Brother Voodoodle, Or how I learned to worry about Wheeler
Brother Voodoodle. Or how I learned to worry about Wheeler
By- Angelo Viss
[MoMA, The past]
It was an ordinary field trip, go to some boring place, take notes and then leave. We were walking down the hall of modern art when I felt a sharp pain come from the sides of my eyes. I started to rub them but I did not think much about it. We continued the tour, looking at the paintings as we went. This field trip was important, or that was the school’s main selling point to all the parents. For the Brooklyn Academy Reformed Foundation (B.A.R.F.) this was a big deal. The last time a thing like this happened a fight broke out at the top of the Empire state building over a bag of Doritos…that kid was never the same.
By this time lunch was almost over the pain came back. I asked one of the teachers, Mr. Thomas, if I could go to the restroom to see what it was. I thrust open the door and looked into the mirror to see that the edges of my eyes were inflamed and my lower eyelid was a deep crimson like I had been crying blood or something, I washed my face and looked back in the mirror to see that I WAS crying blood! I stumbled out of the rest room to hear Mr. Thomas start to speak.
“Hey Angelo are you-” he said before I collapsed onto the cold floor.
I heard all sorts of things but the only thing I could make out was that one of the bendy mirrors that all of my peers were messing with started to get super clear all of a sudden. Then I blacked out.
Genetics are tricky.
By- Angelo Viss
[Concorde Medical Group, the past]
I woke up to see nothing, so like any normal kid would do I started to panic. Then I felt some hands clasp down onto my arms. I tried to fight them off and that only resulted with me getting force fed a pill that made me pass out.
It was the next day so I decided to take it slower. I felt around with my fingers before I decided to get up. I felt the plastic of a remote along with the stickiness of a leather armrest. I tried to get myself up but they put restraints on me. I then felt a hand grab mine, I took a deep breath in and spoke.
“He-hello?” I asked.
“I am glad that you are awake,” she said. “Can you tell me your name?”
“How about we trade,” I said.
“That’s not how we do it here,” she said calmly. “If you tell me your name then I will take the blind fold off.”
“My name is Angelo Viss,” I said slowly.
Then I felt my hair get moved out of the way as she took off the blind fold. The room was super bright but slowly my eyes adjusted. I looked around and then saw her. She was taller than me by a foot and her black hair was cut at ear level.
“Why did you need to tie me to the bed?” I asked.
“We were about to remove the stitches,” she said plainly.
“I’m sorry?” I asked.
“The reason you are here is because of your tear ducts. You and your roommate have a rare genetic mutation. In fact, you two are the only two known people of the millenia to have it. Some people’s eye color can change and have no side effects, but for you it is different. It usually starts by your tear ducts clogging and so we had to…” she made a cutting motion with her hand.
She then pulled back the curtain that separated the room. I looked at a kid my age but his skin was like a rich chocolate compared to my pale skin. We looked at each other for a minute before he extended out his palm. I tried to shake it before I was stopped by the restraints.
By- Angelo Viss
[Wheeler high school, The present]
From what I understood I had missed a semester of school. The Brooklyn Academy suggested that I should go here. So, me, my mother and my ‘guardian’ moved up here. I put on my medical grade sunglasses and walked out of the car. I squeezed some fluid into my eyes and continued into the school. My mom had signed me up some time back so she had no need to come inside. I was sitting on the bench inside waiting for my ‘Buddy’ to come and pick me up when this teacher told me to follow her. I was hesitant for a moment but I decided to follow. She led me to the library where someone was wiping down the windows.
“Duncan! You forgot to pick up your buddy!” she told him.
“Ah, sorry, Ms. Jamie. I was-” he stopped. “If I may ask what’s with the shades?”
“Medical grade,” I said. “If I don’t wear them then I might go blind.”
“Or cry blood?” he asked.
I noticed that they were both looking at me. I felt the bottom of my eye to find out that I was bleeding.
