Principal Lewis mumbled morning announcements over the school intercom as if he spoke from the very back of his throat. After finishing the lunch menu with detached weariness, a hint of menace crept into his voice.
“…and I regret to inform the student body that our new playground facility could not be completed before the start of the new school year. As such, that area is off-limits. Any student caught behind the yellow tape will receive an immediate detention.”
He paused. The smell of burnt coffee seemed to somehow transmit across the airwaves.
“That is all. Please have a wonderful and safe first day.” The Principal ended his transmission with his oft repeated and therefore meaningless mantra, “Carpe Diem.”
But Principal Lewis might as well have delivered his entire morning proclamation in a dead language, because the students paid little attention. Lukas was especially distracted by the newness of everything. The move from third to fourth grade meant the move from elementary to middle school and an entirely new building. Lukas twirled one of his golden curls as he considered the immensity of the change. Strangely, that immensity seemed reflected in the size of things. Everything was bigger; his desk, his locker, his books, even his homeroom teacher.