Part 4: The Final Destination

Chapter 31:

"What just happened?" Alex asked as he sat at his desk, feeling slightly out of it.

"I'm not sure," Tod replied calmly. "But my ears feel all tingly and weird."

"Um, I think that's called Listening," Alex explained.

"Lis-ten-ing?" Tod repeated without any understanding of the word. "I'll never get used to these new technological terms."

At that moment the door slammed, and a young teacher entered the room. She was wearing a short skirt and tight blouse. Her hair was long and glossy. She smiled at the class as she came in, holding some books in her arms.

"Good afternoon class," she greeted them cheerfully. Alex and Tod's jaws dropped open. (Boys are pathetic really aren't they?) "I'm Miss Mulder."

(Another name off the X-Files! How cool is that?)

"Oh my god," Tod whispered under his breath.

"Hands off Stripy, this one's mine!" Alex hissed back sharply. Tod glared at Alex, still annoyed by the nickname Mr. Doggett had given him.

"Now, when I teach classes, I like to know a little about each of my students," Miss. Mulder continued, as she got to the front. "So, when it's your turn, tell me your name and something about yourself." She looked at Tod and smiled. "Why don't you go first, Stripy?"

That wiped the smirk off Tod's face. Feeling uneasy, he cleared his throat. "Well, for a start my name isn't Stripy," he began calmly. "It's Tod."

"Well in that case I apologise to you Tod," Miss. Mulder answered him, laying her books out on the table. "Carry on."

"Er, well, I don't really know what to say about myself," Tod struggled, trying to think of something.

"Just think of something," Miss. Mulder replied trying to be helpful. "Anything will do."

"Right, well I'm kinda lazy, I never help out in the house, I never throw any of my clothes out, I'm rude to my parents, I'm always forgetting stuff, I never do my homework, I'm a bad friend.." Tod reeled off all his personality traits, counting on his fingers. "I hate meeting new people, I fight with my brother, I want all my own way, I'm selfish, I never say the right thing, I'm not all too good at school work, I shout a lot, my bad habits include answering people with a grunting noise, scraping forks on my teeth to annoy people-."

"Right Tod, well I think we've heard enough from you," Miss. Mulder interrupted him, not really sure what to think.

"Why thankyou Miss. Mulder," Tod declared feeling he had made a good impression. (As if.)

"Right, you next," she announced looking at Alex.

"Hi, I'm Alex and I'm dead sexy," Alex told her, trying to be cool.

"Course you are," Miss. Mulder replied sarcastically. "Next."

"Hi, my name's Billy, but my friends call me-."

"Billy," Tod finished off. "You don't have a nickname sad-act." Billy did look sad then.

"Yeah well, at least it's not Stripy," he remarked unwisely.

"Come over here and say that Hitchcock," Tod challenged him.

"If it's all right with you I think I'll stay here," Billy answered back, not moving.

"Chicken!"

"Stripy Waggner! Will you stop this at once!" Miss. Mulder yelled. Tod could feel his face going red.

"But I'm not called Stri-."

"You are when you're in my class," she snapped back, suddenly not looking as friendly. "Now, Billy, I think you were speaking before we were so rudely interrupted." She smiled sweetly at Billy. Tod glared, feeling the anger build up inside him.

"Yeah, my name's Billy and-."

"And I'm a silly sad git. Yeah we know," Tod couldn't stop himself from butting in,

"Stripy Waggner! You have been told! If I have to tell you one more time, I swear I'll have to-."

"Get out your belt and whip me to death? Just try me baby," Tod answered back insolently.

"Get out!" Miss. Mulder yelled. She couldn't believe how annoying this guy could be. "Just get out of this class and wait there until you can stop disrupting my lesson."

Tod scraped his chair back along the floor deliberately. He got to his feet and sauntered over to the door.

"With pleasure," he answered back smarmily. "At least I don't have to read Lady sodding Macbeth now."

Miss. Mulder clenched her fists by her sides. This one was really trying her patience. He walked out, slamming the door behind him. Alex had always known Tod had a big gob, but he had never really been this rude to a teacher before. Something must have been on his mind. And Alex didn't know what yet, but, as in with the design, he was gonna break this one.

"Well, now that we've finally got rid of that insolent little bastard," Miss. Mulder began, not caring about her language in front of the class. "We can get back to the English lesson. Open your books again, and this time, Christa, you can read Lady Macbeth instead."

"Wow dude, you really showed her," Alex commented in awe as he joined Tod outside the class at the end of the lesson. Tod was leaning against the wall, looking down at his shoes.

"Yeah well. I've had enough of people calling me...that name."

"Stripy?"

Tod flinched at the sound of it. Thanks to Mr. Doggett and Miss. Mulder, nobody was ever gonna let him forget that name.

"Yeah. Stripy," Tod agreed, without much enthusiasm. "That's something I'll be hearing a lot of for a while."

"Yeah," Alex said, not really sure what else to say. He started walking with Tod along the corridor.

"I wrote a poem in class," Alex said, trying to make conversation.

"Oh yeah? What about?"

"Well, it went like this," Alex announced, clearing his throat. "I eat, therefore I am a fat bastard."

"And it took you all lesson to do that?" Tod asked in disbelief.

"Don't diss the poem man," Alex replied. "Miss Mulder said it-."

"Oh, not Miss. Mulder again," Tod interrupted. (He's good at doing that isn't he?) "I hate her."

"Well she said it had potential. She said It had got Chinese culteral influences."

"Yeah, sure. Even Carter could have thought up something better, and that's saying something," Tod was deliberately picking on Alex for no reason. "If you want Chinese culteral influence, try this," he paused for a moment. "What's the sound of one hand clapping?"

Alex stared blankly for a second.

"This," Tod explained, clapping his fingers on one hand into his palm. "See? And that's meant to be a three thousand year old chinese riddle."

"Oh wow, you're so smart," Alex exclaimed in mock amazement. "What's up with you today anyway? You're acting kinda snappy."

"Nothing is up with me Alex," Tod brushed it aside. "I'm perfectly fine. I just wish Mr. Doggett hadn't publicly humiliated me in front of the class. I had a reputation to keep up. He spoiled it."

Alex laughed to himself. "Oh yeah, you mean, you were famous for being the only guy in school who held the record for wearing the same sweater for four years?"

"Shut up shut up shut up!" Tod yelled quickly, as he reached his locker. "Will you quit with the sweater jokes? I love this sweater. Me and this sweater, we've seen some good times together."

"I know one thing you and that sweater haven't seen." Alex replied ready for the punchline. "The washer."

"You don't understand," Tod answered as if Alex was a toddler who knew nothing. (Not far from the truth eh?) "I got this sweater for my thirteenth birthday, when my mum bought it about ten sizes too big. It's the best sweater in the world," Tod explained, holding a piece of the worn fabric in his hand. "This sweater saw me through my sixteenth and seventeenth birthday. This sweater has been stretched and shrunk about seven times. This sweater was there when that dog dragged me through the hedge at my family barbeque. This sweater-."

"Yeah yeah," Alex butted in getting tired of hearing about 'This Sweater.'

"Why don't you and the sweater get a room?"

"Like I said, you don't understand," Tod told him, letting go of the sleeve. "You'll know one day, when you get a sweater of your own."

Alex rolled his eyes and shut his locker again.

"I've already got about five sweaters. I just don't adore them like you," Alex said annoyed, and irritated by his friends behaviour. Tod was known to have obsessions when something was troubling him. There was the time when he had got an 'F' in the big physics test. Alex didn't even suspect anything was wrong until he found him sitting on his bedroom floor with a broken pen in one hand, and scribbles all over his face, wailing, 'I'm a good girl, I am'. Or there was the day that his mum and dad found out he had stolen ten cents out of his dad's swear jar. Alex nearly fainted after he caught Tod riding a lawnmover down the street singing 'Material Girl.' Oh yes, Tod could be pretty weird. And today was definitely one of those days. Alex snapped out of his thoughts to see Tod stroking the sleeve of his sweater.

"Poor Baby," Tod cooed to the material. "When we get home I'll put you straight to bed." He suddenly put his ear to the sweater, as if it was saying something. Alex circled a finger round one ear.

'He's flipped,' Alex thought. Tod lifted his ear off the the sleeve again and looked right at the sweater.

"No, you can't stay up to watch the X-Files. That's a big people programme. You know how it scares you sometimes, then you can't sleep on school-nights, and you have to come and sleep in my bed then don't you?"

Alex could do nothing but stare in disgust. He had to know what was going on.

"Right," Alex announced, smacking Tod's arm off his sweater. Immediately Tod's head jerked up sharply. "What's going on now? You been shoplifting again?"

"No," Tod replied, as if he couldn't believe what Alex was suggesting.

Chapter 32:

"Well, you sure fooled me," Alex remarked, his brain ticking. (Are you serious? His brain was working? Gimme a break.)

"Huh. Guess I have a knack for it," Tod replied trying to put comedy into the situation.

"Are you going to tell me what's wrong with you then or what?" Alex persisted, eyeing the sweater, trying to come up with a cunning plan.

"How about, no, Alex?"

"Well," Alex began not sure whether his ploy would work or not. He caught sight of a switchblade (Penknife for idiots who didn't know that) on top of the lockers. It seemed a pretty good idea, so Alex grabbed it and put it to the sleeve of the sweater. "How about now? Talk, or the sweater gets it!"

Tod stared, terrified. "Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! Not my sweater! I'll do anything! I'll talk, I'll get down on my knees and beg for forgiveness, I'll be your slave for a week, I'll even go and do the unthinkable. I'll apologise to the mega bitch, !" Tod was going hysterical, not daring to move an inch in case his beloved sweater 'got it.'

"You'll do that?" Alex asked, rubbing his chin in thought. "Would you consider buying me a car with your life-savings?"

