Foldians of the Galaxy: The True OG’s
Foldians of the Galaxy: The True OG’s
It Wasn’t Me!
By Noah Buckets
Principal Villanueva, when I got caught trying to protect Cat Griffith from her psychotic brother, you decided to toss me into detention. I am not angry at this. I respect this, I understand this. Without the full reasoning behind my actions, I understand this punishment.
… What I don’t understand is that you put me in Mr. Donovan’s room, and not only that, he’s the proctor of it! That guy is so strict and hard to deal with. That gruff voice, like he’s Sam Elliot or something.
That room freaks me out, man. Clint Eastwood posters all over the wall (and not the Gorillaz…), the projector rarely, if ever, works. What are we going to do there? Do we wait thirty minutes, expecting us to ‘learn’ respect, to get discipline? I’ll have you know that according to Google, 68% of punished criminals return to crime after three years. It’s not like I’ll learn my lesson.
If you want me to learn my lesson, then DON’T give me detention. Just talk to me about it. Who do you think I am?
I Want It That Way
An ‘Official’ response from Principal Villanueva
For the past year I have watched you constantly get between Cole and Cat Griffith’s debacles. I assume the most recent one I gave you detention for was the fiasco with the ice cream sandwich at lunch – the one where you got in between the two of them and ate the whole sandwich in one bite, then pushed Cole back (We have the tapes. Don’t say he pushed you first. You fought back, leaving corn on the floor, and pudding on the table). All three of you will be in detention.
While our official detention rules states ‘If a student receives a detention, they shall sit in a classroom specified on the sheet and wait for the specified time until they’re told to leave,’ I have decided, if you don’t think that teaches you respect then I feel as though this is the perfect time to try out the new detention punishment: a writing assignment.
So, in your room this Saturday, you, Cole and Cat Griffith, Peter and Paul Prawley, and Kurt Blum will be assigned the following writing assignment: “Who do you think you are?” This can be written in any form, like narrative, or a poem. I leave it up to you.
With six kids in the class, I think the total word limit should be a minimum of 6,000 words total?
I hope you learn just who you think you are.
-Principal Julia Villanueva
Let’s Get It Started
By Cole Griffith
I don’t know where to begin with this paper. I don’t know if it’ll be posted anywhere, if it’ll be seen by students across the school—heck, what if this gets read at some underground speakeasy? If that’s the case, then can my name be ‘Mad Dog Griffith’? That’s the answer to your question, right? “Who do you think you are?” I’m Mad Dog Griffith, bub!
Sigh, did I really write ‘sigh?’ I mean, right now I’m trying to fill that word limit. I’ve been in detention multiple times, but this is the first time I’ve been here and had to write an assignment. Those Prawleys keep folding paper airplanes and Mr. Donovan keeps taking them away. I don’t know who I think I am, but I know who I think they are.
I think I’m the only one actually writing anything. Then again, Cat is writing stuff too. Gosh, she’s writing fast. Noah is enthralled.
I wasn’t sure how long this was going to take. Then…
“Are you going to write anything?” Mr. Donovan asked. “I mean, what’s the prompt anyways?” His voice had a drawl, but it made me nervous.
Kurt raised his hand, the first time he made any movement. I was starting to think the kid was dead.
“‘Who do you think you are,’ sir.” Kurt said.
“Well, I’ll be darned. That has to be, quite possibly, one of the dumbest prompts I’ve heard.”
Upon hearing his voice, Noah Buckets’ jaw dropped, like he does when he sees Cat (Boom! It’s so obvious it’s not even funny!)
“You!” He exclaimed as he stood up. His sudden movement brought life back to the room, but Mr. Donovan laid back in his chair, smiling at Noah, “You’re Doc Donovan!”
“Yep.” He said.
“And you… You were in a case file, like this unfinished one that I found in the Wheeler Library.”
Mr. Donovan sat up, “Really, now? And what did this case file say?”
