"The Ballin' Pranksters in… A Call To Action"
Created by The Spectacular SpiderDom
Meanwhile at the News Blue Studio…
"All right, everyone! We're about to film in two minutes!" a director wearing a black shirt shouted at the top of his lungs, as he walked past the stage with a clipboard in his hands.
It was another bright and sunny day at the new studio, and everyone wasn't as excited to work as they usually are. Why? Because Eartha Withers was about to go on stage with a story that she came up with herself, or at least, that's what she said to her boss yesterday.
Speaking of which, the businessman himself, Wilfred Harmsworth: New Blues Manager sipped his cup of coffee and stood behind a man who was adjusting the focus on his camera. Checking his silver watch, he hummed to himself and raised both of his bushy grey eyebrows.
"I wonder what's taking Eartha so long," he mumbled to himself. "She's normally ten minutes early."
"She probably fell asleep from doing research on juicy stories or something," the cameraman replied. "Speaking of which, Mr. Harmsworth. Are you sure it was a good idea to let Eartha write a story? I mean, she's a little crazy."
"Not a little crazy… very crazy," Wilfred chuckled, sipping his coffee again. "But I felt that it was professional of me to give her a chance. Besides, if it doesn't work, nobody's going to blame me because she'll be the one who comes up and presents the story."
"Well, technically, people will blame you because you allowed her to do this."
"And I'll allow you to shut your mouth before I fire you!"
The dark-skinned cameraman rolled her eyes. "Okay, I see how it is."
Just then, Eartha Withers: Loud-Mouthed Broadcaster came in through the front door with one hand full of stapled papers and another one holding a cup of coffee. There was a glazed doughnut in her mouth as well. She carefully walked past her boss, greeted him with a wave, and placed her stuff on her desk.
Adjusting her blue tie and brushing some lint off her purple suit, she plopped herself down in her chair and stacked the papers in her hand.
"Wake up and smell the coffee, ladies and gents, have I got a story to tell you!" Eartha said proudly.
"Don't let us down, Eartha, I'm counting on you," Wilfred said.
"Don't worry, Wilfred, I won't!" Eartha saluted him as if he was a general in the military.
As she leaned herself back in her chair, the director came out and cracked his fingers. "We're going live in five seconds, everyone! Eartha, are you ready?"
The news reporter nodded her head. "Ready as pie, my friend!"
"I'm more of a cake person, but that's beside the point," the director shrugged. "We're live in five…"
Eartha took a deep breath.
Her heart was pumping.
Her smirk beamed from ear to ear.
She turned her back away from the camera crew and faced the wall.
"And… we're on the air!" the director shouted, taking a few steps back.
"Ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to our News Blues reporter, Eartha Withers!" a man spoke in a smooth, deep voice.
Eartha spun her chair around and looked directly at the camera. "Good morning, Eugene! I'm Eartha Withers and welcome back to another exciting episode of News Blues. You may have noticed a sudden change in my voice tone. I'm not depressed like a usually am, yippie! Why the sudden tone shift, all of you might ask? Well, that's because I got a story for you! Our top story…"
She looked left and right with a heavy grin. "Popular musician/actor, Xavier Allegro Quincy, is under heavy fire!"
Wilfred's eyes widened. "Oh?"
"Last night, my daughter was sitting at home watching a behind-the-scenes look at one of Mr. Quincy's videos. I simply walked into her room to wish her goodnight and when I looked at her television screen, I was met with of the most shocking things I've seen in my life! It was so shocking that I just had to report on it! But before we get to the story itself, allow me to make a quick phone call," Eartha smiled, as she pulled out her telephone and dialed a number.
The phone sat on the desk and rang.
Eartha waited patiently while everyone else exchanged curious glances.
Soon, somebody answered from the other side.
"Uh… hello?" the voice of a young adult male spoke.
"Xavier Allegro Quincy, how the hell are ya, darling?" Eartha asked, resting her shoes on her desk.
"Who is this? And how did you get my contact information?"
"I have my ways and what do you mean 'who is this?' it's Eartha Withers! The coolest reporter in the News Blues Studio! You remember me, right?"
Xavier was silent for a brief moment. "You're not one of those random girls that keep accusing me of sexual assault, are you?"
Wilfred raised an eyebrow.
"Uh… no," Eartha replied. "But you have been accused of something!"
