PART FOUR: REIGN OF THE SUPAPERMEN
Two Truths… Actually… Both a Lie
By Frederick Halved
It has been a full summer and four months since the SuPaperMan has disappeared. Since then, Donner has become a mess. Every single battle leaves ties on the concrete, sports coats wrinkled, and people defeated.
I am tired of it. I am tired of the school’s bullying, I’m tired of no one being there to be able to punish, to be the vigilante we deserve. I am ready to begin.
Mom’s garage, eating a PB&J as I fold the emblem of the hero that has disappeared. Rumors circulate that Chris Booth died, that he’s now focusing on college, or that he’s just minding his own business. The truth doesn’t matter about what happened to him. What matters is the hole he left with his journalism. His articles, in working with Penny Layne, helped put an end to many conflicts on campus.
Dad left a while back. He got a job with the Soup company in town, traveling internationally to work with franchise owners. One day, he flew to India. He never came back. Nonetheless, we get the letters in the mail, full of checks that keep us going. Rich, but unable to leave. Maybe that’s why I’m doing this as I make the next crease, and the next, as I form the emblem of The SuPaperMan.
But I am not him. I can never be Chris Booth. I can’t write anything that can change the world, I can’t do anything like that… So, I must become something more.
Alan Wade was a student at Kane High School. He mysteriously dropped the BatFold moniker last summer, and left. Same deal: Rumors galore. He died, he’s held hostage… Truth is, he moved to New York. His Instagram proves that.
No Batfold. No SuPaperman. The Scissors cut into the emblem, as the other side of it forms half a bat. The loose pieces fall into the recycling bin.
Composite Superman… Compost SuPaperMan.
I. Am. Compost SuPaperMan.
Profile: Christoph Alley
Researched and written by the Eraser
There comes a time in a person’s life when they are required to do the impossible. To make a change within themselves, and to move above who they are to fight for something more.
Christoph Alley wishes he had that opportunity.
Given, the opportunity might have arisen if he just waited.
Christoph Alley was born on January 18, 2002, to a kind family from Burbank, California. The youngest of three siblings, one of which went on to work as an accountant, another was a doctor, it was said that Christoph would be the star sports player of the family. He heeded the words of his family, doing exactly as told, and joined the football teams of Barbera middle and, eventually, Donner High School.
That was when he discovered the life he wanted to live, not as a football player, but as a “hero.”
The concept of heroes at these schools is a funny one. Most of the time, heroes are not violent figures. They don’t get mad, throw punches, or leave people bleeding. That’s what the “Villains” like you and me are meant for. Even then, we do the occasional punch and kick, but we’re usually more prank-like.
Not Christoph. Christoph was anything but “prank-like.” His tall, six foot six build made him tower over students, and he’d push them to the ground, throwing punches because he felt as though they were doing wrong, committing a slight, be it against him, or his school.
The only thing that calmed him was his girlfriend, Sarah Quarter.
That is… until she moved away, all the way to Virginia. She then cheated on him.
And that’s what led us to this point, where Christoph Alley is today. In detention. He found himself here because he broke one of Emery Bradley’s ribs, wrestling him off campus because Christoph had recently made the claim that he’s the “New SuPaperMan.”
Ironically enough, this violent act led to him having a new name…
The Cyborg Supaperman.
Videos of the fight showed the slow, methodic, calculated moves he made on Emery. How with every punch it felt like a person moved his arms like a puppet, going back and forth into him. Each punch more powerful than the last, each punch hurting Emery more… all because that kid adopted the “Parasite” puppet.
It was a sight to behold, it was hard to watch…
But here we are today, with The Cyborg SuPaperMan.
So… that’s my profile for him. Do I get any reward?
Described in excruciating detail by The Eraser
Donner is one building, shaped in a square donut-like shape. It sits at the top of a hill, overlooking most of Jutefruce. The square building has a hole in the middle, with a courtyard. This courtyard area is home to a common-area that many students find to be relaxing. Many students love to garden here, growing plants and vegetables that can be used in any of the kitchens, if a student would rather cook their own food than be served it.
Tuition is twenty thousand dollars a year, by the way.
Anyway, the back of this square building is what people call the “Trinity.” Each floor is a different thing. The first is the cafeteria, the second floor holds the library, and the third is the lab. Each floor is quieter than the last, but, if a fire hazard were to happen in the laboratory… Well, that whole side of the school would be up in flames.
That’s what happened.
Camera footage. 3TA – Third floor Trinity, Camera A.
Something has happened in the laboratory. A group of kids taking their first high school-level chemistry class messed up while combining chemicals behind the teacher’s back. Some rowdy group in the back were throwing things around at each other, and then it hit a test tube.
I am not a chemist. One of my closest friends was smart in not just math, but science as well… he’s no longer on the team. I haven’t heard from him, so I can’t guess what chemicals they are.
When the fire started to spread on the table, it wasn’t a teacher that swooped in to stop it… it was a student.
His name is George Conner. The strawberry blonde, scrawny boy didn’t appear to be much. Unlike the other SuPaperMen, this one had a puppet. Just like Alan Wade and the others. It was hard to make it out, but it seemed like the puppet had a yellow visor, and the puppet’s suit was black and blue, with a red superman logo drawn on it. Audio logs capture “The Eradicreaser” telling everyone to step back, and he proceeded to suffocate the fire with his sports coat. Everyone cheered for him.
And he stands there, taking in the glory, breathing heavily because he just saved the school. Then he turned around, and stared at the kids that were rough housing. He walked up to him, and then headbutted the kid, causing him to have a bloody nose. Some look like they want to stop him, but no one approaches the Eradicreaser, either out of fear, or out of respect. Except for the teacher, who immediately sent both of them to the principal’s office.
George, it was decided, would not get anything. No detention, no In School Suspension; he’d just be allowed to go free.
Due to this incident, he became known as the Eradicreaser and gained a lot of popularity at Donner as the student body fell in love with the scrawny nerd that could become it all, even if he wasn’t Chris Booth… Even if he didn’t write for the Brando Weekly… he could be the hero they needed.
Or so they thought.
By Charlie “SuPaperBoy” Swift
Hey Journal! Long time, No see!
I… I miss Chris. And I know, that’s a bit stupid. He is still there, y’know? He exists. He makes cartoons, but he’s… Not SuPaperMan, yknow? There’s other students here that want to be Chris, but they can’t be him, and so it’s tough because Donner doesn’t have that proper “unf” that Chris was. I guess I’m the closest, because… well, I fought Neil today, with a new friend and… ugh… Tyler.
Tyler is my fifth cousin. He takes great pride in this very minor fact that we share one great-great-great-great grandparent as a common ancestor, and this makes him feel like he has the right to the whole Flex seal, Flexonite, and Swift brand. Me and my brother don’t like him, but me and my brother also fight all the time, and he always switches sides, regardless of who’s in the right. I’ve tried keeping him out of this journal, but I can’t help it, because I know someday in the future I’ll go back, wondering who this dude was, and I’ll be so mad at myself for forgetting his name.
