Author: schillingklaus PM
Addie Singer narrates her way from a high school girl to a Pulitzer Prize at the age of 20 and how she turns out as the reincarnation of Edgar Allan Poe. Addie Singer / Chase Matthews, Geena Fabiano / Crony, Zachariah Carter Schwartz / Leanne Carter, Ben Singer / Jade West.Rated: Fiction T - English - Friendship/Supernatural - Words: 41,054 - Reviews: 1 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 09-23-12 - Published: 08-03-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8391337
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Disclaimer: This is a dreivatrive work of several shows produced and distributed by Nicelodeon, including especially Unfabulous, and other third-party works.
Genres include fluff, family, adventure, mystery, spiritual, supernatural, drama, friendship, science fiction.
The story occurs in the identified universe of a huge variety of current or past live action shows produced for Nickelodeon channel, including, but not restricted to, Unfabulous, Victorious, Zoey 101, The iCarly Show, Drake & Josh, How To Rock, Big Time Rush, Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide, True Jackson VP, Supah Ninjas, House Of Anubis, and makes heavy use of a variety of members of their casts.
The timeline starts after the canonical end of Unfabulous, which also coincides with the end of season three Drake & Josh, the end of canon Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide, and the start of season three Zoey 101. Other used shows have not yet started.
Unfabulous Adelaide Singer — identified with the same actress's cameo in Drake & Josh: Honor Council — tells her story of her high school time and her conquest of the Pulitzer Price For Poetry at the age of twenty. Her decisions have got a modifying impact on the story lines of other Nickelodeon shows.
Is Addie really the reincarnation of her idol Edgar Allan Poe?
The main issue for Adelaide is that of adapting flexibly to the expectations of the audience.
Geena Fabiano wants to pursue a career as a fashion designer for Mad Style, but she has to fight violent urges caused by some failed genetic experiment.
Ecopacifist Zachariah Carter Schwartz has got feelings for his step-sister Leanne.
The story is written for LiveJournal-Community Tamingthemuse, prompt Audience.
Chapter 1 Prologue
Hello, my name is Adelaide Singer, but you should just call me "Addie" — at least anyone else does, except, sometimes, my evil brother Benjamin who invents occasional bad words in order to describe me. I was born in Pine Crest in Pennsylvania, but then I had to move on to coastal New Jersey at the age of ten. I was enrolled at Rocky Road Middle School where I had got two closest friends, Zachariah Carter Schwartz and Geena Fabiano.
Zack was an ecopacifist and basketball freak, while Geena was obsessed with shallow esthetics. But this had not prevented them from becoming a couple by the end of eighth grade. And this was a mistake, as I had known from the very start. Geena had got many boyfriends before, and nothing had been stable. Some of her relationships had lasted for no more than a week, and the others had not been any better.
But who, pray tell, was I to judge when it came to talk about relationships, as this had been like a rollercoaster trip throughout my middle school life. It had started out with my crush on Jacob Behari, better known as Jake, which had turned me more than once into the laughing stock of Rocky Road. Unfortunately he was already together with excessively snobbish Patricia Perez, one of three horrible snob girls at Rocky Road who would have been better off at some exclusive prep school in Florida or California. The other creeps were Maris Bingham and Cranberry Sinclair, with Maris being the head of the gang. The three of them used to be all time up to making arrogant remarks about everyone in their way, commenting with a penetrant and unison "Burn!" which was of course annoying to no end. But, for no good reason, I had started a dirty relationship with some Randolph Klein when I had given up on Jake, but this had turned ouyt a big failure — or so I can tell you. We lived pretty fast apart, and then I returned to hankering after Jake, which was finally successful, but it was comparable to the infamous victory of Pyrrhus. Our relationship lasted throughout eigth grade, yet it was one string of misunderstandings, lack of confidence, and of pointless mutual accusations.
The due breakup occured at the beginning of ninth grade, and it will be a story to be told below, as boys were not my true passion, anyways, just unfortunately coinvolved ... sigh!
At the age of four years, I had obtained my first guitar. I had grown out of it a few years later, so I had obtained a new one, an accoustic version like the first instrument. I had never been formally instructed in playing this tool, but I had tried to make my own songs. I had never been a good composer, though, and this was a great handicap. I had tried hard to learn about this art, but during my middle school life, there had been no classes for this, and I was not acquainted with anyone skilled in this business. Lyrics, on the other hand, had always neen my great strength, so I had started very early to write my own song texts and accompany myrecital on my own guitar, with ad hoc tunes that had not been properly composed or even thought through.
My second cousin Wendy Gellar lived in southern California, and I had been visiting her like once each year. I had befriended Megan Parker, one of Wendy's closest elementary school friends, and even helped her pulling a few pranks on her nerdy step brother Joshuah. Said Wendy had got a crush on Drake Parker, Megan's elder brother and teenie rock star. She would become a great rock composer, originally with the intention of impressing and supporting Drake, but it would actually be a big boon for my ambitions as a song lyricist. I will talk about this later on, though.
So, what was my style of lyrics like? Well, in the beginning, the topics were really childish, but already in middle school I had been able to find my true inspiration in the life and works of one Edgar Allan Poe who was simply the all time greatest. More precisely, I had come to read a collection of his short stories in the summer break befoire my last year of middle school, and this had really done it. My all-time favourite wass Tell Tale Heart about which I had given a presentation at the beginning of eighth grade. The presentation and its consequences had been a bit chaotic, something about which I do not want to talk about, but never since had the poet of poets let me down. The audience had not been worthy of a literary genius, anyways, and thus, with hindsight, it had not been much of a pity. Later, I would talk about great lyrics in circles more worthy than a middle school class.
Why was I so impressed by Edgar Allan Poe? I had not been able to say it when I met his works first. And those were short stories, while I was more into lyrics. But of course the great poet had also been able to write in verses and rhymes, inspiring me even more. I had come to love A Dream Within A Dream more than even my boyfriend, and I also appreciated The Raven. After all, dreams seemed to be a central part of Edgar's short life until his mysterious death, or maybe he had been dreaming himself out of his life? After all, the latter had been anything but fabulous: inspite of his genius, he had never been able to earn a solid living, and his stuff with women had been one ongoing misery, barring a few years of marriage with his little cousin Virginia who had then died very young. And then there were his problems with alcohol that had probably made everything even worse, or so would one guess. Yet all this was not strong enough to scare me away from admiring the greatness of this supreme master of American dark romantic literature. But was I up to leading a similar life, dying poor and ultimately lonely inspite of unearthly skills? My usually cool parents were most certainly not in any way keen on those obviously looming prospects, but I would sooner or later have to go my very own way, regardless of their possible — or rather certain — objections.
The family name is from the same actress's rôle in third-party owned Camp Rock.
Chapter 2 Freshman Year
2.1 Summer Break
At the beginning of the summer break, I had been firmly believing that Jake and I were firmly meant to be together forever and that nothing could turn out wrong. We had even planned some time together in a summer camp, and this had not been an easy task for I wanted to go to s camp for young song writers and guitarists, while Jake, a passionate chess player, had chosen so-called Camp Gambit, which was of course all about chess, and not much lyrics or so involved. Geena and Zack had suggested to toss a coin, but the loser would have it his way during the following summer break. This sounded like a fair compromise, as both of us had still been thoroughly convinced that we would be together for much more than one year to come, and so we followed the proposal, and ... bang ... were to enroll in his Camp Gambit.
Geena and Zach, on the other hand, were less lucky, because Geena's dad had found a job offer in Seattle and would have to live there. This did not necessarily mean that the whole family was on the move, but at least they wanted to spend the summer breaks together, and thus Geena's mom had decided on a family trip to the wonderful forests of the state of Washington, including the wonderful air of Yakima ... hell, that almost sounded like "yuck". Zachariah had actually tried to join the Fabiano family over the summer break, but there was one substantial problem he was unable to overcome: the objection of his mother who was fundamentally opposed to sending him to Washington because this was the place where his dad lived now, along with his second wife whom Zacharia's mom hated above all.
Before going to Camp Gambit, aforementioned Wendy jumped in for a visit. She was still a middle school girl, just like Megan, but this had not prevented her from hitting on much older Drake in the first place. Wendy was laughing her hindside off when she listened to my poor attempts of providing my songs with a decent tune, and she did not lose any time correcting them and turning my poems into proper songs. My guitar was already a bit rusty, but Wendy used an electronic keyboard in order to synthesise the necessary sounds and accords. She swore to be up to challenging — sooner or later — even Gustavo Rocque, the great record producer from the Hollywood scene. And I actually believed my remote relative, as she was really fantastic when dealing with complicated tunes.
2.2 Camp Gambit
So, this was a chess camp ... granted, if it had not been for our school's chess club where I had been forcefully enrolled at the beginning of seventh grade because of the lack of decent electives, I would hardly have become close to Jake Beheri in the very first place, and that was probably the only reason why I was able to bear Jake's hobby for two years already.
But this camp was really a plain horror, as most of the kids were total freaks, and it was impossible for me to even talk to them as I was not understanding them. Some of the participants were able to cite about each and every move from their favourite famous chess parties from the last 150 years from the top of their head. Mine was spinning all the time like a merry-go-round, well, rather round than merry, when I was unable to avoid listening to chess move notation talk.
Some of the freaks were also playing blindfolded, adding yet another dimension of nerdiness to this classic game, and Jake was even admiring them instead of comforting me for feeling so unfabulous in such a geeky environment.
The top event of the camp was the presentation of a new chess automaton invented by an extreme geek girl from Seattle named Quinn Pensky. She was a high school kid at Pacific Coast Academy, a very illustrous and elitary boarding school located in the outskirts of Los Angeles, down by the sandy beach of Malibu and Santa Monica, the same school as that of Wendy Gellar. She claimed that she had developed the engine with the help of her faithful friend Otis who was some sort of llama. Hello! Even wooly mammals were better chess players than me, and Quinn confirmed this after having watched my feeble attempts for a few minutes, and Jake sighed for being so embarrassed for his "dumb girlfriend", well, he did not say it this way and would never have done so, but I felt that this was exactly what was bouncing around in his mind.
Chess automata are actually not a recent invention, they had been around already during the late eighteenth century, and Edgar Allen Poe had written about one named "The Turk" in his Mälzel's Chess Player. "The Turk" had turned out as a fraudulent deception, as anticipated by Poe, and I wished so much to be able to prove Quinn Pensky's chess computer as a fraud, along with her lamer of a llama. But unable to figure the fraud, I could not help but pour a big cup of root beer over Quinn's chess computer that was running her home-built operational system Quinndows QP ... well, now it was not running anymore, as the whole thing started to sizzle, to smoke, and to burst into smithereens. "Oops!"
2.3 The Ultimatum
But now the summer was coming to its conclusion, and I had not seen Jake for over a week because our families had gone different ways for the last days of summer.
Our first day of high school was certainly supposed to be exciting, and it was the start of a string of events including formals and homecomings, culminating finally in the most elevating event of a teenage couple: Senior Prom. Zach and Geena were around as well, and the four of us were ready to enter the halls of Rocky Road High together. The night before, my useless brother Benjamin had tried hard to paint high school world in colours as grisly and repelling as only possible for me, but I knew him too well and did not take him all that serious any longer.
There were new classes, new teachers, new subjects, new class rooms,and many more to check out, let alone new lockers. And the latter was my current concern, or, more precisely, my ideas about customising it. Geena had designed some cool themes for her own locker, and she wondered whether I wanted to copy them, but this was not my style.
Jake was about adorning his own locker with a chess board pattern that reminded me of the summer camp. When he saw me fumbling with my belongings and my locker case, he asked me whther I had already apologised unto Quinn Pensky for my unruly faux pas of pouring a whole cup of soft drinks all over her sensitive hardware.
I gasped and panted heavily because he even thought that I owed that scary nerd girl an apology for my deeds, although she has provocated me in a humiliating manner by making me look dumber than a llama. I was his girlfriend, so he was supposed to defend me and not that weirdo freak known as Quinn Pensky.
Unfortunately, Jake saw it differently, and he was still embarrassed by my inappropriate behaviour at the camp, so he ultimately made me choose between apologising to Quinn or giving up on our relationship.
This was not the start into my high school life that I had always been dreaming of, rather it was feeling like the beginning of the end. How was I going to decide, and what would be the consequences?
2.4 High School Song
My first day at middle school I had written a poem, well, of course it had been intended as some song lyrics, but the tune was to be fixed by Wendy only many months later. Little wonder I was now trying to do the same thing about the start of high school. But, unfortunately, the attempts were thoroughly corrupted and obstructed by the impending breakup with Jake. Yes, I was still not willing to apologise to Quinn Pensky for deeming me inferior to some lame ungulate.
So, what were the new classes here like? Granted, I had already been here in order to catch Benjamin on some rare occasions, but now they did not look as threateningly huge as last year. Still, my brother showed up and asked in a sarcastical manner whether I needed help to cross the classrooms. I doubt he would have helped me, anyways, but my pride was too large to ask him for or accept his help even if he had been serious.
Not all of us kids that had graduated last year from Rocky Road Middle School were now here at the corresponding high school. Much to our delight, one of the departures was Cranberry Sinclair, aforementioned arrogant lass who had started a career as a supermodel and bar singer at Hollywood, and she had even already got a star's pseudonym: Autumn Williams.  For that avail, she was now living in Los Angeles, and more precisely in an establishment known as Palmwood, some hotel reserved for future Hollywood stars with a pool and palms and ... No, I did not envy Cranberry for that ... OK, I did, and why did the most arrogant lasses always have to pick those wonderful dream careers like supermodel or Hollywood showgirl? That just was not fair, was it?
So, my destiny would probably be that of withering away alone in some corner where nobody would hear my wonderful lyrics, even if augmented by Wendy's perfect tunes,and try to catch some stray coins withmy hat, probably Ben's old boy's hat for I would never have worn a hat on my own, that was so ... no, I was not able to find a word for it, inspite of being a poet of some sort.
Unfortunately, Maris Bingham and Patricia Perez, the best pals of Cranberry Sinclair, were still living in our county, But, according to rumours, both of them were on the waiting list for some luxury girl school run by the same board in sunny California, a prep school known as Esatridge. This made me once more go pale for excessive envy, but at least it stoked my hopes for not having to bear them in town for the rest of high school time.
2.5 Literature Classes
Of course due to being an insanely freaky fan of the collected works of Edgar Allan Poe, I had been enrolling for the advanced literature classes, which were new here at this high school. But that was because we also had got a new teacher, a certain Fletcher who had previously worked as a drama club adviser (a job he would also be up to assuming here at Rocky Road as soon as a drama club was established) at aforementioned Pacific Coast Academy, proving once more how small our world was.
The old drama club had been advised by someone as incompetent as coach Pearson, usually responsible for our basketball team, and this had scared many kids away, causing the club to die out after a miserable performance of a musical about pirates and stuff, something I really don't want to talk about.
The main job of Mr. Fletcher was not teaching here at some mediocre district school, but that of an assistant playwright at nearby Broadway in New York City. This was the most popular and demanding theatre of the whole world, well, at least in America, and definitely competing with the great houses of London, Paris, and Milan, although they seemed to feature a different range of plays. The Broadway claimed to represent quality, whereas Hollywood was only representing the big money — a really lofty claim, but maybe one that was worth to be taken serious, wasn't it? Fletcher was said to be even the right hand of Sofia Michelle who was the author of the current best selling play performed in New York City and would be in the same position — or so would we learn lyears later — for several years, with a variety of musicals and voice dramas.
All this mademe look forward to the next years at high school with this probably most interesting class, and maybe we would even get to encounter the one and only Sofia Michelle in person.
2.6 Basketball Blues
Zach was trying out for the basketball team, as he had been there already during our middle school years, and once again, it was coach Pearson who was in charge with it. His friend Mario Harris was also in the team, or at least he was willing to.
Geena had talked me into watching the trials, well, I would have come anyways because Zachariah Carter Schwartz had always been a good friend. But I could not help dreaming about being one day the most fabulous lyricist at the Broadway, and then it would be clear that New York City was vastly superior to Los Angeles, even if the latter had git all the publicity and money we could only dream of, but only poor quality stars such as Cranberry Sinclair.
Geena was applauding every move of Zach although she did not understand anything about basketball except that it was about getting the ball somehow top drop through the hoop – or so I supposed as I did not know any better, either.
Coach Pearson was very critical, and he started comparing our team to the top teams of California, such as that of aforementioned Pacific Coast Academy and that of James K Polk High in Santa Clarita. The latter had got a super star — or so it was put by Coach Pearson — named Seth Powers, a tall blond rake rumoured to be able to gyrate a basketball on his fingertip for over half an hour straight. His comparisons were meant to motivate our guys, but they just made them despair for their was still a lot to do until facing those guys: The sectionals, the regionals, the Northeast championships, and then the big nationals of high school basketballs, something not even Zachariah Carter Schwartz was dreaming of, or maybe he was? In the end, both Zach and Mario were making it into the team, although the coach was looking anything but content.
Finally, coach Pearson allowed Zach and Mario to the team, although he was still far from looking content, and he announced quite a bit of hard training to come. This inspired me into another song dedicated to our basketball team, a song to be known as Basketball Blues.
So far, our first days of high school had not been too bad, but this was just the start, and the hardest days would still come.
My evil brother Benjamin had been working at this teenager-themed pub for a littlke bit more than two years by now, and he had not always been a good emplyee due to his troubles with fellow employee and on and off girlfriend Jen, but Manager Mike had not yet found a reason for getting him bootes for good.
This pub, going by the name "Juice", was — hardly surprisingly — the meeting point of Rocky Road's teenage population after classes and on weekends, which included also me. Sometimes this had got the advantage that I was able to order smoothies without having to pay by just making the manager subtract the price for my brother's salary, a habit he had never been enjoying too much, letting me thus be in for quite a few ounces of trouble whenever he noticed.
With the departure of Cranberry Sinclair, I had kind of hoped that Maris Bingham and Patricia Perez would start to show up less often in cheap public places and spend more time at home chatting across the interweb with their departed pal.
Unfortunately, my hopes had failed miserable, and this autumn evening I saw Patty and Maris standing at the bar and order the most fashionable smoothie with whipped cream topping and chocolate fudge. I knew that they would make fun of me again unless I had ordered something equally fashionable, but I was once more low on cash and told manager Mile to subtract it from Benjamin's account, but, unfortunately, his salary had already been cut to zero for various reasons including my habit of ordering smoothies by charging his account. Even worse, Maris was already holding her cellular phone in her hands, ready to photograph any embarrassing move of mine and sending it not only to Cranberry, but also posting it to some yellow press site.
Zach and Geena were by my side, but they were not willing to lend my any bucks, as they needed them, too, for other expenses. Geena, for example, needed wool and needles in order to knit her self-designed winter fashion, and Zach needed the money for producing flypapers against the pollution of the sea by some nearby factory. Unfortunately, the same factory was the one that produced the ink for the toners used for printing flypapers.
It was already a very uncomfortable autumn day here at Rocky Road, with a few ugly gales striking here and their, accompanied by violent rain showers, so hanging out in the open air was by definitely no means desirable for me and any of my friends, maybe Zach a bit, as he was the only one going voluntarily to camps out in the wilderness.
In other words, if it was too embarrassing for me to go to pubs without bucks left for competing with Maris and Patricia. and too unhealthy to stay outside, I would be doomed to stay at our homes for the rests of high school fall times, unless, of course during classes where I was stuck at school.
2.8 All Alone
Many had tried to make me give in and to apologise unto geek queen Quinn Pensky, but for absolutely no avail. Mom had told me stories about how stubborn dad had been when he was young, and how she had been repeatedly talking sense into him. Dad told me stories about how crazy mom had been as a young adult, until he had started making her act more responsibly. Whose version — pray tell — was I supposed to believe in, mom's or dad's? And Ben, well, he simply was Ben, and he was after all proud of me not giving in, but the way he sad it made me believe that this was the one and only reason for being proud of me, as otherwise ... well, we all make mistakes, don't we? I still feared that he was going to entomb me alive one day for having abused his job at the Juice, causing this way the fall of the house of Singer just as in Poe's wonderful Fall Of The House Of Usher.
Geena and Zach seemed to argue a lot about the question as of whether I owed Quinn some sort of apology or not, and whether it was a good idea of Jake Beheri to request one, but none of their issues were of any value for me.
Finally, Jake had to pronounce what I had coming "I would never havethought that you would be like that, but if you are not able to apologise unto Quinn Pensky for this faux pas, how will you ever be capable of apologising unto me, should you ever owe me one?" With these words, a wonderfull relationship had gone down the drain, fallen into pieces like the house of Usher. I was left all alone, maybe for good,mybe just temporarily, I was not able to tell for sure, as I was still not up to giving up without a fight, especially in the case of Patricia Perez grabbing rebound Jake.
2.9 Alpaca Wool
The days were still becoming shorter, the nights were growing longer, and the winds kept on blowing mercilessly from several directions, reminding Geena of having to complete her own winter collection — fortunately only for friends and family — within the next few weeks, and she had ordered some tools from an online haberdashery run by a certain Nevel Amadeus Papperman from Seattle. Oh no, not again, I had already started to hate that city even before I ever made it anywhere near there.
