A Chapter by Fairytale

My body shook as I panicked. I tried to fight off the overwhelming dizziness in my head as I heard the short, quick breaths from my friends on the other side of the small closet space. Sam's fingers began tapping on the wall opposite the door in quick, light strides. I heard movement and assumed that Hayden must have grabbed her hand. The three of us were holding our breath until we could no longer do so, at which time we released it quietly into the air. The three of us were panicking and claustrophobia was beginning to set in. My head began to clear and I momentarily thought of risks involved with intruding on restricted campus property. I flashed back to our first few days of orientation, where our RA, Amber, told us the story of how some students got expelled for crashing an international diplomatic campus function. There was a brief moment of chatter until a gavel hit a piece of wood three times and then the room became silent. I wondered who got the special seats at the end of the room, as I heard the movement of chairs. Dr. Alexis cleared his throat and then began to speak.

“I want to welcome all of you here as our guests in the delegates room for this evening's fine function,” introduced Dr. Alexis in his friendly, kind voice. “I am so glad to see that all of you could make it for this discussion so imperative to our universities.” I was shocked to discover that we had wasted the day drinking in this room, and that it was already the evening. I was trying to imagine what time it must be until I heard Dr. Alexis continue in a grave, distinct voice. “As you are all probably aware, we have had a few...” there was a pause, which almost sounded like a quick halt to the speech, before Dr. Alexis continued. “...a few issues as of late.” The spooky silence made my knees quiver. My attention went to the ueeziness in my gutts and then an adrennalin boost sent a quick shock through the surface of my skin. They were about to discuss Lachlan! They were about to discuss the news we read the morning we arrived 1 year ahead in time! This confirmed the whole event as real, and the fact that the three of us did not know how to get back as real. The thought of the whole phenomenon made my face feel cold, the blood draining away, as reality once again set in. I started breathing more quickly, and was unable to reach for my friends for comfort, before the sound of Dr. Alexis' voice calmed me back down. He began his speech by recapping the situation with Lachlan Straightjack-Phillips.

“So, as all of you know, the star player for The New Jaspern Beechals has,” Dr. Alexis paused while he cleared his throat in a way that sounded like he was holding his hand over his mouth while doing so. He then continued. “...gone missing.” There were a few small gasps, but no alarmed reactions. Dr. Alexis breathed in deeply and continued. “There is a lot of alarm regarding this matter throughout the faculty of many universities, as well as the media. This situation is frightening and alarming.” His sentences and tone were detailed and precise. The sharp manner in his charismatic speech caught my attention with bated anticipation. Hayden made a short, quiet gasp, and I got nervous again about the noise. “I decided it was best to gather everyone concerned together so that we can discuss how to handle this most effectively. First, I will do a role call so that we know who has attended tonight's function.” I couldn't believe my ears. I couldn't believe that those in authority at this well-known university would hold a secret discussion about a missing college student under the disguise of a party function. The very mention of this event startled me. Of course, Lachlan Straightjack-Phillips is a well-known college football player, who is also a person. From what I could hear, it seemed like diplomats from other organizations were attending this 'party'. “Tom Agliston from Billing Sheppard University?”


“Duane Amberston from Calvery University?”


“Diamond Pallstone from Akrista Place University?”


“Sarah Bellowin from Sinomee University of Jamrack in Jamrack?”


“Dean Broadmin from Sinomee University of Jamrack in Quinota?”


“Dell Brissomme from University of Pallex Highland?”


“Gerald Brettymax from Timerantz Place University?”

“Present.” The list went on and on with university diplomats. Quite a few names were called at the end who were not from universities, but instead were from sports and science organizations.

“Thank you for all for attending this tonight. The first thing that I would like to address is the possibility of there being any more missing atheletes. If there is anyone else that has gone missing, then this is the wisest time to bring it up.” The room was silent for a few moments until Dr. Alexis continued. “So.” he repeated what he said initially. “As most of you are already aware, it seems that our star univeristy football player Lachlan Straightjack-Phillips has gone missing. His teammates don't know where he is. His coach does not know where he is. His parents do not know where he is.” A strong pause was left between each sentence. I felt compelled by Dr. Alexis' speech and what he was going to say next. “Well, then. I am glad to hear that all of your students are safe and sound. As I mentioned before, the safety of our students is being threatened!” The last sentence came out so powerfully I almost jumped. I was amazed that a science professor could deliver a speech like that. He went through the demographics and ratios of students. Then he went on about how much money was being poured into university sports every year and scholarships. “We cannot afford to let this kind of news continue. Members of local government are seriously reviewing the ESPNU and the dangers that college sports can pose to our nation. Tomorrow, Warren and myself will speak to the editors of all the local newspapers and make sure this blows over without damage. Furthermore, I expect action to be taken in regards to tracking your star players so that this kind of thing does not happen again.” Dr. Alexis emphasized those last few words separately before he went through the particulars of what would need to be done in order to keep a tighter watch on all college athletes. I felt sick to my stomach as he went through how this would benefit sports in general, and not a care as to how we could recover Lachlan. The party went on for what seemed like a couple hours as Hayden, Sam, and I were stuck in the closet. A glimmer of hope came when I heard some footsteps and voices heading towards the door.

