A diary of a student that goes to Lawndale High (a short story, unrelated to my previous fiction)
Daria (and associated characters and locations) is copyright © 1997-2000 MTV Networks.
This story is copyright © 2002 by Bacner (email@example.com) and has been written for personal enjoyment. No infringement of the above rights is intended.
Diary of a Lawndale student
It’s racing day. Since early morning the whole male gym class raced through school’s staircases, trying to avoid the other students. After five such runs no one could stand on their feet, so we were all herded down – to the biology class – and a door was open. When Ms. Barch came out of it, the whole class began to run so fast, that Ms. Barch was able to catch only fat George and the five most tired boys. The rest safely reached the boys’ change room. Ms. Barch can’t go in there for obvious reasons. She spat and cursed at us, but that’s okay, that’s an everyday occasion. Three got scared.
During the evening we had a pep talk, by Kevin. He told us that our football opponents were riffraff, trouble-makers, squablers and cut-throats. And weaklings as well, all they can do is make passes behind our backs. And the trophy is ours by right, the last game was won not by Oakwood’s High QB, but by Tommy Sherman, our former QB, whose grave is still considered a place of honour.
The game’s hour is near.
It’s my turn to take care of the land of Doom – the memorable science laboratory of Ms. Barch. All is homey and familiar here – the flasks, the test-tubes, the amplifiers. The cross-section of a girl (a plain poster), the cross-section of a boy (poor sod), and few freaky things that Ms. Barch got from somewhere – don’t ask me from where exactly. Also, vats, barely visible in the darkness. All is homey and familiar. I feel tears come over my eyes. It’s the air – there’s nothing like it in here. Mr. O’Neill once entered here unprotected – fell unconscious in a minute, nevermind the fact that he is an adult. You need to get used to it.
Had a football game. After it, discussed Kevin so much, that if he was dead, he’d be spinning is grave like a top. "Oakwood High’s players are weaklings, Oakwood High’s players are squabblers, and they can mess-up their play!" I don’t know about that, but they messed-up our own play just as well with our "help".
In short, we entered the stadium. Went-in in three columns, within the sight of each other – to help each other in case something happened. Joey was strutting in the very front – and so he was the first one to be hit in the head with ball. I’ve got lucky – the ball passed off my chest without breaking anything. I reacted quickly: fell on the ground and closed my eyes.
The rest that were supposed to help us – ignored us instead. The nearbies tried to help but the ones further away went-on playing with the other team, and ignored us. Unfortunately, the remainder consisted mainly newbies who still put their trust in the QB, damn them and him. If this is how it’ll be the rest of the year, Ms. Barch can just take girls to the field instead of us and see how they like it.
For 6 days now, we are kept in school late under a student supervisor. We are studying for a big, crazy test on botany – never mind that our school isn’t botanically-oriented. We can’t find necessary stuff anywhere in our books – and how can it be otherwise? The info we need isn’t found in general science books, they’re found in botany text books – new ones. But – we are looking in our old general text books for some reason. We're busy and happy as well. For some reason I’m respecting Daria Morgendorffer very strongly now.
Ted DeWitt-Clinton went crazy. He leafs through the text-book, looks in hand-notes, leafs through a journal log of his – he is searching for the hidden info. Simultaneously, he is shouting: "Gumtree! Come out, I saw you!" We wanted to take him down, but underestimated him, he burst free and ran away.
In the place of Daria Morgendorffer we’ve got Jodie Landon. This one got brains and ambition, she also got rid of our old text books and get new ones. I don’t think this is good. What if we actually find something?
When we finally got our new most unfriendly-looking book tomes, Jodie Landon immediately got us searching for different topics. Phil, poor wretch, dropped a book on his foot– splat. Ms. Barch, who was checking-out on us, became really charged from this, and bellowed that that was what men really stood for, and "Go Girls!". When half of our study group was grasping the textbooks in sheer panic, out of nowhere popped this idiot DeWitt-Clinton with his ear piercing "Gumtree-ee!", and pulled the fire alarm. There was a stampede throughout the school, the nurse’s office was kept busy till evening.
Won something. Certainly not the money prize Ms. Li was hoping for but who’s complaining? We got to third place by luck. Upchuck, a jerk though a genius, saw a good way out and used it, saving me from the overwhelming defeat as well though his example. At the end of it we were joined by Jodie. Took her with us – in case of a sudden meeting with Ms. Barch on the way home.
Mr. O’Neill discovered that I can write very well and so I joined his team of writers. They were assembled by the order of Ms. Li, who got steamed by our losses in Literature contests. It was found out that other contestants are so good, that are shamelessly beating our members in every one. They are so good, that no matter how well one writes fiction – they can still beat us.
Our first creation under O’Neill’s guidance was a poem called "Armour over Heart". It is about a girl who’s so cold and distant that she can’t get any friends. However, that is because she’s shy and insecure inside and so’s unsure that anybody would like her. But comes a guy who sees beyond that disguise and warms her heart and she becomes really friendly and outspoken and popular in school. Ms. Li approved it. I hope that Daria Morgendorffer isn’t the girl in the topic, because then she’ll get really steamed, and I hate to think what she’ll do to Mr. O’Neill. I would like to watch that. Of course, on the other hand, the poem may be about Ms. Barch – and I'm cutting this train of thought right now.
At any rate, Ms. Li popped-in to see how we were doing. Mr. O’Neill got excited and ordered us to read this poem outloud. It was then found-out that we all had different reading speeds, and so what we brought forth, was a cacophony, a jumble of words.
This began to smell like a scandal – but Mr. O’Neill didn’t lose his head and offered a rational idea. For him. He got us a second chance, and said that when Ms. Li will check on us for the second time, the twenty of us will start on a single line to prevent the old fault to occur. We brightened-up, began to work – and two hours later we were ready. We stood in a row and began to read. Inspired Mr. O’Neill turned to Ms. Li and began to tell her something, waving his hands and jumping up – but the darkened face of Ms. Li and his own ears caused him to turn around.
A small mistake lay in Mr O’Neill’s idea that completely undermined it: we all had voices of different volume. The group on the right couldn't be heard – they were so quiet. The left group spoke completely by themselves, from the middle group you could still distinguish some voices, though not the people they belonged to.
Ms. Li meaningfully looked at Mr. O’Neill and went back to her office. Mr. O’Neill went after her, mumbling all the way back that if Lawndale High had its own choir, then may be even his method could be used to bring honour to Lawndale High.
Mr. O’Neill wanted to rehabilitate himself before Ms. Li very much and prepared her a surprise. The surprise was a new test study method.
