THE LOST CASE FILES: FIFTEEN SHORT STORIES OF ATHENS, NEW YORK 

THE LOST CASE FILES: FIFTEEN SHORT STORIES OF ATHENS, NEW YORK 

PART ONE: PROLOGUE

By Edward Emily 

Sigh. Well, this is it. Today’s my last day at Caesar Middle School. Tomorrow me and my Dad begin work on our next project: The Athens-Carter Institute. Y’know, I’m really gonna miss this place. I have good memories here. From taking down a giant robot to ruining four consecutive lives, I’m a bit of a busy body around here. 

Let’s hope things cool down. 

I kinda wanted to make a case file, just to distract myself. And some of it was just to distract myself. So, I had a blank Google Doc opened. But when I decided to check my email this morning, it was empty, as you expected. 

Then I checked my spam folder. 

To my astonishment, I found these: A series of emails sent to me. Most of them you can tell who sent them, most of them you can’t. 

Some of these files? Years old, man. But I think you’ll be able to tell when these take place. Uh, what else? Hm. Most of these stories are unfinished, but that’s not what matters. What matters is that this stuff happened, and that’s pretty cool. 

So, darling, here’s a little treat before we get into the good stuff. My spam folder. 

These are just for fun :]

STORY ONE: UNGRATEFUL LITTLE BRAT

By Varsity “Zeusigami” Emily 

Look, I didn’t ask to be caught up in this mess. I didn’t ask to be an OriGod, someone who basks in the adulation of my own companions. Time and time again, the world proves that good things happen to nice people. I would know. I could start at any point in my short miserable life and tell you that. 

But I guess it all went downhill after Star Wars ended. I saw Return of the Jedi, with my Father. I begged to see it with my friends, I was five at the time, and my Dad insisted I bring along my four year old brother, Charles Emily, and the three (and a half) year old William Emily, the two young boys disturbing the guests at the theater, popcorn tossed at the screen, infantile giggles rupturing through the crowd, by the end of the film, all of the adults in the audience hated us. I knew that even at five. 

The worst part? It was my family’s private theater.

And now I know what you think of me. 

A spoiled rich  girl on a tangent about spoiled rich girl things. But through the lavish golden vases and the portraits of family friends that stare at me with the same eyes the businessman themselves would stare into my room, hungry and powerful, lies a sad little girl, in a world of Dollie Parton’s and Elton John’s, listening to the Kurt Cobain, a sense of nirvana filling me as I splash paint upon the canvas. Careless, levitating, free with teen spirit, the only restriction the volume dial of my Batman Returns radio, covered in stickers of my favorite artists, Queen, Elton John, Billy Joel, etc. 

My Mom says it’s just a phase, but I don’t see it. A phase requires progression, and depending on who you ask, I’m not capable of that. I’m not capable of growth, or of change. Depending on who you ask, Zuesigami is eternal, Zeusigami is immortal. 

Depending on who you ask, I’m above or below human. And no one seems to be able to figure out which. 

“Varsity, deary?” My Father knocks at my door, though he tilts it open moments later, defeating the concept. 

“Yes, Father?” I turn the radio down as I stare into his unfeeling eyes. 

“You’re late to school, Eaglette.” 

“Well… given that my Mother owns said school, I didn’t think it mattered.” 

“Don’t give me that, you’re lucky we haven’t shut down our experiment at all, yet.”

I laughed, “Yeah, yeah, I get it. You’re so scared of OrigOlympus you give us your own school.” 

“Athens Middle School isn’t a gift, it’s a curse. You’re being sent there to pay your dues.” 

“I was just being a kid, Dad. Okay?” 

“We won’t hear your pleas until you pay your dues.” 

“And how do you expect me to do that?” 

“Bring OrigOlympus to the perfect, greatness, it once was, Varsity. That’s all we want, little Eagle.” 

“Oh, give me a break. That’s what Mother wants, all you want is money, you view OrigOlympus as your guinea pigs, as your test subjects, it’s sick, Dad. 

“I won’t tolerate this nonsense, Varsity. You’re an ungrateful little brat.”

“I’m the ungrateful little brat that you raised.” 

My Father stepped back, gawking in confusion. “I will not take this nonsense, you’re going to school.” 

I shrugged my shoulders and slung my backpack over my shoulders, sliding my puppet, Zeusigami, into the pocket of my stark blue blazer, and praying to god he wouldn’t beat me the way he beat my brothers. 

My Father drops me off at Athens Middle School, the school created solely to damn me, a sick reminder of my own shortcomings. 

Last summer, the OrigOlympians did something my family wasn’t in love with. We were children. We did stupid things… ironically, us becoming more like the gods they fashioned us out is what set her off. Athens was created to contain the weirdness, and they’ll let us back in when it’s neat. When it’s safe. 

My closest friend, Ximena Cunningham rushed down the hallway, stopping at my feet. “Varsity!” she chirped. 

“Hey, what’s up?”

“Just exploring the new school, there’s like this labyrinth here, there’s an entrance in the librarian’s office, the band room, and one or two in the gym.” 

I realized Ximena’s bright orange Athens Middle School sweatshirt was covered in dirt and flecks of mulch, “Wowza, looks like my Mother’s left me loads of surprises.” She giggled.

“You could say that again.”

“Anything else?” 

“Yo, this is wild, but they goin’ back to the STAR system.” 

I groaned, “What the hell!?” 

“So dumb, so, so dumb. But I got to see Donald again.” 

“Oh? How are the Norse OriGods holding up?” 

“Not good, Francis is throwing a fit about… well, something. Isn’t Odin supposed to be the god of wisdom, or something?” 

“Yeah, haha.” 

“So, what’s the plan from here?” 

“You tell me, Arthena.” 

Ximena laughed effortlessly, “Sure. I think OrigOlympus should meet up, there’s a few rooms in the office, I think. Can we check those out?” 

“Sure, sure. It’s just… crazy. Everything feels so normal, I guess. Or, everything feels like it’s gone back to normal.” 

I laughed, “Speak for yourself, my Mom beat the f—ing s— out of me with a flip flop.” 

“It’s the frying pan for me, dawg.” 

“…Ximena? You okay?” 

“Nah, nah, nah. I’m damaged.” She flipped me a peace sign, laughing, always the easy-going girl. I hope she never changes.

STORY TWO: LMAOOOOOOOO

By Mac Astley 

EDWARD EDWARD YOU WON’T BELIEVE THIS 

I FOUND A SONG TYLER WROTE ABOUT MY DAD IN HIGH SCHOOL 

ADD IT TO A CASE FILE I AM DYINGGGG

The day I met you, I was scared as hell

Ikarus already fell

Some people called me crazy

And I guess that means you stole my mind

But the day I met your eye

You took me to church

You took me to the sky

You tore me apart

You gave me pink eyes

Let me ride on your winged horse

Show me no remorse

You could be my Perseus 

And I could be your source

When you’re in the sky, who cares about all the others?
Because we, we, we, can be lovers.

Oooooo

We can be lovers

Life’s been tough, yea we had it rough

When you have no one with you 

But maybe, just baby, let’s meet in the middle

Like an overdo horseshoe, speak to the reissue

Kissed boo boos, sunk canoes, kiss me and tell me “I love you” 

Because you tore me down, and you built me up 

Gave me new tires, like your pickup truck 

You loved me king of ‘Cenae, oh slayer of the mobs

Pick me choose me love me, let me make you my god

Let your body be my temple, give me a sweet massage

Darling you could be Perseus 

And I’m

Andromeda

STORY THREE: PROMETHEUS’ INFERNO 

By SF Hades 

Prologue 

Doctor Eldritch hugged his children tightly, the children of the future more dear to him than his own life. That was the Eldritch way of living, the next generation, the future, came before the present. 

And yet Eldritch never accounted for the past. 

Once upon a time, he had worked for this man. Silver Emily. An assistant. But those days were far behind him, now. He had watched as Ouranatox and EduFun spread and ruined schools across the country, and he grew tired. The last guard of perfect specimens humanity had left, their life drained before the man’z own two eyes. 

All he had left were the kids, freckled noses and green eyes shimmering with fear. 

“Daddy…” they would say, “I’m scared.” 

And he kissed them on the cheek, unable to utter three simple words. 

Unable to tell them it’s going to be okay. 

A high pitched noise pinched his ears,  now being rallied against him. 

“This is your last chance, Eldritch,” Silver Emily says from behind the door, “Come out from where ever the f$*÷ you’re hiding and I’ll let your kids live.”

He doesn’t open the door. 

Instead, he

STORY FOUR: GIRL’S VOLLEYBALL INTEREST MEETING

Who:  6th-12th Grade (2021-2022 school year), for current runners and interested runners

What: Information meeting about running cross country next year. Junior High runs 2 miles, High School runs 3.2 miles for meets. 

When: Tuesday October 25th at 3:30

Where: High School Track

If you are interested and can’t make the meeting on Tuesday, email me at:samantha.hunter@athensmiddle.org

STORY FIVE: Athens Middle School School Newsletter: August 24th, 2020

Welcome Back!

By Varsity Kemp 

Welcome back students of Athens Middle School! It’s so great to see all of your faces here, again! I am aware that we ended last school year on slightly rocky terms, due to the actions of a few bad eggs, but we’re sure that the bunch hasn’t rotted! And of course, there’s the pandemic, leaving us unable to get within six feet of each other. However, this very well could be a positive. Last year, we had a bit of a problem getting within people’s personal bubble, so we would like to remind you of our zero tolerance rule for fighting and/or public displays of affection.

Report System

By Laura Delphi

With the organization known as CHRONOS defeated, our class president, Ximena Strohm, has created an e-mail for you to report suspicious behavior. So, if you see any troublemakers, please report them at the email below:

Theheroesoforigolympus@gmail.com 

Athens Middle School

3804 Emily Avenue, Athens City, NY

STORY SIX: THE TALE FROM GREEN STREET SCHOOL 

By SF Thrawn 

Prologue

By Paula Stanley

Like a moron I had gone back to the basement. I honestly thought that I could have won this time around; and now I was paying for it, in full. 

“Come on! He’s on your heels!” Natalie Mendel, my partner, yelled.

“RAAUGH!” My hunter confirmed.

I knew that If I turned around I would certainly die so I bolted past Natalie as she slammed the door of our room. 

“You okay?” She asked.

“Yeah, all good.” I reassured her.

She patted me down just to make sure. As she got to my shoulder I yelped and looked up at her. Her pink lips reassured me that everything was going to be fine, so long as I ignored the fact that her father was a convicted killer. I followed her to the Murphy bed where she began to relieve the pain on my shoulders. Right as I was going to slip into sleep so she could do her work our third roommate, Chris Frantz, climbed over to me. 

