Control the Beat

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19 | Start The Plan

We all sat silent and unsupervised in the dining area.

I sat at the edge of my table beside Max, not saying a word. Others would begin to talk randomly, asking Jessica if she had heard from Dave. Jessica was put in charge of phone duty, as it never leaves her side.

“Did you hear anything yet?” Melissa questioned again.

“No!” Jessica snapped.

The storm had stopped and it was six o’clock the next morning, no one could sleep. The ambulance had shown up half an hour after the call, and took Mr Williams to the hospital. Dave had promised he’d call.

But they would know by now.

I didn’t say what I was thinking, because everyone was thinking it! They would know what was going to happen by now! It was at least nine hours ago.

“And will you all stop asking me! If I heard something I will tell you!” Jessica snapped. I lifted my head, and barely gave her any recognition. She did have a point.

“You don’t have to snap!” Shannon growled. “She’s just worried, like all of us!”

“Yeah well, what can I do about that? I’ve been ringing Dave non-stop!” Jessica retorted.

“Wow. You’re actually doing something useful for once. Do you want a medal?” Shannon laughed humorlessly.

“Well I did more than the rest of you last night. I was the only one who did anything useful, the rest of you just gawked at him the idiots!”

“You were the only one with a phone! Most of us don’t bring it to class!”

“Well aren’t you lucky I had it!” Jessica screeched.

I watched their argument, back and forth.

I never thought I’d see the day where I’d be on the Jessica’s side. We did gawk at him like idiots. We did nothing.

I closed my eyes and breathed in heavily. It had been so long since I had felt so useless.

“Hey, you okay?” Josh attempted to reach over the table and take my hand, but I slapped it away. Did he want me to hold his hand and go skipping through a field full of buttercups?

Shane glanced at me. “You hungry?”

I shook my head.

“Will you all stop asking her questions! She isn’t the one in a hospital bed!” Jessica snapped, as she sat back down.

“Lay off Jess.” Corey muttered.

“Lay off what? I’ll admit she did more than the rest of you idiots. But stop acting like she’s about to break!”

“Jessica you’re really beginning to annoy me.” Shannon hissed.

I groaned. “Shut up!”

Everyone turned and looked at me. “I can’t believe I’m saying this. But Jessica’s sort of right.”

Jessica smiled smugly.

“I am not in a hospital bed, so lay off. She did more than the rest of us. But what the hell were we supposed to do? All call up the hospital and ask for one hundred and twenty ambulances?”

I shook my head in irritation. “You’re all being stupid. Just stop fighting.”

Shannon looked at my sympathetically. She knew how useless I felt. She also knew how much I hated it.

“Guys.” Corey murmured. “It’s some of the TIU campers.”

I looked up to see five people walking over to us, Chase was in the front. His eyes met mine, telepathically asking if I was okay.

I looked away, and buried my head in my arms, hoping to have a small nap.

“We heard about Mr Williams.” Chase explained.

“Yeah? What would you care?” Josh snapped back, shooting Chase a dirty looks.

“Well.” Chase drawled, “If your blonde locks haven’t taken over your brain yet, you’d know that Mr Williams used to own Turn It Up too. So we know him pretty well.”

I hid my smile. Chase always made dumb blonde jokes.

“You guys look like shit.” A girl behind him commented.

“Yeah well. I’m hungry.” Melissa grumbled.

There was no adult with us. All the teachers were gone god knows where. I doubted all of them were in the hospital! The cooks didn’t arrive until eight o’clock with food, and it was quarter past six, so we would have to wait at least two hours until we could get food.

Shannon explained this to the group. “Right, so come over to our camp.” Chase suggested. “Our trainers are there, and we sort of make our own breakfast.”

Shane thought about that for a second. “That’s a good idea. Do you think Chris would mine?”

“No.” Chase waved away his statement. “Chris wouldn’t care. He’s at the hospital anyway.”

“Did you hear anything?” I asked suddenly.

“No. Last time we heard from him, was at one o’clock in the morning.”

Shane stood up. “You could do with a coffee.” He told me, causing me to roll my eyes.

“Fine.” I clambered to my feet along with the other campers. I walked behind the crowd, and into the woods, down the small path.

“You okay?” I looked to see Corey walking beside me.

“Why does everyone keep asking me that?” I snapped, shaking my loose hair over my face. “I hardly even knew the man.”

“Yeah but you were the one… You were the one who noticed. And you held his hand.” He muttered. “I wouldn’t be able to handle it.”

I didn’t reply.

“May, you don’t have to act tough.”

I growled under my breath. Is this guy for real?

