episode two:

stuck at school
it isn’t over ‘til the snake lady sings

part six: the return, or “back to fools”

“TRE!” I turned towards the corner to find all eight of the others in the group all .chapter 27: welcome back. I parked Luke on the rack and walked into the lobby. I biked through the park on Luke. The school was a modernist building with a domed top and a strangely curvy facade that looked like it could be one of Grayson’s many museums. where (rather unsurprisingly) a large amass of teenagers and people who considered themselves “pretty much teenagers” were conversing. and a bunch of stores before reaching my target destination of Perdedor Park. a favorite hangout of ours. but was really Perdedor Square Middle School. twenty-nine days. I headed to the doors leading to the amphitheater. otter Episode 2. the intersection in front of my school. passing a couple of dog owners and their pets before arriving at the bike rack on Alderney & Flanders. passing Manny & Son’s Beanery and Creamery. 1 hour and 16-and-a-half minutes after I opened my Blindsided Shades box that Christmas morning I sped out of the premises of Windstream Tower on my Smith & Yow racing bike (which I’d affectionally named Lucas/Luke for inexplicable reasons that even I don’t know) and raced down Flanders Road. I heard about three or four people yell. Exactly seven months. we’ve got liftoff. From a corner. where giant banners signaled that the school was having a mandatory student body assembly in the outdoor amphitheater.

with Nora saving a seat just for me right next to her. but eventually one of us sang “We’re goin’ down. I covered my mouth as soon as I realized that it was me. hopefully it won’t be too bad. “Okay. are you guys excited that you’re back? “Does a criminal get excited when he’s caught and shoved into a cop car?” Layla asked.sitting in a line.just to make the performance that more real) until we finished the song.” He sighed. it will be. Nora followed her action. we’re goin’ down swingin’” and so on (and playing air instruments. Originally the group responded to that with horrified looks. sugar. “Hey. But hey. down”. The next thing that happened was a case of sheer eccentricity that only we could create. at least we’re going down together. “Well.” Freddy said this in the most optimistic way possible. I sprinted to the corner. I asked. fine. down. where the others engaged with me in a giant tackle hug. It was at that moment that . 10 seconds passed. We’re Goin’ Down” by Fall Out Boy.) The rest of us looked at him with a stare lethal enough to kill a murder of crows. and then Layla echoed my outburst. and soon enough the entirety of the group was singing “We’re goin down. After untangling ourselves from the dog pile we made. Max responded to this by singing the chorus to the song “Sugar. in an earlier round. (Read: Not very optimistic.

we all realized the whole amphitheater was eyeing us like we were some kind of crazed glee club revue from Nerdland or something. to make lemonade out of lemons. Marty looked like he was ready to knock the lights out of more than a few of them. lockers. . the vice principal of the school. Pyle talked about the same things for 2 minutes. but I’ll take strange acceptation over petty criticism any day. Mr. I yelled to the crowd “Try the General Tsao’s Chicken.”welcome back to Perdedor Square”. Lizeman. took the amphitheater’s stage and made a speech about the school. but the crowd actually started clapping after that remark. he sent us to our classes. but his brother managed his temper.) A few minutes after our performance. yes. until finally our proper principal. we’ll be here all year!” I didn’t expect for it to happen. felt like 10 hours). et cetera. blah blah blah for 10 minutes (which. Pyle. a woman named Ms. Mr. et cetera. evicted her of that position. by the way. Once he made a joke about how the year at Perdedor was surely not going to be dead as a “dor”nail. (Is acceptation even a word? I think it is. but he made the sting a wee bit less painful by interspersing some of his signature corny humor into the mix. It was weird.

huh?” He spoke with a quirky British accent that I’d not heard before. Just call me Samson. who is this here daft man?” He wrote “Mr. the group was split in two between the classes. “Well. but I hate being called that. Layla and the twins. we had the same classes. makes me sound too much like one of those strange businessmen. the first of which was Social Studies. slightly round man with a mop of shiny brown hair and a clean shaven face walked inside the classroom. Grassy. On the “Opal” team. considering that most of the people on these so-called “teams” just want to kill each other). The five of us filed through the crowded grayish-brown hallways to its last door. I know what you’re prolly here thinking. The school board. Falconer” on the whiteboard behind him and continued. “Yes. or Mr. by way of what Perdedor referred to as teams (ironic.chapter 27: samson and darcy Like an imperfectly cut ham. or maybe even Sam if we get to know each other well enough. which was marked on each of our schedules. there was CiCi. This changed when a tall. When we all sat at our assigned seats we noticed that there was no teacher in sight for about five minutes. Falconer. there was me. what with the corks up their butts and all of that how-do want you to call me that. here’s a lot you won’t find in an old folks’ home. but I hate it. “My name is Samson Falconer. eh?” . Max. For those of us on the Opal team. while on the “Ruby” team. Nora and Piper.

As Samson went on with the rules of the road to his class. but it just was. I thought. almost to the point in which I doubted her being human.” I’d later figure out that he wasn’t. “You are not in a classroom. away we go. We all awkwardly walked with the line/crowd thingy headed to the classroom and took our seats at a long row of desks.” . also known as Ms. you will refer to me exclusively as Ms. Behind her glasses and hair lied a snakelike face.” she said in an eerily familiar fashion. and he didn’t seem like he’d be a pain to deal with. After social studies was math. or possibly Your Highness if you’re in the royal mood. I couldn’t remember what it was that I felt her voice was from. “Seventh grade. “Let’s hope he’s not the only teacher here with a sense of humor. despite what your eyes may be tricking you into seeing. a place where all of the denizens’ actions and rules are managed upon by a singular authority figure. that authority figure is yours truly. You won’t be calling me by my first name.I could tell I wasn’t going to have much problems with this guy. Darcy Bergsweier. Instead. Bergsweier. In this case. This is a dictatorship. A few more kids trailed behind the crowd before the door was slammed shut by a pale woman with horn-rimmed glasses and dead straight brown hair. though. Quirky teachers tend to be the best teachers (at least from my point of view).

" At that point. Can it be explained why would a grown woman. but for middle schoolers (and we read incredibly slow novels that were 30 years old and . there’s a way to make yourself come off as quite full of it. However. at the end of the row. I shrouded myself into the embrace of my desk. Bergsweier made note of this." "And why would that be so?" "I didn't find it that funny. then. we all had language arts. and as a result. I thought. which I seriously doubted. which was basically English. I mumbled "No. let's move on to the fine topic of integers. "Now that Mr. With all the dignity I could muster. everyone but me laughed. Buckle McLaughless. Because of this. ma'am. did you not laugh?" Soon enough all of the class was eyeing me.Well. the class had a field day. singled me out by asking. shall we?" I was appalled. who was supposed to be "teaching" us give me some stupid nickname like Buckle McLaughless? That was just on the border of "weird" and "childish". McLaughless has been humiliated. "You. After lunch." "You must have a terrible sense of humor. the rest of the class didn't find her to be full or herself. but rather as if she was joking.

I know what you’re thinking. what?” “SIT NEXT TO ZEE ELF OVER ZHERE!” she said. “Well. she added an “a” to “Old”.” She wrote “Ms.” she said. with an incredibly perplexed look on my face. “I did not understand half of what she was just saying. a voice boomed. ma’am. “I’m sorry. Old Callaghan” on the whiteboard.” “Yeah.” I said in the most polite way I could. I don’t see a seating chart. okay then.basically only entertaining to old people now). As I sat down. “My name eez Mizs Aulda Callaghen. I think that you may need to move over 2 seats and then go down 5 rows. “Um. me neither. pointing at Nora. Noticing this. I sat next to Nora and stated. I guess. “IS THAT YOUR A-SIGNED SEET?” I turned to find a short and fat Russian lady looking at me with a slightly angered look on her face. then perhaps turn left a bit and go straight on till the morning comes.” she whispered. which made more than a few of the students giggle. .” I moved. but from what I was thinking she seemed rather rude. “Um. Not like it’s gonna help you now. and honestly it was what I was thinking of too.

the hottest non-popular--” He paused. for he grabbed mine just as fast.) . "Okay.A few days later. Max was eyeing a girl getting her things from her locker across the hall with a look on his face I'd never expect to see on the king of the "I don't frakking care" lifestyle." Despite still being in a trance. do you like her or some--" but Max grabbed his teeny lips so hard so quickly they turned blue within a moment's notice." I snickered. who is she?" "Marissa McFadden. Grassy started. NEVER LET MAX CROMWELL GRAB YOUR LIPS FOR MORE THAN 2 MINUTES. (For the record. IT WILL KILL YOU. but I checked just to make sure. after lunch was through and we were headed for language arts. Maxie was still clever enough to know that I'd get mad if he didn't exclude Nora. "What. then looked at me and finished. but he didn't respond. Max was not exactly great at that kind of acting. "Hey. "You say anything about this and your whole face will be blue. It was the look most guys only get when they're either in serious like mode or just acting like it. but this backfired on me soon enough. dude?" I asked. “and non-Nora chick on the Opal team.

