As an identity thief enters the village Caroma everyone is left to wonder if they're next.
As the too familiar bell echoes, it's chirps throughout the school, freedom is granted. Once the bell rings, the lions of Caroma High are released into the wild. Maybe this was a bad decision by the school-board. Freedom can be dangerous. Extremely so.
The clammering of the lockers slamming rung in my ears as I huddled my books to my body. They seemed to seep into my ribs as I inched them nearer to myself, afraid of their despair as they clatter against the ground, being trampled by the herd of monkeys. I tugged my locker open and shielded myself against the children flinging themselves around. The aroma of sweat continually drenched the already damp air as all the people flooded from the school.
A sharp breath was exhaled through my mouth as I stepped away from my locker, tucking my textbooks into it's proper place and scanning the contents. Yes, Friday afternoon was an exciting moment in a teenager's life. Just to dream about two days away from this ratchet place was like tasting honey fresh from the nest. Not necessarily delicious,but the sensation of the sticky goo trailing down your throat is a feeling you couldn't get rid of. A tug was noticed at the side of my lips as my once neutral expression turned into one of excitement. Even, I, couldn't ignore the gut feeling of the weekend. Hastily, I grasped my current reads from my locker, as well as my notebook. I stuffed them into my bag, which I then slung over my shoulder. I could sense the gummy honey skim against my yearning tongue, until a large hand clamped my shoulder, turning me to face the well-built boy.
"Sebastian, I need to go," I exclaimed, tugging my shoulder away from his grasp and taking long strides as I stepped closer towards the doors.
"There's a meeting in the student council room you can't afford to miss" He explained, making no effort to stop my attempts in leaving. Yet, for some reason I halted in my tracks, my head tilting slightly to view him from behind. His brown eyes dug into my skull, his lips turned into a frown. His spiffy plaid shirt hung over his shoulders, his blonde locks framing his small face. I hitched my breath. He was a sight to behold.
"Yes... Of course" And, for some reason he changes my mind-set from 21st century teen, to 20th century teen. I yearn to want to talk in a classical manner, straighten my back and act as a proper lady. One who wouldn't spend her free time indulging in Sherlock Holmes novels. I sighed, as I strolled towards the man in a confident manner. Back arched, chin lifted high, shoulders hunched back. Like so, we walked towards the student council room, to be greeted by the familiar faces.
Our secretary, and treasurer sit around the rectangular table, an expression of boredom across their faces. Sebastian cleared his throat as he seated himself on the head chair, me sitting beside him.
"I apologize. I didn't have the time to tell, Drew, about the meeting," A look of bewilderment flickered across my face as this statement registered in my head.
"Why didn't you just put it on the announcements?" I questioned. Sebastian sighed a sigh of irritation.
"We have to cover a more... Difficult topic today and I supposed it better to seclude it from the public's knowing..." My eyes glanced at all the members, and it appeared that only I wasn't informed on the topic.
"So," Sebastian began, placing his clasped hands on the table, "as you know a terrorist attack had been attempted in this town, for whatever reason. The prime suspect being a man named Cory Miller" He seemed to hesitate a moment, then buried his face into his hand, "his ID stated he was a member of this school. He actually, attained the ID of the Cory Miller attending our school" My eyes widened. Cory Miller. We had a class together, I was positive of it. He was a sweet, innocent boy though... The perfect victim. As Sebastian lifted up his head, my eyes met his. My eyebrows furrowed, a sour expression plastered across my face.
"Impossible" I stated blandly, my eyes locked with Sebastian.
"That's what I thought" Sebastian added, sighing once again, "Then I realized this man shared very little similarities with Cory" With this, my eyes lit up. Our president, Sebastian, had brought to us a risky subject to discuss. And, with that a team would be assembled to not only put an end to this crime, but to seclude it from the public.
"Identity Theft" I concluded, slamming my fist onto the table. I turned to gaze at the secretary, her scribbling down this suspicion.
"Drew, calm down for a second," Sebastian ordered, "this is not a subject that the student council solves. The principal simply wanted us to find a way to cover up this story" I was taken aback by this. Were we, un-trustable? Yes, I shouldn't expect any less. We're teenagers, after all. But, there's no ignoring the facts.
"You got me started, Sebastian," I stated, and smirked as Sebastian shot me a concerned expression, "and I don't read Sherlock Holmes for no reason" With that, my heart racing, my mind un-controlable, I stood and left the room, darting into the principal's office. I had an idea. There was no stopping me now.
It was, indeed, surreal. For whatever reason, the rushing of the teenagers sent a thrilling sensation of inspiration for the well-known teen, Veronica. Her popularity hadn't been earned, and she was informed of this, but she continually treats it as something that is sacred. A title she must protect. While others may view her as a "dumb-blonde" she finds herself to be more of a "secretive artist". And, she knew that inspiration could strike anywhere, anytime. Even as a large boy knocks her books from her hands, a muttered sorry escaping his lips as he continues throughout the halls.
