BatFold: Under the Red Hoodie
BatFold: Under the Red Hoodie
By Alan Wade
Guilt is a heck-of-a-pain.
I haven’t heard from CJ. I gave him that gift on Christmas and he left the next morning. His room feels hollow now, and I know I won’t see him until summer, but I wonder if he still thinks of me as a friend.
It’s New Years Eve. It was common tradition for me and my family to take a trip to a beach and chill out, and that night we watch the fireworks from the balcony, Mom hugs me, and we smile.
“Three… Two… One… Happy New Year, Alan!” Danny exclaims. We’re sitting in the living room of my new house. Danny claps his hands, smiling.
Then he frowns when I’m sitting still, not cheering.
“Hey, hey, what’s up?” Danny said, sitting down next to me.
Tears. There they come, “Another tick off the box without Mom and Dad. No Christmas, no New Years. This stinks, Danny.”
“Boy, do I know it.” He sighed, “You know, whenever you guys would go to the beach and stay in a hotel, I’d have a day off.” He let out a chuckle. I laughed too.
“I remember when we went to DisneyLand a couple years ago, and Dad put me on his shoulders and we looked out there.”
“Now, you have friends, Alan.” He said, “I know I’m your guardian, but you do have friends that you could have invited. Like Madalyn, or that… ‘Justice Pleats?’”
“That team is gone, Danny. I messed it all up.”
CJ. The memory of him popped out suddenly, the face he made at me, the way we left on crappy terms.
“Do you… Do you think that CJ will still hate me?”
“What did you do to my grandson?” Danny asked, “I’m not saying I’ll hit you or anything, but I’m not as old as I look.” He jokingly revealed his muscular arm. I’m gonna be real, he could beat me into a pulp.
“I betrayed him, he no longer trusts me. That was the plan I had, if I felt like he was gonna hurt me, I wanted to be the first to strike, so I wouldn’t have to see him hurt me.” I thought about that trip and how the Legion of Plume, how they stopped us in one quick swoop, “I think making the contingency plan was the easiest way to lose his trust.”
“So you don’t have a Robin anymore?” Danny asked.
“Yeah, I have a Batgirl, there’s a Batwing, but I don’t have a tried and true sidekick.”
“Well, I don’t think CJ will be mad at you for long. He’s been through a lot, but he will always forgive. Listen Alan, I don’t know much about this Superhero puppetry, but if you’re going to be a Batfold, you need an OriRobin. When school starts back up, you should start recruitment. Maybe you’ll make a new friend.”
I mulled it over, thought about it, and I finally said “Sure.”
By Alan Wade
As the days went by and school was approaching, I made a post on my Instagram (both my main account and the Batfold account), Twitter, and my Snapchat story. It was a simple post, saying that I’m recruiting for a New OriRobin. I also texted Madalyn, letting her know that I needed her help putting flyers up.
We walked through the halls.
“A new OriRobin… Why can’t I be your sidekick?” She asked, “Was there a girl Robin?”
“Well… There was Carrie Kelley, but she’s not in the main universe.” I said as I taped a flyer.
“So you’re saying that Batman has yet to have a Woman Robin?”
“Yeah, it’s kind of weird.” Theresa walked past us. I turned around and she looked at me briefly, frowning. It was strange to see her up and moving. I know I’m hated, but I kind of wonder if this recruitment will even yield results. Maybe word has spread that Alan Wade is a joke who will betray his friends.
“Hey, don’t worry about her.” Madalyn said. She was pretty good at recognizing my emotions, “Have you heard from Chris?”
“Shucks, me and his girlfriend were just getting to know each other. She was really sweet.” Madalyn held the Paper while I taped. We made our way to the bulletin board. I guess I was frowning because Madalyn tried something else to cheer me up.
“Anyways… Did I tell you that I made a puppet?”
I smiled, “Really? Do show.”
She held up a puppet of a girl in a black outfit with cat ears, “It’s Catwoman.”
“So you made a puppet of a villain? Specifically a Batman villain?”
“Well, I really vibed with her mystique.” She chuckled, “Don’t worry, you won’t need to fight me. I mean, I saw you at Novick, I know how you can be.” She then laughed, “I injured my leg for you! We’re a duo, Cat and Bat.”
We pinned a pamphlet on the bulletin board.
“So, are you coming to the meeting tomorrow?” I asked. Madalyn shook her head.
“Nah, I don’t think I will. Honey, it’s YOUR decision. You should be the only judge for the interviews.”
I frowned. Emily gave a similar excuse. She’s also running for Student Government, so she’s busy.
“Alright, sounds good.” I sighed.
“Well, when you recruit him or her, I want to meet them!” She gave me a peck on the cheek and walked away, her curly hair bobbing up and down.
By Alan Wade
I walked to the classroom and there was a long line forming outside. Tall, short, freshmen, sophomores, juniors, seniors, boys and girls. The line was almost endless.
