Legacy Name: Conform
The Custom Nostalgic Kanis
Age: 4 years, 11 months, 3 weeks
Born: September 26th, 2015
Adopted: 4 years, 11 months, 3 weeks ago
Adopted: September 26th, 2015
This pet has been nominated for the Pet Spotlight!
- Level: 1
- Strength: 10
- Defense: 10
- Speed: 10
- Health: 10
- HP: 10/10
- Intelligence: 0
- Books Read: 0
- Food Eaten: 0
- Job: Unemployed
It had been Logan’s idea first, just a harmless idea from a hormone-addled teenager.
He came up with it on a spring afternoon, when the weather was still chilly, but mother nature had begun to breathe life back into the earth. “I’m bored,” he had declared to our small group of four. That was it. I’m bored. Two simple, fatal words. I couldn’t possibly know what there was to be bored about: we had bummed cigarettes off his older brother, and after the final flame smoldered out we had entertained ourselves by pushing one another into the lake. But logan was a highschool senior now, and he was tired of doing childish things.
I sat there, shivering under a thin towel that had been tossed to me earlier. Janie, a fellow senior and his kind-of-girlfriend (they hated labels, but still went green with envy at the thought of the other fooling around), always entertained him when he was in one of his moods. “We could tag something,” she tried.
Logan thought for a moment. “Nah,” he scratched under his chin. “I’m tired of that too.” There was a gleam in his eyes- like he knew exactly what it was he wanted to do, but wanted us to guess what it was. I drew the towel closer to me, hoping he wouldn’t tease me into talking. Normally, i would be excited to voice a guess, but i had this uneasy feeling. Like, a punch to your stomach kind of feeling.
“I’ll bite,” said edison, a junior who was constantly in detention. When he smiled, his teeth bared like a wild dog. “You wanna watch one of my dad’s rentals.”
Logan shot him a cross look. “I’m not doing that with the girls.” janie made a face and shoved logan’s shoulder.
“What kind of films? Maybe i wanna watch them too.”
“Well, you go with eddy then.” logan shoved her back, with a little less force than she had used on him. Despite my uneasiness, i couldn’t help but laugh at their antics. His dark eyes turned to me, and then i felt two other pairs scorch my skin. “What do you think, bunny? What should we do?”
My face burned at the nickname and behind pursed lips, my tongue rasped against my two front teeth. They were a little bit bigger than the rest of them. My braces snagged my tongue a little, but i didn’t mind the pain. Eddie had been kind enough to start calling me that stupid name, and then the rest of the pack followed. I should have been use to their teasing-- i was, in their words, the baby of the group after all. But i hated being treated like a little kid. I was almost an adult! I was fourteen- fourteen and ready to conquer the hell they called high school.
I had wiggled in my way with the older crowd, because i was more mentally mature than my other classmates. i wasn’t some sniveling little twerp, i was cool. I ditched my classes and came home too late and ignored my mom when she said “i love you.”
he was waiting for an answer, but i couldn’t find words. It was this look he had- feral. Wild. i knew in that instant, under the orange and pinks hues of the sunset, he felt like he could do anything. Maybe they all felt that way, and i wanted so desperately to feel it too. But i still coughed up smoke and made my tags smaller than theirs and puked when i had too much alcohol.
Logan laughed: “come on, this isn’t one of your fancy ap classes. I’m not gonna mark you down for a shitty answer.”
“We could go wreck mr. fawkes’ yard,” i tried, hoping that would be a satisfactory answer. I knew logan was still pissed off about his calculus teacher threatening to hold him back because he couldn’t figure out derivatives or whatever. Janie, always a surveyor of justice, was quick to jump to her feet.
“Dude, yeah! That sounds fun. Let’s go do that.” She grasped her dyed frazzled strands of blonde hair and twisted it to get out the last of the water. “We could drive by, smack his mailbox like old times.”
“Nah, screw him.” a storm thundered over his features suddenly. “My dad already spoke to the principal. They wouldn’t dare hold back a kleinfield.” he spat out his family’s name like it was disgusting. Logan’s father generously donated to our school, something logan was less than pleased about. that shithole isn’t worth throwing cash at. he had ranted many times before. We all agreed, of course.
Eddy let out a groan. “Okay. we’re going nowhere. Why don’t you use your big boy words and just tell us what you want to do?”
“I was thinking,” logan paused for a bit of dramatic flair. “We should go shopping.”
We looked at him like he had sprouted another head. For a minute, none of us said anything. Eddy recovered first, whooping out a laugh. “What? We gonna go to the mall, get some cute shoes for prom? Pick out a little summer dress for bunny?” he batted his eyelashes.
“Like hell!” my hands balled into fists. “I don’t wear any of that girly crap!”
Eddy continued to laugh as logan waved his hand dismissively, before i could get too riled up. “No, no. i was thinking we could get something useful like booze. Or a playstation, even. My cousin has one, and-”
“Uh, earth to logan,” janie cut him off. “Your pops cut off your allowance, and the rest of us aren’t made of money.”