Let's say, Veronica is a rather aware child. While her generation of kids tend to absorb their time by staring into a light, she is one to spend hours staring at an everyday object. It was mesmerizing. This may be the reason why she'd been given the name "dumb-blonde", but this thought didn't cross her mind.
She'd seen this kid before, anyways. Cory Miller, was it? He had dreams of becoming an architect. Yes. She wasn't a stalker, no, but she'd observed his drafts of gorgeous buildings on Instagram. The poor thing, she'd seen his work be stolen one to many times. And now, he's suddenly a terrorist. Poor boy.
With these thought of his background rushing throughout her brain, she couldn't help but piece together a beautifully tragic piece of art. Her mind stuck in the clouds as her eyes trailed behind Cory -as he slammed a door closed behind him-, a figure happened to bump into her from behind.
"Ah! Terribly sorry--" Veronica whipped around to find herself gazing at the vice-president of the Student Council. Drew Adams. An intelligent girl, for sure. She was a rather cocky girl, and confident. At times she could talk in the manner of an "old timer". But, at first glance you wouldn't believe one of these things. Maybe the last...
"Oh," Veronica replied, blankly, still dazed from her inspiration from Cory, "no worries." She tossed Drew a grin, then realized the hall had been drained from people, only the two left in the halls. Veronica's slim brows furrowed as she locked eyes with Drew. "This wasn't an accident was it?" She questioned, referring to Drew bumping into her. A smirk appeared on the petit girl's lips.
"Maybe not... I need you to meet me at lunch in the principal's office." She handed over an envelope labelled: Veronica - TOP SECRET
Veronica grasped the envelope in her hands, skimming her fingers along the paper. A good mystery was always fun.
"Alright. I'll be there" Veronica reassured, and she could tell Drew was pleased at this response.
|\5 Everyday Detectives/|\The Creative Popular/|
"Get away" She sneered, her nails etching a narrow line across the man's cheek.
"I didn't mean it to be like this! I swear on my heart it was meant to come to you!"
"No apologies will save you now" The rebellious teen shoved the man away with force, and he stumbled back with obedience.
"Kat. I'm begging you" The scruffy man collapsing onto his knees, hands clasped as he bent over in a bowing position.
"I've got someone else. Don't bother" Kat pulled out a box of cigarettes, lifting up the seal as removing one from the box. She took a moment to eye the man. He was hopeless, for sure. The man's business was struggling and Kat was his last hope. Too bad for him, Kat was merciless. All her life held was secrets. She'd been disowned by her parents and her care-takers were the government as she lived by herself in an apartment. Not a single crime of hers had been caught. She was stealthy, and knew how to keep her mouth shut.
The once fearless man's determined eyes began to shade into a darker colour, tearing emerging from his eyes. "If that's how it's gonna be..." He mumbled in a southern accent. He'd given up. He was a fake. For some reason, Kat was aware of this. His determination was all just false hope. Attempting to fool you that he'll never give up. Look at him now.
"I'd be on my way" Kat exclaimed, cracking out a lighter and lit the end of the cigarette. Her nonchalant expression was persistent as she strolled to Caroma High. She'd love to just skip school, but the government would surely catch on and send her to a foster home. She never wanted another adult to supervise her again. It's like how adults are afraid of children. Kat-a teen-, is afraid of adults. But, she wouldn't tell a single soul.
The cracked doors of Caroma High were clicked open as Kat stepped onto the tile floor of the school. She couldn't believe she'd spent almost four years in this hell. But, with time and patience she'd be an adult. No more supervision. The world was going to be her's. She'd be able to come from hiding.
She noticed Veronica-a person Kat had found nothing but dis-pleasure in talking to-, and Drew-a cocky brat- discussing something. Veronica happened to leave as Drew turned to face Kat. 'Fabulous...' was all that ran through Kat's mind as Drew stepped closer.
"Morning, Katherine" Kat frowned at the greeting Drew had given her. Didn't she have something more important to do? Like class, for example. Kat had no doubt that the bell had rang, and here's Miss. Goody Two Shoes wandering around.
No response came from Kat, except a simple scowl as she strut through the halls to find her locker.
"Hey," Drew began, jogging to catch up with Kat's long strides, "I was wondering if you'd be able to meet me in principal's office at lunch!" She inquired, not a hint of hesitation. But, the nerve of this girl! Kat was obviously not interested in holding a conversation with this little brat, and she couldn't discover any other way to say this, without talking. Kat groaned, and irritatedly replied,
"No" She could hear the whiny noise of a sigh come from Drew. And, in one swift motion the girl happened to snatch her hidden box of cigarettes from her pocket.