" Grassy peeped after catching his breath." I said.After a minute. She giggled at this and accepted the offer. and we followed them inside. I'll try. and Max talked to her for a while before asking if she wanted to go for a cup of coffee at the Beanery and Creamery after school." Grassy said. After this. during which we both gasped for fresh air. "You should ask her out. covering my mouth so he wouldn't grab it again. he's a smooth operator. "You're overreacting. the bell rang. well. I laughed. Max turning around and giving us a big fat smile and a thumbs-up. . "Okay. ever. but I'm going to wrap your ear around your face if it doesn't end well. "Noooo! I can't!" This was the most nervous I'd seen Max. and the two of them walked into the Language Arts room together. "Well. he let us go. She did the same." Max walked to her and introduced himself.

but then a few of the class's troublemakers that were near me started to laugh and guffaw at them. from now on we call the shots. boy. Well. when all of a sudden I heard Redhood say. The dude was the absolute worst child you could meet . Quanell Carver was evil in human form. The two of them came over and started to rough them up. mostly normal. "Is this who I thinks it is?" I turned to him. a rarity that I would come to envy later on in the year. "Perdedor SUCKSSSSSS!" Everyone in the class turned around. the living ragdoll himself. "Does the name 'Quanell Carver' come to mind?" Oh.. clearly confused by this. that was when all of the trouble began. Tre L. frak. "Okay. On the second Monday of the year in math with Bergsweier. I'm not just saying that. I looked at them. Any of y'all got a problem with it?" the guy in the hoodie said. disgusted at the whole thing. two guys who I'd not seen before (one of whom had a bright red hoodie on." "What are you talking about?" I asked. I remember it vividly. though. "Oh. while the other had a Nike SB shirt) came in the classroom and yelled. After a week passed.chapter 28: the trouble starts a-brewin’ The first few days of school were largely normal. Nobody replied for a moment.

“Well?” “You’re the guy who made my life a living heck during elementary school. let’s just finish what I started oh so long ago. “So. but I won’t be using my mouf. Legend has it that a kid named Tommy nearly drowned in a toilet because Quanell submerged his head in there for ten minutes straight. I thought. I forgot something. Quanell (or. he said.in the 4th and 5th grades. “I have a question for you. Tre.” I muttered nervously. let’s just say he was one of the wannabe gangstas/mooks I’d been referring to during that flashback in Episode One. yeah. you tell me. well. Looks to me like you haven’t changed a bit through the years. As for my previous encounters with Quanell. Q) talked like he came straight out of any black ‘hood you could think of. “I dunno.” “Okay. fine.” “I have a better idea. Do you seriously think I’m going to do that?” He continued to giggle as he stated this. After somewhat composing himself. you remember that.” Oh. except his voice .” Quanell blankly stared at me for fifteen seconds before bursting into a fit of laughter that lasted for another fifteen. eh? Well. Let’s not. as everyone called him.

skaterboy? ‘Cuz I can easily make you want that mullet back. How romantic. before saying. The guy in the shirt paused for a second. “Ohhhhh. HIGH SCHOOL. that stupid skater that ran away from his beatings to eventually sleep in a shopping mall. “Maybe I am. though I had no idea what that meant. She’s still called that to this very day.” . and she’s a sophomore in high school. now Billy Ray Cyrith is comin’ in to help his little buddy.” Max replied in a smart-aleck voice.” Max came in just as Q threw up the guns. I still don’t. you little dirtbag. To an extent. maybe I’m not. “I have a girlfriend!” I defended myself from his claims. just to make sure none of the influential people on the social ladder in the class got any fuel to start irreversible rumors. so maybe he might be from there or something. “Leave my friend alone.) “Are you trying to pick a fight.” A couple of the troublemakers and the popular chicks laughed at us. a girl named Brooke got forever labeled as “The Trout Sniffer” because of the fact that she sniffed her fish sandwich one time at lunch in the sixth grade.had a bit more of a southern twang to it than most of the other ‘hood boys at the school. “I know you. You’re Max Cromwell. who were mainly from Greyson’s decaying Rosburgh District. though “Nawlins” is New Orleans. (Just to tell you how bad the influentials can ruin someone.” the guy in the Nike SB shirt said. I remember him saying something about his being “a straight-up nawlinian” or something.

” Marissa said in a similar fashion. Well. Marissa walked toward Max and asked. . You. no.” Marissa waved her arms outward as she said this. no. frak. okay.” Max got a worried look on his face.” “Oh. Miss me yet?” Damon tried to spray some breath spray into his mouth. We are through. Max asked her. Damon piped in. just as long as you still don’t. “Damon?” “Hello. no. then asked in a low voice.” Damon superhumanly got over his pain in about three seconds. “What’s wrong. I’m Damon Pyle. Did. “No. Aw. then gasped. Am. In his yelps of pain. Damon stared at the two of them blankly. Max. nooooooooo. we are. Marissa. bud?” “A certain enemy of mine came back into my life. Say?” “I. you selfish jerk!” Marissa was mad. we’re not!” “Yes. As he turned away in pain. you know-” Max started. but hit his eye in the process. “No. Now. that boy you always picked fights with.” Marissa turned toward Damon. “I’m dating Max now. “How do you know Damon?” “He kind of was my boyfriend before you met me. “What. Just.“How do you know that?” “Because. Dating. I thought.

yeah. Max shuddered.” . ya think?” I said.” he said. the class bell rang.Suddenly. “Um. “SHUDDUP AND GET IN YOUR SEATS!!!!!!” “This is NOT over. “That guy’s got problems. followed by the “I’m watching you” gesture. too. “His friend does. you’re a dead man. and in her strange voice Bergsweier yelled. At lunch.” Damon said this. little Maxi Pad Cromwell.

so let me get this straight. and if he tries to puff up at me again. . Out of nowhere.chapter 29: marceline “Wait.” “Yeah. but if you say so. Marissa. I’m not stopping you. This is the seat I was assigned. “OH. then fair enough.” Max perked up. “My problem just so happens to be that I am in a bad mood and you’re messing up my aura by sitting next to me. what’s your problem?” I asked. “You know what? You are right. “Leave? I sit here. a rather short young woman with grayish-brown hair.” I groaned. you’re exactly right. I’m not going to be afraid of him.” I said as I sat down.” Max was growing more and more worried. braces and thin librarian’s glasses on stamped toward me. Max. I guess you’re right. “Yes. I know you could whoop him if you wanted. “GET OUTTA HERE!” she yelled at me. I heard a girl scream. “Holy shift. although I hadn’t encountered one of her kind before that occurrence. My ex-boyfriend hated you before we met?” Marissa asked. so LEAVE! NOW!” she screeched at an inhuman pace. Clearly I was dealing with an insane young lass. I’ll beat his face in!” “Whoa. I didn’t mean it like that. well. NO YOU DON’T!” The girl. “Don’t let him get to you. confused by her strange behavior.

“Mooooom. some kind of sick joke? Am I on Prank’d or something? How can I pick up my pieces if I’m the one being torn apart? And what the frak is an aura supposed to be. the idiot does have a point. anyhoo? I thought. no capisce. you can pick up your pieces. “No. McLaughless.” she said monotonously. I turned to find her pointing at the seat next to Q’s. “I know how to fix this problem. My daughter’s aura will get messed up when you’re there. “But I--” “No buts. being that he actually does sit there. That guy hates me. Capisce?” She pointed leftward. this idiot won’t move from near me!” she yelled. and if I sit next to him he will slowly but surely tear me to shreds!” I cried. Quanell is a fine young man. Now.” . Besides. “Well. “Okay. you know that during school hours I am your teacher. Bergsweier thought for a second.” Marceline groaned. so you’re moving next to Quanell. and I’m sure he’ll be able to manage himself during class. Bergsweier. Ms. if that happens.” Manage himself? Quanell Carver? What is this. groaning in the process. Besides. “Marceline Hughes. Carver from now on. you will sit next to Mr. go on. not your mother. then said.

LIPPY. Before I could.” I attempted to bury my face into my crossed arms. LIPPY!” After he repeated this a few times. I closed my eyes in shame. It doesn’t hurt too much now. I have rather large lips. my. “LIPPY. The whole class was making me the source of laughter for them again.” Oh. Q grabbed it and started puckering my lips with his other hand. “My. This was what happened when you get shafted by Darcy Bergsweier. not that. frak. “Mr. the whole class joined into the reverie of chanting my dubiously given nickname. but I never did. much . huh. not to mention slightly swollen. Lippy” was what the entire fifth grade called me back in elementary school. shouting.I picked up my stuff and left solemnly. “Don’t call me that. but I couldn’t deny it. screwed by Marceline Hughes and sent to the dungeon that is the seat adjacent to that of which is owned by Quanell Carver. my. Lippy. The day’s just not going well for you. then plopped it down onto the empty seat next to Q’s. Mr. but the swelling I received never really subsided. a trait I inherited via falling down the staircase of Windstream Tower one time when I was about six or seven years old. I really do not have any idea why. and as a result it appears that my lips are huge. due to a characteristic of my face that I am not proud of. I would tell them this so that they’d shut up about the whole situation.

to my invisible. But that was just the the tip of the iceberg known as the steaming pile of sick crap was in store for me that day. in-deed. I groaned again. In his grasp. just won-der-ful. yet totally-absolutely-WHY-THE-FRAK-CAN’T-YOU-SEE-IT chagrin. . The whole experience was wonderful.

including Marissa.chapter 30: food flight After the whole debacle with Max and Damon and me.” Marissa snarked. Q.” “We’re official now?” Max’s face glowed. “Who do you think you are.that is.” Everyone at the table laughed except Damon. McFadden?” Damon snapped at Marissa and scraped his thumbnail down her face with a snarl. You run from fights. you had your chance with Marissa and you were the one who screwed it up. “Oh. “You’re a little punk. "I'm not your girl anymore. For that first week I’d previously mentioned. until Damon got ahold of Max at our table that day after math. so why can't you?" Max said this with his usual face.” Marissa blushed. “Your ex-girlfriend. She's moved on. and now. "Are you seriously trying to steal my girl?" Damon was not exactly happy. you’re going to get the beating of your life. and his current girlfriend. “Yeah. you know that. the only period I was officially allowed to drink my daily root beer had been going fine and nobody was really causing too much trouble -. despite ." Marissa piped in. you big fat fart. Darcy and Marcy came the precious free period that is lunch. you’re a skinny little worm. "Look.” “In your dreams. "Stay out of this!" Damon replied.

