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More writing

Alright, once again, I'm trying to get all my writing up. So, here's another assignment from WRI203. It's now been two years since this was written and it will, at some point, get a major re-write. I just finished a quick edit and I can't believe how much I hate it. But, I figure it's good to put some of my not-so-good stuff out there too.

The assignment was to write about an incident at school.

Heroes

Thursday night at school. Just like every other Thursday for the past two years, the school newspaper was slowly coming together. Only three of us were working; Charlotte, Dani and me. Everyone else had decided to skip out. Mr Kempt was on a mission for pizza. The three of us were all alone. Dani had a read pen in her hand, circling and crossing out parts of the article in her hand.. Charlotte sat at the computer on the far left, careful clicks of the mouse aligning the front page text and photos. I picked through photos of football players tackling each other, deciding which one showed our team the best.

The fire alarm scared us all at first. Dani started and knocked her chair to the ground. Charlotte looked up confused. I jumped, accidently cropping the photo I was looking at.

Charlotte
grabbed Dani’s arm and pulled her up. “We should probably go outside.”

“Why would they have a drill this late?” I wondered aloud as I joined Dani and Charlotte in the hall.

Charlotte looked back at me and shrugged. “For the night classes, maybe?”

We trekked down the back stairs, walking slowly to keep from slipping. Years of students running on the stairs had worn down the edges to smooth curves. I couldn’t even count how many times I had already slipped that year.

Dani and Charlotte stopped on the second floor. Years of fire drills told us that the exit we should go out was down another floor. The doors on the second seemed closer. Just down one hall, through a set of doors and across a small foyer.

Walking down the hall, we joked that this would be the one time there actually was a fire. Laughing, we pushed open the doors to the foyer.

The Italian board, used to show off the work of the Italian class, was hidden under the smoke. Poster advertising tourism in Italy, Italian restaurants, architecture, movies. All of it was being quickly consumed by flames. Fire streaked up the board, leaving black ash in its wake.

“Oh, crapfuck!” We could only stare at the fire. What the hell were we supposed to do? Smoke was filling the hall and a fire blocked us from the exit.

Dani ran to the side wall. She pulled open the bright red fire hose case and pulled out the hose. “Help me!”

Charlotte helped haul the hose towards the fire. I stood near the valve and waited for them, wringing my hands. They aimed the hose and I turned the water on. Water gushed out of the bottom of the valve. It ran over my feet, soaking my sneakers. A puddle formed on the floor around me. “What do I do?” I yelled. “Is it working?”

“It’s okay!” Charlotte called back. Water came spurting out the end of the hose and onto the fire.

It only took a few seconds for the water to work. Soon the fire was out. Much sooner than I had expected. I shut off the valve and stepped out of the puddle of water. All that was left of the Italian board was a sopping wet charcoal mess.

One of the janitors came running down the hall towards us. He herded us outside into the parking lot. Two fire trucks pulled up. The other janitors joined us as the firefighters jogged into the school. A police car drove up. The janitor pointed one of the officers to us.

The conversation with the cop was awkward. He thought we had set the fire. He didn’t care if we knew this. Awkwardness ensued.  The janitor helped us out and said that it wasn’t something we would do. We were the school “goody-two-shoes”. A bit of the frost left the officer’s voice as he asked us what had happened. We didn’t really remember anything. Nothing of the layout of anything before we put out the fire. Nothing of the time of events. We ended up filling out reports with our best estimates of what had happened.

It was around this time that Mr Kempt came back. We had been covering for him until then. He technically hadn’t been allowed to leave us alone in the first place. We had been telling everyone that he had gone back to the office just before the alarm went off and had probably gone out another door. When he drove up, pizza boxes on the passenger seat, to see us talking with the police and smoke still leaking out of the school doors, he could only shake his head in shock. “What did you do?”

