Well, well, well! I'm back again! In this FanFic, Judy and Nick are around the age of twelve (and also, for confirmation, this is set in an alternate story), and it will get pretty emotional! I'm curious to see how this story does. Anyways, hope you enjoy this little project I like to call: Lost and Found. (And yes, I am working on Tales of Turmoil 2! :)
It's nearly bedtime, and I hear my dad's voice echoing through the walls of my miniature-sized room as he yells at my mother once again. I shuffle on top of my bed uncomfortably, pondering to myself in attempt to block out the sound. It doesn't work and my soul hurts at the noise, but what is there to do for a young fox like me? Not much, to be certain. It's been happening for years, and I fear that my mother will not be able to take much more of the constant strife in our home, mostly stemming from my father.
Dread is definitely something that has plagued me recently. Ever since third grade, the bullying has been nonstop. I've never been one to be kicked around without a fight, but the endless degrading is beginning to tear at my very being. It's simply impossible to ignore it any longer, as the stress eats at my patience even at this very moment.
I start the sixth grade tomorrow, and I can't say I'm excited. I've heard that Middle School is a whole new league of belittlement, targeted at the fact that I am a predator. A "shifty, untrustworthy fox", as the kids always say. Come to think of it now, I don't think anyone outside of my mother has ever trusted me. I've never done anything unforgivable in my life. In fact, the worst that I recall is stealing a candy bar from a gas station convenience store.
I rise from my bed with a groan, and walk over to my mirror, and stare into my own miserable, emerald green eyes.
Tomorrow will be the day that you make a friend.
Although I tell myself this everyday, eventually it has to happen, right? I can't be a loner for the rest of my life.
I've never really thought about what I want to be in life either, exactly. I guess you could call me lost at this point; in more ways than one.
I ignore the tears forming in my eyes, although it's not something I'm used to. It takes a lot for me to actually cry anymore, remembering all I've been through. I've hardened as a person into something that nearly resembles stone.
I turn back around slowly, and glance at my clock in worry.
I grit my teeth and sigh aloud, counting down the minutes until nine thirty. Going to bed now is practically a death sentence, which I know very well. My heart beats fast, and I'm feeling something close to nausea.
I've begged my mom for months on end for us to move schools, away from Zootopia Elementary. She completely understands why I want to, but we just don't have the money anymore. My dad doesn't bat an eye at my unhappiness, and simply dismisses it as being "dramatic". No matter how hard I try, my dad just doesn't seem to get how cruel the kids at school can be. And now, it's on to Zootopia Middle.
I slouch back into my seemingly stone-hard mattress, and reluctantly unlock my phone to view my new texts with a blank expression.
Abruptly, there's a knock on my door, and I quickly sit up. I halfway expect my dad to stumble in, probably drunk, but instead I am faced with the one person I actually love.
"Hey, honey, sorry you had to hear that" my mom mumbles softly, closing the door behind her, "Why do you have your lights off?" she asks.
I only now have actually noticed the lack of light in my room, and I shrug slightly.
"Dunno" I say glumly, and my mother continues looking at me in concern, now crossing her arms.
"I know you're worried over school, but y-"
"No, I'm fine, Mom" I tell her out of obvious bravado.
She walks over beside me gently, and sits at the end of my bed with a knowing look.
"It's okay to be scared, Nick" she tells be bluntly, and I shuffle a bit.
"I'm not scared" I lie again, not daring to look my mom in the eye.
She sighs, and I can feel her uneasiness in the air, knowing she is about to speak.
"Your dad is gone, Nick" she informs me, sounding more happy than sad, "He's not coming back".
It seems very pitiful, but this is perhaps the best news I've heard in months, maybe even years. My abusive father, finally out of my life; it's something that until now I only dreamed of.
"R-really?" I ask, hoping that what she tells me is true.
"Yep!" she says with a slight smile, "Finally, right?"
I can't contain my joy, and I squeal as I hug into my mother's side.
Maybe now, at last, our house will be peaceful.
The thought of school tomorrow is still constantly nagging at my emotions, but at least now, there's a bright spot in this chapter of my life.
After a minute of hugging, my mom releases me.
"Well, it's just about your bedtime" she tells me, rubbing my back gently.
I groan in annoyance, not wanting to say goodbye to the summer life. It's not like my life during the summer is eventful or something. I sleep until around one in the afternoon, and then I wander around town, reading comic books and such in stores, and simply exploring. I mean, it's all I have to do. I don't have friends to hang out with, or lots of money to spend on whatever I want. I'm a lone wolf; although, well, I'm not even a wolf.
I'm just Nick Wilde.
"I'll talk to you more in the morning, but you need to get some sleep" she says, sounding happier than I've heard her in a while.
"Okay, goodnight mom" I tell her, dragging my blankets over me reluctantly.
"Goodnight" she says, closing my door gently.
Finally, some good news! Maybe I will actually get some sleep tonight!
Well, I would if I wasn't Nick Wilde.
I leap out of bed quickly get dressed into my street clothes, and I stuff my phone into my pocket, smirking to myself.
