Chapter 1. Part 2

Mr Washington was giving a lecture about the asexual reproduction of eukaryotes as the boys wandered back to their desks. Which had been put on opposite sides of the classroom in an attempt to keep them separate and therefore minimize any sort of conspiracies they’d hatch if they sat too close together. Equidistant from all of them at the front of the class sat what they thought must be the new kid. Immediately they could see why they had got their special talk with Mr Bocker. They glanced at one another and exchanged smiles. Mr Washington, a World War II veteran with dark tinted glasses and a blazer which resembled a thrift store couch noticed this and addressed them directly. “So, as I see you boys had a meeting with Mr Bocker, let me introduce the new student we have in our class” The three all were stone faced, all three were trying to act as well behaved children. Mr Washington continued. “Boys, this is Rusty. Say hi Rusty” “Hi” Rusty said as he turned around in his desk to somewhat wave at all three at once. Trying not to look enthused in any way. He had long brown hair past his shoulders, an oversized Metallica shirt which looked as if it had been through the wash a couple hundred times so it had gone pale. Turning a strange hue between dark brown and dark grey. Mr Washington continued “Rusty is from Pittsburgh, and just moved here last week so lets all make him feel welcome here in North Dakota” Jason was wiping his nose as he looked at Rusty “Welcome” he stated, which emitted a series of giggles from all of the students. He wasn’t trying to be a jackass, just was trying to be nice. “Thanks?” Rusty replied. Scrunching up his face a bit in awkwardness. Mr Washington interrupted the exchange “So I’m sure you’ll all have time to get to know each other at recess. Now lets get back to Eukaryotes. Can anyone tell me some of the different structures which we have present within the cell membrane of a Eukaryote?” Jason raised his hand and answered “Lysosomes” as Jeremy began to doodle in the margins of his notebook.
Jeremy’s notebook margins were his favorite thing about school. He always took notes, as fast as possible, and without even thinking about what he was writing down. But his margins became places where giant fat cats with guns would swing on nooses only to find an ugly princess atop a dilapidated castle. His favorite comic to draw was one he had titled “Death Cat” which was simply a single frame (Much like Family Circus) all about a cat which would get into all sorts of trouble in whimsical ways. For instance, Death Cat Robs a Bank would show death cat in a mask carrying out a bunch of money, and the teller would have a banana stuck in her eye in the background. Death Cat was almost too absurd to be funny, that is, unless you were 10 years old. In that case Death Cat had become legendary. Jeremy was currently working on a death cat comic “Death Cat goes to the beach” when his attention was broken by a note plopping onto his desk. He unfolded the note which had been rolled tightly into a triangle and the paper tucked inside itself. “Draw Death Cat Asexually reproduces” the note read in red girly hand writing. Jeremy looked around trying to see who the note was from, but there were no leads. He then deduced that it had to have come from his half of the room since Marc had put it on his desk. And then he got it. Sitting right next to Marc, and looking at him right at that moment, was Jessica. A red pen in her hand, and a smile on her face. Jeremy’s crush ever since she sat in front of him last year. Jeremy smiled and looked back down at his paper. He flattened the note out as best he could, and decided he would attempt to draw Death Cat on the note itself. This way he had more space and could possibly impress Jessica with what he thought were above average drawing skills. He opened his textbook and began researching Asexual reproduction, as it is always a good idea to use source material for any type of illustration work he thought. As he looked over the images he could see that a lot of them were in 3d, which was disconcerting to Jeremy as many of his drawings seemed to stay quite flat, and perspective and 3d was something he was still working on. Nonetheless he carried on and put his pencil to paper and began his first attempt at a 3d rendering of Death Cat. As the minutes passed he had finished the head which had now been cut in half like a grapefruit. Inside of where the brain would be were multiple layers of membranes with small organelles inside performing different tasks. The Mithochondria looked like two giant kidney beans with DNA ladders cascading down from them. Death Cat had been split right down the center and pulled apart, with a stretching effect which had been achieved between the two halves. Much like what taffy looks like when you stretch it out between your fingers. Jeremy even began some new shading which he hadn’t tried before where he believed the shadows would be falling. It was a really good drawing, he thought, almost too good to give back to Jessica. As he finished up the final touches on the intestines which were now meandering all over the page he paused and looked at his drawing as a whole. He thought to himself “any more intestines and that’s going to take away from the dissected cat head. He put his pencil down and began to fold it back into a triangle. Mimicking all of the folds previously made by Jessica. It felt nice to do this, like they were bonded by some sort of paper folding ritual.