“Hey, Joseph.” I could hear Dean's voice trying to wedge in for Dr. Alexis' attention.

“Yes, Dean.” I heard a few pats on the back and then Dean continued.

“Do you still have all that gear that the Timerantz coach left here a while back?” Dean's inflection picked up at the end with a softer voice.

“I think I know where it is.” Dr. Alexis sounded assured. “Just a moment. I'll get it from this closet over here.” Terrified, the three of us quietly panicked in the closet nearby. I think Hayden burped quietly, while I felt sharp tingles of addrennalin return throughout my body. Please don't be in this closet! Please don't be in this closet! Before I could breath out, I heard the door knob beginning to twist to open the door. I moved as far back towards the closet corner nearest to the door as I could, and I could hear the others doing the same. When I realized the box of Timerantz gear was near my foot, I gently slid it towards the door. I heard someone approach Dr. Alexis outside where they spoke for a good 5 minutes. I managed to quietly move the box to the front, with a few boxes behind it. Dr. Alexis opened the door as much as he could, which wasn't much. There were sounds of chatting close by, like there were people crowding in around him. He seemed to open the door just enough, grab one box, and shut then shut door quickly.

“Ah! Here we go! Here are the proud Timerantz winners with their trophies from about 25 years ago. Ha! I'm glad they framed this picture,” he explained while probably showing off the contents of the old box. “I'll see if there's another box with more recent things. Dean, why don't you help Sarah and the other Dean through this box of relics. The door knob turned again, and Dr. Alexis opened the door wider putting his head in to reach for a box. I felt faint and could not figure out how he didn't see us. He quickly grabbed the other two boxes, one at a time, and shared the memories with the others. I could hear him telling stories to the others about how the Timerantz football team used to train for hours at a time during the summer, and how they are just not that disciplined today.

“Oh, I remember watching those boys out there in the heat,” added Gerald from Timerantz. “I would arrive at about 6am in the morning and they would already be out there. Then, I would come out from teaching my summer students, and they would still be out there. Geez, that coach worked them hard.”

“Yeah, but they haven't risen to the top until now. And this coach barely works them half as hard. I don't get it.” added a solid female voice. “Makes me kinda glad I work at a law university.” Dr. Alexis started chuckling, and then the rest of the group followed.

“Yeah, but Jamarack has a heck of a lacrosse team,” uttered Dr. Alexis.

“You're right with that one!” added Diamond from Akrista Place. “It's hard to believe a bunch of lawyers can own a competitive sport like that. They're at the top of the competitive line for lacrosse.” He gave a couple of huffing laughs before the group got quiet. He suddenly realized what he said and began to explain. “Oh! I just meant that they must be spending most of their time studying court cases, or something like that.”

“Don't worry,” placated Sarah in a sharp, sturdy voice. “I understand what you mean. And, yes, they do spend a good amount of their time studying in order to tackle a law degree.” Her voice, still strong, began to sound more understanding. “But, we also like our students to be well rounded, so, of course, we encourage sports as a way burn off all that excess energy.” There was a smile in her voice at the end of her last sentence, before it flattened out and then continued with her story. “Jamarack was pleasantly surprised to find that we actually had some very talented athletes, and hence we began recruiting a percentage of our students on that basis.” The reaction from the others sounded pleased, but not overly interested. “I don't know. That's just how things worked out over the last few years.”

“Lacrosse has become very popular in the last decade,” said Dr. Alexis. “I mean, the media loves it!” He stated emphatically.

“Yes!” Dean, agreed wholeheartedly. “Lacrosse sells, and some coaches have been known to reap great benefits from becoming so well-known.” Dean's speech began to quicken and shake slightly. “Did you hear about that one coach from one of the Drendire Place Univeristy? He became famous overnight because his lacrosse team topped the season!” There was a small response and then Dr. Alexis went on to discuss the psychology behind students who have exited football teams.

“I heard that some of these kids can develop depression and become unable to play. There's been a few cases in some of the schools nearby.” Diamond explained. “Some of those kids get recruited in highschool, and they don't really want to play.

“They just do it so they can get into a good school,” finished another male who sounded like a student, and may be a student's aid. The conversations went on throughout the room, until about half the noise trickled out the door in the space of the next half hour. It was at this time that Dr. Alexis made his grand announcement thanking everyone for attending and finished off the evening leaving the same handful of people in the center of the room. It was harder to hear what they were saying being farther away. I managed to hear much of the conversation as the rest of the room was now quiet.

