Written by SF Guillermo
SETTING A JOURNEY
By Gary Bohr
“Thanks for making this one of the best field trips ever, man.” Darren Graham, my best friend from all time, said to me upon entering the bus back to Ilkley, England.
This trip to the Highlands of Scotland had come to an end. I had made friends, I had met people, and most importantly I had relieved myself of the trouble upon my shoulders of wanting to be a top student. In fact, I had forgotten all about studying and doing my best. These days just had one word to describe them:
From laughing and eating with friends, to seeing stuff like two boys fighting each other with giant sticks (Alan Rawlins deserved it from what I saw), to hearing that Henry Walker and Eva Taylor were now dating… Excellent news, excellent, excellent.
I didn’t know that guy Henry Walker much (In fact, it seems like I don’t know him at all), but I was a little bit concerned because of his tendency to get into trouble. I believe in another type of life apart from all that. But you know what they say, each one has their own speed.
Just as I turned around after looking back one last time at the incredible view, a black, messy haired kid came to me.
“Gary, will anyone sit next to you? I’m alone.” He asked, worried.
“I’m sorry, man,” I apologised, “I promised Darren here I would sit next to him.”
He looked disappointed.
“Oh, ehm. Don’t worry about it, then.” He hopped into the bus and Darren and I looked at each other.
“What was that all about?” Darren asked me, sitting down.
“Well, I thought you’d know. It really is common knowledge by now, anyways,” I explained, “Eva was Alan’s best friend, but she has kind of fallen in love with Henry? I don’t know. So now since Henry and Alan are kind of enemies, Eva stopped being friends with Alan.”
“An oversimplification of events, I guess?”
I nodded and looked at some baby goats through the window.
“And Alan likes Eva?” Darren asked me way after I thought the conversation had ended.
I looked at him suspiciously.
“So you DO care!”
“I’m just curious!” He defended himself.
“I dunno, man,” I put my hand over my head, “This is a confusing subject, and I’m tired. Good night.”
I rolled my back on my seat and closed my eyes.
“But it’s not even night yet!”
“Nor is it gonna be, Darren. I’m tired.” He moaned.
“Alright, alright,” I laughed, “Still. Poor Alan, right?”
“Go. To. Sleep.”
THE SUSPENSION SLIP AND SOME OTHER JUNK
By Gary Bohr
I got home and laid my giant bag on the bedroom floor.
“Home at last!” I puffed, too tired to do anything else.
My mother came in right then. She didn’t even knock.
“Hi, honey. While you were out I found all these things-“
“Can you knock?”
“Sorry,” She put the box full of junk in the bed. I only stared at it, “I don’t think it’s that big of a matter anyways.”
“Knocking on the door, duh.”
“Privacy, mum! Privacy!” I said when she was leaving the room. Most mothers would throw some kind of punishment for talking to her like that, but I don’t think she really cares, and she knows I’m having a hard time with my scarcity of friends.
I opened the box. It was indeed full of junk: Things from many years ago, like old toys, plastic envelopes of random stuff, things made out of clay (probably from the school before I started year seven on IGS) and a suspension slip.
That brought back memories, many, in fact.
The day I got that, I had just started my new life in Ilkley Grammar School. There was this maths teacher that caught me talking to Reese Thornton, so he gave me that suspension for the rest of the day which I totally didn’t deserve. It was so unfair: I was only trying to explain to him what he had done on the board.
Anyways, that was all water under the bridge. That teacher retired and then came Mr Nahl as a substitute teacher.
The paper from the slip was torn on the sides.
“Suspension slip…” I flipped it, “Why couldn’t there be an un-suspension slip?”
It made sense to me, there had to be one.
By Darren Graham
“Man, I just had the craziest idea!” I was excited to tell Gary what I was thinking of when we met over the summer.
“What is it?” He replied, even though I have reason to believe his mind was someplace else.
“You know how people are making their own origami puppets, right?”
“Yes, somehow everyone now wants to make Harry Potter puppets.”
“And you also know I always wanted to get into the Ministry of Folders, yes?”
“Yeah…I never took you for the powerful guy, but alright,” Gary blew his nose, “So?”
“What if I started making origami puppets of the characters and sold them to anyone who comes?”
Gary stopped to think for a while before he answered.
“You’re telling me you want to become something like an origami Olivanders?”
“Actually, man. That wouldn’t be a bad idea at all, not at all.”
“What does that have to do with the Ministry of Folders?”
“Once they see I do my job well, they’ll take me in. No biggie.”
Gary puffed this time.
“Dude, you know there’s elections and all that going on right now. You can’t just expect someone to notice your work or whatever your plan is and make you part of the popular side of the school.”
“Whatever,” I checked my phone to hide my face of disappointment, but tried to start a conversation on a different topic.
“What’s bothering you? You haven’t been paying much attention.”