"Yes! I've got about ten thousand dollars in that account!" Tod shrieked taking the opportunity to boast. "I told you, anything! Just let go of my sweater!"

Alex eyed him suspiciously. A car would be a nice present off your mate. And it wouldn't even be for a special occasion. But then again, you couldn't buy a Porsche with ten thousand dollars could you?

"Can you get me a Porsche?" Alex questioned, figuring it was worth a try. He looked at Tod. All the colour had drained out of his face. He really loved that minging old sweater. Tod hesitated for a second, as if he was trying to add up in his head.

"You must be joking!" he yelled. "I mean, my parents might be loaded, but do you actually know how much those cars cost?" Alex was suddenly pissed off by the boasting. He gripped the sleeve tighter and edged the blade closer, gritting his teeth to stop himself from losing control. Tod flinched, and closed his eyes, gulping. That made Alex feel guilty. But he had to carry on if he wanted answers.

"I said, can you get me a Porsche?!" Alex cried.

"Well," Tod replied, his voice shaking. "I might have to risk getting a life sentence for armed robbery and murder and possession of an A.K 47, but...I'll see what I can do."

Alex suddenly felt full of bad feelings. 'Why am I doing this?' He thought desperately. 'Am I crazy?'

"Tod, you don't have to buy me a Porsche," Alex replied slowly. Tod smirked appreciatively. "You can just buy me a Mercedes instead."

That wiped the smile off his face. But he realised he had no choice.

"Sure," he answered unsurely. (Ironic?)

"Well, that's settled then."

Alex released his grip on the sweater.

Tod immediately started inspecting his sweater for damage. Luckily, it seemed to be okay. He counted the holes. Only ten. No new ones. That was a good sign.

"But you have to tell me what's wrong as well. After all, that's why I grabbed your sweater in the first place," Alex continued, placing the switchblade back up on the lockers.

"No way dude. I'm getting you a Mercedes, and that's your lot," Tod answered back defiantly.

"Oh, who cares about the car? I don't even want one. I never want to drive," Alex explained. "Too dangerous. No, what I want, is one of those micro-scooters. You can't go wrong with them. All I was trying to do, Tod, was test you."

"Test me?"

"Yeah, to see how much you loved that sweater."

"You sick bastard!" Tod yelled. "You scared the hell out of me!"

"Sorry," Alex apologised, looking down at the floor. "But us Libra's are meant to be nosy."

"I think that's an understatement," Tod commented, straightening out the fabric. "It's none of your business anyway. I can have secrets if I want. You have secrets, I have secrets. Everybody has secrets."

"I don't have any secrets," Alex said not even thinking about what he was saying. "The only secret I have is that I once pissed myself in class when I was eight years old-." He suddenly stopped, realising what he had just revealed. "I mean...oh, just forget I said that will you?"

Tod smirked and folded his arms. "I feel a pay-back idea coming on," he said smarmily.

"Tod! Please!" Alex begged.

"Why should I? You're practically guilty of attempted murder!"

"On a sweater," Alex finished, putting a completely different perspective on the whole thing. "Sure."

"Well, that knife was pretty close to my skin Alex. I could easily tell the cops you were trying to kill-."

"So you'd grass on me would you?" Alex snarled. He suddenly started dancing round in circles. "Grasser! Grasser!" He sang.

"Alex, stop being so immature."

"But you'd squeal on me to the cops?" Alex repeated, feeling violated.

"Let's put it this way," Tod answered. "If you came home and found a burglar in your house with a broken leg, and-."

"Hang on," Alex butted in. "How did he break his leg in the first place?"

"I dunno. He slipped and fell over the telephone cord I guess."

"Oh yeah. Get your facts right," Alex scoffed. "I wouldn't believe that for a second. For a start, our telephone cord doesn't even stick out. It's tucked away, right behind the-."

"It doesn't matter how he broke his leg!" Tod yelled back, frustrated. "The point is, he is in your house, unable to get away."

"What do you mean, unable to get away?" Alex interrupted once more. "I read in the paper once about this guy who slipped down an embankment, and a train ran over his leg and crushed it, but he managed to drag himself all the way back up, and when he got to the top he-."

"Shut up!" Tod cried, unable to believe how thick his friend could be. "This burglar can't get away. Let's pretend he was handcuffed to the table leg."

He saw Alex's face, ready to butt in again. "And let's also pretend that the table leg was attached to the wall somehow. Now what are you gonna think?"

"Dirty git," Alex muttered. "How the hell did he get handcuffed to the table leg anyway?"

"Ahhhhh!" Tod screamed in despair. "Can't you just quit analysing everything for just one second?"

"Okay, okay, chill," Alex replied. "I just thought you might know."

"And how would I know how this fictional burglar got himself handcuffed to the table?"

"Aren't you the burglar?"

Tod threw his arms up in despair. Alex scratched his head, confused. "I don't think I can cope with this kind of mind-game crap at this time in the morning."

"But dude, it's a simple story, I'm not trying to-."

Alex just started banging on his locker.

"Stop messing with my head man!" he yelled as he pummelled the locker. "Stop messing with my head! Stop messing with my head!"

Tod shook his own head. Alex really was thick sometimes. He started to walk away. Alex noticed and immediately stopped banging.

"Hey, aren't you gonna tell me how you got out of my house when you had a broken leg and was handcuffed to my table?" he asked, totally missing the point of the story. Tod spun round, holding his books in his arms. He tossed his floppy hair as he turned.

"Loréal," he said. "Because I'm worth it."

"You what?" Alex asked, staring at him as if he was crazy. Tod pulled a face as if he didn't know what he was doing either.

"I just got caught up in the moment okay? Sheesh," he sighed. "All I was trying to explain was that you would do the same to me If I tried to cut your hooded top up."

"I would not! I would never grass to the cops!" Alex replied indignantly. "You would!" Tod argued immaturely. "You're just a stupid dickhead."

"Hey, I may be stupid and a dickhead, but I'm not-." He paused. "What was the third thing you said?"

Tod let out an angry sigh and put his palm out as if to say 'talk to the hand.'

"Yeah well," Alex called as he walked off. "I'm psychic you know. I know your end. And it ain't pretty."

Tod stopped in his tracks, his fists clenched by his sides. "Oh yeah?" he challenged thinking he was tough. "And what is my end, exactly? I die at your merciless hands right here and now?"

"Close, but you're way off," Alex said smarmily. "Wait, I'm getting the vision again." He suddenly put his hands on his temples and closed his eyes. Tod stared, intrigued and confused.

"I see a clothes line."

"Wrong!" Tod cried. "We don't even have a clothes line you brain dead inch worm."

"That's a new one." Alex complimented him. "But I can still see a clothes line in my vision."

"Oh, sure. Like I'm gonna slip and strangle myself on it. You're just a freak Alex." Tod was totally sceptical about the whole vision idea. "You've seriously flipped."

"I've flipped?" Alex repeated, his mouth wide open in shock. "Look at yourself. Suddenly, you're acting so mature and self-centred. You think you're so ace don't you?"

Chapter 33:

"I do NOT think I'm ace!" Tod yelled back. He looked Alex straight in the eye. "I know it."

"You smarmy son of a bitch," Alex insulted him, feeling thoroughly pissed off. "I don't know why I even made friends with you."

"Hello? Earth to Alex? Because nobody else would. I was the only one who took pity on you, not the other way around."

"Look Tod, if I'm honest, I've completely forgotten what the hell we're arguing about anyway."

"Me too actually," Tod admitted. He stepped forward and put his hand out towards Alex. "Friends?"

Alex stared at Tod. There was something in his eyes.

Tod and Terry. In the woods. Tod and Terry. Alone in the woods. Tod and Terry...

"Ugh! No way freak!" Alex said, pulling a disgusted face. Tod looked half scared, half confused.

"What? What have I done now?" he demanded.

Alex narrowed his eyes, his face darkened by the shadows of the corridor. His face suddenly looked evil, the switchblade glinting in the sun. Tod gulped and looked, the knife catching his eye.

"I know what you did last week," Alex snarled murderously.

"You mean I stole fifty dollars out of your back pocket? So what?" Tod answered back, shrugging insolently. "I did magic when I was younger. Mom used to call me Cosmo. I did tricks for my family in the lounge sometimes." Tod laughed to himself. "It was quite cool. I specialised in pick-pocketing stuff. I used to wear this pointed wizards hat and this cape with stars on. George used to call me Wizadora...but that's another story."

"No you fool!" Alex snapped, eyeing the knife again. "I'm talking about something else you did last week."

Tod thought for a moment. "Oh right. I get it." he nodded. "You're talking about that guy we ran over, remember, and we threw his body in the lake."

"No Tod. That never happened," Alex corrected, shaking his head. "I think you've been watching too many movies."

"You think?" Tod agreed sarcastically. "Man, I'm practically in a movie."

(If only he knew eh? That his entire existence was thought up by two guys who work on the X-Files. I wonder what Tod would think If I told him...nah, that would just be cruel wouldn't it?)

"For Christ's sake Tod! Don't you even know what you did last week?" Alex asked in disbelief.

"Er, I er...It's coming to me...just gimme a second.." Eventually, he shook his head. "No. Nothing. Sorry dude."

"You slept with Terry Chaney you dumbass!" Alex yelled. "Geez! Do I have to spell everything out for you?"

"Oh that? I hardly think that's something to use as the subject for a title to a well known horror movie."

"Okay then," Alex began, smirking. "How about this for a title? American Pie."

"That's better," Tod agreed, nodding.

"But I lost the bet!" Alex whined. "I can't believe it. You're so, so," he stared at his floppy haired friend trying to come up with something.

"You're so, gay!"