“It’s nothing to worry about, just discharge from a ‘shift’” I tried to calm them down as I cleaned myself.
Then the bell rang for my next class, chemistry. I walked off to see that Duncan was following me. I stopped and looked at him.
“Yes?” I called back to him.
He quickened his pace so that we could talk.
“So, your eyes?” he asked, nonchalantly.
“What about them?” I asked.
He raised an eyebrow. Most people would be apologetic, but Duncan just looked annoyed.
“I’m just playing with you. Ask away,” I said.
“You said ‘shift’. What do you mean by that?” He asked.
“Well, my eyes can change color. I don’t control it but whenever it happens I cry blood. I know that it has to do with my rods and cones.”
Then we went into Chemistry class. It flew by and I was off to lunch.
My roommate is a cool guy.
[Concorde Medical Group, The past]
After my restraints had been removed I could finally shake his hand. His name is Daniel Hogan and it turns out that aside from dreads we are almost twins! He went to a school upstate where they are super involved in arts and crafts but he assured me that it was more than that. He was also really into something called Marvel that I hadn’t heard of. Then all of these weird coincidences started to pop up to the point where we both started to notice them, so we decided to stick together. We immediately hit it off, it was like an invisible bond. We could just understand each other. It turns out that our mutation started on the same day and because of the shared experience and the shock that came with it we were experiencing all of these events. When one of us needed to go on a walk the other had to as well and if one of us needed to eat the other’s stomach growled. It was so weird that the nurses eventually nicknamed us “the not-so-terrible two.” But on one lucky night I asked the most important question of my life to date.
“Hey Daniel, what’s Marvel?” I asked
“WHAT?!?!” he yelled.
Then the nurse from my first day here came running in. (Her name was Lynn Norin for the record)
“State the nature of your medical emergency!” she said out of breath.
“It’s not medical! Its national pride!” Daniel said.
At this point she just looked upset.
“Really?” she asked
“He has no clue what Marvel is!” Daniel said.
Then old Mrs. Severin waddled by. “I once knew a real marvel,” she said.
We all looked at her with sudden interest.
“His name was John Cena!” She said as she raised her withered arms and started a slow laugh. Ms. Norin then politely led her out.
“I regret teaching her modern humor,” I said under my breath.
“Turn on FX and watch the X-Men marathon that’s going on now!” Daniel said.
Meatloaf, with a side of paper product.
By- Angelo Viss
[Wheeler high school, the present]
If you thought your school lunch was bad then this is Titanic levels of bad. All of the food that the Wheeler kids were getting at the cafeteria smelled so good, but I had to eat a special packed lunch. I was just trying to keep low and stick with Duncan seeing as he is the only person I know but as soon as we walked into the lunch room it was…really quiet. I didn’t expect that. Wheeler students must be really respectful. I sat down with Duncan and ate whatever my ‘guardian’ had packed for me. In this case it was carrot sticks and a tuna melt. Great. I squirted more of the fluid so that I would not ‘shift’ like crazy. I was polishing my glasses when these two beefy jocks came up to us.
“Well, look at what we have here,” one of them said.
“What do we have here?” The second one asked.
“We came here to take their lunch money!” the first said.
Duncan got up and put something on his finger.
“We do this every week, guys.” He groaned and halfheartedly adopted a British-sounding voice. “Back off, so says Doctor-”
He stopped when the first jock plucked it out of his hand and flicked it back at him. My eyes started to hurt again so I had to end this and quick. I stood up and looked at him, meeting his eye line.
“No, Angelo, listen,” Duncan started, but I wasn’t listening.
The big dude stared back and suddenly started to sweat. I knew what he was watching, because I could feel the burning pain in my eyes; he was watching me ‘shift’.
(To explain it simply, my iris changes color but slower and painfully on my part. It affects my vision in a minor way but we shall get to it later.)
I watched as his body made a sudden trip to the floor as his buddy tried to pull him away. I grabbed the fluid and sprayed it into my eyes so that the ‘shifts’ would remain stable. Duncan handed me a tissue so that I could clean the blood.