But hey, what sort of a name — pray tell — was "Nevel Amadeus Papperman" anyways, I mean, it reminded me somewhat of Wolfgang Amadeuz Mozart, the embodiment of classic music ... and I supposed that his parents were fans of that old fashioned music and had chosen the middle name for that reason. Granted, Geena was not supposed to marry the creep, and something withing my mind told me that it was a very creepy person, indeed, but even buying tools from someone like that scared the living hell out of me.
And this was only half of the horror news, as Geena had also found some suitable wool for the pullovers to be created according to her design, and this was alpaca wool. Mary Ferry, the resident nerd girl of Rocky Road, and her fiancé Duane Ogilvy, have explained that an alpaca was a sort of a llama, and it was especially the sort to which Otis, the wooly beast of Quinn Pensky, belonged to, the beast I was so much inferior to — or so many people claimed, including Jake Beheri.
Honestly I took this as a sort of treason and backstabbing performed by someone whom I had believed to be my best friend forever, but I did by no means want to let Geena feel this. Maybe there was a more subtle way to dissuade her from using alpaca wool, which, in the worst case, would have been wool from Otis, the alpaca that had started mocking me thrice per night in my dreams already.
2.10 A Play For Jake
Some weeks had passed since I had separated from Jake Beheri, and, matching with the season, my friendship with Zach and Geena was cooling down to no end. I had skipped Halloween and Thanksgiving parties because I was not in the mood for anything like that. Instead of that, I was bundling my efforts of the quest of getting Jake back, for sooner or later he would forget about the stupid Chess Robot that some girl from Seattle had built.
I was a poet and a lyricist, and thus my most appropriate tool for reconquerring Jake was by means of writing a poem, but I had alreadty dedicated hundreds of verses to him, and my voice hurt now whenever I was even thinking about him. Most of my songs that I had ever sung for him had been so embarrassing,after all ... why had I never noticed this before?
So, a song was probably not the most appropriate means, but a verse drama would have been a better idea, and down to Mr. Fletcher, there was now a new drama club at our school. The play to be performed at the end of the academic year had not yet been decided upon, thus new idea were probably still welcome. But what would have been an appropriate plot? The last play had been about pirates, so I though into that direction and started writing something about a bar girl in a harbour town saving a drunk pirate captain, probably someone like the unfabulous Flying Dutchman, from his eternal doom — or so I imagined. I would play the bar girl, while Jake would be the pirate captain, of course, a formerly noble travelling merchant who had been cursed for some reason on the seven seas and was now doomed for living forever the life of a ghastly pirate, allowed top step ashore only once in seven years, until one day some virgin wouldd have the guts to stay faithful to him for the duration of one whole sea journey.
Geena pretended to like my idea, but I had got my doubts concerning the question whether she had listened to me in the first place. Her relationship with Zach was chock full of misunderstandings and disputes, and this had turned worse since Geena had announced to knit a vest of alpaca wool for her boyfriend for Christmas. According to Zachariah Carter Schwartz, this was blatant animal abuse, and he would definitely not wear a woolen vest. Geena appeared to understand this as criticism of her fashion style, something she was utterly allergic to.
Benjamin only laughed about my plot, but I should have seen that coming, and I was lucky that he would go — or so I hoped — to some college far away from here after graduating from Rocky Road High.
My parents did not understand the teenager language that I was using in my verses, well, they were over forty, after all, so that was not necessarily a given.
The most objective opinion I expected from Fletcher who would have to approve of the plan for this year's school play, anyways.
2.11 Moving Away
As aforementioned, Geena's dad was already living across the continent in Seattle, and the family had just decided to move there as a whole after the end of this year.
Inspite of my recent troubles with her, I still considered her as my best friend, probably because no other girl had ever tried to bother with me for too long time, especially not the arrogant trio consisting of Maris, Patricia, and Cranberry, and definitely not freaky Mary Ferry. For that reason, the news, albeit not completely surprising, was hitting my like a sledge hammer right onto my forehead and made me stagger.
Even Ben started shedding a few tears, as he had always known that — at least in his imagination — Geena had had a huge crush on him and would have married him sooner or later. OK, that would have really scared me, but it was now not much longer of any significance, given that Ben lived according to the most unfabulous words "out of sight — out of mind".
Zach was suffering too as he imagined — incorrectly in my judgment — that Geena was moving away because of the recent differences with him, and the job of her dad was just a white lie in order to avoid hurting his feelings too much.
This Christmnas break was the last one of the Fabiano family in this angle of America, and we would go and celebeate it appropriately "for auld lang sine".
2.12 Flying Dutchman
Christmas was left behind us, adn it was still cold outside, a boon for the drama club as it was much more comfortable in the school's stage hall than out on the streets.
I had just given the script for my play about pirates, the Flying Dutchman, and the harbour barmaid into the hands of Mr. Fletcher, expecting his objective judgment.
He shook his head and grinned, making me think that it was all no more than incredible trash of the worst sort he had ever seen. He frowned severely and remarked, "oh, I no that kind of plays. The author has got a crush on someone, and then he writes a play to be performed with himseldf and the crush as the main rôles."
I choked hard, and I added "actually, it's not for a cruh, but for an ex boyfriend whom ..." I did not have to complete the words, as Fletcher did make enough sense of it to shake his head again. Now I expected some tough moral preaching about how perverse it is to write a play just in order to get to kiss someone on the stage whom you can't have for real, and the anticipation made me sigh deeply.
Fletcher told me about a guy named Chase Bartholomew Matthews who was a student at Pacific Coast Academy and had been a member of the drama club advised by Fletcher.
Chase wrote a play about a hot beach guard and an alien girl whose ship had deviated from its course and dropped into the ocean. The baywatch saves the alien girl and ends up kissing her.
The alien girl was of course exactly like Zoey, but the life guard was much more of what Chase had dreamt to be, a dream within a dream. This discrepance was doomed for failure when it came down to auditions and performance.
Zoey got the rôle of the alien virgin, no, she was that rôle, as far as I can tell, and there had never been any discussion about it. But it was not Chase who qualifoed most for the rôle of the baywatch. Rather, his room pal Logan Reese, the spoiled and coxcomb of a son of Hollywood producer Malcolm Reese. And this made jealous Chase totally upset, so he tried to rewrite the end of the play, changing the "kiss" into a "kill".
But I cdid not allow him to change the end of the script because an artist has to follow his first inspiration and will automatically know when a play is comoplete.
Strangely, at the end of the performance, Zoey messed it all up and sent the baywatch away, returning all alone to her planet, probably because she had sensed what a jerk Logan is, after all. YThis was not envisioned by the script,.and I still don't understand it.
Poor Chase ... I did not understand the end either, but the rest of the episode was clear enough as a warning for me, so what if it was Patti Perez who would be assigned rôle of the harbour barmaid? There would have been no such thing as a way for me to survive such a capital onslaught on my sanity, neither in this puny life nor in any other. Also, I wondered what had come out of Chase's dreamy crush on Zoey Brooks, and maybe Wendy would be able to tell me more about it.
With a relentlessly spinning wheel in my head I decided to recede from my plan of using the play in order to get Jake back. So far, Patty had not yet trie to hit on me, and she was even less interested in all the chess stuff.
Was the play worth being performed after all? No way, as there were already so many plays based on the legend of the Flying Dutchman ... one more or less would not add much to it, and its artistic value was dropping already fast to zilch. Thus it was better for me to give up on the whole cursed pirate thingy and look for a better idea for the drama group, such as a modern stage version of one of Edgar Allan Poe's wonderful short stories. I had once got myself embarrassed with Tell Tale Heart, so this one was not safe, but there were other canditates, such as The Murders In The Rue Morgue.
2.13 Murders In Main Street
Time had come for the audition for the school play, and my suggestion had been accepted. In Edgar Allan Poe's Murders In The Rue Morgue a couple of capital crimes had been committed accidentally by an ape who was not even aware of what he was doing, he was just playing with a razor knife. This story was the forefather of any modern deective story of which there were gazillions even in Hollywood.
My version was located in an average American smalltown just like Rocky Road, and the street was simple a "main street", a really frequent name. I renamed the detective to Mr. Smith and his pal ( the narrator of the short story) to Mr. Brown. In my verse play there was no narrator, so Brown and Smith were peers for my purposes. The ape, on the other hand, I dare to replace by an alpaca, for those were truly dangerous and ferocious beast, able to murder the good renown of any citizen.
Mary Ferry complained vigorously, for everything I had written about alpacas was —biologically spoken — complete drivel, and so were the words of Poe about the ape, or — as Mary Ferry clarified — the Orang Utan. But a masterpiece of literature was not a textbook for zoology, and thence I insisted in having it my way, and Fletcher confirmed me, preaching Mary and Fuane about the freedoms of an artist.
Of course my selection of an alpaca as the murderer was based on the humiliation I had suffered from the mouth of Quinn Pensky, and so I deemed this as a valid way to pay it all back. But this was a truly bad motivation, and it would all backfire a bit later, as seen below.
Mary Ferry and Duane Ogilvy were trying out successfully as the detectives of the story, but who was finally left, after distributing all the human rôles, with the ungrateful task of portraying the evil alpaca ... what, me? Oh no ... that was terrible, for this would make me even more the unfabulous laughingstock of Rocky Road, and it was so obvious that Maris and Patricia were already waiting for the moment when the picture of me in the alpaca costume would conquer the whole interweb.
Geena was responsible for the design and tayloring for the outfits for the play, and Mary Ferry would be very stern when it came down to the alpaca costume. My life was so ruined, from front to back, I was really in the mood of writing a very sad song about it.
2.14 Ben's Graduation
Benjamin Singer had annoyed me already for many years, but now it was time for him — or so I believed firmly — to leave old grounds and move to some place where he would be no longer a daily iron block chained to my ankles, inflicting embarrassment and mental pain. But before this was to happen there was the graduation ceremony where I had to be present upon the command of mom and dad, an event that I would really have loved to skip.
Senior Prom was right after this event, and it made me think about my own prom taking place in just a few years, and that all alone unless I got Jake back, which was harder than ever after the embarrassing performance of Murders in Main Street. Some of my freshmen colleagues had actually been invited to Ben's senior prom as partners a senior, which made them look incredibly cool. Hey ... Maris had once suggested to make Jake jealouus by going out with some real man if I wanted to have Jake back, and of course she had done so in a really sarcastical manner. But why not ... I would have loved seeing Jake turn into a green-eyed monster once more as had occurred once upon a time when I was still dating Randolph Klein.
It was now too late for this year's senior prom, but there were still a few years left until my own, and I would just have to wait and pick my chance very well before it would be too late.
OK, that was about my future, but what about Benjamin's, given that my luck depended on him moving as far away from here as only possible and never come back again? Granted, the latter was unlikely as mom and dad were certainly going to talk him into showing up every now and then,especially for their own birthday parties, and they would make me come with them in order to visit him.
And now it was the moment of the revelation of the answer to the burning question as of where Ben was going to move. He had refused to tell us any earlier, and that was never a good sign, as far as I was able to tell. I closed my eyes when he was about opening his mouth, and the words to be heard thereupon were really shocking. Benjamin Singer had been made the manager of another branch of the Juice pub, but the exact location of his site was still to be reveiled, and this would be his full time job, so no such thing as college for him, somthinmg that hurt mom deeply.
Geena's alike-looking cousin Lucy Stone would perform with her band at the prom, and Ben was unable to get his eyes off her, but she acted stone cold around him, which was hurting him deservedly, in turn.
2.15 End Of Freshman Year
My first ywar as a high school girl was now finally over, and it had been replete with some shocks, caused by my refusal to apologise unto some annoying geek girl fro Seattle. My teahcers had so far been very content, including Mr. Fletcher as I was most obviously the best horse in his stable, or llama, or whatever.
Geen had got some troubles resulting in detentions, but maybe she will be better off at her new school in the state of Washington.
Zach's basketball team had failed in the regionals against the team from Empire City, the part of New York City hosting the Empire state building. But there were still three more years to come, and he would not give up that easily.
Likewise, I was already making plans to get Jake Beheri back, whatever the price, and noone was yet able to dissuade me.
Chapter 3 Sophomore Year
3.1 Last Summer With Geena
As reported above, Geena Fabiano would no longer be among us Rocky Road kids by the end of the summer, and so I decided to go with Zachariah and her to a summer camp before the actual move. But just as last year, it was impossible to find a suitable one for the three of us, and I did not want to slouch into yet another catastrophe like last year with Quinn Pensky that still made me something dumber than a llama.
After many stupid discussions, we were left with staying together in town, at the cost of having to see Maris and Patti who were celebrating their departure to California, as both of them had been selected by Eastridge, or, as it was also known, Northridge in Los Angeles county.
So we were now sitting in Juice and having an old fashioned smoothie when manager Mike stepped up to me, making me feel very uncomfortable as I sensed a connection to my debts. Ben was now no longer working here, so it would not be any more possible for me to subtract my expenses from his salary, and for this reason, manager Mike asked me to take over Ben's job and then subtract my expenses from my own salary. I had to think a bit about this, as this would take a lot of time, and it would not allow me to help dad in his own shop (a store for athletes' equipment) as much as now.
Geena had already heard about a similar pub in downtown Seattle, an establishment known as "Groovy Smoothie". It would be still very far from her home, but maybe she would hang out there on occasions because the mall of Seattle was so hot.
Ben jumped in in order to claim his last salary, or, rather, in order to come to know that I had already spent every cent of it, and he was finally announcing his new location: "Groovy Smoothie in Seattle!"
Geena gasped and choked upon hearing those news, for this made Groovy Smoothie a totally uncool place, and I pronounced my condolences for her.
3.2 Chase Matthews
Geena was now gone, but Wendy Gellar had just jumped in for a visit, and I was curious about the story of Chase Matthews and Zoey Brooks after the aforementioned school play.
Wendy sighed deeply, as that was a long story, and she did not really like to get involved into it, as Zoey's little brother Dustin had once got a cerush on her, but she reported anyways:
But at the beginning of the just finished academic year, Chase showed up with a new girlfriend named Rebecca, a busty and arrogant Latina that is absolutely not suited for him, even less than I am suited for Drake. At first glance, Rebecca acted nice to Chase's friends, but then she started threatening Zoey for getting too close to Chase, which got Chase to trash her.
By now, they appear to be just friends, but I know that Chase is not over the whole thing and suffers badly from the situation. I say that Chase has never liked that Rebecca girl, and, honestly, why would a busty Latina like her bother with a dork and dweeb with bushy hair such as Chase? It does not make any sense whatsoever.
Poor Chase, I pitied him so much because his approach to Zoey Brooks had looked so much like mine to Jake Beheri, and he was really desperate. I asked Wendy: "has Chase ever tried to make Zoey jealous?", of course alluding to my plans for getting Jake back with a similar strategy, and Chase's crush on Zoey looked like a perfect test bed.
Wendy panted heavily and pondered for quite some minute before replying:
There was a really bad and disgusting girl named Samantha Puckett, also known as Trisha Kirby, who was dating little Dustin against Zoey's will. Zoey had forced Chase to dissuade Trisha from doing so, which worked but resulted in Trisha dating Chase instead. So either Chase was provocating this deliberately in order to make Zoey jealous or it just happened to be some heaven-sent opportunity, but Zoey's reaction was really reveiling.
Not much later, Zoey's room pal Lola needed Chase as a tutor — nota bene: upon Zoey's suggestion — and they started accidentally dating — or so it seemed, leaving Zoey in a dumb situation. She was not able to hide her kealousy.
Hey, assuming that Chase has used Rebecca just in order to make Zoey jealous seems all of a sudden so straightforward to me ...
Wendy banged her head against the wall as she should have figured the same thing a lot earlier.
I should have come to the conclusion that making someone a aloof as Ben jealous was not necessarily an idea promising great success, but I was still relauctant to accept it, as most of it was based on Wendy's speculations, influenced by her favourite television talk show hosted by a certain O'Bara Windfree.
3.3 Back At School
So, welcome to my junior year here at Rocky Road, a year with more novelties than freshman year, as we have seen. The absense of Geena would leave a big gap, but the pains I would have suffered from this loss were relieved readily by the departure of Maris Bingham and Patricia Perez, which also meant one close competitor less in the race for Jake Beheri. But the absence of the coxcombs also allowed me to breathe more freely in this school, and maybe the students were going to forget my performance in the alpaca costume.
Science classes had been my big weakness during the last year, and this time around, our former teacher was sick because — or so I guessed — the stubborn stupidity of kids like me made him go all crazy. He was now in dneed of a few months of rehabilitation and was replaced by a certain Mr. Jamerson who was also teaching at a very cool school in the big city of New York, not far from the Broadway where I was still hoping to become fabulous. Jamerson was very demanding, and he was a great inventor as well, just as ... cough ... puke ... moan ... Quinn Pensky, the woman who had ruined my life already. All those circumstances were hardly good omens for my science classes for this year, and it was the first laboratory class which made me very nervous in addition to anything else.
Fletcher ws once more my teacher for the special classes in literature, and we were even going to read Edgar Allan Poe in the class, but only one or two short stories, and our goal was that of camparing British and American literature during the first century of independence, a totally demanding subject.
For Zachariah, the main problem would be that of getting over Geena's departure, and it would be a very hard task, with or without my help, better without as I was dorkish enough to screw everything up, so mayne the llama costume had served me well ... sigh!
Jake and I still had to share a few classes, and he was ignoring me most of the time which was neither good nor bad, it just was what happened to be the case.
3.4 First News From Geena
My life as a junior was already a few weeks old when I heard from Geena from her "exile" in King County in Los Angeles, and Zach had already been fancying that she had got another boyfriend. But she had just not got a new cellular phone account. She had signed up for the King county beauty pageant, by the way, a very renowned one, and I envied her duly for haviung the figure necessary for competing impressively in such a contest.
Geena had also hitherto been able to avaoid the mall of Seattle and Groovy Smoothie — for the obvious and aforementioned reasons involving my horny brother — and been hanging out in less known places, but the void that had been left by Juice and Yumburger (some pub selling sandwhiches with fried ground meat) was impossible to fill, at least so far.
Fortunately, Quinn Pensky was still studying in southern California, and thus she was away from her home in King County for more than one half of the year in total and thus unlikely to bother the living hell out of Geena, as otherwise mad scientist Quinn Pensky would have abused her in order to get back at me, no matter how.
But what Geena dislike most about Seattle is that it was, compared to Rocky Road, so far away from New York City, the American centre of fashion creation, as she was ambitious enough to go for a career as a designer for one of the great fashion labels residing in the city of the Broadway, globally well-renowned labels such as Simon Christini and Mad Style. She had already tried to make some contacts, but had always been bounced by some Amanda Cantwell, a really mean vice president of Mad Style. She would not have given up, but with the whole continent inbetween there was not much sense in insisting for the next few years.
Seattle was not devoid of art, though, and Geena had heard of the impending visit of great pop artist Harold Joiner to her new home, an event she was up to attending for sure. In addition, Geena was enrolled in special classes in design and creation given by very gifted teacher Cream Fielder.
In other words, Geena's talents were not going to wither to naught over there in Seattle, were they? Well, at least I was able to write good lyrics and abominable tunes for songs to be performed on my mediocre guitar almost everywhere.
3.5 Science Classes
As aforementioned, science classes were not really my thing, and now it was time for chemistry laboratory. The year ago, aforementioned junior rock idol Drake Parker had burned himself badly by fumbling carelessly with the ingredients in his class room,! so I better took the implied warning serious, but this was not easy since the breakup with Ben. I so imagined doing something very bad to all the girls getting too close to him, but with my limited knowledge in physics and chemistry I was hardly able to build a time bomb, a landmine, or something like that. It would have been necessary to have the skills of one Quinn Pensky which I lacked and which I would never have wanted to acquire.
Mr. Jamerson did not yet know about Quinn, but he had been one of the umpires of the national science fair which had recently voted some Paige Howard from Colorado as the winner of the latest edition, with some invention I was unable to pronounce, but it seemed to be some sort of a hypercosmic powerplant. And now we were always told to look up to Paige as a shining example. The only ones Jamerson was pleased with were Mary Ferry and Duane Ogilvy, canditates for the ivy league anyways. But somehow the name "Paige Howard" appeared to ring some kind of sort of a bell, and it was probably because Wendy and Megan had already mentioned this, but I was no longer able to remember the context.
Usually, Zachariah Carter Schwartz was my lab partner in science classes, but due to my apparent incompetence, it was necessary to switch and thus Mary Ferry was assigned tome instead, with Zach being left to work with Duane Ogilvy, a typical nerd only topped by Megan's useless step brother Joshuah. Mary Ferry, the embodiment of cerebral narcissism, was awfully patronising and appeared to share Quinn Pensky's opinion about my intellectual capacities wholeheartedly, making my classes even more of a hell as before. I definitely needed to write a song about this sort of hell, something Edgar Allan Poe had been so good at.
3.6 Paige Howard
Made curious, I entered an interweb chat with my dear second cousin Wendy and started asking her about Paige Howard, and this opened a whole can of worms, more precisely, Megan Parker was Paige Howard ... well, not really, but the story was complicated, as reported by Wendy.