This is what Mr. O’Neill explained to us in a nutshell. There’s a lot of information to cover before a test – therefore it is easy to forget stuff (if you were studying to begin with) unless you’re smart like Jodie Landon, Daria Morgendorffer, or Upchuck. Therefore, the trick is to cram the information into a very small amount of paperwork. To do that one must simplify the original information, and as a student does this on paper, he or she is learning this in the head. As a result, when a test comes, the student is so prepared, that he or she will ace the test in no time
Inspired Mr. O’Neill got himself a test group and began his experiments. I barely found time to write down his results that he dictated to me. (I'm his secretary.) In less than a week the test group was ready. I prudently advised to this Boyle-Marriott to ask for opinion of some teacher first , even if just Ms. Barch, but he didn't listen and ran-off to report to Ms. Li immediately.
I don't know what he told her when me and the eight members of his experiment group came into the principal’s office, the shining face of Ms. Li dimmed the reflection of the ceiling light on her glasses. She actually jumped from impatience and demanded the immediate demonstration.
I produced the dummy tests and handed them out to first five. The test’s content caused the students’ eyes to resemble first illuminators, then round bottles stuck in their eyesockets. They reacted fast – in five seconds before us lay requests to get the paper and writing utensils and stuff like this. The fact that all of the requests could be granted still in the office seemed to be no improvement. A cheerleader named Angie, for example, was so hang-up on getting out of the office even for a little while, that she almost choked.
Ms. Li dimmed a little. Mr. O’Neill, to fix the smudged impression, secretly winked for me to start the test. And I began to give tests out to the subjects.
Personally, I can understand them – our Lomonosov made the test in form of answers. The size of these answers was exactly half of each test page (and there were six), and so it was hard for them not to feel nervous. Joey almost twisted his neck from nervousness, the two cheerleaders almost broke their jaws from shock, and only Jeffy started right away – he just started to write down answers like a typewriter.
The result wasn’t long in coming – the five tests were returned to the adults. There, a new problem was discovered: our Gutenberg got the wrong type of paper and writing utensils. Instead of the standard issue our subjects used, rather, the some antique archive paper that was almost yellow. Spontaneously with that, pencil’s graffiti and pen ink were absorbed in it so quickly, it was like in the movies with the disappearing ink used by spies. In short, the principal kicked us out.
Mr. O’Neill again got a demonstration. He said that he had learned the lessons of the previous experiments and the paper that will be used in the new test will not have such faults.
Ms. Li grew interested. The quintet of experimentators sat behind the desks and started to write. Or rather, tried to get out of that. Since they didn’t have to go and get paper, pens or pencils, they suddenly wanted to go to the washroom or get their lucky charms from their lockers. I got a bad feeling about this, but Mr. O’Neill needed assistance – I got the test papers out, made the experimentators take them, and got them started. Joey, of course, immediately got started on the wrong side of paper – and his cursing, followed by the sound of him erasing what he wrote, stuck in my memory for a long time.
By now, the subjects had the foreknowledge not to have any last requests, so all got it ready on time. Mr. O’Neill overdid it with the time efficiency, though – they only had so much pencil to use. One of them – I think it was Angie – used her own pencil – and the argument about whether or not could she do that, distracted the attention of Mr. O’Neill and Ms. Li from the others.
I eventually collected the papers and put them before Mr. O’Neill and Ms. Li. The subjects began to wait for the results. A minute passed, then another – nothing happened. My suspicions became a certainty – it was impossible to read what they have written-down with their pencil stubs. Furthermore, they didn’t use ordinary letters – Mr. O’Neill, in a rush to make them more time-efficient, had us taught shorthand writing, and they used that to write their tests. Ms. Li didn't know shorthand, and Mr. O’Neill wasn’t that good with it, either.
Since then Ms. Li forbade Mr. O’Neill to try to make Lawndale High more efficient. Shorthand got taught around by the students themselves, however, and became a real plague in Lawndale High for the teachers. As soon as a teacher spreads the test, the students a furiously writing-down their answers – in short-hand. It’s anybody’s guess who wrote what, especially since they put down their name in shorthand too. They leave Ms. Barch and Mr. DeMartino more-or-less alone, but Mr. O’Neill is clearly suffering lately.
Ms. Barch got sick, apparently flu. She sneezes, drips from her nose, attacked a lot of people lately – her temper is hotter than pure napalm, the accursed witch! For two days already Ms. Li tries to get Ms. Barch to take-in various medicines, but nothing seems to work. Yesterday’s powder number 6 that was given to Ms. Barch was an emetic instead. The school day end so abruptly, on such a nifty note.
Ms. Barch now sneezes so hard that the whole school seems to shake. What a pity that we were unused to Ms. Barch a year ago, now our fear of her would’ve been even sharper. Ms. Barch breaks her own records, last time she reached the opposite wall and brought down a globe onto a terrarium with frogs that she had gathered by herself. Ouch. Re-catching the frogs was cool, thought and it was great to play with them as well. You pinch one gently, and it responds with a croak and a wriggle. Or you could just watch them hop on a table – or freak-out your classmates.
Ms. Barch got well, at least her temperature is normal, one can stand a minute or two next to her. However, her temper got ruined completely, at a bad time from ten boys only one or two remain unscathed. Well, at least the school is out for the winter break soon – then it’ll be easier.
Ms. Barch fibbed something to Ms. Li, Ms. Li spread the word to our parents and received a special permission for us to attend school in our winter break time – the ones who have lower grades, that is, and the unpopular ones too, I suppose I was taken-in, for old times sake, but not as a subject, but as an assistant. To observe the proceedings, make notes and report to Ms. Li if things end their usual way (and the beginnings in our school always end in a scandal.)
Anyways, Ms. Barch decided to make a hand-made hot-air balloon. Due to the rather recent events, when Daria Morgendorffer, with her boyfriend Tom Sloane, not of Lawndale High, made one by herself with the aide of the aforementioned boyfriend and her friend Jane Lane, Ms. Li decided to topple that. Now Ms. Barch gets about ten of freshly-baked balloon-makers/volunteers onto the roof-top and after checking their contraptions, sends them flying away in them. She does that to them on my advice – I got sick and tired assisting them out of the school-yard to the nurse’s office everyday, while outside there’s Lawndale hospital, so we’re aiding the town’s economy as well. I look after how quickly the balloons are going down. Honestly, if only I wasn’t starting to enjoy this, I would have advised Ms. Barch to show mercy and get rid of them in one scope – the material from their balloons are made is wasted, experimental. Once, it were tried to be made stronger, but was overdone, became completely colourless and started to shutter after a while, exposes to any weather. It also breaks apart in uneven pieces – naturally Ms. Li forbade it to be used on any official school projects. At any rate all my seem fine and dandy for others, but the subjects are getting nervous, and starting to land even sooner than their creations force them to.