“Alan! Mr. Wade! Pick me!” A girl exclaimed, “I’m your biggest fan!” I made an effort to ignore them as I walked into the room.
Neil Vanderlin stood up, “How are you doing, my good sir?”
I sighed and looked him up and down, “Neil, how’d you get in here?”
“I have keys, Wade. I have keys into any part of this building. Besides, how will you filter interviews like a machine?”
He held up his puppet, Foldifer Morningpleat, “Seriously, Wadey-Baby. Just let me help you out.”
“Shouldn’t you be in Novick?” I asked.
“No, I got let out on good terms,” he smiled, “Your old house is nice, Wade. So is that faculty. But I don’t deserve to be there. I’m the great Foldifer.”
I rolled my eyes, “So are you my judge?”
“No, heavens no.” He laughed, “I’m more of a fan of the mystical stuff anyways, not this lame recruitment of a ground hero.”
“Here’s how this is going to work, Alan. I’ll stand outside and block the entrance, I have a list of names on this clipboard here.” I looked at the table with this paper attached to a clipboard, full of names, “With each person, you check them off. If there’s people you like, take some notes and you can determine for yourself.”
“Cool, I have some base questions-”
“I have some further questions too. I’m experienced in this stuff.”
“Yes, I’m trying to get an actual room in this building for a new Complicare. So, I might as well have some knowledge in interviews.”
“So is this another one of your deals?”
“No, I’m just a friend helping a friend… find a new friend.”
“I did not think we’re friends.”
Foldifer smirked, “We’re not.”
And thus, the interviews began!
“So, do you consider yourself a hero?” I asked, a notebook in hand.
Amelia smiled and nodded, “Absolutely! I used to volunteer at the humane society and I love people. I think being a hero is to do the right thing.”
I looked down the questions, “Amelia, you’re working a fast food job, and you know that one of your coworkers, Eliza, is really poor and she has three kids. One night, you see her taking some chicken nuggets and fries to bring home to her kids and have some food tonight. What do you do?” Neil put a note by this question, ‘Use this if they say they always do the right thing.’
If I’m honest with myself, I’d probably let them keep the food.
Amelia paused, looking down, “Uh…” she said, “I think I’d… hm… I don’t know.”
I was liking Amelia’s vibe, but an “I don’t know” was not an adequate answer to a morality question, “I think that that’s enough, you can head out, thank you.”
Amelia smiled and walked out. When she was out of view, I crossed her name out.
“You ready for the next person, Mr. Wade?” Neil asked.
An older student walked in, a buff student, muscles bulging everywhere.
“What’s up?” He started.
“Uh… What’s your name?”
“William Clay Junior.” He had an air of confidence in him, “What’s good?”
I gulped, “I’m not sure, what year are you, Mr. Clay?”
“I’m a wrestler.”
“Right, but what year are you?”
“Oh, I’m a Junior.” He said, “I’m a Donner student.”
I crossed him off immediately, “Sorry, I only accept Kane students.”
“Oh, okay. I’m sorry.” He got out of the chair and started to walk out.
“No, it’s my fault Mr. Clay. I shouldn’t have posted it on my Instagram and stuff.” I said. Clay grunted and left.
“Hey, Foldifer.” I said to Neil, Neil perked inside.
“Do me a favor and tell everyone not from Kane to leave.”
Neil smiled, “Okay.” I heard him walk outside and announce, “Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, please do me a favor and leave if you are not from Kane High School.” I heard grumbles of protest and anger, I heard a student yell “I’ll transfer today!” Then, I heard it get quiet.
I walked outside and looked, noticing that the line had gotten significantly shorter.
“I apologize, I realize now that I shouldn’t have posted on my social media saying I was recruiting for a new OriRobin.” I smiled, “We’ll continue shortly.”
I sat down and looked at my phone. Ten interviews, an hour has passed, and this was the first time I looked.
“Really?” Who_is_CJ_Gley said under my post on snapchat.
“Yeah, I need a new Sidekick” I responded.
And that was the end of it.
By Alan Wade
Another hour passed.
“Hey there, I’m David Thompson, how are you?” David said as he sat down, “I’m a freshman here, by the way. I don’t want you to think you have a straggler.”
I smiled, he seemed to genuinely be approachable.
“Why, David, I’m doing great. Can you tell me a little about yourself?”
“Sure. Well… I’ll say that I’m pretty outgoing and open with everyone I meet. I feel like anything can be resolved by just talking it out.”
I nodded, “Okay, so let’s say we had an OriJoker who lit a portion of the school on fire, how would you calm this guy down?”
David smiled, “I’d try to appeal to the insanity of the OriJoker, Mr. Alan.”
“What do you mean?”
“You know the kids with these puppets are inspired by those heroes and villains. They’re not the villains entirely.”
I thought back to Novick, and how while every kid there had a puppet of a Batman Villain, they weren’t fully like them. Bartholomew wasn’t a smooth-talking super genius like Roman Sionis, and I’m not as harsh as Batman.
“Right, those puppets represent who they are.”
