TITLE: The Pendant of Power
GENRE: Middle Grade Fantasy
A dozen Madagascar hissing cockroaches lurked inside Colin Thurgood’s locker. I stood ten feet away and pretended to listen as Anna Williams talked on and on about her weekend. My heart pounded with anticipation, and beads of sweat dotted my forehead.
Colin pulled his bag from his back, placed it on the floor, and turned to his locker. Time seemed to slow as I watched him enter 6-17-5, a combination it had taken me a week to crack, and reach for the door handle.
Anna stopped talking as her gaze followed mine, as she looked from my eyes to Colin’s locker, and back again. The lock clicked, and the locker opened. A carefully placed, plastic tub of two inch cockroaches smacked Colin’s shoulder. He snarled as he flicked at the insects skittering down his blue t-shirt.
Screams competed with the first bell. Kids scattered in every direction. Anna’s brown ponytail bobbed up and down as she rushed off. Doors slammed and I realized that Colin and I were the only ones still in the hall. The cockroaches hadn’t made him run and scream. Once again, he proved he was better than me.
Colin lunged for me, but the sound of Principal Thompson’s voice stopped him. “What’s going on?” The lumbering man walked up and looked at me. I shrugged. Fortunately, Colin shrugged as well.
“Something caused all that screaming. Jon, tell me what happened.”
I shrugged again. “Nothing.”
“Don’t lie to me!” Thin wisps of smoke began to curl from his nose.