Jeremy tapped Marc on the shoulder, as he grasped the tightly folded little triangle which contained his precious Death Cat drawing. Marc put his hand up to his shoulder in a non chalant manner as his fingers searched for the note. Jeremy placed the note into his fingers and Marc grasped it, placing it on the inside of his palm, and then face down on the desk. Mr Washington looked straight at Marc. But Marc held his ground and didn’t flinch, keeping his hand covered on the note. Mr Washington went back to the board and continued the lecture as Marc slowly grasped onto the note once again. This time he was holding it close to his body as his other hand wrote diligently. Looking up at Mr Washington in a most attentive manner he then began to stretch out his arm which contained the note to the end of his desk. Jessica glanced over, keeping an eye on the progress. Jeremy’s eyes were transfixed on her, so much that their unspoken communication at this point had made him feel increasingly anxious about the notes arrival. He began to second guess himself. “Maybe the intestines were stupid” he thought. “Yes, definitely stupid.” He continued on the pathway of self doubt as Marc had now positioned the note between his two fingers and was blocking the view of Mr Washington with Alex who sat in front of him. Jeremy was now so nervous that he had begun to draw in the margins of his Science book. He couldn’t take it any longer. He had to get the note back. He feverishly scribbled on the pages of his textbook now, openly drawing new diagrams underneath photos of cell walls and membranes. “Marc” he whispered. Marc tilted his head back to listen. “Give me the note Marc” Jeremy continued. Marc’s face was confused now. Jessica looked over and scrunched up her eyes and shook her head at Jeremy. “Give me the note Marc” Jeremy reiterated. Jessica was now in on the conversation. She turned slightly in her seat and looked right at Marc. Her hand moved slowly to the side and fingers motioned for the note. Jeremy’s heart was sinking. “Don’t do it, give me the note!” Jeremy stated a bit louder. Jessica then glanced in a disgusted manner at Jeremy and moved her hand back to her desk. Purposely trying to show the both of them that she no longer had any interested in receiving the note. Marc’s hand was now back up by his shoulder and Jeremy could grab the note if he wanted “Give her the note Marc” he stated. Marc was perplexed at this point, but was still entertained by the entire encounter. Anything was better than Eukaryotes. Marc then moved his hand back to the desk with the note. He then placed his pencil on the edge of his desk, on the side nearest Jessica. When Mr Washington turned his back he flicked his pencil off the desk and as he grabbed his pencil with his right hand he acted as if he was supporting himself with his left (which contained the note). In one swift movement it was over. And the note lie on Jessica’s desk, her hand flat on top of it. Jessica looked back at Jeremy, her hand still on top of the note. Grasping it she then put it in her right hand by her side. To her right sat Rusty. As Mr Washington babbled on about single celled organisms he attempted to pull down a screen from above the blackboard. Jessica’s hand outstretched to Rusty. “What! No!” Jeremy thought as dread flooded over him. “What is she doing?”. Rusty looked back at her and lowered his hand as if he knew the drill. Ben had taken notice of the entire affair from across the room and looked over at Jeremy. Ben was smiling, Jeremy was completely bewildered at this point. Jason just continued to take notes and answer questions, completely oblivious to everything going on unspoken behind him. And then it happened. Just as the final handoff was about to be made, Mr Washington noticed. Jessica awkwardly pulled her hand back in an attempt to hide the note. She even coughed and put it up near her mouth. But it was over. They were busted. “Jessica, do you mind sharing with the class what it was that you wanted to share with our new student Rusty?” Jessica was devastated, looked like she may cry at any moment. “Jessica” his voice bellowed as his hand stretched out, palm up. Jessica was holding it gently now, and she slowly raised her arm as she dropped it into Mr Washington’s large and weathered hands. He unfolded it as he stood in almost perfect posture, the type the military teaches you. “Draw Death Cat Asexually Reproducing” Mr Washington stated, a bit of a smile slmost graced his lips as he turned the paper around for the whole class to see. Shrieks of laughter and chaos briefly broke out before Mr Washington squashed everything. “Jeremy, up to the board, write your name and put two checks after it. Jessica, up to the board, 2 checks” That was 30 minutes after school detention for the both of them. At which point Mr Washington crumpled the paper in his hands, and threw it into the trash. As they both were taking their seats the bell rang out. The class all got up in unison and began making a mad dash for the playground. Rusty stayed behind and as Mr Washington was trying to corral a gaggle of students he pulled the drawing out of the garbage and slid it into his pocket.

