Critical Markers – Part 4

Saturday 9 – Monday 11 May 2015

The notebook lay open on the table, the handwriting scratchy and immature. The drawings however, were detailed and anatomically accurate, and the colours perfectly representative of the palette one would experience in such horrific situations as the pictures depicted.

‘Don’t ask me how I got this because I won’t tell you. That’s not the important part in all of this. What is important is that it is evidence that I am correct about him. It clearly, clearly shows what he’s thinking about, what he’s dreaming and planning. So when are you finally going to pay due attention to what I’ve been trying to bring up for so long?’

Skylar slid Teddy’s diary across conference table. It stopped short of connecting with Iris Stedman’s stomach. The older woman, impressed by Skylar’s book sliding skills, raised an eyebrow, winked, and gave her a little smile. Iris flipped through the pages of Teddy Lange’s diary, each page, each picture more disturbing than the next. When she was sure that she’d seen enough, Iris passed the diary to her left. Each member of the core staff took their turn flicking through the pages of demented ramblings, insane musings, and realistically violent pictures. When the book reached Dean Graham, Deputy Head of Wilmot High, every other core member of staff was siding with Skylar Marsh.

‘It’s irrefutable, Dean. You can’t keep putting this off,’ Iris spoke for the group. ‘I’m sorry, but there is no way that you can deny that Teddy meets the critical markers now that you’ve seen this. And neither can the rest of us.’

The Deputy Head snatched the diary as it was making its second round of the table. He glared at each staff member, many of whom lowered their own eyes. Page by page, Dean made his way from the very first entry to the last scribbled rambling. There was no denying the fact that his nephew had firmly placed himself on the radar of the core staff and, inevitably, the police.

‘Fine,’ Dean said as he slammed the cover of the diary down, ‘Teddy hits the markers and we need to instigate the process.’

‘And we need to contact the police with the information that we have,’ Skylar added.

‘What information?’ Dean snapped.

Skylar pointed to the stack of files to her right. ‘I told you I’ve been keeping records. You wouldn’t listen to me in the meetings. You kept fobbing me off. So, I kept writing stuff down. You’re more than welcome to go through it all. I’ve got copies so you can keep them as long as you need.’

Dean grunted somewhere between disapproval and annoyance. ‘I’ll take your word for it.’

‘Really?’ Skylar replied. ‘Because you sure as hell didn’t want to take my word for it before today.’

‘Watch yourself, Ms. Marsh. We’re still on school time here, and I have no problems at all writing you up for insubordination.’

* * * * *

There was little for Angus to smile about anymore. With the police set to release his brother’s body in a few days, the family would soon set about organising Michael’s funeral, and there would be even fewer reasons to smile. But for the moment, hidden away in his bedroom, Angus stepped out from the role of grieving big brother, and allowed himself to feel real joy. He stared at a framed photograph of Teddy and himself that sat on his desk.

‘Teddy, Teddy, Teddy, what have you done? You’re so easily manipulated. You’ve done everything that I pushed you to do, and you’ve done it so damn well. There’s no way you’re getting out of this. Every piece of evidence points to you, and now that I managed to get your alleged diary to Ms. Marsh, you’re toast. I doubt that anyone will be able to tell that it’s not really your work in that book.’

‘Angus,’ his mother called from downstairs, ‘who are you talking to?’

‘No one, mom,’ he replied. ‘Just myself.’

‘Oh . . . are you okay, honey?’

‘I’m fine, mom. I’m fine.’

‘Okay. Well . . . don’t stay up too late. Goodnight, honey.’

‘Night, mom.’

Angus switched off his bedside lamp, and lay back in his bed.

‘Goodnight, Teddy,’ he whispered into the darkness. ‘Enjoy your last few days of freedom, chump.’

. . . To be continued . . .


About Danielle

I like to write. What more is there to know?
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