Photo Opportunity


"Sit still!"

"But mum."

"I said sit still!"

It was no use, when Mum got a bee in her bonnet it was never any use arguing with her, in fact from past experience it could make matters worse . Mum fussed about for a couple more minutes before stepping back.

"There, that does the job." she tilted her head one way and another to get the full effect, "yes, a masterpiece if I do say so myself."

Which of course was never going to be good news.

"I'll just take a couple of photo's."

"Muu-uum" her offspring groaned.

They had been through this sort of thing before, Mum's 'projects' Dad called them. Flippin' magazines and their competitions, last time it was the kitchen. Our quite adequate kitchen was turned into a tileless, door less hole in the hopes, misguided though they were, that we could win a new kitchen. Needless to say we didn't win and six months on and our kitchen still looks like a war zone.

But this latest one - well she really has gone too far this time.

'Ooh this looks good, dur de dur de dur - here we go, just send a recent photograph for your chance win.'

Well it sounded harmless enough but I should really have thought about it and requested more details then I wouldn't be sat here waiting for Mum to take my picture. Not that I have a problem with that per se but I would rather not do this one.

The only good aspect of the current scenario is that Mum has never, and I mean never, won anything in ten years of competition addiction. On the other hand both Dad and me tend to have more success, only a couple of weeks ago I won a load of cd's on the local radio's pop quiz.

It's not like she's dumb or anything, but she's just unlucky. Which is lucky for me I guess. I mean it would be nice if Mum won something but my fingers are crossed that her luck won't change just yet. It's not like she really needs a makeover, she still turns heads at thirty-five and she doesn't wear jeans all the time like my mates mothers do. Mind you she didn't need the years supply of nappies she entered for last week either!

"Can I get changed now?"

"I guess so Lor, " she sighed, "you off to the Rec?"

"Something like." that I shouted over my shoulder as I made a break for the stairs.

The Rec or to give it its full name, the George Brown recreation ground is the centre of activity for anything not involving beer or God in the village. By day it doubles up as playing field for the school, weekends it plays host to football or cricket dependant on time of year, the village carnival uses it and at all other times it attracts all the local kids. There are a couple of ancient swings and stuff for the little uns but most of us just hang out - there's not much else to do in a village this far from civilisation , the nearest proper town is Peterborough and that's about ten miles away.

"Lor, where've you been?"

"Mum wanted some help with something."

"You fancy going to do some stirring?"

"At the school?"

"Yeah" Jonno confirmed, "Mat's got his Dad's car, might get some bevvies too eh?"

So okay its not big and its not clever but taunting the kids at the public school was always good for a laugh and we might be able to get some cider from the Spar too, if mat remembers his I'D that is.

"Count me in."

Did I mention that it's a small village? The teen population consists of me, Jonno, Mat who's 17 and the Parker twins, Emily and Sarah. With the twins at choir practice, you get the entertainment you can, that just left the three of us to get up to teen mischief.

"Jonno, Lor, come on, times a wasting!"

"Got your I'D Matt?"

"Uh! I knew I forgot something. Of course I've got it dumbo! You two got any dosh?

"Couple of quid" Jonno offered.

"I can get some at the cash machine,” I advised.

"Come on then, get in or the toffs'll be tucked up in bed."

The way Mat drives meant that even on the lanes we covered the best part of six miles in ten minutes, as usual we took off over the river bridge, which always has my stomach doing a flip! Oundle (that's ouwn dell) is one of several small towns round about whose main industry is a public school, public as in private toff schools. Apart from Oundle there's Kimbolton, Uppingham and Oakham plus there are others in some of the bigger towns. We often meet up with some of our local peers but tonight it was pretty quiet, just a few posh's about.

By the time we had visited the cash machine and the offy, the September night was starting to draw in. We found our favourite bit of wall that the posh's had to pass to get from the chippy back into school and started on our booze. Strictly White Lightning of course, its cheap, comes in big bottles and you can get wasted dead easy.

We passed the bottle round and kicked our heels, it really was quiet.

"Gaw, this is boring." Mat intoned.

"We could go to Thrappo?" Jonno suggested - Thrappo, well actually Thrapston is where our plebs comprehensive is.

"Not got much petrol,” Mat mentioned.

We returned to our bottle, pausing only briefly to heckle and taunt a couple of young poshers, they ran off, I think in fright, and we were left unfulfilled. It's best when the sixth formers are about, we've had some right argy bargy's in the past and once or twice we've ended up all getting pissed. But not tonight, Mat nervously rolled a ciggy and started to puff away.