Three years ago, Mindy had tried to get Drake framed for her own onslaught on the property of unpopular teacher Linda Hayfer, but she got caught by Megan and thence suspended from their school which is Belleview.
Then Mindy enrolled under a fake name at Pacific Coast Academy in order to cause a bunch of further trouble. She plagiarised some extremely fashionable backpack design of Zoey Brooks and started selling counterfeits. In the end this lead to Mindy's expulsion from Malibu's most noble prep school as well. But before leaving she also sabotaged the inventions of Quinn Pensky whom she envied to no end, especially her attempt of genetically engineering a mix between apple trees and banana shrub, resulting in a new fruit.
So Mindy hads now actually won the science fair under the fake name and was invited by the clueless administration of the school in order to give a demonstration of her invention, the result of the greatest genius alive. Mindy has wlecomed this as a perfect occasuion in order to wreak havoc by taunting the kids of Pacific Coast Academy to no end, but as a persona non grata she has seen that it was better to refrain from showing from showing up directly on the campus and send a delegate instead, a marionetta that happenes to be Megan who is a few years youger than Quinn, something that Quinn won't like at all. Mindy ids going to instruct Megan by means of an electronic chip in the ear, or something like that.
Wow, by the ghost of Edgar Allan Poe, that was really dark, but Quinn absolutely deserved that lesson, so ... go, Mindy, go, you rock, girl!
On the other hand, Mindy was probably endangering quite a few innocent people with her machine, including Chase Bartholomew Matthews and so on, but Quinn needed to be tought a lesson.
3.7 Harry Joiner
Geena had always been keen on her esthetical skills, and this had not changed with her switch to the state of Washington. Encouraged by Cream Fielder, she had now dared to encounter the grand master of American pop arts during his visit to Seattle, probably a meeting point for many young an hitherto unbeknownst artists.
Unfortunately, Harry Joiner was not really keen on the kids that presented unto him their artistic creations, in the case of Geena, thse were fashionable outfits. He did not say that their creations were bad, but that they were no good, and this was really no less discouraging.
But Geena was lucky, as she had gone straight to Cream Fielder in order to complain, and now the teacher was talking some serious words to the master of artists. She referred rto her own experience as a certified teacher of arts and her pedagogical skills, and she called Harry Joiner's way of making the students who adored him and whose idol he was feel all the way down very inappropriate and immature.
Finally, Harry Joiner had to admit to being envious of the talent of Geena and the other unknown artists from the state of Washington who had come in order to visit his exposition. Cream Fielder was not yet a creative artist and thus had not got those problems with extremely gifted kids that Joiner had, so she forgave the old creep.
Geena was one of the greatest artist and designers of our generation, and the king of pop art had just acknowledged that, so maybe Maximilian Madigan and Simon Christini would do the same some day.
In addition, I had learned for myself that the idols and masters had got feelings too, and they were thus not totally objective when judging the works of art of their younger peers as they feared that their end was about to come, the day when they would no longer be the greatest in their craft. So I decided there and then that, should I be in a similar situation as Geena and meet a winner of the Nobel Prize of literature or some similar award marking an outstanding poet, I would always take his judgment of my own creative poetry and lyrics cun granum salis.
3.8 To Good Old England
So I am now returning your attention to life at Pacific Coast Academy where Megan Parker alias Paige Howard had actualkly achieved humiliating Quinn for the sake of Melinda Crenshaw, but not without remorses. According to Megan, Quinn was not that bad, and Melinda should really have felt ashamed for trying to hurt her and her friends so much for things that had happened three years ago. But Megan had not reveiled her true identity and hoped that Quinn would soon be over it after she had actually been able to repair Mindy's hell machine before blowing up.
Was I now owing Quinn an apology though for having ruined her stupid chess robot after having been called the intellectual inferior of a llama? I still did not think so, and not even Megan was able to convince me, at least for the time being.
But I was not that interested in the events at Wendy's school barring for the fact that the silent attraction between Chase Matthews and Zoey Brooks was really fascinating and exhibibiting conclusive parallels to my crush on Jake Beheri, and quite a few things had happened in that business.
Recently, a visitor of Pacific Coast Academy had asked right Zoey and Chase right away whether they were a couple, but they were still all defensive and evasive, although Chase had been jumping through so many hoops already in order to be closer to Zoey, but without ever fessing up to what was really on his mind.
But now there was a real change concerning that situation, and most definitely not not a good one for that matter. Zoey's parents were about to move across the mighty Atlantic to London for professional reasons, and they had already asked their kids to come with them.
This decision was not an easy one for Zoey, as she had got so many friends at Pacific Coast Academy including Chase. She would apparently have stayed in California if Chase had wanted her to do so, but the prospects of Zoey's departure must have made Chase screw up completely and even tell Zoey to go away and be lucky elsewhere, well, that was what many onlookers were interpreting into the situation, but I understood Chase so much better than anyone else, maybe because he was also a creative writer of some sorts and we finally thought alike ... whatever ... and I knew that Chase did not want to lose Zoey, as much as I had never wanted to lose Jake. I knew that Chase would be suffering brimstone and hellfire in Zoey's absence and commit many stupid things that I had already done whenever I had felt Jake not close enough to me, such as at the end of seventh grade when I had come to know that he would spend most of his vacations somewhere in Canada.
While I was talking to Wendy about those thoughts of mine, it was already too late, and Zoey'plane was flying high up in the clouds, increasingly far away from the heart that would starve and dehydrate from missing her vicinity.
3.9 Seattle Pageant
Geena Fabiano had found a lot of self confidence upon finally receiving her well-deserved praise from Harold Joiner for her incredible artist talent, and she wanted to swim on the same wave to this year's annual berauty pageants of Seattle.
Such a pageant consisted of three parts: The catwalk with a fashionable dress, an interview with the judges, and an exhibition of her talent.
As a gifted fashion designer, Geena was of course keen on designing and tailoring her own dress for the pageant, and of course it had to be impressively fashionable. She would also take care of her own makeup.
The interview part was sort of tricky and most likely Geena's greatest stumbling block. The postulants for the title of a Miss Seattle were not supposed to appear dumb or arrogant, and both of them were sort of a problem for my best friend ...
The talent part was also a bit shaky in Geena's case, as her proper talent was fashion design, and judges preferred more versatile canditates. Here at the eastern coast , she had taught little tricks to my dog Nancy, but the latter had not followed her to the state of Washington, and flying her forth and back just for the pagenat was considered animal torture by Zachariah. Fortunately she had seen a few cool things at the exposition of Harry Joiner, and thus she was using her artist skills in a different way, videlicet by means of body sculpting which consisted in building a sculpture from various materials, but including your own body in it.
Geena had heard that Quinn Pensky, the girl that had already ruined my life, had once been a particiapant in regional pageants, but never won them. This sounded so unlikely, as beauty pageants were not a perfect match for a girl keen on her unworldly supreme intellect, but if it was true, maybe there was a way to use it against the geek queen, paying back that she had destroyed my existence by deeming me inferior to some lame llama.
The judges had now seen the contestants and performed the interviews, and thus their decision was near. I was talking to Geena on my cellular phone which had used up half of my salary from my job at Juice already. Zach and I were equally excited when the countdown was running: five ... four ... three ... two ... and the winner was: Leanne Carter Schwartz, which — according to those who had been regularly at Seatytle pageants — was no surprise at all, as Leanne, your typical Mary Sue, had won many times straight already. The name of the winner made Zachariah Carter Schwartz twitch in a strange manner, but he did not say anything to the avail of explaining his reaction. Was it just because her name contained the word "Carter", or was there more to it?
I comforted Geena and told her that she would perform a lot better in her second year when she was no longer feeling a stranger in that town. Well, this was certainly also a big deal of wishful thinking as it contradicted my own experience when moving over from Pine Crest
3.10 Zachariah's Step-Sister
Only the next day, between the gym and the cafeteria, Zach told me why he had reacted this way.
The name "Carter", common to Leanne and Zach, was not a total coincidence, and they were kinsmen indeed, more precisely: Leann Carter was a daughter of the second wife of Zachariah Carter-Schwartz's dad. Zachariah's mom had interrupted any contact to his dad's family since their bloody divorce, and so Zach had never met her and only accidentally talked to her on the telephone, but the little bit he had come to know about her had always made him admire her in awe. It had probably hurt him a lot being reminded of this trench between his mom's family and his dad's family, and there should have been a way to overcome it.
But instead of thinking of a way to help Zach to see the otehr half of his family which he had been missing for so many years I was just pondering possibilities to abuse my knowledge about Quinn Pensky's most embarrassing past in order to make her pay for comparing me to the one wooly beast.
3.11 Junior Prom At PCA
Many things had happened on the campus of Pacific Coast Academy during the last months, as faithfully reported by Wendy Gellar, although she was not really comfortable with doing so.
My fears about Chase Bartholomew Matthews were completely justified. He had screwed up in Zoey's absence and thence decided top move to Zoey's English boardingschool as well, but Zoey had come to hear about Chase's obsession and had returned from London at the very same time. This way, they had effectively traded places in one absurd switcheroo.
After all, Zoey had heard about Chase's feelings for her already earlier, and she had not done anything like that. Had Chase's brainless affair with Rebecca and other girls really left her that unimpressed, compared to his demeanour after her departure? Wendy doubted sincerely that Chase was the real reason for Zoey's return from London, and these doubts had become more and more substantiated ever since. Rather, the blond Mary Sue — or so my second cousin said — had been worrying about her little brother Dustin whom she had left behind at Pacific Coast Academy.
The proof for Wendy's daring hypothesis had been delivered a few weeks later when a new student arrived on the campus of the most illustrous boarding school of California, one tall blond rake named James Garrett. Wendy had never trusted James, and she thought of him as a sort of charlatan abusing many girls, possibly at the same time, for his worldly gains. A few months later I would learn that James Garrett had actually been also at Rocky Road for a few days and flirted with Geena for a few days. Even Megan had watched the same creep trying to make out with girls while she was standing in the queue for a ride in one of California's most renowned rollercoasters.
And the top of the absurdity was the observation that James Garrett had already been at Pacific Coast Academy for a few days about one year earlier, using a fake name: Dennifer ... what sort of name was that, anyways? Had his mother wished for a daughter to be named Jennifer, and then this creep had turned out as a guy? Needless to say, Dennifer had been a girls' man as well and tried to seduce a certain Staceu Dillsen, a really weird girl obsessed with cotton swabs and talking with a heavy lisp. That was absurd for no tall rake would commit himself to a girl like Stacey, so James alias Dennifer had got — at least U had not got any doubt about it — thoroughly dishonest intentions.
James had been assigned the former dormitory spot of Chase Matthews, against the resistence of his room pals Logan Reese and Michael Barret, and he had snuck up to Zoey Brooks in a subtle manner, looking like a random encounter for the uninspired observer, and seduced her in a very mean way into being his girlfriend. Alas, the fact that it had just taken a few hours for the blond Mary Sue in order to fall for this guy proved beyond ant trace of a doubt that she had never honestly returned Chase's feelings in kind but only played with them just the way she would have treated a puppy. Otherways she would not have cheated on him after a few days only and with a guy whom she had only known for a few hours.
Alas, with the approaching junior prom, Zoey Brooks seems to have been visited by a wave of remorses, leading finally to breaking up with James, which was strage as they had gone through quite a few troubles together during the few weeks since they had started dating, including the problem of finding a lonely place for a dinner for two and and opening an illegal coffee bar on the campus. During a few days, Zoey had been completely out of her mind and committing lots of stupidities. such as throwing darts as pictures of balloons and neglecting her preparations for Junior Prom, and , worst of all, she had forgotten completely about being a prtotectively loving and caring elder sister for Dustin. And the absurd breakup was crowned by the fact that Zoey had been dishonest enough to refuse to give James an appropriate answer, leaving him completely ignorant about her proper reasons for the breakup.
Of course I could only guess that she had remembered Chase, but there were possibly quite a few other reasons, for example she had possibly figured what a windy guy James Garrett had really been, one that had broken Stacey Dillsen's heart, for example.
Now it was the night of junior prom at Pacific Coast Academy, and Wendy was there as a helper of some sorts, as were many other middle school kids, and this seemed to be some sort of a tradition at Pacific Coast Academy. There was fortunately no such thing here as Rocky Road, otherwise I would have been probably forced to serve Benjamin, and I would have screwed up over this all the way. Zoey was now supposed to show up all alone, if at all, because she was still totally depressed, just as during the last days of her relationship with James Garrett. I was doing my homework, together with Mary Ferry without whose help I would hace done a lot worse in many subjects, when my cellular phone started ringing like a storm bell. And as expected, it was Wendy Gellar, but the news she told me were so shocking.
Chase Bartholomew Matthews was back, he had just returned from London, and apparently Chase and Zoey were one happy couple and would spend their summer break together on Maui, sort of an early honeymoon. I screamed for joy, as this instilled some hope intio me, the hope that Jake and I would end up happy after all. I could not help grabbing my guitar and smake up a happy song about that couple, inspite of Mary Ferry's wish to keep on learning an ddoing homeworks without interruptions lest everything I had learned this afternoon would be forgotten again if not practised appropriately. Too bad Mary's admonition was so deadly accurate, as I would experience painfully during some popup quiz of the next day. Likewise, mary urged me not to conclude too fast, for Chase was probably not yet aware of Zoey and James.
I sighed deeply, as this would be a really threat, as would be the truth about Chase's dates with other girls, epecially that busty Latina named Rebecca. So there were still so many potential obstacles.
And there were more and even stranger news, but those were about Quinn Pensky who had apparently been dating snobbish coxcomb Logan Reese for quite a few weeks already, but been too embarrassed to come out with this. This was of course a totally corrupt and absurd couple, and thus Mary Ferry shook her head, secure in the knowledge that a totally perverted and embarrassing relationship as that betwee Logan and Quinn was unlikely to do any good to life at PCA. Anyways, I had been looking since a few weeks for a way for using my information about Quinn Pensky's pasrt as a pageant girl in order to get her totally ashamed and ridiculed, but this was now no longer necessary, as her foul and disgusting dates with Logan Reese were way worse of an embarrassment than her past as a majorette, and being coupled with Logan was a punishment appropriate for comparing me to some lame llama.
There was one other big threat to the relationship of Zoey and Chase, but I was not yet aware of it, not at that point in time,
3.12 End Of Sophomore Year
So my first year without Geena Fabiano had come to an end, and I had not yet found an appropriate replacement, given that Mary Ferry was not someone I would consider as a friend in any sense, she just helped me with my homework and liked it listening to herself talking smart stuff which others, such as poor little me, found excruciatingly hard to understand.
My assignemnts in my special program classes for literature had been a lot of fun, although I had not written another school play. We had actually performed the one by Chase Bartholomew Matthews, due to popular request. I would have liked to be the alien girl, with Jake as my beach guard, but Duane and Mary got awarded with these, and, knowing the problems the play had caused at Paciufic Coast Academy, I refrained from complaining.
Zach had been completely down during the last weeks since he had heard about the victory of his step-sister Leanne in the pageant, and this was particularly detrimental for his abilities as a basketball player. Mario Harris had tried to find out more details about the connection, but this had yet been unfruitful. Leanne seemed to be more for him than just a kinswoman living far away which he would never see for real. I did not know whether Zach and Geena were still in a relationship, they had really been living more and more apart, and Mario as a friend and fellow basketball player was pretty much of a drop-in replacement. The whole team had slipped intoa crisis that made it hard to believe in any chance to make it into the regionals, let alone the nationals, during the two years that were still left fot Zach.
Fortunately I had not heard much about my misguided brother Benjamin during almost the whole year, and Geena had only seen Groovy Smoothie from the outside, avoidingf successfully an encounter with my exorbitantly creepy brother. During the summer break he would go on vacations, and I would better not be at home in the case of his return. But next fall, Ben would no longer work as the manager of Groovy Smoothie in Seattle. He had got some argument with a middle school girl named Carly Shay who found his talk behind the counter too sexist, and the smoothie bar chain had to remove him and replace him by a certain Terrence Boe, a former basketball star. But Benjamin was not really fired, quite the contrary he got silently promoted to the position of the manager of a new smoothie bar on the campus of Pacific Coast Academy named "The Ben Den". I already pitied Wendy Gellar to no end. Unfortunately, as we will see, Terrence was not a shred more sane than Benjamin, but that's a completely different story. Aforementioned Carly Shay happened to be a cousin of Megan Parker, but I would come to know about this only later on.
Chapter 4 Junior Year
4.1 Summer In San Diego
Summer had broken, and for the first time in years I had found the occasion to visit my favourite second cousin again in her home in San Diego in siuthern California, almost in Mexico, the land of nachos, tacos, tortillas, burritos, and tabasco sauce. The latter I would have liked to mix into Benjamin's breakfast from time to time, but he would possibly have burned down our home with his hot breath after "enjoying" it.
The flight from New York to Los Angeles had been really ennervating due to some elderly woman stressing the fellow passengers and the air hostesses to no end with her complaints and requests. I had decided to wear my headsets and listen to some music by Drake Parker, more precisely, Makes Me Happy, although it did not exactly express the way I was feeling. In earlier years, I had got problems with flights in the sense of causing my stomach to throw up and stuff, something too emarrassing to talk about, wait, way less embarrassing than being stuck in a llama's costume.
There had been no cheap direct flight from New York City to San Diego, so I made the distance from Los Angeles to my destination in a bus, and inspite of the good air conditioning, the read red hot sun burning up the sierra caused the temperature inside the vehicle to go up rapidly, and it was hard to bear for someone who was not accustomed to it. When leaving the otherwise comfortable transport I was feeling mildly dizzy, and Wendy needed to support me. A cool smoothie, unless served by Ben, would certainly help me recover.
Many things down here had changed during the years since my last visit, but I was still sufficiently familiar with everything, or so I thought.
And Joshuah Nichols was still twitching on site when Wendy and I were walking up to the residence of Megan and her family, as he remembered the pranks that we and Megan had already pulled on him.
Drake was not at home, as he was loitering around in cheap hotels and bars in other cities and screwing around with other girls he had never seen before, or — as he called it euphemically — was on tour. How did Wendy ever have had a crush on that guy? At least she was now over the unholy mess without having to be angry at him. Wendy had honed her skills in composition of rock music in order to be helpful for him without hankering all the time after him like a complete idiot. But Drake was not aware that the tunes had been made by her, for Megan had always snuck them into Drake's pathetically empty head, whatever she meant with this, and the moment for the great surprise was still to come. By the way, Megan had also achieved sneaking some of my lyrics into Drake's mind, such as that of Hollywood Girl, the song he had sung at fantabulous Sunset Studios and got him for the first time spotted by talent scouts of the great record companies, such as Spin City. Unfortunately his first contract had been a complete failure because Josh, his manager back then, had screwed it up like absolutely nobody's business.
Megan feigned not to be worried about his career and only make fun of her elder brother, but this was deceptory because she was just making fun of his futile attempts,and she new that he could do better than begging for a record contract, as beggars only receive alms. Drake would be able to — or so claimed Megan — to make the record labels beg him on their knees instead of the other way round, and not just dubious ones like Spin City. Indeed Megan had already thought abput a private record label she would be able to run for Drake, with my lyrics, Wendy's tunes, and her management, but their were two obstacles, videlicet Drake's reluctance to trusting his little sister with serious business and the lack of a really versed technology freak in our team. For the latter, Megan had got quite a few ideas, such as a certain Wayne "Fire Wire" Gilbert, a complete freak studying at Pacific Coast Academy, but Wendy's description of him made him appear too creepy.
Wendy also told me more news about life at her most illustrous boarding school, by the way. For example, she had started pitying a certain Michael Barret, room pal of Chase and Logan, who had once had a crush on a girl named Lisa Perkins in a similar way as she had had on Drake, just with the difference that there was no age difference, and that he had finally appeared to be successful because they had become girlfriend and boyfriend after Michael had saved Lisa from getting run over by a stray race cart on the campus. Lisa Perkins was on teh right way to becoming a great pop star, almost a great as Drake, and this made the comparison to Drake and Wendy all natural.
Oops, that sounded like all those cheesy stories about the valiant knight, the fiery wyrm, and the noble virgin princess, and we all know how those fables turn out, but maybe this is not what was meant to be? Infact, it is after all a very stupid reason for being with someone, and aforementioned Samantha Puckett would soon teach us how ridiculous it was indeed, and this would teach me some more lesson ... but in any case, Lisa eas treatuing Michael permanently like dirt, expected him to change into a real man, and did not believe him in extreme situation when Michael needed it most.
Summing it us, spending a few weeks of the summer with friends as great as Wendy and Megan had got the potential of recharging my batteries for the whole next year to come, as we had got a lot of fun hanging out in San Diego, especially a cinema calle Première Theatre which was the preferred place for many of San Diego's teenagers to visit after school and during the breaks. This way I also stumbled across one of Megan's friends who, unfortunately, reminded me substantially of my foes from Rocky Road middle school — videlicet Maris Bingham, Cranberry Sinclair, and Patricia Perez. The girl I am talking about was Ashley Blake, a child star of Hollywood whose movies I had enjoyed a lot as a giirl of ten years or so, and I had envied Megan for knowing her and seeing her often during the breaks. Ashley was already what Maris and her friends wanted to be, but the difference was not that great, after all, maybe Ashley had just got better contacts due to being born in California. And Ashley was a real troublemaker, even Drake deemed her much more of a peril when compared to Megan, but only during the following months would I understand how dangerous she was.
