I won't bore you with a long author's not because I'm pretty sure you all are pretty peeved at me for my lack of updates...
I'm going to change it soon, but I'm no longer placing this story on hiatus.
I said that only because real-life was catching up to this story and my updating consistency, but I managed to make both work in my favor at the last minute!
So, along with any new projects I undergo, expect some more regular updates to this story.
And as you're readign this, know I'm definitely typing up more chapters to have them ready for upload come my next update!
Take a look here at how the Great White Shark mercilessly shreds its prey in two before going in for its meal!
I pulled a soft blue pillow I was nurturing closer towards my face as I lay stomach flat on the edge of my bed, letting it cover my mouth as I stared into the distance. It was Saturday, and I had planned a long time beforehand that I'd spend it at home, laze about and just enjoy some television. It was out of character for me to act like this, especially with Mid-Term assessments due to begin the following Monday, but I let the worry pass seeing as I was sure that I was ready.
EGAD! It's it if he didn't even try! Ripped in two without even a chance to blink!
I moved my lips to another corner of the throw pillow as I stared, letting the cool mix in with the warmth my nose breathed onto it. I'd been doing this subconsciously for about half an hour now, give or take. It was something about the cooler parts of a pillow that kind of intrigued me, and it felt really nice to press skin against it when it happened.
Coming up next on Shark Week…
Another marathon. I'm almost one hundred percent certain they broadcast this very same marathon every weekend. The only flaw in my hypothesis is that I wasn't at my house last weekend to test my theory; I was invited by Ed to tag along and spend the weekend with him at Eddy's house -per Eddy's request, of course. It was a really kind gesture and it would have been foolish of me to refuse. Eddy had made arrangements prior to my arrival and tidied his room up considerably well. Ed even went out of his way and double showered, going as far as ask Sarah if she could pick a nicer casual outfit for him. Needless to say, green is definitely his color.
The whole time was spent with nothing but fun and laughter. We watched some of our favorite movies, played some of Ed's rather violent selection of video games- where I discovered my talent in a game called Street Fighter –and we almost didn't get any sleep that Sunday because Eddy decided to mix together some heavily sugared cold beverages.
School the next day went smoothly enough. Monday went off to a sort of embarrassing start when a few of my classmates in AP Anatomy came up to me after class and apologized for what happened. These were faces I'd seen almost every day for the past 9 weeks, but I never knew their respective names until that moment. Mrs. Wattson appeared to be coming to tears when she addressed me that afternoon and expressed her apologies, although there was still some part of me that slightly rejected her and refused to forgive it. Among my classmates though, one face did trigger a sense of recognition that I hadn't felt in quite some time.
"Hey, Double Dee~" a sweet neutral voice said from behind me.
I flinched and clenched my hand around the brim of my locker door, just about to close it before the voice startled me out of my subconscious.
Slowly, I turned, taken aback at the figure standing in front of me.
"…Ma…Marie?" I said dumbfounded.
She looked very different from when I'd last seen her. Puberty caused her to fill out in most of the right places- despite maybe a pimple and a chipped tooth, but I suppose puberty is only partly to blame for that -and her hair wasn't all blue anymore. It must have since then been dyed, but she kept in a few dark blue highlights. She had on a black tank top underneath a ripped up jean jacket with no sleeves. Fitting camouflage patterned cargo pants tucked into tall black combat boots made up the bottom half of her outfit; a nice look for her if I say so myself. Her ensemble was accompanied by black lipstick and some colorful blush that made her cheeks appear rosy and lively. All in all, she looked well, and it slightly made me blush.
With a cute wink and a smile she wrapped her arms around my neck and squeezed in kind, my free arm finding its way around her waist without my noticing as my face surely beamed a darker shade of red.
"Surprised you, huh?" she laughed as she held her wrist up and muffled the chuckle. "Can't say I blame ya', you always were so easy."
I wasn't sure what to make of that comment, but I knew I didn't like it much. My mind quickly made note of my surroundings. In the empty halls of Peach Creek we stood. This was normal for me, of course- I was always one the last students to get home, with a club or organization always needing my assistance –but was Marie doing here? Her and her sisters were some of the first kids to get home, and I'm positive that our principal wouldn't let her nor her sisters anywhere near the afterschool activities here at the creek if he could help it.
