MIND CONTROL 14
A short story by Alvin Atwater
Continued a few weeks after story 13…
Demand, Love, Kindness, and Hate. These are the four legal Iyan gemstones that Gemini barged into my life some time ago. Hero, Seduction, Evil, and Colorless are the illegal gems that were created way back when in secret, supposedly with a purpose to combat the main four. Or evil Iyan dictators. The creator of the gems is supposedly someone or something named Gonto…The World’s Eraser. This is all utter nonsense, so let’s just ignore all of that. It was some dude hundreds or thousands of years ago, end of story. In other words, I’ll cross the bridge when I get there. It took some hard convincing to get the Black Star group to just let me be—I needed time to think. They vanished for the time being with a silent promise to return.
Gemini attempted to embarrass me. She held a chocolate cherry to my lips in hopes of feeding me in front of the entire club. Never mind the project Kate assigned us while she put the most difficult case on hold. Everyone’s eyes were on us, some grins, awes, marriage jokes, and somewhere among the crowd, I heard, “Gemini and Matt sitting in a tree.” I wanted to find that guy and just drag his face through some mud.
“For the last time, Gemini, I—” the whisper didn’t finish because my mouth was wide enough for her to shove the candy in. It actually wasn’t that bad, a little sugary for my tastes—hey! The club cheered, Gemini grinned, and I finished chewing the chocolate before glaring. PDA is embarrassing to me and Gemini knew it. That’s why she couldn’t stop.
“Your blush is so adorable,” she said, her voice squealing at the end. I wanted to look at the sky and scream, “what has science doneeee? Or kill me nowww.” Instead, I endured the abuse. This was better than being controlled by Iyan gemstones.
Brandon looked happy, chatting up a storm with Rachael. They’ve got into some kind of weird trading card game lately, based off a famous show, and wouldn’t shut up about it.
“Can we just focus on the assignment,” I said to my group. Gemini kissed me, igniting the cheers and the tree guy again. Before things could escalate any further, Kate finally returned. I’ve never been so happy to see our sadistic twat of a president. The cheers vanished as others twirled back to their work, unwilling to invoke the wrath of Kate. She came over to our table.
“So, what can you tell me about it?” she said. “Any fancy magic tricks?”
I glanced at the plastic elephant statue resting on the center of the table. It was about six inches tall, standing on two legs, wearing a gold fedora, ripped with muscle, and painted in a way that looked as if it was made of stars.
“We really didn’t get much done,” I said. “You leaving is like a teacher stepping out. The class or in this case, club, start acting like monkeys.”
Kate sighed. “Well, don’t just sit there, get to work, research it. It was found in the latest Iyan burial site.”
“We really should stop disturbing their tombs,” I said in an even tone, while shooting a blank glare at her. Kate poked my cheek.
“You let the archaeology club do their jobs, lover boy,” she said. “Club funding doesn’t come cheap.”
Of course club funding is the goal... I didn’t bother arguing any further, reaching for the stupid elephant thing. Gemini swiped it just a millisecond before I got my hands on it. Perfect. I knew she’d fall into my trap—there’s no one better…that thought froze. Oh god. Gemini with an Iyan object is bad for me. She was getting antsy again, despite how much fun our dates surprisingly were… Okay, maybe not surprising since we’ve known each other since childhood. But details aside, she showed signs of wanting to use Iyan magic on me again like the “good” ole days. I had other ideas in mind—and that didn’t involve getting tortured by the monstrosities.
I held my breath in anticipation but nothing happened.
“Anything special about it?” Rachael asked her.
Gemini shook the statue. “Nope, nothing.”
My phone buzzed. I checked the notification, while silently commending myself for not forgetting my phone today. “Oh nice, the next episode of Dragon Ball...” I paused at my group’s blank glares. “Never mind.” I fake-coughed and then cleared my throat. A knock on the door grabbed everyone’s attention. Kate walked over to answer.
“We’re not allowed to lock the doors,” she muttered. “Idiots.”