"Addressed return to sender. I can be dirty too. a mixture of fear and optimism for his relationship). "I screwed up. who was splashed in the face by it. whadaya gonna do about--" At the speed of light a slop of green. Well. and that was when all heck broke loose.how he really was feeling (which was. Mister Hood Booooooyyyyy!” “You’re stupid. MAX CROMWELL!" and jettisoned what looked like mashed potatoes at him. I was fuming then. I did. I ran in front of it with my tray. I dodged the kamikaze silverware." I said. you wanna play dirty. I sent the remains of my sandwich flying at him . “Fine. as I can see. huh?" Damon threw some kid's ham sandwich in Max's face. which bounced the stream of whitish-beige gloop away from us and sent it ricocheting toward its creator. After that Grassy threw a greasy banana peel at him.. but it still hit a certain dear object of mine. at that moment. Quanell shouted.” he replied. smiling smugly at Q.. smashed peas appeared on Damon's cheek. "MEAT YOUR MAKER. Not offended by his claim. "MY SANDWICH!" If Q pissed me off earlier. "How's that for screwing up?" "Did you actually just do that?" "Yes. But just as I let my guard down. one of Q's troublemaker mooks sent a fork flying toward me.

One thing I did know: I didn’t finish it.” Oh.” .before quipping. She walked over to me and lifted my arm up. your plan failed. followed by a giant yell of “WHO DID THIS TO ME?” I crawled up to find a furious Bergsweier drenched in something that looked like a redbrown soda. or some confounded idea like that? Well. “TRE’S DRINKING ROOT BEER!” “So. I heard a screech as I did this. have wrapped yourself up in what is called two weeks of detention. root beer?” I turned to the can of Barq’s next to my seat. Who was drinking. Out of nowhere. crap. McLaughless. Marcy screeched. Cap’n Obvious. She licked her hand. then said. then wiped my face. “I know that. “You. I kept hurling things into the general direction of Q until my vision was blurred by a splotch of bright red meatball sauce. since my lime green shirt had suddenly turned a strange shade of browngreen via a stream of chocolate milk. I could tell. or THROWING. Mr. Nothing. my friend. it was you. eh? Trying to take revenge. and shook it to see if anything was in it. “Root beer. I ducked to avoid anything flying in the air.” By now the rest of the cafeteria was starting to spread the food fight.

I like random facts. monotone manner. Oh. And I think you might too. “Did you know that the plastic on the tip of a shoelace is an aglet?” I looked at her with an indifferent expression. “Because.That’s just splendid. I looked at Marcy. “And why did I need to know a random something I already knew again?” I said in a deadpan. so I just gave up on that. I get blamed for something I didn’t even do. who I guessed was only there because of her mother. then buried my head in my arms and yelled. who waved and smiled evilly... rambunctious preteens and teens (some of whom did not even look like such) doesn't make for a very good work environment. I served my detention time in Bergsweier's classroom after school. but being in a room full of loud. . Marcy came over to me and said cheerfully. I was trying to do my homework while I was in there so I'd be done with it. a place filled with the seventh grade's worst juvenile delinquents and troublestarters. Let’s be random fact friends! Please? Please? Please?” I kept the same look. and some stupid dude kept flicking folded paper hornets at me and laughing stupidly (read: "HURR DURR I HIT YOU HURR DURR" stupid). I thought. and Marcy. Even moreso. “WHY?!?!?” “Why what?” Marcy said.

OR SOMETHING? I WANNA LAUGH!” They all turned away. and I love my mom. Why isn’t Damon Pyle in here anyway? He was the one who threatened to beat up Max. And why isn’t Quanell in here. “Shuddup. it’s logic!” “Sure. and my mom wants me to hate you so I do. which could be easily defined as “Tre enduring two weeks’ worth of unfair juvenile delinquency .” “No it isn’t. you emotional wreck!” Bergsweier yelled.“Why would you make me get detention with your crazy mother and then tell me ‘random facts’?” “Because I hate you. either? He threw things at me. for some sick reason I was the one who got punished for something that I DID NOT EVEN FRAKKING DO!” I said this in the fastest voice possible. I just dodged ‘em! And yet. This was the status quo for the next two weeks after school. “That’s crap. maybe stupid logic. “Well. I looked up to find that the whole classroom was staring blankly at me. then began to breathe heavily. “WHAT? IS IT FUNNY.” Marcy grinned. It’s also stupid logic why I’m in here in the first place and yet the real starter isn’t.” I was silent for ten seconds before just stating. why is that?” “Because my mom hates you.

because if I didn’t have either of these I’d most likely be cooped up in my bed crying until I fell asleep.punishment”. because. they’re brown. Black and unending and… black.” “Because if you were crying. “Hey. As if by magic. you. then showed it to me. I should know what color my own eyes are. more or less. then…” Nora took a picture of my eyes with her phone as I looked into the tower. “Whoa.” I said.” I looked out at the Windstream Tower and sighed. Come on. “Why not? It’s good to let out one’s feelings.” “They are black. your eyes aren’t black.” We both laughed . and even if you were. I guess they are brown! You clever observer. I wouldn’t get to see those eyes.” “My eyes are ugly. I wouldn’t let you. a slight smirk on her face appearing. I swear.” “Okay. “Well. sipping on an Ice Bean from the Beanery and Creamery with Nora by my side at the stools. that was what it was. I was able to get through the two weeks alive.” she said. I’m glad you’re not. Nora. Thank goodness for coffee and girlfriends. though just barely on the precipice of sheer madness. well. a dark shade of brown appeared where my eyes were. “If I had to deal with Marceline any more than I have I’d go off the deep end.

On the Thursday of that week. it looked like she was troubled about something. though she seemed happy. Nora stammered. Just some crazy chick who’s been babbling on and on about some boy in Personal Fitness class. unfortunately. I gazed into her shining green eyes and saw that. umm. . “Is something wrong?” I asked. no. “Oh. is she obsessed or something?” “Yeah. She had these crazy hazel eyes that pierced through you. I’m okay.” “What. who had “HE COULD BE THE ONE” as her status at that moment. after lunch. almost as if she were some kind of seductress who had her eyes on this “one” like a snake has its eyes on a rat.” She took her iPod out and showed me the Facelook profile of a girl named Amanda Stevenstein.together. I think so. I’d figure out exactly who Amanda’s “one” just so happened to be.

Tre yelled. shut up. you dog!" "Yeah. "Oh. that wouldn't be a problem. he was dating some weird chick named Marissa. When he saw her. I just need to have a little talk with Max. The two nerds exchanged some weird handshake. disgusted. Turtleneck." Max was surprised at this." "Sure." "If you're not back by the end of lunch I'm calling the cops.chapter 31: amanda’s accomplishment (in the third person) Amanda Stevenstein was seriously ready to get her man." Tre replied. "Why do you need me?" "Oh.. Geekwad and Rockhead. I just needed to ask you a few. God." Grassy joined. some questions. He was a megahot guy by the name of Max. She walked to the table where him and his dork friends Tre and Grassy sat. it's cool. Tre and Grassy burst out laughing as Amanda and Max went to the stairwell. he's such a nerd. though if her plan went as she hoped. Problem was. Not like I care. yeah.” Amanda paused. . Amanda thought. but he stood up and asked. "You are not welcome here. go choke on an apple or something. and she found him incredibly handsome. “Questions..

What are you--" Just when Max figured out what Amanda's goal was." "Because. All of a sudden. I can see how you would think so. and they all wanted you and me to be together. In fact. I think more people may hate me than those who like me. no. They have been for a good two years." "I'd love that."Okay. and you're a popular chick.” "Do you honestly think I'm gonna believe that? Tre's an annoying geek with some Goth chick as his girlfriend." Amanda leaned in on Max. that of which he was surprised. and Grassy is stupid and has a head the size of the Bermuda Triangle. question one: Why do you hang out with those losers?" "Huh? Tre and Grassy aren't losers. not really. Wait. Amanda. a . who was confused." Could he be any more stubborn? "Alright. My final question: do you want to be popular? Because I might be able to help you out with that." Amanda replied. she landed a long peck on his mouth. "Well. "I have a girlfriend." "Great. Maxie. then intrigued by. question two: Are you popular?" "Well. they're my friends. but they still are my friends. you're the envy of all the popular girls. why do you want to help me out? I'm just a skater.

Amanda slapped Max. winking at him as she did. . Max?!" Hearing this. and then she ran off to her classes upstairs.voice Max and Amanda knew all too well yelled "What the frak.

You're the best. I said. "He's in a complete daze. clearly stunned by what I was seeing. This'll be our secret. I yelled "What the frak. and when I was rejecting her. I'll text it to everyone. so he must really like her. "Hello? Max?". and I don't want to mess it up with her!" Mar-Mar. but he did nothing. and me . she pecked on me!" "You do realize he's going to tell Marissa. don't! Mar-Mar's my first girlfriend ever. don't you?" Grassy said. Amanda slapped him and ran up the stairs. but all I have to say is that if you do anything to piss me off. Thanks. Tre. Max came to with a loud yelp.chapter 32: i feel stupid now I walked into the stairwell with Grassy to find Max and Amanda. "I should probably be asking you the same question. Max was still in the same position she left him in. Max is absolutely not the type of person who made pet names. snogging at the rail." "Fair enough. I thought. "Okay. guys. fine. After Grassy pinched his left pressure point. Why were you kissing Amanda?" "She was flirting with me. "Please." Grassy said. Max?!". After this. "What was that?" he hollered." Max put out the brofist. trying to test if he was responsive.

and Grassy followed suit. "We know." the two of us said.

Later that day, I was flipping channels on my TV and drinking yet another can of root beer when I saw a documentary on something that the people on it called parkour, or the art of moving. It was interesting, because the guys that were doing it were moving at intensely quick rates to get to a certain point in seconds, even if that point was a half a mile away. The trick was to use your environment to improvise a route while you traverse it. It seemed strange to me at first (how did they know how to do all of that without knowing the area?) but then I seemed to get a grasp on what they were doing (oh, so they don’t.) It was really cool, and I thought if I could get myself to be a bit less, well, lazy, I’d figure out how to do it.

