Fic: Turning Back Time
Author: Sosa Lola
Setting: During An Extremely Goofy Movie, a week after the X-Games.
Rating: PG 13
Notes: Borrowed Bradley's background from IZZY-CHAN13's fic "Don't Even" and some of his teammates' names from BothersomeKitsune's fic "Raygun SUCK!" Thanks for being awesome, guys!
Summary:Bradley puts himself through the wringer signing a contract with the devil.
The coffee shop isn't as relaxing as I needed it to be, too crowded, too noisy. James, fellow Gamma brother, arrives with our drinks. He lowers his sunglasses from his forehead to hide his small eyes now that his mission has been completed – it only took a dozen broken coffee mugs and a million hot coco stained shirts for him to learn that lesson. I stare intensely at the liquid in my mug, wincing as the screams grow louder and louder.
I can't pretend to ignore it anymore, neither can my teammates. My tight grip on the hot mug trembles as I glare up at the crowd.
Look at them. Just look at them. Forming a circle around him, surrounding him with unquestionable adoration, feeding his ego to the max. He just… stands there with a bashful smile and a faint redness on his cheeks, his hand scratching the back of his neck. Like some down-to-earth, boy-next-door, former-underdog angel. Everybody roots for the underdog, they say. But once the "underdog" scores first place, gets all the recognition, turns into the most popular kid in campus, he ceases to become an underdog.
But, honestly, the underdog is nothing but a loser. In reality, everybody roots for the winner. Mr. hotshot, competent and talented, riding his skateboard to the finishing line and winning the trophy. That freshmanhas got it all now.
Meanwhile, all I'm getting are side glances of hate and disdain, sometimes even a shove or two. I seem to have lost the respect I once had, and I have to admit, I have it coming. I've lost it there at the game, sight and sanity; too obsessed with winning I didn't even bat an eyelid when I had blasted Tank into the giant logo. It's a miracle he wants anything to do with me after what had happened – seems that shooting me into the blimp was punishment enough.
Two days after that fateful game, I found him standing outside the fraternity house. All is forgiven and second chances are given. I had to hide my happiness, keep on the mask 'cause the other members were standing behind me, but Tank was able to see it in my eyes. We've known each other since high school, and he'd always been more loyal to our friendship than I was. I don't deserve him, but I'm lucky enough he still wants to hang out.
I watch that cute girl from the store walking over toward the freshman and kissing him on the lips. Faint blush darkens to crimson red, and he ducks his head in that charming boyish manner – oldest trick in the book.
My tongue touches the empty spot where my tooth was, and I feel a vain exploding in my forehead. I can't take this anymore. I need to get out of here. I push my chair back, scraping it on the floor, and start storming out of the coffee shop.
"Brad," Tank yells after me.
I freeze in place, that detested name always rubs me the wrong way. I turn around and raise an eyebrow at Tank's clueless face. "You know damn well I don't like to be called by thatname."
"Gets on your nerves, doesn't it?"
I flinch and snap my gaze toward Chip, mistaking his comment to be about the name. But then I notice him adjusting his glasses and eying the members of Team 99 with resentment.
Max's idiot teammates are also getting babe attention, not as much as their leader, but enough to drive me crazy.
"Gamma brothers, let's roll."
I walk around the pool table; holding my stick behind my neck and watching Tank make another successful shot. I survey the red table before making my shot. It hasn't been my lucky day; usually I send the balls with accuracy to their destination. But so far I seem to be missing every shot.
I'm a little shaky after this afternoon at the coffee shop. I'm not sure when the Max Craze is going to wear off, but I imagine it's gonna stick around for a while. It's only been a week since the X-Games after all, the longest and most hellish week of my life. I don't get out much and when I do I regret it instantly. Goof Boy is everywhere I go, sharing my classes, eating at my favorite places, skateboarding throughout campus. It's even worse when his goof of a dad is accompanying him; he always makes a scene when he sees me around. I can't wait for that old fuddy-duddy to graduate.
Finals are approaching, I really wish they're my last, but I've got one more year to go. I'm not sure if I can survive it.
As I lean to make my shot, Leonard's sharp shouting makes me lose focus and miss one more time. I glower at my unaware dark-haired minion who is slapping the textbook on Yowie's empty head. Leonard is putting too much of an effort to help monkey-face study, despite the common knowledge among us that he won't make it. He'll repeat his junior year while the rest of us will be upgraded to seniors.