“You did it didn’t you?” He chided.

“Can you find someone else to be creepy with?” I asked.

“Not a ton of people are chill with an 8 year old quite like you two.” He said.

I laughed a little and roughed up his hair.

Introductions

By- Giovanni Belzoni

So I know that it wasn’t precisely Sopia and Arthur’s fault for the school to close down; but it feels better to blame them. The day after it all happened my grandma enrolled me into this hole, the Green Street School. And honestly, I’m a bit surprised that the ride alone didn’t kill me seeing as most of the kids in the bus were child convicts. I’m not being sarcastic either, the back three rows were lined with three to a seat. Each one in an orange jumpsuit.

[MINIMAL DEATH THREATS LATER]

I got up from my seat and ran out of the bus. The school in front of me was a grey thing with gargoyles on the roof. Standing in front of the doors was a priest with platinum blond hair.

“Be not afraid.” He said calmly “My name is Enrico. I am your friend.”

I laughed nervously as he calmly smiled. 

“I know who you are Giovanni. Please know that this place isn’t the Carter Institute. Unlike that place we focus on the well being of our students while passively teaching them basic knowledge.” He explained.

“Are you a teacher?” I asked.

“Hah!” He hollowly laughed “No, I am a student, just like you.”

He put a hand on my shoulder and gently pushed me into the atrium where I was handed clothes, basic cleaning items and a punch in the gut.

Fresh things.

By- Natalie Mendel

Lunch was bad today. Why? Well it’s because we finally got new people, or freshys as I call them. I figured that I should give them all a once over just to see if I knew any from my old juvie days and it turns out that I infact knew all of them! Well, except for one. He was a fairly tall fellow with an olive complexion and brown hair. His chin was chiseled and dotted with black heads that stopped at his rosey cheeks. I must have been staring for some time because I was starting to get punched in the shoulder by Paula.

“Who do you see chica?” She asked.

“A stranger.” I told her.

“Huh, I wonder if they are lost.” She premised.

“Me too.”

I tried to find him again but he was lost. Which is the worst thing that can happen here. I stood up to get a better view but I felt someone’s hand on my waist.

“What do we have here?” A freshy asked.

I coldly turned around to face them.

“Oh I’m just some sweet dumb thing-” I said as I was cut off by their bad breath.

“Heh heh heh, yeah you are,” They said with morbid excitement.

“I didn’t finish; I was going to say that I had a knife.” I quickly picked up and jammed a plastic knife into their cheek as they screamed.

“Rule number one!” I yelled “Don’t mess with a convict you poser!”

I let go of the knife as they fell down.

“Did you get it out of your system?” Paula asked.

“Yeah. all out.”

“Good because Chris found your freshy.” She said while pointing to Enrico who was standing over two figures.

I’m not a fan of priests

By- Chris Frantz

Despite what Enrico may believe I am not some lowly scum. I knew that Natalie was interested in them so that made this mystery man important to me. As I was going to see if they survived some freshy’s punch I looked up and saw the insidious eyes of Enrico.

“Why are you trying to get a good man involved in your schemes?” He said.

“I’m just making sure that he’s okay. Y’know, with medicine and science.” I said.

“What does a child like you know about science?” He asked.

“More than you know about religion.” Paula said. 

Natalie got on her knees to make sure that the stranger was still breathing. I looked up to Paula who shot me a thumbs up. I slowly started to back up until Enrico focused back onto me.

“Y’know, this place would have more people if there wasn’t an infant running around.” He chidded

“Y’know, this place would have more people if there wasn’t a fake priest running the place and fooling prisons across New York.” Paula snapped back.

Enrico shot her a glare.

“Me and you could have really been something if you weren’t into [REDACTED].” He hissed.

Paula knew I didn’t like to see violence so she waved for me to turn around.

Kid? Kid.

By Giovanni Belzoni

I woke up with a puddle of blood on my left and two ladies with a child on my right. 

“Hi?” I said.

“Great. He lives.” One of them said to the other. “Can we go now?”

“Not yet. Who are you?” the other asked me.

“I’m Gio. I would say it’s nice to meet you but I’m more worried about the blood.”

“Don’t be; it’s from a homophobe.” they said collectively.

“Neat. Now explain the kid.” I said while pointing to the child.

“I plead the fifth.” The child said.

“We kinda found him.”

“Again, neat. Who are you?” I asked.

The lady who asked me who I am told me that her name was Natalie and the other one standing up was Paula; the kid was Chris.

“Gio, three paths lie ahead of you.” Chris started, “You can walk away now and enjoy your time here or you can come with us and be extremely weirded out by this place.”

“And path number three?” I asked.

“Join Enrico.”

When Chris said that name a wave of anger passed over Natalie and Paula

“I think I will come with you all.”

Chris did a little cheer while Paula and Natalie groaned.

“There goes are special times alone.” Natalie silently whined as Paula wrapped her hand around her and kissed her on the cheek.

I Didn’t Pucker

By Paula Stanley

Gio at first glance seemed like a Enrico copy, but I could tell that something was up. It was like he was hiding something and I didn’t exactly like that so we headed back to the room. The second that the door closed I turned around and pinned Gio to the wall.

“Tell us about yourself.” I half-asked.

“What is there to know?” He said.

“Backstories and blood types seem to be the most important. Do you have any cash?” Natalie said.

“O-, Flat broke and you can buzz off if you want an origin.” He smirked.

Natalie kicked him in the gut.

“This isn’t a comedy club!” She yelled.

“I said buzz off!” He jolted up and went for an uppercut.

Natalie backed up and pulled out a self-defense taser. As she tried to end the fight Gio slapped it out of her grip and expertly tossed her to the ground.

“Honey! You’re fighting 100% Brooklyn here so try harder!” Gio yelled while assuming a boxer’s stance.

I tried to stop Natalie But she lightly pushed me away. I looked on as she assumed a similar stance. Chris sat on the bed.

“Best two of three. If Gio wins he keeps his secrets. If Natalie wins Gio spills the basics. Start!”

They ran at each other.

[LATER]

It was the final round. Nat and Gio had both won a single match and the final match had devolved into a megar slap-off.

“Quit.” Gio said.

“You first.” Nat said as she slapped him.

“Ok ok ok; we get it. Gio and Nat take a time out.” I told them.

They sat down across from each other.

“Natalie. Keep in mind that we’re raiding the basement tonight.” I told her.

“Natalie?” Gio asked, “Correct me if I’m wrong but we met before right? Except you were Nathanial back then. And now you got- well-”

Natalie pointed at her chest. 

“Yeah, those.” Gio said.

“You catch on quick.” I said sarcastically.

Gio wanted to say something else.

“I want to help out.” He said.

“Why?” we asked.

“When you do something bad it doesn’t go away. It sticks. But you can make it feel a little better through small acts. And this act seems pretty big. So yeah, I want to help out.”

We looked at each other, then to Chris and finally up to Gio.

“We could always use another set of hands.” Natalie said.

The Plan

By- Chris Frantz

  1. I move out to my secret room and prepare for the three of them to arrive.
  2. Natalie makes sure that the halls are empty
  3. Gio and Paula meet with Natalie and head to the basement
  4. They raid the basement of it’s items and evade the hunter
  5. I hack into the camera and make sure that Enrico doesn’t get wise.

Is that a JoJo’s reference?

By- Paula Stanley

It was the start of stage four and we were standing at the mouth of the basement. 

“When we get out of this. What happens?” Gio asked us.

“We deal with Enrico.” I told him.

“And after that?” He asked again.

“I don’t know.” Natalie admitted while testing out her taser. “This isn’t a school and it’s easy to see that. So I don’t know what is going to happen.”

“Well don’t these kids have parents?” Gio asked.

“If they do then they don’t care.” I said.

“Let’s just get this over with.” Gio said as he descended the steps.

Once we got to the bottom  Gio saw the true purpose of this ‘school’. Most of the student population had been hypnotised into sleepwalking and forming paper into puppets. I could hear Gio’s breath speed up.

“We must stop this.” He said.

“Then we strike now.” I said.

We hopped out of the shadow that we hid in and dashed for the production line. Gio took two of the security guards and ripped their yo-yos out of their hands and started to attack them with a mix of boxing and yo-yoing. I crashed into the production line which forced them to snap out of it.

“RUN YOU FOOLS!” I said to them as they began to wake up. 

I looked over to the far side of the room where the blasing grey eyes of the hunter started to illuminate. 

Yare Yare Daze

By- Natalie Mendel

I was busy knocking over and destroying tables. On each one was at least twenty or so plastic baggies full of puppets. Each one was expertly made but they were from all sorts of media which really threw me for a loop. Once I got done I looked up at Paula who was staring at the hunter. Once I realised this I ducked down and grabbed two baggies that had puppets which caught my eyes. 

I looked over to Gio who saw the same thing. He began to spin the yo-yos in a fast motion which created a windshield thing. I quickly got up and ran to him while turning on the taser. 

“Paula needs our help!” He yelled.

I nodded.

He stopped the yo-yos and dashed to my girlfriend who was about to get mauled by the hunter. Once he got within two meters he wound his hand back and let a yo-yo rip which hit the hunter across its face, knocking the mask loose and making it fall off. As I looked at the face of the beast that had been terrorising us I realised just how much sense it made.

“[REDACTED]” Enrico said.

The end of the Green Street School.

By- Giovanni Belzoni

I wound up the yo-yo and readied myself for Enrico.

“I thought that you were a cool dude.” I said.

“You can thank the priest get-up.” He said. 

I shot a glance at Natalie who passed Paula a baggie.

“What puppet did you choose?” Enrico asked.

Paula held up a humanoid with a yellow head and arms. It’s torso was a maroon jumpsuit with a large pink and yellow tie that said ‘KISS’. bordering the torso and head was a drawn on scarf that was also pink. Around its head was a drawn-on array of light emitting diode shapes.

“Kiss? You chose a stand?!” Enrico said.

He then pulled out another strange puppet. This one had a white underlayer with lines crossing it’s entire body. It’s drawn on clothes where cuffs, boots, a cross-shoulder into a turtleneck device that stretched down into a skirt and finally a mix of a crown and executioner’s hood.

“Whitesnake!” Enrico yelled, “Show Paula holy justice.”

Then Natalie pulled out the final stand puppet. It was this machine thing that was covered in an olive green covering with yellow markings. It’s oval head had yellow hyroglifics that were interrupted by a grey vertical stretch. 

“Foo Fighters! Are there anymore?” Enrico asked.

