• 2024 Creative Writing Page

    Percy’s Diner: Chapter One

    Written by George LaSalle

     

    I’d always been told I was blessed. I was unique, special, one of a kind. They told me I had great destiny in my future. What they didn’t tell me is that I would end up falling for a massive scam and eventually give up everything I owned. They didn’t warn me I’d be moving into a hazardous apartment, and they said nothing about a man pushing his greasy food and belongings off my bed when I got to the room. Yet, that’s what ended up happening.

     

    I opened the door to see where I’d be living for the next few years. I take one step into the house and the doorknob falls to the ground, broken. One minute into my stay and it was already going downhill. Glancing at the surroundings didn’t make it much better- an obnoxiously loud man, snoring and sprawled across the entire bed, trash on the table, his floor filled with collectible basketball cards.

     

    “This place is a dump,” I whispered, not expecting him to hear me. I quietly walked around the table to get a better look at the room. The windows found in the center of each wall were smashed and there were many dents in the walls. While glancing at the area, I was swiftly interrupted by the loud man.

     

    “Hey! Welcome home. Say, you new, or something?” the man asked me, almost as if it took him a moment to realize I wasn’t somebody he met before.

     

    “Home? Home? This is my home! I don’t want to stay here for a minute longer than I must,” I angrily responded before walking over to my covered bed, intending to ask the man where I was going to sleep.

     

    “Sir, I think you need a good night’s rest, as does everybody when they eat or drink anything around here,” my roommate suggested before wiping his greasy scraps off the mattress. I looked over at him, confused, before coming up with a continuation.

     

    “Go on,” I calmed down before asking for more explanation. The roommate pointed towards my mattress, laid back down, and started snoring, giving me no other option but to rest on my inquiry of what he meant.

     

    Just like that, Monday ended and Tuesday started. I knew the rest of my stay was going to be as rough as it started when my roommate started shaking me at 5:00 in the morning.

     

    “Good morning. I don’t think I ever got a chance to introduce myself to you. I’m Josh Hamilton. And you?” Josh introduced, still shaking me.

     

    “Zachary Briggs. Stop shaking me, Josh!” I yelled, proceeding to sit up and converse with my roommate.

     

    “Say, Zachary, do you need breakfast or anything? There’s a Denny’s right down the street,” Josh asked, looking out the window.

     

    “Are they even open at five o’clock in the morning?” I pondered, still waking up for the day. I was not ready for anything that was to come.

     

    “Every place around here is. They know this apartment building is lousy and useless. You want to go now?” he questioned while getting up and stretching.

     

    “Let’s go, partner,” I ended the conversation, standing up and walking out the doorway without a door. As I left the room, I was puzzled on what Josh meant. “Lousy and useless…” I muttered under my breath.

     

    “Have you seen the food they have here?” he questioned me. I stood there a minute, confused. This was an apartment building, after all, but I was being put in a room with someone I didn’t know and there was apparently some sort of restaurant in the area. Josh continued, “This wasn’t always an apartment building. Before people lived here, they used it as a hotel and stayed here over vacation. The food, however, was thought to be incredibly dangerous for consumption, leading to the closure of the hotel.” As he was giving this explanation, we passed a small walled-off area on the bottom floor. “This was the restaurant. Percy’s Diner.”

     

    I took a glance at the so-called ‘restaurant’. It was completely blocked off with cement, crushing any dreams I had of entering the construction. The cement was burnt- not to the point that it was broken down to a crisp, but to the point that it smelled of burnt wood and had a darker appearance than what would be considered normal. This didn’t shock me, as nothing about this place could really be considered normal at all.

     

    “Come on. You know where the door is. Let’s go,” Josh urged me, evidently desperate to get out of the building. Again, this wasn’t shocking, as anybody would want to get out of this so-called apartment building when they got the chance. This was when I heard something coming from beyond the burnt cement. It was three of four people talking.

     

    “Do you mind if I go to the bathroom?” I asked my roommate, looking for any sign of a bathroom. He nodded, but instead of leaving for the bathroom, I waited for Josh to leave. When he was out of my sight and I knew I was out of his, I turned around, but instead of looking for a bathroom, I walked up to the cement structure.

     

    “Hey, you know I’m always here if you need anything, man,” a voice started. “Anything but a discount. It’s still thirteen, seventy-five.”

     

    “You know I can’t afford that,” a second voice replied. “I don’t have thirteen dollars just lying around. Would you sell it for five?”