"My daughter was watching one of your behind-the-scenes vlogs last night when suddenly this scene popped up!" Eartha said, as she took out a small remote from her pocket. She pointed it at the monitor behind her and the screen showed static for a quick moment.
Then, it uploaded a video of a white-skinned male with a blue, green, and black tie-dye shirt on. With rugged blue jeans, his hair was a cyan blue and he had two metal earrings. With brown boots, he had green fingerless gloves over his hands.
The footage was on repeat, and it was a montage of him sitting in a water fountain, dunking a brown dog's head into the water.
The entire News Blues crew gasped. Even Wilfred's jaw dropped at this sight.
"This video clearly states that you have a prejudice against dogs," Eartha folded his arms and smirked. "You're seen here dunking this poor innocent puppy's head into the water, waiting to drown him like the monster you are! Now, I normally don't sympathize with people because they just go on and on about their personal drama, but I certainly don't sympathize with people who hurt animals!"
"Mrs. Withers, I-"
"No excuses from you, 'Mr. Kind Hearted-Pop Singer!' " Eartha mocked the man's voice, making quotation marks with her hands. "There's nothing you can do to redeem yourself from this because, thanks to this footage, the whole world now knows you as… a dog-dunker!"
"Mrs. Withers, I think you got something mixed up! That's not how the video unfolds!"
"Well, I'll be the judge-" Eartha paused for a brief moment before she looked down at her phone. "Um… what?"
"That footage you're watching on screen is fake. Somebody took a clip of my original video and edited it to make it look like I was dunking that dog's head in the water," Xavier corrected her.
The pink-haired woman gulped and quickly turned to her boss, who was disappointed.
Tugging on her white shirt, she made a small chuckle and turned back towards the phone. "I-I don't think that's true, Mr. Quincy, you're crazy. I bet you don't even have proof."
"Oh, I most certainly do. Pull up an actual clip from my video."
Eartha grabbed her remote and pressed a button, pulling up the actual tape.
The video started off with a small close-up of Xavier's purple-colored eyes and he backed away from the camera, striking a few poses. He was about to start singing his new song when he suddenly heard barking from the other side.
"Buster! Buster, come back!" a little girl shouted from behind.
Xavier turned around and the camera focused on a chocolate Labrador running down the park faster than the speed of sound. It was chasing after a squirrel that had several acorns in its mouth.
Running for dear life, the squirrel leaped onto the side of the fountain and ran across from it.
The dog, on the other hand, just nose-dived into the water.
"Oh, my gosh!" the little girl paused, cupping her hands over her mouth. "Somebody help him! Buster can't swim!"
"Don't worry, kid. I gotcha!" Xavier smiled, as he jumped into the water and walked towards the dog.
He gently picked him up and stepped out of the fountain, returning him to the girl.
"There you go," the celebrity smiled.
The little girl hugged her pet and looked up at the tall pop star. "Thank you so much, Mr. Quincy! You're my hero!"
"Oh, it was nothing," Xavier made a kind gesture before he looked at the camera. "Sherri, I hope you got that on tape. Fans will think I'm a total stud if this goes live!"
The video ended and Eartha was left with shock.
"Oh…" she muttered.
"Do you see it now, Mrs. Withers? I don't mean to sound rude, but you should do better research before you accuse someone of something they didn't do!"
Xavier quickly hung up the phone.
Eartha was in complete silence; she had no idea how to respond to something like that.
She slowly looked up at her boss, who crushed his coffee cup with his bare fists. He didn't even care that brown liquid was burning his skin. His face turned red and the veins in his eyes popped.
Eartha looked at the camera and leaned towards it, whispering her last few words, "We'll be right back after these messages… maybe?"
Moments later, Eartha and Wilfred met inside the latter's office.
The former sat down in a chair while the old man paced himself back and forth.
"Are you kidding me, Eartha!?" he shouted at the top of his lungs. "I give you the simple task of finding me a good story and you blew it! Here I thought you were going to bring me something unique, new, or creative, but instead, you bring me back something fake! This whole company's going to look like a bunch of idiots now, all because of you!"
"How was I supposed to know that footage was fake anyway?" Eartha inquired. "It looked pretty real?"
"Tell me you're not the one that edited that footage together," Wilfred snarled. "Because if you're the editor, that not only makes you a fake, but that also makes you a fraud!"
Eartha raised an eyebrow. "Don't those mean the same thing?"
