Chapter 5: This Afternoon’s Crazy! Part 1
When the final bell of the day sounded, Elias quickly left his Maths class, and ran out of the building.
“First of all, I will call home, tell Mom that I will be late,” he said. He ran across the road, not noticing that Sandi had followed him from the classroom...
‘There he is!’ Sandi thought as she watched Elias run across the street from the front door of the school. ‘You can’t, like, get away from me that easily.’ She then followed him across the street...
As she exited the school building, Quinn saw Sandi running after Elias down the street. ‘That’s not good,’ she thought. She knew that Elias had the emerald (having seen him with it when she got to class). She looked back, but Stacy, Tiffany, Daria, Jane or anyone else involved in the events earlier in the day were not around. “I guess it’s up to me,’ she said with a nervous laugh. She then followed after Sandi.
“Like, come back here, Elias!”
Elias turned to find Sandi close behind him! “Eep!” ‘How could she sneak up like that!’ he wondered.
“I’ll, like, get the emerald back.”
“Not if I wish you elsewhere in Lawndale!”
“Yeah Right!” Sandi then charged.
“I wish that Sandi would go to Main Street, right now!” Elias wished.
“No!” Sandi said, as she vanished with the wish granting sound.
“That was close,” Elias said.
He then stopped and looked back towards the school. He saw Dennis Monk, a well known troublemaker, coming up to him (but not Quinn, who was behind a tree at that moment). ‘I hope he didn’t see Sandi disappear!’
“Elias Howarth, where are you off to?” Dennis asked as he came up to Elias.
“To Main Street,” Elias responded.
“Can I come with you?” Dennis asked.
‘That is one way to watch him,’ Elias thought. “Sure, you can. Just don’t do anything silly,’ he said.
“Right...” Dennis said.
Quinn arrived at that moment. “Where are you going with Dennis, Elias?” she asked.
“We’re going to Main Street,” Elias said.
Quinn walked closer to Elias and whispered in his ear. “Make sure that he doesn’t get the emerald, Elias!”
That surprised Elias. He whispered in Quinn’s ear thus; “How did you know?”
“I saw Sandi disappear, duh!” Quinn replied.
“Oh,” Elias said, backing off. “Don’t worry, you can come along too.”
“Really?” Quinn asked. ‘Good idea, Elias, I can ensure that Dennis doesn’t discover the emerald,’ she thought.
“Yeah,” Elias said. They headed off...
Sandi appeared in Main Street, outside Drugs ‘n’ Stuff.
“Great! Now, like, I have to get back to Lawndale High before Elias can get somewhere I can’t find him!”
She started running in the direction of Lawndale High, hoping to intercept Elias. She definitely wanted the emerald back.
Agent Leung entered the Basement Server Room. “Principal Angela Li, are you in here?” he asked.
“How did you know that I was here?” the principal asked as she turned from the computer.
“A student said that you would be here,” the agent said.
“So much for Ms. Morgendorffer’s deal!”
“What sort of deal was this?”
The principal told the agent about the deal Daria had made with her.
“It’s a good deal, but I wouldn’t say that the deal is off because one of students told me of what went on here. The fourth part didn’t preclude the students telling others of the events.”
“Stupid ‘to each other’ clause!” the principal said.
“Now, tell me everything you know about the emerald and the events of the last two days,” Agent Leung said.
The Principal began to tell the Agent most of what she knew of the emerald.
Quinn saw that she, Elias and Dennis were going in the wrong direction – towards the eastern part of Lawndale. “Elias, I thought we’re going to Main Street?” she asked.
“We are going the long way, along Henderson Street, across the Creek on the Lawndale Bridge. Then along Adams Street, back across the Creek on the Jefferson Bridge, we then go along Fourth Street to Dega Street, then down to Main Street. Whereas Sandi would be taking the more direct route,” Elias said.
Quinn thought for a moment. “That is a great idea, Elias. She wouldn’t be able to find us,” she said.
