From The World of the Spider-Fold: The Clone Saga
THE CLONE SAGA
By Hayden “Scarlet Spidorigami” Macintosh
With each and every crease, the puppet becomes a little smaller, but the shapes become more defined. That’s how I feel, sometimes, like the smaller I feel the more defined my shapes become. Every one else tries to seize their opportunity to pick on the little guy, but here I am, more identity and purpose than ever.
Or at least, that’s what I thought. As I left Goodman Middle School, I looked around the place. Mainly, I was in search of one boy: My brother, Flynn. He took the back entrance, leaving through our fifth grade hallway while I left in the front like I was supposed to.
Mom had made it clear: We were supposed to wait for each other. But to me, all that Flynn was was crazy. When we were at the park he never wanted to leave the swingset, or when we went to Disneyland he bit Donald Duck. But I expected he would listen on the first day of school.
As I looked around for him, I noticed something. There were High School kids messing with the storm shelter! They were spraypainting all over the place, and breaking a bunch of bikes. I couldn’t take it!
I marched over there, and pulled out Scarlet Spidorigami, and they pulled out their Wrecking Crew puppets. And then we started punching and kicking! I was on the ground, and I could feel blood coming out of teeth!
Suddenly, a kid in a black hoodie ran up to one of them, and scratched his face, and when the other guy tried to swat him away, he bit him. Eventually, he took down all four of them. When he took off his hood, I realized that it was my brother, Flynn! He had come to save me! And not only that, but he had a puppet of his own!
Kaine, the other Spider-Man clone from our favorite comic series, the Clone Saga- or, as he liked to call it, Krease.
I looked around, and shook my head, “Flynn! That was too violent.”
He shrugged, “They were hurting you,” he said.
And then I shrugged, too. And we walked to the busses together.
When we got back to our apartment, my Dad rushed up to Flynn, swinging him around, while he played with my hair. My Dad was a big guy, very strong. His hair was long, and he always wore it in a pony tail. When he put Flynn down it, I hugged his leg, and he continued playing with my hair.
My Mom, from the kitchen, cheered, “Hi boys! How was your day?” She asked.
“Good!” I said.
Flynn smiled, “I got in a fight!”
My Dad looked disappointed, but not shocked. But my Mom looked happy, “Did you win?” She asked.
I nodded, “He did! He fought so good.”
“Did you have a good reason?” My Dad asked.
“They were picking on me,” I said.
My Dad smiled, “I’m glad you stood up for your brother, Flynn. Helena!” He hollered, that’s my Mom’s name, “Do you think we should sign Hayden up for the camp?”
“What camp?” I asked.
My Mom shrugged, “I don’t know. We haven’t even seen the place, it- it could be infested with rats, for all we know.”
“But they’ll keep them safe!” My Dad said.
“What camp?” I asked again.
“I wanna go to a camp!” Flynn yelled.
My Dad put his arms around both of us, “Don’t you boys worry, it’s just that Daddy’s boss has been really mean lately, and we might need to go away.”
I thought about when I was six, and Daddy’s boss kept knocking on our doors. That was a really scary night.
Before I could remember what happened when the door opened, my Mom dropped a basket on our table, “Surprise!” Mom said, “We’re having a picnic!”
When my Dad shut the car door, he put me on his back, while Flynn held my Mom’s hand. From above, I could see everything. All the clouds, my Mom’s pretty hair. It’s red, like mine! I played with it, from above, and I liked how soft it was. It felt nice on my fingers.
And then we ate our food.
When we were done eating, my Mom looked around, “Eldritch,” she said, “Do you want to take them to see the grove?”
My Dad smiled, “Sure! They’re old enough by now.”
Me and Flynn walked, me holding onto Dad, and Flynn holding onto Mom. And we walked into the woods, where there were a bunch of trees, and eventually we found something beautiful. A bunch of dreamcatchers that glowed in the dark hung from the trees, doll heads, too! There was a bunch of writing on the wall, but when it was night time, all of it looked to so pretty.
“This is the grove of Dodonart” My Mom said, she pointed off in the distance, at a big bunch of houses, “There’s a school there, that’s where me and Daddy met.”
I smiled, “REALLY!? Will I get to go to that school!?”
