21 | Bill & Bob
I sat on top of the stage, overlooking the crowd of people in front of me. They all stared back expectantly, and I sighed. “Okay, okay. I don’t know who nominated me to stand up her like a weirdo, but I have nothing planned.”
A few people chuckled, while others rolled their eyes.
“Do something May.” Dave snapped. “I don’t run this camp so we can sit on a stage and dangle our feet off the edge!”
I frowned. “You’ve only run this camp for three days.”
He turned scarlet and glared at me. “Let’s get this straight. Mr Williams is no longer here. So I am in charge.”
“Of course you are.” I smirked.
“Well, until his grandson takes over.” Josh piped up. “Calm down Dave, you’re acting so defensive.”
“Don’t you dare tell me what to do.” He hissed back. “I’m in charge, so you do what I say.”
Well that escalated quickly.
“Dave it’s a music camp you’re running, not an army camp.” Chris muttered.
Dave crossed his arms stubbornly. “Do something.” He spat.
I grinned and stood up onto the stage. “Okay then. I’m going to tell you guys a story.”
Shannon’s eyes widened, as she realized what I was going to do. Chase chuckled under his breath and leaned against the stage. “This should be good!” Cassie shouted jokingly.
“So. Once upon a time, there was two beautiful kingdoms set up by a joyful rock singer. These kingdoms were where kids could come and explore their music quality, without being judged by people from the outside world. A place where they could have fun.” I paused, and noticed how quiet the field had become. Dave watched me curiously.
“Enter two boys. I’ll call them Bill and Bob. So Bob was the grandson of the founder of these kingdoms. The founder planned on passing one of his kingdoms down to Bob when Bob was old enough. Yet Bob got a bit preoccupied with a certain princess, let’s call her ginger, and wasn’t sure if he wanted to leave her to take over the kingdom.”
Chris narrowed his eyes in confusion.
“So Bill was psyched. He thought that he could get the kingdom, if he sucked up to the founder enough. He spent most of his days at the castle, helping the founder out and preparing himself to become the king of the kingdom. He was power-hungry, and had plans, to do things to the kingdom. But then Bob changed his mind and took over the kingdom as planned leaving Bill with a sad face.”
Dave started towards the stage, but Chase held him back. “You can’t interrupt a performance.”
I skipped around the stage with a wide yet evil grin. “So Bill was obviously pissed. He hated the founder, and Bob. He wanted revenge. He wanted a kingdom of his own. So he comes up with a plan. He tricks the founder into signing a document that puts him in charge of everything until the founders other grandson is old enough. Unfortunately. Everything includes selling the kingdom. His plan was quite ingenious. I applaud him for it. He sells the kingdom to a strange ogre, who then sells it back once it is no longer in the grandson’s name. Bill takes over the kingdom, and in order to make more money, he turns it into a place where the public can come and watch the kids everyday, singing and dancing. Like they were a zoo.”
I stared Dave straight in the eye. “It was no longer a respective kingdom for kids to have fun, but a place where kids are forced to perform like circus animals.”
The crowd of people began to shift uncomfortably, and glance at Dave.
“But! To Bill’s dismay, an awesome unicorn, who is incredibly smart and would put Batman to shame, was able to find all this out before it happened. She ruined his plans before they started, and punched him in the face. The end!”
There was no applause at the end. Everyone merely stared at me, which was quite rude. The silence was broken once Shane let out a snort of laughter. “Oh god that was brilliant!” He gasped.
Chris turned to Dave. “Do you have anything to say?” He snarled.
Dave was extremely pale. “There’s nothing you can do.” He turned on his heel and stormed off. Everyone watched him, stunned.
“Nothing to do with you?” Josh yelled after him, “What the hell is that supposed to mean?”
“What the hell are we going to do now?” Jessica cried, and stormed her way through the crowd and up to the stage. “We can’t let him do that! That means my father will be here, watching me every single day! I need my space!”
I was taken aback by her outburst. I would have thought she’d be one who would take Dave’s side.
“We won’t let him Jessica.” I replied. “He’ll never get away with it.”
She bit her lip and turned away. Corey wrapped an arm around her, soothing her.
“I’m going to tell Grandma.” Chris muttered as he searched his pockets for car keys. “She needs to know what’s going on.”