That aside, one final detail of our current situation struck me as odd. The only corridor to another hallway was almost fifty feet away from us- in the opposite direction of where Marie approached me. My locker was placed on the wall of the hallway that stretched all the way down towards the doors of the gymnasium with no turns into another hall to pass by, and on the opposing side is nothing but classrooms and the Teacher's Lounge. I should have heard her coming… but why didn't I?
"…How…?" the right words for my question just wouldn't come up, mostly because I was stuck picking which one was more appropriate to ask.
"…How long have you been there, Marie?"
That'll do, I suppose…
Marie was taken aback sharply. "Uh…uhm…" she seemed to be looking for the right excuse. I gave her a quizzical glance. "Well, you know, just helping out a teacher so I could get some extra credit. Mid-terms and whatnot…"
Somewhat satisfied with her answer, I dropped my gaze and glanced down to the textbook in my hands. It was my AP Anatomy textbook, and I'd needed it for that night's assignment. I would have done it during lunchtime that day, but Ed and Eddy had some big news to tell me about what happened in their Workshop class, so I never got around to it. Marie trained her gaze down to the textbook as well, and her face grew a little too chagrined for my tastes.
"Idiots." She spat with a hard grunt.
"What?" It surprised me. Was she talking about me? I wasn't sure until she spoke up again.
With a sorrowful look into my eyes, her own were a nice shade of cerulean, she continued. "Come on, Edd. Don't tell me you didn't say it once or twice yourself…" Thinking back now, I definitely did. "Mark and his friends? The quiet dude and the paper ball shtick?"
It struck me too suddenly at once when I realized she meant my- excuse me, our -AP Anatomy class.
"…Oh." I simply said. "Those idiots…"
Her pitiful gaze loomed over me like some sort of blanket, although the feeling it gave me felt suffocating. I'd realized then that the feeling was actually stemming from an awkward silence, brought on by my inability to reply with anything worth answering back to.
Marie stood herself against my lockers and let out a brief sigh as she flipped her neck-length streaks aside.
"High school's stupid, Edd…" she said my name, yet she looked elsewhere, down the hall towards the Gym. "I mean here we are, almost out of the place, and then you gotta go and deal with all this shit!" Her hands made circular motions in mid-air as she emphasized the school itself. "I'm so sorry that happened to you… You didn't deserve it…"
I still couldn't speak; I merely glared into my distorted refection in the cellophane cover of my book.
Noticing this, Marie prompted me. "Homework in Mrs. Wattson?"
I didn't look up. "Yes. Page 519; we have to complete the first few lesson reviews in Chapter Thirteen for next week's test…"
"TEST?" Marie's face lit up in anguish. "Oh, geez! You gotta be kiddin' me…"
As she looked to the side again and played around with her bang, I took the opportunity to fix a few things around in my locker and sign-off on my hanging notepad that I'd retrieved my textbook. I kept a very strict organizational system for these types of things; it helps in certain situations when I can't quite recall where I'd misplaced something… As a child I had one particular experience with my magnifying glass that left me very perturbed throughout the day, so to avoid situations like that I'd made up this system. I scribbled down the time and date with subpar penmanship, before I noticed the scratch-outs and doodles Eddy placed on the calendar a few weeks ago. It made me smile a little before I gently clicked the locker shut and twisted the dial for precautionary purposes. The latch taking hold made Marie flinch and look back over to me, her gaze just previously trained on a classroom door.
"Oh? You leavin'?" she asked as her hands entered her pockets.
I nodded quickly, holding the textbook up to my face as I did. Goodness, where did I pick that up from?
"Yes, excuse me. It will take an hour or so to complete the assignment and I don't want to get home too late to begin."
Marie nodded in understanding and gave me a wink. "Okay then, Edd. See ya around, okay?"
I flushed again, my knees retreating to some gelatinous state as I began a cold sweat. "Uh—of course… I look forward to it, Marie."
With another smile, she stepped up to me and placed a small peck of a kiss to my left cheek. I awkwardly flinched away in nervousness, but she still managed to place the mark beforehand and she didn't seem to notice the retreat anyways.
"Me too." she said, and she watched me walk off before she turned and went on to her own vices.
