by Maddy Bell
All Rights Reserved.
The Waldron's spare room isn't really much more than a cupboard with a bed in it but it was at least a bed and I was missing mums inquisition, which is always a bonus. Mind you, I told Mrs. Waldron that I spoke to mum but in reality there wasn't a reply when I called - I did leave a message tho'.
I didn't sleep well; maybe it was the cider or the passive hash smoking, whatever it was I felt really crap when I woke up. And we've got school and I haven't got my uniform or books, sugar!
"Hey Lor, you getting up?" Saz poked her head round the door.
I tend towards a bit shy when it comes to people seeing my body. I'm not exactly filling out as quickly as my peers, which makes the showers a nightmare! Sarah must've been reading my mind though.
"You want to borrow some stuff for school?"
At least Saz is about my size, bit bigger on top if you get my drift, but we are about the same height and stuff.
"I guess I'd better make some effort, I don't think Miss Prentice would buy my jeans." I joked.
"I'll put them in the bathroom, I think I've got a spare tie too."
"No probs Lor."
By the time I made it to the bathroom Sarah had raided her wardrobe and I had the makings of a passable uniform. One thing our school is a stickler for is uniform, so we don't have to wear a blazer or anything stupid like that but shirt, tie, proper trousers and shoes are required. Saz had managed the first three but lets face it, no one has more than one pair of school shoes and as my trainers are mostly black I might just get away with them. I hope so.
At least as today is humanities my lack of books won't be a problem, music and RE this morning and art all afternoon.
I played with my hair for a bit to try and make it behave but I had a severe case of bed head, maybe Saz can have a go on the bus. School starts at quarter to nine and the bus isn't exactly direct, at least I had my pass and lolly, and from Oundle it picks up half an hour before I usually catch it at quarter to eight.
"Come on dozy" Saz prodded me down the bus. It always strikes me as weird that whilst Oundle is home to the biggest private school in England, the local kids have to ride the bus to Thrapston or some go to Peterborough. The result of this is that we get to ride on a clapped out old yellow doubledeck bus twice a day. Saz is the only one in our year from Oundle though, Trevor lives in Elton just up the road but he always gets a lift with his rents who both work in Thrapston.
I plonked myself into my usual seat and Sarah slid in next to me.
"Erm, you got a brush I can borrow?"
"I thought you were going for the crumpled look."
"Yeah course I have, come here, I'll do it."
Yes! It might be weird but I really like it if someone else does my hair, usually Mum out of exasperation but Saz sometimes offers. And before you say anything, I usually get ribbed about that but hey - I can live with it.
The old bus wheezed and whined along and I closed my eyes in bliss as Saz played with my locks. I was brought back to reality when Saz started wiping my eyes.
"Keep your hair on."
"What're you doing" I span round to face her fully.
"Well duh, trying to keep you out of trouble, you know we're not allowed to wear makeup at school."
"Doesn't stop Mindy Thomas."
"You are not Mindy Thomas"
"So what's the big deal?"
"Well I don't think wearing half the uniform and makeup would go down too well."
"Why would I be wearing.... you mean" she nodded, "muuum!" I fumed.
"Well I did wonder last night but it was dark, you've still got some eyeliner and mascara on."
"I told her,” I mumbled to myself.
"Come on let me clean you up" Saz persisted.
"Just wait till I get home."
"Thought you were going Goth, you don't usually wear makeup."
Saz just looked at me weird but something had caught my attention.
"We've missed the turning."
Instead of turning off at the crossroads we were still headed along the main road.
"Must be some sort of diversion thingy." Saz suggested.
"We're gonna be late!" I moaned.
And late we were. By the time we had bobbled along the diversion and retraced a bit to pick up a few bods we were nearly half an hour late. Just my luck. However, the school secretary took everyone's name and form and sent us straight to first period. As everyone else was in assembly I found a corner to crash in while I waited. Strange that I didn't see Jonno or Mat on the bus, I 'spose they might have come in Mat's car when the bus was late. Jonno is in Sarah's form and has the same first period today so I wasn't expecting to see him till morning break anyway.
I'm not sure at what point I decided, or why, but the idea of spending the day in school lost any appeal it might have had. I might not be exactly a model student but I'm not that bad. Living a bus ride away from school doesn't lend itself to truancy, the townies do that, so my decision to skip school, at least till lunchtime (I was registered this morning anyhoo I reasoned), was not so much out of character but unexpected.
Now if you've ever been to Thrapston or I guess any other small country town, you'll know the options for a truant are a bit thin, at least if you wanted to remain at large! I hid in the lav until everyone was safely in class then slipped out of the building for a couple of hours of freedom.
I realised that I had a sort of plan in mind; first stop however was the petrol station for some munchies.
"Shouldn't you be in school?"
"Dentist's" I stated. It seemed plausible, to me at least.
"For later then" the old woman smiled in return.
"Er yep, lunch."
She just shook her head as I departed with my Mars bar and bag of crisps. I've never been one for papers and stuff but the local daily rag; the Peterborough Argos had an eye-catching headline 'Eight die in horror smash'. Being close to the A1 and the A14 you get these sort of things a lot - just a couple of weeks ago there was a nasty smash with a petrol tanker that closed the bypass for a whole day. What really caught my attention was the tag line 'forensics try to identify remains'. Ooh, that must have been a real nasty job.
I escaped the shop and headed down to the river, it was quiet down there, just a few dog walkers and no one would be bothering me.
The upshot of course is that I missed what was happening at school.
Although on the face of things it was just another day at school, beneath the surface things were quite different and not getting any better. The Police had greeted the staff when they arrived, hoping to either eliminate or identify the victims of the accident. As Lor sat by the river munching a bag of crisps, a discreet check was being made to see who was in school and who was missing. The list of absentees was surprisingly short and a couple of phone calls reduced the list to three, Mat, Jonno and Lor!
As one of the cars involved had already been identified as Mat's, no one thought to check any further - after all it was hardly news that the three of them hung about together. It seemed pretty cut and clean when it was confirmed that all three were missing from home overnight.
At this point you might be wondering why the list that Miss Paterson made as they got off the bus didn't throw up Lor. Well in the crush, and lets face it, it was a busload of school kids, Lor's shouted details were missed, others were too but the others were actually in class and not mates with two other missing pupils. A case of two plus two making five.
Several miles away the emergency services were still at the scene of the accident. The charred and crumpled shells of four cars still blocked the road although all the victims were now removed from the scene.
"What a bloody mess" Sergeant Michael 'Ging' Bosworth muttered to himself.
"Nothing Thompson, such a waste of life."
"Any news on identification yet" the burly sergeant turned from the carnage to address PC Thompson directly.
"Not yet, we've got I'D on the metro now though, belongs to one Mathew Simpson 17 years from Aldwinkle"
"Well Oundle have five missing students this morning they're doing their best to locate them all."
"They know about the BMW?"
"Not yet Sarge."
"Well let's see what names they turn up."
"What now Sarge, I hear a sausage sarnie calling?"
"Okay Thompson, I get the message, I missed breakfast too."
The two officers climbed into their Astra and with PC Thompson at the wheel, headed towards Oundle where
'Mrs. Miggins' would provide a full English at a special Plod rate.
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