When she opened the door, Kate nearly leapt out of her skin, yelping at the sight of a clown.
The clown sighed. “Well look at Ms. Sun revolves around her. We knocked because we didn’t want to interrupt a club meeting. It’s called being polite.”
Kate flushed with a mix of anger and embarrassment. “Come right in. How can we help...you?” I could tell she held back the words she wanted to say to that guy. Following the clown, a group of…normal people walked in.
“We’re the comedy club,” the clown said. “You can call me Marley. We’re inviting all clubs to watch our show tomorrow—but hearing all the awesome things you guys did, came to personally invite you to the front row VIP seats. And free refreshments. Normally the teachers charge but—” One of his club members interrupted him.
“Yo homie, I forgot to give this back to you,” he said to Brandon, giving knuckle-taps, a handshake and then a folder. “My girl appreciates your study guide.”
“It’s not a problem,” Brandon replied. “Tell Melissa I said thanks for trading shifts with me Wednesday.”
Marley cleared his throat.
“Sorry,” both Brandon and the club member said.
“Since you’re already talking, introduce yourself.”
“I’m Jamal,” he said. “I’ll be the third act tomorrow.”
“Anyway,” Marley said. “Hope to see you tomorrow. This will be my last show, since I’m graduating this year.”
My breath caught a little as the realization of this guy being a senior struck. Seniors are evil. I know I said it before, but let it be clear: seniors are spawns of pure evil. Did I have the right to be suspicious of this random clown? Yes. Oh well, it’s just a comedy show. What’s the worst that could happen?
When the comedy club left, Kate barked at us. “Get back to work. I expect doubled efforts and investigations.”
Nothing productive happened afterwards. Gemini gave up on tinkering with the dumb elephant statue and resumed teasing me. Rachael and Brandon went back into their little world of geeky card games and Michael Bay movies. All seemed right…yeah. After an hour, Kate ended the meeting.
“Let’s get out of here,” I told my in-heat girlfriend. She grabbed the elephant statue and we were off. “Are you really going to keep that?” I asked Gemini halfway through the walk.
“It’s cute,” she said. She snuggled it against my cheek, triggering my blank glare defense. She laughed. “Come on, you know it’s adorable.”
“That thing is what Dumbo would look like on roids,” I said. Gemini laughed again.
After dropping her off, I dragged feet home. Uncle wasn’t there as usual, but surprisingly he cooked, according to the note left on the fridge. I peeked inside and smiled. Yes! Uncle’s spaghetti was like a gift from God. I checked for other notes to make sure this wasn’t a trap for chores late down the line. Nothing. I reheated the pot of gold, turned on Unsolved Mysterious, and sat, relaxed. Not even a minute passed by when I heard knocking on the door. Could Uncle be back? Nah, he has key, he can get in. I placed the TV on mute and ate my food in silence. The second round of knocking sounded. Ignoring it, I returned a text to Gemini.
“Matt, I know you’re home. Come on, open up.” That voice. What was she doing here? I looked at the time. Seven. The sun dipped below the horizon, allowing the hue of night to take over. I opened the door. “You know the rules. No student interactions on my off time, besides my girlfriend.”
“Whatever, stud,” Chelsea said then barged in.
“Whoa-whoa-whoa, I didn’t say you come in,” I said.
“Is that your uncle’s awesome spaghetti—you—”
I blocked it. “What do you want?”
She sighed. “Fine. I came over because I found this.” The blonde pulled a red ring from her purse. “Will you break up with Gemini and marry me.” I snapped out of my relaxed state to submit her a glare. She laughed in response. “Lighten up. Someone has his panties in a bunch.”
“Probably because I’m being driven crazy by everything going on around me,” I said. “Now what’s so important about this ring that couldn’t wait until the morning.”
“I’m leaving it with you,” she said. “I think it goes with the elephant we gave you guys.” She put the ring on her finger and aimed it at me. “As far as I know, it does nothing.”
“Same with the elephant,” I said. Chelsea took of the ring and handed it over.