4.2 Back To Rocky Road
Welcome to my junior year at high school, the year of the infamous junior prom which kind of sort of a rehearsal for the senior prom.
Like at the beginning of each year, some students and teachers had departed, while other had arrived, but none of the changes appeared to be really exciting when compare to the last two years.
Of course I was happy to see Zachariah Carter Schwartz again who had been in some basketball camp over the summer, accompanied by his faithful friend Mario Harris. In teh camp, they encountered some utter cracks from all over America, such as Jordan Lewis from Silver Spring High in Los Angeles whom Zach had already heard a lot about.
His relationship with Geena Fabiano was officially over, they did not really have the strength to work it out over the distance, which I had already feared two years ago, well, I had seen their break up coming with or without the geographical distance, but a decent relationship would not have suffered substantially from it, would it? Anyways, the basketball camp had helped Zach to get over the whole crap and concentrate on his true strangths, his team spirit and his warm-heartedness whenever it was appropriate. Zach was not talking about his step-sister, but the way he avoided that talk proved that there was a lot more to it than he had ever admitted. But I decided to play nice in order to avoid upsetting him, as otherwise I would have been possibly the one to spoil tan otherwise successful basketball team.
By the way, Mario Harris was extremely stoked because his cousin Harper had just started a career as a pop singer, and he wanted him to perform here at our school, either at some formal or the junior prom. On the other hand, I had already promised Geena to invite her cousin Lucy as an entertainer to either of those events, xso there would be quite a few arguments to go through.
Mary Ferry and Duane Ogilvy had been at "Camp Nerd", whatever that meant ... and now Geena was talking even more in a hardly comprehensible manner, and having her tutor me in science and social studies would be even more of a walk through hellfire.
Mr. Fletcher, once more teacher for our special class in literature, had got good news for us, meaning that we were going to visit the Broadway and Sofia Michelle, the queen of Broadway playwrights, during the following months. And even more, some of my lyrics had been submitted to some judges who had decided to invite me to the national contest for high school poets, a contest to take place in Los Angeles during this fall.
Aforementioned Harper Harris had been discovered — or so told us Mario — last year while singing in some web show hosted by aforementioned Carly Shay, the cousin of Megan who lived in Seattle. The co-moderator was even more shocking, it was aforementioned excessively evil girl Samantha Puckett alias Trisha Kirby who had alsready seduced and abuse Chase Bartholomew Matthews, making Zoey Brooks jealous for a few minutes. How could a nice girl like Carly work together with an evil lass like Samantha ... I did not understand that, and there was certainly something smelling as fishy as the content of the kitchen waste containers of a sushi bar. It was even more astonishing that Samantha's monozygotic twin sister Melanie was one of the nicest girls among the current students of Pacific Coast Academy.
But their show had soon become really popular and was now even starting to draw the attention of greater masses of teenagers at the east coast although the time shift had been somewhat of an obstacle.
Geena Fabiano and Carly Shay were told to be looking very much alike, but this was certainly not quite the case. Megan and Carly were alike-looking relatives, but I had never had any problems distinguishing them even from afar. Maybe that was just a matter of practice, though, and untrained noobs were likely to get fooled easily. Thus I suggested Geena to submit a fotograph of herself to the site of the web show and let the cast members decide. Maybe she would even get invited into the show and allowed to present some of her fashion designs to a greater public including also those big guys like Simon Christini and Maximilian Madigan ... wait, Geena's young fashhion would hardly be judged by some forty or fifty years old chair tooters for all the responsible people in big companies were at least that old and would never watch a web show by teenagers for kids, would they?
4.4 Blake Bonds
I have already insinuated a great danger emanating from Megan's friend Ashley Blake, the arrogant Hollywood diva of many successful mobies' fame, and now it had struck terribly, making even Megan consternated, and this was really rare. Wendy was totally excited when summing up how life at her prep school had turned out lately.
Ashley had got an elder brother Vincent, a typical brute football jock with no brain who needed to cheat in all his school tests in order to achieve the marks necessary in order enjoy certain privilleges such as the one of being allowed to skip curricular classes for the purpose of extra training for impending important football matches. And he had once been caught doing so by Chase Bartholomew Matthews and denounced unto Dean Rivers, the boss of Pacific Coast Academy, with the result of getting suspened for one of the most important matches of his life.
Formerly Pacific CoastAcademy had been for boys only and thuslacked a properly motivated cheerio squad, in fact they had to hire chieerios from neighbouring schools such as James K. Polk in Santa Clarita, Silver Springs, Brewster, Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts, Palmwood, Lakewood, and especially Eastridge, the school of Maris and Patricia. Only two years ago had they been able to build a cheerio squad strong enough to be a really valuable support for the football team around quarterback Vince Blake, allowing them to pass easily into the Californian state championship for high school teams and being as close to a supreme victory as never before during the last decades.
But the suspension of Vince had ruined it all, so he had simply beaten the living daylights out of Chase and his pals Logan, Mark, and Michael, with the inevitable result of a permanent expulsion which lasted unfortunately for one year only as Vince had been able to convince the school admin of having changed and not being a cheater and bully any longer, which was of course impossible and the result of another cheatery called acting, a skill thoroughly mastered by his little sister from whom he had copied it, well, it had been all her plan anyways.
So, Vince was now back at Pacific Academy for the sole purpose of getting back at Chase, but not by simply beating him up again and risking even harder punishments, no, Ashley's plan was really subtle and mean, it consisted precisely in stealing all of Chase's friends by feigning to be an extremely likable guy. The climax of the plot had been that of making Vonce date one of the girls of Chase's gang, preferreably — as I guessed — Zoey Brooks, but the blond Mary Sue had been with James during those weeks, so Vince had picked Lola Martinez as a second choice.
Being drunk and overwhelmed by a — in my eyes hypocritical — kiss shared with Zoey at junior prom night, Chase had not noticed that Vince was now a friend of his clique members, and he had to return to London the morning after, so the fatal moment had been postponed until their sennior year.
The holidays on Maui had been wonderful for Chase and Zoey, but this year had been hell for them, as Chase had got no such thing as an understanding of Zoey being now friends with archbully Vincent Blake, and especially because Lola was already dating about her impending wedding with the arrogant football jock. So Ashley had apparently been able to figure Chase's weak spots with the skills of a master spy, just as the British creep in those Hollywood thrillers.
And my "dear" brother Ben was even involved, because his smoothie booth, which replaced the former coffee cart run by some Calvin, was a reall starting point for wildfires of rumours, and he liked to make lots of bucks by selling drinks to those who were just greedy to hear those so they may be the considered cool for knowing everything first. Ashley used this occasion in order to spread rumours purposefully, and not only those concerning her brother and Chase's pals, but she also spread that about last year's affair between James and Zoey of which Chase was not yet awarre, and which, combined with the friendship of Vince and Chase's pals, was the last straw to break the mammoth's back. The relationship between Zoey and Chase was now gone with the wind, well, Zoey had been trying — hypocritically as I knew — to repair it, but then she heard the news about Chase having abused other girls in order to make Zoey jealous, such as Rebecca whom Ashley had known long since as Trinidad Vega, a mediocre student from Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts and a cousin of Lola Martinez. For an insider in the Hollywood business like Ashley, it had never been a problem to pick the facts right from the source, and she had thus known that Lola and Quinn had talked Chase into hiring Trinidad in order to make Zoey jealous after they had been annoyed by Zoey's blindness on that eye for two years although, as they had been seen from the incident with Samantha Puckett, she had been reacting jealously when Chase was too close to other girls. For Zoey, this was too much to bear, and she did not only break with Chase for good, but also start hating both of her hitherto "best friends — forever!"
Inspite of having it already ruined for Chase, Ashley had had the guts to go even further ...
"Accidentally", at the same time I decided to give up on Jake who had found a better suiting girl from the county's chess club, one who would not spoil chess computers with root beer and dress as a llama or toot in a class room, in other words, one that was not an utter embarrassment for him. I qwould have kept on fighting, but I had learned from the story of Chase and Zoey that it was not really worth the trouble, and the faster I gave up on the impossible the better for me. Life was too shirt and precious for clinging to your unfabulous mistakes, or so I had come to understand.
4.5 Champions Of Poetry
Once again I had made it to Los Angeles, the city of fast fame and of big tragedies, and this time I was here in order to win — as I wished — or at least to participate in — as Zachariah put it in a more realistic manner — the nationals for lyrics and poetry where I had been invited to upon the recommendation of Fletcher. Unfortunately, mom had condemned me to live with Ben during my sojourn in California which really ruined my mood, but at least the creep was not opposed to letting me hang out with Wendy, anyways.
My second cousin had to leave me in the lobby of Los Angeles city hall, though, as there was not enough space for that many visitors, alas she had got enough time left to point me actually towards Chase Bartholomew Matthews, a not so fabulous dweeb with bushy hair, just as already imagined. He was also a particiapnt in the contest, as he had already written a lot of lyrics, not just plays. Most of them had been centred — absolutely understandably — around Zoey Brooks, especially during the years of his silent crush. Limke me, had was not a skilled composer of any considerable degree, but he had had the advantage of living in the same room with one: Michael Barret was great at writing pop and country tunes, and he had thence ganged up with Chase. But this cooperation had fallen apart when Chase had made his way to London, and even more when Chase came to know that Michael and Vincent had made up. This had become the sudden end of forever, as in "best friends — forever!"
I sat down next to Chase and swand my guitar onto my chest because I felt that he needed a bit of a cheer up before the contest, and so did I, as there had recently some ugly words between me and Jake, leading to us refraining from talking to each other. All of a sudden, Chase grabbed the loose end of my instrument and adjusted a few accords, although he did not seem to be sure of having hit the right ones, and he started chiming in, leading to some sort of an improvised duet.
Many passerbys listened in awe, and they wondered how long we must have been practising together for such a duet, and they would hardly have understood the correct answer. But one nerdy participant, the most dweebish of all, stumbled past us and punished us for whatever with some arrogant glare. Then he was called into the audition room where he was supposed to present some of his submitted poems, reveiling his name as "Nevel Amadeus Papperman" from Seattle ... hey, the same guy who had sold scissors and needles to Geena for tailoring all the cool costumes? I had already wondered about the weird name, but now I wondered how Geena had come to make dealswith him, which — in my opinion — was impossible without having been hexed.
Nevel's resume, as listed in the official program of the event, indiccated that he was composing and playwriting some great opera, and he was citing his passages from it.
I shuddered for disgust, as I was not willing to encounter that creep in some dark corner, although he was probably not as bad as his prestige, but he reminded me so much of the sinister figures in the collected works of Edgar Allan Poe, the summit of all being the raven of the poem with the same name. Those scary black birds have alweays been considered in literature as sinister omens and are typical pictures for a god of the dead. A wave of shudderes ran up and down my spine.
Minutes passed in silence until we were called into the audience room, and, strangely, both of us at the same time although we were not a team by any stretch and had not registered as such.
The judge was no other than Gustavo Rocque, one of the leading roc label owners of Hollywood, and he had already downed nine of ten participants with remarks like "that was good, but I am not looking for good, I am looking for fantabulous poetry!" He was a very choleric person, and when in a tantrum, his screams were said to cause earthquakes to be felt across Los Angeles. I had already started trembling before he started saying the first worlds, and Chase was not feeling any different, so how was I supposed to cite my favourite self-made lyrics? The answer was that I did not have to, for Gustavo declared: "this trafically romantic duet was the greatest piece of lyrics ever! The case is closed, you have won! Second prize goes to Papperman ..."
I looked aghast at Chase because I had got a hard time believing it, and he was stammering wildly because he had not yet understood it, either.
Nevel Papperman just shrugged and deemed Gustavo Rocque a capitalist hyena, whatever that meant ... well, at least not an alpaca, although I would have had to ask Mary Ferry about the zoological details. But a few days later, this online haberdasher would die in a tragical car accident in the streets of Seattle although he was much too young for a driver's license.
4.6 Geena Online
Following my suggestion, Geena Fabiano had actually submitted a picture of herself to the web show of Megan's cousin Carly, and the kids were actually — inspite of my doubs — flabbergasted and flattered by their similarity, although that one was very superficial. In the same spirit they had found random lookalikes for Samantha Puckett and for Fredward Benson, the dweeb of a technical producer of the web show. Something was fishy there, as Carly was of course aware of her much greater similarity with her cousin Megan, and Samantha was totally acquainted with her nice twin sister Melanie. Also Fredward had got an alike-looking relative: Toplin Wheeler. And – what I did not know back then — he had got a twin brother who had been separated from him at birth and was now living as Prince Gabriel in some far-away country.
This was so strange and absurd, I was tempted to interfere, but Zach told me to refrain from it. Maybe each of them had god good reasons for being silent about their relatives and talking about them would just have opened some huge can of worms.
And now those three selected doppelgangers had been chosen for one episode of the web show, and Geena was already excited to no end. All of us kids at Rocky Road had been looking forward to watching this particular episode, icluding me and Zach, of course.
But what was that ... there was absolutely no session online, and everything was all of a sudden so weird that I could not help typing the digits of Geena's cellular phone number in order to check for some sort of a life sign.
And there was the explanation: Carly, Freddie, and Sam had lured their doppelgangers into the studio in order to abuse them for the purpose of fooling Carly's guardian and elder brother Spencer Shay who had not allowed them to go to some monumental mixed martial art event. They had been paid for that, though, but what were fifty bucks compared to the chance of being seen online by gazillions of viewers? Wait ... that many? I would have had incredible troubles doing so, and fortunately there had been no cams at the lyrics nationals, or maybe they had been hidden, otherwise I would have died.
What was worse, Spencer had pretty fast disbelieved the deceit, and the doppelgangers had to flee which had fortunately gone well, but now the fascist was on his way to the martial arena in order to preach some severe sermon unto the kids.
I had never been a fan of the martial stuff, although we had a friend here at Rocky Road simply named "Body Slam Bubba" who was an adult high school dropout preparing for an equivalent degree. Bubba would have loved to participate actively in the martial contest in Seattle, but he would have been expelled again from the high school programme for doing so.
But suddenly, Carly and her gang returned from the event, along with martial master Jackson Colt and with an unconscious Spencer Shay who had been knocked out by the athlete upon his attempt of kidmnapping Carly, Freddie, and Sam from the event. As they were early, there was still some time left for a session of the show, and Geena was now ready to give a thorough presentation of her latest fashion design.
4.7 Geena Goes Mad Style
Against my original assumption, the web show of Carly Shay, Samantha Puckett, and Fredward Benson was indeed watched by employees of one of New York City's big players in the fashion business. It was hard for me to believe, but Mad Style had actually got a Vice President named True Jackson who was only fifteen years old and a high school freshman, thus even two years younger than Geena and I, and she had watched the session of Carly's web show featuring Geena and her fashion designs.
And then Geena had been invitited for an interview with Maxilian Madigan in New York City which was a long trip across the continent again during which she had found the time to stumble just in ... well, it had been actually well planned.
Here she told us about her deal with Mad Style, a job she could easily perform inspite of the stress of the junior year and the impending senior year: Mad Style had got some customers in the states of Washington, Ohio, and Oregon, but no official presence in their. Geena was close ebnough to them to be able to do some urgent design jobs which would be hard to manage from New York City. The next canditate was a private school near Seattle named "Pryorwood Prep" which was in desperate need of new school uniform and outfits for the cheerio squad, a task best suited for someone young and unconventional as Geena. Unfortunately it was also the school of recently decesed Nevel Papperman, something that made Geena as one of his former customers not really comfortable. As a side effect, we figured that Leanne Carter, the step sister of Zach, was a student at Pryorwood, and this instilled some hope for a family reunion.
Oh well, each great offer is supposed to hide some sort of a hitch, ain't it so?
4.8 Mad Scientist
The state of Washington was absolutely proud of its programs for environmental programs. Seattle was not for naught also known as the "emerald city", emerald because of the huge amount of sparkling green parks and tree plantations. This was also reflected in many projects of the city geared towards keeping the city clean and improving it.
The schools of this city were firmly integrated into this programme, and some teachers, such as Mr. Henning from Ridgeway, the school of Carly Shay and her friends, were really fanatical about it. Geena was studying at a different high school, but it was equally engaged in the "green week" in which teh students were forced into environment-friendly projects. Those who had failed during this week were forced instead to participate in some camp during spring break which was like basic camping out in the forests, and it was appropriately labeled "Camp Root and Berry".
Fanatic ecopacifist Zachariah Carter Schwartz was of course all eager on such a program and he would have loved to participate, but of course it was only for kids in King County and not here at Rocky Road. He was about persuading all his friends, especially his basketball team and me, into joining him into a few days of basic camping during spring break, with a brittle tent and ecologically acceptable equipment. Likewise, he had got thousands of ideas for projects that would even have made Mr. Henning go pale.
But poor Geena knew that Zach's idea were not for her as she did not have the his ecological instincts, and that she would have messed it up badly because she was — or so she had learned from her own experience — unable to understand his eco-talk. For that reason she needed to look for help from someone in Seattle, and her first idea had been Fredward Benson, the dweeb of a tech producer of Carly's web show who was also hitting on her and who was starting to abuse Geena in order to make Carly jealous, an enterprsie that — at least so I had learned from the life of Chase matthews — was bound for badfiring so badly. I dissuaded Geena from insisting in this project, lest she would get involved into deep troubles. By the way, Fredward messed up his own project, an electronically controlled compostation plant with rain worms imported from Portugal, because the disgustingly horny dweeb had forgotten that importing worms from Portugal was an incredible waste of fuel, and — as Zach added — it was cruelty to animals, and thus he would be sent straight to "Camp Root And Berry" into a narrow tent with many other losers.
Geena appeared saved when she walked for the first times into the sacred halls of Pryorwood Prep in order to present her provisory designs and stumbled upon a certain Cal who was a new student teacher for science and who had just graduated from Caltech in California ... whence the name. Nobody knew his given name or family name, and this was so fishy. But Geena was glad to have found an expert for natural energy resources which would certainly help her to avoid a week out in the forests with all those creey animals and the typical weather of Seattle, videlicet endless storms and mounts of rain.
Geena was maybe not knowing what she was talking about, but her description of the machine she was building with "Cal" sounded kind of sort of illegal and dangerous, but it was just Geena's poor description, wasn't it? Or should I have to start worrying for real? I decided to try and forget the whole problem and was glad because Geena was probably save from roots and berries.
But a few days later, "Cal" had disappeared from sight and Geena's voice had changed audibly ... or was it just an imagination and hallucination of mine ... I had probably been stressed beyond reason because junior year was so burdening and stuff, right, this must have been it, or was the omen personified by Nevel Papperman a real threat? After all, Cal appeared to have so many things in common with Quinn Pensky who had humiliated me to the level of a wooly beast and with Mindy Crenshaw who would have blown up a whole school in order to get back at friends and fans of her nemesis Drake Parker.
4.9 My Junior Prom
Junior year was coming to an end, and this meant: Junior prom here at Rocky road, and even though I was not keen on it because of my recent final break with Jake Beheri, I would show up bacause of my respect for those who had organised it such as Duane Ogilvy and class president Eliah Pataki. I had made quite a few suggestions and they were usually considered seriously by those guys.
The prom nuffet was organised and provided by nearby Hongkong Palace, one of the largest chains of Chinese restaurants in America, nowadays owned by one Mrs. Lee from Los Angeles. We had often been there dining with our families, and this made it a natural choice, although also Yumburger and Juice had applied, the latter due to my initiative, but the students' choice had finally been Hongkong Palace.
The choice of music had been more critical, as Mario Harris had insisted in his cousin Harper, while Zach wanted Geena's cousin Lucy Stone, while I would have been OK with either choice, as it did not really matter for someone who was forced to hang out there and dance all alone. First, we had thought about casting dice, but then this appeared oh so horribly injust. And the basketball team did not need more troubles and inner conflicts as they had not made it beyond the regionals again, and this was really hurting. There was only one last chance left for them, and they would better use it well. So Mary Ferry finally decided to let them play together, which sounded like a compromise, but not being the unique star had hot the potential of hurting both of them badly.
And our aannoying headmaster had to give a speech, shorter than the one to be given at a senior prom, but still nothing to listen to voluntarily. Eli Pataki finally declared the whole mess for open, and I was confined to stand alone in the corner. Zach had not found a new girlfriend yet, but he and Mario had finally made up with the girls' volleyball team after many years of trouble, and he was now prom-dating their captain Vanessa Tayler, of course only as an emergency solution and not a heart affair. Vanessa had, by the way, spent her freshman year at Pacific Coast Academy and been the one-day girlfriend of aforementioned Michael Barret, but I tried not to think about that school too much.
