PREVIOUSLY: A violin was broken, and Laurie explained what she knew… from her perspective.
PART 73b: DOMINANT NOTE
“So that’s when Mrs. Willis came in and saw the scene,” Laurie finished, blowing her nose again. “Meaning the whole thing was really just an accident, but if you have to lay blame, then… then it WAS my fault. For knocking over the podium. I’m SO sorry Mr. Hunt! I promise that if you only suspend me for a week I’ll try ever so hard to never be so clumsy again!!”
Tears sprang anew to her eyes and Mr. Hunt sighed, handing over his entire box of kleenex. “Ms. Veniti… Laurie… please calm down. If things are as you say, then I won’t be assigning you a suspension. It would be a matter of making a form of financial remuneration to the music department.”
Laurie blinked. “A… a remue-what?”
Mr. Hunt shook his head. “Never mind. You’re free to go for now, Laurie. Tell your friend Chartreuse to come in next, if you would.”
Chartreuse marched in, closed the door and leaned against the back of the chair facing Mr. Hunt’s desk. She had to start strong, right? “Okay,” she began. “I’ll remind you up front that it’s totally not my style to blame people… but that said, if anyone HAS to get blamed for this, it should be, you know, Megan!”
“Please sit down, Ms. Vermilion,” the principal said, gesturing. “Try to leave the theatrics outside.”
“Oh, don’t worry, I won’t get too dramatic,” Chartreuse assured as she came around the chair to sit down. “Still, it’s important that you, like, understand the depth of what’s really going on here. Megan’s got it in for Corry, you know!”
“I am somewhat aware of their situation,” Mr. Hunt countered. “But I will not allow my opinion to be swayed by internal politics. Let us stick to the scene at hand, and begin with what Megan said when you all first arrived in the music room.”
Chartreuse bobbed her head. “Okay then. Here’s totally how it all went down…”
“Hey, Corry. Sorry, but Mrs. Willis can’t talk with you now. She had to see someone about a violin. She did mention that this was on the music podium for you though.” Megan held up the USB drive.
Corry frowned, immediately suspicious. “Oh, I see…”
“Though you know,” Megan continued, narrowing her own eyes, “since I’ve been so nice, telling you this, and letting you call the shots since the library, I was thinking it’s about time you did me a favour.”
“It depends, now give me those recordings,” Corry countered, stepping forwards to make a grab for it.
“What concern! Didn’t you make a backup?” Megan taunted, dodging out of the way. “Come now, Corry, don’t rush me. Let’s talk about Kim Carpenter!”
“Kim who?” Corry said in irritation, glaring at her.
“Carpenter. In the chess club,” Megan elaborated. “They’re having a tournament next week, and I owe her for letting slip the news of Joe to Julie. Hence I’d like Kim to win that tournament… if you catch my drift.”
“This is outrageous,” Corry protested, even as Laurie leaned in to ask Chartreuse why Megan thought her brother played chess.
Chartreuse looked back at her friend. “Well, there’s more going on here than that,” she murmured. “That is, Corry is still indebted to Megan after she helped with your picture.”
Of course, Chartreuse had suspected that it would only be a matter of time before Megan pulled something like this. Whether the girl had been giving Corry leeway merely because of how he’d helped get her unconscious body out of the library during the incident that day, or because Megan rather liked the idea of waiting for the best chance to publicly humiliate him, it was hard to say. But since this junior class girl never seemed to think ahead to the consequences of her actions, as evidenced by speaking so blatantly to Corry of these matters while his own sister was present, it was obvious to Chartreuse that Megan couldn’t be allowed to–
“Chartreuse,” Mr. Hunt interrupted with a sigh. “We are dealing with a single incident in the music room. Let’s leave the colour commentary out of this?”
“Oh, well, I’m just, you know, explaining why I chose to speak up to Megan when I did,” Chartreuse defended herself.
“Fine,” the principal stated. “You spoke. What did you say?”
“Listen Megan, now is not the time to get Corry involved in something like this,” Chartreuse objected, stepping forwards.
“Oh come now,” the dark haired girl countered. “Kim deserves a shot. And this talk is going so well, what with me holding on to Corry’s music,” Megan added, holding the device out again.
“I’ll take that then,” Julie remarked, plucking it from Megan’s hands as she walked through the music room door behind her.
Megan jumped as Julie continued past her to set a violin down on the teacher’s large central podium. “Next person to see Mrs. Willis, could they tell her the violin’s arrived?” the long haired brunette asked. “She was supposed to be picking it up from the office but I guess she got sidetracked. So I said I could bring it here.”
“Oh, of course. The two of you, working together. I should have guessed,” Megan glowered, crossing her arms over her chest.
Julie flashed Megan a quick smile, handing the USB drive over to Corry. She then leaned in close to whisper something in the redhead’s ear. Chartreuse only caught “… would want … betting … Megan …” over Megan saying something about being disappointed, but it was enough.
“Betting!” Chartreuse challenged Megan then, hands on her hips. “You’re betting money on the outcome of the game!”
