The Ballad of Paper Ray Bill
Prologue: January 15, 2019
“Mr. Blum, you are suspended from the school for 30 days because of—”
“You gotta be kidding me,” I said. “I’m Paper Ray Bill. I helped save the school with Thorigami from Mailkeith a few weeks ago?”
“You kinda saved it. I’m not supposed to bash students,” Vice Principal Brine said, “but everybody hates you and your friend Dove now. Except for the little crew you and him seemed to have built up. Anyways, I am getting off track. You are suspended from the school for 30 days because of evidence that you graffitied the men’s bathroom, Room 7 and Room 14, and half of the gym.”
“I wasn’t me, I swear!” I said. She showed me a couple photos on her desk, and one message in the graffiti read, “From, Kurt Blum,” at the end. In my handwriting,
“Oh, pff, you sure you don’t remember how we kind-of saved the school? We told you Seyla Solstice was the one behind Mailkeith and that she was some origami Hela bozo. We gave you evidence, in fact—”
“You didn’t even ‘kind-of save’ the school from anything! Your evidence was minimal at best. Seyla Solstice is innocent. I don’t know what fantasy you’re living, Blum. You’re dismissed.”
Brine said, “You’re suspended for a month, Blum. Enjoy your free time. I am so disappointed in you, so you better enjoy your last day here. For a month, at least.”
I stood still.
“You’re dismissed, Blum. Now.”
I left the office.
February 15, 2019
“What’s up, Dove?” Jude asked, laying on his cold bed, in his cold cell, in the Madison County Detention Center for Juvenile Delinquents. Basically, kid jail. Jude did not even look up at me as I greeted him.
“I wanna talk,” I said. “I know we are not the best of friends, let alone friends at all, or even acquaintances—”
”I get it, you hate my guts,” Jude said, coolly. He did not make these visits easy.
“You know that is not true. Listen, the whole OrigAvengers thing at Kirby was ages ago. I have no reason to fight you anymore. Unless, well, once you get out of here, you return to your old ways.”
“Why do you visit me, anyway?” he said.
“To update you on things.”
He smirked a nasty smirked. After what seemed like hours later, he said, “So…Clark is going through a rough patch, there’s a Venom guy, a bunch of Spider guys and gals, a Beta Ray Bill guy, and an origami Hela out there?”
“Yeah,” I replied. “But unless you’re getting out of here today, you won’t be able to magically go back to Wheeler or Kirby, and join forces with any of the villains I just talked about.”
“Oh, I won’t,” Jude said. “My villainy days are over. You know, mostly. Once I get out of here, I’m gonna have to go to either Kirby or Wheeler, the other options are trash. But I won’t cause any ruckus.”
“Good to hear.” I decided to continue telling him everything, continuing with the most recent tale of the fight with Seyla. “Speaking of which, that ‘Paper Ray Bill guy’ is named Kurt. He’s my friend, but it seems that he committed vandalism and is being suspended for a month. He was suspended for a month. He comes back today, but I wonder if he was framed. After he got the news, he seemed genuinely confused and sad.”
“Oh, I’ve heard of Kurt. His older brother is in here. We talk sometimes.” Jude finally sat up to look at me. “Apparently Kurt claims he never did anything wrong, and is disappointed in his ‘garbage friend’ for not sticking up for him.”
“Garbage friend?” I asked, suddenly feeling very bad.
“What is it?” Jude questioned.
“I, uh, gotta go,” Dove said. “Nice seeing you.”
Before I heard his response, I left the cell and ran to the entrance of the center.
I got a text from Andy about something he found out at Kirby. I ignored it for now. There were most pressing matters to attend to.
February 16, 2019: Part 1
I returned to school today, and many people were very rude to me. They kept calling me horrible names, which seemed ridiculous and kind of anti-productive given the circumstances. But, I knew that I had been framed and I needed to find the person who framed me. And, I needed help to do it.
I didn’t really know who to ask at first; I still felt hurt that Dove hadn’t tried to protect me, so I didn’t want to ask him. Actually, everybody made fun of me for hating Dove. Word travels around the grape vine really quickly, I realized.
I ran into the leader of the Wheeler Wrestling Team; I thought about asking him, but he was too busy talking to his guinea pig.