The release of The Dark Road is tonight, and I won't miss it for anything. According to the ads I've seen all over town, it's supposed to be the scariest movie in years, or maybe even ever.
I wait a few minutes out of caution, and then slowly creak open my door, and scan the hallway. I'm assuming my mom must already be asleep, and thinking about it now, I really hate to sneak out on her, especially during times like these. But, as long as I'm back by morning, she'll never know anyways.
I creep down the stairs and unlock the door, glancing behind me every few seconds in paranoia. I get the key to turn, at last, and I slowly open the front door.
I take a deep breath, and I take a step onto the cold patio, shutting the door behind me. I check my pocket one more time to make sure I still have my phone, and then I embark on my journey to the movie theater; about a half a mile away.
If I had friends, I'd be texting them right now, asking if anyone wants to meet up at the movies. Oh, how I would never take it for granted; how I'd embrace the simple presence of a real friend.
I hope wishes on a star really do come true.
I bounce down the sidewalk, the thought of school finally absent from my mind, able to focus on simply enjoying the time I have left tonight.
I stare ahead as I move, not having to worry about criminals and such, as kidnapping children in Zootopia isn't exactly common. However, my biggest fear is encountering someone from school, and being publicly harassed. It's happened before, several times even. The pain of seeing the scorn on the faces of so many people just because I'm a fox is disheartening to say the least.
I glance ahead, the sign for the theater is now in sight, and I feel a surge of excitement.
My dad left, and I get to see a movie, on the same night! This is awesome!
I approach the crowd of various animals, gladly taking my monthly allowance out of my pocket to pay for a ticket. My eyes scan the intimidating crowd, but no one seems to be looking my way, much to my comfort. Usually, it's pretty tough for people to not notice a fox, but everyone seems to be in their own world while they wait in the ticket line.
I wait patiently in line as well, toying around on my phone. The twenty minute wait passes shockingly fast, and before I know it, I stand at the ticket booth, fumbling my money in my hands.
"Here you go, sir!" I say, handing four dollars to the elephant selling tickets.
He glances at me in a condescending manner, and leans towards me, as if examining me.
"You're a fox" he states bleakly.
My heart sinks below my stomach, and my eyes widen.
Not this again.
My mind flashes back to my experience while trying to join the scouts, and how it truly devastated me. The feeling of being hated, discriminated against, and despised for no reason; it's simply impossible to put into words the hate I contain for it all.
"Well...yeah" I whimper, hoping not to embarrass myself.
"So, bye!" he states rudely, pointing in the opposite direction of the theater doors.
I want to cry with every fiber in my body, but I manage to hold back the tears as I bite my lip.
"You can't be serious!" I yell at him in a shaky voice, attracting the attention of everyone around us, "I can't see the movie just because I'm a fox?"
He rolls his eyes.
"I'll call security if I have to" he states threateningly.
"How about worrying about all that belly fat before you worry about me causing trouble just because I'm a fox!" I scream at him, unable to hold back my feelings of pure rage, "And get over your third-grade maturity while you're at it!"
If anyone is going to be humiliated today, it's not going to be me.
The elephant's eyes widen, and he rises from his chair.
"Someone, get this nuisance out of here!" he requests loudly.
The crowd around me laughs, this time not at me, but at the elephant before me. I smile at the laughter in a nearly cruel demeanor, and turn back to the elephant with a triumphant expression.
The elephant covers his large gut, and motions for security. I couldn't care any less, however, as the officers drag me away with ease from the booth. The crowd continues to laugh, much to my joy.
"Go home, kid" the guards tell me, releasing me a hundred feet or so from the crowd, and I stumble back.
"Why can't I watch the movie?" I ask them genuinely, crossing my arms, "And give me a real reason!".
They look at each other, and then slowly come up with a lame excuse.
"Just...the way it is, fox", the jaguar officer informs me, obviously not having a real reason, "And shouldn't you be in bed anyways? Or off some place stealin' somethin'?"
My frustration continues to boil.
"Says the guy with his name tag upside down!" I scream at him, pointing at his misplaced name tag.
"Shut up kid, before you get yourself in a mess!" he commands.
"Whatever!" I yell at him, turning away, walking fast down the sidewalk back home.
The tears in my eyes flood freely down my face, not out of mere sadness, but also pure hatred and anger. The amount of passion I have towards ridding the world of this senseless prejudice is insurmountable. I just want to be treated like everyone else; I mean, is that too much to ask for? Can't I just be a normal kid like everyone else?
I saunter down the road, sputtering words I know my mom would punish me for saying, but I find it hard to care at this point. I don't dare turn back again, never wanting to sneak even a glance at that cursed movie theater again.
Eventually, I reach my doorstep, and I attempt to recollect myself. I take a deep breath, and I reach for the doorknob with a shaky hand, and turn it.
I enter the house quietly, nothing appearing to have changed since I left, and I rush to my bedroom.
I close my bedroom door behind me, and I press my back to it, before sliding to the ground. I bury my face in my arms, and I cry harder than I have ever since that "scouts" day.