Megan glanced back at Chartreuse in shock. “How did you… well, what’s wrong with some friends making a wager??”
Even as Megan spoke, Corry was muttering back to Julie, “… have this out with her…!” But Julie drew back and shook her head.
“I can’t stay,” Julie decided. “It’s best to leave you all to your own devices.” She backed away, turning to look at Chartreuse. “Don’t act like his mother, all right?”
Taking that as a hint to back off, Chartreuse fell silent again, allowing Corry and Megan to circle each other, while Julie left the room.
“Corry, please,” Megan said after a moment. “Don’t make me break out the big guns here or anything.” She paused, then glanced over towards the violin on the podium.
Laurie tried to say something helpful, but Corry already knew where Megan was about to go with this. “You wouldn’t dare,” he challenged.
“Hey, we’re total witnesses!” Chartreuse offered, to back him up. “If anything happens here, we’re on Corry’s side!”
“Hey! Does that mean you would even lie for him?” Megan challenged back. Chartreuse merely glared, watching her closely. Which was when Megan took a few steps forwards… and jumped for the violin.
“No!” Corry said, moving to block her, hitting the podium himself.
“Watch it, the violin, the violin!” Laurie gasped, charging in from out of the blue. For a moment, Chartreuse stood frozen in shock at Laurie’s heroic actions, even as her friend tripped and slammed into the podium, simultaneously grabbing for the instrument. Corry and Megan, looking as if they’d been about to come to blows, both stopped moving, looking at Laurie in surprise, one of them muttering something inaudible to the other.
“I’ve got ya!” Chartreuse shouted, preoccupied with leaping forwards and reaching out for the redhead. It looked like the podium was going to fall, and take Laurie down with it.
“Here, quick!” Laurie said, shoving the violin at Chartreuse rather than allowing herself to be caught.
“Fine, I’ve got it,” Chartreuse said, taking the handoff only to just as quickly slide the musical instrument onto the floor, in order to properly catch her friend. Now down on one knee, she managed to keep Laurie from knocking herself on the head.
Which was when Chartreuse heard Corry’s voice from over her shoulder say, “What ARE you DOING?”, followed almost immediately by Megan’s snarky voice, “Hey, don’t shove me!”
Out of the corner of her eye, Chartreuse saw the podium hit the floor near to where she’d placed the violin. Then Megan sat herself down deliberately right on top of the instrument.
As soon as Megan scooted free, the violin let out a feeble twang, with one of it’s strings popping loose. Corry let out a gasp and fell to one knee, staring in horror at the ruined violin. Chartreuse turned to better see herself, as Laurie finished moving the podium aside in order to get a better look too.
“Oooh, NO!” Laurie gasped. The body of the instrument itself seemed beyond repair.
Chartreuse fired a glare at Megan before looking over at Corry. “What do we do now?” she wondered.
“Which is when Mrs. Willis got there and so you’ll know the rest from her,” Chartreuse concluded. “Odd set of circumstances to be sure, but, you know, it’s pretty obvious Megan is guilty!”
Mr. Hunt frowned. There were obvious differences between her account, and the one provided by her friend Laurie, but one thing in particular stood out. “It sounded like you were facing the opposite direction from the violin. Did you actually see Megan fall on it so deliberately?”
The pink haired girl hesitated. “Well, okay, didn’t see that as such,” she admitted. “But Megan was sitting right next to it afterwards, and that fakey ‘shoving’ comment was, like, pretty telling!”
Mr. Hunt steepled his fingers in front of him. “Is it possible the podium itself fell on the violin?”
Chartreuse shook her head. “That, no. I wasn’t, like, being totally stupid when I put the thing down, sir. Is that what Laurie said? She must have got it wrong because I was, you know, blocking her view.”
Mr. Hunt looked a little closer at Chartreuse, gauging her sincerity. “Very well,” he concluded. “You may go. Tell Corry and Megan that I’ll summon the next person in momentarily.”
Chartreuse nodded, bouncing up out of her seat. “Don’t go TOO too hard on Megan, yeah?” she added as she started for the door. “It might be possible for Julie or Corry to, like, reform her!” Then she was gone.
Once the office door had closed, Dell A. Hunt grimaced and looked over towards his window. He had hoped things would be a bit more clear cut after two accounts, instead they were even less so. Had it been an accident, and was Chartreuse now covering for her friend? Or was Megan really to blame?
Neither option felt likely. While Chartreuse did have a habit of making up stories, her heart was usually in the right place – so why defend Laurie by attacking Megan in this manner? And while he had recently determined that the Falls girl was trouble, it tended to be because she was pulling the strings… not deliberately sitting on them, so to speak.
Well, perhaps the up and coming Grade 11 student herself would be the best one to clear up the mystery. Yes, she had to be the next person he would talk to. Dell rose from his desk and went to summon her inside.
NEXT: Leading Tone. Megan’s account. Want to Vote at WFG?
ASIDE: Part of the reason for the various accounts is to emphasize perception, which is a theme. Partly it’s to get into the heads of some characters, especially Megan, who’s rather new. Thoughts?