“Guess he doesn’t like the sight of blood,” Duncan mused, as the big guy started to come to.
“How do I look?” I asked as I put the glasses back on.
“Like a rockstar,” he responded.
“Well that’s gre-,” I stopped and looked at the thing in Duncan’s hand. It was origami.
Creases and pleats.
By- Angelo Viss
[Concorde medical group, The past]
After the X-men marathon we were told to go to sleep, but Daniel had other things in mind. He pulled out a sheet of paper and started to fold something, a minute later he threw it at me and it landed in my lap. I slowly picked it up and stared at the face of origami Cyclops. I looked over to him and I saw this huge cheshire grin on his face.
The next day I woke up to see him sleeping in a pile of these little paper figurines.
“This must be the ‘Arts and Crafts’ that he was talking about earlier” I thought to myself.
The origami Cyclops was sitting on my nightstand so I put it in my pocket and went to go eat breakfast. All that day Daniel was explaining to me the history of his school and the rivalry with another school. Then he pulls out a puppet that was given to him by the librarian. He called it Brother Voodoodle. I burst out laughing, I could not help myself. You have a legendary entrance and it gets ruined by the WORST NAME EVER!
He told me that it was his job to protect the school from the more mystic threats, and that the design was based on the 70’s appearance. I asked him if he could teach me how to make these things.
After some time I was getting pretty good at it. I could fold Iron Man’s Silver Centurion armor like it was no one’s business.
I had the weirdest dream.
[Wheeler high school, the present]
The next day started normally. I walked into school, said hi to people, navigated the halls and eventually made my way to the library. I could always count on the library to be quiet. It was like a sanctum of silence, come in and sit then get work done. I had started to work for Ms. Jamie as an assistant. If someone needed a book it was my job to go and get it for them. I was going to retrieve The Menagerie by Tui T. Sutherland when I found an origami Nightmare puppet. It was well made, shoulder pads and everything. It looked like an uptight vampire from the 60’s. I stuck it in my pocket when I heard the clanking of gears. I looked up to see a gallon of water heading for me!
I walked out of the aisle with the book in my hand and my hair over my eyes. Ms. Jamie and Duncan ran over to see what had happened.
“What did you do?” Ms. Jamie asked.
“Nothing, technically,” I said.
“Well, then, who did?” Duncan asked.
I then held up OriNightmare.
“Duncan, have you seen anything like this?” she asked.
“No. But if Angelo is to work here he needs a puppet right? And what better way to prove yourself than to take on this foe!” Duncan said.
He had a good point, if I am to truly ‘fit in’ then I must have a symbol right?
“I’m on it.” I said.
Summoning spirits is fun.
By- Angelo Viss
[Home, The present ]
After dinner I rushed upstairs and into my room. I began to think about who my puppet might be. It had to be a mystic. Doctor Druid? No, that was just a deep cut. Mabey Clea? Also no, she’s way too flashy. I began to drift off and think about the hospital and Daniel, How much he liked marvel and all of their weird characters, especially Brother Voodo-. Then it hit me. It was so clear now, I reached under my bed and pulled out a shoebox. I looked inside for something I knew had to be here. After we had gotten out we promised to write to each other. He had sent me some postcards but taped onto one of them was his prized possession. I had finally found it, I pulled it out of the box and flipped it around. He had taped Brother Voodoodle to the card and wrote.
“It is with a heavy heart that I tell you that I can no longer write to you. I have moved on and I am now in college working on helping those who need it.
Your brother from another mother.
I looked at Brother Voodoodle for a minute, noting all of the creases and pleats. Then I got to work.