He then looked over to me as I slammed the yo-yo’s across his face; dropping him instantly.

“Hey! Chris! The plan failed! No need for the secret room!” Paula yelled.

[THE NEXT DAY]

We decided that the best move would be to call social services, who, in turn, called the cops. As the three of us watched them pull in one car was out of place, a limo. I watched in anger and horror as the infamous Dr. Foust walked out of it.

“Thank you, Bobby.” He said to the driver.

“You know this guy?” Chris whispered to me.

“Yeah.” I whispered back.

He gave me a once over with his eyes then smiled.

“Giovanni.” He said with a warm voice.

“Doctor.” I said coldly.

“Come on man. We’re all friends here.”

“You gave me detention.”

“His old teacher.” Paula and Natalie mumbled.

“That’s fair; but in all honesty you were about to destroy my school!” he said in a freakishly happy voice.

“Then you destroyed it yourself.”

“That was Malifer. Anywho; let’s talk.” He said while pulling me aside.

STORY SEVEN: THE LAWS OF THE ORIGAMI TRIUMVIRATE

By SF Hades

Necessities

By Flynn Macintosh 

Students must not be given a reason to move out, students must be able to live on, having their own children and legacies that will come to Caesar as well, while still perpetuating the highest amount of suffering possible. 

  1. Students will live on-campus. 
  2. The Triumvirate and Headmaster Emily will be in complete control of every minute detail of a student’s life.
  3. A software known as the “Anti-Gossip United Systems” or A-GUS is added and roots itself into everything connected to the school’s WIFI, INSTANTLY severing connections between students. (Web history, E-Mail, TEXT MESSAGES, PHONE CALLS)
  4. The town outside of Caesar had become chaotic and crime-ridden, making it so that many students can’t drop out or go into homeschooling. Caesar, becoming the best alternative, leads to a boost in student population. 
  5. A group of bullies will be instructed to find all descenders and publicly beat them, transmitting the video through A-GUS, claiming it is hacked.  The Triumvirate claims that CHRONOS are unaffiliated with them, allowing them to shift the blame, yet the students are subconsciously given the knowledge that this is false but not given the courage to speak up about it. 
  6. This is a running thing, the people are constantly fed propaganda that they know is false yet are pressured and expected to believe is true, so people have to emotionally distance themselves from the fact that they know that it’s false.
  7. To “prevent” CHRONOS, Hall Monitors will be enlisted at complete random, likely being badly injured. So it no longer matters what you do right, you or someone you know can just straight up be badly injured for basically no reason.
  8. All classes, classmates, and electives are chosen by The Triumvirate
  9. Deep and complex profiles will be kept on each and every student, based on their internet history and recording chips that can be found on the most dangerous suspects’ property. 
  10. This allows us to regroup and repair up roommates  who can be scientifically proven to get along the least. 
  11. The school will be dealing out the exact portions needed to be legal, and allowing CHRONOS to steal food from other students, allowing everyone to feel weak both mentally and physically at all times.
  12. Sometimes they just run out of food too lol. 
  13. No matter how hard each student works they receive a C- or below, the grades going out to their parents.
  14. While doing this, grade averages will be shown to be remarkably high. The implication will be that if students worked harder, they would not have wound up where they are now. This will also prevent solidarity forming between the citizenry. 
  15. I should mention that sometimes Origami Furies just break into your dorm and destroy your personal possessions for no reason, just for fun.
  16. Using the psychological profiles and A-Gus, it can be predicted which students would like certain rules being passed, and which wouldn’t. So we can now see which rules work and which don’t, if 99% hate a rule, and 1% like it, you could instead send the Titans after that 1%
  17. We might almost pass a well supported rule then cancel it with no explanation. 
  18. Parents can be called, sure. But no laws are being broken, besides A-GUS, which is very easy to delete. However, many of our protagonists choose to stay at Caesar, due to being descended from or having a tight bond with an OriGod. 

STORY EIGHT: ORIGAMI LAVINA ASKIMOV AND ORIGAMI POISON OAK  

By SF Hades 

1/1/21

I’m starting my chronicle of the year a bit late. It’s January 31st, and what’s ironic about that is that I had to check the date. Once quarantine began, I’m sure you could tell that all the dates seemed to blend in together. And just about now you might even start to wonder why I’m writing to you. I don’t know. I just want to make my voice heard. The goal, here, is to chronicle the what? The next six years of my life, I suppose. And the reason why I’m doing this, I think, is because I’m both happy and sad and I don’t know how that’s possible. 

Now that you know about… this, I want you to know about me. I love my friends. I think they shape who I am, in a way. And I want to tell them how much they mean to me, and sure, I do, but I just want to get the message across. I want to make them feel as loved as they make me. And I love my girlfriend. By all means, I should be happy. And I am. I think I’m always happy. 

But I’m sad, too. Maybe someday while writing this I’ll come across a big realization. I really don’t know what to expect. 

Today was very stressful. My girlfriend was out getting braces done, so I didn’t see her all morning. She surprised me during lunch,  swooping my hood over my head and sitting down. And then she ate with me. Or, I ate. She couldn’t eat. 

Given that she had braces. 

I think girls look very nice in braces. And she looks really nice in them. Because she’s already awkward. I think she’s very pretty. 

Another thing happened, too. With my girlfriend’s cousin. See, he’s dating my friend. And my friend has feelings for someone else. What’s the term? Caught between a rock and a hard place? Yeah, I’m caught between a rock and a hard place. And the hard place is very very bad. 

I don’t particularly like many of the other kids in my grades. I don’t want to say I’m better than them, but I’m better than them. My girlfriend’s cousin is very nice. I like his hair. 

I really like my girlfriend. I think anyone should like their girlfriend. Or boyfriend. Or romantic partners, in general. I think you should be nice to the people you’re with. But not very many people are. And deep down, that makes me very sad. Please, don’t be mean to women. I am one. And I love women. 

Women are great in a weird way. Like.  If you’re ever feeling bad about being single just remember that there’s a great number of beautiful women out there. And twinks. I like twinks. 

My girlfriend is on the Google Doc right now and she says, “Twinks are twinkies. Twinks are twinkle little stars.” 

And that makes me very happy. She’s making little laughing things, now. Like. She’s saying “Hahahahaha.” And I’m glad that she thinks I’m funny. Because whenever a beautiful woman calls me funny it makes my brain act like a monkey brain. And I think that’s pretty sweet. 

Love, Maya

1/2/21

SHE BROKE UP WITH M

STORY NINE: SHOPPING

By Sebastian Merrick 

Hey uh edward I’m using your email as a shopping list hope you dont mind ily

  • Milk
  • Cereal
  • Honey
  • Mayonnaise
  • Oatmeal

Also I miss Charlie :((

STORY TEN: THE ORIGODDESSEY

By SF Donatello 

Prologue

The following is a collection of Derek Miller’s auto recordings, second hand accounts and his own writing. 

Chapter One: the Night of March 11th

By Derek Miller

Alright so, why am I writing this? I really don’t kno. Maybe I’ll use it for a blog or podcast. 

Okay, so our tale begins on the night of my first game, I’ll set the scene. There I was in my Caesar uniform, with my white shorts and tying my Jordan’s. With the whole thing about Athens and Caesar combining our games, we’ve mostly been at the Caesar gym with us going against the Athens team. I was in the locker room, getting ready to warm up with the team. 

I opened the door and I heard a couple of chants of the kids in the audience watching us warm up. I’m not gonna write down every detail of our warm ups, it was mostly a couple laps, baskets, dribbling and passing. After some warm ups the coach told us to get a break and our game would begin shortly. I got out my phone from my bag and texted my girlfriend Hailey.

Me-you here yet

Hailey- I’ll be there soon babe

Me- ok the game starts in thirty minutes

Hailey- ok love you

Me- love you

After that my friend Jaden came up to me. 

“Ready?” He asked

“Please, Imake a average of fifteen shots a game and am already being looked out by colleges and I’m in seventh grade, of course I’m f$*ing ready” I laughed. 

He chuckled and took off his sunglasses and finger combed his hair back. I got up and put an air pod in. I turned on Spotify and put on ‘Jump’ and nodded my head slightly to the beat. Suddenly, coach told us the game was starting and He told us who all would be going in first

“Vaden, Jerimiah, Blake, Jaden and, of course, Derek” 

I smiled and took out my AirPods and got ready for the game. 

Chapter Two: The Game

By Derek 

I won’t go very much into the game but by the last quarter we were beating them by one point. Jaden grabbed the ball and ran up to make a goal when a kid came up to him and was guarding him. The ref wasn’t looking but was instead flirting with one of the Moms, so Jaden kicked the kid right in his shin. No one would notice.

 No one noticed as the kid gripped his knee and cussed in pain. No one noticed except one kid in the audience. He was smaller and had these giant round glasses that looked like coke bottles. He ran down the bleachers and tapped the ref’s shoulder and whispered what happened. The ref blew his whistle

“What’s wrong with ya kid! That’s two points to the other team” the ref screamed.

Jaden screamed profanities so bad even if I censored them, my house would be burned to the ground. 

The buzzer went off and we all shook hands, we hit the locker room and showers. After I had all my stuff in my bags and I changed I found Hailey, I smiled and put my arm around her. We were walking when I saw a couple of the guys gathered around the kid who cost us  those points. They were shoving him to the ground. 

“Thanks a lot f$*#weed, you cost us that game!” one of the kids screamed 

I looked at Hailey and ran to the kid. I shoved the kid, punching him off and helped him up. 

“Come on, guys, we’re better than this.” I said

Suddenly the door opened and out stepped the coach’s each with a Gatorade

“Miller, what the heck is happening here?” said my coach

The kid had scratch’s, bruises, a black eye and his glasses were shattered and bent. 

“You…you see” I looked around but none of my teammates were to be seen. 

“I was defending the kid!” I said 

“Is that true” he said looking at the helpless figure

“No. ” he muttered 

Coach gave me a glare

“You’re off the team. We don’t accept this behavior.” 

As the coach walked past me I looked at the kid who smirked at me. 

“You’ve been set up, CRACKHEAD,” he said, waving 50 bucks at me.

I muttered swears as I stood there. My whole reputation had been crumpled and thrown into a dumpster fire.

Chapter Three: I Mope Around and Eat Ice Cream

By Derek 

The day after was Saturday, so of course I didn’t wake up till twelve in the afternoon.  I got on my robe and shuffled to my mini fridge. Inside, I grabbed an orange soda and a sno ball. Little Debbie’s are fairly cheap if you find the right guy. 