Yeah… there’s times when I’ll admit that Neil is right about something, y’know? It’s rare, but it happens. Anyways, we were fighting over the future of C.A.D.M.U.S.. What started as a way to stop the Justice Pleats – and succeeded, much to my anger – became a research group, and we had been making strides in figuring out new variants of Flexonite, along with making an edible version that is said to promote hair growth, for some reason. Of course, Neil wanted to do Chris dirty, all the while working on his image, but… something happened, and Chris decided at the end of last year to stop being SuPaperMan. Now Neil was at a loss. A loss of self, a loss of control, and… most of all, a loss of purpose. He hated the idea of no more SuPaperMan. Heck, I’ve seen him in his room, working on a puppet of Flex Luthor, and to the side is a miniature emblem. It’s an obsession, but he can’t seem to find that purpose anymore.
So now it’s me, Tyler, and my new friend, Amber Chique, practically leading C.A.D.M.U.S. and it’s members. This desire for the new SuPaperMan has given everyone Puppet-Fever, as so many kids have made SuPaperMen that it’s gotten overbearing. Yes, even Tyler. He’s colorblind, though, so his puppet looks like Bizarro. Neil doesn’t even show up to meetings… until today.
He walked into the lab on the third floor of the Trinity and started throwing a massive fit. He was throwing crap around, complaining and screaming because last night, our dad cut his allowance. At least, that’s what I thought. We didn’t exactly fight him, but me, Tyler, and Amber sat him down.
“Neil, sir, you need to calm down.” Amber said. She was solid and strong-willed, so much so that I gifted her a Steel puppet last week, “You’re worrying your friends.”
“Friends?!” He yelled, “I don’t even have the Legion of Plume! I don’t have friends. You are my coworkers.”
“We haven’t seen you at all this week. We’re family, man.” Tyler said.
“Shut up!” He exclaimed. I agreed with Neil – see, we agree on things – we’re barely family with Tyler.
“… What?” I asked.
“You’re supposed to make a sound, like,” Amber made a scoff sound, “Not say ‘scoff’.”
“Well, aren’t you all just right about everything?!”
“We’re not right about everything, bro. We just… y’know… know how to scoff. What’s been going on with you lately?” I asked, my hand on Neil’s shoulder. Tyler put his hand on the other shoulder, but I swatted it away, “Tyler… Everyone – can you guys leave?”
Tyler nodded and walked out. He might be dumb, and he might want to fit in, but he knows how to take the hint. Amber lingered, because she knew I was going to say, “Amber, you can stay.”
“I… I hate to say it, but I miss how this school was last year. I miss the conflicts, I miss the haughtiness, I miss the… well, I miss how life was, y’know?”
School has gotten different. This town… it’s all different. We don’t really like it, in fact we hate it. When I worked with the Young Justcrease a while back, I was horrified – we were so scared we would get in trouble, and we cared so much about staying low. It’s not like an origami ban would work, but punishing “disobedience” does. I didn’t realize it, but Neil was probably scared out of his mind too. He didn’t want to get punished the same way his classmates and friends did.
“Yeah. I do too.”
“And I’m so scared about Christoph Alley coming for me.”
There it was, the other foot that helped Neil’s fears move.
“Well, don’t cause issues.”
“That’s the thing… I don’t want to cause issues right now. Not unless Chris Booth returns.”
“You could still bother him…” Amber said.
“When he’s making funny political cartoons and taking the SATs every other week? There’s no point. He’s just doing the smart thing… Something I should do, too.”
“We all need to start focusing on our futures, Neil.” Amber said, “That’s why I’m hoping helping you here would, y’know, get me out there, into some of the best schools in the nation.”
“Yeah…” Neil sighed, “I’m sorry I haven’t been there guys, really. I want to do better. Flex Luthor can truly be better.”
So… we didn’t fight, we talked. And honestly, talking is better than throwing blows.
“Let’s go to the drawing board and start making up plans, okay?” Amber asked, “We should publish our findings somewhere, we could be set.”
Neil had ushered everyone back inside, and we all started discussing our future ideas. Amber is good, she’s a great friend. Tyler… I have issues with him, but I think if me, Neil, Amber, and Tyler all work together, we’ll be able to become something great.
A Recording from Mr. M, Secured by The Eraser
Is this thing on?
I love saying that. I love asking if something is on. When I was a boy, I loved to say “Captain’s Log” with whatever day it was, but I lost count. Now I know that I’m not a boy, because I don’t say ‘Captain’s Log’ anymore. I just ask if this stupid, stupid little thing is working.
But, because I am dealing with insolent, annoying, terrible children…
Captain’s Log. October 18, 2019.
It has come to my attention that someone, or some group, wants to prevent Funtime from ever happening. They want to prevent my Brainiac – my brainchild – from helping them. It’s uh… foolish. Because then they won’t hear the true messages I feel they should hear, and they won’t understand my goals. Smart students, making smarter votes for a smart candidate like myself.
It’s times like these where I am happy that Jodie O’Rodeo and Lenny aren’t around to fight me. They’ve moved on and away from life.
Casper. You… Might’ve dug yourself a bit too deep here. You’ve hired kids to do your dirty work.
I know, that sounds horrible. And I’ll look at this down the line, either as president or in a jail cell, and I’ll sigh. Because now I’m an adult, and now I have adult problems, and I’ve hired children because children can be the only people to fight these people.
I’ve figured out a few things:
Firstly, this Shaun Snyder kid is some sort of leader. The researchers I have figured this out. He’s young, he’s stupid, and I don’t think that he’s facing me. If he was… He’d be going against me. Not my underlings. With one sick after ingesting poop-water, another knocked unconscious by a paint bucket, and one going in today to talk to the Principal, I think he’s going one-by-one with his group to take down Funtime.
Brainiac – yes… I think that’s what he hates. He hates Brainiac. Or someone else does. Not the teams, though. They don’t seem to truly know what they’re fighting against.
It… It has to be a teacher doing this. It has to be. Someone, or many people, worried about losing their jobs. And it’s working. They’re taking down something bigger than the sum of it’s parts. My empire. They have no freaking clue…
I’ve recruited Christoph Alley, Frederick Halved, George Conner, Charlie Swift, Amber Chique, and Tyler Schnell to be my team this week. While this group of hooligans knock out and inevitably succeed in taking down poor Dinah Banks, I’ve convinced (using the teeth, I’m sure) this group – these… SuPaperMen, as they’re called – to pursue them, and to beat them up. I have no intention of getting anyone in trouble today. I’m sure they won’t. No one needs to be expelled, no lives need to be “ruined.”
I just need answers, I need to talk to one person. The one that is the face of this mess, whether he realizes it or not.