     

    “Five dollars is less than what I paid to make this!” the original man responded angrily. “Thirteen, seventy-five is the final offer. Are you sure you’re not interested?”

     

    “I’m sure,” the second man ended the conversation bitterly. “Have fun trying to find another customer.”

     

    I glanced at the cement, pondering what I had just heard. I knew there were two men in an argument over the price of an item, but that was all my knowledge. I sat down on a bench besides me, wondering whether it was a good idea to walk inside the structure, until Josh came back inside the apartment building to retrieve me.

     

    “Did you ever taste this food from Percy’s Diner?” I asked him while we were walking to the Denny’s.

     

    “Never. Not a single time in my fifteen years of being here have I tasted a single crumb of it. From what I heard, it’s incredibly toxic,” Josh responded with an unexpected reply.

     

    “Is? It didn’t shut down already?” I questioned, still confused on the whole story of Percy’s Diner.

     

    “We tried everything in our power, but we just couldn’t get rid of it,” Josh answered. “This is kind of off topic, or rather to get off topic, but this is the best Denny’s I’ve ever been to in my life.”

     

    “What about Percy’s Diner?” I tried to get back on track with the conversation we were already having because it seemed as if Josh had other plans.

     

    “You’ll learn soon enough, my friend,” he told me before entering the Denny’s. Of course, the Denny’s seemed like a five-star luxurious experience compared to what I had been through for the past few hours, and we were able to order food that wasn’t dangerous for consumption. Josh ended up ordering a Chicken Caesar Salad, and I got an All-American Slam for myself. “So, how did you end up here in the first place?” he asked me as we were waiting for our food.

     

    “It was all part of a massive scam last week,” I responded. “You see, I’ve always been into the art of professional wrestling, and I wanted to attend a show. I had just gone to WrestleMania, though, and I didn’t really have enough money to go to another big show, so I had to look on the independent scene. I ended up stumbling across a company called 1PW, and they were having a show right in Illinois. I bought a ticket, but the show never happened, and the company never offered a refund.”

     

    “That must have been an expensive ticket,” Josh commented. “Was the show pushed back? Was it cancelled? Seriously, what happened?”

     

    “That’s not important. It’s also not the entire story. After the show was, well, no-showed, my car broke down. I had to get it repaired, so I took it to a garage, and the repair price seemed reasonable. The thing is the guy was scamming me, so I had to take it to another garage, which did get it fixed, but by the time it was fixed, I barely had any money, and I got fired from my job due to some budget cuts in the business. I decided to sell my house, but it didn’t have much value as it was very low quality, and this was the best place I could afford,” I explained.

     

    “That is the most depressing series of unfortunate events I have ever heard,” Josh replied. “You know what, Zach? It’s not fair that had to happen to you. I’ve got to admit that you seem like a nice guy. I’m going to make things right for you.”

     

    “Oh, really?” I questioned in shock that this guy who I had known for less than 24 hours was offering to get me some help. “How exactly do you plan on doing that?”

     

    “Firstly, above all else, we need to talk to your old boss and get your job back. Then, we call out that 1PW company on social media, keeping our arguments loud and strong until they give you their refund. We also need to do the same for that first garage you went to. Lastly, you need to sell your car,” he suggested. I sat there in awe, wondering to myself how Josh Hamilton of all people was going to help me do that.

     

    “Look, first things first, we are not selling my car, no matter how much debt I may receive. Also, there’s no way the business is going to let me back in. They fired me because of budget cuts, after all, and maybe in a few years minimum we can make a deal, but now is way too early. Thirdly, 1PW is, according to the rumors, set to shut down completely sometime within the near future, and I’m pretty sure I went to the scam garage on its second-to-last day open. We really don’t have any time to do this,” I countered. “As much as I like to dream, I like to dream realistically, and this is not realistic in the slightest.”

     

    We were finishing up our meals at that point, so I left a ten-dollar bill on the table before getting up to leave Denny’s. As I left the building and headed for the apartment, I couldn’t stop wondering about the voices coming from the Percy’s Diner section. As I walked into the apartment building, I inched closer and closer to the so-called restaurant like a scaredy-cat before knocking on the cement. To my surprise, the first man from the overheard conversation heard me.

     

    “You can come in. The exit is in the back,” he explained unemotionally. I stood there wondering what he meant by ‘back’, as the side he was mentioning was connected to the back of the apartment building itself. “It’s the extension on the back,” he continued as if he could see my confusion through the burnt cement.

