megan would get even sassier, or there would be a fight, which Emily didn’t like but Megan loved. Emily despised them.
One time, Megan actually asked the local zookeeper if she could use the leopard for a fur coat, and the zookeeper fainted. When he came to, Megan said, “Well then like I should steal it, so I can make my fabulous fur coat. One day, I will be the most famous fashion designer in the world!”
“Time for the presentation!” Ms. Rivera called promptly at 10:00 am. Riley went to her desk excitedly. She went to Mason’s cage. Riley found him-GONE!
“Mason’s gone!” Riley screamed in extreme dismay. She felt like she couldn’t express her emotions because they were so crazy.
“What?! You always keep Mason’s case closed!” Ms. Rivera exclaimed, deeply in confusion.
“It’s true! Megan opened it at Recess!” Brian exclaimed. Then he whispered to Riley, “Megan let it out and she turned around to give Megan one of her fashion ideas, and Mason escaped.” Then all the girls shrieked except for Riley and Megan.
Riley practically screamed in her mind, “Megan is an idiotic nuisance in this world; she belongs on another planet. Maybe in another universe.”
Megan revived and remarked, “Hey Emily, I have like another bestest idea for a belt.”
“I don’t even want to hear it,” Emily mumbled under her breath.
But then she gloomily asked, “What is it?”
“When I find Riley’s wiggly slimy thing, I will turn it into a belt and then I will be the most popular girl in the school!” Megan exclaimed happily, jumping up and down and flapping her hands and arms.
Emily turned around and said, “I think you said that a little bit (or a lot) too loudly…” her voice trailed off in extreme shock.
Riley was as red-orange as an angry tomato that was Donald Trump when he was mad. (Donald Trump turns more orange for everything else anyone else turns red-orange for).
Riley opened up her mouth so wide you could fit a soda can in it and screamed at the top of her lungs to Megan, “Megan Karma LaClaire, REALLY?!” It felt like Riley’s scream made her desk and the surrounding desks shake as if a gorilla was beating its chest right in that room.
Megan replied in a sassy manner, Yes really, and I don’t care. Oh, and by the way…”
Ms. Rivera couldn’t take it anymore. She cut Megan off in anger. “Riley and Emily, go back to your desks. Megan LaClaire, TO THE PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE! NOW!”
Meanwhile, while Ms. Rivera was struggling to calm her class down, Megan was being yelled at by the principal.
As she walked in, the principal said, “I heard that something happened in class just now.” (Ms. Rivera had emailed the principal about the snake incident.)
Megan replied, “Yes, but it was only my marvelous idea about how I could use Riley’s thing that she calls a milk snake.”
“I know, but that is misjudging someone’s property, and if you were an adult it would be violating a law. You’re lucky you’re just having a little chat because you’re a child.” the Principal said, extremely seriously.
“You know what, I don’t really care,” Megan said, and she stormed out of the door, like an angry businesswoman on a rainy day. She ended up with detention.
Meanwhile, Ms. Rivera had calmed her class down, but the principal told Ms. Rivera that the kids had to hunt for Mason in the classroom. The problem was that Ms. Rivera had picked randomly. Megan and Emily were together!
As soon as they started to look, Megan said to Emily, “When I find the snake, I will take a sharp lego piece and kill it so that I can make my belt.” Megan and Emily were assigned to look for the snake at Ms. Rivera’s desk, and Megan got stuck under the desk because of her dress’ ribbons, decors, and her corset, which fell off of her because the metal wires snapped in the tight space under Ms. Rivera’s desk.
When Megan got out, her dress was ripped and tattered, and she ran around the room like crazy yelling “Arrrggghhh! My dress! It’s ripped!” for fifteen minutes before her hat got wrecked because she fell down and she stepped on it with her high heel, which punched a hole in the hat. Megan then overturned Emily’s chair, in extreme anger, and the force of Megan’s throw made it brake.
“Auuuuggghhhh! I hate this school!” Megan said, and she stormed out the door.
In the end, nobody found Mason.
The rest of the day was just more controversial.
“Brrring!” the school bell had rung its bell for the end of the day. But something was different. Usually, Riley would run out the door happily like a rabbit on a sunny day. But today Riley walked out like a depressed, alone slug in a can of rotten food on a stormy night.
Riley walked out like she had seven hours of Russian Math after four hours of Math MCAS, even though she had nothing after school that day, (That day was Monday; Riley had Russian Math on Thursday).
“Hi, mom,” Riley greeted her mom gloomily.
“Why are you so gloomy?” Riley’s mom asked, confused. Riley had just had her presentation that day, and she had been really excited about it before school.
“Oh. My. Gosh. Where’s Mason!” Riley’s mom exclaimed in even more confusion.
“I…I…I lost him!” Riley sobbed. She and her mom both turned around. And there was Mason, slithering across the sidewalk!
He was slithering around crowds, trying to find food frantically. Mason was much dirtier than usual, so Riley thought that he had caught a mouse from inside the school building and ate it.
Riley exclaimed, “Or I found him!”, plopping Mason into his cage.
And Riley NEVER brought Mason to school EVER again.