The day started off like any other April Fools' Day. Minor pranks like taping the bottom of the faucet and letting all the water squirt up at the person's face and clothes, unplugging the copy machine so others can think it doesn't work and they have to handwrite it, sticky noting a random persons' cubicle, and placing an upside-down cup that says "DON'T MOVE THIS CUP UNLESS YOU’RE GOING TO KILL IT" on someones' desk who's scared of insects but come to find out there isn't anything under it. They're much more pranks that happen at our company's office. It was just a matter of time until someone took it overboard. That someone wasn't just a someone. We were all included. Tommi Miller was just the poor guy who had it done to him. We all swore that day. We swore that we wouldn't tell. That no one will find out what happened. I knew all things... OR did I get it all wrong?
"After all the pranks were over"-
Everyone was at the edge of their feet hoping that all the pranks were completed. Little by little an untouched prank would make its way through, but it was fading and everyone could work at peace. - Our boss, David Clawn, never liked attending work on April Fools'. He stopped coming after one of his employees' saran wrapped his whole office. When I mean the whole office... by the time he cut through the layers of saran on his door (which took hours), he walked into a room and office equipment covered in layers of fine plastic. It was honestly the cherry on top to past pranks; stealing his coffee machine (and his back up), removing his fridge away from his room, and potentially removing all his furniture. These were great boss pranks and I'm surprised no one got caught or fired. - The day was almost ending and Daytime Shifters were exiting the building. It didn't matter because the Daytime Shifters consisted of 4-5 workers. The main workers of 6-10 workers were us, the Alltime Shifters. It consisted of Matt Donovan, Sofie Marri, Carson T., Maddi Maron, Evann Tyson, Mickie Elle, Viktoria Stallion, Tommi Miller, and I, Francis D'Angelo. We were all somewhat close. Definitely in age, but somewhat in communication. The only person who stayed to themself was Tommi. He was the quiet businessman type. Focused on his own work and prioritizes. He thought the office pranks were stupid, although he didn't directly say that. He had a short comb-over cut. His brown hair nicely gelled off to the right of his head. He wore suits. The nice kind. He arrived early to work. Never arrived late in his life, I suppose.
Matt Donovan stood up from his cubicle and gathered everyone who was left in the office. Except for Tommi.
We all gathered up in my cubicle because I was the last one to be gathered up.
“What’s going on?” I questioned, knowing something was up.
Matt replied quickly. “We’re going out. Having fun tonight. We all know we’re the brilliant masterminds that are behind all the crazy pranks.”
He was wrong. At least this time. I had nothing to do with any pranks this year. I ran out of things to do and although that seems awful. Me, Francis D’Angelo, pranking innocent co-workers of mine. I know, but it’s fun and a one-time, each year, type of thing.
“Soooo… that’s all? You want us to all go out? Like to the bar?,” Viktoria asked.
“What I think Matt is trying to say is that he wants us to go out so we can turn up and congratulate ourselves for being awesome pranksters,” Carson said. He was always the goofy one.
“That’s not what I meant. I do think we should celebrate another year of great pranks, but not yet. I think we should all do one final prank…” Matt said suspiciously. He made my spine tremble when he talked like that.
“Okay, Matt. April Fools' is practically over. What is the big prank about, anyway?” I wanted to know too. Just as much as Evann did.
“Well, my dear, dear Evann, we’re going to prank Tommi Miller.”
“What?!” I couldn’t believe it. Why Tommi? He was- I don’t know. He was just different. Pranking him tonight was stupid. “Matt, that’s stupid!”
“Keep your voice down, Francis. You don’t have to be a part of it. We won't exactly need you, anyways.”
“And what is that supposed to mean, Matt? I’m totally in.” My blood was boiling. How can Matt say that after that fact I helped him last year prank his mom.
“Okay, good. Mickie, Maddi, and Sofie, you guys in?”
“Okay, here’s the plan.”
We all huddled into each other listening to Matt’s prank. Even though this prank was a little too serious, we all thought it was a nutty idea. It was interesting and it seemed funny. I also couldn’t back down from it. I just couldn’t.
“Hey! Tommi! We’re all going out for some pizza and beer. Wanna join us?”
Tommi rotated his chair, facing up. “Why? I mean thanks for the offer, but I think I’ll have to pass.” He turned back around.
We knew this was gonna happen. Viktoria makes her way to Tommi. She places her soft hands on his shoulders.
“Oh, please, Tommi.” She massages his shoulders. “I think you should hang with us. You’re always so…” She stoops down to his ear. “Tense.” She removes her touch from him and walks toward us.
She is absolutely astonishing.
Tommi spins back again to face us. We wait a little while for the answer that we’ve been waiting for.
“Okay. I suppose one night of hanging out won’t hurt.”