"Lets have a drag Mat." Jonno asked our chauffeur.

"Just a quick one then" he replied passing the roll up over.

Jonno took a draw and his eyes nearly burst from his head.

"Fuck Mat! That's hot!"

"Good eh? I scored it from Dave yesterday. You want a drag Lor?"

Okay, lets get things straight right here. I might drink and fart around but I never did any drugs. It wasn't from any moral high ground or anything; I just never fancied the idea. Its not like they're difficult to get round here, Mat and Jonno, even the twins, often have a spliff but I reckon I get enough from their smoke that I don't need to do it myself.

"No thanks, I'll stick to zyder.”

It was about this point that a voice called out my name.

"Hiya Lor, you guys poshing?"

"Er hi Saz, yeah not much happening though."

"You should've rung, Mum had me cleaning my room."

"You can clean mine anytime Sarah." Mat stated.

"In your dreams Matthew Morris!"

Sarah is in my form at school and is a pretty good mate; the townies tend to stick together and us bumpies likewise.

"It was a bit last minute."

"Yeah Lor was helping Mumsie." Jonno supplied.

That earnt him a good-natured arm punch.

"Give over you girl."

I stuck my tongue out which had Sarah giggling.

"You wanna get some chips?" she asked when she got over that.

"Yeah why not, what about you two?" I asked the smokers.

"Skint." Matt reiterated.

"My shout?" I offered

"Go on then, get us a pickled egg as well." Jono requested

"Yuck!" Sarah stated.

"Save us some White."

I hopped off the wall and joined Sarah for the walk round to the chippy, Mat looked happy enough with his reefer and Jono was already making short work of the cider. It's not a long walk, it's not a big place, and the Town Frier is a local institution. When we got there we joined a queue of locals and posh's, but as usual the service was quick. Well until they ran out of chips one customer in front of us.

“Five minutes folks.” the bloke in charge advised.

Saz slumped against the wall. “Thought the twins'd be with you?”


“Oh right. You going to the dance on Friday?”

I'm not exactly a big fan of school dances but living in the sticks you take what you can get entertainment wise.

“I guess, you need a lift?”

“If your Mum doesn't mind.”

“She'll be okay with it.”

“What'll it be?” the chip meister enquired.

“Four bags of chips and a pickled egg open, you want a can Saz?”

“Diet please.”

“And two cans of diet coke please.” as Mum says, manners cost nothing.

At that point there was a gunning of an engine and a car flashed past horns and occupants blaring quickly followed by a second.

“Bloody hooligans” the chipoil mentioned, “that's five fifty.”

I passed a ten over while Sarah did the s and v business.

“Anyway, the twins'll be getting a lift too” I stated between mouthfuls of vaguely slimy chips.

We ambled along eating as we went.

“I hope there's some white left,” I stated as we turned into school walk.

“Hmm.” Saz agreed without looking up from her chip paper.

“Feck!” I exclaimed, “The astards have buggered off.”

“They'll 've gone down the bridge.”

“Yeah” I agreed, “buggers've finished the cider though,” I noted seeing the discarded bottle stood on the wall.

We headed down to the river and nearly got mowed down by a plod car in a hurry jumping the lights.

“Fecking twats!” I shouted after the flashing light.

“Fight in Thrappo again I 'spect.”

There are always fights in Thrapston. You get these flash gits from like Kett'rin' coming over and winding up the locals with their flash cars and stuff, I bet there's a fight at least twice a week, all the local coppers get called in and last week some geezer got knifed.

“No sign of the dirty duo, their chips'll be bloody cold and I got Jono's egg too.” I moaned.

“They must be back up the town, we'll cut back along to the market.” Sarah suggested.

By this time we were both finished with our chips and I was getting pretty cheesed with my mates for wandering off.

"No sign here." Sarah noted.

"I bet they've buggered off, the twats!" it wouldn't be the first time Mat had stranded me somewhere. It's not like he sets out to but he can be a bit impulsive. I was more surprised now as he already said he was low on petrol.

I dug my mobile out and hit speed dial 05, that's Jonno's number. It started to ring.

"You could stay at mine if you like." Saz offered.


The phone continued to ring with no reply - bit unusual for Jonno but maybe its switched off.

"No reply."

"You want to hang around or what?"

"Better for a bit."

By now the extra chips were getting a bit maudlin.

