Click here to read “Green Paper Lantern”
By Tim Gavings.
Where to start? Oh, how about where all great things do, me! I was sitting in the very back of the family minivan, cruising off to some preppy summer camp listening to my family bicker. My wonderful brother was fighting with my caring sisters and my joy filled parents were talking about splitting up. I was so full of love for all of my people and I just had to express it.
“I love you all!” I said in the back of the minivan.
“You idiot!” My brother yelled back.
I knew he didn’t mean it so I just rubbed it off, it was his way of showing he cared. We then pulled up to ‘Reynolds summer camp’ and we were all dropped off. I was going to say goodbye to my parents but they just slammed the door and sped away. They were probably going off to do something together like go to the mall or the marriage counselor. I was just happy to have them. I walked up to the pavilion where all of the counselors were handing out tests, I looked around to see if any of my friends were here and then I saw them: Shelly and Arnold had been dating for some time, so I figured that they might be together, then I found my best pal Butch and together we walked up to the pavilion to get our tests. I loved my true family.
By- Tim Gavings
The test was 100 questions long, each more boring than the last but finally we all got it done. We were all really excited for the results, we had heard so much about this amazing camp and I just could not wait any longer! Finally, some of the counselors came out to us but they looked very puzzled.
“You flunked.” One of them said.
“But that’s impossible!” Arnold cried out.
“Yes, it is. We designed the test to be fool proof and somehow all of you managed to fail.” Another counselor said.
“Let me take it again,” Shelly said.
“Wait, if you take it again then we might not be together!” Arnold said.
“WE WERE NEVER TOGETHER!” She yelled back.
They then started to argue but I did not care, it was their problem and so it was their job to solve it. I just sat there content while they started to fight, I was just happy to be around my friends.
After the fight subsided and Arnold came back we where told by the counselors that we would be helping the janitors out, Butch and Arnold began to argue but I saw no need to, this just meant that I would be around my true family. When the sun finally went down we were told by the counselors of the green cabin to go into the woods and search for a lost cabin, it took some time but eventually we found it. It was run down and pretty shady but it would be our home for the next five weeks, as we started to clear up Butch tripped and fell, as me and Arnold where helping him up he reached for a handle that was on the floor and with a slow creak he lifted it up to reveal a hidden compartment. Inside was an orange lamp and a plastic baggie full of little orange plastic rings, each engraved with a perfect circle that had a little V on top and four cuts on the sides. We each slipped one on, we started to laugh about it, we had seen other campers with similar rings on but none of them were orange, it would just make us closer.
“I think that we should each get one.” Arnold said.
“I agree because that way it would be fair.” Butch agreed.
“What do you think Tim?” they asked.
But I was not listening, the ring was so beautiful and I just wanted another one, no – I wanted all of them.
“I think that rule is stupid, I am clearly the best person here and therefore they all rightfully belong to me. So surrender your rings or leave.” I said.
“That was harsh.” Butch said back.
“But I am right.” I said
“No, this is.” He said as he punched me.
I then stood up and walloped him back. I then grabbed Arnold by his collar and flung him at Butch. The rings then slid off of their fingers and I dived down to grab them. Soon enough my fists were covered in the shimmering orange rings. Butch and Arnold ran out of the cabin to go and get anther counselor and soon I saw them and ran through the woods but he had not brought a counselor – he had brought kids. They then busted through my door and pointed their rings at me.
“Stand down! Now!” One yelled as he held up a green puppet.
“We don’t want to hurt you!” The other yelled holding up another puppet.
I then lunged towards them and snatched the puppets off of their fingers and grabbed an orange sharpie that was sitting in the compartment and began to scratch the color on to them. I then held up the puppets to show them that I had won. They then slowly backed up and then ran away. I sat on a cot thinking about what had just happened when something in the lamp caught my eye, it was made out of folded paper but it looked like a dog and rhino hybrid thing. I picked it up, on the chest area was the same symbol that was on my rings, I turned it around and in neat cursive there was one word:
The next day.
By- Tim Gavings
I woke up and put Larfoldz on my finger. Apparently word was slow and my arrival had clearly not been noticed so I decided that it was just a mistake, I walked over to where they were serving breakfast and got a plate full of scrambled eggs and a slice of toast. I sat down and began to eat when I saw some people look at me from some other groups and then start to whisper amongst themselves, this went on for some time but I just ignored it, they were probably looking at something behind me so i turned around to see a brick wall with nothing on it. I sat in silence for some time, thinking about what I could change when someone wearing a yellow t-shirt walked up to me.
“I hear you’ve got a mean left swing.” He said.
“What do you want from me?” I asked.
“Getting straight to the point I see,” he began, “I want to fuse your light into the Yellow Paper Lantern corps.”
“NO!” Someone else yelled “His light belongs to us! The Red Paper Lanterns!”
More voices chimed in claiming it for themselves, they had no clue that they were all not worthy of MY POWER!
“THIS LIGHT BELONGS TO ME!” Larfoldz growled
They all took a step back, they must have thought that I was just going to give it up. Then an adult walked through the crowd.
“Son,” He said in a ragged voice “It’s time to work”
I hopped off the table and grabbed the soap.
By- Tim Gavings
We were cleaning the kitchen door when he began to speak.
“So you have found the Orange Paper Lantern?” He asked.
“Why do you care?” I asked.
“I care because I accidentally created it.” He grumbled.
I looked at him in shock, this frail old man created this amazing power?
