Anubus And Ms. A
Anubus and Ms. A
(Note: this takes place in 1992)
Note from Mr. Bogaard
By- Mr. Bogaard
You don’t need to read this one unless you are in desperate need of veiled, so-so dating advice that has not aged too well.
The Unkillable God Fights Cupid (And Losses).
By- Robert “Bobby” Clifford
So “Unkillable” might not be the best descriptor but it’s what my party knows me as.
You know what? Forget that awful introduction, let’s start from the very beginning.
In a home on a street there lived a reject. Now keep in mind that this wasn’t a sweaty, moldy reject nor was he a picky know-it-all. He was a reject by choice, you see, he had been rejected so many times that he no longer cared to try his hand at love. But that would all change come the day that Ms. A came to town.
(Bobby’s comment: No, the rest of this will not be in third person. Or an ode to Tolken for that matter.)
I walked down the bus steps and into the muddy halls of school, the posters for the upcoming dance covered with the wet hand-prints of the people who passed it. It had been raining the day before and because of that our unspoken job as students was to make the halls as filthy as humanly possible.
I was trying to avoid the mud when Carter Foust grabbed my shoulder, startling me into stepping into a puddle.
“What’s up, Unkillable?” He asked.
“How many times have I asked you to stop calling me that? You only do it because I rolled a natural twenty on a death save once. And that was because you pit me against six level five goblins.” I told him.
“Goblins, yeah, whatever. I got this person I want you to meet.” He told me.
“You always got this person you want me to meet.” I mumbled “Can’t you just tell them that I’m off the market or peacefully alone? For that matter, why do you even want me to have a partner.”
“Bro,” he looked me in the eyes. “Shut up and let me help you.”
I continued to follow him until we got to the office. Sitting on one of the chairs next to the door, was a girl. She looked up as her hair parted from her face.
“Jolly fine mornin.'”Her voice was a culmination of her presumed life experiences.
“Yeah, I couldn’t agree more.” I stumbled on my words.
“So?” Carter whispered to me.
“Shut up and let me receive your help.” I whispered back.
Don’t Lie If You Can’t.
By- Robert “Bobby” Clifford
Carter had the job of showing new people around the campus. A job that he sucked at, so in this case he was more than happy to hand the honors to me.
“So. How has your day been?” I asked.
“It’s been fine. Just trying to get used to this new school.” She said.
“Yeah, I know that feeling.”
“Do you really or are you just saying that?” She asked me.
I stuttered to find an answer. She had caught me red handed. She walked off, Carter followed her to finish the tour. I looked at my feet and the dried mud stain on them. I shoved my hands in my pockets and walked off to math.
By- Robert “Bobby” Clifford
I was paying close attention to class despite the obvious spit balls that landed on the back of my head. I didn’t even need to check who was tossing them because I already knew it was Sesar Keppeli. He had been my antithesis ever since I could walk on two feet. Everyone who turned me down eventually ended up in his hands. I would say it was maddening but I could honestly care less.
“Has anyone made you cry yourself to sleep recently?” He taunted.
“Yeah Freud, your mom.” I whispered back.
He kicked the leg of my chair and went back to making spit balls. Right as he was going to fire his first projectile the girl from this morning and Carter walked in. In that moment I could feel the swagger pulse off him. He got up and smoothly walked over to her.
“Y’know, this school used to be a place of refinement. But because of certain people,” he glanced back at me, “it’s become so bad.”
He leaned against someone’s desk.
“But now that you’re here I am starting to believe that times are changing.”
I looked around at the girls who were starting to get jealous. I looked back at him; he was now walking closer to her. Carter was leaning against the door frame while shooting him the most potent death stare. (I’m talking “this thing makes italian mob bosses crap their bell-bottoms” levels of lethal.) But despite that he was still laying it on thick. The teacher must have finally had it because she got up and lightly pushed him back to his seat.
“That’s how you make a good first impression.” he whispered as he fired the spitball.
I stopped focusing on him and got back to work on my math. This focus didn’t last long because the teacher ripped me out of it.
“Did everyone get that?” She said while wiping off the board.