“Well, an OriJoker kid probably sees life as a joke, and burning down the school is just a part of it. I’d do something to make him frown.”
“Dang.” I said. This kid had talent.
“Now, I’m not sure how many kids you’re thinking about, but I can tell you that if you choose me, you’re not making a bad choice at all. I was waiting in line and me and a few others have decided that if we’re not chosen, we’re just gonna take up roles as vigilante bully stoppers, like those in the comics.”
“‘We are Robin?’” I asked.
“Yes, We’ll be OriRobins that just help out.”
“Okay, well, let me just say you’re a strong contender now.” I stood up and held my hand out. We shook hands and I smiled, leading him out. I then sat back down.
Neil looked inside exhausted, “The Great Foldifer didn’t realize we’d be going for this long. How many people need to do another interview tomorrow?”
“I don’t know. How many people are out there?”
“Just one. Everyone has been slowly fizzling out because they have other obligations.”
I looked at my watch, it was Five in the afternoon.
“… Bring them in.”
Richard “Richy” Wickinni
By Alan Wade
Tiny. That was the first thing I thought of when I saw Richard. He was short and tiny, with big brown eyes and brown hair that, when the light came down from the window made it look red. Immediately, the chances of this kid being my next OriRobin was low.
“Hi there, what’s your name?” I asked. The kid looked like he should be in grade school.
“I’m Richard Wickinni, but most people call me Richy.”
“Well, pleasure to meet you, Richy.”
“Yeah, I guess.”
“I know it’s been a long day but you’re the final interview, and who knows, maybe you’ll impress me.” I didn’t want to sound harsh, but this comment sounded like it was.
“I-I hope…” Richy mumbled. I sat back in my chair. Neil came in and stood against the wall.
“Okay, well, tell me a bit about yourself.”
“Well, I’m Richy. I went to Ward Middle School for a while, then I transferred to Barbera-”
“Wait! Which one did you like more?”
“I personally really enjoyed the stuff that went down at Barbera more. Ward was a bit too wild for me.”
“Oh, thank goodness someone agrees with me.”
“Yeah, and like, when I saw that you were having this little interview thing, I knew I needed to come in. I was the Robin of my team there.”
I raised my eyebrows, “Really?”
“Yeah, me and a group of friends had a team called the Teen Titans Fold. My favorite show at the time was Teen Titans: Go.”
“That’s a little bit past my time. I grew up on the original show.”
“That’s too dark, I like the fun of Go.”
“Well, tell me about this group, what did you guys do?”
Richy looked at the ground for a moment and smiled, remembering the times he had, “Well, we had some meetings, I said that I’d give my friends twenty five cents every time they rescued kids from bullies,” He laughed, “Every dollar was a kid-sized pizza at the Pizza Lobby.”
I smiled, I remember going to the Pizza Lobby with Mom and Dad. While we could’ve afforded better pizza from a better place, the Pizza Lobby just hit differently.
“We had Peter, the Origami Cyborg, Jamie, the Origami Raven, Sara had Starfire, and Eric had Beast Boy. It was the time of my life, man. We got this one kid expelled-”
“You did what?”
“Yeah, this kid named James. We were able to expose him and he got kicked out. It was all thanks to me and my plans. Then we had a Trigon kid named John. After exposing John, James came back and I was convinced that my team didn’t care about me after all.”
“Wow, wild ride.”
“Yeah, really. Then I was convinced they did care, and then, for some reason, we all had a falling out.”
“Yeah, we had this massive falling out a couple weeks before eighth grade graduation. I was told I needed to grow up, all of this stuff.”
“Well, you seem pretty mature.”
“I guess. I lost my father over Christmas, really sobered me up from being silly.”
He looked away from me. Neil stiffened up.
“I’m sorry for your loss, I know how it is to lose-”
“I’m sure you do.” He interjected.
“Did you at least see your friends then?”
“No, they didn’t show up. I don’t know why, they just didn’t. I guess they didn’t know, Mom kept it secret.”
“Well, Richy, I’m super sorry.”
“Thank you.” Richy got up to leave, “I’m sorry, maybe I’m just not worth it.”
“Yes you are, Richy. Sit down.”
Richy turned and looked at me, and then sat back down at the seat.
I sighed before continuing the actual interview, “There’s two kids with puppets of Two-Face and Bane, both stealing supplies from the laboratory. Upon seeing you and me, they both make a run for it. What do you do?”
He didn’t even think about it, “First, I’d listen for you to tell me who to chase after.”
“Okay, I tell you to go after the kid with the Bane puppet.”
Richy laughed, “Really, the strong guy? Anyways, I’d make a run for him. My dad used to be a kung fu legend, so I know some stuff like kicks and slides and chops. I’d aim for his side with a kick and I’d kick him down.”
“But the Bane kid had some chemicals, so you just covered this kid in acid.”
Richy shrugged, “So? He should know his lesson not to mess with us.”