My Dad turned red, “No, no, it’s really bad… you wouldn’t like it at all.”
“The principal is a mean lady, you wouldn’t like her.”
My Mom nodded, and whispered in my Dad’s ear that she was a B-Word. Flynn and I heard this, and giggled.
My Mom squatted so she could look at both of us, “This was where me and your Dad would come and play, when things were too hard. That’s why we always go here, because it reminds us of how we got out.”
“Are we going to get out, someday?” Flynn asked.
My Mom sat in the grass, and my Dad did too. She touched his cheek, “Darling, you don’t have any reason to get out yet. And when you do, we’ll be there for you. Because we’re a family.”
My Dad nodded, “Now, who wants to go home? Don’t forget, you boys have school tomorrow!”
The Wake Up Call
By Flynn “Krease” Macintosh
I know, in my bones, that I shouldn’t be. There’s this deep feeling- the only feeling- in my broken bones that I’m only alive because something out there wants me to be. I cough blood into my respirator, before I peel it away and take in my surroundings. I’m in a Children’s hospitals. There’s little drawings on the walls, of little families.
I get out of bed, and instantly fall to my knees, the weight of the world feeling like it’s on my back. I collapse onto the floor, beating onto the ground with my bandaged hands as the memories force their way into every crevice of not merely my mind, but my soul. And it’s then that all I feel is hate.
As I lay on the floor, Nurse’s come rushing in. I bite one, I scratch another. It’s their fault- I don’t know why, but it’s- it’s their fault. Not mine.
After an hour that felt like a day, another lady comes in. I can tell she’s not a doctor, because when I was little I got sick a lot. And I could always tell who and who wasn’t a doctor by the way they carry themselves, how fast their heels click against the tile floors, whether they stare at the patient or the floor, every little detail of how the woman carried herself screamed that she hadn’t seen a child die, but… she did work with children. I could tell that much. A teacher maybe?
No, no, not a teacher. Teachers are plastic, fake, and she was anything but. She, now, she was real. The woman from the real world calculated her words carefully, “Hi, Flynn, my name is Felicia.”
“Are they alive?” I asked.
My heart was pounding as the realization slowly inched it’s way like ants into my scalp, “What about-” I cut myself off, not sure I wanted to hear her answer.
After a long pause and a sigh, she wiped away the sinking feeling in her stomach, but the look in her eyes was sunken so far that all I could see was her soul.
No. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. No. No. No. No. No. No. NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO.
The last couple of moments were a blur, every moment of them that excluded their mangled bodies becoming something indiscernible from fiction, every picnic with Mom and Dad I half expect to see Peter Pan fly in on Dumbo.
After an hour of pain so painful it’s numbing, there’s a knock on the door. It’s her again. My brain cycles through methods of murder so outlandish that you’d expect them to be out of a Looney Tune. I wanted to watch Looney Tunes. As kid-ish as it sounded, I wanted my cartoons more than anything.
“We- We have two options for you, Flynn. We can send you to an orphanage, or… well, your parents had in their will that you and your brother had a camp, one you’d always be welcome at. I can show you the paperwork, if you’d like, but in short it’s something about keeping you safe.”
The camp. I didn’t know what to think. I mean, I had learned about this mysterious camp yesterday. And now all of a sudden I’m expected to live there? And what about my parents having never checked out! And their argument! And- And-
“Is Hayden going?” I blurted out.
“Then I’m going too.”
A week later, our bags were packed, and we were off to ‘Camp Dreamaway,’ with only each other in tow. When two big guards handcuffed us to the railing, it set off every red flag in my mind, but… it was either this or the orphanage, so the decision wasn’t as hard as I expected. The whole ride, Hayden and I talked.
Hayden thought it would be like those Percy Jackson books he read, a camp where everyone’s having fun and playing Capture The Flag. Me? Well, I wanted that, but all I heard from Randy Smith, my bus buddy, camp was like school but outside. And I didn’t want it to be anything like school.
After a couple minutes, the bus passed into a place called “Athens, New York.” It was this beautiful city, with lots of trees and gas stations, with the windows down, I could feel the wind, and the wind felt amazing. We didn’t get much wind at Madison, but we did at Athens, I knew that for sure.
