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Skill Focus: Vocabulary

  • Episode #1: The Cafeteria

    The Map

    E1 Map


    • Morgan, they/them
    • Arty, he/him
    • Zolivia, she/her

    The Story

    With the fluorescent lights enjoying the early break, the empty cafeteria is blanketed by gray daylight flooding in from a panoramic wall of windows. Morgan shuffles their feet around the corner from the 8th grade wing and sees two figures talking ahead. It’s their two best friends Arty and Zolivia.

    “Hey,” Morgan calls, suddenly finding more bounce in their steps.

    What’s up, Morgan?” Arty responds. “What’re you doing here?”

    “My mom is outside doing the locker pick-up stuff. It’s too hot out there. I had to come inside. My brother is around here somewhere too, so look out.”

    Zolivia pipes in: “Well, we were just working on the new mural and noticed that horse guy statue in the cafeteria is gone. It’s really weird.”


    “What horse guy?” Morgan says, confused.

    “Seriously?! There’s a huge, black statue of a guy on a horse on a gigantic, wooden platform next to the stage. You can’t tell me you’ve never noticed it.” Zolivia gets flustered every time Morgan pretends not to know what’s going on. Morgan does it just to see Zolivia get all animated and disapproving. But also, the statue didn’t stand out as a memory.

    Arty strolls over to the pedestal to take a look. The stage area is jumbled with supplies that are being sorted for end-of-year storage. He looks for drag marks or scratches on the stage from the statue being moved. The wood is clean and smooth, but on its surface lies a crumpled paper that looks to be 100 years old. Arty picks it up and calls his friends over to see.

    Zolivia, the spokeswoman of the bunch, eyes the paper. “It’s a poem.”

    The Clue

    The Horse

    © Ronald Duncan Estate. Reproduced with permission from the Estate.



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