"OI!" Kat yelped, reaching out to grab the box, but before she could do so Drew shoved it into her pockets.
"There's other things I can do in the office other than... Meet you" Drew cooed in a devious tone, her voice lowered. As if this shrimp could threat Kat! As if! When no response was heard back, Drew had to pull strings. Take risks. Tug sources.
"We'll have a talk after geometry" With that, Drew turned on her heels and walked away. Kat paused to observe as she glided across the floor, veering into homeroom. The nerve...
|\5 Everyday Dectives/|\The Secretive Rebel/|
Phys Ed is a glorious part of the day. Simply being able to rush down the hard gym floors, a ball rebounding against your fingertips and whilst a crowd watching you... Well, it's paradise. Being able to improve a skill you truly enjoy, during school, was a blessing in itself.
The rather large group of students gathered around the center of the gym, Mr. Berri, giving a thorough explanation of the game. The class would be divided-obviously-and be given the objective of scoring the most baskets. Simple enough. The team would be required to provide a strategy and a test would be given the next day, to secure our unit on basketball.
Mr. Berri, then, chose captains, who then chose their team. Eventually the two teams would split off into secluded sections of the gym to prepare a tactic.
And, it was no surprise to anyone when Daniel was appointed as a captain. Daniel's strategy had seemed to shift each and every game. Improving itself with every lose, but mostly wins. He was destined to ensure a win for his team, each and every game. He felt it was his duty, since he found no other joy than the smiles on his team's faces. Only a smile to be produced by success. This game was no exception to this rule, Daniel busting out yet another hopefully flawless plan.
The team's arms entangled over the backs of each other as Daniel explained the strategy in a hushed tone. Everyone nodded as they headed out onto the floor. The once raised baskets were now lowered slightly, and both captains circled around the center, Mr. Berri holding a ball directly above the arena.
Daniel could sense the tension as Mr. Berri held the whistle to his lips, at any moment the ball could slam onto the ground. Though, the slamming that echoed through the gym was not one of the ball.
All eyes whipped towards the entrance of the gym, where a small girl revealed herself. She was in definite improper attire for gym and rather than apologizing for not only being late, but disrespectful, she strode towards Mr. Berri. She rose onto her tippy-toes as she whispered a short sentence to Mr. Berri. He nodded, and Daniel was surprised he hadn't snapped at her tardiness.
"Daniel. If you would take a break with, Drew, here," Daniel was taken aback by Mr. Berri's order, but nodded nonetheless. He ambled towards the girl, joining her on the bench. Drew's unchanging expression worried him as he shoved his hands in between his legs. There was silence for a few seconds, other than the repetitive bouncing of a ball against a hard floor. This was until, Drew, revealed an envelope from inside her vest. She held it over her legs and spoke,
"I'd like it if you were to meet me at the principal's office at lunch" She asked, in a more demanding tone. Daniel peered up at the girl, then down at the ground.
"And, why is that?" He retaliated with yet another question. Drew sighed, and for the first time made eye-contact with Daniel.
"That is something to discuss in the principal's office, at lunch" Daniel furrowed his brows, and without realizing he did so, he grabbed the envelope as it was passed to him. Without a certain reply, Drew stood and left, leaving Daniel puzzled. He glanced down at the envelope stating: Daniel - TOP SECRET. He wasn't sure whether he would attend this meeting, but wasn't sure if he wouldn't either.
|\5 Everyday Detectives/|\The Sporty Planner/|
Being forced to watch over 4 younger siblings was a challenge. Being forced to watch over 4 younger siblings, whilst attending highschool, was even more difficult. Yet, Leo made this appear easy. Not only, did he enjoy avoiding the topic, but he was modest as ever. Whenever someone would ponder his eye-bags, and slumber during class aloud, he'd mumble a small sorry. Never had he once admitted to being the caretaker of three boys and a girl. He was late because they required to be walked to school, be made breakfast, aided in dressing them. It was a chore for the brave. Leo, was certainly a brave person.
But, with a brave hero, comes difficult obstacles. And, Leo's weakness was pop quizzes. You were never warned to study from them, and to cram in time for studying for a test was hard enough as is. But, being surprised with a quiz unwarned was equivalent to being stabbed in the heart.
And, guess what? Calculus in the morning. Teacher immediately declared a "Pop quiz".
Leo's eyes widened in shock as Mrs. Lour sauntered around the room, delivering the quiz. She happened to notice Leo's eyes at a large width and grinned,
"Unprepared, Leo?" Leo's eyes shakily met Ms. Lour's, but straight afterwards snapped them to his quiz. It was turned over, and he could sense's it's menacing stare, even from behind. He continually believes, Ms. Lour is out to get him. He hid his eyes from the class, covering them with his hand. He was going to fail each and every class. He wouldn't pass into a any university, let alone a good one. He had dreams, and because of his deceased parents none of them will be carried out. He bit his lip, holding back tears.
