“Here’s my idea,” Cassie whispered to Haley, “you find the hostages while Nick and I attack the guys in front. If you can free them, get them out. If you can’t, at least you’ll probably get a chance to surprise the guy watching them.”
Haley nodded, transforming her hands and feet to grayish claws with long, sharp nails.
I found myself a little curious if her teeth had transformed into fangs as well, but it didn’t seem like the time to ask. She seemed a little sensitive about that.
Continue reading King of Storms: Part 3
We arrived while the ambulances were still there. I flew in in the full Rocket suit. Haley drove her grandfather’s car.
We met up across the street in the parking lot of a brick, two story office building of an oddly modern design that housed a couple dentists’ offices. The walls had been shaped to resemble waves, inspired no doubt by the name “Grand Lake Dentistry.”
Continue reading King of Storms: Part 2
Vaughn and I stood in the parking lot of the Grand Lake Martial Arts Academy, taking in some of the first decent weather of the year.
We’d had heavy snow during the last two weeks of February, but the first week of March had seen the (re)melting of all the snow and temperatures in the fifties. This wasn’t especially warm, but after three months of near zero, it felt like a heat wave.
Continue reading King of Storms: Part 1
The kick didn’t do as much damage as it could have — by which I mean that it didn’t make his knee point the wrong direction. On the other hand, it did do what it was supposed to.
Sean fell over, landing in the snow next to where Jody held my arm down.
He didn’t stop talking either. “I can’t stand on my leg. I can’t stand on my fucking leg…”
Continue reading Bullies and Counselors: Part 7
The rest of the day didn’t go as badly as the morning, but after school turned out worse. I missed the bus because I thought I might catch a ride from Cassie, but she’d already left.
I stood just inside the main entrance of the school, trying people on my phone. Mom’s went directly to voice mail. The battery was probably dead. Daniel had basketball. Their team had done well enough this year that they were going to finals. Cassie didn’t pick up.
Continue reading Bullies and Counselors: Part 6
“I can’t believe he said that.” Haley’s voice crackled over the cellphone and I could hear someone shouting that they were getting low on plates.
“I’m going to move someplace I can hear better,” she said.
Scraping noises followed. Then a door shut.
The next time she spoke, I could hear her perfectly.
“I went outside.”
Continue reading Bullies and Counselors: Part 5
By the time Haley, Jaclyn, and I got changed and went downstairs, Vaughn had calmed down, but we didn’t get to talk to him much. We said goodbye in the parking lot and watched him drive off in his mother’s Audi.
Then I drove Jaclyn and Haley home, Haley next to me in the front and Jaclyn in the back.
Continue reading Bullies and Counselors: Part 4
“Worked for your grandfather in the ‘worked for one of his companies’ sense or in the ‘foot soldiers in his Legions of Evil’ sense?” I asked.
“A little of both,” Vaughn said. “Actually a lot of both. All their grandparents were pretty high up in both places. Grandpa hired in a bunch of his people into positions where they could have a legal paycheck. Fact is, he did more than that, whenever he found someone that his potions could affect, he moved them here. I think it was one of those ‘breed a super race’ ideas. Obviously, it didn’t pan out.”
Cassie said, “The kids didn’t have powers?”
Continue reading Bullies and Counselors: Part 3
I don’t remember much of the drive over. I wanted to ask Haley a bunch of different things, but with Jaclyn in the car it didn’t feel right. It also seemed kind of nosy.
It took about thirty minutes to get to the studio. Normally it would have taken fifteen, but the after-school traffic slowed everything down. South High was practically in the suburbs. The Grand Lake Martial Arts Academy sat midway between downtown and the edge of the city. In the 1880’s it had been near the edge of Grand Lake. In the 1950’s, it had been Cannon’s Hardware before Cannon’s became an auto parts chain. The red neon “Cannon’s Hardware” sign still hung parallel to the building, stretching from the top of the second floor to the top of the first. It wasn’t lit.
A painted, plywood sign with the words “Grand Lake Martial Arts Academy” rested on the ledge above the first floor of the brown, brick building.
Continue reading Bullies and Counselors: Part 2
South High had money.
Unlike Central High, my high school, South had a new building built in the late 1990’s during better economic times. It looked more like an office building. Think gleaming mirrored windows, white walls, and beautifully landscaped lawns. Of course, in the middle of February lawns were a memory. Snow covered them to a depth of about a foot.
I parked my mom’s car in South’s parking lot, which, I couldn’t help but note, was definitely better plowed than our lot.
Continue reading Bullies and Counselors: Part 1