Author's note: I had a dream! Literally. I woke up and I wrote what I had dreamed. It was weird. And okay...do... Show full author's note »
Welcome to Holmes AcademyMy name is Jenna Brevies, and I attended Holmes Academy when Angie Hilversum solved the mystery of the murder of Will Porter.
I met Angie on the first day of school and immediately thought she was strange. She looked normal enough, save the yellow rain boots on her feet. She had shoulder length brown hair, a pretty face, and dark brown eyes that I later found out, when she was thinking real hard, they would brighten, as if the intensity of her thoughts transferred to them.
I didn’t come up and talk to her however, she found me, got right in my face, our noses inches apart and said, “You look nice. And they always say you can trust a red head.”
I stepped back a couple of feet. “Do they?”
Angie shrugged. “Well I do. Haven’t met a red head I haven’t liked.”
I didn’t like that she was talking to me. I was trying to stand with the crowd of kids getting dropped off, bending my head down, trying to go unnoticed. Not only was this girl paying attention to me, it seemed like everyone else was paying attention to her. Whispering behind hands, a few people pointing their finger at her, several others giving her dirty looks.
Angie seemed oblivious to all this and held out her hand. “Angie, Angie Hilversum.”
I shook it with my two fingers. “Jenna Brevies.”
“Isn’t it cool to be here?”
“Sure.” I said, shrugging my shoulders.
After that a whistle was blown and a tall woman with huge lips ordered all the first time students to take ’the walk’, and all the upperclassman to follow her to the school.
“What’s the walk?” Angie asked curiously, a smile on her face.
“Initiation.” I sighed and pulled my bags over to where all the other fifteen year olds stood by the woods. That’s all anyone could see from the road, nothing but pine trees as far as the eye could see. I have been to the school for registration, and know there is a road hidden past a couple of trees, but all first timers have to find their way to the school the original way, searching through the woods.
My older brothers, all three of them, have been and graduated from Holmes Academy, and because of that it is easy to torture me with stories of all the dreadful things that went on when they went here.
“They have mud swamps that swallow you whole if you don’t figure out how to get out of them fast enough.” Said Lionel just that morning.
“And the initiation is the worst!” Peter grinned. “Some people get lost in those woods for years! Some never make it out.”
“She’ll be fine.” Kevin said. “If she makes it past the skeleton grave yard.”
Inside I know that they are making it up, at the same time, what if they aren’t. I feel dread come over me as we start to go into the woods. Angie is quiet beside me, gazing around at the trees in the interest a doctor normally takes in a patient.
We all walk for fifteen minutes, maybe twenty. The kids have dispersed, all in individual groups now, some walking ahead, others behind. Though it is through the thick woods, we all stay on the faded dirt path, each fearing they might get lost.
“That’s interesting.” Angie says, her voice full of wonder. “these trees aren’t pine trees anymore, they are oak.”
I didn’t really know why that was so interesting so I made no comment and kept walking. The sooner the walking was over, the better. Maybe Angie would find someone else to befriend when we got to the school. It was a little aggravating to have someone else be so enthusiastic about everything when I didn’t want to be here at all.
My mother is on the school board so it is as doctrine as the commandments in the Bible that all her kids go to Holmes Academy. I begged her to let me go to my normal school, begged my dad too. They both wouldn’t have it, saying that going to this school will help me in job choices later on. Perhaps I could even be a detective for the police one day. I hated the idea.
“Jenna!” Angie hollered. I turned, cringing at the stares I received. “Come here!”
She was still at that tree a couple yards back.
“What?” I said when I got near her. “We’re going to be left behind.”
“If they keep walking they won’t ever find the school.” Angie smiled. “It’s easy. We can’t keep following the path in the dirt. We have to follow the pine trees.”
“Why?” I asked.
“Because those are the type of trees that are around the school.” Angie pointed to a pine tree a few feet away, off the path. “Come on, lets go.”
I felt my stomach turn, my brother’s words echoing in my head. ‘Some people get lost in the woods for years!’
Angie was already at the tree, scoping out another. I felt the desire to stay on the path. I had no reason to trust Angie, at the same time, she seemed so sure and her logic made sense. Before I knew it, I was following her, lugging my bags through leaves and running them up against trees.
We traveled for a half hour, then it turned into an hour. We were surrounded by pine trees but to my rising terror, no school.
“Well, that’s interesting.” Angie said, evidently thinking the same thing. “What did I miss…”
I shot her a dirty look. “Now we’re lost!”
“No no.” Angie shook her head. “The school is just past these couple of trees.”
I looked at her incredulously. “Then what are you saying you missed something for?”