“It was like… Like, Matthew Rusty and-”
“-Matthias Russle.” He interjected.
“Right, and-” I tuned myself out. Whenever Buckets opens his mouth, I know some sludge waterfall of sentences will roll from his mouth. Principal what’s-your-face, I hope you get the rest from the other kids. Ugh, I’m going to have to scrap this, won’t I?
The Real Doc Donovan
By Noah Buckets
We’re going to have a problem here. This is him! The Doc Donovan! I become this mess of words when I’m trying to, you know, contain my fanboying. So Doc sat back with his cowboy boots on the table and talked about how his group of friends formed this unlikely bond, which I know, I mean, I read the unfinished story.
“There was something we were going to start looking for. This will, by Mr. Yang that Matty believed in. We gave up on it…”
His face was chiseled. There were no scars on his face, but you felt them as his face contorted into a grimace, “Sometimes you let too many people on one saddle and the whole horse collapses.”
Peter and Paul were enthralled by this story as well. Paul was on the edge of his wheelchair, eyebrows raised as Doc talked in his southern drawl.
“Basically, we all went our own separate ways. I mean — shucks, what am I saying? It was Christine, man.”
My eyes widened, the case file seemed to stop after this transcript. Christine, the girl with the Aleta puppet, told Matt she wasn’t interested in him, that there was someone else, someone that was on the team.
“Who was Christine?” Cat piped up.
“Oh, Christine was beautiful. She had hair as yellow as the sun, and eyes as blue as the rain.” Doc’s eyes weren’t focused on anything in particular. He was totally lost in the memory now. I understood, though; a girl like that can make everything better. I assume. I’ve never actually had a girlfriend, but if I did…
Mr. Donovan continued. “Obviously, I thought so. The problem was Matty did too. We used to be great friends, me an’ him, but he never was good at catching’ a clue. Christine couldn’t stand him, but Matty never quite realized that.
“Christine actually kind of liked me. I never knew why, but she did. We went on a couple dates, here and there. I truly thought I’d found the love of my life.” Donovan’s listless gaze got a bit harder, like he was still angry about the past. “Everything went wrong when the team found out.”
“Let me guess; that Matt guy wasn’t happy?” Cat asked.
“Absolutely livid. Our team hadn’t even gotten to know each other, yet. I can’t even remember their names. I ain’t proud, but me and Matty went at it. After that, the team crumpled. Christine broke up with me, and Matty never was the same to me. The Foldians of the Galaxy were deader’n anybody who crossed ol’ Eastwood.” He gestured to one of his myriad posters, smirking.
“That’s terrible,” Kurt said, enamored with the teacher’s story. “I thought all the origami groups worked out.”
Mr. Donovan chuckled. “You’d think that, wouldn’t you.” He leaned forward in his chair, still smiling. “But don’t you all go feeling sorry for me. Funny thing is, Christine wasn’t the love of my life. I’ve got a wife and three grown up kids, and I’m happier’n I ever was. I just hate being stuck in here with delinquents like you kids.” I was ready to defend myself, and it looked like Cole and Peter were too, but Mr. Donovan winked after he said that, so I think it was a joke.
“So, that was all you guys were looking for,” Peter said, thinking hard. “Whatever happened to that?”
Mr. Donovan leaned back again and shrugged. “We never found it, so I’d expect it’s still lost to the sands of time, just waiting for some poor souls to come and claim it.”
“Why don’t we do it?” I asked.
All the other kids looked at me, in different stages of surprise; Cat seemed amused, Cole annoyed, Peter and Paul fascinated, and Kurt nodded enthusiastically. Doc smiled and laughed a deep chuckle, “Y’all better get to it then. This essay is still due, though.”
Don’t You Know Who I Think I Am?
By Cat Griffith
I know who I think I am: I’m Cat Griffith, and this scavenger hunt is much better than this dumb writing assignment. I was grinning ear to ear the moment Buckets said that we should be the ones to find… whatever we’re looking for. I have no clue what it is, I don’t know what to look for or even where to start. But Buckets seems to have an idea.
