Archive for March, 2008

"She called me a bastard!" exclaimed Cody. "Unbelievable!"
"She was joking."
"I don’t think so," said Cody. "Besides, didn’t I tell you that would happen? Didn’t I warn you that people would see me in a bad light because of that section?"
"That scene is probably coming out, as I said, so don’t worry."
"Also, I noticed that her name is Kelsey. Coincidence, or…?"
Mike shook his head.
"Nah, I borrowed her name. Not her personality. Although, they both seem to sympathize with the French."
"Alright, alright. Anyways, let’s get back to the important stuff. This is a double milestone eh?"
"Yep," beamed Mike. "100 pages, and 4/7ths of the way done."
"You hit those both in the same night? That’s pretty sick."
"Technically no. I’m using Times New Roman 12, so everything is a bit smaller than it would be if I used Courrier 12, which is sort of the standard. In Courrier, it’s 125 pages. Regardless, no matter which font I use, it’s 40,000 words, and I have to admit, I’m proud of myself for that."
"I’m proud of you too, buddy. So what’s coming up?"
Mike hesitated.
"I have to start hurting you soon." He said finally.
"Hurting me? Why?"
"You’re the protagonist. Something bad has to happen to you, so that you can overcome it."
"There’s no way around it." said Mike sadly. "Without some sort of conflict, there’s no story. Up until now, we’ve had small problems that you’ve been able to conquer easily. The one coming up is big though, and you will suffer greatly, I’m afraid."
Cody’s face seemed to darken somewhat as Mike spoke. Mike decided to focus on the positive with his next words.
"I promise you one thing though. In the end, you’ll win. You’ll get everything you lost back. And maybe, just maybe, both of us will get much more."
"We can be heroes…" said Cody. It was a phrase that somehow never lost its meaning.
"That’s right." Mike smiled warmly. "But not just yet. We have some work to do first."
"What’s the next milestone?" asked Cody.
"2/3 and 5/7 are too close together, so we’ll just call those a single milestone."
"Works for me."
"And I’m not going to even bother suggesting any date. I’ll get there when I get there. We’ll be fine."
"Sweet. Good luck, buddy."
"Whoa Mike, what’s going on here?"
"I’m not sure, to be honest. See, I might make you two years older. People are saying that eleven year olds don’t think as deeply about relationships as you do. It seems like a good idea. The only problem is that if I do that, this whole scene here where you ‘steal’ the ice cream and shoes won’t work anymore, since a thirteen year old is way less likely to be able to pull off something like that than an eleven year old. Maybe I could use this as a flashback scene or something. I don’t know. Either way it’s going up on the blog."  

There was always something to do at Centriplex, as every week there was something new going on. The three things that Cody and his friends always made sure to keep an eye out for were new displays to view, free samples to try, and contests to enter. They did this in order. Todd grabbed Emily by the hand and led her around the mall for the first time, with Cody, Jake, and Kelsey following closely behind. They searched only for anything new that they hadn’t seen before. Since they had never been to the mall during their trips back in time, everything they saw was a surprise to both them and Emily. The local Gamerz had new advertisements out for Guitar Hero III, and the pretzel store had just unveiled its new product: A pretzel that started off salty, became sour, and ended off sweet. They made a mental note to try one of those out later. When they arrived at their starting point again, they wasted no time before embarking on their second lap. This time they were on the lookout for freebies. Not every store offered free samples of their products, but they knew that they had one advantage: They were eleven years old. This was the ideal age for extracting gifts from store owners and cashiers, because they were young enough that they still retained some of their ‘cuteness’, and old enough to know how to exploit their cuteness for their own benefit. Out of the four, Cody had always been the best at getting free stuff, especially from female cashiers. Something about his blond hair drove these late-teenagers crazy, he had discovered. Also, he suspected that having a single mother had given him double the opportunity to practice his ability to give ‘puppy-dog eyes’, thus explaining his mastery of this skill.


Cody loved the power he was able to exercise over these people. It gave him an inexplicable rush to be able to bend them to his will, and not suffer any consequences for his manipulation. He had learned from experience that the worst that could possibly happen to him was that we would be sent away by the store owner, and the incident would be forgotten within five minutes. On the other hand, the reward for his efforts could be anything from cookies to clothing. Cody’s mind didn’t even conceive of the words “stealing” or “cheating” when it came to his actions. He figured that since he had to work for it, he wasn’t doing anything dishonest. Besides, he knew that by the time he hit thirteen, he would go from being viewed as a “cute kid” to an “evil teenager” practically overnight, and all of his abilities would vanish. Since he had a time limit placed on these powers, Cody felt a need to use them as much as possible before he lost them forever.


