Hmm, OrigVenom said aloud.
It was an endless red plain. He was a life-size Venom, but made entirely out of thousands of moving OrigVenom puppets.
I hope they mourn me in black and white, he thought to himself.
Black and white…
Back In Business
By Karl Blonsky Jr.
“Donny! Donny? Don-Don?” I said.
“Huh—?! Karl? Karl?!? Karl! Ohmygoshohmygoshohmygosh,” the energetic girl said, running up to me and kissing me (platonically, FYI, you filthy, intellectually inferior casuals) on the cheek, “I haven’t see you such a long time!”
“Yeah, yeah. Well, see, I’m staying in NYC for a long while before I go back to Virginia, so, just, um…I’ve really been thinking of bringing back L.I.F.E. I have Doc, that silent but classy chemist. I’ve got everyone else. We’re just waiting on y—”
“Yesyesyesyesyes!” she shouted, and started running around me.
“Well, I guess it’s back to the basics.”
THE NEXT DAY…
“Shoo! Shoo!” I said to the last of those nasty but impressionable-looking little freshmen as I kicked them out of the (former, filthy casuals) band practice room, which used to be the L.I.F.E. (Little Ingenious Forceful Eco-Studies) Science Club before Ezra came and indirectly ruined it all in October 2018. Maybe November. I forget.
Doc was busy nailing a piece of cardboard with the words “LITTLE INGENIOUS FORCEFUL ECO-STUDIES” on it.
I turned around. Andy Gardner.
“Mi amigo!” I said. We shook hands.
“So you’re restarting this wreck? The Little, um, Ingenious Studios?”
“‘Studios?’ And it’s not ‘L.I.S.,’ Gardner.”
He chuckled. Perhaps it was a chortle. “Always up with your sarcastic attitude. Nice to know you’re staying for a bit.”
I nodded. “Same here.”
“Well, I guess I’ll see you around,” he said, and he left.
Back to the basics…
Ezra Cronin and Claire ding-dang Lee were making out in the halls.
A few feet away from me, Owen, Doc and Donny.
“Wha…?” I stammered, struggling for words. “How did this…? This is…wow…oh my…oof…big oof…”
“Hmm,” Owen said. “This started about six days and nine hours ago. Plus ten minutes and thirty-two seconds. And three milliseconds. Only one day after the breakup.”
“Breakup?” I asked.
“Samantha and him,” Owen said. “Their relationship went the way of the dodo.”
“Uh…,” I said. I started to laugh. “Heh…oh…well…this is…weird. I was starting to ship E + S.”
“Me, too!” Donny said. “They were so perfect! If you searched up ‘perfect couple’ in the Merriam-Webster dictionary a week ago, their picture would be right there.”
Yeah, we were a bunch of nerds.
“Can someone explain the full story to me…?” I muttered, stomping my foot. This was so weird, I thought.
Owen perked up. “Wellllllll…” He began to explain the whole thing…in detail.
“You’re never around!” Ezra said. “Never! Where are you? Who the heck knows?”
“You’re not responsible, Ezra,” Samantha said. “You’re a reckless little idiot who’ll always put little ol’ Cal Largent in front of me! Why don’t you date him?”
“For goodness sake, we are brothers-in-arms, not dating! He’s my brother from another mother, and you’d know that if you were ever around. If you keep saying things like that, I might scream that we should break up.”
“Let’s break up, then.”
Pretty much all of Ezra’s friends were watching including the OrigAvengers, Cal and the Spider-Verse gang, the L.I.F.E. remnants, etc.
“Wait, something here doesn’t compute,” Emmett said.
wait what pt. 2
“Well, that was gross,” I said. “I don’t need to know anything else about i—”
“WELLLLL,” Owen, that annoying pest, continued.
Ezra sat, crying, right outside Kirby’s gates. First his symbiotic bro, now his girl. What next?
“Hey. What’s up?” Claire Lee said. Ezra looked up.
“Oh, nothing, I just—”
“I heard about it, Cronin.”
“Oh, well, hahahaha, I’m sure—wait, how many people know? Please tell me?”
Claire giggled. “Well, um…how do I put this…everyone? Like, the Kirby King reported it. Clark and Jesse have been making jokes about it all day. Etc. Etc.”