“I hope so,” Elias said as he lead the way towards the Lawndale Creek.
“Thank you for that information, Ms. Li,” Agent Leung said when the principal had told her the information.
“What now?” Angela asked.
“Nothing, I don’t have a warrant to search your computer there. Now I have see Kristen in the hospital, good day!”
“She’s in the hospital!
“Yes. But the circumstances are unclear. It had nothing to do with the safety of the school buildings,” the agent said as he left.
Ms. Li was shaking in her boots. The situation was completely out of her control...
At the Settlement Restaurant, Helen met two of the parents she had called during the day. “Is this all?” she asked.
“Apparently, it is!” Elizabeth Rowe said.
“What is this about a genie?” Frances Blum-Deckler asked.
“We will wait for more to arrive before filling you in,” Helen said.
Agent Leung searched the corridor where Cindy had lost the emerald before leaving the school.
Cindy arrived at the Cedars of Lawndale hospital. “I am here to see Kristen Leung-Bell,” she said.
The nurse on duty gave her directions.
“Thank you,” Cindy said.
“Helen Morgendorffer?” Steve Taylor asked as he came up to the table.
“That is me,” Helen said.
father, aren’t you?” Elizabeth asked.
“I am, but my daughter isn’t the reason we’re here,” Steve said.
“Leave her out of this,” Frances said.
“As if your daughter isn’t much better as a role model for Anastasia!” Elizabeth said.
“Don’t criticise Tiffany!” Frances exclaimed.
” Helen projected. Both Elizabeth and Frances stopped before they could tear into each other and turned to the Lawyer.
“Now, have just over an hour before I have to go back to work and I would like to have something constructive arranged in that time,” Helen said.
“Sorry,” Frances said.
Elizabeth huffed. “I guess so, I’m sorry. We shouldn’t really be fighting, what with that genie still on the loose,” she said.
“Who else have you invited?” Steve asked.
“Many more LHS parents, I hope they can all get along,” Helen said.
“Depends on which parents, I guess,” Frances said.
“Great!” Helen said.
The table was then silent.
Daria, Jane, Stacy, Joey, Jeffy and Tiffany met in the parking lot by Jeffy and Trent’s cars.
“So, you don’t know where Sandi and Quinn went?” Jane asked.
“No, but Cindy mentioned that she thinks that Sandi mentioned that Elias has the emerald,” Stacy said.
“Elias?” Daria asked.
“Elias Howarth, he lives out of town, in a village almost halfway between here and Oakwood,” Stacy said.
“So he could have gone home?” Jane asked.
“Maybeee,” Tiffany said.
“It’s a possibility. But even if he didn’t leave Lawndale he could be anywhere!” Stacy said.
“We should give it a try!” Jane said.
“Or just listen to the radio. If something unusual happens it may be reported,” Daria said.
“Aren’t you forgetting something?” Jeffy asked.
“What?” Daria asked.
“Where’s Jean?” Jeffy asked.
“That’s a good question,” Daria said.
“Jean was in class until Mr. Leung came in. She left whilst he was interviewing Cindy,” Stacy said.
“Mr. Leung?” Jane asked.
“Kristen’s father,” Stacy said.
“Kristen?” Daria asked.
“She is a Goth in our grade,” Stacy said.
“The way she dresses, sooooo wrooong,” Tiffany said.
Daria glared at Tiffany for a second before asking Stacy to continue.
“She is Cindy’s best friend. She also has black hair and has dyed her bangs red,” Stacy said.
“I have seen someone meeting that description around school and at the Zon,” Daria said.
“Right, what about Jean. Do we look for her too?” Jane asked.
“I guess so. She also could be anywhere,” Daria said.
“We could look for all of them,” Joey suggested.
“I agree,” Stacy said.
Daria looked around. She saw that most of the students had already left the school. There was no one to ask about what happened.
