Chapter 4: The Inspector Gets Tortured with Feathers
Adee and I made our way down the hallway and knocked on several kid's doors to see if they were inside. When we did find people that were in their room, we both explained to them what we had in mind for tonight and the inspector. Some of them agreed to help, but there were a lot kids who were hesitate to help Adeen and I. I figured they didn't want to get into trouble with Master Wile, which honestly the worse that he could do to one of the children is not give them food rations for several days and make them do extra clean up jobs around the orphanage.
We found a lot of kids in the backyard, talking, playing football, or climbing the trees. Most of the older kids stayed in a group of four to five and just hung out near the buildings, keeping there eyes on the younger ones playing. They never considered Master Wile to be a good leader, so they took that job from him. I knew most of them, but I would soon be leaving them once I turned seventeen. When a child turned that age they had to leave the orphanage and go live out on their own, if they hadn't gotten adopted yet. Both Master Wile and I were looking forward to that, even though it meant that I would have to leave Adeen behind.
"We'll meet up at the old casino down on 5th street," She told me. "And don't worry about me. I can handle everyone here. Even if it means I have to challenge everyone to a game of chess, to prove to them that they can't mess with me!"
During the entire time that Adeen and I were talking to people, I felt a presence that I was being watched. Like another shadow was always following mine. Every time that I turned around to see if I was right, all I saw was Adeen's confused face, asking me what I was doing every single time.
Later that night, we both counted up fifteen people that were willing to help out, with tonight. It wasn't much, but no evil genius plan had to involve many people to get the job done. Everything was already in place, but the only thing that was missing from the puzzle was the inspector and Master Wile.
All of the children gathered into the Hall, for the inspector to see. We had to have our hands placed behind our backs, to stay out of trouble as Master Wile put it. Honestly, he must of thought that us breathing as trouble, since that was all he thought we did.
He was right. Mostly.
The inspector, or Casper Stanbridge, was a short man that seemed to be in his late thirties with a round face and piercing blue eyes. He didn't appear to be happy with Master Wile, and by the way that they were talking to one another I could tell that they had known each other for a while, but didn't get along very well.
Perfect. I thought, This will make everything much easier and even more fun
Inspector Stanbridge checked the Hall over and all of the children standing there. I tried not to grin to much at him as he walked by. This plan was to perfect to be ruined. After a while, Master Wile took the inspector to the kitchen.
I smiled. It's time.
I nodded to some of the other kids and they all nodded back before heading to the kitchen doorway for the first part to begin. As they got into their positions, I told the other kids and even some older one that they need to head up stairs to get into their positions. One of the kids, Ian Scott, was in charge of filming the entire prank. He had set all of the camera's that were around the building, to record, by hacking into the computer system. Since the cameras were all controlled in Master Wile's office, and there was no way to get in there, without a scan of his eye and no one was up to just ask Master Wile if they could borrow his eye to do a little room "cleaning".
I started to head up the stairs when I heard a yell come from the kitchen. I turned around to see Inspector Stanbridge covered from head to toe in dripping, black tar. Master Wile stood behind him, with a look of horror on his face. The inspector raised his eyes to wipe the still wet, but soon-to-be-dry, tar from his eyes. Several kids surrounded him with buckets of brightly colored feathers in their hands. Before he or Master Wile had a chance to protest, the kids threw the bucket of feathers all over him. He screamed in terror as the rainbow of feather fell all over his sticky, short body.
The kids quickly stepped to the side, and gestured toward the front of the Hall, the buckets still in their hands.
"What is the meaning of this?! How dare you children, insult me in such a way! When I-" But the Inspector's comment was silenced as my friend Liam Johnson, ran toward Inspector Stanbridge with a metal wheel-barrel in front of him. As he got closer he tilted the wheel-barrel to pick up the inspector. Some of the kids, who had now put on gloves, picked up the inspector and lifted him into the now tilted wheel-barrel and watched it speed off. They waved their buckets as he got farther away from them.
I laughed while I watched the whole scene unfold. Liam carried the inspector to the elevator as the doors opened and dumped him inside with a loud thud. He turned to me and gave me a thumbs up before heading back over to the other kids, who were now taking care of Master Wile, who was frantically yelling at the kids for why they were doing this. I quickly hurried up the stairs to join the others for the second part of the plan.
Once I had rushed down the hallway to where the elevator door was, the door opened for me to find a very exhausted and furious inspector sitting on the floor, covered in bright rainbow feathers.
"You!" Inspector Stanbridge said, pointing a finger at me. "What is the meaning of all of this, child?!"
I picked him up and placed my arm around his shoulder, while gesturing to the hallway in front of me. "Welcome sir, to the Phantoms Of The Hallway! A once in a lifetime production, where you see first hand on what kids are capable of. And as a bonus! You're also our star guest and get a front row seat to all the action here!"
