Fox Tales

Chapter 1

"A New Beginning"

Meet Todd Reinhardt, an eighteen-year-old who, like anyone else his age, is having trouble discovering who he really is. He never had an easy life. His parents divorced when he was just four years old, he's been shuffled between both of his parents as they fought for custody over him, and he's always been jealous of his younger half-sister, Akane, who is a child prodigy, and is already a rising star in the political community at the age of fourteen. Simply put, he was an outcast to even his own family. Because he couldn't hold a job, no one could trust him to become responsible. He's been arrested for shoplifting three times, possession of marijuana, and has two DUIs. Somehow, though, he managed to either plead it down, or get the District Attorney to drop the charges. For Todd Reinhardt, life has had a wicked sense of humor.

Todd has never had an easy time making friends, but the ones that he has made are indeed an odd bunch of characters. First, you have Gary, a man who is an excellent lacrosse player, but always has trouble picking up ladies, probably because he always says the wrong thing at the worst possible time. Next is a man who is known by only one name, "Huff." When his name comes up, instantly, he's associated with his wild concerts and even wilder parties. Half the time, you keep asking yourself, "Is he high right now?"

To make matters worse, Todd has a lady in his life named Naomi, a sweet, innocent, and beautiful young woman who is always looking out for Todd. Why does it make matters worse? Todd can't stop thinking about her to save his life.

Because of his problems with the law, the police are on him like a sniper rifle from an expert marksman. Todd's always down to his last strike, worried that the police will arrest him for some bogus law only so they could put him in jail. This was a reasonable fear for Todd to have, since no one wants to have prison show up on his or her personal record. Todd has a deep resentment towards the police since on all his arrests, he was either framed, or at the wrong place at the wrong time. He claims that he never committed any of the crimes charged, but no one would believe him with a reputation like his. Only Naomi believes him, which gives him some of the trouble he has with her. He expected her to be judgmental, but she was forgiving. He still has yet to get over that.

To say "life was rough on Todd" would be an understatement. Confused and misunderstood, he carries on though, and manages somehow to get himself out of trouble, even though trouble is hot on his tail. What he doesn't know is soon, it'll be in more ways than one.

Todd was lying in his bed, pissed off that he had to actually get up for another day. He was having such a good time sleeping. It was so relaxing. But some idiot called Life decided to ruin it all. He looked around his room, covered from floor to ceiling, with posters of his favorite rock bands, curled back up in his bed, hoping that if he ignored reality, it might just go away. Reality, however, had a different idea.

"Good morning!" his mother sang, disrupting Todd's state of relaxation. He thought to him self, Damn it! I'm just getting comfortable, and that bitch has to come in and ruin it all. He then mentally flipped her off. It was understandable. You know those people who are so happy it scares you? Well, Todd's mom was one of those people. She couldn't go three sentences with out singing the last part of it. Even she couldn't handle putting on this happy charade. Every three hours, she had to take a smoking break just so she doesn't go insane from doing this all day. No one was certain about this secret, but everyone was suspicious.

"Time to get up, my darling."
"What's the point?"
"Oh, now don't be such a downer. Get up and attack the day!"

Reluctantly, Todd obeyed. He slowly walked over to the bathroom and looked at the mirror. His eyes immediately went toward his orange hair and what a mess it had become overnight. He sighed as he prepared himself to use the toilet. When he was through, he walked out the door and slowly moved toward to the kitchen, blinded by the lights. He prepared and ate a bowl of cereal, got dressed to him usual outfit of entirely black, and put everything in his backpack. His eyes then turned to a picture of him and his sister, Akane, taken ten years ago. It showed them both playing and smiling at the camera. "Why? How come she gets all the attention?" he softly asked himself. "Besides, how special can she be? She's a liberal." He mentally laughed at his own joke. Then, his mother barged in. "Ready to go?"

Todd arrived at the school about 15 minutes later, tired as hell. The only that could possibly cheer me up right now is, maybe, seeing my friends. But that's a big stretch. He opened the car door as his mother wished him a good day. Todd just brushed it off like it was nothing. Damn, she's annoying! I don't know how the judge could stand her. Todd walked into the school when he saw Gary, someone who was more than an acquaintance, but nowhere near "best friend." He was an excellent lacrosse player, a star defenseman for the defending state champion team. Gary always tried to hard to pick up a girl. Nine times out of ten, he'd sent them off angry by always expressing some sort of sexual innuendo.

"Hey there, Todd!"
"Hi, Gary," he replied in anything other than an enthusiastic tone. "Anything new going on?"
"Well, I got a new defense pole."
"That's nice."
"Yep. It's nice to have something long, hard, and can poke people with. And the stick's not that bad either. OH!"

Todd just sighed, as this was exactly what kept him from landing a girl. Suddenly, he heard a raspy voice calling out for him. It was "Huff," a man who has been high on every illegal drug known to man, and then some.
"Oh. Hi, Huff. What are you high on right now?"
"Pot, and maybe some heroin. I can't remember. Yo, man. You gotta try this shit. You'll go absolutely craaazy!" he said, referring to a roll of some sort of drug.
"Why am I friends with him again?" Todd asked Gary. Gary whispered the reason in his ear. "Oh, yeah. That's right. I wonder what happened to that poor girl."

"Hey! Todd! Over here!" Todd turned his head to the right and saw Naomi waving her right hand, trying to get his attention. Boy, did it work? Todd's heart started beating faster than a piston in a racecar engine. It was beating so loudly that you didn't need a stethoscope to hear it. It nearly leapt out as she started running in his direction. "There's something wrong with that boy," Gary remarked.
"Hi, Todd," she said followed by a soft giggle.
"Hey there," he replied nervously.
"Listen. There's this camping excursion in Japan being planned. I was thinking that you and I could go together. You know, get to know each other a little better, and…"
"Uh, yeah. That's sounds great."
"Good. So, is that a yes?"
"Uh, sure."
"Good. I'll call you with more information. See ya!"

Todd just stood there in amazement. He was completely speechless, and practically hypnotized. "Hello? Earth to Todd? Anyone in there?" Gary asked, waving his hand in front of Todd's face. It snapped him out of his hypnotic state. "What is wrong with you? Every time you see that Naomi, you fall into another world."
"Dude, I know that feeling. I'm like that all the time," Huff said.
"I just don't know what comes over me. I just can't seem to keep my mind off of…" He was interrupted when he realized everyone went to class without him.

Meanwhile, Naomi was sitting at her desk, explaining to her friends, Jasmine and Rachel, what happened. "So I asked him if he wanted to go to Japan with me, and he said 'yes'!"
"Oh my god! That's so amazing!" Jasmine replied.
"Wow!" Rachel said. "So, what are you going to do now?"
"I don't know. I'm too excited to think about it!" Rachel and Jasmine giggled with her as class began.

After school, Todd walked out of the building and waited at the corner for his mother to come pick him up. He still couldn't quite get over what happened earlier that day. I can't believe it. I'm going to Japan with Naomi. The thought of it caused his heart to beat rapidly again. He had an odd smile on his face as his mother pulled up the minivan in front of him. "Well, someone's in a happy mood today," she said. Todd just ignored her. Once again, he was in a hypnotic state of bliss. He didn't get out of the van until it was three hours since he got home.

Remember the 3 R's: Read, Review, and Recommend.
Please bear with me. It takes a while before the story has anything to do with the plot.