By- Veronica Somnum
Some might say that I am a freak or a witch, or that I eat frogs for lunch. But trust me it is SO much more than that. I have this aura about me that just causes people to fear me. In all honesty it’s really fun, all I gotta do is pull out a pocket watch and swing it a bit and they lose all hope. Today was interesting because someone sprung my trap. It had been sitting there for weeks and I was waiting for Duncan to trigger it but the new kid did. I was walking in the park, hypnotising kids as I went when one of them brought me a jock. I had seen him mess with the new kid and then faint so I knew that he would be a good champion for my cause. So I began the process, I dropped the pocket watch until it ran out of chain and then started to gently let it swing back and forth, back and forth until I could notice the jock following along.
“Listen to the flow, like a river breaking a road. Tighten the band and let me move your hand!” I yelled.
“I will let you move my hand.” The jock mumbled.
“Bring me Angelo Viss,” I hissed at him.
“I will bring you Angelo Viss,” He mumbled.
I then held up OriNightmare and began to cackle.
Something, something, hypnosis.
By- Angelo Viss
[Wheeler high school, The Present]
Why does everything start normal but gets completely blown out of proportion for some weird reason? I was walking through the halls with the new Brother Voodoodle on my finger when I saw the jock from before waddle up and attempt to grab me. I ducked to the side and pushed his back. (Something I never want to do again) He toppled over easily but facing me was a girl I had never seen before. She then threw a weighted blanket at me and it landed on my legs causing me to fall to my knees. She then dropped a pocket watch and began to swing it in front of my eyes. It was so mesmerising, like it was calling me out and begging me to stair at it.
“Listen to the flow, like a river breaking a road. Tighten the band and let me move your hand!” She yelled
“I will let you move my hand- NOT!” I responded.
Then I threw the blanket at her legs.
Let me explain.
By- Angelo Viss
[Concorde medical group, The past]
“So what you’re telling us is that we can’t be tricked?” Daniel asked.
“In theory, yes.” Lynn said. “Your eyes break down light and process it differently from time to time.”
“So magic tricks become obsolete?” I asked.
“Magic tricks involving light do,” she said.
We both got up, It was time for us to leave. The doctors had done all the tests that they feel they needed to and so we were given the green light to head out. We shook hands one last time and headed out the front doors.
“Wait!” Lynn yelled! “You’re going to need these!”
She then handed us medical-grade sunglasses and a bit of advice.
“Trust yourselves, and you can’t be tricked. Good luck!” she said.
By Angelo Viss
The JROTC came by and picked a disheveled Veronica up and off the floor. She had dropped OriNightmare on the floor so I decided to pick it up so that no one could take over the mantle. Now I had two. Duncan then ran up to me.
“What happened?” he asked.
“She gained a new sense of clarity,” I said calmly.
“Well that’s no help at all.” he said.
I held up Brother Voodoodle and he held up Doctorgami Strange.
“I have banished OriNightmare from this realm,” Voodoodle said.
“Will she return?” Strange asked, in Duncan’s bored British accent.
“Not as long as I am here,” Voodoodle responded.
We looked at Veronica as she was getting escorted off to the principal’s office.
“You will regret this! There are bigger threats than me! They have turned their eyes to you! Run as fast as you can, RUN!” she screamed.
“Will you please can it?” one of the JROTC people asked.
By- Ms. Jamie
I was flipping through last year’s yearbook when Angelo came in with Brother Voodoodle on his finger.
“I see that you are right on time,” I commented.
“I would have come early but I was out of fluid,” he said.
We talked for a while and he showed me the origami Nightmare that Veronica had been using. It was well made but it definitely looked like an uptight vampire from the 60’s, or a freshman at his first school dance. I then showed him the picture in the yearbook that I was looking at.
“Before there was Naphtali and Duncan, I had another helper, his name was Daniel Hogan. Like you he was Brother Voodoodle, He vowed to protect the school from unseen threats and now it appears that we need another sorcerer. So are you up for the job?” I asked Angelo.
“Trust me-” Angelo said.
“Brother Voodoodle shall live again!” Brother Voodoodle finished.
Brother Voodoodle shall walk this realm again!