"You fancy some more chips?" I offered.

"Might as well" Saz agreed, so rather than waste them we started on the lad's supper; the pickled egg however was headed straight in the bin!

We hung about in the market place for best part of an hour before giving in to the inevitable and heading for Saz's. I'd tried Jonno's phone three more times, and Mat's but there was still no reply.

"Hi Lori" Mrs. Waldron, Sarah's mum greeted me.

"Hi Mrs. Waldron."

"Can Lor stay over, the lads bummed off."

"Of course, just ring your mother eh?"

It wasn't the first time I'd stayed over with Sarah but generally its pre arranged.

The Waldron's spare room isn't really much more than a cupboard with a bed in it but it was at least a bed and I was missing mums inquisition, which is always a bonus. Mind you, I told Mrs. Waldron that I spoke to mum but in reality there wasn't a reply when I called - I did leave a message tho'.

I didn't sleep well; maybe it was the cider or the passive hash smoking, whatever it was I felt really crap when I woke up. And we've got school and I haven't got my uniform or books, sugar!

"Hey Lor, you getting up?" Saz poked her head round the door.


"Oops, sorry."

I tend towards a bit shy when it comes to people seeing my body. I'm not exactly filling out as quickly as my peers, which makes the showers a nightmare! Sarah must've been reading my mind though.

"You want to borrow some stuff for school?"

At least Saz is about my size, bit bigger on top if you get my drift, but we are about the same height and stuff.

"I guess I'd better make some effort, I don't think Miss Prentice would buy my jeans." I joked.

"I'll put them in the bathroom, I think I've got a spare tie too."

"Cheers Saz."

"No probs Lor."

By the time I made it to the bathroom Sarah had raided her wardrobe and I had the makings of a passable uniform. One thing our school is a stickler for is uniform, so we don't have to wear a blazer or anything stupid like that but shirt, tie, proper trousers and shoes are required. Saz had managed the first three but lets face it, no one has more than one pair of school shoes and as my trainers are mostly black I might just get away with them. I hope so.

At least as today is humanities my lack of books won't be a problem, music and RE this morning and art all afternoon.

I played with my hair for a bit to try and make it behave but I had a severe case of bed head, maybe Saz can have a go on the bus. School starts at quarter to nine and the bus isn't exactly direct, at least I had my pass and lolly, and from Oundle it picks up half an hour before I usually catch it at quarter to eight.

"Come on dozy" Saz prodded me down the bus. It always strikes me as weird that whilst Oundle is home to the biggest private school in England, the local kids have to ride the bus to Thrapston or some go to Peterborough. The result of this is that we get to ride on a clapped out old yellow doubledeck bus twice a day. Saz is the only one in our year from Oundle though, Trevor lives in Elton just up the road but he always gets a lift with his rents who both work in Thrapston.

I plonked myself into my usual seat and Sarah slid in next to me.

"Erm, you got a brush I can borrow?"

"I thought you were going for the crumpled look."


"Yeah course I have, come here, I'll do it."

Yes! It might be weird but I really like it if someone else does my hair, usually Mum out of exasperation but Saz sometimes offers. And before you say anything, I usually get ribbed about that but hey - I can live with it.

The old bus wheezed and whined along and I closed my eyes in bliss as Saz played with my locks. I was brought back to reality when Saz started wiping my eyes.


"Keep your hair on."

"What're you doing" I span round to face her fully.

"Well duh, trying to keep you out of trouble, you know we're not allowed to wear makeup at school."

"Doesn't stop Mindy Thomas."

"You are not Mindy Thomas"

"So what's the big deal?"

"Well I don't think wearing half the uniform and makeup would go down too well."

"Why would I be wearing.... you mean" she nodded, "muuum!" I fumed.

"Well I did wonder last night but it was dark, you've still got some eyeliner and mascara on."

"I told her,” I mumbled to myself.

"Come on let me clean you up" Saz persisted.

"Just wait till I get home."

"Thought you were going Goth, you don't usually wear makeup."

"As if!"

Saz just looked at me weird but something had caught my attention.

"We've missed the turning."

Instead of turning off at the crossroads we were still headed along the main road.

"Must be some sort of diversion thingy." Saz suggested.

"We're gonna be late!" I moaned.

