Mystery of the Misplaced McQueen


Brendan Courter, Hugh Smith, Samantha Reed, and Avery Wilson, Co-Editor and Writers

On the evening of Tuesday, April 2, 2019, Mrs. Cornelius was walking to her classroom when she discovered a gruesome scene: the dead body of an upturned Lightning McQueen was sprawled out on the floor. She called 911, and the investigation commenced. As of right now, there are four primary theories as to how the dead body of Lightning McQueen ended up in a hallway at Southwestern High School.


McQueen Clan Theory

No fingerprints, DNA, or witnesses were found at the crime scene. However, it was later discovered that a ceiling panel above McQueen’s body had been shifted to expose the crawl space above. Based on this, we have reason to believe that Lightning McQueen fell from the crawl space to the floor, dying on impact. Therefore, the murderer of McQueen is whoever removed the ceiling panel. However, there are broader implications of this investigation. Our team has deduced that this case is related to the reported sounds of scuffling coming from above the ceiling tiles. From this, we’ve hypothesized that there is a clan of hundreds of Lightning McQueens thriving in the crawl space above our heads. Be aware that the clan may attempt to avenge their fallen member through violence.

BY: Brendan Courter


Lightning McQueen Toy Theory

A few sources claim that the Lightning McQueen toy was first found in a cake, a cake that declared someone the “queen” of the day. It is unknown how the toy got there in the first place, but the first person to discover it inside the dessert was less than impressed. They saw that only the body of the toy remained and without its wheels it was useless. The McQueen was a waste of time, so this person decided to toss it into the street. The bright red car was swept down the street and into a drainage pipe by a thin stream. It traveled around for a long time before again appearing near a surface drain.

A student noticed the toy and, without much thought, took it to his teacher as he had noticed that all of its wheels were missing. The teacher began creating wheels for the toy in order for it to appear the way it should. He is only able to create two front wheels before a hooded student steals the car. It is speculated that the hooded student did this because he thought the teacher was spending too much time on a useless toy. Eventually, the same student that found the car in the drainage pipe noticed the hooded student with it and confiscated it. The hooded student quickly threw it to a random delivery man to avoid the car’s capture.

However, the delivery man met another delivery man with a large beard that knew the teacher who was looking for the toy. The bearded delivery man noticed the red car and mentioned that his friend had lost a two-wheeled car that looked exactly like that. The first delivery man gave the car to the bearded delivery man who decided to pay another man he worked with to put another wheel on it. The man who put the wheel on wondered why the bearded man cared so much about it and thought that the teacher wouldn’t even care if it were fixed. The bearded delivery man didn’t listen to this because he knew about the hard work that was put into it. When he finally had the third wheel put on by the other employee, the bearded man decided to take it back to the teacher. However, before could do this, the bearded man became distracted and accidentally sealed the toy car in one of the boxes.

The box was delivered to a woman who then noticed the small, red car. She saw that it was missing a wheel. She was bothered by this and managed to find a wheel identical to it in her house. When she finished perfecting the toy, she decided to hand it over to her daughter. She wonders why her mother gave her this, but she knows that she had put effort into perfecting the toy, so she decided to bring it over to school. The toy unexpectedly falls out of her pocket and lands on the ground of a busy hallway. After all the effort that was put into this small car, it is unknown why people discarded this toy. Yet some people regard it as ineffective. What does McQueen think of these people and what will think of the people to come.

BY: Hugh Smith


My favorite student, Hannah, came to me last week. She usually looks energized, well-rested, and generally like she takes care of herself, but this week she’s tired and antisocial. I keep thinking about what she said, and I find myself conflicted. There’s no way what Hannah said could be as bad as she says, but, at the same time, the light in her eyes were fading more and more every day.

