"Ok," Freda whispered, pulling out her fake student card as Mark slid open the back door. "I don't want anyone to know I'm at this lunch, so my name is Jane Underhill if anyone asks.
"Got it." The four seventh graders made their way to the furthest table from the lunch line as Gary had said, trying to make their way through the crowd of taller eighth and ninth graders without being noticed.
"What are you four doing here in the second lunch?" A burly ninth-grader guy stopped Freda and her friends curiously.
"We're going to find a table," Freda replied.
The eighth grader looked at them suspiciously. "Wait a minute….you four are seventh graders. Shouldn't you be in class?"
"Um…we had to switch lunches because of a test."
"Well ok, cool." The eighth grader stepped aside. "I guess you just can't be too careful these days. Too many kids cutting class and switching lunches for you to be sure." He walked off to a group of his friends.
At the lunch line, Freda handed the lunch lady her fake student card. "Oh, have you seen my friend Gary around anywhere?" she asked.
"Gary…" The lunch lady thought. "Hmmm….he's that tall kid with the base ball cap and the big binder, right. You know, I haven't seen him around all day."
Freda and her friends exchanged worried looks. "Gary," she muttered to herself, "Where on earth are you???"
(Later) Samantha dunked a carrot stick in ranch dressing halfheartedly. "So, what do we do now," she asked her friend.
"I don't know." Freda scanned the lunch room, looking through the crowd of students. At one table, a group of kids were playing table hockey with a crushed soda can. At another, a cluster of girls were laughing hysterically at some inside joke. Next to them, two guys were sneakily playing poker. "He's not usually late for anything…."
Paul took a bite of his pizza, watching as Mark made his way back from the snack stand with a new drink.
"Move, sevvie," a student snapped as Mark bumped into him." Mark ignored him, and made his way back to his friend's table, setting his drink down proudly.
"Cool," Paul said, "What is it."
"This, my friend, is a Doctor Pepper." Mark popped open the soda can.
"They have Dr. Peppers?" Paul jumped up. "Awesome! I'm getting one."
"You've already had TWO pops." Samantha rolled her eyes and watched as Paul ran off to the snack bar. Then, she narrowed her eyes. "Um…Freda?" she said, nudging her best friend. "That eighth grader's seriously done nothing but look at you since we've got here."
"Really?" Freda followed the line of her friend's gaze and saw the eighth grader Samantha had been talking about. He was sitting alone at one end of a table; the hood of his sweatshirt was pulled up, partially shading his face from sight. The eighth grader was reading a book, but from time to time, Freda could see him looking over the edge of the book cover at her and her friends.
She pulled over a student walking by. "Sorry, but do you know who that guy over there with the book is?"
"Oh…him?" The student said, glancing over at the eighth-grader in question. "He's one of those reclusive people on the sports teams." He lowered his voice. "No one really knows them very well…with them sitting alone all the time with their hoods pulled up and wandering the hallways by themselves…Most people know him by his screen name, Strider272." On an afterthought, the student added, "Or just Strider."
The student walked off. "Strider…" Freda mused, pulling out the Pen and twirling it around. Without really noticing the change, she felt her mind relax and space out. The chatter of the cafeteria and even from her friends began to blur into an indistinctive murmur, the tapping of the Pen against the table in the background.
"Baggins…Baggins…" A voice hissed. Freda's eyes snapped open…she hadn't even noticed she closed them…and she dropped the pen in shock. Was it just her imagination or from stress, or had the Pen…spoken to her?"
"Baggins?" A familiar voice said, "Of course I know a Baggins. My cousin, Freda, two seats down from me in homeroom…"
"Paul!" Freda sprang up and grabbed her cousin to stop him from giving them away. Feeling herself slip, she fell back, accidentally tossing the Pen up in the air. As she reached up to catch it, the Pen came uncapped and she disappeared
It was the first time she had "used" the Pen, and Freda had no idea what would happen. The entire lunchroom became misty and foggy. Shocked, the seventh grader backed up against the lunch table, trying to find her bearings in the altered cafeteria.
"You cannot hide, student." A cold wind whipped through Freda's hair as a vision of the camera of Mr. Sauron appeared before her, crackling blue with electricity.
At that precise moment, somewhere deep in the ninth grade hall, the nine football players looked up and dashed toward the cafeteria.
Freda clamped her lips shut, fighting back a scream. Somewhere, her mind was telling her to cap the Pen, but she felt as if her limbs had turned to ice, not obeying her brain's command.
"I see you. There is no passing, only failure in this school" the voice roared in her ears.
"Oh…my…gosh…" she whispered, backing up slowly from the camera. Luckily, she finally managed to recap the Pen at the same time. Freda blinked, clearing her vision, and looked around, seeing that the cafeteria had returned to normal. "That was so weird," she muttered under her breath.
A hand grabbed her shoulder, and Freda fought back the impulse to scream again. She spun around, coming face to face with the eighth grader, the same one with the hood that she had seen.
