This was co-written with my friend on Google Docs. It was fun, but a little silly. In contrast to my other writings, this story is very unsophisticated. I scanned for typos, but there are probably some that I missed. Let me know in a review if you notice anything!
The good news is that the writing in this story hopefully isn't BAD. It wasn't supposed to be! Just silly.
Once upon a time there was a rebellious teenage girl named Alicia. She was walking to school on a bright, sunny day and the breeze was blowing through her hair but also making her a bit chilly. She wished that she had brought a fuzzy jacket, but her mother had warned her that fuzzy jackets attract BEARS. Not sea bears, just regular bears. Everybody knows that sea bears are far more dangerous, but regular bears are pretty dangerous too - especially when provoked by a fuzzy jacket.
Once her school had exercised a bear drill. The alarms went off, and all the teachers shrieked "BEEEEAR!" while the students piled into bear-proof cages in the back of each room. Alicia had a bear cage in her house. It was purple, with sparkly flowers. However, it was only there because her mother had made her put it there. You see, Alicia thought that the whole bear-precaution system was a bit silly. In fact, when nobody was looking, she went out of her way to do every bear-attracting thing you WEREN'T supposed to do.
For example, doodling pictures of saber-tooth tigers on your work. Saber tooth tigers were said to have caused deep running scars in certain bear legacies. Once she had gotten caught with the doodles trailing up her arm, and the school had briefly changed its no-beating-children policies so that Alicia would learn her lesson.
"This irrational decision," said the head of the school system, "not only endangered Alicia herself, the students and staff of the school, and any wildlife nearby. It could have brought devastation to an entire county. Bear attacks, after all, have been known to affect areas with a radius as large as 2000 miles."
In detention all that month, Alicia was forced to scrape the doodles off her arm with teeth. As no bear teeth were available, they were substituted by that of Billy the School Walrus.
Alicia did not like Billy the School Walrus. She had never liked Billy, not even before she had had to scrape off her own skin with his teeth. She thought he was too silly-looking, and knew that he could never handle with a real bear, let alone a sea bear. Billy did not like Alicia, either, because, thanks to her little saber-tooth tiger mishap, his teeth had been pried from his mouth rather painfully, and she had never apologized.
When Alicia left her final detention, the administrators gave her Billy's teeth in a box so that she would remember to behave. They also gave her a bracelet saying "What would Billy do?" if she ever felt the intention to attract bears.
As Alicia walked home that final day, she was mobbed by a screaming throng of girls from the Billy Fanclub. They pried the box open and took all the teeth. Luckily, no one stole her "What would Billy do" bracelet. Alicia saved that for herself, so that one day, when she had finally shown the world what an impressive bear fighter she was, she could melt it and toss it in Billy's wrinkly face.
Anyways, Alicia was walking to school. And it was chilly.
Alicia wanted to buy a fuzzy jacket. She was cold. She liked attracting bears. None had even shown up anyways. Unfortunately, all the fuzzy jacket stores in the city had been closed down by the Department of Bear Safety in that state.
She decided that today would be a day without an attempt at provoking a bear. After all, her arm had just finished healing a little while ago, and she didn't want to risk getting caught any time soon. There was also a book she wanted to finish reading today, and she wasn't sure if she could manage it if she spent too much time fighting bears.
Instead, she hoped to bug her math teacher by throwing marshmallows at him.
She didn't actually have any marshmallows, though, but at the time she was passing the house of one of the bubbly, perky members of the Billy Fanclub. She could see the girl in question talking animatedly on her cell phone through an upstairs window.
Airheaded, popular girls must keep marshmallows somewhere, Alicia thought. Quietly, she hopped over the fence, crept across the yard, and circled the house, looking for an open window.
She found one over a fence in the back yard. She pried it open with a crowbar and slid inside. As she slipped onto the cold floor, the window crashed shut behind her. Crap, she thought. Whatever, I'll find another window.
She turned around to see that she was in the boiler room. She quickly located the stairs and crept up them, swinging open a trapdoor above her head and finding herself inside the kitchen. "Perfect," she whispered. Now to locate the marshmallows...
Alicia pulled a small metal ball out of her pocket and rubbed it on her sleeve. Then she lowered herself half down the trapdoor, hurled the ball across the room, and ducked down, swinging the door over her head.
The ball clattered and clanged as it rebounded off every pantry and cupboard and counter. Alicia heard a shriek from upstairs. She smirked as the fanclub member came tearing into the room. Alicia peeped through a crack in the trapdoor as the girl screamed at the bouncing metal ball.
There was a crash. The sound of wood splinting. Then a riiiip of plastic...