I didn’t “get that”, infact, all I saw was one letter. The letter A. the new girl walked to a desk in the corner of the room and sat down. I quickly realised that what had been erased must have been her name.
I reared back to ask her what it was but instead I got an eye full of spitballs from Sesar.
Ms. A Hates My Guts.
By- Robert “Bobby” Clifford.
Math, English and Woodworking blew by and lunch came before I knew it. I was minding my own business when Carter and Sesar (who was following him.) came up to me.
“Ses, you take one more step and i’ll put your face on the side of a milk carton.” Carter warned him.
He took this lightly and got behind me. Carter twisted a bit and soon stood in between me and some soggy tacos.
“Is there a purpose to all this?” I asked.
“Kinda. Tell me your thoughts on Miss ‘A’, here.” He said.
“Why should I? Wait, are you going to do something stupid at the dance so you can get us to tango?”
“A, Who still says ‘tango’ and B, Absolutely.”
“Don’t try it Carter. it just won’t work.” Sesar said. “The poor guy simply cannot dance to save his life.”
Carter rolled his eyes and grabbed the milk carton that was on my tray. While he was forcing Sesar to choke on it A saw us and came to stop the commotion in the best way she could.
“Would you two grow up already?” She demanded. “Your little act in Math was cute but this is just ridiculous.”
“Speaking of math,” Sesar started, “I think me and you should continue to chat about how we can improve the school.”
She ignored him and got close to me.
“Dude, shoot your shot, now or never.” Carter whispered.
“Now or never?” I said back, “I pick never.”
I went to grab the tacos when my head was forced into the plastic that protected the food from germs. The line exploded in feverish excitement at this move. I grabbed my forehead and looked around. When my eyes landed on Miss A my heart sank, she was wrapped around Sesar. He locked eyes with me then leaned in and kissed her on the cheek.
“That’s what you get, you moron. One of these days you will look back and regret saying what you did.” She told me.
I wanted to argue and tell her that she couldn’t call me that but after what I just said I knew I deserved it. I took a step back, not wanting the situation to evolve but because I did, Sesar took advantage of this opportunity.
“What a wuss you are.” He taunted.
“Hey! Tone it down!” Someone said “what is going on here?!”
They stepped into where we were and looked at the situation.
“Hey Jim.” Carter said.
“Oh, what’s up Carter?” Jim asked.
“Not much, just trying to de-escalate things, not cause hallway fights, that sorta thing.” He said.
“Hey, that was one time.” Jim whined.
“Yeah, you’re right. But this time when it’s recorded it won’t take weeks for me to decipher.” Carter quipped.
“Hey, take it easy man, it was my first time writing one of those.”
“And I hope it will be the last.”
Jim decided he was done with the conversation so he walked away.
“Where were we? Right! I was flaunting; but I’ll tell you what. That little ‘comment’ was supposed to be something that no one would hear so I think it’s only fair that you get a second chance. What do you say?” Sesar asked Ms. A.
“So glad you asked for my opinion.” she snapped at Sesar, “I find it fair so long as I make the rules.”
No one objected to her proposal.
“Good. The rules are as follows. The dance is coming up and I have the feeling that a ton of people will be in attendance. So, the person with the longest conga line at the end of the night wins my affection.”
“I’m in.” Sesar eagerly responded.
“Same.” I mumbled.
DnDeath Gods. (Minus One)
By- Robert “Bobby” Clifford
“And there you stand. The abandoned stone halls of the long gone Stärk house reach into the mountain. The broken and repaired rampart stands as a testimony to its storied history. What do you choose to do?” Carter whispered to us as my friends sat in anticipation.
“I choose to charge in with my ax ready to swing!” My friend, Francis Dickenson, yelled into the carpeted Foust basement.
“Hold on a minute. It could be filled with traps. I got one more spell slot so I could use Fog to give us a blanket of cover.” Another one of my friends, Charles, offered up.
Charles was a nice guy. He lived in a gated community a mile or two away from the rest of us. We didn’t care about this except for Francis who held this, along with other things, against him.
“No! In the past that has never worked because as we all know, bear traps don’t have eyes!” Francis yelled at Charles.
