Thorigami: Lord of Folders
Thorigami: Lord of Folders
By SuperDoodler CJ
Prologue: The Nine Realms
By Shelby Solstice
I speak of a universe wherein there is love and hate, magic and reality, chaos and order, wonder and monotony. A place nearly every child knows of, and nearly every adult remembers. A land where battles are fought everyday – some between clans, some between individuals, and some within the battlegrounds of a person’s own intellect and soul. Yes, I speak of the world that is…
… high school.
Surprised? If so, you shouldn’t be. High school is everything that I claim it to be. It tests every part of a teenager’s mental, physical, and spiritual being. Tis the very place where lovers find each other and enemies clash against one another. Everyone is attempting to discover who they are, what they want, and where they want to be. To some, high school is their favorite place in the world; to the majority… it is nothing but a living nightmare of torture and suffering.
As a Twelfth Grader at Wheeler Academy, I can easily say that I know it all by now. Not to brag, but I’m basically an expert on everything high-school-related. It’s been a difficult journey, but I’ve climbed the social ladder and found a group of friends that I can call my own. But those poor freshmen are always get it the worst. Some think it’s funny when the freshmen, ignorant but generally happy kids, walk through the doors of Wheeler, only to get slammed face-first with reality and find that high school is much worse than middle school ever was. After that, though, it usually gets better. I found my place as a member of the Speech and Debate team at my school; not to mention, I just recently was elected Student Body President. So… I’m kind of a big deal in my social group. Yay me! 😀
Sorry, that probably made me sound like an airhead. But like I said before, it’s not easy getting through high school, so when you finally become popular or at least recognized within a group of friends and acquaintances, it feels really good.
Speaking of social groups… ahem! Within the vast boundaries of Wheeler Academy, there exists eight realms, plus a separate ninth realm (I’ll get to that one later). First, my very own, the Student Body Government as well as the Speech & Debate (Forensics) Club. We like to think of ourselves as the leaders of the school, the ones who try to make things better and help in any way we can. One may compare us to the Asgardians of Norse mythology and Marvel comic book lore.
Second, there are the athletes. You know… the jocks, the most cliché social clique of them all. Wheeler Academy’s sports teams are just as jock-y as they come; they’re annoying, arrogant, bigmouthed, no-nothing jerks… for the most part at least. I mean, I might be a bit biased seeing as jocks and student government have been butting heads for a long time. Jocks, typical of the “macho men” stereotype, often try to make decisions around the school, and they threaten/bully anyone who gets in their way. In keeping with the Norse/Marvel comparison, they are the Frost Giants of this land – members of the second realm, Jotunheim. My friends, as members of the student government, make it our primary goal to protect the Wheeler students, especially from jocks.
Third is the Cheerleader Squad, AKA the “mean girls.” They’re pretty much the feminine version of the jocks. In fact, you will often see those two social groups mingling and flirting with each other. It’s so gross. They are the most exclusive clique (and personally my least favorite.) Best three words to describe them would be the following: gossipy, judgmental, and snooty. They are of the Niflheim/Helheim realm, because when you’re associated with that social group, you’re either the fawning “dead” followers or the tyrant leaders.
The fourth of the “realms” is the Theater Club. Most of these teens are pretty nice, minus the occasional diva. In fact, the Speech & Debate Team generally gets along well with the Theater Club because of one thing they both share: love for speaking. Thus, it would be reasonable to have the Drama kids be represented by the Vanir, the race of the world Vanaheim, a close ally to Asgard.
Fifthly, the kids from Woodshop Class are alike to the dwarves of Nidavellir – hardworking, ruff around the edges, but still genuine and kind. They make some amazing things with wood, and some are even into origami-folding… like, incredible origami. Japanese master-level stuff. Anyways, these are the teens who are looking for average, blue-collar jobs, but they are some of the most loyal and trustworthy people I know.
The sixth clique would be the Nerd Squad… sorry, I mean the Chess Club. However, for the most part, they are nerds. They’re intelligent and generally good-natured, but kind of annoying and haughty, too. However, if there are any jocks in the area, the nerds disappear fast. They are likened to the Light Elves of Alfheim.
Seventhly, there is the Yearbook Club. While most of the kids from this club are okay, some of them are kind of strange. They have access to a lot of information, since they are the keepers of the “Dark Shelves” of Wheeler’s past yearbooks and all the embarrassing pictures inside them. Also, because they are usually free to sneak around the halls to take photographs, I am often suspicious about them, especially since… never mind. Let’s just say they’re similar to the Dark Elves of Svartalfheim.
The eighth and final realm within Wheeler Academy is the outcasts. Every school has these people… the ones who just don’t fit in anywhere. It’s kind of sad that so many people who go to high school are friendless. They are compared to the Fire Demons of Muspelheim. These kids are always living lives of burning emotional and mental torment. However, the student government takes great lengths to include loners and wanderers in school activities.
Obviously, there are other, smaller sects of people who share common interests, but these eight are the major ones. Oh, and of course, there’s the ninth realm – Midgard, the land of the humans, which in this case is the symbol for Kirby High School, the rival school to Wheeler Academy. Just as Midgard is separated from the rest of the nine realms in the Marvel universe, so Kirby is from all the social groups of Wheeler. To many of us Wheeler kids, we view Kirby with a grudge. I guess that’s just how school rivalries go. But it’s unfortunate; personally, I have seen firsthand how amazing and unique these Kirbians can be. I honestly wish this whole competition would just cease to exist. It’s not healthy… in fact, it often tends to be the opposite.
Now, most people from Wheeler think this kind of comparison between Marvel and Norse lore and the cliques of Wheeler Academy itself is stupid. But honestly, they make a lot of sense. And in today’s world, where things are constantly changing and shifting, many things don’t make sense. Sometimes it takes some silly superhero comics and papery puppets to give some sense and meaning to a teenager’s life… to help them cope. It sure gave meaning to mine.
Oh, and on the topic of superheroes and origami… well, let’s just say that somehow these two items have become very important to both Kirby High and Wheeler Academy. If anything could bring these two schools together, it would be those things. Both schools share a tradition of kids walking down the halls while pretending to be Marvel superheroes and supervillains, folding origami puppets to match their respective characters. Is it dumb and immature? Maybe. But it’s also unique and really fun. Personally, I really dig Odin, the king of the Norse gods in the Marvel comics. I even made an origami Odin and gave him a name. Want to hear it? Okay. Here it is…
I know, I know. It’s pretty punny, but it’s the best I got. Maybe Odingami would be better? Anyway, as a leader of Wheeler Academy, I feel like I can relate to Odin, who is often seen as this far-off, all-powerful character that is feared and barely known. Yet, Odin does have emotions as well as the stress of having the weight of nine literal worlds put upon his shoulders. By keeping Foldin as a bookmark in my backpack, I feel like I can get a little of Odin’s strength, so I can carry out my duties as Student Body President. There’s just something about having an image – a piece of a personal role model – that makes all the difference in how someone acts. I bet you ten dollars that it can even make an underconfident newbie into a hero… maybe the hero both Kirby and Wheeler needs.
Oh! Speaking of newbies, I get to give a tour around campus to the new exchange student tomorrow! Woohoo!
Chapter I: A New School, a New Girl
By Dove MacLeash
Hello, my name is Dover MacLeash, but all my friends call me Dove. I am writing this essay to talk about my heritage and new life in Wheeler Academy. My father is a Scotsman who visited Iceland many years ago. I do not know why he decided to make a trip to the little rock I now call home, but he did. And, lo and behold, he fell in love with my mother. Because my mother was so attached to her family, my father immigrated to Iceland, and… well, I am sure you can figure out the rest. However, my father always dreamt of seeing the world, especially America; sadly, as a full-time worker and a much older man, he is no longer capable of doing so. Yet, he wished that a child of his would be able to fulfill his wish for him; as providence would have it, I have gained myself in an educational transfer program to United States so that I may attend school at Wheeler Academy.
When I started school, I was barely fluent in English. I knew just enough to pass by. Thankfully, my teachers were patient enough to help me. Despite being new to Wheeler Academy, I have found people who are very supportive and helpful, people I am happy to call friends. One person, in specific, I have become quite fond of. Her name is Miss Shelby Solstice.