As such, Cody went into the first store, ahead of Emily and the rest. He decided to start with something easy: ice cream. Food was the easiest to get from people, and especially deserts. He was happy to see that the stand was being run by a girl who looked about 18 years of age: A perfect target. Cody cleared his throat so that he would be able to hit the required high notes for this operation.


“Watch and learn,” he said to his friends before walking towards the stall.


“Can I help you, sweetie?” asked the girl brightly as he approached.


‘Oh man, this is gonna be a piece of cake.’  Cody thought. ‘She’s already talking like that and I haven’t even said a word.’


“Well… I was wondewing if I cuwd have a wittle bit of wocky woad ice cweem?” he said, making his voice slightly higher than usual and acting nervous, shifting his feet as he spoke. This had the expected effect, as the girl leaned in and responded.


“Awww, well a scoop of rocky road costs one dollar and fifty cents. Do you have one dollar and fifty cents, little boy?”


“Yep!” chirped Cody happily, placing a few nickels and pennies on the table. He saw as he did so that her heart was breaking. ‘Checkmate.’ No one had yet denied him when he made this move, and from the looks of things his undefeated streak would remain intact for yet another day.


“This is only fifteen cents…” said the cashier sadly.


‘And now for the finisher…’


Cody bit his lip.


“But… but… I saved up all my money so I cuwd buy a wittle bit of ice cweem for all of my fwends!” he said, summoning tears up to his eyes and pointed behind him at his four friends, who took the cue and all frowned as well.


That was all it took.


“Oh! Okay, I’m sorry! Don’t cry!” The girl looked around to make sure that no one was watching. “You know what?” She said, smiling now. “I didn’t count right. That’s actually enough money for five scoops of rocky road!”


“Rweewy?” asked Cody, wiping the crocodile tears from his eyes.


“Yep!” said the girl, feeling good about herself for having prevented a young boy from crying. Her manager wouldn’t mind. “Let me just get you some cones…”


Minutes later, they were all laughing about what Cody had just pulled off.


“Five ice creams for fifteen cents? That was pretty slick, even for you,” Todd remarked. “Kudos, buddy.”


“What can I say?” said Cody coolly, extending an arm towards Todd. “When you have this face, it’s a crime not to use it.”


Tap, Tap, Tap, Boom!


Kelsey looked at her ice cream uncomfortably.


“Cody, did you have to get rocky road? I’d have preferred banana.”


“I didn’t have to, but it was the best choice,” responded Cody. “Tactics, Kelsey, remember? I had to choose a flavor with a lot of lot of “r” or “l” sounds, because those girls just love it when I replace those with “w” sounds. It’s pure gold. Next time maybe I’ll get us ‘vaniwa’, or ‘stwawbewy’. Even chocowate would work. Banana doesn’t, sorry.”


“And what are you complaining about?” asked Emily. “You got that for free, so just enjoy it.”


Kelsey looked at Emily with extreme annoyance, but said nothing.


“Hey Cody, remember when you got that girl to give you a pair of running shoes?” asked Todd.


Cody recalled the memory and laughed.


“How could I forget? That was insane.”


 It had been in the previous year’s summer. Cody, Todd, and Kelsey had gone to the mall, while Jake had had the stomach flu and was forced by his parents to stay home. Cody had already gotten both ice cream and cookies for his friends when he decided to go through with what he had been planning for a while now. He told Todd and Kelsey to wait for him outside of the store while he “tried something new.”


He walked into the store with a bag of coins totaling about five dollars, and asked if he could buy “wunning shoes”. The lady working at the cash register had asked him rather sarcastically if he had a hundred and three dollars on him. When he produced the bag of money, the lady quickly told him that it wasn’t nearly enough. It had seemed to him that he was going to fail (although he had never really expected to succeed). Still, he had wanted to try something of this magnitude for a while, and now that he was doing it he knew he’d regret it if he didn’t go all out. So, conjuring all his energy, he started sniffling, and then very slowly he turned on the waterworks until about a minute later he was sobbing. He was very careful to make sure that he didn’t look like he was having a temper tantrum, because no one had any sympathy for a ten year old yelling at the top of his lungs. He concentrated on keeping his voice low when he asked for the shoes repeatedly, so that the emotion that escaped was sadness, rather than anger. It worked. The other parents in the store gave dirty looks to the cashier, asking her what she had done to make a child cry. The cashier, now getting nervous, asked him where his mother was.


“At work,” he responded between tears.


“And your daddy?” asked the lady. Cody had never intended to use his lack of a father to his advantage in this situation, but since she had played right into his hand, there was little else he could do.


