Jennifer is sitting on the train with Amber, her best friend. She’s on the way to the city to Blake’s 18th, a guy she’s had a massive crush on for a while now. She looks at her watch, 9:15. They were supposed to meet at 7:30 at Town Hall steps but Amber made them late.
Jennifer promised Amber that they’d go together, but it was assumed they would be getting there on time. Amber had neglected to mention that she had her cousins coming over for dinner, and her dad, being the hard ass that he is, made her wait until her cousins had left.
The pair of them have had minimal conversation since they met up at the station. Amber knows that Jen likes Blake so she understands why she would be pissed off. Jen breaks the silence.
‘Should I text him to say we’re on the way?’
‘Nah babe, it will be a better surprise if we just rock up’
‘You know I’m pissed off with you for making us late’
‘We’re not late, we’re fashionably late, this way we can make a sexy entrance’
‘But what if we get there and he’s making out with some bar slut?’
‘That won’t happen babe, everyone knows he has the hots for you. You can be his bar slut for the night’ Amber responded with a giggle.
They arrive at Kings Cross station and jump off the train. Amber said she had been to Soho before so she takes the lead.
‘What if they aren’t at Soho anymore?’ Jen asks.
‘Should I text Tash and find out?’
‘Why don’t you just call her?’
‘Babe you don’t go clubbing much do you, she won’t hear her phone in there’
Amber sends Tash a message asking if they are still at the club. By the time Tash responds, the girls are already in the line waiting to get in. She reads it out to Jeniffer.
‘Habe sil her so good so smash babe fun’
‘Wow, Tash is off her chops! Hopefully we can get as smashed as them soon.’ Amber says to Jen
Jennifer laughs and replies ‘I don’t think anyone could get as smashed as Tash always manages to get!’
The girls laugh some more, and they are let into the club. They both head straight to the bathroom to make sure their hair and make up is still intact. While they are adding the finishing touches, Jennifer gets a text message from Blake.
‘Hey Jen hope you can make it tonight, really wanna see you.’
Jennifer blushed, and put on a big smile. She really wants to see him too.
‘Is that from Blake? Show me.’
‘Nah not from Blake, it was my Dad, checking I got here ok’
The girls leave the bathroom and start scouring the club looking for their friends. Some of which weren’t hard to spot. They see Chris, Trev, Josh, Casey, Belinda, Evan, Tash, Scott, Kevin, Jess, Tom, Kelly and Liz all in the middle of the dance floor.
They are moving incredibly fast, sweat pouring out of them. Spinning in circles, yelling and cheering. Pulling off terrible dance moves. The girls look at each other with a humorous concerned smile.
‘They aren’t drunk at all! Must be on pills or something’ Amber shouts over the music. Jen just nods in response.
‘I’m going to go and find Blake’
‘Well I’m coming!’
With a sigh Jennifer starts walking away, Amber close on her heels. She loves Amber but would also love to see Blake alone. Before long they spot him in the line at the bar, holding his phone in one hand, and his wallet in the other. Glancing down every few seconds at his phone.
She smiles and checks him out. He was looking cool as ever. Jen loved Blake’s style, he always seemed to look so great but not as though he was trying too hard. He was wearing black cargo pants, a crazy colourful t-shirt, and his hair was the rugged style that she’d grown to love.
She taps him on the shoulder.
‘Hey!’ Blake says, with a high pitched broken voice. He clears his throat and tries again.
‘Hey Jen, how’s it going?’
‘Happy birthday Blake’ Jen replies, leaning in and giving him a big kiss on the cheek.
‘Thank you! You look beautiful.’
‘Oh shut up you charmer’
Amber chimed into the conversation with a wolf whistle.
‘Get a room you too. Happy Birthday Blake, I guess.’
‘Amber, always a pleasure.’
‘Sorry we’re late’ said Jennifer, ‘Amber’s bloody dad wouldn’t let her leave a dinner’
‘No worries, I’m just happy you came! It’s so good to see you. Wouldn’t have been the same without you here.’
Annoyed that she wasn’t being included, Amber changed the subject.
’So what the hell is up with the rest of the group? They look damn crazy on the dance floor.’
‘Yeah they all took pills. Chris had them, said they were the best he’d ever taken. He gave me one too, but I haven’t taken it, I’ve just been drinking.’
‘Good boy Blakey’ Amber teased.
Jennifer just smiled at Blake, after a moment looking into each others eyes she said;
‘Well lets drink then! I want to do some Tequila shots!’
The three waited in line at the bar. Jennifer and Amber went ahead of Blake, as they said they would probably get served faster. Before long they were adjacent to the bar, and were looking greedily at 6 Tequila shots.