One week passed without trouble afterward, but that all shattered on the Friday of that week. The day was going as they always did until after science. Q and Damon were mad because they both failed an incredibly easy quiz that Sampson had given a few days prior. Being Q and Damon, their main instincts told them to perhaps try

and irritate a certain guy and his skater friend to make them feel better because of teh total lulz that would so inevitably ensue. Needless to say, they followed said instincts, and soon after social studies I found myself and Max running away from them from the 7th grade’s wing of Perdedor all the way to the library (which, mind you, was a full 2 levels below us). I fell down a flight of stairs during this wild goose chase, and soon enough I found myself with multiple cuts and a pair of bruises, some of which were caused by the fall, and others of which were, well, caused by different means. Ever hit your head onto a painted brick wall at a rate fast enough to rival that of a squirrel who’s had a bit too much coffee? Or rather, gotten your head hit like that? I have, and let me tell you, it’s not exactly the most pleasant feeling in the world.

part seven: the crack

chapter 33: the running of the tre
I needed a way to circumvent this problem. Fighting would make me just as bad as them, not to mention that it'd also most likely make me get beat up (again), so that was not an option. But then my mind wandered back to that documentary on parkour that I'd watched the week before, and it was then that I'd realized that if I learned how to use my environment like they did, then I'd be able to save myself from all kinds of trouble. I looked up "parkour in Greyson City" on the internet and found a group named the Movers, and they were teaching anyone who was willing to show up to Perdedor Park with them.

The crash course was led by a guy named Laz ("Lazerbeam" if you're lucky). He was pretty nice. Laz showed me and a couple of other guys how to do various movements that he said are "just the building blocks of parkour", and that "the real meat is using them while improvising to your environment at the same time”. Of course, the building blocks were pretty hard to get a hold on. I think the next part would be better told via a montage. Unfortunately, some people may say that those are only for the movies. Well, I say to that, frak it.

I run toward a bench. I try to vault over it (vaulting = pushing myself over it with only my hand). I fall flat on my face. Nora lays a bandage on my face. Cue two more scenes of me falling, just for emphasis... (maybe). I gain an (un)impressive array of bandages, in various places around my body. I contemplate giving up on this and using normal means of evasion. I spy Max getting beaten up by Damon and Q. Contemplation cancelled. I practice the moves. After quite a few attempts, I land a roll from a high fall for once. This starts a streak of successes. I rip off a few bandages. Successful vault. I rip off more. Successful cat balance (it’s exactly what it sounds like: you balance the edge of a building or wall by crawling like a cat.) My trash can is filled with bandages, which are no longer found on me at all. Soon enough I'm traversing the obstacles of Greyson City with ease, like a

me and the buildings. I got a running start from the rooftop of the Katz Building. "You're ready. I was. and soon enough. I was already on the other side of the Katz complex. and finally getting the knack of how to do a couple of embellishments too. so I stuck with what I knew and what I did well: parkour. I was ready to go solo with my parkour abilities. . on an adrenaline high I'd not experienced since I had my first ride on a rollercoaster a year before. running. I'd been prepping for the whole month prior. which encompassed three buildings and two “bridges” (which in reality were just a pair of pipes). jumping and moving at a rate I didn't know I was capable of. Free running (using said embellishments) wasn't really what I needed at that stage. I was ecstatic. Well. I was vaulting. the day had come.stuntman performing parkour in the movies. This sequence ends with Laz stating. After a minute and some change passed. training with the Movers and watching every video they posted on their site. being that way. which meant that my plan was finally starting to shape up nicely. just less glamorous and not staged." Frak yeah. It felt awesome. falling and using LOTS of bandages.

I felt invincible. “Woo!” for the entirety of downtown Greyson to hear. . I just did a little introduction before starting. Yeah. then ran back to it to stop the recording. “You’re an insane quack!” Well. I screamed. Finally. After I did. I went to the opposite side the same way. I know. Who woulda thunk it? A couple of hours later I returned to the Katz complex with a camera and tripod in tow. especially you who actually lived in Greyson at the time. and made sure that it'd auto zoom as I zipped along later on. and though my flow came to a stop when I forgot to roll after a fall from a staircase roof in the middle. Tre. flying above and below the building's obstacles like a pro. and then went down the stairwell to go to the Windstream Tower. when I finished. I did the course again. the traceur. I waved to the camera. to you guys who want to insult me for it. I recovered pretty quickly. When everything was ready. even though my main focus was to not mess up and end that feeling. I could officially call myself one now. I set them up at the beginning of the course. it’s not offensive if it’s true.

like a food critic at a sports bar. "So now that we know about the Hindu gods.chapter 34: sus-peee-shousssss In social studies. yes?" "That boy'd die by air suck-ness. we were having a discussion about the Hindu religion that the majority of the people living in India practiced. sir. is there anything to be said about where they live? I raised my hand." "Absolutely right. even though today we know that isn’t true. Honestly. but that day was the last I could take with her inevitable snarky quips about her disdain toward my . since none of the Hindus had gone there and lived at the time. So if Tre were to go up to try and see the gods up there in the Himalayas." was one of the varied responses I'd heard from the crowd. You guys already know that I'm Bergsweier's butt monkey. "They apparently lived in the Himalayas. Falconer asked in his witty accent. I would've laughed because his joke was pretty funny. though I just ignored them. the poor bloke'd probably die because he'd get sick before reaching the top. Sadly. but since my dignity was not exactly something I needed to get lowered yet again. I stayed stoic. was not much better. math. the next period. When he called on me I replied.

I sat on a bench in the hallway. if a village idiot named Tre uses X milliliters of soap in his bath." I mumbled under my breath as I walked out." "I'm sorry. but I don't care. as usual. it's just a quip I made to EXPOSE A STUPID PERSON. it felt like she was using me as a ragdoll for her bad sense of humor. how much soap did he use?" The class immaturely snickered. I needed to figure out just what the big idea was with her. just wondering. then leave. if you wish to be that way.demeanor. what could be wrong with this woman? I mean. class." She went to the door and opened it. and his bathtub needs 75 milliliters to get overflowed with bubbles. and soon. I asked. because that was when I realized something had to be up with her current frame of mind about me. it is not." I put air quotes around "quips" as I said it. and that wasn't going to fly with me. Ms. "Gladly. "Okay. Bergsweier. but I've had more than enough of your stupid socalled 'quips'. "Is that even a math problem?" "No. . "So.

“Okay. But I’m only saying it because you think so. because it isn’t!” Nora yelped. “I don’t know it’s true. then fine. Why doesn’t she make fun of who deserves it.” The two of us smiled. since there wasn’t really a clique table all five of us would really fit at without being shorn to bits by the other members. Grassy grabbed onto it and they played tug-of-war with it until it split in two big pieces and about 50 crumbs. and nobody needs to point it out. “It’s true and you know it. The both of them shrugged. Do that crap on one of your hot dates or something. holding my can of Barq’s to my lips. the five of us sat at the “Undefined Clique” table. “You two really need to start being a bit less immature with your eating . “Maybe she might find you unattractive.“I just don’t get it. “This is getting to be a tad bit awkward.” She pouted and batted her eyes as she said this. I’m attractive. then ate their respective half. taking a cookie from Grassy’s tray. like Q or Damon?” I said.” I replied.” Max said.” “If you think it’s true. and naturally. about 6 or 7 of which flew onto my face. fair enough. It was lunchtime. you little pouter. “Everyone knows that’s true.” Grassy murmured as he ate his hoagie. I’ll stop trying to defend you.

” Piper said.” “Yep. I knew it. fine. As for a certain Mr. Cromwell. though.” Nora replied. “Okay. After a little while. we all laughed. . Naturally. gagging in the process. Why should I?” Max asked. “But yeah. then got up to throw her trash out. “Well. “You’re going to spy on her. then headed to our electives.” and slinked back into his chair.habits. “It’s not worth it.” Nora said. except Max. aren’t you. well. I don’t know. he just said. “Riddle me this. I think I’m going to start looking into her. “It’s nasty!” Piper cried.” I said. licking his fingers. I’ll stop. who was eyeing all of us angrily. how do you know that I’m doing that? Maybe I might just go on the internet or something.” Grassy said. We all dispersed after her. and maybe figure out what her big deal is.

chapter 35: gotta spend some time After the school had dismissed for the day. I. huh. And scream I did. “Yes. and the entire Beanery and Creamery was there to hear it. I did scream.. all 14 of the recordings made with no incriminating evidence. or SOMETHING! Urgh!” I gnawed at my milkshake’s straw mercilessly in a bout of anger. I stayed there.” Grassy said. as you could probably expect. simply shakycam video of Bergsweier eating ramen noodle soup and tinkling the keys of her outdated PowerBook from some unknown period in the 90’s. naturally. made me want to scream. let me rephrase that. Like Benedict Arnold. actively keeping it there for a good 10 minutes or so before just packing up for the day. I began my excursion into the brain of Bergsweier by taking out my phone and recording her exploits on its video camera. “I can’t find anything! It’s like she’s some sort of super-espionage-expert-lady. V. (Wait. tugging my straw out of my mouth.. because she’s E. I’m getting all confusing again.) So. This was how I continued my situation for about two weeks. “You are dead serious on revealing the nonexistent. L. yet overly malevolent nature of this woman.” . although nobody was there but the rest of the gang. maybe even the year I was born. (How the frak is she still using a computer from frakking 1996?) This.