All of a sudden, the backdoor went open, and my "beloved" brother Benjamin walked in as if ready to mdestroy my evening, if there had been anything to destroy in the first place, but why, pay tell, had he come to this place in that moment? Ben was still a bit out of breath before saying, "I've brought someone along with me, someone you will certainly like to see." I looked at the door frame, and there was ... Chase Bartholomew Matthews, making my eyes bug out and my heart jump. Back at Pacific Coast Academy, Ben had talked a lot about me, and Chase had been listening carefully because he was interested to know more about the girl with whom he had shared the first national award for poetry. My brother had then decided that we should give it a try, and this was now the right time for it.
Lucy and Harper appeared to get along pretty well and the started performing perfectly together as co-stars, and now they started a song just for us, a song written by Harper's twin brother André.
Chase and I, we wrapped our arms around each other and started dancing long, although both of us were really poor excuses of dancers, and we would dance all night long until breaking down at at the paling of the sky ...
The surname appears sometimes in credits.
The family name is concluded from the context, as Megan is talking about some younger brother of guest character Thornton Wheeler.
Chapter 5 Senior Year
5.1 Last Summer Break
Senior year was certainly not going to be easy for any of us Rocky Road kids, but some of us had accumulated some heavy burdens during their previos years, and those were going to be difficult to make up, especially as most of us were already applying at colleges or stuff.
This did not make it easier for us to enjoy summer break, and I had got particular troubles because I had not heard anything good about Geena during the last weeks which made me worry in particular because "Cal" had turned out as a mad scientist indeed, he had built a portable nuclear reactor both for Carly and for Geena, claiming it to be the most environment-friendly and natural source for energy. The device was powered by uranium which he had hoarded from the official laboratories where he had been working in, such as that of Caltech. Cal had also been the upstream provider of Mindy Crenshaw with reagents necessary for building her hell machine, and the latter was now also hiding from the FBI.
Unfortunately, there was no occasion for me to go to Seattle for the summer break, so I was just hanging out with my guitarin the busy streets of southern New Jersey. This way I came to thinking that I wanted to do something like that after graduating from high school, sort of like a wandering minstrel in the good old times before the invention of record labels such as that of Gustavo Rocque.
And now it was starting raining ... oops ...I better found a way to keep my guitar dry, otherwise the chords would have started rusting and the wood getting soaked.
5.2 One Year To Go
This was the start into my year as a senior at Rocky Road High, and our annoying principal started talking our ears off, warning us about the time after high school which most of us, all the troubles here notwithstanding, would — or so he claimed — remain in our memory as the most beautiful time of our life.
Mary Ferry had already got her confirmation letter from Harvard, and it was now just a matter of a scholarship for her. Duane was not bad, but he was not good enough for Harvard and would have to settle with some smaller college where he would of course shine thoroughly. Would Mary step back from Harvard or would she go her way even at the cost of getting separated from her fiancé?
Zach's basketball team was ready to prepare for the last chance to strike big times. Unfortunately there were no decent cheerios left in order to support them, which was a very important factor as I had learned from the miserable mess over at Pacific Coast Academy where, by the way, Benjamin got his nose regularly punched for hitting on cheerio girls.
During the last year we had already been briefly at the Broadway but without a chance of encountering any of the real stars over there as we had wished for. But this year it would be the otherway round, videlicet: The Broadway would come over to us for a visit! And Fletcher announced that Sofia Michelle had decided to peform one of my verse epics as a musical, something that made me already go totally excited.
I was still not aware of the destiny of Geena, as I only received SMS and Twitter updates from her. I thought about contacting Carly's web show crew in order to let them look for her, but they were so busy, and Samantha was a sadomasochist pervert and probably little willing to help.
5.3 Philip Brownley
Eliah Pataki, who had just been confirmed once more as our class president ... for the seventh time in a row ... had talked me hard into asking the team of carly's web show, and I had been able to convince Carly who was actually willing to help, but my fears of Samantha Puckett had been confirmed.
Pataki and his fiancé Dawn Ratzenberger had then come up with the idea of contacting the school where Geena was designing the uniforms for, or maybe she was already done with that. We could have looked them up on the interweb, as Dawn and Eli had wanted to, but maybe a recommendation by Mad Style would have been better.
True Jac0kson was not available for the moment, so we were deferred to her assistant Lauren Peckinpaw alias "Lulu" who was very smart, but she often suffered from a lack of focus. This made us decide to go to the web site of Pryorwood prep fiurst, and then look for True's backup.
Eli contacted his colleague from the other side of the continent, Philip Brownley After talking about the situation, the class president of Pryorwood was resdy to help us out. He had been the one to suggest new uniforms in the first place and knew True Jackson already, and so it was much easier. Geena's job had basically been accomplished by the end of the last academic year, but the board had not yet approved completely of the new design, so there was a chance that they needed to see Geena again and they have already been looking for her, but with no good result, only some strange SMS had been received.
Phil would also try to change the mind of the team of Carly's web show. Carly had once been offered a scholarship at Pryorwood, but the bad influence of Fredward and Samantha had made her reject it. Soon there would be a girls' choice ball at Ridgeway, the school of Carly and her friends, and Carly had not yet got a partner, so there was yet a dim chance left to get it fixed this way. Carly's friends had organised a speed date for interested guys, and all it took was the effort to sign up there and hopefully make a better impression than anyone else.
And, indeed, Phil would be chosen by Carly for the aforementioned event which would take place at Groovy Smoothie, the former domain of Benjamin and now run by aforementioned Terrence Bo.
5.4 Family Reunion
And the whole action had got one side effect, for Philip Brownley was now also able to contact his school mate Leanne Carter for us, especially for Zachariah. We were even able to arrange a live chat with his step sister from the state of Washington.
Leanne looked really nice and she was talking much nicer. "Wow, Zachariah, long time no see ... it's great to hear from you again, how's life at the East Coast?"
Zachariah's eyes started to inflate into heart-shaped balloons. "Hi Leanne ... I am trying hard to win this years nationals in basketball and get a basketball scholarship at one of the colleges proud of their teams." He also introduced Mario and me as we were standing around the screen as well.
Leanne smiled sweetly. "Wow, that is so good for you! I hope you will win, two thumbs up!" She gestured with her hands, also similating a throw with a basketball to some hoop. Then she talked about her beauty pageants, "you know, I don't care so much about winning, but it is a lot of fun all the time. You are really one of the initiators of 'Basketball Sans Frontières'?"
They kept on talking like this for several minutes, especially about his many ecopacist projects, and Zach blushed deeper and deeper.
Leanne's next bigger pageant was planned for the same day as our senior prom, making it impossible for us to watch her online even if they found a way to put it live onto the interweb.
Unfortunately, Leanne had not got any time left as her conversation with Zach which was going way beyond the usual family talk took away all of it, so I was not able to ask any question about Quinn Pensky, the former participant of Seattle's pageants. I had still not forgiven, let alone forgotten, about the humiliation of being deemed the inferior of some wooly ungulate.
5.5 Magic Malika
The ball at Ridgeway was over, and Philip Brownley was ready for a report: "yeah, I have been there with Carly, and it had been crazy. Fredward Benson, that creep of a tech producer, had been invited by Malika Ritter who appeared to be sort of a witch that made things appear and disappear at whim, and even levitate. That was a lot of fun.
But I was primarily interested in a way to get Carly to use her web show in order to look for Geena ... oh well ... I just had to ask again.
Phil grinned and replied, "Freddie is interested in finding Geena as well, and he is tlking abvout her in a perversely horny manner."
I shook my head vigorously, as I figured easily that Fredward was still trying to make Carly jealous.
Dso, this lass named Malika appeared to be psychic, and maybe she was able to find Geena using there abilities? OK, this was a really scary thought, after all, but I had not seen any other choice in the case of Carly's initiative being in vain.
The most grisly and "poe-ish" time of the year, if there was such a word indeed, was certainly Halloween, a contraction of "All Hallows' Evening", the night preceeding the first of November. And if there was no such word as of yet, it would have been necessary to invent it on site. And among all poem of Poe, The Raven were beyond any doubt the embodiment of this evening. How many times had Benjamin tried tp scare the living hell out of me, and how often had it all backfired, leaving him squeal like a fury? There was way more to this than "Trick Or Treat" which had been our main reason as kids for looking forward to that night, but only by reading the collected works of Edgar Allan Poe had I come to start appreciating this.
Many people connected Halloween with witches, and was it an incident that we had heard about "Magica" Malika, the teenage thaumaturge from Seattle, just when we had started looking forward to Halloween? If it were not for Halloween, I would have forgotten about that weird girl pretty fast, but now she was more and more on my mind, and the idea of asking a witch to find Geena magically for us would never have been fostered and maintained beyond a certain threshold.
This was Eli Patatki's Halloween party and we were supposed to have some fun, but all I saw were the shadows of ravens on the wall, the raven of Edgar Allan Poe and the ravens depicted with witches, the symbol of the bad omen. Everyone seeing me in the cornerwondered what I was doing, given that this was after all a party designed for having fun, but I could not relieve my remorses in any way, I just had to get Malika involved, maybe she was the only one able to locate Geena for me before it was too late ... maybe, for it was a really desperate action, after all.
And another poem by the same master of American dark romantics was occupying my mind like a barnacle, a poem simply named Alone, for that's how I felt when left in the corner at this party.
Zach had training hard for the last six years in order to become the captain of a successful team for the aforementioned reasons, and now this goal was closer than ever before.
Coach Pearson was still totally demanding, but there was every reason for this. The regionals were on the road, and it would not be easy to qualify for the nationals which would take place in Seattle, as he just had come to know.
Little wonder, Zach's eyes started to bug out as he would play possibly in front of the eyes of his beloved step sister Leanne, but there was also the problem that his mom would not allow him to go there ... wait, Zach had just turned eighteen and would thus be able to go there if he had got the bucks to afford the trip. In other words, we would have to raise funds eventually against the parents' will, which would be hard.
But before that, we needed to qualify, and I was only able to watch them play against the school of True and her friends while sticking both of my thumbs up ... wait ... I was also able to grab my guitar and back up the cheerios, but what to play, and what to sing? When Chase had been with me at the nationals for lyrics, everything had come from within, dunno, so I decided to simply close my euyes and think dreamily about the bushy dork. All of a sudden, a lovely tunr sprang forth from the chords, and I started singing about the grass frog gladiators. The grass frog was our mascot, by the way, so this was all natural.
And in fact our cheerios, of which only a few had been left, started tripling their activity and cartwheel all over the place, building pyramids and stuff like nobody's business.
A woonderful pass from Mario Harris diagonally across the field staright into the hands of Zachariah Carter Schwartz, a feint, ajunp, a throw, and ... goal! Oops, this was not hockey, buit whatever, our team was up in this match, and only three seconds to go ... two ... one ... The final bell was rung, saving our team which was now confirmed as qualified for the nationals.
Seattle, here we come, yeah! And this was of course the best occasion to look for or after Geena, as I had still not found out much to scatter my worries.
5.8 Raising Funds
Being low on money had never been any fun, be it at home or at school, and fundraising was such a tedious business, especially when time was limited as in our case. The nationals were already around the corner, and we needed to come up with the expenses for the trip to Seattle. In middle school we had got quite some ideas, but they often backfired badly, well, I would not have been myself if they had gone really well, would I?
One of the classics at midde and high schools was a car wash, but I was sure that I would only scratch and smash the cars, and I remember from Wendy's accounts how Zoey Brooks had trashed the car of one of the leading members of the board of her prep school. And kids at James K. Polk middle school in Santa Clarita had once worked in two competing teams, boys and girls, with the result of everyone making a shabby job and leaving the cars dirtier than ever.. I knew about the latter from a book named Declassified School Survival Guide that had been written by a guy of my age named Edmond Bigby during his life as a middle school student at aforementioned school. He was now about to graduate from high school, just as Zach and I, and his book had been finally published country-wide after it had been coursing as a well-guarded secret among school kids of the region around Los Angeles. Benjamin was the one to show up here at Rocky Road with the first copy available. Why had there not been such a book back then, its valuable hints by Edmond and his friends Jennifer and Simon Nelson would have saved me from many a pain, that was so unfair, right?
But maybe it was not too late and it would still able to save our trip to Seattle, I just had to read carefully enough, something I was not keen on unless in the case of romances, especially the dark ones by Edgar Allan Poe. THe book listed a lot of examples of things not to do if you need to raise funds, for most of them have show the tendency to backfire badly. And trashing your teachers' cars was definitely a bad idea, after all, right?
And there was the unique winner idea ... make yourself a target for sponge throwers would provide you with quite a few bucks, after all. It was craxzym but so many kids and young adults paid big bucks for being allowed to do so.
Zach, Coach Pearson, and I had volunteered as the living target, but why had nobody told me before that wert sponges were so ... well ... wet? Finally we were so totally soaked from head to toe, but the money was enough for the tickets and a sleeping place in run down Parker Nichols Hotel in Seattle. But was this poor excuse of a hotel really named for Drake Parker and Joshuah Nichols as I had supposed in the first moment?
In any case, I had to fall on my knees in order to thank Edmond Bigby and his friends for their great School Survival Guide.
5.9 Sofia Michelle At Rocky Road
As announced by Fletcher at the beginning of the year, Sofia Michelle was making it to Rocky Road for the very firsttime in history, and this was one big honour, but it was also a huge burden and responsibility for me, as the reason for her attention was no less than my recent results, especially in the national poetry championship.
But Sofia was in an incredible hurry because she was already expected in California where she would attend the performance of her recent top seller Uptown Downtown by Hollywood School For The professional Performance Arts, an educational institution for future movie stars and similar talents.
Of course we were completely unable to compete with the special schools of Hollywood or Broadway, respectively, were we? So I had written my own verse drama, based loosely on Egar Allan Poe's Telltale Heart, and the play was starring Duane Ogilvy as the murderer.
I had been the stage director, while Mary Ferry had been responsible for the stahge technology. We had got some troubles when filling in the positions, ad I had learned a lot already from former attempts here at Roclky Road and at other schools, such as that of Edmond Bigby's wonderful guide.
As a result, Sofia Michelle praised our solid performance and great efforts, although she also made it clear that we were very far from professional and completelly unable to compete with schools like Hollywood Art. "As an exception, the lyrics were perfect, even Poe would creep forth from his tomb in order to applaude!" The lyrics were mine, so I had to take the compliments. Sofia Michelle was willing to write me a recommendation for about each theater house in America, something useful for me who wanted to spend the next year as a travelling lyricist, working here and there, inorder to collect some valuable experience. Thanks, Sofia!
But one of the best things was the nfact thatSofia had not been alone, her assistant and intern Chase Bartholomew matthews was with her. We had not had the opportunity to talk a lot since junior prom, but he had kept his visit as a surprise,and a very joyful one at that. There were so many things we could talk about with ease, and we agreed on going together to my senior prom.
5.10 Parker-Nichols Inn
So this was Seattle, the emerald city, for me apparently more of a rainy city, for after walking its street for only half an hour got me more soaked than during the whole sponge throwing action. But this was finally our residence for the whole duration of the nationals, fortunately just two days or three, depending on whether we made the big finale.
And the explanation for the name of the hotel was fairly stupid, and it was indeed not unrelated to Megan's family, although the connection was only an indirect one. Half a decade ago, Drake Parker and Josh Nichols had tried to make a few bucks during their parents' absence by renting their residence to visitors like an inn, an attenmpt that had been a flabbergasting failure, for all they had earned this way was unspeakable trouble. They had called Helen Baxter, the owner of aforementioned cinema Premi''ere Theater, for help, but the lady just increased the trouble by organising a big partuy with the inn guests and eveninvited guys from TV for an illegal broadcast. The party was aire all over the Pacific Coast, including Seattle, and inspired two people from here into doing exactly the same with their run down mansion in order to earn a few bucks.
We wanted our room keys, but there were none of those, the rooms consisted of mass dormitories where we had to sleep on matresses on the floor, one next to the other, well, this was still better than having to stay in a brittle tent outside, such as the poor kids that had been forced into "Camp Root And Berry". There were at least lockers for our belongings, though, but those were smaller than those at school, and some had to be reached by means of rickety ladders.
OK, as we see, our fundraising had not allowed us to watch out for some more comfortable place to stay, but at least this was something to live with for a few days.
I slumped down onto my matress after the hard day, as I had to be ready for the next one which implied not only watching the nasketball matches, but also an encounter with Malika Ritter who scared the living daylights out of me but was probably my last chance to find and possibly save Geena.
5.11 American Basketball Stars
This was the day Zachariah Carter Schwartz and his pals had spent a life time waiting for, the chance to make the big trophy and be spotted by the headhunters of the colleges that were able to shell out basketball scholarships which were way harder to find than those for football, hockey, or baseball.
The main problem was of course that many other boys and a few girls had got the same dream but were playing in different teams and were thus not exactly willing to leave the victiory to us, leave it all to us.
And there were those spectators, as none of our boys was accustomed to playing in front of a really huge audience such as the one that was aexpected to be here, and we were on hostile terrain, so the majority of the onlookers would be in the site of the team from Seattle Ridgeway, the school of Carly, Fredward, and Samantha who was also qualified.
Their coach was aforementioned Terrence Bo whose day job, though, was that of running Groovy Smoothie, a really weird combination according to my taste. The star of the team was one Pete Pearson, a tall rake that was extremely popular with girls. Even Samantha Pucket had been dating him for a few days, but nothing came out because two many girls were sucking at his lips at the same time. Oh yeah, the big star athletes had got too much of all of it — fame, girls, money. The blong girl eater was by the way a nephiew of our coach pearson. But the most shocking revelation was the captain of their cheerio squad, a certain Tasha Hughes who had formerly been a cheerio girl at good old Rocky Road and moved to Seattle for High School. She was excruciatingly arrogant and this was also obvious in the performance of their cheerio troop which were geared no towards just supporting their team, but for humiliating those of the adversaries.
There were some more teams, but none of them was a big favourite. This rôle was exclusively reserved for the team of the Californian champion, as by experience, the championship of the greater Los Angeles region was regularly harder than the nationals, so their winner had to be one hell of a squad. And this team was precisely the one from ... drum roll ... James K. Polk High School, coached by iromwoman Dirga, a very strict gym teacher after all.
So what comes by, gies by, and while I had been falling onto my knees for awe and gratitude towards great hero Edmond Bigby when his School Survival Guide had allowed me to raise the funds necessary to make it up to here, he and his friends were now up to ruining us. This was especially the case for Seth Powers, the undisputed star of the team who was even rumoured to spin a basketball on his fingertips when sleeping or taking a shower. Also, I had praised Jennifer Mosely to be such a great girl, an example for this generation of school girls to live up to, but now she was the co-captain of their basketball team and ready to erase us, She was really big and strong for a girl, but also terribly smart and even artistically gifted, and there was hardly any weakness to be found.
Already in the county championships of Los Angeles they had pulverised teams like that of Pacific Coast Academy with little effort, and even more that of Silver Spring with Jordan Lewis whom Zach still knew from aforementioned summer camp, let alones teams from Palmwood, Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts, Lakewood, Brewster, and so many others.
Before the start of the matches, the president of the national union of high school basketball gave one of those boring speeches, but at least Theodore Franklin, the principal of Ridgeway, showed mercy and kept his sermon as short as possible. He was a very cool principal, and I envied Ridgeway's kids to no end for him. He just yelled, "may the best team win!"
The event was to be broadcast on TV, but I did not know the channel or whether it was a live or delayed airing, and the only thing to be made out was that the moderator was Jeremiah Trottman, a very annoying former student of Pacific Coast Academy familiar to Wendy and Ben, and about whom Chase would later on tell me many horror stories.
The umpire of some of the matches was Coach Keller who had formerly been responsible for several teams at Pacific Coast Academy and was now working for the Californian federation of school basketball. The bell was ringing ...
I picked my guitar and tried to do the same as during the regionals, but just with more or less mediocre success as I was overwhelmed by the atnmosphere here in the sports dome, the place where recently Jackson Colt had knocked Carly's brother into the next millennium. It did work somewhat, but the hostile cheerleaders were vastly superior to our own.
The match against the team of Seattle Ridgeway had been very close, but yet another cool combination of Mario Harris and Zachariah Carter Schwartz had done them in, causing Pete to curse like a blasphemer, well, at least it remained in the family, right, given that our coach was Pete's uncle.
Yet James K. Polk was a completetly different brood, and I was complaining a lot about three of their players using mean tricks, their names being William Loomer, Jerry Crony, and Buzz Rodriguez. They always struck whenever the empire was not watching and then feigned innocence, although even extremely motivated Jennifer Mosely was apparently by no means happy about their not so fair methods.
The final bell rang, and the defeat was perfect, with over twenty points inbetween. Granted, Seth Powers alone ghad probably made the difference, but this did not give William Loomer and his guys the permission to trip and push opponents whenever possible. I wanted to complain at the referee's, but Keller just ran away and went for a sushi which he pronounced in a strangely absurd way on top of all his rudeness and arrogance.
Zachariah's dream had just burst like a soap bubble, but all of a sudden, Leanne stood behind him.
"Sorry that you have not quite made it." She figured that her piteously sobbing step brother needed her a lot now, and she continued, "but I have seen some of the head hunters, and they were impressed by your actions, anyways. So maybe you will still be invited to one or the other college offering basketball scholarships."
