Author Topic: The last laugh of the show  (Read 5592 times)

Cain

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Re: The last laugh of the show
« Reply #15 on: June 12, 2007, 07:54:19 pm »
I like to think that it started there, where I picked myself up off of the frosty pavement and saw her.

But it didn't.  Its a convenient point of reference, for me, but all stories have a far earlier starting point than most people can imagine.  Chains of circumstance and event stretch back, each piling on the other to make the final course near inevitable, if only you could know all the variables.

As much as this story seemed to start with a bruised and battered young guy picking himself up off a pavement outside a local pub, in reality, it started two years before.  With an act of theft, as it happens.



“You're absolutely certain that's what it said?” I asked Lara for the second time.  She was usually meticulous when it came to detail, but I wanted to be sure.

She nodded.  I rocked back on my chair and pondered what this meant.  We were both above the library of the local high school and sixth form centre, a usual haunt for those not wanting to be packed like sardines in a tin in the Common Room, but didn't want to use the nearby park.

Which wasn't that many people, actually.  But I wanted some peace and quiet to write my conclusion for a psychology paper, when I had received the news from Lara.  She had just come from a hastily called Sixth Form Committee meeting that she and several others had not been able to attend, or had nearly missed.

I usually tried to avoid the Committee as it happened.  Working on the school paper, I had to look over their minutes now and again, and that was hardly difficult.  I had no interest in running, but had given Lara, a good friend of mine, quite a hand in her campaign and in return I got to hear about the not-so interesting things that were being talked about.

Until today.

Today, it had turned out, if Lara had heard and read right, that the Committee had decided to steal money that we, the students, had raised for charity, through shows we put on every year.  Nevermind that they were known to be for charity, and that's why the tickets sold like hotcakes, now over half of that money raised was being effectively taken and put to minor improvements within the school.

“They can't do that”, I said to her.
“They just did”, she shrugged. We're not a registered charity, so there is nothing to stop them.
“Misrepresentation?  Fraud?”  I asked.  She shrugged again in response.  It was going to be hard to make anything stick without any paperwork, that much I knew.  My word against theirs.  And the Committee was effectively the mouthpiece for whichever teachers sat in on its meetings anyway, since they all had veto powers over it.  Their word, or the one of a troublemaking student who had twice already been nearly suspended for putting rumours in the school paper without evidence to back up his claims? 

Though it would almost be worth it.  Given almost all the money the government gave to the school earmarked for sixth form students exclusively had been put into the giant new buildings that were being erected on the land around us – buildings we would never have a chance to use – discontent was running at an all time high.  To add insult to injury, last week the building company contracted to the job had basically been given a free hand to try and recruit students through assemblies and tutorial classes.

Of course, I didn't exactly have to use the paper to achieve my goals.  It all depended just how pissed off the rest of the Sixth Form was, by this point.  By my reckoning, and being someone who likes to keep their finger on the pulse, things were pretty close to some sort of boiling point...

Now it might surprise some people that I have some sort of moral objection to theft.  And I don't, in many cases.  It was the lying and continual theft that got to me.  If they wanted the money, why not just tell everyone this time round was going to improve the school instead?  Why try and buy off the students with this pitiful amount of cash when the government was handing out truckloads of the stuff for us?  But no....the headmaster probably had shares in the contracted company anyway, going by the fact most of the time he was looking rather like a man just given a money printing press.

And of course, when it came to institutions versus the individual, I tended to side with the individual, on principle.

Sighing, I resigned myself to figuring out something to do.  I was smart, had something on everyone and definitely had no problems rocking the boat to prove a point.  The question was how to rock the boat?  The computer behind me, connected to the internet and with an easily bypassed firewall, caught my eye.  I grinned, and set myself to work.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2008, 10:04:33 pm by Cain »
"The thoughts of all men arise from the darkness. If you are the movement of your soul, and the cause of that movement precedes you, then how could you ever call your thoughts your own? How could you be anything other than a slave to the darkness that comes before? Only the Logos allows one to mitigate that slavery. Only knowing the sources of thought and action allows us to own our thoughts and our actions, to throw off the yoke of circumstance."
- R. Scott Bakker, The Darkness That Comes Before