“Ok, that’s fair, but actual bears do.” Charles reminded him.
“Why in your right mind do you think we are going to find bears?”
“The Stärk’s invited bears into their dining halls to clean up food scraps. Hence the presence of bears.”
“I disrespectfully disagree. You, Mr. Emily, have gotten us into loads of trouble in the past and because of this I refuse to trust you.”
“We’re playing a fricken game! If anything it’s Mr. Haedies. So get it through your thick skull Udiin.”
“It’s Sir Udiin to you!”
“Everyone! Just shut up! Let’s have Bobby settle this.” Carter yelled.
Except there was one problem, I could care less about the current game. I was focused on the impending doom that was a conga battle against Sesar Keppeli, a man who has continuously upped me. I hate to say it but I was scared. I had hurt Ms. A and this opportunity was the perfect chance to show her that I wasn’t a complete jerk.
“BOBBY!” Carter yelled at me. “Snap back to reality!”
“Yes, sorry.” I responded.
“You good?” Carter asked.
“Yeah man. All good.”
Carter leaned over the screen and slowly wiped a tear off my cheek. I calmly looked at it, my mind rushed with tons of thoughts but one overpowered them all.
“No! I’m not okay! I’m such a moron! I pretty much told her that I wanted nothing to do with her even though I knew that she was perfect for me. I knew I had to be with her the second she told us how great of a morning it was! I fell, man, and I fell really freaking hard. I have to, no, I must show her that I care!” I yelled out and jumped up, the emotion flowed out of me.
“Dude, are you talking about a bear?” Francis asked.
“Can you fill us in?” Charles Emily asked.
“Bobby is madly in love with a girl who offered up a way for him to win her back.” Carter said.
Charles and Francis started to freak out over this.
“DUDE, THIS IS HUGE!” Francis yelled.
“MORE LIKE INSANE!” Charles yelled after him. “Marianna’s going to have a field day with this one?” He was holding back a laugh.
“Again! Shut up!” Carter ordered “We are going to stop the game here so we can help out our good friend.”
I nodded and sat back down, ready to win.
Conga Line Battles Can Get Bloody
By- Robert “Bobby” Clifford.
We entered the gym where the dance was being held. Carter took off his Aviators and shoved them into his suit pocket. I looked over to Charles who was practically blending into the shadows with his all black three piece suit. Francis on the other hand looked like a Bachelor at a food factory.
“You’re going to be fine.” Charles sneaked up behind me and whispered into my ear before walking off.
“I’m going to get some food so don’t move!” Francis yelled as he sprinted off to the punch bowl.
I looked over to Carter who was talking with Becky. Sesar then wrapped himself around me.
“Look at the poor sucker. Gonna cry?” Sesar smuggly said as he dug his nails into my shoulder.
“No, I’m just looking at your grave.” I said as I kicked his knee.
“Careful, Robert, the future is always in motion.” he said as he hobbled off.
Ms. A came up behind me and gently tapped me on my shoulder.
“Hey.” I greeted her.
“I recommend that you don’t screw this up.” she told me “I have already told Sesar this so listen closely. The second Jumpin’ Jack Flash plays is the same second as the competition.”
I nodded while pretending to have a clue on what Jumpin’ Jack Flash was.
Suddenly, over the loudspeakers, a song started to play. The simple strings of the guitar were new to my ears. Suddenly the pace of the song, and the dance floor, sped up. Sesar started to slowly surround me as his conga line grew.
“I was born in a Crossfire Hurricane.”
It suddenly hit me. This was Jumpin’ Jack Flash, and I was losing.
“And I howled at the mornin’ drivin’ rain.”
Suddenly Sesar’s line exploded as Francis tumbled through it.
“Dude! Start moving!” He yelled while pushing me.
“But it’s alright now, in fact it’s a gas.”
I was moving along with Francis behind me when I spotted Charles in Sesar’s line. He gave me a sly wink and detached from his line in order to join mine; the people behind him also joined me.
“I was ruled with a strap right across my back”
I could now look at the end of my line where Carter and Becky were trying, and succeeding, in getting people to join me.