“You think this is me acting tough?” I snapped, “If I was acting tough, you wouldn’t be talking to me right now.”

I attempted to walk on ahead, but he grabbed my wrist holding me back. I merely raised my eyebrow at him, before he dropped it hurriedly. “Thought so.” I muttered. I hated it when people grabbed me.

“I’m fine.” I said slowly, and ruffled his hair and added. “Wow you’re really blonde.”

He scowled at me, and I smirked. “Just kidding. Now go!” I shooed him back to the front. I stared after him, and my frown replaced the fake smile.

We entered the camp, and it was very like Camp Step Up The Beat. Instead of a wall, they had a multicolored fence. All the buildings were painted in different colors, decorated with music notes, stars, hearts and different art.

Chase led us to an open area, which was covered by a huge wooden roof, yet had no walls.

“This is our dining area.” Chase called. There was about twenty people sitting around. The rest of the camp was probably still asleep.

Instead of taking my seat, I wandered around, admiring the camp. It was a lot more creative than ours. I stopped outside a cabin that was painted in the pattern of the galaxy. It was quite beautiful.

“You like my cabin?” Chase asked, coming up and standing behind me.

“This is yours?” I asked in disbelief.

He smirked and nodded. “Painted it myself.”

I narrowed my eyes at him questioningly.

“I did!” He defended.

“I didn’t know you painted.” I murmured, and traced my hand over one of the patterns.

“It’s just a hobby really.” He shrugged.

“Do you all paint your own cabins?”

“Usually, it’s a bit like how Camp Step up the Beat paint the wall.”

I nodded, and removed my hand from the building. I heard him sigh, and he wrapped his arms around me, pulling me into his chest. I paused confused by his actions. “Chase I’m okay.” I grumbled.

He didn’t remove his hold, so I sighed and hugged him back.

“You’re not okay you idiot.” He murmured into my hair. “You’re fine, but you’re not okay.”

I mentally rolled my eyes, and closed my eyes, inhaling his cologne.

“Well, well. What do we have here?”

I looked up to see a guy around my age, grinning at Chase. I remember him from the prank war, when Chase had shot him with his water gun.

“Hi?” I muttered.

“Do you mind Caleb?” Chase drawled, as his hold loosened slightly. Caleb merely smirked, causing Chase to sigh in annoyance.

“Caleb, this is May. May this is Caleb.”

“Hey.” He winked cheekily at me, causing me to snort with laughter. Chase groaned.

“Do you mind, you know, not being here?” He shot at Caleb, who raised his hands in surrender.

“May Riley right? I saw you around at SUTB.”

“Same. You’re the one who helped with the underwear prank?”

Chase’s eyes widened, and he turned and glared at Caleb. Caleb gulped, and glanced at me for help. I shot him an apologetic smile.

“Okay! Yes! I helped them get into your cabin, but you put me out with a water gun. A water gun! You could have given me more of a grand exit man! You deserved it!”

I nodded. “I agree with him, that was a shitty exit.”

Caleb gestured to me. “Thank you!”

Chase continued to stare at Caleb for a moment. “I will pretend I didn’t hear this little creep tell me about your alliance-“

“I’m not a creep!”

“-if you give me ten minutes with this one.” He finished.

Caleb’s narrows his eyes at us, before nodding. “Deal.”

“Alrighty.” Chase nodded.

“Shake on it.” Caleb pressed. Chase shook his head in dismay, but shook the boy’s hand anyway. Caleb grinned at me. “See you around Chase- I mean May..”

I frowned as he walked off. “Watch your back man!” I yelled after him, causing him to laugh cheekily at me.

I turned to Chase and pouted. “He’s more annoying than you.”

Chase chuckled, and wrapped his arms around me again. “Do you think you’re okay enough to go back to your group?”

I hesitated. I thought about saying no. I didn’t want to leave Chase.

“I’ll go with you.”

I swallowed slowly. “Who says I need you to go with me.”

Chase smirked. “Your face.”

I rolled my eyes and pulled Chase back to TIU dining area. He held my hand tightly as he walked along to the area that was now surrounded by Step Up The Beat campers.

“You okay?” Shannon asked, as I approached.

I nodded in a ‘of course I am’ way. Her face lit up when she saw Chase’s hand in mine, and I let go quickly. I blushed furiously and sat down beside Shane.

Chase stuck his tongue out at Shannon and she grinned. I rolled my eyes at their immaturity.

“Have you heard anything?” I asked Shane. He shook his head.

“How long does it take for someone to lift up a phone?” I snapped.

Shane shrugged, and passed me a cup of coffee. I decided not to tell him that I didn’t really like coffee, and took a sip of it anyway. It wasn’t too bad.

