Read an Excerpt
"So how does it feel?" Mark was asking in a high, nasal twang, as though he had just been imported from the back hills of the Ozarks. "How do you like it being on the ground for a change? It's not so great is it, being down where people can walk on you? Well, now you know how your students feel all the time."
Mr. Griffin lay silent. Only the straining of the tendons in his neck showed that he was conscious and listening.
"Well, how does it feel?" Mark repeated. "We want an answer. Did you hear me--sir?"
"Yes, I heard you," Mr. Griffin said shortly.
"My answer," Mr. Griffin said in his cold, clipped voice, "is that if you know what's good for you, you'll untie this rope this instant. If it's money you're after, I don't have any on me. I carry a checkbook."
"We don't want your money," David said. "We're not thieves."
"What are you then?" Mr. Griffin asked him. "Besides punks and kidnappers, that is?"
"We are your students, present, past and future," Mark told him, the corner of his mouth twitching slightly with the closest Betsy had ever seen him come to a smile. "We are representatives of every poor kid who has ever walked into your dungeon of a classroom. We come to bring you 'the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.' We're here to deliver revenge."
"If this is a joke," Mr. Griffin said, "it's not funny. It's the sort of childish demonstration I'd expect from five-year-olds, not high school seniors. How many of you are there?"
"A lot," Jeff said. "Twenty--twenty-five--thirty!" He glanced at Betsy and grinned. "Would you believe fifty--a hundred--everybody who's ever had to take a class from you?"
"That's ridiculous. There can't be more than three of you. I've only heard three voices. And all of you are boys."
Mark glanced up at Betsy and nodded.
"Are you sure of that?" she asked, holding her nose as she spoke so that her voice came out as nasal as Mark's had been. "I'm not a boy. There are a lot of us girls who hate you too, you know."
Mr. Griffin gave a start of surprise. Quite evidently he had not expected this. "Then there was another car," he said. "Some of you came in another car."
"There are lots of other cars," Jeff said. "Dozens of them. I told you, we're all here. None of us wanted to miss this."
There was a slight pause. Then Mark said, "Nobody wanted to miss watching you die."