Logan’s smile reappeared, bigger and wider than it had been previously. “No one said anything about paying for it.”
I couldn’t help but frown. We stole all the time, small things like chips or lipsticks for janie. It was just for fun- we had dared each other each time we went into the local drugstore to snag something better than the last person. But a whole gaming system? i could tell the gears were turning in janie’s and eddy’s heads.
“How would we do that?” i voiced my skepticism.
“Simple,” logan was as casual as could be, “we wear our masks, disguise our voices, hold up the place.” he glanced over at the others. “We could probably grab their cash too.”
My blood froze.
“W-what do you mean hold up the place?” i asked, knowing damn well what he meant.
“You know.” he pointed a finger gun into the air. “Stick up ‘em up, this is a robbery type deal.”
“they’d call the cops,” janie raised her eyebrow at him, but there was no objection in her tone.
He tsked, giving his hand a little shake. “That’s why we scare them.”
“Scared them?” my eyes darted to janie, silent plea to talk him out of this wild venture. Normally, she was the voice of reason- but i realized with a sinking heart that fire danced in her own eyes. “Scare them how?”
“we can just take my dad’s guns,” eddy piped up, stretching one arm upwards, “I know how to unload ‘em and everything. I can sneak ‘em out. If we barge in like the terminator, they’d drop on their hands and knees hella quick.”
They began to clamor amongst themselves. I leapt to my feet, the towel falling on the rock i sat on. “Are we just going to do this?” I shivered, but if it was from the chilly air or my friends, i couldn’t tell. “Like, we could go to prison!”
Eddy gave a little pout. “Oh, someone’s scared.”
“I’m not scared!” i shot back, “but if we bring actual guns, we'd get sent to prison so freaking fast.” my lungs filled with air and exhaled just as quickly. I turned my head to the lake- its murky waters looked particularly dark under the rising moon. “i mean, but you boys are super pretty. they'd love you there.”
“Maybe guns are a little much,” logan reasoned, ignoring eddy’s noise of protest. “But on come, mirna! Don’t you have any faith in us?” i let my eyes drift back to him. “If we have each other’s backs and play it smart, we’d be fine. Aren’t we always fine? And okay, what if we do get caught? We’re all minors, we’d just get a slap on the wrist.” he was talking fast now, getting more and more worked up over the idea. “Come on, it’s one last ride with us before we old farts go off to college.”
“Yeah, come on!” eddy urged, his dark curls bounced as he spoke. “Live a little! It’s just a dumb, harmless idea. We’re not actually going to hurt anyone.” logan nodded in agreement, and my fierce stance began to waver. Well… maybe they were right. My friends were wild, sure, and sometimes we did wild things. This was just another story we’d tell down the line, something we’d all look back at and laugh. That’s what i told myself, yet i hesitated.
Janie made her way to me and placed a reassuring palm on my shoulder, glaring back at the boys. “We shouldn’t pressure her. If this is something she doesn’t want to do, we should be respectful of that.” logan’s eyebrows furrowed and the beginnings of a scowl formed, but she continued: “come on. She’s not like us. She’s still young.”
Whatever nerves i had was immediately booted out in place of an anger that flared up in my stomach and rattled my bones. What, just because i was trying to prevent my friends from doing something stupid, i’m back to being treated like some kid. “I didn’t say i wasn’t going to do it!” i spat out, jerking my shoulder so she’d move her hand. “I just think we shouldn’t rush into it, either. This isn’t some nail polish we’re talking.”
“Attagirl,” janie beamed, logan relaxed, and i realized a little too late i’d been ensnared in her trap. I couldn’t back out now, even if i wanted to (which i didn’t.)
“Bunny’s right,” Logan nodded at me. “There’s no point in doing anything right now. We should make a game plan at lunch tomorrow.” My guts flipped over. No one ever dared approach the auto shop during lunchtime, for fear of crashing into us- there’d be no one to stop us from doing what we were about to do.
“Lunch then,” janie agreed and eddy gave a grunt of approval, though he still looked miserable about the whole gun thing. I think i voiced my agreement, but for the life of me i can’t remember exactly what i said- that is, if i did say anything.
The night was still young, and normally this is when we’d be ready to commit our latest rampage. But our minds were running too fast to enjoy the rest of it. We drove out of the lake in Janie’s beat-up honda civic, and she blasted the radio and they all sang along to placebo and the smashing pumpkins. The moon followed us all the way back home, half-hidden in the shadows, as if it was afraid of us too.
i tried to feign a fever, but my stupid mom wouldn't
have cared even if i was dying.
she had been surprised to see me home so early last night. i had told her i wasn't feeling well and went straight to bed. i still wasn't feeling good when i woke up- i had tossed and turned most of the night, sleep teasing me but ultimately never overtaking me, and the dark bags under my eyes were proof. but she just rolled her eyes when i complained to her.