I turned on the school news, not because I actually cared for it, no, I only watched it because it was the only thing to make me laugh. The dry performances and the bad editing was the king of cringe humor that I just ate up. 

I remembered why I was cheering myself up and rolled over in bed and cried. I probably shouldn’t write this but I doubt people actually publish these onto websites or something lol. Suddenly I heard a knock at my door

“DEREK MULLER, THIS IS THE LIBRARY POLICE OPEN THE F$*#IN DOOR, YOU SON OF A B$(#$.”

Oh great, these no lifea. They are the librarians assistants and take that role wayy too seriously. 

I opened the door, taking a drink of my soda,

“Derek Miller, you failed to return Twilight to the library and you will pay for this evil plot.”

“Twilight?” I muttered, I don’t remember checking that out. I was about to slam the door when one of them pulled out a zerf gun on me

“Hands up,” he said. Then he called me a gay slur. 

Chapter Four: One Zerf And A Orange Soda

By Derek

I poured my orange soda on his shirt and laughed.

“You think that’s funny huh?!?” Said the one with the Zerf gun. He proceeded to shoot me

“OWW godd$*#it, that actually hurt”

“PROFANITY!” they both screamed, knocking me down. I shoved both of them off me and jumped over my bed to grab another orange soda to spill before my stomach started to growl and I felt sick. They stepped over the bed and tied up my hands and picked me up. They were looking at me then I vomited at them and passed out.

When I awoke I was at the library sitting at one of the tables.

“DEREK MULLER!!” roared the librarian. 

F$*# !!!!! 

STORY ELEVEN: THE DRUG TRIP OF SEBASTIAN MERRICK 

By SF Noah

He was there again, just waiting for me. Under the tree, where he always was. I wasn’t sure if I was happy to see him or not. It was nice having someone to talk to, but I didn’t think I trusted him. I hadn’t told him anything incredibly important yet. I didn’t plan on doing so, either.   

As I walked up to the tree, he looked up at me and smiled. “Ah, Sebastian. Good to see you again!” A small cloth was laid on the grass, with two cups and a steaming tea kettle on top. “Would you like a drink?” he asked.

“I don’t think so,” I said, hesitantly. The tea smelled really nice, though. It reminded me of my mom’s green tea. Nothing special, of course, but very soothing.

“More for me, then,” he said, smiling. He picked up one of the teacups and poured himself some tea. “Sit, please.”

His smile put me at ease almost immediately. I slowly sat down across from and crossed my legs. It was awkwardly quiet for a moment. I shifted. “So, um…what have you been up to?”

“The same things you are,” he shrugged. “We’re that similar, in a way.”

“Aha,” I replied. 

He sipped his tea methodically, watching the breeze blow past the tree. Charlie’s tree. I shivered, without meaning to.

“This tree means something to you?” he asked, reading my mind. 

“It’s…it’s a long story,” I sighed. Not one that I wanted to get into with anyone.

“We have all the time in the world, Sebastian,” he replied, kindly. “Some things need to be shared. What is this tree?”

I looked at him, trying to focus. He spoke kindly and seemed so nice, but it was hard to place what he looked like. Every time I tried to see him, his whole body shifted. I never could get a good look at him. Sometimes, I’d get a glimmer of something darker, but it was only for a second.

You’d think not knowing how to picture a person would hurt my opinion of them, but he still sounded so nice. Maybe it would be a good idea to share this with someone. I hadn’t shared my whole story with anyone; not Chase or Charlie. It was a lot to hold on to by myself. 

“Are you sure you’ll listen?” I asked.

“Try me.”

At that moment, I trusted him completely. 

It’s a story I’ve tried to avoid even in my own brain, but I guess it had to be dealt with at some point. Most stories do. 

My family history is…strange, to say the least. Most people would have trouble believing the first part of it, let alone everything else. I am, by all technicalities, the son of a god. Which makes me a demigod.

Long ago, people had made folded paper images of the Greek pantheon and passed them down from bearer to bearer. I guess the Greek gods were real, because some of their magic rubbed off of the paper, and anyone who got them all but became the origami character they had. My father was one of these bearers, and his image was an origami finger puppet of the messenger god Hermes. He loved being what he called an ‘OriGod’. Me and my mom were not so enthusiastic.

My father believed that we had to do everything possible to live a life worthy of the gods. We weren’t poor by any means, but my father wanted more. He wanted our family to be as rich as kings, and never be in want for anything ever. I think he meant well, but this desire hurt us more than helped us. 

Dad would immediately invest any money we got into ridiculous scams and schemes that he would have known were sketchy if he’d taken just a moment to think about what they were selling. He would bring home massive presents for me, like the latest computers, video games, basketball hoops…even a small car at one point. I wanted to like them all, but by the way he and mom would fight about the presents, I had a feeling they weren’t very good for me. I don’t remember playing with any of the presents after the first day of owning them.

Things got bad. With the amount of money dad was spending every month, we were losing it faster than we made it. Dad didn’t realize this. He believed that, since he had the spirit of a god with him, he should be able to do whatever he wanted without fear of consequences. That’s a dangerous way to live.

Dad tried anything, including consulting spirits and oracles just to keep our family’s wealth. These spirits would come into our home and always tell Dad the same thing: he must be content. Dad didn’t want to hear it. One night, while consulting an oracle, Mom went down to tell him to stop, and something went…wrong.

Dad left soon after. Mom was different. She drank a lot after that, but she also seemed like she was in a different place at a different time. She scared me. And because Dad was gone, the money stopped coming in. Mom was fired from her own job for coming into work drunk multiple days, so I tried to get odd jobs here and there to pay the bills. It wasn’t enough.

I hated my dad for what he did and what he believed. I hated the OriGods and how they’d turned my mom and my dad against each other. It wasn’t fair to my mom or to me. Especially me. Now, I didn’t have any parent I could count on. I looked online for any way I could escape, but when your main problem comes from someone called an ‘OriGod’ there’s not much you can find. However, I found something very interesting: a Missing Person in my general area for a girl who claimed her Mother was Demeter. Her name was Charlie Leavings, and I had a feeling she was like me. Maybe I could find her!

I think running away was the only option. That, or I would have been taken by some social worker and thrown into an orphanage. I felt bad leaving my mother behind, but she wasn’t my mother. She was a completely different person now. Taking some food from the pantry, a map of the surrounding area from a drawer and a couple spare changes of clothes, I set off on my own.

For some reason, I knew that I needed to find Charlie. That was my only possible connection to someone like me. But how was I supposed to find her when even the local law enforcement hadn’t made any progress? I was just a kid.

The day after I left, I was sitting on a park bench, looking at my map and thinking to myself. Where would someone like me go to get away from the OriGods? Who knows. My problem doesn’t exactly seem mainstream.

I was ready to keep moving when I heard something behind me. It sounded like a large dog. I turned around. I liked dogs. Maybe this one would be friendly.

To my surprise, it wasn’t.

This was a fully-grown wolf, staring me down and snarling maliciously. It’s haunches were raised and saliva dripped from its growling mouth. I was never so scared as I was at that moment.

I looked around the park, but nobody was there. I was completely alone with this beast. What was I supposed to do? Fight it? Let it eat me? Lay down and cry? All of these seemed like completely valid options.

All of a sudden, something flew through the air and slammed into the wolf. The wolf rolled backyards with a yip and tried to regain its bearings. I looked up and saw a person standing between me and the wolf. It was a girl about my age. She had just charged a wolf and looked completely calm about doing so.

I knew that I’d found Charlie.

“Stay back. It doesn’t like us,” Charlie ordered.

“Never would have guessed,” I murmured. It came out so quiet that I doubt she heard me.

The wolf was back on its feet and now looking straight at Charlie. But Charlie didn’t back down. She stayed right where she was, guarding me from the giant canine. It was amazing.

“When I say run, run,” Charlie whispered. I nodded, barely processing what she was saying.

Charlie leaned down slowly, making sure not to break eye contact with the wolf. She grabbed a rock from the ground, and in a flash hurled it across the park. The wolf watched it soar through the air and instinctively chased after it.

“Run!” Charlie shouted. I haphazardly shoved my map into my backpack and barrelled after the girl who had just saved my life. 

Behind me, I could hear the wolf snuffling. I knew it wasn’t long before it got bored with the rock and followed us. Sure enough, the sound of its padded feet were now picking up speed behind us. I knew that I was not faster than a wolf.

“Uh,” I started.

“Trust me!” Charlie shouted, cutting me off.

Charlie led me off of the grassy path into a wooded area of the park. The trees were very close together, so it would be harder for the wolf to follow us. I tried as hard as I could to mimic Charlie’s dodging and weaving, but she’d evidently had way more practice at this than I had. And, unfortunately, I could still hear the wolf behind me.

There was a new sound in front of me, however: running water. It was getting louder with each step. 

The trees stopped suddenly, and we were standing on a small cliff overlooking a rushing river below. It wasn’t a huge drop, but enough to hurt when you hit the water. And who knew what was under the water? There could be rocks or even metal. My backpack certainly couldn’t take it. I had food in it, for crying out loud. I looked at Charlie, incredulously.
“It’s a dead end!” I shouted. 

“Only if you’re a wimp,” she smirked. Without thinking twice, she leapt off of the cliff and into the water below. 

Was she insane?

Before I could follow that thought process, the wolf bounded out of the trees. In a split second, I glanced from the wolf to the water. Being eaten alive was not how I wanted to go. If I hit rocks in the water below, at least I’d die fairly quickly. I made my choice.

I leaped off of the cliff just as the wolf snapped its jaws behind me. I fell through space as my stomach dropped to my feet, and I hit the water with a painful splash. There were rocks, actually, but my backpack broke my fall. It was pretty much ruined now. But, after catching my breath, I realized that I was, in fact, alive!

Someone grabbed my shoulder and I jumped.

“Easy, I’m not gonna eat you,” Charlie said, laughing. “Good job. What’s your name?”

I was breathing heavy, my heart pounding like a jackhammer. “Sebastian.”

“Charlie. Nice to meet you, Seb.” She helped steady me in the water. “I’m assuming that was your first escape from a life-threatening circumstance?”

“Of course it- wait, what do you mean ‘first’?”

As we floated down the river, I learned that Charlie had been on her own for months now, and she’d come across wolves before, but also real, actual monsters who were trying to kill her. All because she was, in fact, related to an OriGod.

“My Mom is Demeter, I guess,” she explained. “I think she saw me as his own personal soldier. He tried to train me to fight monsters like that. My dad got angry every time I lost…” she trailed off, embarrassed. “I ran away.”

From that point on me and Charlie became a duo of runaways, working with each other to hide and fight off monsters. She was the best friend I ever had. Ever will have, maybe.

