Stan and David rested for a few minutes, recovering from their close call with the janitor and finishing their suckers together in silence. David was the first to crunch the last bit of candy from his stick and stand up, brushing the dust from his school uniform.
“Is it time yet? Mr Mills is gone home for sure by now,” he said, hopefully.
Stan nodded and chewed up the last of his own cherry-red lollipop. “Don’t forget your backpack,” he reminded his friend.
David scooped up his bag as they headed for the classroom door. The soft snick of the lock disengaging was the only sound to be heard aside from their rapid breathing. Their excitement was a nearly palpable presence in the air.
“C’mon, David, it’s this way,” Stan beckoned him to the right, down the hallway away from the front doors of the school.
David stayed close behind, not wanting to take the slightest chance of missing out on any part of the adventure they had planned. Stan stopped abruptly in front of an unlabeled door, and David nearly ran him over in his haste.
“I thought this was a broom closet or something,” David remarked.
“Nope. Check it out.” Stan wiggled the doorknob at just the right angle, and it unlatched, allowing the door to swing wide, revealing a stainless steel ladder bolted to the wall.
David goggled at the sight. “Holy cow!”
“I told you it was awesome.’ Stan smirked to himself before stepping into the closet of a room and starting up the ladder, David on his heels.
It felt like they climbed for hours, but about only minutes later, Stan pushed open the heavy door above them, and he nearly fell off the ladder, taking David with him, when it slammed open onto the roof, letting the sunlight stream in.
The two boys scrambled out of the hole in the ceiling and stood up to look around.
“I can see the whole town from up here!” David exclaimed.
“Look over there!” Stan pointed. “It’s your house.”
They spent at least half an hour seeking out sights to show each other, buildings and landmarks that they’d known since birth, but only from ground level. Everything looked so different from the grand height of three whole stories.
Finally tiring of that game, the boys took off their backpacks and used them as pillows to lie on their backs and find pictures in the cloudscapes above.
Which is where they fell sound asleep, and where the police found them, hours later.
Begun with TBP OLWG #34
Stan peeked out the window, his hair wildly tufted from the long minutes spent hiding in the coat closet, his grubby little fingers gripping the windowsill.
“Is it all clear, Stan?” David whispered from his hiding place beneath the teacher’s desk.
“Yup. The last bus has gone. I think we’re in the clear,” Stan agreed, relaxing his grip and sinking back down to the floor.
David pulled himself out from under the desk and sat up. “So now what do we do? Go upstairs?”
Stan shook his head. “We still have to wait for the custodian to leave, but that should only be a little while longer. Then we’ll be the only ones left in the whole school!”
The pair grinned at each other, wicked in their complicity.
Stan pulled his backpack off one shoulder and around to the front where he could access the zipper. He opened the small pocket and removed two suckers. “Apple or cherry?” He asked his friend, after a brief inspection of the labels.
David reached for the green-wrapped candy. “I’ll take apple,” he answered.
The boys dropped their wrappers on the floor in unison and popped the lollipops into mouths waiting to be stained red and green.
Stan scrambled to his feet with the sudden realization that he’d forgotten one of the most important parts of his plan. He rushed to lock the classroom door and slap their sign on the window, then quickly duck out of sight before the janitor could notice the real reason room 4B was inaccessible.
Mr Mills tried the door. Fortunately, the school board didn’t pay him well enough to make retrieving the keys from the office worthwhile.
David’s wide eyes tracked Stan’s slide along the wall, away from the door. “I can’t believe you made it!” He cried in a hissing whisper made lispy by the recently-lost incisors.
TBP OLWG #34
25 minutes handwritten at work, including one customer interruption. I choose 4!
My phone case had seen better days. It was just a little plastic thing with a gumball machine on it, and the design was chipping off along most of the edges.
So today Ian found me a new-to-me one.