Chapter 1. Part 1

Mr Bocker looked down upon Jason, Jeremy and Ben in his office. His desk was completely empty and the highly shined acrylic surface reflected the word PRINCIPAL into the dark fake mahogany finish. The three boys, all 10 years old sat in silence. Unsure of what they had done although all their minds were spinning endless possibilities and stories already. Complete with new storylines about how it wasn’t their fault that the window by the Cafeteria was broken, it was just little pebbles they were flicking with their fingernails. Or how they didn’t know that Dan had hit his head when they were playing king of the mountain on the slide. They had certainly done a lot wrong to all be sitting in the Principal’s office. The question was what had they all done together which warranted such a special meeting with all of them together.

Mr Bocker took his glasses off and they clinked onto his desk. He inhaled deeply as he rubbed his eyes. “Shit” Jeremy thought “We’ve really fucked up now” Jason thought “Look at him put on this show” Ben thought. Mr Bocker leaned forward, his hands intertwined, his elbows now on the desk and he began to address his captives. “Guys, I know you’re leaders” he started off, immediately getting everyone’s attention in what they all thought was a nice change of events. He continued “Other students here look up to what you guys do, the games you initiate, what was the name of that game you were all playing last week? Kiss them and Kill them?” Jeremy murmured “Kiss or Kill” unsure if he was allowed to speak. “Ahh, yes, Kiss or Kill, what a lovely game that is isn’t it. You chase girls and then give them the choice of kissing you or getting punched…. Do you realize how hard this sort of shit is to defend to the other parents during Parent Teacher conferences?” The boys were all stunned, completely oblivious to the possibly gender inequality issues which the game entailed, let alone why Mr Bocker would even have to defend what they did. Ben’s face widened a bit, trying to hold back a smile. They were all thinking the same thing in their heads and that was the simple fact that Mr Bocker just said Shit. Mr Bocker continued, realizing that he had just screwed it up by swearing. He tried to regain some of his authority as he continued “But that’s not why we are here today guys. Nope. As I said before the reason why we are here is because you are all leaders. And as leaders you have certain responsibilities. The largest of which is not to exclude other students. Do you know what it is to exclude people?” Jason raised his hand. “Yes, Jason” Mr Bocker responded. “Excluding someone means you don’t let em play with you”. “Ahh yes, very good Jason. You’re right. It means when you don’t let someone play with you.” My Bocker’s hand searched for something in one his drawers. He pulled out a teal colored notebook which had the words “The Club” erased into the cover. Erasing words into notebook covers was common practice and you could see everything from Motley Crue on the metal heads to NKOTB on the girls. Mr Becker pointed to the words as he continued “This Club ends now. Got it guys? It ends NOW” He then symbolically threw the notebook into the trash can. But Mr Bocker wasn’t through with them yet “We’ve got a new student coming in today. He comes from a little bit of a different background than you guys. He hasn’t had it easy. And what I want you to do is simply make him feel welcome. I’m not saying that you have to be his best friend, just keep an eye out for him and try to INCLUDE him in your games. Of course any game besides that Kiss and Kill” “Kiss or Kill” Ben responded with an air of defiance. “Right, of course. Kiss or Kill Ben” Mr Bocker said as he eyed Ben, knowing full well that he was a little brat. “What subject do you have now?” Mr Bocker asked “Life Science” Jeremy replied. “Well, run along then back and disect some frogs or whatever it is you’re doing” Mr Bocker stated. “We’re learning about Amoeba’s right now. Single celled organisms which have been on the earth since the dawn of time. Millions of years ago” Jason said, always taking advantage of any chance to talk about science. Ben and Jeremy both glanced at each other and smiled knowing full well what a dork Jason was. Mr Bocker opened his door and the Secretary, Ms Pollock, from across the room looked up at him as the boys walked out. He gave her a head nod as if he had just taken care of business and she smiled back at him. As Jeremy walked by he smiled and stated “Good Morning Ms Pollock” to which she replied “Good morning Jeremy, you stay out of trouble now” She said with a smile. Jeremy shrugged his shoulders and smiled as he ran up the stairs in a race against his other two comrades. Skipping one step with each leap. “No Running!” Mr Bocker shouted from below, shaking his head.