One night, we were sitting under an overpass, eating some sandwiches that we’d stolen from a local shop. Charlie was fiddling with something in her pocket.

“What’s that?” I asked. 

Charlie paused for a moment, then grinned sheepishly. “It’s, um, a souvenir my brother gave me.” She pulled it out of her pocket. It was a folded paper puppet, similar to the OriGod I’d seen my father carry around. I instinctively grimaced.

“Why would you want an OriGod?” I asked, a bit harsher than I anticipated. “What have they ever done for you?”

“Nothing, and that’s why I have it,” Charlie explained. “This is Jason. He’s a hero in the Greek myths.”

“Yeah, but he’s one of the gods, right?”

Charlie smirked. “Seb, exactly how much of the myths do you know?”

I shrugged. “I kind of tried to avoid them.”

“Well,” she started. “The heroes in mythology were usually people like us, who the gods screwed over. Jason was a hero who forged his own path. His land was taken, so he went on a quest to find the Golden Fleece and take back his land.

“He reminds me that you don’t need the OriGods to be special. It’s a token of my own independence, to show that the OriGods aren’t everything. I can be my own person.”

“That’s…amazing, Charlie.” I paused. “Do you think I could have a hero token like that?”

“Absolutely! Once you find the right one.” She leaned closer, conspiratorially. “Sometimes, they can even make magic.”

“Magic?” I asked, raising my eyebrow.

“Magic like the OriGods have.” Charlie sighed. “I’ve heard about it happening, but it’s never happened to me. It needs to be at the right place and the right time.”

“Magic,” I repeated, amazed.

I noticed there was some sort of writing on the back of Jason. “What’s written there?” I asked.

“Oh, that’s nothing,” Charlie said, quickly, shoving Jason back into her pocket. “My brother had heard of a place for people like us. A camp, sort of. He wanted me to check it out. But I don’t think I need it. I like it much better being by myself. And, you know, hanging out with you.”

“Oh,” I said, blushing. “I like it too.”

We travelled around for a while, just the two of us. I was getting good at fighting monsters, and me and Charlie could work together like we were one person. We were able to read each other’s minds in battles, and saved each other numerous times. Funnily enough, in those days where my life was on the line, I was having the most fun of my entire life. Being with Charlie was amazing. But, the entire time, I could feel something in me. I can’t speak for her, but it’s like we were being led somewhere. Or, more accurately, to someone.

Somehow, we’d ended up in a field outside of the main city. It was early in the morning, and a cool wind was blowing through the tall grass. I was just a bit chilly, and Charlie and I were sticking close to each other to keep warm.

Suddenly, we heard a high-pitched squeal in front of us. Scanning the horizon, I could spy a monster: a massive gray ghoul was standing in the grass, holding a club, ready to pummel someone with it. Without thinking, I grabbed my shoe from my foot and hurled it at the monster. It was a perfect throw, hitting him squarely in the forehead. He looked up, surprised. 

Charlie sprinted over to the ghoul and body-slammed it, just as she’d done with the wolf to save me. I was right behind her. Leaping off the ground, I kicked the ghoul in the face, knocking him to the ground. He’d be up soon.

We looked in the grass and found a small boy curled up in the fetal position on the ground. This was who’d screamed. He was trembling and looked absolutely terrified.

“H-h-hello?” He asked, seeing us standing over him

I knelt down beside him, “Hi there. I’m Seb.”

He sniffled, still curled up. “I’m Chase,” He said, about to cry. “

 “I’m Charlie. It’s very nice to meet you, Chase.” She pointed at the ghoul who was just now standing up. “Do you know why the scary monster is after you?”

“I- I ran away from home, because my mommy didn’t care about me…” she said, tears now streaming. “Then the monster came.”

“We’ll make sure it doesn’t hurt you,” I promised Chase.

He looked up for a moment, then tackled both of us in a hug. “Thank you, thank you, thank you,” he said, incredibly relieved.

The ghoul was now ready for round two. Charlie looked at me. “Get Chase away from here. I’ll beat him up fast.”

“That’s a big one, though,” I said. “Don’t you need my help?”

Charlie smirked. “I’ve eaten ghouls bigger than him for breakfast.”
“You’ve eaten monsters?” Chase asked, wide-eyed.

Charlie winked at her. She stood up and immediately charged.

With Chase still hugging me tightly, I stood up and ran the opposite direction, hearing the sounds of Charlie’s battle. I didn’t know how away I should have been, but I wanted to stay close enough that I could join the battle at any point. Unfortunately, Chase kept pulling me further and further away.

I glanced back every now and then, and saw Charlie dodging blows from the ghoul’s club like an expert. But, the ghoul was strong and practiced. I could tell he was smart; he was adapting to Charlie’s quick evading, planning where she’d be next. Some of his blows were way too close for comfort.

She was laughing. Charlie always enjoyed a good fight. I’m not sure she realized just how close his club was getting. Every now and then she’d throw a kick or a solid punch, but it only seemed to be making him more angry. I wanted to help.

“We’ve gotta get out of here,” Chase told me, pulling me hand away. I tried to stay rooted to the spot.

Suddenly, the ghoul’s club made contact. I watched as Charlie jumped up, ready for another kick, before the club struck her right in the stomach. She was flung to the ground and lay there, limply. Her token of Jason the Hero floated out of her pocket and on the grass in front of her.

“Charlie!” I shouted. 

The ghoul grunted and walked over to Charlie’s body. He raised his club, ready to smash her to pieces. I was too far away to do anything. I broke free of Chase’s grip and held my hand out in front of me.

“Charlie,” I shouted again.

For just a split second, I felt something leave my body, like part of my energy was sucked out in a vacuum. I couldn’t see it, but I could feel it soar through the air and collect around one spot: Jason, the paper hero. The paper puppet lifted off of the ground, expanding, and seemingly becoming thicker and thicker. It floated over to Charlie’s limp body and rested on top of her, just as the ghoul’s club met its mark.

There was a huge flash of light. I couldn’t see anything, but I jumped backwards and shielded Chase from whatever caused the light. It blinded both of us momentarily.

After a moment, the light subsided. I blinked, trying to readjust. As everything came back into focus, I noticed something: a giant, fully-grown oak tree was standing over us. It definitely hadn’t been there before, but based on the size it had to have been at least fifty years old.

The ghoul was nowhere to be seen. It’s club lay on the ground, forgotten. Charlie’s body had disappeared as well. She was gone.

“Is the monster gone?” Chase asked, clutching my hand.

“I…I think so…” I breathed.

“Where’s your nice friend?” 

“I don’t know,” I said.

I didn’t know what to think. My best friend was gone. 

I walked up the tree, seeing if there was any hint to what had happened. It seemed solid, sturdy. A bit wavy in places, like it wasn’t totally serious all the time. Sort of like Charlie.

“What’s this?” Chase asked. She was pointing to something etched in the tree’s bark. 

I looked down, to investigate it. It was…an address. Like the one written on the back of Jason the Hero. Camp Half-Blood it said. I gasped.

“It’s…where we need to go.”

“We?” Chase asked.

“Yes, we,” I said, grabbing his hand. “I’ll take care of us. For Charlie.”

I stopped. As far as I was concerned, that was where my story ended.

“You made it to Camp Half-Blood, obviously,” he commented. “Congratulations!”

“It was difficult,” I admitted. “Charlie was the better fighter by far. But I was able to protect us both and go where the address told me to go. Charlie guided me the whole way.”

“I’m sorry for your loss, Sebastian,” he said, putting a hand on my shoulder. “You never deserved any of this.” He paused. “And the camp?”

“It’s the closest thing to a home I’ve ever had,” I said. “I go there every summer and stay for as long as I can, but Ms. Markowitz has enrolled in a nearby school for the summer. Since Chase is so young, he’s allowed to stay year-round. I’m glad that she’s still with me. But, it’s sad, in a way; every kid there is like me. My dad ruined my life and drove my mom insane. Charlie’s dad pushed her way too hard. Chase’s mom didn’t care about him. For one reason or another, the OriGods don’t care about them. It’s not fair.”

He paused, and looked thoughtful. “I have my own grievances with the OriGods, you know. As you know all too well, they are not the benevolent rulers they want you to think they are. I’m very glad you decided to trust me with this.”

“Why?”
“Sebastian, there are many people, young and old, who feel the same way you do. They feel that the OriGods need to be…brought down a peg, taught humility. Maybe even avenge the children they’ve ignored for so long. But, these people are disparate, disconnected. They need someone to unite them as one. They need a leader.”

I felt confused. “What are you saying?”

“I am saying, Sebastian, that I believe you would be the perfect person to unite these idealists into something better. Something greater that had the potential to enact real change in this terrible cycle. Someone who, to let your kind rise, must be willing to let Olympus fall.”

I had no idea how to even respond. He was suggesting that seemed impossible. But I knew, deep, deep, deep down that it had to happen. It just wasn’t fair to let this cycle of children being turned away by their parents continue. Things had to change.

“I don’t know what I’ll have to do, but I’ll do it.”

He smiled. Once again, I caught a flicker of something dark and terrible, but it passed in an instant. “I will provide you with everything you need. All you’ll have to do is listen to my voice.” He picked up the tea kettle, still warm. “Would you like a drink?”

Finally, I nodded. “I would, yes.”

I woke up suddenly. The dream ended there. He was gone, like he always was after these dreams, but something was different this time. I could feel a change…almost like when I’d used the magic to destroy the ghoul.

Await my call, a voice inside my head whispered. It was his voice. I could hear him now.

“I will,” I answered.

I laid down and went back to sleep.

STORY TWELVE: LOVE AND THUNDER 

By SF Hades 

Chapter I: The Lorekeeper

By Ximena Strohm 

I stood at the entrance of my boyfriend’s (ex-boyfriend’s?) former school anticipating the worst. Anticipating it to bring about another bout of nightmares and trauma– and could you blame me? Caesar, Athens, they were both the same. 

I sighed. To understand, well, what exactly I’m doing here at good ol Goodman Middle School, I must first describe what led me here. So let’s rewind the tape, shall we? 

2019. Fortnite was at the height of its popularity, Tiktok was popping off as well. And Athens Middle School was popping off for the first time since its opening in 1991. 

Athens had a… weird history. It only had two principals, Doctor Steven Timely and Misses Varsity Kemp. 

Only Kemp, however, is important to our story. She was a rich, powerful little hag who ruled over our school with an iron fist. Eventually, she would expel her own daughter. 

