A Cold is the eleventh chapter of Stranger in a Strange School.
s Basil got up from his hammock he, quite possibly on purpose, tripped over his own feet. Falling into a nearby pond in the backyard, Basil felt pain in his back. Lee and Tina watched in horror as Basil's eyes widened in pain, worrying if he could swim. Almost immediately, Basil came out of the pond without some difficulty.
"Darn car crash injury acting up again!" he coughed. Lee and Tina walked towards him to help Basil up. As soon as they did, Basil looked up at them coldly. "I don't need anyone's help, go inside, I'll be in soon. If not come out and make sure that owls haven't torn me apart."
"Are you sure?" Tina looked at Basil worrying that he was just rejecting any help. Basil nodded.
"What car crash injury?" Lee noticed how Basil seemed to intentionally trp. And the sudden mention of a car crash injury? Something was up.
"In!" Basil coughed again. Standing up slowly, watching as Lee and Tina left the backyard. A sly smile forming on his face, Basil took his cell phone out of his pocket. The thing truly was waterproof! He dialed a number and waited a bit.
"Hello?" A guy's voice answered the phone.
"Basil? That you?" Basil rolled his eyes.
"Who else would it be, Roman?"
"Well, uh, I thought…"
"Thought that my mom had shipped me away to be used to test a techno song that causes people to black out again?" Basil laughed. "Roman Arkham, you know as well as I that my mom wouldn't do something like that. Can't figure out why anyone would make a song like that, after a few weeks I stopped blacking out, built up an immunity." Basil sighed. "That's not why I'm calling."
"Okay… why are you calling then?" Roman was confused. He had known Basil since the first grade and had never been able to find the method to Basil's madness.
"I'm calling to ask what do you know about Lee Ping?" Basil had a lack of social skills and he knew it. He needed information.
"Wait, your going to A. Nigma?" Roman laughed. "Unbelievable! Even by going to the school you don't know who he is? Instead of finishing that book your dad had been writing before he died you should be on the internet sometime!"
"Roman, you're wasting my patience!" Basil yelled into his phone. He then burst into a coughing fit, showing signs of a sore throat.
"Okay, he's the guy who pranked all of A. Nigma on the first day of school."
"The sprinklers in the auditorium set off, stink bombs went off causing people to vomit on one another, radioactive green paint was dumped on the staff and students, techno music and disco lights were blasted at everyone and frogs were unleashed into the auditorium." Roman laughed. "Gee, you never think about asking anyone at school about it? The guy isn't that hard to miss! He's Asian-Canadian, died his hair red and has a tat on one arm. Guy even looks guilty" Basil thought about everything. In his eyes, Tina had shot down what he said about Lee having been framed. It was obvious that Lee hadn't done the prank, at least to Basil. And techno music? No one liked techno music and Basil seriously doubted that it was the song he had been forced to listen to. "Basil? You there?"
"Yeah, I'll call you some other time or take a train to visit." Basil disconnected and stood up. He walked slowly towards the back door, shivering. He should have thought of some other way to get information. As he walked slowly toward the door and saw it open with both Lee and Tina standing there. "What's the matter? You never see a guy soaked to the bone before?"
"We should cancel the movie night." Lee watched as Basil walked towards the door, still shivering. He had no clue of what had just happened but Basil was acting suspicious. "You should get to bed, we'll leave."
"I never get visitors." Basil coughed. He was getting a sore throat, no doubt about it. "I'm not going to pass up having visitors." The thoughts going on in Basil's mind was about how he had no intentions to prove that Lee didn't pull the prank. Tina believed that Lee had pulled the prank to 'stick it to the man.' Basil though didn't buy it. He had pulled pranks, he had stopped pranks from happening he had played the good and the bad against each other for enjoyment. Basil could tell Lee was innocent Basil just had no intentions of helping Lee. Why should he get involved with someone else's trouble? It was suicidal to do so.
"Basil?" Tina's voice brought Basil out of his thoughts. "Are you-"
"I'm fine." Basil pushed Lee and Tina aside and walked past them. "I'll go get the movies their in the-" Basil sneezed. Lee and Tina were not convinced that Basil was feeling well. "- the basement." He walked over to a door near the kitchen, opened it and started to walk down stairs. Lee and Tina had just sat down on a couch when they heard Basil slip down the stairs. Being wet from head to toe it was only natural that Basil would slip when going down or up stairs. "I'm okay… actually I'll just take a nap down here, you can all leave." Lee and Tina laughed a bit and as everyone left the house, Basil crawled over to an old couch that had seen better days and fell asleep as he heard the door close and lock… lock? Had someone taken his key? He then heard someone coming down the stairs to the basement. He saw a woman in a few moments and he recognized her. He did have her eyes and ears after all. "Hi, mom."
"Had friends over, did we?" Sondra Hagen had a strange way of talking. She often used 'did we' in conversation. Basil nodded to her question. "Had a little tumble into the pond did we?" Basil nodded again barely awake. "Well, then take a rest and remember that we're not done with you yet." Basil's eyes shut. Sick and in the company of his mother, the unconscious Basil was 'safe.'