"you're fine," she insisted, after quickly touching my forehead. it could have been as hot as the lava that drowned pompeii, and she would still have said i was fine. i watched her tiredly from underneath my covers as she moved away to the mirror that hung on my door. she adjusted the sleeves on her suit. "you know," she glanced behind her reflection. "i've been getting calls that you've been missing classes."
i groaned as i forced myself out of bed. "yeah, there's a problem with the calling system. didn't you get the letter in the mail?" i innocently met her eyes in the mirror.
"no, not yet." she said, not really believing me. i think she really wanted to though. she gave me the tiniest of smiles- it was shy, like she was happy we were talking this much. god- she was so lame. "go to school. be good, okay?" i didn't bother wasting my breath with a reply. if only she knew what her little girl was about to do- that thought almost cheered me up. "i have to go to work now," she lingered for a second, and joked: "those taxes aren't gonna file themselves."
"bye," i replied, having long checked out of this conversation.
her smile faded in an instant, and left the room without another word. after i closed the door behind me, i threw myself back on the bed, face in my pillow. honestly, i don't even know why i had bothered trying to get her approval, i could easily just stay home and she wouldn't be any wiser. but then again, the pack would mock me if i did. "she was too afraid to go to school!" i could already hear eddy saying. anger burned my lungs like one of my mom's crappy cigarettes.
let's make something clear: i wasn't scared. i didn't get scared- people were scared of me. my classmates didn't dare look at me and my teachers long stopped bringing up my tardies and missing work. i just didn't feel like going to school that day, was all. it seemed like effort, and i'd much rather just sleep in. still, i dragged myself out of bed once more and took as much time getting ready as i possibly could, letting homeroom and first period pass me by before i finally snuck onto the premises.
i made it just in time for second period, which was good since this was probably the only class that didn't make me want to claw my eyes out. before i had entered high school, we were all given tests to judge our skill level or whatever, and i'd been put in an advanced english class. i remember i was so proud of myself and for the first month or two i did put a lot of effort into reading all the books and participating and all that crap. but then i met my friends, and i realized that i had more important things to do than waste my time on shakespeare. still, i did try to keep up with my readings when i could- not because i cared or anything- but just so i could see what kind of lame stuff we were suppose to be learning.
right now, we were reading catcher in the rye. the class had a whole debate about whether or not holden was a good protagonist, but i didn't participate. my teacher didn't bother calling on me anyways, which didn't bug me in the slightest. i took my usual seat way, way in the back and found myself staring out the window, staring at the distant auto-shop. i fiddled with the pastel strings of my friendship bracelet. janie had made them for us as a joke in her home ec class, but we all wore them anyways.
i was probably the worst at stealing. i always thought the store employee was going to be breathing down my neck. i always tried to play it cool as i walked out, but i know i was probably sweating up a storm. the others made it look so easy. i've seen logan chat up the cashier all casual like, while eddy went around snagging whatever caught his eye (usually stupid things he'd never use, like condoms). and janie? she just had to bat her eyelashes and she could get away with murder. maybe i could stand outside and be the lookout instead. that way, i could still say i was in on it, but i wasn't... in on it. did that make any sense? it made sense to me- enough so that the tension that had gripped on me, dug its nails into me, had begun to relax its hold.
the bell rang for lunch and everyone was quick to pack up and leave. i quietly put my book away, eying my teacher. he had busied himself with the papers on his desk, not noticing i was still here. i should have left but. i don't know. i couldn't move my feet. i cleared my throat and he finally looked up at me. he had slick back blonde hair, thick glasses, and wore a suit and tie like we were at a funeral. if he was my age, i'd probably would have shoved him into a locker. "yes, miss lin?" he asked, eyes narrowed and rightly cautious.
i didn't really know what to say to him. he waited for a minute, before looking down at his papers once more. i slugged my backpack over my shoulder. "you never called on me," i took a second before clarifying, "when we were doing the discussion."
he put the papers down with a sigh, already tired of my presence. "that's because i know you'd just make a scene if i did." he pushed up his glasses. "it'd be a waste of everyone's time. the rest of the class is trying to learn, miss lin. i'm honestly surprised you even showed today."
i stared down at my boots. there was a scuff mark on my right one that i hadn't noticed before. "i don't think he's a good protagonist."
"finally!" eddy greeted me first, perking up as i approached my friends. "jesus, bunny. could you walk any slower?"
"my stupid teacher made me stay over because i was late," i lied, taking my usual spot on the lone, scarred and tagged wooden bench. "did i miss anything?"
"we were waiting for you," logan said, in a way that made my spine chill.
"i was telling the boys about this, but check it." janie reached into her bag and pulled out paper masks. she gave one to each of us, and i made a face at mine. they all resembled human faces, mines being a blonde with pigtails. i glanced over at the others, and was disappointed to see that theirs all looked much cooler than mine. "i found these up in the attic."
"what about the masks we already have?" we usually wore bandanas when we were up to our usual shit, i always kept mines in my backpack ready to go.
"these cover our whole face." janie explained. she put on hers, tying the black strings of the mask behind her hair and pulling up her hood. she gave a flourish hand gesture. "see?"