"Answer the question!" Wilfred barked, slamming his foot against the ground. "Did you edit the video or not!?"
The news reporter simply shrugged. "I might have edited it a little bit, but I swear! I didn't see what happened at the beginning! I didn't know he was trying to help the little dog get out of the pool. Speaking of which, the girl was the true villain of the story. She just sat on her pudgy ass while the skinny white boy did all the work. How is that fair?"
"Who. The hell. CARES!?" Wilfred screamed. "I should never have given you the chance to try and benefit this company! From now on, you will resume reading the stories our researchers give you and I will not have another word!"
"I said, not another word!"
Wilfred slammed the door to his office open and walked out.
Eartha huffed and followed him down the hallway.
"That's Mr. Harmsworth to you, charlatan!"
Eartha rolled her eyes before stepping in front of him. "Look, I'm sorry I submitted a fake story. I admit it was wrong. But if you'd just give me another chance-"
"Oh, for God's sake," Wilfred moaned.
"Mr. Harmsworth, I promise! I swear… I will go home after work and come up with a great story I can present to the network. I will make sure we get those viewership numbers skyrocketing through the roof, and I promise I'll do more research next time! Please… just give me another chance!" She clapped her hands together and begged.
Wilfred snarled before he paused a took a deep breath.
Eartha waited patiently for his answer.
The boss man folded his arms. "Give me one good reason why I should give you another chance?"
"Well, no one's a passionate about this job as I am, right?" Eartha asked with a smile. "And besides, when you first hired me, you said I had a wild imagination. Remember that one mystery meat story I did a while back, you said that was some of my best work in years! And remember that one I did about how The Harlem Knight and The Guardian Angel got together for a superhero team-up, you said I was tremendous!"
"You did get a lot of good footage from that story," Wilfred said with a soft smile.
"So, look Wil-I mean, Mr. Harmsworth. I promise that I'll go back and do some research this time. I'll come back tomorrow morning and bring a fresh new story for the network. If you and the others don't like it, then I'll just read the ones you give me, and I'll keep my mouth shut. Whaddya say, deal?" she offered him her hand.
Wilfred looked down upon it and made a curious grumble. He stroked his beard before he finally shook her hand.
"You got yourself a deal, Miss Withers. But do not disappoint me."
"Not to worry, Sir. I won't let you down!"
Wilfred scoffed at her comment and walked past her.
As soon as Eartha watched him leave, she made a low sigh and rubbed her face.
"What did I just get myself into?"
She looked behind her and noticed two janitors were staring at her.
"What are you two looking at!?" she hissed aggressively, as she kicked their water bucket down the hall and watched it hit someone in the face. She walked off with her arms folded. "Stupid bathroom cleaners! Always eavesdropping on my conversation!"
The two janitors watched the woman who got hit with a bucket get back up.
They gave each other a petrified glance.
"We really need to get a restraining order against her," one said.
Meanwhile at Elton John Middle School…
The cafeteria was packed as usual, as many students were waiting in line for their meals. They grabbed their green-colored trays and watched the lunch ladies come out with today's dish, fish sticks with macaroni and cheese.
While the students were served kindly, Charlotte sat in her booth eating a small cup of Ramen noodles she got from her home. As she took a spoonful and placed it in her mouth, she looked down at a poster and read it to herself.
It was the same Rocketship Run audition paper that she was informed about yesterday and she smiled as soon as she saw the silhouette of Laurie Berkner; she imagined her face on the poster itself.
As she daydreamed about getting the lead role, her best friend Wendy came back with her food and sat across from her.
"Hey, Charlotte," she greeted.
But the dark-skinned girl was lost in her thoughts.
"Charlotte?" the blue-haired girl waved her hand at her best friend's face. "Hello?"
Charlotte was lost in her thoughts, as she pictured herself singing and dancing alongside her crush, Gregory Sport. Resting her cheeks against her palms, she released a joyful sigh and looked up at the murky yellow ceiling.
Wendy tried to call her name out again, but her best friend wouldn't listen.
As a solution, Wendy opened her water bottle and splashed some water in her face.
Charlotte waved her arms around and startled, nearly falling out of her chair. "What the hell, Wendy!?"
"Sorry, Charlotte," the Japanese girl apologized. "But you were dozing off."
"Yeah, because I was imagining me and Gregory in the Laurie Berkner show together," she snarled, wiping her face with a napkin.
"Is that what you were looking at?" Wendy inquired, looking down at the poster.