And late we were. By the time we had bobbled along the diversion and retraced a bit to pick up a few bods we were nearly half an hour late. Just my luck. However, the school secretary took everyone's name and form and sent us straight to first period. As everyone else was in assembly I found a corner to crash in while I waited. Strange that I didn't see Jonno or Mat on the bus, I 'spose they might have come in Mat's car when the bus was late. Jonno is in Sarah's form and has the same first period today so I wasn't expecting to see him till morning break anyway.

I'm not sure at what point I decided, or why, but the idea of spending the day in school lost any appeal it might have had. I might not be exactly a model student but I'm not that bad. Living a bus ride away from school doesn't lend itself to truancy, the townies do that, so my decision to skip school, at least till lunchtime (I was registered this morning anyhoo I reasoned), was not so much out of character but unexpected.

Now if you've ever been to Thrapston or I guess any other small country town, you'll know the options for a truant are a bit thin, at least if you wanted to remain at large! I hid in the lav until everyone was safely in class then slipped out of the building for a couple of hours of freedom.

I realised that I had a sort of plan in mind; first stop however was the petrol station for some munchies.

"Shouldn't you be in school?"

"Dentist's" I stated. It seemed plausible, to me at least.

"For later then" the old woman smiled in return.

"Er yep, lunch."

She just shook her head as I departed with my Mars bar and bag of crisps. I've never been one for papers and stuff but the local daily rag; the Peterborough Argos had an eye-catching headline 'Eight die in horror smash'. Being close to the A1 and the A14 you get these sort of things a lot - just a couple of weeks ago there was a nasty smash with a petrol tanker that closed the bypass for a whole day. What really caught my attention was the byline 'forensics try to identify remains'. Ooh, that must have been a real nasty job.

I escaped the shop and headed down to the river, it was quiet down there, just a few dog walkers and no one would be bothering me.

The upshot of course is that I missed what was happening at school.

Although on the face of things it was just another day at school, beneath the surface things were quite different and not getting any better. The Police had greeted the staff when they arrived, hoping to either eliminate or identify the victims of the accident. As Lor sat by the river munching a bag of crisps, a discreet check was being made to see who was in school and who was missing. The list of absentees was surprisingly short and a couple of phone calls reduced the list to three, Mat, Jonno and Lor!

As one of the cars involved had already been identified as Mat's, no one thought to check any further - after all it was hardly news that the three of them hung about together. It seemed pretty cut and clean when it was confirmed that all three were missing from home overnight.

At this point you might be wondering why the list that Miss Paterson made as they got off the bus didn't throw up Lor. Well in the crush, and lets face it, it was a busload of school kids, Lor's shouted details were missed, others were too but the others were actually in class and not mates with two other missing pupils. A case of two plus two making five.

Several miles away the emergency services were still at the scene of the accident. The charred and crumpled shells of four cars still blocked the road although all the victims were now removed from the scene.

"What a bloody mess" Sergeant Michael 'Ging' Bosworth muttered to himself.

"What Sarge?"

"Nothing Thompson, such a waste of life."

"Yes Sarge."

"Any news on identification yet" the burly sergeant turned from the carnage to address PC Thompson directly.

"Not yet, we've got I'D on the metro now though, belongs to one Mathew Simpson 17 years from Aldwinkle"


"Well Oundle have five missing students this morning they're doing their best to locate them all."

"They know about the BMW?"

"Not yet Sarge."

"Well let's see what names they turn up."

"What now Sarge, I hear a sausage sarnie calling?"

"Okay Thompson, I get the message, I missed breakfast too."

The two officers climbed into their Astra and with PC Thompson at the wheel, headed towards Oundle where

'Mrs. Miggins' would provide a full English at a special Plod rate.

Although there was still no formal identification of any of the crash victims, a simple headcount in the village supplied enough information to have a shrewd guess as to at least some. In a small place like Aldwinkle news doesn't take long to get around

And the vicar was already in town with Jonno's parents. With tragedy inevitably comes the morbid curiosity of the outsider and two TV crews and Hereward Radio were already camped out to cover the tragedy.

"Something's up." Peter Ward stated as he steered the family car into the village.

"Look there's a TV crew over there." Josie Ward noted, craning her neck for a better look.

Much like their offspring, Peter and Josie were great devourers of the world of journalism, the six o'clock news and the Evening Telegraph satisfied their appetites. They lived by the premise that life was too short to worry about soap stars sex lives and what real importance does football have? They both led full lives, Josie was involved with everything from the WI to her fresh water aquarium and Peter's passion was old MG's.

They reached their cottage and made it inside without being intercepted by the media, oblivious to the impending storm.

