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Persona: Philosophy of Man [IC/PG-16/No Longer Accepting]

A Dad RP Fantasy Slice of Life Action Co-hosted by Saiku

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#141
Alaina

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Once back outside of the labyrinthine hotel and back out on their own home plane, Avery seemed to have calmed considerably. Though there was a look of disappointment on her face as they first made their touch down onto concrete once more, the girl's expression soon shifted to become more of a neutral one. As the group began to move their seperate ways for the night, it had appeared that one of them was leaving the group, as they had to move. While Avery knew little about Haruka, there was certainly a feeling of disappointment that went through her yet all the same, she didn't do more than give a small wave goodbye to the girl. With Tyler offering a ride, Avery merely said, "no, I'm fine walking from here." With that, the girl merely made her way away from the rest of the group, calmly walking home. 

 

Once home, Avery did little more than give a short greeting to her parents and forge food from her cabinets and refrigerator before retiring to her room. Wading through the mess that it was, Avery opened her laptop up and unloaded her backpack of notebooks onto the floor next to her. Opening one up next to her, the girl began to type furiously into the keyboard, logging down all that she had written on the sheet of paper into a document. With great fervor in her fingers and a look of enthusiasm across her face, the girl spent the night copying down and cleaning up the things that she had written down for the day. Once she had finished, the girl let out a laugh in joy of her success, before this was abruptly cut off as  she passed out on her desk, the fatigue of the day's events finally catching up with her. 


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#142
The Hunter and Hunted

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Reno's day was really weird. 

He really didn't know how to react to everything going on. They had traveled to the strange new world, only to be assaulted by creatures he could only call demons... and snowmen. The others had unleashed a super power... well, almost everyone. He was some of the few that didn't. So what made him unable to summon it. He was the one that had to stare down the Grim Reaper while everyone had fun throwing around their magical superpowers.

He didn't even get a single word of thanks. 

Sure, he should have been used to it. That was his life after all. He probably just needed to calm down. He'd get it next time, he was sure. He just had to believe that was the case. At the very least, it couldn't get worse.

 

"It looks like I'm moving away in the near future," Oh. So the one person that talked to him willingly was moving. Okay. "Just as well. I never liked that island anyway, and I won't have to think about it if I live nowhere near here. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going home." 

Looks like it got worse.

 

That was fine, that was fine. It was just a reinforced life lesson. He couldn't depend on anyone, only himself. Tyler had apparently offered everyone a ride, but Reno had simply slipped away quietly, the giant surprising quiet on his feet. He reached into his pocket, pulling out his phone and opening the music app. He decided that he needed to hear the one song that cheered him up, to both calm himself down... and to drown out the voice. 

 

.
.
I̢̧̨̛̖͓̞̭̜̓̔̉̄́̄̂̾͢ a̢̢̧̛̝̭̯̝̩̒͛̾̃̑̈́͗͌͢͞ͅm̨̻̣͈̯͚̲̍̑̊̈͆̎͐̚̚͡ͅ t̴̡̡̥̪̺̠͎̐̒̀̆̄͆̍̔͋͟͠ͅh̶̨͇̭̭̞̣̊̓̊̑͝ơ̪̼͈̣̦̑͑̏͌̉͘͟ú̴͍̩̜̪̘̖̜̗͐͗̌̕͝͡͞,̧̛̠͕̲͉̆̓̽̾ t̷̡̛̘̮̞̱̋̏́̍h͕̲͕̦̰̺̰͓̹̱́͐͐̾̄̒̚͡o̸̢͎͔̼͍̠̪̻͂́̌̈́̌̑̕͢u̟͓̰̜̤̹͂̂̌̌͡ ą̷̪̯̹͇͔̥̟̒̇̑͘͝͞r̶̟͉̘̲͎͕̦͕͋́͛́͋̄̽̏ť̡̺̟͕̹̻̪̥̣͒̊͑̂͝ I̸̡͉̮̞͕̮̣͇̱͊̿̆̌̀̄̄͆ 
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#143
Dad

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8/29

Wednesday, Morning

Hot and Humid

 


FROM:  Nathan

TIME:  8:08 A.M.

 

Think I know who keyed your ride.  Couple uninvited sophomores got wasted and trashed a bunch of stuff.  If you want, I can give it a buffing and a new paint job.  I've got some new air hoses I wanna try out.

 

Nathan sent his text to Tyler and was sitting in his first class when Hensley got called out first thing.  

 

"Hensley.  Your cousin is here to see you.  Something about a family emergency," said their trigonometry teacher.

 

"My cousin?  But she's in Ala--oh.  Oh!  Yeah!  Be right there," Hensley said as she darted up from her seat.

 

Nathan only watched curiously.

 

 

 


FROM: Jason

TIME:  10:00 PM, 8/28

 

Hey Paul...it's Jason. Look...can we talk after class tomorrow? I need...I need to talk to someone and you seem like the best person to.

 

Paul didn't reply.  His mind was on other things at the moment.  

 

"Shit, I'm late," Paul thought to himself.  He had missed the first bus to school and it was already past 8:00.  He had slept sporadically and it caused him to wake up well into the beeping of his alarm clock.  He'd had another dream about the Velvet Room, and a lot happened.  He was going to have to sit down with his counselor for sure this afternoon to talk about it.

 

Or... perhaps that wasn't a great idea.  He had just visited another world.  If it was related to the Velvet Room and somehow and his Persona, what kind of trouble could his blabbing to the counselor cause?  But then, who could he talk to?  This entire situation only drove Paul to ask more questions and cause him more mental anguish.  He couldn't keep holding it all in much longer.  Paul sighed and glanced back at Jason's text.  Maybe they should talk.

 

 


FROM: Paul

TIME:  8:12 A.M.

 

Yeah.  We should def talk.

 

The text was sent back to Jason.  The time was 8:12 A.M.  Paul begrudgingly pulled the bell on the bus and hopped off at the City Park Center Circle.  He carefully checked both oncoming and outgoing traffic before sprinting across the street to campus.

 

 

There was a note pinned to the inside of Tyler's locker.  It had been sealed very neatly with a special insignia.  It was a bold red stamp of an old English "R".

 

Its contents were as follows:

 

"Tyler.

 

Your previous employer has been bought out and integrated into my company.  They have asked me to extend a warm welcome to you for your incredible work ethic.  I would like to do so at your earliest convenience.  This Saturday, I will be opening the business in Kenner, Louisiana, at the address listed below:

 

5949 Veterans Memorial Boulevard

 

I would love to meet with you in person.

 

Yours,

 

R."

 

Inside the envelope were ten one-hundred dollar bills, with an attached sticky note that read, "Your severance package".

 

 

Paul waited patiently outside of their American History class to speak with Jason.  He was standing near the lockers in the east hall.  When Jason emerged from class, Paul called out to him.

 

"Jason.  Over here," Paul called.  "I'm kinda glad you texted me."

 

 

Reno and Avery would find that there was a "new" student in his morning Economics class.  Though, new was a big of a faux term.  She had been there quite some time, but until today, she had been practically invisible.  That is until she was called on to answer a question.

 

"Ms. Farros," prompted Kelsey, their laid-back Economics teacher.  "You seem a bit drowsy this morning.  Allow me to pique your interest with a question."

 

Kelsey propped herself up on her desk and leaned back on her hands while folding her legs.

 

"True or false:  for a producer to have an absolute advantage, the producer must produce the same goods at a lower opportunity cost."

 

 

"What's takin' you so long cuz?" asked a tattooed, slightly older female with broad shoulders.  Hensley was not happy to see her.

 

"Whaddya mean?  I've tried makin' moves on Tyler.  He's not into me," Hensley said, folding her arms.  "I already told you and your people it's a no go.  I was given the o.k. to move on."

 

"Well you ain't got an o.k. from me.  Either you nab Tyler or you're gonna catch hell," the nasty woman spat.

 

"Your people know you're here?  Or you running a rogue op?" Hensley retorted.

 

"He's competition, Hensley.  That's all I need to know."  The older woman stormed off and out toward City Park.  She slid into an expensive, modified Jaguar and peeled off out of the school parking lot.

 

"Bitch," Hensley mumbled under her breath.

 

 


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Drowning in your silence.


#144
radio414

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From: (504)555-6942
To: (504)555-8213, (504)555-2084
Heyyy howve you all been?
Feels like I havent seen either of you in actual years

From: (504)555-2084
To: (504)555-6942, (504)555-8213
We hung out, like, right before school started, you goof.
It’s been two weeks, tops.

From: (504)555-6942
To: (504)555-8213, (504)555-2084
ACTUAL YEARS

From: (504)555-8213
To: (504)555-6942, (504)555-2084
Hey sorry just got a new phone
Don’t have any of my contacts yet
Which one of you is megan?

From: (504)555-6942
To: (504)555-8213, (504)555-2084
Lol me
You didnt tell me you were getting a new phone!

From: (504)555-8213
To: (504)555-6942, (504)555-2084
Lol lost my last one at kevins party
You should of seen my dads face
Speaking of
You girls are gonna have to buy lunch for a while

So went that particular morning’s conversation. It wasn’t that she wasn’t interested in the goings on of her friends, especially since Megan was right, they hadn’t actually seen each other since before the school year had started, but the three-way group chat had quickly devolved into a one-on-one between Megan and Beatrice, and she felt she’d rather mute her phone than deal with a buzzing phone all throughout breakfast. Besides, she had a book to read, cereal to eat, parents to deal with, and, on occasion, a combination of all three.

For example, the cereal of choice this morning was Multi-Grain Cheerios because the previous weekend, her mom had found moth eggs in all the normal-person cereals and thrown them all out, not even bothering to answer her daughter’s (frankly obvious) question of “Why do you think the moths didn’t bother with this multi-grain slop?” Instead, she’d told her daughter that she should consider herself lucky that any cereal had survived at all.

She certainly didn’t feel very lucky.

Her father, who was responsible for bringing the accursed cereal into the house in the first place, had shared his wife’s view, though at least his breakfast consisted of a much larger bowl of the stuff, which at least by this morning had helped turn the almost-full box of sawdust and pain into a half-full one. By the end of the week, the house would probably return to its usual cereal normalcy.