rather awkwardly because we’d never actually talked to each other before. “ I’m Julianne Lute.” She giggled rather strangely. None of us agreed. (I deleted it because it was a bit. This woman’s just incredibly snarky. huh?” “Me? Oh. and we all were just really mad at each other because of it. “When will you guys learn?” I thought. too personal for the school to see.“Benedict Arnold was a traitor. . didn’t even agree with me.” she said. The nine of us got into a big debate over the whole situation. then asked. yeah. “Fed up with the world. and all of us had different ideas.) A girl who I’d seen in passing sat next to me and read it as she logged into her Mac. or J-Dawg if you want to get all street with it.” I sighed. I sighed as I threw my straw into the ice cream cone-shaped trash can and got a spoon to eat with instead. At lunch the next day. I guess you could say that.” Nora said. We just sat there. umm. who was my girlfriend. She turned away for a second. “I know the feeling. but you can just call me Julie. well. At the business computer technology class I had afterwards. I sat at one of the Macs that were used in the class and vented in a text document. um. because not even Nora. She suddenly threw her hand out and introduced herself. things got worse. I was especially affected by this. so it was kind of weird. and he was attempting to help Britain win the Revolutionary War.

okay then.” I shook her hand slowly. When I got to the park. It felt weird.“Um. fall break was upon us. I sat at one of the benches and watched leaves fall down from the trees for a while. And so began a beautiful (if awkward at times) acquaintanceship between me and Julie. or Nora. this was like some sort of convoluted marriage between confusion. anger and sadness that I just needed a break from. who was avoiding me during the last week for fear of further disagreements. being my life this seems like a strange point for me to touch upon (to an extent. Good thing we got out then. I could understand that. and I needed it. I walked out alone down the long strip of sidewalk between Perdedor Middle and Perdedor Park. but at the same time I felt like there shouldn’t have been any disagreement between us in the first place. Sure. I guess. . but I thought about what had happened recently and what I could do. I didn’t want to lose my friends. One week later. I’m Tre. After the obvious crowd control problem caused by the whole school’s excitement to get out. and it wasn’t a good kind of weird. Maybe. it sort of is). No.

part eight: the breakage .

I don’t want to lose her. but I had bigger problems. and the gang wasn’t talking to me (or amongst themselves. A lot. All the while I spewed these frustrated/confused/sad/X amount more feelings into Julie. so naturally I was still dealing with that. He didn’t bother me as much during the weeks after fall break. just wait things out.” I said. (I think you should probably know what happens next.chapter 36: an anger mgmt. failure Well. but I don’t want her to think I’m being a creeper or something. that’s how it’s spelled] punched him in the gut for calling her bespectacled boyfriend Darrell a “little four-eyed punk”. I haven’t mentioned him since about two chapters ago. because a girl by the name of Shaniqua Peirce [sic. They kissed. An hour later Shaniqua dumped Darrell and started sashaying around next to Q like they were an inseparable couple. even) ever since the argument we’d had. sighing before laying my face down upon the keys of my computer.” she said. Nothing had surfaced with the whole Bergsweier thing. It’ll get better. who’d become my confidante of sorts. “Instead of trying to make things right with her.) So Q wasn’t a big deal for me. She’ll come around. “I just don’t understand what I’m supposed to do in this situation. but Q still had a stupid view of me and how I operated. “But what if she doesn’t?” .

then proceed to slap them silly just for looking at you the wrong way (read: the only “right way” is to act as if you’re in love) then I think you probably qualify as equal to Q in terms of meanness. I don’t want to lose her. Shaniqua did all of this. It was the last period of the day. making the lives of many students miserable and just plain wrecking Perdedor in terms of both physical and emotional form. but like I said. All I know is that for me.She stopped dead afterwards.” Well. You may be wondering what she did to deserve that title. I’ll tell you something. not to mention a certain incident that happened a few days after her arrival. that’s a pretty high threshold for being mean. it seemed that Shaniqua and Q were a match made in heck. “She will. for they loved all the things one would expect from their type of personality: destroying things. then quickly said. if you bark at people you barely (if you even do) know and call them all various words I don’t exactly wish to print (it’s for your own good. trust me). if not worse than the mighty Q himself when it came to being a nuisance. Well. it sucked. and as I was getting ready to leave Ms.” “Okay. I won’t try. Doth thou know what that means? Maybe. Seeing as how Q was pretty bad. Shaniqua was just as bad. . maybe not.

I'm just trying to understand why you feel the need to make me your little ragdoll when Bergsweier already does. then turned around. huh?" Shaniqua grabbed my chair and sent it. whoa. The class murmured as I attempted to compose myself from the fall." "Whoa. . I'll do it." They paused. This stick figga here thinks he can step to me. "I'm through with all of your crap." As she said this. "Fine." "This boy is seriously askin' fo' it. "No. then." Q was laughing for whatever reason. whoa. I'm not getting into that." "You don't sink low. "I said. "What did dat boy just sayta me?" Q asked. Shaniqua walked toward my desk with a menacing look on her face. but I don't wanna wear out the guns on my arms right now." Q threw up his arms like a bodybuilder and started flexing them for whatever. "Hey now. and me flying downward in 3 seconds flat. Quanell. This maniac was laughing like this was some kind of twisted comedy show. "Are you tryna step to my man?" Shaniqua was not exactly pleased with me. the desk. I've had enough of you. I don't sink that low.Callaghan’s classroom Q came and shoved me as he and Shaniqua passed my desk talking and snickering at me.

The next thing I knew I was entrenched in a black cloud filled with nothing but silence and darkness. the nurse. you stupid stick?" I tried to get up. Tre?" "Like a dude lying down with an ice pack on his eye. That day’s events became a blur to me over time. ugly version of myself. Shaniqua sat on it so I couldn't. but my chair had pinned my legs to the ground. As I tried to get it off. came in and said." A pang of soreness came onto my eye. Lizeman that you didn't provoke Miss Peirce. Because a friend of yours reported to Mrs. Ms." "Well. her fists slammed into my face. with a dark . "Not entirely." I groaned. "Why stop now? I'm just getting started!" After that."How's that for sinking. I walked to the mirror in the office and relieved the ice pack from my face. but I do remember waking up in the nurse's office with a cold pack of ice to my left eye. one-two-three-four at the speed of sound. and soon enough there was a circle around us chanting "Fight!" like this was Fight Club or something. By then the class had realized she'd started this with intentions of a quarrel. What was lying in front of me was a deformed. you're lucky. "He lives! How are you feeling. you're getting off scot-free. Flythe. "Stop!" I yelled.

I thought as I held the pack to my eye. I sighed.blue ring around my puffy left eye and a less prominent one around my right. I put my ice pack on again to neutralize it. I looked like some kind of mutated raccoon. Why does crap like this always seem to happen to me? I didn’t even do anything to him OR her. . The last bell of the day rang as the pain returned to my eye. It sort of helped. Seeing this. but it didn't kill the pain as I'd unrealistically wished for it to.

probably because as soon as she sat she saw some old hag with a huge pointy hat looking at her. so I . but hear me out. let me just turn my iPad or Kindle off or close this book or end whatever means you’re using to read this”. (in which case you are a nut). but her choice in friends. No. Nora had started hanging out with MARCELINE HUGHES. that’s right. where I saw the two of them briefly talking and laughing with each other. ugly witches. her boyfriend (although that was not exactly guaranteed given our status at that time). as you probably can see. “Okay. during my business computer technology class I searched on the internet if it was possible for beautiful sorceresses to be friends with foul. that wasn’t making me sad (at least. Confuzzled.) Nora was friends with a certain girl whom earlier in my seventh grade year caused me more trouble than I needed. but something that wasn’t so much a problem as it was a further development of my crappish feelings was Nora.chapter 37: marcelicious (aye aye aye) Well. not her in her own right. I got my first hint of this during the after lunch-before electives break. and I’m not referring to the mall guys and gals and me. I’ve had my problems myself. Hmph. (Unless you’re reading this out loud I don’t think that’s possible.) Julie looked at me like I was crazy when she sat down. Yes. You may be thinking. Tre’s just gone nuts. not anytime around this part of the story). (I found nothing.

so as a result I was just aimlessly looking at witch and sorceress information without any real answer to my social question. “No. I realize that this was very stupid of me. we’re kind of still a couple. with literally nothing to go on. us two. cats and dogs. and that I should have probably known that already.” Nora looked at me angrily. (In retrospect. and she despises me. I don’t know. uh. I have the right to choose who I want to be friends with. “I have a question.explained what I was researching for her.” “Um. we kind of became friends after the whole. excuse me. We’re like night and day.) So. excuse me. I was just contemplating over whether my girlfriend is going . “Well. being a nerd and all. “What’s with you and Marcy?” I asked. she kind of (re)informed me that analogies were processed literally by web searches. It must’ve been one of my oblivious days. I attempted to confront Nora about this after electives and before language arts. a sight I’d never seen before. Unfortunately.” “Go on?” “Why would you choose her? I mean. argument-fight-debatethingymajigger that happened between the group. stammering ever so slightly due to the awkwardness.” she said.

“You’d be wrong on that.” Tears were coming to my eyes.to maybe. now you’re mumbling. . as if you don’t want me to hear something. I heard it. but it never happened.” “Well. then beat upon by the rest of this unfeeling. Mister Snark. I felt like at any second Nora would turn into some Medusa-esque creature. I haven’t become anything. that I met as a kid. if this is the same Tre L. and honestly. “Great. maybe I would if it were true. or my teachers for that matter!” “Tell that to me when she reveals herself. but no. Nora. then I absolutely hate the person he’s become. with her short brown hair going down the sides of her face.” “And? Why should you care. instead just looking at her as she did this. Not a thing has changed. When she finished she appeared as she always had. I didn’t reply. it isn’t. make a friendly relationship with the enemy’s daughter. I don’t know.” Nora spat before wrestling with her hair. and if I should be worried about protecting her or not!” “I don’t need to be protected from my friends. but I held them in because the last thing I needed was to look like some wuss in the middle of the hallway. cold student and teacher body. but now the ends of them seemed like snakes attempting to bite me. you wouldn’t believe what I said anyway. except for the whole ‘people I’ve grown to really like over a near year’ thing being pulled under my feet.” I mumbled under my breath.

. asking myself the same question. I followed her.” “Who are you?” she asked coldly. Thing. then walked to the language arts classroom. so I’d just get turned to stone then and there. A. and wishing that she was Medusa.“Not.