"OH NOOOO! MY MARSHMALLOWS!" the girl wailed. There was a plop as soft little bundles of mallowy goodness dropped to the tile floor. Alicia stifled a giggle.
"Wait... what's this?"
Alicia risked a peek out of the trapdoor and saw the girl holding up the silver ball, looking at it puzzledly. You could see the gears turning in her head. Alicia guessed it would only be a minute now until the girl figured out that the ball must have come from somewhere.
There wasn't time for that, however, because the ball started beeping rapidly. Alicia ducked back down into the boiler room just as the ball exploded into a silver mist and the girl crumpled into a heap on the floor.
Alicia heaved herself into the kitchen, coughing in the clearing smoke. Waving away the fumes, she grabbed the unconscious girl and dragged her to the kitchen pantry. There she found a large empty cooler. Alicia stuffed the girl in the cooler and covered her with packets of raw chicken.
Then she crept back into the kitchen, where marshmallows lay everywhere. Alicia was prepared for this mess. From her backpack, she drew the MarshmallowVac350, the latest model.
She'd obtained both the Vac and the silver ball, called a Marsh 'n' Mist, from a shady store downtown that contained a variety of mischiefmaking products. According to some rumors, it even smuggled a few illegal bear provocotants, although the shopkeeper had insisted to her that they didn't have any, and if they did, that most certainly would not sell them to minors.
She pulled the trigger on the Vac, and in no time she had a vacuum cleaner full of marshmallows. With a jolt she realized she was almost late for school, and she ran out the front door, not bothering to close it behind her.
On the way to school she saw a snail. It was happy.
She arrived at the front doors just in time to be herded through bear security. A teacher grabbed her by the arms and placed her in a small plastic tub, which ran on a conveyor belt through a sequence of bear detectors. On the other side of the belt, Alicia leaped out of the tub and dashed off to class.
Her first class was math, and she had her marshmallows at the ready. She hadn't purchased any marshmallow-launching equipment, but she figured good old arms and hands should do the job well enough. Seating herself comfortably into the back of the classroom, she assumed and innocent, unnoticeable posture.
Her math teacher, however, was still hunched over at his desk - not an optimal marshmallowing position. He kept looking over a piece of paper and repeating, "But where is Marsha Prettybubble? She should be here."
Eventually the class realized that their teacher would not be in any condition to teach them today, and they began acting like the hooligans that they all were. Someone must have had the sense to call the Teacher Health Hotline, however, because after an hour or so a few paramedics rushed into the classroom and heaved the paralyzed Mr. Thompson onto a stretcher.
The principal soon arrived, looking both flustered and enraged. "You all know that Mr. Thompson has Absent Student Panic Syndrome! Who was irresponsible enough not to show up to class?"
When nobody answered, the principal grew angry. "Ah, so nobody wants to stand up and take the blame, eh? All right then. I'll just have to put ALL of you on probation."
The class stared at the principal.
This school had never exercised a PROBATION on students, and the class had no idea what that meant or what they were expected to do about it! Alicia squirmed in her seat, waiting for someone to explain.
The principal sat there glaring at them, his skin turning purple under his bushy mustache.
He looked expectant. The kids began to sweat.
No one dared speak... until...
"I don't GET it," declared one rather outspoken female member of the class.
The principal glared at her. "What don't you get?"
"Just... it! I don't get it. Like... i dunno. I don't get this at all."
"Excuse me," spoke up a timid boy in the back of the room. "I think what she's trying to say is that we don't know what probation means!"
The principal leered. "It means, young fellow, that you little rascals have no access to bear cages for the rest of the month. You will not be eating in the bear-proof cafeteria, you can only leave through the bear exit, you are not allowed on the bear-proof buses, and you are to report to the nurse's office to be branded with Billy the Walrus's face as a reminder that not being eaten by bears is a PRIVILEGE."
The man hacked a short laugh and slammed the door behind him.
The kids stood there for a moment, shell-shocked, before quickly resuming their normal apelike activities. A group of kids took it upon themselves to dismantle the furniture and began using it to act out a sword fight they had seen in an X-Rated movie.
Alicia rolled her eyes and popped a marshmallow into her mouth. She chewed thoughtfully but resolved not to eat anymore just yet. After all, she could still find a new target... Her eyes swept across the room and landed on a blonde girl stumbling through the doorway, looking woozy.
Wait, she thought. Isn't that the girl I took out earlier?
Marsha still looked fuzzy from the gas, but was obviously conscious, although her common sense (however much she had had) seemed to have vanished. Her hair was stained with a bright green liquid, she was carrying some sticky-looking pineapple chunks, and her fuzzy purple jacket was sloping halfway off her shoulder.