I scowl when Tank's pool cue sends the colored balls into hiding, several clicks here and there as the rest follow leisurely into the holes.
"Hi there, gang." Slouch walks into the room in his usual brown jacket and gray hat.
I don't remember him with us at the coffee shop today. He must be tired of the humiliation and hate we receive everywhere, but he's not allowed to bail. If the Gammas leader is taking the dirt, everybody else should.
"Where have you been all day?"
Slouch rubs a finger on his stubbly chin. "I went to see my aunt. I told you about it."
"I don't think you did."
"Sure I did. Yesterday at class when everybody threw that surprise party for Team 99."
Don't remind me, you bastard!The most humiliating day of my life. I wasn't in on that party, 'cause if I'd known what those jerks were planning to do, I would have skipped class.
Unaware of my raging thoughts, Slouch goes on, "I told you about Aunt Broom-Hilda visiting town for a week."
Yowie burps in excitement. "Oh, isn't she the wizard?"
Leonard smacks him with the textbook again. "You mean witch."
"Yeah, she put up her tent close to campus," Slouch says. "She thinks she'll make a few bucks out of the miserable, lonely and depressed. And after high school, college is the best place to find those."
Tank scoffs, scratching the end of his stick. "Witchcraft, who believes in that?"
"She said she wants to meet my friends." Slouch looks at me, asking for permission. "What do you say, boss?"
I sigh and miss yet another shot. "I don't see why not. It's not like we have anything else going on."
Slouch leads the way as we walk down the street to the gate. I quicken my pace when I hear the faint sound of cheering behind me, it's how I know he'sclose by. I walk past Slouch and urge the others to hurry up after me. Guys and girls on my way start to run past me to see the X-Games Champion in action. Can I once go out without encountering that…?
The air is knocked out of me by a giant bullet crashing against my back and sending me flying across the pavement. I fall flat on my face, bouncing my cheek on the rough ground – damnit, it hurts!
"Oh, Gosh, I'm sorry."
That voice. I scramble to my feet, wincing at the stinging in my palms. I look at the little cuts and drips of blood having used my hands instinctively to prevent my fall. Over my shoulder, I see him with his fake apologetic face and his hand extended to help me to my feet.
I smack his hand away and get up by myself, letting out a small hiss of pain when I feel the stinging in my knees. The bastard ripped my favorite jeans at the knees. I give him an aggressive shove back. "You did this on purpose!"
He wipes his shoulder where I shoved him and raises an eyebrow at me. "No, I didn't."
"Are you telling me that the great Max made a mistake at his best event?"
He regards me with a look of disgust before he catches someone behind me and smiles. "Oh, hey Tank."
Tank glances at me in hesitation before answering, "Hi, Max, how's it going?"
"Great. Hey, we should hang out sometime."
A pause – "Sure."
"All right. See ya." Max winks at Tank and then grabs his skateboard and rides it to the opposite direction, completely dismissing my existence.
I give Tank a look of offense. "Hang out?"
"Look, Brad, that kid saved my life…"
"I told you never use that name!" I snap, fighting the urge to shove him, too – 'cause I won't be able to do it anyway. Besides, I need to keep what's left of my dignity.
"Why not?" he snaps back, "What's wrong with it?"
I lift up my hands in surrender. "You know what, if you wanna be Goof's friend, be my guest. But neverstep a foot in the Gamma House. Are we clear?"
Did I just kick Tank out of the Gammas? Ruining the only healthy relationship in my life, the only realfriendship? And for what, for some witless freshman I shouldn't be bothering with in the first place. That son of a bitch is ruining my freaking life, been doing so ever since he came to this freaking college. Now, there's no way Tank will forgive me after this. I have no clue why he'd even forgiven me before. This one is obviously the last straw. And now I'm completely alone. Thanks a bunch, Max Goof.
I snap out of my gloomy thoughts and stare past the crowd to a large blue tent made of a thick material. Man, this crowd is almost as big as those at the X-Games, and now my blood is boiling with rage at the memory – I should block that frigging game out. It isn't good for my health to keep remembering that disgrace.
Slouch pushes those who are standing in our way with such ease, making an empty line for us to cross.
The tent on the inside is prettier than on the outside, doesn't even look like a witch's tent. Bright colored materials hanging everywhere, pretty vases with flowers in them, and the orange and yellow striped couches make a homey sight. I breathe in the fresh aroma of roses wafting from the scented candles on the round table in the middle only to be disturbed by a delicious smell coming from another room.