Buckets always has an idea, a single iota and inkling of where to begin. And here we are, in the library. Mr. Donovan didn’t even protest our idea to leave detention in search of this will. He just wanted us back in time to finish the essay. Now, thanks to Noah, we were checking through old books in Wheeler’s library.
I only spend my time in the library when I have to research something on the database. But we aren’t at the computers, we’re looking through the self help section.
“Why are we here?” I asked.
Noah smirked at me, “So your brother can learn how to cool off.”
Cole’s face grew red. “What did you just say?”
“No, it’s actually because this area used to be the Sci-Fi section of the literature section. Back in the eighties.”
“Really? Like what?” I asked, my mouth agape and looking around. It was a lot quieter after hours.
“Orson Scott Card, Harry Turtledove, y’know…”
“Then why aren’t we looking at Sci-Fi?” Cole asked. Buckets grinned again.
“Because…” He grabbed the second row above the middle. With a struggle, he only managed to push three novels (‘How to win friends,’ ‘How to talk to girls,’ and ‘the 4-hour workweek’) off the shelf. “Dang it.” He said.
Cole picked up ‘How to talk to girls’ and slammed it into Noah’s chest. “Learn how to read this, Buckets.”
“Hey!” I said, “I would like to think Noah can…”
“Can what?” Cole asked me as he slid a few more books off the shelf.
“Ouch,” Noah said. “Anyhow…”
I picked up a book about coping with anger. The first chapter asked me a simple question: “Who do you think you are?”
It talked about how anger was rooted in other emotions, like jealousy or fear. It hit me, truly. I realize that I always get jealous of Cole, and that I have no reason to be that mad. It’s just that Cole has been this star child, loved by all. It hurts, okay?
I put the book down on the floor and helped slide the rest of the books off.
On the back of the bookshelf wall was clearly a map etched into the wall. Cole quickly took out his phone (which we weren’t supposed to have) and took a picture.
The map was of Wheeler’s campus, but it was from the early-early stages of the building. There was a circle inside of a circle, assumed to have been the little study area found in the middle of the school. Buckets was grinning, “That used to be this park they had, dedicated to the first principal and founder of this school… It was removed to make space for more classes as we expanded.”
“Wait, no it wasn’t,” Cole said, “the park was moved. It’s by the football field now. It’s tucked away, but I know that place as good as anyone. I go there all the time to hide from fourth period.” In the circle were three letters: JPM.
Hot n’ Cold
By Peter Prawley
Finally, something NEW in detention! Me and Paul were out and about, using my Socket and his OriGroot to cause mischief in the bathrooms. Like, “Socket Wuz Here” on the walls and stuff, when one of the students from the Novagami corps, this kid named Amias, stopped us.
We had the sharpies in our hands, and we were paralyzed. These glorified hall monitors constantly impede on what we do, and this was no exception. Instantly, we were put in detention. Yadda Yadda, have to write and do a scavenger hunt, no big deal.
Nonetheless, I’m glad I have to write something remotely creative, and now I get to go out and look for something too? This is sweet!
Anyways, me and Paul saw this as our perfect chance to leave the campus. I know I just wrote that it’s awesome I get to go out on a scavenger hunt, but I didn’t want to, so I decided to leave.
Yet Paul was silent. He was in his wheelchair, shuffling about.
After a bit, I turned to him while we continued walking off campus.
“What’s wrong, Paul?”
His wheelchair stopped, and he quietly mumbled, “I was just excited to go on a hunt.”
“We don’t even have the first clue, and we have a get-out-of-jail-free card. Let’s just go to Wendy’s or something.”
At an ironic point, that one quiet kid busted from the school doors, “Socket, OriGroot!” He said, our puppets names rather than our names. I guess we really don’t have much besides this. “We have our first clue!”
He held out his phone, showing ‘Cul Giffith’s’ picture of the map. “Go to the park by the football field, search under every single bench for something.”