It was after cross country practice. Just the other day, Hannah was killing it in practice, but today she lacked the fire that she had from before. I pulled her aside once just to be sure that she was okay, but all I got was a series of nondescript explanations. She was stalling until I would give in and let her return to practice, and I knew it. At the end of practice, she was packing up her bag and getting ready to switch out of her workout clothes when I once again asked her if anything was occurring at home. She averted her eyes and explained that her parents were out of town for the week and that she had been a little paranoid ever since they left. She later went on to tell me what had been making her so paranoid.

She tells me that she walked to her locker after forgetting her phone. The hallways were abandoned, and all she could think about was how lucky she was to be able to get in the school to get her phone. Draped in the spare light seeping from a nearby classroom, she twisted her dial and reached into her cluttered locker. As she focused on finding her phone, she felt a gentle poke at the middle of her back. Strange, but she waited to see if she would feel the poke again and, a second later, she did. Turning around, she didn’t see anyone there. Instead, she saw a little toy car in the middle of the senior hallway. She decided to ignore it and grabbed her phone before slapping her locker shut and making her way back to her car.

She continued to say that she was restless that night. As she lay between the world of consciousness and sleep, she heard giggling from a little kid, but it was just her and her mom in the house. She would then hear splashing as if someone had drawn a bath of water. If she had dozed off for even a second, she would immediately hear a blood-curdling scream. A scream that told you that something was very wrong. With little sleep and paranoia clawing at her mind, Hannah was both excited and dreading going to school. Her mom had to borrow the car, and so Hannah was dropped off early to make up a test. She thought briefly about what happened yesterday, but her impending test dominated her thoughts shortly after. Walking past the senior hallway, she noticed that once again the toy car sat there. She walked over and picked it up. She felt a rush of cold air and shivered before walking to the teacher’s classroom.

Later that night, she heard the same things, but it was worse. She woke up in the middle of the night to see a small figure standing at the foot of her bed. She choked a scream and rushed to turn on her lamp. The shadow disappeared into the closet, but she couldn’t find the courage to look further. When she did manage to fall asleep if only for a little while, she dreamt of swimming laps, endless laps. If she stopped for a second to catch her breath, she would hear someone scream for her to keep going. She swam and swam until water choked her lungs and she felt the pressure in her chest give in. Every night since has been the same.

I can’t convince myself that what she’s doing is true, but I don’t think Hannah would bother to keep a joke going for this long. Anyway, I began walking to my classroom to grab my bag and keys. As I shuffled with my keys to lock the door, I saw a shadow moving in the dark and turned to see a little red car.

BY: Samantha Reed


‘Tis a hard life, that of a race car. McQueen was fed up with this meaningless life of fame and fortune. He was so tired of the sleepless nights and camera lights flashing in his eyes. So one night he came up with the idea to fake his own death so he could finally be free. He knew this task would not be an easy one, but McQueen was willing to try anything to get out of his stressful life. He packed a few things he couldn’t live without and, when no one was looking, he went on his merry way.

The first stop on his journey was to a costume shop. He would need a good disguise if he were going to move without being noticed–he is a famous race car after all. He made his way into the costume shop to buy a fake mustache and a new sticker. When he found his items, the old rust bucket who worked there looked at him and asked, “Aren’t you that famous race car?” McQueen smiled at the old car and while paying for his items he replied with, “That name has no meaning anymore,” and then without saying another word McQueen left the store. He put on his disguise and went on to his second stop.

There was a drug store he knew of that also printed newspaper articles. While he was there he bought some scrap metal and red paint. As he was checking out his craft supplies he told the woman behind the counter he wanted to put an article in the paper. She asked, “ Well what do you want it to say, sugar?” McQueen handed her a piece of paper, she looked at it and the smile on her face disappeared. She nodded and McQueen left the store. On that piece of paper was McQueen’s obituary.

His last stop was at Southwestern High School. He sneaked inside and dumped the fake McQueen he had made from scrap metal and red paint onto the floor in the senior hallway. McQueen was finally free and no one has seen him since.  

BY: Avery Wilson