Zach was now feeling a bit more comfortable and replied , "good luck for the pageant!" He remembered that the next one was the day of our senior prom.
Leanne sighed and replied, "well, if you have not yet got a prom date, I would gladly ..." she blushed deeply and comtinued "one Seattle Pageant more or less won't cut it for me, not if I can help you. And my class will be on a trip to New York City, anuways, so all I need is a responsible adult to get me to Rocky Road for an few hours and back."
Now Zacharia blushed deeply, and the two of them started huggling in a tender manner that made me sigh for awe, for, kinsmen or not, they were such a cute couple.
5.12 The Pendulum
Already during the basketball match against the team from Tidgeway, the penetrant gaze of one of their students had struck me awfully, and these were the eyes of Malika Ritter, the teenage thaumaturge that was my last hope concerning Geena, for Carly's web show had not yet come up with any usable hints. And the witch was using a strange pendulum, as if she had tried to hypnotise me with it, but she used it inded in order to find Geena's location by swinging it over a map of the environment of Seattle.
Her first attempt indicated a location in a large forest area with small mountains, some sort of national park not far from Seattle. A detailed search was not possible from this narrow room here, so I would have to take a trip into these woods and look for Geena. As it was just spring break, I had still got a few days spare in order to do so, but I did not really want to go there all alone, as it implied camping out in the forests, wiuth the wolves, the bears, the squirrels, and ... bigfoot?
According to Zachariah, bigfoot were just nature, and there was nothing bad out there if only you knew how to handle them. Of course he was ready to join me on a camping trip into the wood-covered mountains of Washington, and Malika would also come as she had started the whole thing.
A cerian professor Sidney Van Gurbin had recently published a book Bigfoot — True Or Real? about arecently sighted sample of the species sighted precisely in the forests we were about to head into. Making everything worse, Malika had got the excruciatingly uncanny feeling that Geena was no longer exactly a human as we knew her.
And this made me gasp for over a minute, forcing me to pronounve "so she is what now, a bigfoot?"
But the thaumaturge just shrugged helplessly, declaring that she did not sense any more details.
5.13 Out In The Forests
And there we were, out in the forest in a tent where we would not be able to survive without the skills of Zachariah Carter Schwartz, especially his knowledge about the wild animals and herbs that surrounded us. Malika's car would hardly offer us any protection, it was very old and rusty, and I had got quite some trouble to talk Zach in to entering it in the first place.
Malika spent most of the time meditating, and I was not sure how all that was going to help us to find Geena between all those trees ... those were trees, weren't they ... they seemed to be moving, but this was the wind, right, it was not a giant bear or even bigfoot, let alone a beavcoon, a scross between a beaver and a racoon or so.
Mary Ferry who was now already on her way back to Rocky Road had explained that bigfoot are the result of genetic manipulation of some sorts, so I thought abpout all the scary experiments performed by geeks like Quinn Pensky and Melinda Crenshaw, Radioactivity seems to play a big rôle in their business, and had Cal's power plant which he had made Geena use for her school project been based on radioactive stuff such as uranium and plutonium? So — or so supposed Mry Ferry — geena must have been exposed to some overdose of it and started to mutate in some sense.
All of a sudden, Malika woke up from her trance and remarked that she had sensed something like Geena, not far from our already thoroughly weather-beaten tent, just beyond a few trees one the other side of the river. Needless to say, there was no bridge and we had to step across the ford provided by a few slippery rocks in the stream.
We had just made it to the other side when Zack threw us to the ground because it was too dangerous to stay on our feet whuch means he had spotted something, more precisely a camping mobile, or a former camping mobile that had been turned into a trash by some tree that had decided to jump into its way, but maybe it was still functional, yet neitehr Zach nor Malika nor myself knew how to repair a car. Some roaring voices were heard from within, and those must have belonged — according to Malika's senses — to Geena Fabiano. Zach dared to take a carefullook at the monster, and it looked like a mixture of a humanoid with giant teeth and a dragon. Needless tyo say I did not want to encounter such a beast from face to face, even if it was my former "best friend — forever!" But maybe the monster had just eaten Geena and was now ready for sleeping a bit, allowing us to retreat safely? No, I was not ready to give up on the idea of Geena beig alive, and Malika's seventh senses told me that Gina was exactly that weird beast.
A few minutes later we figured that the monster was gone, and Geena stood in its place, so Malika had been right all the time, and we were safe, for the moment. Malika warned us against approaching her too rapidly, for maybe a shock wiould make her resort to her monster shape. And indeed her first reaction was not actaully welcoming although she remembered Zacharaiah and me without problems. But she declared thatshe was no longer able to live as a human in our civilisation as long as she had no control over herself.
Indeed her symptoms had started when she was accidentally exposed to radioactivity, and then she had met Quinn Oensky who had offered her some tincture that was supposed to cure her from the radiation, but the contray had happened, and the result was monster Geena, or a so-called plasma thrasher.
The camping mobile she had stolen from some stupid tourists that would later turn out as Carly Shay, her vrother, and her friends.
For the moment we had to return to the civvilisation, but this was not tantamount to giving up all hopes, for we would look for a solution and then save our friend.
5.14 So Long, Rocky Road!
And then there was senior prom, which meant that high school time was coming to an end. Our principal gave a usual hypocritical and flattering speech, and then Mary Ferry, as our valedictorian, gave one as well, followed by class president Eli Pataki.
Mary Ferry had by the way already got a plan for restoring Geena, but it would ne necessary to get Quinn Pensky to cooperate, whether she had been mean to me or not. But now she was swinging her Duane across the dancing floor, and she had already printed invitation cards for their wedding which was scheduled for the next winter.
Before the official ball, I played Rabbie Burns's immortal tune Should Auld Acquaintance on my guitar, accompanied by Leanne's saxophone.
But then the band hired for this eevent took over, and they were some boy band that had been discovered a few months ago by Gustavo Rocque, former umpire of the lyrics contest. He still remembered my great performance of that time and sent over his boys, named "Big Time Rush", in order to rock all over the place. Maybe I was going to see them again in a few months during my tour through the clubs of this country as a wandering minstrel?
I was dancing all evening along with Chase, if you are indeed willing to call these more or less random twitching movements "dancing", while Zach and Leanne had done the same until she had to leave us again, but much more elegantly. By the way, Leanne had been right about Zach's career, and, even more, he had been selected for the University of Seattle and would thus be fairly close to his sweetheart.
The evening was coming to an end, and in a few days, our ways would diverge into various directions after twelve years side by side. "So long, Rocky Road!"
She is identified with one cameo appearance of the same actress in one episode of Unfabulous.
Chapter 6 A Year On The Road
6.1 The Première
As a tween kid I had used to suppose that the end of school meant freedom and fun, just like the breaks and recesses, but the closer my graduation from high school had come, the more I had switched to anticipating that it was nothing like that, even with a career of a travelling minstrel hopping from place to place wherever it was possible to find a club willing to provide your bed and bread in turn for entertaining its guests. With the recommendation from Sofia Michelle it was easier to pick the more noble clubs, but I had to be careful in orcer to avoid sounding too snobbish when showing the recommendation in the wrong places.
Now I was starting again from the bottom, but fortunately — or so I hoped — this was just to be meant geographically, for my first occupation was at aforementioned Première Theater in San Diego, a job that Megan Parker had organised for me. During those weeks I lived with Wendy Gellar in her home in San Diego.
I had already encountered Helen Baxter, the owner of this cinema, several times when coming to this movie hall with Megan and Wendy, and I knew that she could be totally weird. The reason is that she had once been a child star at Hollywood but failed to make it into adult acting, and she was still not over the humiliations she had to suffer from this setback. This was clearly felt in her choice of movies to be displayed and her way of treating the stars that showed up in here for promotional purposes, Ashley Blake being one of them doing so on a regular base. In any case, the destinty of Helen should serve me as a warning, as I did not want to eend up that crumpy, did I?
There were a few employees and regular guests hanging out in such a place most of the time. Helen's slave was no other than Joshuah Nichols, aforementioned dweeb of a step brother of Megan Parker who needed to earn bucks for college in here. Another employee was known as "Crazy Steve" because he was a dangerous psychopath, and he looked similar to Spencer Shay, previously mentioned brrother of web host Carly. They were even remotely related, but Megan and Drake usually denied that because this would have been too embarrassing. Finally, a certain Gavin Mitchell was the most busy among Helen's employees but he was never acknowledged as this by Helen.
Two guests were also loitering aound: Craig Eric and Erig Blonowitz were nerdy dweebs who did not know what to do between their visits to a museum and a botanical garden. They also discussed the weirdest things in the movies they were watching, They were also into some excessively weird habit known as "Real Person Shipping" or — in short — RPS which consisted more or less in making up stories about relationships between the actors or bands involved in their favourite movies, shows, and concerts. Today they discussed a possible ship between Lola Martinez and Drake Parker which sounded kind of sort of cute if it had been true, but it was no reason for spreading rumours about them just for fun, even more was it weird to claim that Drake Parker and Josh Nichols were a couple although Drake was most definitely into girls only.
I wondered whether I would be one day in the centre of attention as much as many of the Hollywood stars whose posters were attached to the walls of the theatre hall, and whether my fans, should I ever have had any, would make up stories and art about the relationships they envision for me ... kind of sick in some cases, if you ask me, especially in the case of Craig and Eric.
For if the two nerds had stuck to the big adult Hollywood stars and starlets only it would have stayed in a bearable framework, but that was by no means all of it. They also preyed on Carly Shay's web show and "shipped" — as the fan community called it — Carly Shay and Fredward Benson as a couple, or — said in their own words – they were "Creddiers" and were discussing about all the possible dirty details of their dates before and behind locked doors — how disgusting!
There were also fans of the same web show preferring the "ship" of Fredward Benson and Samantha Puckett, commonly referred to — by those fans — as "Seddie", which made those fans pass as "Seddiers". "Creddiers" were a lot more insane and perverted than "Seddiers", although both of them were creepy.
It is needless to say that confessing "Creddiers" and confessing "Seddiers" in one room was never a good thing and usually resulted in wars.
OK ... I will return to this interesting yet annoying topic at a given later moment, for this was not my reason for being here at the theatre. Rather, I was hired in order to perform on the medium stage of this institution. Given that this was essentially a cinema, I had always wondered why there were live performances of stars at all, but Helen had already established this facility over ten years ago, and that was before even Drake and Josh had entered her life, and this had happened upon popular demand and because the community centres of this suburb of San Diego lacked such a facility. Talent shows at Première were an outstanding traditions, and most of them had been won ever since by Drake Paker who was now no longer a talent but an evergreen.
This was finally my première here at "Première" , and my première as a paid entertainer, right in the spot lights of hundreds of onlooker, fortunately only local ones. "There are no TV cams, are there? This would be very bad as I am not accustomed to the spot lights that much ... but Helen has got good connection to TV Broadcasting corps, and so maybe she does ...'
I started reciting a few of my poems and fumble randomly with the chords, as I had only got established tunes for a few of them, but the onlookers did not mind and start applauding anyways, or did they applaud for rotten vegetables landing straight in my face without me even noticing? Megan Parker, sitting in the front row, grinned appreciateively when the performance continued, but my inner tension was too much. Finally, teh performance was over, and Hellen thanked me as she wanted to pass the microphone to the next participant, when my stomach was unable to bear the distress any longer and decided throw it all up, letting also my mind evaporate and the whole world around me go dark ... bang!
My eyes opened, and I did not know where I was, but I remebered my name and everything when Megan bent over me, sighing for relief. She had brought me into the backstage area, and she introduced Doctor Glazer who was in charge with my health.
The windy quack required 500 bucks for the treatment, and Megan commanded Drake and Josh to pay for it because "Addie has written the lyrics for some of your greatest success songs, such as Hollywood Girl and It's only time." — an admission that made Drake gasp and stammer like crazy — something that usually only Josh would have done.
Whatever, the breakdown on the stage — fortunately after the completed performance — had taught me drastically that I was not meant for the open stage, with or without cams staring at me with the eye of a panther, so how was I going to get through this year?
Granted, a decent shrink would be able to reduce my problems to some degree, but they used to cot a crazy amount of bucks even when compared to Doc Glazer, and not even Megan would be able to talk Drake and Josh into paying those for me.
Not exposing myself all alone on the stage would also be a partial solution, such as someone reciting all my poems while I was just fumbling with the chords of my guitar. But this made it much harder for me to organise my tours across the clubs which was not an easy task , anyways. Megan concluded that I needed to look for a manager, but decent yet affordable ones were not really easy to find, were they?
The next weeks in San Diego would follow a similar pattern, but Helen had been forced to reduce my time on the stage severely in order to avoid yet another collapse and an intervention of Doc Glazer who, by the way, was the uncle of aforementioned Zoey Brooks, the blond Mary Sue that had been crushed on by Chase Matthews for four years.
6.3 The Ben Den
The summer was coming to an end and I was thus forced to leave San Diego, and my next residence would be in Malibu, more precisely, in the mansard of my "cherished" brother Ben who had allowed me to stay here in turn for entertaining the guests of his campus pub, "The Ben Den" allowing me possibly to even pay back all the debts that I had made at hiome when ordering smoothies in "The Juice" and subtracting them mfrom Ben's salary. I was not even forced to sleep in the bath tub, as previously feared, but there was some stretchable couch in the storage room ... oh well! Mom had begged Ben to give me a chance, or else he would hardly have welcome me in that narrow angle of Los Angeles county.
Because of my nervous burdens I was not able to do all of the performance alone, although "The Ben Den" had not really got a cabaret, just a corner that was occasionaly rearranged for live entertainers. But Megan had already found someone to do the recitations for me, and this was — not to my pleasure — no other than arrogant diva Ashley Blake. OK, it was a win-win, but it was definitely not easy for me because I had to remember all the havoc she had been wreaking already as a middle school girl, amking Chase suffer a lot, which was remarkable as Chase was now even writing plays for Ashley who had promised him to break up the relationship of Lola and Vincent in turn and thus break Lola's heart, giving Chase the satisfaction of seeing one of his treacherous ex-pals suffer for her not-to-be-forgiven misdeed.
We harvested a lot of applause for our perfomance, but I was still not at ease on the stage, so their needed to be a few more options for the futuure. And Ashley would not always be with me, as she was still a boarding school girl who needed a special pass for leaving the campus which was not granted automatically by the stern school administration. Indeed Benjamin, as a member of the Los Angeles association of bar managers, had got contacts to other club managers that were eventually looking for a one time entertainer like me.
Among the listeners was also Dustin Brooks, the younger brother of the aforementioned blond Mary Sue. He admitted to having tried onxw to make a few bucks this way imn order to be able to afford gummi worms, but he had not really succeeded.
6.4 Katie Knight
As the organisation of my pccasional performances turned out more and more complex, a manager was inevitable, and a few days later, some middle school girl entered the "Ben Den" in order to find me. She was apparently not a student at Pacific Coast Academy as she needed to ask her way around in order to find me and Ben, but here she was, and she hesitated not a moment and told me that her name was Katie Knight, better known as the little sister of Kendall Knight, the lead sinder of "Big Time Rush" which, as already reported, was the boy band of Gustavo Rocques and had already performed greatly at my senior prom. She had always dreamed of being a manager and cinsultant for Hollywood stars, super models, and star athletes, and as she had heard about me from her brother's report about my senior prom she had been hell bent for becoming my manager.
This sounded like a great idea, and I was already rigged and ready to sign a contract, when Ben interrupted us and told Katie that he would not let me sign anything without prioer consultation of our family lawyer. Strangely, I was never aware of the "fact" that we , the Singers, had got something like a family lawyer, so what was Benjamin talking about?
6.5 Claire Sawyer, Future Lawyer
But the next day, Benjamin showed uop with a young woman, maybe still ateenager, who was really clad like a shark and carrying several briefcases in her hands, just as lawyers do. This afro-american lady introduced herself as Claire Sawyer, future layer, and threw around some of her business cards in order to promote her trade, altthough she was just a college girls and still a few years away from graduating from Law School. So ... this was the family layer Ben had been talking about, and indeed Claire had check the contract offered by Katie Knight and expanded it by some passages, actually extending it to a document of two hundred thousand words of small print.
I would have gone dizzy when trying to read the whole junk, and Ben was not much better off although he tried at least to feign reading it as carefully as only possible, but in the end I signed the whole scribble with my name. I had now git a thirteen years old manager named Katie Knight who was responsible for making the best of my career as a wandering poet.
Of course Benjamin had tried to hit at Claire, but he was denied as he was not willing to sign the necessary dating contract of no less than ten thousand words of small print, well, what else should he have expected from a baby shark like Claire ... stupid Ben!
Claire was by the way not totally unknown to me, as she had recently graduated from James K. Polk High School, along with Edmond Bigby and his pals, and she was thus occasionally mentioned in his School Survival Guide.
6.6 The Palmwood
The members of "Big Time Rush" lived at a hotel not far from the campus of Pacific Coast Academy, a luxyry inn known as "The Palmwood", and it was little surprise for me that I was hired for performimg there tonight, especially as Katie lived in the same suite as er brother and his pals.
The hotel manager, Reginals Bitters, was very creepy and often appeared to be totally stern, but Katie knew pretty much how to manipulate him which made life at Palmwood a lot easier. Later I would come to know that good old Bitters had not always been a grumoy manager kind of person, but that he used to be one of America's greatest skateboard stars back in the eighties, passing by the codename "The Turk" — the name of aforementioned fraudulous chess robot described already by Edgar Allan Poe.
The good spirit of Palmwood was masintenance man "Buddha Bob" whom I had already read about as well because he had been already the custodian at James K. Polk back when Edmon Bigby worked on his School Survival Guide.
Ashley Blake was not with me, so who accompanied me onto the stage lest I would be compelled once more to vomit and pass out, just as during my first performance at Première Theater? Katie had of course thought of that and decided that one of the band members was in charge of that duty. The horny creeps all volunteered on site, but Katie was only looking for one of them, so she decided in favour of her brother Kendall, as indeed he was the only one with the skills for a professional stage and rock stars, as already figured correctly by Gustavo Rocque, and that his pals had only accompanied him because he was not reasy to leave his friends back in cold Minnesota, the homelands of the band members. Unfortunately his pals James Diamond who was the hottest of the guys and Carlos Garcia who was a complete goofball did not let Kendall do this all alone, so Katie had to suspend him as well and choose Camille Roberts, the on and off girlfriend of Logan Mitchell who was the fourth and most nerdy of the band members. Camille was aprofessional actress like Ashley.
So this was my big performance at Palmwood and everything would have been nice and spice, had not Camille Roberts looked exactly like my archenemy Quinn Pensky who was on top of all responsible for Geena's madness. By the way, I did not really have to worry abouther those days, as she was in good hands for the time being, but this will be a matter for a later station of this story.
The heat within my veins increased rapidly during our performance, and I had got a hard time bearing Camille's presence, but I had finally made it. Later, Camille would turn ouyt as a cousin of Quinn, but the two of them were hardly comparable, and it was even less undeestandable why Camille was dating a nerd like Logan Mitchell, even if this was just an on-and-off kind of thing.
Katie shook her head when she saw me tremble all over, and she knew that I should better get a shrink's help for the next months lest I would have a hard time making it away from Los Angeles where it was harder to find someone like Ashley or Camille to do the dirt work for me, and she had already found a suitable solution.
6.7 Doctor Lowe
So, this was James K. Polk school in Santa Clarita, the former home of Edmond Bigby and his gang. Katie Knight had dragged me all the way hereto in order to make me meet my therapist for the following weeks, a certain Doctor Lowe who was also school shrink, but who was really a jack of many trades, after all. He was mentioned several times in Edmond's school Survival Guide, not only as the school shrink, but also as a bus driver. Even Megan Parker knew him because he had once sold souvenir gifts at a football stadion. Already in middle school I had got troubles with school shrinks, and Geena had been even a worse victim of them as they were just one stupid brood, no more and no less.
The creep was now talking nonsense all the way, but he concluded that his methods would not work for my tough case, so he figured that hypnosis was the most appropriate means, but he was not an expert for this. Unfortunately he knew only one renowned master of mesmerising, and this was a certain ... Quinn Pensky!
Oh no, I would rather puke my guts into the wind than creep on my knees and not only apologise for having ruined her fraudulent chess robot, but also for having poisoned Geena's mind!
Then Lowe came up with an idea that had already worked a few years back in the case of an elementary school kid named Robert Shapiro — or so he believed — who had been very timid, but then Lowe had assigned him a toddler-sized rag doll named Reginor Powers. Robert was now never feeling as alone as before, and, in addition, he was able to delegate things that would otherwise be hard to say into the mouth of the puppet. Alas, Lowe had not seen his former patient in several years, and he wondered what had become of him. Maybe this was the last straw for me to grab, but I still had got a few days left in order to think about it.
6.8 The Holy Symbol
Katie Knight had also organised me a performance at Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts which was particularly easy as Sofia Michaelle was very well known there. The year before, a certain musical of hers, Uptown Downtown, had been performed by the sophomores of this school. It was a play about a girl torn between a rich snob and his nice but not so wealthy servant who was her choice in the end. In order to emphasise the core of the plot, the student portraying the female star, a certain Victoria Vega, masked herself as a zombie, expressing this way that true feelings come from within — or so said Sofia Michelle.