I nodded, but then I thought about it some more. “I would say try and be more careful next time, and then I’d probably take him to the nurse.” I told him, “Some chemicals we use can be very dangerous to the eyes.”
“Oh, okay.” Richy said, “What else?”
I flipped through the pages of interview questions, “Uhhh… Oh, here’s one: We’re walking to class and we hear a cry for help, what do you do?”
“I’m the sidekick, so I’d go on a reconnaissance mission to see what’s up.”
I thought about it for a bit. David would be a good choice, but he already seems like he has a team of his own in the works, I don’t want to distract from that. Richy seemed hardheaded, but also like he knew what to say. And I could relate to him a bit more with his answers and ideas.
I held out my hand, “Richy, welcome to the team as my new OriRobin.”
Richy’s eyes lit up, “Really?!”
“Yeah!” I said, smiling.
“Well, I have just one suggestion, a slight change: Can you call me your Robinigami?”
“That rolls off the tongue better. Sure.”
A New Puppet for a New Sidekick
By Alan Wade
I invited Richy over to my house. I had prepared a puppet for him. Danny heard a knock on the door and he opened it, letting Richy in. I sat downstairs, waiting.
“Mister Wickinni, welcome. Alan is downstairs.”
“Just call me Danny.”
“Oh, well, thank you Danny.”
Richy walked downstairs and saw me, “Hey, Alan.” He said, “What did you need me for?”
“I wanted to give you something, a puppet.”
“Oh, well I already have one.” He said, taking out his puppet. The Robin had black hair, wide eyes, and bright green “pants,” where the finger would go. The Robin puppet was also halfway torn, and being held together by scotch tape.
“Oh, cool.” I said, “You sure you want to use that one, though? It looks really…”
“Damaged? Yeah, I don’t want to use it.” He told me.
I nodded, and I showed him the puppet in the box I had. It was a new Robinigami, with a red mask, and deep black arms. It fit better than the green with the red mask. I also ran out of green marker inks.
“Wow! This is so cool. Thank you…” Richy sighed.
I held out my fist, “Fist bump?”
Richy smiled and bumped me, “Fist bump.”
Operation: ScareGross Planning
By Richy Wickinni
I’m so excited. I finally have my first little thing to my own. You know how I struggled to find a place where I fit in, how I struggled to find something that resemble the Origami Teen Titans from last year? Well I found it. I got accepted to be Alan Wade’s protege! Mom didn’t really care. She is really busy right now, so I guess I understand. She’s working two jobs.
Anyways, it hasn’t even been a week but I’m now tossed headfirst into a big case! I call it the “ScareGross” operation. Alan says this name is quite stupid, and that it should simply be the “Origami Scarecrow” as what the kid is doing is similar to what the Scarecrow does: causes fear and conditions people to be afraid of things.
I’ve been a victim of it. I’ll go to the bathroom and I’ll sit down and suddenly he’ll slip a rubber toy under the stall. I’ve heard screams in the other stalls, but I don’t jump at this. It’s kind of funny, but it’s also pretty annoying. Principal Sampson was all like, “Now, you better stop doing this, whoever you are,” but it never stopped, Journal. It never did.
So, it’s our job now. Alan met me at Wendys to devise the plan.
“I don’t know what we should do.” He said.
I was shocked. I’ve heard so much about this kid from other students, like how he’s the hero for many, how he’s a bully stopper, that he ‘always has a plan.’
I took a bite out of my chicken sandwich, and then I said, “How about this: we strike first.”
Alan raised his eyebrows, “Alright, and how might you propose doing that?”
“Hear me out on this: you sit in one bathroom stall, and I sit in another, but I make sure to hide my legs so he slides the rat under your stall, and then we dive and attack him?”
Alan smiled and high fived me, “Perfect!”
Journal, I’m so excited to tell you how this goes! I’ll talk to you later! Bye Bye!
We Enact Richy’s Plan
By Alan Wade
I’ve been thinking a lot lately. It’s the start of the third quarter, and I feel like I should be focusing on my class work and my studies, not what I’m doing here: sitting on my phone before class begins, writing this note.
Richy keeps texting me, “Any sounds?”
I’ll respond, “No, I have nothing.” and I’m back to typing this. Honestly, his sad-persona from when I first met him changed overnight to this very excitable, bright eyed kid, like that one that CJ was friends with.
We hear the door open.
I’ll be right back.
Okay, nevermind. The kid came in, did his business, and left.
I’m sitting still now.
“Any sounds?” Richy whispers. I hush him.
The door opens again.
I’ll be right back.
Okay… we got him. But uh… what the heck? I’ll write when I get home.
Recap of What Happened
By Alan Wade
It’s been a long day, okay?
Let’s rewind it to the start of the day.
The Scaregross – such a dumb name but since he’s my sidekick he gets first pickings with the names – had slid a rubber rat under my stall. I said “Go,” and immediately Richy sprang into action.
I heard his door slam open and the kid that had just slipped this under my stall yelp. I opened my door and we cornered him.
