Dillim and Carol were getting home by boat, but the boat had been cancelled for another week. Layower had suggested that they buy a house in Neyunn (house prices were lower than they had been in 30 years!) but Carol had “a life” in America she couldn’t leave.
Unfortunately Layower became sick for a few days and couldn’t enjoy the last few days he had with Dillim. Dillim had started going to the school in the last week, and oddly fitted right in. He became quite popular, and he wished he could stay and live with Layower and his family. Carol wouldn’t allow it though.
Layower was jealous of Dillim’s popularity, but they stayed friends, which stopped Layower thinking he’d abandon him.
A girl in their class, called Katerina (who was also very popular), was having a birthday party just before term ended. That was on the day before Dillim left.
“Do you think we’ll be invited?” Layower asked Dillim two days before the party. “I heard she’d accidentally left people off the list.”
“I doubt it,” Dillim said. He picked his bag out of the bag box and opened it.
“I’ve been invited!” he said.
Layower looked in his bag. There was nothing in it besides a packed lunch and overdue history homework.
“I haven’t,” he said sadly.
“It says I can bring a guest, so I could take you,” Dillim said.
“You sure?” Layower exclaimed.
“Yeah, who else would I ask?” Dillim replied.
The school ended early, and Layower and Dillim went home to watch TV.
“And to retaliate, the missiles destroyed the entire city!” the newsreader droned on.
“Does it matter what we wear?” Layower asked.
“Out of which there were only 8 survivors…”
“Probably, I’d wear the best thing we have,” Dillim replied.
“And the citizens of…Australian police…New Zealand…”
“This is boring,” Layower said, turning the TV off.
“What was that about?” Dillim asked.
“Some Australian nutter bombing people,” Dad said, who had just appeared at the door. “Shouldn’t affect us.”
The party started at 7 and ended at 11. It was at the public hall.
“Are those girls drinking vodka?” Layower asked as they arrived. “Isn’t that illegal?”
“Probably, but someone always gets supplies in. Then they get arrested for causing a stir,” Dillim said as if it was a security protocol. On seeing Layower’s face he said “Standard procedure back in America.”
The party for Layower was boring. Unless you like alcohol and getting deafened by music, he didn’t see how anyone could enjoy this. It was terrible. People were drunk, and there were no adults anywhere. People were getting into arguments and fights.
“Maybe we should leave,” Layower said to Dillim.
“Why?” he asked. “It’s-”
There was a scream; a loud one. It came from the back of the hall; everyone was crowding round. There was red paint on the floor…or blood.
The person that screamed was lying on the floor clutching his stomach.
“He’s hurt!” someone shouted.
“Stabbed!” another cried.
There was a boy, about only 13 years old, with a knife in his hand. He dropped the knife and ran out the fire exit, causing the fire alarm to go off (it was wired up to the alarm).
“Everyone out!” some guy with gray hair said, coming into the room. Then he saw the boy on the floor.
“What happened?” he asked.
“He’s been stabbed!” someone shouted.
“You call the ambulance!” he said to a girl near Layower. “And you,” he said to Layower. “Phone the police!”
Layower had never had to do anything like this before.
“What service do you require?” a voice said.
“Um, police!” he exclaimed. There was a brief wait. The girl phoning the ambulance was in the room next door. Layower could hear her, and recognised her as Katerina. She sounded scared.
“Hello, this is Neyunn police station, how may we help?” a man said on the phone.
“S, someone’s been stabbed!” Layower said.
“Where are you?” he asked.
“The hall,” Layower said. He could hear the sirens of the ambulance arriving. The boy’s friends were crying, while other people were skipping (obviously drunk).
“Could you give us details of the event?” he asked. “This will not delay the police.”
“I, I don’t know,” he said. “There was a scream and then I saw him on the floor,”
“Who stabbed him?” the policeman asked (or Layower assumed he was a policeman, he sounded like a sheriff).
“There was this boy, he ran out the fire exit,” he explained. He heard the siren of a fire engine arriving. The fire alarm must have triggered some automatic dispatch system.
“Are you still there!” the policeman said.
“Yes, sorry,” Layower apologized. “He had glasses and brown hair. I don’t really know who he is,” He heard the siren of a police car outside.
“The car arrived!” Layower cried.
“Ok, they’ll deal with it,” the man said before putting the phone down. Layower ran into the main hall. Most people had left in fear of getting in trouble for having alcohol.
“The ambulance took Will,” Dillim said. Will must have been the boy that got stabbed “And the fire engine left.”
“What about the boy that stabbed him?” Layower asked.
“The Barman is talking to them,” he replied.
They went home after that and told their shocked parents. It had been a disastrous way to celebrate Dillim leaving.