Wonder Folder: The Holy Grail
And the Holy Grail
Written by Sf Guillermo
THE LIFE OF A HERO (?)
By Theresa Carter
I do believe a lot has happened since the last time I wrote an actual self case file.
While my intentions with the first one were to highlight the main events in my trajectory as I became the rightful leader of the Amazons-or the girl scout group- like my mother was when she was about my age, this one means to explain my evolution as the Wonder Folder, if such evolution ever happens, of course.
For now, though, things are looking pretty slim:
One of the reasons I was so eager to become a hero was so I could defeat all the injustice happening around Kane.
Sure. Kane had many protectors up to that point. Alan Wade, or Batfold was making a good job of it for some time, but I was afraid he might need some help.
But somehow, I felt like I needed to act, like I couldn’t just sit there.
Ironic, isn’t it? Because of how things are right now, I’m sitting in my room. Bored out of my mind, with nothing to do.
You could say the bullies or rabble rousers have taken a vacation, for there are none around anymore causing trouble like they used to do.
I think that would be the consequence of Novick opening some time back.
While all the school criminals and jocks are stored there, the heroes of Kane have nothing better to do now than keep their noses in books and lead a normal teenager life like we would’ve done if our intentions hadn’t been very heroic. But that’s something I’m happy I did.
On the other side, leading the Girl Scout Troop is no easy task.
One needs to be creative, resourceful, but mostly creative (which I am, most of the time).
But I guess I would do better in a different situation; if I were stopping villains every day, using Wonder Folder to end their rule, I believe I could be inspired to lead the group in a more creative way, because at the time of this chapter, I’m practically leading a slump.
We might need a sort of push to get things back to normal.
However, one of the saddest things is crossing my path with Alan Wade every morning in the halls.
When all the heroes from all the schools in Jutefruce united to make a team against a big threat we couldn’t handle alone, it also sort of turned into a Civil War that divided the team: Alan Wade, who left the group, on one side, and Chris and I staying to lead washed up has-beens that don’t want anything to do with it.
Chris’ actions were pretty good. He’s a very disciplined guy, with high ideals and a fixed and determined mind. I like him.
With my help, we managed to stay afloat for some good amount of time.
But things didn’t stop then, because I soon left, too, to form another Justice Pleats, this time with the title Justice Pleats Dark. With hopes that the things and failures from the previous don’t make a comeback. We had our ups and downs, too, but I remember times where I sat down and just spent time amongst friends.
I’ll just say for myself as of now in this precise moment, that I’m bored out of my mind, but ready for whatever unattended threat that lies ahead.
FRIENDSHIPS AND THREATS
By Theresa Carter
The alarm clock went off at precisely 7:05 AM. I was as tired as I could be when I pressed the snooze button on the top of the digital clock and got dressed and ready for a new school day. Mom was entering the car when I came down to meet her, and gave her a hug. I had not done that in a long time.
“Oh, wow,” Mom said, “Alright. C’mon!”
I got inside, too, and tried to fasten my seat belt that was stuck in the seat for some reason and was very difficult to fasten. This time, it easily came off with a crunk!
“Whoa!” Mom exclaimed, “Watch that super strength!”
“Oh, haha, very funny,” I replied, “it’s funny you never fixed the problem with the seatbelt.”
“If I fixed every minor thing that was a problem, we wouldn’t have any money left.” She explained, “Besides, it’s not even broken.”
“Yeah, right.” I sneered.
It was quiet for some time, until we were halfway to Kane.
I really wanted to ask her about it, but I didn’t know how she would react.
“So, ehm,” I started, “What did you do yesterday?”
“Oh! I was on another date with Mr. Nolan, he’s nice.”
“Uhuh.” I groaned.
Mom made a weird noise with her mouth. I’d heard it many times when she was annoyed, yet I haven’t figured out how she does it.
“I know you don’t like him that much,” She tried to explain once again, “But it’s one of the things I need right now, y’know, someone who cares about me-”
“- I care about you!” I jumped, interrupting her and probably raising my tone of voice louder than I would’ve liked.
“Umm,” Mom nodded, “Yes, that’s what I thought”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
She looked back when we stopped near a traffic light.
“I know you do. But I need someone else too,” She looked down, “Who also acts like a father to you.”
“He’s a teacher!” I was exasperated, “And he even has a daughter that is a senior!”
“That’s OK! We used to date years ago!”
The traffic lights turned green, and the car soon pulled up in front of the Kane High’s front gates.
I was about to open the door to get out, but Mom held it.
“Don’t forget. I love you.”