"Excuse me Alex?" Tod replied unable to believe what he was hearing. "I may be a lot of things but gay certainly isn't one of them."

"Wanna bet?"

"Yeah actually." Tod paused suddenly. "And what's your problem? I won the bet fair and square."

"Fair and square my arse," Alex mocked, feeling like a baby. "You're just a selfish caniving lecherous git!"

"And is that a bad thing?"

"Yes!"

"Hey, What can I say? I'm a sucker for blondes. I'm telling you Alex, I-."

Alex put his hands over his ears. "No, Tod. I don't wanna hear this!"

"Loser!"

"No!" he pressed his hands over his ears tighter. "I'm not!"

"Dirtbag!"

"Nooooo!"

"Virgin!"

"Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!" Alex shrieked suddenly charging at Tod. Tod stepped back quickly, but Alex carried on running. He ran straight into the lockers and knocked himself out instead.

"Alex?" Tod asked as he stared at his friend out cold on the floor.

"Are you okay dude?" Tod bent down on the floor, to see if Alex was badly hurt. "I'm sorry dude." He suddenly looked up to the sky.

"Why! Why!" he yelled to nobody in particular. "Why!" He put his head in his hands as if he was crying.

Alex sniggered and sat up.

"What the hell are you playing at?"

Tod looked embarrassed and stopped. "You bastard! Stop tricking me like that!"

"I still don't get it," Alex mused almost to himself.

"Get what?"

"Get why I lost the bet and you won."

"Huh. I guess I was just in the right place at the right time."

"Yeah. In the middle of nowhere. I mean, come on dude. How the hell did you get a girl like Terry? It's only guys like Carter that can do that."

"Then consider me a guy like Carter," Tod answered smarmily inspecting his nails for the second time in the story.

"You? Carter? I'm sorry, I don't see the resemblance." Alex replied sceptically.

"How did you know anyway?" Tod asked, wondering if Terry had said anything to him.

"I told you man. I'm psychic. I was born with it. I know stuff. And one day, it'll come in handy. One day, my ability will save lives. Maybe yours."

"Maybe not. Maybe you'll be too late. That's the thing with you Alex. You screw everything up. Even if you do save my life something is gonna go wrong."

"You're right," Alex replied in a calm voice.

"What?!"

"You're right Tod. That's where the clothesline comes in. I told you. I know your ending. So If I were you, don't listen to George on the plane okay?" Alex suggested trying to be helpful.

"What are you talking about? Don't listen to George? I never do anyway!" Tod complained, confused.

"You will on the plane. And there's nothing I can do to stop you. But If I were you, I'd be nicer to your brother."

Tod pulled a face. "No way. Are you crazy?"

"Just do it. I can't explain why. I am a man of mystery." Alex was beginning to sound like one of those fortune teller machines in an arcade.

"Forget it," Tod answered defiantly. "If you think you can freak me out with this psychic shit you can go to hell. I'm going home."

"Have it your way," Alex called after him as Tod disappeared round the corner.

Chapter 34:

"Hey mom!" Tod called as he came into the kitchen. Linda Waggner had just put some cookies in the oven. George was sitting at the kitchen table, books spread out in front of him.

"Hey little bro'!" George called. Tod pulled a disgusted face.

"Drop dead."

"With pleasure Stripy."

"Jesus! How do you know about that?!" Tod demanded in despair.

"People talk Todina."

Tod's eyes opened wide then. 'Please tell me he doesn't know about that as well,' he thought in desperation. There was a paper bag on the table which caught Tod's eye.

"Mom?" he asked.

"Yes dear?"

"What's that?"

"Oh, I went to the store today. It's a clothesline. You put it in the bathroom."

"A what?!" Tod asked in shock. Alex's premonition. It was coming true.

"A clothesline dumbass!" George interrupted.

"I know that!" Tod shrieked back, feeling himself going hysterical. "But we don't need a clothesline!"

Linda Waggner turned to face him, removing the oven gloves from her hands.

"I think somebody needs to go to bed a little earlier..." She said calmly. "You've been spending too much time watching horror movies lately." Tod glared, resenting the fact that she was treating him like a five year old who wasn't in control of their own actions. (Well, if I'm honest, Is he is control of his own actions? Nah, didn't think so.)

"I mean, what do you thinks gonna happen?" she laughed out loud as she spoke. "That you're gonna slip on some water, get it wrapped round your neck, knock off all the shampoo bottles off the side so you can't stand up and then struggle helplessly while the blood vessels in your eyes burst, making your eyes disgusting and bloodshot? I don't think so darling."

"Thanks for that Mom," Tod said sarcastically. "That's really made me feel better."

"And so it should Tod. Don't you realise how ridiculous you're being?"

Tod sighed. After all, what did Alex know? So what if he'd guessed the truth on him and Terry? Clear could easily have told him. And it must have just been a coincidence that they got a clothesline the very same day Alex had 'supposedly,' had a vision of his death involving that particular item.

"Yeah. I do," he agreed, pulling a chair out from under the table. George looked up from his studies, a chewed pencil in his gob. He was obviously revising for a dumb old test. "So, big bro'. What are you doing? Studying for some meaningless exam in some boring pointless lesson?"

"No, actually," George replied pissily. "It's for the end of term Maths exam. Which might I add you're also taking tomorrow."

"Oh, that test," he answered, trying to sound as if he knew. In actual fact he didn't have a clue what George was on about, but then again, in Ms. Lewtons class for the hearing impaired, what do you expect?

"Hey Carter!" Terry cried as she bounded into the room. Carter looked up suddenly and smiled.

"I didn't think you were coming to visit me today," he said, obviously fishing for compliments.

"Are you nuts? I always come and see you Carter!" Terry sounded unusually happy for some reason. She produced some items from behind her back, and handed them one by one to him. "Here's a get well card from all my family, and one from all the people in the football team. And here's a present I got you this afternoon."

Carter smiled thankfully and opened up the small box which Terry had given him. Inside was a chunky silver ring.

"Oh Thanks Terry," he replied gratefully. Terry came over and sat beside him on the bed.

"Hope you like it," she commented hopefully.

"It's the best. You're the best," he replied, looking fit (Tell me about it) and healthy again, apart from the bruise on his forehead from the fall. Terry laughed. "I remembered you wanted a new one. Ever since you lost your old one inside the couch at my parents house. Remember, we ripped the whole thing apart looking for it?"

Carter smiled, remembering.

"And then, we got them a new one before they came back from that party, but it rolled down the hill again with us sitting on it and catapulted us over the hedge?"

"Yeah, that was cool."

Terry leaned closer and held his hand, looking into his eyes. "Nothing's gonna tear us apart now Carter," she told him.

"Not even a train crash?"

"No."

"Not even a plane explosion?"

"No, I don't think so."

"Not even a bus heading for you at high speed?"

"Definitely not that," Terry reassured him. "Let's never fight again. Ever."

"Yeah."

Terry suddenly looked serious. "I mean it Carter. You gotta stop drinking. And lying. And trying to kill yourself. It's just not good for you."

"I know, I know," Carter agreed, holding her hand tightly. "I promise Terry. I don't think I ever want to be hit by sign again in my life." (I think this would be a good point to start playing, 'Ironic' by Alanis Morissette, don't you?) He pulled her closer to him. "I just don't want to lose you again Terry. I do stupid things when you're not there to stop me."

"Don't worry about me Carter. I'm fine. I told you, nothing's ever gonna happen to me. It's just you. You need to look after yourself more." Terry reached out and put her arms around him. "We'll be okay, as long as we stick together."

"Yeah," Carter sighed as he put the ring on his finger.

Meanwhile, it's Dinner Time at the Waggner House...

"Tod!" Jerry Waggner yelled at the top of his voice. "Will you STOP scraping your fork along your teeth! I HATE that noise...oh yeah, and pass the salt will you son?"

Tod removed the fork from his mouth, rolling his eyes. He reached for the salt and handed it over.

"Sorry Dad. But I just love doing that," he apologised.

"Well I don't love hearing it. So bloody well pack it in, otherwise along comes Mr. Chore Hat-."

"Oh per-lease," George whined, joining the conversation. "We are not five years old Dad."

"Hey Mom, can I do a magic show after dinner?" Tod asked hopefully.

"No Cosmo. I don't think I can handle you ruining my best ties at this time of an evening," Jerry Waggner interrupted.

"I do not ruin your best ties!"

"Yeah you do. So shut up. Do you really think I want to hear you talking about dressing up as a gay Wizadora while I'm trying to eat?" George replied quickly.

"Gay? What's with this gay stuff all the time?" Tod cried indignantly. "I'm sick of people calling me gay."

"Yeah, Tod's not gay," Jerry backed him up. For a second Tod actually thought his Dad sticking up for him would be a good thing. But it's never that simple is it? "If any son of mine was Gay, I'd throw him out on the street. He wouldn't be living under my roof, I can tell you that."

"Oh Jerry," Linda Waggner sighed. "I hardly think that's a very good attitude to the situation. If our son is gay then we'll just have to support him and-."

"For God's sake! I am NOT gay!" Tod yelled slamming down his knife on the table. He leapt out of his chair, almost snagging his sweater on the table. "Geez! What am I doing to deserve this?!"

He smirked defiantly at his Dad, picking the fork up off the table. Jerry Waggner stared in anticipation, wondering what he was about to do. Tod put the fork in his mouth and scraped it all the way along his teeth, the sharp high pitched sound piercing the air. His Dad flinched at the noise. Tod pulled a cocky face and skipped off out of the room, knowing his smart-arse revenge was complete.

Chapter 35:

Clear was watching TV that evening when the phone rang. Wearily, she hauled herself out of the chair and made her way into the hall.

"Hello?"

"Hello Clear," a sinister voice hissed. "I'm in your house. I bet you can't find me."