During lunch, I went outside and saw Ally Weber, surprisingly. I didn’t know what she was doing at Wheeler, but I remembered our work together against Seyla and knew I could ask her for help.
“Oh, look, it’s the Hulk,” I said.
“Hey, aren’t you the guy who hates Dove?” Ally said.
“Oh, what the heck.”
Recorded from [REDACTED]’s phone
GN: The attempt was successful. The freshman with the origami reptilian version of Thor has been suspended for 30 days. One less hero to go.
SS: Good. I heard he, Largent’s little brother, and Weber were spotted talking together last night. Make sure that doesn’t become a thing.
GN: Will do. And then, after that, We will have not one hero down, but three!
SS: Good. Oh, and I gotta go. Me and Trent are having a date tonight. Report to me tomorrow.
February 16, 2019: Part 2
“Someone framed me for graffiting the school, and I don’t know who. It’s important that I find out who. Do you…”
“Uh, Kurt, I was supposed to be at Kirby minutes ago. It’s 12:25,” Ally said. “I’m gonna get moving.”
“Listen…Ally…I need your help. I didn’t do all that graffiti. I need to figure out who did, why they had or have my handwriting, and why they framed me,” Kurt said.
“So you’re asking me to skip school for one day just to go on a wild goose chase with you, a person I don’t even really know?” she asked.
“Yup! And I’m feeling energetic today, so let’s get searching for clues!”
“You do look pretty tired,” Ally remarked. “What happened?”
I pointed to the 4 bags of share-size M&Ms in my pockets.
“Well, now I know you’re gonna be a bother for the rest of the day,” she said.
“So let’s go!”
An hour later, we had searched the whole auditorium. The janitor noticed us one time, but I saw him shrug and keep on sweeping his broom across the floor. The guy left, thankfully.
Then a kid spotted us. Not a staff member, a kid.
He ran up to me, and it looked like he was gonna give me a hug, but instead, he pinned me to the wall, holding me by the shirt.
“Kurt Blum, son of someone.”
“My father’s name is actually Rob. By the way, what’s your name?”
“Gerald, son of someone.”
“My father’s name is actually Frank.”
“Gerald, son of Frank.”
I knew two things by the looks of this guy: he was up to something, and that his breath smelled like cabbage.
February 16, 2019: Part 3
“Who are you?” I said.
“Gerald McNealy. But my friends call me Surturigami.”
He let go of me and pulled out a Surtur puppet from his back pocket.
“Oh, the guy from Ragnarok who had, like, five minutes of screentime and became the size of a building at the end?” I asked.
“The size of a mountain! Why does everyone forget that?”
Ally spoke up and said, “Why are you here? Are you from Wheeler or Kirby?”
“Are you even from Wheeler, miss?”
“No,” she sighed, “but you dodged the question.”
“Dodging what question?”
“I just asked if you were from this school, but then you…”
“Sorry, I was busy TALKING TO THE OTHER PERSON. Don’t interrupt while people with space-themed puppets are talking.”
“See? He’s dodging it, Kurt!”
“No, he’s not.”
“Yeah, I’m not.”
“But either way,” Kurt said. “I was framed for a terrible thing, and I definitely think you might have answers.”
“Trust me, I don’t,” he said, sitting down, with the Surtur puppet in his hand. But on the backside, something was written down.
“What’s that on the back of your origami?” Ally asked.
“Oh,” he said. “I sometimes like to remind myself of my motives. I’m a busy person.”
“Wow, you’re the first supervillain I’ve known who does this,” Ally said.
I said, “And this is only my second villain!”
“But seriously, let me check that out.” Ally snatched Surturigami from Gerald’s hand and flipped it over again. “Kurt…these are all of the letters in the alphabet in your handwriting.”
“It was you!” I yelled.
“I aim to impress,” Gerald said, “but run along now, because one of you is the enemy, and the other is supposed to be in class. Well, not anymore.”
The bell rang. Gerald ran away. And we ran after him.
That was a mistake.
February 17, 2019
That day, we got in huge trouble. To shorten it down, we were caught. I have detention today, and Ally does too. In both Wheeler and Kirby. Honestly, I think she’s super mad at me, which is kind of reasonable.
I still have the Surturigami puppet. Tonight I was fiddling with it in my bedroom when I accidentally unfolded some of it. I saw very faint words underneath. I kept unfolding, and there were tons of notes inside of Gerald’s puppet.