Through him, I think we can come to a conclusion. It will be something great.
THROWAWAY : Me (16M) and my Squad (14-17MF) Have Been Struggling
By Graham “The Thinkorigami” Stuart
I really wish there was a better way to write this, and I wish we had a more centralized site for this, but me and my team have been working on trying to take down this group for the last few weeks, and I’ve finally been given a job that suits my expertise. Sadly, they won’t let me post anything “insane”, especially about my views on the deep-state, the stock market, or MLP in my endeavors. Anyway, we’re being blackmailed to do it out of a fear of expulsion, BUT I think I’ve secured my place because I’m going to be forwarding the main contents of this message in an Email.
The general thing for these tasks is pretty pog and easy. We just take down a presenter, and we destroy a film. It’s so easy, that I figured out a way to get the video taken down through a copyright strike bomb. HONESTLY… They should’ve just asked me to do that, rather than destroying projectors.
But… Guys… I need opinions. It seems like this time, the presentation is one on one with the principal. There’s no way we could get in there. So, like, I can get the video down, but this presenter is an issue. I need help! We need to defeat this menace!
EDIT 1 : No, I am not going to McQuarrie, Wheeler, or any of the origami schools mentioned… Seriously, what’s Breevort High???
EDIT 2: Wow… all this karma! Thanks, kind strangers!
EDIT 3: Gah! MY LOCATION DOESN’T MATTER GUYS!!! What’s important is the problem at hand!
EDIT 4: YOU GUYS ARE NO HELP!!! STOP TELLING ME THAT I PROBABLY PEE MY PANTS
[THIS POST HAS BEEN LOCKED BY MODERATORS ON R/ORIGAMISTORIES FOR: OFFENSIVE MESSAGES, POLITICAL COMMENTARY, REGARDLESS OF LEANING, IS NOT ACCEPTABLE. U/THROWAWAYFOLDER21 HAS BEEN BANNED]
The Alliterative Assassin, the Ne’er-do-well Nefarious Notable, The Captivating Condiment Kirigami!
By Smedly “Condiment Kirigami” Maroni
Donner is the most magnificent scholarly school that I, Smedly Maroni, have ever set my feet into. The halls, large and in charge, and the rooms, clean and chronically in need of Ketchup, mustard, relish and mayonnaise. I know it and so do you: this school is the one that I should move to! So much potential, no need to worry, and today… I’m here with my friend – I hope he considers me that – the amazing, awesome, Crazigami Quiltigami.
“Dude, do you always speak in rhymes?” He asked, sounding quite crass.
“No, not always.” I heard his sigh of relief, respite, rejoice, “Anyways, Always alliterate, it makes the day great.”
“Please, dude. I don’t know how much more of this I can stand.”
“Why, yes you can!”
I could sense his frustration, and I knew my plan was working. I wanted to make him angry, just for fun.
“You drove me over here, and the whole time you listened to freaking sonnets on the drive up. I didn’t even know Spotify HAD Sonnets. I don’t want to be here for long, man. We just need to go in, knock out that lady, or make her throw up, or make her throw up and then knock her out. It’s simple. I have some firecrackers, it would be an in and out job.”
“Fire Crackers in a school building is not a good idea, ideally, utilizing miniature micro Pyrotechnics probably promotes an instant, explanatory expulsion. If we use Ketchup, or even relish… Maybe she has an allergy that we could use to make her sickly.”
“That’s… that’s true. We should set off explosions in a school building.”
I could see in his eyes this sort of pain. Painful problems always appear exactly in the eyes.
“What’s wrong?” I ask.
He sighed, “I… I can’t believe I’m going to tell the freaking Condiment Kirigami about my problems, but… I just have some issues with this whole thing. My partner… My boyfriend, he… he was expelled. But he told me that they’d be let off scot free if they told the Principal about what’s going on… He got a letter in the mail today, saying that he was expelled from Lampert. The Principal Lied.”
“And that guy knows now?”
I couldn’t help myself, I had to stop rhyming. Stopping the rhyming saves timing, “Are you serious? That puts all of us at risk, now. Even if we win, those names are known, and we all might as well be dead-men.”
The panic on his face was clear, and I could see that I was freaking him out, “I know, man. I know. So I’m just trying to get expelled today.”
Angry, insulted, angsty – all words to describe me.
“Give me your firecrackers.” I said.
“No, bro. I told you my plan, I’m not just going to–”
I could feel my hallow hairs spike up across my spine as I heard the horrible sound of somebody swiftly approaching, and then the words… Those wondrous words that signified a fight, “Actually. You’ll be giving us those.”
I’ll Take This Over
By Anthony “Crazigami Quiltigami” Irwin
Hey, I know that this is all being collected, so when this happened I just kind of bumped Smedly and said, “Hey… let me just… write this part.”
But I really need to vent, before I could even feel comfortable talking about this.
I am so frustrated with Don, even though he told me he didn’t say a single thing when Castillo was interrogating him. Especially because it was for nothing. It was literally a trick, extortion or something. I don’t know. I’m just trying to apply to colleges now, and since Don, for no real reason, is expelled, I’m working with him to apply and appeal to the universities he wants to get into, especially because he has to include this expulsion there. It’s so tough, and it’s incredibly stressful… but, this little moment was also stressful.
Agh. I know that this is a stupid rant, and I’m sure the teachers are trying to cover their own butts right now, so I’ll just move on.
“Actually. You’ll be giving us those.” He said. His voice was kind of nasally, and it fit his structure. This skinny, scrawny boy with blonde hair that had slight streaks of red within it. Next to him was a girl with box braids, who looked unsure about the guy standing next to her. The kid held up his puppet, which looked like Superman, but with a stupid Yellow visor, like Cyclops from X-Men.
“Duh.” He said.
“Listen, just give us the firecrackers, man. We know who you’re all working for.” The girl said.
“Could I at least get your names first before I hand these over?” I ask, “I Mean… I’ve had these for years. My partner gave it to me on our first date.”
“Yeah, sure. I’m Amber.” The girl said. She also held up a puppet, which looked like a bald Superman, stuck in a shiny, metal suit. I smiled at her.
“Amber, it’s a pleasure to meet you. Will I get these firecrackers back?”
“I mean, by the end of the day, probably–” Amber started. Then the other guy interrupted her.
Okay. So one of these people doesn’t want to handle this like friends.
“Listen, man. What’s your name?” I try asking again. To have a name gives us knowledge, and we can tell a lot about someone if we have their name.
“It’s George. But you’ll call me the Eradicreaser.”
“Engaging, Entertaining, Eradicreaser…” Condiment Kirigami says.
Ugh. I had to tap into my villain side. It made me sick at my stomach, and I could feel the guilt rise within me, like stomach acid and vomit as the words (fine… Smedly’s sonnets really affected me, okay?) came out of my mouth, “Do you have any allergies, George?”
