BOOK DETAILS

Class Dismissed

Class Dismissed

by Mark Petry

ISBN: 9780557946167

Publisher Lulu

Published in Mystery & Thrillers/Mystery, Mystery & Thrillers, Literature & Fiction

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Book Description

A College Psychology Professor in Austin has apparently murdered almost his entire class of 35 students during his final. Five students have survived, although they remember nothing. Chase a local hero cop in Austin, from catching the "Sorority Killer" a few years earlier, is on the case. He's trying to locate Bill the professors teaching assistant who has disappeared, especially now that it seems he's still assisting by killing off the remaining five students. . .a race against the clock to find Bill, and the visits to Professor Holland in jail aren't helping anyone but him.

Sample Chapter

 

 

“How much more grievous the consequences

 

of anger than its cause.”

 

 

 

- Marcus Aurelius

 

Prologue

 

 

 

 

It’s a long walk. It’s also the third time he’s been down this hallway.

 

 

 

“Why do I bother?” Chase asks himself as he sleepily mopes

 

 

 

forward. His last two visits have borne no fruit but he can’t help

 

 

 

himself. For some reason he keeps coming, as if pulled by a rope like a

 

 

 

bucket of water being pulled up a well, to see if the light of the sun

 

 

 

will reveal something to it. To compare what’s at the end of this hall to

 

 

 

the light of the sun couldn’t be further from the truth. However, it’s the

 

 

 

only place he knows to look to get to the truth.

 

 

 

It never takes long for it to begin. The taunting of his host always

 

 

 

starts as he gets about three steps from the door where the guard lets

 

 

 

him in. He has no idea how he even knows that it’s him, but he does

 

 

 

since he always starts with his name.

 

 

 

“Hello Chase, come on down and have a seat,” he always says

 

 

 

from his cell at the end of this long isolated hallway, his voice almost

 

 

 

ordering him, versus asking, down the thirty steps or so. It’s not

 

 

 

uncommon for a professor to be in the habit of talking to people as if

 

 

 

they are his students. When that professor’s area of expertise is

 

 

 

psychology it seems to carry more than a hint of arrogance, as if his

 

 

 

coming from a prestigious university, wouldn’t give him an implied

 

 

 

assumption of some amount already.

 

 

 

“His hearing can’t be that good, can it?” Chase always

 

 

 

wonders to himself, since he provided no advance notice to his

 

 

 

visit. Yet he always knows somehow as soon as Chase starts down

 

 

 

the hall. The funny thing is the words don’t bother Chase much

 

 

 

since he usually tunes them out about the time the professor starts

 

 

 

comparing him to the grandfather clock at the end of the hall

 

 

 

outside his cell.

 

 

 

“You’re just like that old clock outside my cell, Chase, always

 

 

 

working hard, moving back and forth like its pendulum, but you never

 

 

 

actually get anywhere, do you, Chase?” he always says. And this

 

 

 

always has the same response, with Chase thinking, “What a weird

 

 

 

place for an old antique grandfather clock.” There it sits at the end of

 

 

 

the hall so out of place in this setting, staring at him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 1

 

 

 

 

 

Fall Registration

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five Months Earlier – August

 

 

 

"Did you get it?” asks Britney, Tom’s girlfriend.

 

 

 

“Hold on, I’m checking,” says Tom as he scrolls his finger

 

 

 

down a list of names taped next to the door of Professor Holland’s

 

 

 

soon-to-be classroom this upcoming fall.

 

 

 

“Well I did!” says Britney, while fighting back a grin to try and

 

 

 

spare Tom’s feelings if he didn’t share her luck.

 

 

 

“Just give me a second, would you, Brit?” he tells her while still

 

 

 

frantically searching the list.

 

 

 

“Hurry up. I want to get to the co-op to get the books he has

 

 

 

required before all the used copies are gone. I don’t want to get stuck

 

 

 

paying for new copies again like I did all freshman year.”

 

 

 

“Just hold on…shit! I don’t know why he doesn’t list the names

 

 

 

alphabetically,” Tom says, now feeling just a little worried along with

 

 

 

the frustration.

