Skill Focus: Using Text Evidence
Episode #4: Art Room
“It’s a ghost!” Morgan exclaims as soon as they get out of earshot of Coach Wilson. The second the doors close, Arty, Zolivia, and Morgan break into a sprint with Morgan at the helm.
“What?!” Zolivia exclaims incredulously. “There’s such thing as ghosts!”
With the fluidity of a flock of birds in flight, they whip around a corner to the main corridor. From where they cut their path, they can see the statue pedestal in the cafeteria, still empty. There is no one is sight.
“Morgan is right, Zolivia! … Hear them out! ... Where are we going, anyway?” Arty speaks in staccato spurts between breaths.
They turn another corner to pass the office, nearing the art room where they left their backpacks.
“Just trust me. I can show you on my phone.”
Arty just has to ask, “You have proof that it’s a ghost on your phone?!”
Their collective sprint dwindles down to a leisurely stroll as their sense of urgency shifts to a sensation of uncertainty. Morgan chews on the drawstring of their hood for a moment to think. When the echoes of their footsteps become too much, they admit, “OK, not exactly proof that it’s a ghost, but I can explain how I know it’s a ghost …”
Zolivia and Arty exchange a quick look. Arty has already decided to believe Morgan, so it’s Zolivia they need to convince. She’s an independent thinker who sees people for who they are and tells it like it is. She is a hard egg to crack.
Morgan pulls out the poem. “OK, Coach Wilson said the horse statue is of the guy who found Pearland, right?”
“Founded,” Zolivia mumbles.
“He didn’t find Pearland. He founded the town and its name.” She corrects.
Morgan blinks twice to stave off audible exasperation. “Sure. Anyway, look at this poem again. The original, typed text says, ‘England’s past has been borne on his back.’ Someone crossed out England’s and put Pearland’s. As in, his efforts delivered Pearland’s history into existence. ‘We are his heirs.’ That obviously means we came after him. We inherited this city!”
“And that makes a ghost a plausible explanation because …” Zolivia lets her words drift off the page. She’s still skeptical.
Just then, Arty leaps into action, “Because the ghost attacked me backstage! I was looking behind a curtain, and this shadow person flew through the air! I felt it pass right over me as I fell down! That was definitely a ghost!”
“And it tried to kill us with a stage light!” Arty and Morgan blurt this last point out in unison.
“WHAT?!” Zolivia can’t believe what she’s hearing.
“Zolivia, right after you ran after the shadow, a light came crashing down right in front of us. How could that happen? And where was the shadow person after you ran out the door?” Arty senses they almost have her on board.
As they turn one last corner to approach the mural outside the art room, Zolivia, Arty, and Morgan stop dead in their tracks. There is paint sloshed and splattered in all directions and a distinct path of paint footprints trailing down the hall, fading with distance. Oh, and the principal is examining the mess while wearing a furrowed brow.
“Mrs. Paisley, we can explain everything!”
“You had better …” She says, as she gestures them toward the door to the front office.