Author: GrapePenguin97 PM
Travis Hartley is a artistic, outgoing teenage boy who seems fairly normal. But one day, he begins receiving strange slips of paper with one-word messages written on them. Travis is soon involved with a a world he never knew existed, and he embarks on a crucial mission and meets many interesting people, making special friendships and discoveries that he'll never forget.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Adventure/Romance - Words: 1,874 - Published: 02-17-13 - id: 3101899
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"Cosmic Fusion's coming to Galvansburg in June. You down for going?" My best friend Derek Rosado said to me. It was the last period of the school day and we were in study hall. I was doodling an astronaut in my red notebook, hardly paying attention to my surroundings, but as soon as I heard the name Cosmic Fusion I perked my head up.
"That would be awesome, Derek. We're going to have to get tickets right away if we want good seats. Did you check prices?" I asked as I erased and redrew the astronaut's hand.
"Seventy-five dollars a ticket." Derek replied, a little solemnly.
"That's quite a bit of money." I said, putting down my pencil. "I'm going to have to get a few good babysitting jobs to earn that much money. And where are you going to get the money?"
"I guess I'm going to have to do some odd jobs or something. My parents will never loan me the money. I'm sure I'll figure something out." Derek said. Just then, the bell rang, declaring it the end of the school day. I closed my notebook, put my pencil away, and got up from my seat. I bid Derek goodbye as we exited Mr. Fisher's room and went our separate ways. It was Friday and I was more than pleased to leave Galvan High for the weekend. Normally, I enjoy school. I get to see my friends and I don't mind learning, but I hadn't been sleeping well and I was tired.
As I approached my locker, I noticed something white on the floor in front of it. I reached down to pick it up, finding that it was a small slip of paper with a single word written on it: cycle. Must be for some sort of school project, I thought. Although it seemed like an irrelevant piece of paper, I felt compelled to keep it, so I put it into the breast pocket of my green plaid shirt. I then opened my locker, readied my backpack, and proceeded to exit the school.
As I walked down the sidewalk, I had the idiosyncratic feeling that I was being followed. I looked over my shoulder frequently to check for followers, but never saw anyone. I assumed that I was just being paranoid, so I tried to ignore the feeling. It was a crisp January day, and the sky was bright blue. It seemed silly that I felt so unsettled on such a fine day.
When I got home, I saw that no one was home. Sean must be with Dan, I thought. I headed straight upstairs to my bedroom, set down my backpack, and dropped down on my bed. I didn't feel like doing anything. I just wanted to be lazy and relax. I layed on my bed for a good half an hour, then I decided to take a shower. I had always been a fan of cool, afternoon showers, even on cool days. I slid off the bed and idled over to my closet, pulling out some sweatpants and a gray t-shirt. I then moved over to the bathroom and began running water, undressing as I waited for it to warm up.
When the water was warm, I stepped into the shower and closed the shower curtain. Once I was used to the temperature of the falling water, I turned the handle so that the water would get cooler. I won't go into detail about showering, I think most people have a pretty good understanding of how showers work. What I will explain, however, is the peculiar thing that happened during said shower. As I was showering, something caught my eye. Something small and white.
I bent down curiously to see what it was, finding that it was yet another piece of paper. What on Earth? I thought as I carefully picked it up. I found that the care was unnecessary, for the paper was quite durable. The water seemed to have no effect on it, it wasn't soaked or anything. This paper, too, had a word on it: iron. Iron? I thought, pondering where this could have come from. Maybe it's part of a tag from a wash cloth or clothes..something. After my shower, I checked all the cloth that the paper could have possibly been from. Nothing matched the material the message was written on. This was getting weird. I quickly dressed, towel dried my hair, and pocketed the paper, returning to my room.
As I was walking through the hall, I heard a loud thud and jumped. I turned around as quick as I could, only to see my orange tabby cat, Ferdinand, standing regally in front of me as if he hadn't just fallen off of the bookshelf we keep against the wall beside the upstairs bathroom (which he had). I couldn't help but smirk at him. "Did you have a nice trip, Ferdinand?" He flicked his tail up, turned around, and walked away. I chuckled as I continued down the hall and to my room. Ferdinand is a really good cat, despite how he comes off to people. He's sort of stuck-up and proud, but he's really affectionate once he gets to know people.
