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1955-06-15 - 8:03 p.m.

Remember me Journal. It's Bobbie Sue Dicks. When last we spoke I was recounting my adventures in the caverns of Luray, Virginia. If all had gone as planned I would have found myself at the base of the famous stalacpipe organ listening to echoey christian hymns while dreaming of fresh air. But my choice to sit next to our new Russian foreign exchange student took care of that and instead I find myself suspended from school with a bruised leg and a new bitter edge (key to all famous writers and adventurers world wide).

Previous foreign exchange students and why they didn't exactly invite any adventure into my life:

1) Eugene Lee. Eugene Lee came to our school all the way from Taiwan. On his first day he was stuffed into a locker by Steve De Marzo and never seen again. Some say he escaped back to his country where he invented break proof glasses and became one of the richest men in Asia. I secretly hope this rumour is true.

2) Istvan Bershad. Istvan came all the way from Romania with nothing more than a satchel and a small monkey which he called itzy. He was so charming and congenial that he managed to shark $200 from the school's secretarial pool in a single game of rummy (which they were known to play on their lunch break). When questioned he fingered itzy and flashed his fantastic grin at which point all the secretaries swore to his innocence. Some even cried on his departure.

3) Penelope Hersh. Penelope came over from Argentina. As she wore glasses and lacked the level of South American edge the rest of her country seemed to possess me and my friends invited her to join our small but friendly group. She said as we were all losers and would only hold her back she would rather not.

But I digress Journal. When I last left you I had just introduced myself to Annotchka Saposhnikov. Seated next to her for the next three hours provided ample time for us to chat and get to know each other. However she chose not to speak the entire ride. I decided it was because her grasp of the English language was shakey and perhaps under her spiky mane she was a touch shy. She did however chain smoke while etching a very realistic skull and cross bones into the seat ahead with a razor blade.

Before entering the dark and fetid caverns we were told to choose a buddy. Last year our geology teacher wandered off on her own and was never seen or heard from again, until three weeks later when she showed up in class 50 pounds lighter with a limp and enlarged pupils. This year they promised us they weren't going to take any chances. I immediately stood as close as I possibly could to Annotchka. She was busy lacing up her thigh high boots and wasn't able to object so buddies we were.

Half way through the tour I felt Annotchka keenly jab my ribs and motion for me to follow her off in another direction. When I protested she said I was her buddy and had to do as she said and besides she sensed this was a short cut out to the parking lot. Her English was a lot stronger than I first imagined and I didn't think bruising was especially attractive on a young woman of my skin colouring.

It wasn't long before we were trapped together in a level of darkness even my strong sense of exposition couldn't justify. She dragged me to the ground and before I knew it she was strapping something to my head and ears. Moments later I was introduced to some of the loudest most aggressive music I had ever heard in my life. There was shouting and snarling . There was something that could have been a guitar but might have been a bus. One minute later all was quiet. I pulled the gadget from my head. Annotchka told me to stop shaking. That this was something called punk music from London England. She said that I wasn't ready for it but my children would be and they would rise up with their fists and take over the world. She also said she would kick my ass if I broke her walkman. My head swam, I began to sweat. What did it all mean? I guess I'd never know because the floor rushed up to meet my head.

When I woke up I was lying next to the bus in the parking lot. The driver was fanning me and I could hear organ music coming from somewhere deep inside the cavern mouth. He asked me if I was allright and told me he had found me in the staff coffee lounge with the lights off. When I asked him what happened to the Russian he said we beat the Russians in the war and not to worry.

So here I am stuck in bed. I was suspended and nobody knew what I was talking about when I asked about Annotchka. They said I must have been frightened in the caves and that I needed a little time at home to rest. Jenny Dooner said that I didn't miss much cause the stalacpipe lady was on vacation for the first time in five years. She tried to play a little herself having studied piano for most of her life (I hate her) but was shouted off the stage. Annotchka, wherever you are. Thank you. Good night Journal.


 

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