Jennifer held up one of her shots in the act of making a toast.
‘To Blake, welcome to adulthood, a time to make memories, memories that can easily be forgotten with legally purchased alcohol’
With a laugh the three of them downed their first shots, followed closely by the second ones. Amber, who’d never been a strong drinker said she’d be back in a second, and ran to the bathroom gagging.
‘Should you go with her?’ Blake asked
‘She’ll be ok. She always does this, Amber can’t handle straight alcohol. Besides, gives us 5 minutes to be alone. I love the girl but she can be a bit of a shadow sometimes.’
Blake laughed. ‘Hey there are some lounges over there, want to sit down for a bit and talk?’
They walked away from the bar towards a long row of lounges. In a ‘Family room’ type layout, each set with a wooden coffee table full of coasters. They plonked down next to each other on one of the couches. The pair were sitting closely. Slightly facing each other. Blake broke the ice.
‘I meant what I said before. You look amazing tonight. You always do. There’s something I’ve been wanting to tell you for a whi-’
He was interrupted when Jennifer leant forward and kissed him. A hard kiss, yet soft at the same time. Passionate and meaningful. She brought her hand up to his face as they kissed. Feeling the tension disappearing in his cheeks. She pulled back from him, then leant forward again and planted an extremely delicate kiss on his cheek.
Blake was speechless. He had been waiting for this moment for years. He didn’t know what to say, but he knew he had to say something.
‘Thanks’ he croaked out, with a slight testipop.
Jen laughed. ‘Anytime Blake’
With his confidence returning Blake leaned in and kissed her again. He never knew Jen had the same feelings for him as he did for her. They sat there kissing, and touching for about 10 minutes. Amber came bounding over and interrupted them.
‘Finally. Thought you two would never get it out of your system!’
‘Shut up Amber.’
‘Well? Is he a good kisser? Is he everything you’d ever imagined?’
‘Yeah he’s not bad, could use a bit of work’ Jen laughed.
‘Ladies, I’m sitting right here’
‘Anyway come on, lets go and say hi to the maniacs dancing’
The three of them left the chilled out section of the club and started to head over to the dance floor. As they approach the group dancing Chris notices them and runs through the floor at full speed, dodging the other dancers as he did it.
His pupils were massive, and his eyes wide open. He had an insanely big smile on his face. He looked like he had just broken out of an insane asylum, wild, dangerous and untamed, with enough sweat pouring out of him to fill a lake.
‘HEY GUYS hey hey hey hey hey. SICK party man. WOOP WOOP WOOP COME ON’
‘Hey Chris’ Amber started ‘Having fun are we?’
‘AMBER. OH MY GOD AMBER. COME DANCE’
‘Stop yelling man we can hear you. How are you feeling? Blake said.
‘GOOD BROTHER. Sorry, good man, feel amazing. Feel so powerful and energetic. Did you take that pill? TAKE IT TAKE IT TAKE IT.’
‘Nah I hav-’
‘GOTTA GET BACK MAN’
And with that Chris leapt away and raced back to the dance floor. Leaving Amber, Jen and Blake unsure of how to feel.
‘It’s like he’s possessed! I mean I’ve seen him take pills before but he’s never anywhere near like this.’
‘Yeah look at them out there’ Jen replied. ‘They all look insane’
The three of them looked out to the dance floor. It looked fairly normal for a club until you looked right in the middle and saw a dozen people dancing like maniacs. Spinning in circles, jumping up and down. At one point they saw Kelly slip and crash to the ground. Her head hit the floor solidly and bounced twice. Before the three of them could even react Kelly was back on her feet smiling and laughing as if nothing had even happened.
That’s when it all began.
Chris was in the centre of the group dancing. Sweat flew off him in every direction as he flailed about like a Magikarp using splash. The rest of them looked just as insane.
Blake, Jennifer and Amber just stood there on the side lines. Watching, amazed by what they were seeing, but also finding the humour in the situation. They were especially entranced by Trev’s killer dance move of holding his arms up straight and jumping on the spot over and over.
Then Chris started spinning in circles. At an insanely fast rate. At the same time his mouth opened and a thick steam of vomit began shooting out. He didn’t stop spinning though. Vomit covered everyone around him. Most of the dancers rushed off the floor yelling and swearing. The only people remaining were from Blake’s group. Chris was still vomiting. It was coming straight out, as if gravity played no part in the matter.
Vomit covered Blake’s friends, who barely noticed. They just kept dancing like maniacs, whilst laughing at the same time. Chris kept dancing, he had stopped spinning and was jumping around now, still vomiting. Then he dropped. Halfway through a dance move the vomiting stopped and Chris slumped to the ground as if the life in him had flown out with the vomit.