“I’m deathly allergic to dairy.” He said, being totally honest with us. First mistake in this line of business, “Like. It’s not even lactose intolerant. I’ll be throwing up, coughing, my throat will enlarge. I almost died once. It’s terrible. I have to carry an epi-pen around but I forgot it tod–”
“SHIAKAZING!!!” Smedly exclaimed as he took out a bottle from his backpack, which held Hidden Valley Ranch. While the Eradicreaser was talking, the ranch exploded from the bottle, shooting right into his mouth. He accidentally swallowed it before thinking.
“What was that?” He asked.
“Ranch!” Smedly smiled, “Ranch!!!” He repeated, like some psychopath. He erupted into laughter at this.
Suddenly, I could see George reach around his throat as his breathing became strained. He started gasping for air. I… I didn’t realize that he was deathly allergic, even if he said it. He started kicking and wheezing, trying to catch a breath.
“Oh $&*%.” Amber said, “You guys need to do something!” She yelled.
I turn to Smedly, “Bro, we’re going to kill him.”
Smedly, who was at first laughing, suddenly stopped, “What?”
“He can’t breathe, dude! Do you have an Epi-Pen or something!?”
“An Epi-Pen isn’t a condiment.”
“Do you carry any medicine in there?”
“Of course, my compassionate companion. I have Acetaminophen, Naproxen, and an Epinephrine Jabber.” ‘Epinephrine Jabber?’
“Yeah, it’s because I’m allergic to relish. But I use relish the most in my combat. It’s like Bruce Wayne being afraid of Bats.”
“That’s an Epi-Pen.”
“No, it’s an Epinephrine Jabber.”
“Give it to me!”
All the while, Amber is doing compressions on George, who has seemingly gone unconscious.
“Allergic reactions usually don’t happen that fast, though.” Smedly said, “Maybe he’s faking it.”
“Fffffallergiccc, genetticcc disease-”
“Shhh… Don’t speak.” Amber responds, “Guys, come on. Or you’re not going to be expelled, you’re also going to be charged with first-degree murder.”
“Gah! Give me the bag!” I say, ripping Smedly’s backpack from his hands. Like Gollum, he starts pawing at me, but I push him away. I start digging through all of his sauces. Buffalo… Ketchup… Chik-Fil-A Sauce, Cane’s, Secret Sauce… A bubbly mixture called “Smedly’s Special…” I don’t even want to know what that is.
Finally, I found it: the Epi-Pen. Allergies have also increased in commonality in recent decades, or, at least, the knowledge of allergies has increased. I am allergic to bees, and Don is allergic to peanuts. So, I have experience using this contraption. George was wearing his gym clothes, probably because it was his first class, I’m sure. I uncapped the pen, and immediately jammed it into his thigh.
He goes stiff, and, for a moment, I think he’s dead. Amber gasps, and starts to cry.
“You killed him…”
Then, life! Like a baby that can breathe again, George starts coughing up a lung. His puppet falls out of his pocket, and he rolls around in pain, still catching his breath that he once thought he lost.
Immediately, Amber makes a mad-dash towards Smedly, who is freaking out about the off-hand chance that he accidentally swallows some relish.
“Relish on this, punk!” She exclaimed as she barrels towards Smedly, her fist enclosed. Smedly barely dodges it, and then…
Someone else joins into the fight.
The bell had already rung, and all the students were in class already. I sat down next to George, who is still massaging his throat, but it was away from the whole conflict as Smedly, Amber, and this unknown third person started wrestling.
“Hey, no hard feelings, right?”
“Well… You almost killed me, even after I told you the circumstances of–”
“Hey, let’s get this straight: I saved your life. My partner nearly killed you.”
“Okay, but your whole squad wants to blow up the school.”
“Yeah, you’re terrorists. We were hired to take down you guys.”
“Bro, no we’re not.”
“You’re child terrorists.”
“Who told you this?” Maybe it was Castillo.
“Some guy with a fake mustache,” Okay. Definitely not Castillo, “He made us like, look at his mustache for an extended period of time. He said you guys hated the concept of privatized education, and wanted to blow up our projectors and ruin the day for us.”
I sigh a sigh of relief, last thing I wanted to be thought of was a terrorist, “We don’t blow anything up, we’re just trying to stop EduFun.”
Confusion spread across George’s face. He raised his eyebrows, and looked at me like I just said something like ‘The Queen will die by your hands.’
“I read the memoirs by Tom. That company is dead in the water because of those Yoda kids.”
“No, bro. They’re back, and they want to like…” Then I started to realize, I forgot what we’re fighting for, “I know that like… They want to teach kids the SATs.”
“Well, that’s not that bad. I know Chris Booth was really stressed about those, he wrote a whole article about how hard they are. There’s nothing wrong with that endeavor, I guess.”
“But they’re using cartoon characters and flashing lights to do it.” Trying to explain our motivation sounded more and more stupid.
“Oh, &$*@ no.” He said, standing up. I tried sitting him back down, but he seemed fine, “Hey, Amber! That guy wants us to learn the fundamentals of the SATs through some Cocomelon crap!”
Amber and Smedly are trying to hold down a kid in a mask, who then kicks Smedly in the groin. Smedly keels over, groaning and whining. Amber is still fighting with the kid.
“Yeah! Like, flashing colors and stuff.”
“The Fake Mustache dude?”
Everyone stops fighting.
“Oh… Crap.” The kid in the mask said, standing up. He removed his mask, “Sorry guys. I got all mixed up.”
Amber sighs, “It’s okay, Frederick.”
“It’s what happens when I’m the most heroic vigilante among these schools.” He sighs. He is holding his symbol to us, which is half Superman, the other half Batman.
“What the $&%* is that supposed to be?” I asked.
“I’m… I’m Compost Supaperman.”
Yeah, that didn’t help.
“… Composite Superman? Half Superman, half Batman?”
Still not ringing a bell. I just stared at him blankly.
“Come on… Golden Age villain?”
“So you’re a bad guy?” Smedly asked.
“I– No, I’m not a bad guy. I’m a hero.”
“You just said you were a villain.”
“I’m reclaiming the identity, okay?”
Smedly, Amber, and even George looked at me with this ‘do you really believe him?’ face.
“Sure…” I said.
“Anyways… What’s this about Cocomelon?” Amber asked. I then explained to them the whole thing. That we’re not terrorists, that we have no intention of blowing up the school or hurting anyone, and that we want to prevent this whole SAT training thing from happening because “Funtime Bad” and “We’re Teenagers that don’t need Cocomelon” to train us.
“So… uh… yeah.” I said, “Any questions?”
They all stared at me. Smedly crossed his arms and looked at everyone, “You guys need to tell me your allergies, just in case you go rogue.”
“Just because we’re Supapermen doesn’t mean we have kryptonite.” Frederick said. Amber glared at him. “… Marshmallows. I’m allergic to marshmallows.” He sighed.
