They looked at the boy sitting all by himself at the table, in the center of the room. Aloof by himself he kept his head down and studied the velvet stitched book on his lap. Everyone else in the room sat at the tables around him, keeping a table length away from him. The twins felt like they were walking on ice as they walked towards the boy. Every footstep echoed the room with whispers from their surrounding peers, eyeing them with confusion.
“It’s not too late Delia. . .” Dalton whispered to his sister.
She shook her head and started to walk faster. She couldn’t hide though, the fear that was building up inside of her. From the mysterious mist in the air, her stomach threatened to upchuck while her feet fought every step. When they finally made to the table, they casually sat down. Delia rubbed her stomach as Dalton straightened in the seat.
Suddenly the boy looked up and the food court quickly retreated back to what it was doing. The boy slowly scanned the room and then his eyes came to the twins sitting in front of him.
“Yes?” He asked, his voice low and bored.
Delia inhaled and Dalton smiled. He elbowed Delia
“Oh!” She yipped feeling Dalton’s elbow. “Um, hey. I’m Delia.”
The boy held his bored and annoyed expression.
“And, this is my twin brother, Dalton.” She said as she hooked her arm with his. Dalton waved at him.
The boy widened his eyes to the twins, nod slowly once and then diverted to the book in his lap.
Hello. . .?
Not wanting the awkward silence, Delia unhooked her arm and bounced in her chair. “And you are?”
He looked up again. “Calvin”
“Oh! Like Calvin and Hobbes?” She asked excited while Dalton sighed.
Calvin looked up at her with a confused look.
“Who?” He asked, the book being snapped shut.
“Oh. . .” Delia said as her attempt to find something in common failed.
Dalton glanced at her and then turned to Calvin. “Do you read comic books or the comics in the newspaper?”
Calvin’s eyes rolled around slowly before staring right back at Dalton. “No.” His answer was brusque and cold, the wind from outside penetrating the steel walls and invading his voice. “I do not read comics.”
“Oh,” Dalton shrugged,” Because in one comic there’s a character named Calvin and we thought that was a neat coincidence.”
Calvin didn’t make a noise, just stayed silent. So quiet that it seemed like he wasn’t even breathing. “So,” his voice breaking the silence that now held the food court, “Can I help you with something? ” He paused. “Dalton and Delia.”
The twins tried to hide their shivers that ran down their backs at the sound of their names. He raised an eyebrow, seeing the twins straight in their seats and eyeing each other.
“We saw you sitting alone.” Dalton answered slowly, as if he was learning how to speak the words.
“Yeah. You’ve been sitting by yourself for a while now.” Delia added, her voice picking up.
“Oh. How kind of you. ..” The way he responded sounded sarcastic. He glanced between the two, keeping a bored expression. Suddenly his words were sharp and angry. “But you do not have to. I am fine by myself. Being alone does not mean I am lonely. Only that I do not wish to have company.”
The next day, they found Calvin sitting in the exact spot as yesterday. But now as they traveled to his island, they spotted in the corner in their eye, a cheerleader from afar grinning at them. Ignoring her, they sat themselves across from Calvin. They had to tap on the table to get his attention.
“Yes? “He asked, peering up from his book; His expression didn’t change.
“Hi!” Delia waved with Dalton.
“Hello.” He greeted lowly. He went back to his book and Dalton diverted his attention away from the table.
“What book are you reading?” she asked, inching a bit closer to see the text.
Calvin pulled the book closer to him and looked at her annoyed. “A book.”
“What do you think?”
“I’m not sure if you’re reading a picture book or indulging yourself with a Calvin and Hobbes comic book.” She grinned.
Dalton’s chuckle was still heard although he covered his mouth.
Calvin shook his head.
“Hey! How do I know that after our previous conversation that you didn’t go to the library and look up who you’re named after.”
She smiled and looked between Dalton and Calvin, who couldn’t keep themselves from smiling and grinning. Suddenly Dalton stopped and stared pasted Calvin to the oncoming people.
“Guys!” He called attention to the group walking into the court. Delia’s mouth hung open while Calvin turned around and grasped the arm rests.
Walking in were two SFS, or Super-mutant Factory Soldiers, and Pyro. Pyro had hip length black hair and sun tanned skin. Her outfit was red, orange and yellow, with a hint of blue and series of flames. She wore a long sleeve jacket, knee length shorts and the rest were all black boots. On her hips was a long glossy whip and set of matches in case of an emergency. The soldiers wore white bodysuit and short boots, carrying stun guns that shoot from five hundred feet away in five seconds. The silver helmets covered their brainwashed faces. What was worse was that they seem to be walking towards the trio.
They quickly turned around and Calvin quickly brought out a notebook. Then snapping his bag shut, he handed it to Delia, who started to quiz him on a random page. He took out a piece of paper lightning quick.
Pyro silently came up to them, but they decided to pretend not to notice.
“So for 4738, write that in Roman Numerals.” Delia ordered without removing her eyes from the page.
He wrote the answer down and was about to turn it around for her when Pryo stopped the paper.
“You forgot a M.” She chuckled. The twins looked up and smiled but Calvin was motionless. Instead, he tapped the notebook vigorously with his pencil. After looking around, she pulled a chair in between Calvin and Delia. She smiled at Delia and Dalton and then looked at Calvin who refused to look at her. A grin reached across her face and the twins looked worried at each other.
“Hello.” She purred as she looked across his notebook for a name. Suddenly the food court went silent as she tried to talk to the young man. Her finger slid across the notebook and stopped at his name. “Calvin.” He made no movement. “You new?”
Calvin’s shoulders slouched a bit but he didn’t face Pryo. “No.”
