New Guard

First Day of School, Six Whole Weeks In
"Who's the new kid?"

[This appears as though typed from an old-school typewriter. Then again, how do you thread a bound journal through a typewriter?]

I am. I am the new kid. After six weeks of doing my lessons abroad, what with Dad closing a deal in London for three of them (“You HAVE to see London, you love old stuff!”) and then the Alaskan cruise (“Fall’s the best time do see the Northern Lights, school be damned!”), I have finally arrived at the Claremont Academy. And oh, what a day it has been. Let’s see, what can I remember…

8:45am – Greeted at the gate by the Vice Principal. Great, I’m already in trouble…nope, she sympathizes as she’s got a daughter here. Wait, was that sympathy or a thinly veiled jab at my parents? Either way, I’m escorted to my dorm room and excused from classes for the day. I do remember signing up for some sort of outdoor “fun” event though. Hopefully that registration is still valid, as it’s a nice day for fall.

8:50am – Greeted at my dorm room door by my new roommate, Noah. Wait, why is he in his room? When do classes start around here? Is everyone excused today? Noah is certainly interesting. Feeling like I can cut loose a bit, I unpack my wardrobe from Elsewhere, letting my hold on the un-space lapse as I throw clothes and other sundries into a closet that I assume is mine. Noah’s had a few weeks with a room to himself, so he’s stretched out his boundaries. There’s no need to make a splash, so I go along with it.

1:30pm – Lining up with nine of my compatriots, we’re paired up and sent off in search of a flying key. Also, there are killer robots. Thankfully, we’ve got gimmicked jumpsuits to protect us. They are also gimmicked to change our appearance. My partner, Junior, a true hulk of a boy, makes himself up as Frankenstein’s monster. I go with Doctor Frankenstein to make a theme. A try-hard kid further down the line sees our theme and changes his costume to something in-theme with his partner too. There’s “fitting in” and there’s “biting style”.

2:00pm – I now trust approximately four of my classmates. When the coach’s whistle blew, five of them flat out attacked each other. Junior and I went for the key; having fifteen minutes to prepare goes a long way when you work with the Arts. What I’m told is the science building exploded, other students started interfering in our game, and someone was stomping around in a mechanical bear. “Casanova” is going to feel that hit tomorrow, jumpsuit or not. I threw a swimming pool onto a burning building. Six hours in and this is way better than middle school.

4:00pm – Returning to my former room, Noah isn’t there. Probably for the best. I turn my gym bag into an Elsewhere stash again with some quick words and re-pack, ready to move into my new room, won during the …race, I guess? Not wanting to run into Noah (how do you say you’re moving out of a room you spent a few minutes in without it looking bad?), I throw my mind toward my new doorstep, and in an instant, I’m there. I hope the ritual marks from my workings fade before Noah gets back. I’d hate for him to think I just moved in, drew some arcane symbols, and left.

8:00pm – Settled in, my gym bag is now a threadbare wreck. I’ll need another one. Note to self: ritually prepare mundane objects before forcing magic through them. However, I do have a room to myself. There’s enough space in here for a bed and desk along with a small working area. I figure I’ll spend the rest of my waking hours setting up that workspace. Maybe I’ll start work on one of those enchantment scrolls I picked up in London…

[The remainder of the page is filled with geometric doodles and runic words.]

The Initials "LC"
Ghost Writer

The Initials “L.C.”
Nina always had a purposeful walk. Whether it was for appearance’s sake or a near boundless number of important things that need her attention was anyone’s guess. At the moment her purpose led her to the school’s chapel. She greeted Charlene, offering her a hello and a supportive smile masking the concern she had for the younger girl before sitting down in the dark corner of the Chapel.

“Mr. Cooper,” she said before remembering, “sorry, Twilight, you wanted to see me.”