Cain

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Re: The last laugh of the show
« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2007, 09:56:31 am »
I wrote two more chapters yesterday, but you fuckers wont get to read them until I get my laptop back.
"The thoughts of all men arise from the darkness. If you are the movement of your soul, and the cause of that movement precedes you, then how could you ever call your thoughts your own? How could you be anything other than a slave to the darkness that comes before? Only the Logos allows one to mitigate that slavery. Only knowing the sources of thought and action allows us to own our thoughts and our actions, to throw off the yoke of circumstance."
- R. Scott Bakker, The Darkness That Comes Before

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Re: The last laugh of the show
« Reply #17 on: June 15, 2007, 08:55:22 am »
:-(

DAMN YOU AND YOUR CLIFFHANGERS

apart from that that piece was really interesting to read and leaves the reader wanting for more .. i'm also quite interested how you're gonna tie this up with the first part.
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Re: The last laugh of the show
« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2007, 11:09:33 am »
I wait till the end to start reading.
as i always do with films, books TV Series.
Wait till all parts are out and them get them all at once

Cain

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Re: The last laugh of the show
« Reply #19 on: June 15, 2007, 12:37:37 pm »
Boringly, it all ties together pretty easily.

And there will be more, its just the library has no USB ports for flash drives, and without my laptop I cannot email the story to myself. 

So whenever my laptop is fixed, and presuming I am still unemployed, that is when the next piece will appear.
"The thoughts of all men arise from the darkness. If you are the movement of your soul, and the cause of that movement precedes you, then how could you ever call your thoughts your own? How could you be anything other than a slave to the darkness that comes before? Only the Logos allows one to mitigate that slavery. Only knowing the sources of thought and action allows us to own our thoughts and our actions, to throw off the yoke of circumstance."
- R. Scott Bakker, The Darkness That Comes Before

Cain

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Re: The last laugh of the show
« Reply #20 on: July 21, 2007, 04:37:01 pm »
“You fucking bitch”, I hissed again, barely managing to stand straight.  “You set me up.”
She looked straight at me with her light blue eyes, almost glowing in the dark.  “I didn't mean for that to happen Marc.  Really.”  The cigarette dropped, ground out under a heel.
She walked over, offering her arm to help support my weight.  I hesitated, then grabbed tight.  I noted, with some surprise, an impressive amount of muscle tone under her coat.  Given her build and weight, anyway.
“I'm sorry it happened this way, I really am.  It all got out of hand so quickly...anyway, come to the Mitre with me.  I can explain everything, really.”
“You'd better” I replied. 

The Mitre was my type of pub.  That is to say, quiet, with fast service, comfortable seats and, in the winter, excellent heating.  Myself and Jenny slid into a spare pair of seats near the back, well away from the hubbub that surrounded the bar.  She offered to get us both drinks, but I refused, telling her I could get my own easily enough.  This wasn't strictly true, I thought as I limped to the bar, but I was damned if I was going to leave her alone with anything I planned to ingest, not until after the stunt at the Kings Arms was explained.

I slid her vodka across the table, then set down my diet coke.  I needed the caffeine.

“Explain quickly”, I suggested to her.  “I'm not in a very good mood, and may not like what you have to say.  The less time you give me to recover gives you more time to get away.”
“Nice to see your temper is as fiery as ever” she smiled, her eyes showing her amusement.  “I said you'd understand and I'm sure you will.  Just hear me out.”
I made a motion with my hand, encouraging her to go on.  It also conveniently covered a move by my other hand, as I palmed my trusty pen.

My pen is a near legendary item, among certain circles.  It was an item of true beauty, master-work aluminium, no extraneous parts to snag in clothing, a very pointy end and a blunt one.  OK, so it was no obvious weapon of terror, but I could carry it nearly everywhere and either end hurt like hell, when stuck into soft flesh with any speed.  It was an unexpected advantage, one that could really be of help when you consider nearly everyone else is totally unarmed.

