Opinion

No joke that the teacher's dead after video plot backfires

THIS is part three of the latest in the Dusty Dexter short story series by Sunshine Coast author Jan Richards. This particular story  finish Monday. See below for a summary of the main characters.

Missed the start? You can catch up here

HANK strides towards them, grabs the iPhone, then pulls the cameraman's arm behind his back. Cops converge.

The big bloke pulls out of a cop's grip. "Was a joke!"

"Some joke. Bloke's dead."

"What?"

The others. "No he's not." "Was alright when we left him, bit shaken up, that's all."

"He's dead."

"Shit."

I add. "And he's not even Mr Hetherington."

The big bloke says to one of the others. "You said room 5."

"Was room 5."

Schoolies converge. Shivering now, wet and traumatised. One says: "Mr Hetherington's room five in the Science block. Mr Smith's room 5 in Arts."

That simple. That stupid.

Hank.  "Who's behind it?"

They understand they're not heroes any more, You Tube stars. Might be in serious trouble.

Cops pull off the balaclavas.

"Know these blokes?" I address the Schoolies.

One of the girls says, "That's Zane's brother."

Where's Zane?

Hank. "Zane here?"

Everyone looks around. No sign of Zane.

Hank. Voice of authority. "He here earlier?"

"Yeah. With the rest of us. He didn't do anythin'."

I ask. "Zane in Mr Hetherington's class?"

"Yeah. Topped the school in IT."

"Genius."

Not as smart as he thought he was. Should have done the job himself, not got his brother to do it.

Hank to the ringleader. "Zane put you up to this?"

"Yeah."

Not so tough now.

Let's find Zane.

The cops walk the kids, minus balaclavas, towards cop cars.  

  I'll bet Zane was here, waiting for his fifteen minutes of fame. I reckon once he realised they got the wrong guy, and that Mr Smith was dead, he scarpered.

"Anyone got Zane's number?"

Course they do. Several phones appear.

"You." The girl who told us Ringleader was Zane's brother. "Ring him."

It goes to message bank. "Zane, it's Cindy, at the beach. Cops are here, they wanna talk to you." Then she adds.

"Cool video. It's viral."

"Cool. Except that Mr Smith is dead."

Red's been on the outer, taking it all in. She grabs me by the arm.

"What?"

She pulls me away from the crowd, whispers. "I'm thinking they gotta be connected. My blackmail case and the video. Same school, same kids."

"Ok."

She continues. "What if it wasn't an accident?"

"They thought it was Mr Hetherington, were surprised when we said it wasn't."

"Yeah, they did. But Zane knows Mr Smith."

"So?"

"And the students know about Mr Smith's heart condition."

"Yeah."

"And Mr Smith's being blackmailed."

"Mmmm…" I'm not getting it.

"Work with me." She pulls off her glasses, pulls a cleaning rag out of her pocket, breathes on the lenses, wipes.

"Say young Zane's our blackmailer. Mr Smith says 'no' to the blackmail, like I suggested. Zane's pissed off, puts together the gig to get back at Mr Smith. Gives them the wrong room number on purpose." 

"Why?"

"Dunno that do I."

"Zane's a genius. Topped the school in IT. Why would he wanna blackmail a teacher."

"What's Mr Smith teach?"

"Dunno."

"Find out."

Yes Mam! I head back to the girl who knows Zane and his brother. "Hi there, what's your name?"

"Cindy." She's not thrilled to be centre of attention.

A smile. "Just a minute, please Cindy." If you don't come with me I'll grab you by your wet school uniform and drag you over to Red.

"Ok." Reluctant.

"I know you're upset."

Tears flood down her face. Very upset, or just a teenage girl.

"Can you tell me, was Zane a genius at English too?"

She snorts. "Zane could design a website, but he couldn't spell for nuts. Mr Smith failed Zane in English." Then she adds. "Mr Hetherington, he's leaving. Setting up an IT business."

I smile my thanks.

Website. I turn back to her. "Zane have a website, blog, Facebook page?"

"Course." Said with a contempt. "All of 'em."

"Zane Who?"

"Thompson."