In the meantime, she had to deal with the other intersections. Her book distracted her from the food in her mouth, but her father, in turn, had decided to distract her from the book. “Whatcha reading, kiddo?”

For one, she was seventeen, certainly not a kiddo. For two, she knew for a fact that her father wasn’t blind. Sure he had astigmatism, but he was wearing his glasses. He could see the title of the book just as well as anybody else. But she still answered. The Schwa Was Here,” she said. “It’s a, uh, a YA novel I had to read in sixth grade. It’s about this kid that nobody notices, even if he’s always been there.”

“And you’re rereading it, what, five years later because…?”

“I remember liking it.” She looked up from her book, a little annoyed. “It’s not like I’ve got English this semester to give me books I wouldn’t like anyway.”

“Hey, I’m just making conversation,” her father said. “I’m actually pretty glad you’re still reading honest-to-God books still. It shows good character.”

She almost said “Whatever” but settled for just an eye-roll.

Her next bite was worse than normal. It had more of a goopy texture compared to the previous few’s unsatisfying crunch. She looked down and saw that the little hellspawn Os had broken apart, turning her bowl into a mostly-milk, partially-wheat mess that, even if it did once have decent cereal in it, would certainly be inedible in its present state. Making her way over to the sink, she quickly disposed of her breakfast, made some excuse about having to finish getting ready for school, and disappeared into her room.

Her excuse wasn’t a complete lie. She did still have to shove some things into her backpack, mostly notebooks, pencils, and her calculator for Physics. She also grabbed the small cloth pouch that contained her cards in case she decided she’d rather skip Physics today instead.

After going through a mental checklist, making sure she hadn’t forgotten anything or, if she had, that those forgotten things weren’t very important, she hugged her parents goodbye and began the maybe-just-a-bit-too-far-to-walk-but-she-didn’t-like-the-alternatives-length walk to school.

She checked her phone. The most recent messages were:

From: (504)555-6942
To: (504)555-8213, (504)555-2084
Lol yeah like I always say
Its never too late to be fashionably late

School was, yeah it certainly was a school, wasn’t it? She sure did love all the stomping through the halls and the idle chatter and the constant percussive sound of lockers slamming closed. That was why she was always wearing headphones with her old brick of an iPod always blasting Philadelphia Harmonic or Chicago Symphony or whatever performance of old greats suited her fancy at the time. Because she looooved school.

One of school’s few saving graces was how lucky she’d been to have her locker really close to her first class, Economics. It meant she had time to let her song finish before shoving her backpack into her locker, walking the last little bit to the classroom at her own leisure, taking her seat -- second row, furthest to the right, as always -- and still manage to catch a few extra Zs before the bell rang and everyone else shuffled in.

Kelsey, the teacher, was the last one in, and today she carried a clipboard with her, “I know normally this would be the attendance sheet,” she said, “but I realized I wasn’t learning anybody’s name’s that way, so I’m just going to do a standard roll-call this week and we can switch back after that. How’s that sound?”

The classroom murmured.

“Hey, no need to speak up all at once,” she said. “Okay, let’s start with… Aaron?”

“Here.”

And so on down the line she went. Sometimes Kelsey would recognize a student by name and wouldn’t even bother calling it out. And sometimes…

“Thomasin?”

“Present,” she said. She waved her hand, too.

Kelsey, though, didn’t seem to notice. “Thomasin?” she said again. “Thomasin Farros?”

“I’m here,” Thomasin said. She raised her hand a little higher. “I’m here.”
The “excitement” of roll-call didn’t make the rest of the class any less boring, though. It wasn’t that Kelsey had a tendency to drone on because she didn’t. As far as Thomasin could tell, Kelsey really tried to make high-school-level economics as engaging as possible for her class. It just didn’t always work. It especially didn’t work at morning-o’clock when, in most students’ cost-benefit analyses, not being engaged had far, far greater benefits.

Even when the costs included being cold-called out of nowhere.

“Miss Farros,” Kelsey said. “You seem to be a bit drowsy this morning. Allow me to pique your interest with a question. True or false: For a for a producer to have an absolute advantage, the producer must produce the same goods at a lower opportunity cost.”

Perhaps not being recognized was an omen of things to come. At the very least, there was little doubt in Thomasin’s mind that if she had recognized Thomasin on sight, she might have let a little nodding off slide. Kelsey would have called on somebody else; she’d try to get somebody else’s name committed to memory. But no, instead she put Thomasin on the spot all for maybe -- maybe -- not paying attention as much as she should have.

Fortunately, she was pretty sure she knew the answer. “Um, isn’t that comparative advantage?” she said. “Absolute advantage is just being able to make more stuff, right?”

“Correct,” Kelsey said. “You're as attentive as ever. But will you apply that to next week's test, I wonder.” She smiled, Thomasin didn’t, and the class moved on.
When the bell rang (when the bell finally rang, though the “finally” was probably implicit given the setting), Thomasin was one of the first ones out of the classroom. Again, with her locker so close to the classroom, she could afford a little time to idle around as all the other students trickled past her.

As she shuffled notebooks and textbooks around, she put a single earbud in her ear, and her music started to play.


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#145
Alaina

Alaina

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It had never really mattered when a class was for Avery. She had always been up late and awake early, finding other times during the day to get her sleeping done. As such, she was always perfectly fine and awake, or as awake as she needed to be for any of her given classes. The girl would always manage to feign relative interest in her class, not enough that she was too excited about it nor too little to make her seem like she'd rather be anywhere else. She had always taken care to have a notebook out and whenever the teacher would say something, at the very least appear to be, writing something down in it. And thus, the sight of Avery at her desk barely able to keep her head from resting atop it was a definitely abnormal one. 
 
With pen pressing against the blank paper of one of her notebooks, leaving an ever increasing black ink splotch there in its path, and her eyes having to fight to stay open the girl was very clearly tired. Eyes centered on her desk, the girl was merely doing her best to fill a seat yet she was hardly paying attention to any of the noise being spoken out of the mouths of both the teacher and the students. 
 
"-reaux." Something stuck out within the white noise of class. "-Moreaux." The girl's eyes seemed to grow a bit more attentive as she looked around. "Miss Moreaux." As if a balloon popped in her face, Avery looked up, startled as  she saw the teacher calling for her. Staring at them, like a deer in headlights, Avery said nothing as the teacher continued, "since it helped Miss Farros wake up, how about you answer the next question?"
 
Oh no. 
 
 
 
Having managed to survive class, feeling a tad mortified though, Avery began to walk with all the speed, grace and posture of a Romero zombie. Letting out a huge yawn as she walked along, the girl was soon tapped on the shoulder and a "boo" came from behind her. Becoming far more alert as her body froze up, the girl turned around, only to see the smiling face of her acquaintance Lindsay. "Gotcha."
 
As Avery let out a deep sigh, the other girl started laughing. With a somewhat tired, "good morning Lindsay," Avery's expression seemed to reset as she continued walking down the hall. 
 
"Morning Avery. Or, it looks like you still think it's night." Examining the girl's face she said, "what's got  you so tired this morning?" 
 
Trying to appear more cordial, the blonde said, "I was...working on something." 
 
"Work? It's like the second week of school - not exactly all nighter territory yet. Unless," with a gasp and look of faux surprise, the more enthusiastic girl said, "could it be that the elusive Avery has a hobby?!" With a giddy expression on her face, the girl said, "well c'mon, tell me. What is it? Coding? Art?" Leaning in closer and whispering, "is it drug related?" Avery's fatigue did little to hide the scowl on her face, looking at Lindsay, causing the girl to back off saying, "yeesh. But this is a rare opportunity, so you gotta tell me." 
 
Avery understood the persistence she was facing against and sighed saying, "I was, uh, writing something." Lindsay's face seemed to get more eager as she wanted to prod even further, causing Avery to say, "it's nothing interesting, really. Just a bunch of spreadsheets and notes to help me stay more organized." 
 
Though she still looked like she was expecting more, Lindsay merely said, "well, who would have thought that Avery Moreaux was such an organization freak. Well anyway - wait..." The girl stopped as she seemed to remember something. "Shit, I got class on the other side of the building. Later Avery," with a wave, her friend bolted off. 
 
Letting out another sigh, Avery just made her way to her next class. 

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#146
Super Chaos Sonic

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8/29

Wednesday, Morning

Hot and Humid

 

Jason didn't get a text back from Paul like he was hoping to wake up to. He sighed and got ready for class, pretty much thinking that the guy obviously didn't want to talk. Not surprising to him, actually.

 

With the shit we went through yesterday, not surprising that he probably doesn't want to talk... Jason thought, tossing his bag over his shoulder and left outside the house. However, he had quick eye contact with Gary, who seemed to be coming home after a long night at work. Jason immediately looked away and proceeded to move away from the front door.

 

"Jason!" Gary said sternly, making Jason flinch slightly. "...you comin' home on time today or what?"

 

His grip on his backpack's strap grew tighter. He wanted to shout at the man, but with another look at the man, he looked back. "...I should. I-If anything changes...I'll text either you or mom."

 

"You better." he huffed, walking into the house.

 

Jason shook his head quickly, making his way away from the house and towards the school.

 

iU8EggM.png

 

When Jason got to the campus and got in class, he felt his phone vibrate and he glanced down, immediately seeing a text from Paul. A bit happier about seeing this, he quickly opened up the message.

 

FROM: Paul

TIME:  8:12 A.M.

 

Yeah.  We should def talk.

 

A bit of relief washed over the young man, seeing this message. Just meant that now, Jason really had to unload a lot of everything to Paul. But at least something.

 

iU8EggM.png

 

Opening Up...

 

Class seemed to drag on for quite a while, but nevertheless, the American History class finally ended and Jason gathered his things and immediately made his way towards the exit. That's when he noticed Paul standing near the east hall's lockers.

 

"Jason. Over here. I'm kinda glad you texted me."

 

He flashed a small smile at Paul, nodding. "...truthfully...I'm glad you texted me as well. I've...I've been meaning to talk to someone about this for a bit now." Jason said, walking a bit a ways from the lockers with Paul.

