There was dust and smoke everywhere and more limbs scattered around than actual people. Trying very hard not to take in her surroundings, the young woman ran, ran as fast and as hard as she could. She didn't want to take in the scene. She tried hard not to think of her friends, her companions, and she prayed, prayed more sincerely than she had ever prayed, that they were okay. That their bodies weren't any of the scattered limbs. That they, like her, had only escaped with a few scratches and maybe a lost ear.
With a ragged deep breath, the woman stopped running and bent over her knees, panting for breath. She had to run, disappear, before they found her and finished what they had started. Her eyes darted around, trying to find shelter, or the possibility of someone that might assist her.
Finally, out of the shadows, she saw a figure walking towards her. She stumbled towards it, trying to shout, but no sound left her mouth. The figure, a man in an army uniform, came to a standstill in front of her, no emotion on his face.
"Please," the girl whimpered. "Help."
With no remorse, the soldier raised his gun. She was in his way. He needed to pass. It didn't look like she was that alive anyway.
The last thing the girl ever saw was the sight of her brains fly out in front of her.
"Friday, Adams!" the surly, short-tempered, plump man shot. "Or consider your position gone."
I tried very hard not to roll my green eyes at the excuse of an editor in front of me. Pursing my lips, I replied, "Of course, sir."
The man gave me a curt nod, and I took it as my dismissal. With a flare of anger, I turned on my heels and walked out of his office. I couldn't wait for Mr Andrews, my actual boss, to get back. Whoever this man was, he made my blood boil.
"Oh my God," I muttered angrily and flopped down in my desk chair, "That man makes me crazy!"
"Tell me about it!" Anne, my friend, and co-worker, groaned, rolling her chair over to my desk. "When does Andrews get back again, Jules?"
"Monday, hopefully," I replied, switching my laptop on.
It was Wednesday morning, I had just got to work, and I already had a two page spread for Friday on a topic I didn't even cover. I don't know who hired this stand-in editor but whoever it was, they were fools.
"What did he want?" Anne asked interestedly, pulling the folder the man gave me over to her.
"A two page spread on the shenanigans at the football match yesterday and how it implicates society," I answered grumpily.
"Soccer? You don't even write in that section!"
"I know!" I exclaimed. "I'll have to ask Josh or Matt about the match. I'm pretty sure one of them was meant to cover it."
"You didn't watch it?"
I sent her a deadpanned look. "Do I ever watch sport?"
"Fair point. Anyway, Josh always wants something in return. Matt is out on a story, so your only option is Josh!" Anne gave me a grin and rolled back to her desk while calling, "Good luck!"
I blew out an exasperated breath and muttered, "Thanks."
I opened up Google Chrome on my laptop and typed in The Townies vs Liverdam into the Google search bar. While the results loaded, I spun around in my chair and walked to the counter against the wall near my desk.
A few seconds later, I sat back down at my desk with a mug of coffee.
"Okaayy," I murmured, setting my mug down. "Let's see what went down last night."
I skimmed through some of the results.
Fan runs onto pitch and interrupts game!
Fanatic or Lunatic?
The Frownies vs Lividpool
Team Tempers Run Wild
Well. It seemed like two separate things happened at the game yesterday. But how can I write an article on something I didn't watch? It would be complete fiction. Well, semi-fiction. I'd be getting my facts and information from articles already written. With a sigh, I got up and walked over to a desk a couple away from mine.
"Jules," the black haired, brown eyed man greeted me.
"Josh," I nodded. "I need your help."
"Last night's football match."
He let out a low whistle and leaned back in his chair, folding his hands across his chest. "A lot went down in that match," he said.
He then pulled his lip between his teeth thoughtfully. I let out a sigh. Here it comes.
Josh spoke up, "What's it to me?"
"What do you want?" I asked.
"Dinner. Me and you. Tonight. At seven."
I raised my eyebrow at his request. "No!" I answered.
Josh shrugged and muttered, "It was worth a shot."
I rolled my eyes and then realised something. It was the twenty first century. TVs could record things.
"Hold on, did you record the match?" I asked hopefully.
Josh snorted, "Of course I did. I'm a reporter for the sports section of our paper. How can I not record the matches?"
I rolled my eyes again and replied, "Good, I'm going to need that recording please." At least then I can watch the match and give my own opinion, instead of just reading other journalist's articles and coming up with a poor report.
He had his lip between his teeth again, and before he could say anything, I suggested, "I'll bring pizza and we can watch it at your place?"
Josh let out a small smirk. "Sure. I was going to say that it should be on the internet too, but that works."
Of course it was on the internet. Well, I didn't owe Josh anything, so I gave him a tight-lipped smile and said, "Alright, scratch that. I'll just watch it at home then."
Josh rolled his eyes and as I turned around to walk back to my desk, he muttered, "Party pooper."
"Did you have to sell your soul?" Anne asked eagerly when I sat back down.
