Ending Andy

The level of noise emanating from the hallway was deafening. The students and staff shouted over each others conversations, ignoring any requests from faculty to leave the corridor.    A loud, squelch from a bullhorn pierced through the chaos like a fingernail on a chalkboard.

" Attention:  This is your principle!  All students are to leave this corridor, in an orderly fashion!  If you do not vacate this hallway in under a minute;  You will be detained, and sent to the detention center for the remaining hours of school!  Now! Have I made myself clear?  Two rows, on each side of this hallway!  Move it!... Keep the center isle clear for emergency workers!"  Dr. Joule shouted into the device.  Eli watched as the gurney carrying Mrs. Saunders was swiftly whisked away and order was soon restored.  Many of the students that still remained in the hallway, extended their hands out, in an attempt to shake Eli's hand, as he walked passed them.  Eli returned in kind, then immediately ran over towards Dr. Joule, to offer an explanation for his friends present predicament.  "That was an incredibly heroic deed, Mr. James!  I'm very proud of you young man!" Dr. Joule declared to Eli, as he shook his hand. "Dr. Joule?  Can I talk to you about Melvin Ross?" he asked.  "Why am I still seeing students in this hallway?" Dr. Joule shouted into the bullhorn.  He pulled the loudspeaker away from his mouth.   "Meet me in the office.  O.K.?...We'll talk there!" he said. "Sure...Sure thing..Sir!  Thank You!" Eli responded back, grateful that he might be given a chance to get his best-friend off the hook and explain the circumstances surrounding the rivalry that took place between the two boys.  

Eli walked back into the chemistry room to locate his backpack.  The room was now cleared of any students that were in 3 period, when Mrs. Saunders fell ill.  Eli went around the room, picking up the tests that were left on the desks.  He placed them into Mrs. Saunders top drawer, turned off the lights, and left the room.  The sirens from the ambulance could be heard leaving the faculty parking lot.  Eli choked back a whimper that had built-up for the woman he'd just saved.  He sprang into action and made his way towards Dr. Joule's office to see how Melvin was.  Several of the girls from the cheerleading squad, shouted out to Eli, as he ran passed them, through the crowded hallways.  "Eli?  Oh My God!  What happened Baby?"  Ashleigh Rhodes, the lead cheerleader called out.  "Can't talk now, Ash!  Tell Ya later!...Call me?"  he said quickly.  "You'd better!" she yelled back. "Oh My God, Ash!...Your so incredibly lucky!...Eli James is a God!"  Melissa Kerns, Ashleigh's best friend and second-in-command on the playing field, jealously mocks Ashleigh.  Eli dated Ashleigh for a short-time during the Summer.  Eli found her to be too possessive and very demanding at times.  Ashleigh's parents were very wealthy and spent very little time at home, with her and her two younger sisters.  The Rhodes's  hired college kids to shuttle the girls,  back and forth from their after-school activities, and with little or no supervision, this meant that the house was free from any parental interference.  Needless to say,  the girls spent alot of time entertaining friends from school, especially the boys.  They helped themselves to the endless supply of energy drinks and soda pops, along with the liquor, they managed to steal from the key-locked frig, in the basement den. Ashleigh's younger sister picked the lock.  A skill she acquired from her burn-out friends from the next county over. 

 No matter  how many times her and Ashleigh fought over the house.  Eli always got into a fight with one of the stoners, without fail.  That's what lead to the rivalry between the jocks and the stoners, and was the last straw for Eli.  He had done all that he could to try and please Ashleigh. It was never enough for a girl who seemed to have it all.  The one thing she no longer had was Eli.  He tried to remain friends with her after the break-up, but even that didn't seem to work.  So, Eli tried his best to avoid her, as much as he could during school hours.   Everywhere he'd go,  she showed up.  It began making him uncomfortable, and he seriously thought, that she was stalking him.  This only made him dislike her even more. But, the straw that broke the camel's back, and ended the affair for good, was the fact, that he and Melvin got caught up in a rivalry between the jocks and the stoners, that all started at Ashleigh's parents house and was now playing out during school hours.  Eli had no intention on calling her later on. All he could think about was his best-friend and what was happening. Melvin hurt Andy Wanes, really bad this time.  The other fights they had in the past, never escalated to this level.   Usually, Andy Wanes was too cowardice to take the blows. So, he'd throw dirt up into Melvin's eyes, so he could get away from him faster.  This time, there was no dirt, no sand, and no way out.  Andy got his butt kicked, bad!  So, from now one, Eli and Melvin had to keep a close eye on things.  Someone called down the thunder and now this meant only one thing: war! 

Melvin's father was out in the hallway with Dr. Joule.  Sheriff' Ross had his hand and arm leaned into the wall, and was talking to the principle, with a whisper to his tone.  Principle Joule nodded a few times, as the Sheriff spoke, but offered up little else, in terms of a solution for Melvin's punishment.  Eli walked passed them both. "Sir."  Eli nodded his head to Melvin's dad.  Sheriff Ross stopped his conversation with Dr. Joule, and looked over at Eli.

"Eli?  Come'on over here a minute!" he said, "What the hell happened? What can you tell me, Son?"  Sheriff Ross's tone of voice reflected his concern as a father, and not as the town's sheriff. "Does this have anything to do with this grudge, you two boys' are up against?" he asked.  "Well, Yes,...and no. Sir?" Eli answered the question, the best way he knew how.  "What does that mean? Eli?" Sheriff asked. "Andy Wanes made a comment to me, while I was helping Mrs. Saunders, then one thing lead to another?....I wasn't able to see much from my perspective, but one thing I am sure of!" Eli stated. "What's that?" Sheriff Ross asked. "Andy Wanes said something, that was out-of-line, and Melvin thought so too!  Andy, kept at it, and a fight broke out." Eli explained.  "What's going to happen to Melvin, Sir?" Eli asked Sheriff Ross.  "Not a dam thing!...Not if I have anything to say about! and I have alot I could say right now." Sheriff Ross declared.  "Sheriff Ross?  Melvin assaulted another student.  Something has to be done?" Dr. Joule was confused by the Sheriff's statement.  "I'm takin my boy home, Adam!  I'm not going to charge my own son with assault, If that's what your asking?"