“NO!” I heard Sesar yell.
He broke off from the front of his line and approached me. In his balled up fist was a Fountain pen. He arched his hand up and swung down.
Right as it was about to make contact I was shoved out of the way by Francis. I never saw it make contact but I do remember the sickly sound it made.
The lines erupted in screams as Charles, Carter and Ms. A rushed over to us.
“My god.” Charles uttered as Carter helped me up.
I looked at Ms. A who wanted to say something but ran away instead. Charles and Carter rushed to dress Francis’s wound. Sesar looked over to where Ms. A ran off to. Upon seeing this, Francis grabbed Sesar’s arm and pulled him close. He swung his fist with all he could muster and hit his nose, breaking it. Sesar wobbled back and ran to the restroom. Francis, with help from Carter and Charles, slowly made it to the floor. He reached up and pulled me close.
“Go. Get. Her.” He said.
I nodded and ran off. I knew that if I refused he would start to insist which would only make Carter and Charles’ job harder. I entered the hallway and looked at Ms. A who was sobbing into her hands. I slowly approached her.
A New Nightmare
By- Robert “Bobby” Clifford.
“How did I do?” I asked.
“Your friend is bleeding in the other room and you’re flirting with me?!” She angrily asked.
“Take it easy! He would be more angry with me if I was with him now.”
“Are you sure about that?”
“Oh yes. We once went out to get pizza and he threw up on the table. By the time we got out his first question was whether or not we stole the tip jar.”
She giggled at this. I walked forward in order to escort her away from the carnage when a horrendous voice called to us.
“We aren’t done, Bobby!” Sesar yelled at us.
I turned to face him. His left side was splashed with the blood of my friend and his nose was bent at an uncomfortable angle. He smuggly walked towards Ms. A who took a step back.
“Heh. You would rather be with this dumb oaf instead of me?!” He screamed.
“Yes, I would.” She said.
“Why you dumb [REDACTED]” He cursed.
She lunged forward to attack him.
“Please. Let me handle this.” I asked.
She slowly nodded.
“For as long as I have known the concept of love you have always been stealing, for lack of a better word, my future prospects. Now this was not a one time thing. In fact, it has happened so many times that I gave up on the idea of finding “the one”. But now that I have and successfully fought you off I know that I can do whatever I want in Middle School.” I monologued.
“Is there a point to this?” Sesar asked.
“No, not really. But look where you and I are standing.”
He looked at our feet and saw how close we now stood.
“Oh cra-” I cut him off with a swift uppercut.
I turned away from the sprawled body of Sesar and back to Ms. A.
“Sorry about the violence.”
“Did you really mean what you said? About me being the one?” She asked.
“Yeah, I really did. I have found joy in you that I thought was lost from me forever. But looking at what has happened tonight I can’t help but face a simple truth. We can’t be together.”
She looked down at her shoes.
“But that doesn’t mean that we can’t go and get lunch sometime, say, this sunday?” I asked.
She looked up at me and smiled.
“I would love that.”
“It just needs to be at one because I have a prior engagement as Anubus.”
“Anubus?” she asked.
I then told her all of it, from the trip to Quikpik to the fall of the first Hourus.
“Huh, and here I was thinking that our relationship would be normal.”
“Well, it still can be, as long as I don’t bring up Anubus again.”
And I never did; because I never saw her again. Two weeks after the dance I got a strange letter in the mail.
The Strange Letter
By- (A)shley Somrew
I regret to write that I can no longer see you. You see, while you were explaining the origin of ‘the pantheon’ a fire was lit inside of me. I wanted to be a part of this hidden world that was right before my eyes and I figured that since I already had a ‘origin moment’ when you and your friends fought for my love I was in the perfect position to enter it. I slowly spread the word of a “Love Goddess”; but it ended up reaching the right people quickly. Upon my first meeting I quickly realised that they thought that they were alone.
With this being explained I honestly hope that you understand why we can no longer see each other. I’m sure that it hurts to hear all of this but I want you to know that I did, and still do, love you.
(Carter’s comment: I knew it wasn’t an original idea.)