Paul Orton chapter one | Teen Ink

Paul Orton chapter one

January 20, 2022
By MJCrouch, Centerville, Ohio
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MJCrouch, Centerville, Ohio
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Hi, I’m Paul. Let me tell you, don’t listen to anybody who says being a hero is great, because it’s not, life is not Dungeons and Dragons, trying to be a hero really sucks. If you want to read this book to be inspired to be a hero, put the book down and watch Hamilton. If you become a hero, you could die like me.

 It was another day at the looney bin school, Future Harvards, they could not have chosen a worse name for a school for hopeless cases. Me, Barry Corbin and Tom all were declared hopeless cases for strange reasons. I was sent here because of my inability to focus and how my constant robot building accidentally scared a teacher so badly that she quit. Barry got sent here because plants grow wildly around him, so one day he was talking to the class pet tree, he accidentally touched it and boom, no more roof, he got kicked out and so he went to another school where he made friends with a bear, teacher comes out to “save” him from the bear they did not want to leave each other, so, a teacher got mauled, now he’s here. Corbin spent the first ten years of his life as a monk, a great guy, but someone made the mistake of picking a fight with him and got hospitalized. Tom has somewhat of a large battlerage, fourteen and six foot eleven he was two hundred and fifty pounds of pure muscle. Sadly, he got framed for the attempted murder of Paige Zimmer.

Anyway, we were on the bus in which we were all crammed on one seat, all four of us, on a seat meant for two people, Corbin chanting some song, in the back, the Gastro twins machine gunning the bus using straws and raisins, today was the mall day or the day where the teachers gave each kid twenty dollars and the kids  all went and did stuff so the teachers could hang around and talk. Today was the day that Barry had been saving money for almost an entire school year, he was going to get a pet dog.

Finally after what seemed like hours, we arrived. “Okay everybody, grab your money on the way out,” cooed the school counselor excitedly.

We had to sit up front due to the fact that all the looneys would do who knows what to us. Once we had gotten our money I stated “ we have to move fast if we want to get there before the looneys trample us.” As I said this I pulled out a vial and put aluminium dust vinegar nail polish remover and lye in it, once I did this I gave it to corbin and said, “Spit in this and  cap it, then keep it in your backpack.”

“Why?” he asked as he did so.

“It’s a formula I came up with, for an emergency.”

“Do I want to know what it does?”


As we walked over to the shop, I felt eyes staring at me, when I looked around  I saw a cloaked figure , awkwardly standing. He had a deep cowl that hid his face, but what creeped me out most is that someone walked through him then shivered as though the cloaked figure was just a cold spot of air. As we moved on I could not shake the feeling that I was being watched.

Finally we arrived, and inside the pet shop was creepy because as always all the animals were crammed to the edges of their cages to get closer and Barry shot me an angry look when I pulled out my allergen collector filling up a few more vials with allergens. Barry walked over to the man at the front desk “what do you want,” he said boardly, not as a question.

“I came here for a dog,” Barry told the storekeeper.

“Four Hundred Fifty,” as he said this Barry handed him a wad of cash, “get what you want.” Barry went over to pick a dog, he pointed to a springer spaniel and said, “him.” After that the storekeeper opened up the cage and got out  the dog saying, “here you go,”

When the store keeper handed Barry the dog I could feel the excitement radiating from him then I and probably most everyone in the room were blinded by a green light that shone from Barry, “wow” I groaned, stunned by the light and lying on the ground.

“Can you hear that?” Barry asked.

“No” I moaned, assuming he didn’t mean the ringing in my ears. What’s going on I thought. There are men who only I am seeing, a green explosion from Barry, now Barry’s seeing things, great. As I was thinking this I turned around and I saw a guy with aviator sunglasses, a mullet, a black t-shirt with multicolored neon stripes with similar pants and shoes that said, Batman, with bat wings and more neon stripes. The 80’s extremest came over and pulled me aside, and handed me a paper that said, the kobolds are following you, and said “meet me at Nelly’s cuban restaurant in ten minutes,bring your friends,” now I was really going nuts, kobolds, tiny dragon men, though looking around I saw that man but there were three scaly snouts, poking out between the two sides of the fabric.  Apparently the ‘kobolds’ saw me because they started to advance on me, because a long band of leather with something inside started swinging above the cowl and launched what I now saw as a rock that hurled at extreme speeds and only missed me by a few centimeters, I sprinted over to my friends “we’ve got to get to Nellys I’ll explain on the way.” We ran as fast as I could, while I was dodging hurled rocks.

“Something wrong?” Tom kindheartedly asked, “you’re flinching all over the place.”

“You can’t see that?” I panted.

“It appears that you have gone mad.” Corbin flatly stated, keeping up with a walk.