"No, I'm looking at the school newspaper," Charlotte said sarcastically. "Of course, I was looking at the audition pamphlet!"
"Okay, sorry," Wendy said both nervously and defensively. "Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't everybody in Miss Lonnie's class, including us, supposed to be auditioning for the play?"
"Yeah, she told us today it's going to be a big part of our final grade, why?"
"How come they're encouraging people to audition even though our class is playing all of the characters?"
Charlotte wiped her face and kindly replied. "Well, Miss Lonnie never said all of us have to play characters. She said that as long as we have come involvement in the play, i.e. backup dancers, backup singers, instrumentals, etc, then we'll get a participation grade."
"Oh, I see," Wendy nodded. "So, you're going to try out for Laurie?"
"You bet I am, and I'm going to make Gregory get the role of Adam Bernstein."
"Why? Were they married in real life?"
"No, unfortunately. She was married to Brian Mueller. But seeing as how Adam was the bassist when the band first formed, I figured he and I would make a great pair. Oh, and I also figured you could be Susie. You do play a mean piano chord."
"Indeed, I do," Wendy smiled.
"With all three of our talents combined, we can dominate this play, and maybe, just maybe, my interstellar acting and singing will make Gregory Alexis Sport fall in love with me," Charlotte clapped her hands together and saw hearts in her eyes.
"Yeah… but wait," Wendy raised an eyebrow. "Aren't you forgetting something?"
"The badminton game last night. Didn't Michelle say that if she won, you're never allowed to talk to Gregory ever again?"
"No, I believe she said I have to leave him alone for the rest of his life. Which means no hugging, no flirting, and no attempting to kiss him. She didn't say anything about not talking to him."
"Charlotte, I'm pretty sure leaving him alone means you can't talk to him."
Right in the middle of the conversation, Michelle and Vanessa stormed over to their table and the former grabbed her bully's Ramen noddle cup. She threw it over her shoulder, and it landed right in the trash can.
Charlotte snarled. "Excuse you, Wittman. But is there a reason why you're acting so immature right now?"
Michelle and Vanessa didn't respond.
Instead, the junior scientist grabbed Wendy's lunch and dumped it in the trash can as well.
"My fish sticks!" Wendy yelled with disbelief.
"What's your problem?" Charlotte growled.
"Where is it?" Michelle grunted toughly.
"Where is what?" the dark-skinned bully asked.
"Don't play stupid with me, Charlotte Withers, I know you have it!"
"What are you blabbering about this time, Wittman? I don't have time for your games."
Michelle leaned close to her rival's face and clenched her fists. "Let's cut the bullshit and get straight to the point, shall we? I know you took my journal last night after the badminton game. You snatched right it right when my friends and I were celebrating our victory."
Charlotte shrugged and rolled her eyes. "I'm not surprised I'm the first suspect on your list. I hate to disappoint you, but I'm afraid I didn't take it. You and I may have contempt for one another, but I wouldn't do something devious as to take your book."
"And why should I believe anything you say?" Michelle grunted again. "You're one of the selfish, arrogant, despicable people I've ever met! Do you remember when we were in fourth grade? We were in art class and I was making a paper machete bird! What did you do!? You came over and spilled pink paint all over the damn thing! HOT. PINK. PAINT! ALL OVER MY WORK OF ART!"
"That paint bucket was heavy," Charlotte retorted with another shrug. "It was gonna fall somewhere."
"But you purposely dumped it all over my collage!"
"Sheesh, it amazes me that you still get so sensitive out of things that have happened in the past."
Michelle growled loudly and grabbed Charlotte by her neck collar.
Vanessa and Wendy gasped with shock.
"Wittman, let me-"
Michelle pulled her fist back. "I swear to God, Charlotte. If you don't give me back my notebook in the next five seconds, I will-"
"Whoa, whoa, whoa!" Gregory came out of the blue and gently freed Charlotte from Michelle's grasp. He pulled his best friend back and rubbed her shoulders. "Let's not resort to violence, please. The last thing I would want is for my best friend to get in trouble for acting reckless, right?"
As much as she wanted to fight back, Michelle realized Gregory was right.
She took a deep breath and maintained her equanimity.
"Charlotte, it's to my attention that you may or may not have taken Michelle's notebook and read it over the announcements," Gregory said, pressing his hands together. "Is this true or false?"