Twilight stood for a long moment, staring out the window, then turned and reached into one of his pockets and retrieved the wreckage of what appeared to have once been a fancy watch. It wasn’t until he offered the damaged timepiece that she recognized its similarities to her father’s old A.E.G.I.S, watch. She examined the watch and realized why Twilight had asked her to meet in such a private location. “Rob…sorry, Twilight, I’m not sure where you got this watch, but this isn’t my father’s." Nina considering what to say next. “Your father, his name was Lawrence Cooper.” Twilight’s face was more of an impassive mask than usual.

Nina scrutinized the watch as the silence dragged on before she finally broke it with a sigh. “I should ask where you got this from, but I won’t. I think that this watch belongs to you.”

She gave the watch back to the freshman and sat silently with the younger man, a comforting arm around the smaller students shoulders, which were shaking—ever so slightly.

Build Me Up Buttercup
From the diary of Laura Silver

the following is handwritten in a red leather bound notebook in flawless cursive

Dear Diary,

Mr. Hawke suggested I keep a diary. He feels it will help me to have a place where I can be completely honest about my feelings. Also it’s a good way to record all of the new things I am learning about this time period. I’ve never kept a diary before but it would be nice to have somewhere to be able to express what’s going on in my head.

Let me start with the most shocking thing I learned this week…Dick Clark is dead! I know it makes sense because it’s been almost 40 years since I last saw him on American Bandstand, but that show was such a big part of my life I can’t believe he’s gone. What’s surprised me most about adjusting to 2016 is how the most random thing can affect me so deeply. Mr. Hawke says it’s all part of the trauma I’ve experienced. My mom and I used to watch American Bandstand every day after school. We’d sing along with the guest stars and dance in our living room. I think maybe that’s why hearing about Dick Clark has made me so sad.

On the bright side, at least I can mourn his loss in a bedroom that has all four of its walls. The administration decided to have me move in with Madison. I will miss MC and her special friends but its been really hard to study with the draft. My papers kept scattering everywhere and I’ve had a scratch throat from sleeping in the open air every night. This is not good for my voice! I hope MC understands that it was for my health and sanity and not an issue with her. Madison has been so kind to me! She’s really helping me make friends and one kid, Twilight, even told me I was one of the cool kids! I really like this school!

I met a cute boy! His name is Telemachus. He’s the Prince of the Sea. He’s very exotic looking and he loves singing and the arts as much as I do. He wrote a song for our end of the year history project and I immediately memorized it. Madison said that I shouldn’t put that much effort into impressing him. She says boys like you better when you play hard to get. I just couldn’t help myself I got so excited. It’s the first time I’ve felt anything for boy since…Edison. Ugh! Now the guilt is back. I really hope he made it out of the dance okay that night. I hope he’s happily married somewhere with adorable children and a nice house. I can’t bear to think of the alternative. I wish I could have brought him with me.

Well, I have to go. Madison is taking me shopping for more clothes. I’m so lucky to have such a good friend like her!

Play Cancelation

This year’s play has been postpone indefinitely due to the incidents that occurred last week during audition tryouts. As a reminder to students, our campus offers support and anger management counseling services to students. Students are urged to please report any incidents of bullying, we assure you that your identity will remain anonymous.

At Least Now I Can Calculate the Infinity of My Sorrows
From the VERY PRIVATE Journal of Twilight

OCTOBER 15, 2016
Noah, I SWEAR if you are reading this, I will Harrow you so hard you’ll forget what happiness ever even felt like.


Yesterday was pretty weird. I mean, it’s always weird around here, but I mean, like, particularly weird.

I was hanging out in the Chapel, trying to keep the Darkness at bay thanks to all the hallowed ground in there. I was watching those insipid sheep frolic in the lawn, when someone else burst in and totally ruined the mood. It was Toxin—uh, Charlene, I think?—moping about being lonely. As IF she even knows the first thing about loneliness. Well, I mean, with the skin thing, I GUESS she might have an inkling. Anyway, we talked. It was pretty cool. I mean, SHE’S not cool, duh.