It surprised me that she'd be so invasive of my personal space when I saw her, let alone the surprising realization that she was in my first period class this whole time. I felt bad about never noticing, although given our upbringings I doubt I would have spoken to her much.
What surprised me even more was who wasn't in class that week. The principal called me in the next school day after getting word of what transpired in the boys' bathroom from Nurse Jackie. She'd handed him the notepad she wrote on and accompanied what I'd said with some ammo of her own. Apparently Mark had a knack for bullying that stemmed long before he and his teammates chose to bother me. Quiet kids at Peach Creek seemed to always be the victims; a quiet Goth from the freshman class, a foreign exchange student from Russia who could just barely speak our language, and another boy from the sophomore class who was attacked shortly after school for his expensive pair of shoes.
The cases were all the same. Each student was under-classed, outmatched, outnumbered, beaten and/or bruised, and- perhaps the most important part, if not the luckiest –Nurse Jackie was always the one to tend to them afterwards. At first she had no idea who Mark was, and the underclassmen were threatened into silence by members of whatever sport Mark was in at the time of year. When my current situation came to order, she made an adamant attempt at finding who the perpetrator was. Sadly though, I was rendered unconscious for most of the day when she needed the name, and when Kevin brought me in- I still have my qualms with that fact -Nurse Jackie forced the name out of him.
It goes without saying that our principal took action immediately. I was called into the office that Wednesday, I'd spent Tuesday in the school infirmary after receiving the hospitals blessings, and I was made to identify other members of the team who joined Mark that Monday. Pictures were taken of my injuries for judicial evidence, although Nurse Jackie had already given copies of her own from before she'd wrapped my wounds. Mark and the other three students responsible were immediately subject to expulsion, and charges were being placed on each of them by an attorney I never knew I had; my parents more than likely hired one for just such an occasion, although they probably thought it would stem from an altercation in the cul-de-sac, not at Peach Creek.
After I was cordially introduced to my attorney, I was asked to hear a reading of all charges that were to be placed on Mark and the others and to object to any that I didn't want them tried with. As miserable as I feel about it now, I wish I didn't have to subject them to the law and drop the charges, but I learned too quickly that my lawyers were not taking no for an answer. Mark and his friends weren't just being charged at my own expense- one reason why I was unable to drop the charges -they were also being pegged with their attacks on other students at Peach Creek too. Those students were later represented by their own appointed lawyers, so even then my dropping the charges would really do nothing but prolong their sentencing, and I feel that would somehow be unfair to everyone, including myself.
Once the charges were read, evidence was compiled into a folder for the courts to have reference of. It was then that I found out just where all of my injuries came from. Mark and his friends proceeded to kick and punch me long after I was left in a heap of myself on the floor. My head had an open gash on it that leaked blood and pooled around me, my leg was bent in an awkward position, and my arm needed a splint that I'd received before being brought into the office by Jackie. It had all explained where the blooded clothes and subsequent bandages and casts came from, and the bruise that surfaced on my arm within the next few days was almost expected at that point. The casts became quite a distraction in about a day's time, complicating most of all of my everyday tasks… I won't even begin to describe the nuisance showering had grown to be.
Kevin wasn't fully let off the hook either, which I'm sure surprised him as much as it did us. By us, I mean Ed, Eddy, Jackie and myself. It was his own fault, really, and while Eddy was somewhat to blame as well, Kevin was the one to force an act that would constitute reprimand.
It all occurred just seconds after Eddy burst in with Ed in tow. I sat upright in my bedding, startled by their entry, and could only watch what unfolded before anyone intervened.
"YOU!" Eddy roared, the sleeve of his dark blue blazer rising up his arm tauntingly.
"Eddy, calm down." I said quickly. "Kevin and I were just-"
"What is he doing here!?" he called out, stepping up to Kevin standoffishly. Now he was actually addressing him. "Come to finish him off, huh?! Putting him in the nurse's office ain't enough for ya'?! Why I outta-!"
Then, Ed stepped in between the two and stopped Kevin from getting any closer to Eddy with his oversized palms.
For the first time, or at least the first time that I've ever seen, Ed's face became so hardened and aggressive it even made Kevin wince a little bit.
"Don't touch Eddy…" he said with less emotion than what was needed.