After my American guardian had dropped me off at Wheeler on my first day of education, I met Shelby waiting for me at the entrance door to the school. She was very eager to meet me, which, for me, is very uncommon, as I have never been a very noticeable person. Perhaps this is why I became so fascinated by her. However, I do not believe that this is what you would call “love at first sight.” I merely believe that this was the moment when I first formed a bond with a person who was just as interested in me as I was in them. Believe me, there is a difference! Unless… I am misunderstanding this concept. American romance movies are confusing.
Anyway, it is because of my attachment to Shelby Solstice that I became involved in the odd happenings that occurred in Wheeler. If I had not found favor with her, I probably would have stayed out of everything that would happen next. But I did not, and I have no regrets. Well, maybe a few regrets. But I hope I can fix them… the regrets, I mean. Oh, for the love of Òlafur, how do I explain this?
To put it simply, a boy will do many things to impress a girl, and sometimes that involves folding white paper into the likeness of a comic book person.
Uh… that was not simple, was it?
I apologize for going off on this tangent, but it has a purpose. Anyway, I will now tell you the tales of my misadventures at Wheeler Academy. So, as they say back in my homeland, “On with the butter!” (That phrase means “Onwards!” or “Carry on!” in English.)
Miss Solstice was giving me a tour of Wheeler. I was very impressed by the school. Of course, my school back in Iceland was not that great anyway, so any American school would probably look good to me. For the most part, our conversation consisted of Shelby talking a great deal about Wheeler, while I nodded and sometimes spoke a word of agreement in reply.
Like I said, I was barely fluent in English! When someone talked, it took all my focus to understand what they were speaking of; trying to talk back was overkill. The good thing, however, was that Shelby did not speak to me as if was an alien. In fact, she probably did not even realize how much of a foreigner I was. That is one thing I really liked about Shelby. She treated me like an actual person, not like an invisible ghost. She was kind… and gentle… and pretty… and…
Maybe it was “love at first sight” after all… oh, goodness gracious! I feel so embarrassed and stupid now. No matter. It is not like anyone is ever actually going to read this. This is just a journal passage that I am writing down because my literature teacher thought it might help me understand my thoughts and emotions. Perhaps, I have lied to myself this whole time. Maybe I really do like Shelby… uh, moving along!
As we walked to my first class of the day, she told me about some of the traditions of Wheeler Academy. Apparently, both Wheeler and the nearby Kirby High School have had a strong connection to comic books from the company Marvel as well as origami paper folding from Japanese culture. I do not have the slightest idea why those two things would be so important to both schools, but I suppose destiny works in strange and wonderous ways sometimes. At one point, Shelby and I walked passed a glass case full of Wheeler awards and memorabilia. In one section of the case was, as Shelby explained, a minted edition of the first comic book in which Thor appeared. I was immediately fascinated by this because I had grown up listening to the myths of the Norse gods of old. Thor was always my favorite… but then again, Thor was everyone’s favorite. He was so mighty, daring, and inspiring!
Finally, I spoke something to Shelby. “There have been comic books of Thor this whole time, and I did not know?”
Shelby turned towards me and smiled. “I’m glad you’ve found such an interest in the Thunderer. Yes, Thor is one of the most famous Marvel superheroes. He’s in a lot of movies, too! Maybe we could watch them together sometime.”
When she said this, my heart… how do Americans say it? “My heart skipped a beat?” Yes, I think that is it. Shelby wanted to watch movies with me! I had just met her, and she already wanted to… uh… “hang out with me.” My goodness, Americans talk so strangely!
After a momentary shock, I soon recovered. “Yes,” I replied, “I would like that very much. I am afraid I do not have many friends to do things with. You are very kind.”
For a moment, Shelby turned away, as if pondering about something. I am not sure why. I hoped I had not said something inappropriate in English by mistake and embarrassed her. She beckoned me to continue walking, and I obeyed.
Eventually, we reached the classroom I was supposed to go to first. I smiled, thanked her for helping me, and turned to go into the class. However, before I entered, she tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around. She had a piece of paper in her hand.
“As president of Wheeler Academy’s Student Body Government, I would like to offer you a position in my cabinet as Secretary of Treasury. I’d also like to invite you to join the Speech and Debate club. I think you might like it. Plus, we’d be able to hang out together a lot more.”
My heart was on fire now. But I was still confused as to whether or not this was a sign Shelby really liked me or was just trying to be friendly. Because of this, I hesitated, and tried to make excuses.
“Oh, that is very nice of you, but I cannot speak English well, and I have never done… uh… ‘Student Body Government’ before.”
Shelby raised her eyebrow and smirked. “Oh please, everyone says that. Are you any good at math?”
“Yes, I suppose so. I had to help manage my father’s store back home, and that involved keeping track of the money and…”
“Perfect! You would be great as the Secretary of Treasury. And as for Speech and Debate, I can help you practice speaking and writing better. Sound good?”
At this point, I could not really say no… so I agreed. Shelby thrusted two papers she had been holding into my hands. They were schedules for the meetings for student body government as well as Speech and Debate club. With that, Shelby nodded with approval. She walked away, then turned to wave again.
“Bye, Dover!” she said.
“Farewell, Shelby! Oh, and you can just call me Dove!”
I waved back, and then entered into class. Yes, I was definitely in love. I wonder how Shelby felt about all this…
Chapter II: An Old School, a New Boy
MY. GOSH. I have a crush on the Icelandic sophomore who I just met today!!! He is SO cute-looking, with his blonde hair and dimpled cheeks. I can’t believe it. I thought I was better than this. But… I can’t help myself. He’s too perfect. When he called me kind, I blushed so hard I had to hide my face! He’s just as good-looking and tall as any other jock at Wheeler, but he’s so much nicer and totally not a jerk. In fact, he seems really shy and doesn’t talk too much. Maybe that was because he doesn’t speak English well, or something. I don’t know. But he’s a great listener, and seemed interested in me, too!
Wow. Wow. Just wow. I honestly thought I was mature enough that I would stop having these silly little high school crush things. I mean, I’m a senior! I thought, if anything, I would be going on dates with other senior guys. But those of them are just jocks or nerds. And they’re not my kind. A few of senior guys are in Speech and Debate Club and Student Body Government. I like them as friends, but they really just feel like coworkers.
But Dover… I mean Dove… he is something else. He is not of any of the nine realms. He’s so unique and different. I’m sure he could easily become a loner if he wasn’t given any help. But I’m going to make sure he does well. I can’t wait to hang out with him more! Whoohoo!
Chapter III: A New School, a New Nightmare
By Judah Decassius
I’m just going to come out now and say that I hate high school. There’s no other way to put it. Whether it’s back in Israel, or in the U.S., I just hate it. In high school, everyone hates everyone else. It’s a dog-eat-dog world where social status is the only currency and education, which is ostensibly why we are there in the first place, is worth nothing to other people.
Yeah, I’m a Jew from Israel. My family moved to the States recently, and I got enrolled in Kirby High School. I was kind of hoping it would be better than the school back home.
But that’s beside the point. I’m used to no one hanging out with me. I don’t know why. Maybe I’m annoying to them or something; but I learned to stop caring and just move on with life.
Oh, and bullies and jocks are the worst. They seem to be the only ones who notice me. I’ve been running from them my whole life. Not to brag, but I’ve become pretty good at it. Practically no one can catch me. But all of this changed one day when I decided to pay a visit to Wheeler Academy.
Once the day was over, I decided to bicycle my way over to Wheeler. My parents both work and, since I’m an only child, there’s no one else at home for a while. So, I’ve got a lot of freedom, and decided to check the place out. Besides being fast, my other talent is sneaking around. I eavesdropped on a lot of people, and one of the major topics is the feud between Kirby and Wheeler. Apparently, things have gotten pretty tense ever since some kid named Clark duked it out with a fellow Kirbian. It involved a paint cannon or something. Hah. What a bunch of losers.
Curious to see Kirby’s competition and how I might profit from this school rivalry ordeal, I snooped around until I found the Wheeler sports field. A bunch of jocks were exercising in front of some cheerleaders who were eyeing them. Eventually, I got close enough so I could clearly hear their conversation.