The rest of the group dancing took no notice of Chris having fallen. They kept on going, now with bits of sweat and vomit soaring off their bodies with each movement.
Blake was the first to take action. He’s always been good under pressure and was well known for his assertiveness to take action.
‘Amber call an ambulance, Jen, go and tell the staff what happened. Try to find the Manager.’
Before they could reply Blake took off at a run to the middle of the dance floor. He pushed through his friends screaming at them to help. When he reached Chris he was lying motionless on the floor. Blake tried to feel for a pulse but it was too loud and he was too panicked to concentrate.
He yelled for Trev to help him but got no response. As he was bending down to carry Chris, Tom stomped on Chris’s arm while dancing. A horrific bone crunching sound rang through Blake’s head. Like someone had grabbed a large stick and snapped it right next to his ear.
Blake got to his feet, screaming and swearing at Tom, who gave no response other then laughing and dancing. Blake jumped forward and cracked Tom in the jaw with his right fist. Tom stumbled a few steps back, but didn’t stop smiling, laughing and dancing.
Blake dropped back to the floor and grabbed Chris under the armpits and started dragging him away from the madness of the dance floor. Amber was on the phone to the Ambulance as she came over to check on Chris.
The music stopped mid-song, but that didn’t stop the crazy dancers. They just kept going. Jumping up and down, spinning in circles, slipping in the vomit and getting back to their feet. It was insanity.
Jennifer arrived with the Manager who bent down and checked his pulse, all the while firing off questions to the three scared friends.
‘Has he taken any drugs tonight?’
‘Ah yeah he did bu-’ Blake started to answer.
‘What did he take?’
‘I’m not sure, he said it was some new drug’
‘What happened to his arm?’
Chris’s left arm was a horrendous sight. Between the elbow and the wrist in the middle of the forearm was a big bend. It was like having a joint in the middle, like a second elbow. It made Blake feel sick to his stomach.
‘One of the guys out there Tom, stepped on it when he was dancing.’
‘Are they all your friends? We’ve been watching them all night, have they all taken the same drug?’
‘Yeah I think they did.. are they going to get into trouble at all?’
‘I’m not here to get anyone into strife mate, just want to make sure no one dies in my club. Now you’ve called an ambulance I hear?’
Amber chimed in then. ‘Yeah I did, they should be here any minute.’
‘Well you might need to call them again we’ll need more then one Ambo’
He said this looking up from Chris to the other dancers. Trev was now vomiting in the same style that Chris had. Dancing with sheer intensity, whilst projectile vomiting in every direction imaginable.
Blake stood up to go and help Trev, but the firm hand of the manager on his chest held him back.
‘Better not to go over there mate, they seem pretty crazy, can’t have you getting hurt. You’ll need to explain to the Ambos what’s been happening here’
Torn, Blake decided that the manager was right, he looked back over to the group on the dance floor in time to see a few of the girls retching. Belinda, Tash and Kelly all started to vomit within 10 seconds of each other. As with the two boys, they didn’t stop dancing the whole time. Even when Trev collapsed to the ground.
The manager pulled Blake up off the ground and took him away from Chris’s side.
‘Look mate, I don’t know what was in those pills, but it seems to be pretty heavy stuff. Your friends out there are out of control. You and the girls here haven’t taken anything have you?’
‘No we haven’t, I mean my friend here gave me one but I never took it.’
‘Do you still have the pill on you?’
‘Don’t worry I’m not going to call the police or anything, just hang onto it, they might need it at the hospital so they can find out how to combat the effects.’
Before long the first ambulance arrived. Trev, Belinda, Tash and Kelly were all unconscious in the middle of the vomit infested dance floor. Josh, Casey, Evan, Scott, Kevin, Jess, Tom and Liz were all still dancing around the unconscious bodies like nothing had happened. No music was playing, and they all looked ridiculous.
They had a sweaty dehydrated look. Like someone who had been moshing at a festival all day and was only drinking alcohol.
The paramedics rushed in and immediately knelt on each side of Chris. They started firing off the same questions the Manager had just minutes earlier. Blake answered the questions with confidence and detail. Jennifer and Amber stood to the side sobbing quietly.
After about 30 seconds looking over Chris one of the paramedics, a young dark haired man probably no older then 25 looked towards his partner with concern.
‘No pulse’ he said.
Two words. Two syllables. Such a simple statement that has the power to crumble any strong willed person to pieces. Amber and Jennifer let out a sharp cry and instantly fell to pieces.
Blake stared at Chris, for what seemed like an eternity.