Clear froze in terror and gripped the receiver to her ear tighter. "Who is this?" She demanded, her voice shaking.

"That's for me to know, and you to find out. Go into the sitting room."

Clear reluctantly walked into the front room, the cordless phone still pressed against the side of her face.

"I bet you don't know where I am," the voice challenged her, laughing. Clear looked around the room. Two feet were sticking out from behind the couch, shaking as the person laughed.

"Er, you're behind the couch," she informed them unsurely. The laughing on the other end of the phone suddenly stopped.

"Bugger!" It snarled.

"Who are you?" Clear asked suddenly feeling a whole lot braver.

"Um, it's me, Billy," the voice answered, as he got to his feet.

"What the hell were you trying to do Billy? And how did you get into my house?!" Clear shrieked, half annoyed, half scared.

Billy dusted down his checked anorak.

"Door was open. Thought I'd come in and give you a scare or something." He smiled, rubbing his hands together.

"Well it worked," Clear replied, calming down considerably. "But next time, I think ringing the doorbell might be a better plan."

Billy nodded, and immediately sat down on Clear's sofa, stretching out his arms.

"So, are you getting me a drink or do I have to do it myself?" he asked, as he put his hands behind his head.

"Excuse me?"

"I said, I want a drink. Preferably vodka," Billy repeated. "But if you haven't got any I wouldn't mind beer."

Clear stared for a second, not quite sure what was going on. What the hell was Billy playing at, coming into her house and ordering her around like that?

"You've got a nerve," Clear replied as she stood in the doorway. "You've really got a nerve."

"Great. So get me a drink, then come and sit with me on the couch. I think the X-Files is on tonight. Right about now."

Clear smiled and walked off into the kitchen, wondering what the hell she was playing at, letting the class geek boss her around like that. But hey, Billy was okay. He'd been a nice kinda guy while they were lost in the forest anyway.

Five minutes later, Clear came back in with a bottle of vodka and two glasses. She sat down next to Billy, who was changing the TV channel, acting like it was his house, not Clear's.

"This TV sucks dude," he commented insensitively. "I mean, where's all the channels? My TV's got about two hundred."

Clear sighed, trying her best to ignore the comments.

"I can't afford cable Billy," she answered plainly. "Unlike you I have to buy stuff myself."

"Oh right. Well, your loss."

Clear clenched her fists, getting angrier. Just who the hell did he think he was tonight?

'If he say's one more thing,' she thought to herself angrily. 'Just one more thing, I swear I'm gonna-.'

"You know Clear, I don't think you can get the X-Files on your TV. It's on cable tonight," Billy interrupted her thoughts. Clear attempted to smile, trying to cover up her annoyance for this guy.

"We don't have to watch TV," Billy suggested, putting his glass down on the table. He edged closer to Clear on the sofa.

"Oh no," she said quickly. "No way. If you came round here just to get off with me you can forget it."

"But I didn't come round just to get off with you Clear!" he wailed in despair. "That was only plan B. I actually came round to borrow 'It's Raining Men,' out of your stereo. Getting off with you was just something I thought I might do if I had time before the X-Files."

"Oh great. Nice to know I'm just your back-up plan Billy." Clear stood up suddenly, trying to get as far away from him as possible. "Get out. It's late and I'm tired."

"Oh me too. Can I sleep at your place tonight?" Billy asked childishly. His expression suddenly changed as if he had thought of something. "Oh no, what shame. What am I going to do?" he announced, not sounding very convincing. "I just remembered, I'm allergic to er, um...what's your couch made of?"

"Polyester. I think," Clear replied impatiently, her arms folded.

"Well, you see, the thing is... I'm allergic to poly-whatever you said. So, you don't happen to have a spare room do you?" Billy asked desperately.

"Yes. I do. But you're not staying-."

"Oh I hate sleeping on my own. Please! Pleeeeease! Let me sleep in your bed with you!" By this time Billy was hanging on her arm, practically begging.

"No. Billy. I think what you need to do is go home, and get your head together." (Geddit?)

Billy started walking over to the door, his head down.

"Oh Billy, and one more thing," Clear called after him. He turned around, a look of hope in his eyes. "You forgot your scream mask."

She threw the black and white mask at him.

"Thanks Clear," he sighed weakly. He was just about to open the door when he spun round for his final comment. As you do.

"Oh and Clear?"

"Ah-ha?"

"I really really really really really like you. I really do. I liked you ever since we got stuck in the woods together, and I just want you to know, that any time you want somebody to sleep with, I'll be right there for you baby-."

"Go home Billy," Clear replied firmly.

"Right." He slammed the door behind him. Angry and frustrated, he stood on the doorstep. "Damn!" he said to himself.

Carter finished packing his stuff and sat down on the bed, sighing. At last, he was getting out of the hospital. And his Mum and Dad were coming to pick him up, any second. He tried to get to his feet, but his ankle was sprained and he could hardly walk. He looked at his hand, with the ring on his finger which Terry had bought him. He smiled to himself.

"Carter! Honey!" Mrs. Horton suddenly rushed into the room and hugged him. "You okay sweetie?"

"Yeah Mom. I'm fine."

Mrs. Horton looked at his ankle. "Oh, you poor thing. How's your foot?"

Carter wasn't really listening. He was looking at the ring, missing Terry, even though he had only seen her the night before.

"Oh, it's pretty great," he sighed absent-mindedly. "Mom, would you mind if Terry came over today?"

"Sure thing son," Mr. Horton replied appearing over his wife's shoulder. "As long as I don't have to listen to that sodding Cockroach music, whatever you call it."

"It's Papa Roach Dad," Carter corrected, attempting to pick up his bag.

"So, you ready?" Mrs. Horton asked him. "We've sorted everything out with the nurse, so there's no paperwork to do or anything like that."

Carter nodded, and with the help of his parents, got to his feet.

"Yeah," Terry sighed, twisting the telephone cord around her finger. "You don't sound too good baby. You sure you want me to come over to your house?"

She waited for a second for Carter's reply, then laughed. "Well, I missed you. So, I'll see you in about an hour okay?"

Suddenly, a red light started flashing on the phone.

"Oh, hang on a minute Carter, I've got another call, just wait a second, I'll be right with you."

She pressed the button, wondering who the hell it could be.

"Hello?" she asked unsurely.

"Oh hey Terry. I hope I haven't caught you at a bad time," Tod's croaky voice crackled down the line. She opened her mouth to reply, but he interrupted before she had a chance.

"Cos, we really need to talk. I mean, I really like you, and it was really cool, you know, but-."

"Tod, I can't talk right now," Terry told him. "I'm kinda busy. I'm going over to Carter's later, and-."

"Oh, Carter. I see. Well, I better go then," Tod immediately started to sound sarcastic.

"Tod, wait. I know we need to sort things out, but Carter just got out of hospital today."

"Listen Terry. Alex and Clear know. About us."

"What?! How?!"

"I dunno. Alex reckons he's psychic, but personally, I think that's a load of shit. The only person I can think of, Is Clear. I mean, with her big gob, the whole school could know within a week."

"If Carter finds out, I'm dead," Terry hissed down the phone. "He'll hate me forever. And, I don't know whether I could take that, cos...cos..."

"Cos what?" Tod demanded.

"Oh Tod. I know you're gonna hate me for saying this, but, I love Carter," Terry answered plainly.

"I don't hate you for saying that."

"You don't?"

"No." Tod answered quickly. He laughed evilly. "I hate Carter instead."

"Tod," Terry warned. "Don't start."

"I'm not starting!"

"I've really gotta go now Tod," Terry replied, looking round the hall to make sure nobody was listening. "Carter needs me."

"Yeah. Right," Tod answered pissily. "Don't let me keep you then."

He slammed the phone down at that point.

Carter stood in the hallway, waiting for Terry to come back on the line.

"Baby? You still there?" Terry's voice came down the line suddenly.

"Yeah," he sighed tiredly. "Who was that?"

"Er, a salesman."

"Selling?" Carter persisted suspiciously.

" Bouncy castles."

"You're really bad at lying Terry, you know that?" Carter told her, wondering what she was hiding. Terry laughed uncertainly.

"Yeah. You're right."

"So who was it?"

"Oh Carter, it doesn't matter," Terry replied quickly trying to get off the subject. "Are you absolutely positive that you want me to come round, when you've just got out of hospital?"

"Duh? Who else is gonna do my laundry?" Carter joked.

"Thanks," Terry answered weakly.

"I want to see you. Hospital sucks, big time. I'm just glad to be home," Carter explained, smiling to himself.

"Right then. I'll come round as soon as I can."

"When's that?"

"Geez Carter," Terry said wondering why he was so desperate to see her. "Why all the urgency?"

"I'm bored. My Dad's building a pathetic excuse for a shed outside, and my Mum's pissing me off asking me if I'm okay every five seconds. I'm fine, but nobody seems to understand."

"Yeah. I got it. See ya Carter."

"Bye Terry."

Chapter 36:

FBI Headquarters- Washington DC:

Agent Weine sat at his desk examining the Bureau's latest invention. It was a long, thin, pencil shaped device with a laser on one end. At that moment, his partner, Agent Schreck entered the room, clutching a stack of papers.

"How's the flashy thing coming on?" he asked. Weine looked up to face him.

"Oh, it's great. With this baby, nobody'll ever know the truth about any of the X-Files unless we want them to," he replied thinking he was ace.

"So, what does it do, exactly?"

"It sends a signal to the brain, wiping the memory of the subject you point it at," Weine explained. "You simply get the person to look into the laser, then you press this button here," he pointed to a small button on the main part of the 'flashy thing.' "You can set the amount of memory you want the person to lose, for anything from minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, even years. I'm telling you Schreck, this is the thing we've been looking for."

