By, Stephanie Gibeault
Todd poked his head into the open classroom door. His friends stood behind him in the hall, pushing against his back.
“Do you see anything?” whispered Anya pushing her glasses up her nose.
“Is he sitting or flying?” asked Kobe.
Todd’s eyes searched the empty classroom. His friends pressed even closer and his foot slipped under their weight. He fell into the middle of the doorway.
The kids jumped. Mr. Wurtzer was standing tall and pale in the middle of the classroom.
The teacher straightened his yellow and purple striped tie. “Can I help you?” he said in his thick accent.
Todd jumped up. “Yeah. Where were you hiding just now? Or should I say, ‘where were you hanging?’”
Mr. Wurtzer raised a wild and bushy eyebrow. “Shouldn’t you three be outside for recess right now?”
Anya yanked Todd back. “Never mind, sir. We’re on our way.”
The three of them ran out into the schoolyard.
Todd turned to Anya. “Hey! I was about to figure out our mystery. What gives?”
Anya placed her hands on her hips. “You don’t mess with a vampire!”
Before Todd could argue, Kobe said, “We can’t just ask Mr. Wurtzer if he’s a blood-sucking monster. We’ll have to prove it.”
“Okay,” said Todd. “What do vampires hate most?”
“Garlic,” said Kobe.
“Mirrors,” said Anya at the same time.
Todd rolled his eyes. “I meant sunlight. We’ve never seen him outside, and he keeps the classroom curtains closed. But you’re both right, they hate garlic and mirrors too.”
He grabbed Kobe’s arm. “What if we tested them all?”
“That would prove it for sure.” Kobe nodded. “I’ll bring the garlic. He won’t eat that.”
“And I’ll bring the mirror,” said Anya. “We can see if he has a reflection.”
“And that leaves me in charge of putting him in the sunlight,” said Todd. “I bet he’ll turn into a bat and fly away as fast as he can.”
The next morning, Kobe opened his bulging backpack. “My mom didn’t have any bulbs of fresh garlic, but she did have this giant jar of chopped garlic from the warehouse store. Same difference, right?”
“It better be!” said Todd.
Anya pulled out a small eyeshadow kit. “I borrowed this from my sister. There’s a mirror inside, see?” The tiny mirror was covered in eyeshadow powder.
“Good luck getting him to look in there,” said Todd. “I hope I do better with the sunlight.”
The bell rang, and the kids ran to their desks with Kobe clutching his giant jar, Anya stuffing her eyeshadow in her pocket, and Todd staring at the closed curtains. They were waiting for the perfect moment to spring their traps.
When Mr. Wurtzer finished morning announcements, he asked if anybody had anything to add. Kobe raised his hand.
“I wanted to share this delicious garlic with you,” Kobe said. “It’s so tasty, you need to try it.” He uncapped the jar and his eyes watered as he gagged on the strong smell.
“How generous,” said Mr. Wurtzer walking over to Kobe’s desk. “I would love to have a taste. You first.”
Kobe’s eyes widened. There was no way he could gulp a whole spoonful of garlic. “Maybe at lunch?” he said closing the jar.
Before Mr. Wurtzer could return to the front of the classroom, Anya ran over to him with her little mirror. She tried to point it right at the teacher’s face, but it was so small. And with all the eyeshadow dust, she could barely see a reflection of anything.
Mr. Wurtzer watched her twisting the mirror as he picked dog fur off his tie. Eventually he furrowed his fuzzy eyebrows and pointed to her seat. “Back to your desk please, Anya. I don’t need any makeup today.”
Todd tensed. It was all up to him. He ran to the windows. “Fire!” he yelled. “Everybody out the windows.” He pulled back the curtains, expecting sunlight to flood the room. But the sky was dark, and clouds blocked the sun.
“Sit down, Todd,” growled Mr. Wurtzer. “That’s enough silliness for one day.” He turned to the board and started the math lesson.
The kids looked at each other with slumped shoulders. Mr. Wurtzer had won again. But they wouldn’t give up so easily.
That evening they met at Todd’s house to come up with a new plan. Anya flipped through library books and Kobe read vampire websites while Todd took notes.
The full moon lit up the backyard. Suddenly they heard howling from outside.
Anya jumped. “Is that a coyote?”
“Nah, probably just the neighbor’s dog,” said Todd. “Nothing to worry about.”
The kids went back to researching vampires while a huge hairy beast prowled out back. It was a werewolf howling at the moon.
His eyes were framed by thick, bushy eyebrows and a yellow and purple striped tie hung from his neck.
About the Author
Stephanie Gibeault is a freelance writer from Ontario, Canada. She is also a dog trainer who has trained many different dog breeds, but never any werewolves! In her free time, she loves to teach ever more complicated tricks to her tiny Chihuahua and her giant cat. Follow her on Twitter at @GibeaultWrites.