 

"Listen...I never wanted to talk about this...like at all." he started with a sigh. "But...ever since yesterday and looking at that creature's eyes...I-I had the feeling of me seeing those eyes before. ...and I have. Y-Ya know about that big game last year...right?"


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#147
Dad

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Jason finally emerged from class and approached Paul.  It was clear he was worried about something.  He flashed Paul a smile, but it didn't seem like a happy smile.  It was almost forced from Paul's perspective.  They stepped a bit further away from the classroom to get what little privacy they could in the halls of a high school.

 

"...truthfully...I'm glad you texted me as well. I've...I've been meaning to talk to someone about this for a bit now."

 

Paul's curiosity peaked.

 

"Listen...I never wanted to talk about this...like at all.  But...ever since yesterday and looking at that creature's eyes...I-I had the feeling of me seeing those eyes before. ...and I have. Y-Ya know about that big game last year...right?"

 

"Couldn't forget that game if I tried," Paul replied to Jason.  "I'll be honest and say I was hoping that you had gotten past it.  But it's clear that it's still bothering you, and I can understand why I think."  Was this still about his injury?  Was he getting bullied for it?  Paul had no idea what was going on, but...

 

That game was still fresh in Jason's mind, and Paul remembered it too.  It was before he and Jason became friends, but there was nothing like seeing your star player get their wrist shattered and being taken out of the game for good.  Everything after that went downhill.  And most everyone on the basketball team, save for three or four players, blamed Jason for their loss.

 

"What's buggin' you?" Paul asked.  "And how does it relate to the island?"


Drowning in your silence.


#148
Super Chaos Sonic

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Truth

 

"Couldn't forget that game if I tried. I'll be honest and say I was hoping that you had gotten past it. But it's clear that it's still bothering you, and I can understand why I think. What's buggin' you? And how does it relate to the island?"

 

Jason stopped and leaned up against a wall in the hallway and exhaled sharply. His right hand slowly and gently grasped his left wrist. With another exhale, he looked at Paul for a moment. "...that's the thing. I thought I got past this whole thing." he began to explain. "Until yesterday, all I had to worry about was the bullshit I get from Ivan and his posse."

 

He paused, before shaking his head slowly. "That encounter in the hotel...with that shadow that you and Shango saved me from..." Jason's left fist clenched as he exhaled again. "I...I froze because I saw something in that shadow's eyes...something I hadn't truly seen since...since that day." He could feel himself being in on edge right now. Just thinking about that creature's cold dead eyes were sending red flags and chills down his spine once again. "...I-I need to talk to someone about this. A-And out of everyone I-I've been friends with...y-y-you seem like the most trustworthy."

 

Letting go of his left wrist, he started running his hands threw his hair slowly. "I...I lied on how I got this injury. Yeah, big shock...a teenager lying about something. But...there was a reason..."

 

Thusly...he began to set the scene for Paul, telling him...more or less the truth.

 

iU8EggM.png

 

Fallen Star

The Night of the Big Game

 

Jason was hyped up as he got his things ready. This was the biggest game that he had ever played and this would more or less get the Greater Orleans High's Horsemen basketball team a championship! His nerves were already on edge at this point, but he was excited nevertheless. Dressed in his basketball uniform, he made his way downstairs, about to make his way to get to the campus...however...when he made his descent down, he saw that Alice and his foster parents standing at the bottom of the stairs...dressed all nice.

 

"What's with the dressy threads?" Jason asked.

 

"That theater production that Alice has a lead role in." Gary simply spoke, crossing his arms slightly. "You're coming to support your sister tonight."

 

"Uhhhh, I can't. I've got a game tonight." he quickly said, seeing his mother, Julia, stepping into the situation now.

 

"That's fine dear. We can drop you off to your game and we'll meet up later!"

 

"Julia...keep quiet." Gary quickly said, glaring at Jason. "Jason. You get your ass back upstairs and change now. We haven't got all day."

 

"Dad...it's not a big deal..." Alice started, only to be quickly silenced by a quick glare from Gary.

 

"Jason. Change...NOW!"

 

The young man shook his head greatly. He couldn't just not show up to this game, this was the biggest game of his life. The team was waiting on him. "I can't! I got to get to the game! They need me!" he said, starting to move past Gary. However, before he could do anything else, Gary's arm stopped him as he shoved the kid back some. "H-HEY!"

 

"I've had it up to my ears with your selfish attitude!" Gary began to raise his voice. "Ever since the start of this school year you've been playing sports rather than supporting your sister's possible career in theatrics! I don't know what's gotten into you, but you better shape up or I'll kick you out of the house myself!"

 

"Gary...please calm down."

 

Jason's fists began to clench, as Gary was full-blown shouting at him at this point. He had enough right now. "First off, I've ALWAYS supported Alice! She's supported me in my dreams, when YOU haven't!" his voice raised as well. "And yet your calling me selfish for wanting to do this? Newsflash: I'M NOT ALICE! I don't want to do what she does! So stop trying to make me like her and let me do what I fucking want to do!!"

 

He moved forward again, trying to head for the door, but immediately felt resistance from his left arm as he glanced back and saw Gary gripping his wrist tightly and giving him the most deadly glare. Jason felt himself being yanked back as Gary grabbed him and threw him into the nearby bookshelf on the wall. At this point, Jason was freaked out, and before he made another attempt to leave the house, Gary grabbed his left wrist again and threw him over on the ground. It was a fall he hadn't ever seen coming as he was slung into the wooden coffee table, it breaking and Jason finally letting out a pain-ridden scream.

 

He tried to break his fall with his hand...more specifically his left hand. Jason felt it...his wrist... Gary had gripped his wrist hard both times and this raging side of him ended up breaking his left wrist. For the young man, the world seemed to go slow around as he, with tear filled eyes, looked at Gary giving him the coldest, deadest glare. This was a look he wouldn't forget...only lock away in his mind...never to be remembered.

 

iU8EggM.png

 

Present Day

 

Jason sighed heavily, holding his left wrist as he looked at Paul once more. "...my foster father...his eyes were l-like that shadow's. T-That's why I immediately froze yesterday." he explained. "...I've...I've been holding on to that for a while now...and yet yesterday's encounter forced me to remember that image..."


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#149
Hakima

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Tyler was in a surprisingly good mood as he walked into the Shell gas station. “I thought you all went out of business,” he said to the cashier behind the counter, a greasy looking man who was wasn’t much more than skin and bones. Probably a junkie.

 

The man grunted and shrugged. “I couldn’t tell ya man. I just got hired a few days ago.” Correction: burnt up junkie.

 

“Either way, I’m glad. Nowhere else to stop on my way to class.” Tyler threw two bottles of NOS onto the counter, along with a king-sized Snickers. “Gimme a pack of Marlboro Reds too. Shorts, not the 100s,” he said, fishing his wallet out of his back pocket.

 

The cashier didn’t bother IDing him. “That’ll be fourteen-fifty.”

 

Tyler opened his wallet to discover he only had two crumpled up ones and a ten. He hadn’t gotten paid for his last run and he was almost out of cash. “Sh*t. F*ck the Marlboro, just gimme a pack of whatever is the cheapest.”

 

He just barely had enough to pay for everything after that. That soured his mood. He wasn’t sure what was going on with DK, but he still hadn’t been paid for his last run and all of his contacts were ignoring his texts.

 

Cranking his system until his windows shook, Tyler rocketed out of the gas station toward the campus.

 

BGM

 

 

FROM:  Nathan

TIME:  8:08 A.M.

 

Think I know who keyed your ride.  Couple uninvited sophomores got wasted and trashed a bunch of stuff.  If you want, I can give it a buffing and a new paint job. I've got some new air hoses I wanna try out.

 

FROM:  Tyler

TIME:  8:15 A.M.

 

sure. club after class? also you got names? wanna talk to ‘em.

 

History passed by painfully slow. Tyler set his phone to record the lesson, which was a good thing because his notebook was empty when the bell rang. Frustrated at his inability to absorb any of the information, he roughly shoved his stuff into his bag and stormed out of class. “Stupid ass class. Who the hell even cares?” he grumbled under his breath.

 

His reputation spoke for him in the hallway. People couldn’t get out of his way fast enough once they saw who it was. Even the holier-than-thou Horsemen that the school worshipped had learned to steer clear of him after he had threatened to break both Ivan the Ugly’s knees.

 

Tyler dropped his bag in front of his locker and started on the combination. Biology was his next class. He hated that one even more than history. Was he supposed to care how his body worked? As long as it kept working, he couldn’t be bothered to remember what mitochondria was the powerhouse of.

 

When he pulled the door open, a letter tumbled out. “Huh?” Tyler stared for a minute. It was an envelope, but it wasn’t the kind the dollar store sold. The paper was thick and high-quality, and it was sealed with a stamp he hadn’t ever seen before.

 

Looking around to make sure no one noticed, he scooped it up and peeled it open. His eyes widened when he saw the green. The envelope was filled with cash; ten crisp hundreds bound together by a rubber band.

 

Beside the money there was a sticky note that read, "Your severance package".

 

Tyler hurriedly shoved the money into his pocket before any could notice. Something was wrong. That was almost twice what a deal normally paid, not to mention the sticky note.

 

He shoved around the contents of his locker, looking for anything else, and eventually found another letter pinned to the door. It read:

 

 

"Tyler.

 

Your previous employer has been bought out and integrated into my company.  They have asked me to extend a warm welcome to you for your incredible work ethic.  I would like to do so at your earliest convenience. This Saturday, I will be opening the business in Kenner, Louisiana, at the address listed below:

 

5949 Veterans Memorial Boulevard

 

I would love to meet with you in person.

 

Yours,

 

R."

 

Any other emotions he was feeling were immediately flushed out by an overwhelming amount of anger. That wasn’t how this worked. They were never supposed to come near him; not to his house, not to his school, not any of his friends. Where the hell did DK get off selling him out? If DK was even actually still alive. He knew how these turf wars worked--they weren’t a friendly walk in the park. Most of the time the competition was just killed.

 

The money was good though. That was hard to deny.