When I reached my room, I decided to finish my astronaut drawing from earlier. I pulled out my red notebook, which I do all my doodling and drawing on. It has blank paper, which I like because I'm not fond of drawing on lined paper. I'll take the time to mention now that red is my favorite color. It has been for a really long time. Anyway, I pulled out my #2 pencils and began working on the drawing. What started out as a simple sketch of an astronaut was beginning to look very elaborate. I was just starting to ink it when I heard car doors shutting. I looked at the alarm clock on my desk and saw that it was 5:34.
I closed my notebook and put it in the wide drawer under the desk. I then got out of my chair and left my room, heading downstairs to greet my dad. "Hey dad." I said as he walked in the door.
"Hi, Travis. What do you want for dinner tonight?" He said, heading into the kitchen. "I'm starved. And your mother won't be home for another hour."
"I don't know. Anything's alright with me." I said, following him.
"Well, how about chicken parmesan? I'm in the mood for it." He said, and I immediately agreed. Chicken parmesan was one of my favorite dishes. I started getting the ingredients and utensils necessary for preparing it without a response from my dad. My dad was the parent who usually did the cooking in our house, and I loved helping him. I helped my dad cook every chance I got, and he taught me so much about cooking. Cooking was the biggest interest my dad and I had in common, and it started many years ago when I started watching the cooking channel with him when he got home from work.
"Where's Sean, by the way? His car isn't in the driveway." My dad asked, washing his hands.
"I assume he's with Dan. He wasn't here when I got home and he didn't call or text me. I haven't seen a note, either." I answered. Sean, my older brother, went to a local college and lived at home. Dorm life wasn't the road for him, and he liked living at home. He spent most of his time with his boyfriend, Dan Clifton. I knew that dad knew where Sean was every time he asked, but he kept asking anyway. My father had absolutely no problem with Sean being gay, he just worried about other people having a problem with it. He had heard so many stories of hate crimes that he developed extreme paranoia when it came to his first son.
"Ah, ok. It would be nice if he would let someone know where he is." My dad said, letting out a sigh. I hurriedly began to distract him with the preparation of dinner. By the time my mother got home, dinner was just about ready. I was setting the table and dad was putting together a salad when she walked in the door.
"Mmmm, my boys must be in the kitchen." She said, inhaling the aroma of the food. She walked into the kitchen and exchanged a peck on the lips with my father. "I'm glad you and Travis are such excellent cooks, Oscar, otherwise I wouldn't have the pleasure of coming home to a hot, home-cooked meal everyday."
"Well, Claire, we're lucky we have someone to cook for." Dad said, smiling. I loved watching my parents interact with each other. Most kids get grossed out when their parents act all lovey-dovey, but I always felt really happy to see mine act this way. I'd always taken these actions as signs that said everything was okay. One of my biggest fears was that my parents would stop loving each other and get divorced and I would lose my family, but I don't think it's very likely. When I was ten, my best friend Dylan McGrath's parents got divorced and his mom got custody of him, forcing him to leave Galvansburg to move with his mom to Utah. Dylan was so upset about it, and he didn't want to be so far away from his father. It was really tough.
As I sat down at the dinner table with my mom and dad, I thought about how much I loved my family. We were one of those families that ate dinner together every night except, of course, when I was away at a friend's house or something. It was nice to sit down at the end of the day and have a good conversation with them. About halfway through dinner, I decided to bring up the paper messages. "Hey, have either of you found any bits of paper lying around today?"
They both looked at me questioningly, then my dad said, "I haven't."
"Nor have I." Said my mom. "Why?"
"Well, I found a piece of paper at school in front of my locker and here I found another one in the shower, of all places." I explained.
"Well, what did the papers say?" My dad asked.
"The one at school said "cycle" and the one I found here said "iron." I said.
"Well," began my mother, "perhaps someone at school had to do a project involving cutting out individual words and putting them together or something like that and dropped a few in the hall or in a classroom you were in and a couple got stuck to your clothes or in your school stuff."
"Yeah, you're probably right. It just seemed kind of odd. I'm probably just overthinking it." I said, and I hoped I was.