He had nothing to say, no tears to cry. He just stared at his best friends body, lifeless and cold on the ground. Chris was such a misunderstood guy, he judged no one but was judged by them all.
He had gotten Blake through some pretty rough times. Blake had spent many nights at Chris’s house sharing experiences, memories and ideas on the future. He knew Chris was stuck in a rut, but also knew that as soon as that rut was over he would accomplish amazing things.
Now he’d never get the chance to show the world what he was made of. In Blake’s trance of despair he didn’t notice that the police had arrived. They were standing talking to the paramedics. Blake overheard what was being said.
‘We need you guys to remove the kids dancing over there so we can get to the four on the ground. But don’t take them away, we’ll need to have a look at them too.’ Said one of the paramedics.
‘We’re going to have to take them to the hospital as soon as possible.’
‘Alright boys, we’ll cuff the lot and put them in the paddy wagon, and deliver them to the hospital.’
The police set out towards the dance floor. They started yelling at the group still dancing.
‘On the floor! Everyone get on the floor RIGHT NOW!’
He got absolutely no response from the group. The two police approached with caution, with both of their batons held out in front. The group kept dancing wildly. One of the cops jumped forward and tackled Josh to the ground. Even when he hit the floor he was wriggling, trying to dance horizontally.
The cop kneed him in the back, pulled Josh’s arms behind him and slapped on the handcuffs. The rest of the group kept dancing as the policeman directed Josh outside to the paddy wagon.
While he was gone the second cop went for Evan, who had just slipped over on some vomit. The cop easily jumped on top of him and was trying to turn him over to get his arms when Evan opened up and let rip. Vomit shot out of Evan’s mouth and covered the Policeman. His face was plastered with it.
He immediately let go of Evan and jumped up yelling and screaming.
‘Disgusting! That little shit got it in my mouth!’ he gagged.
‘Were ya thirsty?’ The other cop said, walking back in from locking Josh away.
‘We need back up to lock up all these kids, I’ll call it in’
The vomit covered cop ran off to the bathroom to clean himself up while the other one called for more officers.
Blake was standing silently looking at Chris while all of this was going on. He had taken no notice of anything that was happening. The girls still stood there, shaking and crying.
He asked the paramedics, ‘Why aren’t you checking on my friends out there?’
‘We need the police to remove your other friends so we don’t get harmed matey.’
‘But they are waiting for backup! What if they’re dead when they get here!’
’Sorry bud, it’s protocol’
‘Fuck your protocol!’
With that Blake rushed past the paramedics, and the cop on his walkie, and ran onto the dance floor. He ducked under Kevin’s swinging arms and weaved past Casey, He grabbed Kelly by the collar and dragged her backwards through the crowd. When he was far away enough from the rest of the group he dropped her and yelled at the paramedics.
‘GET TO WORK!’
Then he raced back over to the group and came back dragging Belinda and Tash by their arms and left them next to the paramedics and Kelly.
He went back a 3rd time to get Trev, who was lying a little to the left of the group. He left Trev till last because he had the least chance of someone stomping on him like Tom had done to Chris. When he reached Trev he bent down to lift him under the arms, as Trev was a pretty heavy guy. He was knocked forward by a blow to the back of the head, and fell on top of Trev. Scott had kicked him during one of his dance moves.
Startled and dazed, Blake got to his feet and shoved Scott hard out of the way. Scott went sprawling forwards and smashed his face on the ground, only to get up a second later as if nothing had happened at all.
Blake, feeling weary and faint started to drag Trev over to the paramedics when the policeman ran over and helped.
After a while the paramedics pronounced Trev, Belinda, Tash and Kelly as dead. All gone. Four more lives gone forever. Jennifer and Amber were beside themselves. One of the paramedics said they were in shock, they were sitting on a couch with foil blankets covering their bodies, rocking back and forth, though they weren’t crying anymore. Blake didn’t know if that was a good or bad sign.
Blake sat leaning against the arm rest of the couch, with his head between his knees. More police had arrived now and were in the process of handcuffing Casey, Evan, Scott, Kevin, Jess, Tom and Liz. Three more Ambulances were outside and they were taking Chris, Trev, Belinda, Kelly and Tash’s bodies on stretchers.
One of the policemen asked Blake what he wanted to do. He said he could come to the hospital, where they are taking his friends for examination to stay with them. Or he could go home and get some rest. He made sure Blake new regardless of his decision he would still have to give a detailed statement of what happened. He hinted the best option would be to accompany them to the hospital, where he might be able to help with their questions about his friends.
What do you choose?
Blake goes home to rest.
Blake goes to the hospital to help his friends.