"I may be a lot of things, but a liar isn't one of them," Charlotte replied with a humble smirk. "Plus, reading personal details like that over the school announcements isn't my style."
"Then that means you have the book," Vanessa glared at Wendy.
"Not possible," Charlotte replied. "I was inside the principal's office and I didn't see Wendy at all. She couldn't have done it."
"Then why were you in the principal's office anyway?" Vanessa inquired. "You wouldn't be in there unless you were reading the school announcements."
"I was not doing that, I was… I was…" she hesitated. "Look, it's none of your concern. Why don't you all back off, don't worry Greggie-Poo, I'm don't mean this towards you before I get you in trouble for harassing me."
Vanessa hissed. "You little shi-"
"Wait," Michelle stopped her best friend's curse, placing her hands on her friends' shoulders. "You're right."
"What?" Vanessa raised both her eyebrows.
"She is?" Gregory rubbed the back of his head.
"Yes, it's none of our business as to why you were in the principal's office," Michelle smiled kindly. "We're sorry for harassing you, Charlotte. Have the day you deserve."
With that, she dragged her two friends over to the bathroom and closed the door.
Charlotte and Wendy exchanged curious glances before they went back to what they were doing.
The cafeteria's bathroom was nothing more than light blue and white, hexagonal tiles that covered the walls and the floor. The stalls were a lime green color, and the mirrors were shiny and clean.
Michelle, Vanessa, and Gregory walked inside and closed the door.
"Wait… I don't think I'm supposed to be in here with you two," Gregory shivered.
"Relax, Greg," Vanessa replied, pointing to a sign on the wall. "Thanks to Tracy's recent petition, all bathrooms are now gender-neutral, which means goodbye all lines to the girls' room!"
"Oh," Gregory smiled before he became confused.
"Okay, guys, listen up," Michelle leaned against the wall and cracked her knuckles. "Charlotte's obviously not going to admit to taking my notebook so easily and beating the truth out of her is going to do more harm than good."
"So, what do you think we should do then?" Vanessa asked.
"I have a plan," Michelle smirked, stroking her chin. But she suddenly became hesitant. "But I don't know if we should do it."
"I know I'm going to regret asking, but what's your plan?" Gregory asked.
"Well, it involves me teaching you guys my style of pranking. I mean, you guys have helped me prank some people like Susan Armstrong multiple times in the past, but you guys, and I mean this in the nicest way possible, aren't as experienced as I am. I was thinking that if the three of us joined forces and I taught you the expert ways of pranking, we could get our revenge on Charlotte for all of the bad things she's done to us. There's more to it than what I said, but that's my plan in a nutshell."
"So, give us the deets, Shell," Vanessa smiled and begged. "Wait, does this involve The Skunkinator?"
"Sadly, no, it's something more complicated than that," Michelle shook her head. "Would you guys mind if I told you more about it after school? Actually, let's hold off on that. I want to wait until it's saved for a real emer-"
Before she could finish her sentence, there was a loud sound of a toilet flushing right beside them.
All three kids stood there awkwardly and felt the noise ring through their ears; it sounded like a bunch of wild boars running through the fields.
Thankfully, it finally stopped, and someone came out of the stall.
It was Angus Briggs: Not Your Average "Human".
"Oh," he paused, seeing his three friends. "Michelle, Vanessa, Gregory, how do you do, fellow earthlings? It is I, your close friend, Angus Briggs."
"Jesus Christ," Vanessa facepalmed, shaking her head.
"Hey, Angus," Michelle waved. "Um… how much of our conversation did you hear?"
"None of it," Angus replied. "I was listening to music on my portable telephone while disposing of human waste."
"TMI, dude, TMI," Vanessa cringed.
"Yeah, what she said," Gregory made the same face. "What does TMI mean?"
"Angus, Charlotte stole my private journal last night and read a page from it over the announcements," Michelle explained. "I tried to get it back from here, but she wouldn't budge. Now, I don't know much experience you have with pranking, but I was going to invite Gregory and Vanessa over to my house later to talk about it… well, assuming I go through with this. If I do, would you like to be involved?"
"I would love to partake in your tomfoolery, my humanoid friend," Angus replied. "But I'm afraid I cannot. I must prepare to take my written examinations, otherwise, I will fail my objectives."
"You mean, classes?" Gregory inquired.
"Is that not what I said?" Angus raised an eyebrow.
All three teenagers facepalmed.
