August 14, 2012

Chapters 1-6 of Wrinkles Wallace: Knights of Night School

Copyright © 2012 By Marquin Parks

Printed in The United States Of America
Published by Meridia Publishers
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any
manner whatsoever without written permission from the publishers, except
in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.
ISBN: 978-0-9832330-5-3
This book is produced by Meridia Publishers with the collaboration of
Dynasty Effect, LLC.
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Printed in the United States of America

I got a letter from the mailman the other day.
I opened and read it.
It said I failed 5th Grade

Chapter 1

The Introduction

I figured it would be like that. I’d only known them for about

fifteen minutes, but I knew it. Maybe my nerves were

tingling. Maybe it was the Sour Boppers candy and Jumperz

energy drink mixed into my pancakes that Grandma Wilbur

cooked for breakfast. Nevertheless, my mind was racing and

I was crazier than two galloping goats on a shopping spree.

Oh, and by the way, my name is Wrinkles Wallace.

This morning was my first day at a new school. I was the

newest student at Old Endings Preparatory in Ypsilanti,

Michigan. If you have ever been to Ypsilanti, you would

know about Old Endings Preparatory. It’s the one and only

blue building with vibrant yellow polka-dots in town. The

rest of the buildings are comprised of painted stripes, plaids,

and argyles. Needless to say, our polka-dots stick out. It’s

also safe to say, once you arrive at Old Endings Preparatory,

doggone it, you know you’ve arrived.

My Grandma Wilbur dropped me off at school on her

motorcycle and I tried to smoothly walk up the pathway. I

only fell one time, which was a record low for me. I thought I

showed my skills. However, my new school mates didn’t

recognize the talent. Some kid about the size of a baby

brontosaurus had the nerve to yell out, “Hey, clumsy!”

“No. That’s my baby sister’s name,” I said.

“Your baby sister’s name is Clumsy?” asked the kid.

“Yeah, and my name is Wrinkles. You must be Tiny. It’s

a pleasure to meet you.” I extended my hand and quickly

retracted it after I realized that his hands were covered in

chocolate syrup. I gave him a friendly peace sign.

“How did you know my name?” asked Tiny, after licking

some chocolate covered sprinkles off his left pinky. I

shrugged my shoulders and headed into the building.

Chapter 2

The Entrance

I figured it would be like that. There were six bubble gum

machines all along the wall. The gumballs in each machine

seemed to grow in size. The first one had small marble-sized

gumballs. The sixth one had gumballs that would last my

whole life. I was tempted to get one, but I wasn’t sure how

my teacher would feel about me chewing gum in class. You

know how some teachers think chewing gum in their classroom

is somehow against some sort of law. Either you have

to hide your gum and not enjoy chewing it, or you have to

chew while they’re not looking and risk biting your tongue.

With my luck, I’d probably have to throw out my gum before

the flavor was gone because my new teacher would ask me to

stick out my colored tongue with the chewy gum on top.

In front of the bubble gum machines, located right in the

middle of the hallway, was a raggedy quarter horse that you

might find at a grocery store. Maybe I was guessing it was a

quarter horse because all anyone could ride was the saddle

on where the ribs of the horse might be. The rest of the

horse’s face and tail area were missing. The price for riding

the horse was only twenty-five pennies, but you had to put

each copper coin in one at a time.

For some reason, I could never pass up a chance to ride

one of those horses at the grocery store. To me, it never got

old, so I waited in line behind what looked to be a small group

of kindergarteners. I could tell they were kindergarteners

because everybody knows that kindergarten lines are blobs of

human gigglers, poking and pushing each other.

Even though I couldn’t see the action on the horse,

about every thirty seconds I would hear a loud thud and a

kindergartener would get up off the ground after being

thrown off the rowdy quarter horse. The way those kindergarteners

were being tossed, I ended up at the head of the

blob in no time. The bell rang as I finished putting my shiny

Abe Lincolns in the machine. I had just wasted 25 cents and

it was time to go to class.

Ropes instantly fell from the ceiling. There were teachers

standing above us yelling, “Get to class before the tardy

bell rings!”

I figured it would be like that. I climbed the ropes like a

human squirrel. Those who decided they would rather be

tardy were in for a rude awakening. Another bell rang and

the floor started to slowly separate. The ground began

shaking like we were having a rumbling earthquake. A door

below me opened, and the next thing I knew, I heard a lion

roaring. Terrified screams filled the hallway. Instead of

looking down to see what was about to happen, like most

people would have, I kept climbing.

Finally, I made it.