“We have you, Scaregross.” I said. It sounded so childish, kind of annoyed me, like “The Legion of Plume,” or “Supaperman.”
I looked him up and down. A freshman, some kid with glasses and brown hair.
“Gabriel Makey.” Richy said.
Gabriel looked Richy in the eyes, “Hey, Wickinni, what’s up?”
I took a step back, let the freshman speak to the freshman.
“Why are you doing this?” Richy asked. Gabriel shrugged, “I’ve been wanting to pull this experiment for a while now.”
The first punch was dealt. Richy had hit Gabriel right in the chest. Gabriel keeled for a second before stifling back up. I didn’t know how to react.
“What was that for, Wickinni?”
“I’m the Robinigami right now, Gabriel. And you’re the Scaregross.”
“Well, I think that Origami Scarecrow would’ve been a better-”
Yet another punch to the gut, this one harsher than the first. I went to grab Richy but he pushed me back.
“Richy,” I said, he was ignoring me, “Richy, stop.”
Gabriel was now begging for this fighting to stop, Richy threw another punch, and while Gabriel was on the floor, Richy took to kicking.
I grabbed Richy and pulled him back. Gabriel was left crying and cowering in fear. I walked Richy outside.
“We won, man! We did it, we solved the case!” He said, smiling.
“What was that for? Why were you doing that?”
“Doing what?” He asked me, looking all confused. I pointed to the bathroom, “You just pummeled that kid into the ground.”
Richy furrowed his eyebrows, “Listen, I’m sorry that happened, I will be less harsh in the future.”
“No, there’s no ‘less harsh.’ CJ taught me that not everything needed to be fought with violence, it can be solved with teamwork and rules.”
“But we’re Batfold and Robinigami.” Richy said, “We’re supposed to be vigilantes, like the comics.”
I looked around to see that classes had already started. I held up my pointer finger to him and got to his face, “Richy, you listen to me: If you do a stunt like that again, I will kick you from this team. Do you understand me?”
Richy’s face crinkled up, and then he nodded, “I guess.” He grunted.
“Get to class, now.”
For a moment, I caught Richy roll his eyes at me, and then he walked away and up the steps to his locker. I headed to class.
I texted him that I wanted to have a meeting tomorrow. When I went to my locker, a note fell out.
“This isn’t over. My experiments will continue. -Origami ScareCrow.”
I’m getting really tired of notes being left in my locker.
Bruh, Who is Oberon?
By Emily Sampson
A New Semester means new Student Government elections, and a new position has opened up: Head of the Hall Monitoring Corporation. I know that while my dad is the Principal, and I’m also the Batgirligami, it’s probably best that I try and do something in the Student Government deal, just as an inside voice and also to make my dad proud. So, I applied for the position with the following thing for my platform:
“Kane is my bread and butter. I’ve been raised around Kane, ever since my father earned the position of Principal, I’ve seen how the area has changed over time, but I wish to make it better, I wish to improve on this place I call my high-school home, and I wish to make it safer. If I’m elected to be your Head of the Hall Monitoring Corp, I promise that these halls will be more safe than they ever were. Do you remember when our website, along with our sibling schools Lampert’s and Donner’s were all simultaneously hacked by an Oberon person? I promise to put a large chunk of my time into uncovering this figure and exposing him for the pain he caused some students because of their so-called ‘exposés.’ Vote for Emily, there is no simile.”
The chances of me winning were, already, looking low.
To start, the Oberon thing is something that most students aren’t interested in learning who the culprit is. Secondly, I’m the principal’s daughter, so I’d probably lose because people don’t like my father or they believe it’s rigged. I’m not doing much as Batgirligami, but the small few that could put two-and-two together would probably want me to stay that way, and not some student government-funded bully stopper.
The voting had opened up, and I watched as the polls had swayed up and down. My eyebrows furrowed and I was on the edge of my seat. Suddenly, my place had spiked for this position, and it appeared I had won.
This was a couple days ago. I’ve been inducted into the position, I just got out of my meeting with the group – Terry D’Lunes is still as cunning as ever, by the way. But I received a text message.
“Hahahaaaaaaaa… The Batgirligami has entered the big leagues because of me. Break a leg, little bat, I hope you stop me!”
Alan. I know that you’re on those little adventures with Richy, but I’m asking you to please keep a lookout for this bully or whatever he is. I won because of illegitimate means, but I want to also keep this on the down low. I’m updating the name of the Hall Monitor thing to the KHHD- Kane High Hall Department. I guess I’m your Commissioner too. We’ll stay in touch.
P.S. I’ve spoken with CJ, he’s fitting in quite nicely. I don’t know if you care.
Oranges on the Street
A play description from the playbill
Imagine, for a minute, Kane students, that fruit is alive. Fruit is REAL! Well, fruit has always been real. But imagine that they talk, nay, sing! And when they sing, they sing about where they are and what they do? Otto the Orange (Portrayed by Leo Molder) no longer fits in with the singing crowd, can he be an Orange just on the street?