"and that's not all," logan beamed. "you said we shouldn't take guns, and i agreed. but what's the best next thing?" he dug into his varsity jacket, and pulled out a small black item. i leaned over, trying to get a better look at it. there was a small click and from the small item came a sharp knife. "eddy brought us all switchblades." before i could say anything, he continued: "don't worry, bunny. it's just to scare them." he spun it in his hand, gripping the sides of the blade and passing me the butt of it. i flexed my fingers before i took my new gift.
"the plan is we head to larry's electronics when it's night, when it's dead. we should start small- i don't think we're quite ready for primetime yet." i clicked the button of the knife multiple times as he spoke, fascinated with the mechanism. "we'll go in, eddy and i will go for the register and you and janie go for the playstation, oh- and take a game or two. is there anything else we should get? anything you want?"
my mouth was dry and i didn't really think: "a tamagotchi."
they gave me a quizzical look and i stared back at them.
my face flushed as a sudden rush of embarrassment hit me. i shouldn't had said something so childish! "um, my mom. she says the government planted them so they can spy on people. she doesn't want me to get one, so of course i have to get one."
logan let out an easygoing laugh. "okay, and one tamagotchi for bunny." his eyes flickered to each of us, and we were spellbound by his certainty and confidence as he went on with his master plan: "it should be a quick in and out. it's not like we haven't been inside the store before." i haven't, i wanted to say, but didn't. i had never found a reason to go to such an expensive store before, but i don't think it would have mattered to them. "there's only one employee at night, so we should be all good. he'll piss his pants and give us whatever we want."
"so we're doing this?" i swallowed, but the lump in my throat remained. "tonight?"
"tonight." logan affirmed, and teasingly went on: "unless you have something better to do? some classwork to catch up on?"
i gripped my knife tighter, so tight my knuckles turned white. "no. tonight it is."
you know how there's always a calm before the storm?
it's the most miserable feeling on earth.
i had made it home early, deciding to cut the last period because really, who puts gym class at the end of the day? my mom wasn't back yet- her shifts were weird and sometimes she could spend long nights at the office. which was fine with me- i preferred to be alone. that way i didn't have to hear her whining. i threw my bag on the couch and flopped right next to it. i messed around with the tv, flipping through channel after channel before settling on ren & stimpy.
"you fool!" ren was snarling at his dim-witted companion, knocking his head. "don't ya get it?!"
i was watching, but not really. at some point the cartoon seemed to blend into a mesh of colors and the sound was just a cacophony that danced around the room. i dug into my bag, pulling out a lighter and one of the cigarettes from last night. i bit down on the stick, and flickered the lighter once, twice, and finally on the third attempt did the fire come on. usually the others did it for me, because i was so slow at it. i leaned forward, pressing the cigarette to the flame. i pulled back when it was lit, and stared at the orange flame. it began to blend into the colors on the tv, and i gently pressed the top of the fire. my finger withdrew almost immediately and the fire danced mockingly.
i shut off the lighter and shoved it back in my bag. i tilted my head back, staring up at the stark whiteness of the ceiling. i guess normally, the smoke i'd inhale would soothe me, but there was nothing. i felt nothing. and in that moment, i was nothing.
janie picked me up at around six, and i squished myself into the back. logan pushed his seat forward so i could have more room, and i gave him a quick thanks. janie was often forced to drive around her younger siblings here and to, so there was often bunch of scattered crap all over the back seats. a crayon was crushed underneath my foot and janie winced, turning her head back to me. "sorry, hannah was in here earlier."
"it's alright, i just hope i didn't accidentally color your floor."
janie laughed at that. "who cares? the car's filthy enough as it is. since you don't ever give me gas money, maybe you can help me clean it?"
"i don't mind." janie was fun to hang around, even if the boys weren't with us. she always had the latest gossip from around the school, plus she never minded when i ranted to her about the problems i was going through. even if it was just helping her clean her car, i liked spending time with her.
"you can count me out." logan put his feet up on the dashboard. "i always give you money."
"I didn't invite you," janie pointed out, "and you only give me money when i remind you."
"oh, well, i'll give you a big cut tonight. how's that?"
janie hummed, tapping her fingers on the steering wheel. "alrighty, deal." she pulled out of my driveway and back into the road.
logan grinned at her and she smiled back at him, both of them looking downright dopey. i tried not to gag- there was nothing worse than being a third wheel- especially around these two. i pushed myself in between their seats, glancing at both of them. "where's eddy?" i asked, cutting through their little interaction before it went any further. logan chuckled, leaning back.
"he's off at seven," janie's attention turned back to the road. "so we're gonna wait in the parking lot 'till his shift's over."
"can he make us some food? i didn't eat yet."
"how can you rob a place on an empty stomach?" logan joked, and i withdrew to the back.
"um, you know." my hand was back on my friendship bracelet. "i was thinking about that. in every film, there's a lookout. what if someone comes in? i could um, watch the front-"
"bunny," logan began warningly, and that was enough for me to shut up and slink in my seat.