 

 

 

“Tom, you know Professor Holland has a reputation for messing

 

 

 

with his students. I’m not surprised that he has already started.

 

 

 

Besides, that would only help you if you knew how to spell. Everyone

 

 

 

knows you got into school here ‘cause they wanted you on the football

 

 

 

team. Can you even spell SAT, since I know you didn’t actually take

 

 

 

one? “Britney says mockingly, not so concerned with his feelings after

 

 

 

his snapping at her.

 

 

 

“Whatever, Brit, Don’t be a bitch, go get your damn books, since

 

 

 

you know you’re in already. I’ll catch up with you later,” he snaps at

 

 

 

her again.

 

 

 

“Whoa, jealous much?” she asks.

 

 

 

“Jealous? Whatever.” he says dismissively, still searching the list.

 

 

 

“I’m just saying, it’s sad that this is what gets a reaction out of

 

 

 

you, but when I go to your frat parties and all your friends hit on me,

 

 

 

you don’t even notice,” she explains.

 

“It’s for the same reason your comment about not knowing how

 

 

 

to spell didn’t bother me. I know you, Brit, you like guys with brains,

 

 

 

and I like my boys and all, but that’s one area that I know I don’t need

 

 

 

to worry about with you,” he says, still looking.

 

 

 

“Is that why you’re getting so agitated now about me getting into

 

 

 

Professor Holland’s class, especially if you didn’t, you think I might

 

 

 

have a thing for him since he’s so smart?” she asks, failing to hide her

 

 

 

smile now.

 

 

 

Tom looks up from the list, directly at her after this comment,

 

 

 

 

 

throwing her off her game for a second, as she’s thinking, He couldn’t

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

have thought I was serious….

 

 

 

 

 

“I don’t really care, I’ve got some books to go buy, you coming?”

 

 

 

he says excitedly.

 

 

 

“You’re in?!” she squealed, her excitement matching his.

 

 

 

“Yeah, last fucking name on the list, but I’ll take it. Let’s go get

 

 

 

those books!” he says as they turn to exit the building, both almost

 

 

 

bumping into their friend Justin. Actually, he’s more Tom’s friend

 

 

 

than Britney’s. Justin is not one of those fraternity brothers lacking in

 

 

 

brains. He was Tom’s roommate his freshman year at Jester Dorm and

 

 

 

is actually one of the brightest guys he’s ever known. Majoring in

 

 

 

math and actually enjoying it should be a hint to the fact that he isn’t

 

 

 

the smoothest when it comes to girls but it isn’t for a lack of trying.

 

 

 

The only successes he’s had in actually meeting any were when Tom

 

 

 

helped him out when they’d go out together, which they did a lot their

 

 

 

freshman year.

 

 

 

Losing his wingman when Tom started dating Britney at the end

 

 

 

of freshman year this past spring didn’t help, and Britney made no

 

 

 

attempt to pretend that she didn’t notice the slight jealousy Justin had

 

 

 

when she took away his drinking buddy and the best wingman he’s

 

 

 

ever known. Of course it was an easy role to fill for Tom, six feet four,

 

 

 

with blond hair, tan and blue eyes, oh, and being quarterback on the

 

 

 

UT football team didn’t hurt either. Guys like Tom spend their whole

 

 

 

high school life being popular with girls always approaching them.

 

 

 

Tom liked Justin and didn’t mind helping him hook up when he went

 

 

 

out on Sixth Street with him.

 

 

 

Math majors like Justin don’t get out much and without Tom’s

 

 

 

help, he would not have had the great freshman experience that he had

 

 

 

the past year. You could say Tom helped create a monster that year.

 

 

 

All the confidence of a star athlete in the body of a five foot eight,

 

 

 

pale, dark-haired… well, math major. Of course Tom’s meeting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Britney almost completely brought it to an end. This past summer,

 

 

 

without the lead of his master, Justin was like an unchained

 

 

 

Frankenstein let loose on the girls of the UT campus.