Uh, so anyway, later on, I had to go to Math. Math here is so weird. They just mash together all the different subjects and just assume we’ll figure it all out. I thought this place was supposed to be a top-notch school, and they can’t even afford more than one math teacher? Jeeze, I’m glad mom’s not paying for this place. . .

. . . well, so, then old Skyler decides to put us into this whole ridiculous VR thing. I mean, talk about lame. He probably saw some goofy old-school newspaper story about the Oculus and figured he’d be cool and bring one in, except it wasn’t even, like, a regular VR setup? Some janky custom job he probably brewed up by himself one night.

So there we are, in the middle of one of those stupid train problems, but instead of just having to do the math, we had to endure this whole ridiculous THING where we had to save the people on the trains. I mean, has a hero even had to stop two trains running into each other in, like, 50 years? That stuff’s all computerized now, anyway.

So, a bunch of the Preps—“Casanova” and his gang of douchebags, basically—start talking about how they’re gonna tank the whole assignment to curve out a 100. Too cool to even do your work, huh, jackass? Typical. I don’t even know what people see in him. Probably why he just brain wipes everyone into liking him, huh?

Anyway, this other kid, Jeff—he seems kinda cool, I guess—stands up to them, and woohoo, then we all have to get to work. Which apparently included taking down a bunch of rando military dudes. Great job, Skyler—just teach us all how to kill the US Army, why don’t ya?!—but whatever. I scared a bunch of them off, cuz, I mean, yeah. It was a little scary to let the Darkness out so much, but it’s cool. I can take it. I think Breakdown was kinda diggin’ it, but whatever. She’s excited about everything.

I was stuck with that weird shrinking chick, too. Styx, or something? Like, how’s shrinking going to even stop a moving train? God that assignment was stupid. Anyway, I eventually flew up and basically ripped one of the helicopters out of the sky, and I guess Jeff or somebody knocked the other one down using his powers, and then we went back into the train. By this time, I’m not gonna lie, the Darkness was just SCREAMING inside of me, so I had to kinda hunker down just to hold it in. I think some of the others might have thought I got hurt fighting the helicopter? Sheeze, don’t those guys realize? The Twilight Darkness would NEVER let me die, not until its dark work is finally finished. . .

So there was some kind of whole thing with an avalanche, and eventually some of the others managed to jump train tracks to save us all, or whatever. MC was playing some goofy old song, cuz NOBODY here listens to any good music, but I guess it was alright. Shrinking-Sticks flying around, Breakdown’s popping heads. . . I mean, if it weren’t just some math problem, I guess it’d be kinda tight seeing everyone work together like that.

Anyway, I don’t think I learned a single thing about math, and I still think Casanova’s a douche, but hey, any day that i don’t just totally flip out and let the Darkness rip a bunch of people to shreds is good enough, I guess. YOU READ THAT, LEAPFROG, YOU LITTLE TWERP?! STAY OUTTA MY STUFF.

Anyway, later on, MC invites everyone up to her dorm room. I went cuz like, whatever. I mean, it was pretty stupid, right? Just a bunch of people standing around in the dark, listening to poser pop music and making out or whatever. Psh. But the noise was good—it helped drown out the Darkness, ya know? Yeah, that was sweet, I guess.

Anyway, then some goon teacher stormed in and broke the whole thing up. Heh, until I totally drained the lights outta that place so everyone could get out. Jeff got a bunch of kids out on one of his platform things, but I totally flew outta there on my own. Pretty sure it wasn’t too dark for everyone to see that. Not like it matters, but it was pretty amazing. And I hear MC and the shrinking girl got caught, too. Why do the teachers here have to be so lame? It’s not like we were doing anything crazy in there. I mean, okay, that bear was kinda crazy.

Anyway, now I gotta make it out to the dining hall. I guess I’m meeting a couple of people from class? Maybe I won’t show. It’ll be stupid, anyway.


I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.