"the register is by the front door," janie kindly explained, "so we don't need a lookout since the boys will be there. also, do you want a big mac or?"
"just a cheeseburger is fine," i responded meekly.
our town was pretty small, so it didn't take long for us to pull into what eddy referred to as mchell. janie honked the horn at the drive thru, and a dull voice came over the end.
"welcome to mcdonald's, how can i help you?"
logan leaned over janie. "yeah, hi, we'll take one dumbass."
a laugh came from over the speaker. "oh, it's you morons. i told you i was out at seven."
"yeah, but we want you to feed us."
"pretty please?" janie added.
there was a scoff on the other end, and in his best employee drone voice went: "and what can i get ya'll started on?"
"a cheeseburger, and..." janie looked at logan. "do you want anything?"
"oh god," i begged, "please don't make me eat alone. that's so weird."
"uh, okay. make that two cheeseburgers," janie thought about it. "and medium fries."
"would you like to supersize that for only a dollar more?"
"absolutely the hell not. that'll be all." janie stuck her tongue out at logan, her piercing flashing under the car light. "those are for you, so you better not touch my burger."
eddy gave us our total and told us to "pull the hell up". afterwards, janie parked her car in the nearly empty lot and passed around the food. "how much money do you think will actually be in the register?" she asked.
"i doubt that much," logan answered, "everyone in this place is too stupid to actually use any type of electronic." we all laughed at that. he nibbled a fry, staring off into the distance. "i can't wait to get out of this town. my dad's paying my college 'cus he thinks i'm going to major in law and come back to the family business. he's outta his mind. once i'm leave, i ain't ever looking back."
i quietly picked at the onions in my burger. "never?"
sensing the hurt in my voice, logan turned back to me. "huh? no. i mean, obviously i'll visit you and eddy, bunny. but just because janie and i will be gone, doesn't mean we aren't still going to be family. we're a pack, no matter where any of us are." he shook his wrist, showing off his dark friendship bracelet and gave me a kind little smile. "you're stuck with us forever."
i smiled at that.
"once you're out of highschool, we should all move in together," janie brightly said, "maybe we can go to new york, or seattle. just the four of us, against the world. the possibilities are endless!" she threw her hands up. "screw it, let's all go to london!"
we continued to joke about where we'd live, naming more and more absurd locations (istanbul, no- romania, no- madagascar!), and the fear about what this evening held was finally, finally packing its bags and leaving. janie was right- it was the four of us against the world. it always had been- we'd been with each other through thick and thin. we could do anything if we were together. hadn't it always been that way? why had i been so scared before? this town was ours. we proved it over and over when we tagged its walls or raised hell onto its citizens. this robbery was just one more way for us to show that we were above this town's shitty laws.
we were invincible.
at promptly seven, eddy shoved his way behind janie's seat. the smell of greasy food wavered in the air, even though he had changed from his uniform to the black clothing logan had requested for all of us. he noticed our weak attempts to stifle our giggles, and with a raise of his eyebrow: "what did i miss?"
"where should we move when we all room together?" i asked, playfully.
without missing a beat, he replied: "antarctica." that was enough to bring us all to tears, and we spent the hour drive over to the electronics store in high spirits.
we were just kids. there were so many ways things could have gone wrong, but we didn't think of them all.
it's not an excuse, it's the truth. kids are stupid. kids don't think about the consequences. for the longest time, i thought it was my fault- but it was everyone's. it was mistake on top of mistake and we were all too bull-headed to see that this was never going to work out as planned. by the time we got there, i wasn't scared anymore. i was back to wanting to prove myself, wanting to show that i wasn't just some dumb little freshman. i wish i had stayed scared. i wish i had stayed in the car, stayed home, had been anywhere but there. i wish i had been brave enough to stand up to my friends, but it's impossible to change things that have already happened. this part is hard for me to stomach, and... and is hard to remember clearly.
janie drove up the road once, but didn't stop immediately at the store. we were sizing it up- except for us, the road was dead empty. there was only one car in the parking lot of larry's, probably the poor sucker we were about to terrify. she turned the car around, and this time we pulled in. she shut off the radio, which had been blasting some of our favorites from nirvana and muse.
"do you remember the plan?" logan hissed to us, tying his mask behind his head. we all gave some form of confirmation, donning our disguises as well. the paper mask was surprisingly heavier than i thought, though it smelled like moth balls. this was a quick in-and-out, a quick in-and-out. that was the little song going through my head as i climbed out of the car. logan closed the door behind me, and butterflies swarmed my ribcage.
logan nodded to eddy, and silently the two of them entered the place. janie reached for my hand and squeezed it reassuringly. beneath her mask, her eyes glistened with anticipation. it was then we heard logan's voice boom, though deeper in pitch than it normally was: "give us what we want, and we won't hurt ya!"
"showtime," janie whispered to me, and tugged me inside. my hand flittered towards the blade in my pocket and i loosely held it. once we entered, janie let go of my hand. eddy and logan were crowded around the register, their knives drawn and pointed towards a man double our age. he was shaking and in near tears.