While I thought about it, Athens might’ve been the place where Mom and Dad took us on our picnics, which made me a bit more scared, but at least… at least I had Krease with me! That made me feel a little better, to have my puppet.
I should probably explain the puppet thing. At Goodman, the High Schoolers don’t really let us do the puppets thing, but a lot of my friends do it too. Me and Hayden picked the two Scarlet Spiders because, well, there’s one hero at Kirby High School… Cal Largent. He’s the Spider-Fold. And as I gritted my teeth, I thought that if he could take down all the villains he did… so could I.
When we were dropped off, I noticed how beautiful this place was. The trees were tall and reached towards the sky, and new friends in bright orange moved from cabin to cabin. I was about to go run and play, but the bus driver grabbed me and Hayden by the arms and dragged us into a room. It had tile floors, and a little screen. I noticed that above us, there was one of those little shower thingies.
The screen flashed to life, the words “SHOWER,” appearing in a bright and vibrant red.
Not knowing what else to do, Hayden and I showered. It felt weird, because we hadn’t showered together since we were babies, but we did it anyways. But once we reached for our clothes, a man in all black, who I assumed was a guard, told us not to and hit Hayden.
I shoved him. You can hurt me, but you can’t hurt Hayden. That’s been my motto since we were six, and a bully broke his nose, and I wasn’t about to let him go now.
That was, of course, until I was forced to let him go. As soon as we got dressed, the two of us were shoved into opposite rooms. My room was completely dark, the wood a dark shade of black. The only light that came into the room being from the outside, a much more dreary view, with kids walking around mindlessly, and black vans and busses parking and dropping more kids off.
In my room, an asian looking kid with long hair. He looked about two years older than me, so he would’ve been twelve. He wore a necklace around his neck, and on his muscular and exposed arm the word “Hobgoblin” on his arm.
He nodded at me, “Hey, man, my name’s Jackson. You’re Flynn, but you- you… knew that, yeah. I’m your Originate, hi.”
“You’re my what?”
“Originate,” he shook his head, “Eh, they’ll explain it all in the orientation video, pretty much, I’m your guide. I’ve been here for two years, so… I’m supposed to have your back.”
He nodded, “I’ll try.”
“Ordonia.” He nodded, “It’s fillipino.”
“So, Jackson Ordonia, do you know where I can find my brother?”
Jackson looked puzzled, his gray eyes widening, “Holy #$%@, you have a brother? Here?”
“That’s- Man, that’s crazy, man, they… everyone here’s an only child, so I was just saying that it’s- it’s crazy, how-”
I nodded, “I- I- I- I get it, yeah…”
“Yeah. So, I take it, no clue?”
He nodded, “They- They usually split us up into little groups. They don’t want us building too many connections.”
I got scared, “What happens if you do?”
“Well, they’ll move you.”
“Have you ever been moved?”
“One hundred and eighteen times.”
I jumped up and down, “WOAH!! That’s so…”
“Cool? Yeah, it’s- it’s pretty cool, man.”
“Yeah! So what kind of camp is this, anyways?”
Jackson shrugged, “I- I don’t know. They told all of our parents it’s to keep us safe, but I swear… it’s like they’re trying to kill us here.” Before I could take in the moment, he held two of his fingers up, “One moment.” He said.
As soon as he said this, he ran off behind a desk and into a closet. He pulled out one of the TVs that teachers used, and plugged it into the wall.
Escape From Camp Dreamaway
By Flynn “Krease” Macintosh
The next few weeks, living by Camp Dreamaway’s rules, were some of the most miserable in my life. Waking up at 5am, doing all the chores, and of course… the pit bull All of it, I truly hated every second of it. Still, I had Jackson by my side. Jackson reminded me in my Dad in a lot of ways. He was really tall for his age, 5’9, which was the same height that my Dad was. They also both had glasses, but chose not to wear them. And both of them always had this dead look in their eyes. Like when my Grandma died, and they forgot to shut her eyes at the funeral. That type of dead.
One night, Jackson and I were up past lights out. Thankfully, Jackson pretty much ran our cabin. (One time, he threatened someone who almost snitched on me with a knife) and he kept asking me a bunch of questions. If he was short, like me (he was) or tall like my Mom. Or if he was funny, like me (he wasn’t) or chill like him (he wasn’t.) And eventually, I started crying.
