Hidden among the bushes, Clark curled his knees up and tucked them back and forth. Oh dear God, please help me. This is the worst thing I’ve ever done. He rocked his upper torso back and forth. The rapid movements disturbed his balance. He swayed from dizziness.
The yelping of the siren screamed louder. Clark glanced around and spotted a drain tunnel. He quickly lowered himself into the pipe and plopped into the fetal position. He heard people talking but couldn’t quite make out the words. He crawled along on his hands and knees. Managing to stick the tip of his nose out, he rubbed his eyes with his filthy hands.
Tears started to overflow as his mind zoomed back to last Saturday when he watched that real police show. Mom had warned him about watching that kind of television, but he sneaked in
He inched out on his belly some more. He could see the back end of an ambulance. The paramedics pushed the stretcher into it. He couldn’t see if Quincy was moving or not. He had looked so still and pale when he got knocked over. Clark gasped when the paramedic pulled a white sheet up over his friend’s feet. He cranked his head the other way. Blood was pooling into a huge puddle. Clark quickly flopped onto his belly and puked. It splattered over the drainage pipe.
He rolled on his side and cocked his ear toward the voices. Coach screamed, “What did you boys do? I ran five minutes late for practice. The school is calling your parents to come pick you up. Mrs. Wiley agreed to wait with you until they arrive. You’re not to move a single muscle. I’m going to the hospital to meet Quincy’s parents and try to explain why their son’s blood is all over the ground and not in his head.”
Coach turned to Mrs. Wiley, one of the player’s mothers. “We need to find Clark. The police are bringing the dogs in to help find him.” He handed her a red baseball hat. “This will help.”
As soon as he left, the boys huddled above the drain. Some of the words drifted down into the ditch. “Oh man, Quincy’s dead.”
“Have you ever seen so much blood? There’s gotta be a gallon there. Clark’s goin’ to jail for murder.”
“He won’t be playing baseball for a long time.”
“Maybe, but Dad says the prison is like a country club, with a baseball diamond, tennis courts, and flat screens.”
Mrs. Wiley walked up and put her arms around a couple of the boys. Just then Officer Pete joined them. “What happened?” He pointed to a blond boy.
The boy gulped and shuffled his feet stirring up dust. “Well, Coach was late so we decided to have some fun and started a chestnut war.”
Officer Pete raised his right eyebrow.
Opening his hand, he revealed several brown balls. “We started chucking them at each other. Ya know, to see who’s the toughest. Quincy clobbered Clarke and he yelped like a dog. Clark don’t not like winning so he bent over and threw that brick. It hit Quincy smack in the head. He fell on the ground and blood sprayed everywhere.”
“Do you know where Clark is now?”
“He turned chicken and runned.”
Just then everyone heard a splash. Clark crashed into the water. The officer plucked hiout.. “You must be Clark?”
“Why’d ya throw the brick, son?” He put his hand on Clark’s shoulder and felt them shrug. “Don’t you like Quincy?”
Nodding Clark threw himself into the arms of the officer. “I didn’t mean to kill him. I just got mad. I hate that he always beats me. Am I goin’ to jail?”
“Well, you’re certainly in a pickle but I think Quincy is going to be fine.”
“You mean I didn’t kill him?”
“Head wounds bleed a lot. You call his parents and apologize. Also it might be a good idea to offer to pay for his medical bills.”
Clark’s face turned crimson. “I can’t work, I have baseball practice.”
“Not anymore. You’re lucky; you could be spending the night in juvie.”
Clark’s mother pulled up. Clark felt a rush of relief as he climbed into the back seat.
His mom hugged him. “Poor baby. I heard what the officer said about you not playing again. Don’t worry. I’ll make sure you’re on the roster. I’m president of the school board after-all.”
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