For over a week I partied with Ms. Barch, but yesterday put an end to that. Ms. Li called us for an account – and just in time too, since the experimental material came to an end and Ms. Barch began to look at me in a wrong way. Ms. Barch reported that she had tested balloons of 28 types, tested 14 types of fastenings, developed a theory of smooth and step-by-step ascent, the tactics of close-quarters and remote air-manoeuvering, made an invention that allowed to land on water, the technique of photo-shooting from the basket, means of communication, and also wrote a poem that praised the exploits of Ms. Li in before she came to Lawndale. My eyes bulged over my forehead, and since it wasn’t drawn by Roden, I soon began to look behind me. But Ms. Li seemed to be pleased. She almost let us go, making an order about new volunteers-aeronauts, but then offered us to demonstrate something. Ms. Barch turned green but didn't dare argue, she ordered me to get out the balloon number 12 and make a demonstration. Now I turned green.
The hot air balloon number 12 is an extremely dastardly version, since the fastenings aren’t done with screws but with ropes. Thanks god, I’ve managed to replace the rotten ropes in time and just replaced them with new ones, grasping them tightly with my hands. Elegantly working with this rather heavy construction (no one could ever make them light) I went briefly up and back again before Ms. Li, passionately praying that this will be enough. But she ordered me to fly.
Ms. Barch mentioned something about the roof-top, but I didn’t want to go to the hospital, so mentioning something about no-fly weather I got the balloon up from the ground and quickly got it down again. Ms. Li grew interested but asked to repeat – she, like, didn't catch the details. I did another turn. And another. When I have flown, by my calculations, the height of our city hall and a half, Ms. Li’s eyes fell upon the ill-fated newspaper clipping which showed Daria Morgendorffer, Jane Lane and Tom Sloane going up into the sky – and also turned green. And offered me to fly there and stay there for a while.
I said that I can’t do that. She said that that’s for the better – the more disgusting my stay shall be, the more furious she shall grow and the lesser there will be a chance of Daria Morgendorffer and Jane Lane to repeat such a stunt. I said that that’s not what I had in mind – I was so good, that she may like it and that was risky. Ms. Li became surprised and asked me to show as I showed before. I did. Ms. Li cursed in Chinese and commanded me to go up.
And then, Ms. Barch interceded with a terrible timing and said that the flight will be at its’ most effective if it is stimulated. In other words, if the pilot is in danger on the ground, the quicker he’ll rise and more he will stay in the air. I hotly countered, said that these two things didn't have any connection, and on contrary, the flight demanded the highest concentration, and the lesser there’ll be things to distract the pilot, the better. And furthermore, the best flying occurs alone, in a small room with a low ceiling. Ms. Barch said that my statements are in direct conflict with the results of the experiment, and that Kevin Thomson, whom she had scared with a dummy of a comic villain, were found in the landing point number 6, which was the furthest away from the school, while the rest had landed much closer, which is shown from the hospital’s broken-line graphs of the landings. I said that Kevin Thomson is a QB, and such nonsense as a dummy of a comic villain could not scare him so terribly. At this point Ms. Li jammed-in and agreed to stimulate me.
In the role of the stimulant a watchdog called Cerberus was used. For some reason I became sorry that I didn't go with my classmates to a sweat camp ran by Ms. Morris, and then the thoughts ended in my head. As I fled from the dog, I ran twice around the school, and then I jumped over the balloon and climbed up a tree. And so, when Cerberus reared-up on his hind paws and tried to climb the tree as well, I climbed onto some branch and undulated onto it to the roof. After about 10 undulations I slipped, fell down, but on my way down I found-out that I did land on the roof, ruining my clothes. After catching my breath, I discovered that I was sitting on the same sconce from which the balloons were launching earlier this week and last week.
Ms. Li looked up at me with delight, while Ms. Barch told her that if without the balloon I needed 18 seconds to do this, then with the balloon it’ll take no more than 5, and if the accelerators are used – then just 3. And that’s the balloon number 12, not the best, if honestly speaking, version. For 20 more minutes she went on in such a vein, I sat on a roof, and Ms. LI was busy thinking about something. After that they left while I remembered hanging – but I didn’t mind, since they forgot Cerberus with them.
We got a new football game. We are to go against some far-away school. We are going far away to the north, so far that they are unaware of our football reputation. We're also going it as a hike – and save bus money on gas and such Whatever you say, the principal’s head really works – not like my club or the stumps of those half-wits that are in our team.
We have to go a rather long route, though. We will first go north, then east, then south, then west, the north again and will arrive at our destination. Then we’ll play our best and destroy them. This all was told by Kevin and couch Gibson supported.
It grows cold.
3 days later.
It grows colder.
We are still going north. Coach Gibson calls this a great cross-country opportunity. What’s so great about it? – there’s mud to our ears, and we are sounding like a brigade of mammoths.
I remembered that in the school meeting Kevin was against us taking warm clothing. The fight, like, will be in the south, and so it’ll just get in the way. Back then it seemed wise. Now – not really. It’s cold.
Jamie got bummed down and ran away. Good luck to him. Kevin Thomson said that some day he’ll come back to football. One can hardly believe that.
Turned east. Yesterday, four people got stuck in the mud. They were barely unstuck and coerced from suing. Heard a couple of new words from them. Ought to remember.
Turned south. Soon it’ll be much drier. And meanwhile we are going in a quick march. In front, some big guy is tramping mud and guck. Behind him is a smaller guy. Then another big guy, then another smaller guy, and so forth. This file is invention of Mack, our captain. The QB tried to put all the big guys in front – they trampled and churned several square feet of mud and water into almost quicksand, three people almost drowned, while five others just looked at the perspective of waiting till it returns to previous condition – and made a detour that took them who-knows-where. We had to search for them.
Kevin tried twice already to faint from the cold. But we are keeping watch and knock him back into this world. Right now, by the way, no one would call him the QB. A wet, dead chicken would be much more accurate.
Coach Gibson’s compass broke down, so we’re following the stars.
Stars have brought us back to Lawndale. Can't say that we’re very sad. Forget those other guys… Ms. Li gave us such a harangue, that we all warmed-up. She’s good.
The date is illegible.
We have spent a week in the summer survival camp already. The usual chaos is reigning, predictably. And Mr. DeMartino was sent over to us as well, to amplify the morale, yesterday. What an amplifier!
Furthermore, for the sake of the economy we don’t have enough food – we’re supposed to gather it ourselves. And so, everything we find and gathered is immediately eaten. Yesterday the boys from 5th tent found some berries. Only Ted DeWitt-Clinton didn't have to go to the hospital to recover. We now call him Stuttly.
They say that the matches will be distributed in the evening. At least we’ll be warm. Off to find firewood.
A week later.