“How can we help?” Amber asked.
The Fiddler’s Secret Origin
By John “The Fiddlerigami” Kanigher
When you think of heroes and villains, and those of the “insane” kind, you don’t think of, well. Me. I am a mystery, a mere idea, and I get excited to be heard, and to be seen. I know, I know, I know. This is meant to tell you what I am doing, where I am going, but I feel the necessity to explain what happened to me.
I was an experiment. People might say that I’m not, but we are all experiments. You are an experiment of some crazy upbringing. I, too, am an experiment. Only I’m an experiment of the mind. When I first made The Fiddler, it was in an act of desperation to be heard. I wanted to take down Cooper King and his merry band in A.R.R.O.W.. It was because, like a song, I wanted to be heard. And, through my music, my puppet came to life. I saw him, moving, and singing along, and the Fiddler told me everything. He told me what I should do, how I should sing. He made me popular. He told me to beat up those kids.
He told me to sit in the fifth row of the library, holding a book about Culinary for Teens.
Yeah… I know that Shaun is texting the group chat, wondering where in the world I am, but… It doesn’t matter. I’m safe, I’m good, and me and the Fiddler are doing some fun reading.
Now, I know… I know… There’s apparently this “SuPaperMen” thing happening, but Fiddler told me that I am not supposed to interfere. If I did, something bad would happen. Out of respect for this, well, wonderful school… I won’t do anything. I can’t prove to be too strong.
Leave me alone. Do not enter the domain for which I have decided will be mine.
I Don’t Understand This Maze
By William “Shredshot” Banks
I am journalizing to keep myself sane. I can’t stand my… partner for today. While I liked Wally and Wilfred, I can’t, for the life of me, trust, or feel comfortable around Shaun. I feel like I’m his dog, stuck to him on a leash as he wanders the maze of halls.
“What are we even looking for?” I find myself asking. Deep down, I keep hoping he’ll say a secret room, or a book that acts as a switch. But I know the answer…
“Ms. Banks, or the Principal’s office.”
“Don’t you go here?” I asked.
“Well, man. I am still a freshman. I’m still finding my place around here. Besides, all of my classes are on the left side of the square, not the right.”
“We… We’re in the right?”
“Yeah, I’m pretty sure… Wait. Crap, hold on.”
It feels like we’re walking in circles, and I feel the overwhelming desire to beat him up. I haven’t gotten to beat anyone up in so long, mainly because I’m scared of the punishment. I know that if I beat him up, right here in the hallway, I’d be expelled. Yet I want to… so bad. I’m so freaking mad.
“Do you have any clue how we’re going to stop this presentation?”
“Well, Graham, as much as I hate him, did erase any trace of the video from online. Copyright strikes and DDoS attacks.”
“That makes our job easier.” I grumbled.
“Oh, certainly, but that still leaves the person. If Ms. Banks is a good presenter, she has no need for the video to convince the Principal.”
“Have… Have we even heard her speak?”
Shaun freezes, and sighs, “No. I don’t think so.”
“Then you’re just gambling on something that might not even be true.”
“Listen, between you and me, we should be going after Castillo, not Funtime. He told Wilfred that his expulsion would be removed if he just came clean–”
“Shh.” Shaun said, raising his fist at me. It immediately shut me up.
“Those two kids, down the hall. They’re just standing there.”
Sure enough, down the hall, there’s two kids talking to one another. One of them was a short boy with curly black hair. He was groaning at the one with red hair, who seemed to lurch over him while talking about… old movie tie-in meals.
“Charlie, seriously, there was this thing called ‘The Thing Burger’ that was super big at Denny’s. It looked disgusting! I mean, look at this picture.”
“That… That looks like the Nasty Patty from Spongebob.”
“But, funnily enough, I had it after my birthday, when we got to see ‘Fant4Stic’. It’s not that bad. It’s like a breakfast burger… Bacon, hash browns, eggs, and this ‘punch packing’ thing sauce that I can’t quite remember the flavor to. I call it ‘Fant4stic’ because that’s how it looks on the logos.”
Charlie, the black haired kid, sighs, “Yep, you told me that.”
“Oh, I did? Sorry, family. I didn’t mean to repeat myself.”
“I know you didn’t, buddy. I know.” Then he sighs, “Also, don’t call me f– Shaun?!”
Suddenly, I see Shaun freeze, and then he starts to break into a sprint, away from them.
“By the order of the SuPaperMen and… Who was that mustached guy again? We order you to stop!” Charlie exclaimed. Suddenly, I was caught in a cross-fire that I… personally, didn’t want anything to do with. There was no way that I could catch up with Shaun, but if I could stop one of them…
Because I am never one to miss, I started to judge their speed. The short, black haired kid, Charlie, is probably easily stoppable. He’s fast, so if I stop him while that other guy keeps chasing, maybe then Shaun would have more time to escape. They’re closing up on me… and so…
I dash into Charlie, tackling him to the ground. He lands with a thud and groans.
“Oh my Gosh…” He says, “How did I not see you?”
“Because I never miss.” I am starting to really hate this line, even if it’s mine.
“Tyler! Keep chasing after Shaun. Do NOT let him escape.”
“Wait, wait–” I try to say, but it’s too late. “Tyler” is already gone. I sigh a sigh of disappointment, “You’re… You’re SuPaperBoy, right?”
…I need to give context.
A few months ago, there was this totally annoying, terrible, rude, and low-key racist substitute teacher named, like, Christina Cooke. I had to deal with her giving me a detention for moving my desk a few inches to the left. She was no big deal, and was just a really crappy start to a crappy semester, but she was removed because a group of kids, called the “Young JustCrease” put a stop to her. SuPaperBoy, here, didn’t do much I’ve heard, nonetheless, he is considered a member of the team. We all love the YJ, only because of this little saga. They’re really annoying, though… really freaking annoying.
“I figured,” I was really just throwing a dart in the dark, “Listen, are you a person that listens to reason?”
“At times… But I need to get Shaun Snyder!”
“Okay, no you don’t.”
“Yes, I do.”
“No, you don’t.”
I could see in Charlie’s face this… uncertainty. I felt like I had somehow gotten through to him, even though it was through a stupid back and forth, “I can explain.” I proceeded to tell him everything; from the recruitment, to the missions, and how Funtime was bad, but what I planned to do after the mission was completed. Charlie listened to it all, and he nodded when all was said and done.
“… That’s my stupid fifth cousin, Tyler, chasing after Shaun.” He said, “I guesstimate he’ll turn back in about five… four…”
Tyler came back into view, breathing heavily, “I lost him…” He said.
“I figured.” Charlie sighed, “It’s no big deal, though. We were fighting for the wrong team.”
