A Comedy of Nothing

When three year 11 students try and sit the compulsory General Assessment Task for their final year of school subjects, things start to go terribly wrong.
They are mistaken for murderers.

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4. Chapter Four: We search for our ID’s

 

E: That title’s not even mildly funny, Cards.

VB: (sighing) who cares. Let's just get this over and done with. The teachers don't believe us anyway.

Mandy: I agree with VB. (Gives an exasperated cry). Now you've got me doing it!

C: (huge grin). You called me Cards before too.

Mandy: (cheering up). Okay, okay. No more stalling. Tell the story, and finish it up. We've got two classes playing hang-man this morning because of you.

VB: (smiling) At least you HOPE that's what they're doing.

Marion: Yes. Unfortunately children do have a tendency to play up when the teacher is not present.

C: Do you want me to start?

Mandy: Yes, please! I wouldn't mind if you finished either!

C: okay then. So we were at McDonalds, and... Should I skip lunch?

E: Yes, please.

V: Are you two still angry at me for having a hamburger?

E: Ha ha, VERY funny, VB. Let me just say that the 'you two are vegetarians' joke got old... two months ago!

V: Don't worry; I decided I was a vegetarian that day.

C: Why?

V: It could have something to do with you throwing up on my meal. Now I can't go anywhere near meat without having the worst mental image ever.

Elizabeth and Cards seemed quite pleased by this.

C: Sorry.

Marion: So why did you throw up?

C: I'm not sure.

E: It could have had something to do with me telling him what was in his ice-cream... and explaining the digestive system...

Mandy: Okay. Yes, Cards, I think you can skip lunch.

C: Cool. Right, so we went out and kind of stared across the highway - or main road, or whatever - and couldn't decide what to do. We needed to get to the school, but that was kind of out of walking distance. VB and Lizzie had bus passes, but I didn't. I didn't have any money either, because I'd shouted them lunch.

E and V: Thanks, Cards.

C: Anyway, neither of them had any money, so we figured we'd beg someone for mercy. We walked over to the bus stop, and waited for the right bus. When it came, we got on and asked the man if he wouldn't mind letting me have a free ride. He replied something like this:

'Do I look like a money tree?!'

Well, he didn't, so we figured that was a bad sign.

After we stood there for a while wondering what to do, one man took pity on us and paid for me. He even gave us ten dollars cash.

Mandy: Why would he do that?

C: I dunno. But at least he did.

Mandy seemed to be very incredulous at this point. I could tell both teachers were beginning to wonder how the three had ever managed to weave such a detailed lie. If they were making it up on the spot, they were mind readers. If they weren't, they were the best liars in town.

C: When we reached the school, we went straight to lost property. The lady at the desk kind of panicked.

'Your names aren't Geoffrey Stuart, Elizabeth Bisset, and Victoria Hood?' She asked.

'No.' we replied, actually noticing the difference this time. 'They're Geoffrey McHood, Elizabeth Stuart, and Victoria Bisset.'

The lady gulped. 'The other day I caught three kids that looked just like you bragging about some wallets they had stolen.'

E: I very politely did not correct her and say 'purse' at this point.

C: Well done. Could you not interrupt?

E: I was helping the story along!

C: Great, but now I've lost my train of thought!

E: (to Mandy). Don't worry, that train crash landed somewhere AGES ago.

C: It's somewhere with your train.

E: So when I find mine, I'll blow up yours.

VB: This conversation is sounding a little weird.

E: It is weird.

Marion: Could you please get back to the story?

C: Gladly. Talking about blowing up trains of thought. Honestly!

So. The lady continued. 'I took the wallets off them and looked at the ID I asked them what their names were, and they said something slightly different. I figured I had just read the cards incorrectly. But now there are you three... The only difference between you and them is your hair and eye colour.'

I think we all stared at her in shock right then.

'So what do we do?' I cried after a long pause.

'I don't know.' The woman said, her voice shaking. 'Sorry.'

Sorry. Understatement of the century.

Okay, that was probably the overstatement of the century. Okay, that was probably another overstatement. Yeah, you get the idea. Anyways... we say that word a lot don't we?

Mandy: Annoyingly so.

C: Sorry.  So... there's another word we say a lot. The lady apologized, and we walked off in a daze. We were pretty much doomed to die at any moment. Unless we managed to live together with our parents for the rest of our lives. And that was NOT looking like a good option. I mean... not that I don't like our parents, or you guys, but....

Marion: (cutting him off). The point is understood. You may continue.

C: Good. At some point, while we were wondering around Bayswater feeling dead, VB pulled out our rigged ID’s. Then she smiled.

'We can track them through this.'

I think I burst out into a fit of laughter.

V: Yes, Cards, you did.

C: Sorry about that. I mean, it was a good idea. But...

'Do you really think it’ll be that easy!?'

VB nodded. 'If a whole organization - or everyone but Hans - can get us mixed up with a group of serial killing drug-smugglers, we can find the serial killing drug-smugglers through their student ID cards.'

That was pretty weird logic, but it would have to pass.

'What school do they go to?' Lizzie asked.

'School number....'

Nah, I can't remember what number that was to save myself.

'Let's go back to the receptionist lady and ask her what school that is.'

Lizzie and VB seemed to think that was a pretty good idea, because they started a race to the office.

I refuse to say who won.

E: It was me.

V: I'm pretty sure I won, but anyway.

C: See what I mean? The two practically crashed through the door! The lady knew we were back as soon as we got there.

E: I did NOT break the window. That was VB.

