December fifth, 1941, started out as a normal day for principal Tony Burke. That is, until he pulled into the parking lot of Sherwood High School. He was met there by a swarm of anxious teachers
and staff, each one wanting to be the first to report the strange discovery on the newly paved cement.
The first to reach Mr. Burke was a custodian, Mr. Smithe. His small beady eyes were popping out of his head and his face had turned a most interesting shade of fuschia. "You wouldn't believe what happened! Someone has defaced the wet cement on the outdoor basketball court!" he dragged the principal who barely had time to slam his precious car's door before he was dragged off to the wet cement.
The sight that met his eyes was both confusing and infuriating. Someone had taken some sort of long sharp object and carefully etched the phrase 'Remember Pearl Harbour' in the wet cement.
Enraged, Mr. Burke ordered the custodian to fix the cement before it dried and to call Johnny Blanc to his office the moment he entered the building.
Johnny Blanc was a bad kid. He would physically and verbally beat the daylights out of anyone unfortunate enough to get on his bad side. He would talk back to his teachers and do all sorts of malicious deeds that landed him in detention. However, he did toe the line and Mr. Burke couldn't think of a single legitimate reason to kick the kid out. This time he had a way though, Mr. Burke was sure of it.
As the first bell rang, Mr. Burke passed his black Ford to retrieve some paperwork for the day and went to his office to find Johnny Blanc waiting, apparently innocently, outside his door. He looked the kid straight in the eye for a moment, the kid stared unflinchingly back. Finally, he nodded for the kid to enter his office.
"You know why you are here, I assume." Mr. Burke said, getting a piece of chalk out of his desk for the kids detention after this little chat.
"Nosir," Johnny said cheekily in one breath. He had liar written all over his face.
"Well then, maybe your memory will be refreshed when you write these lines on my chalkboard for the remainder of this school day-- 'Remember Pearl Harbour'" He handed the boy a peice of chalk and thought, hah, you'll have to admit it now. You little jerk. But what seemed to be a genuinely confused expression passed over the kid's face.
"'Remember Pearl Harbour'? What's that supposed to mean? Why is it that every time something bad happens here that I get the blame! I don't know what this is but I didn't do it." He threw the chalk across the room. It hit the opposite wall and cracked in half, leaving a pure white spot on the grayish wall.
Mr. Burke jumped out of his seat and slammed his palms on his desk, "You disrespectful--" but he didn't get to finish what he was going to say, as someone knocked on the door at that exact moment. He glared warningly at Johnny before saying "Come in!" Mrs. Amelia Fischer, a substitute teacher, walked in, looking stricken.
"Sir, there's been another act of vandalism..." she craned her neck to look out the window and appeared to find what she'd been looking for, and pointed. "Look."
Mr. Burke turned around slowly, dreading what he might see. Another problem adding to an already far too long list...
"My car! You destroyed it!" He swung around and marched up to Johnny Blanc as if he intended to hit him. A vein down the side of his head was pulsing and his face a brilliant shade of purple.
Johnny jumped up in anticipation and Mrs. Fischer cried, "Stop it! You'll both get in big trouble. That punk isn't worth your job, Mr. Burke.--"
"When?" Johnny spoke for the first time since Mrs. Fischer walked in.
Mr. Burke narrowed his eyes. The vein in his neck had stopped pulsing but his face was still the color of restrained anger. "What?"
Johnny clarified. "When did I have time to write that on your car? I've been up here with you the entire time." He looked smug and Mr. Burke wanted nothing more than to throw the kid out of his school right then and their regardless, but the boy had a point: there was no conceivable way that he could have wrecked Mr. Burke's poor car between the time he arrived at the school and now. Grudgingly, he let the boy return to class with Amelia Fischer as an escort and looked back out the window.
It was there, on the side of his car, written in large red letters--
'Remember Pearl Harbour'
But what did it mean?
Two days later, on December seventh, 1941, angry Japanese bombed Pearl Harbour. Did someone know of this beforehand at Sherwood High School? We may never know. This was based on what is believed to be a true story.
© Copyright 2016 Mystica. All rights reserved.
Book / Young Adult
Short Story / Historical Fiction
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