“Rats… I hate when that happens. One time, I was playing Call of Duty and I won a match as the Germans during World War Two… Made me cry. I changed history, Charlie. For the worst. I’m a monster. Unknowingly, I helped the Axis powers turn the tide of the war. I lived the next few hours feeling like I crossed dimensions, but then mom made pizza rolls, and I knew all was fine. We wouldn’t have pizza rolls in that dimension…” He looked past me, deep into something that me nor Charlie could see, “Or would we…”
“That’s why you’re the Bizarro of this group.”
An immediate change from his post-war crisis, Tyler perks up, “I could be the cool SuPaperBoy, though! The one with the jacket and stuff?”
“You’re… no… Just be Bizarro, man.”
Now with Bizarrorigami and SuPaperBoy on our side, I called Shaun back to us.
“I’m Peeing! Chill!” He texts me. Gonna be a while, then.
The Arrival of Pee Boy
By Charlie “SuPaperBoy” Swift
“Well well well, if it isn’t ‘Pee Boy’…” Tyler said when Shaun walked up to us.
“Dude, you weren’t supposed to say that…” I whispered.
“Oh, I wasn’t? But he’s… He’s Pee Boy. We were just joking about it like five minutes ago.”
Will glared at Tyler and I, and then looked at Shaun, “Sorry about that man.”
“You told them I was peeing?” Shaun asked. I could hear this whininess in his voice, this ‘You breached my trust, man.’ tone.
“Yeah, well, I didn’t expect them to call you Pee Boy.”
Shaun raises his arms in exhaustion, “Alright, everyone pees, guys. Everyone does it. I can’t be known as Pee Boy unless I have, like, pee on my pants.”
I agree with Shaun’s logic, but Tyler, seeing that the joke no longer lands, sighed. I don’t dislike Tyler, but I certainly do get a bit frustrated with him. I’m not sure if it’s the whole “We’re family” thing or what… but I just can’t stand extended periods of time with him.
“… Should I call the rest of the squad?” Shaun asked.
“Well, wait, we need to know what these two know.” Will pointed at me and Tyler. So, I told the story.
Yesterday when I got home, I was sent a link for some app called “Zip.” It was this video calling service that like… really had no point, especially because it seemed made for at-home schooling. When it started, though, me and a few other Donner students, including Amber and Tyler, were all sitting in the virtual call-space. Christoph, Frederick, and George were the other people, and we all just… struggled to figure out if our cameras and mics were on.
Then he joined. “Mr. Mustache” was his name. At first, we couldn’t see his face.
“Can everyone hear me okay?”
“Yeah, your-your camera is off, though.” Amber said.
“Oh, crap. Hold on.” He fumbled around for a bit, and then his camera was on. He started to speak, raising his arms in the air like some villain giving a magnificent speech, but we couldn’t hear anything.
“Mr. Mustache, we can’t hear you.” George said, but he continued. Amber used the “raise hand” function, and this guy’s monologue for one stopped as he moved his chair closer to the computer screen.
“We can’t hear you.” Amber echoed.
“What?” He mouthed. His mustache looked so freaking dumb as it started to fall from his face.
“She said we can’t hear you.” Fred was sounding a bit peeved, “Listen, do I have a virus for downloading this? Is this spy-ware?”
Mr. Mustache fumbled around with his keyboard and microphone for a bit until we heard a loud screech, and then his booming voice, the gain up by a thousand percent.
“Can you guys hear me now?!”
“Yes sir, could you turn the volume down a bit though?”
Somehow during this process, he continuously hit the microphone, making little pow sounds against it, hurting our ears more.
“What kind of mic do you use?” Amber asked.
“It’s an uhm… It’s a Blue Yeti microphone.”
“I have the same kind. The gain knob is on the back. Turn it down just a tad.” Mr. Mustache listened, and then he started to give this whole spiel. In retrospect, it’s very similar to what is happening with the Shredder Squad, with that whole “Expulsion” threatening stuff. He told us that we needed to work under him, because there’s a group, led by Shaun-Zhang Snyder, stopping him at every turn with their terroristic acts. He said that you all were terrorists, and we’re the SuPaperMen, and we can stop you all. We had to.
He gave the plan: two of us – specifically me and Tyler, would patrol the hallways on the second floor, looking out for Shaun. Amber and George would wait at the entrances and look for any “sus” students (yes, he literally used that word.) The Compost SuPaperMan, Fred, would patrol the hall for conflict, and would have to join into the battle. Meanwhile, Christoph Alley would protect Mr. Mustache’s friend and business ally, Ms. Banks.
“You literally did not need to tell us his whole confusion with the Zip crap.” Will said.
“I know, but I just thought it was funny.”
“I mean, it was.” Shaun said, “So… this Christoph guy, is he bad?”
“He’s Cyborg SuPaperMan… so… yeah.” Tyler responded.
“I… I’m gonna keep it real with you, man. I don’t read comics. You’re gonna need to tell me who that is.” Will seemed overall pretty exhausted with this whole thing.
“He’s Superman, but evil, and a robot. He destroyed Hal Jordan’s entire city once.”
“A cyborg… destroyed a city…”
“It’s not that far from reality.” Tyler tried to make the case that this was possible, but I’m going to not discuss what evidence he was providing for it.
“ALRIGHT. So we defeat Cyborg SuPaperMan, knock out Ms. Banks, and this whole stupid, dumb, extended, hard, weird quest is finished, and we can all go home and not be scared of being expelled. Sounds good?” Shaun asked Will. He didn’t seem too keen on involving us.
“I mean, yeah. It sounds good.” Will said, “Once again, we’re going to have to wait for other people, huh?”
“That’s just how it goes around here, I guess.” Tyler mentioned. Finally, something of some intelligence from him.
Maybe I’m too mean.
Face the Inevitable
By Will “Shredshot” Banks
When I was a child, I was told that I could be something amazing. My mom sat me down at the kitchen table, took my hand into hers, and with tears in her eyes she told me ‘Will, you’ll be something one day. I don’t know what, but your name will be known.’
She was covering for something. Covering for the fact Dad went for milk and didn’t come back. Covering everything around me up with this veil of ‘It’s a part of growth.’
Mom didn’t have a dad either. He was put into prison because of who he was, and when he got out, he was a changed man. At least that’s what Mom told me. He didn’t want anything to do with his family, and he became a nomad. I was going to be the one to break the loop of deadbeats. I was going to be in the NBA, and I constantly trained in a variety of skills so that I’d never miss. I was taught that the skill of flipping a perfect pancake with the twitch of the wrist correlated to how you could launch a ball into a basket.
“Your name will be known.”
I’m sitting around a group of misfits; leaders and lames. A King of Condiments, a master of the violin (with a bit of craziness within him), a young “leader”, and a genuine, understanding person who just so happens to carry around firecrackers. Also in this group are people with similar desires; truth, justice, peace, but they carry it out in such different ways. Amber wants to get this through science, Charlie through communication, Fred through violence, Tyler through picking his nose, and George through being proactive. These SuPaperMen, compared to us, are not so different. We want truth, justice, and peace, but only because we were hired to do so.
