by Carie Juettner
Barbara stretched her neck and hit her head on the edge of her plastic chair. "Ow." Hiding under her desk had been more fun in elementary school, before she grew. Back then she could pretend she was in a Terrorist Alert Lookout Post or trying to escape a prison cell on a Great Atlantic pirate ship. Of course the drills were scarier back then, too. These days they were so common it was hard to take them seriously. Even the teachers couldn't muster up much real earnestness. They usually taught straight through them. Right now, Mrs. Link was launching quiz questions about their history lesson on the Age of Global Warming from her own spot of safety beneath her large desk. Or relative safety anyway. While the raids were frequent and sometimes long lasting, they had yet to penetrate the building, so there was still no real way of knowing whether or not three-fourth's of an inch of fake wood would really protect anyone.
"What year did the final glacier melt?" Mrs. Link called out. "And no reaching on top of your desks for your e-slates! I'll hear you!"
"2096!" A voice answered. Aaron, of course. He always knew everything.
"Right! And who can give me three effects of the global climate shift? Rob? How about you?"
"Um..." came a squeaky voice from Barbara's left. "Hurricanes became more frequent, the Adelie penguins went extinct, and, um, there were lots more mosquitoes?" His answer sounded like a question.
"'Lots' does not even come close," Mrs. Link said. Barbara could tell she was about to launch into one of her spiels. Mrs. Link was old, at least sixty, and she was always talking about how she could teach history because she lived it. "I remember the summer when I was seven. That was the year the swarm covered the entire--"
THUMP! There was a heavy crash on the roof and the room shook. A few students screamed and Barbara hit her head on her chair again. They had been listening to various bumps and thuds throughout the raid, but this one sounded different. This one felt... productive.