I was starting to worry, why me, I thought, I had to have gone crazy. We were just feet from nellys when a long piece of wood with a gleaming metal tip flew over my head and got caught in one of the kobolds killing it and at the same moment there was a five year old shriek of terror as the tip came within a half a foot of a little kid, a gloved hand held out from the air and pulled me and my friends onto a table, “you realize how many memories I’ve had to alter in order to save your skins and now you just made me do that!” the man with a mullet hissed, then mumbled something about hating to work with potential torchbearers. “You, kid with the stupid backpack full of vials and other machanical crap inside and the wild brown hair,” then I realised he was talking about me, “you have to meet me tomorrow at noon sharp to get to the capital’s base, or more things will have come to kill you we’ll get your friends in a month if the show it. Now we need to find you one of the mentors.” he got up and started walking away. After a few seconds he looked back and told me that my blue eyes and long nose were ugly. After that,  other than a plant somehow reaching out of it’s pot and grabbing me by my wrist, I only saw three things else that were off with the world and all were cloaked figures watching me.

Once I got home from school to my small house, in order to save the people this would be the last time that I would ever see the yellow planks of the outer walls,the small windows and the small apple tree  on the porch. I walked into my house cautiously after seeing my dad in the window. As I opened the door I heard that he was arguing with my mom about the money issues that came with my school. My Father turned on me and with wild, angry eyes that told me that if I valued my life, I had to run, so, I bolted upstairs to not get hurt. When I got to my room I dumped my school stuff out onto my bed and fished out my “work in progress” quantum storage generator, and got to work, flipping down my goggles for eye protection, though if this project exploded, nothing would protect me from the black hole that would ensue. That was why I was making it to be like an aluminum backpack liner, because any project that my father thought would be dangerous to his reputation, would get crushed by his foot, and this definitely would. I opened the circuit board and got to work on my plutonium ion stabilizer, once I thought it was correctly calibrated, I moves onto the selenium cooling solvent, this was tricky because too powerful a substance would throw off the plutonium stabilizer, this was what had almost killed me just days before. I made sure to get it right this time. Once I had concocted the serum, I poured some Flex Seal over the electronic area and that was the end of it. I flipped the switch to turn it on and the shiny interior went dark as an extra dimensional pit opened up inside, I took the generator and stuffed it in my backpack, I then put all of my school things in, followed by most of my gadgets. Once I was all packed up I took out my homework and started getting it done to giving my parents the illusion that I was fine, at least that was my intention I decided to use a new study method that I found out about in a Ted Talk I had watched that day, after forty five minutes or so of study, I got on my hoverboard, coincidentally, just as my dad walked in. “What are you doing!” he bellowed, crashing his glass of water on the ground, his face twisted into the sneer of ultimate disownment he always made when he got angry at me, which with his hateful personality towards me, came most days, even the last christmas when my less strong stomach had a hard time handling apple butter that had crusted with mold.

“A study habit that I learned today, but you won’t understand it,” I replied.

“You calling me dumb, boy?” he boomed, his fists shaking.

“No, You very well can understand, but you won’t, you won’t accept any way of doing things that you don’t use,” but I was too late, his fist was already falling upon me, it slammed into my shoulder, I felt my shoulder nearly dislocate as I slammed down on the hardwood floor.

“You will remember this moment, the next time you ever think you’ll be more than nothing!” he sneered, kicking my side, knocking the wind out of me.

I got up and hobbled up to my room, quietly shutting the door so not to disturb the beast, I grabbed my pet bird and  put him in his carrier with a handful of food, I got out my instant hole and threw it at a wall leading outside I started running and grabbed my backpack at the same time, I jumped through the fabric grabbing it as I passed through, I turned on my kinetic energy absorbers, slowing my fall so I only hit the ground lightly and then I used that energy to run faster than the speed limit, but, I was pretty sure that I wasn’t a car. In minutes, I had reached the park where I was supposed to meet that man from the mall. I stopped, took out my walkman with all my favorite songs and bands, put it on my leather tool belt and started running around the park at the speed of cars, even when it started raining, I ran, and ran, and ran, until the light barely started to pierce the dark, thunderous clouds and my watch read eleven, and then I saw a flash of gleaming gold as big as a small private jet, and then it was in a flash of purple light. Then all I saw were two small dots, that started falling, one fell fuch faster, one fell slower carrying a lange dark snape, in a few seconds, I saw it was an umbrella, slowing the figure down, the other figure slammed down onto the ground rising a cloud of dust, making a loud  BOOM, that resonated in the air, when I saw him he was on one knee with his fist in the on the ground the umbrella man fluttered and I recognised his mullet and Batman shoes, the other man I did not recognize, he was golden brown skinned man in a long gold colored tailcoat and suit pants, he had a long scar on his hand that went up into his sleeve. “Though you are here early, we must leave at once,” called the golden man, with a deep resonating voice that had a ferocity greater than the roar of a lion. He walked over to me, shaking my hand, “Felix Howart, I, like you and Marry Poppins over there,  am a torchbearer, but different, come, follow me, and we will take you to where you may not die.” he started walking away,  and I followed him, but as I followers him, the tails on his tailcoat twisted together as his coat melded onto his skin, he got larger, soon he was an almost thirty meter long shimmering gold dragon. “We’ve got to go, they’ll be expecting us back soon and I don’t like the absence of the chaos, too, ominous,” he said scooping me and mullet man, who I now saw he had a name tag that said Aron, onto his gleaming back, he lifted up his wings, and launched off, heading into the clouds. After about ten minutes of flying I saw two, dark, black shapes with bright red flames along them, racing towards us.

