By Superfolder Guillermo
“Run!” One of the two young kids said.
Kim Lee and Fale Gallison had just awakened the sleeping giant.
It wasn’t the first time those two entered the woods to get some logs to build the tree house they so desired.
“Why do you come here again?!” A shadow was running behind and closing in on them.
“Get off of me!” Kim had just been caught by another boy, fairly their age, and knocked against a tree.
“Answer me!” He pushed the other to the ground ” Why?”
“Dude, calm down!” Fale exclaimed ” Were just looking for wood, the forest isn’t yours!”
“You are so right.” The once shadow was now a seventeen year old boy who emerged from the trees behind Donner.
He was holding a green origami puppet.
“It’s not anybody’s, but people use it for their needs, and destroy this forest”
“- Is that Killer Croc?” Fale interrupted.
“You leave, you have permission,” The boy explained “But tell the others that Kaden Fahey and Swamp-Pleat will defend this forest with everything”
The other two guys left, once far enough away, they broke into laughter.
Even though this chapter title clearly says introduction, there is little I can introduce about myself.
My name is Kaden Fahey, a seventeen year-old teenager who, for a series of reasons, has turned out to be much different from others.
I wasn’t a very normal kid during my early years to start off. I never really felt like I needed to hang out with anybody, all those weird people that don’t really know you, but you trust them nevertheless… No, that’s not for me.
However, the only thing I couldn’t live without was books.
Books have fascinated me for a very long time, and I could say they have been my best friends.
Every time I got a book, were it for my birthday, Christmas, you name it! I would always like it and start reading it on the very first day.
That changed when, for the first time in years, I was given a book about plants.
You heard it right! My genre was adventure books! Mystery! Not some boring old plants book! Who would want that?
Oh yeah, let me guess, a nerd or something. Which, I can say, I wasn’t.
And for months that book sat in my drawer, day by day, gaining only dust and abandonment from its owner.
It wasn’t until this summer that I picked it up for the first time, since I was feeling bored, really bored, and wanted to do something useful with my time.
Like if I had uncovered a new universe, I read that book every free time I had, up to the point where I had memorized every single plant or green being there was on this earth. Incredible, isn’t it?
The amazing thing was that every plant I saw, I could recognize. Everyone was amazed, I had become what no one thought I would ever be: a nerd. For good or bad.
A WIDE SELECTION OF PLANTS AND ANNOYING FATE
By Kaden Fahey
OK, so one of the things you learn in high school is that no matter how much you grow or how old you are, you still go on field trips for some reason.
I guess it’s just because of the subjects I picked. For university I’m gonna need some knowledge of biology and chemistry for the major in earth science I plan on doing. It’s no mystery why that book affected me more than I can ever know.
So basically there we were, in a Botanist house somewhere around town for the sake of learning some stuff, which of course, I already knew, but Donner always offered these quality classes for top biology students.
This place was very famous, since it hosted many species from other places really hard to come by.
It’s keeper, Master Maurice, or Ol’ Maurice as many liked to call him, practically lived there, spending days and nights taking care of his many powerful plants.
“Alright boys,” Master Maurice started once we got there “The very first thing you’ve got to know if you want to recognize this plant is the patterns! Look at them!”
By this point, many of the people taking notes stopped, they were getting bored, and two of them left for the back door.
“What in the world-?” I looked back, Mr. Maurice was still talking and didn’t notice their absence, maybe I could just slip away…
I went through the back door.
It was dark in the room, but I could hear some voices coming from the kids who left.
“I’m going to get them,” I thought to myself, “Maybe then I’ll have a little more popularity”.
These ideas came to my head, I could see everyone cheering, the teachers happy, and Master Maurice in the crowd, crying.
“You saved my dear plants!” He was saying.
“Nonsense.” I thought again, “I’ll just see what they’re up to”.
I could hear some tearing. That wasn’t good.
And sure enough, it wasn’t. Two guys, Dylan Reed and Ray Davis were tearing plants apart.
Maybe in other circumstances, I would have just let it slide, make like a tree and leave, but I wasn’t feeling so good either.