“Hey,” one jock said, “did you hear about the confrontation between Grover and that stupid school president?”
“Oh yeah, yeah, I did hear about that!” the other replied. “Wasn’t Grover getting payback on some nerd who tried wiggling out of a deal they had made?”
“Uh-huh! Then, her majesty herself, Miss Shelby Solstice, got up in Grover’s face about it. And, of course, Grover would never hurt a girl, so he backed off, being a gentleman and such.”
“Those student body government kids think they are in charge of this school, when they’re really all figureheads who ain’t got nothing better to do with their lives.”
“They make me sick! In fact–”
The conversation would have continued, if it hadn’t been for the fact that I had been spotted by one of the bigger guys there.
“Hey! We’ve got a snoop in our mist!” he yelled.
“Probably one of those darn Kirbians!” hollered another.
“Someone grab the punk!” cried a third jock.
Remember what I said about how I had a knack for outrunning bullies? Well, that skill was put to the test as I sprinted away from the most athletic bunch of Wheeler. I ran nearly half a lap, and no one could touch me. I thought I was home free… until I ran into the alpha dog of the lot himself – Grover.
With ease, the teenager with a titan body snatched me by my shirt collar and hoisted me up until I couldn’t touch the ground. I stared into his eyes. They were a cold, icy blue… unfeeling and malicious. I gulped and prepared myself for what was coming. Here comes the blow now…
He started laughing. Laughing, I tell you! All the other jocks looked at Grover in disbelief. He dropped me to the ground and slapped me hard on my back. It stung a little, but it definitely wasn’t a painful punch to the stomach.
“You guys couldn’t catch this pipsqueak?!” he roared. “Alright, ladies, that means five more laps! Until you can outrun this little guy, none of you deserve to be on the Track and Field Team. Come on, get moving! Move! MOVE!!!”
He acted as if he were the coach of the whole team. Although grudgingly, the whole team obeyed him, and started jogging around the field. I was about to sneak off, but Grover wasn’t done with me yet.
“Don’t leave just yet, kid,” he commanded. “Come here for a sec. Don’t worry, I won’t hurt ya.”
I glared at him. “So, the hungry lion speaks kind words to his prey, does he?”
This made Grover laugh again. “You’re funny. You know who I am, boy?”
“Grover, the top dog, right?”
“I see my reputation proceeds me! State your name, school, and rank.”
“Judah Decassius. Kirby High School. Nobody important.”
“Well, Jude… can I call you Jude?” he asked without waiting for my answer. “As I see it, you’re the fastest runner I’ve seen in a while. If none of my peeps could catch you, I doubt anyone can. Our Track and Field Team needs a champ like you. How ‘bout you join us and leave your ‘nobody important’ days behind? You’ll get to hang out with the boys and the cheerleading chicks. And man, oh man, those girls would love a Usain Bolt type like you.”
I raised my eyebrow. “Didn’t you just hear? I go to Kirby. I can’t be on a Wheeler team.”
Grover gave a big, devilish grin. “You just leave that to me. I’ve got some power in this school. Let me pull a few strings, and you’ll find yourself a place on the team. We meet up Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays after school. Come on… whad’ya say?”
The monster of a boy lifted his meaty hand out to me. I looked him over, trying to find any sign that he was just lying. I didn’t trust him… but the idea of being recognized within a top-level group of peers was too delicious for me to resist. I didn’t care if they weren’t really my friends. I didn’t want friends. I wanted power. I wanted respect.
I shook his hand. The bargain was struck.
“We’re going to do great things together, Jude,” said Grover. “Or my name isn’t Grover Jotunheimer. Now, my amigo, would ya mind telling me the inside scoop on Kirby now and then? Especially ones about their sports teams. We’ve got a bit of a vendetta against ‘em. It’d be nice to know some of their secrets… to give us the upper edge.”
“Gladly,” I replied.
Chapter IV: The Folding of a Hero
By Dove MacLeash
I was having the best days of my life ever since I met Shelby Solstice. She was the best thing that had happened in my life. We started doing everything together. First, it was just Student Body Government and Speech and Debate meets. Then, we started sitting together at lunch together, and even going to each other’s houses to study and do homework. Oh, and I also made friends with all of her friends. I had real friends!
It was all going great. And then, things started changing once Shelby let me in on a secret about Wheeler. I think I started to change… probably for the better.
Shelby invited me to meet with her after school at a local Wendy’s fast-food chain restaurant. I had never been there before, so I was very intrigued. By the way, it was not a date. At least, not that I was aware of…
I found her inside, waiting for me. She patted on the seat next to her, beckoning me to sit with her. As I sat down, I was presented with a drink she had bought for me.
“Here’s a present for winning third place in Oratory at the Speech and Debate competition last week!” she said happily.
“Oh, thank you,” I replied. “Uh, what kind of beverage is this?”
“It’s Dr. Pepper – my favorite soda pop! Go on, try it!”
Somewhat reluctantly, I sipped the straw. To my surprise, the drink was quite tasty.
She cocked her head and raised her eyebrow playfully. “So… is it good?”
I nodded. “Yes, it is very good; however, I hear that you Americans get addicted to this stuff, so I am not sure how good it is for my health.”
Shelby giggled, then opened her purse. “That’s not the only reason I asked you to come here. You see, it’s been about a month since we met, and I feel like I can trust you. So, I’m going to tell you a little secret, okay? Promise you won’t tell anyone else?”
I was suspicious as to what this secret was, but, nonetheless, I nodded in agreement
“Alright… check this out.”
She took a book from of her purse. Opening it up to a certain page, she took out what seemed to be a bookmark. However, on closer inspection, I found that it was really a small piece of paper designed to look like a little man. The paper man was excellently made. He had a long beard, an eyepatch, a golden robe, and a small paper staff. Shelby proceeded to place the paper man on her finger, and wave him around.
“That is a very cute paper doll,” I said, trying to be polite. “But what are you doing with him? Is this supposed to be some joke?”
“No, silly!” she said with her signature sunny smile. “It’s an origami Odin. You know, the All-Father of Asgard from the Marvel comics?”
“Yes, of course I know who Odin is. But why have you made a flimsy image of him?”
“Well, you remember what I told you about the traditions of Wheeler and Kirby?”
That’s when it all started to make sense. It turns out that Shelby was one of those who carried this tradition of roleplaying. I suppose that, since she is a natural-born leader, she obviously had to adopt the persona of Odin.
“Oh, I see. Well, why are you telling me about this? Why is it such a secret?”
Shelby put her origami figurine down and looked at me seriously. “Well, believe it or not, but these origami characters have become somewhat notorious these days. People who have them and show them off tend to be judged as immature and weird. While I don’t really care what most people think about me, I’m afraid that people won’t follow me as a leader with this kind of widespread perspective of origami characters. I wish I could change that.”
I nodded in understanding. “Well, I think your origami Odin is really cool.”
Her somber face regained a warm, glowing grin. “Thanks, Dove. But the reason I wanted to show you Foldin… that’s what I call this guy… is because I want to bring back origami characters to Wheeler Academy. I think it could really benefit others, especially loners, by giving them a sense of identity and unity. They’ll have a character they can act as, and if enough people do it, they’ll start socializing and stop judging each other. Or at least, in an ideal world they would. But if we could make a positive impact on one person’s life… wouldn’t that be totally worth it?”
I stared into space for a moment, pondering Shelby’s question. I finally replied, “Yes, it would be. Shelby, if I can be honest, you have made my life a lot happier by being my friend. I would love to do the same thing for someone else. And if that means I have to fold a hero out of paper to do it… even if I am judged… then it shall be done. So sayeth Thorigami.”
Shelby made a little squeal when I added that last line about Thorigami in. I had come up with the name right after Shelby had mentioned the name Foldin. I thought she might like that.
“You’re the best, Dove!” With that, she embraced her arms around me. I smiled and took another swig of Dr. Pepper. After that, she showed me how to fold an origami Thor puppet. I was not very good at it. Our hands may have touched while she tried to show me how to do it properly. It was the best date… I mean, hang-out… ever.