She left when I closed the door, and I was left standing in a big school full of big people with big intentions, where I felt something I hadn’t felt in years; like a normal little girl once more.
I reached out and pulled open one of the large doors that led to the main Kane Hallway. I saw Emma at the back, trying to fit lots of papers into an almost full locker.
I wanted to get closer to her, I needed some quick conversation to get me back in the normal-world mood.
Emma had just finished what was seemingly an impossible task by the time I was next to her.
“Mornin’!” She greeted, “How’re you doing?”
“I’m exhausted, really. But I’m holding up.”
“Oh boy, I should tell you about it.” I giggled as we went to first period.
THE NEW LAW
By Theresa Carter
Remember when I said the Girl Scout troop was looking bad?
Well, I was kind of glad when this popular girl named Gracie, a senior from the troop, decided to start the excitement once again.
She was completely concerned with how things were, and asked me to give a sort of speech for an activity she had been planning for some time.
I might’ve looked suspicious at first, but I ended up agreeing. Excitement was what the Amazons needed.
Next Saturday, we met at our usual place where we have our weekly reunions, and I was glad to see she was ready to go up on the stage. Very entrepreneur of her.
“Dear Girl Scout Troop members!” Gracie Sid started with a loud voice which seemed to have an impact on everyone. It was obvious they hadn’t expected her to sound like this on the mic.
“I’m very happy so see all of you guys here listening to me, it really completes me. Now, of course we know there hasn’t been a competition for some time, and it’s about time we had another one. I’ve been here for a long time, and I’ve studied carefully every competition we’ve had. Starting very soon next week, we will have a competition full of secrets and mysteries through Jutefruce that you have to find. Clues and all will be given in order for your quest to the ultimate prize to which they all lead to: The Holy Grail. What is it really? You will have to find out. Good luck everyone, I hope you are all as excited as I am.”
They all cheered, she looked like a likeable girl who would bring back the glory to the group.
I really hoped it continued to be this way.
I had bigger things to worry about, though.
Curiosity had got the better of me, and now I knew I had to win that competition and claim the Holy Grail, whatever that was.
IT’S ALL OR NOTHIN’
By Theresa Carter
I woke up the next week on a Saturday, with the usual bird chirping in the distance.
I had a strange habit of waking up early. I didn’t know what it was until I figured it out that morning.
You see, my bed is set facing the windows, and when light comes through, I’m the first to know.
It could be one of the reasons why I’m so tired every day and can’t do much these days.
Anyways, I woke up super early, so I still had a couple of hours until I should start getting dressed and ready for the girl scout meeting.
I decided to do my homework for the sake of having some free time later.
After that, I decided it was time to get ready.
I packed my kerchief and my crazy explorer hat, ready to burst through the door to the competition, when something stopped me.
A piece of paper was stuck in the shelf, half in, half out. I took a better look at it.
Wonder Folder was looking back at me.
“Oh, yeah,” I muttered, “Sorry if I forgot about you. Maybe it’s time to bring you back.”
I put her in my pocket, ready for action.
“Dear Girl Scout troop members! Today we’re in for an extraordinary event!” Gracie commenced her opening speech, ” Throughout Jutefruce, there are waves of clues hidden. It is your job individually to find them before the other, and claim the Holy Grail as well as popularity and honor. May the odds be in your favor! Good luck!”
She blew her whistle, and we all started running. Up, down, around and over bushes, trees and buildings. Whatever that Holy Grail really was, it seemed worth the effort.
After half an hour, it all was getting really exhausting. I was alone on the sunny side of the street with only three clues.
What the sun doesn’t touch
Among the trees it lies
The place you are looking for
“What doesn’t the sun touch?” I was asking myself the whole time, “Maybe the trees in the forest behind Donner? Is that what it means?”
I went there as fast as I could, not caring if I bumped into a desperate group of girls in search of clues that could follow me.
I arrived very soon to a couple of trees that welcomed visitors to the forests.
“Welcome back, Theresa Carter.” A dark voice came from the forest.
“Good to see you, Kaden Fahey.” I yelled to my old friend, who came closer, “I was wondering if you saw anyone last night coming to hide pieces of paper in this forest.”
He thought for a bit
“I’ve got nothing better to do, so I found two of them, here.” He handed them to me.
Energy you will need
Reveal the Holy Grail you will
“This doesn’t really make any sense.” I exclaimed, “These are not clues! They’re-!”
” – A secret message” Kaden interrupted, “Look!”
He showed me the clues together to reveal the final destination: water
“Does this mean?” I started, “The lake between the trees of this forest?”
“It could only be.”
“Thank you, Kaden.”