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Brett clenched two wooden poles which supported a large banner. The sound of the subway hummed as he felt the eyes of everyone else on the train. They knew that today there was a large protest scheduled for 911 Truth, and that Brett was one of those “crazy conspiracy theorists.” Making things even more uncomfortable: today was the ten year anniversary of the event and occupying the subway were also people holding candles and photos they were going to place at ground zero. The doors opened and two large black police officers entered the subway. Brett’s hands stiffened around the wooden pole. “Are they looking at me” Brett thought to himself. “yes, yes they are definitely looking at me”. Brett peered up from his seat and met eyes with one of the officers. Sergeant Reynolds, Badge number 3232.

Brett’s hand could make out the outline of the pipe inside his pocket. He had been told previously by event organizers never to bring drugs to a demonstration, and he had been stupid, and done it anyway. The subway slowed, and the doors opened again, this time a squirrelly looking security guard with a German Shepherd came into the car. “For fucks sake” Brett thought. The security guard reeked of cigarettes and plopped his boney ass down on the seat right next to Brett. Almost immediately the dog began growling and barking at Brett. Sergeant Reynolds cocked his head to the side and gave the Security guard a stern gaze. The dog continued to bark and growl which caused Sergeant Reynolds to finally speak up. “Hey buddy, get your dog under control” The Security guard looked up with an embarrassing smile and stated “Oh he’s a good boy, real well trained. Probably just mad cause this boy’s holdin onto them sticks” The Security Guard continued to flap his mouth as he forcefully pushed his dog to the floor, making it yelp. But it shut up. “come to think of it, is that legal? you know. holding big sticks like that in public? I’d figure they’d be used as a weapon”. His gaze turned to Brett. “So where you headed with those sticks then?” Brett didn’t really like cops all that much, but had pretty much universal disdain for all security officers. He believed that cops were like the jocks who wanted to remain cool and powerful, but security guards? Security guards were tthe losers who never had any power in their lives and now were playing out their fantasy of actually having some authority. They devoted their life to protecting the special interests of corporations, which is even worse than cops really, because at least cops help people from time to time. All of this flooded into Brett’s head before he looked up at the Security Guard and replied. “I’m going to a demonstration. This is a banner. You know. Freedom of speech?” Brett felt kind of childish saying the last part as if now he had been completely branded in this guy’s eyes as a gay communist pinko faggot fascist. The Security Guard continued as the doors opened again, the two police officers walked out. “Freedom of speech? You got your ideas I got mine! My ideas are that you shouldn’t protest on a day of remembrance. You know, we should let the people vote on it. Have a preserve our holiday law or something like that. No protests on holidays. That’s what I think.” A few of the other passengers holding candles had begun to notice the exchange between the two.

Brett could feel the adrenaline begin to flow. Not out of any sort of fear. He knew damn well this guy was just a clown in a uniform with delusions of grandeur. But he had to say something back, Brett stated “So you’d take away people’s right to protest on a holiday because it annoys you. But that’s what living in a democracy is all about. We’ve got to put up with other people’s shit”. The Security Guard’s eyes narrowed and the top of his lip turned up a bit. “Hell you don’t know nothin bout Democracy kid. It’s my democratic right to have a peaceful day. Let the people vote. That’s Democracy.” Brett knew he could pummel this guy intellectually into the ground. As a Political Science major he knew he could tell him all about the founding fathers, and how the US was originally created as a Republic, and that people like Thomas Jefferson talked about the tyranny of the majority. But why bother? Brett thought. The Security Guard continued what was becoming increasingly incomprehensible to anyone with even a Middle School education in civics. “You see, everyone’s got something to say. Then you say it. You know this is America and we can say whatever you want. But if what you’re saying is causin other people problems then I say screw it” Brett looked up at the Metro map above the doors and replied “that’s interesting” in a completely uninterested manner. His stop was up next. The babbling continued. “Same thing with all them muslims comin here. They’re coming here because they want to build a monument on the ashes of their conquests. That’s what they do I tell ya. There was even some mosque in Spain and they built it there after they killed all the Spainards. That’s why Spanish people are so dark still you know. Muslims raped their moms couple hundred years ago.” The Security Guard paused for a moment to ponder the weight of what he believed before stating “changed the face of the country. …Thatt it sure did.” Brett nodded slowly, basically giving up on any sort of dialog with the guy. The doors opened and he walked out onto the platform.

