-Chapter Three - New Friends-

Bryce Lynch Jr checked her schedule to see what her first class of the day was.

Math. Followed by Literacy, Science, and ICT. Then lunch followed by Art and Music. Geography and History alternated at the end of the day, with Geography on Mondays,

Wednesday, and Fridays.

It took her some time to find her class. As a result she was a couple of minutes late.

"Come in, young lady," the teacher, according to the chalkboard, said in a firm, scolding tone. "I expect you have a reason for being late?"

"I'm sorry, sir," Bryce Jr said, meekly. "I got lost. It's my first day."

"In the future, I expect that when decided to become lost you will do so with more punctuality."

"I will try, sir."

"Good," Mr. Collns gave a small smile. "Now, you may take a seat over there." He pointed to a vacant seat and turned back to the chalkboard.

Bryce Jr sat down. She watched, listened, and played with the old-style pencil that she had taken out of her book bag.

Mr. Collins took it from her, rather abruptly, and held it up. "In case you were all wondering, this tool is called a pencil. It was used by your grandparents as a method of marking down, or 'writing' as it was called, numerical equations, words, and phrases. It is still used today by many artists in the styles known as Sketching and Doodling. Today we use printers and portable storage, so the art of 'writing' has been gradually diminished. But enough of that. I'm sure that Miss Primly, your Literacy teacher, will cover the subject more thoroughly. You'll get it back after class."

Most of the rest of the class listened with mixed levels of attention.

"Where did you find a pencil?" one of her classmates asked her as she put it back in her book bag and began walking to her next class.

"It's my Uncle Murray's," she told him. "This place is really big. I hope I don't get lost again. I had my birthday too late to start last week. But they let me come this year anyhow. I heard Uncle Murray and the teacher who came to visit say it was because it was only a week and I can catch up. 'cept I don't know anyone."

"I'm Cole," the boy told her.

"Bryce Jr," the girl replied. "I was named after my father. He was super smart."

"Are you?" Cole asked, peering closely at her ear.

"What are you doing?"

"Seeing if you got a brain."

"Don't be daft," Bryce Jr told her. Then, with a smirk, she added "it's on the other side."

They both looked at each other, made a face, and cracked up laughing.

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