Stu stuffed whole crackers into his mouth and sprayed crumbs as he spoke. “I’m too lazy for that. School lunches beat going hungry.” He finished the crackers and returned to his tray.
“I guess.” I tried to go back to reading, but my attention was drawn to a group of kids clustered around the school announcements bulletin board. Trina Poppelman was in the middle of the group, signing a paper on the board with a giant flourish. Some kids clapped. “What the heck is Trina doing?”
Stu looked around. “Probably signing up for the special election.” His voice was muffled by the food he was chewing. My mom was right. Talking with a mouth full of food was disgusting.
I’d forgotten about the special election for student council president. Lew Thorndike had moved last week, and Peter Kennedy, the vice president, had flat-out refused to step up. So the principal had decided to hold a special election for president. Trina had jumped at the opportunity for more attention.
“It’s a total waste, you know,” said Stu around a mouthful of meatloaf. He swallowed and continued. “Trina will win because no one will have the guts to oppose her. And we’ll spend the year talking about weighty topics like the décor for the Christmas formal, fall Homecoming, and spring ball instead of doing something useful, like organizing a student protest to improve the cafeteria food.”
My gaze drifted to a girl sitting off to the side by herself. She had blond hair cut into one of those pixie styles, and her clothes definitely looked trendy, right down to the sparkly ballet flats. She poked at her lunch.
I pointed at her. “Hey, do you know who that is?”
Stu looked in the direction of my finger. “Nope. No wait, some new girl. Don’t know her name though.”
“She looks lonely.”
“She looks like someone who would fit in with the cheerleaders.” Stu snorted and turned back to his mystery lunch.
I watched. Trina flounced over to the girl and said something, an invitation to join the cheerleaders, judging by her hand gestures. But the new girl shook her head. Trina said something else, and her groupies giggled. The girl stood and grabbed her bag, dark pink with silver studs. “And you’re pathetic,” she said. She stalked out of the cafeteria, dumping her uneaten lunch in the garbage.
“Maybe not,” I said, facing Stu. “I don’t think Trina scored any points. I need to find that girl to say congrats.”
Title: Snake in the Grass: Hero’s Sword Vol. 4
Author: M.E. Sutton
Genre: Middle Grade, Adventure, Fantasy
Things are getting interesting at Tanner Middle School. The only official candidate for student council president is Jaycee’s nemesis, Trina Poppelman. Plus there’s a new girl in school. At first glance, she looks like she’d fit right in with the cheerleaders, but Jaycee senses something different about her.
Things are getting interesting in Mallory, too. Lady Starla is expecting an Imperial envoy to discuss new taxes. She plans to oppose the measure and asks Lyla to stand by her side in a show of support. However, when the envoy goes missing, the situation becomes a lot more serious than a proposed tax increase.
In this fourth installment of the Hero’s Sword series, Lyla and Roger hit the road to find a missing envoy before Starla pays the ultimate price for his disappearance. Along the way, Jaycee learns that winning isn’t always the end-game result.
Mary Sutton has been making up stories, and creating her own endings for other people’s stories, for as long as she can remember. After ten years, she decided that making things up was far more satisfying than writing software manuals, and took the jump into fiction.
She writes the HERO’S SWORD middle-grade fantasy series as M.E. Sutton and finds a lot of inspiration in the lives of her own kids. A lifelong mystery fan, she also writes crime fiction, including THE LAUREL HIGHLANDS MYSTERIES, under the pen name Liz Milliron. Her short fiction has been published at Uppagus.com, Mystericale.com (Fall 2013), and in LUCKY CHARMS: 12 CRIME TALES (December 2013).