Down by the river some five miles away Lor was at that stage of playing hooky where a good idea has turned into boredom and perhaps even regret. When you haven't got anything specific to do you end up eating your provisions quicker than anticipated, even a bit of senseless pebble throwing only occupies you for a few minutes. Maybe if there was someone else to skip off with it would be different but on your own, well its not all its cracked up to be. Lor's solution was at least pragmatic, a sunny bank provided the location, and a peaceful day provided the rest. Lor was soon asleep, oblivious to the world at large.

"Well it looks like we've got confirmation on the three in the metro."

Ging Bosworth sighed deeply. There was one piece of policing he really hated and it looked like he was in for a right session today. Telling the often unsuspecting relatives about a death, most usually the parents was never easy, it seemed to get worse rather than easier each time.


"As we can be Sarge, all three were seen earlier in the evening in the car, they aren't in school today and haven't been seen in the village or at home since early yesterday evening."

"Damn. Okay Thompson, see if you can rustle up a WPC then we'd best go visit the parents."

Well I suppose if your expectations are that it's not going to be good then any degree further can't make it that much worse can it? By the time they left the Marchant farm even the battle hardened was being affected. The Wilson boy's parents had sat woodenly on the sofa, as the news was broken to them. No hysterics, no wailing, no denial, the emotion was there, the hurt was clear in their eyes but they were doing the stiff upper lip thing. The Marchants by contrast were much freer with expressing their feelings. Mrs. Marchant started wailing almost as soon as she opened the door. I guess three policemen at the door never means good news. Mr. Marchant, whilst not subject to his wife's hysterics, was by his reaction equally distraught.

"You two okay?" Ging asked his underlings as they walked back to the car.

"Yes sir." WPC Brown replied.

"Will waiting help?" Thompson asked rhetorically.

"Never Thompson, never."

"In that case Sarge let's get on."

As they drove back to the road it was clear that the newshounds had homed in on the Marchants, the Hereward radio van was just turning into the farm lane.

"Best get a car up here Thompson, the Marchants'll be under siege in a few minutes."

"Yes Sarge."

How it got into school will doubtless be a mystery but by lunchtime the rumour mill was doing its work and names were being passed about. With Matt, Lor and Jonno missing even the less bright were doing the sums and coming up with five.

"You heard Sarah?"

"What?" Tracy Rossiter was the biggest gossip in the school and you always had to take her with at least a pinch of salt.

"Lor and Matt got killed in a car crash!"


"Yeah they were racing in some kids car and it blew up last night."


"And another car crashed and there were bodies everywhere" Tracy never heard Sarah, once she got into her swing that was it.

The problem with Tracy was that although she tended to exaggerate there was usually a modicum of truth in there.

"I thought it strange when they weren't in registration." Tracy bumbled on.

Not in registration? But Lor came in with me.

"...And Manda said she saw them in Oundle with that sixth former they hang with, hey you don't think it was his car they were in?"

"Er I dunno."

"What a waste, I really fancied Matt. Hey Julie, have you heard?" and with that Sarah was once again left alone, Tracy having found a new listener for the grapevine.

So where is Lor? If it was true about about Matt and Jonno that's terrible but it was a worry that Lor seems to have disappeared, they couldn't be connected could they? Saz sat in a state of, well concern for Lor and the first stages of shock with regard to the deaths of the other two. Where is Lor?

Meanwhile Lor Ward was still blissfully unaware of pretty much anything other than the quiet hum of the insect, the occasional splash of a duck and just occasionally the distant sound of traffic on the A14. Time meant nothing on the riverbank and Lor was finding the atmosphere very relaxing. So okay, skipping school was probably not the greatest idea but well if you don't make a habit of it a bit of me time like today is pretty kool. It was after two before Lor realised, bummer! 'I'll just hang about and catch the bus home, no point in making extra trouble for meself'

"Where the hell have you been?"

"Nowhere" Lor replied somewhat defensively.

"What do you mean 'nowhere', you've not been in school today have you, you skived off."

"Okay I skipped school, so what everyone does."

"Well everyone thinks you're dead,” Sarah stated.


"That diversion this morning."


"Well there was a big crash and they think you were in one of the cars."

"That means...."

"It was Matt's car."

"Oh &£$%!"

Lor sank back into the corner.

"They're dead?"

"I don't know for sure but the police have been round school all day and Tracy Rossiter heard that it was Matt and Jonno and you that they were looking for."