Then he turned towards Eddy. "…And don't hurt Kevin…"
"What the hell, Ed?!" Now Eddy was screaming. He began gesturing towards Kevin. "Don't tell me you're defending this jerk?"
"Uh-uh…" Ed shook his head in a disapproving fashion. "Double D is hurt, Eddy… No yelling…"
"Yes, Eddy, please." I said. "I'm right here and I'm fine, there's really no need to-"
"LIKE HELL!" Eddy shouted, causing Ed to let out a worried whimper. As he pointed at Kevin accusingly, Ed and I both knew things were spiraling out of control. "It's your fault he's lyin' in that bed now, you closet freak!"
'Closet freak?' I thought with distaste. Just who did you pick THAT up from, Eddy? His brother came to mind, but I let the thought go. Oh, where is Nurse Jackie when you need her?
"Because of him…" his eyes scanned me up and down from the middle of the room where they stood, out of Nurse Jackie's sight and just barely in my own past the off-white curtains. "Cuz of him, you're sittin there now with a broken arm and a leg that looks just as busted up as your head!"
"MY FAULT?!" Kevin spat at his accusation. "I'm not the one who conked Edd on the back of the head and forced him in here!"
"You might as well have, Shovel Chin!" He stepped up closer, a little too overpowered by Kevin's obvious extra foot in height. "If you'd 'a just left my friend alone, Edd wouldn't be in here with a knot bigger than Timbuk-fuckin'-tu!"
Eddy's observations were crude, to say the least.
"You think just 'cause you're 'oh so' popular, that you can get away with whatever ya' want!" I feared the worst when Kevin's hands tightened into fists at his sides. "You strut around like you're 'Mr. Big Shot' or somethin' then want to blame someone else when your problems come back to bite you in the ass!? You're no better than Mark you big-headed, oversized chin havin'-!"
In one huge motion, Eddy careened into Ed with a hard grunt. My hands immediately covered the gasp escaping me as Kevin's right arm recoiled from its position in the air, his fist red with the contact from hitting Eddy in the face.
"HEY!" came a shout from past the curtain wall. Jackie must have heard the punch; I certainly did, and now she was there to stop whatever what was going on.
"…Kevin…" I gasped watching Ed pick himself and Eddy off the floor.
"You provoked me, you little twerp!" Kevin yelled as his hand rested in another clenched fist at his side. "Now that's what you get!"
Eddy roused himself and pounced at Kevin without a word, beginning his attack within seconds. Ed could have stopped him had Eddy made some kind of growl or noise that would signal the attack, but Eddy probably knew this and thought ahead of time to just simply go at it before anyone forced them apart.
Ever prepared, Kevin braced himself for Eddy's jump and caught him mid-air. Using his own momentum, Kevin slammed Eddy onto the ground and watched him roll a few feet into the distance. Jackie, having finally emerged from the other side of the room, just caught hold of the scene as Eddy stood upright and started to exchange blows with the gingered baseball player.
After many flurries of hits on both sides, weight subdued them and they were forced to the ground in their scuffle. More punches were thrown, with Eddy taking one to the eye and Kevin receiving a matched blow to the cheek. It took some doing, but Eddy managed to roll over onto Kevin and pinned his arms down with his knees. I cried out to object as Eddy proceeded to hit him squarely in the face with precision. On the third hit, Kevin's nose burst into a blooded mess and his mouth joined in chorus. The fourth punch had just connected before Ed ran over and snatched Eddy into his arms. Everything happened within a matter of seconds, too fast for Jackie and I to grasp. If it weren't for Ed's quick thinking to run in after the two, they probably would have continued on and made more damage to one another that may have required more medical attention then what Jackie had on-hand.
In the instant that Ed pulled Eddy off, just as Kevin found himself freed from Eddy's weight, Ed was accidently the receiver of Kevin's next hit, being hit forcefully in the right eye before pulling Eddy up and separating the two.
The next few days after my meeting in the office were spent in recovery mode after that. Ed's blackened eye healed up rather quickly due to his sister Sarah nursing the wound like she did. The last thing Ed wanted to do was worry her, but he found it to be unavoidable once he walked her home from practice that night.
Kevin's injuries were sustainable, but massive. The gash left on his lip healed into a small pinkish scar and whatever other injuries to the face he had were hardly noticeable under Jackie's care. His nose still required a bandage strip that he applied himself every morning, since he desperately wanted the bruise to go away.
