I recently found a short story that I meant to continue on with but never did. The story does end quite abruptly because it was never finished, but overall I am pretty happy with the writing considering how inexperienced I was when I first began writing it. Enjoy!
“Why did you change your name, Maurice?” My school counselor, Mr. Stephen, asked again.
“Okay, listen to me this time. Maurice Orca, verses Erik Quint. Which do you like better?” I say with a fatigued look on my face.
“Are you sure it’s not because of denial of your past, Maurice – “
“Erik, what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger,” said Mr. Stephen, doing a terrible impression of Kelly Clarkson.
You see, my name used to be Maurice Orca, until I changed it to Erik Quint in seventh grade. One of the reasons why I did was because my parents were villains who got in a fight with The Man. Look, my parents were bad guys, and they robbed banks and did, well, bad stuff. They were doing one of their heists and were beaten by The Man, and three days later, I visited the morgue. I have found that in this world you will do better if your last name isn’t the same as big time bad guys.
So, I’m in here talking to Mr. Stephen as one of my electives instead of taking Band or Woodshop because people say I need to work through my ‘issues.’ I’ve been dealing with this guy for almost four years now and the only thing it’s gotten us is Mr. Stephen a bigger man belly and less hair on his balding head.
I look past his desk filled with coffee stains and with specifically placed tissue boxes to a poster that reads: ‘You’re a shooting star! So don’t shoot’ (with bullet points below of) ‘drugs, guns, spitballs’. On the corner of his desk is a picture of him in a blonde wig next to a look a-like of Kelly Clarkson.
I like to ‘profile’ people, keep a record on everyone, if you will. You never know when it might come in handy.
Name: Stephen Andrew Johns
Current Age: 45
Height: 5’ 10”
Weight: 240 lbs.
Hair: Graying – black
Typical Attire: Unmaintained suit that is two sizes too small and a lazily put on tie. Sweat stains under his arms, well, all over.
Relation: Annoying Unneeded Counselor
Face Shape: Pudgy
Other Information: Always thinks I’m on drugs (which I’m not)
“What if it only kills part of you?” I say trying to sound mysterious. Then I regret it, as soon as you give this guy something even somewhat remotely personal, he latches on like my dog Gustophor with a chew toy. And I’m the chew toy.
“Oh, let’s roll with this Maurice. Let’s roll with it! Dare I say, how do you feel about this?”
In a sarcastic voice I say, “EWWW!!! Gross, cooties! Feelings!” I change my tone and face to a deadpan, “Not goin’ to happen.”
“Okay, so then let’s get back on the real horse here, your name.”
When I roll my eyes at him, I look at longingly at the door, but my eyes lead me to the candy wrapper filled trash can. I imagine throwing the trash can over his head and whispering in his wrapper filled ear, ‘How do you feel now?’
“So if I can’t call myself by my true legal name,” (I actually went to the Secretary of State and got it changed), “then why can you call yourself ‘Mr. Stephen’ if your true last name is Johns, Mr. Johns.”
“Because I’m an adult.”
“Does that mean I don’t have equal rights compared to you?”
“Are you taking drugs?!”
“Channel 10 News; this is your anchorman Erik Quint. Breaking news, I am not taking drugs.”
“Don’t get coy with me, Mr. Orca,” said Mr. Stephen, rubbing his forehead.
“Hey, I will stop complaining; at least you don’t call me Dorca.”
“Wait! Is someone bullying you? Is that why you are taking drugs.”
“Oh for the love of the Mitochondria! I am not taking drugs. Would I get a 4.0 in all of my classes, except this one, if I was! Dude, take a chill pill.”
I’m out of here. I’ve never accomplished anything in here, and I’m not going to make a breakthrough today. I scoop up my backpack and glance at the sign by the plug, ‘Sometimes it’s good to unplug!’ with an image of a phone left behind and a boy walking into the forest. It is signs like this that vex me, cute sayings won’t save the world. I walk towards the door and give Mr. Stephen a salute and start to head out when I realize the signs that absolutely infuriate me cover every single open space in his office.
“Hey, Maurice, you can’t leave, you need a hall pass.”
“No, I don’t.” I wave a hall pass he signed earlier that day for me to go to the bathroom and he forgot to put the time. Man, I would do anything to get out of that office even go to the school bathrooms which stinks!
The counselor steps out of his office rubbing his temples and walking toward the school secretary, “That boy is always trouble. With his smart-alec mouth and unfortunate past. Man, I’ve been working with him for almost four years, and barely ever had a breakthrough. I mean, I just want to help him, he’s been through so much.”