I’m now DeMartino’s orderly. The previous one quit after an encounter with Barch. DeMartino fantasizes that Barch is under his control and so regularly tries to tell to her his commander’s will. The woman responds in a monotone: DeMartino first waits for the messenger’s return, then for the order to be fulfilled, then starts to scandal. In the beginning he wrote reports to Ms. Li, but she doesn't like to be involved in the teachers’ squabbles, so now this incomparable commander has stopped wasting paper and started to attempt to waste the woman. For example, in the past week, knowing where the girls will cross the river, he sent 3 of us to pull out the archstones from the bridge. Ms. Barch, who, as it was customary for her (all knew by now), strutted way in front of the girls and so reached the bridge first, fell into the ice-cold river, steamed-it-up, got pretty steamed herself, and climbed-out to discover what gives… And what a fool DeMartino is! He stayed on the level shore while we all climbed onto the steep one, despite our sexual differences. And we watched the race in the fields for a really long time, I even won Joey’s allowance.
Three days later.
At eight thirty in the morning today, DeMartino gave me my first serious assignment. I was to take 2 companies of sophomores, go to the Violet pass, team-up with the QB there and go to uplands to smoke the girls out of hiding. He’ll, like, will be waiting with the main forces there, we’ll have to go in secret and strike at girls from the behind. Okay, I was off.
Had I known that this Hannibal mistakes uplands with highlands, front with back, and left with right – I would’ve opted to play tag with Barch instead. Naturally, there was no battle and no behind – we were immediately set against the whole girl fighting force. Kevin got hurt, nevermind that he’s the QB – he bellowed something and fled, followed by his girlfriend. We retreated back to Violet, fought there till evening, lost a lot of our men… I even began to respect the newbies – too bad that only one-sixth is remained unshaken. We had to retreat at night and wade one devilishly cold stream, and go down through the rapids with the use of haphazardly tied rafts. After the rapids we fled into the forest and stayed there for 2 days, eventually using animal paths to return to the camp.
In the camp, scarlet-from-fury DeMartino awaited us. He also suffered a defeat, and naturally because of me. It seems that I wasn't supposed to scale the mountains with 30 bravos and that dimwit Thomson but with 50 elite secretly follow the main army. And when it seemingly defeated in the battle will flee, to close the trap and finish the complete and final destruction of the enemy group. In reality the false retreat became real, then panicked, and what has happened afterwards the guys will tell me. After they are treated with anti-shock therapy at least a little. And I, for failing to respond to an order, losing a student and other things, am faced with a field court.
I was lucky that that was when the girls lead by Barch chose to return to camp in a bad mood. Our Napoleon played a new trick on them, sending them to stay for the event in the near-impassable quagmires of north-west quarter, which the females proceeded to trawl for the last week and a half. Upon seeing his unruly subordinate DeMartino forgot about me and left somewhere in a hurry. I was so mad that I went to sleep.
Three hours later.
DeMartino is sitting on the top of a tree while under the tree sits Barch. Our Alexander-the-Great tries to appear that those two events are in no way interconnected, tries to command from up there. He sent for me several times but I said to tell him that I’m in the guardhouse. Let him find another fool.
Two hours later.
Our Zhukov is still on the tree. Now his endurance left him and he began to shout that he sends Barch southwards. The woman sent him even further, and then offered him to come down and tell him it in a complete order. DeMartino replied that he wasn't hired to give explanations to various dim-witted women and if Barch won’t obey his orders, then he, DeMartino, will come down and her where the fishes slept. Barch said that she always wanted to find more about it and will wait. Still waits.
One hour later.
Seeing that DeMartino is at the end of his tether, I decided to help. I’ve sent a freshman named Skylar with the message to Barch that O’Neill has telephoned her. It is known – thanks to Fashion Club network - that O’Neill and Barch are an item, so Barch, after looking forlornly at the still unreachable DeMartino, hurried back to get the call. She didn't hurt Skylar. Well, not really.
The school stuff again started to move forwards progress. This time it’s Ms. Morris and she’s taken-on swimming. Ms. Li still hopes to diving competition, but to do so one must learn to hold breath underwater.
What happens originally is this: a troop of students gets into the water. The first one dives underwater and swims until he can stay there no more – but meanwhile the second one reaches him over water. He (the second student) inhales as much air as possible, then bends and exhales it all into the first one’s mouth, who continues to swim. When that supply of air is also completely submerged – the third student reaches the first one. Then he inhales the air and exhales it into the first student’s mouth – just like the second student did. Then the first student continues on swimming underwater, till the new air starts to run-out as well. Then the next student dives-in, then the next. And so on till the very end of the swimming pool. All students have their chances to swim underwater.
For some reasons I’m not keen on this idea. But the testers get extra points and are free from watching over the lizards in the science class. So I volunteered.
The gym’s pool is fully filled – we’ll be trying air transition. Ms. Morris has already worked-out the beginnings of the method – one student will stay underwater, while the second one will supply him with air.
We found out that it’s not so easy to get a student to stay underwater. For half an hour we tried to make Greg to lie on the bottom, but he just went to the top, completely unwilling to lie and wait while we decide who’ll be the second. Finally we fastened him to the bottom, putting a snorkel into his mouth so that he won’t choke before time.
Bill was chosen for number two. He took a deep breath, bulged-out his eyes and jumped to the bottom. There he tried to put-in a portion of air into Greg. Judging from the bubbles, he failed and surfaced back for a new portion.
After some time we figured-out that it’s the snorkel getting in the way. We began to pull it out, but not so fast – Greg grasped it with his teeth like a dog grasps a marrow bone and wouldn’t let go. Eventually we ripped it out of his mouth and Bill dived again. From above it was very amusing to watch how number two tries to inhale into number one’s mouth and number one furiously wiggles under him. Somebody called this action the first kiss, which caused a chorus of guffaws of all experimentators. At this point, however, number one burst free from his restraints, hit number two into the ear and bobbled to the surface.
Ms. Morris, unwillingly, admitted that there was something wrong with her method. We were immediately sent by this ill-fated Cousteau to clean the gym’s floor (except for me – for 40 more minutes Ms. Morris dictated to me the report to Ms. Li about the successful completion of the first series of attempts and based that this method is successful for fording the swimming pools of any depth and roughness. The second series she offered to try in a diving competition proper on the same day it was supposed to happen).
Two days ago there was a big scandal in Lawndale High.
It all began with Ms. Barch’s memorable attempt to incapable girls with a battle transformation in case a male attacks them. (the point of it, as I remembered it, was this: when the attacker approaches, the girl eats or drinks or smokes something – in the end result her strength, fury and linear dimensions increase several times. After the battle the girl re-transforms). Nothing happened from that idea, but as a side-effect a new way to make yeast was invented. It was Upchuck who first discovered, that adding it to ordinary baby lizards’ food, one got a brew whose intake was followed by some symptoms of fighting transformation: the size of the student who risked to intake it first didn’t change, but it took 5 of us to bring him down. Spontaneously with that some previously unknown side-effects were discovered – for example, the taker’s memory became acuter and he remembered all grievances done to him for the last month and a half. The vision also significantly improved – all subjects said as one that besides the mortal bodies of the guys surrounding them, they could clearly see their spiritual bodies, sometimes more than one.