“Daddy?” he asked, pretending to be confused.


“Yes, where’s your father?”


“He’s… he’s… asleep.”


“Asleep?” asked the woman. “What do you mean, he’s asleep?”


“I don’t know!” cried Cody, bursting into tears. “Mommy says that when I was three years old, he fell asleep and that he was never waking up! Leave me alone!”


At this, everyone in the store turned against the cashier. Some parents spat profanities at the cashier, while others tried to console Cody.


In the end, Cody had managed to purchase the shoes at a 96% discount. He continued sobbing slightly as he left the store, and when Todd and Kelsey tried to rejoin him, he muttered to them discreetly, telling them to meet him at Exit C, and then pushed them away and continued sobbing. This was so that no one in the store would accuse him of lying or faking it.


When he had gotten out of the mall, he told them the story and then made his friends promise that no one else besides Jake would find out about this.


Though he laughed when recalling this story, Cody had to admit that he felt guilty about the whole thing. Ice cream was a different story. Ice cream was only a couple of dollars to buy anyhow, so even by using his talents he didn’t save very much. He just did what he did for kicks more than anything. The shoes, on the other hand, were worth over a hundred dollars. Once he had gotten home that night he was forced to hide them from his mother by putting them in the back of his closet. He almost never wore them, because the punishment that would result if his mother saw him wearing shoes which she hadn’t bought him would lead her to certain conclusions, and the punishment for Cody would be long and severe. Adding to his guilt was the fact that he never saw the cashier again after that day. Had she been fired, or had she just quit? Either way, Cody didn’t feel great about it.


‘Oh well. What’s done is done.’ He thought, before turning his mind back to the present matter at hand.



I dreamed I met a foreigner:
A most amazing child.
He had a certain look about him, one that is so rarely found in people of his age. It was a sort of… charisma, and yet he appeared entirely unaware that he possessed this quality.
I followed him, and asked him what his name was.
"Mario," he replied.
Mario had chestnut hair and eyes to match. His hair was of moderate length, and in a style I had never seen before.
I befriended Mario, and we became the closest of friends. He led me on what I suppose would be considered a "righteous" path in life. I was captivated by him, he seemed to hold the answers to everything. He was younger, and yet I considered him my leader.
Then I met one of my old friends, and she tried to take me away from Mario and lead me down another path. Light or dark, I never found out. I flatly refused to accompany her, saying that I was happy where I was. After repeated attempts to get me to leave Mario, she left me. That was the last that I saw of any of my old friends.
Mario accepted me in a way no one else ever has.
Yet… I woke up, and he was gone.
And I felt such pain at losing him.
I meant to talk about this on ‘National Skip Day’ itself, but forgot. Fuck you.
Now, for you kiddies who have been living under a box for your whole lives or who are just plain dense in the head, National Skip Day is a day where many little faggots don’t go to school. Simple enough.
I’m not pissed off because of the concept itself. If you want to stay home from school and eat a bucket of lard, by all means go ahead. I won’t have to go all Dr. Octagonapus on your ass.
…Dr. Octagonapus, you ask? (1:30) Alternatively, watch the second one, as he appears there too.
I have two problems with national skip day. Firstly, the word ‘national’. Calling something ‘national’ implies that everyone in the country is doing it, which isn’t true. You’re doing it, your faggot friends are doing it, but that’s about it. It’s not national at all. Bressani fucks think that they own the world. I’ll be damned if I know why, but they do. Anyhow, it’s that gay school that participates in the so-called "National Skip Day", not any decent human beings.
Secondly, the word "day." It’s not a single day. It’s closer to five per year. The day before christmas? ‘National Skip Day’. Before March break? ‘National Skip Day’. Before exams start? ‘National Skip Day’. Before Easter? ‘National Skip Day’. Before a Friday P.A. day? ‘National Skip Day’. You get the point.
Here’s an idea: Why not call it "Several Incredibly Localized Skip Days for Faggots"?
Or here’s an even better idea: Go to school, you fucking pussies.
Just remember: Snail racing should be made an olympic event.