He sighed. “Well, this was unexpected. Just last week, I lost—you know, you won’t believe me. No one does but Cal, who, according to my ex, I should be dating instead.”
“I believe in OrigVenom,” Claire said. “Mostly because I wasn’t one of those zombie people on the day Chris poisoned the school’s food supply.”
He was shocked. “What?”
“You better believe it. My mom packs me lunches, Cronin. I saw how Cal acted. I heard the Spider-Fold puppet talking.”
Ezra became wide-eyed. Claire sat next to him.
“Hoo, well, that’s a big surprise, but I gotta get—”
Claire kissed him.
“Oh, oh, oh no,” I said, shriveling my nose. “So gross. Ew.”
A New Chemical
“I think Blonsky’s broken,” Ezra said, sitting next to Chris and Claire. “Karl? Kaaaaarl?”
I was stuck in my own world, still comprehending what was going on. I started to look at Claire.
Her and Ezra? Was this reality? WAIT…does Aiden, that Miles Morales kid, know about this? I wondered.
“I gotta go,” I said. Donny, Micheal, Owen and Doc (the nerd squad) followed me.
I uncapped the water bottle full of the purplish blue liquid. “A new Chemical M. Built to be stronger, more efficient, but most of all, bring back OrigVenom.”
“Why?” Donny asked.
She looked at me in a sassy manner. “Listen, Karl, I’ve known you since fourth grade, and listen, I know you don’t do things for Cronin. Cronin was your enemy up until, like, a month ago. And even now, you guys are…um…what’s the word?”
“Frenemies,” I replied. “And yes, you found me out. Haha. The real reason is…”
I put my mouth up to her ear. Owen, Doc and Micheal leaned closer.
“…I don’t like E + C.”
Donny slapped me.
“Oh, c’mon, Karl! Be happy for them!”
“It’s a stupid rebound that I want him to get over! Truth is, I DO care about Cronin…I think. And she’s just not right for him. I mean, neither was Samantha, it seems, but c’mon. Like, c’mon. C’MON.”
She sighed. “Fine. Fine! FINE! But how is this supposed to worrrrrrk?”
“I mean, he considered OrigVenom a brother. If he comes back, bai-bai, Claire. Also, Aiden will be super happy, because I know he doesn’t know.”
Micheal smiled. Evilly. I turned around, seeing his mouth curving into that crescent shape.
“No, Micheal, don’t…aaaaand he ran out. Crap.”
Well, inferiors, this was truly interesting. I remember Ezra and Claire yesterday, just walking and talking casually. They DID look happy, admittedly. But then…
Ezra turned around. It was Aiden.
“Oh, hey, man! Wazzup?”
Cal punched Ezra in the face. He fell down.
“What the heck was that for?”
“You little…,” Aiden said. “Girl-stealing…”
“I thought you were dating that Tracie Dormeunz girl!” Ezra wailed, holding his nose.
“Well, we weren’t! I thought Claire liked me, then you came along…” He sniffed.
He ran away, starting to tear up.
I did not believe in love before this. I don’t get it. All that mushy stuff. Cuddle, kiss, mwah-mwah, gooey, mushy, EW. I didn’t find the appeal to it that 97.5% of today’s NY population has. But all that changed when she appeared…
“So,” I said to Micheal. “I said to Aiden, ‘Hey, man, bummer about Claire, right? Anyways, I think she always knew about your crush on her. I did.’ And then he screamed to me, ‘You little pun—”
Her. The new girl.
“Oh, dream weaver! I believe you can get me through the niiiiiiight…”
I looked at Owen. He was singing that unappealing musical trash.
“That’s Paige,” Micheal said. “She’s really pretty, but she’s picky with boys. She wants someone who wants her for her, but I guess she doesn’t have too much luck.”
I looked at him.
“Don’t try to talk to her- and he’s off.”
I walked up to Paige. “Hey! Are you Paige?”
She turned around. “Oh, hey…what’d you want?”
I internally started sweating. “Nothing. I mean, heh, I was wondering if…”
I ran away.
“Who was that?” Lacey Stone, who was next to her, asked.
“I don’t know. Some weird kid,” Paige replied.
“I think he’s that Karl Blonsky kid,” Lacey pondered. “You know, the one who started the club? That Ezra closed down?”
“You talk an awful lot about Ezra,” Paige said.