Plan A: Flirtatious Viktoria-CHECK
Plan B: Complimenting Matt-IN PROGRESS
“That's a sport, Tommi. I always knew you had in ya. You got the looks, dude. All you need is the bad attitude and you’re all set, my guy.”
We could all tell Tommi was flattered. Plan B was another CHECK (getting Tommi to like us).
“Let’s take some shots before we hit the road!” Evann yelled.
We all walked to the offices’ lounge. As soon as we walked in, Evann and Matt hunched over a barrel-looking thing. They pulled out two bottles of vodka. I could tell Viktoria was excited, but the rest looked somewhat confused on how they even snuck that in here.
“Of course, we aren’t going to drink all of it but a shot or two will do.”
“I’ll get the Solo Cups.”
Tommi hesitates to walk into the lounge, but Sofie walks to him and grabs his arm.
“You’re first, hot stuff.”
“Um, no. I think I’m good. I don’t think you guys should even have those in this building due to how unprofessional that is and also because we’re going to be driving in cars. Last time I checked, drunk driving is illegal.”
“Oh, please, Tommi. Don’t ruin this for us, dude.”
Evann poured some vodka into each of the 9 cups. We all took one, even Tommi. We all pushed him into doing so. He had to so he could overcome what was going to happen next.
Afterward, we walked to the coat rack and grabbed our stuff. We all walked out together, without Tommi. We let him catch up with us at the parking lot, for future purposes.
We all gathered around our cars. Luckily, Sophie and Evann caught a ride with Matt today. Less cars to ride in equals less suspicion.
“Ugh, there you guys are. You guys walk mighty fast. I’m guessing you can’t wait to party.” Tommi laughs with a tone that sounds humorless.
We went along with it, so we can spark up the mood.
“Ha, Ha, Ha. You’re so funny, Tommi,” we all cried in unison.
“So, Tommi. I don’t see your car anywhere. Did you catch a ride with someone today?”
I just realized that Tommi’s station wagon wasn't parked anywhere around. That was weird.
“Oh, yeah. I took the bus. My old thing is in mechanics. She’s beautiful but losing her touch, I suppose. Mind if I catch a ride with one of you guys?”
“Not at all, Tommi. Not at all.” Matt’s voice sounded too enthusiastic. He nodded to Evann.
“Come on, Tommi. You’re riding with me.” Evann had a nice, wide smile across his face.
Plan C: Dump him-IN PROGRESS.
It was go time.
Sofie and Viktoria walked to Tommi’s side.
“We’re riding with you and Evann.”
“This is gonna be a fun ride.”
Even in the shallow night, I can tell Tommi’s face got a little red.
Evann popped the trunk of his Audi open. Carson walked to Evann’s car and held the trunk open for him.
“Thanks, dude. This car is a piece of crap. The stupid trunk door can’t even stay open by itself. Hey, Tommi! You can place your stuff in the trunk. It won't fit in the back seat. Sorry.”
Tommi walks to the trunk and starts placing his stuff in the trunk.
“Before you do that, Tommi. I have to move some stuff around, to make room. May I use your flashlight on your phone, to see?”
“Yeah, sure.” Tommi hands Evann his phone.
Evann turns the flashlight on and pretends to make space in the back of his trunk. Maddi and I go into Matt’s car. We peeked out the window to see what was happening. Sofie and Viktoria also go into Evann’s car. They couldn’t see anything because of the trunk’s door. Mickie and Matt slowly walk towards Evann, Carson, and Tommi.
“Everything okay? Geez, you guys take mighty long. What’s going on?”
Evann talks. “Tommi, you can place your stuff in now.” Tommi did as Evann said. “We’re just trying-.”
Mickie and Matt shove Tommi into the trunk. Mickie pins Tommi down and Evann removes a roll of duct tape from his pocket. Evann tucks Tommi’s phone into Matt’s pocket, rips a chunk of tape with his teeth, and smacks it onto Tommi’s mouth.
“Happy April Fools’ Day, Tommi! You gotta live a little,” Matt waves to Tommi. Carson slams the trunk door shut and enters into a separate car with Mickie.
Plan C: Dump him-CHECK
On to Plan D.
Plan D: Car ride around town-IN PROGRESS
We all drove in separate cars. We drove in random directions. When we drove around other cars, we intentionally stayed back a few cars. We were just going to drive a little then stop at Mama Mia’s Pizzeria.
We drove for an hour and 35 minutes. I just stared out the window wondering how the others were doing. Wondering how Tommi was doing. I wondered if he was confused or scared. Maybe he was just enjoying this wild adventure or sleeping. I can’t wait to see the look on his face when he realizes that today might just be the best day of his entire life.
“I got my hands up, they're playing my song, They know I'm gonna be okay, Yeah, it's a party in the U.S.A. Yeah, it's a party in the U.S.A…” Sofie and Viktoria sang.
“You girls having fun?!”
“Definitely, Evann!” Sofie shouted.
