Mr. Griffyth teaches the class a lesson 500 words
|"What is the common name for NH3?"
I tapped the #2 pencil on my quiz and considered. I had three options: dynamite, ammonia, or laughing gas.
I looked around the room in chemistry class for a clue on the walls. My eyes found the periodic table, but it didn't offer much help. I knew that the answer had a nitrogen atom and three hydrogen atoms, but that wasn't too helpful.
Wasn't dynamite made of nitroglycerin? Nitro was nitrogen, so that fit. Glycerin? Not sure. I moved on to ammonia. That didn't have anything to do with nitrogen and hydrogen, did it? I didn't think so. I moved on to the third option. Laughing gas was nitrous oxide. That had the nitrogen, but it was the trick answer. I knew oxide meant oxygen, and since the chemical compound had no O, I was certain it wasn't the right answer.
I filled in the circle next to dynamite.
I leaned back in my chair. I was in my cheer uniform because it was Friday. Besides, Josh loved seeing me in it. I smiled as I thought about the poem he had written for me yesterday. I couldn't wait to reward him at the dance tonight. He wouldn't go to the game. He'd be painting or something instead, but he would be at the dance if I asked him. And I would.
As I reined in my thoughts to finish the test, I noticed Mr. Griffyth closing the metal shield over the window. He usually only did that when he was going to do some sort of dramatic demonstration, not on test day. He must be getting ready for next period.
I watched as he walked across the front of the room then left. That was strange. Teachers didn't usually leave in the middle of a test.
I heard a thump against the door as if something heavy had hit it. Stupid football players, always goofing around in the halls when they were supposed to be in class! From the sound of that weight against the door, it must have been one of the biggest guys!
I looked to the next question on the test.
"What happens to your eyes and lungs when they breathe in ammonia?"
The answers were all the same! a) burn; b) burn; c) burn. Weird. Mr. Griffyth must have made a mistake. Oh well, free credit. I chose C for kicks.
Did something smell funny in the room? I looked around for the source and saw a reaction in a flask in the front. And another in the corner of the room. And another! What was going on here?
I looked down at the next question, but it wasn't a question.
"Burn in hell."
My eyes burned, and my lungs began to boil as I fell to the floor, writhing in pain.
My mind went back to that question where I hadn't known the answer.
Something told me the answer was actually ammonia.