Slouch's aunt walks in with a plate filled with fresh baked cookies. My stomach rumbles quietly, I haven't eaten a thing at the coffee shop this morning due to the disturbance of a certain goof.
"Hi, Aunt Broom-Hilda." Slouch waves, a drool slides down his unshaven chin. "It's me again."
"Hello, dear." She places the plate on the round table between the candles and wipes her hands on her purple dress. Pulling out a chair, she drops on it with a huff, tucks a stray lock of hair behind her ear and then places her hands on her large stomach. "Oh, those fine gentlemen are your friends?"
Slouch and the rest of the guys are hypnotized by the cookies, looking like they haven't eaten in weeks. "Yep, we're all members of the Gamma Mu Mu fraternity."
He reaches for a cookie but Aunt Broom-Hilda slaps his hand away. "Introduce them to me first, dear," she says with a stern glint in her eyes.
Slouch rubs on his hand. "Right. Sorry. Uh, this is…"
"Wait." I raise a hand to stop him. "If aunty is such a powerful witch, she'll know our names on her own."
Aunt Broom-Hilda scratches the pimple on her large nose and arches an eyebrow at me. "Who is this ill-mannered young man?"
"Our leader. Bradley Uppercrust the third."
I lift my chin up in pride.
She twists her lips, one of her hands rubbing circles on her tummy. "Such an air of arrogance on this one. I fail to see why considering you lost your status as the X-Games King to some freshman…"
My eyes snap wide in fury. "How did you know?"
"Bradley." Leonard pokes me on the shoulder and shows me the college newspaper with a large picture of Max on the first page. On top of the picture, "New X-Games Champion" is written in giant letters.
I snatch the newspaper and smack it on the round table causing the candles to wobble. I point a shaking finger at the woman who is looking back at me with a nonchalant stare. "You're nothing but a phony. I'm not gonna stand here and take any more of your crap."
I spin around and bark at my men, "Gammas, follow me."
I'm startled by a breeze flowing by me and ruffling the hairs on the back of my neck. Then, unexpectedly, a sharp wind blows on my sides and throws my Gamma brothers out of the tent. The door zips shut after them and the only source of light is coming from behind me.
I whirl my head back and struggle for breath when I see replacing the plate of cookies a magic glass ball with bright light shining from its center. Thin wrinkly fingers are hovering over the ball. I look up and flinch at the sight of Aunt Broom-Hilda's face. Skin turned green, eyes coal black, and silky, black hair has fallen down to her shoulders.
"You," she says in a croaky voice. "You, my boy, obviously need me."
"I don't need you. I don't need anyone."
"So, you're telling me you don't despise this one?" She moves her hands in circles around the ball and the white light morphs into an image of Max Goof. "You wish he never stepped a foot in this campus. You wish you never met him in your life. He stole away your fame and glory and left you with nothing."
A muscle in my jaw works as I stare at Max standing on his hands on his skateboard and sliding down the railing through the cheering and whistling of his groupies.
"I can put things back on track. Fix the damage."
I look up at her hideous face. "What do you mean?"
She holds up three fingers. "I'll give you threechances to change the degrading events of past, present and future. All you need is to sign this." She brings out a scroll and unrolls it showing big paragraphs written on it with tiny, tiny letters.
"What's this?" I lean down and narrow my eyes, trying to read those ant-sized words.
She smacks a knife on the scroll, making me jump with a shriek. "You sign the contract with blood."
"What the hell?" I yelp in a high pitched voice, already heading for the door. "Oh, no. No, no. I'm outta here."
"Then I suggest you better get used to a whole year of being second best." She nods at the magic glass ball showing Max surrounded by beautiful girls. "This kid will have more success next year."
"How do you know?"
Her evil smile widens and her black eyes gleam. "I know. I see." Green hands moving around the ball in circular motions and the scenes shift yet again. I see Max skateboarding with Tank, the scene shifts to Max winning next year's trophy, and then it shifts to Max in my robe inside the Gamma House barking orders at myGamma brothers.
My chest tightens and my lips tremble. "I don't believe this."
Now Max is wearing the Gamma's black and red uniform standing shoulder to shoulder with my teammates facing Team 99 and their leader who is me.
"This is a lie!"
"My ball doesn't lie. You want me to show you incidents of the past?" There's an evil glint in her eyes. "Year 1991?"
I think back to what happened that year and then flinch, my whole body reacting violently at the memory of that night. My dad. His belt. My tender body.
I snap out of the painful memories and look down at my bleak future. "How can I stop this?"
