The
Underachievers
CHAPTER
7
Tenacious Tyler
I wiped my chalky hands off on my pants and stood back to look at the beginning of our mural. “Braeden! Go higher for the cloud shapes,” I said.
“You sure?” Asked Braeden.
“Totally,” I answered. “I have to say, my rocket looks pretty awesome dude. I’m diggin’ your drums, too!”
It was good that Mr. D was off doing whatever for a long time. There weren’t too many disagreements over who did what. There was no way we’d finish by two, but at least we would have it mostly drawn out and a bit of it painted. Feeling a bit antsy, I ran and tried touch the bottom of a banner hanging in one of the halls. Pretty sure the tip of my finger touched it. I doubled back to join the others.
“Ben! You bumped the paint can again. Quit it!” Yelled Zoey.
“Sorry,” said Ben.
“Dude you just stepped in the paint!” I warned Ben. “Don’t move, “ I added as I grabbed some paper towels for him.
“Thanks Tyler,” Ben said. Then wiped the paint off of his shoe. “Whoa guys! Look outside!”
It was pouring rain out big time. We heard a loud rumble of thunder. Then the lights flickered. It was pretty awesome.
“Seriously! I was going to skateboard home. This sucks,” grouched Braeden from the top of the ladder.
The lights flickered again. “Please don’t let the electricity go out!” Zoey said looking up at the ceiling.
“I hope it goes out, that would be awesome,” said Ben.
“We won’t be able to finish this today, anyway,” Savannah added.
“Yeah, well I just don’t care to be stuck in a dark school,” said Zoey.
“You scared?” Teased Ben.
“Shut up dude,” I said to Ben. “Don’t tease her.”
Just as Braeden hopped down from the ladder the lights went out. A streak of lightning lit up the room for a second. Everyone was talking. I’m pretty sure it was Ben that made ghosts noises. Then a small light beam appeared from the hallway and the sound of fast footsteps got closer.
“Everyone okay?” Asked Mr. Dan. We all answered that we were fine. Mr. D said he was heading to the electrical box in case he blew a fuse. If it wasn’t that he would start up the generator.
“Hey, this is kind of perfect. Maybe Mr. Dan and Principal Callahan won’t be able to see our mural today.” Said Savannah.
“She will be waiting for us at the front door on Monday morning then,” said Sawyer.
“Who cares when they find it, we know it won’t go well.” Said Braeden.
“We have to make them let us keep the mural,” said Savannah.
“Hopefully we can,” Zoey assured her.
Another flash of lightning showed me the two girls were huddled together and Ben was under the ladder!
“Ben, why are you under the ladder?” I asked.
“Just hanging on the rungs,” Ben said.
“Dude get out from under there. The same way you went under.”
“Why?” Ben asked.
“Dude, I’m serious! It’s bad luck. We don’t need bad luck right now.”
“Fine, I’m out.” Said Ben.
“Are you superstitious?” Asked Zoey.
“I don’t know, maybe a little,” I admitted.
Just then the lights went back on. “Thank God,” said Zoey.
“Booooo!” Said Ben.
“Well, now we know we will be facing the music today,” said Savannah.
“Don’t worry about facing the music until the marching band stops right in front of us. Let’s get some more of the mural done,” I said. “It’s like 1:40 already.” We all got back to work.
“I’m going to paint glasses on this guy. Where the small brushes?” Sawyer asked.
“Here, use this one,” I passed him the one I was holding.
“I love this light blue!” Savannah announced.
“Can I paint a tongue sticking out on one of these guys?” Asked Ben.
“No! This is going to be positive!” Savannah scolded.
“It would be funny, not rude,” Ben said disappointed.
I found another small tipped brush to help Braeden outline all the objects we drew with chalk. We decided on black paint.
“Hey, the rain is letting up, you guys!” Yelled Zoey. We all took a minute break to look outside, except for Savannah.
A few minutes later there was more thunder, but not outside. Mr. Dan’s booming voice was loud and angry!
“What are you people trying to do get me fired? I am in charge of you hooligans! How do you think this makes me look?” Mr. Dan yelled. He kept on yelling stuff. I just tuned him out, it was too much. What was his deal? This seriously wasn’t that big a deal. We were trying to do something good for this colorless boring school. They should be thanking us not yelling. Why would the janitor care anyway? If the principal has a hissy fit and hates it, we simply paint over it. No Biggie. I just don’t get grown-ups. They freak out way too much about stupid stuff.