All of this shown that the experiments on battle transformation were laid-off too soon. Upchuck decided to continue them – secretly from management, to surprise it at an appropriate time. I tried to talk him out of it – I don’t like surprises. If you take time to prepare one for someone, all happens in reverse – you’re the one who’ll get surprised. But he didn’t listen.
The experiments were led in two directions. First of all, the quality of the experimental material got improved. I don’t remember who first found out that if one put the wort into distillation bulb, then the final liquid makes the transformation much better and more effective than simply made from yeast. (the making of distillation bulb was demonstrated, apparently, by Ms. Barch. I don’t remember exactly when since I wasn't part of this school yet – and thanks god, since this Wiseman-Morgan in a skirt, using it, tried to extract the substance of fury from freshmen).
Secondly, Upchuck tried to smooth-over the effects of re-transformation. This was a serious problem – after some time the battle-capable orc turned into an immovable log. This was accompanied by headache, convulsions in legs and arms, and some could see little midgets in horned helmets jump up and down on them.
The second problem got solved by itself – during one of transformations Jeffy fell into a barrel, one of the lots that Ms. Li got "donated" by some store that needed to get rid of some not-so-fresh produce in a hurry (I wasn’t in school during that time either). There were pickles in the barrels (well, they were pickles originally. When we found them, they looked like something else, but this wasn’t the point. With their aide we could effectively manage to control the transformation’s effects as well as soften the aftermath).
I was right about the surprises. This time it was my old buddy Cerberus the watchdog. This mutt broke into the warehouse where we held the supplies of the transformer and licked it all down. Completely. I’ve never seen such effective battle transformation – and hopefully will never see again.
After the intake Cerberus began to look like an enemy football player in Joey’s drawings (the latter got recently responsible for the sports section of our school newspaper – and so he puts-out a new drawing every week. The people drawn by them are pretty nice – they have square eyes, twisted hairy legs, jamming forward asymmetrical teeth, and hair that sticks in every direction.) Our doggy got pretty cross-eyed himself – it was never handsome, and now went completely berserk.
Firstly this overgrown bullterrier smashed the scientific laboratory. Then it jumped into the main corridor and splattered Mr. DeMartino over the wall. Ms. Barch, who ran into him at the wrong time, didn't have time to squeak before she got hanging like a sack, wringing her hands for the whole hour and a half while she hanged in the galley.
After that the mischievous doggy galloped into the principal’s and tried to bite Ms. Li. She goggled from such impudence and gave Cerberus such a kick that he flew through the office and smacked into a wall. This didn’t persuade the dog however – getting up and barking it restarted the attack.
I was in the corridor at that time, and arriving at the crash I saw Ms. Li with her legs on her chair and looking grimly at frisky Cerberus. The latter ran around, often stumbling over its’ own legs and trying to pull Ms. Li down by her pants, already ripped in several places below knees. The principal was irate, jerking back and swinging with her folders at the dog – she didn’t have anything else at hand. I, thinking quickly, climbed onto the lockers – exclusively to give Ms. Li moral support. She, however, didn't notice me.
At this wrong time Mr. O’Neill burst into the chamber – apparently, he thought off something, since his visage shone and he shook some paperwork. Cerberus left go off Ms. Li, reached our Newton in two leaps and bit him in the leg.
Mr. O’Neill howled, and not realizing what was really going-on here, kicked the good doggy and kicked him. A big bump appeared on Cerberus skull. He didn’t like this, furiously barked and in few seconds Mr. O’Neill, with ripped pants and no shoes at all, was sitting on the lockers on other side of the principal’s office while the great dog jumped below and earnestly suggested that he came down and played with him.
Using the occasion, Ms. Li tried to get to the corner where the phone was – but Cerberus noticed this and loudly barking chasing the principal back onto her roost. I, for some reason, thought that there was something sinful in the whole idea of the battle transformation – for some reason all test subjects tried to clean the mug of their own. To sic a transformer onto the enemy, who actually didn't do anything to him, while there are couple of truly obnoxious familiar visages… Apparently, I decided, this potent potion is good only for lone players. Or – why the hell not – we must find a way to put this brew into the water supply, let’s suppose, of Oakwood – then the local students may start fighting each other…
Upchuck’s appearance distracted me from these pleasant thoughts. He stood at a safe distance and furiously gesticulated. Before the doggy could notice him, I shouted that he should bring the remains of the brew – I’ve seemed to develop a plan to free the commanders.
Upchuck, fortunately, was quick-thinking – several moments later the barrel with the remnants of the brew rolled before the principal’s office from down the corridor. Cerberus furiously squealed and licked-up the swill that fell from the sky. It did the same thing with the contents of few pails carefully rolled from there as well (you should’ve seen how the QB wailed at this).
The further transformation of the battle-dog wasn't long in waiting. Its’ eyes began to resemble the illuminators of a submarine filled with tomato juice, its’ tongue lay as low as the tail, while in its’ up-turned fur some strange bald stops appeared. It emitted a bellow! And what a bellow it was: it started from a low roar from which the walls shook and Mr. O’Neill fell onto the floor, passed through the whole 12 octaves and ended in an ear-penetrating squeals from which the legs of the table crumbled and Ms. Li also ended on the floor.
Cerberus, seeing both goals within reach, reached for both. For some time I thought that the dog was going pull it off – the dog did it with such determination. Its’ eyes failed to meet altogether, each leg ran independently, even the fur lay in straight parting crosswise on his back – for its’ position was somehow sidewise. Finally the dog lost strength – barked several times, tried to whistle, got interested in what’s under his tail, went to reach it and fell asleep partway.
Silence reigned in the throne chamber. Ms. LI re-put-on her glasses with now-cracked lenses back onto her face and darkly looked at the sleeping dog. Apparently, she planned to say something – the people froze in the corridor, I plied myself against the wall, even Cerberus felt the important of the moment and put-away the blissful smile off its muzzle – but here, as the poets say, a certain sound sounded in the silence.
Ms. Li slowly turned to Mr. O’Neill who was forgotten by everybody. He moved and the sound repeated itself.
Unfortunately, Mr. O’Neill fell into the puddle that hasn't been licked-up by Cerberus. His cranium was weaker that the dog’s, and his transformation could hardly be considered military.
"Hic!" he said for a third time. His eyes stared at the end of his own nose. Feeling the sight of Ms. Li he tried to get-up but couldn't. His mouth stretched into a merriest smile, the pupils, after some thought, scattered in different directions. He was terribly happy.
"I'll sing now!" he declared and before we could wink he drawled-out in a quivering baritone:
"Hic… and Elizabeth Julian Taylor he… hic… sucks."