And that’s where we came in. I was Lina’s friend, so was Sebastian and Dennis. In the panic that followed, Dennis developed some social anxiety. And Sebastian… Sebastian went off the deep end. He got himself mixed up in the occult, leaders. Manipulators. 

Sebastian would go on to betray Mac Astley– and Mac would not take this lightly. Though they would fight once again, Mac and Sebastian would drift apart, like two boats on sea. 

In their collision, heroes would rise, others would fall. I made the choice to fall in love with Mac Astley, a choice that would later prove disastrous. 

With Mac gone from the school– and Lina returning, this time with a brother, more heroes would rise. A whole new generation to learn from our mistakes. A fresh start… right? 

Athens would shut down– and the students had a choice. Either come here, or to the other school. Caesar. There, Seb would find Mac.

 In the time since their departure, Mac had adopted a pupil or two. A cousin, Kaitlyn Emily. 

And Sebastian had a pupil too, Lina’s brother. Chase. 

The next time Mac and seb would butt heads, it sent their pupils at odds as well. And in a freak accident, Kaitlyn would have sent Chase flying out of a belltower. 

Ever since the incident, we all have tried to move on. Some, Edward Emily, Peyton and August Hunter, The Fousts– they found peace. 

But for the rest of us, the rest of us not given the luxury of forgetfulness: We are left knowing that there is no school for Good Men. 

Not even Goodman. 

Goodman, from everything I’m seeing, is a rancid and chaotic place. Not chaotic in the way Caesar or Athend were, where cults spoke from the shadows– only speaking through graffiti and puzzles. No, Goodman waves its chaos, its fire, its floods, so proudly I could almost respect it. 

Almost. 

Still, there was something about the raven mascot painted on the walls. The food fights in the cafeteria– the teachers eyeing me. 

I suppose, almost, that it makes sense. I come here a week before the end of year testing– everything is almost over. The teachers and I have an unspoken agreement, it seems– I do not have to be here. Either which way, I sit in the cafeteria, glancing around at the familiar faces, only catching a few. 

Since the incident, a lot of parents have pulled their children out of Caesar. It makes sense, I suppose. One kid died at Caesar– one more than the amount of kids that have died at Goodman. 

I hope. 

The first person I spot is the goth girl across the long table beside me– on this long shaft, she’s the only other girl here. There’s a collection of overweight, sweaty, eighth graders between us. Other than that, we’re practically mashing taters. 

That sounded disgusting. Never repeating that sentence. 

From across the cafeteria, I spot a group of Caesar-ites. They were at Caesar since, hell, before I was. I forgot that was even possible. Harald Koenig, Polnareff Ami and Hilda Muhammed eat lunch together, tilting their heads back in laughter- high off their own joy. A small part of them reminds a much smaller part of myself of the old days- me, Sebastian, Dennis, and Lina. If I were to make a friend here, it would be them. 

It would most certainly not be Charlie Leavings. 

Charlie and I… ha. I hadn’t known she existed, is that bad? I was in a bad spot, those first few months after Mac left Athens. I was leading the entire school, too hurt to hurt others, too egotistical to hurt myself. 

And so I found myself kissing Charlie’s boyfriend. 

…Charlie’s boyfriend, Sebastian Merrick. 

Sebastian, gods bless whatever his little heart is doing, kept it a secret. It blew up in our faces. Kid died. Keep up, I don’t like repeating myself. 

Though neither of us acknowledged each other– she disappeared to Goodman shortly after– it was a safe bet to assume she would want me gutted and on a stick. 

And though a few more races stick out through the crowd, that’s all worth repeating. 

A period or so passes, and I drift through the halls as I’ve grown accustomed to doing so. I find myself, dear reader, in the Nurse’s office. She’s clicking and clacking at her keyboard, typing off records for a “Lucida,” person, who I can only assume to be the lady on the desk. 

That d— goth girl again. I don’t think I’ve gone to school with her, either. I just swear, I know her. 

I recognize her copper skin, the dark flakes in her dyed hair. And a small part of me finds myself staring into the emerald green wave crashing its way through the blue pools of her eyes. 

“What are you in for?” She asks. 

A small part of the question sets off red flags, a small part of me is unsettled. Afraid. 

Though I shake it off just as quickly. 

“Headache.” I say, “I need an Ibuprofen.”

She chuckles. “Cramps.” 

“Oh. Yeah, those suck.” 

We wait in an awkward silence, the nurse rising from her chair and giving Lucida a pill– followed by myself. 

But as I plop the cup of water into my mouth, I don’t feel the throbbing headache fade as quickly as Chase Kemp’s life force. 

Instead, I still feel the thunderous supernova of emotion I suppose all Caesar students are accustomed to. 

I thank the nurse for her time, and leave. 

She won’t help me. 

For the first time, it feels, only one person can help me. And that’s myself. 

Chapter II: The Librarian’s Daughter 

By Lucida 

“Darling,” the squeaky voice of the rodent pleads, “I promise! I’d never cheat on you, you- you’re my Magnus!” 

In my memory, the awkward young man who has just now become my ex-boyfriend, pleads before me like a lawyer to a judge. Yet the screenshot still sits in my gallery. And my gallery in my phone, and my phone in my hands. 

The black of my nails is chipped and faded, my veins protruding and bulging through the back of my hands as I hold the phone to his illuminated face, his cheeks a stark red to the blue hue of my phone’s light. 

I’ve been with him for a year– but I’ve known my source for two. 

And so, in the midst of our Denny’s parking lot debacle, I walk away. Bad choice, I know. But a necessary one. 

Flash forward to me. Today, it’s my thirteenth birthday. I’m sitting above the cake as the very few I have sit around me, singing. And I just stare at the thirteenth sparks of golden light that decorate my velvet and white. 

Inhale, exhale, and all that’s left is the faintest trail of smoke. My eyes sting from the flash of my Mother’s polaroid, and while my aunt cuts a slice of cake for me and then for herself, the camera prints. 

I look sad. I’m blinking. 

I don’t have a lot of family, not since Dad left. My Dad was a strange man, always afraid of his own childhood. I think his Dad was abusive. But… he wasn’t, at least. He was good to me, good to my Mom, I guess for a while I had a normal childhood. 

One night, he told my Mom something. I’m too afraid to ask what it was, but around that time I started getting messages from my sources. Most of them were over Instagram, others over Snapchat, I could tell it was more than one person. Maybe it was three? 

Either which way, they became a pretty big factor of my life when I got expelled from Athens. It was around February, around the time Dad left. I guess I started acting out in classes, and one thing led to another and pretty soon, I was at Goodman. 

I love Goodman. I love the chaos of it all, I love how exciting things get here and especially The High School. I’ve heard a lot of things about Wheeler and Claremont, and honestly… I’m pumped. I wanna go to Wheeler. 

The next school day is normal, I go through my core classes, lunch (I think that girl between me and the obese kids is following me. I see her everywhere.) And then I do my electives. I guess I lucked out with my schedule, like that. 

Y’know, I’m not the most talented gal. Sure, I think I’m intelligent. I’m good with puzzles. But art? Band? Coding? Forget about it. My elective is helping out in the office, and lowkey, I love it. I love stapling papers together, I love trying to sneak peaks at what I’m not supposed to see. Nine times out of ten, it doesn’t work, but that’s not what matters to me. What matters to me is that I tried. All I really loved about it was the rush, y’know? 

But one day, I’m in the office, and she comes in. Miss high-and-mighty. The chick who came here right before ACTs without reason– and began to follow me. In my years fending for myself, and believe me, I’ve spent many nights without running water, I learned not to trust followers. 

Without even looking at who was behind the desk, Ximena struts into the room with a question: “Hey! Could I, Uh, get a new badge? I was in the workshop playing with torches and I accidently lit it on…” 

She notices me, behind the thin COVID proof glass. 

“…Fire. What are you doing here?” 

“I’m doing my job. And you?” 

“I need a new badge.” 

“Why are you lighting badges on fire?” 

“Fire is pretty.” 

I softened up a bit, “You’re right. Fire is pretty.” 

We smiled for a moment. 

“No, but seriously, who the f#$% are you?” The girl asks. 

“Lucida, I’d shake your hand but uh…” I tapped on the glass. 

“Ximena, yeah, um, can I ask you a question?” She asked. 

I nodded, “Shoot. Go for it.” 

“I’ve been to a lot of weird schools but, uh, something feels… off about here. This is gonna sound weird but does this school have any ties to origami? I know the High School does but…” 

The secretary beside me eyes widened behind her rhinestone glasses, ever so slightly looking up from her computer. 

My eyes widened too. After all, the only experience I’ve had with puppets was… my ex. 

“…I know about the High School. But other than those Loki fanboys,” my ex always had a bit of a weird obsession, “This school’s pretty quiet. Thank god, though.”

“Yeah!” The secretary adds, “Goodman may have its problems, but let’s be clear here: Origami is not one of them.” 

Ximena looked her up and down, a bit surprised by her addamence on avoiding the touchy subject of origami.

“Alright, thank you for your time!” 

And then she was gone. 

I turned to face the secretary, Ms. Solstice. “Soooo, what was that about?” 

She sighed. 

“Let’s not get into it.” 

Chapter III: Getting Into It

By Ximena Strohm 

Harald Koenig was choking on his water. 

An aggravated Hilda Muhammed stood beside her cousin, aggressively pointing a finger,”How the f— do you know about her?” 

As this ordeal unfolded, Polnareff Ami continued sipping on his milk, aside from his occasionally glancing eyes he was completely oblivious. 

“Listen, man, she’s just been following me around.” 

“Ha, yeah, that’s like her.” 

“What’s that mean?” 

Hilda sighed, “Listen, Ximena, is it?” 

“Yup.”

“I wouldn’t trust Lucida.” She gestured at Harald, hunched over his chicken tenders, on the brink of tears. 

Hilda cupped her hand just enough for me and Pol to get a few words in. I don’t even think it was for Harald to not hear. I think Hilda just wanted to show him that she cared.

“Listen, Hilda, do you, uh, wanna talk about this in private?”

Hilda looked at Harald, who nodded. 

Hilda pulled me outside of the cafeteria, earning the attention of Lucida. Either she’s very observant (like me) or she’s stalking me. And I don’t know which one’s more likely, at this point. 

Anyway, me and Hilda are in the back. 

Hilda sighs, punctuating the ongoing awkward silence. “I know you, you know.”

My face firmed up, puzzled. 

“Oh yeah, man. I’ve always been at Caesar but well… you made quite a name for yourself. Especially among the romans.”

I raised an eyebrow alongside my finger, “…You were one of…?”