     

    As I walked out of the apartment building, I traveled to the side he was referring to and indeed found an extension with several poles holding up a tent with a curtain. I was then faced with the biggest decision of my life. It felt like a red pill versus blue pill situation. If I took the red pill, I could enter the Percy’s Diner building and get myself all the riches in the world, but I would have to betray Josh, who was the only person who meant anything in my life at that point. On the other hand, if I took the blue pill, I could reject the offer and stay civil with my peer but I would stay in the apartment forever. They said fate couldn’t be altered, but my destiny was in my own hands at that moment.

     

    TO BE CONTINUED…


    Untitled

    By: Annonymous 

    One

    Maybe it was the universe that led me to that moment.

                Or maybe it was just the fact that I’m a clumsy and stupid person.

                “Damn it,” I muttered and mumbled some colorful words under my breath.

                I bent down to pick up my books that slid out of my arms. My black hair fell around me like curtains and peaks of sunlight shone through, echoing onto my sun-kissed skin. I straightened my glasses and flinched when I felt the soft skin of somebody else.

                Somebody popular.

                Terrance Clivex.

                My senses told me to run, to move to another country and leave this stupid moment behind. Yet, I couldn’t help, but marvel at one of the hottest guys in our school.

                His dark brown hair was parted at the side and fluffy. His jawline was clearly defined, and his features were jaw-dropping. Terrance was wearing a simple white tee with black sweatpants. Even with his simple clothing choice, oh how handsome he was.

                “Excuse me?”

                I jutted myself back to reality to find Terrance smirking with my books in his hand. The crowded hallway was even more crowded, an effect from everybody staring at us. I quickly took my books from his hands.

                I needed to get out of here.

                “Thanks,” I mumbled and frantically placed my books in my arms, cursing myself for not having a bag to put them in.

                As I was about to leave, a touch of skin grazed my wrist. I flinched.

                “Wait,” Terrance said. I turned around. Did his features just soften? “What’s your name?”

                Don’t tell him! Better be incognito—

                “Katie Sanchez,” I whispered, keeping my voice low.

                Damn you, Katie!

                Terrance smiled warmly.

                “Bye Katie, see you next time you fall for me.” Terrance winked and left, strutting back to two boys in the far corner of the staring (now whispering) crowd, both as popular and cute as Terrance.

                I was left there, frozen. Okay, Katie, what kind of dreams are you dreaming now? And when were your dreams about boys?

    “Oh, one more thing.” He came back with a smug little grin across his face. “If you ever need help, you know who to call.” Terrance reached out to hold my hand and gently placed a crinkled paper on my palm.

                As I felt the crinkled paper vividly in my palm, it was hard to realize the truth.

                That was no dream.

                What did Terrance want with me?

     

    Two

     

    After class, I was walking towards my locker when Maeve suddenly barged in front of me.

    “Katie. Oh, my god. Grayson freaking talked to me today with his hot voice!” my best friend dreamily sighed and held her hands together.

    Uninterested, I started to walk faster, “Oh? What’d he say?”

    Maeve began to jog, trying to keep up with my pace.

    “So basically, he asked me for the math homework answers! It was the best moment of my life! You don’t know how much it made me happy.” she squealed and jumped up and down.

    “Maeve,” I had reached my locker and started to twist the combination in, “That jerk Grayson doesn’t deserve you. Can’t you tell he’s only using your intelligence?”

    Even with my eyes on the lock, I could sense her frown.

    “That’s not true,” She sternly replied, swinging her lunchbox from side-to-side.

    I threw down my books and grabbed the handle of my Adidas lunchbox. “Let’s just get to lunch. I don’t want to talk about boys right now and am really hungry.”

    Maeve didn’t argue for once. She just happily jumped, again, and skipped towards the cafeteria. When we got there, the first person that came to view was Terrance. I uncontrollably blushed and sat down at our regular table.

    Katie, don’t show any emotions. You do not like that imbecile.

    I repeated that phrase at least 10 times in my head before actually being convinced that that was true. Even then, I still wasn’t truly convinced.

    “Are you listening to me?” Maeve snapped at my eyes and plopped a grape in her mouth. I blinked a couple of times before returning to reality. “Oh, sorry. What did you say?”

    Maeve groaned, throwing a grape at me which I successfully dodged.

    “I said,” She exaggerated, “That…” The pitch in her voice quickly changed to excitement. “Grayson is literally walking over to our table, like, right now! AHH, HE’S COMING TO TALK WITH ME! DO I LOOK OK?”