V: You pushed me!

E: I did not push you! I slipped on a rock....

C: And you fell on top of VB who fell into a window. Agreed?

E: Yes.

C: Good. So...

Mandy: You lot really did cause a lot of problems didn't you?

C: Yeah. Trust me, if we were going to lie about missing a GAT, we would have said something more along the lines of, 'We were saving a man who had a heart attack' if you catch my drift. Not, 'We tormented Bayswater Secondary College, or whatever it's called.

Marion: They make an interesting point. Why lie badly about yourself when you can lie so well?

Mandy: Because they're smarter than they look.

Marion: (smiling). You also have a valid point.

C: Well, the lady looked up the school on the computer...

Mandy: Aren't you going to ask my permission to start your story again?

C: I thought you just wanted to finish it.

Mandy: That's not the point.

C: Fine. May I please start the story again?

Mandy: Certainly.

C: Thanks. Well it turned out that the serial killers went to some obscure school that we had never heard of. It was in an obscure place too...'

E: It was in Leongatha.

C: That's it!

Mandy: That's not obscure!

C: Well it was for me! (Nervous laugh). So now we had a new problem: how to get to Leongatha and back before dark.

E: If we left then, we would have been home at ten at night.

V: My parents would NOT have appreciated that.

Marion: So what did you do? Call the journey off?

C: No. We asked our parents if we could go to Leongatha.

'Why do you want to go THERE?!' VB's parents asked.

VB replied, 'It's a school matter. We have to go there to get our IDs sorted.'

They hesitantly agreed after that. I felt a little nervous that she had told so much of the truth though. We really didn't need to get on the good guy's bad side.

'Leongatha?' Lizzie's parents asked. 'Won't you be home super late if you go there?'

'Yes. But we just HAVE to go.'

Her parents sighed, but they agreed.

'Leongatha?' My dad repeated. 'Do you need a ride?'

I was a little nervous about confessing that we did. He'd probably offer us a ride if I said we needed one.

'Yes...' I said slowly.

'I'll take you then. It'll be great.'

VB and Lizzie tried to explain this to their parents, who were also offering rides. I muffled the phone against my chest and hissed at VB, 'Why MY dad!?'

'Because he's clueless!' Lizzie hissed back.

'What?'

'He's the only parent not suspicious of us yet!'

'Oh, right.' I picked up the phone again, just as VB and Lizzie's parents gave their permission. 'Sure, dad. That sounds great.'

'Where'll I pick you up?' I told him the school. 'What are you doing there?' He asked. Then he chuckled. 'You know what, I don't wanna know. I'll be there soon.' Then he hung up.

Lizzie smiled. 'I told you so. Your dad is perfect to take us. He could help a murderer and not even know it!'

'But we're not murderers.' I affirmed.

Lizzie seriously nodded. 'Which is why we're going to Leongatha.'

After a pause, VB asked a sensible question. 'Where are we staying tonight? My parents seemed to assume we were going to Card's house, because they asked me if I needed anything.'

'Same here.' Was all that Lizzie said.

I sighed. 'I'll ask dad when he gets here.'

The two smiled.

We waited for about fifteen minutes.

That was when Lizzie spotted one of THEM. (I think you can work out who I mean). We all panicked.

'What do we do?' I asked Lizzie.

'What should we do?' VB asked Lizzie.

Lizzie was flustered. 'Why are you both asking me!? I was going to ask both of you what to do!'

'Run?' I suggested.

'He's getting closer.' VB observed as the man crossed the road.

Unfortunately, we just froze. He was just about to step off the crossing and kidnap us all for the second time in two days, when a car breaked desperately and rammed straight into him.

All three of us screamed.

The driver reversed the car, and began freaking out.

Looking back, I feel bad for that person. I mean, the guy had just stepped onto the road without looking. And this was only an L plater. They must have felt SUPER guilty.

The kid began freaking out. 'What should I do? I have a GAT in fifteen minutes...'

'Go!' We all yelled at once.

This probably surprised him.

'I'll take care of him.' I promised.

The boy left against his and his father's better judgment.

I began freaking out.

There was a hospital right across the road. I guess I was aiming to get him there.

Meanwhile - as I was dragging him out of the slip lane - Lizzie was walking off. VB was trying to stay an equal distance between the two of us.

'He's dead!' I was repeatedly saying. 'We need to call an ambulance!'

Okay, words of wisdom, I know. But hey. I said I was freaking out.

'Cards!' Lizzie yelled at me. 'You don't save the bad guy, you leave them to die!'

'But he's a good guy.' I pointed out. 'And he's already dead.'

Suddenly, the man opened his eyes.

I screamed. 'He's not dead!' Then I dropped him and ran after Lizzie.

'Cards!' VB screamed at me. 'Lizzie! You can't leave him in the middle of the road!'

'But he's not dead!' Was our reply as we ran in the opposite direction.

Okay. So, as VB screamed to us, it probably wasn't going to help us prove we weren't murderers by leaving the guy to die on the road.

But he was trying to kidnap us! It was a self-defense mechanism, I swear.

Eventually, VB dragged the guy onto the footpath and called an ambulance as she ran after us. By the time we got to the end of the road, he had been picked up.

‘Cards, you look like you’re about to cry.’ Lizzie said when we finally stopped running. ‘What’s wrong with you?!’

‘I’m not sure.’ I said, in between puffing.

VB smiled. ‘He hasn’t had coffee since Thursday.’ She panted.

Lizzie rolled her eyes.

In my defense, I am no longer addicted to coffee. 

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