“Anytime!” He exclaimed.
I found the lake, and ran towards it’s wooden docks. It had to be there.
I walked over them, only to find a wooden plank was shrieking more than the others.
Maybe that was it. I reached under it, and pulled out gently a wooden box full of- oh no-
INSIDE THE BOX
By Theresa Carter
Thin mints? Samoas? Snickers?
I couldn’t believe it, this had to be a joke. It couldn’t be the Holy Grail they had talked so much about.
I quickly looked at my watch.
It was the time to go back.
“Not to worry,” I was telling myself on the way, “If this is not it, at least you tried, and at least you can keep it.”
“Now you have had some very good two hours to unravel the mystery hidden in the city. You have all started with the same clues. Some of you have gotten far, and some of you haven’t even started.” Gracie looked mad when she said this, it was surprising to see this sudden burst of energy, “Let’s figure this out now, really. Who found the Holy Grail?”
I didn’t know if it was worth it to lift my hand, I finally did in the end.
“Theresa Carter, so you have found the Grail?”
“I’ve found a candy box, if it’s the same thing.” I rose to the stage in which she was standing.
“Yes, very well, you have found it.” She looked defeated, but recovered her look, “You’ve done a great favor to the girl scout troop, we thank you for that.”
Gracie opened her hands so I could put the box in them.
“Excuse me, but was this part of the deal?” I was astonished, “The Grail is mine, I earned it.”
“Yes, yes of course” Gracie started to get nervous, as she was arguing over some stupid box in front of everyone, “But the troop needs it-”
Now, this was making me mad, “No! They don’t! I found the Grail and it’s mine! Final! End of the story!”
“I’m not going to give it up after all I’ve spent on it to the troop leader! It was for somebody else to find!”
“Sorry for that, but I found it!” I snapped back.
“No, sir!” She grabbed the box and took it away by force, “This girl scout meeting is adjourned, goodbye y’all!”
Everyone looking yawned and complained, and Gracie used this time to get closer to me
“I won’t tolerate any more of this,” She started, “I will destroy you and your mother’s life, you hear me?”
I smirked, “You can try.”
JUSTICE IN JUTEFRUCE
By Gracie Sid
She sounded like she knew she was right, but made no fuss about it, even though she turned away from me and by her movements one could tell she was super mad.
The rest of the girl scouts left, and I admit I would’ve left, too, were I one of them.
But the thing is this: I wasn’t.
By coming up with this idea for the Holy Grail and making a bit of a show, I’ve gone from being a normal senior scout troop member, to at least a known one. And to the most distracted ones, all they saw was how Theresa left the stage with me still being in it.
And on top of it all, I managed to keep the box full of mints that wasn’t actually intended for me.
All I wanted was a show where I could give the Grail to another member who never had much protagonism, so she could enjoy her time of glamour.
But, of course, Theresa Carter, the hero, had to step in and take the credit all to herself no matter how much money I had spent for the candy.
Think of it, it would’ve been a waste of money only to see her being proud for being an insufferable hero.
And she claims herself to be the Wonder Folder…
Actually, that gave me an idea.
I hadn’t been thinking about it, but naming the wooden snicker box the Holy Grail had been just a random pick… But it could be something more, right?
With all these heroes going around the schools in Jutefruce, it was time they got a villain, a REAL supervillain: Grail.
I was surprised to find some black paper between my mom’s workspace which I used to fold a neat design for an origami figure.
I added her hair, her details and all, ready to go, The Origami Grail.
“Hey, mom!” I tried to catch my mother’s attention, “Do you mind if I ask you for a favor?”
THE IMPORTANCE OF PREVENTING
By Theresa Carter
Days went by since the last meeting with the girl scout troop.
As much as I thought that maybe, at least the troop had some good fun searching for clues, I couldn’t stand imagining Grace’s face as I showed her the box again, and the disappointment in everybody’s faces as they left.
They were probably thinking I’m a very bad troop leader, and I can’t judge them, I’ve done terribly.
But things were only starting to get worse.
As I got home from school, I saw mom sitting on the desk, with tons of paperwork to fill in, looking down, and very stressed out.
“What’s up?” I asked. Probably not the best idea.
“Nothing is up.” She grinned.
I noticed something was evidently wrong, she always acted so nicely towards me.
“Mom, tell me, please,” I begged, “What happened?”
She looked at me with red eyes
” I don’t know if you know her, she has a daughter in the girl scout troop, a senior,” She started “I’m frien- was friends with her mother, but for some reason, she and her dumb husband tried to frame me for malfunctions in the work system. I fear she will do it again and succeed.”
