An April Fools Day I will never forget.

Submitted into Contest #87 in response to: Write about someone who hates pranks and spends April Fools’ Day doing good deeds instead.... view prompt

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American Fiction Crime

Argh! Another April Fool's Day, thought William. Before today, he was oblivious as to how fast the years sped through. But when April 1st came. He sighed, knowing full well what was in store. During his moments of deep thought, he always wondered how this day could be a holiday. He relished the advancements that mankind made so far but saw this 'holiday' as a blemish that will forever remain in history, despite its unknown origins. It seems this day has its origin cut across multiple cultures. But there was one he was familiar with. 

In 16th Century France, there was a switch from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar. One notable difference between the two was that they each had different days that marked the new year. For the Julian calendar, the new year was commemorated around April 1st. Unfortunately, during those times, information spread amongst people at a snail pace. Thus many people were not aware of the change and continued with the Julian calendar. Unfortunately, many were ridiculed and tagged with the nickname: 'April Fools' for celebrating the new year in April-thus, it began. 

Over the years, this day has undergone an evolution. In the past, pranks done were primarily tolerable and straightforward, except for the few. But it seems that mankind's sense of humor became twisted over the years, resulting in the plotting of sinister plots of mischief that employ Machiavellian tactics, all to make their neighbor's, family's or friend's life: a living nightmare. 

With this, William remembered one notable April fools prank that would have resulted in deaths resulting from a war based on a fallacy. A high-ranking Israeli commander thought it best to trick everyone by spreading information that there was a failed assassination attempt on an Islamic leader (one who doesn't exist). Obviously, this caused uproar amongst government officials and nearly warranted a retaliation that would spark a war. Luckily it was disproven while the prankster of a commander was court-martialed. 

But William never really felt resentment for the day. Besides, it's just a day, what people do during that day shouldn't warrant cancellation of the 'holiday'. William actually did find some of the pranks worth giggling about: from people pretending to be dead only to appear alive at their own funeral; to cringing pranks like faking a marriage proposal. It seems this day knows how to converge the best and worst of humanity into one pool. 

William was distracted from his thought process while walking along the streets. His best friend, Mike, who happens to be an April fool's fanatic, had just texted him:

"It's prank day, buddy. Any and all actions that will be done till midnight are excusable. Therefore I am not responsible for what I might do."

Oooh boy, thought William. But knowing the wild nature of his friend, he just had to inquire what he was up to this year. Mike had a long rap sheet as a very notorious prankster from when he was young. He considered it his retaliation day for any wrong done to him by his peers. He always makes sure to note down and plan methodically the best way to execute the perfect prank. One that will leave them humiliated, having no clue who did it. 

Last year, his last victim was his history teacher. The teacher made an enemy of him when he teased him. Mike was a bright student, but he never liked history. He always thought that history learnt at school was a scripted play that was offered as an alternative to the real deal. His expression of his ideals saw him humiliated by the teacher, only to be sent to the principal's office. Next thing, he was sent on a 2-week suspension—obviously a harsh penalty. Probably the teacher had blown the fiasco out of proportions. 

Mike, fueled with anger, channeled all this energy into one thought, one purpose to get back on his History teacher: in double proportions. He toiled hard and managed to acquire an explicit video recording of his teacher with one of his students. Of course, what better place to enact revenge than the very same place he was humiliated. Mike managed to bug the computer, letting the video play for some seconds during a class presentation. 

Early afternoon, the teacher was escorted out of school property by police officers and was never seen again. Sometimes, William feared the day he would get on his wrong side. Will asked if he could meet up with him and tell him more. 

A text came back almost immediately, "Meet me outside my home's garage in 10."

William made a slight detour and walked the way to Mike's house, pondering what he would witness. Minutes later, William was standing by the garage waiting for any sighting of his friend. Soon, his peace of mind was disrupted with the hinging sounds of the garage door opening- standing in the middle was Mike, slightly taller than him, slender, with a bigger head in proportion to his body. His expression was jovial, almost euphoric. It seems he had met the mother load. 

"No time for pleasantries. Follow me." Mike said.

He guided Will through the garage into a hidden room at the far left corner. Will wondered how he had never realized it was there, to begin with, despite his numerous visits and sleepovers. 

Upon opening the door, Will was in awe. Somehow Mike had managed to build himself a makeshift mainframe. The room was crammed with damaged servers that were hot fixed to get them running. Will wondered how they survived this long without catching fire. 

In front was a PC displaying a visual field that seemed to be obtained from a flying drone's camera. At the far left corner of the screen were the initials CIA. Will was overcome with so much rage and shock that he stood still, trying to figure out what he saw. 

Mike continued, "I snagged this beauty of a drone a couple of days ago. I haven't slept for three days, but it was worth the sacrifice. Now, I can enact revenge on Dylan." 

Dylan was the kingpin of the school. When anyone came across him, they either had to pay their respects or get out of his path. Mike did neither. Instead, last week, he brushed shoulders with him. This left many in shock by all who witnessed it. But Mike was unfazed. In fact, he continued on as if nothing happened. By this time, Dylan's face was red and was fuming. 

Dylan tried to sucker punch Mike unawares, but it was dodged, and he landed on his feet feeling humiliated. This only made things worse as Dylan called his entourage of jocks to come to his aid and teach Mike a lesson. An altercation broke out. Sadly Mike was humiliated before the crowd, leaving him with a black eye and a bleeding nose. Before the principal came to break the fight.

He swore vengeance on him, which now was at play. Focusing on the camera view of the drone. Will became horrified when he noticed the posh mansion coming to view, which happened to be Dylan's home.

"I think you have lost it. Mike, get away from the keyboard!" Will tried to reason.

But this did not appeal to Mike. His countenance changed. He had a menacing look over his face that seemed to overshadow his eyes. Giving the illusion that he was possessed. 

Mike was not in any mood to be stopped. But as a friend, Will had to make sure he had to save his friend's life. Even if it meant knocking him out cold. But it would be a challenging task as Mike was way more superior to him in brute strength and combat. 

Despite this, Will launched at him with no warning. This unpredictable move had caught Mike by surprise and struggled. But eventually, he overpowered Will. Placing him in a chokehold. Will felt the pressure around his neck slowly turn into drowsiness. He felt powerless. He couldn't stop him, but then he thought he could feign the loss of consciousness. 

Will made himself relaxed and pretended to pass out. As he lay with his eyes shut. Will hoped that Mike would believe it. Luckily, Mike bought it, and he got up and headed for the PC. When facing the screen, he locked on the remote corner of the house. Mike actually wanted to scare Dylan good. Make him feel vulnerable, no longer untouchable. 

Just as he was preparing to fire. The screen went black. The servers went quiet, and the area was calm. Mike was frozen, trying to figure out what had happened. He had movement at the back. Turning back, he saw Will standing, holding power cables in his hand.

"What did you do? I was only going to scare Dylan into shitting himself. Now everything- my sacrifice was all for nothing!" 

Pretty soon, sirens blared. Federal agents apprehended the both of them, trying to figure out what happened. Will's actions may have prevented unwarranted casualties, resulting in the damage of a highly sophisticated military drone. That probably cost millions. Despite his actions, Will never saw this as a bad outcome but a somewhat better one. The many variables involved in the so-called prank were all risky. It was best to shut it down before anything happened. 

But all Will could wonder whether this was actually a prank or did Mike honestly want to execute Dylan. The fact that this transpired on April fools day only made it harder to determine which of the two was genuine.  

April 02, 2021 03:29

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