For the umpteenth time, I fell asleep, straight into the dream world. My favourite place. My sanctuary. The place where everyone knew and trusted me.
My dream world is completely different from yours. My dream world just screams 'Madotsuki'. (Which isn't my real name. Indeed, no-one ever refers to me by my real name.) My dream world is the only place where I can overcome everything from my tragic, hectic, and chaotic past.
Once arrived in the dream world, I walked inside from the balcony, and stepped into the Nexus, but something caught my eye. I was surprised by the fact that there were not 12, but 13 doors to different worlds this time. That 13th door may've looked plain and boring, but I decided to enter it anyway.
The door revealed a sight in poorly rendered 3D. I looked at myself, and much to my surprise, I became of potato quality 3D as well. I shrugged, and walked further, where I walked into a plain and boring building. In front of it, there stood a school bus, and above it, something strange floated. So it's a schoolhouse where I arrived, huh?
I looked at the strange thing that floated above the schoolhouse. It was white, and beared some kind of a resemblance to Takofuusen, one of my acquaintances from the White Desert, except for the fact that he had a visible mouth and no limbs.
'Huh', I thought, 'if it really is Takofuusen, he surely looks strange today.' I walked inside of the schoolhouse, and got greeted by a disarray of many voices, mostly children's voices.
In the hallway, I saw many students who just arrived at the school (probably straight out of the bus), and they didn't look too pleased. Me, I felt the same way, because school wasn't one of the best things from my past. Perhaps this strange 13th world would help me grow over it? Who knew.
"Oh, hi" a nasal, masculine voice suddenly greeted me, "welcome to my schoolhouse."
I quietly greeted the person. He was tall, lanky, bald (minus one single dark blond strand of hair), wore a green, long-sleeved shirt and blue pants, and held a wooden ruler in one of his hands. His demeanour looked to be quite strange, if he'd be the one behind this schoolhouse.
"Welcome to Baldi's Basics in Education and Learning, that's me!"
I nodded, and went to explore the schoolhouse, not giving a single care about Baldi, as he wasn't familiar to me anyway.
Many classrooms I have passed by, and they sure contained strange students, I must confess.
In the pre-school classroom, people who looked a lot like 6th graders were present. Were they mentally challenged, or did one of them secretly plan to let the entire class go back to pre-school somehow? They were dressed quite childish as well, in any case. (Hair bows, striped shirts, you name it.)
In the 6th grade classroom, some familiar faces were present, much to my surprise. I wanted to enter, but got stopped by a strange 1st grader with blurry eyes and a jump rope.
"Let's play!" she said, and handed her jump rope to me.
I accepted the rope, not wanting to disappoint her, and shrugged.
I had to jump for 5 times, in which I succeeded.
"Wow! That's great! Let's play again… sometime soon."
I certainly wished not to be bothered by her again, so I entered the 6th grade classroom as quickly as possible. The familiar faces that were present looked the same potato quality 3D as I did.
"Oh, hey, Madotsuki" Poniko greeted me, "how'd you discover this strange place? Me, I suddenly saw a portal near my home, and upon entering it, I was suddenly on this schoolyard I didn't even know."
"A 13th door in the Nexus" I replied. "Dunno why it's there, but that's how I came here, in any case." I took a seat at one of the many empty desks. "The students here are kinda strange, too."
"Aren't they? Before I could enter this classroom, a bully boy wanted my chocolate bar, and he was so scary, that I just had to give in…"
"Just now, this weird 1st grader wanted me to play jump rope, and I sure hope she won't bother me again soon."
"Isn't one of the teachers kind of a weirdo as well?" Monoe asked. "You know, the bald one with the ruler?"
"I surely hope we're not getting him…" Poniko said. "Otherwise, if he does try to harm us, I'll be summoning Uboa without anyone playing with the light switch beforehand."
Suddenly, we heard the sound of yelling near the door of our classroom. The voices sounded familiar to me, as they had a valley-girl accent. Could it be…?
"Goodness gracious!" the Toriningen named Mimo exclaimed. "That robot totally wants to get it on with me!" She let the other two, Nana and Lila, inside of the classroom, and slammed the door shut.
"I think it wanted all three of us…!" Lila said. "There's no way I'll ever marry that piece of scrap metal!" She put an arm around Mimo's shoulder. "What does it even think, that you can give birth to live cyborgs?"
The threesome of Toriningen burst out into snob-like laughter.
"I almost got molested by a freakin' broom back at the entrance…" Monoko said. "Really, I had to go into crazy mode, use nearly all of my hands to cover my ears and not hear it scream stuff like: 'Looks like it's sweeping time…!' And I was lucky that I didn't get caught while literally running away from it, because you're apparently not allowed to run around here."
"Guess I must be the only lucky pupil around here" Mafurako mumbled. "I only saw a sock puppet or something around the hallway, but once we locked eyes, he got away. Furthermore, not much happened afterwards."