Then there were words I wanted to hear. “Did you say go home?”
“Yes! Just go, all of you. It’s just about two o’clock anyway,” said Mr. Dan.
“Um, I really need my bag and cell phone from Principal Callahan,” said Zoey.
“Yeah, I need my phone to call my Mom,” said Savannah.
Mr. Dan ran his hand through the side of his hair and exhaled loudly. “Your principal had to leave early. I will go get your stuff. Can I trust you kids to close up these paint cans and bring them back to the janitor room?”
We let him know he could trust us. I doubt he believed us especially by the way I saw him look back at us a couple times before he disappeared into the main office. The rest of us agreed that he freaked out way more than any of us imagined he would. It was definitely weird. We carried the paints to the janitor room. I helped put the cans back on the shelves and the girls got the brushes soaking in some water.
When we got back the janitor had the cart there with our stuff. We said our awkward goodbyes and left. A few parents were already waiting in the parking lot. Braeden jumped onto his skateboard. “Careful dude!” I said. He saluted me and took off.
Then it was just Savannah and I. `”Do you have a long wait?”
“No my Mom’s almost here. How about you?” Savannah asked.
“My Dad should be here any minute now. Or now, speak of the devil,” I said as my Dad’s pickup truck pulled into the school lot.
A white SUV pulled in after my Dad. “Is that your ride?”
“Yup,” answered Savannah.
“Cool, I’ll probably see you Monday when Callahan has her freak out,” I said.
“I guess so. Bye,” she said.
I hopped into my Dad’s pickup truck. “Some storm we had,” my Dad said.
“Yeah. We still going to Home Depot?” I asked.
“You bet. If I don’t finish my honey-do list your Mom will feed me to the sharks.”
When we got home I pretty much had to help my Dad fix a lighting fixture. Then I was free to do my own thing. I didn’t mention the mural. I figured I’d wait for the bomb to drop as usual and then explain. I’m more of a wait until I have to cross that bridge before I worry about stuff. My ten year old sister came running into the house with the mail. I noticed something for me right away.
“Yoink!” I said as I grabbed my magazine from her.
“Tyler! You made me spill the mail! Erin yelled.
“You spill milk, you drop the mail,” I said back as I climbed the stairs.
I lay down on my bed and admire my new national Geographic. Cool cover. “The Truth About Black Holes.” I read. I took a look at what was inside. One day I want to travel to other countries and sketch animals and architecture. I always get inspired to draw when I look through my National Geographic collection. I think my prized magazine collection is even a bit more important to me than my Kobe Bryant jersey. Maybe. I wish I could still play basketball. Dumb grades. I don’t see why you have to have good grades to play basketball. School is so boring. I skipped some days to go sketch animals at the zoo and architecture in the city. It was so cool. Unfortunately the school caught on to my skipping. Plus I drew an awesome picture of my science teacher as a rhino. When I looked at him he just looked like he could be a rhino to me. I was supposed to be taking a test but I had to draw. I failed the test (Which probably would have happened anyway.) and got sent to the principal because Mr. Mitchell was offended by my amazing art.
The last straw for the school I guess was when I messed up the boy’s locker room and painted a very crude picture on the window to coaches’ office. Coach should have stuck up for me. I don’t know if I’ll ever forgive him. We were a team until I messed up. Then suddenly my team, my second family, didn’t have my back.
“Cool, bats!” I still needed to finish my sketch of a leopard I am pretty proud of, but I might just get inspired to start sketching a bat.

Keep Reading

Chapter 8

Braeden Goes Berserk

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