Monday was Trojan War Day in Mr. Venza’s social studies class. It was all everyone talked about for the past week.
“My friend was in his class last year,” I overheard Brady tell the boy sitting next to him on Friday. “He says everybody was sworn to secrecy, that nobody could tell anyone else what happens during the lesson.”
“It’s gotta be either super cool or something dangerous,” the other boy guessed. “Maybe both.”
Speculation continued until we all headed to social studies class Monday afternoon. I’d just come from lunch, and my peanut butter sandwich churned in my stomach. Mysterious interruptions to the normal class routine made me nervous. Unlike the rest of the class, I would’ve been perfectly fine listening to a lesson on the Trojan War, popcorn reading from our textbook as usual, maybe raising my hand to answer a question. But this? Who knew what it would be? A pop quiz or worse, a game that the class would get too invested in and provoke sour feelings from the losing side. Whatever was about to happen, I was pretty sure I wouldn’t like it.
“Maybe this is the day we watch that PG-13 movie,” Brittany said as we headed down the sixth grade hall.
I doubted it. We all knew about the movie already. This was something bigger.
When we walked into the classroom, I saw it.
All the desks had been dragged to the edges of the room, some stacked on top of others, leaving the tile floor clear. TROY had been written on the white board at the front of the room, and GREECE on the board at the back. A plastic apple spray-painted gold sat on Mr. Venza’s desk.
“What is that?” Brady asked, pointing to the apple. We all stood in the middle of the room, not sure what to do. I rolled my eyes. Brady insisted on knowing everything and was even more annoying when he attempted to acquire the knowledge.
“This”—Mr. Venza plucked the apple off his desk and tossed it in the air—“is the Apple of Discord.” He caught it with his other hand. “This is what started the Trojan War.”