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Chapter Three

“The Final Exam”

In order for Tommy Davison’s plan to work, it would require both stealth and opportunity provided by diversion. Lucky for Tommy, the 4th grade has a recess.

After getting the instructions from the teacher to,

“Turn your test over and put your pencils down”, she followed up with;” make a single file line to go out for recess”. A small smile breached her mouth. Ms. Nancy Brown was a good teacher but down deep she did not care for children, having none of her own.

Recess gave her a few precious moments for hot tea and some peace and quiet.

This little fact was the cornerstone to Tommy’s plan to pass the 4th grade and keep his active status on the “Pee-Wee” league football team; “The Jr. Fighting falcons”. The team was undefeated in three strait years and bad grades meant ineligibility. Ms. Brown was blind to sports, especially football and she would simply add the scores up and put the average in the sub total box and assign a letter grade, Quarterback or not. Tommy was a clever young man who didn’t seem to have enough time to do things right, but plenty of time to cheat. It would require adding just the right number of points in the right spots, with just a few here and there. Too many in one place and its obvious. Let’s face it; no one would believe that Tommy aced the 4th grade.

The next day was just about the only chance left to put the plan in motion. Tommy waited patiently for recess and was the first kid out the door. He was playing football on the grass when he ran over to Ms. Brown and said,

“Can I go get my sneakers on, I cant run in these boots”, Tommy said with just a hint of desperation.

“You better hurry, you’ll be out of time quickly”, said Ms. Brown.

“This is it”, Tommy thought.

Tommy slid into the desk drawer like a ninja, moving slowly and surely and in just seconds, the 64 became a final exam 74, and our star football player was “Moving on”. But Tommy was rotten down deep in his core and could not resist slinging a little mud while he was already in the grade book. Tommy changed a few numbers in Chase Murphy’s columns and erased his perfect score with a B plus.

“There you go little perfect nerd”, Tommy murmured.

He was smart enough to grab his sneakers on the way back out and still got a couple touchdowns before recess was over.

The entire episode consumed 4 1/2 minutes and would affect Chase forever. There would be no perfect scores, no strait A’s and a B plus isn’t even honor roll. Chase had suspicions how his final grade came about but Ms. Brown stood by her numbers.

This is, was and will be the dynamic between Tom Davison and Chase Murphy because nice guys finish last, even in small towns.

Tom Davison is a third generation “Fighting Falcon” quarterback and a spoiled rotten person because of his dad’s car lot and a minor amount of wealth. Tom had a complex called “entitlement”, which meant that he honestly felt that he deserved what he got, as long as it was a good thing and he had cheated on every occasion from kindergarten until his last day of community college. Tom considered himself a “made” man, his future intact in his family heritage.

There was the infamous cookie incident of Mrs. Johnson’s 1st grade bake off. There was suspected bribery of a “Pee-wee” baseball umpire in the play offs in 4th grade, and the too many to count switheroos on pop quiz Fridays.

This trend continued all the way thru community college, which seemed strange to us that Tom would stay here and not go to the university. But, being a “Made” man meant he would walk in to his 5 figure salary from his dad, so there was no need for a 4 year degree from CU. The community college incident hit close to home with Chase because he had taken a teaching job at F.W. Community College in order to save money for his one true goal, and his own dreams of CU were erased by strangely low test scores in high school.

It appeared, but could not be proven, that Tom had someone hack the college computers and change things all around and since the main frame was all connected at the state level, there was no changing it back. One deserving student got a low mark, and lost his student loans, and that spelled the end of college for that person. One student, not so deserving, would “move on”. So, on a bright, sunny Tuesday morning, the second victim in Tom Davison’s “life plan”, John Tuckwill, put an end to his own life with a pistol and a note that read: “LOSER”.

Welcome to “The Ultimate Burger”

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