“Hey!” I called ” Fine weather, huh?”
As soon as they saw me, this guy Ray ran towards me and threw the first punch, that hit me unexpectedly in the face. I fall backwards.
The guy Dylan sees me get back up but kicks me so I fall down again.
Once more, I try to stand up, this time successfully, for Ray, who was preparing another attack, runs like a bull towards me and I roll to the left so he falls into the manure.
“You look good, Ray” Dylan jokes, which gives me time to punch him in the gut. The guy also falls backwards, leaving me as the victor.
Unfortunately, all the noise attracted too much attention, and soon teachers were on my tail, along with some students.
“What on earth happened here?” Master Maurice cried.
After explaining the whole lot of random events, they partly congratulated me, although I’m not very sure. The fight might have caused more damage than a couple of plants, but for me, it was worth it.
THE IMPORTANCE OF PROTECTING ONESELF
By Kaden Fahey
I got pulled out of the crowd once we returned from our little trip. From the excitement of the person pulling and the strength with which he did it, I would’ve expected him to be a bully.
He was one of the teachers, Mr Neils.
“Son,” He said, “Could I talk with you for a minute or two?”
“Yeah, sure.” I parted from the group of kids and followed him.
“Sorry if this is asking too much” I started ” But may I ask why?”
He smiled a bit.
“I have something to tell you”
I entered an office, the most tidy and clean office I had ever seen, with sheets of paper and authorisations neatly piled up on the sides of the table.
A nice, classic quality pen sat in the middle, right above one clean sheet of paper with gaps to fill in.
He was probably filling in a report or something, but that didn’t seem to matter to him, because he got the paper and put it on top of the pile, leaving an awkward unused space in the table between his seat, and the one he had offered me to sit on.
“Please, take a seat.”
I obeyed. The chair poofed when I sat on it.
“Please, take a cookie.”
I had missed it, a cookie jar was on the farthest edge of the table. I sheepishly took one.
“Sir, what is this all about?” I couldn’t help but ask.
“You know, Kaden, you gave Master Maurice quite the scare today.”
“Sorry about that, I was just-”
” Don’t worry about it, I know why” He replied coldly, “And that is why I won’t punish you, yet the two other guys will be, Ray and Dylan” He stopped, “If it hadn’t been for you, more plants would’ve been destroyed”.
I would’ve asked him right then why they were destroying the plants, but I didn’t wanna continue the conversation, it was making me uncomfortable and extremely uneasy at the same time.
“Well, thank you Kaden for your time.” He got his paper and continued filling it in, so I got up, opened the door and left.
Alright, so Mr. Neils had called me to say I wouldn’t be getting punished because I had (sort of) saved the day, even though I believe I had caused a lot of area damage to the place.
Hey, maybe this saving the day and being the hero wasn’t so bad, if only I perfected the skill, I would get congrats elsewhere.
First I needed to find out why they had attacked those plants.
DISCORD GRADE CHAT
CR: haha guys have you heard what happened today?
DR: Tell me about it
CR: Weren’t you one of the guys that caused it?
DR: Nothing would’ve happened if he minded his own business
AG: I just heard about it, unfortunate
BV: Indeed. Now you guys are getting detention, and you two started it, so shut up.
RD: You shut up. That Kaden guy is getting it.
KF: Maybe. Well see about that.
By Dylan Reeds
I was just hanging around outside class, you know, normal stuff.
Actually, I was checking my locker for any unexpected notes inside. It wouldn’t be the first time a guy slips a note into my locker saying that we should have a fight after school. At first I believed it, but after being kept waiting for a while I realised that it had been a joke, the bully was being bullied. Kind of cheesy, isn’t it?
Well, I wasn’t wrong when I said I would probably find a note, and I did.
But it wasn’t looking for a fight, instead, there were five letters stamped in big, capital letters.
WHY DID YOU DO IT?
It all happened really fast, as soon as I read it, I was pushed by a very strong force coming in my direction. In a very short glimpse of the hallway I could see there were no teachers around to tell whoever was attacking me off. Who cares? I would make short work of it.