"okay, okay! i'll give you anything! please don't hurt me!" the man was saying, words stammered and only half-intelligible. i couldn't stop myself from laughing- that's what i'd been scared of? this guy was a total loser! eddy told him something, but i was too focused on our grand prize.
i followed janie to the back of the store, where they held the precious playstations. they were behind lock and key, but janie pulled a bobby pin out of her hair and got straight to work. i watched in awe as she was able to get it open. i bent down to grab our treasure and a surge of adrenaline hit me- i'd never felt so alive in my entire life. this was almost surreal. but i was holding it. i was holding the playstation. i held the box even tighter around my chest, worried that if i dropped it, it'd vanish.
janie lingered there for a moment. then she looked up at me, and i could sense her confusion even behind the red-headed paper mask. "what game should we get?"
it occurred to me suddenly that i've never touched a video game in my life. "mario?" i tried, staring down at the selection of cds next to the playstation.
she scanned the names of the games as she thought about it. "i think that's nintendo."
"isn't this a nintendo?"
"i don't think so," janie shrugged, but took two games that had interesting art on their cover. ever the neat freak, she closed the glass case and once again locked it. i would have probably just left it open, for some lucky guy to get his own free playstation. but whatever. we had did it! quick, easy. just like logan said.
we made our way back to the boys. logan had a shopping bag full of cash, but he shoved it into eddy's hands as he saw his coveted prize. "good job," he took the system from me. "i knew you could do it." his praise warmed my skin.
"where's the douchebag?" janie asked.
"ah, he passed out on the floor," logan chuckled. "he won't be bugging anyone." he shook the box. "let's go put this bad boy in the trunk." eddy and janie exited, happily shoving one another through the door.
i perked up, suddenly remembering. "oh! i'll be right there. i forgot my tamagotchi." after all, there was no harm in staying just a bit longer. logan gave me a nod and walked out as i scampered off to go find it. ... well. that was a problem, it turned out. because i didn't know where it would be located. i walked along each aisle, taking my time like i was one of the customers. i passed by the audio cables, the televisions, even a tiny section for the home computers. but where..?
i finally found it, tucked away in the furthest part of the store. i flicked open my knife, removing it from its annoying casing. it was my first time actually using the knife, so i was a little slow. i pocketed the instructions and knife and twirled the chain with my finger. i turned to leave when a hand crushed my wrist.
i let out a scream as i saw the douchebag, who was suppose to be passed out, glaring at me with righteous fury. he was no longer the man who was crying for his life. he towered over me, his mouth was contorted into an inhuman snarl, and he only held on tighter. "young lady," he spat out with pure venom, "you're going to stay right here. and i am going to call the cops." he snagged the little toy out of my hand. "you have some explaining to do." then, more to himself: "i might not have gotten the others, but at least i got one of them."
"let go of me!" i screeched, not hearing anything he just told me. he began to pull me to the back of the store, to the employee section. "i said let go!" i tried to yank my arm away, i tried to kick my heels into the linoleum, but nothing was going to deter this man from being the hero. hot tears fell from my eyes and i was so, so frightened.
it was then i remembered.
i remembered what i had.
without another second of hesitation, my fist curled around my blade and i flicked it on. the man, too focused on leading, didn't even notice as i shoved the knife into him. he let out a cry of pain and he let go. my wrist ached and throbbed, and i knew it would be bruised. i staggered backwards. he held onto his side, blood beginning to stain his shirt- i hadn't hit anything vital, i know i hadn't. it wasn't a deep wound, only a warning. the pain only kicked his adrenaline into overdrive. "you fucking stabbed me! you psychopath! you're dead meat, do you hear me?!" my eyes were as wide as saucers and i was a deer in headlights as he reared up to attack me. "you stupid little bit--"
it was then that a blur of black barrelled into him, and i recognized logan after a moment or two. he was on the man in an instant, his own knife dug deep into his shoulder. the man howled in pain and tried to shove logan off, but logan was much stronger than he was. logan whirled around to look at me, his eyes that of a feral beast. "we can't let him talk!" he barked, and only then did i register that he was looking behind me. i turned to see janie and eddy staring down at the scene with utter shock. "we're in this shit together!"
"no!" the man cried out, his bravado vanished when my friends had returned. "no, no! i won't say anything!"
"we need to finish the job," logan ordered, darkly, still straddling the man. his gloved hand flew over the man's mouth. "otherwise, he'll call the cops the second we leave." the man violently shook his head, muffled begs that my mind drowned out. i could only hear a roaring in my ears.
eddy, ever the faithful friend, clenched his jaw and stabbed the man in the chest. the man flailed around. janie squeezed her eyes shut and stabbed his lower stomach, right by logan's leg. logan rose and looked at me with eyes that held no emotion. "end it, mirna." the man, tired from the loss of blood, was glassy-eyed and if he heard logan- didn't bother to move.
i didn't believe what i just heard, my jaw becoming slack. i think i wanted to say no. but i couldn't speak.