"So is this relationship you had with that Nora girl done with?" "No. . HECK. she continued on down the hallway. she grabbed me by my collar and said. "Nora!" I yelled after her." "You just need to get over her. who dropped her books and looked in awe of me and Julianne. I yelped. lute? Later that day. like she was mad at me about something. "Nora. After that. which had a tear going down it. Nora's jaw dropped." I turned to find Nora. you're the most amazing boy in the world" and then went toward my face like she liked me or something. The. but all she did was turn around and give me the evil eye.chapter 38: et tu. I want her to tell me it's over myself before I jump to any conclusions." Julianne said this in a way I'd never heard her talk before. it's not what you think--" "Yes it is." She walked away in a huff. please believe me!" "Believe what? That you're replacing me with Lady Lilline? Because that's what it looks like to me. "What the frak's your problem?" As I said this. "What. "Tre. I swear. "Nora. I was emptying my locker when Julianne came up to me and asked." Julianne said this and kissed me on the cheek.

I just couldn't get myself to. "What?" "Please tell me. like me. there are terms for people who do things like that to other people. just stop it. I was left with no one. you don't deserve her. but they're too mean for me to say. You should have a real girlfriend. Now. little Tre." I walked away from my former friend. but at the time I felt like being alone ."Why." "Stop that. Tre. "You know. simply unable to believe what'd happened. probably moreso a girlfriend than you'd ever be." She did so and let go of me. A year ago I wouldn't have cared about it." "You're just naive. The girl of my dreams just left me because the girl I thought I could trust as a friend was just some hussy trying to get me to date her." I said lowly." "Nora was just as real. why did you do that?" "Because.

to say the least. just doing nothing but think of what happened and what the frak I could do. It sucked. I hurled myself around my room wrecking things and making a mess. and I took it out on my pillows. that dubious honor definitely goes to the fact that Nora thought I was cheating on her. I smashed the green thing to smithereens on my desk until it was an array of 21 green shards of plastic and glass. Taking a dictionary from my shelf and Nora’s scissors.was a lot less satisfying than it was before. That wasn't even the worst part. No. my prized possession. I then realized what I’d done. I then focused onto a bright green object. at least not to me. The Blindsided Shades. Those were the Shades. were now nothing but a bunch . I'd never lie to Nora. the ones I received the Xmas before. That night I laid on my bed. but for whatever reason it seemed like I was lying to both her and myself all along. In a blind rage. ripping them in half and throwing the stuffing around like some maniac with a disdain for pillows. and for that I could never redeem myself. I felt mad at myself for being a liar. not ever. Suddenly. Yes.

once I realized what I’d done I broke down after that and just cried. not manly or whatever. I know. .of pieces. I didn’t think that things could get any worse with the situations I was dealing with at the time. I know. but I’m not the type of person that just shrugs off your best friend turned girlfriend breaking up with you like it isn’t a big deal. when in reality it sort of is. As can probably be expected.

"The plan is going along perfectly. Should I come there and finish the job that you splendidly began?" said the phone. "Hello. that's perfect." The voice was familiar." "Marvelous. but I couldn't tell who it was because the phone kind of warbled their voice." "Well. so there was no need to break them up. Love you." What the frak? "I love you more. while I was recording Darcy. "The greener and his girl are done. my little boy in blue. I zoomed in with the camera as she put it on speakerphone while she went to microwave the fifth frozen meatball marinara sub sandwich I'd seen her eat that week. I planned to leave for the beach on Friday.chapter 39: i was wrong." "What about the rest of them?" "They've drifted apart via way of cliques and the teaming system. she did something I'd not seen her do previously." . "That would be wondrous. Darcy. Alice. She took out her cell phone and dialed a number." Darcy stated. but I needed a substitute. The next day.

and when I did. Instead. Besides. I ran like an Olympian." "Please. Yep. it all made sense. she was really some chick named Alice. she was a puppet for Cow. Darcy Bergsweier was not Darcy Bergsweier." I dropped my camera. I love you more. Officer Wei-sher-bear. ."I'm not starting this. Crap. Suddenly. Panicking. shocked by my discovery. call me Carl. just in awe of what I'd figured out. I fumbled with it before getting a grip. Ugh. and she was working for (not to mention IN LOVE WITH) Carl Ollins Weisgerber. that is so squicktastic. Holy." "Bye-bye.

No. maybe one. and even though that wouldn’t seem like much of a problem. not one.” “But what if I actually did have proof this time?” He rubbed his chin for a moment.. Is he? I thought as I walked toward the table where a certain bushy haired guy was sitting at lunch. he’s not going to. sipping the contents of a styrofoam cup through a narrow clear straw. then said. what would your response be?” “I’d say you were a quack with no proof of your theory.” I said to him as I sat down.chapter 40: what could i do? The answer: I had no clue. “Go on. Well. without warning. “Hello.” Grassy said. None of my former friends would believe my story. “Hypothetically.” “Remember when I announced my intent to observe her?” . No. I had a bigger headache to deal with: I couldn’t think of a single plan. I had no plan ready. and I was left without an idea of anything to do at a time where I really needed an idea of something to do.. My signature ability was gone. if I were to ask you if you thought Bergsweier was up to something bad. “Umm. hi.

” With that. that means. “So. his jaw dropped to the table. One minute later.” Grassy said.” I said. “Yesterday afternoon. it isn’t exactly the best of news.” “Yeah. just as Grassy asked. “When was this?” Grassy asked.. I arrived at Alderney & Flanders to find the entire group at its near-former glory at the benches. taking the camera. “We have to tell the others. started playing the video and passed it to him.” I got my camera out. “It’s a possibility. Trust me.“Yeah. “Okay. all we need is for the rest of the group to come. do you think they’ll answer me?” he asked.. Grassy took his iPhone out under the desk and typed out “Meet me on the benches at Alderney & Flanders after school.” I said. “So. “Well. I’ve tried.” Grassy said. I recorded something you might wish to see. so the messages went through. Emergency!” and sent it to the rest of the group. “Can you text everyone?” “They won’t reply to anything I send. why is it that we’re all here if we all don’t like each other anymore?” Max .” I said. Now. Why?” “Well.

Cromwell. the resident cynic of the group asked. “But. “Good question. and as a result. “You’re not a Boy Scout. “So. they all were shocked.. I blinked.” I said.” “WHAT?!” they repeated. Scout’s honor.” Cici said.” I shrugged nervously. “I was.” “Uhhhhh.. “I shot the video yesterday. what are we going to do? You’re one to come up with things on the spot. . then continued. I think that this may change your perspective. we’re without a plan.” “So. and Cow’s coming on Friday?” Nora asked. it didn’t end well. “I can’t think of anything. I know you guys didn’t exactly agree with my beliefs on Bergsweier-” “Understatement.asked. Let’s just say Scoutmaster Mike didn’t like me all that much. “How do we know that this isn’t doctored?” Max.” Piper said.” I gave them the camera and played the video. and I have no clue on how to use professional video editing software. To my surprise. “What?” they all asked in tandem.

perhaps?” Max asked. “Aaaaand.” “I’m sorry for what happened.” I said. “Well. Cow is a police officer now?” she continued. and if you’re leading yourself to think so you might as well just leave now. We’re not exactly attempting to get arrested for truancy here. Max. “Well. Eugh.” Grassy and I said this simultaneously. we’re headed to juvie!” Max said.” Max muttered. yes. “Can you talk about your relationship issues and all that crap later? We’ve got to figure out what we’re doing on Friday.” Cici . “It seems so. pack your bags.” I shuddered. Julianne is-” “A cold-hearted jerk who just wanted you as a trophy husband?” Nora smirked. “Can we go to the Beanery and Creamery? It’s getting hot out here. sighing. “Yeah. it’s a possible fallback. I couldn’t ever get married to that hussy. Tre. and we need to apologize to our friends. “I had a hunch. “Nobody’s going anywhere.” Nora said. standing.“Yeah. Play hooky. that’s exactly what she was. “Especially you. This is a time when we all need each other. “That may not be the best idea. except for the whole ‘husband’ thing. We need a plan.” Nora smirked as she said this.” we said.

hi. not to mention she said it wasn’t gonna get past the book censors. (They’re too embarrassing for me to print here.asked. Do they even have book censors? Whatever. “Let’s go. to say the least of it. Max stood by his idea. . huh?” I nervously continued. which (surprisingly) ended up being our final choice due to our other ideas being. I’ll get back to the story now. rather unrealistic. Nora. Eugh. so I attempted one of the worst things I could hold myself to: small talk. “Great fall weather we’ve had lately. well.) We all reconciled with each other over the next day.” Grassy said. but I didn’t want to make it seem like I was rushing my point. I knew what I wanted to say. and the conversation that ensued was rather awkward. “Good call. we all went to the B+C (as it nicknamed itself) to discuss what we were going to do that Friday. Tre.” “Hey there. After lunch. “Umm.” So. it’s a moot point. just the thought gives me shivers. I walked to tech next to Nora. catching up on each other’s business and all of that lovely stuff.” “So…” I was at a loss for words. Nora will murder me dead if I print hers. and to make things just greater. Oh.

” “Listen. er. “Oh. then proceeded to bash my head into the only Windows computer inside the class. I sat on the bench in Perdedor Park again that night. do you think that it’s possible that we could. continuing to think of my situation and why it was happening this way. “Resume… talking about the plan for Friday?” Dangit! No lives remaining. yeah. Falconer.) . uhh.“Yes.buhbye!” I ran to tech after that mess was done with. then walks over to my bench. Well. that’sallIwanted. “Hi there. “Don’t you. think that maybe we should wait for the others?” Nora said. so I was just clearing that up. Hi there. I would say so myself. uh. “Resume… what?” Nora asked. resume…” I was sweating intensely. Here it came. do you. Sam.” “Now you know darn well I hate it when people call me that. but people say I say things in a rather strange ‘sarcastically un-sarcastic’ fashion. Mr.” I said sincerely (I know it seems weird. sorry. I thought. absolutely. when I spy a face I recognize.” “Okay. He sees me too.youcangotoclassnow.

