âNathan Rallies!â Nathan spoke up.
âNo need to shout, boy,â Sally Grumpus lectured.Â âI may be old, but Iâm also going deaf because Iâm so old, so thank you for shouting.â
A confused Nathan stood quietly as Sally Grumpus put his information into the computer.Â She slowly looked up and glared at him.
âHe checks out,â Sally Grumpus told Berthenia.Â âBut keep your eye on him.â
Berthenia grabbed Nathan by the arm and pulled him into the front office.Â She shoved him into Principal Spoonerâs arms.
âHe checks out,â she told him.Â âBut keep your eye on him.â
Principal Spooner grabbed Nathan by the arm and pulled him towards the door.Â âIâm the Principal,â he said.Â âDonât tell me what to do.âÂ As he pulled Nathan into the hallway, he added, âya big jerk.â
The Principal looked down at Nathan.Â âNow whereâs your class, Mr. Iâm-A-Student-Here?â
Before Nathan could answer, Principal Spooner looked around as if he no longer saw Nathan, and walked away aimlessly.
Nathan sighed.Â What a day like every other day.Â As he walked to class, he imagined he was walking to class.
âMaybe go here instead,â A voice said faintly from somewhere.Â Nathan paused and looked around.Â Somehow, the hallway felt different today.
âWhat?â He asked out loud, then immediately felt foolish.
âGo here,â came the voice again.Â This time, he knew it was coming from the snack machine to his left.Â A snack machine he had never seen before.Â A snack machineâ¦ of doom?Â Only kind of.
Nathan walked up to the snack machine and, slightly embarrassed, quietly asked, âAre you talking to me?â
âB-6,â said the snack machine.
Nathan took a moment to think what this might mean.Â Clearly it was referring to the mysterious product labeled B-6.Â Nathan took out a dollar bill and inserted it into the slot.Â Quickly, the dollar bill was rejected.Â He flattened out the bill and put it in again.Â It was quickly rejected.
âUse quarters,â said the snack machine.
Nathan reached into his pocket and came up with a piece of lint and a note from his mom that read, âI think I know you.Â Youâre my son, right?Â If you are, I love you.â
Nathan sighed and looked around.Â Principal Spooner was approaching.
âExcuse me, sir,â asked Nathan, âDo you have change for a dollar?â
Principal Spooner examined Nathan slowly.Â âSorry,â he said.Â âStudents only.â
âI am a student,â said Nathan.Â âIâm always a student.â
âWell, weâll just see about that,â said the Principal, and he grabbed Nathanâs arm and headed to the attendance office.
The rest of the morning was filled with trips to and from the attendance office.Â Lunch finally came, and the worst was over.Â Nathan made his way to the curious snack machine.
âI still donât have any quarters,â he whispered.
The snack machine sighed, then beeped.Â B-6 turned and a product fell to the receptacle at the bottom.Â Nathan grabbed the item and examined it.Â It was something called âDisappear:Â The Drink.â