The secretary nods and continues typing, not truly listening.
“At age twelve his parents, who turned out to be sophisticated thieves, were killed by The Man. They were trying to pull off a big bank job and The Man stopped them at the cost of their lives.”
The secretary made a comforting sound, which really turned out to be a groan as she reached around Mr. Stephen trying to get the stapler.
“Maurice did a couple months in the foster care system before his Mother’s brother came back from overseas with the Air Force. Maurice took his last name and been living with him since, but he doesn’t give the right environment Maurice needs. His uncle is always gone doing Air Force stuff and Maurice just kinda takes care of himself. Bon jove, I need a Snickers bar.”
So, I’m walking down the abandoned hallway because class doesn’t let out for another three minutes, just minding my own business. I take the stairs to head up to my AP Physics class, when I see him.
Set: First day of Kindergarten with kids sitting around little desks and teacher calling attendance. Mindful that today is the first time that four year olds have ever been asked to say the beautiful words of ‘here’ or ‘present’.
Teacher (calling out names): Mary-Ann Nelson
Mary-Ann (picking nose): Here!
Teacher: Jason O’Connor
Jason (confused): You aren’t my Mommy! Why you call me by my full name?
Teacher (tired of explaining, clearly said this before): Because you are here Jason. Ummm . . . Mrice Orie?
Jason (Amused): Ha! That’s a funny name and he’s a girl?
Me: It’s Maurice Orca. (Turns to JASON) And we are this many (holds up four fingers), act your age. We aren’t this many (holds up three fingers).
Jason: You’re still a girl! (JASON sticks out tongue).
Me: Am not!
Set: Spring of third grade. Playground. ME chasing butterfly and JASON chasing me to hit me.
Me: This butterfly would look so cool under my microscope! Butterfly!!!
Jason (chasing ME): Dorca! Dorca! Dorca! Big, awesome, handsome, strong, cool Jason is coming to hit you!
Teacher (stops JASON): What are you doing?
Jason (innocent): Playing tag.
Teacher: Does he know that?
Jason: No! But he doesn’t care. See all I have to do is touch my fist to his face and he will be IT.
Teacher: Is that the new game of tag you boys are playing now?
Set: Fifth grade dodge ball AKA everyone hit Maurice while he reads his book.
Well, you can just picture it can’t you? Around this time I started ‘profiling’ people.
Name: Jason Connor O’Connor (I know, right!)
Current Age: 16
Height: 6’ 2”
Weight: 190 lbs.
Hair: Gelled back blonde
Typical Attire: Basketball shorts with an Aeropostale shirt and an ever-present varsity jacket, that he proudly achieved at the beginning of freshmen year and hasn’t been washed since.
Relation: A student whose favorite pastime is calling me ‘Dorca’ and shoving me in lockers. (It doesn’t work)
Face Shape: Strong
Other Information: Captain of the Lacrosse team
“Dorca!” Jason calls out across the hallway and greets me warmly.
I keep on walking.
“Dorca!” A little more harshly this time.
I keep on walking.
“DORCA!” Jason yells in his gruff husky voice that the girls adore.
I keep on walking.
“DORCA!!! DID YOU HEAR ME!?”
I keep walking.
He starts running towards me. He grabs me by my sweater vest and throws me up against a locker.
Jason whispers spitting saliva in my ear, “Dorca, did you hear me?”
“No.” But I really did, duh!
I can tell that he is going to bring his fist back and punch me because we’ve done this routine too many times. So I just slid down and sit like a good little first grader (that I’m not, actually I’m a sophomore) in crisscross-applesauce.
He misses my beautiful nerd head and hits the locker instead.
“Owww! Dorca, what you do that for?”
“So you didn’t hit me. Why else?”
“Are you just going to sit there and do nothing?” asks Jason with a look of fury on this face, which he is really just trying to hide his pain of his throbbing hand.
“Dorca, that’s not how it’s supposed to work.”
“Well, let’s see it worked that way the other five times I’ve done it this school year,” I say with the most innocent look on my face.
“It’s the third day of school!”
Then, one of Connor O’Connor’s goons said, “Man, the halls are filling up and you said you had to meet up with Rachel, or she said she’d break up with you.”
Jason and his entourage begin to walk away when I say in a cheerful voice just to aggravate them, “See you next passing time, buddies! We’re such great friends.”