“I can't believe what importance our universities pay on sports these days,” commented Dr. Duane Amberston. “I mean, I'm not complaining with our men having such the physique and mentality for sports and all,” he said in hopes of allowing for his original point without causing detriment to his own. The next thing to come was gallos laughter. “Haha! A military institution will undoubtably be the place to produce winning sports teams.”

“Ah, yes,” replied Dr. Alexis. “We do place so much attention on these university games.” He sighed quietly after a big evening function. “And Timerantz does provide a few interesting alternatives. I've been watching them for years. There's one of those young lads whom I thought might make a fantastic addition to my astronomy team here at UNJ.” He gasped quietly amongst the few who were left. “Oh, that's strictly confidential, by the way. I really don't want that getting out amongst the higher league schools, or Gerald.”

“But Timerantz specializes in the performing arts,” Duane pointed out.

“Ah, yes,” Dr. Alexis said, again. “But I remember how exciting their games used to be.” Dr. Alexis laughed in reminence and continued. “Leave it to a bunch of drama students to make a show out of their sports games.” That was true. I remember seeing some of the Timerantz games when they would air over the weekend during college play-offs. I remember gathering with my highschool friends eating delicious highschool snacks and watching the show. It was more like a musical mixed with a sports game. None the less, Dr. Alexis' devoted focus on Timerantz sports caught my attention.

“Well, I'd better be leaving,” yawned Duane who was followed by a few more people. From where I was standing, it seemed like Dr. Alexis was alone with Dean and the other professor we have previously seen with Dr. Alexis. I heard the movement of furniture as chairs were being folded and placed up beside the wall.

“Thanks for helping tonight, Warren,” said Dr. Alexis.

“Oh, I wanted to be here for you, Joseph. You case things got out of hand and you needed an explaination for...” Warren was cut off mid-sentence before Dr. Alexis interupted him.

“Na, I had a handle on it all the whole time,” he replied confidently. “I do wonder how interested some of those Timerantz stars are in astronomy. Not to mention The Beechals.” This took my by surprise. I gasped quickly from my shock, but I wasn't heard.

“I know. With Lachlan gone, we ca.....” This time it was Dean who interupted.

“So no one has any idea at all where he is?” Dean's speech was squeaky and quick.

“Nope,” replied Warren.

“None at all,” added Dr. Alexis.

“We could try using pennie.” Dean's voice was now getting higher and more excited.

“No way. Pennie is still new and is highly watched by the school councils, not to mention other authorities,” defended Dr. Alexis.

“Besides, she could get out of hand. And we don't want that all over the news,” added Warren. “We'd better keep her well hidden for now.”

“Phew,” commented Dean. “I guess it's a shoe in for Timerantz this year, huh.”

“Yeah,” agreed Warren. “It's something the university is just going to have to accept this year. By next year we can find a replacement for sure.”

“Maybe next year we can recruit someone with a bit of science talent.” I heard a smile in Dr. Alexis' voice when he said that. “Don't worry about the rest of this stuff. We have a special cleaning staff for the underground board rooms. They'll attend to this tomorrow.” With that Dr. Alexis lead the other two out of the room and we sighed in relief.

We heard the footsteps go down the hall with low voices. We waited about five to ten minutes when we saw the lights dim lower and lower under the closet door before Hayden reached for the door knob. He held his breath as he turned it slowly.

“Wait!” I whispered sharply. My reaction was uncontrollable.

“I don't think they'll come back,” Hayden whispered calmly. He gently opened the door and we all came out together. The three of us looked around; disoriented and hung-over.

“Let's get out of here,” Hayden whispered quickly.

“Wait!” I cut in quietly. “Let's see if there's a back way to this joint.”

“A back way?” Hayden questioned. “This place is like a maze! If we get lost and get caught here.....”

“We don't want to be seen climbing up through the astronomy building. Do we?” I snapped back keeping a calm state of mind. “Let's go.” I began through the heavy doors and down the hall. I kept going, being cautious to take slow, quiet strides. I kept going until I got to the corner where we came from. Instead of turning right I turned left. It was there that I noticed Sam and Hayden right behind me.

“Where do we go from here?” asked Hayden. I noticed that, for once, Sam was absolutely silent and was following without distraction of any kind.

“Just follow me,” I replied as quietly as possible and off I lead.

© 2012 Fairytale

Author's Note


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Added on February 29, 2012
Last Updated on March 7, 2012



Sydney, city, Australia

I have a wide array of interests including writing, broadway music, food, dance, and anything fun. I love to write stories. I have recently started writing again after years of not doing anything. .. more..