Mr Marshall droned on and on. His dull, monotone voice had become nothing but a low hum to Cindy. It was kind of soothing, in a way. Golden sunlight streamed in through the windows. Outside the breeze blew the first leaves of winter around in small spirals. It was quiet in the classroom, peaceful and warm. She could feel her eyes getting heavy, it was getting harder and harder to stay awake.
Cindy made a determined effort to concentrate. She was a good student. She got good grades, handed work in on time, was praised for her attentiveness. She certainly didn't fall asleep in class. But Mr Marshall was just so goddamn boring. She had tried to concentrate in his class, every Tuesday afternoon and Friday morning for the last three weeks, but now she could feel herself slipping. She tried to make sense of what he was saying. Something about history. Well that figured, it was a history class. Cindy pushed back a strand of her long blonde hair and looked down at her book, pen in hand. What had he said again? She wondered how her friends were doing. She looked around at Sally next to her. Sally stared into space, dead to the world. Her book was shut and she was absently doodling on the front cover.
"Cindy!" a voice broke into her thoughts. Cindy looked up. Mr Marshall stood in front of her. He didn't look happy.
"Miss Makey, can you please repeat what I just said?" he asked, exasperation in his voice
"Um... No" she admitted.
"I see. I've had to talk to you before about paying attention in class haven't I" he stated.
"Um....Yes?" she answered. She didn't remember, but then she never remembered much of Mr Marshall's class.
Mr Marshall fished a piece of paper from his pocket. "Detention on Saturday. Cindy Makey" he said aloud as he wrote.
"But its Saturday tomorrow!" she interrupted.
"I am aware of that Miss Makey, I am aware." he finished writing. "Here" he handed her the paper. "You'll have to get your parents to sign it and return it to me tomorrow morning." he walked to the front of the class and resumed his lecture. Cindy sighed, her parents weren't going to like this.
Adam and Watch joined Cindy and Sally as they walked to lunch. As they walked through the corridors the girls filled them in on the mornings events.
"I have total sympathy for you" said Watch after they had finished, "Mr Marshall has to be the most boring person who has ever lived."
"Personally I'm not convinced he's human" added Sally.
"He could be a robot" Watch suggested.
"That makes no sense" Adam argued. "Who would make an incredibly boring robot schoolteacher?"
"Former teacher with a grudge against students?" guessed Sally.
"It could be" said Watch, "Weird stuff does tend to happen in this town."
They walked into the lunch room. It was crowded with students and filled with noise. They joined the end of a long queue for lunch.
"What I don't get is why he picked on me" said Cindy, "No-one in that classroom was paying attention." She turned to Sally "I mean what about you? At least I was making some effort to look like I was listening."
"I don't know Cindy" Sally replied, smiling. "I know you're used to being teachers pet but you've got to realise not everyone is going to appreciate your meagre charms."
Cindy gave her an irritated look, "I just don't think its fair. And my parents are going to kill me."
"Come on its not that big a deal" said Adam. "Its only a detention. And we've all had one right?" He looked around for confirmation.
"Oh sure" said Watch "Loads of them."
"Actually, no" said Sally, smirking.
"Great" said Cindy.
They reached the end of the queue. Sally stepped up to the counter and took a plate of grey mush with potatoes. "Actually" she said "You're right Cindy."
Cindy looked taken aback "Huh?"
"Why should you have to suffer alone for doing what everyone else was doing. I'm going to do the detention with you." She turned to look at the others. "Hey! Why don't we all do the detention together! It'll be fun" she said excitedly.
Adam considered the idea "Yeah" he said "that's a pretty good idea. What do you think Watch?"
"Why not" said Watch "Not like I have anything better to do on a Saturday."
"Oh thanks guys" Cindy smiled. "And this will make it much easier to tell my parents. I'll just say you guys got me into some kind of trouble."
"Great so that's settled then" said Watch. He looked at the pans of food on the counter. "Now all that's left is to decide between a plate of classic green unspecified or new improved yellow unspecified."
They sat at the table, the majority of the group having decided to be daring and go for the bright yellow mush. Luckily it didn't taste as bad as it looked.
"So Cindy" said Sally "I hope you will be making an effort to avoid any more trouble with Mr Marshall. So have you started on your project yet?"
"What project?" Cindy asked.
"The project he told us about on Monday. The personal history thing."
"Oh....you know, I don't remember anything about it" said Cindy, looking anxious.
"Don't worry Cindy" said Watch reassuringly "I think Mr Marshall has an amnesiac affect on a lot of people."
"So what is the project?" asked Adam, the only one of the four who didn't have Mr Marshall as a history teacher.
"You have to do a study on an ancestor of yours" Sally explained "how they lived and the time and place they lived in."
"So have you started yet?" asked Adam.
"I have so many interesting ancestors I don't know who to pick" answered Sally. "I'll probably start tonight."