"you wanted to run with the wolves." he took a step towards me and i took one back. "you wanted to be part of the pack."
he snatched my trembling hand, still holding the blade, and ended the man's suffering with a swift jab to the throat. the man gurgled and shuddered and laid there. dead.
we stared down in disbelief.
"i..." i trembled, recoiling. i didn't have words. i wanted to apologize. i don't. i don't know what i could say. what did we do? what did??? i??? i just... did i just?? ? i... "i don't... i didn't..."
logan seemed to finally come to his own senses, snapping out of his trance. whatever dark beast had taken hold of him was gone, and in its place a frazzled, mortified teenager. his knife clattered to the ground. i'd never seen him so frantic. "we..." he gestured aimlessly towards the body. blood had managed to get all over the floor and our clothes. "we need to clean this up. before anyone comes."
"okay," eddy replied, sounding very far away. janie couldn't say anything at all.
i remember being in the car next. i don't remember getting into the car. the radio was off. we drove in silence. i don't remember what was out the window. i don't remember thinking anything. we were all blankly looking ahead. the car bumped over a pothole. when i bounced, the tamagotchi slapped against my hand. my eyes fell downwards- the toy was stained red.
janie pulled into our usual spot at the lake. as always, it was empty. she parked the car. we didn't move. we looked out at the murky water. i heard someone crying, and a second later i realized that it was me. i think i was crying the entire ride. i don't know. logan remembered he could breath and exhaled, opening the door and getting out. i watched him run his hands through his dark auburn locks and pace around. after what felt like an eternity, he opened the door for me and i shook my head no but i got out anyways. janie followed, then eddy.
eddy and logan opened the trunk and grimaced at one another before they pulled out the man. i waited for him to flail. he didn't. he was unmoving, his face still contorted in pain. his nametag was unreadable, splattered with blood. we did that. that was because of us. they threw the body into the dark waters. we watched as it sank, lower and lower beneath the depths. the lake swallowed him whole.
janie dug out a garbage bag from the car, and opened it. we threw in our blood-stained masks, our gloves, and the knives. we piled in some rocks. she double bagged it and tied it and eddy threw it in. we watched as the lake consumed it too. the water glistened under the moonlight, innocent. "no one can know about this," logan spoke, after all was said and done. we said nothing. he glared at us. "we can't say anything. this dies with us. understood?"
we understood perfectly.
twelve years later.
her day began as is it usually did. mirna lin was up bright and early, because her cat's meows would never let her sleep in. "alright, alright," she chuckled, bending down to run her fingers through her tortoiseshell's fur. "i'm going, toastie. stop crying." the cat only purred in response and followed her master as she stumbled her way into the kitchen. mirna felt for the lights, and flicked them on. a tabby cat, who had been sleeping on top of her couch, bounded towards them with his own meows. mirna laughed, ruffling her bedhead. "jeez, you act like you've never eaten a day in your lives."
after she fed them, she returned to the bathroom where she washed up. in the shower, she belted out kelly clarkson's latest hit single- it wasn't her usual type of music, but god was that song catchy. after getting out, she put on a basic knit sweater and some jeans. she brushed down her wild hair and put it in a ponytail. for breakfast, she had yogurt mixed with granola. she packed herself a very healthy lunch for work.
she was never late, because she always left at a reasonable time. she said farewell to her cats and locked up her apartment well. mirna drove, listening to the newest audiobook her job just recieved. she parked in the spot just for her and smiled. it was a brand new day. a brand new day to do some good. before she opened, she tidied up and made sure everything was in order. then, she swung open the door to the library.
dozens and dozens of people came in and out, some she recognized because they were here so often. she made short conversation, the smile never leaving her face. when someone confessed they had forgotten to bring back a book, she waived the late fee. "you're an actual angel!" the lady sighed with relief. mirna just smiled and pushed up her glasses.
"it's my pleasure, madam."
after her shift ended, she checked out some of the most popular children's books. she drove forty minutes to the local children's hospital. the staff greeted her by name. the children clamored around her and she read six chapters of Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets. she loved it when after she finished, the kids all beamed at her and said: "thank you, miss lin!" she never stopped smiling.
"it's my pleasure, kiddos."
on her way home, a man asked her for a dollar or two. she gave him a twenty and he called her a saint and tried to return it. she told him it was nothing, it was fine, take it and enjoy.
mirna came back home at a reasonable eight o'clock, fed her cats, and had a healthy dinner. she had gone vegetarian just a month ago, and was very proud of herself. she curled up to a good book, poured herself a glass of cognac, and settled in for the evening. this day was like every other day for mirna lin.
for you see, after what the pack dubbed "the incident", they were absolutely, one hundred percent, terrified of the consequences. they had burned their clothes of that evening, tossed their graffiti cans, threw their bandanas away, stopped skipping school, began studying hard, started coming home early. as one might imagine, the only way to avoid society's wraith was to conform to society. and they did. mirna became a librarian, and moved to a small town out in california. janie became a therapist out in new york, eddy had become a firefighter, and logan followed his father's footsteps to become a lawyer. they were all good, honest people with absolutely nothing to hide. nothing at all.
mirna was at a very important chapter in her book when her phone rang. mirna debated against picking it up, but oh, well. her book could wait just a little while longer. "hello, mirna speaking," she greeted her caller, swishing her glass in her hand.