Leo was delicate. You don't have to do much to hurt him.
"Ms. Lour, a word please," Leo glanced up from his hand, only to view a short girl. He recongized her as Drew, vice president of the Student Council. He could only wonder what she would be doing out of class at a day like this. Ms. Lour looked bewildered, but was unable to do anything but stare as Drew muttered something to her.
"L-Leo..." She stammered, "You're excused," Leo's eyes lit up at this outrageous news, and he couldn't help but grin as he arose from his seat, stumbling towards Drew. Drew nodded towards him in a professional manner and stepped out of the class, him in tow.
"Oh! Thank you, Drew. You're a life saver!" He thanked her, grabbing her hands in the process, and without noticing began to hop up and down. Drew couldn't hold back her smile as Leo halted his leaping.
"Now... I must ask a favor of you," Drew began.
"I'll do it! You saved me, I'm in debt" Leo exclaimed. Drew's smile grew larger as she tugged an envelope from her pocket.
"Meet me in the principal's office at lunch" She handed him the envelope, which he openly took. His eyes scanned the letters, which read: Leo - TOP SECRET.
"Ok..." He glanced up, expecting to meet Drew's eyes, but he noticed she had left. His eyes trailed over to the door of his calculus class. It was terrible of him, but he didn't want to face an embarrassing F. He looked down at the envelope again, shoving it in his pocket and began to stroll towards the bathroom.
|\5 Everyday Detetcives/|\The Care-Taker/|
*Friday, after the council meeting*
"Drew, I don't think you understand how dangerous this is" Mr. Karm explained, steadily leaning in closer to his desk, hands clasped on the wooden surface.
"Mr. Karm, I will have you know that, I, know there are many risks that come with this. Risks I'm willing to take to protect not only our school, but our town," I protested, a profession expression on my face as I spoke with the principal.
"Drew..." Mr. Karm heitated, sighing in-between, "Not only is this a risk to your team, but to our school. If you can't find a way for no one to know, then you can't do this. Our school could be closed down, do you understand that, Ms. Adams?" Mr. Karm was beginning to work himself up, but I was shocked when his voice lowered, rather than increasing in volume.
"Give us two days. By then we'll come up with a plan, and if it isn't up to your standards, then this never happened," I concluded, sliding a strand of my brunette locks over my ear. A smile appeared on my face as, Mr. Karm, nodded.
"Two days, Ms. Adams"
"Of course!" I replied, my tone abundant with cheerfulness. Not only, was I going to be the leader of a group of teens, to put an end to an identity theft. But, now I was going to meet her brother for the first time in a week.
Tyler Adams is 21 years old, so obviously him going to university is mandatory. And, gladly he's put out the time to visit his family over the weekend. Well, Saturday. The only day his classes didn't occur. Though, I was shocked when I noticed him idly standing in front of our house, scanning his surroundings. That was until his eyes fell onto me.
"Drew!" He yelped, starting off into a sprint. I grinned, darting towards him as well, my bag falling off in the process. Tyler lifted me into the air, swinging me around as if I were two, "I missed you so much" He added, squeezing me tighter around the waist.
"Your gonna kill me..." I muttered, clawing at his back. Tyler chuckled, crouching down to provide me with the option of returning to the ground, which I took willingly. We stood there for a moment. Just looking at each other absent mindedly. Beaming at each other.
"Mom's been waiting for you... Where were you?" I gasped slightly, realizing that they wouldn't have expected me to be this late. Student Council meetings usually weren't held on Fridays.
"There was a surprise student council meeting" I exclaimed, grabbing my bag and joining Tyler in his journey back to the house.
"That's weird..." Tyler commented, his eyebrows furrowed. I chuckled,
"Yeah. I didn't even know it was happening 'till the end of the day," I added. Tyler opened the door to reveal mom leaning over the crock pot. By the sweet aroma, I could only guess she was re-creating her famous baked beans.
"Drew, you're back," Mom greeted, grinning. Her wrinkles deepened as her lips curved into a smile, "I was starting to worry"
"Well, I'm here!" I announced, spreading out my arms and entering the small house, Tyler in tow.
"Uhm... I have to go study... I wasn't supposed to be off this early..." He laughed nervously, then excusing himself upstairs into his room. My eyes trailed behind him as he stepped up each step, then leaving my view. But, I couldn't help but beam.
"It's exciting that he's home early," I remarked. Mom turned to reveal her face.
"Yes. I agree."
|\5 Everyday Detectives/|\The Sherlock Bookworm/|
"Five people, you say? This Drew is up to trouble isn't she... How..."