Life as a fox certainly isn't easy. Need I explain why?
People say that life is unfair, but shouldn't everyone at least have the same opportunity? Why do I have to be judged so soon? Why am I different?
Because I'm Nick Wilde.
"Judy, come here for a minute!" my mom calls to me, which I barely hear through my loud music.
I remove my earbuds from my ears, and I hop from my bed, smiling brightly to myself, recalling the events of earlier today.
I received a really nice email from the police chief of one of the towns close to my town, Bunny-Burrow. I loved the letter so much, that I hung it from my ceiling, so that every time I look up, I'll see it as a reminder that I can do this.
I quite literally bounce down the stairs, and come to a sliding stop before my mother.
"Yes?" I ask enthusiastically.
She sighs, and puts her hands on my shoulders.
"I'm afraid we're going to be...moving" she mumbles.
I narrow my eyes in confusion, and I respond in a slightly less enthusiastic tone.
"But mom-" I start.
"I'm sorry, but it's final. We're going to be running a carrot shop in the city, isn't that awesome! Oh, and weren't you wanting to be a police officer too? Well, this will really help you!" she tells me, trying her best to sound convincing.
The police officer part is true, and having a shop in the city doesn't sound too bad either.
"But what about my friends? And school?" I ask her out of concern.
"Don't worry, you'll get to go to the best school in Zootopia!" she tells me happily.
"So, like a nice private school?" I ask her with high hopes.
"Oh, no honey! Zootopia Middle! It'll just be great!" she says in a serious tone.
I haven't exactly been fearing my first day of middle school until now, but even the name of the school twists my stomach in fear.
I've talked to many people who have been to Zootopia schools, and I haven't heard much good, to be blunt.
Remain optimistic, Judy! I tell myself.
"Uhm, yeah! That sounds good" I lie to her with a nervous laugh.
"Awesome!" she says with a giggle, and I stand with my jaw open slightly, concerned for my future.
"So when is this...happening, exactly?" I ask her with a conflicted grin.
"We're moving on Wednesday, which gives you two days to say bye to all of your friends!" she tells me in her usual enthusiastic tone.
All my friends, I could laugh at that one. I know a few people from my small, local school, but I don't really have any close friends now that I think about it. I would be sad about it, but I'm just too bright of a person to do that, I guess.
"Now, go get some sleep!" she tells me nonchalantly.
"Alright!" I tell her in the most positive tone I can muster.
I stumble back up to my room, feeling lost in a way. I wasn't mentally prepared for such a change to be completely honest, and I don't think I ever could be. But, I need to remain true to myself by remaining positive. That's who I am, after all.
I pick up my phone to text Tina, one of my classmates who I speak to regularly, although I wouldn't consider us to be real friends. I guess you could say I'm too wrapped up in my dreams to y'know, actually make friends.
Hey, I'm moving! I send to her swiftly, and I place my phone beside my bed on my night table. I turn off my lights, and lie down on my bed with a deep breath, staring at the letter on my ceiling in contemplation.
What if I don't fit in?
Well do you fit in right now? No.
What if I fail?
Don't be negative, Judy.
I blink and take one last sip of water before I turn off my lamp, and crawl under my blankets, remembering my dreams once more.
"I will be a police officer!" I say aloud with a smile, "No matter what!"
I hear my father groan from outside my room at my words, but I simply shake it off.
I will be.
I wake to the sound of my door creaking open, and my light turning on in a blurring display of brightness.
"Ah!" I hiss at the sudden sight, and I hide my face behind my blankets in attempt to shut out reality.
"Morning, sunshine!" my mom says, and I sit up, not knowing why I feel so angry.
Then, the memory of last night rushes over me like a tidal wave, drowning me in feelings of pure dread and irritation.
I rub my eyes vigorously, and stumble out of my bed.
Why does the morning exist?
I get dressed slowly, and stagger down the steps of my house.
I look up, and I see my mother fixing me pancakes with a neutral expression, and I plop down into a chair, my backpack at my side.
"Well, you don't look awake yet!" she tells me as she looks back.
I sigh in annoyance, and lean back in my seat.
"Don't feel awake either" I yawn.
She chuckles as she flips a pancake in the pan.
"Well, it is the first day of school, isn't it?" she asks.
I roll my eyes and lean my head back.
This is going to be a long day.
After a few minutes of eating and our normal school-morning chatter, the clock is ticking towards seven fifty: the time that the bus usually arrives at my house, often containing jeering students and our grumpy bus driver, Mr. Donatello.
I stand at the door to my house, and peer out my window apprehensively, setting a goal for myself: Make a friend today.
My mother stands beside me as I hear the bus engine approaching my home, and I take the deepest breath I have in perhaps...well, since last night.
One friend, that's all, I remind myself.
How hard can it be?
Well, that's all of Chapter One. Nothing too crazy; just your average introductory chapter. This, like my last story, will be a lot of fun to write. Thanks for reading, and please leave your thoughts in the reviews! A writer really appreciates advice and suggestions! Until next time...