He got off of his bunk bed, and crawled into the bottom bunk, holding me.
“It’s okay,” he kept saying, over and over, “It’s okay.”
“Jackson?” I asked.
“Who sent you here?”
He thought about it for a while, “It was… It was my Mom. She knew all about the place, but she- she hates me. I know she hates me, and that’s why I’m here.”
“What about your Dad?”
“I wish, I- I wish I knew him. But I have his address, though, and whenever I finally break out of here, and I’m going to break us out of here, I’m going to live with him.”
“Can me and Hayden live with you and your Dad?” I asked.
He nodded, “If my Dad let’s you! And if my Dad doesn’t let you, well,” he flicked out his knife, and started waving it around, “Then I’ll start slashing and thrashing! I’ll cut him up real good.”
I smiled, “Nice!”
Jackson’s eyes brightened, “What if we- Do you remember what room they threw your brother in?”
“Yeah! Or, sort of, he went left.”
Jackson nodded, “Left, left, left, left, left…” he kept repeating that over and over to himself, “Left! He’s in Cabin D.” When the silence began to speak volumes, he smiled, “Flynn, do you- do you wanna break out at… tonight!?”
I lit up, I was more excited than when I rode the Wheel of Fire at the fair, “You really think we can!?”
“Of course we can! I mean, with my knife and your-”
I held out my puppet, “Krease!”
“-Krease! We’ll show the world who’s boss!”
When we arrived at Cabin D, we shook Hayden awake. He rubbed his eyes before seeing me and Jackson, his green eyes lighting up. “It’s you!” He shouts, “You came to get me!”
I smiled, “I’m always saving your butt.”
“Who’s this?” He asks.
“Friend, Jackson, we’re going to be living with him.”
“Really!?” Hayden asks.
“Yeah! We’re gonna help him find his Dad! It’ll be an adventure,” I said.
As Hayden got out of bed, and Jackson cracked jokes about his braces, we heard a deep voice holler: “Who’s there?”
Jackson, Hayden, and I stopped, dead in our tracks as a guard came out.
It was him, it was… the bus driver. The man who brought us here, He grabbed Hayden first, before Jackson jumped at him and pulled him back into the shadows. They fought, and they fought, while I was too scared to move. I reached for my brother’s hand- like I was a baby- but grasped at nothing.
Realizing he had been pulled into the darkness too, I called his name.
All the grunts, all the sounds of stabbing, and punching, and kicking ended. Jackson emerged from the rubble, victorious. He dusted himself off, sucking at a splinter on his finger.
“Where’s Hayden?” I asked.
“No idea,” he cracked.
“Hayden!”I called out.
“H-” Jackson began to call out, but he was caught off by the bloody guard dragging him back into the shadows.
Two Years Later…
By Flynn “Krease” Macintosh
Two years of Camp Dreamaway has turned me into nothing more than a dark and bitter person. I know it, the world knows it, everybody knows this one simple fact. But two years of Camp Dreamaway has taught me a thing or two…
It taught me to get up at 5am. To do the chores. Because once you do, you take care of yourself. You eat a balanced diet. And then a rigorous exercise routine. In the morning, if my face is a little puffy, I’ll hold two cold spoons over my eyes while I do my crunches. I can do a thousand now.
There was an idea of a Flynn Macintosh, once. Some kind of abstraction. But there is no real me. Only an entity, something illusory. And though I can shake my hand and you can feel flesh gripping yours, and maybe you can even sense that our life styles are probably comparable, I’m simply nothing more… than a clone.
…Until today. A thin, scrawny girl who looked like a twig… as my clone? And the whole time I can’t help but keep her safe. Why is that? Well, one, she’s way too weak to defend herself. And two, she’s too pretty to die.
But you’re not gonna believe this! When I took a liking to the girl, when I showed mercy once since I was a twelve year old? They spit in my face and stomp on me while I’m down. Not Mallory, of course, she’s still in my league but… and you’re not gonna believe this, dearest diary! I met them! The people behind the camp, both of them, and better yet one of them has burdened me with glorious purpose! That’s why I write this, because all of my suspicions have been confirmed.