 

 

 

His equal in appearance, Britney was tall for a girl at five feet

 

 

 

eight, with long blond hair, tan and blue-eyed. She was being courted

 

 

 

this fall by Tri Delt, the premier UT sorority on campus, her

 

 

 

sophomore year, after she began dating the new star football player at

 

 

 

the end of the spring semester. Yes, quite cliché, but neither of them

 

 

 

cared about the Ken and Barbie references; they were happy and that’s

 

 

 

all that mattered. It’s Justin who wasn’t so happy about the new

 

 

 

‘arrangement’ of their friendship.

 

 

 

“Hey Tom! Oh, hey Britney,” Justin says, even though he saw

 

 

 

them both at the same time, “you already check the list?” he finishes,

 

 

 

addressing Tom.

 

 

 

“Yeah, we’re both on it!” Tom returns.

 

 

 

“Oh,” Justin says, not enthused about the ‘both’ part, giving

 

 

 

Britney a weird, almost envious look.

 

 

 

“Yeah, we’re both in, isn’t that great?! I didn’t see your name on

 

 

 

the list, Justin, sorry about that. I know how much you wanted this

 

 

 

class. Maybe someone will drop it before final registration.” she says

 

 

 

with obvious insincere sorrow.

 

 

 

“Yeah, right, someone would have to die to drop this class, are

 

 

 

you sure, you really didn’t see my name?” he anxiously asks, looking

 

 

 

now at Tom as if he can help him. Before Tom can answer Britney

 

 

 

grabs his arm and pulls him away from Justin.

 

 

 

“Nope, didn’t see it, sorry, Justin, we gotta go and get some

 

 

 

books, don’t we Tom?” she announces, with a look of ‘you better

 

 

 

come with me or Justin won’t be the only one not getting any tonight,’

 

 

 

to which Tom can only oblige.

 

 

 

“Yeah Justin, we gotta go, sorry man,” Tom adds, more sincerely

 

 

 

than his girlfriend, as they both exit the building, Justin turning back to

 

 

 

the list in utter despair.

 

 

 

A safe distance away from Justin, Tom stops Britney by having to

 

 

 

grab her arm from behind since she left in more of a hurry that he did.

 

 

 

“Why did you do that, Britney?” he asks her sternly.

 

 

 

“Do what?” she asks, doing a poor imitation of an innocent.

 

 

 

“You know, tell Justin he wasn’t in the class,” he explains.

 

 

 

“I didn’t say that, I didn’t say he wasn’t in the class,” she

 

 

 

clarifies.

 

 

 

“You said you didn’t see his name on the list?” he reminds her.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Yeah, and that’s true, I didn’t, I stopped looking at the list once

 

I found my name about halfway down and I didn’t see his name before

 

spotting mine. I never said he wasn’t in the class. He very well could

 

be, I just didn’t see his name,” she says, feeling confident in her

 

defense.

 

“Well, he is in the class. His name was right above mine on the

 

bottom of the list. I need to go tell him,” he says, with some frustration

 

as he turns back to the building.

 

“Oh, come on, Tom, you know he doesn’t trust me and that he’ll

 

check the list anyway, so now he’ll be twice as happy when he finds

 

his name. Not only will he be in the coveted Professor Holland’s class,

 

he’ll also get to rub it in my face when we go out to celebrate tonight,

 

‘cause I’m sure you’ll invite him.”

 

“Of course I will, I like Justin,” he says proudly

 

“I know you do, Tom, and they always say nobody’s perfect, so

 

if that’s your only flaw, I’ll take it. I’m just glad that he’ll see Todd

 

and Shelly’s names on the list before he gets to the bottom to find

 

his…” she says, laughing.

 

“You’re a cruel girl, Brit,” Tom answers, not as angry as he

 

would have been with her if it weren’t for the fact that Justin did get

 

in. She was right that Justin couldn’t wait to rub it in her face that she

 

was wrong, even if she really didn’t say that. Tom laughs as he grabs

 

her around the shoulders and they head to the co-op to get their books.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excerpted from "Class Dismissed" by Mark Petry. Copyright © 0 by Mark Petry. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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