Not even pretending to listen

For all the Luke Walker chapters so far click here 😀

Here begins Chapter 14: Luke Walker and the Halloween Party

Luke, Joe, Isabel and Tania looked at the circle and gasped.  They hadn’t believed it could happen.  Now that it had, they were scared.

“That’s it then,” said Luke eventually, “I’ll prob’ly be dead by Christmas.”

***

Three days earlier everything had seemed so ordinary.  Boringly so.  Class 5A were doing History.  History was sometimes interesting, sometimes exciting and often-times boring.  This particular lesson seemed like it was going to fit into the last category.  Mr Beardsley was talking whilst writing on the board, which meant he had his back to the class, which meant very few people were even pretending to listen.

“… historians believe that many of these traditions originate from Celtic harvest festivals, but others are of the opinion that it has always been a Christian ….”

“T,” whispered Luke.

“No,” said Joe, as he drew a diagonal support on the gallows.

“F,”

“Yes,” said Joe and filled in the Fs.

“Ooh, two Fs!  Is it coffee?”

“No,” and he drew the noose.

Mr Beardsley rambled on and Luke found it disturbed his concentration.  He felt sure he was close.  There couldn’t be that many words with double F.  Then the teacher said something that caught his attention.

“… Christians historically abstained from meat on All Hallows’ Eve, which is why it was traditional to eat certain vegetarian foods on this special day.  In particular they ate apples, potato pancakes, and soul cakes.”

“What’s he talkin’ about?” Luke asked Joe.  Joe looked at him blankly.  Isabel Jessop tapped him on the shoulder and passed him a note which said ‘Halloween’.

Luke nodded a thank you to her.  He pushed the note across to Joe.

“Halloween is a veggietareun day!  We’d better listen coz he might want us to explain things to the others.”

Joe nodded and smiled uncomfortably.  He’d never been called upon to explain anything to anyone and the idea didn’t appeal to him.  However, realising that if any explanations were needed his friend would certainly provide them, he regained his composure.  The boys watched their teacher and listened.

All Hallows’ Eve, otherwise known as All Saints EveAllhalloween or, nowadays, just Halloween, begins the three days of Allhallowtide during which people remembered saints and martyrs and other dead people.”

“Oh my gosh!” thought Luke, “it seemed like it was gettin’ int’restin’ so we stopped playin’ an’ now it’s borin’ again!”

“… such as roasted sweetcorn, roasted pumpkin seeds, toffee apples,…”

“Toffee!  Is it toffee?”

“No,” said Joe, drawing the condemned man’s circular head.

“… and they would enjoy these foods at Halloween parties where they’d also play some fun games.”

Mr Beardsley had their attention again.

“So I thought we could have a Year 5 Halloween party.  We’ll invite class 5B and play some of these traditional games.”

A buzz of excitement filled the room.

“When?” someone shouted.

“On the 31st of October of course.  The day after tomorrow.  Friday.”

“Where?”

“Here.  At seven o’clock ’til ten.  I’ll send a note home to your parents today.”

Mr Beardsley was so disorganised.  Luke liked that about him.

“Will it be fancy dress?”

“Indeed it will, but stop shouting out and let me finish.  I’ll answer any questions you still have at the end of the lesson.”

***

Friday’s party was eagerly anticipated by everyone.  It was going to be historical.  They were going to play traditional games and eat traditional food – which they would have to make from scratch over the next couple of days.  Mr Beardsley had given them recipes to take home.  And they needed costumes.  There was a lot to do and very little time in which to do it.  Luke and Joe talked about it while they put on their coats and boots at the end of the day.

“I’m going to be a pirate,” said Joe.

“You can’t be a pirate, it’s not historical.”

“Isn’t it?”

“No, it’s made up.  Like in Peter Pan.”

“Pirates are real,” Isabel couldn’t help pointing out when she overheard their conversation.

“Not Long John Silver, or Captain Hook, or someone with a parrot on ‘is shoulder,” Luke clarified.

“What are you comin’ as then?” asked Joe.

“William Wilberforce’s ghost,” said Luke proudly.

“Ooh, good one,” said Tania as she returned to Isabel the scarf she’d borrowed.

“I’m coming as Queen Elizabeth I,” she added, shaking her auburn curls.

“Who can I be?” Isabel wondered aloud.  The girls walked away in deep discussion.  Luke and Joe were not far behind.  Joe was disappointed that he couldn’t go as a pirate.

“What can I go as then?” he asked his friend.

“Go as a lunatic from one of those old asylums,” suggested Simon Butler who’d appeared from nowhere, “then you wouldn’t need a costume!”  And he laughed so loud on his way out that Mrs Tebbut shouted ‘PIPE DOWN OUT THERE!’ from the classroom next door.

Luke scowled.

“Idiot Butler!  Not even s’posed to be in this cloakroom,” he hissed under his breath.  “Don’t worry,” he told Joe, “you’ll be somethin’ better’n ‘im!”

*************************************************

Don’t go far away, the story continues tomorrow 😀

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vegan children, vegan children’s story, veggie kids, vegan children’s books, Halloween, vegan, vegetarian, fancy dress, school, juvenile fiction, humour, comedy, funny

12 thoughts on “Not even pretending to listen

  1. “Mr Beardsley was so disorganised.  Luke liked that about him.” – adorable!
    And YES, GOOD QUEEN BESS! Tania’s got her priorities right.
    I love the combination of Halloween and the inclusion of vegetarian food, ties in really well. Plus, including history tidbits makes it really interesting!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Vegetarian holiday! Woohoo! Rock on. I am very pleased to hear it 🙂 And the decision of what to wear for Halloween, that’s just a real difficulty, ain’t it? William Wilberforce’s ghost is a sound choice. I think I’d like to be a ghost of a specific person – what a great idea! Maybe I’d like to be Tolstoy or Einstein or someone cool like that. Shakespeare. I don’t know, I think Wilberforce is the best one.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. These stories crack me up. Luke and Joe are so funny together. They really make me laugh. I love that idea that pirates aren’t real. It reminds me of something someone else said… what was it? It’s on the tip of my tongue. I’ll get back to you.

    Liked by 1 person

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