“My cousin lives just a few houses ahead, so I stopped by while on the way,” she said.
“I guess I’ll put the ring on the elephant and hope that it doesn’t explode or something,” I said. She turned to leave but I stopped her. “Are you and her still having that stupid fight?”
“No,” she said. “I was just being silly.”
I still couldn’t believe Chelsea liked me. I let the thought ponder for just a half-second as she left. Yeah right as if I’m going to read into that any more than I should. I made a mental note to secretly set her up with a nerd from the science club. Pssh...That’s a terrible thing to do to the science club guy.
That night, I had strange dreams. And I mean dreams that couldn’t possible ever, ever, ever, ever, be a part of my unconsciousness. In one of them, I was married to Chelsea with three kids. We…did many things in the night—that stretched out of this genre if mentioned. Another one, I was her personal slave in medieval times. The dream ended in yet another sexual way that I can’t explain. The worst one however is one that depicted Chelsea as a giant demon, chasing me throughout a steampunk-style city. That one ended with her falling onto me in a pool of vanilla ice cream.
I woke up very, very tired. Note to self: don’t let Gemini ever find out about this. A plup sound made me look at the floor. The red ring. I wasn’t sure if it was responsible or my unconsciousness simply responded to Chelsea’s joke last night. Oh well.
After classes, we all met at the mystery club first then departed for the show. The auditorium was surprisingly packed with every club—I’m not going to name them all, but Marley did keep his word at giving us front row VIP spots. After a short introduction, the act got started. It was then they started “roasting” everyone.
“Science club do even interact with the opposite sex in your own club?” Jamal said. “I get it, you don’t want coodies, but come on, the sun is shining, the shower is a real place.” Laughter. Even I somehow couldn’t suppress it. The science club wasn’t amused.
“And mystery club, have actually solved anything?” comedy club guy, Padron said. “Your club is like the Scooby doo shows nowadays. Failing.”
That stung. So much, that the rise of anger within surprised me. I knew they were only joking—but this guy had no freaking idea what he was talking about. There were roars of laughter at each roast, so I did my best to hide my indignance.
“At least you’re not the theatre club though. You do interesting things and don’t put us to sleep.”
“Let’s not forget the good ole, math club. So useful, so adventurous. Why anyone would want to spend their afternoons doing math problems is beyond me. I think we should check in there and make sure they’re not actually using it as a nap room. They are the only club that’s allowed to run during the day.”
Jamal grinned as he briefly glanced at none other than Amy. “In a teenage girl’s fantasy world of vampires and werewolves, Edward Collins sparkles to youuuuu, the Goth Club.” Everyone around roared in laughter. “I mean makeup is nice and all, but when they’re smothered around a man’s face in a poor attempt to imitate our boss, Marley the clown here, well… that’s just depressing. I like goth girls though.” He chuckled. “But, man do they hate me. Every time I make a Twilight joke and then glance into the mirror, one of them would appear.” He made a face, which triggered laughter.
And so, the roasts of the clubs went on for another fifteen minutes until Marley finally appeared back on stage, concluding everything.
“One more thing,” he said then pulled a remote from his pocket and pressed a red button. A loud airhorn sounded on the massive speakers planted everywhere, scaring the souls out of us. Following that was an annoying cringe-worthy, comedy-anime theme song that finished off our eardrums. He pressed the button and took off earplugs that I hadn’t seen before. “The prank war has started, worms. Every club for itself. Whoever impresses me the most gets this.” He held up a bright orange gem that was the size of the lemon. “Trust me, it’s worth a lot and we’re simply giving it away for my last show, but you’ll have to take us on. Welcome to the club wars.”
Gemini and I made eye contact. She was full of glee. I…well, I wanted to die.
And so, a new arc of my life starts. The comedy club jerks declared war on every club in the school. Knowing Kate, she was going to force us to participate. There were things I needed to figure out such as that weird red ring and the elephant. More mysteries. Great.
Sheesh, can I have at least one day of peace, please?
END. ns 22.214.171.124da2