Chapter 3

The Classroom

As you probably guessed by now, I figured the classroom

would be like that. Yeah, it was typical. The mailboxes were

along the side of the wall where mailboxes usually are. I

remember calling those same mailboxes “cubbies” when I

was in kindergarten, but around here, they are mailboxes.

The white board was on the wall where white boards usually

are. Everybody knows you don’t put the white boards on the

floor or ceiling. Although, writing on the floor would be

pretty cool. One look up let me know that the ceiling tiles

had probably been the victim of a horrific pencil explosion.

There were holes in all of the tiles, but the pencils were


It didn’t take long for me to figure out where the bathroom

was in the classroom. There was a green sign on the

front of the door that meant it was okay to go in and handle

your business. The only real problem I could see with using

the bathroom was the fact that it was one of those portable

bathrooms that you have to use at the carnival. You know,
the type of bathroom that has those plastic walls and rocks from

side to side when you step inside. Yeah, the one that

when you’re inside it, you can hear exactly what the people
waiting in line are talking about. And, if you can hear them,
they probably can hear you. I instantly knew I never wanted

to use the bathroom in the classroom unless I happened to

have an absolute emergency.

By the windows of the classroom was a small fish tank

with four soft-shelled turtles. The lid to the tank had a lock

with a spinning combination that you usually see on the end

of a chain for a bike, or in a locker room. Someone had either

put a lock on the tank to keep the turtles in, or keep people


Even though I probably should have gone straight to my

seat, to sit down, I couldn’t help but stop and look at what

the turtles were doing. Their noses were making tiny sounds

as they bumped them into the glass while they were trying to

eat their food. Life for the four turtles had to be great since

all they needed to do was swim around and eat shrimp. The

only thing they were missing was a bowl of gravy. If they

could somehow dunk those shrimp into some good ole’

gravy, they’d be doin’ it. I think gravy goes perfect with

breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and midnight snacks.

Chapter 4

The Teacher

It didn’t take two hands to figure out that I was one of five

folks in the class who wasn’t the teacher. Our teacher looked

like a normal elementary school teacher. The name written

on the board let me know that I needed to call him Mr.

Quiet. A closer look at the name tag on his desk let me know

his mother and father actually named him Sittin’ B. Quiet.

Mr. Quiet was the average age for a teacher. I could tell

because his front two teeth were bigger than the other teeth

and he was missing a few molars. He looked freshly shaven

and had no facial hair, although, his sideburns looked to be

desperately trying to make it past his ears. He walked with a

funky rhythm that told me he was indeed trying too hard to

be cool for his age. His tennis shoes were black, covered with

a layer of kickball field dust, and the laces were tattered on

the ends.

When I finally settled into my desk, I heard someone in

the class mumbling about Mr. Quiet not being good enough

to be a teacher. I wasn’t buying any of that talk because I’ve

had teachers like Mr. Quiet before and I learned a lot from

them. Teachers like Mr. Quiet are absolutely the smartest

people in the world. They know how smart they are and they

are willing to mumble about it under their breath on special

occasions. If I had to guess how old Mr. Quiet was, I’d say

somewhere between nine and eleven years old.

Now, if you’ve never had a teacher who was younger

than you, then there is one thing you need to understand.

1. Knowledge has no height requirement.

Chapter 5
The Me

By now, I guess you might want to know more about me and

why I’m the newest student at Old Endings Preparatory.

Well, I thought I passed fifth grade, but, actually I failed

because I missed too many homework assignments. Yeah, I

failed fifth grade because I didn’t do enough homework.

To be honest with you, it wasn’t that I didn’t do my

homework; it was more that I didn’t turn it in. Dirty dittos

were balled up in my backpack or placed at the bottom of

the recycle bin. They never seemed to make it into the “In

Box” on my teacher’s desk. Plus, I did have a little, tiny,

miniscule problem with lying to my grandma about not

having any homework, so I could go outside and play, watch

television, and play video games.

I’d also had a slight habit of bending the truth around

the corner on my teacher so situations would work in my

favor. Let’s just say I had a gift for story-telling, not to

mention, it did feel good being smarter than the adults in my

life. While I ended up pulling some fast ones on them at the

time, it did come back to bite me on the backside. Maybe my

little fibbing problem was a lot bigger than I thought.

I guess that’s the reason why I’m at Old Endings Preparatory

from now until the end of the year. Hopefully things go

right this time around, because if I have to do fifth grade

three times, I don’t know what I’ll do with myself. I mean,

I’m 28 years old, and well, you know what that means.