“Because I don‘t think I packed all my things.” Angie nodded. “I think I missed a snow globe.”
I raised my eye brows “Right.” I started walking, Angie following, tapping her chin in thought as she lugged her own large suitcase with the other hand.
Angie was right, the school was there. We were in the back part of the school in an open field. The towering black walled manor loomed in the low evening light. We were the first ones back besides a scared looking boy who evidently just ran through the woods when he heard a noise. The tall teacher with fish lips greeted us.
“Congratulations.” She said. “You made it back in one piece.”
“Thank you.” Angie said back.
The teacher withdrew a clip board. “Angie Hilversum I assume. And you must be a Brevies. You look just like your mother.”
“I get that a lot.” I said quietly.
She wrote check marks next to our names. “Okay, welcome to Holmes Academy.” She pushed her huge glasses up the bridge of her pointy nose. “You can go through the back door to the auditorium. Leave your bags out here. You too Charlie.”
The boy dropped his bags and hurried into the manner. It reminded me of a rat scurrying to his hole.
“Hey Angie.” I said as we got near the door. “Thanks.”
Angie shrugged. “I didn’t really do anything.”
We went through the normal looking wooden door and through a large kitchen. The kitchen was huge but dark, lit by lantern which gave it an ominous look. Shadows moved about in the light. The overhanging knives made it almost look like a dungeon. The one thing that kept me from running the other way was the delicious smell of food. I didn’t realize till just then how hungry I was and how good the tables in the middle of the room piled with food looked.
There was everything you could ever want. Pizza, cake, chicken, ribs, sweet potato, spaghetti. I noticed that even Charlie hadn’t run away, but was now chewing on a bread piece.
“I don’t think we are allowed to eat yet Charlie.” I said, my stomach whining at my statement.
Charlie dropped the bread, like a criminal caught in the act.
Angie motioned to the next door at the other end of the room. The three of us, Charlie tailing far behind, went out into an equally dark hall way.
“They don’t believe in electricity.” I whispered. The hall was ridiculously long, decorated in yellow floral faded wallpaper and at the very end of the hall was a staircase.
With so many doors, we decided to just listen to where voices were coming from and went through the door. I was glad we chose right. The first door we opened was the auditorium. It was lit by a bright chandelier hanging overhead. On the stage a big round man beckoned us to take a seat up front, evidently saved for the first timers.
The only person I recognized was the dean, who simply seemed to blend in with the wall up on stage. My mother said Dean Ames had no back bone, and from what I could see, she was right.
We took a seat, eyes staring at us. The round man started talking but I couldn’t concentrate with so many eyes burning into the back of my head. It was about forty five minutes later before anyone else came in. All the ones that came in were very dirty. Some were covered head to toe in mud. Others were scraped up and followed by a woman who I assumed was a nurse.
Once an hour past the teacher Mister. Gregatim announced the welcoming of a new year. He introduced the names of all the teachers most of which I forget, some of which stick in my mind. There was Miss Gog the woman with fish lips who is the detective comprehension teacher. The ‘new’ murderous weapons teacher was introduced. He was a tall lean man with blonde hair that seemed to float and a handsome face. He gave the students a wink. There were a few swoons from the girls and some gagging sounds from the boys.
Then it was the boys turn to swoon when Miss Cathy, the poisons and botany teacher floated on stage. She looked like a beauty queen, her gold hair floating behind her like a veil. She waved to the students and a couple of boys wolf whistled. She flashed a dazzling smile to them and left the stage, the air seeming thinner then before. Miss Drone was another notable teacher. She teaches law and according to Mister Gregatim, she gives out more detentions then anyone else.
All the other names were lost in my brain. Mister Gregatim introduced Dean Ames last who gave a meek wave and disappeared into the wall again. Mister Gregatim then went over the rules and what was expected. Chores which included dish washing and dinner making on the weekend. You have to be in bed by nine o clock unless you have detention. Three tardies to class gives you a detention. No one is allowed out on the grounds except for designated times and no one is allowed to travel outside the grounds under any circumstance.
“And, just so you don’t feel like we are trying to uneducated you.” Mister Gregatim started. “We don’t tell you what to do as much as a normal school, because you are detectives, and you must figure out for yourselves these things. So if you need help, don’t ask us, use your brain.”
The teachers then went around the room and handed out schedules, calling out students names. I looked over mine and Angie compared it to hers. We had the same classes to the t. I gazed around at the first time students. There weren’t that many people. They all probably had the same classes.
I examined my schedule again.
9:00-10:00-Science of Deduction
10:00- 11:00-Clue Class
11:00- 12:00-Murderous Weapons
1:00-2:00-Poisons and Botany
4:00-5:00-Magnify and things