Brett felt relieved he had got away from the idiot as he joined the masses who were lining up for the escalator. Once outside he was catapulted into a herd of New Yorkers all hurrying wherever they needed to go. He spotted his friends immediately as they were on the corner giving out free DVDs and pamphlets. His best friend Jeremiah was holding a large sign which had a picture of a pyramid with an eye at the apex, and the eye was bleeding all over. Underneath it, it read “Death To The New World Order!” As Brett walked up he was greeted by all of his buddies in “The Movement”. He walked up to Jeremiah who was obviously very excited about something. Jeremiah started speaking immediately as they shook hands “You hear about Dr Macintosh is Scotland?” Brett shook his head. “Well, he got some of the wreckage from the towers. He processed it in his lab and guess what? Fucking thermite dude.” Brett feigned excitement, he had heard so many different theories and contsant new revelations for so long that he was fairly immune to any new information but he had to reply “wow. that’s fucking nuts” he stated. Jeremiah continued “Yeah, the lid’s about to blow man. There’s no denying it anymore. Once this information goes public there’s gonna be a major shit storm. I’m talking Dick Cheney in handcuffs style!” Brett glanced across the street and noticed a large guy who looked like he should be a cop getting something out of the back of his car. He kept his eyes on him as he responded in a monotone manner “Yeah, fuck the bastards”. Jeremiah noticed Brett’s attention was somewhere else. “Who are you looking at man?” Jeremiah said. “Dude looks shady over there. Look how he’s checking us out.” Jeremiah turned his head and noticed a big white guy with sun glasses in a skin tight white shirt and camo jeans. Jeremiah then smiled “paranoid much Brett?” Brett continued to look straight at the guy before stating “probably an undercover cop. fucking surveillance pigs”. Jeremiah looked back at the guy. He was definitely either preparing or getting something out of the trunk of his car. He put his hand on the top of the trunk and as he slammed it shut “Gun!” Brett yelled. The man was carrying an AR15 and the shots began to ring out immediately. Jeremiah took a round to his left arm splattering Brett’s face with blood as he ducked down behind a car.

The entire block was like an overturned termite mound. The shots kept on firing. Pop Pop Pop Pop. He was firing completely indescriminately. Brett didn’t know whether to run or stay but tried to triangulate his position by the sound of the gun fire. Then ….click. click. Brett knew that sound from when he went to visit his grandfather’s farm in North Dakota to go shooting. The gun had jammed. Peering through the windows of the car he could see the man was now directly on the other side of the car. Looking intently at his rifle and trying to dislodge the bullet. It was then that Brett realized he was still holding the banner with the large wooden poles. Without thinking Brett stood up and he swung with all his might. For a split second the gunman looked right at Brett before getting clobbered smack in the temple. It was enough to stun the gunman. Still dazed the gunman tried to regain his footing and focus. Brett came into the street and swung again. whack! This time hitting him squarely beneath his jaw line on his neck. The gunman was stumbling backwards now and again Brett came at him again. Whack! this time he connected with the back of his head and the gunman went down like a sack of potatoes. Once on the ground Brett continued to go hog wild on the man’s back, trying to do as much damage as he could to his kidneys. “Fuck yeah! Kill that fucker!” a man in a business suit yelled at him. There was a mob growing around Brett now, and the gunman lay disarmed on the street.

On the corner lie a small latina girl with a bullet bullet wound to the chest. Women were screaming hysterically all around her and an overweight latino man in a chefs outfit came bounding out of a Mexican restaurant. “Where’s that motherfucker!” he screamed. At least a dozen other restaurant employees were now outside. Slicked back black hair with white aprons covered in food stains. “That fucker killed my baby!” A young woman yelled, pointing at Brett and the lumpy bloody man in the street. Brett stood above the gunman, stunned, and unable to move as he watched one of the restaurant employees pick up a newspaper box. The man walked over to the body and slammed the box onto the gunman’s head. Crushing it into the pavement. Brett looked away only to see Jeremiah bleeding up against the side of a car. He ran to his side.

“You’re gonna be ok man” Brett said as he applied pressure to the wound on Jeremiah’s arm. The blood seeping in between his fingers. Jeremiah looked up at Brett and stated “These people are all fucking crazy”. To which Brett replied “I know man, bunch of fucking lunatics”