Everyone stares in my direction, but I don’t care. See, I have no friends. I know! I’m such a likeable person, but no amigos for this chico. I was all sad about it one day, but then I realized I can use this as an advantage.
Look, I’m going to let you in on a big secret. Promise not to tell? Is that a yes? Okay, I’m a nerdy mad science who will save the world by day, and by night I do homework.
Let me set you straight, there is no ‘Uncle-Quint-Who-Just-Got-Back-From-Overseas.’ I kinda made him up so that I didn’t have to live in the foster care system. Oh, sure there is a dude who I got to act like him so that he could sign the papers and all, but we don’t see each other anymore. I live in an abandoned old tin factory with my dog, an English Mastiff named Gustophor. I swear I’m not crazy.
Also, to save the world, I, uh, kinda have to use some things that don’t exactly belong to me. You know, it’s the price to pay to save the world. I, uh, also have to ‘find’ the funds for my research . . . at banks, when people aren’t looking or when I make them look away. So you want to know the basic truth? I steal science equipment and money for my research. But it is to help humanity!
Well, I keep on telling you about me ‘profiling’ people, here’s mine.
Name: Erik Quint (Formerly known as Maurice Orca)
Current Age: 16
Height: 5’ 6” (Haven’t quite hit the growth spurt yet)
Weight: 130 lbs.
Typical Attire: Sweater vest and Khakis. Oh and when I’m in my lab then mad scientist goggles and lab coat. When I’m pulling off a heist – we’ll get to that later.
Relation: Ummm . . . being myself?
Face Shape: Frail and pale (Hey it rhymes!)
Other Information: A transgenic organism – bacterial genes in human
Oh, forgot to tell you about that part, did I? Okay, let’s flip to the prologue of the imaginary storybook of my life.
- Parents needed drug money
- Genetic Scientist with wishy-washy ethics offered money in exchange for unborn child (me) (does this sound like a comicbook gone wrong?)
- My parents being the super-criminals they were, kept all the paper work of the exchange so that if they needed more drug money later they could always sue the scientist
- Scientist paid my parents to keep me so he could continue experimenting with me, except he died when I was three (under mysterious circumstances).
Don’t worry, I look normal and all, but my cells – that’s a different story. I didn’t figure all this out (I mean I knew I was different, but . . .) until my parents died.
Set: Our small little apartment when I was in third grade. Stinking, gross, drugs. There is a bed, drug making equipment, a microwave and two out of place huge filing cabinets. ME laying on the ground looking at a microscope with a butterfly underneath, which my parents may or may not have stolen for me. My parents standing off to the side talking quietly.
My mother aka Susan: Fred, we really need to tell him about it. What if we don’t make it out of a job alive?
My father aka Fred: That’s never happened before. (he’s not too smart)
Susan: Ummm . . . that’s why we’re here, honey. Let me talk to him, you always confuse him.
Me: The butterfly has only one ring around its cells where I have two, Mommy.
Susan (under her breath): I have no idea how that child came out of us. (Then to me) Maurice, we have something to tell you. If we don’t come back one day, Mommy and Daddy want you to do something okay? Okay, it’s all written down here.
Me: You spelled morgue wrong.
Susan: Okay, you can fix it later. So go to the morgue and recognize us. Then the bad guys are going to put you in something called foster care. But don’t ever let them take you to a doctor, they are bad guys too. After you’ve done the system for a while. Uncle Quint, you know Ernie, will act like your Uncle who just came back from overseas. Okay? And one last thing, don’t ever open these filing cabinets until you are for sure we are . . . dead. Sound good? Okay?
Me: Dead, like the butterfly?
Back to current day me. I’m walking down the hallway dodging spit balls (apparently they didn’t obey to Mr. Stephen’s sign) and watching out for monsters. You know the kids who are more monster under the bed scary than human. An African- American girl with braces that so do not go with her frizzy hair (OMG) walks by, who does not even make a one on the monster scale. Then I see the drugged-out-bad-hygiene type of kid Mr. Stephen thinks I am and he makes a four point five on the monster scale. An English teacher walks by with her herd of other English teacher friends (they always travel in pack with coffee in hand) teachers don’t count on the monster scale, they are always nice to me. Except the ones who think I’ll follow my parents and believe I cheat on my tests and take drugs.
Then I see a ten out of ten on the scale. Rachel, Jason’s girlfriend. She’s been his girlfriend since the eighth grade and is always threatening to break up with him. She’s the girl of my dreams; when I say dreams I mean nightmares. No one even comes close to her ranking, not even Jason. See, I’m not like the normal bullied kid who is in love with the bully’s girlfriend; I think that she is secretly a demon.