“Neat, but we’re going.” I said.
“No, we’re not.” Paul finally said, “we’re going there, and we’re going to find what’s next.”
“Wait- he just corrected himself, look for a JPM bench.” Kurt said, “Can I join you guys?”
I sighed, “fine.”
“Cool! And I’ll get to bring… Paper Ray Bill!” he said enthusiastically. Maybe he wasn’t so quiet, after all.
We were about to start heading that way when Mr. Donovan, face as red as a rare steak, busted the door.
“Now what do y’all think y’all are doing? Are you trying to leave campus? Kurt rushed out of my class making this place a bull in a dish closet and I find you all walking out.”
“Actually, sir, we have a lead,” Paul said. “We think that the next clue is in that park.”
The red slowly left Mr. Donovan’s face and was replaced with a smile. “Well, I’ll be darned. Let’s go!”
The park had a gazebo in the center. Around it were stone portraits of early teachers, a teacher that passed of heart failure with a garden dedicated to her, and a few integral historical moments.
Did you know that the area where Wheeler was founded on was a training camp for Union Soldiers during the Civil War? This was where the marching south would begin, and I was none the wiser until I was there.
Encompassing the gazebo and garden was benches, dedicated to notable alumni and donors to the school. We were looking for a JPM.
There were four benches dedicated to different JPMs. James Peter Magill, Jeanna Promise Madison, Johnathan Paulie Mathers, and Jennifer ‘President’ McKayla.
Guess who was chosen to look under all the benches? Me! The short guy!
I had searched James and Johnathan, both heavy donors to the school. James was commemorated for helping build the gymnasium, and Johnathan gave funding for the statue of the founder, Marshall Wheeler.
Nothing besides gum was under the benches. When it felt like we were getting hotter, we were only getting colder.
Then, the ‘President’ name caught my eye. While they yelled for me to search under Jeanna, Jennifer ‘President’ McKayla seemed more intriguing.
It read “Dedicated to Jennifer McKayla, a Government and Politics teacher.” This bench was dedicated to her because of her “constant effort to get students involved, leading to four politicians.”
“I knew Mrs. McKayla.” Mr. Donovan said, “She’s what got me into history, I’d say. She was old, yet with the times. They had dedicated this bench to her while she was still teaching. She never really talked about it, as it had been like, two decades before I started. Her husband died many years before…” Donovan had paused, “Wait, what was his name?”
I reached under the bench and found a yellow laminated note. The bench was stone, and the note was taped to the top tightly. When I removed it, I read it out loud:
‘While the light fades from my life
There won’t be a time forgotten
When I could look upon your face
In the area where this all started.
With love, Toshiro-’
“-Yang.” Donovan finished, “Her husband was the art teacher, Mr. Yang. He died years before her. Like, a decade before. This was commemorated in 1962. Yang died a decade and a half later I think. Then Matthias started his hunt, and we failed. Why didn’t we ask her about it?”
It was connection after connection to Doc. Kurt took out his phone and sent a message to Cole. I don’t know what it said.
By Noah Buckets
“That’s all the text says.” Cole said.
“Wonderwall?” Cat questioned.
“Yeah, wonderwall.” Cole sighed, and then his phone buzzed, “‘Shoot, autoco.’ What is he on?” His phone buzzed again, “‘autocorrect. Check the yearbook for 1977 for any message from a Mrs. McKayla.”
We were still in the library. I knew instantly where the yearbooks were, and I dashed off.
Upon reaching the back wall, I navigated my hand to 1977. Yelling had erupted in the background between Cat and Cole over who was going to pick up the fallen books. I grabbed it and dashed back.
“-And I don’t understand why you’re always sticking up for Noah! He’s a geek! A nobody!”
“Oh, shut up!” Cat exclaimed.
“Speak of the devil, it’s Mr. Abandon-the-siblings-to-go-adventuring,” Cole said as he turned to me.