Soon, a dark voice came over the radio.
"Hello, students. It's a pleasure to speak to you all once again."
It was the same announcer from before, the one that read a page from Michelle's journal.
The three teenagers gasped before they rushed outside the bathroom.
They stopped in the middle of the cafeteria and watched the other students turn their heads to the speakers on the walls.
"I was going to read this page tomorrow, but it was too good for me to pass up. This entry will be particularly interesting to those who are fans of… country music."
Jasmine stopped strumming her guitar and looked up, wondering if the person was addressing her.
The person cleared their throat and began to read. "Wittman's Pranking Log – Number 264, Continued… Now that's a song that will either wake you up or make you cringe. This southern belle is named Jasmine Brynner, and she's everything you'd see in today's generation of country singers. While I don't know her on a personal level, I do know she is a huge fan of country music (as if her attire didn't give that away). Now she has a beautiful voice, and I can see her getting a career in music one day, but sometimes, the constant country songs can get annoying."
Jasmine's heart sank when she heard all of that. She placed her guitar on the table and a tear fell down her eye.
Michelle, Vanessa, and Gregory's faces went pale.
"That's pretty much the only genre of music she knows, which means you'll hear songs about drinking beers, heartbreaks, wondering why you broke up with your girlfriend from high school, all that other shit. If Jasmine decides to go into music, she better learn to spice things up, otherwise, she's going to be a one-hit-wonder."
The words "one-hit-wonder" were the only words Jasmine played in her head.
She turned towards the trio before she closed her eyes and turned away from them.
Packing up her guitar, she picked up the case and walked away.
Some of the other kids in the cafeteria exchanged chuckles, murmurs, and other whispers.
Jasmine walked by some of them and overheard their comments.
"Wow, what a loser. Doesn't she know country music is dead these days?"
"I can see why many people find her freaky."
One person even had the nerve to mock her Southern accent. "Oh mah stars! My name's Jasmine Brynner! I sing country, country, country, more country, and guess what?... country! That's all I know because every other genre of music sucks!"
Jasmine closed her eyes and tipped her hat over her face.
Concerned, Michelle and her friends ran after her and she walked into the hallway.
"Jasmine, wait!" Michelle called out.
"Don't talk to me, Michelle! I wouldn't want to butcher your eardrums with my awful music!" Jasmine barked back.
"Jasmine, I didn't mean to come across as rude," Michelle pleaded. "That guy left that part out."
"Then what did you say, huh!? That you were being brutally honest!?" the country singer snarled.
The pranker was about to give her response, only to realize the answer was exactly what Jasmine just said.
Michelle nodded and released a low sigh.
Jasmine looked over Michelle's shoulder and snarled at Gregory and Vanessa. "I don't know why you two hang out with her all the time. Both of y'all are probably just as bad as she is!"
She turned around and walked down the hallway, carrying her instrument in her hand.
Michelle sighed and rubbed her face.
Vanessa and Gregory approached their best friend.
"So… do you want to inform us on the plan?" the former asked, folding her arms.
The pony-tailed girl adjusted her overalls before giving her response. "No… no, not yet. I feel bad that Jasmine and Mack hate my guts, but that's only two people. I'm hoping nobody else finds out what I wrote about them."
Michelle, Gregory, and Vanessa were in gym class and they were playing basketball alongside Tracy, Lacey, Mack, Jasmine, Walter, Charlotte, and Wendy. They all wore the same gym clothes, which were nothing more than grey shirts with blue shorts.
Since there were ten players, that meant they had to be split into teams of five.
Lacey was captain of Team One, which consisted of Michelle, Gregory, Tracy, Charlotte, Walter, and herself.
And Mack was the captain of the other team, which consisted of everyone else.
Speaking of which, the bulky hall monitor dribbled the ball and rushed down the court, trying to evade members of Lacey's team. But due to her experience with the sport itself, Lacey quickly swooped in and smacked the ball out of Mack's grasp when he went to make a shot.
She tossed the ball over to Michelle, who tossed it back to her.
Lacey was about to score a goal when she suddenly heard the static from the loudspeaker.
"Wittman's Pranking Log – Number 257. Lacey Paulson's a nice person, but dear god, she can be such a moron. Tracy was absent today, so I offered to pair with her for a culinary project; our assignment was to make sausage with mashed potatoes. We were doing pretty good until Lacey started eating the mashed potatoes. Okay, you want to taste test them, that's fine. But then she kept eating and eating and eating them by the minute, adding more seasoning to them than what they needed. When I tried to tell her to stop, she looked at me like a deer in headlights."