The twins fidgeted in their seats.” Calvin is really tired today.” Delia lied for his distant actions.
Pryo laughed. “Tired are we Mr. Calvin?”
The twin’s eyes widened as Calvin shivered a bit, almost like he was scared of Pryo.
“Yeah. . , we were studying for some tests.” Dalton said shyly
Pyro’s eyes didn’t move from Calvin, she ignored Dalton.
“Is that correct Mr. Calvin?”
Obvious that she wasn’t going away, Calvin finally opened his mouth. “Yes. A math test.”
After another moment of watching the man, Pryo wished the table luck on their test and moved on to the next table. The twins tried to downplay her visit with small talk, but Calvin just stared past them, listening to the room.
“Hey!” Delia yipped, snapping Calvin’s attention to her. “Who else wants a snack?”
Calvin stood up and looked around the room, sighing annoyed. He then started to grab his bag when he met the stare of Pryo, who held a suspicious grin on her face. He looked over at Delia.
“I am hungry still. Let us grab a snack.” Calvin agreed.
Delia looked over to her brother who declined to come with them or a snack. Smiling, she grabbed Calvin’s arm and they hurried into the line of food. She grabbed a tray for her and handed one off to Calvin. He looked blankly at the tray, obviously far away from the court.
“Hey. . .” Delia cooed as she laid a hand near his. “Don’t let them bother you.”
Calvin looked at her and moved his hand away from her’s.
“They won’t hurt anyone here. They’re just looking for any escapee from the Factory.”
He looked over the food as he listened.
“You know, last month they had a throw down with one.” She looked up at him, but then back at the food. “Some call him Demon. And I guess by some, I mean Pryo and the soldiers. Everyone else calls him a hero, or a freedom fighter.”
“Freedom . . fighter?” Calvin wondered out loud.
“Yeah. He usually spills secrets about the factory to the people he saves. Nothing big, just what’s really doing and how it is in there. Apparently it’s not very nice, you know?”
“I must agree. Spending time in a maximum-prison look alike does not seem to be a walk in the park so to say.”
“Exactly!” She jumped as she grabbed her food and moved down the line. Calvin joined her quickly, disregarding his tray to the pile of unused trays. Glancing back at him, she looked at him confused, which he just shrugged. Reaching the cashier, Delia paid for her food as Calvin lazily looked at the ceiling.
“Just coming with?”
Calvin snapped his head down with Pryo in front of them. His eyes drooped down and his face froze back into the boredom.
“Yeah!” Delia said for him, trying to step in front of him but failing. “He packs a very healthy lunch.”
Suddenly Pryon burst into laughter, unable to cover her mouth. She leaned back and forth as the laughter spilled out of her. “Oh really!” She laughed. “Does mommy make it for you?”
Delia looked up at Calvin who had obviously taken offense.
“Hey! That’s pretty mean to say.” Delia spoke up, trying to put a mean face on.
“And that,” Pryo pointed at Calvin, “Is pretty stupid. Who packs their lunch these days?” Her words echoed in the cafe, as did her laughter. Soon everyone was laughing, most not sure why.
Calvin’s face suddenly twisted into angry and then glared at her with disgust. Delia tried to get his attention by snapping her fingers in his face, but it was like she was invisible.
The food court was suddenly alive with energy. The hanging lights started to swing and the trays started to wiggle. Pryo stopped laughing and cautiously looked around, ignoring the two in front. Her attention was brought back in their direction when the trays suddenly shot up in the air and then in random direction. Students screamed and ran out of the food court as leftovers and trays came after them. Delia ducked behind the cashier stand and closed her eyes. The soda machine started to move back and forth until it came crashing down on two students. The banners that were tightly tied to the wall, snapped away from their walls and covered groups of the fleeing. Pryo whipped out a small, remote looking device and ran around the cafe, trying desperately to find the source of the power. The glass protectors of the grills made a large crash as they flew at people with vicious energy. Students screamed as the glass injected into them.
Delia’s eyes snapped open when she heard her brother call her name,
“Delia! Delia? Delia!” Dalton said as he rushed to her side and tried to pull her up.
“W-w-where’s Calvin?!” She stumbled as the room turned to complete chaos.
Dalton made a swift glance around the room before shaking his head. “He must have gotten out.” He said loudly, the flying trays and screaming people covering his voice.
Delia tried to look for Calvin but her brother started to pull her towards the exit, whipping her violently around.
“D-d-d-alton! P-p-please!” She stuttered. Her brother kept pulling, not hearing his sister’s whine. They stopped for a moment as the grills suddenly burst into the air, engulfing half the room with white and black flames. They pushed themselves close to the wall as the flames climbed to the roof.
They tried to maneuver their way out but the exits were all clustered with the students there already. Suddenly the cafe got quiet and everyone froze. The lights went still and the last of the flying trays crashed onto the ground. As fast as the flames started, they started to fall off the ceiling and disappear in the air, like falling ash after a volcano eruption. Pryo, who now was lost without a trail of energy to follow, walked around the dismembered cafe. She then took one last glance at the frightened people, huddling at the door, and grinned as she was quickly engulfed by a sudden red and orange flame. The fire alarms went off and the people moaned as they got sprinkled on.
When writing my first story, I came to love anti-heroes. I would try every trick in the book from a guy like Montague in Fahrenheit 451, to Deadpool. Not being the Superman of the story allowed me to make the characters I scribbled about more human to me. I could relate. Invested was what kept me from doing my homework when I was in seventh grade.
Here is an excerpt I wrote at the end of eighth grade. To be honest, I haven’t written much from it. I never know what I was trying to get, but I did get a laugh from it. 🙂