    Maeve scrunched up her long brunette hair and smoothed out the wrinkles from her black baby tee. I sighed, shaking my head at her actions, and pulled out my lunch that consisted of tortillas.

    All of a sudden, when I was about to slide the lid off of a container, I heard Maeve sneer, “Look ugly!”

    I was taken aback, “Excuse me?

    Maeve side-eyed me, “I said. Look. Ugly! Hurry Grayson is coming!”

    What the heck. Maeve actually wanted me to embarrass myself in front of one of the hottest boys in our high school. No way.

    “Hell no!” I snapped. Maeve rolled her eyes at me but then quickly brightened up with a huge smile as Grayson approached our table. I looked down at my food to avoid accidentally admiring him so that Maeve could do whatever she desired with “her boy”.

    “Hey Grayson, what are you up to?” she grinned and rested her chin on her hands.

    “Maeve,” He started. I couldn’t help but look up. When my eyes met his, I couldn’t help feeling the butterflies in the pit of my stomach. Grayson Katz was so… Freaking. Cute. He had an adorable smile and beautiful gray eyes. His smokey black hair was in way that covered his forehead. I looked over at my friend who was basically dying by the sound of her own name coming from the lips of her crush.

    “Y-yeah?” She reddened, trying to hide her smile.

    Grayson smirked, gesturing Maeve to move over a seat. “Can you scoot there? I want to sit across from Katie so that I can admire her beautiful face.”

    Maeve’s face shadowed into immediate disbelief. We met gazes for one quick second before she looked away and reluctantly got up, running out of the cafeteria, her hands to her face.

    My heart sunk. First it was Terrance, and now its Grayson. What was up today? Grayson sat down, ignoring the fact that Maeve had just left without a word, and reached for my hand. His soft, pale skin above my tan one. I couldn’t resist blushing. It did feel nice and for once, I felt different. Liked. But wait, I couldn’t just betray my friend like that. Especially when she’s been crushing over this kid for her whole life.

    “Shucks,” I whispered to myself, flinching away. I looked down at my untouched lunch, to the cafeteria doors, and to Grayson.

    “You got to be kidding me.” I muttered, chasing after Maeve and leaving Grayson to awkwardly sit there.

     I felt so stupid.

    Three

     

                I lowered my head as I sat in the classroom, fingers to my temples. After trying to find Maeve and failing, all I could think over and over again was how Grayson sucked. To think he ruined a friendship just to compliment me, it sent my blood to boils. The fact that my stomach kept rumbling helped my anger and frustration rise.

                Honestly, I’ve always thought that Spanish was the worst class. AP Spanish, specifically. I knew everything already, being Hispanic and growing up in a Spanish household. The bell hadn’t rung yet so I was the only one in the classroom.

    My Spanish teacher, Mr. Alvarez was nowhere to be seen as I unpacked my books and started copying down the date on my notes sheet. My heart thumped in my chest when I heard a knock on the door.

    “Hey.”

    I turned around to the source of the voice and found a boy leaning against the door. His blonde hair all messed up, and his bright blue eyes startled me when they stared.

    Ethan Hendrix.

    I cowered. The third boy.

    “What are you doing here so early?” Ethan asked, walking closer to my desk.

    I tried not to shake as he sat down next to me. His shoes settled onto the desk as he leaned back in his chair.

    “Grayson,” I mumbled.

    Ethan raised an eyebrow. “That little fiasco?”

    I nodded, dazed. What was Ethan doing, talking to me? What was going on today? I kept my eyes on my notes paper, dragging my pencil tip around the sheet to form words. Drawings. Numbers. I didn’t really care.

    I didn’t notice when Ethan slipped a sandwich onto my desk.

    “I didn’t see you eat,” Ethan said simply.

    “You were watching me?” I blurted out as my cheeks reddened.

    KATIE!

    Ethan smirked. “Maybe.”

    I let my hand slowly creep to the sandwich, pressing my fingers against the wrapper of it. I lifted it to my lips and nibbled it. As soon as the sandwich met my lips, my stomach urged for more. After a few moments, it was gone.

    Ethan laughed.

    “You were hungry.” He observed, reaching out a finger to wipe some mustard off the edge of my lips. A soft touch, barely there, grazing my skin.

    I was awestruck, unable to blink nor look away. Ethan looked at me innocently, keeping eye contact.