So, this was the locker hall of the most appropriate school for future Hollywood Stars, which was totally cool, but the students were not really fabulous stars yet, were they? I would have been very much ashamed in case of seeing so many masters of the Hollywood screen, kids like Ashley Blake with hundreds of hourse of screen experience, while I was such a little unfabulous nobody.
And the students were crazy all the way, especially a certain Caitlín Valentine, usually corrupted to "Cat", was a totally annoying bimbo wench always talking about cute things. And then there was Beck Oliver whom I had already seen in movie rôles ... this was poison for my self confidence. But Katie had organised some student with a lot of screen experience to do part of the talking for me, and this was probably Beck. Victoria Vega was also here, and she looked a lot like her cousin Lola Martinez, by the way.
But who was that? A guy with afro-look and a hand doll crossed the locker halls and started talking with it, and he would later turn out as aformentioned Robert Shapiro, the former patient of Doctor Lowe. I was certainly not up to becoming someone whose only friend was a rag doll, and all of a sudden, Lowe's idea of getting me adoll in order to reduce my problems on the stage turned into one horror vision.
Before the performance I had to talk to some Sikowitz, the teacher for acting here at Hollywood School For The Professional Arts and an old friend of Fletcher. He was totally scary and juggled with a bunch of coconuts on his arms for several minutes while talking about the impending performance, and then he confirmed that Beck Oliver had been chosen as the one person to recite most of my poems, along with my guitar backup,of course.
Then the poetry evening was started, and Beck was already standing on the stage, but, out of nowhere, a goth girl that had previously been caled "Jade West" by some fellow students stepped up to me and punched me rudely to the ground, commanding me to stay away from Beck. I noticed a tattoo on her arms which looked to me like a sacred symbol of some sort: the pentagram. But now it was too late, for my mind passed put down tp the impact of whatever my skull was slammed against. Needeless to say, the presentation of my poems was cancelled.
6.9 Las Vegas
Although I had been basically a wandring poet, I had spent now several months straight in the Los Angeles area, of course because that's where the connections of Benjamin and of Katie were strongest, but I was also booked for Minnesota, the homeland on Katie and her brother' friends, and for some other kids' hometowns.
After getting knocked into the dirt by Jade I had been thoroughly fed up by Hollywood, at least for a while, and Katie accepted for me an offer from Las Vegas in the lucky state of Nevada, the centre of professional gambling and other dubious sorts of business. Basically, the job in Las Vegas was the idea of megan Parker who was a friend of Henry Doheny, the master of the arts of illusionist and escapist trickery. His career had almost come to an end when Megan resurrected the same by letting him appear to die on the cabaret in Helen Baxter's theatre and show up alive and well like three days later, right at the occasion of his funeral. Or had Doheny been really dead and megan had raised him once again ... that sounded so scary, but Megan was totally uncanny in general, even though we were friends.
Jade West owed me an apology, and Benjamin had been — surprisingly in my view — brash when requesting such a thing from her. Also, Beck, her boyfriemd, aked her to come to me and beg my pardon, but she was stubborn and cold like a stone. She had often got anger issues with her sickening jealousy, and usually Victoria Vega was her victim, so I did not have to feel special. Well, I had still not apologised unto Quinn, so — or so said Ben — I should not expect Jade to do so any time soon, which was probably so true, and thus: The faster I was out of town, the easier would it be for me to forget about it all.
Another position which, as an avid fan of Edgar Allan Poe, appeared inevitable for me was that of Doheny still being dead, and his ghost haunting everywhere in order to get back at those who had been responsible for the former decline of his career until Megan Parker's creepy intervention.
Doheny had already been expecting me in Vegas and we were now in the same club where he had been contracted for a regular presentation of his tricks, and I was his guest for tonight. I was very much excited, not just because Doheny was such a superstar, but especially because he was possibly a ghost. I kept on turning more and more anxious, until I finally broke down like after the end of the performance in San Diego. Fortunately, Doheny reacted spontaneously and made it look like one of his great tricks in which he made me disappear into extreme nothingness — if that was even a reasonable expression — and caused the onlookers to applaud fanatically for both of us. So ... ghost or man did not matter, I had made it out of the sticky situation in an unfabulous manner. That was really close!
The next job chosen forme by Katie Knight was in the state of Washington, more precisely its capital Olympia which was not too far from the city of Seattle. I was supposed to appear at a giant media event known as the "Webicon". I was once more booked for bed and breakfast in infamous "Parker Nichols Inn" ... oh yeah, by sinews and bones still felt those nights on its matresses from the basketball fest.
The webicon was accomodated on a really huge estate with many panels and cells, making it fairly difficult to find your way around. I was in particular hired in order to perform some of my lyrics about a new omline role playing game named World Of Warlords upon a convention of game addicted freaks which included a competitive costume play. The best costume was supposed to win some sort of a prize, but the judge was not me, of course, as I understood next to nothing about the whole fandom of this stupid game. I mean, which sane adult men would clad themselves as fairy tale beings ... that sounds even more humiliating than an alpaca costume ... or maybe not.
I even remembered one of the participants, no other than Spencer Shay who was making a complete fool of himself by dressin g as one of the superheroes from world of warlords, a certain "Aruthor" — yuck, what a name. I already thought those guys from Galaxy Wars horrible enough, but those creeps here were really childish. Spencer was at the throat of some other participant who cosplayed some other ridiculous power creep named Asparthamay. Then I intervened and started playing some warlord epic for the icky freaks which appeared actually to calm down the situation, for who knows what a real fan war would have entrailed. I kept on singing about fallen heroes of their war and hoew their restless sopirits were still around, ready to get back at their respective slayers, leading to an endless nightmare of slaughter and blooshed.
Talking about fanwars ... a really bad one appeared to have broken loose at the panel of Carly's web show, and the responsibles for it had probably been Craig Ramirez and Eric Blonowitz, earlier mentioned dweebs from Helen's cinema in San Diego, as those nerds had been arrested by security guys and were now to be banned from the state of Washington, or something like that. Later I would even here that Carly's current boyfriend, a certain Adam Morelli, had been left defensless with a huge heapp of insane "Creddiers".
6.11 Seeing Zach Again
I was now back in my hotel room, along with many other participants of the stupid webicon and also with Katie Knight ho had already prepared my matress, as there was still one more day left in Olympia at the webicon where I was supposed to present my lyrics, but of course I had got other and really important things to do here in Seattle, things related to the quest of saving Geena from that madness she had contracted by swallowing one of Quinn Pensky's most dangerous potions.
Zachariah Carter Schwartz who was now the captain of the undergraduate basketball team of the University of Washington in Seattle was about stumbling in, along with Malika Ritter, in order to talk about the current situation whichhad changed a lot duriong the last months, and, although I had been inforn=med from time to time about the changes, there were still so many things to do.
Malika had been able to control Geena Fabianio by means of her telepathic forces far enough to prevent her from causing damage whenever she was urged to turn into her mutant form. But this was very much draining and not a permanent solution, as we all knew.
In Los Angeles I had met her aforementioned cousin Lucy and informed her about Geena's misery which she had not wanted to believe right away, well, who wanted to be related to some monster ... but hardly anyone else would have believed us the same old story, either, right?
Mary Ferry, nowadays a Harvard freshman, had tried hard to contact Quinn Pensky, but the latter did not want to talk to any one contacting her on my behalf. Quinn Pensky had long since stopped being herself, more precisely her relationship with horrible coxcomb Logan Reese had ruined her mind completely. This had caused a lot of malfunctioning inventions, starting with high technology boots that were really dangerous to wear. But the biggest failure had certainly been the potion that had destroyed Geena's life as such. Quinn had also started once more participatring in Seattle pageants, something the true Quinn would have been emabarrassed for to the death.
Since the incident with Jade West I had found some time for pondering and now I was ready for apologising. Maybe the nerd Queen would answer if I asked her in person? Hell, it was probably Quinn who needed to be saved first, saved from the bad influence of dandy Logan Reese. And Malika had concluded upon many long considerations that Quinn Pensky was subject to an evil jinx, a curse that is possible prominently by the abuse of a certain holy symbol, the pentagram. This of course reminded me of the tatoo of Jade West from Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts. Was Jade really behind the miserable situation of Quinn Pensky, or had she just been coinvolved, or was it all a pure incident? Still, everything seemed possible, but an uncanny hunch suggested a close connection between Jade and the mishap of Quinn Pensky, a curse of the terrible sort. Malika encouraged me to consider this possibility, "better safe than sorry!"
6.12 Reconciling With Quinn
And I had actually done the right thing and contacted the thoroughly degenerated geek girl in her summer apartment in Seattle. She had no longer got that llama, or, more precisely: alpaca, known as "Otis" because Logan hd not tolerated it. There were still a few experiments going on, but Quinn was no longer eager on her revolutionary scientific theories. I walked up to her and stretched my hand into her direction, closing my eyes because I still feared some hostile reaction. Then I told her how sorry I was for destroying her computer.
Quinn seemed to have forgotten about it because her cheap and dirty affair with a maledicted coxcomb had thoroughly shrunk her formerly keen intellect and her interest in science and technology. But my apologies had remembered her of the good old times when she was still herself and not hanging out permanently with the wrong people including Logan Reese.
Alas, it was just a start when she forgave me my evil deed of pouring root beer over her chess robot.
The jinx was — or so emphasised Malika — not yet completely broke, but it was enough to get her to coopwerate with Mary Ferry on a means for restoring Geena at least physically. For her complete mental restauration she needed — once more according to Malika's consideration — the affection of a boy who shared her true interests in fashion design and who was able to talke to her about everything. Well, was it possible to find a suitable guy for her?
Quinn was now also willing to perform the hypnotical manipulation that would allow me to survive better on the stage if needed, and all she needed was a simple pendlum, nit the ornated one Malika had used in order to locate Geena out in the forests. Whenever on stage, I would now see the onlookers as people just dressed in boxer briefs depicting alpacas. This was really going to save my year as a wandering minstrel with impending presentations in Minnesota, although I would finally be glad about a job that allowed me to just work in the background without ever having to enter the stage again.
6.13 The Wedding
Already in Seattle I had spotted a new ring on one of Zachariah's fingers, but the explanation I had only been informed about afterwards: Zachariah Carter Schwartz and Leanne Carter had exchanged engagemet rings, and their wedding had already been scheduled to the day after leann's impending senior pron.
And this big day was now here, and we were gathered in the campus court of Pryorwood Prep, waiting for the most important words of the couple.
Quinn and I were going to perform the Bridal Chorus from Wagner's Lohengrien, I on my guitar, Quinn on her trombone Solo oboist Megan Parker would have been great in this moment, but she was too busy in California an had thus left it uo to me,left it all to me, left it all ...
Of course this event had got the character of a family scandal, but foul and perverted families did not deserve any better, no matter what.
I struck the chords and sang along ...
Star of renown
Flower of the earth
Blest be ye both far from all life's annoy!
Champion victorios, go though before!
Maid, bride and glorious, go thou before!
The wedding was safely conducted by the world's fattest priest, videlicet Father Maccurdy..
Chase Bartholomew Matthews was here as well, and this current wedding was instilling some idea into his mind, an idea concerning both of us ...
In any case I was ghappy that I had learned so much during my ending year as a wandering poet, and Sofia Michelle had offered me aa job as her assistant at the Broadway which I deserved well after all the mess from San Diego, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Seattle, and Minnesota.
He is also identified with the same actor's guest rôle in Drake & Josh: Foam Finger.
Chapter 7 A Year At Broadway
7.1 New York, New York
I had been several times already in new York City, but this time was something really special because it was the beginning of a career, well it was no longer the beginning because I had already worked a lot on it since elementary school time. But now it was all about to assume a real shape, not just the vague dreams of a child, dreams within a dream that was my unfabulous life as Adelaide Singer.
My favourite buildings in New York City were of course the fantabulous halls of the Broadway, but I also loved the Empire State Building, and of course the huge malls floating around.
Between Los Angeles and New York City, I would have chosen the latter any time, especially after all my bad experiences last year in California and the fact that my "beloved" brother Ben was still dwelling there, probably up to nothing good. Claire Sawyer had already tried to talk him into talking me into suing Jade West for the onslaught upon my life, but I did not want that and was still awaiuting her apologies, just as Quinn Pensky had to wait for mine for almost five years.
OK, this was the Broadway, but I still had to find the way to my office, which was not really an easy task for someone new in this area, well, during our visit with Mr. Fletcher liek two years ago, I had partly seen the big stage halls, but those were not the places where the neophyte playwrights were supposed to work — or at least so I guessed.
7.2 My Office
Chase Bartholomew Matthews had already been waiting for me, and this was sort of a surprise, because I had rather expected that Sofia Michelle had sent some old tooter to fetch me from the lobby and give me a sheet with some crude informations. Of course Chase welcomed me rather heatily, as we had not nmet each other since the wedding of Zachariah and Leanne.
We noobs at the Broadway did of course not get an office on our own, but it was shared with dome fifty people working i here, and life at this floor appeared to be like in a bee hive. And I was sent right away into the toilets in order to fetch water fro the coffee machines for the more experienced guys in here ... well, everyone had to go through this, right?
At least Chase told me that his first errands had been a total mess, such as fetching a lleft-handed Biro pen for someone, and equally crazy crap.
Of course there was quite some serious stuff for me to do, and Sofia Michelle had left me a note announcing that I was scheduled for one particular job ...
7.3 Big Time Broadway
I faced Sofia Michelle in her office which, compared to my working place, was about like the President's Suite of Hotel Chambrolay when compared to the dormitory of "Parker Nichols Inn".
So, what exactly was my first important task here? Sofia Michelle had got a request from one Mr. Griffin, a big investor of the movie scene in Hollywood and especially of "Rocque Records", to host the first performance of aforementioned boy group Big Time Rush here at the Broadway. I was supposed to write the lyrics for their musical and organise a lot of other crap for which I was particularly suited because Katie Knight, my manager of the last year, was the little sister of one of the ban members, and because I had been praise already once by Gustavo Rocque, the discoverer of Big Time Rush, for my lyrics.
I gasped, as this looked like a lot of responsibility, or maybe they just needed a scapegoat in the case that such a dary enterprise would shipwreck right away, which was not entirely unlikely in the case of a band of undisciplined boys such as the guys from Minnesota who did not really fit into the schedule of a high quality musical, I mean, I liked te band and their music a lot, but the Broadway appeared to have higher standards — or so at least it had always been claimed by our leading management cast.
7.4 The Outfit
One of the most important things to do, besides lyrics for the boys' performance at Beoadway, was their outfit for the show, and of course I would have asked Geena as my best friend for doing so if she had already been recovering completely from her pernicious phase as a part-time monster. But, as already mentioned, this would have required a dent boyfriend for her who shared her hobbies and was able to talk about everything with her, and those were really hard to find as guys interested in fashion design were generally outcast and avoided by their friends.
But, hey, we were in New York City, the headquarters of Mad Style for whom Geena had been working before her transmutation into a part-time monster, so True Jackson would certainly bring the whole thing to an end, would she? I did not hesitate a moment and picked my phone in order to contact the office of Mad Style. Unfortunately, office manager Oscar was currently away with vice president Amanda Cantwell, they were going to do unspeakable stuff at a costume contest for their favourite TV show, Space Plantations by Malcolm Reese, an event coomparable to that of last year's webicon involving World Of Warlords. This caused quite some chaos and made it impossible for me to talk to True on site, and I had to pray and hope that it would not be too late.
7.5 The Rings
I sat down next to Chase in our cafeteria, which was a whole lot better than the one at Rocky Road, and started talking about the impending project for Big Time Rush. The cafeteria was run by Evelyn Wexler, a sister of Coco Wexler, a woman who had been working as a girls' dormitory adviser at Pacific Coast Academy while Chase had been studying there, and Evy had already worked as a cook for six star restaurants in New York City.
Chase liked that band as well, although James Diamond, one of their members, reminded him so much of that coxcomb Logan Reese. But he seemed to have something special on his mind, which made him fumbling with a little box resting in front of himself, and which made me really curious. He could not get a clear word off his throat and was stammering like a toddler. Finally he achieved opening the box, which looked more or less like an incident, though, and this procedure reveiled two rings that made my eyes bug out, and now it was my turn to stammer in some thoroughly unfabulous manner.
Were those rings really what I had thought them to be? Sadomasochist onlookers appeared to theink into the same direction and gasped for excruciating awe. We did not say a word and simply started putting those rings on our respective fingers, harvesting the admiring applause of people standing by.
7.6 Olivary Biallo
Chase Matthews had also read the booklet by Edmond Bigby about his life as a middle school kid at James K. Polk, and he had noticed especially one guy who was not totally unfamiliar to him. It was aforementioned Jerome Crony, one of the members of the bully triple that had caused so much trouble to our basketball team, although I was sure that Seth Powers would have rocked us with a solo performance, anyways.
The School Survivakl Guide, however, also raised in us the thought that there had been a trifle more to this Jerome Crony than I had been able to detect at first glance.
But Chase was particularly stunned because he had known the very same guy under a different name: Olivary Biallo.
Michael Barret had been assigned to a certain Olivary Biallo, who turned out as a boy, and a really strange and weird one.
I am now pretty sure that this Olivary Biallo is the same as Jerry Crony from Edmon Bigby's School Survival Guide. And he was certainly not a bully.
But how was it possible for the computer to mistake him as a girl and assigned to Michael? Or was it the other way round?
I guessed that the computer had been programmed by Quinn, just like the chess robot, and Chase, althou he had never thouyht about it, agreed wholeheartedly, saying "yeah, the only one I know that would come up with something like that is Quinn."
And why had there been a student from James K. Polk at a middle school dance of Pacific Coast Academy in the first place? Well, there was a simple explanation, and this was the lack of girls at that illustrous prep school that had been reserved for boys until recently. In order to make up for this lack of girls, the school had invited girls from other schools of Los Angeles County to their school events whenever it made sense, a tradition that had only stiopped five years ago when the amount of girls and boys had been finally almost balanced. And James K. Polk had been among those schools, along with Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts, Palmwood, Brewster, Lakewood, Eastridge, and Silver Springs, well, and as only girls had been wanted, Jerry Crony alias Olivary Biallo must have been registered mistakenly as a girl, or purposefully for that matter.
But the most importent revelation was that Jerome Crony had been a passionate (and one and only male) member of the textile creation club, and a great fashion designer in addition to that. It was evident that his bully pals William Loomer and Buzz Rodriguez would not have been pleased by knowing this weird fact about their henchman and have sent him flying i nto some lonely corner in order to leave him there to rot into oblivion. Given Malika's statement about a possible recovery of Geena Fabiano, I had come to a conclusion that took me several minutes to spell out, and the question was whether Jerome Crony was one of the biys Malika had been talking about boys sharing Geena's passions and stuff.
So, was it possible to contact Jerome Crony, no longer a student at James K. Polk in Santa Clarita, and persuade him into giving Geena Fabiano a chance of any sort? And how would my former "best friend forever" react when confronting the auxiliary bully and closet fashion designer?
7.7 Jade's Apologies
Last year I had been swiped into the dirt by Jade West, the excruciatinly mean and perversely jealous goth girl from Hollywood School For The Professional performance Arts. For Malika, this had been a clear proof of an abuse of a holy symbol, in her case: the pentagram, also known as "seal of Solomon". I had not been familiar with the legend of Lord Solomon and his seven demons, written down in sopmething known as the 'Testament Of Solomon, but there was an idea for an epic cycle of lyrics ... Malika would just have had to provide me with the necessary background, and off it would have gone.
All of a sudden, the door of my office went open, which was of course not a rare event in this dee hive, and a sinitster goth girl walked in, followed by my "dear" brother Ben. And said goth girl was most precisely no other than Jade West, the one who hated me most for having stood next to her Beck. Had my bro actually achieved to get her to apologise unto me for her misdeed, or were they just ganging up in order to make make my life even more miserable?
Jade panted heavily and asked Ben (once more?) "do I have to do it?" and she saw him nodding again, although he seemed not convinced of it. Then she started coughing and moaning "I am sorry for having pushed you into the dirt!" She almost puked the living hell across the office room.
I caapeted her apologies readily, but I woukld not have done so had I not sensed from my own experience how it feels living with a similar feeling because of Quinn.
And this reminded me of the problem in which Quinn Pensky was stuck, and which Malika had associated with a naughty jinx of the most perverted sort, one connected to the abuse of the "seal of Solomon".
And now I was well surprised when Jade actually admitted to having abused the sacred tattoo for worldly purposes, and that she had made a deal with the demons in order to achieve her goal of securing her boyfriend, a career at Hollywood, money, and fame. And she admitted to having implicitely hexed Quinn Pensky, forcing her into a defiling concubinacy with Logan Reese, comparable to her own corrupted relationship with Beck Oliver, as an essential part of her goals.
The fact was that Benjamin had somehow come to know about my contacts with Malika Ritter, and he had told the goth girl about it in order to get her to apologise, lest I would have been little inclinde to send her Malika's way in order to get her released from the insanely evil curse she had submitted herself to, just as Quinn had helped my exaggerated nervosity on the stage only after I had apologised for having ruined her chess robot.