[Four pages later the cast list is seen, and Leo Molder is at the top. In the black and white image, the red headed kid holds up his prosthetic arm. The description read as follows:]
Leo Molder has the main role as Otto the Orange in the musical, Oranges on the Street. Leo was just six when he lost his arm in a car accident,but this did not dissuade Leo from pursuing a career in acting. “I think everyone deserves a chance to pursue his dreams.” He says. He has had many main-line roles in plays from “Fiddler in the Chimney,” a parody of “Fiddler on the Roof,” and “Of Mice, Men, and Prejudice (with Zombies).”
Leo literally molds into the role of whatever he’s playing. Not only is he an actor, but an engineer. His prosthetic arm was designed by him to allow for the hand to be detachable and replaced with other parts.
He plans to attend Nodel University in 2022.
By Alan Wade
“What are you doing?” I asked Richy. Richy was trying to suck on the spoon of the McFlurry.
“This shake just won’t come up man.” He said, stirring it around, “Why would they make it like this? This would be the perfect straw but something is blocking it.”
“Have you ever had a Mcflurry before?”
“No, I didn’t even know this existed.”
“Dude, that’s a spoon.”
Richy lifted the spoon out from the ice cream, his eyes widening, “Dude…”
“Yeah, they use the spoon to mix the ice cream.”
“I’m so surprised you didn’t know this? I thought this was just common knowledge.”
He sat back in the swivel chair, shaking his head, “No. I had no idea. That’s crazy.”
I felt my phone buzz, and I took it out of my pocket. @ANON_1283 said “Some Kid with an Orange Arm has been stealing our clay and making shapes like fruit with it. Please stop him!”
I read it out loud to Richy, and I looked up, “We have a Claycase, I suppose.”
Richy snorted, “Yeah, I guess you do.”
“An Orange Arm…” I sighed, thinking about it. There was one kid that fit the bill pretty clearly: Leo Molder.
“I think it’s fairly obvious,” I sighed, “It’s probably Leo Molder. Listen, you do this gig long enough you just figure the mysteries out fairly quickly.”
“How long have you been Batfold for, anyway?”
“Since August, last year.”
“Jeez. You haven’t been doing it for long.”
“No, not really. I was just motivated to get out and do something, y’know?”
Richy shrugged, “I guess that makes sense. I mean, I started the Origami Teen Titans to like, fight bullies. I had a purpose.”
I didn’t know what he was meaning, was he implying that I didn’t have a purpose to what I do? I decided to ignore it and kept talking, “Tomorrow, we’ll go to Leo, and ask what’s up.”
The ClayCase was easy to solve, I mean, I knew the answer before it even started.
I’m just that good, because I’m Batfold, right?
By Alan Wade
I figured that Leo would be by the theater, so I went with Richy to the Monroe Theater. Last time I was here, I was a freshman to see “Fiddler in the Chimney.” Leo was the main role in that, portraying the Fiddler, trapped inside of a chimney. All he had was a fiddle as he whined and screamed to be freed. Other people would walk around the chimney, as “Fiddler on the Roof” went on in the background. It was funny, but it drew controversy because Leo is known as the amputee that wants to be an actor, so why is he not seen for the majority of the play? Were they scared to put him in?
Anyways, Leo was standing outside, putting in letters for “Oranges on the Street,” some new play. He turned around, his usually blonde hair was dyed orange, and his freckled face broke into a smile upon seeing me and Richy.
“Batfold, Robinigami! You two saw my anonymous message. Wacky Harbingers!”
My eyebrows furrowed, “Excuse me?”
“Oh, Wacky Harbingers, like, ‘This is awesome.’” Leo said. I nodded.
“I guess this is Wacky Harbingers.” I said in a defeated voice.
“No, no, what you mean would be feetball. That means confusing, unamusing.”
“You mean football?” I asked. Leo shook his head.
“No, that’s a sport.”
“So, why did you submit the anonymous report?” I asked.
“Because I wanted to do some advertising for the totally Hank play I’m in! I haven’t been stealing any clay, don’t worry.”
I chuckled, “Ok, so, what do you need me to do?”
“I was wondering if you could post a picture of you and me on the Batfold Instagram.”
I nodded and opened my phone, handing it to Richy.
“Alan, what are you doing?” Richy asked.
“I’m taking a picture with Clayface.”
“Oh! Wacky Harbingers, you understood my reference!”
I patted him on the back, “Absolutely, man!”
Richy gritted his teeth, “This guy pranked you to do advertising. That’s not what Batfold does, he stops crimes-”
“Richy, just take the picture.”
Richy rolled his eyes and took a picture of me and Leo standing together, smiling. He handed the phone to me and I started typing a caption, “It was amazing to solve this claycase and learn some stuff about the upcoming ‘Oranges on the Street,’ with Clayface himself, Leo Molder. Go see it!”
I heard a Pow and I looked up from my typing, seeing Leo go down by Richy’s hands. Leo was out cold, but Richy started beating him up.