    That moment flourished me with a bubbly feeling, something at the pit of my stomach that I couldn’t explain. It was perfect.

    Until Mr. Alvarez came in.

    “Students shouldn’t be alone in a room!” he said sternly.

    I blushed as Ethan nodded slowly to the teacher, eyes still on me. I finally broke eye contact and replied in a croaky voice.

    “Sorry.”

    Mr. Alvarez glowered at us, and Ethan finally left, leaving me in the room to rethink what had just happened.

    Something was up. No way that the most adored trio in our grade would come up to me and flirt. That was too good to be true. I knew they were up to something, something bad for me. It wasn’t love. There was no real love here. It was a trick, a game. If they decided to play it with me, I’ll make sure they have the game they want.

    I, Katie Sanchez, was going to make those three boys fall for me. Not fake love, real love. And they’ll be too lovesick to find out they were the ones being played.

     

    To Be Continued…


    Alexis LaStella and the Quest for Magic’s Source

    Part 1: Secrets and Sorcery 

    By Adianna Bowman

    Chapter 1

    Alexis was reading in her wicker hanging chair. Glancing out her window, she thought, My 3 best friends are coming over tonight! Just then, she heard Vivian’s signature knock on the door. Bang-bang, bang. Alexis jumped up, bushy golden curls flying. She zipped down three flights of stairs, threw open the front door, and dashed out to the driveway.

    “Hi, Viv!”

    Her long black hair was cut into bangs that reached her eyebrows, she had pale skin set off by her purple-and-silver skirt and black tank top, and her dark eyes sparkled with happiness.

    “Hey Lexi. Bet you’re excited-it’s our first real day of school tomorrow!”

    Alexis laughed. “Oh yeah-I’m sooo excited. Back to school. Yay.”

    “Seriously, you sound just like Fritz. Do you know if he’s coming soon?”

    “Oh, he had soccer practice, so he’ll be a few minutes late.”

    The sound of footsteps echoed on the sidewalk. Alexis turned and saw a boy with light brown hair, green eyes, a blue shirt, black shorts, and a perpetual smirk running toward them. “Hi!” he shouted as he came up the driveway. “Brielle should show soon-I saw her over by the pine thicket. Oh-wait-here she is now.”

    A small girl with dirty-blond pigtail buns walked up the driveway. She had hazel eyes, a contented expression, and wore a floaty teal T-shirt with a white skirt. “Hey guys!” she said.

    Fritz, as usual, jumped in with a question. “Also, did anyone get their powers yet? I’ve been waiting for mine to come for three whole months!! AND STILL NOTHING!!”

    “I haven’t”, said Alexis.

    “Nothing.” Vivian said.

    “Nope,” Brielle said.

    Alexis said, “Let’s go inside. Mom’s making hamburgers!”

    On the walk up to Alexis’s house, Fritz asked, “When are these hamburgers going to be ready? I’m starving!”

    “Well, I’m not really sure,” she said.

    Fritz, disappointed, said, “Darn it. I was hoping dinner would be soon!”

    As they walked into the house, Vivian said, “Let’s go straight upstairs so we can check over Jetta’s Survival Guide to Starshine. We sure are going to need that!”

    “Sounds great, Viv!” said Alexis. She dashed up the stairs, her friends following her.

    “Kids, remember it’s a Sunday! You have school tomorrow!” Alexis’s mom called from the kitchen.

    Fritz remarked to Alexis, “Well, at least we get to go to our actual classes, not the boring auditorium. They never do any interesting assemblies! Honestly, did they spend the entire summer making PowerPoints?!”

    She responded, “Actually though. I think that the even the admins were bored!”

    “And the really sad part is that they didn’t tell us where our classes are, “ said Vivian.

    Fritz responded, “It doesn’t even make sense. They expect us to be able to find our classes like that-” he snapped his fingers- “and don’t even tell us where they are? How does that work?!”

    Vivian added, “At least Jetta’s Starshine Guide will help us out.”

    Alexis said, “I really feel bad for all those kids who have no older siblings or cousins to help them out.”

    “Anyway, “said Fritz, “I want to see how the hallways are organized and learn the lay of the land. I heard it was like a giant maze!”

    “Think we should open Jetta’s book now?” asked Brielle.

    Alexis said, “Of course.” She went to her desk, shaped like a pair of interlocking trees. After she pulled a small key on a chain from under her blue T-shirt, she felt the smallest carved leaf, located a keyhole, slid in the key, and turned it. A small purple book fell out.

