A Classroom Mystery

A month after the new term started, Kim was pretty sure that the girl who sat in front of her in math was a vampire. Her name was Veronica, which is a vampire-sounding name, and she glittered. Kim hadn’t read that popular vampire book, but she had heard that was a telltale sign.

Kim’s mom said that if you have a question, it’s always best to just ask. So, Kim tapped Veronica on her shoulder and asked. “Why are you all glittery?”

Veronica turned around and raised her eyebrows as though she thought it was a strange question. “My lotion has body glitter in it,” she said.

“Oh.” That made sense. “Are you a vampire?”

Veronica looked at her like she was crazy. And maybe a little bit rude. “No.”

“Okay,” Kim said. Veronica turned around again and Kim had almost decided she wasn’t really a vampire after all. Then she noticed the sunglasses clipped to the edge of her bag.   Hmmm. Weren’t vampires sensitive to sunlight? Maybe she needed to investigate some more.

The next day, she sat by Veronica and her friends at lunch. Veronica was sipping a protein shake. Isn’t blood mostly protein?   Suspicious, to be sure.   “Veronica,” Kim said, trying to sound casual, “would you like some of my garlic bread? It’s really good. My mom made it extra garlicky.”

Veronica gave her a weird look and said, “No, thank you.” Kim smiled, but inside was shouting, “Aha!”

Now that she was pretty sure that Veronica was a vampire, she needed to decide what to do. She seemed to be a pretty nice vampire, and if she could survive on protein shakes, then there was really nothing to worry about, right? Now if her classmates started mysteriously disappearing, Kim would have to do something. She would keep a really sharp pencil in her bag, just in case.

Weeks passed and not much happened. No one had puncture marks on their neck.   Anyone who was absent came back with a note. Kim began to look around for a new mystery. Then, one day, Veronica came to school looking especially pale. She had dark circles under her eyes.

“Why do you look so tired?” Kim asked.

“Oh,” Veronica said, “it was a full moon last night and all the cats in the neighborhood were yowling at the moon.   I didn’t get much sleep.”

Kim almost gasped out loud. The full moon? Was Veronica actually a werewolf? Could someone be a vampire and a werewolf? It was time to investigate. “Veronica,” she asked, “are you a werewolf?”

“No,” Veronica said. She rolled her eyes.

“A werewolf vampire hybrid?”

“Are you serious?” Veronica asked.

“Yes.” Kim said. “Are you?”

“No.” Veronica said.

“Hmmm.” Kim said. Veronica rolled her eyes again and turned around.

The next month, Kim had a plan. The day before the full moon, she tapped Veronica on the shoulder. “Hey, can I have your phone number? I may need to call you about the assignment tonight.”

“Fine,” Veronica said. She wrote out her number and handed it to Kim. “But I may be going out tonight.”

“Uh huh,” said Kim. “Thank you.”

“Whatever,” Veronica said.

When Kim called Veronica’s house, after dark, when the moon was up, no one answered. She heard howling outside, in the distance, and felt a little nervous.   Was it yowling cats? A dog? A werewolf?   “Mom! We need to lock all the doors now!” she said.

“Go right ahead,” her mom said. “Then come and help me fold the laundry.”

Nothing scary happened.  The next day, Veronica looked tired again. “I’m sorry I missed your call. My family went to a movie. We were out pretty late. Did you still have a question about the homework?”

“No, I think I figured it out,” Kim said.   Veronica seemed to be a pretty nice werewolf vampire. There were no suspicious reports about people being mauled last night, either.   Now that she knew to be extra careful, she could let it go. Unless people started disappearing or something, of course. “Thank you for offering,” she said. It probably wouldn’t hurt to be extra nice. Just in case.