The school bell rang, and the threesome of Toriningen rushed towards the remaining vacant desks, wanting to be a good example for whatever teacher would come.
Many minutes passed by with all of us being quiet, and eventually, Baldi showed up, much to the dismay of all of us.
"Well, good morning, class of peculiar girls" he greeted us, "and, no boys at all. Guess you're my class for today. How did all you even discover this school?"
"A strange portal near my home" Poniko said.
"I was with Seccom Masada-sensei in his spaceship" Mafurako quietly said, "but he accidentally crash-landed in front of this weird school, rather than on Mars…"
"A closet in our homeworld" the threesome of Toriningen said in unison.
"Takofuusen sent us here" Monoe and Monoko both said. (Then, I still wonder what he was doing above the schoolhouse?)
"A 13th door in the Nexus" I quietly said.
"Good grief, what strange stories you all tell" Baldi said, as he shook his head in disbelief.
"Yeah, but the rest of our kind didn't even pay attention to that one closet!" Mimo said, "and before Nana, Lila and I knew it, a robot almost made love with us!"
"Hey, that's no big deal. That robot is named 1st Prize, and he's just… well, how do I put it, affectionate. Probably too affectionate for the three of you."
"This school is literally packed with strange organisms" Monoe said, "a bully boy whom apparently thinks you owe him something before you can go somewhere, a weird girl who forces people to jump rope with her, a talking broom, a sock puppet, 6th graders in pre-school, and, uh…" She looked aside, and pointed towards Baldi with her eyes, but didn't directly mention him, so decided to tell a lie instead. "…the rules."
"The rules?" Nana asked.
"Everyone at this school who's not any of us is allowed to run in the halls" Monoko said, "but we, the 'any of us' around here, aren't."
We got interrupted by the slapping of Baldi's ruler on his desk.
"Now it's time for everybody's faaavourite subject!" he said, "math!"
"Aw, math class again?" Nana moaned in major dismay, as she pulled her single ponytail at the same time.
"Watch your mouth, Voltolini, in case you don't want to get in trouble…" Baldi shot an angry glare at her.
We the students looked at each other with strange looks. How did Baldi even know Nana's surname while it was only just our first day here…?
"What the…?" Nana whispered. "I only showed some disapproval, and suddenly, he knows my surname? What a weirdo…"
"But math is fun" Lila said, "look, I don't wander around in the numbers world for nothing, you know?"
"Yeah, and I want to do science, with lights, which is why I wander around in the candle world… hey, Baldi, is math the only course we'll be getting? See, I want science, and Mimo wants physics…"
"Nope" Baldi said, stoically. "Math is all you'll get, so there's no reason to pout or anything." He looked at Lila, who clearly looked excited for the math class, and smiled. "That's more like it, Lila…"
"Oh, what a nightmare…" I grumbled heartedly. "Math hasn't been my favourite course either…"
"Now, you guys have to look for seven notebooks around this school, and answer each question correctly. There are three questions per notebook. Remember, I'll be keeping all of my senses on you, so I hear every door you open, and I get angrier for every problem you get wrong."
"Okay" Poniko said, "if that's how you want it…" She made a gesture that the rest of us, save for Baldi, had to gather together for a secret plan meeting. "Guys, if we'll have to look for a mere seven notebooks, then we should split up in three groups."
"I'll go with you, sis" Monoe said to Monoko.
"In that case, I'll go with you guys" Mafurako whispered, as she pointed at me and Poniko with her eyes.
"Then, one threesome remains…" Nana chuckled, as she pointed at Mimo and Lila with her eyes. "Let's make this a survival horror game…!"
"Well, aren't we in at least two already?" I said, when the principal suddenly barged into the classroom, shocking the seven of us.
"No breaking the fourth wall in the halls…" the principal said.
"But we're not even in the halls!" Lila said, "nor breaking the fourth wall!"
"Well, if you say it like this, miss Cipher, I'll let it slide, but next time, there'll be detention for you…" The principal left, leaving Lila dumbfounded.
"It's creepy how they know our surnames while we barely know them" Monoko said.
"Ditto" Monoe said, "but we should probably get going before we run out of time."
Our groups grabbed a so-called 'You Can Think Pad' each (wherefore?), split up and wandered through the hallways to find the requested seven notebooks, ignoring Baldi's "Good luck to you all!".
Poniko, Mafurako and I found the first notebook in the pre-school classroom. At the time we entered to gather it, two students began singing out of tune and on top of their lungs.
"On top of spaghetti, all covered with cheese, I lost my poor meatball…"
"Hey, if you don't mind" Poniko interrupted them angrily, "we're trying to focus on our math problems here!" This made all of the students quiet.