She cringed, as if witnessing her own pain for the first time:  “Aw yeah, I was. Ceres herself, man. I didn’t care about all the drama among the OrigOlympians, or all of old Lina’s secret plans. I just wanted to hang out with my friends, man.”

“And then…” I began. 

“Yeah. Your brother got James expelled and now… look at us.”

“Completely off the record here…  James. What was he like?”

“Honestly? I think he was the only person who could make Caesar a school worth going to. Before the praetors and the triumvirate, he led the school. And honestly? He led it well. “

“Wish I met him.”

Hilda sighed, “I wish you did, too.”

“But anyways… me and Harald. When OrigOlympus shut down, all of our lives kind of just… became hell.”

“I guess the same thing happened to us. Gee, I had no idea that this-” Oh my god. Oh my god, it hit me. A SUPERNOVA of emotions rushes through my brain. 

“This affected so many people.”

“Yeah, after that Lucida left Harald. They were happy, too. But now she’s the reason he’s in therapy.”

“Why’d they break up?”

“I don’t know, she just storms in one day.  Says he cheated, says he’s a scumbag. And then she just… leaves. And the thing is, Harald knows he didn’t. And I know my cousin. Harald’s a lot of things, I know, but he’s not- he’s not a cheater.”

I sighed. “Yeah… I hate cheaters.”

She snickered, “You’re one to talk.”

I zone back in, I’m breathing a bit heavier now. 

“Yeah, me too.” She says, “But uh, what about you and Mac? Didn’t you…” 

“No. That was all- that was all a misunderstanding,” I promised myself. 

“Yeah, I believe you.” 

As I lay in bed, throwing a rubix cube up in the air and catching it before it smashes my face in, I stare up at my ceiling. 

Why am I here? How did I, Ximena Strohm, get here? The questions are bottling up in my mind, as Xander and Mallory prance around the bedroom. Sure, Xena helped us battle CHRONOS a year ago. And sure, she helped me and Mac run the Heroes of OrigOlympus together but, uh… 

Then Dad came back. Or, he didn’t really choose to come back. Didn’t really choose to leave either, he went to prison. My brother and sister clung to my Mother’s sleeve, afraid of the stranger. But remarkably enough, I wasn’t terrified. 

I followed my Father around for what? A week? And it was one of the best weeks of my life, before Mom made me spend 

Despite the fact that they were cousins, I envied the sibling-like relationship I found between Hilda and Harald. It was cathartic, even, to see the duo get along so well.

In all the years Dad was gone, I saw him as less a Father and more an older friend. As I walked into the kitchen, I picked up the key, slinging it around my finger like a twister. “Papa. Dear old Dad. Can we go for a drive?” 

My Father nodded from the passenger seat, “It seems to me that this constant betrayal put through you by my wife as well as Sebastian has lead to you developing a mistrust and paranoia in figures that are otherwise supposed to care for you, and this mistrust transforms into these people turning bitter and thus, the prophecy is self fulfilled.” 

“That… yeah, that’s exactly how I feel, yeah. H-How did you know?” 

“Turn left. Yeah, your Mom was like that, too.”

I nearly crashed the car. Thankfully, I turned left.

“WHAT?” 

“Yeah, your Mom was always scared. She was… a mess. And she let it get the better of her, you know. She doesn’t trust me, her own kids.” 

“H- How do I stop?” 

My Dad rolled the window down, sending a cool blast through his flowing blonde hair, “Dude, I don’t know. I tried to help your Mom but, uh, look how she turned out. Look, listen, look down this road.” 

I stared down the road, at the full of filled trash cans, each filled with their own full trash can. (Try saying that five times fast.) 

The sun was setting off in the distance, and I could feel, for a moment, what my Father felt. Freedom. For a moment, I knew how it felt to not be afraid. 

“Name one.” My Father ordered. 

“What?” 

“Name one person who makes you feel free, could be anyone.” 

I paused. 

“Did.” I said. 

He- he raised an eyebrow, “He did make me feel free.” I said. 

My Dad nodded, though I’m not sure he understood. He got to marry his High School girlfriend- look at me. 

“Yeah, his name was, uh, Mac. We were friends for, well, about a year until he moved to Caesar. When I moved to Caesar, he asked me out. It was perfect for a few months, until, well- it wasn’t.” 

He nodded. “I’m not gonna tell you what you gotta do but Mac- he seems special. I haven’t seen that look in someone’s eyes since Daniel met Lucas.” He laughed, assuming I had gotten the joke. 

And I had– my Mother and father’s childhood was well documented, to say the least. 

“Surround yourself with people worth surrounding yourself with– becoming the person you think is worth becoming, kid. I know that sounds simple but really… it is.”

***

It’s late. The fridge door is open, shining upon my face. I sigh.  

“Bruh! Who the f— ate my Oreos?” 

Mom wasn’t home, like usual. And Dad was passed out, so I didn’t really care about swearing. 

I went into the room I share with my siblings, “Xander! Did you eat my Oreos?”

“Wait, those were yours?”

“Yeah.”

“Oh s—, my bad.”

“They had my name on them.”

“Dawg, I didn’t know.”

“Go to hell.” 

“DAWG!!” Xena hollers, “IT AIN’T THAT HEATED!!”

“Xena, shut the f— up.”

“Ay yo!” Xander stands up, “Out of pocket.”

“Do you know what else was out of pocket?” I ask. 

“What?” Xander asks. 

“EATING MY F—ING OREOS, C—!”

“Bro, I said I was sorry!”

“You posted pictures of my first kiss online.” 

“Yeah, but like. That was so Mom could love me.” 

“F— you!!”

“F— you!”

“No one loves you and your dog is gay!”

“S- Shut up!”

I stormed off, joining Xena in bed (we share a bed?? Like, a king sized bed that we all share?? Most nights, one of us sleeps in the tub. The tub, may I emphasize. 

Sometimes Xander could be, like, going for a midnight glass of water, see me in the tub, and  the little f—er turns the bathtub on. On my feet. It’s so mean. 

He’s rancid. 

Raggedy. 

I hate him. 

Anyways, I moved back into the tub. 

STORY THIRTEEN: NARRATIVE ESSAY

By Chase Kemp 

When I was in first grade, I was playing basketball at school and a big kid shot. I jumped as high as I could to block it and as I landed I landed on his foot, causing my ankle to roll. When I got home it wasn’t swollen. When it was bad, I noticed my ankle was swollen. The joint was the size of a baseball, I went to school the next day and I kept playing basketball. Silly first grade me did not know that was not a smart idea.

I later got an ankle brace for my ankle. I kept playing on it for weeks. Three months later, it kept hurting and getting to me so I went to a doctor. The doctor gave me a wrap for my ankle and to put it on very tight. I did, so I tried to stay off of it but it kept hurting and I asked my mom (who used to work at a hospital) how long this would take. She said: “As much as you have been playing on it, I would say a year,” I was incredibly sad, I decided to just keep playing on it as I knew I would not last a year.

It eventually healed and I could play with little to no pain. Except, after I was done playing it would hurt so bad. Now, I’m doing better; five years later and I only have my ankle pain occasionally.

STORY FOURTEEN: THE DEBBIE DON DIARIES

By SF Donatello

ACT ONE: THE HUNTERS 

Hunters of Artemis 2.5 (I Guess?)

By Kaitlyn Emily

Holy s—, what just happened…. Was I dreaming? No, I can’t be. The blood from the scar is still dripping. 

Oh my god. 

As a terribly designed man once said from GTA: San Andreas: Here we go again… 

I’ll set the stage, it’s lunch. I’m sitting with Keana, Hayden and Peyton (who I’m finally on good terms) and we’re all just talking about the usual. Origami, video games, killing a elderly old b—-. When Kato (chases old flame) comes up to me crying.

“You you kilbbed hem” she says barely getting her words out through tears. Peyton flips her off. 

“Get lost, just like your Dad.” Says Peyton. 

“Give her a break her boyfriend just died” said keana “If hayden died I would act the same way”
“Huh?” Said Hayden, looking up from his phone with a mouthful of Little Debbie’s. He’s gonna get a heart attack any day if he keeps up those eating habits.

Kato runs off crying, taking a seat by Lina. Lina shoots me and Peyton a dirty look. Hayden just waves. Lina pulls up the side of her shirt just a little. Enough for me to see one of those five inch deer knives. How she got it into school, don’t ask me. She gets a sticky note from her pocket, rolls it up and throws it into Haydens mashed potatoes. Hayden gets it out and is about to use it as a napkin, before I slap him. I uncrumple the note:

Meet me where it all began, the bell tower. From Lina. 

“Monster,” Peyton mutters. 

“I know, She doesnt dot her i’s!” Screams Keana.

I’m just staring at Peyton’s phone, scared. Not because of the dead Reddit meme she’s looking at, but the fact this sickos gonna gut me. I crumple up the note. Ever since the fight with Jackson people have kinda forgiven me, understanding it was a mere mistake. Hayden picks up the crumpled note.

“NOW can I use it as a napkin? For a private school the napkins here are so f-”

“HAYDEN-” Screams the lunch monitor. 

“Old hag, b#*$) f#>@er,” Hayden mutters. 

I shove my tray off the table and as I walk out of the lunch room I swear I see Hayden licking the mashed potatoes from my plate. As I enter the hall, I just collapse and start crying. When the whole puppet craze began people were constantly saying “History repeats itself!”  Is that what’s happening? I’m getting “exiled,” First my father, now me. 

“Like father, like daughter.” I hear someone say above me

I look up to see Lina in a flannel and ripped jeans taking out her knife smiling.

“Woah we’re getting out knives now” said hayden “Isn’t that like, against school policy orr…..”

“Hayden, shut the f#[× up,” I hissed. 

Lina elbows him in the nose which I’m not even gonna argue with. I just shrug my shoulders. 

“Sucks to suck.” I say to Hayden. 

“You know, Kaitlyn I never had much of a problem with you or your Dad. I didn’t care for him being ‘exiled’ out of the OrigOlympians but you crossed a line.” She says holding me by the collar of my jacket. 

Keana and Peyton run out. 

“Lina, honestly, what the f— I know all girls go through an emo phase but godd-$), a My Chemical Romance shirt AND straight black hair? Wowza chowza.” Peyton says. 

Lina lets go of my jacket and pushes me down. 

“Bring a friend, but not this brat,” Says Lina, nodding at Peyton. 

Peyton began to sing “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” but out of tune. 

Hayden looks up and wipes his bloody nose on his sleeve. 

“What the f#*.” says Hayden.