“It’s nothing, really.”
“No, man. You can talk.”
“It’s something stupid, and you’re gonna laugh.”
“Try me.” I was serious.
He got a piece of paper from his pocket and unfolded it. It was a suspension slip.
“I’m sure you noticed that’s from year sev-“
“I know, I know,” He laid it on the table, “Do you think there is something, somehow that could turn this into an un-suspension slip?”
I snorted, and then started laughing.
“Alright, Gary, uhm. I’m not sure that’s even a thing.”
“Then how do you come back from suspension? Oh yeah.”
“Yeah. When your time in suspension is over, you go back. It’s as simple as that.”
I was super confused, how did he even get that idea? It didn’t fit in my mind.
“Why did you ask?”
He raised his shoulders.
“Imagine you’ve got all your finals, but a guy messes with you and you get suspended. What do you do then?”
“Well, don’t get into fights.”
“Or, you can have an un-suspension slip.” He reached into his bag and pulled out a sheet of paper. It was incredible, it even looked real.
“Gary. What in the world?”
“It’s crazy, right?” He laughed nervously, “It’s even got all the signatures, school logo, and the headmaster’s sign. Pretty good, right?”
“Look, man. You’re weird.” I giggled, but at the same time looked sideways.
“Sometimes people need weird. It might even make the cut with teachers who aren’t up to date,” He explained with a sense of annoying confidence in his voice, “He might think it’s a new thing no one told him about.”
“Alright,” I nodded, “But save it for when school starts, then. Don’t tell anyone.”
Gary nodded. I thought he was going to turn his back and leave, but he said one more thing.
“And Darren. That idea of selling and lending puppets… Not bad at all.”
“Someone should get you and origami Nicholas Foldel.”
“Oh, we’re doing puns now?” He mocked, “Someone get this guy Orivanders.”
It had been a while since I’d laughed that hard.
“Yeah, keep the name.”
By Gary Bohr
Alright, so if you don’t know this, my house is on Mayfield avenue.
It’s a pretty wide street that makes a cross between two roads. Keep on going and you’d have the train and bus station in a matter of a minute, and it’s 10 minutes away from the school. Sweet, right?
Yes! It’s practically the centre of the town.
Last night mom told me to go to Tesco and buy some spaghetti (practically something I could cook).
Luckily for me, it wasn’t dark, so I was able to notice a house that differed from the others. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t seen Alastor Bismarck’s treehouse before. Was it new? I didn’t know.
What I did know is that it was empty. The lights were out.
Alastor or whoever had worked on this masterpiece had done a great job. If someone really wanted to, he could climb up and fall asleep without feeling a difference. They even had light bulbs holding on to the ceiling, they were off.
“Cool, man.” I said out loud, as if Alastor was there to hear it.
I hadn’t really established a conversation with him before. At least never a serious one. He lived more… on what I called the unbalanced way of life. Always laughing and always partying. He wouldn’t really talk to me. Not that I wanted him to anyways. I was busy studying or reading comics.
About to leave, I tripped on a rock. Not surprising, the night was dark and cloudy.
I fell on my knees and hit my elbows against the garden fence. Blood started coming out.
“Darn it!” I exclaimed, “Just when school’s around the corner.”
I helped myself up using my hand. It was truly a coincidence that I noticed in that feeble light that the moon above me gave a difference in the color pattern of the fence.
It was green. And if I set my eye on it, that thing, that mark became shiny. It was a snake. I recognised it from the Harry spotter movies: The exact same symbols the Death Eaters proudly bowed to.
Did Alastor’s friends draw it on the fence? Maybe.
But that didn’t seem right. Something wasn’t right.
I remembered the guy who had been causing mayhem in the school last year. That Cassius deNorgaret or something like that. I remember it was a weird name.
He had faked being good, but then read his manifesto along with his followers in front of Trafalgar Square.
Thankfully, Tim Baker and his gang were there to save the day, and Cassius had been sent to Tuckerton.
He- He couldn’t be back, could he?
“No, he couldn’t. It’s probably nonsense.”
I sent Darren a DM. I wanted to see if he knew something I didn’t.
Darren: Hey man. Missed your DM.
Gary: There’s a snake drawn on Alastor’s fence.
Darren: What are you, his personal gardener?
Gary: No, wait. I phrased it wrong. Someone drew a snake and I noticed.
Darren: What do u want me to do?
Gary: I dunno… it looks stupid now that I tell you, but it all very…
Darren: Dude, don’t worry. I bet it’s nothing. Go to sleep and maybe we can talk tomorrow.
One of my worst mistakes was that above. We talked about it the next day, and we decided to go so I could show him the snake.
Unfortunately, that thing that someone, somewhere had been plotting had happened during the night. When Darren and I got there, the treehouse was burned, and someone was hurt. Really hurt.