“Nightmares,” Aron said, pulling out a longsword hilt, he pressed a button and a bright yellow light sprung forth.

“Is that a lightsaber?”

“No, this is a sunblade, a lightsaber is a fictional weapon from a fictional world.”

“It has a sword hilt and a light blade, it’s a lightsaber.”

“Forget about it.” he said raising his sword, “you got a weapon?” he asked.

“Not really, I only have single use weapons, like explosives.” I said as Aron handed me a small sword that bulged at the tip similar to a roman gladius and a greataxe, I took the sword just as two flaming horses made from black ash burst out of the clouds, I made an upward slash at the horse, it spewed a little hot ash.

“Jump!” Felix roared. When I jumped I saw a large flash of light and I saw Felix, with spiked boots and gauntlets falling onto the horse, sinking his gauntlet claws into the nightmare, he then started to grow back into a full dragon, then I remembered I was falling, so I turned on my energy absorbers I went into a streamline shape, I went down and down, once I was about twenty feet from the ground I slowed down enough to  hit the ground softly, I had enough energy stored over time that when I leapt into the air I soared up and went above Aron and Felix, I reached down and put my hands in two buckles and lifted them up to be perpendicular position to my body, turning my clothes into a wingsuit, I pressed a button and jets on my legs  lit up launching at the battle ahead, I put my sword forward and drove into the hot ash monster, It exploded, covering the area in whitehot flame, I reached into my pocket and pulled out an ice grenade, hurling It at the other fire horse, it froze into a jet black horse of ice and it fell down and was crushed on the ground, and was shattered into a million pieces. I flew over and sat on the dragon’s back next to Aron.

“That’s how it is, every day, small uncoordinated attacks, but sometimes it comes stronger, coordinated, under command, like now,” Aron said, glancing over to me. “We faked your death this morning, Felix had fun with it, they’re going to see my fingerprints there, though to them I died in ninteen eighty two, at theage of fourteen, the grandmasters are excited that you’re alive, we got to you first, for the last few years, we’ve been too late, almost with you, somethings been picking us off, one by one.” he stood up stretched and said, changing subject, “I want to show you a power you have as a torchbearer called a gravity shift, remember, these things cost energy, so don’t kill yourself, stand up and we’ll jump at the same time, then you’ll have to convince gravity to let you go up and southeast,” he said. I stood up, stretched and then he started counting “one, two…” and then he shoved me off, I fell and started speeding up. I took a long, deep breath, and spoke. When I spoke I poured the entire world into my voice, the rumbling earthquakes, the howling gales of wind, the angry fire, the singin birds, the clang of wind chimes, and all the power the world had into one phrase.

“Take me up and southeast,” I commanded, I shot up and forward, creating a bang that sounded louder than ten thunders, going so fast that rings of vapor puffed around me. I started to go faster until there was no sound because I was going faster than it. The clouds twisted around me, curling off my hands and feet. I looked back and saw nothing behind me “still,” I ordered, I hung there, then, my noise caught up with me almost a minute later, tens of miles in the distance, I saw the golden dragon flapping towards me. After several minutes I commanded the earth to take me to him. I was, within seconds, within feet of him. “Where were you?” I said, then sat down. Aron seemed to be in deep thought, we sat there, flying for several minutes until finally I asked, “can I ask you a question?.”

“Sure,” he mused, slowly snapping out of his meditation.

“Is is isn’t is if is is is isn’t for is isn’t is is with is isn’t isn’t is?” Aron looked up at me, glaring cynically knowing he would have to answer with something.

“Not that kind of question, I won’t give you the satisfaction.”

“I think so,” the dragon said, howling and shaking with laughter, shaking the sky around them. “Thank you,” he said still filled with mirth, “for making him make that face,” he giggled. I looked down and saw a huge clearing with many large tents and huts, and massive tree houses as Felix folded in his wings, and dove. He plummeted down and before we hit, he spread his wings and dropped to the ground. Felix turned human again, and straightened out his gold tie. I landed on my tailbone, bruising it, Aron landed catlike on his feet. 

A crowd began growing around the three of us, patting Felix and Aron, congratulating them on their safe journey, a few people eyed me warily. One person spat at me, the goop landing at my feet. A portly man, who was balding severely and had a vicious blond combover. He had a hooked nose and a monocle on his left eye, and came pushing through the crowd. He stopped at Felix, saying, “the Baron isof the wanting in the seeing of you,” gesturing to the three of us.

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