That night, that feels like an eternity ago, I lived for a reason, YES! I lived for a reason! I met god himself, and he told me, but I’m getting ahead of myself now. First, I need to take you back to what happened.
Mallory came in, and by god, she was beautiful with her makeup smeared from the showers. She looked disheveled, stupid. The moment she came to the cabin, people started picking on her. Saying awful things about her when… SHE WAS MINE! SHE WAS MINE!
Whenever I told them off, and got in a fight with him, the guards dragged me away. I thought about where I’d be going, from the pit bull to something worse! See, it’d been my third fight this week…
But they drove me out, far, far away from the camp, to a little cottage out in the woods. The guards escorted me off, shoving me on my way out. Guns pointed at me, I entered the cabin. Sitting inside was an older man, maybe in his 50s. He was tall, I could tell. Even sitting he carried himself so that he was taller than me, and his long silver hair was pulled back into a pony tail. He smiled, kindly, though the resentment in his green eyes was clear… yet, not directed at me. He was sitting upright on a bed, and almost effortlessly he tapped the bed across from him. Gesturing me to sit down.
I made my way, each floor board creaking as I stepped further and further into my doom.
He extended his long, thin fingers as I approached him, and he smiled, “Hey, Flynn.” He tapped the bed again, and this time I sat.
“And… Who are you?”
“I’m someone who can help you.”
“No one can help me.”
He blinked, “I. Can,” he said, through his teeth. He reached for the box next to him, first rubbing the wood. Caressing it. With his free thumbs, he undid two latches, the latch hitting the box with a clink. Finally, he began to unscrew a small cork. It took what felt like ages for the thing to finally come undone, and it took what felt longer for him to put his ringed finger inside of the #$%@ thing.
What he produced was a small tea kettle, “Chai tea?”
I’m on the verge of tears. If I say yes, will it not be brewed properly? If I say no, I’ll fit in, “No thank you.” I say.
“My name is Mr. Emily,” he says, “I was one of the founders of this putrid, miserable camp. Me and my business partner, Emil. Emil Blonsky. But, well… Emil and I have recently had a falling out, and I’ve decided that it’s best to burn this camp to the ground.”
That set off every nerve end in my body, if I- if I burned down this camp then maybe, just maybe, I could show people me. (I almost said ‘real me.’ We both know that that thing died with my family.) I could show people Flynn.
“I could do it.”
“You’re not doing it alone.” He said.
“No, I don’t- I don’t work with other people., that’s not what I do.”
He shrugged, “I’m just saying, I think you’d like some help from your old friend.”
The cabin door swung open with a creak, and out stepped a camper. Same eyes, same hair (though it was now pulled back into a ponytail), the only thing that changed being the easygoing young man’s demeanor, the once easygoing dimples replaced with a gritted jaw.
Stil, despite everything, it was still Jackson Ordonia.
Eyes of Rebellion
By Flynn Macintosh
Jackson was different. He was bitterer, angrier… he barely even talked to me. Still, he led me on.
“Where are we going?” I asked.
“We’re picking up your brother.”
“I don’t know.”
He very quickly shanked a kid who spotted him, the kid bleeding out.
“Did you just-”
Jackson busted the door down, Hayden being the first kid to sit up.
“Hayden! Hey, man, what’s good!?” Jackson yelled, “Hayden!” He yelled again, lifting me up by my shirt for all to see, “I got your brother!”
“Brother!” He shouted, looking down on me.
Next stop was Mallory. I ran into the girl’s restroom and pulled her off of the bathroom. Once the four of us were together, we went cabin to cabin, screaming that the place was on fire. Why?
Well, because Jackson lit everything on fire.
As the flames engulfed the place, we were lucky to make it out into the woods. The four of us, as well as an army of messed up kids. What could go wrong? Well, a lot of things. Mainly because he was right there.
Who? Well… my enemy, of course! Mister Emil Blonsky. A fiend, a crook, the person who ruined my life and made me the clone that I am today.
If I was Krease, he was the Jackal-gami.
I grabbed him by the scruff of his balding neck. Jackson tore a branch off a tree and handed it to me.
I swung. I swung over and over again, and pretty soon Jackson and Mallory joined in too. The only person who didn’t join in was Hayden. Soon enough… Emil Blonsky was dead as a door nail.
