School went on like usual, and nobody was possessed or inhabited or whatever else these aliens were supposed to be doing. I made it through lunch and only saw Ben once down the hallway from me between Language Arts and Social Studies. He was running like someone was trying to shoot him with a flamethrower – I saw one of those on a show my dad was watching on Netflix. It’s like a fire-breathing dragon gun. Anyway, nobody was really shooting at Ben, but you would have never known it by how he was running. Sheesh. I knew I was going to have to find him and ask some questions. You know, investigate… now that I was going to be part of Monster Investigations and all.
Other than that, everything was normal.
Until I went to the bathroom during 3rd period Social Studies. I went to the downstairs bathroom because the upstairs one was locked. Kids thrash it sometimes and the office locks it so we have to use the one down by the office.
Anyway, I went down the back stairway. After you step off the stairs and turn down the hall, there is a door at the bottom that goes to storage space under the stairs. I used to think it was a secret doorway the teachers used to a secret room with all kinds of video games, but that was kid stuff. I knew that the PE teachers used it to store extra equipment and football uniforms and stuff like that.
The door was open.
I peeked inside and there was one of the PE aides, an eighth grader, digging through large plastic tubs.
A deflated beach ball or pool toy or something was sitting on top of the tubs.
“What’s that for?” I asked. Didn’t hurt to ask, right. I wanted to know what was going to go on in PE just as much as the next guy.
“What, that?” the kid asked back tilting his head toward the thing. “Oh, that’s dumb Harrison.”
What was this kid talking about? Eighth graders were all weird (some of the boys had beards!), but this was ridiculous. What he said didn’t even make sense.
Then he grabbed the wilted beach ball and held it up. It was no beach ball! It was like a life-sized inflatable person. He flattened out the face and said, “It’s a dummy of Mr. Harrison.”
I think he could see that I was FREAKED OUT, so he pushed the thing toward me and added, “And you’ll end up just like him if you don’t move along and leave me alone.”
I back-peddled out of the little closet space and tripped, falling flat on my back. As I scrambled to my feet, I heard him saying, “Come on, kid, it’s not an alien or something.”
That was it. I was done with this. All I could think of was Ben saying, “It’s like we’re dummies and they are just jumping inside us secretly and making people do what they want.”
I ran all the way to the bathroom. I know they caught it on the hallway camera, but I didn’t care. They weren’t going to get me either. When I got in there, I was alone, so I splashed some water on my face like they do in movies. This alien business was the real deal. Now, we not only had something to investigate, we had to stop it. Lunch was going to be a serious meeting with Ray and Liz. Ray would make sense of this. He always did. Even if he didn’t like the Monster Investigations idea.
I stopped by my locker on the way back to Social Studies to get my water bottle. You know what happened when I opened my locker? Another Monster Deck 3 card came out. An Alien 74 locked in prison. A blocking card. I was not only scared I was not going to find Mr. Harrison in his room when I returned to Reyes’ class, I was afraid one of these aliens was going to find me. I needed blocking powers.