A crash was heard. Spontaneously the galley fell with the audience and Ms. Li threw her heaviest folder at O’Neill. The folder that attacked about the school grounds, slammed into the teacher’s eye: from then on, amongst ourselves, we called O’Neill nothing else but ol’ Homer.
Ms. Manson took-up personal parapsychology. There are first results already – she discovered clear hypnotic abilities in Kevin Thomson and plans to use them to full extent. How exactly – Ms. Manson doesn't know yet, and so meanwhile she forces the QB to practice around the clock, using the method she had written and described personally.
Unfortunately, Kevin is worser at reading than Ms. Manson is at writing. And so, the whole procedure of hypnosis in their joint interpretation consists of the fact that the hypnotized must be hit with a fist or slammed in a tackle. Both the fists and the tackle of our QB are quite powerful, so the results are according – in a week he hurt three dozen of students, smashed the nose of the captain of the football team and kicked Mr. O’Neill (by accident) in the butt. Also, he has tackled about five watch-dogs of Ms. Li – he seems to dislike them lately. Furthermore, he prefers to hypnotize his victims from behind a corner.
Ms. Li, seeing that her ranks are growing sparse pretty quickly, got somewhat mad and told Kevin to practice hypnotism outside school. She told him to go and practice it on Oakwood (in order to demoralize them 2 weeks before we have a game with them).
For about 4 days we partied without the QB, but after that he was found in Lawndale, kicking-up a storm. And what an appearance he had – thin, skin and bones, his feet dragged on the ground, half of his teeth were knocked out, and his eyes were so sad…
He was very unwilling to speak about his wanderings – only after the direct order of Ms. Li he made-up something like a memorandum. After reading it Mr. O’Neill got pretty concerned – the QB wrote such nonsense, that it was risky to show it to the principal. He summoned me and we have spent 3 hours over the description of Kevin’s anabasis, trying to fish-out everything salvageable.
And so, Kevin rode out of Lawndale and drove south. He drove south for quite a long time – got over cross-sections and rode through a lot of highways. He saw hitchhikers along the way but couldn't find anyone worthy enough to use his hypnotic abilities on. He practiced his hypnotism on various fast food specials along the way before he ate it.
Then he turned to the south (I must say that the QB really knows only one direction and so most probably he meant west) and after a week came to a river. He found some people along the way in which he tried to hypnotize a few people. He was unable to do so though, because they ran away from him.
There, he decided to made camp (me and Mr. O’Neill got into an argument here. He thought that the QB got in trouble with the police and had to spend a lot of time paying bail or something like that – successfully, fortunately, because otherwise we would hear of his exploits much earlier than now. I believed that Kevin did just fell asleep in some motel).
Then Kevin drove downward to south (we decided to believe him here) and was assaulted, and won (no doubt about this… for he had battled with the policeman that was sent to check the news of a madman in that area – to wit, our young hypno-star. One thing is strange – how did he manage to kick that policeman’s ass? Has this blockhead learned how to actually fight?).
Later Kevin picked-up a hitchhiker, who said that Oakwood was in 5 hours drive to the south, between 2 road forks, near high ground. After a break, the QB drove-off in the right direction (me and Mr. O’Neill couldn't determine here whereto he actually drove) and after 5 hours found himself in a desolate area. He found neither road forks nor high ground, and getting hungry he drove-off to the south (apparently northwards).
Apparently, along the way, he met some dishonest hitchhikers (although he stated that he merely got careless with his cash) and they picked his pocket and took most of his cash. That cost the QB his hypnotic abilities – judging from his condition and the condition of his car, he was hard-pressed in keeping care of himself and his car all the time.
Kevin furiously stated that he drove straight. However, this is doubtful – somebody cut-up his right tire, and to Lawndale, let’s say, he came in a sinuous line. Also, for a long time he stubbornly believed that he had found Oakwood – he broke-down a telephone post and crashed someone’s nose.
Today we have a half-day of school – it’s the May break. It’s not clear what’s so special about it – it all looks the same as it did last month – but Ms. Li knows better, she said that it was time to get jolly.
The situation in Lawndale High is somewhat depressing – we seem to be worth at various contests than we did last year. So I suppose that the whole idea of a May break celebration was thought-off by Mr. O’Neill to raise the spirit of our unbeatable school. It has fallen-down indeed. Furthermore – a truly shocking event happened recently: a boy called Skylar has faked some papers that might just get him out of the school in order to go some university as a child prodigy. I looked into these papers and strongly disliked several points in it – they too strongly resembled clauses in Ms. Li’s papers (and I know what is often written in these papers to improve the state of our school). But the poor kid didn't listen to me, applied to that place, and as I feared, ended-up a human chimpanzee for various in-space experiments. Somebody told this to the principal who got pretty mad and forbade any further advances into the world of higher education.
DeMartino still hopes to improve our warlike spirit. After arriving with inspection into our camp at the montane ski resort, he witnessed coach Gibson’s and Ms. Morris’ latest falling-out. They couldn’t agree on something again, the coach threw a very large mud-ball at the gym teacher, after which he flee for 15 minutes from the furious woman in the direction of DeMartino. After examining this distance DeMartino remembered the tactic of burned-out earth.
To implement this project the students had to learn about incendiary materials. Firstly, of course, DeMartino thought about the science lab and wanted to know if any were there. We fully supported that idea, hinting about the benefit of going there and doing a detailed examination. DeMartino got inspired and phoned Ms. Li for a permit. Ms. Li allowed under the condition that the science teacher didn’t mind. Barch did.
One could, of course, ask Barch herself, her being the science teacher proper, of course. But this is considered bad taste. I don't think anyone can do it, nevermind what sex one is.
DeMartino decided to go his own way and got volunteers. There was no lack of them, as originally DeMartino planned to use alcohol as the inflaming liquid, and so a small distillation bulb was to be given into each volunteer. But the volunteers were to be strongly disappointed, as at the last moment the experimentator decided to replace alcohol with kerosene.
The bloodcurdling experiments with pyrotechnics lasted about a week, after which Ms. Li found-out that Lawndale High, should it fall in need of having a heating season, would be completely drained of fuel. She got mad and summoned the DeMartino, who blamed it all on O’Neill, and Ms. Li, angrily, sent the English teacher to search for fresh talent to bring back to Lawndale High.
There is no worser punishment for O’Neill – he has searched for it for 10 years before I came to school, I guess. And will continue for just as long, since he has no idea as to where can it be. Furthermore, I suspect that O’Neill doesn’t even know how a talented looks like – I was the witness how he privately asked the smarter students in our school how should a talented student and where could he live. Sadly, he chose to deal with Daria Morgendorffer and Jane Lane, and after receiving detailed instructions, wandered-off to the south. After 5 weeks he brought 2 boys named Beavis and Butt-head to the principal’s office, saying with that that if somebody wants to know, he knows a place where there’s a whole lot of such talented students.
