Who knows anymore why I wrote it. The more I think about it, the more I think it was a high school writing assignment (pre-1992). It was back in the day when I thought I'd become a world famous writer.
Anyway, it's called "Two Weeks."
"We interrupt this program for an important news bulletin," announced a serious sounding, faceless deejay. The bulletin had come in the middle of "The Dr. Demento Show" during a chicken song by Ray Stevens.
Viktorya Morgan groaned. There were already too many damn commercials on the radio as it was. The announcement would probably be for some anniversary sale at an auto dealer or a furniture store. It interrupted her concentration on her physics assignment that was due the next morning.
She threw down her pencil in disgust and sat up from her stretched out position on the floor. Viktorya looked over at her radio, sitting next to her on the floor, as if it were a television set.
"FM HOTT, 95.6, bringing you this special news bulletin," intoned a new excited sounding deejay. "The Cheyenne Police Department has just issued an all points bulletin on Harold Bailey, a patient of the Wyoming State Mental Health Institute. Bailey was reported missing from his room earlier today. After an extensive search of the institute's premises, Bailey was still not found, and has since been reported missing. Police believe that he has escaped and warn all residents of Cheyenne that if you spot Bailey within the 10 mile radius of the Mental Health Institute to not take action or confront Bailey, but instead-"
Laughing, Vikky snapped off her radio with a turn of her wrist. What a hoax! The deejays at 95.6 FM were pretty well known for their April Fool's Day jokes. And the listeners always fell for them. They were always carried out so well. Year after year, people gullibly believed the different stories: bags of diamonds falling out of passing airplanes, famous singers giving impromptu concerts in farmers' fields, false and bizarre celebrity obituaries.
Vikky checked her bedside clock. But why wait until so late at night to pull off that joke? It 10 PM. Usually they played the jokes during the morning drive-time.
Vikky thought for a moment. Sure, those kinds of jokes were funny but provided only a minimal amount of inconvenience for those stuck in the middle. But a story about an escaped mental patient? In her silent bedroom, Vikky thought, People could take offense to something like that. Probably not a wise move on the radio station's part to do something like that.
She shrugged and went back to her physics without much more thought.
"Hey Vikky," her mother called from the downstairs, "Do you want some popcorn while you study, or did you go to bed already?"
"No, I'm still up. I'll be down in a sec," she called back. She closed her physics book and left her assignment unfinished for the time being, forgetting all about Harold Bailey until she read about him in the morning's newspaper.
When Vikky's parents divorced, Sarah and Vikky had more room than they knew what to do with. Sarah had gotten the house. It was located near Interstate 80, with the other older farm houses.
"Don't tell me you actually believe that!" As she turned again to her locker, she gently jabbed an elbow into Carel's ribs. "It's just a joke! Yesterday was April Fool's."
Carel's face fell into a frown and she shook her head in disbelief. As she did so, her long black pony tail slapped her cheeks. "Oh no," she gasped, "You really haven't heard, have you?" She thrust a newspaper into Vikky's hands. A banner headline yelled, "Bailey still missing." Then, a sub-head advised, "Doc warns patient prone to violent acts."
As Vikky started to read the article, Carel told her, "I know what you mean. was listening to 'Dr. Demento' last night too when I heard the announcement. I thought it was just part of the show, but it was the first story on the local news this morning. You know the news is too serious for something like that, so it MUST be true!" There was a silence between the two girls, despite the yelling and slamming sounds of a typical high school going on around them.
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