Hamstergate (Part 4)
“You couldn’t have done that if you’d tried, like 30 bazillion times.”
“I know, right.”
Crack. A deafening sound rolls across the field. Beth and I flee cowering into the safety of the forest. There had been a flash. Not yellow, but a peculiarly supernatural, eerie blue. A long column of brown smoke was now rising off the powerline at the point my stick had bridged the cables. Some way off, I see a wisp of smoke curling up from the barley where the stick had come to rest.
Gazing around guilty for lookers on, we back deeper into the copse, and stand panting. From the shade of the taller trees, we watch as the wispy curl of smoke fades to nothing. The noise had curdled my bones. It wasn’t a bang, but more of a ffss-snap like the sound of a massive Christmas cracker being pulled. And it echoed for seconds after. My heart is racing. I feel as if I have just watched some early Faraday cage experiment or witnessed the ghoulish formation of Mr. Hyde in Dr. Jekyll’s cobweb bestrewn lab. Probes pushed to the head. Clenched teeth. The power of a trillion charged electrons racing through white-hot nerves. Cross oneself. Cross oneself.
“What do we do?” pants Beth, wide-eyed. I look around once more. In the birdless silence, the field stretches far, wide and peopleless once again.
“Ok, so no-one saw us.”
“They might’ve done.”
“I don’t think so.”
“What if we get reported? What if there are cameras?”
“We’re in a field. There aren’t usually cameras in fields.”
“Someone over at that house might have been looking at us through binoculars?”
I squint along the trajectory of Beth’s pointing finger at a tiny cottage miles off over the other side of a small road.
“Well that’s massively unlike.”
“The best thing we can do is just act like nothing’s happened. We need an alibi. We were going to the dentist. I was escorting you to the dentist because you were nervous.”
“But that’s not what Amandine thinks; she thinks we were heading into town to see friends.”
“Well we can be, I can call up Sam and ask him to meet us.”
“But in a court of law, they’d look at the time stamps on the text and see that we asked to meet up with him after we said to Amandine we were going into town ‘to meet friends’. Wait, wait, wait… I just text my Mum saying we were heading to the dentist together. Ok, phew, we’re good.”
“Thou raise-esth a good point” I say sagely. “Let’s just head into town. Nothing is more innocent than going to a dentist. Nothing.”
“…except going to the dentist with the intention to kill.”
“Yeah, but we’re not doing that are we.”
“So long as you don’t throw any more sticks at things, no.”
“Shhhh, quiet now.”
We approach the other side of the forest and head up a thin lane to the high street. As we walk along the pavement, past market stalls and beady-eyed old grannies, our clothes dusty with pollen and earth, we may as well have two pop-art-style bubbles floating above out heads with the word GUILT twisting conspicuously in the sunlight.
“Look”, I whisper furtively as we wait at a crossing. “When we left the scene, nothing looked any different. We are just two 18-year-olds, going about our normal business. You are going to the dentist. I am coming with you. What is remotely odd about that?”
“I don’t suppose you’ve given any more thought to how I can avoid…”
“No, I bloody haven’t.”
The Sublime Smiles Dental Practice was up a little side street. On the door is a picture of a family grinning inanely with uncannily white teeth. As I push the door, a chime sounds der-der-der-der-der.
Beth walks boldly behind me with the bolt-upright, stoic stance of someone heading bravely to their fate, or to meet their maker down a back alley. The receptionist smiled a Sublime-Smile-grin and rounds the corner to the front desk towards us.
“I’m awfully sorry” she says. “We’re going to have to see you another time. We’ve suffered a power outage.”