“Richy, stop!” I yelled, pulling him off.
“Alan, he tricked you, he tricked me, he’s a menace and we just don’t know it. He knew a Batman villain, for pity’s sake!”
“Dude, we ALL know Batman villains. And you know the rules, we don’t punch people. We don’t go in punching and kicking, we can talk things out. That’s what I’ve learned, and you’re gonna follow it if you want to be the Robinigami.”
Richy snarled, “This hasn’t even lasted a month, but I quit. Your ideas are weak.”
Leo woke up, dazed, but he heard me say, “You can’t quit because I fire you, Richard Wickinni.”
Richy huffed off, and I helped Leo up.
“Hey man,” I said, “I’m sorry about all that.”
“Are you recruiting any new Robins?” Leo smiled as I helped him up, “It would be totally Flannel to be your partner in crime.”
“No, I don’t know. I think I just need some time to relax. I’ll come to your play, though.”
Leo’s smile grew and he jumped in happiness. Maybe it would be better to just work alone.
The Walk Home
By Richard Wickinni
Alan Wade, what a joke. What a freaking clown. He does nothing the way Batman would, I understand Batman and I understand the ideas and mantras of what a good hero is. He’s nothing, he’s just this clown with money and some power.
I’m walking home with this knot in my stomach. Two weeks – that’s how long this partnership lasted – only two weeks. It’s not my fault. I didn’t do anything wrong.
I take a left turn.
Then a right turn.
This isn’t my home, this is the graveyard. I went on rails and I’m here, in front of my father’s grave.
A creeping laugh lifts from behind me, and I turn around to see a kid in a clown mask.
“Richard Wickinni.” The head kid said, stepping forth with the puppet in his pocket. It was of the Joker.
“W-What do you all want from me?”
“I’ve been following you for some time, Mr. Wickinni. You’ve been an interesting fellow. This wasn’t a part of my original plan, I mean, I don’t know what my plan was, now that I think about it.”
I backed up against my father’s grave.
“Similar to Alan, I see. We’re all just so similar to him, but there’s always something just… just a little different.” The kid had a bit of a stutter too. I was so confused about who it was.
The kid inched closer to me. I wanted to put up a fight, but the moment I held my fists up they were restrained by these three thugs. The kid leaned over me, holding my collar, and he started to punch. Another kid was kicking me. I couldn’t speak up.
Punching and kicking. Punching and kicking, they kept punching and kicking me.
Then they walked away, with a final remark from the head Joker, “Tell Alan I said hi.”
I got up and yelled, “You won’t get away with this, I’ll make sure you’re expelled, you… you monster!”
The kid shrugged and disappeared into the woods.
I started limping home when I stopped in front of a house. I wanted to hit Alan, I wanted to hurt him, if I just stayed a normal student for four years, this crap wouldn’t happen to me. I started punching and kicking the trash can. I was breaking down, it’s like the world was turning to crap.
“Hey! Hey! Stop it!” This kid said as he ran outside. I recognized him, he was the head of the karate club at Kane. His name was Shan Wei, a senior. He stood outside, arms crossed.
“Wait… You’re the new OriRobin.” He said as he ran down the steps to me.
“Not anymore, and it was Robinigami.”
He held my shoulders, looking me up and down, “Small, but sturdy physique. What happened, lad?”
“I was fired… I can explain it all sometime later.”
“No, no, come with me, come on.” Shan Wei walked me inside, and I told him everything. He reached into his pocket and took out a puppet.
“I don’t do this Origami Stuff. I was never a big fan of it, but I wanted to participate as soon as the Puppet Bubble happened. Here’s my guy, Ra’s Al Fhuld. Let’s… talk. I can make you something more.”
I looked at the puppet. I know who Ra’s is: he’s a villain, a bad guy, someone that wants to destroy life and create a new one. But, something took me over. I took out the Robinigami Alan made for me, and I tossed it on the table.
“I’ll hear you out.”
The Month of Love
By Alan Wade
It is February 21, 2019. On Valentines Day, I was sitting in the Lunchroom as I looked over to see Vincent, eating with Drake Rogers, also known as the Source. They both look scared, their eyes darting back and forth. Drake erupted with “You know nothing about this, you don’t know anything about anyone! Stop talking to me! Just leave!” With that, Vincent moved from his usual lunch spot, and took his place at the one across from mine, alone.
We didn’t say any words. We would look up at each other occasionally, but we were a whole table away. I had some fans sitting around me, but I’d ignore them.
One day, Vincent got up and gave me a note. All it read was “look behind you.”
I looked behind myself to see a fight breaking out between two students. I start to get up to step in, but in a blink of an eye it ends as a kid in a Red Hoodie came in and beat both students up to a pulp.
I furrowed my eyebrows. I didn’t know what happened.