That’s Life

By Bart Montez

When was the last time life was normal? I mean like, for real, I’m asking. First this COVID bulls$>$, now Chase Kemp dying? Can’t we just fold finger puppets in peace? Do we always need some big threat or “war”? Me and Chase may not have known each other forever, but he was a good friend. Sure, the dudes has had his fair share of problems in the past but what’s the worst he’s done? Cuss out a Baskin Robbins? Hey, it happens to the best of us. 

I was just chilling in my dorm, playing Rocket League, when I heard the faintest knock at the door. I opened to see Kato, her hair all messy with a can of orange soda in her hand. 

“Uh… Hey?” I said. 

She nodded to me, then walked past me and fell on the floor crying. When I helped her up I handed her a tissue and she calmed down.

“Look, what happened with Chase was terrible but it was also half a year ago, call me a b$*@[ but sometimes we need to move on.” I said

“So you’re saying Kaitlyn Emily is forgiven?!?” She screams. 

“I’m saying it was a mistake, what she did was terrible, but have you seen all the hate and abuse shes been getting?” I say, trying to be as calm as possible. 

“Are you seriously justifying Kaitlyn’s actions?” I hear a familiar voice say. I look at the door frame and see Lina. I barely knew her, I think I’ve only really talked to her at the funeral. Even then, we were both sobbing. 

“Look, Bart, I know you’re a good kid and you’ve helped out Chase in some tough spots but look at this through our eyes. Kaitlyn should be punished and no one else has stepped up to the task,” She says. 

“What are you suggesting?” I ask

“Just meet us at my dorm at nine.” She said, smiling. 

“Are we actually talking about jumping her?!? How are we any better than her if you claim her to be ‘evil’” I argued. 

“Bart, I’m gonna be honest with you there is no good or evil, no yen and yang the  world is gray. People who do terrible things are rewarded but people who just wanna help are looked down upon.” She makes her way out the door “One last thing, bring your puppet” 

Kayto and Lina leave, leaving me conflicted.

We’re Breaking Bad

By David Smernicov

Hello, comrades. 

So some random dude emailed me and told me if I did not contribute to this case file he would hack my Wattpad account. I still need to write my next chapter in “Sonic X Shrek’ so I got to writing (the case file, sonic and shrek can wait). So about a week ago, I was rolling in cash, I got this rent thing and I’ve been known to walk out of some bets with pockets of cash. Until about a week ago.

See, Caesar has an underground casino and I’m known as a regular there. It started out as more of a joke but now it’s a full fledged organization (nicknamed the Lotus casino) ran in different dorms. I profited off this organization quite a bit, until a week ago when there was a big bust. I was there to witness it.

So it was just at a friendly game of Poker when the owner ran to our table, “Guys, take all your stuff and get in the closet.”

I was the only one who made it to the closet. While I was in the closet, hiding, I looked through the crack and saw some CHRONOS guards busting down the door all armed with batons. 

“YOU CAN’T CATCH ME!” Screamed one kid trying to get through the door. 

Unfortunately, they could catch him and beat him thanks to some legal loophole. They threw one kid into the poker table and even threw one into the wall making a hole (some rats crawled out). When one of the guards opened the closet my heart skipped a beat

“David?” He asked

I looked up to see my buddy,  Jim. He raised his baton.

“Get ready…” he said “Because you get to deliver the final hit.”

“Huh?” I asked.

“Since you’re the rat who snitched, you get to beat up the last kid. It’s tradition!” He said. 

I looked around and took the baton. I grabbed one kid. 

“Sorry, Benny.” I whispered. 

I then proceeded to give poor ol Ben a proper russian beating. I didn’t hit him to hard, I just knocked a couple teeth out. Maybe a couple bruises. Maybe I broke a rib…

What I was really confused about was the whole “I was the rat” thing. I’m not above snitching, but why would I snitch on the business that’s making me upwards for 1500 a week? Oh wait, gotta pause the recording, I hear knocks. 

David: Hello, how could I help ya. Vodkas in the back. 

Stranger 1: I’m more of a kool aid guy myself. 

Stranger 2: Shut up!?! David you snitched on our business, now you’re gonna pay l. 

David: Guys this is just a misunderstanding, I’m sure we can OWWWWW —- YOU OH MY —- OH DEAR GOD NO —-

Stranger 2: Alright go look for money or something

David: OVER MY DEAD BODY ARE YOU GONNA STEAL ANYTHING.

Stranger 1: Shut up (He pulled out a switchblade)

They proceeded to take my stash of cash from my mattress and busted some holes in my wall. Thankfully one of my Tenets arrived holding a origami Hypnos 

“I’M TRYING TO GET MY BEAUTY REST!!! CAN’T YOU SHUT THE F$]! UP!” he yelled

They both bolted and at that point I was up against the wall sobbing. Not because i just got my kneecaps busted but because I’m done for.

The Belltower

By Kaitlyn Emily 

I made my way up the bell tower. With every step, I remembered the night. The night Chase Kemp was put in a coma and died a month later. Keana and Peyton came with me. We all figured it was for the best. Hayden just stayed back since he had a sausage biscuit hangover (he had 18 sausage biscuits!!!) When we got up the bell tower, Lina was waiting there with kayto. We all just stood there for a minute.

“What the f— are you waiting for!?! PUNCH THE PANSEY — —–!” Screamed Peyton.

“You’re gonna get us killed,” muttered Keana 

Lina went up to Keana. 

“Sooo, how you been?” Said Lina

“Ohh, uhh I guess I’m doing good.” 

“WHAT ARE WE WAITING FOR?!?” Screamed Kato “KILL HER! LINA! RIP HER IN HALF!”

“Who are you screaming at?” Me and Peyton asked. 

“BART, NOW” 

A net hit me and Peyton. 

“Bart what the f— I thought we were past you, trapping me like a Scooby Doo villain and luring me and Hayden with a kermit the frog?” Screamed Peyton

Absolutely none of that sentence made sense. 

The net missed Keana so she was just standing there. 

“Lina, can you chill the hell out? Are you seriously gonna net Kaitlyn?” Asked Keana

Lina slapped Keana and she fell, barely missing the edge.

“Well Kaitlyn ” Laughed lina “I was the child of Zuesagami and you were the child of shradies. Our rivalry was destiny.” 

“Except- Except Hades and Zeus weren’t rivals. Your Mom and my Dad were but-” 

Lina pulled out a switchblade. Kayto was smiling, Bart looked terrified. 

Lina stuck her hand through the net and slit a small cut on my cheek. Lina pulled out a puppet from her pocket.

“Jesus, torturing you feels like a chore, like a labor.” She held her puppet closer to the net letting me see an origami Hercules.

A Simpson Tortures Us

By Keana McDaniels

I woke up in a room with Kaitlyn and Peyton. Bart and Kato were in front of us, Lina was nowhere to be seen. Bart looked awkward, like he didn’t want to be there. Kato was holding Lina’s switchblade, smiling.

“Ya know, when you killed Chase even Mac was disgusted by you. He talked about you behind your back, man, he hated you,” said Kato. 

“Bart, I thought we were cool! What the f#*@ brother!” Screamed Peyton.

“Shut up,” muttered Bart. 

“Bart you’re a follower, you’re just listening to this —— your not even speaking or acting for yourself,” said Kaitlyn. 

Bart kicked Kaitlyn, causing her to fall on Peyton. 

“What the hell, Kaitlyn?” muttered Peyton rubbing her forehead. 

“I’m pretty sure I just acted for myself. I AM MY O-“

Suddenly, the door opened. 

“Keana I thought you were gonna help me build my Lego millenium falcon!” whined Hayden. 

“Hayden, please f—— off” said Peyton. 

Kayto kicked hayden who had the Lego milinum falcon in his hand causing it to shatter on the ground

“You can kill my friends and family but the day you break my legos is the day you cross the line” said hayden shoving Kayto as he cried over some Legos. How is this guy my boyfriend. Bart took the switchblade from Kayto and ran up to us laughing as he did it. Kayto had hayden in a chokehold who was muttering profanity’s. Bart grabbed the collar of his shirt and pulled it down a little revealing a massive scar

“Ya wanna know how I got this scar?!? Well it was about 2 years ago during the first battle with cronos I had been pushed to the ground with rocks slashed across me and digged into my skin I was-“

“Yeah yeah tough luck ya gonna stop b———— or just torture us” Peyton innturupted 

“It’s cronos scum like you who got chase in your little cult, who go got him killed” said Bart “Who ruined all our lives!” He screamed 

With one swift motion Bart made a cut on Peyton’s arm and went for another when kayto grabbed the blade

“Bart we gotta get outta here Lina just texted me, the headmistress is up”

“F—-“ muttered Bart

“This isn’t over” said Bart as he ran out the door 

“It’s just begun” muttered Peyton 

ACT TWO: DEBBIE DON’S

A New Day

By Lina kemp

Dear Diary,

Today marks three months since Chase’s death. All my therapists say I’m fine at this point. They say I’m back to a good mental state. After all that happened with Chase I was a hateful kid. I wasn’t afraid to cross the line. You wanna know the truth? I am that hateful kid. Lina Kemp was merely a mask. A happy face I wore to please my parents. The only person I could really relate or talk to was Chase. 

Maybe it’s not the fact that Chase died, maybe Chase was the only person keeping me in line. 

My therapist advised me to stay away from origami stuff and I did for the most part. Had me hand in my Thalia Plates. Spent so, so long living a normal life. 

Then I just kinda snapped. I’m sick of everyone pretending everything is okay, as if Kaitlyn didn’t take a life that night. I’m embarrassed to even be related to her. I bought some origami paper and a pack of sharpies and I folded an origami Hercules. You know what? I’m kinda glad Chase isn’t here. I don’t want him to see my current state. Every night I think about getting out my Dad’s old switchblade and just attacking Kaitlyn Emily. I guess tonight is the night I do that. Kato and I have stayed in touch and she’s been with me. Bart’s been kinda anti-social from what Kato tells me. He attends class, then he just goes to his dorm. According to her she’s only spoken to him a couple (brief) times. I’m outside of Bart’s dorm as I write this. I’m seeing if he wants to join me.  

People always expect me to act all goody two shoes and I think today is the day I finally snap

I’m coming for you Kaitlyn Emily,

Redemption

By David Smernicov

Here I am sitting in my cabin. I was rushed to the ER last night, given a wheelchair and cast for my legs. I went to the police about the strangers bit since I couldn’t identify them and there’s no cameras in my cabin. There’s nothing I can do. My money’s gone and there’s no more rent to come for the rest of the year. Thankfully my insurance covered the treatment and the wheelchair but besides that I’m broke. 

STORY FIFTEEN: EPILOGUE

By Edward Emily 

Yeahhhhhhhhhg

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