"You draw far too much attention to yourself, Jane Underhill," he said quietly, and pulled the seventh grader into a huge storage closet, slamming it shut.
"What do you want," she hissed, not letting the fear show in her voice.
"A little more caution from you," Strider replied, flipping on the lights. "That's no mere writing tool you carry."
"What do you mean? I don't have anything."
"Really," The eighth grader leaned against the wall, sounding slightly amused. "Explain your little disappearing act over there then."
"Ok," she relented, "So I do have something. Why should you care?" she asked, suspiciously, "Who are you?"
Strider threw off his hood. "Are you scared?"
Freda took a deep breath, hoping that she wasn't sounding like a nervous little sevvie around the eighth grader. "Well," she shot back, "I've recently acquired an evil Pen, I have the faculty and nine football players with me on their hit list, and now I'm being interrogated by an eighth grader, all while midterms are coming up. So basically, yes."
Strider nodded. "Well said, but you're obviously not scared enough." He looked the seventh-grader straight in the eye. "I know what hunts you."
At that moment, the door flew open. Strider whirled around, coming face to face with Samantha, and Mark and Paul, armed with an empty soda can and a lunch tray.
"Let her go, eighth grader," Samantha snapped defensively.
Strider let them in and shut the door again. "You're a brave friend, but that will not save either of you." He turned to Freda, looking her straight in the eye. "Listen to me," he said sincerely, "You can't wait for your peer mentor, Gary, anymore. They're coming."
Lotr luvr- Thanks! Lol…I hope you like this chapter. Btw, that always happens to me too….laughing at a fanfic and getting weird looks, I mean. I swear, my friends don't the humor at all though, most of the time. :-D
Bandosax15- glares at admins I'm sorry. That really sucks that they took down your fic. They did that to a friend of mine too. resumes glaring Anyways, yes bandos do rule, and I'm really glad you like my story.
Alania- Lol…I know I took a long time on this chapter too. Hides behind couch Well I promise I'll try my best to finish all three books/movies/stories. Don't worry, this fic isn't going away any time soon.
Hotdogfish- :-D…I can't dance, but happy dances are COOL!!! Hope you liked this chapter.
Lama- Aww….thanks. You're a tenth grader? bows to the higher knowledge of highschoolers Heh heh…glad you liked Mark and Paul's little locker raid.
FoolishlyBraveDarkStar- LOL I know!!! My friends are all pretty much addicted to them and they get all hyper after they eat a bag. A lot of them get high off pixie sticks too…hm…good idea to play around with. Anyways, thanks for the review.
IrethAncalima3791- Thanks!!! Glad it hasn't lost its funniness.
Notdapunkprincess- hides sorry…I know this chapter took awhile. Hope you liked it though. I think I already replied you, but oh well. No, not at all, I'm not against other religions. I changed it since someone flamed me when I wasn't specifically talking to Christians…yeah…long story. Anyway, I reworded it now and I'll simply have to use flames to make hot soup and cupcakes.
Melanie- OMG….I do that all the time. I pulled an all-nighter once trying to finish a history paper. Thanks for the compliment…and I hoped everything turned out ok with the English paper.
Chexfan2000- Thanks! Well you just have to wait and see what happens next. Muahaha…cues to scary music…sound system dies…er…nevermind
The-burglar- Lol…our school was pretty much the first school in the district to have automatic doors…and the last. They aren't all that great, b/c kids are always messing around with them so they get stuck and they close on you when you're rushing or something. They're fun to write about though. sighs…yes, the happy good ole band days are over and it's getting serious now…well just like in the movie I guess, since this is a spoof after all. Thanks for reviewing and I'm glad you liked it.
Lil-Hellraiser- Yay!!! I'm so glad you enjoyed it. And sorry for the long wait for this chapter.
Daughter of the Night- once again….hides behind couch Well I hoped you liked it, and don't worry, I plan to finish up the trilogy. And thanks for putting me on your favorites. hands over cookies
Xin Yi- Ok…first of all, thank you so much for keeping this polite and not a mindless flame. The squiggly brackets are supposed to be what she's writing, like how the movie had V.O's for the prologue. The names are similar to the actual names of the characters and the lines are basically the movie lines spoofed up. I'll keep this review in consideration though, and thanks for reviewing.
Rose- I hope I got rid of all my spelling errors in this chapter. I'm glad you like it, and yes, there will be more of Samantha, since she's so much fun to write…like her Tolkin-counterpart, she's one of those outstanding friends that are so rare in junior high.
Princess of Mirkwood130- Aw…thanks. Lol…I'm a bad speller, so I can't tell. I'm glad you liked those parts though.
Rachel9466- Thanks for the compliment. Wow!!! We're really similar…come to think about it. I played piano in jazz band until I had to quit because of the time being too early…glares…anyways, grins I also LOVE wind/string players but I guess for the band section/fandom, I like woodwinds/brass because of all the focus on the tension between the two sections. (It makes for a nice bandroom drama :-D) And yes, most male violin and flute players are really hot. I sat next to one for a while in elementary band...melts