“Zip it, we have a case on our hands that I want to solve.”
“Well we’ve been on a case too, or, moreso, I have. Why do you keep sticking up for my sister?”
“Whenever we fight you always get in between. Even here. You could’ve searched through that musty book by yourself at the other end of the room but you heard me and Cat fighting and had to interfere. Why?”
I was frozen, but I felt like I should be honest with them, “I’m gonna keep it real. And this wasn’t how I wanted it to go, but I think you’re cute, Cat,” I said as I looked at her.
She frowned, suddenly a shift in the dynamic was felt. “I-I think I like you more as a friend, Noah. I’m… sorry. Really.”
I clenched the yearbook as Cole was starting to laugh. I wasn’t going to cry, but dang.
“Now, like, that could change, I don’t know. I just don’t see ourselves getting in a relationship.”
“Oh, this is good!” Cole exclaimed.
Cat punched Cole, and we all fell quiet. Cat held her hand out for the book, and I gave it to her.
“Anyways… it was a Mrs. McKayla, was it?”
“Yeah.” Cole responded. I was frozen, astral projecting, dissociating. Doing anything to save my tears for home.
She skimmed passages, flipped through pages of black and white photos of similarly dressed boys and girls. Cat came across a passage at the end of the yearbook, a dedication to Mr. Yang from his wife, Mrs. McKayla.
“When me and Toshiro met, it was during a very tenuous part of our history. Japanese men and women weren’t respected by a majority of our country because of our war in the Pacific, but Toshiro came to our rival school to teach art, his art. He evolved the general culture of Kirby high school, but he also affected our school in ways we didn’t know. He liked peace, and when our art teacher fell ill, he crossed the road and taught during his planning periods. That was actually when we met. It was during my lunch, and we met right in the center, on that patch of dirt by the entrance sign. I was driving my car off the lot and he stopped and waved at me. I told him it was a skip day for most students, so if he wanted to join me he could. Toshiro was so kind. He would never hurt a fly, and he sat so still in my car. It was as though he was afraid to touch any part of it. I miss him, but he has made both schools brighter. He made my life happier, and our son and daughter wouldn’t be here without him.
Toshiro Yang was principal of Kirby high school for ten years before his passing. Throwing the rivalry aside, he will be missed, and he was always loved.”
I was still upset, but I took a deep breath, held my chest out and said, “I think I know where the will is buried.”
In the End
By Kurt Blum
Noah, Cat, and Cole ran to us in the park where we were just taking in the scenery.
“Guys, the will is buried in front of the welcome sign,” Noah said.
“Really?” I asked. He smiled, didn’t say anything else, and motioned for us to follow. His smile felt so forced, though. I don’t know why, it just didn’t feel genuine. I’ve gotten good at picking up on emotions. All that time with my buddy Dove has definitely helped.
We had reached the welcome sign, which has remained the same with the letters you have to slide in. A glass wall had been added to lock up and prevent vandals or thieves from stealing the letters.
A trowel laid there.
“I-I guess Yang left it for us?” Paul asked. He had to stay on the road and look down. Noah picked up the trowel and handed it to Doc.
“Oh, well, I can’t really use my back like I used to, but I’ll do the honors.”
“You deserve to, Doc. This is the closure you need,” Noah said. We kind of cringed at this statement.
“I never said that something felt missing in my life, Mr. Buckets, but thanks.” Doc started to dig. We stood around him, but Peter stood back with Paul.
“Wait, can I just say something?” I said. Mr. Donovan kept digging, but he nodded his head. They looked at me.
“Um… I just want to say that I appreciate all of you. I think of you guys as good friends, I guess. I don’t know. I hope you guys think the same. I haven’t really done much for this group.”
“I guess you’re our friend.” Peter said.
Paul elbowed him. “You are our friend. You can hang out with me and Paul any time you want.”
Noah nodded towards them. “Could I join you guys? I always kind of watched from afar but I think you all are so cool.”
