“Tremain.” The desk shook under my head as something thick and solid made violent contact with it.

  “Wha-huh?” I blinked, sucking in air like the wind had been knocked out of me. It hadn’t. The ecology textbook in my face shook slightly under the hand still gripping it. Why had I fallen asleep again? “Sorry, Professor Watkins.”

  “Don’t be sorry just wake the Hell up, Tremain. You can’t afford to fail the final.” Watkins turned on his heel and paced back to the front of the room. “Everything I lecture about is important to you, not me. I learned this stuff thirty years ago. Go ahead and fail, all of you, like Tremain is going to. You know what I call that?”

  The pair of giggling girls behind me snickered something about flat-bottomed Professors. They had a point, but I couldn’t focus enough on it to even crack a smile. The tap and squeak of chalk on the board made my ears feel like they’d been making out with ice picks. I squinted at the words, trying to make sense of the chalky squiggles. One giant snowfall and I couldn’t concentrate. I could barely stay awake.

  “For you miserable louts who can’t be bothered to look at the board, that says job security.” Watkins tapped the chalk under each word as he said it. “Mine, not yours. I just get paid more when you repeat my class. Exam’s on Monday, so you have today and the weekend to prepare. Get a study buddy. Get your notes and syllabus. Get it under control. Pass so I don’t have to look at you next semester. Get out of here and hit some books.”

  I leaned down to pick up my backpack. A minute later, I sat up again, snorting out the tail end of a snore and wiping a thin string of drool off my cheek. Except it wasn’t a minute later. It was dark outside and the…..





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