After a few minutes of silence and eating, Chase stood up abruptly and looked over at a car coming into the drive. “Guys that’s Chris…”

My eyes widened as I watched Chris climb out of his sports car. He looked over to us, and made his way over.

I suddenly felt sick in the stomach, no matter how much I wanted to know what had happened, I actually didn’t want to know.

“Hey.” He said quietly. “Your trainers were looking for you guys.”

“They didn’t care when they left us there by ourselves.” Jessica snapped. I had to agree with her on that.

Chris didn’t reply, he just looked down.

“Just tell us Chris.” I whispered.

He looked up at me, and licked his lips. “Grandad… Mr Williams died this morning at three o’clock.”

My heart dropped, and I gasped for air. Shannon burst into tears, and wrapped her arms around Josh who was as white as a ghost. Shane closed his eyes in disbelief.

“I’m so sorry guys.” Chris croaked.

“Could no one pick up a phone and tell us?” Jessica yelled. “We’ve been waiting for hours, thinking he was still alive, fucking praying for him to get better, and he’s already dead!”

“I thought Dave had called you already. I’m sorry Jessica.”

She buried her face in her hands. Everyone was sobbing or cursing or angry. I was quiet. I didn’t say a thing, what was there to say? I should have been able to help him.

“There was nothing you guys could have done.” Chris whispered. “He died from another stroke, he had gotten over the first one.”

‘Keep the beat.’ That’s the last words I would ever heard him say. It was quite weird to be honest. I wondered what would happen to the camp now. Will Dave take over. Would he do whatever shit he has been planning?

“May!”

I didn’t know what it was going to be like now that the camp no longer had its founder. Would it change?

“May!” The voice repeated, a pair of hands took my face into them. I focused my eyes on Chase who looked worried. “Don’t zone out like that!”

I blinked and looked around to see everyone had calmed down a little. There was only a few small tears.

“It’s okay.” He murmured, squeezing my hand. I nodded slightly, and looked over to Shannon who was cuddled in with Josh. She was no longer crying, she was looking at me, worried.

I didn’t get that. She knew the man longer than I did. I didn’t know him too well at all, so why were people worrying over me?

Shane put his arm around me and smiled.

“What?” I asked him, confused.

“Mr Williams wouldn’t want us to be like this. He’s want us to be singing.”

I snorted and his cheesiness, but he was right I guess.

He licked his dry lips and began to sing. “When I was a young boy, my father took me into the city, to see a marching band.”

He said son when you grow up, would you be, the savior of the broken? The beaten and the damned.” Josh joined in.

“He said will you, defeat them? Your demons and all the non believers. The plans that they have made. Because one day, I’ll leave you. A phantom to lead you in the summer. To join the black parade.” Chase sang.

“When I was a young boy,
My father took me into the city,
To see a marching band,
He said, Son, when you grow up,
Would you be the savior of the broken,
The beaten and the damned.” Shannon, Jessica and Melissa sang louder.

I listened to them, as I rested my head on Chase’s shoulder. They were all amazing singers, Mr Williams would be proud.

“Sometimes I get the feeling,
She’s watching over me,
And other times I feel like I should go,
When through it all, the rise and fall,
The bodies in the streets,
And when you’re gone we want you all to know..” Cassie sang as she wiped away her tears.

“We’ll carry on, we’ll carry on,
And though you’re dead and gone, believe me,
Your memory will carry on, we’ll carry on,
And in my heart, I can’t contain it,
The anthem won’t explain it..” Chris surprised me by singing this. His voice sounded like Mr Williams, when he sang After the Storm with us.

I whispered the lyrics under my breath. This song had such a huge meaning, it was beautiful.

I jumped to my feet and walked out of the dining area before anyone could see the tears falling. I hated crying. Especially in front of people. I heard people calling me back but I kept walking. I just need some space.

I walked back down the path and back to camp step up the beat. My eyes were stinging and puffy. I was hoping to get home and just call Kelly and talk. She probably already knew though, considering her and Chris have been getting very cozy again. I looked up from my feet once I reached our camp, and noticed Dave’s car pull up and swing it into his parking place, and I saw him say something to a man who was sitting beside him. I hid behind a tree and listened carefully as he stepped out of it, with another man.

“The kids are at Camp Turn It Up apparently.” He chuckled to the man.

“Great. No disruptions then.” The man smirked.

They closed the car doors with a loud bang, not caring about its worth.

“Exactly. About time the old man went anyway.” Dave snorted. He began to walk towards the manager’s office with a gloating smile on his face. He looked like he just won a few million dollars. “I think it’s time to start the plan.”


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