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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6. Chapter Six: Yup. This is TOTALLY that climax bit.

 

E: Sorry, VB, but I haven't told the story for AGES. It's my turn.

V: Certainly, Lizzie.

E: Okay. (Smiles). I can't wait to tell this bit. Your reactions were soooooooo sweet, Cards.

C: (A little embarrassed) Just don't use it against me in a court of law.

V: What other courts are there?

E: A court not-of-law. Anyway. I am supposed to be telling the story.

We followed Speed, Sassy, and Coke to Cards' dad's car.

'He may not realize it,' Speed explained, 'but he's locked inside his own car.'

Coke actually smiled for the first time. 'And there's a bomb underneath.'

I think we all panicked then.

'Don't worry.' Speed continued. 'It won't kill him. It'll just seriously injure him.'

Cards pretty much totally flipped out.

'Don't do it!' He started groveling, 'I'll do anything - anything! What do you want me to do?'

Speed smiled. 'Turn yourself in.'

'As if!' I shouted. Yes, it was stupid. Coke hit the button.

'No!' Cards shouted. He did the next stupid thing.

He ran to the car.

Then VB ran after him to stop him. I sighed and ran after her. After all, what else are friends for?

C: For the record, I had a plan.

E: What was it?

C: I planned to get him out of the car before it exploded.

E: Oh. Well, that worked well, didn't it?

No-one said anything here.

E: The car blew up. Cards' dad was protected by the million and one airbags inside his car - it's super safe. Or at least it was... supposed to be.

At any rate, where there's an explosion, there are flames. VB knocked Cards to the ground just before the flames could hit his face. As you may have notice, Cards was forced to have a haircut.

Mandy: Oh yes, I did notice his hair was shorter.

C: I got the hairdresser to fix it up before school.

E: Anyway, I threw myself to the ground so that I wouldn't get hurt either. Alarms went off in the school, and I guess someone called the Fire Brigade, because a fire truck showed up ten minutes later. But in those ten minutes, a lot happened.

Cards stood back up and turned to VB. 'Leave me alone!' He cried. Then he turned towards the car. His dad was unconscious inside.

VB was obviously pretty angry about being yelled at like that. 'Excuse me!?' She yelled back at him.

Cards turned around, nice again. 'Sorry, that came out the wrong way. What I meant to say was; 'Don't follow me. I don't want you two to get burnt as well.''

'Wait,' VB said, ignoring Cards only ever apology. 'As well?'

The passenger door had blown off, and the inside of the car was in flames. Cards crawled inside and began fiddling with his father's seat belt.

Mandy: And he's not seriously burned?

E: He was sort of. We spent until Tuesday in hospital. But Cards wears cotton.

Cards smiled.

Mandy: Jeans aren’t cotton.

Cards’ face fell.

E: Anyway, I'll continue. As the fire only became worse - and Cards got nowhere with his dad's seat belt - VB disobeyed a direct order and scrambled in next to Cards.

'Go away!' Cards shouted at her again.

'Stop pressing so hard,' VB said calmly, 'Or it'll never unlock.'

'I tried that!' Cards cried, his voice beginning to crack - as in 'he was close to tears'. Not, 'his voice was breaking'.

I ran over to the car and pushed my way through. And yes, I broke the seat belt. But who cares? The car was already ruined.

Cards seemed to calm down a little after that. Then, together, we pulled his dad out of the car. By now, we had taken in a little more burning petrol smell and smoke than was good for us.

I'd never fainted before. I'll describe it for those of you who are in the same boat. In our case, the first thing was a dizzy, lightheaded feeling. Then a weak feeling in the limbs.

C: That's when you fall.

E: Then the world seems to be melting around you. You know it's impossible, but somehow it seems real. Then a blanket falls from the sky and everything is dark. Then you swear someone hits you on the head with a hammer.

C: That's when you pass out.

E: And that's how we were until Saturday afternoon.

Mandy: When you came to?

E: Yup. And when we did we were in hospital. Like I said, we were stuck in there till Tuesday. I think we did most of the recovering on the Monday though.

Mandy: Why's that?

E: That's when Speed came to visit.

Mandy: Only Speed?

E: That's what I said.

Mandy's eyes seemed to show her lack of appreciation for Lizzie's tone of voice here, but she said nothing.

E: Sorry. I'll continue. It went something like this:

We freaked out that Speed was visiting us. He told us to relax.

'Relax!' He repeated, over and over - as you do when you repeat things. 'It's just me!'

'What,' Cards said, obviously still sore about the attack on his innocent parental figure, 'You don't attack solo?'

Speed smiled. 'That's about right. You have no alibi if you act alone.'

'Why have you come?' VB asked.

'I came,' Speed said, 'To apologize.' He paused. He seemed to be considering something. He looked down and muttered, 'Who would you say was the leader of our group?'

'You.' I replied.

His facial expression didn't change. Something told me I had guessed wrong.

He looked up. 'I'm here to offer you an option number four. Another discussion. You see if you can convince the girls to live as vagabonds for the rest of their lives. If you can do it, you get your identity back and we leave you alone forever.'

We didn't hesitate. 'Where will we meet?' I asked.

'Your school.'

'Won't there be people there on Monday?'

'Hold your horses!' Speed cried. 'I have to go back to Leongatha and convince the girls to come yet! We'll meet on Wednesday morning, 9.30.'

I nodded. 'We'll be there.'

Speed nodded, and turned to leave. He turned just before he left. 'By the way,' he said. 'I visited your father.'

Cards face lit up - in alarm, not in joy.

Speed smiled sadly at Cards and then at the floor. 'He thought I was you.' He muttered. Then he left.

Mandy: Your plot is quite intricate, if I may say. A group of bad guys that want to be good.

Marion: You’re being very smart about his characterization. This Speed fellow is actually likeable.

The three turned to look at each other and exchanged sad smiled.

E: He was.

 

 

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