I can deal with Mr. Stephen and Connor O’Connor all day alone with them in Siberia, but a minute with Rachel . . .
Name: Rachel Thomason
Current Age: 16
Height: 5’ 4”
Hair: Wavy Brown hair
Typical Attire: Short fitted bouquet dress, normally flower printed
Relation: Monster girlfriend of my personal bully
Face Shape: thin and cute
Other Information: She’s smart, so she is in all my classes
As I walk past Rachel she whispers to her friend but loud enough for the whole hallway to hear, “You know that guy that just past us, Maurice, I saw him cheating off of me in my Algebra 2/Trig class yesterday.” With just my luck the Algebra 2/Trig teacher, Ms. Stofif, was just walking by and heard Rachel. Ms. Stofif bluntly states, “Mr. Orca, Miss Thomason. My office now.”
Great. Now I’m going to be late for my next class. Ms. Stofif closes the door painfully slow and goes over to her desk to take out our tests to examine them. Rachel is slightly grinning with a triumphant look in her eye. I give her a look that screams, “Why? What have I ever done to you?” Now I’m confident she’s a demon. Ms. Stofif says, “Well then, what do you have to say for yourself, Mr. Orca? Were you trying to impress me on your pretest? Or where you trying to get Miss Thomason to notice you? Seems she noticed you a little too much.”
“Look at my test, all of my work is shown on every problem. For the matter of cheating – Rachel sits two seats ahead of me with a tall guy between us. I couldn’t see her test even if I tried.” I don’t know how Rachel was thinking that she could get away with this; nevertheless, she has planted doubt into Ms. Stofif’s mind and I don’t want to be on the bad side of a teacher on only the third day of school.
“Whoever is at fault matters not, both of you will retake the test – in detention. Good day.” Gustophor is going to be so hungry when I get home, he really looks forward to his afternoon snack of three milk bones. I wish I could tell you that this is my first detention, but it’s not. With criminals as parents people don’t usually give me the benefit of the doubt. That is just another reason why I need to excel in school, to forge my own path and not have my parents’ lives overcast my own.
So, anyways I found out everything about my ‘unfortunate’ past. But you know the little saying that goes, ‘With great power must come great responsibility.’ But responsibility to what? To do the right thing, or to save humanity? But there’s a little thing called the law that separates them. So, I choose to save humanity and just simply ‘step over’ the law. My responsibility is to the future of humanity not just to keep civil order today – that’s for the police. At least that’s what I tell myself. How many people can I save in the future, for the price of hurt a couple dozen people today? Except I can see how I hurt people in the present, not how I save people in the future.
My body is unexplored and unlike anything before. My quest is to explore my cells and find out what exactly the scientist did to me (he didn’t leave too good notes) and see how it can help humanity and see if I can replicate it. Inside of me can be cures to diseases that currently ravage the world, organic body armors so that more of our heroes can come home, a way to solve the starvation problem all across the world. I am the new frontier.
Anyways, I think and plan out a heist for months and then get and grab what I need. Sometimes I ‘use’ things from labs, or if I can’t get to the thing I need, I then I go to the bank and use that dough to get it off the internet and act like a lab. The internet believes that I am an employee of TESS labs and my name is Adam Myers.
But there is one problem with all of this. There is some guy who thinks my choice should have been ‘the right thing’ versus ‘saving humanity’. His name is The Man.
Name: Unknown (But everyone simply calls him The Man)
Current Age: Unknown (Me guessing around 25 to 45)
Height: 6’ 5”
Hair: Dark brown or black
Typical Attire: Has a gray trench coat, but cut off at the arms, a red belt and red boots, pants and shirt are black. See my drawing.
Relation: Thinks himself as a hero, and wants to stop me (well anyone that goes against the law).
Face Shape: Strong, he doesn’t even wear a mask
Other Information: Normally ‘takes care of’ petty thieves and street crime by beating them. He has a rope and a whip morphed into one like structure. He can fly. He can lift up to 650 lbs. Has super speed, but only when flying for long distances.
I watch over my city. Hovering over buildings. Guarding. Brookview City tearing itself apart. There is a civil war going on between good and evil. I’m here to control the evil. To tame it. But to still have it lurk in the people’s mind at night.
Others have tried and failed to try to do what I do. There are flaws in their thoughts. I have no secret identity. I am simply The Man.