    “That’s it?!” said Fritz, confused.

    The oven sounded from the kitchen below. Bleep.

    Vivian said, “The oven just went off. Do you know how long it’s going to be before dinner is ready?

    Just then, Alexis’s mom walked in. “Kids,” she said, “it’s time for dinner.”

    Alexis and her friends erupted in exclamations of joy. Little did they know that they were being watched….

    As Fritz joyfully dashed down the long, narrow hall, he called over his shoulder, “See you, slowpokes! Last one to the dining room is a rotten egg!”

    Everyone speeded up, especially Vivian, who was last. They zoomed down the long, twisty steps, stampeded through the second story, practically flew down a second flight of steps, and halfway down, crash-landed on Alexis’s little brother, Ethan.

    “OUCH!!What do you think you’re doing?!”

    “Racing to dinner, obviously,” Fritz said, his voice dripping with sarcasm.

    “Give him a break, Fritz! He’s only eight, after all. And-WHAT THE HECK ARE YOUR LEGOS DOING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STAIRS!?,” Alexis shouted. Vivian came, panting, down the steps.

     Brielle screamed, “LOOK OUT!! Alexis’s brother was playing Legos on the landing halfway down!” Vivian stopped short, her feet practically throwing smoke.

    “What?”

    “Ethan has Legos on the staircase!”

    Ethan responded sulkily, “Alright. I’ll clear a path. I had an impressive city going before you guys almost knocked it over!”

    “Thanks, Ethan!”

    They speeded up again, charging through the foyer and the hall, and screeching to a grinding halt in the dining room, forming a line with Fritz first, Alexis second, Brielle third, and Vivian last. A few seconds later, Ethan flew into the room, as Alexis’s mom bustled in from the kitchen, carrying a large plate of burgers and a small plate of still-frozen nuggets.

    “Let’s see… two for Fritz…”

    “YES!”

    “…veggie for Brielle…”

    “Thank you.”

    “…and ketchup for Alexis and Vivian.”

    “Thanks!”

    “You’re welcome. Oh-I need to heat up Ethan’s chicken nuggets…”

    Everyone snickered.

    Fritz laughed, “Alex, isn’t that the only thing your brother eats?? Man, he is missing out!”

    “Definitely. He’s a self-proclaimed nuggetarian,” Alexis giggled. “What can you do?”

    “Nothing, I guess.”

    “HEY!” Ethan yelled. “You are missing out on the gloriousness of the chicken nugget!”

    Everyone totally lost it.

    “Chicken nuggets are not glorious!” said Alexis through gales of laughter. “Especially not soggy ones…”

    “That’s what you nugget-haters think,” said Ethan, his arms crossed.

    “We don’t hate all nuggets, but soggy, microwaved nuggets?! That’s just wrong!” exclaimed Fritz, who looked like he was about to fall off his chair any second.

    “I believe I am correct in saying that we agree on the fact that Ethan-style nuggets are disgusting?” said Vivian, giggling behind her hand.

    “YES!!!!” shouted Alexis, Fritz, and Brielle.

    “They are not!”

    Just then, Alexis’s mom walked in, carrying a plate of steaming dinosaur-shaped nuggets. “Okay… what’s all this?”

    The laughter stopped almost at once. Fritz was teetering on the edge of his chair. Vivian was sitting in her chair, waiting for someone to say something. Alexis was trying to look like “Who, me? I’m innocent” and failing miserably because she broke into silent laughter every time, she looked at the plate of limp nuggets. Ethan was acting sulky and upset, presumably because of the Chicken Nugget War, as Alexis and her friends would call it in the future. “Is this about Ethan’s eating habits?” Everyone except Ethan nodded. “While they may not be the healthiest…”

    “NOT TRUE!”

    “…that does not mean you should tease him about it.” Alexis and her friends were looking sheepish. Strangely, it was Brielle who spoke up.

    “Yes. We’re all sorry, right?”

    “Yeah.” Fritz said.


    Astral Flames

    Chapter 1

    Atlas Cross

     

    I am Atlas Cross, a genius at only age 13. A cosmic genius to be precise. I go year-round to a camp called The Camp of Advanced Magic (C.A.M.). Here, each person can control a natural element. There are fourteen types of magic, I can control space, better known as cosmic, one of the rarest and most powerful.

    Each element has its own bunk each having two floors and a senior counselor. Also, there is a council called the great council, it’s made of seven individuals, Lenna, Adria, Kane, Crimson, Cronos, Luther, and Callan, whom oversee the camp.