 

Tyler almost sh*t himself when the class bell suddenly rang. “Damn it!” he snatched up his bag and took off in a dead sprint for his Biology class. He couldn’t afford to be late again.


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#150
The Hunter and Hunted

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Reno woke up that morning in a bad mood. He wasn't sure why, but he was just grumpy. With a sigh, he got ready for school, heading to the kitchen to get his lunch. He could hear the snoring coming from the living room, and the bottles scattered across the table told him exactly what he needed to know. He was quiet as he grabbed his things, turning to leave, but he accidentally knocked over a bottle. 

"Shit," He muttered before he heard the sleepy grumbles of the man in the living room.

"What the fuck... who fuckin'...?" Reno didn't stick around to hear the old man finish his sentence, instead opting to rush out the door, slamming it behind him as he ran away. That was all he was ever good for, wasn't it? Despite his big size, his fighting prowess, he was nothing but a coward in the end, wasn't he? 

"I need to change that...," He thought to himself, his grip tightening on the backpack's handle. "But how? It's not like I can just stand up to the old man...," He then remembered something important, something that could change everything.

 

 

 

 

I̴̔͌͌ͅ ̵̧̰̳̫̯̹̙̱̩̞͖̲̗̻̘̖̟̫̓͋̂̋̿͛̃̍̌̒́a̶̢̛̯̙̹̭̞̬̥̖͎̭͙̟͇͓̩͍̬͂̓̾̉̌͒͐͛̀̽͘͝͠ͅm̷̛͔̠͈̟͈̥̮̹̪̞̺̼͎̼̬̪͂̅̄̃̓ͅ ̴̨̨̬̩̺͔̯̟͚̼̘͍͋͗̀́͌̑̌̂̓̽̆̆̔͆̄͜ṫ̸̢̛͔͉͍͕̭͔̔̏̅́̅͌̃̄̑͑̃́̕͜͠͝͝h̷̨̥͖̹͓͙̮̱̲̞̻̫̪̀̉̄̇̅̉͒̾̃͜ͅͅͅȯ̴͉̯͐̇͗̊̊̇̈́͑͒͐̔͐̓̌̍̚̚͘ư̶̪̞̣̰̭̦̲͍͙̮̈́̒̿̐̿̆̑̃̋̀̕,̸̯̯̮͇̝̇̀͗̈́́̓̍̒͌ͅ ̷̡̛̜̗̲̟̠̙̖̥̠̦̭̞̤̟̳̼͇̄̌̀̍̊̾͆͑̽͐́̎̚̕t̶̨̧̨̨̛̛͍̭̮̺̦̲̺̯͔͖͈̘͛̈̓̽̏̔̆͋͂͗̈́͘͝͠͝ͅh̷̛̝̮͇͈̋̈́̍̇̽͆͊ȏ̸̧̠̜̈́̏͋̿̌̇̆͌̄̉͆͂͝u̴̝͂̂̂̒̔̆̈̽̀̃́͗̊̈́̏͆͘͜͝͠ ̶̡̗͙͉̰̝̞͙̺͇̥̞̀̓a̸̻̟͎͖̙͎͇̠̙͈̤̒͆͊̍͒͌̑̊͘͝ṙ̵̫͆̌͋͛̄͘͝͝t̵͕̟̮̪̟̭͉̗̦͍̑̀̿̔̍̋̒̏̀̒́̓̍͘̕͘͜͠͝ ̸̢̢̢͍̯͍̱̠̻̀Ī̴͈͉͚̦̬͎̪̦̮̱̍̏͒̓͐͂̀́̏̚͠͝

 

 

 

 

If he could just awaken his Persona, things would change. He wouldn't just be himself, he'd be... some sort of savior of the world, someone that people needed, that they could... had... to depend on. He wouldn't be feared, nor would he thought of as some stupid brute. That's all he needed... he'd get his Persona... he swore it. He turned down the alleyway, down his usual little shortcut, where he noticed the usual goons, Diego and Oscar, lying in wait for some sucker to rob. Reno knew that the two of them wouldn't mess with him, so he just kept walking. True to form, the two snapped up and panicked as they saw the big guy approach. 

 

"H-hey Ren--- boss!" Diego said.

"We were just... headin' to school! Yeah, yeah, we weren't doin' anything unsavory!" Oscar added. Reno looked down at the group, mulling over what he should do right now. 

 

 

 

Ţ̴̢̨̧̢̗͎̜̼͖͈̉̂̽͂̈́̎́̎̈́̿͜͝͝h̴̜̗̋̂̉̒͊͆̀̍̓́̉̚͝e̷̡̨̡̡̬̼̠̺͉̲̋͊̄͌͊͛́̈́́͒̎̐͑y̵̢͚̟̙̦̎́̓̽͒̀'̴͔̯̹̭̗̭͙̲͙̣͔̩̊̿͂̅̇̄̍̅̔͝r̵̨̻̤̖͍̤͍̣̝͉͆̈́̒̎̎̚͝ͅȩ̸̛͓̫͖̺̑̿̄̏̒̽̐̑͐͘͠ ̶̮̩̝̤͚̖̼͎͕̱̮͔̅́̂m̴̡̼͔̹͑͌o̶̻̤͔͛̈͂̆̊͒͆̓̓̇̕̚͘c̴̯̮͖̼͉͈̮̫̝̋͗͗͒̃͜k̶̨̥̱̦̞̞̽͛͗̒͐̂̈́̕̕̕̚͘͠͠į̴͓̥̭̼̠͐̈́̔̂ṉ̷̓̿ǵ̷̢͖̋̋̈́̃́̍̚͘ ̷̡̘̘̤͇͇͔̲͊͊̆̅̔͊͆̾͘y̸̨̧̛̥̱̻̦͔̞̬̜̟̋̅̿͆̃̈́͒̑̀̓̈́̈́͂ǫ̴͖̺̦̩͙̰̟͔̫̯̤̓ų̶̢̯͔͎̺̖̮͙̦͍̠̓͌̓̋͋̌̒̂̑̇͗̕͘͘.̵̧̪͇̯̹̪͎̬̦͈͌͛̃̈́̊͊̈̎͂̽͆̐͘ ̸̨̡͉̬̥͙̺̻̪̲̾́͌͛B̶̘̥͎̝͚̳̺̑͛̓͌̀͑̏̋̓̎͝ͅǫ̸̩̲̺͚̦̰̬͖̝̇̓̏͊̉̾̿͆̊̎̏̿̈́̓s̸͔̥̝̻̟͎̳̫̻̻̿̿̈͛̎̋̃͘͠ș̵̖̮̕?̴̨̼̦̜̭̫̦͔̘̰͓͎̞̄̂̍͂̎̏̽́̅͐̃͘͠͝ͅ ̶͉̮̰̝̮̮͎̜̾̈́̊̆̐̀ͅT̸̩͖̹̪̺̹̟̱͎̃̊̈̈́̔̽̔̎̆͘͘h̴̨̡͙͎̥̹̱̪̩͊̋̂̐̓̄̓̈́̃͌e̷̫̤͇̹͖̳͇͉̗͎̰̒̃͌́̍͐͘ͅỳ̶̨͑͂͗̌̈͒̉͊͘͝ ̴̧̦̞̘͔͎̮̼̉̎̕̕j̶͙̭̖̭̩̘̦̞̏͑̅̐͐͋̆̇̇̚ư̵͚̫̜̱͇͋̐̑͊̋̈́̕͠ͅs̶͔̫̞̪̫̲̗͛̈ͅţ̵͎̆̈̓̂̓̿̂̂̌͋͆̐̚͝ ̸̳̗̱̯̦̙̠̗̐̊͐f̶̡̯̝̜̺̳̖̥̼͈̯͗̔̈́͌̌ē̷̫̳̱̣̜̰̙̰̮̲͇̠̟̤̒̽́̿ä̵̧̛̙̲̾̒͋̇̆̿̔̒̃̓̀͘͜r̸̡̘͉͇͓̪͓͈̫̹̖̉̂̈́̀͛̽̅̿̃͘͠ͅ ̶̝͉͓͕̻̯̞͉͈̗̩͕̅̈́̽̽́̈́͌́̐͐͘͜͜y̸̫̝̾͑̋̿̓͗̾̑̈́ó̶̳̠̖̠̂̿u̶̢͕̥̰͕̎͐̽̃͋͒́̇͠ͅ.̶̯̮͙̣̼͍̙̹̭̻̬̩͒̋͋́̓̑͐̈́̐͝͝.̶̣̱͎̖̪̦͙̮̮̘̜̉.̴̡̨͔̥́̕ ̷̨̼̞̲̫̼̙̥̩͔̣̆̓͌͒̈́̅̅̽͐͛̚͝s̴̞̦̘͖̏̌h̴͎͓̰̥̞͙̼̓̊̌̎̆o̶͎̱̱̘̺̦̺̯̥̬͒͒͐͑̐̓̍̿̏̈̂w̶̞̪͚̙͙̠̝̖͋̃͒́̐̇̄̀̕͜͠͠ ̷̢͙̰̙͇̗̘͚̒͆̾̓̌̕̕͝ͅͅt̶̪̲̒̂͂h̴͎̼̼͍̮͎͓̪̜̱͇̅͗̏͐̄̄̚ͅę̴̟͈͔̝̺͖͖̪̠̩̰̐̍͌̾͐̒̈́̀͋̀̅̽ͅm̶̝̯͗͌̄̃̈́̐̊͛͠ ̷̡̨̤̳͙͓̭̄̈́̈͘w̶̳͉̭̾̂͑͊̍͆͝h̶͎̓̿y̵̡̙̣͔̬̖̜͖̆͆̽̀̀̅͐̎͑̈́̔̐̚͝ ̶̨͙̊̂̇́̊̋̋̓̇͒̔̋͘t̸̡̛͈̘͂̍͌̔̇̕͜h̵̡̠͉͍̺̱͈̟̭͈̥̣͂͛̉̂̽ͅȩ̴̨̙͎̬̞͊̔͐̓̒͠y̸͕̤̓̈͂͑́̒̇͠͝ͅ ̵̟̯̩͎͇͔̤̥̅̇̋͂͑͋͛s̶̢̡̛̗̞̠̽͛͂̊̊̓̌͂̄̏͝h̴͔͓̰̦̬̪̱̯̬̺͇̖͌o̷̥͎͕͒̐̂̄̈́̐́͘ṵ̵̙͎̩̙͙͉͙̟͎̣͍́̋̄̀́͗̔́̐͋̚͝͝͠l̸̢̨̳̼̭͉̰͇͖͔̂͌̆͊̍̌͑͘͜d̸̨͉͇̤̩͍͚̖̯̲͗̾̿̌̅̂́̇̏.̷̨̬̮̃̂͝

 

 

"Do you think I'm an idiot?" Reno's voice rumbled, causing the boys to pale. 