I nodded, I felt guilty for just dropping it on him like that.
Once he was gone, I sat back onto the stage and stared at the crowd. “We need to stop him, but how?”
Everyone looked thoughtful.
“Well first of all.” Shannon announced, and clambered onto the stage. “Is everyone against what he’s doing?”
“Hand’s up who isn’t!” I called out.
About five hands went up. One girl who was in Jessica’s group, looked scared but kept her hand up. “I love camp. I really do! But I want to be discovered as an artist, and if lot’s of people come here, then I might be.”
I considered that. It was very true. “Is that why the rest of you agree?”
They nodded, and I thought carefully. “We are going to need everyone here to stop him. So let’s make a deal. We will get you discovered by doing gigs outside of camp, and different places so that we can get you more attention. But camp still stays like camp.”
“Just think about it!” Shannon added.
“How are we going to stop it anyway?” Chase asked. “Because if Camp Step up The Beat goes down, that means TIU goes down with it. Like we are right beside you guys..”
I groaned into my hands, “I don’t know.”
“How about we strike!” Melissa suggested, as she made her way up to us. “We all sit in front of Dave’s office, and won’t move, so he can’t get in to do anything. We can sing or something while we’re at it.”
Shannon nodded enthusiastically, and glanced at me. “It’s a good idea. If we annoy him enough he might stop.”
I seriously wasn’t sure about that. Like the guy spent years coming up with his plan, he’s hardly going to stop it because a bunch of teenagers won’t move out of his way. There was only one way to stop him, that I knew off. I had been researching it all night. But nonetheless, I nodded and tried to be enthusiastic.
It was a start.
My ass hurt. Seriously. I had been sitting on it for the only twenty minutes and it was already sore. We were planning to sit for at least two hours! Dave was away, he had gone to get teabags from a nearby shop, after we used them all purposely. Dave was addicted to tea, he’d never last without a cup. So that is why every camper from SUTB and TIU had a cup of tea beside them.
“We should have brought cushions.” I mumbled to Josh, who was lying on his back. He nodded in agreements. “My ass hurts.” I added.
“You can sit on my legs if you want?” He murmured.
“Would that be comfortable?”
He shrugs, as do I. I sit up, and back down on Josh’s legs, which were actually oddly comfortable.
“Yeah so.. Um how long’s left?” Max asked brightly.
“Too long.” Chase groaned.
Melissa rolled her eyes. “You big baby’s,” She laughed, “you’re helping by sitting down.”
“Should we do something?” Cassie questioned.
Dave’s car pulled up in the driveway, a few meters away from us. “Hey Dave!” I waved enthusiastically. He frowned and approached us.
“What are you guys doing?” He growled.
“Just hanging.” Max shrugged.
“Move so I can get to the office.”
Everyone looked at each, before turning and saying “Nah.” At the exact same time.
I smirked. Oh I trained them so well!
“We aren’t moving Dave. You can’t tell us what to do.” Shannon snapped.
“I run this camp.”
“And sitting down outside the office is not breaking any of the rules!” She retorted. “The right to speak is actually promoted here.”
Dave gritted his teeth in annoyance. “This is going to be a good thing! Don’t you see.”
“Eh, no. We actually don’t.” Shane replied.
“This will give you a future! A life!”
I laughed at this. “No. It’s going to give that to you. We will be used. Would you pay us to stand and sing for people everyday Dave?”
“Well no but-“
“So it would be basically slavery?”
Dave groaned and rubbed his forehead in frustration. “Just move.”
“We don’t want people in this camp Dave!” Melissa yelled. “It’s for us. No one else, we don’t want people staring at us all day, making us feel uncomfortable!”
“If we wanted that we could just join a reality show or something.” Jessica added.
“You don’t understand!” He yelled. “But once the public come through these walls and fences, you will. You’ll be glad I did this!”
“Mr Williams would never have allowed it.” Chase growled.
One of the cooks came over pushing a carrying tray full of food. “No Martha! They will go to the dining area and eat. If they don’t, then they don’t get food.” Dave ordered.
Martha narrowed her eyes at Dave. “I will bring the food where ever I want to bring it Dave. These kids are busy proving a point, so they may as well do it on a full stomach.”