While we were filling in Mr Kempt, the firefighters brought in a large fan to clear out the smoke. I asked one of them if I could run and get the camera to take pictures for the school paper. They allowed me to, as long as I was quick. I took a deep breath outside and sprinted in. Through the doors, up the stairs, around the corner, down the hall, pull out the key on the way. I unlocked the office and dove in, yanking open the desk drawer with the camera. Leaning out the office window I gasped for air. I took another big breath and ran back. There was still smoke filling the upstairs hall, but the area around the fire site was mostly clear. I snapped a few pictures and joined the others outside. We took turns taking pictures with the fire truck, proudly pointing out the “Go, Flames, Go!” sign in the window that advertised our hockey team.

Once we were given permission to go back in, we hurried to get back to work. We had already lost a good two hours from this. It would take a lot of hard work to get out by 9 o’clock. The first thing we did once we got back to the computer lab was change the front page. We shifted the pre-grad news back and put ourselves on the front. A picture of Dani, Charlotte and me, complete with the most cliché article we could write proclaiming us as heroes. After all, we had saved the school.




And the topic for this one was...I have no idea. But, here it is anyway.

Math

Jamison leaned back in the chair, balancing it on the back two legs. He tilted his head up, smirked, and looked down at me out of the corner of his eye.

“Betcha can’t do this one.” He tapped the open page in front of him.

“How much?” I grinned back at him.

Jamison dug through his pockets as I searched in mine. Two handfuls of change were tossed down on the table, one pile covered by his long-fingered hands tipped in black nail polish, the other held down by my own purple-tipped hand.

“A buck gets me fries.”

“And one-fifty gets me a burger.”

The chair thumped back down on all fours. Red-tipped black spikes were mussed up even more as he ran a hand through his hair. He looked at me over his glasses and I matched him stare for stare. “Deal. Loser doesn’t get lunch.” We clapped hands in agreement.

“Hey, you two. Keep it down.” Mr Conlin walked up and glared down at us. “I know you probably don’t need the practice, but others do.”

“Just who we needed, Mr Conlin.” Jamison looked up cheekily “We need a judge.”

“I do have other students, you know.”

“Aw, but you love us best, right?” Jamison pouted at our math teacher.

Mr Conlin raised an eyebrow. “I wouldn’t have to do this if you would just work.”

Jamison scoffed. “Where’s the fun in that?” He turned back to me. “Ready?”

“When you are.” I tapped my pencil against his glasses and he wrinkled his nose at me.

“Go.”

Pencils hit paper and we raced to beat each other. The battle for math supremacy was on. We had had this battle every week for two months now. Three questions, to be finished before lunch, whoever gets the most right wins. We’d add them up at the end of the semester and whoever had the fewest wins had to pay for the other’s Band Yearbook. Yeah, we were geeks.

I looked over and caught Jamison peaking at my paper. “Hey! No cheating!”

“It’s not cheating unless you get caught.” Jamison stuck his tongue out at me.

“Well you got caught. That’s an automatic loss.”

“Nuh-uh, Since when? We never made that rule.” He wagged a finger at me. “If the rule isn’t stated before we start, it doesn’t count.”

“Fine. Then I get to cheat too.” I grabbed his paper over and he yanked it out of reach.

“Only if you don’t get caught.” He teased.

We turned back to our papers and continued the competition. I caught him looking over more than a few times, and I’m sure he saw me doing the same. Neither of us called the other on it though. It was more fun that way.

We finished with ten minutes left before the bell. Jamison flagged down Mr Conlin and handed over our papers to be marked. Nine minutes later we had the winner.

“Congratulations Allison. You win this week.”

Jamison clapped me on the back. “Congrats Al. Have a good lunch.” He pushed his little pile of change onto my desk. Throwing his books together he shoved them into his bag. The bell rang. He was gone before I could say anything.

I looked over to Mr Conlin. “He let me win again, didn’t he?”

“Yeah.” Mr Conlin said. “Why don’t you go join him for lunch? After all, he is paying.”

I smiled. “We don’t eat together Mr Conlin. It’s not like we’re friends. We just do math together.”

And that concludes everything that was written for WRI203, excluding journals and exercises of course.