Chapter 6
The Dragon

If you’ve ever been a student, I’m sure you know about a

teacher’s hearing. Some of them hear much better than dogs

listening for a doorbell. It almost goes without saying that

somebody with the last name “Quiet” would be a good judge

of sound. As you probably guessed, Mr. Quiet was an expert

at listening.

While I was sitting there waiting for class to start, I heard

a sound that wasn’t coming from the air conditioning unit,

the turtle tank filter, or that annoying hum made by the

lights in the ceiling. The noise actually was the whispers of a

person in the class. Just looking at Mr. Quiet let me know I

wasn’t the only one who heard the talking. The problem was,

Mr. Quiet had no clue as to who it was, but he looked like he

wasn’t the type of teacher who would rest until he had a

confession from one of us.

And, as you can guess, I’m the type of person who seems

to have an antenna of guilt super-glued to my forehead.

Mr. Quiet said, “Well, if it isn’t Wrinkles Wallace.”

“Yes. I am Wrinkles,” I said.

“I’ve read through your files and I can see that you were

probably the one who was running his gum chewers.”

“Nope, that was not me. The only gum in my mouth is —”

Mr. Quiet interrupted me and said, “Cut the cheese,

Wrinkles. I know all about you because my aunt went to

school with you. She told me all about how you and your

friends would crack jokes and treat her badly. You called her

‘Bowling Ball’ because of how round she was. I know all

about your evil ways. With that being said, Wrinkles, by the

time I count to ten you need to be at my desk. One, two,


As I lunged out of my desk, fell, jumped back up, and

moved toward Mr. Quiet, my mind was in reverse and my

past was coming back to haunt me again. Yeah, the girl was

round, but who knew Susie “Bowling Ball” Paul, would

remember my little bowling ball joke for the rest of her life?

Who knew her nephew would be my fifth grade teacher? I

mean, it was a joke and we all laughed at her. Plus, Susie

never complained about it at the time.

I even remember when our teacher took attendance. She

would be calling out names, and when she got to Susie’s,

she’d pause just long enough for us to slip “Bowling Ball” in

between Susie’s first and last name. The teacher would try to

keep a straight face and we’d all get the giggles. I still think

the teacher was in on the joke.

Three seconds later I was at Mr. Quiet’s desk, but he had

skipped a few numbers and was up to nine. He looked me in

the eyes and smiled. I looked back and noticed his pupils

were like fudge brownies with chocolate sauce. Or, maybe I

just had chocolate on the brain. Mr. Quiet reached into the

bottom drawer of his desk, which looked a lot like a junk

food drawer you’d find in a kitchen, and pulled out a bag of

nacho cheese chips. He opened the bag and pulled out a

three-sided polygon of garlic death.

“Wrinkles, you should try one!” said Mr. Quiet.

Normally, I’m all for chips, except, I was still full from

those Sour Boppers pancakes that Grandma Wilbur made

me for breakfast.

“Thanks, but no thanks, Mr. Quiet.”

“Mind if I have one?” asked Mr. Quiet.

I paused and thought for a second. Everybody knows the

smell of nacho cheese chips is almost worse than cigarette

smoke, but what could I say to him? Maybe he was hungry.

I replied, “Whatever tantalizes your taste buds, Mr. Quiet.”

Mr. Quiet opened his mouth and started gnawing on the

chip like a gerbil devours the cardboard on an empty roll of

toilet paper. Small crumbs landed in the lap of his navy blue

pants. He used his left index finger to pick up the leftovers. I

could see right then that not much gets by this guy. Not a

crumb. Not a sound. Nothing.

That’s when Mr. Quiet surprised me. He smiled with the

grin that makes most grandmothers melt and leaves students

wondering if their teacher should be sent to the Crazy

House. There was no reason for his smile. There was no

reason for him to be in a good mood. Not after knowing that

I had made fun of his aunt. Not after some nacho cheese

chips. I mean, no nacho cheese chips in the entire world are

that good. Not even the ones that Grandma Wilbur makes.

It didn’t take long for me to realize that the smile Mr.

Quiet gave included a major problem. His smile smelled like

his breath. See, I was standing maybe two feet from Mr.

Quiet because I wanted to give him his personal space. I’m a

big fan of personal space. That’s when he used is left index

finger to motion for me to come closer. I did. He motioned

for me to come even closer. I did. He finally stopped exercising

his left index finger when I was bent over enough to have

my nose less than an inch from his mouth.

Oh my.