"And I invented it," Schreck reminded him, making sure he didn't lose any credit.

"I know, I know. But, we gotta have a bit of fun with this thing first, before we use it on anyone for real."

"You mean, test it?"

"Sure. Whatever you want."

"And how exactly are we gonna get people to test this?" Schreck asked. "Put up a poster saying, 'come here if you wanna lose your memory?' Sure, people are really gonna fall for that..." He finished sarcastically.

Weine smirked to himself.

"That's not a bad idea," he announced, rubbing his chin in thought.

"All we need, is a bunch of ignorant little dirtbags who'll do anything for a bit of cash..."

"Hey, look at this!" Alex yelled, pointing to a bright yellow poster on the wall in the cafeteria.

"What?!" Tod asked in annoyance.

"The FBI are testing a new virtual reality game! Here! In two days!"

"Let me see that!" Tod cried leaping off the bench over to where Alex was standing. He pushed in front of Alex to read the print on the poster.

"If you want to experience the latest in exhilarating computer technology, we're coming here, to Mt. Abraham High School, for a special testing session. If you want to be part of this fantastic opportunity, for free, come along to the main hall at 3:30pm on Tuesday 10th May. All entrants will receive one hundred dollars! Don't miss out or you'll be a sad geek forever!" Tod read excitedly. "Wow dude! A new Virtual Reality Game! We have gotta see that!"

Alex grabbed Tod by the arms and the two of them started jumping round happily.

"I know man , I know!"

"It's gonna be sooooooooo cool!"

"Yeah!"

"Yeah!"

"What are you two freaks getting high off now?" A voice asked. They spun round, to see George looking at them with his arms folded.

"This!" Tod cried ripping the paper off the wall.

"Wow!" George yelled as he scanned down the paper. "This I gotta see!"

(Honestly, boys and computer games eh?)

Soon a large crowd of people were gathered around the poster.

Outside, Agent Schreck lay on the grass with a pair of binoculars, spying on the cafeteria. Weine stood behind him, making sure the kids didn't get suspicious.

"Wow," Schreck sighed, looking through the lenses.

"What is it Agent?" Weine asked curiously.

"Those thick gits are falling for our plan better than I thought," Schreck replied smarmily. "I don't think we're gonna have a problem getting our 'flashy thing' tested, I can tell you that."

Weine rubbed his hands together, grinning evilly. "Excellent," he hissed in a sinister voice.

Clear was walking down the corridor when a hand reached out and grabbed her, pulling her round the corner.

"Tod?!" she gasped in shock.

"What have you been saying to Alex?" Tod snarled.

"Alex?" Clear asked, not sure what he was getting at. "I haven't spoken to Alex recently."

"Yeah, sure you haven't," he replied. Tod lowered his voice slightly. "Well how do you explain the fact that he knows about me and Terry?"

"Search me," Clear answered calmly, shrugging.

"I might have to if you don't tell me!" Tod snapped back, gripping her by the arms. Clear shook herself free angrily.

"Get off me!" she yelled. "I told you, I don't know!"

Tod stepped back, wondering whether he should believe her.

"Well, he found out somehow. And so far, the only person I can think of that could have told him, was you."

"Oh piss off," Clear replied bitterly. "He was gonna find out one way or another. And I don't have to keep your secrets for you Tod. If you don't stop harassing me I'm gonna go and tell Carter myself!"

Tod stepped closer again, angry and full of fear that Carter would find out.

"You do that, and I'll slit your throat you mouthy bitch!"

"You have no right to speak to me like that!"

"Oh yeah? It's a free country."

"In that case, it's my choice whether I tell Carter. I don't think it's fair that you and Terry went out behind his back, causing him all this pain!"

"Well they're back together now aren't they?" Tod replied, feeling slightly hurt. "What does it matter? According to Terry, he needs her. But who needs me eh? Nobody."

"Is that what all this about? Jealousy?" Clear asked, looking straight at him.

"Of course not!" Tod answered sharply.

"Well, I'm late for class Tod," Clear announced as she took a step forward. "You can sort this all out yourself." She walked off down the corridor.

"Carter, I should be at school right now," Terry informed him as she stood in the doorway of his bedroom. "I don't think I should be here."

"So you're just gonna leave me?" Carter questioned. "If you leave me, I might...er...try to kill myself again. Yeah, that's what I'd do. I'd be suicidal. You can't just go off to school Terry!"

"Oh Carter," Terry sighed, annoyed that he had persuaded her to come round to his way of thinking again.

"Well, would you rather be at school, or here? With me?"

"Here. With you," Terry replied walking over to where he was sitting on the bed.

"I thought so," Carter replied smarmily. She sat down next to him on the bed. He reached out and put his arm around her.

"I'm so glad I don't have to sleep in the hospital tonight."

"Me too."

"I really missed you Terry."

"Yeah."

"Well, what would you have done If I'd died?"

"Carter," Terry began in disbelief. "Why are you asking me stupid stuff like that?"

"Well? Would you have cared?"

"Yes! For god's sake Carter, I love you. Of course I would have cared," Terry answered, as she moved closer to him.

Outside the window, Agent Weine and Agent Schreck were walking back from the school. Weine was holding the 'flashy thing'.

"Hey! you've been hogging that thing all day!" Agent Schreck yelled, trying to snatch it off his partner.

"Have not," he argued childishly.

"You have! Gimme a shot with it!"

"No way, you'll wreck it!" Weine protested, holding it high above his head.

"But It was my idea!"

"Tough."

"Oh that's it!" Schreck cried lunging for his partner. He reached out for the invention, and the two of them started rolling around on the sidewalk. Weine held the 'flashy thing' behind his back, desperately trying not to let Agent Schreck get it off him.

"For God's sake! I just want one go with it man! Just one go!" Agent Schreck cried, jumping all over his partner.

"No! Mine!"

"Mine!"

Suddenly, they both grabbed it at the same time, and a tug of war began.

"Just give me that 'flashy thing' Weiney, or you'll be sorry!"

"No I bloody well won't!"

"Gimme it!"

"No! Let go of it Schreck! It's my turn with it!"

"It's my turn Weiner!"

"Don't call me that!"

Then, everything seemed to happen at once. Somehow, one of them pressed the button. A bright red laser beam started bouncing round, off the walls of the houses.

"Get down!" Agent Weine yelled as the beam darted around like a Ping-Pong ball over their heads. The two of them leapt onto the sidewalk, as low as they could get.

The laser hit a tree and changed direction again. Straight through Carter's window.

Chapter 37:

"Owwwwwwwwww!" Carter yelled springing back away from Terry.

"What is it baby?" Terry asked, concerned for him. He put his hand to his face.

"I'm not sure. I felt something in my eye," Carter replied, slowly realising he couldn't remember anything that had just happened. "It might have come through the window."

"I'll go and look," Terry informed him as she got to her feet, moving over to the window. She looked down, to see the two FBI Agents getting to their feet. Agent Weine happened to look up just at that second.

"Oh, hey there," he called, as he waved to her.

"Did you guys just throw something through the window?" Terry asked, annoyed.

"Oh no, course not," Weine assured her. Behind him, Agent Schreck was dusting his suit down, clutching the 'flashy thing' in one hand.

"Are you crazy?" Schreck asked angrily.

"Excuse me a moment," Weine told Terry as he turned to face his partner.

"What are you doing Schreck?"

"Oh, you fool! You pitiful, pitiful fool!" Schreck replied sharply, shaking is head. He pointed the flashy thing at Terry. "She's seen us! She knows!"

"What?" Terry called down. "What have I seen!"

"She's onto us!" Agent Schreck cried, pressing the button before Weine had a chance to stop him. The laser beam shot into Terry's eye.

"What the hell?" she yelled, feeling a short, stinging pain at the back of her eye. She looked out of the window again.

"Run for it!" Weine cried at the top of his voice, grabbing Schreck. They started pegging it down the street.

"Terry? You okay?" Carter asked as Terry walked back over to him.

"Yeah. I got a pain in my eye too. But I don't have a clue how it happened," she explained, feeling light-headed and dizzy.

"What am I doing in your house?"

"I dunno." Carter replied. "Why does my leg hurt?"

"I really don't know. I can't remember anything," she answered. "The last thing I can remember, is the fight you had with Tod in the cafeteria. From then to now, it's just blank."

"Exactly," Carter agreed, rubbing his head. He looked at his hand. "Where the hell did this ring come from? I don't remember having a ring."

"Neither do I," Terry sighed, feeling tired.

"Oh well. I guess we must have gone on another all night drinking spree or something," Carter attempted to offer a logical explanation.

"Correction. You must have gone on an all night drinking spree. I don't do that," Terry answered adamantly.

"Well how do you explain your memory loss?" Carter challenged feeling smarmy.

Terry walked over to the window again, as if she was searching for the answer. After looking out for a few seconds, she stopped and walked back over to the bed.

"Oh geez Carter, you must be right!" Terry exclaimed giving up on any hope of a different explanation. "You must have talked me into it!"

"Oh, it's always my fault!"

"Yeah it is! Who knows what happened? You could have stolen that ring for all we know, we could have killed people or something!"

"As if," Carter replied confidently.

Billy was walking down the street minding his own business when Alex suddenly appeared out of nowhere, hanging upside down in a tree.

"Hey Billy!" he called.

"What the hell are you doing dude?" Billy asked, trying not to show that Alex had almost made him jump out of his skin.

"I was practising being a bat. It's kinda fun," Alex replied in a matter of fact kind of way. He swung himself down, landing on the sidewalk facing Billy. "I thought I might catch you on the way home."

"And why would you want to do that?"

"We need to have a little talk..." Alex began, putting his arm around Billy as if he was being friendly. They started walking off down the road.