“Someone’s going to need to sacrifice themselves.” Shaun stated. I could see the worn out look on his face, how he had dark circles under his eyes… this job was getting to him, “I hate to say that, but it’s true. If we can all distract Christoph, then someone can knock out Ms. Banks, and this will all be over.” Then, he said something really out of pocket, that made me realize this was no leader at all, “Your expulsion is a sacrifice I am willing to make.”
“But what if we’re not caught doing it?” I ask.
“That’s doubtful, but if you’re not caught, then I guess you won’t be expelled.”
I want my name to be known. I… I have to be the one to finish the job. I buried my face into my hands, nobody else volunteered.
“I’ll do it.” I said. They all stared at me.
I could sense it all leaving me, the weight and the feelings of responsibility; for Aaliyah, Wilfred, my NBA career. I could feel that it was all going away. It wasn’t peaceful, though. I knew that I was letting go not because I wanted to, but I had to. Expulsion is not the same as the end of a life, but I knew what was at risk when I was thrown into this mess. I can’t scrub an expulsion from my record.
“I have to do it.” I emphasized.
“The Fiddler told me that it’s good for your arc.” John said, holding up his stupid, laminated puppet of a guy with a fiddle. Leave it to this group to always say the most weird things, to believe that puppets are talking to them, and offering them advice.
“I mean, I guess?”
Shaun smiled towards me, but in that moment, all I felt was contempt towards him. He was throwing me under the bus; he knew that I had a whole career, and my sacrifice was a mere tick on the numbers. Twenty three people… so many academic careers soiled. He wants to get out of this with his @$$ intact.
Rage. I felt rage. But I bit my tongue, because if I got really angry, then I’d be expelled right then and there.
“Let’s get these motherfolders.” Shaun said, to a roar of applause. I just stared at him, feeling the need to cry.
Shatter the Pieces of the Machine
By Frederick “Compost SuPaperMan” Halved
I’m a superhero. Well, maybe not a “super” as I can’t fly, or blow acidic chunks that melt metal, but I am a hero, and we need many of them to fight off Christoph Alley. His burly exterior, this lunking, strong hulk-of-a-man doesn’t answer texts or calls, he just wanders the halls, looking for any potential conflict. He’s also acting as the tour guide for Ms. Banks, and from what I know of his tour style, he goes to every freaking classroom in this place.
We race through the halls, traveling from floor to floor, looking for the Cyborg SuPaperMan. Justice is a dish best served cold, and I tried to explain to the little guy with the puppet that talks to him all that Christoph has done, from breaking that kid’s ribs to his tyrannical approach to justice, and how doing this will help stop a menace to Donner’s campus society.
“He’s also a member of the Student Government.” Amber said, starting to get out of breath.
“For real? I didn’t know that.” I said.
“Yeah, not like a big role or anything, but he’s a representative for the Sophomore class.”
“Does he have any allergies?” Smedly, that… weird smelling, backpack wearing kid asked.
I thought for a moment, “I… I think so? Not like a Marshmallow or Peanut Butter allergy but–”
“WE ARE NOT GIVING HIM AN ALLERGIC REACTION.” George demanded. That immediately stopped the conversation on that idea.
Then we stopped, because, standing right outside of the women’s restroom, standing guard, is Christoph Alley. He’s bulky and tall, and anyone would be able to point him out in a room because, most of the time, he could touch the ceiling. He wore a tight button up and sports coat, accentuating his muscles. “Goliath.” Was all Shaun could muster from his mouth.
“And we’re all David.” Anthony mumbled.
Christoph looked at us, his eyes burning with recognition that we were all fighting against him.
“Traitors.” He grunted.
Shaun quickly sent a text out on his phone, and he glared at Christoph, “Okay… Task Force ShreX and the SuPaperMen, we have a new task: Defeat Cyborg SuPaperMan.”
Upon saying that, we all let out loud screams. Christoph charged at us, pushing Amber to the ground with a thud. He was like a one man army, swinging blows at us as we narrowly dodged them. He picked up Shaun and swung him around, Shaun screaming the whole time as he skid across the floor. Ms. Banks walked out of the restroom, and that distracted Christoph enough for us to get a few hits on him.
“Go! Go to the– the principal’s office! NOW!” Christoph yelled at Ms. Banks. You’re probably wondering, ‘why didn’t you all go ahead and knock her out then?’
The students and teachers all started walking out of their classes, looking at the commotion going on. George fumbled around for a bit, before showing his “Hall Monitor” pass.
“We need people to subdue this psychopath!” He yelled. One of the teachers nodded and started dialing a number. He looked at the rest of us, “You guys need to leave.”
And then… Smedly squirted mustard in Christoph’s eyes. He screamed in frustration, and then around his face little inflamed, raised marks started to form.
“Did–Did someone just squirt mustard in my eyes?! I’m allergic!!” His face started to get plump, and his lips grew. He then started to scratch at his throat, and he fell to the ground, gasping. I could see the sudden fear in Anthony’s eyes, and we all looked at one another as Christoph reached out towards us, begging for help. For forgiveness.
Smedly stood still, and looked at all of us.
“Well… it’s been fun and I will miss you all so, but have a good day and I got to go!” Smedly ran away, and we all also ran off, leaving George & the inflamed Cyborg SuPaperMan to face the repercussions.
One Last Time
By Will “Shredshot” Banks
When me and Aaliyah first met, it was at a Sports camp over the summer of our freshman year. She was a cheerleader, I was a star basketball player, it was the most stereotypical high school relationship. But she was more than that stereotypical girl; she was smart, kind, and I couldn’t help but notice the minor, captivating details she possessed as a person.
Our first date was at a fast food joint. Legit.We found love at a Wendy’s. In the time I got to know her, I got to see who she was as a person. I didn’t miss each flirt, each compliment, comment, and she matched the energy. Everything she knew about this world was awesome.
I take a rock and I slip it into a slingshot, my go-to weapon. I’m hiding right behind the door of the bathroom, the door creaked open.
And she was so, so smart. She humbled me with her knowledge. But… Gah. We were dating for three years, and sometimes we’re busy, sometimes life is hard. Sometimes, temptation is there, and especially when you’re the fittest guy in the room, people want to meet you, and girls… girls like you.
Sometimes, we fought. Those times, I’d go and see someone else…
I’m… not a good person. I’m not.
And we’d fight about that. She was so smart, and the others I was seeing… weren’t. It was just simpler.
I pull the slingshot back.
The next day we’d go on a date, and we’d act like nothing had happened, and I could see it wearing on her. The bags under her eyes, the pain in her face. Pensiveness. Contemplation. I can’t get her back, because I’m the one making mistakes, and I wouldn’t want her to take me back because I know that the next time she bores me… a cheerleader or a “fan” would be there to make things better.