Chapter V: The Creasing of a Trickster
By Jude Decassius
I tell ya, being a jock is fun. Grover was totally right. You get everything: glory, popularity, power, and respect. Also, because of the little stunt I pulled, I’m basically Grover’s righthand man. I don’t think anyone else likes me that much, but they can’t say anything bad about me without putting themselves in danger of angering Grover. Plus, those cheerleader babes are always fawning over me. The really hot one, Sophia, even gave me her phone number.
Life is good.
Of course, I’m still a full-time Kirby student, which stinks a lot. At that school, I’m still invisible; but after regular school hours, when I hop over to Wheeler… oh ho, I am a king! I’m still the fastest runner, so Grover can keep busting everyone else’s chops and making fun of them for their inability to keep up with me. They keep getting humiliated, while I sit on top of them all! Welcome to my world, boys!
But still… I wish I had more. I’ve suffered so long in school. In Kindergarten, everyone laughed at me when my mom gave me a bad haircut for Yearbook Picture Day. Ever since then, I was always made the laughingstock of the class, the punchline to every joke. Whether it was my braces, my clothes, my packed lunch… it just all exploded in my face. Sure, my grades have always been nearly perfect; the teachers pat you on the back and say, “Good job!” My parents look at my report card approvingly and that’s that. But nothing more. They didn’t even take me out for a special dinner or anything. So, after all that, don’t I deserve a to have my time in the sun? After nearly a DECADE of being scorned and forgotten, is it wrong for me to want to have a higher social standing?
Why… why does everyone hate me?
Alright, I’m back now. Had to go chill out for a minute. I’m fine. Everything’s fine. Just had to let my feelings out and wash my face off. When you’re a teenager, emotions can be a little overwhelming, and sometimes I can’t control them.
On a separate note, I just got a phone call from Grover. He said he’s got a proposition for me. Since I am his most capable ally and am mostly unknown to the rest of Wheeler Academy, he wants me to infiltrate the other leading force in Wheeler Academy – Student Body Government. Hah! At least Grover seems to recognize that there’s more to me than meets the eye. Anyway, this is how it’s going to go down: because of a special “program” authorized by both Kirby and Wheeler, I will be transferred to Wheeler and go to school there for two weeks, while another student takes my place at Kirby for the same amount of time. During that time, I will choose Student Body Government as my extracurricular activity and work my way into their ranks. Once I do, I will search through the Government Archives for any dirt on President Solstice. Now, I don’t have much time… not counting the weekends, I have only ten days total to complete this gig. But, then again, I became one of the top jocks in one day, so how hard could this be?
I’ve also been digging into the histories of Kirby High School and Wheeler Academy, and boy, oh boy, I’ve found some interesting stuff. Apparently, these two schools first started fighting all because of some dumb mascot. And then there’s this weird tradition where people fold origami Marvel puppets as a roleplaying exercise.
At first, I was thinking, “These two schools are really peculiar.” But then, I realized that such a practice might be enjoyable, and allow me to express myself. So, I selected my favorite character from the Marvel Cinematic Universe to fold… that being the great Loki himself. Tom Hiddleston, the actor of Loki, portrays him so well. He’s likeable, charismatic, and charming. That’s all the things I need in order that I might make the Wheeler athletes supreme to those snobby mock-government officials.
Origami is actually really fun to do. After practicing by making some origami birds, I finally attempted to create what I hoped would be a masterpiece. With paper in one hand, and art supplies in the other, I spent much time working on my beautiful design. Finally, before me laid a matchless figure that looked like a miniature Tom Hiddleston himself.
Thus… Lokrease was born.
Chapter VI: A Day of Reckoning
By Dove MacLeash
AC/DC hoodie? Check.
Vegvísir necklace? Check.
Thorigami in my pocket? Check. All good to go.
That was how this specific Monday began. I had high hopes for the week, as I was preparing to ask Shelby on an official date. Seeing as our relationship had held strong up until now, I thought it was finally time I make my move. For once in my life, I was actually feeling confident.
Upon entering school, I handed Kevin, one of the Student Body Government staff members, a clipboard with the most recent report I had made on the Government’s Treasury. Thanks to my experience in basic accounting and budgeting, the Treasury was, how you would say, “in good shape.” I continued to stroll down the hall and was congratulated on my most recent victory at last Saturday’s Speech & Debate tournament. I do not know how, but I won first place in my category. Thanks to Shelby’s help, I had learned to be a fairly good speaker, and the judges seemed to like my creative speech on lucid dreaming. The day was off to a good start.
In fact, the whole morning went well. When I came to the cafeteria for lunch, I was greeted by a shining, beautiful smile emanating from Lady Solstice herself. Instead of beckoning me, she came rushing to me. I could see the excitement in her glittering blue eyes. I was very fortunate to have her as a friend… and hopefully even more than a friend.
We had exchanged some “small talk” before she told me something that, for some reason, disturbed me. “We’ve got a new member for Student Body Government!” she said eagerly. “His name is Jude Decassius. He is a Jewish student from Israel. Originally, he transferred to Kirby High School, but now, thanks to some new Kirby-Wheeler cooperation program, he is going to be a student at Wheeler Academy for two weeks while someone from here goes to Kirby High School for two weeks.”
“That is… very interesting,” I said, hesitating on how to respond to this strange turn of events. “And he has already been accepted to Student Body Government? That was fast…”
Shelby laughed. “Oh, come on, Dove! I asked you to join Student Body Government on the first day you came to school, too! I mean, this kid sounds a lot like you, as far as the circumstances you have both been in. If he is even sort of similar to you, I bet he’ll do really well here.”
I continued to stay stoic and thoughtful for the moment. This news just did not make sense to my mind for some reason. Shelby nudged my shoulder several times playfully. “Uh, hello? Earth to Dove? That was what we Americans call a ‘compliment.’”
Realizing I might ruin the mood for Shelby if I continued to act like this, I quickly made a grin and replied, “I know what a compliment is, Shel.”
Suddenly, I spotted, out in the distant part of the cafeteria, a jock prodding two students, one of them being in a wheelchair, out through the hallway doors, while nobody else noticed. I had a pretty good idea of what was bound to happen.
“Hey, uh, Shel, I apologize greatly for leaving you right now, but I think I see some kids who need my help!”
By the time I said the final words of this sentence, I was already moving quickly towards the same way I saw those teens go. I crashed through the double-doors to see that they were already turning the corner at the end of the hallway. I started to pull Thorigami out of my pocket, feeling a rush of adrenaline as I ran down the hallway towards what I knew, in my heart, was to be my destiny.
But then I got stopped by a stupid hall monitor.
“Hey, slow down, buddy,” he said to me. “Yo, dude, I’m afraid I can’t let you go anywhere unless you’ve got a pass.”
“Hálfviti…” I mumbled under my breath in my native Icelandic tongue.
“What you just call me?” he asked.
“Look, I am afraid that I do not have time for this. I must find those kids who were being punished by that bully. You must let me through.”
The hall monitor crossed his arms. “A likely story,” he said with a sarcastic emphasis added to it.
“Please, I will do anything for you if you just let me through!”
I noticed that this hall monitor, wearing a cap printed with the words “Wheeler Academy Hall Monitor” as well as a blue vest, only seemed to be of the same age as I. I would have assumed a person with such power as guarding the sacred hallways would be of an elder, wiser age. And yet, here he stood. What an interesting fellow.
He finally replied, “How much cash you got on you, man?”
I fished through my pockets only to feel Thorigami and an American five-dollar piece of currency I had. I held it out to him. With a smirk, he snatched it up, and then stood out of my way. As I rushed past him, he said, “Good luck, hero kid.”
While wondering if all heroes had to “dish out” their extra lunch money in order to save the day, I followed the sound of yelling and whimpering. The sounds grew louder until I could distinctly understand what was being spoken. Slowly, I peeked around the corner. My suspicions were correct. A dwarfish young man and a disabled teen, both appearing to be freshmen, were being helped up against a wall of lockers by the bully, who was wearing a varsity sports jacket.