“I see him all the time because he hangs out with Cal a lot. I mean, he is kind of hot, admittedly, but he’s weirrrrrrrrrd.”
“True, but you get used to it.”
Now, Doug is a new L.I.F.E. recruit. Doug is very clumsy. In fact, that’s a really big understatement. It was six in the evening. School had already closed, but Karl told him to organize the lab and experiment a little for a bit of overtime. He was currently spilling some Chemical D on a cockroach. The cockroach disintegrated.
“Yaaaa, that’s hot,” he said.
He put his headphones back on. This simple motion created enough momentum to push the cockroah’s ashes into the wind. They flew and flew until they landed…in Chemical L.
“Oh no!” Doug said. “Contamination! Wait…wait…wait a sec! Chemical L is orange…apple juice is orange…”
Doug was pouring apple juice into the new Chemical M. “That does i…WAIT! THIS ISN’T L!”
Chemical M. The big one. The purplish blue liquid started bubbling. Doug heard a laughing sound as it exploded out of the bottle like a baking soda volcano. A big Chemical M puddle was on the floor.
“The puddle’s talking,” Doug said to himself, afraid.
“It seems…I have been created…yes, yes…creation…”
It had a raspy voice, an EVIL raspy voice.
“Don’t you know about creation, creator? About your first few years? Juice boxes, crayons, not remembering a thing? Being a baby? Hmm?”
“Good. Now, you MUST help the talking puddle, creator, or you will be EATEN by the talking puddle. Capiche?”
Doug nodded again.
“Then get me Blonsky. My real creator.”
Doug stood still.
“Ah, forget it, I’ll do it myself.”
The puddle rolled out of the L.I.F.E. Science Club room, humming. Doug fainted.
By Ezra and Karl
Well, things really aren’t working out. They really aren’t. Ever since Aiden came up to us, Claire and I have…well, wow…started to not get along well. Our relationship is young, and I want it to grow and not kill itself a week in. Then again, is she just a rebound girl? Hm…
Claire, in a stupid move, went to Cal, my best friend, for advice. Cal suggested a different counselor since he’s a biased third party. So, the best counselor, for me, apparently, WAAAAAS…
“Why?” Jude said. “Why little ol’ me? Let me rot in this heck of a juvie.”
“No,” Ezra said. “Because Largent said you can counsel unhappy couples, and—”
He started laughing. “Clark? Oh, the stupid man.”
“No, the smaller Largent.”
He laughed harder. “Oh, man. That’s…that’s genuinely funny. So, like, the spider guy told you to come to…oh, man…oh…this is so fresh. Well, um…Claire, state your problems first, I guess?”
“He isn’t responsible!”
“She’s never around!” I said in retaliation.
We looked at each other. We both facepalmed.
“Well, I can tell this is not heading in a good direction. Take some time to hang out and kiss or something, you two. It helps for a short while. WARDEN! WARDEN, THESE MUSKRATS ARE BOTHERING ME!”
I bumped into that Paige girl in the hall.
“Hey!” I said. She dropped her books.
“Oh, let me get that,” I said, leaning down and giving her books back to her.
“Thanks,” she said. “I, uh, think I know who you are now. Karl Blonsky, right?”
I nodded yes.
“Cool! Do you like Harry Potter?”
I looked at her.
She looked at me.
That night, we were on her porch, reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. The moonlight shined on her, crickets chirping. The pages were only lit up by my flashlight and the nearby streetlights. No cars were passing by. It was pure calm.
“‘Dumbledore bowed his head,’” I read. “‘Professor McGonagall gasped.’”
“‘Lily and James…I can’t believe it…I didn’t want to believe it…oh, Albus,’” Paige continued.
Ezra’s second part:
“So you’ve come to me?” Colt Melville said. “Nice [CENSORED] choice, Ezra.”
“Well, I mean, can you two describe each other?”
“Well,” Claire began, “he’s patient, understanding, thoughtful, caring, a good person overall, creative.”
“She,” I said, “is a really kind soul, nice overall, shy, yet brave, courageous, and a resistor.”
“He is a bit crude, however, he…”
We waited a few minutes.
“She is a bit impatient, but…”
We waited another few minutes.
“I’ve seen enough,” Colt said. “You two are a lost cause. Peace out, players.”
