Miss Quist is Missing!! Part 1


Miss Quist in her natural habitat.

It was a normal day in the BigHam High newsroom.

Well, perhaps normal was an understatement. When it came to normality, the Prospector staff was in shorter supply of normal than snow in the summer. And that’s exactly how we liked it. We had been working on our articles that day. There was an issue coming up and we still had stories to sell and interviewees to interrogate. A perfect day for crime.

That’s when she walked in. Four feet and 2 inches of pure hatred for the youth of the nation. Lesson book in hand, her heels clicked across the floor like a heartbeat. A substitute teacher. “Is this Ms. Quist’s first period?” It seemed from her voice that she’d seen better days.

A rare silence fell across the room. You could hear a pin drop from Palm Beach. Suddenly, the undisputed leader of the staff turned around in her seat, twirling a pen in her hands. “Indeed it is. Detective Wright, at your service.” The sub raised an eyebrow. “Detective?” The teenage Sherlock nodded. “News reporter. I get the scoop. You got the scoop for me? We seem to be missing our teacher.”

The sub’s cool gray eyes stared at Detective Wright. No spark of amusement alit her eyes. “Ms. Quist will not be here today, or tomorrow for that matter. I will be your permanent substitute.” 

The room buzzed with whispers of unanswered questions. What was wrong? What had happened? A whistle pierced above the chatter. “Quiet!” The sub hissed. “My name is Ms. Cunningham. I expect respect and quiet.” She sat herself down in the front of the class. “Well then, chop chop. Get to work.”

Sky raised her hand, not waiting to be called on. “Excuse me, ma’am? We kinda have to talk to each other in this class—it is actually part of our grade to work together.”

“Yeah, she’s right. It’s very collaborative,” Kilo added. 

“I guess you will have to learn  to collaborate without talking,” Ms. Cunningham said. 

Raven and Aurora immediately started using sign language to communicate. A Google Doc was shared. Plans began to form.  


Aurora: Welcome to the google doc of pain because we can’t talk. Just put your name before your sentence so we know who says what : )

Lynn: Didn’t Quist say she was going to be here today because she needs to copy edit articles? Because we are publishing next week. 

Detective W.: Yeah that’s true…this is why I am suspicious of the sub. @Sky can you track down her social media, and see if you can hack in to find her location?

Raven: Should I go check her desk for clues?

Aurora: I feel like that would get you in trouble with the sub.

Sky: Already on it, Detective, her most recent post was last night. It was posted from inside the school. I’m trying to load the video right now. School wifi is making things slow and my VPN seems to be down. I paid money for this! It should be working. I’ll let you know when it loads.

Detective W.: I can set up an opportunity for someone to check her desk.

Kilo: Wait, who’s going to copy edit all of the articles? We can’t just go on a wild goose chase with no evidence. We don’t even know if she’s missing, sick, or just got tired of us.

Aurora: I emailed her last night about the Piglet Quotes, and it bounced back to me just a few moments ago. And Kilo, she wouldn’t have gotten tired of us, but she could have gotten tired of you…

Sky: Strange. The video she posted loaded, and it’s just muffled sounds from her pocket. I think it was an accidental post. I can’t make out any words. I’ll put it through an audio enhancer and see what comes up. 

Detective W.: Alright, here’s my plan. Evan, you stay here and oversee the editing process of group B’s articles. The rest of the editors and group A will do everything we can to help. Aurora and Raven go search Quist’s desk. If Ms. Cunningham asks why you are up, say you are looking for the sign-up sheet for the next publishing cycle. Lynn, I need you to stay here and keep us updated on what’s going on in the class.

Lynn: You got it, Chief.

Detective W.: Don’t call me Chief.

Lyn : Sorry, Boss.

Detective W.: Whatever, Lynn. We will slowly leave under the guise of going to do interviews. Meet by the Pig statue in the main hall. 


A little while later… 

The group had gathered at Porky the Pig. 

“Aurora, Raven, did you find anything on Ms. Quist’s desk?” Detective Wright asked.

Aurora looked up from the paper in her hand. “Yeah, this half finished lesson plan for today.”

“May we specify that it’s not a sub plan, it’s just a normal plan written for her. She wasn’t planning on leaving,” Raven added. “We also saw broken pieces of something that had been kicked under her desk. We think it might have been her #1 teacher mug.” 

Detective Wright straightened her jacket. “Things aren’t looking good. We have our work cut out for us. But, at least we have somewhat of a lead.”

Kilo shook his head. “I still don’t know why we are so concerned, she  might have had something come up last—” His words stopped, suspended mid-air. A high-pitched scream came from the main office.

“And there is our third lead.” Detective Wright turned on her heels and marched straight through the office doors.