After this Mr. O’Neill took a long, long vocation in an unknown location. I'll just add that when I took-out Quinn Morgendorffer for a date on that night, she told me that not even Ms. Barch knew where it was, and Ms. Barch knows everything abut Mr. O’Neill.
O’Neill searched for this undiscovered talent long after that. Usually he just drove around our state, asking passer-bies about such. Usually it was found on the other end of the state, and O’Neill, after a snack, went driving back and forth, surprised at the strange conflict of the information he received.
Ms Li, taught by bitter experience, keeps her QB’s enthusiasm away from the football team, due to which fact our successes lately became much more significant. Since Ms. Barch is also forbidden to do science experiments, only the sphere of culture is left open to danger. And so it happened
Mr. O’Neill began to think that in the future the world will need specialists of all profiles, include writers and poets who’ll praise the achievements of others, as well as inspiring the rest of the populace for further accomplishments. To prepare such highly qualified praisers and inspirators he took 10 students from various classes and organised his own literary seminar with me as a secretary. After reading to the grateful listeners few lectures about the basics of making words in sentences, sentences into paragraphs with further transformation of their totality into tales and novels, about iambus and trochee, styles and subject lines, O’Neill decided that the students are ready for further independent work and assigned them to bring their own work after a week. Otherwise they’d be sent back to class.
Nobody wanted back to go back to Barch or DeMartino, so after a week plump manuscripts lay before O’Neill. The analyses shown that the most success amongst the beginning writers was the genre of memorandums and memoirs. That would be okay but our Tolstoy gave undue attention to realism in his lectures – and so all of these "Football memorandums" and "Failure at large" were a picture of a complete incompetence of commanders, complete mess in supplies and orders, and also grim reports of – when, who, how much and by whose fault – failure.
Brittany Taylor was an exception, since she decided to be famous as a fantasy writer. She wrote "Fool-splatterer" – a tale about how idiots threatened overrun the earth, but the last few remaining smart people under the wise management of a girl named Dara created an apparatus that splattered them. The whole World was cleansed of fools in half a year, but the invention, lacking a turn-off switch, began to be dangerous to its’ inventors. And the one of the inventers named Normandy dressed as a fool. And Fool-splatterer bit the bait and started to chase him. Here the tale introduced the philosophic motive of eternal wandering and life’s changeability. However, the tale’s end gave optimism – Normandy’s friends found a way to destroy Fool-splatterer and send it to space, where it’ll stay for eight millennia or so.
Ms. Li is currently sad and everyone in Lawndale High feel squashed. Or simply are squashed, like Upchuck, who was underfoot at the wrong time and now his red hair, despite all laws of physics, is directed both leftwards and downwards and he himself is somehow twisted.
Of course, it’s debatable what’s worse – last week, on the other hand, Ms. Li was all aglow and even tried to sing. No, she is wonderful – but honestly, she has no ear for music. When she sings, the school shakes, our kind falls down and Ms. Barch orders freshmen to stick fingers into her ears. Even the watch-dogs’ howls are more musical, especially when they are hungry.
Mr. O’Neill gathered all of us and declared that the principal needed to be immediately amused. For this he wrote a play and we just have to quickly learn our roles and perform before her the play of the first settlers’ arrival in America.
The play was about the arrival of the Pilgrims in US and the first Thanksgiving. The first act would show how the settlers arrived on the Mayflower, sick and scared, amidst a terrible storm. However, as luck would have it, they all managed to arrive and land safely. End first act.
Second act tells about how the settlers settle in US, trying to eke a good living. Meanwhile, they constantly stumble and hang over various hardships, that must be resumed, and so, they are, after everyone risked his own life. Finally they find a perfect spot to live, befriending the Native Americans.
The third act is the play’s climax. The turkeys are in a forest, but out of nowhere settlers and Native Americans appear and strike the birds with spears and firearms. A great noise is heard from above, God’s hand appears also in smoke and flame and gives the right for the settlers to live here in peace. The people leave with dignity, and everybody is invited to the first Thanksgiving party. Finale, firework, curtains.
The roles were distributed by drawing straws. The settler who got in trouble was represented by Kevin. The Native Americans were a group of freshmen, who were barely moving after Barch’s experiments to speed-up human metabolism (metabolism was speed-up in spin dryers). Jane Lane was the left tree, Daria Morgendorffer – right one (Jamie called them "2 oaks", for which he was hit on the head by Quinn Morgendorffer, though this reflected the reality). I was chosen to the hand of God, Michael Mackenzie (the captain of the football team) played the Pilgrim leader, the rest were registered for episode work and stage hands. Mr. DeMartino was coerced to be responsible for pyrotechnics.
And so, after a few hours the first performance of Lawndale’s drama theatre started.
It’s no picnic to play before Ms. Li, so the first act passed in complete silence. All either forgotten their scripts or swallowed their tongues – the communication was done mostly by pantomime and grimaces. The suffering of the Pilgrims on the ship was demonstrated to the audience in every way – the impromptu seamen twitched, retched, and distorted their faces. The Native Americans on the land purposely didn't notice them and determinedly hunted and gathered their food (the props were handmade by Jane Lane and me in Ms. Defoe’s art class). Mike stood on the ship’s prow and gesticulated, finally bringing the attention of others to the peaceful shores that lay before them.
Ms. Li acidly noticed that if O’Neill was planning to make ballet, then he should’ve put us all in pointy slippers – more elegant. Pale from fear O’Neill goggled, shook hands and closed his eyes.
One of the Native Americans snapped first – she was played by some totally puny guy. After a prod from Jane Lane, he first goggled and then shouted and counter-attacked. The tree had to flee, since the first Native American was joined by a couple of others. The scene became full of stumping, ringing and shouts, all immediately remembered their roles. The settlers began to settle, the Native Americans retreated from the shore, and Daria Morgendorffer stood completely still, like a tree should. Furthermore, for some reason DeMartino filled the scene with black smoke in which all actors became completely lost.
When the smoke cleared, the audience saw the following. Upturned tepees and wigwams, broken packages and parcels, some strange garbage and also the remains of the Mayflower amongst which the two trees were standing lay all over the scene. A completely unconscious Native American lay there also. The rest of Native Americans huddled in a corner, trying to take a little space as possible. And the Pilgrims, finally remembering the original text, tried to praise the Lord from delivering them from the watery grave. Since they now stood in what looked like Lawndale dump in pre-historic times, something now lacked in that speech. But I shan’t admit that to anyone.
When after a couple of minutes Mike was enable to get them back up, (not easy, given the current condition of the stage) their clothing was all dirty, ripped, and some parts of it was missing. Looking at them I understood the whole depth of the Pilgrims hardships when they first started to live in US.