Lacey gave a sorrowful look to Michelle once that was read and she heard some laughter from other students behind her.
"Here's where it gets worse. I asked her if she could hand me a knife so I can butterfly the sausage and she spent six damn minutes searching for it even though it was RIGHT IN FRONT OF HERE, TO THE LEFT OF GOD DAMN FORKS AND SPOONS! I could have grabbed it myself, but they were too far for me to reach. Who the hell spends six minutes looking for something so simple? I swear, she's as blind as my grandma!"
The basketball player closed her eyes and quivered her lips, trying to hold back a tear.
She slammed her basketball against the ground and busted into tears.
She ran towards the gender-neutral locker room and slammed the door shut.
Jasmine gasped and ran after her while everyone else gave Michelle, Vanessa, and Gregory dirty looks.
Michelle nervously chuckled before she rubbed the back of her head. "The knives were directly in front of her, by the way. Not sure how she missed that."
Everyone shook their heads and growled after hearing her poor excuse for a joke.
Well, everyone except Charlotte and Wendy, who exchanged sinister cackles.
Gym class ended and the main trio made their way into the locker room to change their clothes. But as they walked inside…
BANG! BANG! BANG!
They heard someone slamming something against the lockers.
Vanessa and Gregory exchanged a curious glance with Michelle before they all walked towards their lockers, which were coincidentally next to each other, and saw Mack punching them like there was no tomorrow. Lacey was crying right beside him and Jasmine was holding her close, patting her shoulder in an attempt to calm her down.
Mack continued punching all three lockers, creating dents and silver scratches on the doors.
Michelle, Vanessa, and Gregory had no idea what to do.
All three of them just stood there with curious faces.
But eventually, Gregory did cower behind his female friends.
Mack punched Michelle's locker one last time before he cracked his knuckles and walked away.
Lacey and Jasmine followed close behind.
The trio of prankers slowly approached their lockers.
As soon as they tapped their locks, all three of their doors fell off and landed on the ground.
Gregory flinched, as the girls sighed and rolled their eyes.
A few classes later and everyone was in Tracy's favorite class: chemistry.
They were in the middle of a very important experiment, and Tracy was paired with her best friend, Lacey. The two of them worked hard and diligently on their assignment, as they read the instructions carefully and added the necessary chemical mixtures.
As Michelle, who was unsurprisingly paired with Vanessa, worked on her assignment, she looked over and saw some glares coming from Mack and Jasmine. Feeling creeped out by their faces, she looked down at her paper and wrote down a few notes.
Gregory was paired with Walter and the two of them worked at a snail's pace; they were much slower than Tracy and Lacey.
Charlotte and Wendy sat in the corner of the room, sharing gossip about what happened in gym class.
As far as their science teacher goes, he was asleep in his chair with a chemistry book over his face.
Tracy was about to motion to her best friend, telling her to hand over a pair of tongs before the announcements came on again.
"Wittman's Pranking Log – Number 266. Lacey's pretty nice. Doesn't have a clue about what to do with herself, but she's all right. At least she has some common sense unlike her best friend, Tracy. Now, I don't know what she does every time she wakes up in the morning, but my god, Tracy must drink some sort of "special" coffee if she thinks battle drones will keep the school safe from harm."
Tracy, who was holding a bottle of blue chemicals in her hands, gently poured it into her mixture and gave the passionate writer a deadly stare.
Vanessa facepalmed. Jesus, Michelle. How many of these entries do you have!?
Gregory shook his head. "Oh, no."
The announcer continued. "The fact that Tracy thinks killer robots are going to successfully replace the heroes we have in the world just goes to show how much of a loon she is. I'd give those drones eleven seconds before they destroy something, forcing every student to chase her down with torches and pitchforks."
That last comment caused Tracy to lose her concentration.
She accidentally poured all of the blue liquid into her mixture and she slammed the bottle against the lab table. She clenched her fists and raised her finger, ready to lecture Michelle on why her robots will protect the school from harm.
When all of a sudden…
A puff of black smoke exploded in both Tracy and Lacey's faces.
Their beaker of chemicals started to bubble, and it blew up.
Everyone in the class cringed at their ash-covered faces, as Tracy wiped it off and made a loud snarl.
