Max, Ruben, and Kelbo were riding in Royal's new Ford listening to some catchy tunes on the radio with the exception of Kelbo singing every song.
"Can somebody turn off the Kelbo duet please?" asked Max, desperately.
"I tried to ten minutes ago," said Ruben. "But I lost him to the excitement of the car."
"Yeah, I bet," said Max, with a chuckle.
"Are we there yet?" asked Kelbo, like he was a little kid.
"Hang in there, dude," said Ruben. "We're like five minutes away, but we can't just flat out park on school grounds. We have to be a couple of streets away."
"But isn't that the purpose of coming up to the school?" asked Max, flawlessly.
"Yeah, but there's a thing called the principal cranking up the security at night," said Ruben.
"Security, huh?" asked Kelbo, rhetorically. "Well, they will definitely not defeat us."
"We won't get caught if we be careful and work smarter," said Ruben, confidently.
"I'm already ahead of you sport," said Kelbo.
Just as Kelbo took out his wand, Max tries to stop him.
"What are you doing," Max tries to whisper. "We can't expose magic in front of a mortal."
"Hey, no worries everything should be cool," said Kelbo, now exposing the wand to Ruben. "Besides technically you're no longer a wizard."
"Yeah, I know that!" Max explained. "But I temporarily have my powers; will it affect the wizard council?"
"It really shouldn't," said Kelbo. "Plus Ruben seems like a cool dude, we can totally trust him."
"Umm...Ruben cut in. "Am I expecting a surprise or something?"
"You're certainly are," said Kelbo.
"I don't know about this Kelbo," admitted Max. "I'm already up the creek with trouble already."
"Will you just trust me?" asked Kelbo forcefully. "Everything will be fine, I know it will."
Ruben shrugged as he pays attention to the road. Max took a deep breath and explain his story to Ruben.
"Wow, I don't know where to begin," said Max. "But remember when Kelbo said that he got something covered?
"Yeah," said Ruben hesitantly.
"Well, you're partially not going to believe this," said Max. "But what we are trying to tell you is that we are wizards."
There was a long pause as Ruben tries to understand what they have said. Then he chuckles to himself and briefly turns to the two.
"Man, I told my mom not to put so much sugar in that sweet potato pie," said Ruben. "Sorry about that guys. When she puts that much amount in such a little pie it gets people hyper, and they act so erratic and say the most oddest things."
"See I told you that he was going to act a certain way," said Max, to Kelbo.
"So, you're telling me that he's acting a certain way?" said Kelbo. "Not even when I do this?"
Ruben then turned just in time to see that Kelbo raised his wand to zap out a whole sweet potato pie. Ruben was so shocked that he almost swerved off the road. He then found a place to pull the car over. When he did he put the car and park and stared at Kelbo like a deer staring at headlights.
"Did you just do what I think you just did?" asked Ruben in disbelief. "No wait, I must be dreaming! I must have fallen asleep at the dinner table again."
He lightly pinches himself and closes his eyes quickly then he opens them back up. The scenario was of course, the same with the pie sitting in between him and Kelbo, and with Max at the back seat grinning at him nervously.
"Surprise," said Max, nervously.
For several minutes Max and Kelbo explained to Ruben about the magic and wizardry. Ruben was still surprised but was amazed on the whole situation.
"So, I lost my powers because I lost the wizard competition," said Max. "Which is not good at all."
"Why is that?" asked Ruben.
"Because," said Max, desperately. "I'm no use without my powers, everyone else in my family gets to keep their powers and I'm the only one left out."
"I was also in the same situation myself," said Kelbo.
"Yeah," Max huffed. "Before dad give you his powers."
"But wouldn't that make your dad powerless as well?" asked Ruben.
"Yeah, but that's different," said Max. "He had to do it, in order to be with mom. She's a mortal as well."
"Well, at least you're not alone," said Ruben. "I mean you got two parents to relate to."
"Not alone?" Max scoffed. "I have never felt so alone in my entire life. They don't even pay that much attention to me! All they ever do is to praise Alex and Justin because they are their favorite little important wizards. It's like I don't exist!"
"I think that they are just too stubborn at times," said Kelbo. "That's all."
"Wow," said Ruben as he shakes his head.