"Now look here! I-"
"Before we begin this epic adventure through, I need to explain that the Headmaster of this whole facility was in charge of everything!!" I lied to him as I pushed him into the hallway. If I was going to get in trouble for all of this, then Master Wile was also.
The inspector fell forward only to be caught by a metal hand of one of the robot cleaning maids that was waiting for him. "Hello sir. I am 4729-KR, but the people here call me Karris."
Stanbridge, lifted himself up as some feathers fell off of him and fell to the ground. "Finally! Someone who knows how to follow orders! Karris, take me back downstairs so-"
"I'm sorry, sir. But I am under the orders of Miss Kerr, here." Karris said, pointing her metal finger at me. Stanbridge looked back at me with fire in his already angry eyes. I smiled at him and waved. Karris continued "Now because of my new programming, I am to take you throughout the hallway so that your 'torture' may begin." She finished with quote signs.
I face-palmed at this comment. "Karris. You're not supposed to tell the victim what we are going to do to them, because if you say it before then it ruins the whole surprise!"
The inspector rushed up to me, as colored feathers fell behind him. "Now look here, child!" He voice was now raise. "When this gets word to the Head of the Children's Board, you and all of the other troubled children are going to be sorry that you ever-"
I looked down at my pretend watch and smiled back up at him. "Would you look at that? It's time for the production to start! Places everyone!" I yelled out to the others.
Kids came out of rooms, all down the hallway except the very last door that was at the end. Everyone bowed to the inspector before looking behind them at the last door. It swung open and Adeen and another cleaning robot came out, carrying a microphone and a bucket. Adeen held up the microphone to her mouth "Welcome one! Welcome all! To the Phantoms of the Hallway!"
All of the kids cheered wildly as the inspector stood in horror at everyone. I was surprised that he hadn't run away or even tried, but since he was surrounded by the "troubled children" I thought that he must of been too scared to even breath.
"Thank you all for being here and now I would like to welcome our special guest, Mr. Stanbridge! Thank you, sir for being here today, for I tell you. We were really board until you showed up," Adeen laughed. "Now everyone. I think that we are all being rude to our guest. Let's show him how we welcome people to our home!"
At once as Adeen stopped talking, she took the bucket from the robot and threw it all on the ground. Liquid butter flowed across the hardwood floor all the way up to the inspectors feet. The kids nearest to the inspector came over to him and picked up with feathery man. Thank goodness that they were all wearing slip-proof boots or they would of also been vicums of the buttery floor. They carried Stanbridge to the back of the hallway where I was standing. The other half of the kids went to the other side and waited for us to begin.
"Wait! What's are you children do-"
The kids lowered the inspector so that they had a hold on his waist, shoulders and feet. They started to swing back and forth while yelling, "One! Two! THREE!" On three they swung the man across the buttered floor and he slid across perfectly. Once he reached the other and the cheers from my end had ceased, the kids from the back picked him up and held him in a simeral way to as us. They swung while counting and released him back onto the slippery floor. The inspector was yelling at every chance he would get, at the kids. That is, every time that his face wasn't planted in butter.
After a couple more rounds of tossing and yelling in victory, we finally picked up the very buttery and dazed man off of the floor. As he was able to find his balance and all of the extra kids and the robots had left the hallway and headed to the stairway in a hurry. Adeen was the only one to stay behind, and she wore a huge grin on her face. I smiled back at her in victory, and tuned my gazed back to the inspector. The feathers were still stuck to the tar on his body, but the ones on his front were now laying flat as the rest on his back, still stood up. He looked like a feathery turtle that had thrown up all over his chest. I couldn't help, but smile again. I know that the kids might have taken the 'torture' a little too far, but he looked hilarious.
"Well, Mr, Stanbridge. I hope your enjoyed that little taste of our great production." I stated, as the inspector turned to me in rage. "Now if you will please foll-"
"No! You listen to me, child! This kind of behavior is unacceptable, to me or for anyone else that is of an higher rank than a simple orphaned girl! I will personally explain to the Board on what happened and have you thrown out before you could even blink, for I believe that you were behind everything that happened here!"
Well you got that right.
"Now," He said straightening up and wiped some butter, that was dripping from his hair, out of his eyes. "If you children would please excuse me, I shall be leaving this place before anymore disasters happen to me!"
As he walked away with even more feathers falling off of his back and entered the empty elevator Adeen and had to keep our laughs quiet until the elevator door was closed.
"Oh my gosh! That was amazing, but we are in so much trouble!" Adeen said.
"You got that right! I responded with laughter. Just as I was about to come up with another joke I felt that same shadowy presence again. I carefully glanced around the room, finding that Adeen and I were really alone, though it felt like there were eyes watching me at all times.
Adeen noticed my behavior and snapped in my face to take me out of my trance. "Hey! Earth to Trinity! You at home?"