Mafurako could easily solve all three problems in only 5 frantic seconds. It was as if that You Can Think Pad was like magic.
"Wow! You exist!" we suddenly heard Baldi say.
"Guess math is easier than we thought it'd be…" I mumbled.
Our threesome tried to get out of the classroom, not wanting to push anyone aside at the same time. We were being bombarded with their many nonsensical comments. ("Why are you leaving so soon?", "You guys are lame!", "Math sucks…" (even though that one was logical), or even "Where's the bathroom?")
Poniko, highly annoyed, still bothered to reply sarcastically to all respective comments.
"Because there are more notebooks for us to find. I know we are. To each their own opinion. What do you think you're in a nappy for?"
Once I slammed the door of the classroom behind me, Baldi awaited us, holding something shiny in his left hand.
"You did great, c'mere and get your prize: a shiny quarter!" He said more, but I didn't quite listen to that. I just swiped the quarter out of his hand and shoved it in my chest pocket.
Our group continued across the hallway for the second notebook, but the threesome of Toriningen already got it in the kindergarten classroom. The many genuinely tiny children there looked quite scared, probably because of the appearances of the three Toriningen.
"Alright, this is quite easy" Lila said, as she solved the first two problems. "Wait, why am I not able to decipher this?"
"Gimme that weird thing" Nana said, as she swiped the You Can Think Pad from Lila's grasp, and entered 12 as the answer to the 3rd, indecipherable question.
"Nana, what are you even doing?!" Lila screamed, as she pulled her pigtails in anger. "We're going to get in trouble for this!"
Suddenly, the sound of a ruler being slapped on a hand palm was heard.
"Oh no" I said, "that's definitely Baldi… you know he has a ruler, right? Let's flee and look for the 3rd notebook, hoping it'll be easier to solve for us."
We calmly sneaked towards the left, while the threesome of Toriningen started running around and panicking.
"No running in the halls…" the familiar voice of the principal echoed through the halls.
"Yeah, but Mr. Principal!" Lila exclaimed, "she started!" She pointed at Nana.
"15 seconds, detention for you. Your parents will hear about this one." The principal dragged the threesome along via the necks of their shirts.
"You traitor!" Mimo yelled, "both of my parents are dead!" But the principal ignored that comment.
Our group went further, and I kept my eyes on the classrooms we passed by, and luckily for us, the 1st grade classroom contained the third notebook.
Mafurako solved the first two questions successfully, but the 3rd one indeed looked indecipherable, even to our group.
"Let's just go for a high number" Poniko said, as she entered 666 on the You Can Think Pad.
"I get angrier for every problem you get wrong…" we heard Baldi say in a threatening tone.
Poniko summoned Uboa to distract Baldi, and afterwards, the three of us quickly tip-toed away, in our search for the fourth notebook.
A little far behind us, we heard a high, nasal scream, meaning that Poniko's sorcery indeed did the trick.
"I wanna play with someone…" I heard the familiar jump rope girl say from a few decimetres ahead.
"Flee!" I whispered, "I don't want to be bothered by that moron again…" I nearly bumped into Monoe, who was about to enter the school faculty room to find the fourth notebook. "Whoops, sorry, Monoe."
"You guys in a hurry or somethin'?" she said. "C'mere, but be quick, as the principal may catch us soon."
That being said, Monoe, Monoko, Mafurako, Poniko and I were in the school faculty room, busily searching for the fourth notebook.
"Ah, there it is" Monoko whispered, as she held up a notebook after a little while. She and Monoe solved its questions, but got the 3rd one wrong as well. "What, is Baldi trying to trick us with that 3rd question or something? Because I think he is…"
"Me too" Mafurako said.
"I have the feeling Baldi's speed of listening and moving is increasing by every problem we get wrong" I said. "We should sneak away from here, but via that door over there, because I can hear him from the one we entered this room through."
Trying not to run had become very difficult for us in the meantime. Poniko accidentally opened up a supply closet just now, and let the broom speed around freely.
"Gotta sweep sweep sweep!" the broom exclaimed, as it zoomed through the hallway, almost being on our heels.
"How do we even get rid of this thing?" Mafurako said, sounding quite scared.
"I dunno" I said, "perhaps…" Suddenly, my eyes fell on a vending machine. "…a little slippy trickery should do the trick?" I grabbed the quarter from my chest pocket, inserted it into the vending machine, and a can of 'BSODA' fell down. I grabbed it, shook it, opened it up, and apparently blasted the broom away from our reach.
"Goodness gracious" Poniko sighed, "now let's hope that thing will retreat to the supply closet soon, because I left the door open as well…"
In the meantime, Monoe and Monoko were screaming on top of their lungs and running away from an angry Baldi, while Monoe held on to the fifth notebook. Poniko, Mafurako and I quickly hid in the school faculty room, when we suddenly got busted by the principal.
