It was dark out, and cold for for a summery Tuesday. Tree branches stretched out like tall and lonely shadows, creeping low in a pale gray sky and hanging over the line that snaked beneath them. Zach looked up at them, and wondered what would happen to forests if trees were people. Maybe they would get up and walk away, tell people, “We’re not gonna stand where you put us!” Maybe they would revolt, and people people would declare a war on trees, until someone would start a Tree Rights campaign. Maybe then, if the trees won, people would talk about their tree friends and “tree experiences” in their college applications. If trees could talk, they would probably laugh and point their branches at the line which snaked past rectangular blue office building. Trees never took standardized tests. Then again, trees also got chopped down.
It was so damn cold.
Couldn’t have been higher than 50 degrees, where the hell was that warm summer weather? Even the season seemed to be cheating, going back on the weatherman’s promises. Well, Zach decided, it better get its act together before Nationals. If there was one person in this school who could stand up to the weather, it was Zach Tyler.
Today he stood in the middle of the line, shivering in a t-shirt, because today was the day to get your passes for the Arithmetic Standards Scale. And today people would wait over half an hour to get an ID for several more hours of standardized torture. That privilege, that mind-numbing rite of passage, made you a Leader of Tomorrow…