Day after day passes. Life is not monotonous; Bellij likes to change the schedule of tortures on a daily basis, and there are always new and terrible surprises in store for s3c0ndh4nd. His pattern of sleep has become so irregular that he no longer knows whether it is night or day.
The tortures themselves are horrific. They range from having acid slowly dripped onto his hand to having a swarm of rats bite at his ankles. Bellij makes sure that s3c0ndh4nd is in no way in danger of dying, but often brings him to the brink of death, just for fun.
There are times when s3c0ndh4nd wishes to submit, or to die. Still, s3c0ndh4nd remembers his friends back home, and Kakunaman, and knows that he cannot do either. Bellij maintains an aura of patience, but on the inside he is fuming. It has been over a week, so why has s3c0ndh4nd not given up? He can only wonder what is keeping his spirit alive.
"Alright s3c0ndh4nd," he says calmly. "Your time is just about up. It is time for an ultimatum: Serve me, or die."
"There isn’t much choice for me there," replies s3c0ndh4nd, equally calmly. "I’ve been asking to die for a few days now. Compared with aiding you, death seems like an excellent option."
"Is there any way to change your mind?" asks Bellij.
s3c0ndh4nd remains silent.
s3c0ndh4nd still does not speak, but stares into Beliij’s eyes.
"Hm. Not even… this?"
The doors open, and two guards drag in a screaming victim.
s3c0ndh4nd’s eyes go wide.
"I knew this would catch your attention," says Bellij. "Now let me explain. Your apostle here was out for an afternoon stroll, when my scouts happened to see her. They contacted me, and described her to me. I immediately recognized her as one of your top advisors. ‘What foolishness!’ thought I. ‘Walking about in broad daylight in the middle of war?’ At first I assumed that this was a trap, but after my scouts thoroughly swept the area and found nothing, I sent my guards to capture her."
s3c0ndh4nd is stunned.
"Now, let me make you another ultimatum: Serve me, or I will make you watch me kill her, and then I will kill you. I won’t kill her in the traditional way, though. In fact, I will send her back to your precious temple, only she will have a detectable amount of my poison in her possession. To make a long story short, the security systems that you yourself designed will discover the poison, she will be accused of murdering you, and she will die."
"You wouldn’t dare," says s3c0ndh4nd, stalling to give himself time to think.
Bellij laughs.
"If you honestly think that, then you’ve learned nothing about me in this past week. Now, I will ask you one final time: Will you serve me, or die along with your friend?"
s3c0ndh4nd looks at the apostle. When she had first entered the room, s3c0ndh4nd wasn’t sure what to think. After all, she had abandonned him in his time of need. But now that he knew that she had not left of her own accord, he knew that he had only one option.
"Will you serve me?" asks Bellij, becoming angered.
s3c0ndh4nd looks up at the heavens, and then bows his head.
"Yes," he murmurs quietly.
"I didn’t catch that," says Beliij, grinning menacingly. "Say it again, louder."
"I still can’t hear you!"
"Yes what?"
"Yes, Bellij, I will serve you!"
"Call me master."
"Yes, Master Bellij, I will serve you!"
The room fills up with the maniacal laughter of Bellij, the horrified screams of the apostle, and the sobbing of a broken man named s3c0ndh4nd.


"February 20th?" asked Cody incredulously. "Well, you missed that one by a mile."
"Well in my defense, there was the play, and I took 10 days off for that."
"Oh come on Mike, I’m just joshing you."
"Of course Cody."
"Anyhow, why are you making me look like a bad guy all of the sudden?" Cody asked seriously.
"No one is going to think of you as the bad guy, don’t worry."
"He did."
"Yes, but he only read that small part that makes you look less than honourable."
"I guess."
"Look Cody," said Mike, patting his friend on the back. "I couldn’t portray you as being perfect. That’s unrealistic. That only works in Harry Potter. At least I gave you a good vice. Dashing good looks? Come on, I wish that was my weakness."
Cody gave ‘puppy dog eyes’ to Mike.
"You weely think so?" he said, making his voice high pitched.
Mike laughed.
"See, there you go. How could anyone honestly think of you as the bad guy? Besides, you feel remorse, so even in your worst moment you don’t seem completely heartless."
"True," Cody conceded. "Also, why did you keep me uninterested in Emily?"
"Because, I started writing it out, and realized that you would act like an envious jerk if you fell in love. In the end, you couldn’t have her, and you’d end up getting hurt, badly. I don’t want to have to do that to you. Besides, you’re better as the voice of reason, and that would be lost if you became jealous of someone."
"I get it," said Cody understandingly. "Anyhow, what’s the next milestone?"
"I’d love to call 4/7ths a milestone."
"That’s stretching it a bit…"
"I know," said Mike sheepishly. "But 2/3rds is so far away."
"Oh… what the hey. 4/7ths it is. How soon can you be there?"
"At 100% efficiency, March 12th. But because of the whole surgery thing, 100% efficiency is impossible, so… To be conservative I’ll say March 31st."
"Sweet. Oh, and Mike?"
"Yes Cody?"
"Happy birthday."
Mike smiled.
"Thanks buddy."