A red hooded vigilante is fighting in the halls of Kane, and in the month of love, I hope to figure it out. But since it’s February, everyone is wearing Red, it’s almost impossible to determine who is doing it. A part of me kind of wonders if it’s worth it. I haven’t done anything important. I mean, the Justice Pleats is done, Madalyn and I are going smooth. I’m just not sure if it’s worth stopping a red hooded vigilante. I don’t get paid for this.
I’ll reach out to David’s team, they’ll solve it for me.
We are Robinigami
By David Thompson
This is so freaking cool. I get to do a case file.
So, I was asked by Alan to work with my little team, “We are Robinigami” to figure out this case. For a preface, I have a Duke Thomas puppet, I know, kind of obscure, but he’s one of the important members of the group. Our team has gotten big, it’s a sanctioned club at school. We’re like the hall monitors of Kane, and there’s been reports of one of OUR members in a red hoodie using brutal force to stop bullies. So, we’ve changed our uniform to Yellow, to kind of signal to other students that we’re not the bad guys here.
This Red Hoodied kid has caused so many issues. But, I had an idea of who it is, and it’s fairly logical. You know, I want to be a detective when I grow up. Deduction is just in my blood. You see, these kids with villain puppets are always inspired by the villains themselves. A kid with the Calendar man puppet probably knows all the holidays, or a kid with Two Face is probably irrational and his mind changes on the flip of a coin, like that Terry D’Lunes student.
This Red Hoodie is no different, he’s probably inspired by Jason Todd, the Red Hood of the Comics. He’s the former protege to Batman, and so it’s obvious that something like that is going on here: We have a “Jason Todd”on our hands.
But who could it be? Was it the students Alan interviewed, or was it–
Oh, Amelia just texted me: She has the Red Hoodie cornered. The Robinigamis are gonna head out for a bit.
By Alan Wade
I got the text from David: “Simone Hall, second floor, locker well.” I excused myself out of class and made a mad dash for the hallway. I ran up the steps and my ears started to ring. I didn’t care who this was, I just wanted to know what motivated him – or her – to do this. The group parted ways and I walked in as they surrounded us again.
“Un… Hood yourself?” I demanded.
“No.” He said. His voice was quavering, it sounded scared.
I stifled a laugh, “Is that Leo Molder under there? Is there some Molderism you’re doing with this?”
I looked back at my crowd. They just shrugged.
“Well, we’re not gonna get anywhere in this interrogation if it’s just a constant ‘no’ to every answer.”
“Fine, I’ll answer, Wade.” He grumbled, “Do you not see it, do you not understand who I am? How haven’t you figured it out by now?”
“I don’t know, man. I have tons of enemies now. You could be a member of the Legion of Plume for all I care.”
“I’m your greatest failure. I’m the greatest thing you’ve ever messed up with.”
This shattered a wall I didn’t know I put up. I kind of stammered back, as the more that I engage with it, my greatest failure was betraying and hurting my friends.
“… CJ?” I said as I felt tears coming on, “CJ, man, I’m so-”
The kid removed his hood, revealing: Richy.
“Richy?” I sighed, “Why – why are you doing this?”
“Alan, do you not understand? We could’ve been partners, I wanted to be the Best Robinigami there was, but you were holding me BACK. Ra’s Al Fhuld showed me the way, he showed that I was more without you. I can be brutal, I can do whatever I want.” He walked up and socked me in the cheek. I didn’t fight back, but I wanted to, so, so, bad. The Robinigamis erupted in a roar of protests. I held up my hand, shaking my head.
“Richy, you’re gonna learn that one day you won’t be able to do ‘whatever I want,’ because eventually, it all falls apart at the end. Do you want to hear something else? I don’t think you’re my greatest failure. Far from it. This past year alone has been full of failures. I lose my parents, I lose my home, I lose the respect of friends, I barely hear from my girlfriend, even though we’re happy sometimes… I lost someone who was basically a brother to me. I have failed so much. Get out of yourself and learn that you’re not the greatest failure.”
Richy held his fists, ready to fight. I shook my head again.
“Let’s talk, like teenagers.” I said. Richy clenched his fists and let out a grunt, punching a locker. He turned to me.
“Okay… maybe you need to learn to stop being such a worthless, low-life that solves everything without the fun of it. Maybe you need to step outside of yourself and learn that not everyone wants the Batfold to save the day by talking. Learn to hit, learn to be a Batman. Maybe I’m not your greatest failure, but I know what is: You. You’re the greatest failure to yourself. Just go.”
I felt tears coming on. I’m tired of crying, I’m tired of being upset, but he was right.
I turned around and nodded, walking away.
“Alan, what do you want us to do?” David asked.
I looked back at him, my eyes turning red as tears swelled, “Just let him go.”
Epilogue – March 6, 2019
By Alan Wade
I opened my locker and out fell an Origami Owl. I sighed, picking it up and tossing it away. I’m getting really tired of kids showing up and showing off their origami in this way.
Richy is out there, doing whatever. I’m totally indifferent now. I decided that it’s best to take a break from Madalyn, and give myself some time to think, alone. That’s how Batman should be, I guess, and maybe I need to be more like Batman.