Jenny took my cue and ran with it.  “I did set you up, I admit.  I wanted to see how you would react with someone being angry and in your face, someone bigger and potentially more dangerous than you are. But I never really expected it to go to blows.  I just wanted to see if you would back down, or instead do...well, something along the lines that you did.”
“Is this some sort of vanity thing?  I've seen it before Jenny, pretty girls who like to get men fighting over them, to inflate their own egos.  If not, please get to the point sometime soon.”
She scowled at me, then continued.  It was true, however.  There is a certain type of woman who, when her significant other is temporarily engaged, will proceed to flirt with anything with a penis, until he comes back.  More often than not, both men will be heavily built and short tempered.  The rest is pretty obvious.  However, I just said that to wind Jenny up, as she was boring me and explaining little.
“The thing is, Marc, I have a problem.  And I need someone's help.  From what someone told me, you had the exact qualities I need.  But it was idle banter, nothing really said or proven.  So I needed to test you, to give me an idea of if it was true or not.”
“Or you could have, you know, asked me?” I replied, my voice filled with sarcasm.
“People lie.  You of all people should know that.”
“I'm not sure if you just insulted me there or not.  Oh go on then, I'll bite.  But this better be worth it.  What are these “qualities” that make me so special?”
“You're a very convincing liar.  Oh don't scowl, it's true.  You never fight fair, you can think without moving your lips, and you seem to revel in causing chaos.”
“Ah, flattery will get you nowhere.  Interesting, that you gathered all this from idle banter, I should add.”
“Well, it was only a single sentence, but it led me to those conclusions, it's true.  I'll level with you here Marc.  2 years ago, you punished several thieves, in your words.  I need you to do something similar for me.”
« Last Edit: September 13, 2008, 10:05:33 pm by Cain »
"The thoughts of all men arise from the darkness. If you are the movement of your soul, and the cause of that movement precedes you, then how could you ever call your thoughts your own? How could you be anything other than a slave to the darkness that comes before? Only the Logos allows one to mitigate that slavery. Only knowing the sources of thought and action allows us to own our thoughts and our actions, to throw off the yoke of circumstance."
- R. Scott Bakker, The Darkness That Comes Before

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Re: The last laugh of the show
« Reply #21 on: July 21, 2007, 04:56:54 pm »
niiiiiice

how many chapters are there still? (or is it a work-in-progress)
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Cain

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Re: The last laugh of the show
« Reply #22 on: July 21, 2007, 04:58:43 pm »
Still a work in progress.  However, I can skip to the moral right now: when psycho chicks ask you to do things, just say no.  It always seems a good idea at the time, and it never is.
"The thoughts of all men arise from the darkness. If you are the movement of your soul, and the cause of that movement precedes you, then how could you ever call your thoughts your own? How could you be anything other than a slave to the darkness that comes before? Only the Logos allows one to mitigate that slavery. Only knowing the sources of thought and action allows us to own our thoughts and our actions, to throw off the yoke of circumstance."
- R. Scott Bakker, The Darkness That Comes Before

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Re: The last laugh of the show
« Reply #23 on: July 21, 2007, 05:01:21 pm »
hahahahaha :lol:

COME TO CANDY MOUNTAIN WITH ME, CAIN, IT'LL BE AN ADVENTURE ;-)

was it the "adventure" angle that made you give in?
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Cain

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Re: The last laugh of the show
« Reply #24 on: August 01, 2007, 10:16:16 pm »
Nope.  It was the "you haven't a choice" angle that did it for me.
"The thoughts of all men arise from the darkness. If you are the movement of your soul, and the cause of that movement precedes you, then how could you ever call your thoughts your own? How could you be anything other than a slave to the darkness that comes before? Only the Logos allows one to mitigate that slavery. Only knowing the sources of thought and action allows us to own our thoughts and our actions, to throw off the yoke of circumstance."
- R. Scott Bakker, The Darkness That Comes Before

Cain

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Re: The last laugh of the show
« Reply #25 on: August 01, 2007, 10:22:51 pm »
I checked my handiwork one more time, holding it up to the light and superimposing the signature over it.  It had taken a lot of practice, but this was pretty damn good, even if I did say so myself.  Given previously I had only ever forged sick notes for absences, this was pretty passable, I reckoned.  If I could take it to the photocopier's during the lunchbreak, it meant my second assault would take place tomorrow.

It had been three weeks since the theft.  Three weeks I had spent ignoring my classes even more than ordinary, and instead building my network among the more disgruntled students, aimed at bringing the entire college and larger school to a screaming halt.

Recruiting had been surprisingly easy.  With the news that the new Common Room, which had been promised to every Sixth Form for the last 8 years, had yet again been delayed and would not be complete until the summer (after we had left), coming quick on the heels of the committee meeting, several people had been especially pissed off.