"Wh-what? What do you---?" Diego started, being interrupted by Reno.

"I SAID DO YOU FUCKIN' THINK I'M AN IDIOT?!" he roared. "I'VE PUT UP WITH YOUR MOCKING LONG ENOUGH," he accentuated his point by slamming his fist into the brick wall, the fist burying into the hard material. "BOSS? IF YOU THOUGHT OF ME AS SUCH A WAY YOU WOULDN'T KEEP FUCKING DOING THIS!!" The two thugs began to back away quickly. Usually, Reno would just tell them to get lost, and if they didn't comply, he'd make them. Right now though... it seemed like he was going to violently beat them down... no matter what they did.

So they ran.

Reno watched as they left, gritting his teeth as he did. He shouldn't have let them leave like that. He should have followed them down, destroyed them... he make it up. He'd destroy any shadow he came across once he got his Persona. He let his fist out of the wall, hissing as he looked at his bleeding fist. Punching the wall was probably really stupid. He'd need to wrap that up when he could. 

 

 

His fist was wrapped by the time he got to his class. He looked over, seeing that Haruka's desk was empty. It was an odd feeling, knowing that she awakened a Persona and just... left. Would that effect her daily life? He just didn't know. Class had passed by without incident, and he did his best to leave class. He walked ahead, not paying attention to anything, and so he was taken completely off guard when he rammed into that 'new girl', the short haired, short girl. Seeing as he was about a foot bigger than she was and probably had more than hundred pounds on her, he couldn't imagine that was pleasant.

"Sorry about that," He said as he looked over to see if he had knocking anything of hers over.


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#151
Dad

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Many Faces

 

       This early morning was very eventful.  The Eyes lay upon Reno, unjudging, and only to observe.  Something was troubling the young man.  There came a vicious yell and the sound of fleeing footsteps.  And then, the Eyes were gone.

 

 

Ivan the Terrible

 

 

 

FROM:  Tyler
 
TIME:  8:15 A.M.
 
 
 
sure. club after class? also you got names? wanna talk to ‘em.
 
 

FROM: Nathan
TIME: 9:15 a.m.
 
Yeah, I got some names.  Matt and Zach Yusef.  Ivan's two double trouble flunkies for this semester.  I'll see you at the club meeting.
 
Nathan chuckled silently to himself in the halls.  Talk, huh?  Personally, he would've wanted revenge on those two.  And that was the truth.  If they had the balls to take orders from Ivan blindly, then they had the balls to accept the punishment.  Right?
 
"Yo!" Nathan called out to Hensley who was fleeing Trigonometry.  "When did you change classes!?  What's the rush!?"
 
Hensley stopped and turned around, jogging back to Nathan.  "We should talk."
 
"Sure.  We can talk after school at the club meeting.  I got some new hoses I wanna check--"
 
"No, Nate.  Now.  Pulsar and her crew are still stalking me," Hensley said.  "C'mere."
 
"I thought we talked about you racing with those assholes," Nathan said as he was dragged away.
 
 "...my foster father...his eyes were l-like that shadow's. T-That's why I immediately froze yesterday." he explained. "...I've...I've been holding on to that for a while now...and yet yesterday's encounter forced me to remember that image..."
 
Paul listened intently to Jason's story.  He had no idea Jason was dealing with an abusive step-father. 
 
"So, he's an asshole," Paul said bluntly.  "That's what I think of him."
 
Paul leaned against the lockers behind him.  "Abusive homes are nothing to take lightly.  And if you need a place to stay, I'm sure I can convince my mom to let you crash for a while.  If nothing else, I'm sure Kev has spare room too.  You've got places you can go.  Believe that."
 
Paul shifted slightly, adjusting his bag.  "As far as that shadow goes, don't beat yourself up about it.  This is scary shit we're dealing with.  I guess seeing that shadow's eyes shook you up.  Give yourself time.  You get yourself outta that house and keep working with me, and you'll get past that self-righteous dickhead."
 
Paul was internally fuming.  This man broke Jason's wrist.  Over a play.  There were some really shitty adults out there.  Paul's internal thoughts were broken by the ear-piercing ring of the second-period bell.  He was going to be late for Physics today.
 
"Shit.  It's been that long already?"  Paul stood up straight and fixed his backpack.  "Hit me up at lunch and let me know what you decide to do.  If you wanna crash for a while, let me know.  We'll figure something out."
 
Paul waved to Jason as he jogged off out of the building.

Drowning in your silence.


#152
Super Chaos Sonic

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iU8EggM.png

 

What Friends Are For

 

"So, he's an asshole. That's what I think of him."

 

This caused Jason to chuckle a bit, nodding his head lightly. "H-Heh...yeah, yeah I guess he is." he shrugged, seeing Paul leaning against the lockers now.

 

"Abusive homes are nothing to take lightly. And if you need a place to stay, I'm sure I can convince my mom to let you crash for a while. If nothing else, I'm sure Kev has spare room too. You've got places you can go. Believe that."

 

"Y-Yeah...your right..." Jason nodded, sighing a bit. "I just...I just never wanted to let anyone know this before. But, you are right Paul..."

 

"As far as that shadow goes, don't beat yourself up about it. This is scary shit we're dealing with. I guess seeing that shadow's eyes shook you up. Give yourself time. You get yourself outta that house and keep working with me, and you'll get past that self-righteous dickhead."

 

Jason was relieved that Paul didn't think that the shadow incident was his fault. That was one thing he was hoping to hear out of this. "Well...now you know why I sorta went with the fact of you and Kev wanting me to try out for the team again to get out the house." he admitted, chuckling lightly. "Guess...if Friday comes around and I'm in again, then between that, the Video Game Club, and our...'excursions' will definitely keep me busy."

 

Of course, the conversations were cut short as the second period bell rung loudly.

 

"Shit. It's been that long already? Hit me up at lunch and let me know what you decide to do. If you wanna crash for a while, let me know. We'll figure something out."

 

"Alright. Thanks Paul..." Jason smiled some, before adjusting his bag, waving to Paul and proceeded to his second period class: Sociology.

 

iU8EggM.png

 

Human Societies and How They Work

 

Jason made it into his Sociology class, sitting down immediately just as the teacher walked in. Mr. Ligon, an older, sort of heavy set gentleman with soft curly white hair around the sides of his head and a bald spot. The guy was really nice and had a kind spirit about him, least from Jason could get a read on.

 

"Mr. Garrett!"

 

Unfortunately, Jason was in his own little world there for a moment, as he rubbed the back of his head slightly. "I-I'm sorry Mr. Ligon. Do you think you could repeat the question? I...wasn't paying attention." He watched Ligon sigh slightly but proceeded to repeat the question regardless.

 

"How is the abundance of fast food chains impacting the American family's relationship with one another? And would you say restaurants have taken the place of society's place of a home cooked meal? Why or why not?"

 

This actually had Jason think about this a bit, as he took a deep breath as he tried to collect his thoughts to answer this. Once his thoughts were collected, he spoke.

 

"Well...um...truthfully I say it's a different answer given who you ask." he started, tapping his pencil's eraser on his book lightly. "I mean, for me specifically...being home to have a home cooked meal is a lot better than the restaurant. The atmosphere is a quiet one with not a whole lot of noise around, you can talk without having to yell..." Jason mentally paused at that, knowing that was something his own place would have regardless, but he didn't want to think about that now. "...and the setting is a familiar one, which...I guess would mean more people would get comfortable. A-Again, that's just me personally. I-In regards to the question...it's been really impacting, since if you look at things now, the advertisers for more fast food chains actually have been trying to convince families that the consumption of food and the like at home could easily be re-created, re-captured, re-claimed, and re-produced in this manner."

 

"Good answer Mr. Garett. In truth, fast food chains have a different affect on different American families. From Native Americans to African Americans, Irish Americans, and so on, each family is impacted differently. However, as we take a closer look..."

 

This made Jason smile slightly. At the end of it all, he felt a bit smarter for answering the question correctly.


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#153
radio414

radio414

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[Theme - Hayden’s Symphony No. 94]

From: (504)555-6942

To: (504)555-8213, (504)555-2084
Hey someone ask me if I hate trih
*trig

From: (504)555-8213
To: (504)555-6942, (504)555-2084
Hey Megan do you hate trig?

From: (504)555-6942
To: (504)555-8213, (504)555-2084
Thanks for asking bea
Golly gee do I hate trig

From: (504)555-2084
To: 
(504)555-6942, (504)555-8213 

"Golly gee?"

From: (504)555-6942
To: (504)555-8213, (504)555-2084
Like really hate it
Stfu Tommy I’m still talking
Get this
Teach starts every class
And I mean every class
With a new icebreaker
Like jfc

From: (504)555-8213
To: (504)555-6942, (504)555-2084
Lol wow

From: (504)555-6942
To: (504)555-8213, (504)555-2084
Today’s was
Out of anyone in history
Who would you want to have dinner with?

From: (504)555-2084
To: 
(504)555-6942, (504)555-8213 

I dun

In one moment, Thomasin had been finishing up her between-class routine, slamming the locker door behind her with a satisfying *CLANG* that seemed to both radiate throughout the hallway and be drowned out by the dozen or so other *CLANG*s doing the exact same thing. In the next moment, she had stepped to the side, taking a moment from zipping her backpack up all the way to respond to Megan’s “thought-provoking” question.