“So, you two are the ones who have been causing trouble,” said the bully. “First, you boys try whistle-blowing to the principal when you made Grover angry. Then, after Grover gave you a warning, you pranked his shoes by covering the bottoms with glue. I bet you thought it was real funny at the time. I bet you laughed.” He pushed in against their chests a little harder after saying those words.
“We’re…. we’re sorry,” uttered the lanky, handicapped boy in a wheelchair wearing an Animal Planet shirt. “We didn’t know what we were-“
“We knew exactly what we were doing!” stated the other one, who, despite being short in stature, wore an oversized, plaid button-up shirt. His face was burning red with anger. “And guess what?! We don’t care! Do your worse, you super-sized, undercooked, misshaped Chicken McNugget!”
The shaved-headed bully, who I realized was one of the jocks, snarled and picked the smaller kid by his shirt. The kid spun around, hanging from his loose button-up shirt, yelling and kicking in rage, while the taller one in the wheelchair watched on in terror.
Now was the time for action.
“Oh, ho, ho! You’re feisty!” taunted the jock as I sneakily ran up behind him. “I’m going to enjoy beating the living daylights out of you-OOF!”
At that moment, I jumped onto the back of the big guy and pulled my arms around his neck in order to subdue him. The smaller victim fell out of his extra-large shirt and into the ground. I hung onto the bully for dear life as he grabbed for me. The shirtless dwarf of a teenager started punching the jock in his side. Then, the big man ran back and rammed me into the wall of lockers multiple times. My back ached badly, and my arms were tiring out. Then, in a surprise move, the handicapped student came speeding in on his wheelchair and rammed into the bully, causing him to fall down to his knees.
“Submit, you Raggeit!” I declared, throwing another Icelandic insult in for good measure. “You, the small one, go find a teacher!”
“Who’ya calling ‘small one?'” snapped back the dwarf, who was putting his shirt back on. However, he still obeyed, albeit reluctantly.
Eventually, the jock stopped struggling. It was not long before the short one returned with a school staff member. With three witnesses present, the teacher did not hesitate to deliver the rogue student to the principal’s office.
The small one looked up at me. “Well, I guess you’re expecting a thank-you, aren’t ya?”
“Seeing that scoundrel receive justice is rewarding enough, friend,” I replied. “My name is Dove. May I ask what your names are?”
“I’m Peter. That’s my bro, Paul.”
The shy Paul, who was adjusting his wheelchair, looked up and gently waved to me. I smiled. These two were quite an unusual, contrasting duo, but I liked them nonetheless. I took out Thorigami and held him proudl
“A great pleasure it has been, Peter and Paul,” I said, using my best Chris Hemsworth voice. “May thy future flourish with great fortune and success according to thy good works and courage. Thou art truly what the stuff of heroes art made of.”
“Uh, right back at ya… Paperman,” said Peter, scratching his head.
“Oh my, is that an origami Thor Odinson?” quietly asked Paul.
“Thorigami, yes – Wheeler’s very own seeker of goodness and justice!”
“Oh, you’re one of those tradition wackos who-OOF!”
Peter’s rant was interrupted by a sharp jab in his chest from the elbow of Paul, who politely asked for forgiveness for his brother’s crude behavior.
I suddenly remembered I had ditched Shelby. “Well, best I take my leave!” Thorigami pronounced. “Fare thee well, friends!”
“Goodbye, Dove and Thorigami,” said Paul.
As I walked away, I could hear he brothers talking about this encounter.
“What a weirdo, dude,” said Peter. “I mean, yeah, a nice weirdo, but seriously, the paperwad thing? I thought that craze was over a long time ago.”
“Perhaps, Pete, Thorigami and other heroes may just be the thing this school needs,” Paul replied wisely. “In fact…”
“Oh no, don’t you try jumping on this paper hero bandwagon!”
I was back in the cafeteria before long. Lunch was almost over, but I still found Shelby right where I left her earlier. To my surprise, she was not angry or disappointed at me for my sudden departure. Instead, she gave a wide smile that made that whole ordeal totally worth it.
“Did you save the day, Dove?” she asked.
“I suppose so. A jock is in the principal’s office and two kids are safe from harm. Although, I was afraid I had ruined the day when I left you like that.”
“Worth it. But you still have to make it up to me now.” Shelby raised her eyebrow at me. Obviously, she was strongly hinting to me.
“Oh… well, would a date at the park work?”
Chapter VII: The Plot Thickens
By Adrian Collins
Weird stuff happens at Wheeler, like kids roleplaying with paper puppets. I kind of like it, though. Back at Kirby H.S., there’s this Origami Club I’ve gone to, where we make legitimately cool origami. There’s a lot of neato origami designs, patterns, styles, techniques, and structures, like in architecture. I want to be architect someday. There’s just something about the intricacies of designing and building that I really like.
The formation of a world…
Good stuff, right?
There was an assembly on Thursday. It was arranged and hosted by this Jude guy. Brand new student, a temporary transfer from Kirby. Right now, he and I are probably the only two non-Wheelerians who are at Wheeler a lot. I mean, I just do hall monitoring, but I have to do it for a one period for every school day, so I end up talking with a lot of the students there. They’re not nearly as bad as us Kirby folks say they are. In fact, I’d say that the students from both schools are pretty much the same.
It’s a shame this rivalry war has caused so much pain and division. Maybe a solution shall be made someday… a balance will hopefully be achieved.
So, this assembly wasn’t supposed to be a big deal, but Jude did an awesome job. Since I was patrolling the halls at the time, I was able to look inside the auditorium to see what was going on. There was a band playing old rock songs, and all the students were loving it. There was also popcorn and juice on a nearby snacks table. Apparently, this was supposed to be an “educational” assembly on music history.
Heh, clever Jude.
While I stood outside, the hero kid I had met earlier in the week came out. I could see he bulge in his pocket where he had put that origami Thor. Oh yeah, I noticed and knew what he had with him the first time I me him. Ever since that Clark boy at Kirby became Iron Fold, it seems origami Marvel characters have been on a rebound.
The dude looked at me, nodded, and offered me some popcorn, of which I happily partook.
“Didn’t catch your name before, hero kid,” I stated.
“I am Dover MacLeash,” he replied. “Everyone calls me Dove.”
“Well, Dove, I’m Adrian Collins.”
“You are not from around here, are you?” Dove asked. I detected some kind of European accent in his voice.
“I just monitor the halls, one period each day. Actually, I’m from Kirby. Hope you don’t hate my guts.”
Dove chuckled. “Well, between being from an arch-rival school and taking my money, I may be inclined to have an unfavorable opinion of you.”
This made me laugh. “Yo, bro, I didn’t spend your money. Actually, you can have it back if you want. I was just bored and wanted to fold something.”
Rummaging through my pockets, I pulled out the five dollar bill I had borrowed from Dove. He took it and inspected it. I grinned.
After looking at it, he looked up. “You have made origami out of a dollar?”
“Dude, you can make origami out of anything that’s flat and foldable. You should see what I do with napkins.”
Dove smiled. “Who is it?”
“Well, I was inspired by your origami Thor to create my own papery Asgardian. He’s an origami Heimdall, keeper of the Bifrost. I call him Heimdollar!”
“And here I thought that ‘Thorigami’ was a cheesy pun.”
We both had a good laugh over this odd moment, as we both munched on popcorn and discussed origami. Instead of keeping him, he handed back Heimdollar. What a pal, I tell ya. Sounds like the beginning of a beautiful friendship, am I right?
“So, did you just come out here to talk to me, or were you going to the bathroom, or, like, what?” I asked.
“I just wanted to talk to you privately.” His voice lowered to little more than a whisper. “Even when I first met you, I could tell you were a shrewd, knowledgeable man.”
“Oh my, you’re making me blush.”
“Also, you said you are from Kirby High School, correct?”
“Do you know anything about Mr. Decassius?”
“Not much. All I know is that his family moved here from Israel, he’s only been at Kirby High for a short while, he’s in Student Gov., and he’s on the Wheeler Track and Field Team, which effectively makes him one of the jocks.”
“He is a jock?” asked a surprised Dove. “I knew there was something about him I did not like.”
“Yeah, most of the jocks are jerks of a feather. But maybe you should talk it out with him, like you did with me.”
“That seems to be the most logical and safest course of action.”