“I can’t wait to get wasted!” Viktoria proclaimed.
“Hey, Tommi! You having fun in there?! This is a wild ride for you Tommi! This is the best day of your freaking life, dude! If you aren’t having a great time… well screw you!” Evann laughed and yelled.
Songs kept playing and the singing kept going until they arrived at Mama Mia’s Pizzeria.
“Oh Mickey, you're so fine, You're so fine you blow my mind, hey Mickey, Hey Mickey!” Carson wailed.
“Shut up, moron. You’re such a goof. By the way, my name isn’t the name in the song. Dummy.”
“Eh. Whatever. I was just being silly. It was funny, you have to admit.”
They look at each other and start laughing tears.
“How do you think Tommi’s doing?”
“He should be fine. I mean come on, that was a funny prank. Did you see the look on his face? Ah! Speechless. That was a fun time.”
“I sort of feel bad for the guy. He had no clue what was happening.”
“He had it coming. Besides, it’s just a prank, Carson. Matt even said it himself.”
I continue to stare out the window. The cars wisp by as Matt drives past every light and building. My lap vibrates and I pick up my phone. The screen light glares on my face as I read the text that I’ve received.
“Don't you think it’s a bit weird we’re the only two that haven’t helped in this whole prank?”
I haven’t thought about that really.
“Well, Matt did say regardless of me attending this prank, he doesn’t need me. I don’t know what the excuse for you is, though. I’m sure he’ll give us something to do.”
The thought of Matt not needing me made me upset. Maddi, I felt, had a point. Why hadn’t I gotten a role yet?
“I guess you’re right, but something seems off. I don’t know what it is, but I’m sure I don't want to find out.”
Matt glances over his seat and smiles at both Maddi and I.
“You girls sitting nice and tight back there?”
“Just fine. Thank you,” Maddi says, sounding a bit sarcastic.
“Yupp. Just starving.” I really am hungry.
“Well, I just so happened to bring along the vodka. Care for another shot or two?”
“Yeah, why not?”
Matt expands his arm while peaking his eye on the road, to reach the bottle of vodka beneath the glove compartment. He hands the bottle over. I twist the cap and waterfall a big gulp of the bitter alcohol into my mouth. I offer some to Maddi, but reluctantly, she refuses.
After a while, my head starts to spin and the passing of cars begins to turn a little blurry. Car motion and the beginning of becoming drunk aren’t a good mix. Occasionally I would gargle a couple strands of vodka into my mouth. It made me almost forget why I’m in this car in the first place.
Plan D: Car ride around town-CHECK
*Secret Plan; Plan E: Unload-IN PROGRESS
Mama Mia’s Pizzeria parking lot-
I’m sleeping in the back seat while Maddi gently shakes me to wake up. I just moan, giving the hint to leave me alone. Maddi gets out of the car, with Matt, and joins the others. As everyone heads inside, Tommi and I are left alone in separate cars. By this time, the bottle of vodka is completely empty and I don't even remember me finishing the last gulp. I lie back with my eyelids feeling extremely heavy. Everything around me was a bit muffled. I felt prickles all over my body.
"Do you have-, Maddi-?"
"Yes- Do I-."
"It's all set- Let's go."
Maddi? Matt? What were you guys talking about?
Their voices were in and out. I feel very dizzy. The whole night felt dark. There I was, gone.
I was always just gone. Looking out, but looking inside, now. I guess the whole time, I sort of knew. I just didn't want to admit it.
*Secret Plan; Plan E: Unload-CHECK
No one would suspect a thing when they find us. I mean in the beginning, I just thought it was a silly prank, but I didn't realize I wasn’t a part of it all. Just the fact that Tommi and I were the prank. When we both didn’t wake up. Tommi being dead and I being intoxicated and drugged. I didn’t know. We both didn’t know and that’s the sad part.
Tommi Miller; Age: 24; Male; Brown hair and eyes.
Location of death: In the woods.
Time of discovery: Saturday morning; 7:30 A.M.
Inward body: Consumption of alcohol. Lungs collapsed (difficulty breathing). Vomit in the esophagus.
Outward body: Pale skin. Red under eyes (eyes opened). Half naked.
Possibility of the cause of death: Choked on vomit. Failure to breathe.
Francis D'Angelo; Age: 22; Female; Blonde hair and green eyes.
Location of death: In the woods.
Time of discovery: Saturday morning; 7:30 A.M.
Inward body: Consumption of alcohol. Multiple drug consumption.
Outward body: Pale skin. Needle markings. Bloodshot eyes (eyes opened). Half naked.
Possibility of the cause of death: Intoxication.
Everything was planned ahead of time. Maybe a month before April Fools’. Everyone who I thought were my friends/ co-workers had everything planned. All evidence was hidden and everything was perfectly placed. Everything was supposed to be a “silly prank”, but it turned out to be a “prank” gone terribly wrong.