    There are only two other kids in my cabin, Clyde Victor, and Lois Foster. Leo Butler, my best friend, I have known since I was ten. His name is Leo Butler, he resides in the metal cabin, which is in-between my cabin and the water cabin.

     

     

     

    The Cosmic Cabin

    “Clyde, where did you leave my pen?!” I shouted.

    “On your dresser!” he yelled back.

    You said that five minutes ago, I thought, but it wasn’t there. “Are you sure?” I asked.

    “No…”

    “Then where is it?”

    He was in deep thought when Lois came back from her element session and slapped him across the face.

    “Ow,” Clyde moaned.

    “You left it on my desk,” she said and slapped him again.

    She walked over and grabbed it off her desk, tossed it to me and said, “Sorry.”

    “Thanks, I guess,” I told her.

    “Ow” Clyde moaned yet again.

    “I got to go,” I announced. “I have math in four minutes.”

    I grabbed my textbook, pen, and some scrap paper, then ran to the math building. At camp, all classes are one on one, except for P.E., that’s a multi-bunk activity. I had to run around the art building to get to math, the art building is decorated with the art of many people that I have herd of or talked to before, including a blueprint I drew of a Neptune rover, my best one yet, I thought. I had made it to math with only a minute to spare.

     

    ←↑↓→

                                                                                                    

    The Math Building

    The math teacher, Mr. Everett, started his lesson on advanced physics. Half an hour into the session he sent me a worksheet to complete by tomorrow. I have seen him do this many times, but somehow his air magic still surprised me. I filled out the double-sided worksheet in about 20 minutes. I was thinking, only ten minutes left until lunch.

    Five minutes.

    Two minutes.

    BANG!

    An explosion had gone off. Both Mr. Everett and I had instantly jump up, surprised. Mr. Everett looked outside, then told me, “It’s clear.”

    We both sprinted over to where we heard the explosion. I was there before my teacher. I saw nearly the whole camp staring at a message that had just appeared.

    It said on repeat in a shrill deep voice, “Lenna, Adria, Kane, Luther, and Callan are hostages to yours truly, Lennox Hathway.” A pause. “King, Raven, and Nemesis, my best warriors, are guarding all the entrances to my prison.”

    Cronos, and Crimson were swearing so much you could have drafted a 500-page essay with what they said.

    “War council, half an hour,” Cronos announced.

     

    Chapter 2

    Atlas Cross

     

    A war council is when all the senior councilors, the great council, and the five powers meet in the great room. The five powers in order from strongest to least are, time, blood, cosmic, water, and fire.

    I’m senior counselor in my bunk, but that didn’t really matter as my bunk is one of the powers. Mr. Everett had dismissed me after Cronos had announced the war council.

    “The war council is in five minutes,” I reminded my bunk.

    “I know, I know,” Clyde said annoyed.

    “Let’s head over then,” I retorted.

    “K,” he replied.

    “Lois, come on,” I yelled.

    “Coming,” she yelled back from upstairs.

    The three of us headed over to the great room, we chatted as we walked over. We said things like “What do you think we’re gonna do?” and “Who do you think Lennox Hathway is?”

    We arrived at the great room, but it isn’t just a room, it is a whole building. Roman pillars out front and in the back, murals on the sides, and a crossed wavy pattern on the silver tiles of the roof. I have only been at a war council four times as senior counselor, and one as a camper. A war council is held every four months on a usual schedule, but a great councilor can call one in an emergency. All the war councils that I’ve been to have been the ones that are hosted every four months.

    Crimson silenced everyone, then said, “Drastic times call for drastic measures. Five of you will travel to defeat King, Raven, and Nemesis.”

    Everybody started to yell something similar to, “What about this Lennox Hathway.”

    A bombardment of other questions followed until Cronos walked out and I am fairly sure he froze everyone one for about ten seconds. Then he said, “You all want to know who Lennox Hathway is right?” I am very sure that that was a rhetorical question. “It started 22 years ago Lennox was 16 and had just found out that his magic was blood.”

    Everyone gasped, but he continued, “I was only a senior counselor at that time, Lennox was the only one in his cabin at the time, and had been my best friend. Since I have been the only one who has been in the time bunk for the past 166 years. Together we were the strongest people in this camp, along with Thea Cross of course,” everyone looked at me, I had no idea what to say or do, thankfully Cronos cut in. He said, “The three of us had spent a lot of time together, doing nightly activities, wining the monthly battle ground games, etc. Thirteen years ago, that changed, Lennox went rouge and attacked the camp and resurrected dead souls. He declared war on us for helping this camp, Thea and I tried to stop him, but we couldn’t, and he got away, last I heard from him he said, ‘you’ll regret siding against me.’”