All I could smell was nacho cheese chips and my eyes

could only see the decorations in Mr. Quiet’s nostrils.

Message to self:

When was the last time he had cleaned his nose? 

He reminded me that mine was empty.

Mr. Quiet asked, “Why?”

Instantly, my nose hairs were set on fire. I felt the blast of

breath that had to be one hundred degrees rushing out of

Mr. Quiet’s mouth. I wished he could wrap his mouth

around the air conditioner that was in the kitchen window at

Grandma Wilbur’s house. I’d do anything to be able to

breathe out of my toes. Smelling my own stinking feet had to

be one million times better than smelling Mr. Quiet’s words.

I felt like I was on a seesaw. I was going down and the Sour

Boppers pancakes were coming up. He grabbed my chin

hairs and brought my face closer.

“Did you hear me?” he asked.

Each word felt like the scorching blast you get when trying

to open the oven door while taking out a batch of burnt

cookies. Believe me, he had the temperature set on broil and

I wanted to die.

“Yes!” I replied.

Mr. Quiet blurted, “Weeeeellll, THen next TIme,


I tightened my lip with a flimsy attempt to cover up the lower half of my nostrils. He quickly melted my feeble plan and proceeded to exhale two lungs full of steamy, stinking carbon dioxide.  My eyes rolled into the back of my head. I was nearly out on my feet.  I felt like the heayweight champion of the world busted me in the nose with a glove full of concrete.

Mr. Quiet said, “WRRRRinKleSSSS, you SSSSaiD you

DiDn’T MinD mEE eaTTinG. NoWW, TOOo TeacHH

you REESPONSiBiLiTY (my heart nearly stopped after that

word, but the gasp of my classmates kept me alive) FoRR



By this time I was willing to do anything to get away

from his dragon breath. I shook my head from side to side

and said, “No problem, Mr. Quiet. Anything you say.”

He reopened his junk food drawer and fished out a carton

of eggs. Why he’d have a dozen eggs just living in his

junk food drawer is beyond me. I mean, I can understand

keeping the chips in there, but eggs, not so much. Eggs

typically live in refrigerators, boiling water, frying pans, or

even cake batter. Nobody with any sense would keep eggs in

their desk drawer.

“Wrinkles, how many eggs are in a dozen?” asked Mr.


I tried to use my breath to defend myself against his

breath and I answered, “Twelve.”

“Correct! But that doesn’t mean you have twelve chances

to get this right. You only have two chances each day. If both

of your eggs are broken then you fail for the day. Wrinkles,

you must take this egg with you everywhere you go. You must

keep an egg with you for everything you do. If you are in the

shower, shampoo the egg’s head. If you go to the mall, the egg

needs new clothes. You must take an egg with you, no matter

what. There will be no egg babysitters. Your Grandma Wilbur,

which by the way, is an odd name for a woman, cannot babysit

the egg. It is solely your responsibility. If I, or anybody else,

see you without your egg, you will fail this class. Oh, and by

the way, these are not hard-boiled. I have special stickers that I

have put on your eggs. When you do break both eggs in a 24-

hour period, which you will, you will fail. Do we have an

understanding, Wrinkles?”

“Yes, Sir.”

Mr. Quiet placed the first egg in my hand and pointed

for me to go back to my desk. After I sat down, it took about

five minutes before I extinguished the forest fire in my nose

and regained full consciousness. When I finally did come to

my senses I realized I was going to be in for some serious

trouble. Those eggs were going to make me a fifth grader for

life. As often as I fell, the egg would be scrambled and I’d be


This whole situation wasn’t fair at all. Who would talk,

with nacho cheese breath, to a student? Who would make a

student carry eggs to pass fifth grade? Mr. Quiet would, and

if he knew I played dodgeball on Wednesday nights, I’m

guessing he probably wouldn’t have cared. All I could think

was: How was I supposed to avoid making egg salad sandwiches
during a dodgeball game?

Thanks for reading!

For more of Wrinkles Wallace: Knights of Night School, please purchase on or

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1 comment:

  1. I'm reading the Bonus Chapters for the second time.

    The initial read was a great peek into the world of Wrinkles and his classmates.

    Their names helped me to relate to their personalities.

    Prior to reading books one and two, I was thinking about how different Lenny's and Wrinkles' characters were to their names. Then, Lenny lived up to his name in book two. Wrinkles is "so not like" the "old spirits" we see in students. Very mature, innovative even... but, Not Grumpy like some people who have aged into "wrinkles".

    Clever and captivating stories. Makes a reader desire ...more. Thanks Mr. Parks.