And now that our mission was accomplished, we had a world to conquer.
“Where are you guys going?” Hayden asked, sounding desperate.
I shrugged, “I thought we’d… I don’t know, check out that messed up school Mom and Dad went to? Maybe start some mischief there?”
“I- I thought that… I thought we’d be safe.”
Really? Does he- Does he think he’s- Is he-
I walked up to my brother, gripping his shoulder as tightly as I could.
“Hayden, did you really think that we can just go home!? No! If we’re alive then we’re alive for a reason.”
I shoved him, “Then you can get the $%#@ out then! Okay!?”
Hayden stepped back, and for a moment he looked shock, “But we just- We just got back, we-”
“HAYDEN. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, YOU MEAN NOTHING TO ME! DO YOU UNDERSTAND!? NOTHING. YOU WEREN’T MEANT TO BE BORN, AND ALL THAT YOU ARE IS DOCILE, AND ALL YOU ARE GOOD AT IS BEING MOLDED! YOU’RE A $%$#ING PAWN!”
Dionysus Gaylord had had a while night. As the party god, he’d crashed three of them and didn’t have the energy for a fourth. As he waited for a bus to come pick him up, he noticed a tall boy with orange hair waiting at another spot. Recognizing him as Flynn Macintosh, Dionysus jumped for joy.
See, Dionysus had always had… trouble, working with the rest of Caesar Middle School’s elite. But what Flynn did know was that Flynn was loaded, and surely he’d be willing to help out a friend.
Upon noticing him, Flynn waved, and it quickly became clear that it didn’t really matter if Dionysus wanted to ask for a ride or not. Because he was going to get one. Dionysus jogged over to Flynn, their puffy pink hair bouncing up and down and stopping in their tracks. Dionysus went in for a hug as Flynn went in for a handshake, Flynn quickly slapping him away.
After the two talked about what they were doing out so late (Flynn returning video tapes), he offered Dionysus a ride home. Dionysus was a bit confused, even more so whenever a car plastered with “Ouronatox Inc.” plastered on the side of it pulled up.
This puzzled Dionysus mainly because, well, Ouranatox’s owner, Mr. Silver Emily… was dead.
Flynn asked Dionysus if they could stop at his place, it would be quick. He needs money to pay the chauffeur, of course. Dionysus really freaked out whenever they pulled into Caesar Middle School, and Flynn led Dionysus to his dorm. While Flynn looked for his wallet, naturally, Dionysus searched for alcohol, and pretty soon… they found the holy grail.
They were both fourteen years old.
As Dionysus kicked their feet up on Flynn’s desk, taking a sip of his white whine, Flynn searched through his records.
“You like Will Wood and the Tapeworms?” Flynn asked.
“I mean… they’re alright.”
“You seem like an I/Me/Myself type of guy.”
“Yeah… that’s my favorite.”
“Now, me personally, I believe the Tapeworms were at their best with their first album, Everything Is A Lot, but I really think they came into their own with the Normal Album. Commercially, and artistically. “I/Me/Myself” (another bonafide banger, if we’re being frank) gives a similar 50’s tone to “Suburbia Overture.” Still, it deals with some issues of a more pert tone than the beauty and splendor of suburbia. Dysphoria is a real issue, and Will Wood tackles the thought process behind it with aplomb.”
“H-Hey Flynn, why do you have a baby monitor? You got a little baby boy, a little… girl?”
“Are you- Are you wearing gloves?”
“Yes, I am!”
Flynn messed with his record player, putting on a new song, “You should listen to this: “Suburbia Overture / Greetings from Mary Bell Township! / (Vampire) Culture / Love Me, Normally”. As the Overture begins, the song takes an interesting turn with the music starting out very smooth and rather what we would expect from a Shake Shack from the 1950s. But as the music transitions from the “Greetings” segment to “(Vampire) Culture,” things get dark, gritty, and remarkably more along the lines of Will Wood’s previous work with the Tapeworms. Nevertheless, we are brought back to the reality that this isn’t a 1950’s candy bar we are dealing with, but rather, the musical stylings of an insanely-biting mind! Hey Di! Say cheese!”
The camera flashed a photo of Dionysus and the bottles.
They were expelled in a week.
Flynn Macintosh will return.