And in the moment immediately after, she found herself sprawled on the ground, the notebooks she had so hastily shoved into her bag moments before having flown out even further than she had. And she had flown pretty far! It wasn’t quite a comical length or anything but it was certainly the distance one would expect when one person didn’t watch where they were going and the other person was a head shorter.

“Sorry about that.”

Well, at least he was courteous enough to hang around and gawk at her misery, looking at her from his “how’s-the-weather-up-there” height as she shuffled around on all fours trying to get her notebooks and loose papers back into her bag in the totally-not-made-up system she had going on in there. She also had to deal with fixing the half-message she’d just sent out.

From: (504)555-2084
To: 
(504)555-6942, (504)555-8213 

*I dunno, Jesus?

When Thomasin looked back up the first thing she noticed was the hand reaching out to her. So that was why he was still around. She almost felt bad assuming he’d just been staring at her, though she didn’t feel bad enough to let that take the ever-so-slight edge off her voice as she mumbled, “Thanks,” even as she took the hand and let herself be pulled back to her feet.

She almost said, “Just watch where you’re going next time,” but managed to catch herself (for once!), the sight of his other, bandaged hand giving her just enough pause to reconsider. She only managed to stop at “Just watch-” though, which was more than a little awkward.

The correct pivot, she decided, was to ignore the errant remark entirely. “You’re Reno, right?” she said. Maybe Kelsey had had the right idea, calling names out for attendance. He certainly was hard to forget once you put the name to the face.

If he nodded, Thomasin didn’t notice. He certainly didn’t say anything more than an affirmative grunt.

“Okay,” said Thomasin. “Um, I’m going this way, so I don’t want to say, ‘See you around,’ if you’re just going to follow me.” She started to say more, but her phone started buzzing again.

 

From: (504)555-8213
To: (504)555-6942, (504)555-2084
Yeah idk I guess Jesus too

From: (504)555-6942
To: (504)555-8213, (504)555-2084
Yeah just about everybody said Jesus


Thomasin looked back at Reno. “Hey, maybe if you follow me we can work on your conversation, too,” she said. “But yeah, I do need to go this way, though.”



#154
a bad post

a bad post

    waste quartz 4 waifu

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8/29

Wednesday, Morning

Hot and Humid

 

The day was warm and muggy and Quinn felt miserable... well it wasn't just the weather that had Quinn feeling miserable. Locking himself in his room left him very little to do but be alone with his thoughts. Within 24 hours he had managed to drive himself stir crazy and had slept very poorly the previous night. He'd gone through most of the day nearly completely silent, doing his best to focus on his school work and keep his mind off of the recent frustration and stress that he had been dealing with. 

 

His day was finally almost finished with his dumb computer science class, however, so close to the end this class seemed to drag on for ages. About 30 minutes into class Quinn found his eyes unfocusing on his computer screen and he stared into space. It was so wildly hard to care about his class... he only took it because it would look good on his transcript. 

 

Does it even matter though? Quinn sighed and focused somewhat back on the lesson, thankful for the fact that the computers hid their faces from the eyes of the instructor saving him from the embarrassment of being called out for not paying attention. That being said he still wasn't paying much attention anyway, the instructor's words going in one ear and out the other.

 

Resting his head his hands Quinn looked across the room and raised his eyebrows as his eyes rested on...

 

What was his name again? Peter? Patrick? No... Percy? That wasn't right either. Phillip? Further away. It didn't really matter. He was the kid from Kevin's party, and more importantly the kid that had pissed Quinn the fuck off. Thinking back on it was kind of silly for Quinn to have launched into such a wild tirade. Not exactly my proudest moment. Blowing out a deep sigh Quinn pursed his lips staring and the kid, well not really a kid, he was older than Quinn, but well whatever that was probably a bit of Quinn's own narcissism. Well, whatever.

 

----

 

When the class had ended as people filtered out of the class Quinn approached the other guy tugging on his sleeve. 

 

"Hey... uh..." Quinn paused unable to look at the other boy in the eye. "Um, wouldyouwalkhomewithme? I really wanted to talk to you about... you know... last week..."


Posted Image


#155
Dad

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Tension

 

"So what's the deal, Hensley?" Nathan asked beneath the stairs of the second floor.  "It's been a year.  You still messing with them?"  He folded his arms.

 

Hensley shook her head.  "No.  I told you I wouldn't.  I meant that.  But they won't let me go.  I won slips for them.  I got them a lot of attention.  Then I walked.  You can imagine how they feel about that.  And now you wanna put a crew together.  Word got out, I'm assuming."

 

Nathan leaned against the wall.  "And I guess they're not too happy to have their star driver stolen from them.  Let alone possibly competing against them."

 

Hensley nodded.  "They've been trying to get me to get on Tyler's good side to flip him to their team.  Not that Tyler would even hear that kinda shit but they showed up to my school."

 

"That makes them dangerous.  Or at least, intimidating," Nathan added.  "Did you talk to campus police?"

 

Hensley widened her eyes, staring Nathan in the face.  "Are you crazy?  What am I supposed to tell them?  'I race illegally and my former also illegally racing street partners are out to get me'?  'Cause, y'know, I really need more drama right now," Hensley said, throwing up her hands.  "Damn semester just started and I'm already in shit."

 

Nathan rubbed his chin.  "What were their names again?" Nathan asked.  "Their legal names."

 

Hensley shrugged.  "I only have one and that's for one of Pulsar's girls."

 

"Text it to me.  I think my father might be able to help here, without getting you in trouble.  At least, for a while," Nathan said.

 

"Really!?" Hensley shouted.  She quickly clasped her hand over her mouth.

 

Nathan chuckled.  "Yeah, really.  Send me that name."  He tried to maneuver around Hensley to run to his next class.  "Gotta run--mmph!"

 

She quickly kissed him on the lips.  "Thanks."  Hensley ran out of the building with her phone in her hands, jogging to her next class.  A security guard could be heard hollering at her.  "Put that phone away!"

 

Nathan shook his head and took off in the opposite direction.

 

 

By the By

 

      Computer Science went by dreadfully slow.  The day Paul was interested in Javascript would be the day he gave up the hopes of ever exploring Amanda's curves.  It wasn't happening.  When the bell rang, Paul practically leaped out of his seat and packed his bag.  He couldn't wait to get out of those doors.

 

 

Like a breath of fresh air, Paul stepped into the halls outside of the Computer Science classroom.  He forced himself to stretch and boy, did it feel great.  Then, Paul felt a sudden tug on his shirt from behind him.  Turning around, he met Quinn.

 

"Hey... uh..."

 

"Oh, hey there.  What's uh... ehem," Paul cleared his throat.  "What's up?"  Quinn never looked Paul in the eyes.  Paul didn't know Quinn well but it was pretty easy to see that something was bothering this guy.

 

 "Um, wouldyouwalkhomewithme? I really wanted to talk to you about... you know... last week..." Quinn said rather quickly.

 

Paul paused for a moment.  There was a club meeting today he shouldn't miss.  However, this might have been a good opportunity to at least make things right between himself and Quinn.  They hadn't gotten off to a great start, after all.  Paul took out his phone and began to text Amanda.  

 


 

To:  Amanda

From:  Paul

Time: 3:44p.m.

 

Not gonna make it today.  Got stuff to do.  Sry.  See yall later.

 

He would read whatever angry reply he got from her, later.

 

Paul finally spoke up.  "Yeah, that's no problem.  We can talk."  Paul took the lead and paced himself as he and Quinn exited the high school.

 

 

 

8/29

Wednesday, Afterschool

Humid

Beneath the Mask

 

Paul and Quinn were finally out of earshot of the main campus and hopefully any desperate gossipers.  Paul straightened his backpack on his back and started with an apology.

 

"Real quick, I just wanna say I'm sorry.  It was really uncool for me to just assume shit and think everyone was gonna come back with me.  We all got lives and after the party and all that other crazy shit with shadows and monsters and... well.  I'm sorry for puttin' pressure on you and stuff," Paul said, rather ineloquently. 

 

"What'd you wanna talk about?" Paul asked.

 

 


  • Close out your day.

Drowning in your silence.


#156
Super Chaos Sonic

Super Chaos Sonic

    Run, Sonic Run!

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yFRTN9O.jpg

 

iU8EggM.png

 

Lunchtime

 

Classes seemed to drag on for Jason as he made his way to the lunchroom. He figured the best thing to do right now was find Paul. The entire time he was in class, he kept mulling what he said over and over in his mind.

 

"...if you need a place to stay, I'm sure I can convince my mom to let you crash for a while. If nothing else, I'm sure Kev has spare room too. You've got places you can go. Believe that."

 

Jason needed to find Paul right now, he had an answer now for this. Luckily, he found the young man sitting down eating his lunch and reading a book. He made his way towards the young man's table. He glanced over at what he was reading, Stephen King's 'Pet Sematary', and shuddered slightly. "Yiiiiiiikes. Pet Sematary?" he asked, sitting down. "Maaaaaaan you must be a lot more braver than I thought, if you're flipping through that book."

 

Paul sat down his old, dusty copy of the Stephen King classic. "Ha. I try to get myself spooked before Halloween rolls around. It's my favorite holiday, we're two months away, and I'm friggin' hype." Paul couldn't hide the cheesy grin on his face. "What's up hombre?" he asked finally.

 

"So you read the one with the resurrected pets and the kid? ...I would've at least thought you'd pick something better...possibly Cujo or maybe Christine." Jason chuckled, before sighing slightly. "Alright. So...I've been giving what you offered to me when we talked..."

 

"Hey it's a slow start. I'll read the creepier stuff as we get closer to Halloween," Paul commented quickly. "But, uh, yeah. What about my offer? What are you thinking?"

 

Jason took a deep breath and exhales slowly. "...we'll try this. I'll crash with you for the night and tomorrow night...since ya know, we'll be going back you know where like you said. I'll...I'll just let my mom know that I'll be staying with a friend for a couple days."

 

Paul nodded. "Then I'll make some arrangements. You get home and get your stuff after school. I'll shoot you my address and if you can't get a ride, I'll find you one."