"This won't be a walk in the park,"
And without another blink, they were at gun-point, "Get out of my office"
This girl was driving Kat mental. The raspy voice of Mrs. Dolores rebounded from Kat's forehead, flinging itself across the room before it would slam itself into the side of Kat's brain, reminding her it may be a better idea to pay attention. But, whatever Mrs. Dolores had to say was less interesting to Kat than Drew's demands. Never had she thought a girl such as Drew would approach her, let alone threat her. She consistently thought that she'd done an amazing job of concealing her "unhealthy behavior" from everyone. But, here was Drew who not only had knowledge of her cigarettes, but the place she kept them.
Kat's pencil traveled from finger to finger, dropping low to bang against the desk as Kat changed her hands positioning. Continually the irritating noise of a metallic substance ringing against the desk disturbed the respectful silence of the class. Kat centered her vision to the corner of the room, until she realized Mrs. Dolores would say something shortly if she didn't make eye contact, at least a few times.
Kat's eyes met with Mrs. Dolores'. And, a pleasant expression wasn't to be viewed upon the elder lady's face.
"Uh--" Kat's head perked up as she glanced around the room. Currently, the two people in the room were: Mrs. Dolores and, Kat.
"Fair 'nough" With this choppy conversation, Kat grabbed her books and rushed out into the hall. Her eyes examined the faces passing by, recognizing none as Drew. She let out a sharp sigh as she began taking long strides through the hall. Her purple dyed hair bounced on her back, and a light breeze could be felt upon the shaved side of her head.
She halted in her tracks.
A breeze? She whipped her head to the side. From her peripheral vision she could observe the entrance doors, open. Through the doors the familiar landscape of the front yard could be seen. And, in the center of those doors were two people. Adults, in particular. Kat's nostrils scrunched at the unpleasant stench. A stench only to be identified by, Kat.
Kat's books instantly clattered against the ground, causing an uproar behind her as students tumbled over them. Though, Kat's pace didn't slow. In fact, it grew quicker. Drew... That dog! As Kat veered through the halls, her eyes happened to trail up towards a nearby clock. To her surprise, lunch was about to begin. Her head turned slightly to notice, those people weren't following her. No, they weren't even in sight. Kat stopped in her tracks, leaning over to a wall and pausing to catch her breath.
"Katherine," Kat peered up to view to owner of this calm voice. Her eyebrows furrowed.
"Oh! Afternoon shit stick! How's your day been?" Kat replied, her tone cheerful near the start, but transitioning into a more angered attitude. But, all she received in reply was a grin.
"If I were you, I'd hide. It's not like they're going to let their daughter leave them again, hm? I recommend the principal's office" Drew advised, reaching out her hand to the lowered Kat, who was still leaning against the wall.
"Why do you know so much about me? I really hate you, you know?" Kat commented.
"I'm aware. Come along, now!" And, with this happy statement, Kat was tugged to her feet, and soon was being sped through the halls of Caroma High, approaching the principal's office to join the first meeting of the official: "Identity Hunters".
I believe that there are 5 types of people who could assist this group.
First, an aware person. They have a sense of what's going on, and simply have knowledge of almost everything-that has to do with social-. They, as well as everyone else, are a necessary asset to the team.
A, not necessarily criminal, but a secretive person. Someone who is skilled in keeping secrets. They're our brains on the inside. They, basically, are the identity thief. They'd have insight on what he or she may do, or be thinking. The thief's next moves. With this member, we'd consistently be one step ahead.
The planner. They are experienced in creating a plan, and not only this but one that ensures success. They are able to analyze all sides of the story, and doing so creating a sturdy tactic.
The care-taker. Someone who wouldn't be so much of an obvious choice. Especially if they don't appear as such a person. They're empathetic and such as the planner and secret keeper, can view all sides of the story. Though, they aren't only able to do this, but have an idea of the mood of each person, and how this affects them. They also can act as a shield of protecting, not only the squad, but the school, village, and who knows. Maybe the world.
Finally, me. I play the role of Sherlock. These characters are my Watsons. Together, we make the "Identity Hunters". And today is our first official meeting. Mark it in your calendars, because today is the day we began our organization.
"Afternoon everyone, and thank you for joining me today. I have some urgent news to discuss," I greeted, seating myself in the head chair of the circular table. I eyed the dark wooden surface, then glancing at each of my chosen members. Veronica, Kat, Daniel, Leo and Drew, myself.
"Alright, but first can you talk like a normal human being?" Kat sneered, crossing her arms. Of course, with such a perfect team there would be some flaws. I was aware that Kat would be one of attitude, but perhaps this would be a required trait. I cleared my throat.