"What?" asked Max, defensively. "Wouldn't you want to be a wizard than of an average ordinary person?"
"No, I wouldn't say that," admitted Ruben. "It's just that I'd rather be a mortal than to go through all of that trouble to become a wizard."
"But what's so special about being a person without powers?" asked Max.
"I don't know about you, but I believe that just because you don't have your wizard powers, doesn't mean that your average and ordinary," said Ruben. "If I was you I wouldn't give it any mind, I would look for something better to be into."
"Oh yeah?" asked Max, with a chuckle. "Like what?"
"Well," Ruben went on. "Like becoming a Christian."
"A Christian?" asked Max. "I go to church every Sunday for that!"
"Well, it might not work for you, but it works for me," said Ruben. "Besides, all you have to do is to find something else that you're passionate in."
And just like that, reality had swooped in on Max's situation. He now knew that it doesn't matter how he complains about his wizard powers, he won't permanently get them back. He would have to face the fact that he has to move forward without it, whether he liked it or not.
"I mean it's a big world out there," said Ruben, as he stared driving again. I would start grabbing opportunities elsewhere."
A few minutes later they parked a couple of blocks away from the school. Unfortunately, they couldn't use any magic at the spot that they were currently at because of the population of people being up and about. So, they had to make the two minute walk up to the school grounds.
"Well everyone," said Ruben, as they made it up to the entrance way. "Welcome to night school."
"You wish," Max huffed.
"This is totally not what I signed up for," said Kelbo. "I thought I was through with classes twenty years ago."
"Luckily this session will be different," said Ruben, boldly.
They soon walked carefully around the yard to the entrance of the auditorium. Even though it was dark outside they would have to be on the lookout for nearby neighbors that linger around the area. As they got there they noticed that the door to the auditorium had a combination keypad lock on it. Ruben then examined it briefly.
"Wow," said Max. "They sure know how to lock things down since the incident."
"Since the incident?" asked Ruben, giving Max a strange look. "Max, this auditorium always had a lock and a security code."
"All this time I've been going to this school this is the first time I notices," said Max, with a chuckle.
"What a shocker," joked Kelbo.
"But the thing is," Ruben went on. "If this is the first time you realize the entrance has a lock, how did you even get inside?"
"I don't know," Max admitted. "I'm already confused about my combination on my locker."
"Well, that explains a lot," said Ruben, reminiscing the times he passes by Max at his locker trying to open it with his crazy methods.
"So, how are we going to break in?" Kelbo blurted out. "I mean, how we are going to enter this lovely building."
"Knowing the principal," said Max, shaking his head. "She made sure that the passcode is so tough that even a donkey can't figure it out."
"Or the question is do we have too?" said Ruben rhetorically.
They follow Ruben's attention to a something that looked like a big sized rectangular stoned block with colorful designs that stands in the middle of the yard. Because of the night sky, all of them didn't figure it out until Max and Ruben walked out further to take a closer look. Then all of a sudden they solved what the object was.
"It that one of the great stoned benches that all of us painted in our freshmen year?" asked Max, amazed.
"It sure is," said Ruben. "It's been ages since I laid eyes on this."
"It certainly brings back a lot of memories," said Max, now touching the outline of the object, reading all of the inspired words and art that was passionately planted on it.
"But why is it here instead of its usual spot?" asked Ruben.
"Its usual spot?" asked Max. "What do you mean?"
"What I mean is that this bench is supposed to be at the very front entrance of the school," said Ruben. "By the look of it, it's originally should be placed on the left side next to the doors."
"That does sound strange," said Max. "Even to me."
"What are we looking at," Kelbo finally joins them. "Some designs on some flat stone."
"It's not no ordinary flat stone," Max corrected him. "It's a bench that we pained a few years ago in our freshmen year. We wanted to express our trademark to the school."
"It sure did won over the joy of the principal," said Ruben examining the bench. "But it's in the wrong spot though. It's supposed to be at the front entrance."
"Should we move it back there then?" asked Kelbo.
"Maybe later," said Ruben. "We still got some work to do on this case, and we don't want to waste any more time, you know what I'm saying."
"There's so much dirt at the bottom of this thing," said Max. "It's like someone tried to burry something under there."
Then all of a sudden, it all clicked together. Max and Ruben looked at each other with a thought. What if something that was hidden is linked to the incident of the auditorium?