As for Eddy, he and Kevin both received a week's worth of detention for the whole thing. It entailed helping Nurse Jackie out in the infirmary during their lunch breaks, where I volunteered to help out as well to maintain the peace. Ed and Eddy objected to that, and even Nurse Jackie, the principal- and Kevin –had their share of concerns about it when I asked, but it was a wise decision on my end because there were no other altercations to note on. A dentist appointment was scheduled for him to have the small section of his tooth repaired that Kevin's first hit chipped off, and that was after Jackie scheduled the hospital to place his middle and index fingers into their own separate castings the day before, but all in all, he's healed up and back to normal too.
If you've been with us thus far, we've seen the Great White devour many a prey, and now we're going to take a look into the life of the Tiger—
The voice shook me awake suddenly, and I quickly wiped a small portion of drool from my lips as it started to accumulate onto my pillow. It was Eddy, who watched me impatiently as I roused myself awake.
"Give me the remote, geez! We've been watching this boring Shark Week crap all day!" he said, hand outstretched expectantly.
"Yea, Double D…" this was Ed, holding up a rather large box-set of DVD's. He held up a purple disc close to my face so I can observe the cover. "We wanna watch Mutant Zombies II from the Planet Uranus!"
Eddy and Ed were spending the weekend at my house this time, per my request. The last time we did this, I was coping with my situation with Kevin, and it was a much sadder affair, so I insisted they came over this time to just simply lounge about. The light outside still seemed just as bright and sunny from when I'd last observed it, although truthfully I was terrible at telling time with just the suns direction.
I tried to eye over to the alarm clock on my nightstand, but Ed's body was seated next to mine and was thus blocking it. Eddy prodded my side expectantly with his splinted finger from his relaxed position across my back, and he was irritably halting my ability to move and stretch. Ed promptly walked over to the television and switched to an auxiliary mode that would play his movie, although he'd still needed the remote to play it.
I managed to catch the time with Ed's passing, and it was just dawning on seven o'clock, although usually dark despite daylight savings time it was admittedly one of the best times to watch some of the movies Ed likes to bring over. With a yawn that sounded much too similar to a cat's meow, I spoke out to them both.
"How long was I asleep?"
Eddy sat upright and leaned in close to my face with slanted eyes. "…You were asleep?"
I flinched and let out a nervous chuckle as I feigned an itch to the back of my head
Eddy carefully pulled away and grabbed the remote from my hand with a harsh snatch.
"You're welcome!" I called after him as he stepped over to Ed and handed him the device.
Eddy's arms folded over as he tapped his foot. "You know who to work this thing, Lumpy?"
Ed's tongue spewed out as he entered a deep thinking process, eyebrow scrunched into a peak at the eyes.
"Uh…" he went. "Nope… You do it…"
Eddy threw his hands up, annoyed. "Well I dunno how to work it!" He turned to me. "It's Double D's stuff; he should do it…"
Goodness gracious… "Give it to me…" I demanded, asking for the remote control.
I walked over and met the tip of the black box with that of my VCR as pressed "play" and watched as a pretty grotesque scene of a woman having her entrails devoured looped over and over on the home screen.
"Cool." Ed commented as the reflection of colors mirrored onto his skin.
"Don't stand so close, Ed… you'll damage your eyes…" I moved him back towards the end of my bed and we each sat down at on the floor at the foot of it. As yet another loop of a man running for his life from a group of deformed zombified civilians played, I sat in between the other Ed's and turned to the tallest one.
"Ed…" I said over the pained cries of mutilation. "How long is this movie…?"
The smile that grew onto Ed and Eddy's faces made me very uncomfortable at that point.
"One hundred…Forty-seven minutes…" They both said in awkward unison.
Oh dear… I placed my knees firmly up to my face as the first few scenes started, fearing the worst.
I prepared for it all despite my not actually wanting to see another gem from Ed's horror movie stash, but who could honestly prepare to see a woman be beheaded and feasted upon by cannibalistic mutant zombies?
Another 'fun-filled' weekend, I suppose…
…Excuse me while I try to stomach the fact that the zombies are now biting into her legs like chicken wings…