"Ok. As you wish. So, I was recently in a surprise student council meeting, where Sebastian brought up something that... Was risky to talk about, let's say" I peered up from the table, which I found myself staring at. As I scanned each expression of my chosen members, I found they were curious. They showed expression of interest and wondering. They yearned to know more. For this information to graze their ears. I sighed, trailing my fingers around the table as if they were walking,
"An identity thief has entered Caroma, and were told to keep it a secret from the school." With this statement, I noticed eyes light up. Veronica happened to sneak in closer to the table, leaning forward slightly,
"You must trust us, then? This is some top secret info..." Veronica noted. A grin passed over my lips. Yes, this was the right crew. I was right in choosing these people.
"Of course. I may not be quite sure yet, but I'll have to learn to trust you all for this to work. So, I guess I'll come out and say it" I replied, taking a deep breath as I clasped my hands over the table. I could sense four pairs of eyes focusing on me. All different colours, shapes, sizes. I would have to learn to trust these people, that was a true fact. Otherwise, this would fail. And, if I failed this early on it would crush the entire mission. No going back now.
"I want us five, to stop this person." It was less over-whelming that I thought it out to be, and the reactions were all something I didn't expect.
"Are you being serious?" Daniel piped up, "A group of teens, banding together to stop a criminal? We're not in some movie, you understand that, hm?" My eyes snapped onto Daniel, a sour expression across his face.
"It's worth a try" I stated blandly. If they weren't in for it, they weren't. Sure, if they left I wouldn't be able to just "try again". I wasn't going to persuade them. If I was incorrect in choosing them, I was.
"I'd have to agree with Danny here," Kat added, "Not only are we a bunch of teens, but we're in senior year. The exams that determine our future are happening soon, too." Two against me already?
"I think you two are being a little harsh..." A small voice was heard over Kat and Daniel, "I mean, what are the chances of saving our entire village from a criminal? Well, sure we're not in a movie, but haven't you ever wanted to?" I recognized the voice as Leo. I wasn't sure what his opinion would be, but I was certain whichever side he chose he'd be loyal.
"Yeah! You guys are just being stiff" Veronica teased, tugging at Daniel's cheek. He smacked away her hand, scowling.
"We're in the same room as a bunch o' dimwits, eh Daniel?" Kat exclaimed, rising from her seat. But, I was shocked when no response was heard. "Eh, Daniel?" I glanced over at Daniel who was looking at me. He showed a face of bewilderment, as if turning to me for help. He was torn. Were those few words from Leo and Veronica that powerful to change his point of view?
"I-..." He hesitated, "I'll give it a go, I suppose"
"Ugh" Kat complained, her face as crossed as her crossed arms, "A bunch of dimwits. That's for sure." With this snarky remark, she made her way towards the door, only to stop. Her eyes shifted back to view me, a smirk across my face.
"Yeah, Katherine. That's a bad idea" Kat's eyebrows narrowed, and she somehow pulled herself to sit back down again, a sigh escaping her lips.
And so, our group of five people had been assembled. Turns out, I was right. But, I knew better than to relax with this little success. I was aware of the obstacles to come.
The remainder of the day was a hazy image in my mind. Mindlessly scribbling down notes about information that I found wouldn't be of aid in my future. For someone who desires to become a architect, biology wasn't something I was interested in. Though, my brain continually dottled around the fact that everyone decided to join. Everyone was in favor of putting a stop to this mess. It was delightful! Yet, I was so focused on building up a team, I was unsure of our next steps. I had decided our meeting would be held Thursdays and Tuesday during lunch and Mondays and Fridays after-school. Wednesday, being a day I reserved for a special something. But, since today was Monday I was uncertain of the topic we'd discuss. Maybe roles? That's rather boring...
With a flash it appeared school had ended. Carelessly I stood from my desk, books dangling from my fingers as I stumbled out into the hall. Shoulders brushed against mine, but eventually I was able to make my way to my locker, tucking away my things and grabbing a folder I'd bought specifically for this group. Sure, if the plan didn't work I had other plans for the object, but I'd purchased it anyways, knowing we'd certainly need something to organize.
With haste, I ambled through the halls to enter the principal's office, where our four other members already sat around the circular table. I cleared my throat, placing the binder onto the table. The noise protruding from this action was projected louder because of the eerie silence surrounding the room. My eyes shifted from each member, until I opened the binder to reveal several pockets with 5 sectors. Each sector contained one piece of paper, which Drew had prepared during class. She took a breath before assigning one paper to each member, including herself. The top of each paper attained the name of the person, and below it their roles. Drew knew she would have to get this across at some point and even though she'd rather do it in a more exciting way, this would have to do for now.
During the tedious hours of repetitive labor, my mind happened to drift off to my new "club", and an idea came to mind. I hadn't written it on the sheets of paper, as I wished to explain this idea to its fullest.
