Monday, 8 May 2017

Puck it

For audio click here 

“So, we started with twelve and now we’re down to our last two.” Mr. Rogers said, “Arthur Jones from 8W and Edwina Lewis from 8L. Remember, it’s sudden death now, get one wrong and you’re out.” 
Arthur stared straight ahead. In front of him, the whole of year eight were sitting crossed legged in the hall. He knew Erin Hales was out there somewhere, but he daren’t pick out her face. News had got to him through the school grapevine that if he won the quiz, Erin would ask him to be her boyfriend. So, this had become far more important than a year eight annual general knowledge quiz, this was a matter of love and pride. 
“Miss Lewis, your question. What’s the capital of Peru?”
Easy, Arthur thought, Lima. 
“Um,” Edwina said. 
She doesn’t know it, Arthur clenched his fist. 
“Lima,” Edwina squeaked. She then smiled at Arthur, Arthur wanted to punch her; the bloody swot.  
“Mr. Jones, your question. What do the players use instead of a ball in an ice hockey match?”
Arthur looked up to the ceiling, and then down at the desk. He could picture the black rubber thing they used, but he didn’t have a clue what it was called. 
Arthur didn’t know who said it, but someone in the front row had whispered the answer. 
“Puck,” Arthur said. 
“Correct,” Mr. Rogers said. “On we go.”
“Wait,” Mrs. Bevan stepped forward.  “I’m sorry Mr. Rogers, but one of the students whispered that; Jones obviously didn’t know it.  Arthur hated his science teacher and the feeling was mutual, it was no surprise she was trying to piss on his chips. 
 “Did you hear the answer, Arthur?” Mr. Rogers looked at him.
Arthur looked at Mrs. Bevan and then at Rogers, what should he do? If he admitted it, then he might lose out on Erin, but if he didn’t, then he was cheating. Arthur was an honest lad at heart. Surely, they would reward his honesty and just ask another question. 
“I did,” he said. 
“What was that?” Mrs. Bevan yelled. 
“I did hear it, but…” 
“We need to disqualify him,” Mrs. Bevan pointed at Arthur. 
“Hang on a minute,” Mr. Rogers stood up from his desk. “let’s not be hasty.”
“He’s admitted cheating, Mr. Rogers,” Mrs. Bevan said. 
“Just give us a moment,” Mr. Rogers said to the assembled massive of year eight. 
Rogers, Bevan and the head of year, Miss Mackintosh put their heads together and discussed the situation, Bevan throwing her arms around. 
“So,” Mr. Rogers said, “we’ve decided that Arthur has broken the rules and will be disqualified. Please put your hands together for our year eight quiz champion, Edwina Lewis.” 
Arthur put his head on the desk in front of him while Edwina stood up and accepted the trophy from Miss Mackintosh. 

“Erin,” Arthur said, as she walked past the bus stop. But Erin didn’t look back, Arthur guessed she didn’t want to go out with a loser.  

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