My face fell, this couldn’t be true.
“Say, Mom,” I tried to find out more, “She didn’t say what her daughter was called, did she?”
She sobbed “Something like Grace, or Gracie or something.”
“Oh my gosh,” I stepped back, I needed to do something right away.
I was experiencing one of those sensations when you think you’re in a dream, a very bad dream, but then you realize you’re living reality.
“I need to- I need to,” I faced the door, “Sorry mom, I need to go.”
I burst out of the door, running.
“Theresa? THERESA!” My mother yelled behind me.
But I couldn’t listen to her, I needed to stop whatever Gracie was trying to do.
I don’t know what got into her, but if she went for my mother, she’d probably go for me next, or my friends.
And forgetting how tired I really was, I ran to Gracie’s house.
THROUGH THE RAIN
By Theresa Carter
It started to rain just as I was halfway through the way to Gracie’s house.
That was my kind of luck.
I felt like I needed to get to her house as soon as possible, as if that would immediately change a thing.
I almost fell when I came closer to the door.
The rain fell down the drainage system, and somehow, the streets had become slightly flooded in the little time it had been raining. Each drop of rain looked like it was carrying a bucket.
Thank gosh I hadn’t brought my Wonder Folder, or that would’ve been the end of my career as a hero in a very not-epic way.
I knocked on Gracie’s door
“Yeah, Dad!” I heard someone inside exclaim, and open the door. It was her, “Oh, hi. How are you doing?”
I was completely blinded by anger, “Don’t you ‘How are you doing’ me! I-”
“- first of all, miss intense,” She cut me off, “That doesn’t make any sense, and second-”
“- I know what you have done” This time it was me who cut her off, “You are starting to make my life impossible, and I’m not gonna let that happen.”
I thought she was going to be surprised, but she smirked, “I really don’t know what you’re talking about, is there any way I can help you?”
I opened my mouth to protest, when a voice inside spoke louder than my words.
“Who’s there? Are you sure you don’t wanna come in? It’s pouring outside.”
“Oh, no thanks,” I stated, turning around, “I should really be on my way back.”
Gracie closed the door, and I returned to my house.
“So, she’s gonna play this game, huh?”
THE DECISIVE DECISION
By Theresa Carter
I thought a lot during the week that led to the next weekend’s girl scout troop meeting.
I had seen Gracie several times before on the troop, we had talked and shared thoughts, but I had never seen this kind of behavior in her.
Now I sense a thirst for power, and, taking into account how things are right now, she would most likely try to turn the tables and turn everyone against me.
I’d just never thought I’d admit it, but I’m actually scared of what’s to come.
I opened the door of my house to head to the meeting, but a thought stopped me, more like a sort of vision.
I turned my head and stared at a wooden box in the drawer at the entrance.
I opened up and saw Wonder Folder, just where I had left her weeks ago.
“Is it time?” I asked, even though I knew no answer would come out of the puppet.
Wonder Folder nodded in response.
It was time.
Most of the people were already there when I arrived, and Gracie had taken a seat in the middle of the crowd.
“Oh!” Gracie was acting surprised when she saw me, “We were just talking about you!”
I walked towards her decisively, “I know what game you’re playing, Gracie! You just want to-”
“-We were talking about how much fun it would be to test our leader against another scout troop member, like, me, for example.”
Everybody cheered right then. They wanted to see something exciting.
But beyond all the cheering, there was a hidden message.
I don’t think I have been acting well on the role as the leader, it could only mean that.
Every problem on the Justice Pleats, the division, the fact that I wanted to join the Justice Pleats Dark group… It all lead to me being more and more distant towards my fellow friends, to the people who idolize me and to whom I am their hero and guide, other people who trust me.
In between all this rabble and certain disorder, Gracie, a girl who considered herself a hero, had risen with the promise of making everything right again, and most girl scout troop members agreed, seeing it as the only option.
A very famous guy once said “We create our own demons.”
And he was right. Gracie’s schemes are only a product of my distant actions throughout these past months.
That’s why I ended the famous sentence with words of my own:
“But it’s our job to destroy them.”
“I challenge you, Theresa Carter, daughter of the famous Thalia Carter, to a race. The one who wins gets her role as leader, while the one who loses… gets kicked out.” She got a piece of paper from her pocket.
Black and secretive, who kind of reminded me of an origami Grail, from the DC comic book series, and an enemy of Wonder Woman. It was no wonder she had chosen that puppet.
I walked up to her and shook her hand, “It’s a deal.”