"Ok. Welcome, everyone, to the first real official meeting of the Identity Hunters-"
"Ma'am" The voice of Kat rang in my ears, "I don't think we really agreed on that name" I rolled my eyes. It was as if Kat was just determined on scratching down my walls of sanity with her uncut black finger-nails. Her voice in itself was an irritation to Drew. Maybe it wasn't necessarily the sound, but the way she used it. And, of course the annoying french accent she portrayed. Sure, I enjoyed teasing Kat because of her reaction, but it was just infuriating to have it done to myself.
"Ok, let's start with rules then, I suppose," I continued, ignoring Kat's question. I strode towards a bucket of stray papers and grabbed a marker from my pocket, writing down in all caps at the top:
and below scribbling down: 1. All suggestions and ideas pass through me. In the hierarchy I am at the top. I glanced up at Kat with an exasperated expression as I held up the sheet for the group the view.
"Kat... I don't think your getting on Drew's good side..." Veronica noted, elegantly tapping her finger against her cheek. Kat shot her a glare, as I spoke once again,
"Anywho, I hope you all remember this. It is number one for a reason," I paused to let this sink in, "So, I had an idea for us to begin our investigation," I closed the binder, shoving it to the side of the table, then pressing both my hands against the surface, eyes scanning the members of my team.
"To examine our suspects close up, I've decided it'd be a good idea to hold some kind of sale. Maybe one in the school and another in town? Maybe section into groups? But... I've decided to really test you all. Take a good look at your sheets and tell me how you're contributing to the sale." There was silence for a moment. My chocolate eyes met with each and every person, and yet no reply was heard. I grinned. They just needed a little push, that was all. My lips parted to speak, but I was frozen was a respond finally came.
"I'm going to plan what happens. When, where, how, who. I will deliver to the queen quickly, and expect none of the work to burdened on her shoulders," With this statement came an abrupt red hue to my cheeks. Of course, Daniel was expected to be the planner of this, me sitting back to observe everything, but just the way he worded it was embarrassing... It was that feeling that made your gut twist. Like when your given a compliment when you were younger and had no idea how to respond except for a timid: "Thank you...".
My head whipped over to Daniel to meet his hazel hues. Not an inch of regret appeared on his face, which was admirable.
"I-... I make sure that no-one expects it to anything but a bake-sale a-and make sure nobody's in danger...?" Leo exclaimed, a tint of puzzlement in his tone. I nodded towards him to settle any second thoughts to this sentence.
"I'm going to watch everyone and make suspicions... Even though I know, like, everyone already, but..." Veronica sighed, puckering her lips as she sunk her head down to rest it on her hand.
"And I'm going to play the part of the thief to figure out how they'd act," Kat eyed me with an unpleasant look, "because I'm a bad guy" She added, snarkily. But, with this came a smirk. Everyone understood.
"Ok, then. For this sale I'll be sitting back and watching, to see how everyone works. But, I'll be manning one stand. Daniel, which one is up to you. But, you must pass all ideas pass me first," I nodded towards Daniel who returned the gesture with a toothy grin,
"I"d expect no less," A very obedient fellow, once he chooses his side.
"Ok, then. I guess this will be all. Other meetings will be longer once we have things to look over, but I suppose this was a meeting to start things off. Of course, I expect some homework to be done by tomorrow," I smiled at the members, then rose from my seat, "Good night everyone." With this final statement I'd dismissed the meeting, grabbing my binder and paper and leaving the room, following me was Leo, Veronica, Daniel and Kat. So ,I began my journey home, beam upon my face and a skip in my step.
Hello. I'm Cory Miller. If you attend Caroma High you might've known me as that shy boy who sat at the back of class, earbuds plugged into my rather large ears and yet, my grades were rather high. I was someone no one really bothered to converse with. Well, whatever little opinion you had about me surely modified as I became a terrorist. Well, I wasn't a terrorist. And, trust me, I'm not one to lie to myself to make things dissapear. I am certain I'm not a terrorist. And, I'm certain someone must've been able to obtain my ID and ruin my life. I'm not able to attend Highschool anymore. My parents don't know what to do with me. My only friends have turned their backs on me. All thanks to this thief. This identity thief. I just wanted to end it all.
My tear-stained face turned shakily to face my phone. It's dim light illuminated my filthy window, the night sky becoming a more clear vision. Though, the street-lights already provide the view, the light in the dark room emitted a mysterious and somewhat magical vibe. I stumbled towards the big window. I knelt down and grabbed my phone swiftly. A new text message.
Unknown: Good evening Cory. How have you been? Horrible I'm sure... I can't say I feel any sympathy for you, but I came to inform you that you are expected to be at the water-front at 6pm on Tuesday. I'm positive you're free, so please come.