“Yeah, for sure.” Paul said with a smile. Cat and Cole crossed their arms at the same time.
Then Cat spoke up, “I think we make a good team of sleuths.”
“Or something like that. ‘Sleuths’ is dorky,” Cole responded. “But, I guess I can hang with a few dorks.”
“I-I made something for you guys.” I said as I reached into my pocket. I sighed and looked at Peter and Paul, “Except you two. I’m sorry, you both already had one.”
I started passing out the puppets amongst them. I gave Noah Star-Fold, a puppet that more resembles the comic, yet with the added on jacket and mask. Underneath the jacket was his symbol and blue suit. Noah smiled, mumbled “my very own puppet!” and then placed it on his finger, showing it to me.
I gave Cat the Gamora puppet (AKA Gamorigami), a green alien in a purple outfit, and I gave Cole Origami Nebula. I assumed he wouldn’t want the long flowey haired one from the comics, so I made the robotic head one from the movies. Cole laughed at it, but he put it on his finger instantly. Cat smiled at me, putting it in her jacket pocket.
Doc finished digging, looked at us, and I handed him a puppet of Yondu. His eyes were solemn as he stared at it.
“Thank you, Mr. Donovan.” I said.
“I’m Foldu, y’all.” he said with a quiver. We all smiled and laughed for a moment, and then he bent down, made a groan, and picked up the box. “You might think you’re funny, but Yondu was the very puppet I had back when I was a kid. Didn’t look much like this back then, though. I like it.”
We went back inside and sat down in Doc’s room. I don’t know, we were a rag-tag group, but I felt appreciated here in Doc Donovan’s class.
He slowly opened the box, as though it was the holy grail and it would melt our faces down to bone. He took out the will, some kind of map, and a picture of Mr. Yang and his wife.
Inside was his will, outlining who gets what money, and as we passed it around to read it, our eyes turned to bewilderment as we got down to the last couple lines, which had been torn.
The last paragraph began with “As principal of Kirby and a substitute teacher at Wheeler, I have come to realize that both are in this constant struggle, and while I want peace and security –” The rest of it was torn. It was handwritten in ink. Below that was a map of what should’ve been both schools, but Kirby’s half was ripped.
We looked at eachother.
“Someone found it before us.” Noah concluded. Mr. Donovan took the box and the papers, along with the photo, and placed it in all in a drawer in his desk.
“I’ll be darned. You all can’t technically leave until you finish those essays. But I’ll make a note to the Principal that I had y’all clean the bathrooms or something so you only had to write as many words as you wished. I’ll wait here.”
He sat back, put his legs on the table, and looked at Foldu. He opened another drawer and took out his other, older puppet of Foldu and placed them side by side on the chalkboard bar, next to his figures of horses and cowboys.
“If we want to mention our group in the essay, what should we call ourselves?” Noah asked Doc.
“Why, I think the Foldians of the Galaxy would work.”
By Noah Buckets
I have sat here and thought of what exactly I would want to say in this essay. How when I am asked the question of who I think I am, I am frozen in fear as my years at Wheeler are slowly inching closer and closer. I mean, I have a long time before I graduate, but I couldn’t accurately say who I was before this detention.
Was I just a whiny teenage brat, bent on making sure some girl I had a crush on would eventually have a crush on me if I kept throwing myself in to get punched and bruised? Or was I a B and C student with not many friends, indulging myself into the past of the school I’ve called home for the last two years? Maybe I was undecided. Maybe I was just meant to be like this.
But then I was put into this detention amongst people I didn’t know, and I grew to appreciate each and every single one of them as friends.
So, Ms. Villanueva, we accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong. But we think you’re crazy to make an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us. Troublemakers, nerds, jocks, princesses and pranksters. You lump us into the most convenient of definitions. But we know who we are: We’re Star-fold, Paper Ray Bill, Gamoragami, Socket, Origroot, and Origami Nebula, and we’re the gosh darn, most rootenous tootenous Foldians of the Galaxy.