“Why do you always get into things like these?” I asked myself over n’ over, putting my hand over my face, annoyed, “I’ll just get this over with, I’ll win the race, and all will get back to normal… Hopefully… Just have to think like Matt Yen: the Fold, and my friend. Best runner in Jutefruce.”
Gracie looked very confident in herself, and some of her friends were cheering her, while I on the other hand, was alone with Charlotte who had just come.
“I know I haven’t been the closest either,” She started, “It’s a weird feeling, messing up and fighting against you guys.”
“Oh, wow, I thought you had quit the Amazons,” I observed, “Glad we talk now, at least.”
“You know, I’m still out, I just came to help out, but I wish now I wouldn’t have come.” Charlotte nodded, “If she wins she’ll have me expelled too, for treason or something. Teaming up with you, and all.”
“But,” I objected, ” She wouldn’t do that! She’s only the-!”
“I’ll do my best. I wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t worth one single try. Besides, I’ve got Wonder Folder with me.”
“On your marks!” A voice came over the loudspeaker.
I bent my knees to get ready on the starting line, and glanced at Gracie. Origami Grail smiling darkly on her finger.
“Get SET! GO!”
Gracie flashed by past me as a bolt of lightning, leaving me behind on a close second.
It was as if a rabbit had raced a cheetah, and I couldn’t do any effort to catch up with her.
Each time I accelerated, she did, too. There was no denying for her this race was everything: Either winning or death.
She had a head start I could not match up with, and the ending line was getting closer.
I tried to burst my legs, but they hit a rock and I almost fell. We were entering a rocky place.
“Better be careful here,” I said to myself.
The sound of me almost tripping got Gracie’s attention, and she looked back at me only to see if I had fallen.
That was a mistake of her’s.
She didn’t see the rock in front of her, and tripped hard on the ground with a thud, then did a backflip and rolled around in pain.
Should I go back and help her? Or continue on and win, proving myself worthy of the role as leader?
Anyways, the second I turn my back on Grace, she could stab me in the back. This could all be a mere distraction.
But if I took that chance, what would that mean? That I can’t take care of my troop members?
I’m supposed to be a model and a guide to look up to, whether people stab me in the back or not.
I stopped to go back on my steps on her aid. This wasn’t a fair game anymore.
“What are you doing?” Gracie yelled at me, holding her leg, “You won!”
I laid my hand to her, and she pulled herself up as much as she could manage, but defiantly.
“Ahh,” She groaned, “You have my respects, Theresa.”
This attitude really surprised me, but I didn’t reply.
In fact, I was silent for the rest of the time until I got Gracie back to base, where I rose to the stage once more.
“Dear people!” I started, “I’ve been here for a long time, and many of you have been here with me all this time. Even though I may have been acting distant for the past few months, today I tell you one thing: You saw that I will not be bound, I will not be beaten, and we will never be defeated! There will be change, I promise you. First off, we’ll start getting funds like we used to get before. So I will therefore reopen the selling business of cookies and other merchandise and, hopefully, by this summer, we’ll have an awesome camp we’ll all remember. I can only say I’m sorry for whatever harm I may have done. I’ll try making deals with Nodel, so we can attend Reynolds, and connect more with not just one another, but with our community! We are Amazons, we should be warriors for being the best that we can be!”
I finished my speech, and just as I did, Charlotte, Emma and the others joined in a thunderous applause that lasted for some time.
Looks like I had finally managed to persuade them.
THE END OF THE LINE?
By Chris Booth
I met Theresa that same Saturday night at the local Wendy’s.
It’s funny how people use this as a place for meetings after school or to discuss grand schemes. It’s just strange, because I’ve heard many other people do it, too.
The thing was, I met Theresa, and she told me everything that had happened to her in the past week.
“And I think I made the right decision, you know, helping Gracie up.” She finished.
I clenched my fists, “I do have to agree, you wouldn’t have gotten anything from Gracie if this hadn’t happened.”
“I mean, I would’ve still won, but-”
” – For yourself, not for the team,” I finished her sentence, “I believe she needed someone to show people cared about her, and you proved that by helping her up. If you had ran, she wouldn’t have calmed down, instead, she would’ve been even more enraged than before, probably taking it out on your mother. Like you said she started doing.”
“But, you know she won’t stop, right? I mean, she’ll get back at me someday.”
“If that day ever comes, of course.” I smirked, “Please listen to me. Act closer to the Amazons, to the team and to your friends.”
“And please get some rest, you look like you’re about to fall asleep.” I laughed.
“Anyways, glad that’s over,” She rolled her eyes, “Y’know, Chris, sometimes I miss the team.”
I smiled “I do, too.”