"Huh?" I answer, turning my gaze back at her. "I'm sorry, what was that Bell?"
"You doing okay? You were doing that whole, being in a trance again and ignoring all that I was saying."
"Yeah, sorry about that. I-I don't even...you know, never mind." I shook my head of the thought that someone had been watching us. There was no way. Everyone was downstairs, or was it someone else? I decided to forget it for now and focus on the moment right now. "We better hurry up and get downstairs to say goodbye to the inspector before he leaves, to go whine to the Board about us."
Adeen and I laughed all of the way down the stairs while cracking up more jokes about the inspector and how Master Wile was taking all of this action at this moment. Now that was a sight that I was looking forward to see.
"What were you thinking!?" Master Wile yelled at Adeen and me as he paced back and forth around his room. We were in his office after the inspector had left the building in a rage. The image of him leaving would never leave my mind. All of the kids were trying so hard not to laugh at the little man as he stormed away from the orphanage trying to walk across the walkway in his stiff legs that were covered in tar and feathers. Honestly the whole turtle description of this guy was perfect. Cruel, but perfect. Master Wile was tying to entire time to get up the stairs and stop us from torturing the inspector with no luck. The kids that stayed behind kept Master Wile distracted the entire time that we had fun. I had no clue how or what they did, but that didn't matter. As long as they got the job done, I was happy.
"When the Board finds out about this incident, I am going to get fired and all of you children are going to end up on the streets once again!"
It's better than this place, even if my father never returns for me.
"And also I-" Master Wile continued, but was interrupted by Adeen.
"But sir," She said. Even though she couldn't stand Master Wile, she still called him sir. As did the rest of us. "What about all the other orphanages that are around New York? Won't we just get sent there?"
Master Wile stopped walking and sat down in his chair with a heavy and still angry sigh. "I highly doubt it, Miss Beller. From what I heard Inspector Stanbridge was going to say to the Board about this, I would consider you ladies lucky to be able to find a home again. This kind of behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated at any point in time, I don't care if you children are about to become adults in a couple of years! And further more, as punishment for your actions, you ladies shall be on call for a month, that is if I don't get fired before then."
On call was a saying that was for teenagers that got into a lot of trouble and had to make it up by helping the government with certain tasks, such as cleaning up debris from the bombing or even helping in the weaponry or other technology factories, for a certain amount of time. Sometimes we would even have to stay out and catch other outcasts or troublemakers, which meant I would be working for the Destroyers and doing their dirty work. That was something that I would never do.
After a couple of minutes that felt like hours in Master Wile's office, getting our information to the government about Adeen and I being on call, we spent the rest of the night in my room. All of the other teenagers and kids that helped during the prank, I suspected, were also being punished. Master Wile never let anything go unnoticed, that is, unless he didn't notice what we were doing behind his back.
"That old Geezer," Adeen stated. "I can't believe that he put us on call."
"What? You were expecting us to not get into trouble for what happened?" I asked " Cause if that was the case, we could've done so much more to the Inspector."
Adeen nodded and then her face lit up with a smile. "Hey! Are we still going through with Operation Food?"
Operation Food, was our plan to sneak down to the basement of the orphanage and see if Master Wile was hiding some of the good stuff in his personal storage Originally Adeen to call the plan Operation See if Master Is Hiding Good Food. She might be the smartest teenager at this orphanage, but she didn't have a thing for good names.
"Yeah," I answered.
"Can we run over the plan one more time? I'm a little nervous about everything and want everything to go as planned."
"Sure. So once everyone is in bed, and that includes Master Wile, we'll meet out in the hallway and head downstairs to the Hall. After that, we head to the kitchen and go down to the basement. We don't have to worry about the Cook. I heard from Ian who heard from Katy, that she wasn't going to be late here and was going to head home early, which should be in about an hour. Once we are in the basement, your job is to take pictures with your camera of what we find down there. If Master Wile is really hiding food, that should be ours and the Board somehow got word of this act, he could be in huge trouble." I finished with a grin.
Adeen smiled widly. "Awesome! I can't wait!"
Just then the video camera above my door, shone down a hologram once again with a message from Master Wile explaining that curfew was coming up and some other stuff about punishment if we were found outside of our rooms etc. He said the same thing everynight, I pretty much had the whole message memerized. Adeen said goodnight and headed to her room, which was right across the hallway from mine. We never got to share rooms, cause Master Wile always thought that if two kids shared a room, all they would do was stay up late and cause even more trouble.
Again, with the whole causing trouble no matter what we do theroy.
After playing my guitar for a couple of minutes, I laid my head down on my pillow and stared out of my window. My thoughts drifted back to Pete and our meeting together. Every day that had pasted, since I had met him, I wondered if I would again. It's not that I missed him, just that I thought he could actually help me find my father.
But then again...can I trust him?
That was a question I would be asking myself for along time.