"No entering 'school faculty only' rooms in the halls" he said, as he grabbed the necks of our shirts and sent us to his office. "30 seconds, detention for you. When will you learn?"
Poniko facepalmed and sighed loudly. "How dumb could I possibly be… I already saw the principal coming, too…"
30 seconds later, our threesome was dismissed from detention, and while we were about to leave the principal's office, the threesome of Toriningen was running away from 1st Prize, the robot.
From the trio, Nana was holding the sixth notebook.
"Guys" she told the other two Toriningen, "Baldi can, like, definitely hear bad math, so the most important thing is to run away from him!"
"I see you, friend" 1st Prize said, as it sped towards the bird-like girls.
"No!" Mimo yelled. "You wanted me this morning, right? Well, you totally won't get me now! I'm not going to give birth to live cyborgs!"
A small group of 4th graders laughed at what Mimo said just now.
"If she really thinks 1st Prize will kiss her in between her legs…" one of them said, "she owes me something great…" His voice echoed at the 'legs' and 'great'.
"Consarnit…" Poniko grumbled, "it's the bully. C'mon, let's find that last notebook before Baldi's ruler will 'kiss us in between our legs' instead…"
Luckily for us, the closest classroom we entered contained the seventh and last notebook, and I insisted on solving all of the problems, rather than Mafurako, who seemed tired of the indecipherable problems already.
Upon having entered the 'answer' to the last question, we left the classroom, and while Monoe, Monoko and the Toriningen trio came towards us, all of the halls suddenly turned red.
"Congratulations!" we heard Baldi say. "You found all seven notebooks! Now all you need to do is… get out while you still can!" Afterwards, he laughed somewhat maniacally.
"Oh dear" Lila said, "he's becoming even more lunatic than we Toriningen can ever become…"
"How do we get out while we still can?" Monoe asked.
"I may just know where the real exit is" I said, "and if we are quick enough without anyone interrupting us, we can still make it there. Now, you guys, just follow my lead, and act real cool."
And thus, the seven of us speed-walked through the halls, occasionally sneaking whenever we heard the principal whistle, to prevent getting caught and getting 15 more seconds of detention every time.
While we nearly reached the exit, which was in the school cafeteria, the broom swept Baldi aside, giving the seven of us a chance to burst through the exit. Once outside, we cheered, and threw the notebooks and You Can Think Pads in the air, as if we graduated just now.
"Thank goodness I trusted my instinct on finding the exit" I said. "I just knew that all of the others were fake."
"We should probably return to our respective homeworlds" Mafurako mumbled, "never to return here again. This place is so weird, it probably creeps us all out."
"Yup" Poniko said.
"I think Takofuusen is just up there" I said, as I pointed on the cloud-like thing that still floated above the schoolhouse. "Monoe, Monoko, you should ask him to take you guys home."
"What?!" Monoko laughed. "That thing?! No, absolutely not!"
"Hey, I've seen a picture of him in the principal's office" Lila said. "I think his name is Cloud Copter, or something. In any case, he looks nothing like Takofuusen, except for the fact that he can float in the air, too."
Monoko went into her 'crazy mode' and whistled on the fingers of the hand on her head. Not much later, the real Takofuusen showed up, to bring her and Monoe home.
"Back home, please!"
"Out of this strange world" Monoe scoffed, "you don't want to know how awful it is around here." She and Monoko smiled at the rest of us. "Hey, see you guys later… and hopefully not in this crazy world anymore."
Takofuusen let out a quiet chuckle, and flew off, along with the two sisters, back to the White Desert.
"Look, a portal!" Poniko said. "It looks pink and watery, which means that it's a portal back to my home. I'll go through there. See y'all later." She jumped into the portal, which was located near the bus, back to her home in the Pink Sea.
The Toriningen trio went back home via an old, busted 3-stage locker that stood near a garbage container, which contained a portal to each of their respective homeworlds.
"Well then" I said, "now it's just the two of us. Mind if I escort you back home?"
"Sure" Mafurako said, with a nod and a smile.
Via the door, which was still there, we went back to the Nexus, where we finally turned back into our regular 32-bit selves.
"Bye now, Here School World, and until we never meet again!" I slammed the door behind me, and blew a raspberry towards it.
"Once home, I'll just go back to my regular function: being invisible and teleporting whenever needed."
I escorted Mafurako to the door that led to the Block World, and the two of us said goodbye.
Afterwards, I pinched my cheek to wake up, got out of my bed, sat at my desk, grabbed a pen and my diary, and wrote about this strange adventure in full detail.
A/N: The part of the 6th graders pretending to be pre-schoolers is based on a poem I wrote for one of my relatives once. That poem is written from their POV, and it regards their rather peculiar but interesting plot twist of Baldi's Basics. In case you'd like to read the poem, check out the poetry section of my web site, the latter being in my bio.