"You're thinking what I'm thinking aren't you bro," Ruben stared at Max.
"A hundred percent sure of that," said Max.
For the next several minutes the three of them pushed what turns out of be a somewhat heavy bench out of the way, and dug through the dirt that it sat on. Ruben mentioned that he should've of packed them all some gloves for a job like this. However all of them thought that they are getting closer to uncovering what they need, so they were no turning back. Then Kelbo's hand whacked something hard which he then pulled away to shake the pain away.
"Are you okay?" asked Max concerned.
"Yeah," said Kelbo, but that was one strong hit.
Ruben quickly brushed away the rest of what Kelbo had done and gasped on what he had seen. Max and Kelbo looked at what Ruben just discovered and reacted the same way. As Ruben took out his cellphone and put the light to it, they saw that it was part of a door handle. Max looked at Kelbo with disbelief, this was the first time he witnessed a secret entrance.
"Well, now we know how you got in," said Ruben, as he tries to dust off the rest of the dirt.
Five minutes later, it was revealed that it was two double doors that made it look like a cellar, But there was no lock to hold it together, so it opened easily when Ruben pulled on one side.
"Well, I be damned," said Max. "You couldn't even tell me this existed!"
"Now, all we need are some flashlights," said Ruben. "Maybe some lanterns. Y'all think you can wave those wands in a blink of an eye?"
"I'm on it," said Kelbo, as he took out his wand and summed up three giant lanterns for all of them.
One by one all three of them crawled in the underground entrance closing the door behind them. As they lit up the lanterns, it was revealed that it was a long tunnel that leads to a door on the other side. As they got to the other side to the door, they realize that the handle was missing from the door, but it opened easily. Just as they step foot into the doorway the lights of the auditorium came on to their surprise.
"Oh my word," said Ruben, as he looked at Kelbo in complete shock.
The whole auditorium looked more gruesome than before, even though it was the same way when Max recovered from his consciousness.
"I couldn't believe it either," said Max, with sadness. "I mean how could I have done all of this?"
"You sure weren't kidding when you told me you were in a hunk of trouble," said Kelbo, looking all around. "This may go down in history."
After a few minutes of looking around and collecting lots of evidence, Ruben came across a receipt that had the purchase statement of the spray-paints.
"Hey, y'all check this out," said Ruben out loud. "It said on here that this is forty bucks worth of spray paint from Stashes."
"That's like down the street from here," asked Max. "I rarely go to that store like everyone else."
"Max, how much money did you start off with back on Saturday night?"
"I had fifty bucks," said Max, taking his wallet out. "I don't normally put cash in the dollar bill compartment but I put it in the very back of where I put my cards-."
Then all of a sudden Max pulls out all of his fifty dollars that he had all the time. He counts it to make sure it was there.
"I don't believe it," said Max, with his eyes widened. "It's all here; I thought most of it was long gone. It wasn't that secure of a place to store money."
"That means that they use their own money to buy the stuff," said Ruben. "And then forged your signature to make it look like you did it. See?
He hands the receipt to Max, who quickly examines it. He shook his head and looks directly at Ruben.
"Dude this is totally not my handwriting," Max said, not worried. "I know what my handwriting looks like, and I definitely don't write this type of chicken scratch!"
"Then this proves to be a set up for sure," said Ruben as Max hands him back to the receipt. "I think we still have time to go down to the store. It closes in an hour."
"That's fine with me," said Kelbo. "I need to pick up a couple of things anyway."
"Like everything but the kitchen sink?" asked Max, as he eyeballs something in the seating area.
"Woa, take it easy sport," joked Kelbo. "I'm not that big of a shopper. I'm just looking for that bling, bling you feeling me?"
"Aren't you too old to be saying bling, bling?" joked Ruben, as Kelbo gives him the look.
Max walks over to see something draped over the seat with looked so familiar. Just as he gets to the seat his eyes widened. On the chair there was hoodie sweater that belonged someone that he least expected to be. He shakes his head in disbelief as he examines it. Ruben soon walks over to see what was going on. Max turned to him in shock.
"Are you okay?" asked Ruben.
"I can't believe this!" said Max, in an outraged tone as he showed Ruben the hoodie.