Mistakes are all I have. Mistakes are all I do. I think I’m addicted to $&@*ing it all up. But not this time.
Ms. Banks is walking towards the principal’s office. I aim towards her head.
I close my eyes and I see her. I see Aaliyah. Her beautiful hair, done up in an afro. We’re at a rollerskating rink, and I’m holding her hands as we’re dancing together. Me and her.
And I let go.
Ms. Banks fall to the floor, and I swiftly make my escape through the door, walking as fast (but as inconspicuous as possible) through the halls, and out the front door.
I see Aaliyah in my head again, laughing, smiling, I’ve raised her in the air while we spin, and all is fine. I’m sorry. I wish I could say it. I wish I could tell you in private that I’m sorry.
But I’m safe now. I’m not going to be a bad person anymore.
MISSION: DEFEAT MS. BANKS
Car Ride Home
By Shaun-Zhang “Rick Flag” Snyder
When I got word from Will that he succeeded – and got away from the scene before getting caught – I celebrated a bit. We said our goodbyes to the SuPaperMen, and all the students that weren’t from Donner got to go home. We managed to get by without an expulsion. I heard that Ms. Banks was taken to the hospital, though, but that’s fine. We won.
I like to tell my Aunt about all that occurred. She’s been picking me up from each mission & conflict, and we’ve gotten to have a lot of chats about the squad, and how I’m doing as a leader. My aunt told me that I needed to be harsher; they’re kids, and are cannon fodder. So, with Lampert, I was expelling people left and right, and I was then told to be meaner, but less… trigger happy.
So, there’s my aunt’s car, and I got into the front seat, like I usually do. I was busy texting on my phone, writing to The Eraser about all the stuff he might need to secure.
“Hey, Auntie S.” I said. She didn’t say anything, but she locked the car and started to drive.
“… Shaun.” The voice wasn’t my aunt’s. It was deeper, more sinister, and stronger… It was a man’s. It boomed through the car, and no music came out from the radio, so the car, against the wind, was all I could hear.
I lifted my head slowly from my phone. Not only had I gotten into a stranger’s car – the stranger knew my name. Fear sunk into me. I looked him into the eyes.
He had a tan. No, he had the remnants of a tan, the splotches on his forehead, and the leathery texture on his face. Contrasting that was his bright, red hair, and the fine-fitted, tailor-made suit made him look odd driving a mom-van. His tie, straight red, made him look like a devil. A cold, calculating devil.
And his eyes… his eyes just sealed the deal.
“You have been meddling with one of my plans.” He said, “And I haven’t been happy about that.”
I stared at him as he continued to drive, “I don’t know who you are.”
“… Fako Mustacho.” He said, “I’ll be candid with you, I… I didn’t want to stoop this low, but I have been watching you all knock out my employees, embarrass my company, and it’s safe to say that… Well, I’m not happy.”
“You’ve said that.”
He suddenly came to a complete stop, and he stared at me. I tried getting out of the car, “Don’t try it, Shaun. Car is still on, and I have control over the lock.”
“You’re holding me hostage!”
“No, I’m taking you to your home. Do you think I’m stupid?” He reached into his pocket, “Sticky hands and horses… presidential campaigns… You and your kids with your stupid freaking paperwads… I can’t believe I’ve had to play this dirty.”
He put the puppet on his finger, a green headed figure, with a grimace across his face. Streaks of purple across his silver chest, “I know everything. I know your squad, I know who you’ve been running with… and don’t think that I. Don’t. Know. About your Aunt and her little gal-pals.” He leaned towards me, “I know it all, Shaun. My company, when I came into possession of it, was briefed on little fringe groups like yours. We know how you roll. We know what you do. You bite at the legs and you never. Freaking. Go for the head.” He was vitriolic, his face turning as red as his hair, and with each word, spit flung from his mouth, “I’m Brainiac. I’m a genius. I know it all.”
I was silent, stunned, and… scared.
“You’re a $&#@-up, Shaun. You’re not a leader, you’re cruel, horrible. You’re a kid. A dang kid – That’s just how you are. I know it because I was there. So, here’s what you’re going to do: you’re going to expel Will Banks, and I’m going to take you home, and you’re not going to bother me, or my company, again.”
“‘But I-’” He mocked, “‘But I’ what? You’re in my car. You’re going to do what I say.”
“Will is a good kid. He got away with it, there’s no reason why he should be expelled.”
“He put my employee in a coma.”
“But you guys are… bad.”
“Bad? We want to promote education, dude. High School isn’t about fun and games, it’s about consequences. It’s about growing and learning. There’s consequences to a bad education, you’ll end up like… her.” He points out the window at a homeless woman.
“She could’ve been anything.” He said, “But now she’s… like that.”
“But she could’ve been a student at Kane, and went to college, and life went against her.”
“OR SHE DID IT TO HERSELF.” He yelled. It hurt my ears, “Now EXPEL Will Banks, before I rip that $@!* phone out of your hands and do it myself.”
“He’ll hate me… They all will.”
“THEY already do.”
I sigh.The more I hear it, the more I start to believe it’s true. And if this guy is being real… Well, then he’s right.
“Come on, Shaun. Just send it out. Payback. Then I’ll let you go.”
“But I… I’m…”
“We’ll drive in silence, I’ll even let you use the aux, and I’ll drop you off, and we’ll never speak of this again. It’ll be a complete mission, just with one casualty.”
“Can you at least drive me back?” We were on the side of the road, fighting, “I’ll send it out when we get there.”
And we drove back in silence. The whole time, I knew what I was about to do was wrong. I knew that Will, when all of this was said and done, would never forgive me. It was the first time I felt genuinely bad about doing this.
“I see it in your face. You’re having remorse.”
“He’s not a bad guy.”
“I’m sure he’s not. Wrong place at the wrong time, as the wrong person.”
He pulled up to my driveway.
“Send it. I have a meeting with the Superintendent tomorrow, I can’t lollygag in front of a kid’s home all day. Send the freaking e-mail.”
I hovered over the e-mail, filled to the brim with Will’s infractions, especially the hits he had taken… filled to the brim with all that made this kid “bad.” And I knew he hated me, he despised my guts. I didn’t want this to be the nail in the coffin. In fact, I wanted him to remain a part of it all. A meeting with the superintendent, though… The mission isn’t over.
I hover still, and then my finger presses the button.
It’s done. Tomorrow, when he goes in, he’ll be expelled. I started to cry, but he then grabbed me by the shoulders, and I looked into a face that I’d never forget. Fako Mustacho. Origami Brainiac. The menace that has been haunting this entire thing. We had taken down the legs, and the arms, but here I was, looking at the head.
“Great. Oh, and by the way: if you tell anyone about this,” He said, “I’ll kill you.” It sounded serious, a genuine threat. He then unlocked the door and smiled, “Have a nice day!”