"Now, you like Clear don't you Billy?" Alex asked. Billy hesitated for a second, not sure what he should say. Eventually, he decided to tell the truth.

"Yeah."

"Wrong!" Alex yelled, making Billy jump for the second time. "That is NOT the correct answer!"

"But I do like-."

"I said, that's the wrong answer. I like Clear, you got that?"

Billy stared uncertainly, getting slightly wary of Alex.

"And I'm gonna be the only one who likes her, okay? So you, can just forget any chance you think you have with her!"

"Alex, I think we'll let Clear decided who she likes the best," Billy answered sensibly.

"No. I think we'll save her the trouble. I mean, we all know I'm the favourite," Alex scoffed putting his hand on his heart as if he was being modest. "So why bother? You might as well just forget all about her."

"No. I won't," Billy replied, with no intention of backing down. "What makes you think that you're the one she likes best? What makes you better?"

"What makes me better?" Alex repeated in mock disbelief. "Oh Billy, Oh poor naive little Billy," he sighed shaking his head. "You have got a lot to learn my friend."

Billy shook Alex's arm away from him angrily. "No Alex. You have got a lot to learn. You think you're so cool don't you?"

"Yeah. I'll have to admit I do. But at least I am cool, I'm not just deluding myself like you!"

"You know what Alex?" Billy said quickly. "I'm not gonna bother wasting my breath on you. I've got stuff to do at home. So goodbye."

With that, Billy stormed off down the street. Alex laughed to himself, thinking himself far superior.

"She likes me better!" he yelled, not able to resist having the last word.

"Hey Mom, Dad, I'm home!" Alex cried as he flung open the door. Mrs. Browning suddenly appeared in the hallway.

"Hi honey," she greeted him.

"Anything good happen while I was at wondrous school today?"

"You're in a good mood today aren't you?" his mum replied. "Usually when you get home you just peg it upstairs to your room and never re-appear till dinnertime."

"Yeah well," Alex brushed it aside. "There's this new FBI virtual reality game being tested tomorrow, it's gonna be ace! We get paid a hundred dollars to try it out!"

"Really?" Mrs. Browning answered, not really taking any notice. "That's nice dear."

"You bet it is!" Alex yelled.

"Shhhh dear," Mrs. Browning replied in a unenthusiastic tone. "There's no need to get over-excited."

"There is!" Alex shrieked jumping up and down. "I'm gonna get paid for testing out a computer game! You can't get any better than that!"

Just at that second, Mr. Browning walked into the hallway with his reading glasses on.

"So, you're testing out a new game are you son?" he asked, pretending he was interested.

"Yeah!" Alex screamed. He suddenly realised how immature he sounded. "I mean...it's okay, you know, I'm cool about it."

"Yeah well," Ken Browning continued. "In case you haven't noticed there's some washing in the kitchen that needs pegging out."

Alex rolled his eyes.

"I was talking to Jerry Waggner the other day, he says that when his boys get out of line he gets out this chore hat, and then-."

"Yeah, Dad, I know," Alex interrupted holding his hands up. "Tod's told me all about that sodding chore hat. And we're not gonna start using 'Chore Hats' in this house okay? God!" Alex shook his head and skipped off up the stairs.

Chapter 38

"Dad?" Tod asked as he sauntered into the room that evening. Jerry Waggner was sitting in front of the TV, watching the news.

"In other news, the FBI are looking for willing senior students to test out their new virtual reality game 'You're Dead, I'm Rich'," the newsreader announced.

"Hey, this is what I was telling you about earlier!" Tod cried leaping into the next available chair. He watched the screen intently as Agent Weine and Agent Schreck appeared.

"Yes, we are looking for people who can test out our game," Weine told the newsreader. "We will be in Mt. Abraham High School tomorrow afternoon, at 3:30pm."

"So, can you tell us a bit about your game?" the newsreader asked, sounding interested.

"Er...well...it's kinda hard to explain.." Weine struggled, obviously not expecting to be asked that kind of question. Desperately, he turned to his partner. "Schreck, a little help?"

"Yeah, well, our invention, 'You're Dead, I'm Rich,' is about, it's about...well if you put it this way-."

"Have you ever seen that movie 'Robocop?'" Weine interrupted. The newsreader nodded unsurely.

"Yes, I have. So, are you telling me that your game is a little like 'Robocop?'"

"No, I just wondered if you'd seen it-," Weine started, before receiving a sharp dig in the ribs from his partner.

"I think, what my partner meant to say was that er.." Schreck attempted to offer an explanation. "Is that if you think of the way that Robocop is a robot," the newsreader stared intently at Schreck, waiting for the answer to what should have been an easy question. "Then I suppose it's a little like that. It's designed so that we can get into the minds of criminals, find out how they work and then we can catch them more...efficiently," Schreck concluded feeling proud of himself.

"Yeah, the students who test it will get inside the mind of a criminal of their choice, then afterwards fill out a questionnaire," Weine added.

"People are saying each student will be paid a hundred dollars for testing out your game. Is that true?" The newsreader interrogated them.

"Yeah. That's true all right. So come along tomorrow, and get a piece of the action!" Weine exclaimed trying to advertise.

"See Dad!" Tod yelled as the report came to an end. "I told you they were coming to my school, I told you!"

"I know son," Jerry Waggner replied without much enthusiasm. George entered the room at that moment. He slapped a high five with his brother. For the first time in days they actually seemed to be getting along.

"Hey, look at this," George whispered in Tod's ear, bringing a burnt and tattered piece of material out from behind his back.

"What's that?"

"Let me put it this way. I don't think we'll be hearing from 'Mr. Chore Hat' for a while," George replied smirking.

"No way man! You burnt the chore hat!" Tod yelled, forgetting his Dad was sitting right next to him.

"You burnt the what what?" Jerry Waggner asked. Obviously he hadn't listened to a word they had been saying.

"Oh nothing that concerns you Dad," George answered. The two of them grinned happily at each other.

"Oh Good morning class!" Miss. Mulder shrieked ecstatically. Tod and Alex exchanged worried glances. What had she got to be so happy about?

"What a wonderful day it is today!" the substitute caught sight of Tod looking, bored to say the least. Instead of getting angry, she smiled.

"And Stripy Waggner! Sooooo glad you could make it!"

"Well duh?" Tod replied not in the mood for fun and games with the most annoying teacher in the entire universe. "It's the testing day for that FBI game today innit?"

"Why yes Stripy Waggner it is!" Miss. Mulder cried clasping her hands together. "What a glorious day!" She noticed Alex looking confused, in the desk next to Tod.

"And you, Alex?" she asked, wondering if she had got his name right. "You look so, so, happy to be here!"

"Believe me, I am."

"I am, what?" the teacher repeated.

"I am, Miss Mulder," Alex sighed, exasperated.

"That's the spirit!" Miss. Mulder leapt off the desk and addressed the class. "Now, today, we are going to be studying something, a little different. Something, a little beyond the realms of common sense, something powerful, something that may even freak you out a little." She stopped, obviously for a dramatic pause. Tod put his head down on his desk, wishing he didn't have to be here. "I have a question to ask you all," she continued, the huge grin never leaving her face. "Is there, a design?"

"You what?" Tod shouted out rudely.

"Is there such a thing, as fate?" Miss. Mulder carried on, ignoring Tod's comments. "Did someone, or something, plan out our lives before we were even here? Or do you make your own life? Are you in control of your own actions? Or is it already laid out, and everything you do is because it was meant to be?"

"This sucks," Tod remarked arrogantly. This outburst suddenly brought him to the teachers attention.

"Tod, why don't you tell me your thoughts on the subject?"

For a second he looked surprised, then he cleared his throat and began. "Well, I don't really know what I think," he started. "I guess I haven't thought about it before. You should ask Alex," he replied pointing to his friend. Alex shot an angry glance at him.

"Okay, Alex, you speak," Miss. Mulder answered, switching her gaze to him.

"I think, that...er.." Alex struggled to explain. After a few seconds, a smirk crossed his devious face. "Well, I believe, that if we go to Paris and the plane explodes on take off, I believe...that it was meant to be. You can't change the way things are meant to be. If we don't go on that plane, if we...effectively cheat death...then we will die some other way. A new design will be created. But it won't give us much time. You're not meant to cheat the plan, Miss. Mulder, and if we just stop and think, for one second-."

"Right Alex, very good," Miss. Mulder interrupted, feeling slightly uneased by his words. "You can shut up now. After all, we wouldn't want you scaring these poor perfect angels out of going to Paris would we?" All of a sudden her smile became evil. Alex took a closer look, and could have sworn she was holding a screwdriver.

"Anyone else want to offer their opinion?"

Nobody put their hand up. At that moment, the door opened. Carter strolled in defiantly.

"Hey there, hot stuff," Miss. Mulder greeted him, her eyes lighting up. Carter folded his arms and stared her in the eyes.

"Mr. Doggett sent me to ask if you have his screwdriver," Carter replied, deciding to ignore her comment. Miss. Mulder looked guilty as she held it behind her back.

"Er...what screwdriver?" she replied not sounding very convincing. Suddenly, it slipped out of her hands and hit the floor. Carter sighed.

"Oh, where did that come from?" Miss. Mulder asked as if she didn't have a clue. "Somebody in this class planted it on me!"

"Er...no, we didn't," Tod answered cockily, getting pissed off with her. "Excuse me, but I think you were the one who stole it!"

"It was HIM!" Miss. Mulder cried out, throwing herself into Carter's arms. She grabbed hold of him and stared evilly at Tod. "He planted it on me, he DID!"

"Tod?!" Carter replied in disbelief, struggling to free himself from the teacher's grip. "No. I don't think so Miss. Mulder. I think you did it. So please, pass me that screwdriver and I can get back to class."