I took out a piece of paper and wrote down my phone number. “Call me and tell me how it works out. I think we can help each other out.”
With one hand, Dove took the paper, and with the other, he squeezed my shoulder, while nodding with a deep appreciation in his eyes. He returned to the party… I mean, “assembly.”
It’s nice to have friends like Dove. Most of my friends at Kirby are always working so hard that we barely get to hang out like we used to. But Dove is just laid-back and cool.
I stared at Heimdollar in my hand, thinking. Then, I stuffed him in my pocket, and continued my parole down the hallway.
Chapter VIII: All Enemies, No Friends
By Jude Decassius
Grover told me to meet him at the school on Friday night. So far, the week had been an absolute success. After that assembly I cooked up, everyone of every social group practically worships me. Things are going better than I could have possibly imagined.
That’s the thing about high-schoolers: they’re so easily manipulated, not to mention INCREDIBLY predictable.
Well, at least, most of them are. You see, I was starting to pack up for the day, thinking about going to the Track & Field meeting and then sneaking into the school at the night, and what great things me and Grover would be doing. The big man had actually started to grow on me a little. Anyway, at that moment, this blonde kid walked up to me and introduced himself.
“Pardon me, Mr. Judah Decassius…” he started.
“For Pete’s sake, just call me Jude,” I remarked. “Who are you?”
“Dove MacLeash. I work on the Student Body Government, like you. It is a pleasure to speak to you.”
“Oh yeah, you’re the Secretary of Treasury and the president’s boyfriend.”
Referring to him as Shelby’s boyfriend seemed to startle the hefty, blonde-haired teen. Although he quickly composed himself, I could already tell he was a student who was unconfident in himself due to his inability to completely adapt to the English language. His accent and facial features signaled that he was certainly of some other country, probably Scandinavian. Although he seemed like he had the potential height, build, and structure to be a wrestler, his attitude already suggested he was not totally aware of his strength capacity and was more inclined to use his intellect. If he was a potential threat, which might be indicated by how he was privately confronting me at this moment, then he would be a dangerous one, since a person who is deceivingly smart and, if provoked, powerful has all the makings of the worst kind of enemy.
Strange how I figured all that out in the moment, huh? Besides my speediness, my analytical, deductive brain is my greatest skill. I already had an idea about who this kid was before he could say more than a handful of words. Thus, I had time to design the best replies to whatever he wanted to tell me.
“Anyway, I wanted to congratulate you on organizing and planning the school assembly. It was very good. Everyone seemed to have a good time.”
Ah, this kid is smart. He is giving me praise and flattery before he starts criticizing me. But I couldn’t let him know I knew that, so I replied, “Thanks. It wasn’t a big deal, but I’m glad everyone had fun. School can be such a drag sometimes, so it’s nice to kickback, chill to music, eat some snacks, and socialize. Don’t you think so?”
“When it is appropriate, yes,” Dove asserted “Anyway, we are both new to this school, yes? And I think all new kids deserve a chance to find their way in the school. However, I am slightly curious about why you are only coming to this school for two weeks. Also, I am concerned because you have shown lack of caution in your speech and actions. Although your assembly was entertaining, many teachers and school staff thought it was not educational. Also, your other propositions at the Student Body Government meetings have been, well, uh…” His eyes wandered a little. He was trying to decide whether or not to bring forth the real problem he had on his mind. However, I wanted to wrap this conversation up fast and go to the Track & Field meet, so what I did next may have been somewhat rude.
“Look, buddy, I don’t know what you’re blabbering about, but I’ve got things to do, places to see. If you’re worried about me being in Student Government and suddenly becoming a hotshot in the school, don’t worry. It’s not like I’m gonna steal your girlfriend’s heart or anything.”
This remark caused a fire to light up in Dove’s eyes. No, not a fire… a flash of lightning. He moved forward and clenched his fists. “Why would you say something like that?” he asked.
At this moment, I didn’t even think about fixing my mistake. “I’ve got Track & Field stuff, okay, bud? So get out of my way!”
I tried to push past him, but this just made him push back harder. Then, he grabbed me by my shoulders and pushed me against a wall. He wasn’t rough, but he definitely was mad at me.
“You are a jock, and a friend of Grover, yes? And yet, you also are in Student Body Government. That makes me suspicious of you. To my knowledge, no Wheeler jock has ever done Government as an extracurricular activity.”
Now I was mad, too. “Oh, so you’re scared of me, are ya chump?! You’ve been the cool new student that somehow found this school, and now I’ve replaced you, is that right? Well, guess what? It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there! Everyone wants popularity. Everyone wants to be somebody. Sometimes, though, we don’t always get what we want. So, tough luck for you, pal! Hope you like getting swallowed into the destructive whirlpool that is, has been, and always will be ‘HIGH SCHOOL!’”
I could tell Dove wanted to kill me right now. His blinking eyes were flashing a white-blue light. His veins were bulging. I had successfully turned the gentle blonde giant into a beast. Despite the fact I was about to get pummelled, this thought made me smile wide.
“D-d-dove?!” uttered a stammering, feminine voice.
Dove and I both froze, only moving our heads to see where the voice came from.
Oh my. It was too good.
It… was… SHELBY!
After being spotted, Shelby immediately dropped some papers she was holding and ran off. The lightning in Dove’s eyes diminished. He looked back at me, not with anger, but with real dread. Now, he knew that I was in control. The beast had been subdued. With that, Dove bolted after Shelby, trying to pick up the papers she dropped, while I brushed off my shirt and sauntered out through the school hallway.
I couldn’t wait to tell Grover what I had done. Quickly changing into my workout clothes, I jogged over to see the big cheese himself. He looked down at me and patted me on the head, as if I were a dog. This slightly annoyed me, but I shook it off.
“How ya doin’, lil’ man?” he said. “Ready to win one for the real men of Wheeler tonight?”
“Speaking of, what exactly is the plan?” I inquired.
“Well, tonight, like every Friday night, is when the Government kids stay late doing their big end-of-week meeting stuff at the school. You’ll offer to clean up after everyone, or give some excuse to be the last one to lockup. Something like that. Then, I’ll meet with ya after everyone else is gone, so I can find what I’m looking for…”
I waited a moment before asking, “Which is?”
“Heh, sorry, lil’ Jude, I gotta keep a lid on that one for now. You’ll find out when it happens. Anyway, that’s all you gotta do for me, alright?”
On the outside, I nodded in affirmation, but inside, I didn’t agree at all. This bothered me. In fact, this angered me. Grover was keeping secrets from me, which means he didn’t trust me. At that moment, some of the jocks were passing by. They talked to Grover, telling him how great he was and everything. Then, one of them, Heath, noticed me and made a cheap shot.
“Say, Groovy,” he said using one of Grover’s nicknames, “how much longer are you gonna keep your pet around?”
Grover raised his eye at Heath, but didn’t say anything. The other jocks with Heath started laughing and tried to noogie me.
Not cool. Not cool at all.
I now realized that I was still a pawn of Grover’s. Plus, after this next week was over, I would be back in Kirby High as a nobody. And even if I could keep being on the Track & Field Team here, I would never gain full respect. I’d always be in Grover’s shadow, being used like a marionette for whatever whims and machinations he felt inclined to put into action.
A smile crept onto my face, as I was hit with an epiphany. This thought lingered and festered in my mind even after I got home. I opened my desk drawer and pulled out a carefully preserved Lokrease out of a plastic bag. This made me laugh a little.
Tonight, we would play a little trick… on everyone.
Chapter IX: Foldin Weeps
By Shelby Solstice
Today was the worst day… ever.
I broke up with Dove. Even though we had only gone on that one date at the park. It hurts… a lot. It’s like I said before: I thought I was above all this. I thought I had figured out high school and all the stuff that comes with it, like relationships. But I guess I hadn’t.
High school really is educational, isn’t it? I guess I learned a new lesson.
I sound really overdramatic and immature right now, don’t I? It’s because I’m still in shock, I think. I just can’t believe Dove could be like that. I thought he was always kind-hearted, not a bully like so many other high-schoolers. After I saw him holding Jude like that, I was gone. Of course, he chased me down and tried to make excuses and blaming Jude. How pathetic of him.