The first thing we had done was to switch off the surveillance system, the CCTV cameras that had been installed at great expense the previous year.  There were black spots, especially indoors, but they were still not very helpful, not at all.  And people don't like being treated like criminals, which is exactly what putting them under surveillance is doing.  And quite ironic, given the circumstances.  Dealing with them had been very easy, because someone had splashed out on cameras that worked quite well in the dark, too.  Unfortunately, a side effect of this was to make them rather susceptible to powerful lasers, according to my research.

Now though, it was the perfect time to throw a monkey wrench into the paperwork.  The old saying goes that time is money, and since there was little chance of any of us stealing the money back, time would have to replace it.

It was remarkably simple.  The school letterhead for internal documents was easily available on the website, all one needed was a relatively high quality printer and the signatures.  After that, it was a simple matter of dropping them into the correct folders, which were conveniently accessible to students and not under any sort of watch.

Soon, several dozen teachers would receive papers asking them to attend an after school meeting with a particular teacher on the committee.  But that teacher would not actually get one of these papers, or even know about this meeting.  Too bad really, as his co-workers were going to be pissed at him the next day, for his lack of show.

I smiled to myself.  Soon life was going to get very uncomfortable for those motherfuckers.  And I was enjoying every minute of it.

Another thing I was enjoying was the self-defence classes I was being "made" to assistant instruct at, for my sins.  Apparently, you're not allowed to drop Phys Ed half way through a term, even if the only actual sport you like is taken.  After some hefty negotation, I managed to get myself this "punishment" instead of something more traditional.  Oh, what pain it was, teaching self-defence to 18 year old girls.  Yep, life was pretty good currently.

I did the warm-up, then went through a few drills with the prick of an instructor, before wandering off to critique technique.  As it happened, I ended up by Lara as she was swapping partners.  Under the pretence of wanting to show me her sparring ability, she whispered "hey, did you have anything to do with the CCTV cameras?  Because the committee were pretty pissed, it has to be said."

I only grinned in response, which she returned.  I then nearly punched her in the head.  A small part of me, which was watching the fight, warned myself to slow down and take it more easily, like I planned to for this session.  But my higher brain was simply freewheeling, letting my body go through the motions while I planned a whole different sort of game plan.  It was time to up the pressure, make some people really sweat.  Cameras and paperwork were all fun, but I needed to really think of something devastating...
« Last Edit: September 13, 2008, 10:08:17 pm by Cain »
"The thoughts of all men arise from the darkness. If you are the movement of your soul, and the cause of that movement precedes you, then how could you ever call your thoughts your own? How could you be anything other than a slave to the darkness that comes before? Only the Logos allows one to mitigate that slavery. Only knowing the sources of thought and action allows us to own our thoughts and our actions, to throw off the yoke of circumstance."
- R. Scott Bakker, The Darkness That Comes Before

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Re: The last laugh of the show
« Reply #26 on: August 14, 2007, 01:01:12 pm »
Keep it up, man.  Thi sis getting veeeery interestink....
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Re: The last laugh of the show
« Reply #27 on: August 23, 2007, 09:32:41 pm »
Awesome writing.

Shadowdaemon who is trying to find a pen like the one mentioned in the story.
Prisons are for those who cannot exist without preying on others.

Murderers, rapists, thieves, and Halliburton execs. 

Potheads?  Meh.  All they do is sit on the couch, eating Cheetohs.

The Bible sucks hairy goat balls.  Awful writing, boring plot, nothing of interest whatsoever.  "Elia who begat Noah who begat Adam who begat Joesph who begat NO-ONE GIVES A FUCKING SHIT, THATS WHO."

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Re: The last laugh of the show
« Reply #28 on: August 28, 2007, 02:12:33 pm »
hahahahaha :lol:

COME TO CANDY MOUNTAIN WITH ME, CAIN, IT'LL BE AN ADVENTURE ;-)

was it the "adventure" angle that made you give in?

LMAO - just saw that the other day...

ETA: Just finished reading the rest so far and it's great! Can't wait til the next part!
« Last Edit: August 28, 2007, 02:20:02 pm by trippinprincezz13 »
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Cain

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Re: The last laugh of the show
« Reply #29 on: February 20, 2008, 04:03:56 am »
“Not interested”  I said, as soon as I drained my glass, trying to hide my surprise more than anything.  I had kept the circle of people in the know about my extra-curricular activities was very small – and only those I could absolutely trust knew I had orchestrated the whole thing.

Jenny wasn't in either circle.