“I can fire you.” He hissed, his eyes were menacing.
“Go ahead.” She snapped, she stopped the cart in front of us and smiled. “Help yourselves.”
We didn’t need to be told twice, Shannon passed me a plate full of barbecue ribs, and different types of barbecued food.
“Want some Dave?” I called out. “We’ll be here for quite a while you know, you may as well make yourself comfortable.”
He sucked in a breath. “Move now!” He roared. Everyone froze and stared at him
“Jeez chill!” I chuckled, and began eating again.
After a while of the occasional ‘move’ and ‘nah’, I got bored.
“You guys don’t understand how good this would be for you.” Dave groaned. I rolled my eyes. That was all he kept saying. And it was got tiring.
“If you let me I could,
I’d show you how to build your fences,
Set restrictions, separate from the world.
The constant battle that you hate to fight,
Just blame the limelight.” I sang randomly.
“Don’t look up,
just let them think.
There’s no place else,
You’d rather be.” Cassie joined.
“And now you can’t turn back,
Because this road is all you’ll ever have.” Chase crooned.
“And it’s obvious that you’re dying, dying.
Just living proof that the camera’s lying.
And oh oh open wide, ’cause this is your night.
So smile.” We all sang. There was no music to back us up, but we didn’t need it. Our voices echoed off the building walls, but we didn’t care.
“Yeah, yeah you’re asking for it
With every breath that you breathe in
Just breathe it in.” I sang
“Yeah, yeah well you’re just a mess!
You do all this big talking.
So now let’s see you walk it.
I said let’s see you walk it.” We sang as loudly as we could.
We repeated the chorus, all in-sync with each other. We all glared at Dave to see him grinning widely at us. He was laughing as if we were little children who didn’t understand what the adults were saying. “That was perfect. That’s what I’d like to see once this place is open to the public.”
My expression hardened. “You son of a-“
Everyone peeked around Dave to see a very pissed off Chris. “Dave. You won’t get away with your ridiculous plan. I promise you that.”
“Sure I won’t Christopher.”
“Your plans never work Dave. You should know that by now.”
Dave flushed with anger at his words. “Just you wait.”
Chris rolled his eyes. “I’m already taking you down. You just don’t know it yet.” He looked over to us, and gestured for us to get up. “Come on guys. He isn’t worth it.”
We slowly climbed to our feet, and watched Dave cautiously. He strode to his office, and slammed the door shut.
“You guys need some rest or something.” Chris smiled. “Take a day tomorrow to relax. All of you. I won’t have time to organize anything tomorrow anyway, I’ll need to sort this out. And Dave wont care.”
We nodded solemnly.
“Hey! I’ll sort this out. Don’t worry.” He smiled wearily, before beginning to walk away. I jogged up behind him.
“Don’t mean to be curious or anything but what exactly have you planned?” I asked.
“I sorta, don’t have anything planned..”
“Oh so that was just tough man talk? Hoping to shake him up a bit?”
“Well I have an idea if you’re willing to listen.”
He nodded cautiously. I stopped walking and so did he. “Okay, so he has already sold the camp to some guy right. They’ve signed some stupid agreement that he would buy the camp back at the same price. But what I’ve learned is that businessmen are greedy.”
Chris nodded slowly. “If you could pay more than what Dave is paying to buy the camp back, then he would probably sell it to you. The agreement says that Dave will buy it back at the exact same price. If we offer more, we might get it!”
Chris’s eyes widened. “Yes.” He murmured more to himself. I grabbed the file from my bag and handed it over to him.
“This has everything in it. I stole this from Dave’s office a while ago.”
Chris raised an eyebrow questioningly, but I waved it away. “Don’t ask.”
“May this could work.” He smiled sincerely at me. “You’re as smart as your cousin.”
“Eh smarter.” I sassed, and smirked. “Just try and see.”
He nodded and walked on. “Good job Riley.”
I beamed after him, and turned back to my friends who were watching curiously. I wrapped my arm around Shane and Josh’s shoulders. “It might actually be okay.” I informed them.
“How?” Chase pressed.
“We’ll just have to wait. Now come on! Let’s organize something for tomorrow!”