Moon over St. Frankenstein's
Chapter 1- St. Friard's School for Unusual Boys
.....Saint Friard's school stood large,
dark and spooky in the middle of nowhere.
.....As they drove down Black Stump Road,
Kevin Aubrey in the back seat leaned forward between his parents. He wrinkled
his nose as he gazed through the windshield.
....."Well, there it is," said
his father, slowing the car. "Saint Friard's School."
....."For unusual boys, what ever that
means," said Kevin's mother.
.....Kevin peered at the red brick stones
of the school: a long sprawl of a thing with an imposing wing on either
side. The wings looked like separate buildings that had simply grown out
from the main structure, complete with spires, rat-grey slanting roofs,
and multiple entrances. "It looks like it should be called Saint
....."No, don't say that." Mrs.
Aubrey pointed out the open window. "Look at those spires and towers.
I think it looks like a fairytale castle. Going to school here should
.....Kevin grimaced. "Castle? It looks
like an old-fashioned prison." He turned to his father. "I wish
we could have stayed in Boston. I liked my old school."
.....Mr. Aubrey chuckled. "I would have
liked to stay in Boston too, but I'm an anthropologist." He nodded
to himself. "And an opportunity to study the aborigines of north
east Australia doesn't come along everyday."
....."This is the only decent school
close enough to drive to every day," said Mrs. Aubrey. "I doubt
if you wanted to go to a boarding school."
....."No." Kevin shuddered at the
thought. "But it's not fair," Kevin whined. "And with all
this traveling around, I haven't had any time to work on my webcomic."
.....Mr. Aubrey stared at his son through
the rear view window. "I think the world can get along for a while
without 'Theeb, the Egyptian Werewolf Detective'."
....."No they can't. I've got readers
all over the world—even Egypt. You should see my web log."
.....Mr. Aubrey stopped at the intersection.
To the left, Oval Road snaked off. To the right lay Quoll Hollow Road,
and the school loomed straight ahead. "Not much traffic around here,"
he said. There wasn't a car in sight. "No people, either."
....."It's mainly a boarding school,"
said Mrs. Aubrey. "Most of the boys live here." She glanced
at the clock on the dashboard. "8:20. And school starts at 8:45.
I imagine busses bring most of the day boys and they haven't arrived yet."
.....Mr. Aubrey took a long, panoramic look
around the landscape. "Desolate. Miles and miles from anywhere."
....."You mean kilometers and kilometers
from anywhere," said Kevin, leaning back in his seat. "Australia
uses the metric system."
....."Don't be a wise guy." Mr.
Aubrey turned and gave Kevin a stern look. "You're a good kid, but
you mouth off some times. I wouldn't try that at St. Friard's."
....."But, Dad. I just meant—"
....."I have an idea," said Mrs.
Aubrey, brightly. "We're early. Why don't we explore." She pointed
to the left. "Let's go that way."
.....Mr. Aubrey made a grunting noise, turned
forward, and grabbed the wheel. "Fine." He turned the car left
and drove down Quoll Hollow Road.
.....After a quarter of a mile or so, the
road curved gently left, giving a side view of the main school building.
About a half a mile later, a large playing field with bleachers and a
scoreboard came into view.
....."Wasp Field," said Mrs. Aubrey,
gazing at the scoreboard. "What an odd name."
....."Hmm," said Mr. Aubrey as
he drove by the field. Then he put on the brakes. "Look." At
the far end of Wasp field, a road branched off to the right. "Oval
Road. Wasn't that the name of the road we saw back at the intersection?"
He didn't wait for an answer, but turned the car onto the road. "It
must loop around the school."
.....As the car traveled, Kevin saw Wasp
Field go by, then tennis courts, a swimming pool, and a few athletic fields.
Then, on the other side of the road, he saw a small astronomical observatory.
And that was neat; he loved astronomy. Further away, he saw a flock of
sheep. It wouldn't do to let on to his parents, but this school might
actually be fun. He grimaced. It would be more fun if he had the night-vision
binoculars he'd been trying forever to get his parents to buy for him.
.....After they'd passed an oval shaped field—for
playing cricket, his father explained—they came up to the left side
of the school, and then came around again to Black Stump Road. There was
a little more traffic, now. Far down the road, Kevin saw a school bus
and directly ahead, a car blocked their way.
....."That's not very considerate,"
said Mrs. Aubrey, "taking up the whole street. They could have pulled
to the side."
.....Kevin watched as a kid got out of the
car in front. He wore grey shorts, a light blue pullover, and a grey,
narrow-brimmed cap—the same school uniform that Kevin wore. But
as the boy turned to wave to the people in the car—his parents,
probably—Kevin noticed that unlike his own all-grey cap, there was
a crest on the boy's cap. It looked like a shield on which was a kangaroo
holding a sword. Neat!
.....Kevin expected the car ahead to move
on, but it didn't. The people inside were watching as the boy walked—more
like swaggered—toward the school entrance. Kevin glanced back at
the boy. The kid, sturdy and athletic-looking, appeared to be about four
inches taller than Kevin
....."Of all the nerve," said Mrs.
....."It's all right, Mom." Kevin
grabbed his near-empty book bag and opened the door. "I'll get out
....."Wait a second," said Mr.
Aubrey. "Go to the Headmaster's office. He's expecting you."
....."We'll pick you up in the parking
lot at four o'clock." Mr. Aubrey scowled at the car in front; it
blocked the entrance to the parking lot. "Phone us if you have any
problems." He looked away toward the school. "I'm sure you can
find a phone. But it would be so much easier if there was cell-phone service
....."I'll be fine."
.....Mrs. Aubrey kissed Kevin on the forehead.
"Do you want us to go in with you?"
....."No!" Kevin, hoping no one
had seen the kiss, climbed out of the car and headed toward a great wood
door, the entrance to the school's main building. The wind tickled him
behind the knees. It felt really silly going to school in shorts. He was
too old for shorts. If he were eight-years-old, it might be okay, but
he was eleven.
.....Though he didn't want his parents to
know this, Kevin didn't particularly mind the situation. He had been shuttled
around to various schools in the course of his parents' travels, and thought
of a new school as an adventure. He supposed he'd probably make some friends,
and it would be fun exploring the grounds and the quirky buildings—as
long as he didn't have to spend the rest of his life here. Still, he felt
resentment; his parents had abandoned him while they were going to run
about in a little aircraft exploring aboriginal settlements. He'd wanted
to go too but they wouldn't let him. Kevin bit his lower lip. He felt
he'd been very accommodating—letting himself be yanked out of school
just two weeks into the school year and dropped into another school at
the end of the world. But his parents weren't being accommodating at all;
they wouldn't even buy him what he wanted most in the whole world—those
.....Kevin paused at the door and looked
back. The other car had gone and his parents' car had moved off to make
way for the arriving school bus.
.....Kevin took a deep breath and pushed
open the door.