A shaky breath emerged from my plump lips. My eyes gently closed, and my grip tightened on the iphone. First, an identity thief attempts to bomb Caroma, in my name, and expects me to meet them somewhere? Sure, it was uncertain whether this person was the thief, but the signs all pointed towards it. I may be some innocent boy, but by no means am I stupid. With this thought in mind I rose from my knees, phone in my hand as I grabbed my sweater and began my journey towards Caroma High. I required an adult, and currently that could not be seeked at home. Surely, the school could do something about this.
"Drew Adams to the office, Drew Adams," My head perked up as my name was mentioned on the announcements. I peered up at Ms. Jori, who nodded towards me. I grinned, grabbing my smaller bag and rushing towards the office. I shoved open the windowed doors to reveal a professional desk, being manned by Mrs. Bail, the secretary.
"Afternoon, Drew. Mr. Pard would like you in his office," She explained. I hummed in reply, veering the corner into Mr. Pard's -the principal's- office. In the room stood Mr. Pard, himself. The ordinary slim man, him still being awkwardy tall, his crooke nose and prominent cheek-bones still upon his ivory face. And, with him stood the exact opposite. Cory Miller. A short chubby boy, a plump face with rosy cheeks and a broad forehead. Him standing shorter even shorter than Drew. He pushed him glasses higher on the bridge of his nose as he whipped around to face me.
"D-Drew?" He stammered, "Why i-is she her-here Mr. Pard...?" Cory questioned, hesitance suggested in his tone.
"Of course, Drew. Have a seat. And, Cory, for your information Drew has assembled a group to stop this thief. She has quite the initiative to do so, actually," Mr. Pard reclined into his desk chair, me seating myself in the second seat in front of his desk.
"Well... I guess you should k-know what happened since y-you're leading an... investigation..." Cory began, shoving his hand between his thick legs, his eyes fixated on the ground, "I-I... was requested to go to the water-front at 6 and I-I think it might b-be the thie-thief," Cory explained, his shoulders trembling. I nodded reasurringly.
"Could I"-I reached out my arms towards his phone in a calm and steady manner-"see the message?" I inquired. Cory's eyes met mine warily as he handed over his phone, opening it with the pass-lock before. I opened the messenger app to scan over the message. Yes, the request was not vague whatsoever and this person seemed to be enjoying his pain. I couldn't help but form a sympathetic expression. As I was about to hand back the phone, another message appeared from the same number.
Unkown: I thought you'd be a tattle. Oh, well. Bring the girl, it'll be fun. But, I'd prefer if you didn't bring the whole group. Otherwise I may not show up. Be careful, Cory :)
My hands began to quaver, the phone bouncing against my palms as I pushed the phone back towards Cory. "I'll come with you. This is our first lead, so I suppose we follow their commands for now..." My voice trailed off as my eyes drifted around the room. They must have eyes everywhere. It's barely been two days and they're already aware that-not only one person-someone is hunting them down. It's terrifying.
"Cory, you should go. We don't want you getting into anymore trouble. Be aware on your way home, too," Cory nodded, his face pale, his acne now prominent on his wide face. With this he stood abruptly, striding out of the room. My legs bounced up and down as I rested my face in my hands.
"They know..." I murmured, this directed towards Mr. Pard. Mr. Pard nodded, his gaze drifting away from mine.
"It was only a matter of time... Drew, now you understand this is no amateur. It requires an elite group of investigators-"
"Mr. Pard, we've had this talk before. And, who said they is no-one else on the job already? We're basically a back-up," It hurt to admit it, but Mr. Pard was right. I must appear crazy for even attempting to stop such a crazy master-mind. Plus, if the thief already knows about the group, and obviously was watching this conversation, how could we plan anything against them? They're always just one step ahead... Everywhere I turned doubts, problems and corners faced me. How was I supposed to stop this? Not only that, but balance my whole life, including this group. Even Leo couldn't make this into a positive situation. And, that's saying something.
"There's always another option, Ms. Adams." My chocolate eyes met Mr. Pard's. If I were to stare into my own eyes, I wouldn't be able to explore places. No, all I would see was despair. A shiver would travel up my spine as a long, spiny hand creeps onto my shoulder, this hand belonging to a menacing face. Wrinkles etched onto their face, finger nails as long and sharp as a spear. I was crawling through the depths of despair.
"You're dismissed," Mr. Pard exclaimed, obviously learning he wouldn't be able to capture my attention. I nodded nonchalantly as I glided out of the room and joining my class once again. I could only hope for good news at lunch. I needed some plans for the sale, and even if the meeting at 6 went horribly, I'd know we were going somewhere. Even if, the thief already was aware of our plans. You never know, though. People can surprise you. The thief might work in our "favour" just to throw us off track. This is where I hope Kat will come in handy. But, you never know.
From now on everything is uncertain.
~Chapter 8 coming soon...~