After a short time of discussion, it was agreed that Daria, Jane and Stacy would go in Trent’s car and Jeffy, Joey and Tiffany in Jeffy’s car. They also agreed to meet at the Morgendorffers at 5:00.
Helen saw Andrew Landon walk towards the group of parents.“Hi, Helen, what is this all about? You were rather hush-hush on the phone,” he said.
“Something not easily believable,” Helen said.
“You mean that there is something to those crazy rumours that Jodie was talking about?” Andrew asked.
“That probably wouldn’t be the half of it,” Helen said.
“I would have thought it crazy, if Liz here didn’t believe it herself,” Steve said.
“Steven Taylor! I have told you a million times! I prefer my full name!” Elizabeth shouted.
“Sorry!” Steve said.
Elizabeth turned to Andrew; “Anyhow, last night, Anastasia told me the whole story about what happened at the school yesterday. Suffice it to say that whatever Jodie told you was at least part of the truth,” she said.
“And we don’t know what may have happened today,” Helen said.
“There is one way to find out,” Andrew said as he sat down and took out his cell phone.
“You are going to call Jodie?”
“Yes,” Andrew said.
Quinn, Elias and Dennis approached the Lawndale Bridge.“What is your plan, Elias?” Quinn asked.
“What do you mean?” Elias asked.
“What are you using the emerald for?” she asked.
“Not really using it. Just keeping it out of the hands of evil,” Elias said.
“Hands of evil?” Quinn asked.
“Yeah, those who would use it for their own ends, and for the detriment of others,” Elias said.
“Detriment?” Quinn asked, not sure what the word meant (she knew what the rest of what he said meant though).
Elias sighed; “Causing of harm to others,” he said.
“Oh yeah, that would certainly be evil,” Quinn said, with a nervous laugh.
“Definitely,” Elias said. He then noticed a letter on the road and picked it up.
“What does it say?” Quinn asked, when he had picked it up.
“It says that someone is in trouble on the east side of the Creek, halfway down Adams Street,” Elias said.
“That’s weird, why leave a letter on the street, instead of going to the cops?” Quinn asked.
“That is a good point. I guess we would find out when we get there,” Elias said.
‘I hope so,’ Dennis thought.
“I guess so,” Quinn said.
Jodie parked her car outside the Settlement.
“Are you going to be long?” Mack asked.
“It probably going to be an hour or more,” Jodie said as she got out of the car.
“I will come in with you,” Mack said.
“OK,” Jodie said.
A few more parents had arrived at the restaurant after Andrew had called Jodie. There were a couple of squabbles occurring as Jodie and Mack walked up. Helen and Andrew were trying to referee while Elizabeth just sat there glaring at the combatants.
“Hi,” Jodie said.
Almost immediately the squabbles stopped.
“Thank God!” Helen said.
Jodie sat down next to her father. “You won’t be so thankful when you hear what happened at school today,” she said.
“Oh my!” Helen said when she noticed the look on Jodie’s face.
“A lot of stuff happened,” Jodie said with a Daria-like deadpan.
“You want me to tell them?” Mack asked.
“I will,” Jodie said.
“Go on,” Helen said.
“For starters, Sandi no longer has the emerald.”
“Then who has it?” Elizabeth asked harshly.
“I don’t know, Mrs. Rowe, but I did hear that someone named Elias Howarth may have it,” Jodie said.
“Continue!” Elizabeth said.
“Ok, go on,” Steve said.
“Right, it started before homeroom when Torii challenged Sandi for the emerald and Andrea defended her,” Jodie began.
Quinn, Elias and Dennis entered East Lawndale, and turned onto Adams Street.
“So, what does it say again?” Quinn asked.
“It says that they are halfway down Adams Street,” Elias said.
“Do you think someone will be there?” Quinn asked.
“I’m not sure. It could be a big hoax or something,” Elias said.
“Yeah,” Quinn said, with a laugh.
‘It could be,’ Dennis thought.