"mirna?" mirna perked up at janie's voice. the two hadn't spoken in a few weeks. they had just all been so busy, it was never a big deal. after all, no matter how far apart they were from each other, the pack was always together.
"hi! what's up?" janie was so quiet that mirna thought the line had gone dead. she clung to the phone, pressing it tighter against her ear. "hello?" she tried again.
when janie spoke again, her words were a hushed whisper that made mirna let go of her drink, the brandy spilling all over her rug:
"the body resurfaced."
about.NAME mirna lin
GENDER cis female
APPEARANCE — unfortunately for mirna, she never grew much and stands at five feet, three inches. throughout college, she dyed her hair a plethora of colors, but her job does not allow creativity and so it is back to being a mousy brown. she keeps it tied up in a loose ponytail the majority of the time, and has bangs that cover her forehead. her eyes are a soft brown, and she has been complimented numerous times on her thick eyelashes. her skin is a pretty beige color, and she has the faintest of birthmarks littered across her body. she doesn't wear much makeup, except for eyeliner and lip gloss. she has a small black nose ring. her usual clothing style tends not to draw many eyes: most would call it 'peak librarian fashion'. she is never seen without her thin, wire-frame glasses. however, what not many people know is that they're actually not prescription- she solely wears them in order to hide her face.
LOCATION kelmasey, ca
traits.BIRTHDAY may 18th
ZODIAC SIGN taurus
ALIGNMENT true neutral
MBTI TYPE enfj-t (the protagonist)
HOGWARTS HOUSE gryffindor
MAJOR ARCANA the tower
TROPE dark secret
PERSONALITY — a soft-spoken and kind-hearted soul, she's usually not the first one to initiate a conversation. she prefers the company of her books rather than people. she does, however, enjoy it when people ask for her recommendations or simply asks her about her day. although she dotes on others (she'll happily make you a cup of tea or bake you goods), she doesn't like when the attention is on her. in her spare time, she volunteers at the soup kitchen and goes to read to children in hospitals. her acquaintances have affectionately called her saint mirna, and indeed, most would not know of the secret she has buried so deep within herself. the guilt has begun to consume her alive, and though she tries to bury herself in busy work or her books, the memories of the event that she can recall have continued to plague her. her policy is don't think about it, but it's easier said than done. mirna suffers from undiagnosed post traumatic stress disorder, and wakes up to constant night terrors about the lake- she herself can not visit bodies of water without feeling intense anxiety or having a panic attack. although she has shaped up, she still fears for the day that the world finds out about her crime from so long ago. although her work she does is good, it is more like a penance to her rather than something she does out of love. completely miserable, but finds comfort when she meets up with her best friends.
- reading, being with old friends, rock music, young children, trash tv
- the incident, the news, baking, people who are too noisy, using a cellphone
FUN FACT owns two rescue cats, named french toast and granola bar.
"oh, haha. my younger self would be absolutely mortified if she saw what i was like now!
but that's alright. i think it's what she deserves."
1. smells like teen spirit - nirvana
With the lights out, it's less dangerous / here we are now, entertain us / I feel stupid and contagious2. teenagers - my chemical romance (nsfw.)
Teenagers scare / The living shit out of me / They could care less / As long as someone'll bleed.3. stupid girl - garbage
You pretend you're high / Pretend you're bored / Pretend you're anything / Just to be adored.4. teenage angst - placebo
Petrified And still not satisfied / Airs and social graces / Elocution so divine.5. scrawny - wallows (nsfw.)
I say the wrong shit at the right times / If I'm offending them / I don't mind.6. shoplifter - green day
Shoplifter, you'll never learn / When you commit the crime / Shoplifter, you're getting burned.7. team - lorde
I'm kind of older than I was when I reveled without a care / So there.8. young folks - Peter Bjorn and John
If you knew my story word for word / had all of my history / Would you go along with someone like me?
CREDITS.profile / coding / story by KILLER
art by the amazing Akita
info arts by the lovely boba
background from guodong
icons from fontawesome
fonts from google fonts
thank you for reading!
Sweet Green Bunny Bandana
Mischievous To-Do List
Chevron Friendship Bracelet
Darkside Smolders Cigarettes
Twilight Vandal Spray Paint
Bashful Blonde Paper Human Mask
Hustler Money Clip
Butterfly Knife Fashion Glove
Cinched Garbage Bags
Many Regret Sticker
Depressed Wolf Hoodie
Old Travel Ticket
Empty Book Cart
New Years Spilled Celebratory Cognac
Box of Childhood Memories
Missing Person Poster
Scenic Lakeside Postcards
Boot with Foot Inside
Tape and Glass and a Crime Unsolved
Subeta Tribune Special Issue VI