I… I can’t write anymore tonight. I’m gonna go to bed early.
Sincerely and sadly,
Chapter X: A Night of Treachery
By Jude Decassius
It was 7:45 P.M. The rest of the Student Body Government had left. Dove and Shelby were absent, which made me feel better about this plan. Now nobody would get in my way.
The Vice President was in charge since Shelby wasn’t there. He was totally fine with letting me be the last one to leave, since that gave him one more reason to leave early and go home, play video games, and eat Swedish Fish.
So, there I was, waiting in the doorway of the Student Body Government HQ, leaning on the wooden door. Then, I heard some heavy steps come through the hallway. Lo and behold, it was the Groovy Giant himself… with two Starbucks coffees.
“Nicely done, my friend,” said Grover happily. He handed me one of the coffees and gave me a fistbump.
This was definitely not what I was expecting.
He continued talking. “I figured you might need some caffeine after that snooze-fest meeting. Mind showing me to the secret S.B. Government archives?”
We both went inside the room. I showed him the file cabinet where the President and Cabinet Scribe kept any and all important documents or meeting transcripts.
“Thanks, bro. You’re a real friend, ya know. You know, you should just get your parents to transfer you from Kirby to here permanently. You’d be a lot happier then, wouldn’t ya?”
“Well, I can handle it from here. Why don’t you head home now?”
I nodded in compliance and made my exit from the HQ. But I didn’t go home. Instead, I waited on the side of the road across from the school. I just waited…
Then everything fell into place.
A police car pulled up in front of the school. An officer went in, and a few minutes later, he came out with Grover in handcuffs.
Oh my. I bet you’re wondering what happened. Hmm, perhaps an anonymous tip to the Wheeler principal about someone being in the school after hours and sneaking into the S.B.G. HQ. I don’t know if that’s exactly breaking or entering, but it was enough that the principal might want to call up a friend of his from the police station.
I drank the Starbucks coffee. It burned a little. Made me feel a little guilty too. Grover wasn’t half a bad guy. In fact, he was the closest thing I had ever had to a friend…
Oh, well, that’s life!
I walked up to the police officer and Grover. As a random passerby who happened to be a part of Student Body Government (as proven my S.B.G. card), I was fully trusted by the officer to hold onto the files that he had taken off Grover. The best part is that Grover didn’t even try incriminating me. He just watched me with a piercing, icy glare. Then, right before he was put in the police car, he whispered to me these words: “Well played, Judah Decassius. But I’m afraid that after all this, you’re gonna be in a lot more trouble than I’m in.”
“You threatening me, buddy?” I stated smugly.
“Hey, I’m not gonna do anything to you. You’ll do it to yourself. You’ll see.”
With that, Grover was put in the police car and was driven off into the distance, while I sipped my coffee and stared off at the silver moon in the sky. I pulled out Lokrease.
I spoke through Lokrease, “The trick has been played. The trap has been sprung. Now, I am the king of Wheeler Academy. I am the king of the Nine Realms.”
Chapter XI: Lokrease Rules the School
By Adrian Collins
Man, things have been weird this week. I haven’t seen President Solstice, Dove, or even that head jock Grover. Believe me, I tried. Being a hall monitor, it’s my job to traverse the whole school checking for students who aren’t in class, so I checked every class I went by to see if they were there. Either they’re all absent, or are really good at hiding. So strange.
However, there is one person who I have seen. It’s hard to miss him. Jude has been the talk of the school recently. I heard he’s gonna transfer to Wheeler Academy permanently. He’s always surrounded by a crowd. Everyone loves him.
I wonder how his talk with Dove went. Wait a moment, isn’t he the one person that ties all three of the missing teens together? I started thinking these thoughts while I did my daily patrol on Wednesday. He’s Grover’s right-hand man, but since Grover’s gone, he’s basically taken his place. Shelby and Dove had been the leading force of the S.B.G., but if they’re both gone, that means Jude can practically do anything he wants with the Government. All this hit me hard in the face. I felt so stupid.
Jude was basically taking over the school by ruling the leading social groups! How nefarious. I couldn’t let him get away with this. I was thinking of what I could tell the Wheeler principal that would make him believe me… but then again I’m from Kirby. I’m just here because of a duel-school program. I’m probably the last person he’d believe. How frustrating.
At the moment, I was washing my hands in the bathroom, when I heard a whisper come from one of the stalls.
“Adrian!” the voice gently called.
“Dove?” I asked, recognizing the accent.
“Is anyone else out there?”
“You’re all clear.”
“Uh, would that be an American expression for yes or no?”
“No one else is around. You’re fine.”
Dove came out of the stall. He had Thorigami on his finger.
I chuckled. “Please tell me you didn’t use the bathroom with that guy on your finger.”
“Of course not. I was just waiting there for you to come in.”
“Dude, where have you been? Did Jude do something to you?”
“Well, it is really what I did to him. Shelby caught me cornering Jude because he was being very rude and mean while I was trying to get an answer from him. Shel… she… she dumped me… is that the right phrase?”
“Dang, man. That really stinks. I’m so sorry.”
Dove wiped some water that was forming in his eyes. “Yes, I am still recovering from it. I was so upset and angry that I threw up. My guardians thought I was sick. That is why I was gone most of this week. But I cannot keep crying while Jude tries to ruin everything.”
“What’s the plan, bro? I’m behind you one-hundred percent, whatever you decide to do.”
“Jude has become the hero of the whole school. Thus, we must prove to the whole school that he is a fraud. There is another assembly today, correct?”
“Yep,” I said with a smile. I already knew what Dove was thinking.
I was watching the assembly from right outside the auditorium door, which I cracked open slightly so I could hear what was going on. A few minutes earlier, I had helped Dove sneak back behind the auditorium stage using a shortcut I knew about. Some teachers asked me why Dove was not in the assembly, but I just made some excuses about him being on the auditorium’s technical crew and that I was helping him out.
What? I’m the hall monitor. I can get away with a lot of stuff. Anyway, the cheerleaders had just performed a cool dance for the school, and now Jude was going up to give a speech.
“Hey, what’s up, Wheeler?!” he said with a voice that sounded like that of one of those hosts from a TV talk show. “How’s everyone doing? Good? Good! Weren’t those cheerleaders great? Oh, how about the snacks? The ice cream sandwiches were my idea, but they were funded by the Student Body Government. How about we give all those folks an applause? There we go.”
“WE LOVE YOU, JUDE!!!” screamed one girl.
“YOU’RE THE BEST!!!” hollered a dude.
Then, everyone started chanting Jude’s name. He acted so humble about it, asking them to stop, but I could see the giddy glee on his face. He was loving it.
“Alright, settle down. I appreciate the support, though. In fact, it’s because of people like you, all of you, that we have such a great school. In fact, I love this school so much, it looks like I’ll be staying here for say… the rest of my high school career?”
Everyone went nuts with applause. I facepalmed hard.
“But, you know, there are always room for improvements. I mean, even though we’re the best school in the area, we still have to keep on top of our game. We can’t let Kirby get the upper hand on us, can we?”
Many booes and insults against Kirby High School errupted. I’m glad no one noticed I was there, or else I might have been chased out of the school and called a spy.
“So, that’s why I’m happy to announce that Wheeler Academy’s Athletics Department and Student Body Government will be pooling funds in order to improve the school in every way possible. And I’m not just talking about getting better school supplies and fixing-up the school, although that is really important and will be taken into account. No, I am talking about bringing this school closer together. Uniting everyone under one banner – the banner of ‘Wheeler Academy!’”
I closed the auditorium door. The cheering had gotten so loud that it was hurting my ears.
Jude took a sip from a glass of water before he continued. “Like in any school, social cliques form and divisions rise. This is basic stuff, you guys already know this. You watch it in high school drama movies. You see it everyday in real life. This is nothing new. However, the way we can be the best school ever is by breaking down those barriers that we keep between each other. Drama students are just as valuable as the athletes, the woodshop class, or anyone in our school. I especially want all of us to reach out to the loners, the people who need friends the most. And we can all do this together!”
For a moment, I really wanted to join the cheering. Jude was saying some great stuff up there on that stage. But then his speech shifted into something I really didn’t like.