“Why did you do it?!” A dark voice shouted, “Tell me!”
That interrogation mode was somewhat familiar
“Are you making your voice deeper or something?”
For a second, I remembered some rumors, legends mostly, about a kid who fought villainy at night, for a second, I thought it was him, but taking a better look…
“Kaden! Oh, look who we have here!” I joked.
I tried to throw a punch to him, but he very surprisingly blocked it and punched me with his other fist.
“Where did you learn that stuff?” I asked him, shocked.
“I’m asking the questions here!” He replied “Why did you do it?! “
I chuckled “Examining the leaves, that’s all.”
He punched me again, but some teachers came and pushed me away.
I was surprised by this burst of strength, but then again, this was the second time he had beat me up, this guy is good, as much as I hate to say it.
GETTING THE DATA
By Kaden Fahey
After an interrogation that actually served for nothing, I directed my efforts elsewhere, and saw if the other guy could offer me more.
The teachers led me down easier than I would’ve expected, but the warning was bigger than before: This had been the second time I had been fighting in only two days, and therefore one more would get me expelled for some time.
That didn’t matter, I need to figure out why that happened, but this time I would try to do it more undercover.
I had grown quite fond of trees, plants, and fairly everything that had to do with the green, and if there’s something I learnt from that book I was given, is that no one should ever harm them.
Ray didn’t have time to react when I grabbed his arm and threw him against the wall.
“I’m gonna ask this one time” I said quietly “Why did you harm the plants?”
Ray laughed his head off.
” Harm? Harm the plants? What are you, a ‘green-world’ activist?”
“Shut up and answer!” I yelled, but realised this was a tiny bit wrong, I mean, they had been punished already. I stood back, amazed by my own actions.
He stopped laughing and looked at me.
“If you really wanna know” Ray started ” I’ll just tell you some guys are building a base, back in the forest.”
“By some guys, you mean you guys?” I interrupted him.
“No, well, yes, but there are more of us.” He explained, “We were just searching for harder wood.”
“What are you doing with hardwood?” I was amazed, ” Do you mean you are building a base?”
“A refuge, kind of”
” Why are you telling me this?”
Ray stopped to think
“I think I’m getting tired. I was punished by the teachers and my parents. Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea.”
“I really did hope this would get me higher, at school and in a personal level, but no, it has done the contrary.”
I came closer to him
“I think my purpose is right and fair. I can help you. I’m going to destroy that place you say they have been building, but for that, I’m gonna need help too”.
By Kaden Fahey
“So, we have a deal.” I finished, after shaking hands.
“We do.” He smiled.
We started walking down the hall as the school day ended and a mass of students ran to get their stuff from the lockers.
“Y’know,” Ray was saying, “I don’t know you too well, but I know you have spirit.”
“I think we can do this.”
“Yeah.” I agreed.
I went to my house after that. The next day was Saturday, the day Ray and I would reunite to see what we came up with, and hopefully end the scheme before it even starts. He believed that to be the best idea: He feared once they launched the base project it would be unstoppable.
That night I dreamt something really weird but that could totally be true at the same time.
Ray and I were walking into the fort behind Donner, but stopped upon the haze of a wooden 30×30 meters wide wooden fortress.
A guy saw us and called the alarm. But there weren’t other students coming for us, but trees from the same forest we were standing on.
“Save us! Save us!” They were calling.
I woke up with the chirping of birds announcing a new day.
Maybe this obsession and paranoia was actually driving me insane.
“So, why are you willing to do this?” Ray asked me time later when we met, near the forest “Is this your problem?”
I looked at him, considering what he just said “Maybe it’s not, but I got involved in this.” I smirked, “There are rumors about heroes in this town, taking down bullies. I say, why not me?”
“Right you are.” Ray agreed.
A sudden burst of wind came. So strong was it that he and I had to cover our faces with our hands, and the trees moved their branches anxiously, and a piece of broken paper landed some feet next to us.
“This is interesting” I murmured under my breath, and walked towards the piece of paper. It was green and torn on every side, as if it had been rolling around for quite a long time.