 

"Thanks man." Jason nodded in response. "I owe ya...now if you'll excuse me...I haaaaaave to mentally prepare myself for my club meeting since I called out Monday. Ehehe, let's just say that if I end up losing some matches against the club leader, I have to write an essay about the game."

 

Paul twirled his spork around in his red beans and rice and decided against the meal. He pushed the tray to the side and stood up. "What game?" he asked as he began to walk beside Jason. They chatted for the rest of the lunch period.

 

iU8EggM.png

 

MORTAL KOMBAAAAAAAAAT!!!!

 

Speaking of his club meeting, Jason finally walked in and already saw that the group was looking at him. It was obvious everyone knew...annnnnd it also didn't help that Lace was there near one of the TVs that had the selected game being prepped. He moved towards the game system and empty chair, greeting some of the group before sitting down.

 

Alright...here goes nothing... Jason took a deep breath as his right knee was bouncing up and down in a nervous motion, as he was handed the controller by Lace. The game was Mortal Kombat 10...or rather, Mortal Kombat X. He knew some of the characters and how they moved, but this would be completely new to him. "So...guess good luck?" Jason said chuckling nervously.

 

Lace rolled her neck, cracked her knuckles, and pulled out a custom fightpad from her backpack. It was decked out in Mortal Kombat stickers and signed by members of an old school Mortal Kombat team. This was precious to her. She gave Jason a deathly glare as she plugged in her fightpad. Kevin watched on with his mouth agape.

"Aww, bruh," Kevin said as he pulled up a chair. "She really gonna try to give it to you."
 
Lace grinned. "Best of luck, Jason."
 

Jason was needlessly speechless at seeing this. He slowly looked at Kevin and mouthed: "Whaaaaaat the fuuuuuck??"

 

"Bro, you didn't know?" Kevin said with a smile. "Lace used to play MK for yearssssssss," Kevin explained with emphasis. "I mean, MK Universal is hot right now, but Lace goes back with it. She went by Harpoon on her old squad when she was like ten bro. That's almost twelve years of nothing but dedication to Mortal Kombat. I know she quit about two years ago. School and all. But yeah man. I ain't seen that fightpad since--"

 

"2024," Lace commented. "That's the last time I used it." She was vividly reminiscing about her past with the game. "There's no better fighter."

 

Kevin hesitated. "...welllll--"

 

"Don't make me put you in a headlock," Lace quickly retorted. The game screen was loading.

 

Jason gulped a bit, chuckling nervously at this point. "Oh goooooood..." he muttered, shaking his head. "Well...either way...gonna try and give it my all."

 

Lace sat down and placed the fightpad in her lap carefully. Wonder if I still got it. she thought to herself. She quickly selected Scorpion from the versus screen. "Best of three?" she asked as she looked over to Jason.

 

"Uh sure. Best of three sounds good." Jason nodded, already seeing Lace selecting Scorpion as her character. He cursed to himself, knowing he did like how Scorpion played in the other games...but if he chose Scorpion, that'd probably be bad. Reluctantly, he moved his cursor over and then selected Liu Kang.

 

Lace smiled. This was refreshing. She extended her hand to Jason. "Heads up. You uh, might end up seeing the other side of me," she said with a chuckle.

 

"...I don't think it'll be the worst thing I've seen..." Jason chuckled back, extending his hand to hers. He wasn't lying after all...he had seen worst things...and most in the last couple of days.

 

"Oh, and Kevin," Lace said as she looked over her shoulder with a menacing grin. "It's your fault Jason and I even have to have this match," she said, regarding basketball practice. "So if things go sideways, you're gonna suffer too." Kevin shivered.

 

Finally, the game started and well, the first game was pretty much a slaughter-fest with Jason eventually getting a few good hits in there but ultimately lost the first round of the match. A few Flameports here and there before being tossed into a series of combos that just ended up making Liu Kang and Jason a punching bag was all that was being done...then the finishing off him with the Fatality  In his situation, he was still relatively new to this game's mechanics and the like, however, he slowly began to understand how to work the game. When the second round started, Lace yet again went straight for the kill, but was ended up being surprised by Jason's button mashing technique. Rather, it was button mashing up until he took the second round of the second match. It took some time, but Jason finally got the hang on how Liu Kang was to play and how he could actually be better in a few situations during a match. A few well placed Bicycle Kicks thanks to him finding the combo to ease into it from a Double Dragon Kick, and Jason somehow won the second match. ...it was all down to the third and final match.

 

"You're lookin' kinda sweaty Lace," Kevin chuckled. "Nervous?"

 

"You shut your face before I give you a swirlie, you peabrained little chickenshit!" Lace snapped.

 

"Whoaaaaa," Kevin laughed. "It's all comin' back now!"

 

Brad, who normally remained silent, slid up his chair beside Kevin's. "Interesting," he commented.

 

"Down to the wire, big guy," Kevin added.

 

Jason huffed a bit, his right leg still bouncing up and down right now in a furious motion as he shook his head slightly. "J-Jeez...y-yeah...I'll say it now...she's EXTREMELY good..." he said nervously. "Just...barely pulled that off."

 

"I can't feel my fingers," Lace said. "Let's go!"

 

Jason sighed as he stared at the TV and prepared for the last match. Unknowingly, he started chewing on his tongue at this point, being both on edge right now and extremely nervous. It was either going to be a win here...or a looooooong grueling essay. "Good luck..."


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#157
Alaina

Alaina

    「So that those thoughts won't be lost」

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bztpiqK.png?1

 

Avery continued to make her way through the day, just as she had every other. She had tried to stick to her usual plan of keeping out of the spotlight. She had attempted to simply be normal Avery Moureaux. 

 

Walk from class to class. Sit down. Say nothing for most of class. Interject towards the beginning and part of the end so as not to draw suspicion of avoiding attention. Look towards the board at most times but don't look too eager. Take notes while the professor was talking. Never ask questions. Never answer what no one else could. Never be certain. Never be excited. And never be bored.  

 

These were ways Avery managed to divert attention from herself, standing out only to blend in. However, in spite of having followed this plan for years now, and despite having gone through the rehearsed actions day in and out, Avery found herself unable to focus on much of anything today. She felt restless, bored, and completely uninterested in whatever anyone was saying. 

 

Foot tapping. Staring the clock. Writing whenever in her notebook. 

 

While it was nothing that anyone would take special notice of, Avery had. As such, her consciousness of her own differences only compounded into stress as she was unable to correct herself over the course of the day, which only caused her to become even less focused in her classes. All the same, there was nothing she could do about it. After all, school was just so boring...

 

 

With the day coming to its close, the girl continued to walk through the halls, ready to make her way home. However, as she watched other students move from place to place she had realized something. 

 

Clubs. 

 

Avery had made a responsibility. She had made a commitment to go there at least some of the times. And the people knew her. If she didn't go they'd probably find her. And if they looked for her that was all the worst.

 

Reluctantly, Avery made her way to the video game club, both happy and somewhat concerned to see something already underway. She didn't quite get what was going on, but it appeared that Jason was playing with the one girl in some kind of fighting game. While that was easy enough to understand, Avery couldn't quite get why she felt a murderous intent coming from the girl and Jason seemed fearful for his life. Though, one probably beget the other. 

 

All the same, Avery stood in the background, adjusting her glasses as her interest was piqued. Wordlessly, the girl began to examine the two fighters as their final game got underway. 


tumblr_p1qytntdOx1ub8b3yo1_500.gif

RP Awards

#158
radio414

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“Huh, that’s where I’ve gotta go too…” Reno said. He started following behind her, too close to be stalking her, but a bit too far to be, you know, at a normal distance. “Also, I converse well enough.”

Was that an attempt at humor? Thomasin thought it was unbecoming. “Okay,” she said, a hint of disbelief in her voice. “So if you’re so good at conversation already…” But then she had to pause. She didn’t actually have a good follow-up to that conditional.

It did come to her quickly, though. “If you’re good at talking, I guess you’ll be okay with a guessing game, right? Don’t worry, it’ll only take a couple minutes. Just up to the bell, probably. Interested? Or do you want to reconsider your stance on talking?”

“I’m up for it,” Reno said. “What exactly am I supposed to be guessing?”

“Oh no, I’m doing the guessing,” said Thomasin. “You know the game ‘Two Truths and a Lie?’ We’re gonna play that. So yeah, just, uh, tell me a couple things about yourself, and lie about one of them. And then I get to guess. Though, uh, to be honest, I bet you’d be good at this. I mean, so long as you keep that face you’ve got already, I don’t know how I’ll be able to tell anything you say apart.”

Reno raised his hand to his chin. Already it looked like he was intrigued by the proposition. “Well, I suppose that’s easy enough… hmm…” He paused to think. “Well, here we go. One, I once fought a bear. Two, I have a black belt in Muay Thai. Three…”

He paused again. To Thomasin, this was a clear give that what followed was going to be the lie, but she didn’t really want to dampen Reno’s spirits. He did seem like he was mostly humoring her anyway. Eventually, though, he came up with, “I’ve gone to another world,”

Thomasin pouted. Whatever mood there was had been immediately killed. “I’m not going to play if you’re not going to take this seriously,” she said. “Actually, yeah, no. No guessing, sorry. So, uh, congrats. You got me.” She shrugged. “See you around.”
From: (504)555-2084
To: (504)555-6942, (504)555-8213
Is this still “the complaining chat?”
Let me tell you about Biology real quick.

From: (504)555-6942
To: (504)555-8213, (504)555-2084
YES
Gotta complain about spanish when your done

From: (504)555-2084
To: (504)555-6942, (504)555-8213
So there’s this kid. He sits in the back of the class which, you know, is whatever, but he also records the class on his phone, which is kind of weird? But as everyone was getting up to leave I saw he’s got an ankle bracelet on? Like, the police kind?

From:(504)555-8213
To: (504)555-6942, (504)555-2084
Tldr

From: (504)555-6942
To: (504)555-8213, (504)555-2084
Quiet you
Is that that becket kid Tommy?

From: (504)555-2084
To: (504)555-6942, (504)555-8213
I don’t know; I kind of zone out during Biology.
I think the teacher started talking about someday having us dissect pig fetuses and I immediately wished he wasn’t.

