Death of the Mad Hatter

Death of the Mad Hatter by Sarah Pepper Read Free Book Online

Book: Death of the Mad Hatter by Sarah Pepper Read Free Book Online
Authors: Sarah Pepper
walked away.
    “ A physics scholarship?” Alice Mae asked when Mrs. Dotson was out of hearing range. She squeezed the yarn ball into her locker. A few of the music papers slipped halfway through the bottom crack of her locker. Instead of opening the door, she shoved them back through the crack.
    Since she only cracked the door, I highly suspected that there was more in her “Misfit Locker of Random Crapola” that she didn’t want me to see. A racecar fell out of her locker and scooted across the floor like someone had pushed it. When I stopped it with my foot, some invisible thing smacked into my shoe as well—or I was losing it too.
    Alice Mae glared at my foot like I ’d somehow lured the toy car from her locker. I lifted my foot just enough so she could retrieve the vehicle. She picked up the car, careful not to touch me as she pulled the car out from under my foot.
    “ So what’s it like being a brainiac?” she asked.
    S he fiddled with the car. If I had a vivid imagination, I’d have said it was a miniature replica of my dad’s old beater. With her fingernail, she scratched the side, directly under the right fender. I didn’t get a good look at it, but it looked like a top hat crest.
    “ I’m not that smart, just one of the only students who comprehends theoretical physics,” I said and leaned against a random locker in an attempt to look casual. “What about you? I don’t consider you to be very stupid, even though you’d like me to believe it.”
    “ My stupidity…” she trailed off, losing herself in her thoughts. The blue in her eyes turned frosty, and she pressed her lips into a thin line. Her baby-blue eyes made her look naive, but I wasn’t going to fall for it. She wasn’t a moron. “My level of intelligence is dependent on who you ask. I’m not known for my remarkable noggin’.”
    “ So you have a reputation of being dense,” I said, more than asked. “I’m not really into labels, especially intellectual ones that stem from rumors.”
    I looked her up and down, searching for any clues that would give me a reason to how and why she knew my dad. I didn’t know exactly what I was looking for, eyeing the particularly outlandish girl. She definitely wasn’t trying to blend in, which had to mean she wasn’t trying to hide. It exemplified her confidence, prancing around in a chic clown getup.
    “ I noticed your vintage camera was being crushed by a bungee cord, take any pictures lately? I mean, other than the ones of me?”
    She gave me a knowing smile. “I am a sightseer.”
    “ And a risk taker if you bungee jump,” I said.
    She smirked. It was a subtle gesture, only the very corners of her mouth twitched, but it was screamed evil , thus it was noteworthy. “You understand theoretical physics. A man who comprehends theories would be apt to make a few said theories himself. So, my question to you, Ryley, is what theories have you made about me, other than that I’m an adrenaline junkie and an amateur photographer?”
    “ They’re inconclusive.”
    Alice Mae pushed the car through a vented slot in her locker. It fell to the bottom with a clang. How did the toy miss all the junk in her locker and hit bottom? There had been a solid layer of junk on the bottom of her locker.
    After looking me up and down, she rolled her eyes and sighed heavily. “Did you need something, or were you only spying on me?”
    “We’re overdue for a chat.”
    “ What topic would you like to have a little heart-to-heart about?” She asked while she reached into her pocket and retrieved a tiny pop bottle. She bit the top off and poured a blue substance into her mouth and took a bite of the bottle. It smelled like cherries. Instead of swallowing it, she chewed the bottle like it was gum.
    “ You know.”
    “ How in the world would I possibly know what you want to discuss? I’m not a mind reader.”
    “ What do you know about my dad?”
    “ You made it perfectly clear we weren’t to discuss that

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