    He paused; I believe to catch his breath, but I’m not sure.

    Crimson then reminded us that five people would have to go on the quest.

    We debated for over an hour on the subject of who will go, we decided that Joey Fisher, Leo Butler, Mave Brooks, Sky Hopkins, and I, were to go. Not sure what magic Joey or Mave have, but I know that Leo has metal, and that Sky has air, really, I thought.

    After our debate was done, Crimson announced that everyone would be continuing their normal classes starting in an hour. My next class is elemental training. It’s my best class, right above math. Cronos dismissed the war council, and we went back to our bunks. I chilled in my bunk in till I had to leave for my next session. Then I grabbed the stuff in needed and headed over to my elemental session.

     

    ←↑↓→

     

    Elemental Session: Cosmic

    My elemental session was a bit different than usual; it didn’t start with a lecture. My teacher and I dived right in and started training, the most difficult I’ve ever had. I started by trying to make a set of armor with cosmic energy but failed; so instead I focused on making a sword and more importantly a shield. I was able to control the shield for roughly 40 minutes, then the energy escaped and went back to the cosmos.

    My teacher told me to focus on where the most powerful contact is and force the cosmic energy around me to that spot. She said that if I practice it all the time that it will become muscle memory, and easier to do.

    After that I worked on channeling energy into the shape of a sword and using it in combat, which I did successfully, first try, then I defeated my elemental teacher quite easily.

    She congratulated me by saying, “Good job. That is your fastest record so far, and you blocked all the hits that landed on your body with an elemental shield.”

    After that she dismissed me to dinner, where I ate a slice of pizza, drank a soda, and had some ice cream. Clyde and Lois were already done their diners and were waiting for me so that we could walk back to the bunk together and talk.

    When I got to my bunk Lois went upstairs, Clyde used to bathroom, and I got into my pajamas. It was 9:00 P.M. and our curfew is 9:15, lights out at 9:30.

    “I’m going to bed,” I announced so that Clyde and Lois knew.

    I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. My sleep was amazing, dreamless, and exceptionally long, around ten hours. When I woke up it was minutes before breakfast.

     

    Chapter 3

    Joey Fisher

     

    My name is Joey Fisher. It’s the day after the war council was hosted which means that I’m leaving to go save The Great Council, for some reason, after I eat breakfast.

    One of my bunk mates woke up the bunk by yelling, “Get up it’s time for breakfast!”

    I replied, “Ok, ok, I’m awake.”

    I got dressed into fresh clothes, a green t-shirt with a quote that read “Save the Earth, don’t pollute,” a pair of dark blue shorts, an apple watch, plain white socks, and black sneakers.

    My bunk and I walked down to the lunch building, it also serves breakfast and dinner, but who cares. Breakfast was pancakes with bacon and eggs, everyone’s favorite. I ate then walked over to where Atlas was sitting and asked him how he’s feeling.

    “A bit nervous, but otherwise pretty good,” he told me.

    “Good,” I said, then walked over to Leo and asked the same thing I asked Atlas.

    He said, “Great, how bout’ you?”

    “Descent,” I told him.

    “Ok, good,” he said. Then I asked Sky, and after that Mave. Sky told me she was good, and Mave said a little tired, but ready to go.

     

    ←↑↓→

     

    After Breakfast; 9:30 A.M.

    Leo, Atlas, Mave, Sky, and I met up after breakfast in the great room and discussed our plans.

    We are to travel to the city of Chicago, Illinois by train. That is where we are supposed to find the prison and take out the guards, I have no idea how we’re supposed to do that. Then we need to rescue the rest of the great council, while not trying to die.

    “If Lennox is there use these,” Cronos handed each of us small red orbs; personally, I think they look like Orbeez.

    “Thanks,” Sky replied.

    “No problem,” Cronos said, “Here are train tickets, they should get you to Oak Park. Oak Park is about nine miles from Chicago.”

    “When do we leave?” I asked.

    “Hmm,” Cronos said. “Now.”

    All of us instantly jumped out of our seats and ran to the exit of camp, we entered the limo?

    The driver asked, “Where to?”

    We all said in unison, “The train station.”