"If you have to give him a few detentions, Well then, So be it!  But, if you seriously think, I'm going to walk my son out of this school, in handcuffs, Well,...Adam...That's not going to happen!"  Sheriff Ross stared back at Dr. Joule with a scowl look upon his face, waiting for the principle to respond. "What's this about a grudge, Eli?"  Dr. Joule asked the young jock.  "I really don't know too much about that? Sir?...Something happened outside of school with the kids from the next county, and Andy Wanes, just happens to be one of the younger brothers.  He keeps getting involved in it, just because I had a fight with his older brother, Jackson, some time ago.  Andy, just keeps at it!  All the time!..Maybe now,...he'll quit!"  Eli said.  "I see, Mr. James!...Thank you...That will be all!" the principle was now starting to get a better understanding of what's taking place inside of his school.

"Take Melvin home, Sheriff,  I'm not going to give him any detentions for this.  But I will recommend he be suspended from the next 2 wrestling matches, for un-gentleman like conduct."  Dr. Joule only agreed to lessen the severity of Melvin's punishment, only after he learned about Andy's possible involvement in a spree of thefts that were occurring after-hours, at several pharmacies, in the surrounding counties.  Sheriff Ross suspected that his brother, Jackson and others had been breaking into these store's and stealing the pharmaceutical's supply of narcotic inventory.  A real sophisticated operation too!  Not the handy work of burn-out, hillbillies.  These boys have help, probably some convict out on parole, who knows the matrix of alarm systems, and how to by-pass the alarm, without setting it off. The DEA's involvement only made matters worse for Sheriff Ross. They looked to him to narrow down the search for this ring, but the Wane's alibis were water-tight and Sheriff Ross didn't have the manpower, or the evidence to nail these gypsies.  When the burglaries stopped and the investigation went cold.  That didn't sit well in the Sheriff's stomach.  The Feds came down hard on him, so did the corporate headquarters that were being robbed nearly every other week of thousands of dollars worth of product, on his watch.  Andy Wanes was transported out of the school and down to the hospital, along with Mrs. Saunders. It seems Melvin had not only knocked him out with that tremendous head-butt. He also, broke his nose, as well!  There was going to be an aftermath, that was going to end badly for someone.

Eli drove his pick-up truck on the back roads that day.  It was on these roads, he could clear his head of all the distractions, and noise, that clouded his mind.  He turned on his CD player, hoping that the music, could better his mood.  The sun's glare lit up the truck's cab, a bright, golden hue.  It's intense, blinding effect on Eli's ability to see the road ahead, clearly-aggravated his mood, even further. He'd driven this road, hundreds of times; the sun was never bothered by it's glow.  That nasty business back at the school, had his nerves on edge and his ears pricked.   He slammed on the brakes and shut-off the engine, then banged his fists upon the steering wheel.  He knew that from now on, things could never be the same.  Everyday was going to be a constant struggle to keep out of trouble and jail, all thanks to that stalker, Ex-girlfriend, Ashleigh and her wacky sister, Sam.  That's where all this crap started.  He knew he had to speak to Melvin, right away, to form a game plan.  This has got to end! 

 Eli sat perfectly still inside the cab of his pick-up and just listened to the forest.  He refused to allow the noise from within his own mind, drive him insane.  "This had to end?  But, How?"  he wondered.  I'll be dammed if I'm going to throw away years of hard - fought championship games;  over some pill-head, losers! Think Eli, Think!"  he wrestled with every possible solution, he could think of.   None of them would have worked.  He knew the diplomatic approach would not be an option.  Duking it out, day after day, would be pointless.  So, the only real solution would be; death.  Eli relished at the thought of it.  There could be, no other way; but how?   That was the real dilemma.  The answer became obvious. He was sitting right on top of it; or in it.  He would pick these boys off, one by one; by running them off the road and down onto,  the jagged rock cliff. 

The Wane boys' were too dam poor to own a vehicle.  They used their dirt bikes or peddle bikes to move around.  Eli would use that weather-beaten vehicle, behind his barn. No one knew it was even there. Eli's father used to sit in it, only to warm-up when, him and mom went at it. Eli would wait for them to show-up on the main road and run them off the road, near the hair pin curve on County Road 723. The guard rails lined out  a steep cliff filled with dense forest and debris, just below. If they survived the fall, they wouldn't last very long.  The wildlife would smell their blood for miles, then rip em' apart.  It could work, and Sheriff Ross wouldn't lift a finger to investigate the crime.  In secret, he'd probably want to shake the driver's hand for having saved him from more endless all- nighter's, he had to suffer through, while  trying to piece together enough evidence against the Wane's, to put the both of them in prison.  No! This would be easy, in so many ways.

Eli's renewed spirit prompted him to action. He'd turned on the truck's engine and sped off towards home. 

 

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Comments

I enjoyed this chapter very much. It exemplified what Robert McKee calls a switch in charge as the reader follows the story. That is, the start is of a corridor filled with very noisy students (a positive charge) and turns when we become privy to Eli's quiet but murderous thoughts (a negative charge).

The description is clear and captures the mood of the storr. Tremendous...