” “Well. but who really cares?) “What’s wrong? You seem bothered. I tried to apologize. unlike most people I talked to. Normal stuff like that. and a bunch of other troubles.“And what do you happen to be doing this evening?” “Just sitting. Thinking.” “Eh. well.” “Oh. I call it my “strange thinking face”. he still hates me. how much can a guy hate you if he’s new?” “We had a bit of a… squabble last Christmas at the Galleria. and now I’m wondering what I can do to make this a wee bit better.” “I’ve been having girl trouble. but he went all nuts on me and ran me right out of the store I was in. I can’t help with the girl troubles. as I’ve not found a good female for myself. “There’s a new guy in my apartment building.” He sat next to me and glanced at my expression for a sec. So. Well. “I kind of accidentally tripped over his shoe and made him fall.” “What happened?” Sam seemed interested. indifferent-yet-moody one. (Not very creative.” . at the time being a strange. but what else?” “There’s this…” I paused to think of a way to say this without being too revealing. and he hates me.” “Oh. huh?” “Big time. the guy seems to not know how to drop a grudge.

then waved goodbye and headed down Alderney. no.” Sam said as I walked off.“He doesn’t seem like the type to politely converse about the situation.” “Well. even if you aren’t sure that it is. That talk gave me a bit of relief in knowing that not every teacher at Perdedor wanted my head. huh?” “Um. something I always say is to make sure you do what you feel is right in situations you’re not sure of. Thanks for helping.” “Good to know. I laughed. I had plans to go to the Beanery and Creamery with soon.” I checked my watch.” “You’re a good kid. It was nearing 5. “Well. so I think I might need to get going. He’s a bit of a brute. Mr. However-You-Pronounce-That-Last-Name-Of-Yours. .

” Nora said. The only thing is.” “I’ll try my best not to. “Friend? Enemy? Humble acquaintance?” “He is my former… boyfriend and current friend of mine.” Nora said. her voice perking up. but holy crap!” “We’re not going on Friday just to make sure that his plan fails. “But he’s my. “Besides. “And please. the guy didn’t pull it out of anywhere. you dingbat. so she sent the video in a text message. do you believe the imbecile?” “I don’t know.chapter 41: dingbat! “He told you what?” Marcy barked out suddenly. so that’s why I’m not gonna be at school. also known as the security guard from the Galleria that basically wants to ruin all of our lives… except maybe yours. When Marcy got the video. .” Nora had it saved on her phone. “My mom is working for some sick creep? Good gawd. don’t tell your mom. she watched the footage and then gasped. I’ll send you the video he showed me and then you can figure it out for yourself. sighing.” Nora cringed as she said this. She nearly dropped her phone from the news that Nora just spoke through its speaker.” Marcy replied. erm…” “Your what?” Marcy asked.” “I know that. “Tre said that your mom is working for Carl Weisgerber. I don’t know how that logic occurred to her.

part nine: the best frakking day ever (or. todos somos perdedores) .

but why is it important? She’s trying to help us. did you tell her?” I asked. I am just fine with her not being here. but it’s only because I like you.” “I’ll have you know that I told my mother absolutely nothing. It’s like she disappeared or something. “Yes. growling at Marcy. there’s no need to claim land. Grassy. then I’ll have to take her head and burn it in a fire. or Bergsweier’s. “Okay. “I haven’t seen her today. “Nora. you brute. “Why do you care.” “Am I the brute here? I’m asking seriously because I really wanna know. .” I replied.” “Can you two quit trying to eat each other? We’re not feral animals here. I know about what my mom apparently is doing with a certain Weisgerber fellow. “What’s she doing?” I asked.” Grassy intervened. Marcy plopped her stuff down and sat at the desk adjacent to Nora’s and two chairs down from mine. but if she barked to her mom about the plan.” I said. dingbat? Besides. “Well.” Marcy said.chapter 41: thursday The third period bell rang as I slipped through the doorway to Alice’s. or THAT TREACHEROUS SNAKE’s.” Grassy said. fine. whatever you wish to call her’s room and sat at my chair near the others.” “Okay. “Where’s the lady?” Max asked.

Measles takes three days to be diagnosed. “My mom is a nurse and when she was going to grad school when I was nine I took a peek at one of her books. Until then.” Piper said. “Hi. Something is definitely up with this. and you guys can talk quietly. as he’s outside right now. so there’s a substitute teacher coming to fill in for her.” a deep. Ms. and something else. students. I’m getting word that the sub is coming upstairs now-. very familiar mocking tone. we’ll have to wait. “Wait.” I said.Mr.” “Sounds like Bergsweier was leaving to make way for Cow or something. firm yet not mean and calm. Pyle came in the classroom. Ollins. but I couldn’t think of what. yet frightening voice said in a very. guys. crap. . I’m Mr.” “Waitaminnit. Bergsweier is unable to come today because her kids got down with the measles. a strange sight. “How do you know?” Max asked. as he’d only popped up on occasions he wanted to talk to us.or not.” “Hello. Aw. Now.

“What do we do?” “We blow the frak out of this popsicle stand. We’re learning about… long division. We’re sorry. almost as if he’d become a sociopath or something (if. well. as you would say with your weird . a few talkers?” Cow said as he walked over to our table. Lizeman and we wouldn’t ever want that. goontherewhydon’tyousir. “Okay. “Well.chapter 41: xxxo “I think I might have taught some of you before. and now I’m dealing with algebra as I write this as an 8th grader. panicking. ALGEBRA. “I did too! That’s what Alice or Bergsweier or whatever the frak her name is said!” I replied. “I’m not going to have any trouble with any of you today. Turn your books to page 193 and read from there to 200. This was going to be a long class. As I pretended to do the work.” Never has a math operation scared the crap out of me more than that day.” I said nervously. “No. he wasn’t already). am I? Because then I’d have to send you to Ms. now would we?” This was all in a voice much less human than he previously had. I whispered to them. sir. of course.” “I thought he was supposed to come on Friday!” Max whispered frantically. What have we got here. then.

“THAT! IS NOT! IMPORTANT!” As soon as I said it I covered my mouth with my hands at the speed of light. Right. who had the same expression. who had it too. Our heads fell into page 193 out of pure shock.” Max said briskly. my hands still on my face. the inconsiderate idiots will not shut up. “Well. .science fiction minced oaths. then Grassy. “You all are being very disruptive to the rest of the class. “Yup. Cow got up from his desk and walked over to me. I looked at Nora.” I said as fast as I could. “Is there a problem?” “No. ready to take me down into the depths of the underworld.” Q followed.” Damon yelled. class?” “Oh yes. then smiling. staring at me with a grin almost as if he were Beelzebub himself. “What’s a minced oath?” Piper asked. if you wouldn’t mind. I’ve already warned you once before. so you’re just going to have to report to DETENTION… NEXT PERIOD!” My eyes bulged and my jaw dropped. yup. I started trembling.

we’re going to be OK. nothing was going to do that. Pessimist. but still. I started thinking about a song I once liked before realizing it was idiotic. Tick tock. (Well. gee. In three minutes. wouldn’t that be ironic. but the party don’t stop.” “Yeah. “Whatever happens. not really. on its circular display. And oh. . “It’ll be fine. Nora whispered to me.chapter 42: it’s so young. I was hoping for the life of me tht my watch had some kind of crazy time-stopping feature I’d never discovered. holding her hand in mine.” “I don’t think this is a time to be optimistic. Out of nowhere.” Max snarked. because of the lack of dei ex machina here. no… Well. we can at the very least try.” I said. 9:59. on the clock.” Grassy replied. my watch showed 9:57 a. you get the idea. Mr.m. 9:58. I was going to have to deal with a night-guard-turnedbatcrap-nuts-police-psychopath. it runs In a few black lines. but I already knew that.) My palms started sweating intensely. was I crapping my pants. “Well.

“A little help would be great right about now!” I yelled before I felt myself falling down again. Q ran to me. Did it hurt? In a word. “Because I hired them to give us some… help. “Time for some fun. then turned my left leg into her knees. Damon and their friends exited. “All of the tables except for you badseeds in the back may leave. Q. She fell with a yelp. but before he could get ahold of me I leaped once again. . still with the same “Wait just a second. I spun around to see what it was. Everybody except for us. I opened my eyes to find Shaniqua running toward me with an outward fist.” Cow said. and… BLAM! Before I knew it I’d found myself flying backwards and suddenly into the projector whiteboard on our wall. I turned my head just as she was about to hit it. Grassy dug into his bag and grabbed two small springs. Why aren’t they leaving?” I said. and as she did I jumped onto the nearest desk. this time at the hands of Damon.” A slight tap on the ground occurred. Moving as fast as I could. SOFRAKKIN’MUCH.The lunch bell droned from the speaker as my watch clicked as it always did when the hour changed. this time to the desk to my right.” Q said. “What are springs going to help us out with now?” Max groaned.

” Grassy grabbed a red stapler from the bag and took out the spring inside it to replace it with one of the smaller ones. but just as he did so I grabbed a math book from under the desk’s chair and proceeded to whack it into his head.” Q yelled.” Grassy winked as he said this. chickenboy. turning a normal stapler into the equivalent of a high powered stapler gun. “How’d you do that. Max reappeared with a shiny red Swingline stapler in his hand. “That was AMAZING. Closing the stapler’s top. Damon went down with a loud thud. can I borrow your stapler?” About a minute later. “Well. my old friend. He ran outside and yelled to some random dude. “That’s the thing. there’s gotta be another stapler in here. and the other one into his back.“This. do your thing. throwing the stapler to Grassy in the process. 4 of which stuck into Damon’s belt. Milton.” he said.” Max said. Grass?” “The spring inside the stapler now has about 60% more tension than the normal one I took out. running toward . “Hey. It’s not. he then opened it up vertically and squeezed on the handle. “Grassy. but couldn’t find any.” Max looked around. “You aren’t using that thing for nothin’.” “How is that even possible?” Max asked. 5 staples went flying. He yelled in pain and turned around.