One note read “Gotta report to Seyla by tonight.” Another was “Reminder: Must destroy both Wheeler and Kirby from the inside by the end of the school year.” When I read the second one, I wondered why he put that note in such detail? But I’m getting off track. After that, I made a call.
The Dream Team
By Kurt, Dove, Cal, and Ally
Dove: I got a strange call from Kurt a few minutes ago. He asked me if I have Clark’s phone number, and then he said, “I’ll be at your house right away.” He hung up.
Kurt: Yeah, I did! After that, me and Dove went to Clark’s house at 6:00, and
interrupted Clark in the middle of his daily groaning while drinking a frappuccino. He called Cal to the door, and honestly, Cal, you looked tired out of your mind.
Cal: I was sleeping, dude! I don’t even know you, anyway.
Kurt: You’re Spider-Fold, dude! You’re an inspiration to all of us younger guys.
Cal: Aww, thanks.
Ally: After that, they went to my house and woke me up. Oh, and, uh, yeah, I still don’t even know what this is about.
Kurt: See, Dove, Cal, me and Ally figured out who framed me a day ago. It came at a price, for both me and Ally, yes, but we know who.
Ally: Gerald McNealy, who has—or had—a Surtur puppet.
Kurt: Before I called Dove, I accidentally unfolded the puppet, and one of the many notes I found in there read that Gerald reports back to Seyla.
Dove: Seyla Solstice?
Cal: The Student Body President of Wheeler?
Kurt: Yeah, her.
Dove: Then today, you, Kurt, will expose Gerald with the help of Cal and Ally.
Kurt: Why not you?
Dove: I have a few more important things to do.
Kurt: Like what?
[Dove McLeash has left the chat.]
Ally: Ah, well.
Cal: That sucks, man. But hey, you have us, right? Right?
Cal: Oh, and what’s with all the cryptic journal entries with the date as the title?
Kurt: Oh, stop.
February 17, 2019: Part 1
All three of us met at the doors of Wheeler High School today, ten minutes before school started. We didn’t see Seyla, but Gerald was there.
“I knew you would find out,” Gerald said. “Me and my…employer…suspected you would form a little team, Kurt. She’s inside, talking to her friends. And I’m not gonna let you get to her.”
“Then you’ll have to get through me,” Ally said, and she started running in Gerald’s direction.
“Easy.” Gerald walked out of Ally’s way and she tumbled to the ground and onto the grass.
Gerald then picked Ally up and placed her back where she was, outside of the school grounds.
“For a person who has a Hulk puppet, you’re very short.”
“Hey, fire-head!” Cal said. “I’m over here!” He ran into the school, and I threw Surturigami unfolded to him. But Gerald caught it, quickly redfolded it, and ran after Cal.
“Wait, it looks like you didn’t fold him completely,” I said. “By doing that, you made him look bigger.”
“I call…the 5-Fold Surturigami. And I told you he’d be the size of a mountain!”
I said, “It’s only the size of your shoe. Oh, and by the way, while we were talking, Ally and Cal ran into the school. They’re probably close to Seyla by now.
February 17, 2019: Part 2
Seyla walked out of school, dragging Cal and Ally behind her.
“Now you will be destroyed by the wrath of Origami Hela and Surturigami!” Gerald said.
“Seyla,” I said. “Long time no see.”
“Eh, that’s kind of a good thing in my opinion,” Seyla said.
“Hey, did you know about Gerald’s true motives? Here…”
I grabbed the big 5-Fold Surturigami and I unfolded it. “Behold! The crumpled origami scroll of truth!”
“Seyla read it aloud, “Destroy Wheeler and Kirby …from the inside …by the end of the school year? Gerald?”
“Blum!” Gerald said.
“McNealy, you’re relieved of all duties.”
“Okay then,” Gerald said. “I will follow that last command, Seyla, but listen here. I will relieve myself of all duties but my own: destroy Wheeler and Kirby!”
Gerald tore Surturigami from Seyla’s hand and refolded it.
“Okay, now it’s even bigger!” Cal said.
“It’s the size of a mounta—”
Cal cut him off. “But now it’s only the size of both your shoes.”
“Shut up, Largent. Now, look at me, all of you. I will bring about Foldnarok, the end of everything origami in Wheeler and Kirby!”