From: (504)555-6942
To: (504)555-8213, (504)555-2084

http://i.imgur.com/9b90JbW.gif

Omg whyyyyyyyy
I can't follow this
All I have is bs spanish vocam
*vocab

From: (504)555-8213
To: (504)555-6942, (504)555-2084
I think I saw Tyler at kevins party
I don’t think he had an anklet then
But I wouldn't be surprised if he did have one

From: (504)555-6942
To: (504)555-8213, (504)555-2084
Yeah I guess its not surprising
Just weird
Idk

Lunchtime was recharging time. Sometimes it was walking-and/or-bussing-to-the-park time, sometimes it was hang-out-wherever time, but it was always recharging time. It was a time to decompress after all the problems the morning had brought. It was also, more literally, peanut butter sandwich, banana, chips, and Capri Sun time. It was as good a lunch as any.

Thomasin normally ate lunch alone. That wasn’t to say she didn’t have friends, the constantly updating, never ceasing group chat on her phone could attest to that, but she liked the meditative mood she could get in with food in her mouth and music in her ears.

The song for the break -- well, technically it was a set of songs, but whatever -- was Camille Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals. That’s certainly what school felt like sometimes, what with all the chaotic goings-on (with all the people not looking where they’re going (yes she was still salty about that!)).
Physics, while equally as boring as her morning classes, did have the potential to become less so with a little bit of innovative code plugged into her calculator. That sentence was a little misleading, though; it wasn’t her code, after all, just something she managed to pull off the internet. And “innovative” was a bit of a stretch, too; there were only so many ways to make virtual blocks slide around on a TI-84.

The point was, for minutes at a time, Thomasin could play video games and have the perfectly reasonable excuse of needing to double-check some figures. Sure, any longer would be suspicious, which could negatively affect her score, but time attack was for chumps anyway. If there was a leaderboard for these sorts of games, Thomasin didn't want any part of it.

All this was a rather roundabout way to say, well, there was a reason Thomasin skipped this class so often. It wasn’t that she couldn’t see a point to all those lectures about the mechanics of the universe relating to all this math and all these figures, but, like, why, though?
“Why?” was more a question for her fourth period, though. Philosophy was… a class. A good class, sure, sometimes even a fun class, but not exactly the most memorable class either? Sure, she could remember the coursework well enough, but none of the faces seemed to stick out over the rest of the crowd. Maybe that was because of the subject matter at hand? Deconstructing anthropocentrism before they could build it back up from the base concepts?

If the class was all about how humans weren’t special, why should she pay attention to the humans in the class? Or something like that. Yeah, that had to be it. Because again, the class was interesting. Even on days that she skipped Physics, Thomasin still endeavored to make it back in time for fourth period. So there had to be something there, right?

So, as kind of a recap, on her more average days (which, for the record, today was not), Thomasin would trudge through her morning classes (dodging cold-calls as best she could), gossip with her friends, avoid doing actual work in third period one way or another, and breeze through her final class of the day before… before what?

From: (504)555-2084
To: (504)555-6942, (504)555-8213
What are the odds I can join a club after sign-ups close, do you think?

From: (504)555-6942
To: (504)555-8213, (504)555-2084
Idk, what club are you trying to join?

From: (504)555-2084
To: (504)555-6942, (504)555-8213
I was thinking about joining the Dedicated Fiction club.

From: (504)555-6942
To: (504)555-8213, (504)555-2084
Talk to Amanda I guess
Two to one odds shell let you

From: (504)555-8213
To: (504)555-6942, (504)555-2084
Ill take that bet lol
Shell smother you
Hundred percent

On one side of the classroom door, a girl with maybe an above-average knowledge of young adult fiction. On the other, the uncounted (which, as a point of order, was different from uncountable) number of teenagers of the Dedicated Fiction club. Even with the reassurances Megan and Beatrice had given her, Thomasin still felt a little intimidated. Her mind was made up, sure; she was going to join this club, but she needed just a little, you know, a little more.

The exact process was instinctual enough that she would never be able to describe it exactly if she tried, but the end result was her sitting on the ground, the wall just behind her, backpack to her side, and tarot deck in hand, itself constantly getting split and bridge-shuffled back together.

It was a simple enough question: “What’s in store for me in the near future?” As such, it only required one card.

Cut once, twice, flip. And…?

The Two of Pentacles card stared back at her, and in that moment, Thomasin remembered why single card readings could be difficult. Without context -- and maybe it wasn’t a good question to begin with -- the card could be an omen of good news and/or industriousness, but it also could mean difficult beginnings or letting emotions get the better of you.

So that was a waste. Now she had two distinct options ahead of her. She could draw another card to clarify the reading just a little bit more, or…

“Ah, to hell with it,” Thomasin said, and opened the door. “Hello?”

“That had better be Paul,” someone said (Amanda probably, right?). “Oh. Oh, hi there!” she said excitedly. “What can we do for you?”

“Not Paul, sorry!” Thomasin said. “I could be a Paulina, I guess, but uh, yeah, no. Hi! Um, I know I missed sign-ups, but I was wondering if I could still join.”

Before Thomasin could get an answer, though, another girl was suddenly across the room and now standing inches away from Thomasin’s face, blushing. “You have to answer a question first,” the second girl said. “That is: what… is the air-speed of an unladen swallow?” Her brown face was noticeably red, almost like she was infatuated with Thomasin.

“Janet,” the first girl (the probably-Amanda one) said sternly as she pulled the girl away. “Sit. And don’t make me pull you aside again.” She sighed, quickly regained her composure, and returned to Thomasin.

“Sorry,” she said. “Janet is a bit of an eccentric. Anyway!” Her smile returned. “You can totes join! We actually lost a member recently, so having a new face is pretty cool. You’re just in time to pitch in for our monthly reading vote. We recently finished an alumni fictional novel, so we’re gonna start with a vote on what fictional piece to read this month. It can be a novel, an article, a poem, whatever really. Janet will pass around the hat later and you can scribble in your vote and drop it in!”

She extended her hand and formally introduced herself. “I’m Amanda.”

“Thomasin,” said Thomasin, reciprocating the handshake. “Um, hey, no worries about the eccentric thing. I mean, I’m not not eccentric, I guess, if that makes sense.” She looked over at Janet. “Bold of you to assume there are people who haven’t seen that movie.”

Janet giggled and loudly whispered, “It's my favorite.”

Thomasin returned her attention to Amanda. “So do I just sit anywhere or are there assigned seats or…?”

“Sit anywhere,” Amanda said. “Why don't you tell us a little about yourself, Thomasin?”

“Okay,” said Thomasin. She ended up taking an empty seat next to Janet, who sighed with contentment. “Um, honestly, there’s not a lot to tell; I’m a pretty normal person, all things considered. I guess in regards to fiction, I've been on a YA kick lately? Um, school’s gotten in the way of a lot of that, but uh, yeah, that’s that.”

An idea crossed her mind. “Oh, here’s a good way to introduce myself, I guess. Um, so here’s two truths and a lie: I read tarot, like, you know, fortunes and stuff? I wouldn’t say exactly fortunes but I guess that’s what everyone knows them for. I, ah, my favorite genre of music is swing. I dunno, electric swing, big band stuff, I’m pretty flexible, yeah, and lastly, I, uh, skip third period a lot. So yeah! That’s some mostly true stuff about me.”

“You sound like Nola is the place for you then,” the one guy in the room interjected as Amanda raised her hand. “We got a lotta good big bands down here and such. Oh, I’m Leo by the way. Leo Grand.”

“Hush Mr. Grand, “ Janet said, before switching to a more coo-y voice. “Reading tarot sounds interesting, I’ll have to come and see you for a reading sometime. I’d love to know what my love life will be like.” Amanda jabbed Janet in the ribs, but she was practically unphased.

Thomasin opened her mouth and managed “It’s not that -” before Amanda moved the meeting along.

“Well, we’re missing a member and you know Janet and Leo now. I’ll have to get Paul to formally introduce himself the next time we meet if you’re able to make it. But for now,” Amanda stood up and pulled a dusty old top hat from the center of the long, plastic black table that the club sat around. She grabbed a stack of sticky notes and a pen and passed it all to Thomasin. “You’re officially one of us. So go ahead and drop your pick for the monthly reading into the hat, and we’ll see if it gets picked at the next meet,” she said with a smile.

Thomasin took the sticky note but had her own pen so she passed the other supplies down the line. The act of choosing a work, though, took a little bit of time. Novel, article, or poem? When faced with the broad possibilities of the question, Thomasin found she couldn’t think of much of anything. She wanted to impress, and she wanted to promote the YA kick she’d just said she’d been on, but she didn’t want to appear pretentious. At least, not right away. The tarot would take care of that eventually.

She did come up good contribution, though. It wasn’t like they’d draw hers right off the bat, right? She jotted down “I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak,” folded the sticky-note, and tossed it into the hat.
From: (504)555-2084
To: (504)555-6942, (504)555-8213
Still alive. Not smothered just yet.
You’re not gonna get rid of me that easily.

From: (504)555-8213
To: (504)555-6942, (504)555-2084
Damn guess I gotta pay up then

From: (504)555-2084
To: (504)555-6942, (504)555-8213
Wait, did you actually bet something?

From: (504)555-8213
To: (504)555-6942, (504)555-2084
No just my pride

From: (504)555-6942
To: (504)555-8213, (504)555-2084
YOUR PRIDE IS MINE BEATRICE
LET THE SUFFERING COMMENCE

And so on for the entire walk home. Not that it wasn’t worth paying attention to (though to be fair, there wasn’t much else), but it also wasn’t really worth remembering. Or, at least, when she walked through the front door, it certainly wasn’t something she was going to mention when they inevitable questions started…”

“Hey, how was school, honey?”

“Fine.”

“Anything interesting happen?”

“Not really.”

“You’re later than normal. Were you distracted kissing boys under the bleachers?”

That, at least, earned an eye roll. “No.”

“Kissing girls under the bleachers?”

“Dad!”

The questions only stopped when she slammed her bedroom door closed behind her, and she didn’t open the door again until it was time for dinner.





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