“Well, I influenced its creation.” He began, “There was a group of kids who wanted a new corps so they built a cabin with me overlooking the operation. I then suggested that they create a lantern so one kid made the Avarice lantern and they at first split the power equally until one day the leader got power hungry. Then ‘boom,’ he was shunned and thrown out and then the corps was thrown into disarray, now it looks like you have found their old lantern.”
It seemed believable but I had my suspicions.
“Avarice ONLY chooses one,” I questioned “How do you explain an entire corps?”
“They wanted a new power and when it was formed they decided to split it equally.”
I then continued to clean the kitchen. I had to process this information but the stupid bell interrupted my thinking. I then saw all of these stupid power hungry kids walk out of their special classes. I wanted a slice of it, I just wanted to be normal.
I don’t want your fear.
By- Tim Gavings
I was blissfully sleeping when I heard my door creak open and silently close, they were trying to take my lantern. I waited until their footsteps reached my lantern. I then reared up and grabbed his arm and twisted, like a less mean indian sunburn, I then grabbed his neck and slammed his forehead into the top bunk of one of the nearby bunks. I heard the clang of his ring followed by the soft flutter of his origami puppet, my origami puppet now. I snatched it up off the floor and began to scribble on the Avarice logo and all of the accompanying designs. I turned around as he grabbed my lantern, I then kicked his ring into his leg and with a satisfying grunt he fell to the ground. I then picked him up by the collar of his shirt and dumped his body off at the first step of the yellow cabin.
“Have fun, moron.” I growled at him.
“More will come,” he said through clenched teeth. “You have a power that everyone wants.”
A hecking uniform!?!?
By- Tim Gavings
Word had begun to spread around about me and the ‘Yellow lantern’ but I was happy about it, I wanted people to know that I wasn’t afraid to defend my power. I then saw the janitor come up to me with a box under his shoulder and a mop in his other hand. I got up happily, he was starting to become my only friend here and he just felt normal.
“How’s it going, kid?” He asked.
“Good. I’m happy to get to work.” I responded.
“That’s great to hear.” He said with a warm smile.
We were now cleaning the green cabin when he handed me the box. I flipped open the cover and looked down at a running shirt?
“This is the last Avarice corps uniform,” He said. “I trust you to lead the corps single handedly.”
I then walked behind the green house and put it on, It felt good, it had that ‘home’ feeling to it, like it was meant to be on me. I then turned the corner to see two of the counselors seeing the janitor to his car, he looked hurt. I was upset, it was her fault that my friend was gone and they were going to pay.
I then found a rock and drew on my symbol and threw it through that stupid window, I watched as they ran inside to check on it so I ran away.
Tonight! *Bruno Mars starts to play something horrible*
By- Tim Gavings
Everyone coming by to steal my power was starting to get a little old. I so far had three phantom puppets (The things I scribbled on) and I did not have enough room in my heart for mementos. It was roughly 10:30 and I watched as someone from the red cabin tried to sneak in.
“Do you know what this symbol on my shirt means?” I asked.
“That you’re a massive dork?” He responded.
“That I have an unofficial license to teach you ‘what for.’” I growled.
“I’m calling your bluff.” He said as he swung his meaty fist at me.
I then blocked it and pushed back as he grabbed the symbol on my shirt. He then pushed me out of the back of the cabin and grabbed my lantern! I then ran after him because he had headed off to his cabin. I was about to catch him when he shut the red door and tried to lock it. Then I kicked it down and ran in, the cabin walls there painted red and it looked like the walls were bleeding, the bunks looked suspiciously empty so I turned on my phone’s flashlight and saw some of the kids holding a net. I then blacked out and woke up. I heard cheering coming from outside to see some of the yellow and red lanterns holding up my power! When I walked outside to hear cheering and clapping as the guy who stole my lantern came up to me.
“I have to thank you,” He said as he hit me with the lantern “This will definitely improve my standing with the corps” he continued as he beat down on me with the lantern.
I was starting to get sick of things beating me and my things being taken from me, so I decided to fight back. I reached up through the net and stopped the lantern mid swing, I then grabbed it by its cord and hit him in the chest.
“MY POWER!” Larfoldz yelled.
I then looked my attacker in his eyes, he looked afraid; and familiar. I then realized that it was Butch. He looked worried, almost concerned.
“What have you become?” he asked.
“You?” Larfoldz Growled “No, Usssss.”
I then revealed my other hand, which was covered in stolen origami that I had turned into my own personal Avarice phantoms, I had a variety of Ideas on what to do to Butch in that moment but I decided that I should just hand him over. I then picked him up by his collar and tossed him to his corps members as some of the counselors came by and picked me up.
This is the end..?
By- Tim Gavings
Sorry that I had to cut this short, the counselors could no longer deal with me so they decided to throw me out. I couldn’t be happier. I was sitting in the minivan getting grilled by my parents about ‘responsibility’ and all that junk but I was not listening. I was only focused on my time at the camp.
“You’re twisted.” I said
“I’m sorry?” my father asked as he turned around
“Correction,” I began “Your dilemma with mom is unneeded and that makes me think that your brain is twisted like a sponge.”
Needless to say the car ride home henceforth got super quiet. The people at camp had decided to get rid of Avarice and I was beyond happy to comply. So, I did the next best thing, I took it with m- US! Look out Kane, because I’m coming to a hallway close to you!
Great Job Thrawn!