Daria, Jane and Stacy arrived at the Pizza King.
“Why are we here?” Stacy asked.
“We usually hang out here after school,” Jane said.
“The Pizza’s are delicious,” Daria said, with a hint of her usual Mona Lisa smile.
“And fattening!” Stacy said.
“You can have a cheeseless if you want,” Daria said.
“Good,” Stacy said, as she tried to relax.
“You can also ask the other patrons here whether they had seen Quin, Sandi or Elias after they had left school,” Daria said.
“Why me?” Stacy asked.
“You’re more social than us,” Jane said.
“Actually, I’m shy. I didn’t have any close friends until middle school,” Stacy said, close to tears.
“Ok. I’ll ask,” Jane said.
“I’ll order the Pizzas,” Daria said.
Stacy sat down at a vacant table and tried to make more sense of the previous 30 hours than she had already...
Agent Leung entered his daughter’s hospital room. His wife and a doctor came over to him. “I’m Dr. Phillips; we have done some tests, but we are still uncertain as to what the cause of your daughter’s condition is.”
“So she’s still talking slowly?” Agent Leung said.
“Yes, and she is quite self conscious about it,” Dr. Phillips said.
“I knew that she would be,” Agent Bell said. That was their younger daughter to a tee.
“Thank you, Doctor.” Agent Leung said. He went over to where Cindy was sitting by Kristen’s bedside.
“How are you holding up?” he asked.
“I’m fine,” Cindy said.
“As well as can be expected, I hope that this problem will go away on its own!” Kristen said trying to speak as quickly as possible (missing some phonemes).
“Of course you do, baby,” her mother said.
“Don’t call me that!” Kristen said, embarrassed (although she knew that Cindy knew of the nickname.
“But you are our baby,” her mother said.
Kristen sighed, with Cindy sighing in sympathy.
‘She is getting better,’ Agent Bell thought.
It was quiet in the restaurant when Jodie finished narrating the events that had occurred at Lawndale High.
“Oh, my!” Helen finally said.
“So Ms. Li now knows about the whole thing?” Frances asked. ‘Who knows what she could do with that knowledge!’
“Not only Ms. Li, but also all the teachers, and almost certainly all of the students,” Jodie said.
‘Not good at all,’ Helen thought.
“That’s not good! How could Anastasia be so reckless, distracting the principal with lies about vampires, indeed!” Elizabeth said.
“Maybe if you weren’t so hard on her!” Frances said.
“Not this again, Frances!” Elizabeth shot back.
“They’re just going to argue,” Steve whispered to Zara Hecuba.
“Quite true,” she whispered back.
Frances and Elizabeth continued their familiar argument.
“Ladies! This isn’t the time!” Helen said.
Elizabeth recovered. “Quite right,” she said.
“If you say so,” Frances said.
“What do we do now?” Zara said, quietly.
“What did you say?” Charlene Thompson asked.
“I was asking; what do we do now?” Zara said, with more volume.
“We need to find that emerald, or failing that, the genie,” Andrew said.
“How are we supposed to do that?” Steve asked.
Andrew got up and started walking around. “We need to keep an eye out for things out of the ordinary. If something unusual is happening, it may be that someone has made a wish,” he said.
“We wouldn’t know where to begin!” Penelope Jericho said, with despair.
“Don’t despair, Penelope. We will find the genie and bring the situation under control,” Imogen Harris said.
“But how?” Penelope asked.
“That’s what we need to figure out,” Helen said with impatience.
“I am not sure who has a cell phone besides you,” Mack said to Jodie as the parents continued to quietly mull over the situation.
“I know a few, but they weren’t involved in the situation,” Jodie said.
“Yes, Mrs. Blum-Deckler?”
“Tiffany has a cell phone, I can call her and you can talk to her.”
Jodie hesitated. Mack saw her hesitation. “Better than nothing,” he said.
“Call her,” Jodie said.