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 Frankenstein's School."
....."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 be fun."
.....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. Aubrey.
....."It's all right, Mom." Kevin grabbed his near-empty book bag and opened the door. "I'll get out here."
....."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 out here."
....."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 night-vision binoculars.
.....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.