“Nor do I care for what you think you know about me.  You should check your sources better in the future before jumping to wild conclusions.”  I put the glass down, carefully.  “And now, as 'fun' as tonight has been, I am feeling tired.  I think it would be best if we both went home, don't you?”
“Damnit, wont you even hear me out?”
“No.  Why on earth should I?  You think you can trick me, mislead me and draw me into a fight and I will jump at your every beck and call?  I don't think so, find someone else to play your games with.  I suggest your 'friend' in the Arms, once the bruises clear up.”
“And you'll do what?  Go home and stew, doing nothing.  You're wasting your life down here.” she said, quietly.
“What I do is my business, and I very much doubt you have my best interests at heart.  I'm going home, taking some painkillers, and then I'm going to relax knowing you are nowhere near me.”

She sighed at that, apparently resigned to the decision I had made.  I took that as my cue to leave, but as I struggled to get upright, she asked me “can I borrow your mobile a sec?  The battery died on mine.”
I rolled my eyes, then grudgingly handed it over.  She pressed a few buttons, sending a text I presumed, then handed it back.  Still untrusting, I checked through my outbox.  Looked to be the truth, for once.  A single text, sent to a number I didn't know, saying “IM FINISHED.  PICK ME UP IN THE MITRE.  JENNY”.

I flicked through my own phone book, trying to find a taxi service who ran at this time, then dialled.  I was ready to sleep before I even made it in the seat, and barely managed to get home without dropping off.

-------------------

I rolled over, then groaned.  Bright morning light was assailing my eyes, I hurt all over still, and there was some strange buzzing and ringing thing in my room with me.  I pulled the covers up further, avoiding anything assaulting my confused senses until I was really awake.  The ringing stopped and I relaxed.  I rolled over, winced, then looked down at the floor with sleep filled eyes, trying to grab my mobile.

It was Jenny.  She must have put her number in my phone last night, because it was now flashing in front of me.  I pressed “hang up”, killing her call.  I didn't need her shit, not this early in the morning.  I was going to get up, have a cup of coffee, get dressed and...

And then what?

Do nothing, that's what.  Find a bottle of scotch, crawl inside it and lick my wounds.  I had no pressing engagements that day.  I stumbled out of my room and limped to the medicine cabinet.  A day spent blissfully out of it on the sofa sounded good right now.  When my roommate finally decides he's bored with whatever piece of meat he dragged home last night, I could probably talk to him about scoring something  a little stronger too.  I don't usually care for drugs, but this was a special occasion, I had decided.

“Dude, you look like shit.”  2 hours later.  I had half a bottle of Glenfiddich in my hand and I'm sprawled over the lounge.
“Really?  Thanks for that news update, I don't know what I'd do without you.”
“What the hell happened to you?  You look like you got hit by a truck or something.”
“Remember how you keep telling me my taste in women will get me in trouble?  Well, you were right.  I'd rather not talk about it, truth be known.”
My flatmate left it at that, which allowed me to go back to my alcohol induced free association.  OK, so maybe Jenny had a point, I had allowed myself to go to shit somewhat.  But I was a busy person.  I was either at Uni or working, I rarely had the time for anything else, and when I did I preferred unwinding to winding others up.

On the other hand...Jenny had rather pissed me off, with her antics.  And just because she had a pretty face, it didn't lessen my desire to smash something into it.  I may have come off the better, but it wasn't like I made a definite message about the fate of people who fuck with me.  Some idiot was bound to get ideas...idiots always do, that's the problem with them.  And if there was one thing the world had in plentiful supply, it was fresh idiots.

Urgh.  I put my bottle down and checked the time.  4pm.  If I took some time to sober up, and some pills, I could be back out on the town tonight.  I had some slight bruising on my head, but it was hidden by my hair, and the rest was on parts of my body that I don't make a show of exposing in public.  It would be one in the eye for the town rumour mill if I was seen walking around and looking fine...

Yes, that sounded like a fine plan.
"The thoughts of all men arise from the darkness. If you are the movement of your soul, and the cause of that movement precedes you, then how could you ever call your thoughts your own? How could you be anything other than a slave to the darkness that comes before? Only the Logos allows one to mitigate that slavery. Only knowing the sources of thought and action allows us to own our thoughts and our actions, to throw off the yoke of circumstance."
- R. Scott Bakker, The Darkness That Comes Before