"You can't go now!" Miss. Mulder shrieked, grabbing him by the shoulders. "I haven't screwed anything yet!"

Tod sighed and leapt out of his chair. He strode over to the teacher and snatched the screw driver off the floor, handing it to Carter. Carter took it and tried to make his way out of the room, but the substitute had other ideas.

"Please, don't leave me. I'm lonely. I'm unhappy. I'm tired of these pathetic annoying," she glared at Tod as she spoke. "..Pitiful excuses for teenagers. I need a real man...er...what did you say your name was?"

"I didn't," Carter replied impatiently. "But I think you're forgetting , that-."

"Oh just call me Jenny!"

"Okay...Jenny. I think you're forgetting that I am also a teenager. And, you know, as flattering as it is for a teacher to fancy me, I already have a girlfriend. And I was sent here on official business. So, if you don't mind, I'll take this screwdriver, and go."

"Oh please, don't go!" Miss. Mulder squealed, pretending to be helpless.

"Listen you," Tod interrupted suddenly. "I have had just about enough, of this. You are the most pathetic, idiotic, airheaded, annoying, bitch of a substitute I have ever had. I want back!"

"Well I'm sorry to disappoint you Stripy, but your precious teacher is not here, so I guess you'll just have to make do with...Hey! Did you just call me an airhead?" Miss. Mulder spat back.

"Yeah, I guess I did," Tod replied defiantly. He glanced at Carter. "Peg it Carter, while you've still got the chance!" he yelled. Carter nodded and ran as fast as he could out of the room, with the screwdriver. Miss. Mulder grinned evilly.

"Like I said, isn't here. So, in the meantime-."

"Stop right there," a voice echoed around the room. All heads looked in the direction of the door. It was Ms. Lewton. She marched across to the front of the class, and shoved out of the way. The pathetic excuse for a substitute fell to the floor.

Chapter 39:

"Now, I don't know why, or how, I came to be in the faculty lounge just now, but I know one thing," Ms. Lewton announced heroically. "I know that you are my class, and come hell or high water, we're going to Paris!"

"All right Ms. Lewton!" Tod yelled clapping.

"Way to go!"

"Sweet!"

People all round the class called out. Ms. Lewton bowed, like she was some kind of a celebrity.

"You can't get away with this Valerie!" Miss. Mulder hissed, picking herself up from the floor. "I'll be back, someday. I'll find a way to get my revenge!"

"Oh, shut the fuck up!" Ms. Lewton cried, smacking the substitute hard across the face. For a second, Miss. Mulder looked as if she was going to retaliate. Instead, she stuck her nose in the air and marched out of the class.

"What happened Ms. Lewton?" Alex asked, confused. "Mr. Doggett said you had a panic attack a couple of days ago, you know, when we never listened?"

"What?" Ms. Lewton repeated, a bewildered look on her face. "Oh no, I don't remember anything like that. No, the last thing I can remember is those nice young men who came to give me an eye test."

"What?" Alex asked, wondering what she was talking about.

"Oh, they just checked out my eyes for a second, then left. I feel great now."

"Right."

After class, Alex and Tod walked along the corridor.

"I don't know what you think," Tod began. "But something seriously weird is going on in our school. I mean, what was the deal with the screwdriver dude? And how the hell did we end up with a substitute as whacked as Miss. Mulder?"

"I don't know," Alex sighed. "I wish I did. But I don't. All I know, is that the FBI are testing the game in," he glanced at his watch. "Two hours!"

"Far out!" Tod yelled, slapping him a high five. "One hundred dollars here I come!"

It was 3:30pm when the two of them met outside the main hall. A huge crowd of students had already blocked the entrance. Alex pushed his way to the front, where Tod was waiting.

"Can you see it?" he asked, intrigued.

"See what?"

"The game stupid!"

"No. It seems quite Top secret stuff!" Tod replied unable to contain the excitement. A man in a brown suit suddenly caught their eye and made his way over.

"That must be one of the agents!" Alex squealed. The man opened the hall door.

"Good afternoon," he greeted them. "You may make your way inside now. You don't need any belongings, bags and stuff like that can be left outside."

Quick as a flash, the students pushed their way in. Tod and Alex bagged two seats at the front. The man approached the front of the hall, who was now joined by a second man in a suit and glasses.

"Welcome. I am Special Agent Schreck, and this," Schreck introduced himself, pointing to the other man. "Is my partner, Special Agent Weine. We're with the FBI."

He paused for a moment, and put his hands behind his back. "Now, in a moment, we will show you the game. You will all get your turn, so there is no need to push in. There are however, a few safety precautions we need to take, before we allow you to experience this advanced technology."

He turned away from the eagerly awaiting teenagers for a moment, to speak to his partner.

"Weine, have you got the flashy thing?"

"Sure thing buddy," Weine replied, handing it over, a sly smirk appearing on his face.

"What's that?" Tod asked rudely. Instead of ignoring his remarks, like most other adults would, Schreck simply smiled. He turned back to the audience.

"This, my friend, is an eye tester," he explained, holding up the 'flashy thing'. "You see, we wouldn't want your vision to be damaged while we are letting you experience our game, would we?"

The rows of students shook their heads in unison.

"So, this thing here will make sure your eyes are in good enough condition to go through with the testing." He held the flashy thing up in the air. Weine rubbed his hands together with glee, he had been waiting for this moment for so long, and now, it was only seconds away.

"Would you, all, please look into this device for one second?" Schreck asked, trying to make his voice sound as welcoming as he possibly could.

Alex and Tod looked up eagerly, willing to do anything as long as they tested this game out. They didn't even seem to notice, that the room was empty, and there was absolutely nothing that could resemble this high-tech game in sight. They stared intently into the laser. Schreck put his finger over the button, realising the power he had over these naive teens. As he did this, Weine couldn't stop the evil cackle escaping from his mouth. Immediately, the students heads jerked to look in the direction

of the idiotic agent.

"Oh sheesh Weine, way to spoil the moment!" Schreck sighed angrily.

"Sorry, I er...I've got a bad case of the hayfever at the moment," Weine attempted to offer an explanation for his outburst. The sea of faces stared at him blankly. "Man, you should watch the weather report. Pollen levels, they're through the roof!"

"Yes, I see," Schreck replied, irritated by his partner. "Now, as I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted," he continued. "It is vital that you keep your eyes on the laser. From this moment, anything Agent Weine does is to be ignored."

From behind him, Weine nodded and gave the thumbs up sign, while at the same time trying to smother his laughter with his free hand.

"Are you ready?"

The crowd nodded.

"Do NOT avert your gaze as from this second, or you will not receive your hundred dollars for this experiment!" Schreck told them firmly, blackmailing them. All at once the heads turned back to the front. Alex stared at the laser, wishing they would get the eye testing over with and start on the real fun.

"Dude," Tod whispered. "What's the deal with the eye test?"

"I'm not sure," Alex whispered back, trying to make sure the agents didn't see him talking. He was too late.

"Silence!" Schreck snapped, looking more serious by the second. Behind him, Weine burst into uncontrollable laughter. He fell to the floor and rolled like a toddler having a tantrum.

"Oh, this hayfever!" he yelled as he wiped his eyes. "God damn this hayfever! God damn it to hell!"

But this time the students took no notice. This time, they were ready.

"You kids, you don't know how difficult it is to suffer from hayfever. Man, this hayfever! It's hayfever I tell you! And I can't, I can't stop this power that this hayfever has over me! This hayfever, is making my eyes water uncontrollably, this hayfever, is gagging my throat and making me make noises, which although may sound similar to laughing, is completely the opposite, and oh man! Listen to me kids, I am suffering from hayfever. There is no alterior motive in this experiment, oh no! I am simply a very vulnerable man. This hayfever, this common, annoying, well known condition which plagues me every day, even when I am indoors! Oh the agony! The annoyance, the pain I live through each and every day of my monotonous life, please, somebody save me, save me from the eternal wrath! Save me!" Weine stopped dead, realising, that now everybody was staring at him. He stopped rolling around on the floor and got to his feet, dusting his suit down with his hands. He suddenly realised what an idiot he had made of himself. "I mean, please, excuse me a moment." For a second, he looked as if he was going to calmly walk across the hall. But then this story wouldn't be a comedy if he did that would it?

"Ahhhhhhhhhhh! I've made a complete and utter fool of myself!" he shrieked, his hands in the air as he ran across the polished floor, his feet slipping occasionally. As he slammed the hall door behind him, Schreck cleared his throat.

"Now that, that unpleasantness is over," he began, straightening his tie with his left hand. "I think, we are ready to begin."

"But, what about his hayfever?" Alex asked. "Is he gonna be okay?"

"Yeah," Schreck sighed, not really bothered. "I mean, it's not like I care. We're not like Mulder and Scully you know. I don't really give a flying monkey's arse what happens to him."

Tod and Alex exchanged bewildered glances.

"Man, I knew we should never have let him on that drugs raid last week," Schreck continued to himself.

"What was that?" Alex asked nosily.

"Nothing, nothing," Schreck dismissed it, the true professional. "Now, we are running out of time. Please, without another word, look into this device."

The eager teenagers did as they were told.

Schreck was about to press the button when...

"Stop!" Weine screamed bursting through the doors. "Stop! I have an idea!"

Schreck sighed and brought the 'flashy thing' back down by his sides, in exasperation.

"What is it now, Weine?"

"I think, that it would be a good idea, if," Weine began, his shoes squeaking as he made his way across the hall to his partner. "If we had, a little, revelation time..."

"Revelation time?" Schreck repeated in disbelief. "What the hell are you talking about?"

"I'm talking about, getting people to admit their deepest and darkest secrets, before their memories are wipe- I mean, before the eye test," Weine continued, narrowly escaping giving the whole scheme away.