The Fight Pt. 2
By Ezra and Karl
A week later…
I was sitting with Claire, Paige, Jessica, Paige, Lacey and all the other girls. A downside of being Claire’s boyfriend is that she loves bringing anyone she can salvage to her daily girl talks.
A text-to-speech voice. Ooooohhhhh no.
“Well, c’mon, Venom,” Claire said. “Protect the damsel.”
I got up. It was Aaron—no, wait, TaskPlaster. Right.
“Cronin, come here right now, you [CENSORED].”
“This is actually really pathetic,” I said. “I’ve heard you can fight, but can you rea—”
He punched me in the stomach two times. Uppercut. Roundhouse. Left. Right. Swerve. My gosh, this kid knew everything.
“Finish him,” Aaron said.
I looked. It was Aiden he was talking to.
He punched me in the face.
“Ezra?” Claire said. “Are you okay?”
“Yeah, not obviously not,” I replied, as Aiden scolded Aaron and then ran away. “Help me!”
“You, me, tomorrow night at the movies?” Paige said over the phone.
“Sure! Call you later. Bye.”
I put my phone on my desk and sighed.
I’m living, I thought.
I then got up. I closed my eyes, sitting on my bed.
“May the Force be with you,” I said.
Dwight Tharp was sleeping when he woke up. He felt something. Just a little instinct.
“May the Force be with you, too, Blonsky Jr.”
The puddle was out in the cafeteria, sucking up nearby grass blades, weeds, leaves, newspapers, beetles, ants, twigs, etc.
“Doug!” I said, “Doug, you little…do you have anything to do with this?”
“Yeah, I assumed. Stupid! You’re fired!”
He shrugged and went off.
“Hey, Owen, where did that thing come from?”
“Most likely the L.I.F.E. room,” he replied.
I became wide-eyed. “Oh no…it’s a living puddle of Chemical Madness.”
“Madness?” Micheal asked.
“Yes,” Karl said. “That’s what Chemical M stands for.”
(Take a bite out of that piece of gossip, inferiors.)
The PA started making a scratching noise. I saw the puddle starting to do the physically impossible and climb its way up a pipe.
“Kirbians…I am the Puddler. You will all bow down to me. Who I am, if you’re wondering? I’m a puddle. A talking puddle. An evil talking puddle.”
For a few moments, the whole cafeteria was silent.
Everyone started screaming. I saw the OrigAvengers trying to maintain calm, Kev and Cassidy blindly poking at the Puddler with a twig, Ezra and Claire trying to escape into the halls, etc.
The Puddler took the twig from Kev’s hands and sucked it into himself.
I looked behind me. It was Paige, holding a neatly-folded origami Scream symbiote.
“Paige?” I asked.
“Yep,” she said. “Don’t ask, let’s just say I’m kind of jealous everyone gets a puppet but me.”
“Oooooh, someone’s jelly,” Cal said. The rest of the OriSpider-Verse surrounded him (except for Ezra), including allies like Chris, Colt, Micheal, Howard, Shirley, Samantha with her She-OrigVenom, etc.
“It’s the whole OriSpider-Verse army!” I said, “Cool, guys! Do I, like, say the call sign now or somethin’?”
“Yeah, pretty much,” Emmett said.
Owen started annoyingly singing the Avengers theme, but then we stopped.
“Guys, it’s a puddle.”
“I was made to resurrect Cronin’s brother,” the Puddler said. “Not to fight. Look at me, I’m a puddle.”
I took out a refolded OrigVenom. Based on the original version, which looked like the 2018 live action version. I dipped it into the Puddler.
“Yes,” the talking puddle said. “I will fulfill my purpose! Wait…no…then you’ll kill me, won’t ya?”
“No,” I said, lying.
“Or you’ll store me in a bottle for months!”
No,” I said, lying again.
He started to speak in OrigVenom’s voice. “I want to stay alive! Please!”
I looked at Paige, then the puddle.
“You know,” I said, “I never knew what friends were until I met Ezra and his peeps. I never knew what love was like until I met Paige over there. And I never realized it, but I have a son. I know I’m just a regular ol’ high school senior, haha, but my son—my creation—is you. Chemical M. In fact, I should probably see the beauty in things more often. I keep thinking I’m right, but I’m usually not, am I?”
The Puddler fell silent.