” Talking about paper heroes…” I started, picking it up and inspecting it
“I’m not sure we said anything about paper.”
I then started folding the sides and making creases, turning it into a simple finger puppet.
I didn’t know how to fold origami, but a simple puppet comes easily. The sides came out often, but that’s wasn’t a problem.
“Ever heard about Swamp Thing?” I asked Ray
“Nope.” Ray said.
“Alright, whatever, we’ll call this Swamp… Pleat, Swamp-Pleat. Defender of the green.”
I paused for an epic moment.
“This is a bit paranoiac,” Ray grunted.
THE BATTLE FOR THE WOODS
As recorded by Kaden Fahey
Ray: Kaden, you there?
Kaden: I’m here
Ray: So, what’s the plan?
Kaden: Once we enter the thicker woods and see the fortress, I’ll have a better idea.
(Sound of Ray and Kaden seeing the fortress for the first time)
Ray: Whoa! Is that-?
Ray: It looks like it’s still in the building process though.
Kaden: It’s just a hut between some trees, the rest is still being built.
(Sound of Kaden taking out Swamp-Pleat)
Kaden: Let’s do this, you get past these two jocks?
Ray: Hey! Maybe I can get past them, you know, since I was a known bully and all.
Kaden: You and Dylan were pitiful bullies, I beat you up two times.
Ray: But that didn’t stop Dylan from being here.
(Sound of Ray pointing at Fale talking with another guy, Kim)
Kaden: We ready?
(Sound of Ray getting up and making his way to the hut)
Ray: Fine day today?
Kim: Ray? I thought you’d never come!
Kim: What’s good?
Ray: Well I ran into some trouble and-
Fale: What kind of trouble?
Ray: Well… We couldn’t find it, and couldn’t come earlier…
Kim: C’mon Fale! Cut him some slack.
Fale: No, I’d like to know, who’s ‘we’?
(Sound of awkward silence.)
Ray: Oh, what the heck.
(Sound of Ray punching the two but then getting back up.)
As soon as I punched Fale in the gut, he made a weird sound and backed up. The other, Kim, threw a punch and got me.
I fell backwards, and tried to signal Kaden to come out from his hiding place and back me up. This wasn’t looking good, and there were only two of them.
Fale came back and kicked me on the floor.
“No fair!” I shouted, but Fale got ready for another kick, but was interrupted by Kaden, who got his leg and threw him backwards, knocking him out. One down, one to go.
Kim aimed for Kaden when he picked up a rock and threw it. Thankfully, he didn’t get him.
This was getting out of hand.
“Are you out of your mind?” Kaden yelled “If you hit any of us there are gonna be consequences!”
“Yeah?” Kim grunted “How about you run away and pretend there’s no base here! It was surprising you found out, but seeing as you have a traitor with you… “
I got up from the floor.
“Do you call a traitor a guy who stopped bullying people for good?” I sneered, “I have tried to put a stop to this since it started, and now here I am… And, thankfully, there are only two of you on guard, so I’ll make this quick.”
I realised just then that Fale had his phone out, and was texting someone.
“Noo!” I yelled in desperation, the last thing we needed were more guards here.
I grabbed the phone and kept it until later.
The two of them were clearly outmatched against the two of us, and got up to run away.
“Don’t ever come back to the woods!” Kaden yelled behind them.
“Let’s destroy this, shall we?” I smirked, this mission was close to its completion.
We destroyed the bases and chopped the logs that made the base so that it couldn’t be built again, at least with those materials.
And with the fully risen sun above our heads, we went back home, leaving our shenanigans behind us.
By Kaden Fahey
“So,” I asked Ray “What will you do now?”
“I guess I’ll go home,” He sighed “But I guess I’ll be different, I believe I just became another hero.”
“Indeed, this has been a learning experience for both of us.” I agreed. “I wanted to look for glory, but found something else called heroism, now people can call me if they need me.”
I got Swamp-Pleat out
“Now, I guess I’ll just roam around from time to time, checking for new fortresses in the woods, you know, like a defender, like this guy”.
I put Swamp-Pleat on my finger, and went home, got my plants book out, and started reading it once again.