“We’re better than any other school, and we know that. But to prove it to them, we’ve got to prove it to ourselves. That’s what this is all about! We all have to be supportive of this plan if we want it to succeed. There can’t be any loose ends. So, if you see anyone who is trying to hurt our school, it becomes your personal mission to stop their negativity, no matter what! Use any means necessary.”
Jude took something out of his pocket.
“You see this? This is an origami puppet, designed to appear as a character from Marvel comic books and movies. This is something of a tradition in Wheeler, right? And yet, such things have been scorned for so long because it seems ‘different’ and ‘unusual.’ Well, what I am asking you to do today is also different and unusual! So, by folding these, we can prove our unity to this new plan. I have some people passing out pieces of paper right now. That’s right! Fold something! Anything! Here, I’ll show you!”
Jude demonstrated how to fold an easy origami puppet. Everyone was doing it now. I was flabbergasted.
“Nice job, guys! Those look great! Now, stick them on your fingers and wave them in the air. See? Together, we can do anything. We can stop those out there who would rather see everyone fight against each other. It’s sad that there are people like that, but it is true. There are just some who would rather see us divided, and…”
“And there are some people who just want to rule the world,” stated another voice.
Like magic, Dove appeared from behind the stage curtains. All the cheering died. It was just confused murmuring and whispering now.
I watched from my post with my eyes glued to the stage. Things were about to get good.
Chapter XII: Thorigami Returns
By Dove MacLeash
“End all of this now, Judah Decassius,” I said, pointing Thorigami at him. “Just because you cannot rule Kirby High School does not mean you can rule Wheeler Academy. Be gone, villain!”
“Dove! What are you doing here?” Jude replied through clenched teeth.
Since I did not have a microphone like Jude, I had to speak loudly to the audience. “Jude, you are not even a real student at Wheeler yet. You have been trying to sneak your way into this school for a several weeks now. You have fooled everyone, except myself and one or two others.”
I looked out to see Adrian smiling behind the window of one of the auditorium doors. Then I brought my gaze back to Jude. I could see the panic in his face. But he was still going to try to hold on to his power.
“See, everyone?” he said, pointing towards me. “Dover MacLeash is exactly the type of person I have just warned you about. The type of person who spreads negativity-”
“Oh, Jude, please do shut up,” I stated bluntly. The audience gasped, but I did not care in the least. “You have spoken things which you have designed to sound good, but these are not your true intentions. You know how I know? I know because no person who desires good for his school would try to hurt a fellow student in the process. Yet, that is exactly what you did. Last Friday night, you helped Grover Jotunheimer gain access to the designated Student Body Government classroom. Although Grover was caught by a police officer and suspended, you were never caught. However, the officer did see you, and apparently gave you a file that Grover had stolen because you have been working on the Student Body Government for a little while. Would you mind if I checked your backpack?”
I did not even give Jude a chance to reply. I grabbed his backpack, which was nearby, and pulled out a manilla folder that had the words “PRIVATE S.B.G. FILE NO. 237” written on in big, bold letters so all could see. The audience gasped again.
“I have been watching you for a while, Jude. You caused me emotional pain, for which I forgive you. But I cannot let you hurt anyone else anymore. Everyone, do you even see the origami puppet he is holding? That is an origami Loki, the Norse god of trickery and mischief! I have presented you with evidence and reason. I do not support hate against Wheeler Academy. But I would rather everyone know the truth, then be bounded together by promises and lies.”
The audience stood silent for a while. Finally, someone yelled, “GO BACK TO KIRBY, DECASSIUS!” Others protested against Jude, while many just sat watching him, shaking their heads.
I was suddenly pushed back by a small yet strong force. Jude was trying to tackle me. I was on the ground for a moment. He was crying, his face scrunched up in rage.
“YOU RUINED EVERYTHING! I HATE YOU! I HATE YOU SO MUCH!” he yelled. He had lost all reason and was trying to punch me. I covered my face as he hit as hard as he could. I waited to give a well-timed blow to his chin. It was not a hard punch, but it dazed him. I threw him off me as some teachers came to restrain him. He was still yelling even as they pulled him out. I looked out at the shocked audience.
All I could do was shrug. “He was a very sore loser, am I right?”
The silence was broken by some laughter which grew until almost everyone was in a good mood again. I thought this would be a good time to wrap this messy ordeal with a positive message that might still boost the school morale. I walked up to the podium with the microphone.
“I am sorry for what happened. I did not want to cause a problem, but I felt that Jude needed to be revealed for who he was. You all deserve the truth. However, not all of what he said was untrue. This school would be much better off if we tried to encourage each other. High school is hard enough as it is. We do not need others to tear us down, too. Also, his idea about bringing back origami Marvel puppets is a good idea as well. I have one. His name is Thorigami, Lord of Folders. Yes, it is a very bad pun.” Many people laughed at this. “But he is a symbol. It is something that helps me everyday. I look at this piece of paper, and I see Thor, who, in the movies, is a person who seeks to be a worthy hero. I have many problems with confidence, and if it were not for Thorigami, I doubt I could have come on this stage and speak in front of all of you. Thank you for your time. I apologize again for this disappointing turn of events, but I hope that this is something which we can all learn from.”
I left the podium and walked down the stage. The audience was very quiet still. For a moment, I wondered if what I had said had changed anything. Then, I saw Adrian walk out towards me, chanting “worthy” over and over again. Others started doing it, too. Before long, everyone was doing it. Earlier, they had chanted Jude’s name with chaotic yells and fanatic screams; but now, they cheered me on with a united voice that made my heart warm. Suddenly, Shelby appeared from the crowd. She ran up to me and hugged me hard. I hugged her back. There was some snickering from the crowd, but I did not care.
“I am sorry for doubting you, Dove,” she said, her face buried in my shirt. “You really are the hero that Wheeler needed.”
I smiled. “I could not have done it without you, Shelby.”
For the first time, I truly felt at home at Wheeler Academy.
Epilogue: The End of the Beginning
By Shelby Solstice
After that fiasco of an assembly, things got back to normal… more or less. I mean, a lot of people were roleplaying as their respective origami Marvel characters, so that’s new. It also meant I didn’t have to hide Foldin anymore. Now, Dove and I carry our puppets around with us wherever we go.
Jude’s plans for future programs and all that have been undone completely. He got sent back to Kirby High. Hopefully, we never have to see his face again. However, I kind of feel bad for Kirby for sending back Jude. I mean, who knows what scheme he’ll try to concoct next.
I’m back in place as the head of the Student Body Government. The jocks, having been put to shame by Jude and Grover, have lost any control they have had over the school… for now. But for now, the S.B.G. has been making a lot of progress, reaching out to everyone in school who needs help. With this revival of origami roleplaying, it’s making our work a lot easier, since people are more open-minded and connected to their fellow folders.
Two people who have been the driving forces behind this revival are Peter and Paul Prawley, the school pranksters. Those guys are a bit… ahem… how can I put this nicely? They’re kind of… scrappy and swashbuckling. But they try their best to be heroes. Last I heard, they were racing down a school hallway on Paul’s wheelchair, waving around a paper tree and a raccoon sock puppet. So weird…
Also, I recently met Dove’s new friend, Adrian, who’s from Kirby and works as one of Wheeler’s hall monitors. We all hang out after school a lot now. I hope he doesn’t feel like a third wheel since… well… since Dove and I got back together. He’s so chill about everything, though, so he’s probably fine with it. Oh, and I totally love his Heimdollar puppet, too!
And of course, Dove is great now. When I found out the truth about what happened between him and Jude, I realized that I had jumped to conclusions too quickly. Poor Dovey… he had been heartbroken. But he’s alright now that we’re together again. And we’re happy. The only problem is that I’m graduating at the end of the school year, and in a few more years, Dove will be going back home to Iceland. But… I don’t want to think about that. Hopefully, we’ll find a way.
True love and all that jazz, right?
P.S. There’s this kid who keeps following Dove around everywhere. He keeps twirling around this origami… what was it? Oh, yeah… Beta Ray Bill. But the kid calls it Paper Ray Bill. I wonder what that’s all about… LOL!