"The only way is to make sure your rival doesn't ride a skateboard ever again."
My heart drops to my butt. "You mean killhim?"
She gives me a look. "That's not what I meant. Obviously. I'm a witch, not a murderer."
She smirks. "Magic."
I stare into her coal black eyes. "What's in it for you?"
"A hundred dollars."
"Didn't you see that crowd outside? Spell potions are easy and cheap, and if I raise the price, I won't have customers."
"And what's my role in this?"
"Sign the contract first."
I swallow thickly and look at the ball, biting down a groan when I see myself holding up a towel to Max. I turn my gaze to the knife, its blade glistening under the ball's light. I look between the knife and my pathetic self staring resentfully at Max rubbing the towel on his hair. Beads of sweat gather in my forehead and slide down to my cheeks. I bite my lips and grab the knife, the blade shaking against my skin. I take a deep breath and push the knife into my flesh, hissing as pain strikes in my finger. I use my thumb to squeeze a drop of blood and make it fall on the empty spot where my signature should be.
"Yes!" she exclaims, her eyes sparkling with joy, making me regret my decision. She snaps her fingers, and the scroll disappears at once.
I suck on my bleeding finger and watch her pull out a large book of spells from the closet and place it on a stand. Flipping through the pages, she stops at a page and hums while tapping on her wide chin. She goes back to the closet and brings out a cauldron, and with a finger snap, fire is lit in front of the book stand. She hangs the cauldron on a hook that appears out of nowhere and pours a gallon of water into it. The water starts boiling instantly. She hums, reading the book and then starts throwing all kinds of things into the cauldron.
I can easily hear my heartbeat jamming in my ears. What in hell did I put myself into?
Aunt Broom-Hilda walks over to me with a necklace. "Now if anything goes wrong…"
"Goes wrong?" I snap at her.
"I'm not saying it will. But that's why you've got three chances. If at first you don't succeed, try again twice."
She holds up the necklace and slips it over my head. I take the golden moon into my hand and run my thumb over it.
"Wear this necklace and never lose it," she instructs. Grabbing my chin, she directs my gaze toward the magic ball where I see three golden suns dancing in circles around each other. "Where he lives you'll find the golden sun, attach it to the moon to break out of the first spell and into the second. And later out of the second and into the third. And if you screw up your third chance, attaching the sun to the moon will undo the third spell."
I blink down at her. "You mean it can all be a bust?"
She shrugs. "It depends on you, my boy."
Walking over toward the cauldron, she stares down at the bubbling green liquid and nods in satisfaction. She holds something long over the cauldron, letting the smoke curl around it. I spot inscribed symbols on the stick and suddenly feel very scared.
Aunt Broom-Hilda starts chanting in a deep, haughty voice:
"Blood on sheets to seal the deal
Turn back the time for him to heal
Three is the key
A good fortune to thee
One: change is up to him
Two: his past rewrites itself,
And three: when all is dim
The clock turns back
And he'll leave no track."
She plunges the stick into the cauldron and lets out a shrill cackling laugh that scares the heebie jeepies out of me. Blinding, white light starts shooting out of the cauldron and forces me to shut my eyes. I block the light with my arm and let out a loud scream as I feel shivers running down my spine. I keep on screaming, shouting on top of my lungs, too scared to open up my eyes.
"Mommy, why is this man screaming?"
I stop shouting at once.
"Don't look at him, honey, or you'll end up like him."
I remove my arm and blink my eyes open. I see the mother dragging her son behind her as she races down the pavement away from me, the boy looking back at me in wonder.
I look around me at the simple houses with small fences and basketball hoops on the garages. The frigging witch has zapped me into the suburbs. I look around me in fear and confusion, unsure where I am and what I'm supposed to do here.
Someone smacks against my back and knocks me to the ground. Not again!Pain explodes in my chin and I grunt in annoyance. My palms, knees and cheek are still hurting from the earlier smack down by Max the goof. I hear a whimper next to me and glance at the kid lying on the ground, pushing himself up with his gloved hands.
I rise on my knees and hiss when I feel them stinging. "Watch it, you little rat!"
"Hey, who are you calling rat?" The kid whips his head up to glare at me.
I fall back on my ass, my wide eyes focusing on the face before me. This kid… this kid looks exactly like Max. The hair, the ears, the furious glare, and that upturned skateboard lying next to him. Time turns back... change is up to him.
It's all up to me. She sent me back in time to make sure Max Goof never rides a skateboard ever again.