So, Jade wanted to contact Malika, which was of course understandable, but it was noit easy here from New York City. Jade's round trip was remarkable anyways: Los Angeles, then New York City, then Seattle, and then back home.
7.8 Kreuftlva Klotz
I had contacted Malika and been referred on site to one of her colleagues, no, to her master, the thaumaturge from whose online blog Malika had learned witchcraft in the first plce, and her name was Kreuftlva Klotz, and she was said to be one of the most powerful thaumaturges of America.
I had sent Jade West Kreuftlva's way, but I was ordered into the same location just a little bit later with no good reason — or so at least did I believe. Now I was surprised, as Kreuftlva's workshop looked definitely somewhat different from that of Malika, and she had got a giant crystal ball which appeared to have been broken several times.
According to the master witch, the ball was no longer in use and it had been shattered accidentally two years ago by Ryan Laserbeam, a friend of True Jackson from Mad Style. She started talking "OK, Ms. Singer, you wonder why my student Malika has sent you my way, well, let me say it like this: She has found out a few hints that you may be the reincarnation of a very famous poet of the past, well, you will most probably be able to guess which one as you muyst have been attracted to his works in a magic-like manner and turned obsessed with him ..."
There was no doubt whom Kreuftlva was talking about, and so I replied right away, "Edgar Allan Poe?" And had I not admitted that, when encountering his "Tell Tale Heart" for the first time, I had not got a clue why I had been so impressed by it in an almost unearthly manner? This would really have made an insane lot of sense.
She grinned and nodded solemnly, "that is so obvious, yeah, after all, and you are a poet yourself and follow more and more the lines of your example to live up to, like guided by invisible strings."
I did not feel very comfortable, although it was all the way flattering. I was now half the way done with writing the libretto for the big time musical to be performed at the end of this year at Broadway, under the auspieces of gazillions of viewers or so. And Kreuftlva remarked that in this case I would automatically feel the unstoppable urge to continue and complete the works of Poe which he had not been able to accomplish in his life time, until his death under circumstances as mysterious as those of the murders and accidental deaths in most in a huge variety of his works. Then I wondered: "as the second coming of Edgar Allan, should I not know the facts of his mysterious dead, better than any of those journalists that had been scribbling nonsesnse?"
The enchantress nodded solemnly and remarked, "this is probably true, and very much so, but it does not mean that you know that you know it, or that you aware of the fact that what you know is actually the knowledge about the mysterious circunstances of the untimely end of your former existence.
Deep inside I started shivering like a brittle willow in the autumn gales, as all this uncanny stuff was creeping forth and back in my already tormented mind.
The imagination of being the second coming of Edgar Allan Poe was still keeping my mind busy when there were more pleasant news from Seattle.
Malika Ritter and Zachariah Carter Schwartz had been able to retrieve information about Jerome Crony, the really strange mix between a bully and an artist. also known as Olivary Biallo. The guy was also, and this information was due to my sweetie Chase, a worshipper of the moon. This would allowed Malika to control himsomewhat by the means of astrology — whatever that was supposed to mean.
Well, neither "Olivary Biallo" nor "Jerry Crony" had been his real names, after all,they all had got symbolical meanings of the obscure and sinister sort that made a lot of sense to Malika, but which I was still a bit insecure about. His actual name was Marshall Rivera and he had got various pseudonyms for various reasons.
Well, "Crony" was really derived from "crone", and adjective formerly used for suspicious old people, and especially by Malika's idol Aleister Crowley as an attribute of ancient Greek moon goddess Hecate who was the actual target of Jermome Crony's alias Marshall Olivera's worship. Hecate was the most sinister of the Greek lunar deities and would have fit painlessly into the literary world of Edgar Allen Poe.
And this was the reason why it was easy for Malika to talk Marshall Olivera alias Olivary Biallo alias Jerry Crony into giving Geena a chance. After high school, the fashion freak had separated from his friend and found a place in a vocational college for textile creation in rural California, although this was very far away from a dream career at a fashion label like Mad Style or Simon Christini. The deal with Malika and Zachariah was like the following: I was going to write the musical for Big Time Rush about Hecate, and, in turn, he was giving Geena a chance ... oh well, one big favour chain that was! And this deal was sealed by signing some contract that had been most carefully elaborated byfuture Lawyer Claire Sawyer.
Honestly said, Marshall Olivera was not quite as sinister as the above had suggested, and the aforementioned darkness of Hecate was derived from the works of Hesiod, and attic intellectual, whereas the homelands of proper Hecate worship had been somewhere in Asia Minor where she had probably not been seen in such a scary way.
OK, I just had to adapt the upcoming musical, incorporating now Hecate and the seal of Solomon, and then things would soon go a lot better, would they?
7.10 Maris strikes back!
The plan with Marshall Rivera and Geena Fabiano had apparently worked out biggest times, and they had been starting to work together on the project of making the outfits for the concert of the infamous boy band. The works would be finished, according to Mary Ferry's calculations, right in time before the start of the rehearsals.
But then some unexpected visitor had started changing many things drastically ...
In that bee hive I was — and so I have already emphasised — not able to noytice each visitor on site, and so the surprise was evident only when I looked up and saw the face of someone I had never wanted to see again since her departure from Rocky Road, and this meant Maris Bingham and Patricia Perez. My eyes bugged out, and my jaw dropped to the ground like an anvil that had been falling all the way down from elysium to hades.
The two evil lasses span on their heels, hi-fived on site, and yelled unison "burn!", a sound that left a blazing trail across my mind like wildfire. I did not know their reasons for showing up in here, but they were in no case any good, otherwise those excessively naughty vixens would not keep on plastering their usual sadistical grin.
Maris declared proudly that her dad had just married Mrs. Diamond, the mother of "Big Time Rush" member James Diamond and the CEO of "Diamond Cosmetics", and that was one of the sponsors of Broadway, along with many others of course. And now Mrs. Diamond had deciced to put her new step daughter in charge with the costiume design and the masks for the musical. And of course Maris would not only design the outfit,but also serve as a model for the costumes and the cosmetics involved in the play, which I had recently baptised "The Seal Of Hecate".
I insisted of course in getting everything confirmed, but my hopes were dwindling to naught. And unlike Marshall Rivera and Geena Fabiano, Maris had got no clue about the topic of the musical, well, it was even to be expected that shr required me to rewrite the whole thing from scratch in order to comply with her taste. Of course it was by no means feasible within the time left until the première, but this was probably the plan of Patricia and Maris, a plan with the goal of ruining me because I had been made responsible for the whole work to be performed by the boys from Big Time Rush. And Maris did not in any way care about the boy band or about the Broadway, after all.
The mean lasses reported that they also want Cranberry Sinclair alias Autumn Willimas to perform the female lead voice in the musical, and her husband Wade Collins should not have been missing, either. The latter was one disgusting jerk, comparable to Logan Reese but like ten years older, and he would almost have won popular casting show America Sings, but the intervention of Carly's web show had allowed David R. Couleda to make it instead.
7.11 Once More Los Angeles
I had called Gustavo Rocque who, unfortunately, had got little in his hands to back me up, as his upstream creditor, Arthur Griffin, had withdrawn his monetary support for the Broadway musical a few weeks ago, leaving a nicke to be filled by Diamond Cosmetics and the Bingham gang. But I had been invited to Los Angeles in order to try to convince them, anyways, and Sofia had urged me to do the trip.
Now I was here at the headquarters of Griffin's enterprise, along with Gustavo Rocque, his secretary Kelly Wainright, and the four boys from Big Time Rush. Also, Diamond Cosmetics had sent some representant, and this happened to be ... Maris Bingham — as I should have known in advance. But she was also accompanied by some vice president of the cosmetic enterprise.
James Diamond had believed to be the only heir of the cosmetic empire, but his mother had decided differently because James had recently refused to give up on "Big Time Rush" in favour of working for the family enterprise, and this was appraently the big time revenge for his treason.
Maris grinned triumphantly, while Gustavo and I were down, sighing deeply. Kelly had to give Gustavo some medication against the symptoms of exaggerated nervous distress, and I did not want to know what those would have been.
Carlos remarked "your sister is hot!" and he moved a bit closer to her, but he harvested only some sadistical bite by the blond devil.
James noddesd solemnly "yeah, she is!" and his pulled his pal away from his step sister, against the goof's protests.
Logan Mitchell supported James by declaring that they were not blood related, andthus there was nothing illegal.
Maris enjoyed that the boys were now battling over her, as it was weakening my chances of a successful première performance of the musical even more. Then she grabbed her step brother and offered, "OK, sweetie, we should stick together and share the company, it should not be too hard to drive our mom and dad away and take over, what do you think?" She played with her lips.
James shrugged, and he could not resist Maris's great offer, making the fellow members of the boy brand gasp for consternation. He was completely forgetting about his pals and following Maris all the way out, leaving behind Kendall, Logan, and Carlos, a thence incomplete boy band.
Gustavo shrugged, "not a big loss, as James has got no talent, anyways." He had already said so when casting the boys for his boy band that had still been to be founded.
But for the musical it was a big loss, because it had been written for four boys, and not for just three.
So I would return to New York City with a win and a loss — while Maris would no longer talk into my planning and preparations of the musical, I was forced to find a replacement for James of a way to remove his rôle completely.
7.12 Further Decay
I went through a long list of potential substitutes for James thatn I had stuck into my head for further reference, but most of them, although honoured by the request, would be too busy to perform in my musical. This was, for example, the case for aforementioned America Sings champion David R. Couleda.
The solution appeared to be Harper Harris, aforementioned cousin of Zachariah's basketball pal Mario Harris. Harper was now engaged to Lucy Stone, aforementioned cousin of Geena Fabiano, who was also willing to act as the leading female support voice of the musical. And Geena was certainly glad for that as it made her task of designing the costumes for Seal Of Hecate a whole lot easier. And as — in my opinion — completely opposed to James Diamond, Harper was extremely gifted, and he would thus also please Gustavo Rocque, wouldn't he? Unfortunately, the negotiations were only for this one performance as opposed to making Harris apermanent reinforcement of weakened "Big Time Rush".
So it seemned that Maris had actually effected an improvement of my preparations of the musical, as an untalented star was replaced by a talented one.
But then destiny struck again, as the remaining "big time" trio was about getting weakened even more.
Carlos and Logan were at each other's throat because Logan had encouraged James to date his step sister and let the rest of the band down, but Logan insisted in his logical correctness. Then Kendall had decided that if logic were mattering more to Logan than the band and friends, he should go and study science instead of "wasting his time with subintelligent creatures". And Logan had done exactly that ... he was now turning his back to the band and applied for Caltech.
Big Time Rush was now down to two members, and I was forced to replace one ungifted guy more, with less time left until the rehearsals and less free rock artists left on the market.
7.13 Megan To My Rescue
I was already sitting desperate on my desk chair, torturing into counting the days left until my big demise for an epic failure alias Seal Of Hecate.
In that moment a fammiliar voice woke me up from my daily nightmare, and this was no other than Megan Parker.
I rubbed my eyes and turned my face towards hers, rubbing my temples because I was still not sure whether I was dreaming of someone that was nowhere near real.
Megan grinned sadistically and declared that she had found someone to replace the missing member of "Big Time Rush", someone with talent ... kind of, sort of.
I shrugged because that sounded like a fairy tale with a typical miracle twist.
Megan blew a whistle, and in came Drake Parker although in a fairly reluctant manner. The rock idol had had a gard time believing that he would get the chance of performing at the Broadway, as the guys here seemed so prejudiced against the rock music of the current generation. Megan reminded Drake once more of the fact that I had already written the lyrics for several of his greatest success songs.
I was of course glad that Drake offered himself more or less voluntarily in order to fill the gaping hole in Big Time Rush.
7.14 The End Of Big Time Rush
I should have seen that coming, but once the band had started showing tears and loose seams, the process was no longer ereversible, and finally the lack of Carlos' talent resulteds in his departure from the biy band as well, leaving behind solo star Kendall Knight. Maris Bingham had apparently done a nice job by luring James away
Honestly, Gustavo Rocque was not sad as Kendall had been, from the very beginning, the one and only seriously gifted member of the band, and the others had only been some unwieldy baggage because Kendall had refused to leave his home in Minnesota without his friends.
But time was running out for me, and another replacement needed to be found in order to make the performance of Seal Of Hecate even possible, or else I would be ruined big times.
7.15 The Last Replacement
After phoning for many hours, I had actually been able to find a suitable substitute for the last astray member of what used to be Big Time Rush, a certain Zander Robbins who has hitherto been the lead guitarist of a school band at Brewster High in Los Angeles. I had never heard about him before, but he had been suggested by Katie Knight who had secretly watched him at a public talent show of Brewster and sent him straight my way because of his excellent moves, voice, and the guitar performance.
So the four-pack for my musical consisted finally of Kendall Knight, Drake Parker, Zander Robbins, and Harper Harris, certainly a lot mor talent than the guys of the former band, but how would they work together?
At least Kendall was hell bent on not falling apart from himself.
7.16 The Rehearsals
It was not easy to get a room for the rehearsals, and I had not been yet a great stage director inspite of a few attempts since middle school. Fortunately I was assisted her by an intern named Ryan Laserbeam, aforementioed best friend of True Jackson, vice president of Mad Style.
The latter company had now offered the lovebirds Geena and Crony an employment for the next years, making them the new chief designers of their west coast headquarters in Frisco. Alas, he seemed to have confused the Broadway with a variety house, for he was apparently a great follower of Henry Doheny and tried hard to impress everyone with copied tricks of the old master of illusionism and escapism. And Ryan was also the only male cheerio in the whole state. But he had got some exoperience in stage direction form the drama club of his high school, especially a play about the story of Bonnie and clyde, two of the most infamous criminals of the good old times.
This reminded me of the hih rate of crimmes here in this restless city, but fortunately officer Fukanaga had got full control over the situation, although there were rumours about a bunch of dark ninjas roaming this quarter of New York City and disposing with all the major criminals that would otherwise escape law and order, yet none of them had ever been caught unmasked. Ryan was sure that only those super ninjas would be able to stiop the increasing filtration of the city with Russian spies who were everywhere including the broadway.
So I had got four gifted rock musical stars on the stage, which was more talent in a few weeks than Big Time Rush had ever dmonstrated in three years, but, unlike the now extincr boy band, they were no friends and had never worked together, so there was a lot to coordinate, and the backup crew with female lead voice Lucy Stone was bringing in its troubles some more.
The countdown was on, only five days to go ... four ... three ... two ...
7.17 The Première
This was one of the halls of Broadway, and definitely not one of the greatest, for they were not foolish enough to waste one on a project like Seal Of Hekate by unfabulous little me. And Sofia Michelle made it once more clear that there was no second chance for newbies at the Broadway.
The audience section was fairly full, anyways, maybe because everyone knew someone who knew someone who ... and on and on and on it went, business as usual, certainly not because it was a perfectly promoted performance like those of Sofia Michelle's works, especially Uptown Downtown with its miraculous song Finally Falling by David R. Couleda and Jo-Deanne Sporx.
The hall went dark, the spots were getting activated, the curtains were about being raised ... welcome to the 'Seal Of Hecate, a musical in three stages by one Adelaide Singer.
I was not even able to watch the whole drame that I had inscenated, I just close my eyes, awauiting the bitter end. There were a few waves of applause filling the stage hall, so I assumed that the whole thing was over and the spectators applauded the house manager's decision to never perform that junk again and to boot whoever was responsible for it ... oops, that was me! But when I opened my eyes, I saw the scenes going on and on, and I finally remembered from the currently cited verses that we were only in the first stage.
And on and on and on it went ... until the curtain fell for the last time, and everything was over. Had it been that bad?
I shrugged and turned around, seeing Benjamin and Jade in the front row, wondering why Jade was here in the first place, but especially why they were here together ... I imagined that wthey would break out in laughter abiut the disaster of a première, at least both of them wer great at taunting those lying in the dirt.
But then they congratulateed me for the musical, although Jade had been missing any scenes where Hecate ate little children. That had been the case because the seal of hecate had been broken by the valiant hero Kendall "White" Knight "on his steed".
Crony and Geena kept on applauding full force, though, and so did Chase, but he was possibly just polite.
So what did Sofia Michelle say about the whole mess? She was apparently busy talking with some very official-looking guy from some expert magazine in this branch, and I heard him mention the word "Pulitzer" several times, getting Sofia to nod over and over again. He seemed to be of the board awarding the best works of modern American lyrics, but whose works were they talking about? It was certainly not about mine, was it?
Chapter 8 Epilogue
8.1 The Wedding
Finally, the day of my wedding with Chase Bartholomew Matthews, and I was one of the few people to get the same day married and informed about having been awarded the Pulitzer Price for Poetry.
Seal Of Hecate had been a great success, as recognised apparently by the board for the renowned award, but I was also a bit dazed by this, as I had always wanted to become unforgettable, but not at the prize of no longer being me, and that would not have been worth the trouble. Fortunately the Pulitzer did not automatically make me fabulous, for it was mostly ignored by the public, and the board of Broadway was still not of the opinion that my works were exactly within the canon they had got in mind.
The wedding preparations had been as complicated as those for the première of Seal Of Hecate although I had preferred being in a small circle. Geena Fabiano was my maid of honour, matching with Jerry Crony alias Olivary Biallo alias Marshall Rivera as the best man. My further bridesmaids were Jade, Wendy and Leanne, with the corresponding groomsmen Ben, Michael, and Zachariah.
You are maybe wondering about the presence of Michael, given that Chase had not forgiven his former "best friend — forever!" to have backstabbed him by befriending with Vincent Blake. This had indeed been the case for many a year, but a lot of things have changed when Benjamin and Jade — by now indeed a couple — had appeared in Kreuftlva's office in order to help the goth girl control her dangerous hidden powers. Kreuftlva had not only freed Jade from her obsession with Beck who had only abused her for years and never been any good at all, no matter what, but also liberated Quinn Pensky from any remaining obnoxious emotional bond with master coxcomb Logan Reese. Then Quinn had also understood that it was a horrible mistake to betray Chase by hanging out with Vince, and she had been able to convince Michael and Zoey to do the same.
So you may still wonder about the relationship between Vincent Blake and his fiancé Lola Martinez. Well, it had come naturally to an end when the Hollywood starlet discovered that there were many significantly better kisser when compared to Vince Blake, no matter what. Well, Hollywood starlets did not take thje whole relationship crap serious, anyways, thye just use them as a means for boasting their careers.
Megan Parker started blowing the Bridal Chorus on her oboe, accompanied by the wonderful voice of some guy I knew from Edmond Bigby's School Survival Guide and who just went by the name "Coconut Head". Father Maccurdy was already ready to conduct our wedding when I marched along to the miraculous sound of Megan's oboe.
I was guided gently down the aisle by Mr. Fletcher, as my parents had preferred to go on a cruise across the Antilles instead of being present at their daughter's wedding. They erroneously supposed it to be just the first of several weddings, as we young people did not take it serious any more.
Maccurdy asked us the relevant questions.
Both Chase and I answered in an affirmative manner, so we brought it on, as we were already hungry and looking forward to Oscar E. Ceptionists's delicious lemon pies.
In this moment was I allowed, for the first time, to hold the diploma stating my conquest of Pulitzer's award in my own hands. A few reporters from specialists's journals were around, but that was fortunately all, inspite of the big success of my musical. The actors were turning all famous for it, but this was not the case for those working behind the stage, unless one was someone like Sofia Michelle.
Wendy and Megan had also arranged some sort of a honeymoon trip for us, on beautiful islands and beaches, with lots of sun and blue sea ... no, that was of course not the case. With or without Pulitzer's, this would not have been an appropriate way for me and Chase to spend those supposedly most beautiful weeks of our life. Rather, we were allowed to stay in one of the last residences of Edgar Allan Poe in his life time. This looked really cool.
OK, so this was Edgar Allan Poe's house? It had been touched a lot ever since, and it did not really
By the way, it was just located in Baltimore, just across the street from one of Chase's grandfathers.
Chase had not seen his grandfather in many a year, because the creep was a despicable miser and jerk of the worst sort. A few months ago, the old crank had finally bit the dust, and Chase was not missing him a bit, why should he have done so, anyways?
This house had been restored a few times by wealthy fans, and there was even a sculpture of a black raven.
Hey, the model bird seemed mocking me, although it was made of clay and black polyresines.
But whenerver we were alone, the raven seemed to come alive and haunt us, from dusk to dawn.
Even worse, Chase and I saw his grandfather walking across the street. Yes, we knew that he was dead, but what was he doing anyways?
I felt like going through Poe's story like a live watcher: The Fall Of The House Of Usher, The Murders In Rue Morgue, Tell Tale Heart, and many more ...
And there were stories in front of my eyes that were even too horrible and too fantastic for Poe to have ever written. These must have told me the real end of the master poet as he had seen it. His death had never been real, only vision and imagination.
Maybe we would have become fabulous by writing those visions down and publishing them as Edgar Allan Poe's memories of his own death. But we refrained from looking for publicity in order to stay true to ourselves and our spiritual heritage.
It's better unfabulous!