“Not if we have anything to say about it,” Ally said. Me, her, Cal, and Seyla were ready to take on Gerald and his stupid puppet.
“Even I’m pretty much a villain, McNealy, but man, this is cruel,” Seyla said.
“Life is cruel,” Gerald said. He came walking towards us, and Ally and Seyla placed the Unshreddible Hulk and Origami Hela on their fingers. Gerald pushed Ally a couple feet away and ripped Hela in half. Seyla grimaced.
Gerald cackled. “Foldnarok is coming to Wheeler first, and there is nothing you can do to stop it.”
“I don’t think so.”
From behind me and Cal, Dove had Thorigami, the Lord of Folders, on his finger.
“MacLeash, you came,” Surturigami said with happiness in his voice. “The more heroes I take down, the better. Soon there will be nothing to defend Wheeler and Kirby! By the way, your precious F.O.L.D. is corrupt, Dove, and I didn’t even have to do the dirty work! Foldnarok is inevitable.”
“Foldnarok may be in the works, but we’re already complete!” Dove said. He flicked his paper Stormbreaker at Surturigami. It just fell on the ground.
I said, “Dude, you honestly thought that would leave a scratch?” Dove shrugged.
“Forget this,” Gerald said. “I’ll be back. Thanks to Seyla, I will not be able to reach my goal of destroying both schools by the end of the year. It was impossible to do it by then, anyways. But Foldnarok will happen eventually, wait and see. Come back to this spot, at the same time, on this day, next year. I will meet you there, and all I will say is…I told you so.”
“Kurt! Ally! Dove! Largent’s brother! And Seyla?” said Vice Principal Brine. “Two of you were supposed to be at Kirby half an hour ago, and Kurt, it seems you and Dove are causing a ruckus again! And Seyla, I am disappointed. I will be sending you, Ally, and you, Largent, back to Kirby where you will have detention after the day is done, while you three will stay for detention here!”
“Oh, c’mon, punish Gerald, too,” I said, but when I looked to where Gerald was, he disappeared.
Conclusion: February 23: 2019
By Kurt and Dove
Kurt: That’s how I ended up in detention. Again. For the remainder of the year, and some of the next year, which I think is totally harsh. I actually was able to skip some to see Andy’s speech, which was a real tear-jerker, let me tell you. I talked with Cal for a bit, ran into a guy named Chris with a red symbiote puppet, and said hi to Dove and Ally. But, now I’m back in here. Yeah, what a totally great way to end a Wednesday. Dove was able to get out of it, because Principal Villenueva likes him…which seems unfair….
Oh, and me and Dove cleared things up with each other and we’re friends again. Right, Dove?
Dove: Yes, we are.
Kurt: We’re gonna try our best to stop Foldnarok, and we think we’re gonna do a pretty decent job. But without Ally and Cal. They went back to Kirby, obviously.
Dove: And Seyla just got a long lecture. She’s still class president.
Kurt: Currently I’m writing this in detention, and—oh no, the Vice Principal is waking up! Gotta go!
Epilogue #1: Ezra and I
We were walking home from school today after Andy’s Speech, and I asked Ezra why this Chris Fasterman guy keeps stalking him and carrying around this bright red Carnage puppet. Ezra said he honestly doesn’t know, and that Chris is probably just a “Sandwich who’s bread expired a month ago.” Then he stuffed a peanut butter sandwich in his face.
Those were words of wisdom.
Epilogue #2: A Call
Me and Ally were talking with each at Andy’s speech, as Principal Ainsley talked.
“Dove, I feeling like something is going to happen,” Ally said, whispering. “It doesn’t feel like Foldnarok. I think that’s gonna be contained at Wheeler, thanks to you and Kurt. But…I just feel like…”
“I know, after F.O.L.D. collapsed it’s been tough for all of us. But after Andy’s speech,the students in both Kirby and Wheeler are starting to find some peace.”
“But I still think something will go wrong.” Ally said. “Is something happening over at Wheeler?”
“No, that’s not it,” I said. “You’re right, I feel like something will happen, too. I’m hoping, though, that-
Mine and Ally’s phone rang.
Ally groaned. “There it is.”
Ally answered first “Hey, Tilly,” I asked. “What is it?”
“It’s bigger than you think, Ally. We have a situation.”