Michelle rubbed her temples, wondering when this so-called hell of hers would end.
And as if their day couldn't get any worse, the main trio found themselves walking down the hallway when they suddenly heard loud sounds of laughter in front of them. They looked forward and saw many students pointing and laughing at Tracy as she walked down the halls. She hissed and snarled at them, but her threatening noises were overpowered by the sounds of their obnoxious laughter.
She clenched her fists and speed-walked down the hallway, trying to ignore the people that mocked her.
Michelle shook her head and tried to follow her, but she and her friends were suddenly knocked down on their stomachs by brute force.
That brute force was none other than Charlotte and Wendy, who were pushing a cart full of papers and other supplies down the hall.
"Oops," Charlotte chuckled, cupping her hands over her mouth. "Sorry… no, really, I'm sorry, Greggie-Poo. This doesn't concern you."
Speaking of which, Gregory was the first person to get up and he helped his friends on their feet.
"Still want to go over the plan?" Vanessa asked her best friend.
Michelle brushed the dirt off her clothes. "No… not yet."
The mad scientist and the old-fashioned boy exchanged worrisome glances, noticing the distraught and aggravated tone in their friend's voice.
They walked down the hall, hoping their next class wouldn't be a hassle.
"Do you want me to break out the voodoo dolls?" Vanessa asked.
"No-wait… maybe," Michelle replied.
As they trailed down the hall, they got some dirty looks from some of their peers.
Gregory's face began to sweat once he saw all of the multi-colored eyes staring at him; he felt like he was prey being stalked by a bunch of predators. He slowly moved closer to his best friends, hoping he would protect them from danger. But the two girls just casually looked at the dirty stares and moved on. Michelle would glare back at them as if she was telling them to back off. Vanessa ignored them by scrolling through her phone.
Once the three of them entered a wide-open section of the hallway, they turned left and were met with more dirty faces. They looked over to their right and saw people purposely teasing Mack just to spite him. They shouted at him and called him names like "bull-headed" and "clumsy oaf". Michelle shook her head and facepalmed once Mack punched a few running kids in their stomachs.
But just as the trio entered another section,
A puff of purple smoke appeared before them.
"GAH!" Gregory screamed and he hopped into Vanessa's arms.
There was a silhouette behind the smoke, which revealed itself to be Walter Henning: Wannabe Magician.
"Hello, my friends," he kindly bowed. "Who wants to see a magic trick?"
"I'm not in the mood, Walter, sorry," Michelle sighed. "Besides, shouldn't you be throwing things at me or threatening to kill me?"
"Well, I'm not too happy with the fact you've been insulting everyone through your journal," Walter replied, scratching his head with his hand. "But I am pretty sure you have a good reason for it. I'm here to cheer you up with a simple magic trick."
"Come on, Michelle, we could use some cheering up. All three of us have been getting some shit today," Vanessa nudged her best friend.
Michelle thought about it before she smiled and nodded. "Sure, let's see it."
"Great!" Walter smiled before he held out a deck of cards. "All right, pick a-"
But suddenly, another announcement came over the radio.
"Wittman's Pranking Log – Number 247. Walter stopped me on my way to math class and asked me if I wanted to see a magic trick. I said 'Sure, why not' and he held out a deck of cards. I grabbed one and he told me to put it back in the deck. So, I did, and he shuffled the cards around until he finally picked one up and asked me if it was my card. I said 'No', so he took out another card and asked me the same question, and I gave him the same response. He shuffled through the cards for a little bit before he got to the last one, which WAS my actual card. Once I told him what it was, he screamed with joy and said 'I am da master of illusion!'… what a pity."
Walter placed the cards back in his pocket and frowned.
"Walter, I didn't mean for it to come off like that," Michelle pleaded softly.
"No, it's okay… like I don't already know my magic sucks," Walter pressed his hands together. "Thanks for wanting to participate though."
Tipping his hat, he turned around and walked off.
The three kids released low sighs.
"This has gone on too far," Gregory folded his arms.
"You can say that again, Greg," Vanessa replied.
"This has gone on too far," the boy said again.
"I didn't mean literally, Greg," Vanessa rolled her eyes.
"Then why did you tell me to say it again?"
"I didn't say you needed to say it again, I said you could say it again."
"Which I did."
"Stop it!" Michelle chimed in. "Gregory's right… we're ending this. Now!"