"Nope!" I answered brightly. "Well I almost did, but he kindly told me that the match's probably on the internet anyway, so I took back whatever I said."
Anne laughed. "Look at you. Not the shy girl that couldn't say no anymore, are you?"
With a small smile I replied, "Hardly."
Anne let out another laugh and shook her head. "Want me to come over? We can watch it together."
"You hate football," I deadpanned.
"Anything for you my friend, anything for you," she replied.
"Half six at my place, then?"
"Half six at you place," Anne agreed.
With that, Anne rolled back to her desk and I got back to work.
"Okay, okay, did you see that?"
I nodded my head and grasped my pencil between my teeth before clicking my mouse and dragging the red dot backwards. We watched the man, decked in red clothes from head to toe, run onto the pitch, waving about something in his hand.
"What is that?" Anne asked.
"It looks like a flag of sorts," I mumbled.
The man was rugby tackled to the ground by security before he could wave the flag, so I couldn't see it clearly.
"Whoa! Look at the red team!"
The team wearing red and white had stopped in the middle of the match and watched the man being carried off. Seconds later, what looked like the captain started arguing with the ref. Anne let out a low whistle as we watched the captain wave his fist at the yellow and green team and then stalk off the field with the rest of his team-mates. The screen turned to black and Anne and I sat for a few minutes just staring at it.
"What the hell was that?" I asked, leaning back and crossing my arms.
"Beats me, the match wasn't even ten minutes in!" Anne replied with a shrug. "I wonder what that flag was."
"Yeah," I said softly. I leaned back towards my laptop and went back to the place where the man had just run onto the field. Pausing it there, I zoomed the screen in. "All I can see is red and green."
"Isn't one team red and the other green?"
"Maybe there's a feud between them two."
I shrugged and opened up another tab. "Maybe there are other articles out there that know what the flag is." A few minutes later I came up short. "They all just say the man was a crazy person. And there isn't any information on a feud between the two teams either. I can't write an article on this. There aren't any facts! It's just speculation. It will be two sentences!"
Anne gave me a sympathetic look and said, "That's what makes a good journalist. Coming up with a good story with few leads."
I sighed. "Yeah. I know."
"Anyway, let me go so that you can work," she said as she stood up. "I'll see you tomorrow!"
"See you!" I echoed and waved as she let herself out of my flat.
I searched for a few more interviews about the football game. While they loaded, I went to make myself a mug of coffee. The Townies were one of the best football teams in the country, at the moment. Liverdam was just starting out, so I couldn't imagine what the two teams had against each other. Given, that was as much as I knew about football, so I couldn't say much. I wondered why Josh wasn't covering this story. I made a mental note to ask him in the morning.
The interviews didn't give me much information besides the fact that the red team, The Townies, were heavily funded by Israel.
With a sigh, I exited the interview tabs. I was getting nowhere. Before switching my laptop off, I checked my email. I had one from a strange email address.
My name is Amna Ghazaleh. I need your help. I am in deep trouble. I have no house and no food. Please can you send me some money or help?
I let out an irritated breath and marked the email spam and then shut down my laptop, putting it away and heading to my room to get ready for bed. Honestly. Where did these things come from? Who had the time and energy to send nonsensical emails to random strangers? Actually, scratch that, who even responded to these emails? Who would send money to a complete stranger? Fools, that's who.
"How far are you with that article, Adams?" the temp editor called, walking leisurely over to my desk.
I sighed. All I'd written was my name so far. "Almost done, Sir," I replied with a closed-mouth smile.
"Not good enough. I want it on my desk by noon." With that, he turned around and walked back to his office.
I scowled at his back. Noon? With a quick glance at my watch, I realised I had an hour and a half to get the article done.
I'd spoken to Josh earlier, and all he had to tell me was that the fan that ran onto the pitch, according to a couple of interviews he showed me, wasn't a fan of Israel. There was no information directly from the fan, just short quotes here and there. He had refused to speak to any reporters.
I opened the blank document again and started writing. Maybe the story would just come to me.
Fiasco at the Footy
Sunday, 13 March 2016 brought much more action than fans ever anticipated.
I was stuck there. To get my inspiration flowing, obviously, I decided to check my email. I rolled my eyes when I saw another one of those spam emails.
It is Amna. Please reply to me. I need your help.
Honestly. I spammed the message again. What nonsense.
That done, I swivelled around in my chair, thinking about the different aspects for this story. The fan runs onto the pitch ten minutes into the game. He has some sort of flag in is hand. The Townies were funded by Israel, though I couldn't understand how that added up to the crazed fan. But the fact that the fan ran onto the pitch with such ease should say something about the security. And the match ended in ten minutes, with The Townies' captain clearly knowing something about the Liverdam's that the rest of the world didn't, hence his fist shaking. But without proper facts, I couldn't write anything about that. My only choice was to take the crazed-fan-lack-of-security perspective.
With that, I stopped swirling in my chair and began typing.