Saz was almost in tears by now as she grabbed Lor.

"What if they really are dead Lor?"

Lor was now in nearly as much of a state, holding Sarah which seemed to be right given the circumstances but although calm on the outside, even detached, inside Lor was in terrible guilt laden turmoil. The rickety old bus heaved away from the school in a cloud of fumes with the pair of them still holding each other.

"What is it Thompson?"

"They've got a positive on another body Sarge."

"Well spill then."

"One Edward James of Werrington, Peterborough."

"Edward James? Not Ted James?"

"The very same."

"Well I can't say that I'm that upset, and I don't suppose Peterborough CID will be either, which car was he in?"

"Well it seems it was the Metro sir."

"The metro, and there were how many bodies inside?"

"Three Sarge."



"So just where is the Ward kid then?"

The Wards were just finishing putting the shopping away when there was a knock at the door.

"What have we stopped for?" Saz enquired.

"Dunno," Lor strained to see down the bus, "looks like a traffic jam."

"In Aldwinkle?"

"There's a big van trying to turn round by the looks."

The bus finally rumbled forward into an unusually busy village. The bus makes two stops in Aldwinkle and Lor usually got off at the second as it was only a few metres from the Wards house. A few students got off in the centre and Lor got ready to alight.

"Lor, there's a police car at your house."


Indeed there was along with a bunch of other vans and cars.


"I'm coming with you" Saz announced as their transport pulled to a halt.

There was obviously a welcoming committee waiting by the front gate so Lor led the way to the back gate on Millard's Farm Lane.

With Sarah following closely Lor rushed inside.

"Mum, why are the Po..lice outside" the reason for the hesitation was the sight of the visitors sat on the sofa.

"There you are Lor, hi Sarah " Josie Ward started, "oh it's terrible luv."

"What your mother is trying to say is that Matt and Jonno were killed last night” Peter Ward finished.

Saz grabbed Lor who grabbed Josie and a session of tears started.

"We'll er just wait outside for a bit." Ging suggested.

"Er thanks Sargeant" Josie replied over the wailing.


"Yes Sarge?"

Ging took a drag on his plastic cigarette; it was at times like this he wished he'd never given up.

"I might be mistaken here you understand but I thought the Wards had a son?"

"Um, the name I have is Laurie Sarge" Thompson agreed.

"Well unless I'm very much mistaken there were too girls in there."

"Maybe they got the name mixed up at HQ, Laura perhaps?"


The wailing in the house eventually subsided to sobbing and Peter Ward thought it was time to make another cuppa.

"Sergeant? Fresh tea?"

"Oh er yes please Mr. Ward."

"They should be okay in a couple of minutes."

"Um Mr. Ward" Thompson started.


"Can I ask you a question please?"

"Of course" Peter continued preparing the tea things.

"Well it's just that..."

"What Thompson is trying to ask is, well its nothing really but what is Lor short for?"

"Laurie, well Lawrence actually."

"And he's in the front room?"

"Yes" Peter was a bit perplexed now.

"But she's a girl" Thompson got out.

"Thompson! I'll take that Mr. Ward "

They retuned to a now much calmer living room, the two youngsters sat either side of Lor's Mum, still a bit sniffly. Peter Ward looked at his son; does Lor look like a girl? Well he could do with a visit to the barber and he does take after his Mum in looks. But a girl, nah.

"Feeling a bit better?" Ging asked.

"Um yes, a bit" a red eyed Lor replied.

"I know this is difficult but I need to ask you some questions."

"Couldn't this wait Sargeant? You can see the state they're in."

"Its all right Mum."

In truth Lor was scared to death of the trouble he was in for skipping school and all the stuff that Matt and Jonno got him involved in. His fear must've shown on his face.

"It's okay Lawrence, you aren't in trouble, well not with us at least." Ging tried to lift the mood. "What we need to know is what happened last night and if you could tell us where you were today."

"I er bunked off, I had to borrow some uniform from Saz, I'd never live it down if anyone found out."

"Oh Lor" Josie hugged her son.

"What about last night?"

Over the next half an hour Lor and sometimes Saz relived the events of the previous evening.

"Well thank you everyone, I don't think we need anything more, if you remember anything else give Thompson here a bell."

"Thanks Sargeant" Josie started, "we're sorry that Lor has caused so much trouble."

"All kids skip school occasionally we were rather more glad to find him in one piece than worry unduly about a day out of school.


Maddy Bell 25.10.06 © 2008

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