"Good idea!" Schreck praised, clapping his partner on the back. "Who's first?"

"Ooh, oooh, me!" Weine yelled excitedly. "When I was sixteen I went joy riding, and I ran over this old woman. She was dead, but I took her back to my house and buried her under the floorboards, right?" Weine started idiotically. "So, then, I was this murderer, on the run from the law, yeah? And get this, last week, I was reading the paper, and there was this article slashed right across the front page saying, 'Granny Basher on the loose', and it was soooo cool, you know? And in the article, it said-."

"Weine!"

"No, let me finish. It said-."

Schreck grabbed his partner by the shoulders.

"Weine! SHUT UP! You're not gonna be flashy thinged are you?"

"Damn," Weine said, slowly realising the seriousness of what he had just said.

"Flashy what?" Tod demanded, of course listening in to the conversation.

"Quiet you!" Schreck hissed. "You didn't hear any of that, you understand?"

"I'm gonna go call the cops!"

"You do, and I'll open a can of whup-ass on you so big, I'm gonna need a tin opener the size of brazil to get the lid off!" Schreck exploded, losing his cool. "And besides, we are the cops! So there, smart arse!"

Uncertainly, Tod clamped his big mouth shut. Schreck somehow managed to force his glare into a smile.

"Now, forgetting Weine's ridiculous idea of revelations-."

Chapter 40:

"I have one," a voice came from the back of the hall. It was Clear Rivers. "A while ago, I realised, that I was in love with somebody."

The whole hall fell silent.

"You see, me and some other people, we got lost in the woods together, and it was at this time, that I realised just how much he meant to me."

Both Billy and Alex leant back in their chairs, certain Clear was going to say it was one of them.

"I can't hide these feelings any longer. I have to tell somebody," Clear continued dramatically.

"Well, go on then," Weine encouraged, getting ready for the good part.

"Guys, everyone, I have fallen in love, with.."

"Yes?" Alex whispered to himself. "Say it! Say it! Say you love me!"

"Come on Clear," Billy said quietly to himself. "It's one word beginning with B and ending with a Y. You have to say it."

"With..."

Everybody in the hall was waiting for her answer.

"With...this squirrel I found with a broken leg in the bushes," Clear continued, producing a small grey animal from behind her back. "His name is Winston."

Alex leapt out of his seat, angry and frustrated.

"A squirrel?" Alex repeated in disbelief. "A squirrel? You have favoured a squirrel over me?"

"Alex, I didn't know you-."

"You didn't know I liked you? Well here's another revelation. I love you Clear. I really do. At least, I did," Alex admitted, folding his arms. He turned his back on her childishly. "But I guess now there's no room in your heart for me cos you've got, Winston," he mocked, throwing his arms around in the air.

"And I also have a revelation!" Tod yelled, jumping out of his chair. Schreck smiled appreciatively. Weine's idea seemed to be pretty juicy after all.

"Alex is...a VIRGIN!"

"How dare you!" Alex shrieked spinning round again to face his mouthy git of a friend. "You promised me! You promised! You said, you wouldn't tell anyone about my secret!"

"But wait, there's more!" Tod announced dramatically.

"You say another word and you can stuff waiting for a clothes line!" Alex erupted. "I'll strangle you myself!"

"No, it's not about you," Tod protested, taking a step back.

"Man, this is getting pretty good," Weine commented.

"I did it with Terry Chaney!" Tod shrieked.

Suddenly, the hall was plunged into silence.

"Oooh, bad move," Schreck whispered to his partner. It was a very good thing that Carter and Terry weren't at the meeting.

"It was great," Tod admitted. "Me and Alex had this bet, but now I've won!" Tod cackled, beginning to crack up. "I, Tod Waggner reign supreme!"

"Why you caniving son of a-," Alex begun, but he didn't get any further.

"Yeah, I did it with her too!" A voice called out.

"Me too!" Another called out.

"And me!"

"Yeah, same here!"

"She did it with me as well!"

"I heard she slept with the whole football team," a voice cried out from the back.

"Yeah, I heard that too!"

"Right," Weine began, getting out a clip-board and pencil. He wrote the name, 'Terry Chaney' at the top of the page. "I think we can safely conclude from this experiment, that Miss. Chaney is a bit of a village bicycle."

"Excuse me?" Schreck interrupted as Weine scribbled down some notes.

"You know," Weine replied. "Everyone's had a go."

A few people sniggered.

"Well, is that all?" Schreck asked. Silence. "In that case, let's get on with the experiment."

"Wait!" Miss. Mulder cried as she ran into the hall. "I have one last thing to add!"

"You mean you did it with Terry Chaney as well?" Schreck asked.

"What? No," Miss. Mulder dismissed it. "I just came here to tell Stripy Waggner, that-."

"It's Tod, okay? Sheesh!" Tod replied, irritated.

"Well Tod, I just came to tell you that I," the teacher made her way across to Tod and took him by the hands. "I, I...I love you."

"What?!" Alex yelled in desperation. "This is just NOT happening!"

"You do?" Tod asked, flattered.

"Yeah."

"Then why were you so horrible to me?"

"Dunno," Miss. Mulder replied shrugging. "I know I'm going to have to quit my job now, so, goodbye."

She turned, putting her hands over her face. It was like a scene out of a movie.

"But Miss. Mulder-."

"No Tod. I must go," she replied, as she started to walk away.

"Miss. Mulder, before you go," Tod said calmly, as he turned the teacher round to face him. He took her face in his hands and kissed her.

"Oh man!" Alex cried, throwing his arms up in disgust. "First you blab about my virginity, then you tell me you slept with Terry, and now this? What is the world coming to?"

"That's it!" Schreck cried. "I have put up with all this fun and games for long enough. We're doing this eye test, NOW!"

Everybody stared at the agent as he lifted the 'flashy thing' high enough for everyone to see. The students waited in anticipation, Clear holding 'Winston' the squirrel, Tod and Miss. Mulder clinging to each other, Alex with his arms folded, and the rest of them sitting shocked to the core in their seats.

"Are you ready, to boldly go where no man has ever gone before?" Schreck challenged, his finger hovering over the button. Weine tried as hard as he could, but he had waited for this for so long it was unbearable. He felt like a mad scientist.

"To infinity, and beyond!" he shrieked bursting into fits of hysterical laughter. Agent Schreck rolled his eyes, deciding to let it go. If his partner wanted to behave like a total idiot, then so be it.

"Are you all looking into the laser?" He asked. The crowd of heads nodded in unison.

Slowly, and dramatically, he inched his finger closer to the button, the only thing that spoiled this atmospheric moment being his partners disturbing behaviour behind him.

"Then there's nothing more to say," Schreck concluded. He hesitated for a second.

"Do it! Do it God damn it!" Weine yelled from the floor, where he was once again rolling around.

Schreck closed his eyes, and before he knew what was happening, his finger had pushed the button. The bright red laser beam shot into the eyes of each and every one of the teenagers...

This millisecond would be the last memory any of the students would recall from the past week.

Gone was the memory of the forest.

Gone was the recollection of the party at Tod and George's.

Gone were the feelings Alex had felt for Clear. As far as he knew now, he hadn't even spoken to her in the four years they had been at high school together.

Gone was any knowledge of being called 'Stripy', or the things that Alex had revealed to Tod about his death.

It was all gone. Everything.

There Were No Memories.

That's the end by the way. I just thought writing 'The End' would have been a bit too tacky for my liking. Not that writing 'The End' is tacky or anything. I'll tell you what is tacky though.

'Six Months Later'.

That really was cheesy. I mean, I'm not one to criticise Final Destination, but really. Did you know, about the two other alternate endings they had?

Both of them involved Alex dying. The first alternate ending, which I've got on DVD is the one where Alex gets set on fire by the power line at the end, dies, and then Clear has a baby, which was the result of an alternate love scene which was also cut. The babies really cute by the way, although, not as cute as Carter. Here's my favourite bit of the alternate ending number one. Carter, by a memorial, crying. So sweet. Then Clear approaches with Fritz the dog and Alexander Chance, the baby obviously. They talk, Carter scratches the back of his neck, the usual. Then, a leaf falls on the camera from above as Clear whispers,

"One day."

Yeah, that's all very well and good. If you love it when the main character dies. Actually, I liked it cos Carter lives. Then again,

Final Destination+This Ending=No Sequel. And we wouldn't want that would we?

The second alternate ending was a little less original. It involved Alex being decapitated by the rudder of an FBI helicopter. Nice. I don't like the sound of that one personally. It's just the same as Billy's basically.

So, they decided to go all tacky and cheesy and do a 'six months later' thing instead. Okay, apart from the tackiness of it all, it's got a good burst of action at the end. In my book, it was getting close to a ten out of ten. Alex alive. Clear and Carter alive. All the main characters fine and dandy. Then suddenly, I saw this thing appear behind Carter.

"Hmmm," I thought to myself. "I wonder what's going to happen?"

Then it became apparant that this was the sign which almost killed Alex. Then it swung down. Closer. And closer. Then the screen went black, with the faint smashing of glass in the background. I was silent for a minute.

Then I think I swore.

All the way through the credits, me and my friends said how much it sucked.

"That is NOT the end!" My friend was yelling. And I wish was wasn't. Then again, what did the Hare Krishna say at the airport? 'Death is not the end'. Let's hope it isn't. Hey, we should trust him, his white stripe down his nose gave him superpowers...

So, in conclusion, I think the ending was cool, because now because of it there will be a sequel. On the other hand, it looks like Carter is 'no more'. And come on, he was the coolest character. What a car he had. Man, I want that car. It rocked.

Anyway, thanks for reading this. Let's hope adding this has got me to the top of the list again eh?

Review it too if you haven't already done so. I need all the help I can get...