I nod, return to Red. "We have a motive, for Mr Smith, not Mr Hetherington. Failed Zane in English."

Red waves over Janet. "Zane Thompson. Find him on Facebook, whatever."

"Why?"

"Prime suspect. Need to know what he's thinking."

Janet gets to work.

I'm, putting it all together.   Zane uses his brother, the muscle, and a few friends, to scare Mr Smith, the teacher who failed him. Maybe he's also Red's blackmailer.

He muddies the water by having his goons refer to Mr Smith as Mr Hetherington, the teacher who gave him the good grades. Probably teacher's pet, even wants to impress Mr Hetherington.  Too messy, I'm not buying it.

So what's he get out of this, Zane? He knows it'll be traced back to him. Wants it traced back to him. But he's not involved, not at the scene. So what happens to him?

He gets a viral video on YouTube. Probably a job with some international company looking for young IT geniuses. It's some addition to his CV.

 

DON'T MISS THE SENSATIONAL ENDING OF THIS DUSTY DEXTER YARN FROM 5PM MONDAY

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictiously and any resemblance to any actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely accidental. 

Website and blog: dustydexterpi.com
author's facebook page: facebook.com/jannyrichards
dusty's facebook fan page: Dusty-Dexter-PI-Her-First-Case-by-Jan-Richards
Twitter @dustydexterpi

 

NEW TO DUSTY DEXTER? HERE ARE THE MAIN CHARACTERS

DUSTY Dexter's a private investigator, well she will be, if she ever does the study. Dusty reckons on-the-job training's more important, so she's determined to prove herself and crack another case.

Besides, after she cracked her last case, and made prime-time tv, in a bikini, she's famous.

Janet Jones, journalist, is Dusty's best friend, although most of the time she's not sure why, especially when Dusty involves her in her schemes.

Janet thinks she's an investigative reporter, and she's always on the lookout for her next front-page story.

Red's an ex-cop with a secret, and she's Dusty's boss. She's five foot nothing and 50 kilos but she's got attitude, and a gun. As far as Red's concerned Dusty's not getting another case until she finishes the PI course.

Hank, senior sergeant Stern to you, is always the first man on the scene when there's a body.

He's got a soft spot for Dusty, he even did some handywork around that dump of a house she lives in. They're having a stand-off, and he's not sure why. 

Topics:  beach, dusty dexter, editors picks, mankini, police, teacher




Forget fast food and pub grub - try Casino's new restaurant

Brian Conderan is opening a new restaurant at the Oxford Hotel in Casino called Top Deck.

"This town has never done this kind of menu before."

Body of missing man recovered by police divers

The man went missing on Wednesday after his car was swept off a bridge on Martins Road into floodwaters at Larnook.

Days of searching after car swept into floodwaters

Ballina sports space sold to developer for hefty sum

FOR SALE: The State Government is selling a large block of land at Quays Dr, West Ballina.Photo Graham Broadhead / Ballina Shire Advocate

Rare open green space sold to property developer

Latest deals and offers

Deborah Conway: A String of Pearls, after 25 years

PARTNERS IN MUSIC: Deborah Conway and Willy Zygier are releasing their latest album, Everybody is Begging (2016).

Deborah Conway celebrates 25th anniversary of release

GANGgajang brings new and old hits

STREETWISE: The band at the opening of GANGgajang Way in Bundaberg, Queensland, last year.

Iconic Aussie band returns to Lismore

What's on the small screen this week

Bella Frizza in a scene from the TV series Married At First Sight.

THE Block's $65,000 bathroom is revealed and strangers marry.

MOVIE REVIEW: Life on the Road

Ricky Gervais, Ben Bailey Smith and Foregone Conclusion (Steve Clarke, Andy Burrows, Stuart Baxter Wilkinson, Michael Clarke) in a scene from David Brent: Life on the Road.

Ricky Gervais has brought David Brent back to life on the big screen

Jessica Alba wants tequila shots served at her funeral

Businesswoman and actor Jessica Alba

There won't be mourning at this funeral

Tom Hiddleston's Instagram account hacked

Actor Tom Hiddleston

Thor star the latest celebrity targetted by hackers

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m