Second period on Friday I had to stay late to finish a test, so I came into the lunch room about five minutes late. I took my regular seat across from Faye. The seat next to me, however, was conspicuously empty.
"Where’s Jason?" I asked.
Fay looked at me sullenly and pointed back with her thumb. I looked over my shoulder. Jason was sitting there, with Marissa and her friends. He looked somewhat out of place with all the Jocks and cheerleaders, but less than I would have expected.
"Apparently sitting with his little sister just isn’t cool," Fay pouted.
"Oh, cheer up," I said. "Can’t you be happy for the guy,"
"I could," said Fay optimistically. Then back in her sarcastic, loathsome tone, "If she weren’t such a bitch,"
"Wasn’t," said a voice behind us. I looked up. It was Mora. "There’s only one of her, so it would be ‘wasn’t’ such a bitch,"
"Hey Mora," I said, "Any luck with that writing?"
"You have me intrigued," she answered. "As far as I can tell, that language doesn’t exist. It’s not anywhere. Even Mr. Terrell, the Etymology teacher hasn’t heard of it, and he speaks six languages!"
"So you’re giving up?" I asked.
"Hell no," said Mora. "This means one of three things. Either someone is playing you for a fool, You’re playing me for a fool, or this is a huge conspiracy with a massive cover-up operation,"
"And being Mora…" I began.
"I can’t resist huge conspiracies," she finished. "I could use a little more information, though,"
"No extra charge?" asked Fay.
"This is completely pro-bono," she answered, "I’m as curios as you are. I would like to know more about where you found the writing, and maybe see a few more samples if you have them,"
I glanced at Fay. She was looking pensive.
"Can I get back to you on that?" she asked after a beat.
"Sure," said Mora, "You know where to find me,"
She turned and walked away.
"Can we trust her?" asked Faye.
"Why so secretive?" I asked
"Someone obviously doesn’t want us knowing about whatever this is," said Fay, "I’d just as soon keep it low – profile,"
"I’m not sure how much I trust Mora," I said, "I’ve known her a long time, but I still don’t really know much about her,"
"Then we can’t tell her about the postcards," said Fay resolutely.
"I really don’t see where you’re coming from," I answered, "If she was gonna turn us into someone anyway, how much difference would it make if she knew where we got the writing?"
Fay weighed this for a while, then came to a conclusion. She stood up and slung her purse over her shoulder, then walked out toward Mora’s corner.
"I can definitely get you writing samples," She said, "I’ll bring them some time this week,"
"And the rest?" asked Mora.
"It was in secret writing on the back of a message in English. It might have something to do with knights, or motorcycles, or both, but then again it might not,"
"Knights or motorcycles?" asked Mora quizzically.
"Yeah," I said, "Well, armor anyway,"
The bell for third period rang. People started pushing past us to get out.
"Well, I might have a lead," Mora said, as she started walking towards the commons,. "Work on getting me those samples,"
"Will do," said Fay.
I turned the corner and headed off to my next class.