Thursday, 3 December 2015

Chapter three (segment eleven), 2016, October, Ulf

Ulf rushed to the service gates. With the contest running almost a third of the radios were out of commission and key stations ran dangerously understaffed. This was the critical phase of the festival, but he had prepared just about everyone with scare stories about the twenty minutes when the contestants took the stage.

Should have told them about the two hours after that. With that thought he continued to make certain the service gates were closed for entrance. With the open grounds deceptively empty it was all too tempting to let everyone inside, and that spelled disaster when the gym hall eventually emptied.

Guests sitting at the tables just inside the gates rose or turned when a roar erupted from the gym hall.

That's Christina for all of you. Ulf smiled as he ran.

Fifteen minutes to count the votes, including all votes collected from ballot boxes strategically placed around the school for those who wanted to make their opinion heard but disliked crowds.

At the gates the security patrol allowed more guests inside in exactly the uncontrolled manner Ulf feared, and he pulled one of them aside and handed her a paper slip with instructions.

She looked at him with questioning eyes. Then she gave the relative calm around the outdoor café a long gaze and stared at him again with even more questions in her eyes.

“Just trust me on this,” Ulf said. “We've packed fifteen hundred guests inside the gym but sooner or later they'll go outside.”

She just shrugged and joined the rest of the patrol. All of them pointed at Ulf when queuing people asked what was happening as they closed the gates.

He waved at the irritated queue and made a time-out sign hoping they'd understand. After that he left an unhappy patrol who pointedly refused to look at him. Even their backsides were unhappy.

Well, I'm the better scapegoat. He smirked and went behind the gym. The back door must have been closed to avoid letting daylight inside and he stood knocking on it for a while before he realised the futility in what he was doing. The cheering from the other side prevented anyone on the inside from hearing him.

With a sigh he prepared himself for a wrestling match all the way from the main entrance to the stage and turned.

Red Rose? What are you doing here?

The first strike fractured both bones in his left upper arm. The second gifted him with a concussion and sent him sprawling to the ground.

Before he lost consciousness he felt two of his ribs crack as he frantically shouted for help into his radio.

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