“You know, you have a really nice color palette…”
“No! No! The compliments! Ah! No…”
The puddle shrank and shrank rapidly, like in a sped up National Geographic video.
“Wizard, man,” that one weird kid whose name is Joe said.
He was where he left off. Everyone could hear him. He’s still weak. But it’s not him.
On the ground, where the puddle and OrigVenom were, stood everything the puddle had sucked up into itself, and an infant-looking Sleeper symbiote puppet.
“Oh, hey, it’s Venom’s son from the new comics,” Owen said. “Noice.”
“Yeah,” I said. “He was only a baby for a little while, right?”
“I believe so.”
Paige walked up to me. “Hey, OriRiot. Are we still going to the movies tonight?”
Yes,” I said. “Paige…say, what’s your last name?”
I just kissed her.
“Wait, you don’t care?”
“No, I don’t, I honestly don’t.”
“Eh, neither do I.”
I was carrying OrigSleeper around in my pocket, holding hands with Paige.
“Hey, should I rename Chemical M?”
“Why not?” she asked back.
“Hm. What about…Chemical Benevolent? Chemical B?”
“Has a ring to it,” she replied.
Love is a tough thing. I know it now. I loved Samantha, yet it wasn’t meant to be. I loved Claire (I think), yet it wasn’t meant to be. Right now, I’m in a state of romantic depression. Is there one for me? (And yes, Claire and I broke things off. We’re staying friends, though.)
I sat down next to my best friend, Cal Largent. Aiden was sitting next to him, staring off into space. Everyone knew he had a blatant crush on Claire, yet I chose to ignore that.
“So, I called you guys together to reconcile,” Cal explained, gesturing to me and Aiden. “You’re my best friends, and I want you two to make up. Come on.”
I looked at my former rival. “Hey, Aiden.”
Aiden looked back, sheepishly. “Hey, Ezra. I cannot swear this enough, but I’m so sorry.”
“No, I am. I was stupid, thinking I could pull off me and Claire, and especially knowing you do have a crush on her…in fact, I think she knows. But that’s a topic for another time.”
Aiden smiled. “You’re the best, man.”
“See?” Cal said, beaming. “Was that so hard?”
“Eh,” Aiden shrugged. Then, he scooted closer to me. “Now tell me everything and anything Claire told you about anyone in the school during your time with her.”
“Welllll,” I began, “Andy is…”
Just a normal day, having lunch with the OriSpider-Verse and my own posse.
“So you and…? Wow,” I said to Paige. “When did this happen?”
“Well, we’re both gigantic Potterheads and geeks overall,” Karl said, Paige nodding.
“Well, I definitely approve,” Ezra said. “I can’t think of a better person than Karl.”
Karl smiled at me. “Well, thanks.”
I felt a tap on my shoulder.
“Sorry, guys, gotta go.”
Ally and I walked through the halls.
“What is it?” I questioned. “More training? Another villain?”
“No,” Ally said. “I think you’re ready.”
I looked at her with big eyes and open ears.
“Welcome, Ezra Cronin, OrigVenom. The OrigAvengers are happy to have you.”
Love Pt. 2
“Steady, Ezra,” Karl said. We were in his car. I was practicing for my upcoming drivers’ test.
I put my hands on the wheel.
The car started to speed forward.
“65 miles per hour? Ezra! You’re gonna get us killed!” Karl said. “Ezra! EZRA!”
We crashed into a tree. The car alarm went off, and airbags went into me and Karl’s faces.
The OriSpider-Verse was waiting outside, but I noticed Claire had her hand squished by a branch that fell because of the crash.
“Ezra Cronin!” she said, storming up to me. “Do you know what you did?”
“You know what you are? You’re difficult.”
“No, you are,” I said back.
“And I like that,” she said, shyly.
I felt kind of sweaty. I don’t know why.
“I like that in you, too?”
She started nodding. I was way nervous. We both awkwardly walked away from each other.
“Wait,” Cal said. “Do I sense something going on?”
“Baby steps, Cal,” Karl said. “Baby steps.”
Let It Begin
“It’s time,” O had said. Time for the plan of T.H.A.N.O.S., a work in progress for way too many years, to finally come to fruition.
And A couldn’t take it anymore.
To be continued in SF Noah’s “T.H.A.N.O.S. and the Infinity Folds,” the thrilling conclusion to the Marvel Origami Universe’s Fold Three!