Ms. Fortune stood at the front of the classroom, back turned to her students, as she wrote some notes about their book assignment on the blackboard. The students were all in detention, and seeing opportunity, began to act out.
Jimmy reached into his pocket and pulled out a handful of elastic bands and fired them at people who had been teasing him earlier in the week. Gertrude reached under her desk and peeled a piece of previously chewed gum off the bottom and popped it in her mouth, smacking loudly. Bobby, who had been hit in the eye by one of Jimmy’s elastics, screamed and started to cry.
Ms. Fortune sighed the sigh of someone who had grown weary of a particularly long spell of poor weather. She stopped mid-sentence, lifted her white chalk and turned. The class was immediately quiet, attentive — except for Bobby, who continued to scream and hold his eye. The teacher told Bobby firmly to be quiet. He obeyed, sniffling. She turned back to the chalkboard.
Rena put her headphones in her ears and hit play on her music player, bobbing her head up and down to the beat. Cassandra began to doodle little hearts in her textbook. Ralph, who could see Cassandra’s bra through her white shirt, reached forward, grabbed the strap, pulled it back and let it go with a snap. Cassandra screamed. The class laughed.
Ms. Fortune finished writing her last sentence and abruptly left the classroom without offering an explanation. With a click, the door locked behind the students.
On the blackboard was written a short summary of their book assignment. Below that in capital letters, Ms. Fortune had written:
“WHO IS PIGGY?”
The students all looked at each other.