The first act ended with the final prophecy of Mike: "I truly tell ye – it’ll be all smooth sailing for us now, if only we stay together and get over those mountains," he mumbled with an unwilling tongue, and limping, loudly groaning, the Pilgrims left the scene. On my signal the curtain brought down and the stage hands re-assembled the stage.
In the chamber Ms. Li sighed nostalgically and said that while details were not as good as they could’ve been, the spirit, atmosphere of the situation in which America was colonized, has been interpreted surprisingly well. O’Neill, blooming, ordered the beginning of the second act.
The mountains that stood on the Pilgrims’ way, were made from stools put on one another. At their bottom Mike was persuading Kevin to help him, since he couldn’t do it on his own. For a long time Kevin refused, but finally agreed. He put Mike onto the nearest peak and the phenomenal trek began.
It was phenomenal because Mike was clearly not over the struggle in the first act and each step was taken with a lot of struggle. As a result he dropped Kevin into a nearest ravine and sent a couple of cliffs after him. Kevin’s cursing obviously brought pleasant memories to Ms. Li sitting in the audience – she jabbed O’Neill under ribs and grinned.
On the scene, Mike finally extracted Kevin from the avalanche, hissed to him "Careful", and crawled-on. While storming the next peak he fell down himself, and Kevin, losing his balance on misbalanced stools, fell after him. Now they took much more time in both cursing and getting out.
According to scenario, Mike was supposed to, after reaching the highest peak of the montane massif, to look afar, stretch his hands and say: "America! The Promised Land! We will claim the right for thee, though we don’t deserve your riches and splendour!" Mike tried very hard. He was assisted by the fact that after the last stool-quake the peak became twice as low. After a lot of huffing, puffing and chuffing, after stepping onto Kevin’s ears and nose, Mike climbed onto it and even tried to straighten-up and stretch his hands. He made it only partially – his right leg was twisting, he was shaking and breaking from what he has experienced. But he honestly began: "America! The Promised Land! We will…" and the rest was drowned a loud crash and the shout from Kevin, who didn’t manage to hold the pyramid in order. However, Mike experienced luck for the first time – he fell onto Kevin’s neck and thus entered the Promised Land on a steed.
In the audience chamber, slightly miffed, Ms. Li was telling O’Neill that though Kevin was a primary idiot, he was also the QB, and so should be treated gentlemanly and not be ridden. O’Neill talked himself out of this, saying that this allegory symbolized full moral superiority of the Pilgrims and their rightfulness over wrongfulness of their hardship.
Third act started calmly. The turkeys acted inertly – after the sad experience of the first act, the nurse was waiting in the wings. The trees stood aside and tried not to snicker.
Then this idyll was literally blown-up by our pyrotechnist. From the side of the supposed mountains came an explosion, smoke rolled in, and a papier-mâché turkey went-up in flames. Idealistically, the explosion should’ve represented the appearance of the Pilgrims, but they took his time in coming. Still, the attention of the audience was fully occupied by the stagehands’ acrobatics, who tried to extinguish flame on the stage. They rolled on the scene, jumped onto the embers, loudly shouted, jerked their legs and clapped with their palms. The audience members either were dying from laughter or trying to help with their insipid comments. Since the stagehands were acting quickly, it wasn’t hard to be save the stage – but all of them were burnt and dirty in various degrees. The third act started first-rate.
In all of this hubbub no one noticed the appearance of the turkey hunters on scene – but this was probably for the best. The explosion occurred directly under them, so their clothing was now colourful rags despite who they were in the beginning – Native American or Pilgrim. Smoke came from their ears, and now the forgotten dialogue was aided by smoke in throats, so they could just wave their hands and quietly cough.
I was in a much-better condition, so I acted as a prompter.
"I came to fulfill my duty!" I stated.
The audience, busy looking at the actors’ antics, didn’t pay to this detail any attention. Deciding that this was for the best, Mike came over to a turkey and just clubbed it with his gun. He missed, and the gun fell apart in his hands, but Kevin quickly stabbed the turkey with a spear and "killed" it. The hunt was partway accomplished.
Jane Lane, seeing what has happened to her creations, involuntarily sighed. Mike, shaking his head and gesticulating in a praise-like way, went before her and Daria Morgendorffer. The hunters stopped what they were doing and watched how the events unfolded.
Mike, even after all that he endured in the previous 2 acts, would’ve cleanly pulled-off bowing before the trees, but DeMartino decisively stepped-in. A series of effective explosions followed suit. The actors was scattered all over the stage. Jane Lane fell as if she got cut-down but Mike also got hit by the explosion’s wave and he fell literally a step away from the goal. On the other hand, Daria Morgendorffer came to life, and becoming furious, began to pound Kevin, who wasn’t expecting such an improvisation.
Lots of smoke followed the explosions, flooding the scene. However, the smoke receded quickly. An idyllic picture appeared in front of the audience – the actors did CPR on Jane Lane, Daria Morgendorffer and Kevin, have made-up, re-animated Mike. However, the actors quickly discovered the return of clarity and returned to the former disposition – the trees stood still, the hunters withdrew, and Mike, leaning on a spear and wildly coughing, stuttered to the trees. They, seeing his condition, went towards him. Mike weakly rose his arms, the trees, after loudly rolling their eyes for some reason parted, and Kevin pointed upwards. It was time for my entrance.
DeMartino was ready already and the scene got murked once again. I went on it with the word, whose role was played by the leftover prop from an Easter play last year – the Ten Commandments, that is. I’m talking about two very heavy wooden slabs. Our pyrotechnist seemed to have some trouble, the smoke didn't thin – I waded blindly through it, very remotely knowing where Mike was. And, naturally, missed.
When the smoke thinned, the audience saw me – the hand of God – trying to give the word of God to a papier-mâché turkey. It, naturally, didn’t respond. Feeling confused, I nonetheless quickly oriented in the thinning scenery and went to Mike. He stretched his hands and I put the wooden slabs into them. Mike, weakened from adventures in Promised Land so, didn’t hold-on to them and dropped them. They hit one foot of mine, both of his.
The finale was truly memorable. On the scene, holding his leg and loudly shouting, jumped the hand of God. The Pilgrim leader lay on his back, waving his legs and inarticularly cursing. Kevin was trying to administer First Aid to him. The trees openly laughed and the actors tried to quietly to take the word of God that just lay on the smouldering stage, broken to pieces from intact. To complete it all, the fireworks began and the whole scene got coloured with green light – apparently, DeMartino couldn't get another colour.
After our play the mood of Ms. Li improved sufficiently for all actors to be sent to perform before the student body and stuff in Grove Hills, and O’Neill and DeMartino were sent there as members of the troupe and chaperones. There weren’t anymore plays preformed by our school this year ever.
End (of the school year).