By Natasha Blade
Dared by Joel Williams
Filmed by Josiah Conner, Marshall Coon, Vaughn E. Drax, Stefan J. Fuego,
Caleb Valet, Joel Williams and probably at least one satellite.
Edited by Marshall Coon and Joel Williams
Special thanks to our fans who don’t tell their mothers about T.A.D.
Marshall adjusted the camera lens, excitement causing his hands to shake. Stefan’s dare was probably the most reckless dare and definitely the one most likely to land one of them in jail, not to mention a police record. He smiled in slight relief that he wasn’t the one who had received the dare and zoomed in. This would make for quite the opening for their third season.
Stefan sidled up to the police car, keeping an extremely careful eye on the policeman Vaughn was keeping occupied. As soon as he drew even with the car, he dropped down to let it shield him.
He crawled along until he reached the passenger door and peeked in. The keys were still in the ignition, though the car wasn’t running.
He pulled at the door handle. It was unlocked and the door opened with virtually no sound.
He glanced toward Vaughn’s vehicle again for reassurance and crawled in, latching the door behind him.
He slid into the driver’s seat, cursing Joel to receive a dare worse than he had given Stefan, and started taping his phone to the ceiling above the passenger seat, tilted so that when it was videoing it would record him in the driver’s seat.
He planted his camera in the windshield, facing it toward the road.
Vaughn nodded, doing his best to not glance in the rearview mirror repeatedly. He met the officer’s glare. “I’m sorry sir.”
The officer nodded and wrote out a ticket. “Be sure this doesn’t happen again, or you’ll be in even bigger trouble.”
Vaughn nodded, not liking the promise he was being dragged into; it could cause problems for future dares, though not quite as much trouble if he just misinterpreted the officer.
As the officers walked toward his car Vaughn pulled out his phone and started videoing.
The policeman was heading back to his vehicle. Stefan started his phone videoing, took a deep breath and started the car.
The lights across the dashboard and instrument panel lit up but Stefan didn’t hear the engine turn over.
He fought panic and tried to open the door, giving up on the dare. It was too dangerous. Better to be caught climbing out than after stealing the car. He yanked at the handle, but it was already locked. The policeman didn’t seem to have seen Stefan yet, but he was to close for comfort and Stefan panicked, instinctively pulling the gear stick.
The car lurched into Drive, causing Stefan to yelp.
The policeman looked up in alarm and Stefan hit the gas.
Vaughn struggled to keep a straight face as the officer ordered him out of his car.
“Yes sir,” he raised his hands in acceptance of the order, his videoing phone in one.
“What’s that?” The officer barked, glaring at Vaughn’s phone.
“It’s my phone.” He answered innocently. “Don’t you think I should call for a ride so I’m not standing, suspiciously, on the highway?”
The officer’s glare intensified, but he didn’t give an answer as Vaughn exited the car.
Vaughn waved at his car as it sped after Stefan.
“And so it begins.”
Vaughn turned to see Marshall with a video camera hiding his face. “What are the chances of your camera falling out of place?”
He shrugged. “You tell me, Marshall. You planted it.” He stared after the disappearing cars. “The real question is; What are Stefan’s chances of not being jailed, and more importantly, not incriminating us?”
Marshall turned the camera on Vaughn. “That may be the real question, but the important one is whether he’ll get to all the checkpoints or not.”
The police cruiser flew down the road, causing Stefan’s already pounding heart go into triple time and make him wish he had remembered to put the seatbelt on.
He took the curve in the road to tight and ran over the middle rumble strips. The phone attached to the ceiling bounced; loosening the tapes hold on it.
The battery sign blinked red seven times before Josiah noticed it. He turned the camera off and dropped the batteries out of it, casting anxious glances at the road. It was essential to their episode to get several shots of Stefan driving the police car.
The new batteries dropped into place and Josiah closed the battery case and clicked the on button. He brought the camera up to position, hearing a car speeding in his direction.
Josiah clicked the on button again, but the camera refused to turn on.
Josiah could only watch as Stefan sped by, regret that video contacts hadn’t been invented yet filling him.
Caleb hit the camera again. “It’s just not working, Marshall.” He paused. “I could try with my phone, but it wouldn’t be good enough quality.”
He shrugged, even though Marshall couldn’t see the action. “I tried changing the batteries three times, but the lens is stuck half out and the screen only flickers.”
There was a moment of silence on Caleb’s side as he pursed his lips. “It shouldn’t be too big a deal, not with Josiah and Joel out there, filming.”
The go-pro duct taped on top of the speeding police cars trunk had filmed many interesting things in its lifetime.
It had kept record of Caleb’s progress when dared to hold his breath under water, in a fish tank, with the fish, for over a minute. It had been temporarily lost while filming the boys attempt at barrel riding, and it was very familiar with all of the boys on roller blades tied to a car, though it hadn’t managed to catch many of the more exciting moments, like when Marshall had tried to beat Caleb in a wagon race by attaching his wagon to two cars.
That had been a busy day for the emergency room and had inspired Josiah to take up podracing.
The faithful go-pro had survived many battering’s, drops, a drowning or two, being buried by a dog and much more, so when the duct tape shifted too much, sending it to the speeding road below, it would have expected to survive, except that it was an inanimate object and couldn’t think, feel, or expect anything.
Stefan was too distracted by the police radio to try and pick out Josiah and Caleb, hiding somewhere along the side of the road, but not so distracted that he didn’t see Joel.
People standing in the middle of the road are rather hard to miss seeing.
Stefan resisted the urge to swerve to the side, knowing Joel was fast enough, and not knowing which side Joel would run for.
Joel chose the left side, simply dropping to the pavement and rolling off the road into the bushes concealing branches.
Stefan continued along a couple hundred meters until he came to a shoulder to pull off onto. He parked the car and turned it off.
Stefan collected his fallen phone from off the passenger’s seat and the camera from the front of the windshield. Sighing, he tossed them out the passenger door for Joel to collect.
Less than a minute later Vaughn’s over exerted car pulled up behind him and furious policeman exited it.
Stefan had spent the last week slowly cleaning and re-arranging his room when he wasn’t doing community service. Being grounded for the summer was proving to be very boring, and Stefan wouldn’t have minded a tornado to break the monotony.
Joel’s tapping on the window was not the break he was looking for.
Stefan glared at him, but opened the window any way.
“What? Aren’t I in enough trouble? If Mom sees you, I’ll be in even bigger trouble.”
Joel just grinned. “I’m only a messenger; it would be rude to kill me.”
Stefan gave his friend a look that he had learned from his mother. It meant; Keep talking.
“Out of the ten cameras, the go-pro got smashed, one was out of battery, one…We don’t really know what’s wrong with that one yet, but we didn’t get any feed from them. Vaughn’s, the one he used and the one in his car, are to blurry to use and your phone just videoed the seat.”
Stefan’s jaw dropped.
Joel only grinned at his response. “The bad news is; We don’t have enough video to make the episode. You’re going to have to do it again.”
* End Credits Roll *