Not ten seconds after this.” I said. SHIFT!” I ran through the back door immediately. “THERE IS NO PLAN!” I replied. if you got it. fine. He’s probably a better shot than you’ll ever be with your fat. I didn’t even know what it was I had . “Oh. then whispered something into the walkie he had on his belt. I was running from the law. You’re just asking for it now.” Q said. or night guards. then bring it on. I’ll put it in stupid person. a bunch of guys decked out in police gear barged into Bergsweier’s room and yelled. “Hey. “PUT YOUR HANDS UP!” “Oh. “You’re all idiots! You need to get yourselves together. you minuscule-brained imbecile.Max. then just as he got to me I sidestepped and pushed him right into the wall. In other words: Bring. don’t knock Cromwell.” “What? You’re gonna have to be more blunt with your insults. As he charged I looked at the path he was taking. Sucka. TretretretretretreTRE. spaz. “What’s the plan?” Nora asked. It. lumpy hands. I thought repeatedly. “Okay.” Q ran to me like a rhino toward its prey with his sights set directly on me. and the others followed suit. This wasn’t just me running from bullies. Tre. you idiots! Come on!” Cow said.” “Well. or pissed off teachers. OHGODOHGODOHGODWHYME. On. you little weasel. panicking.

” I said. We never left each other before and we sure as heck aren’t gonna now. We successfully got to the ground level without them on us. We did this while avoiding visibility through the stairs due to the fact that at least one of those guys was bound to have a gun. with one destination in mind: the exit doors. We all wanted it to work. Me.” I said. Grassy and Max all sailed down the railing of the second staircase and cut a line through the 3rd floor’s landing. “No. panting as we did. “Let’s split up!” Max yelled. but that was a longshot. “Do you think we lost ‘em?” Nora asked. because we did not have plans to go to juvie after all of this time we weren’t dealing with crazy night guards turned police officers. Do we make it home free? Will Cow and his mooks catch us? Turn the page to see the thrilling conclusion of STUCK AT SCHOOOOOOL! . while the girls jumped down at the same speed.done wrong. opening the door. guys! Let’s hope this works. If we could get there and down to Alderney & Bertelsmann we were as good as gone. “Let’s hope so. but I had a feeling I hadn’t done anything. I ran down the stairs. we’re sticking this one through. “Alderney & Bertelsmann.” Nora said. We got to the stairwell.

“You are full of crap.nearly all of Greyson’s police force. Mr. Sounds like the perfect description for a kleptomaniacal girl who just couldn’t keep her hands off of that cash. Miss Irving. Did he believe I . you were wrong. don’t play coy. Yeah. You’re a freeloader who abandons people and then runs away from what you’ve done. We opened the door to find the entire parking lot of the school just littered with a whole plethora of people . and the news. Tre. I know your deal and I have known for a whole year now. this was probably not going to end well. We’ve got ourselves a big fat catch here. isn’t that right? You came up with this whole master plan to steal the security codes. well. “What are you talking about?” Nora asked. or whatever your real name is.” “I do not steal things. and get by without anyone suspecting you.” I replied angrily. and rest assured. You’re just trying to defend her because you are her right-hand man. huh?” Cow said with a smirk on his face. you delusional hack.” I started.chapter 43: the shadow “PUT YOUR HANDS UP!” yelled a voice through a megaphone nearby. “Well. well. huh? Well. a couple of people who I believe were in riot control suits. “Oh. C-R-A-” “You be quiet. we’ve got you good. get to the cash.

“Well. Your choice. so you might not want to toy with my emotions. You can take the easy way and do this without any pain or any attempts at resistance. Tre? I thought.” I whispered.didn’t have ethics or something? Ha. which caused a single bullet to fly near me. Or. “Or.” I turned to the left to look at Nora. It was about 5 feet away. This is going to suck. climb. The exit toward Bertelsmann was blocked. in which case my friends over there will definitely be willing to use force. who was more or less telepathically answering that with a look on her face that said. in this case. What do you do.” So. Is it worth running? He’s in charge of all of these guys. “I’m offering you a choice here. As long as it doesn’t kill us. I guess there’s nothing else we can do but run. thank you very much.” I took a step. Turning the other way. thankfully. but I saw a ladder to the roof around the corner. I found Grassy to have a similar look on his. . you can take the futile route and run. and I think I want to keep my head today. “Delusion? I’ve got tapes of all five of you at that heist on the Foley Bank vault. this idiot is honestly attempting to arrest you for some high-profile heist that I had literally nothing to do with.

no guns for them. We got to the roof rather quickly. I hoped. They were rather slow though. I saw that the awning on the other side of the building was slanted at the perfect angle for us to jump (and for them to.I ran. “CLEAR THE AREA! LEAVE FROM THE CROWD AND PUT YOUR HANDS UP OR WE WILL OPEN FIRE!” a megaphone blared. . the other four following. but not. but I had a feeling that they had cars. they hadn’t got to us yet. so I decided to take the more crowded route. I looked below to see that everyone had managed to fit onto it and was following me pretty nicely. almost like the pattern my running had established was continuing through my jumps. Gladly. not get their legs hurt by way of landing on them. Hence. gunshot sounds and rapid footsteps following. They were almost in a way like soldiers. “Look at their feet!” I yelled out to the rest of the group as I cut through the crowd walking down Flanders in the quickest way I knew. by way of pulling each other up. The gunshots got lower in frequency as the teams reloaded and began to give chase. sprinted around the corner and toward the ladder. no. you know. I jumped onto it and then the ground in a bit of a one-two foot pattern. mainly because of all the bulky belts and police-thingamajigs they had on. Climbing the ladder as fast as I could. so I ran toward them.

only to realize that she or he or whatever it was wasn’t just something my imagination was subconsciously creating. “You don’t need to know. “There is none! I have no idea what I’m doing--” POW! For whatever reason a telephone pole decided to materialize in front of my position out of nowhere. I thought I saw someone in a black hood and an all-black outfit with no visible face.” a menacing. hurt. in a daze.The crowd began filing out to the left of the street.” I snapped out of my daze. as you can probably tell. I fell over on my head. but they caught it and then proceeded to wrap . this left us right out of them like fish out of water. almost like they were the Grim Reaper or something. This. This person was the real deal. Unfortunately. Reeling in pain. I attempted to use my “kick in the legs and run” technique that I used on Shaniqua earlier with my left leg. “Who are you?” I asked. so we just gunned it again. “All you need to know is that I’m here for one reason: to beat you at your very own game. “What’s our plan?” Max yelled out to me. ducking downward as a bullet screamed right over his head. genderless voice replied. their faces confused.

When I got to the other side I jumped and turned to see Nora. I guess.me around the pole with it. with Nora holding on to Max. Whoever it was. but what I do know is that we’ve gotta go. but it at the very least hurt like heck.” I ran to the pipes. really painful flesh wound. I screamed in pain. but then picked myself up. up to the roof in a desperate attempt to escape. sparks flying behind me. A slightly wussy. but got out of its hold by way of kicking them in the groin. and Piper behind me. but who knows is anyone’s guess. I fell on my first step onto the gravel rooftop. “Are you okay?” I stumbled. I started running and they followed. Nora got up the stairs and gasped. “I hope you know how to use a zipline. It wasn’t broken or anything. When they got down. yet somehow still manly yelp occurred. they were a guy. “I don’t know. my leg still in pain. Nora?” .” I looked to our right and saw a few hollow PVC pipes near a power line hanging over the street. I ran weakly. I ran into some random apartment building and went up its staircase. dragging my pretty much dead leg with me. Guess it might have just been a really. “What’s with that whole Max business. put one atop the line and slid downward. Max. Grassy.

Piper attempted beating him with her pipe. Mr.” I took a few good breaths as I said it. “You don’t scare us… whoever you are. but not anything otherwise. we’ve got to do it fast.” “Well. “What’s wrong?” “There’s no way all of us are going to make the jump together. but The Shadow caught his foot and knocked Max in the head with it. The mall I could manage. whatever we do. VERY afraid of heights. you’d probably be a bit more careful about your decisions. because they’re starting to come close. Tre. what do we do.” Max said. “Are you sure you can go any further?” Nora asked. “Well. if you were smart there.” I turned forward to see that the building was slanted at the edge with nothing but a ladder on the one next to it to land on after a jump. then?” “I have no ide-AH!” I felt a long sting on my leg and went down knees first. Nora and Grassy propped me up and held my head up. “Call me… The Shadow. eh?” Max tried to kick him. I had to stop. Seeing this. “Close? I’m already here. And just a note.“I’m afraid of heights. . “Probably not.” The cloaked guy appeared when I turned around.” Max said. but he took it out of her hands when she lunged and sent it straight into her gut.

I’d count your blessings if I were you. the pipe swooped through our heads not once. and the three of us all went down like three perfectly aligned dominoes.“Tre. You three are lucky. but twice. Soon enough. A perfect trio. there. Nora and Grassy. . because you all get to go to jail with your friends right next to you.

because you’ll be living here until I get the kinks worked out and you can go to your new home of Shortview. we’ve officially been sent to juvie for no reason.chapter 43: how perty I awoke to find… not much.” I said. Enjoy your stay. Get used to it. and it had a set of handwriting I’d spy from anywhere. Carl “Well. sighing along with me.” . Cow’s.” Nora said. “Yeah. Dear Idiots. a post-it note and a window. This sucks. actually.” Nora glared at me. “I do know one good thing about it though. very much. “Okay. Like the 13th level of the Pert Building so far? I’m sure you probably do.” “Whatever is so great about a near featureless void?” Nora asked. The note was green. “It’s got a nice view. yes. sighing. then. Just the other four.

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