Alicia's classmates quickly took advantage of the disoriented new arrival and took the opportunity to start hitting her with the swords they had whittled out of the legs of Mr. Thompson's desk. Marsha didn't really seem to notice and kept mumbling something about ice cream. Alicia briefly thought back to purchasing the Marsh 'n' Mist and couldn't remember checking the ingredients on the label. She hoped nothing cancerous was involved. She couldn't afford to get sued.
Despite the shockingly low observance level of the average student at Billy Middle, there were a few semi-bright ones in the bunch. The semi-bright boy in question had previously been cowering in the back of the classroom, having been placed in the lowest level of the rapidly developing caste system of the Sword Wielders. From what Alicia had observed, the rankings went something like Dictator, Ninja, Disciple, Observer, Swordmeat. She was an Observer, which effectively meant that she could sit quietly in the background and not get hacked to pieces.
The Swordmeat boy suddenly stood up, a frightened expression on his face.
"FUZZY JACKET!" he screamed at the top of his lungs, pointing at Marsha fervently before running across the room and slamming the Bear Alarm.
Instantly an earsplitting siren split the school. Bear-proof bars slammed down over the windows, and the hats in the students' school uniforms inflated into bear-proof bubbles.
Semi-Bright Swordmeat had paid attention during the drills. He quickly rifled through Mr. Thompson's desk, pulled out a box of matches, ripped the jacket from Marsha's shoulders, and set it on fire. (Bear in mind that this was very difficult to do, since he was inside a large bear-proof bubble at the time.)
"There," he breathed once the jacket was a pile of ashes at his feet. "We should be safe now. A bear could still be attracted by the remaining smell of fuzzy jacket, but with these bubbles on and the bars on the windows, we should be safe."
Suddenly, the intercom above the children's heads crackled to life, and the principal's voice echoed throughout the building.
"Hello, students. As you may have noticed, we seem to have a bear hazard going on at the moment. Not to worry, not to worry - no bears have been spotted in the area so far, and you should all be safe inside your bubbles and barred windows."
There was a pause.
"However," the principal continued, "I do remember that Mr. Thompson's first period math class is on probation today. Sorry, students, but your bubbles and bars have been REVOKED."
The windows suddenly flew open with an ominous click, and the students' bubbles self-destructed.
"I hope you learn your lesson!" the principal snickered. This was followed by an evil cackle, and then the intercom clicked off.
The room was deathly silent. An eerie wind licked the open windows and blew back the students' hair in an ill omen of bears to come.
Marsha, shivering under the absence of her fuzzy jacket, let out a scream of terror and dove under a table top leaning against a wall at the back of the classroom. Shaking so hard she made the pineapple chunks on her sleeves quiver, Marsha wailed something about potatoes. As the table top bucked in her panic, the class dissolved into chaos.
A group of girls ran to the bear cage in the classroom that they had learned to depend on, to trust, but it betrayed them. It had only ever served their school. Sobbing with emotional trauma, the girls flopped against the walls, trying vaguely to prop up shelters with the battered table legs.
Some students refused to believe that the bear cages would turn against them so. Boys picked up pieces of chairs and whacked at the bear-proof bars. Alicia looked at the distraught classmates in disgust. She realized this was her chance to have all the power and opportunity she'd ever wanted. Without hesitating, she leaped on the desk.
"CLASSMATES!" she screamed. Her frazzled peers looked at her. "THE BEAR CAGES HAVE TURNED ON US. THE BUBBLES HAVE EXPLODED. THE SCHOOL HAS ABANDONED US. WHAT IS LEFT FOR US CHILDREN, TRAMPLED BY SOCIETY?"
The students stared at her.
"WE MUST ESCAPE!" Alicia bellowed "RUN INTO THE WILD! PREPARE! TEAR THESE BEARS APART, MAKE THEM BEND TO OUR WILL!"
The students started to get excited. They liked violence.
Alicia lowered her voice to a whisper.
"Show the school who is really the threat here. Before the month is out, we'll be setting off those bear alarms. Before the month is out, the school will be hiding in those treacherous cages from US."
The children cheered, then started crawling out the windows with their wooden swords in hand. Someone managed to grab Marsha, and they all formed a stampede pouring down the hill and into the parking lot. Students from other classes pressed their faces against the windows behind their bear-proof bars, looking on in awe at the procession of wild minors.
As it happened, the gym teacher was just arriving to school, having been caught in a traffic jam earlier that morning. As he was climbing out of his car, the children quickly grabbed him and started smashing the windshield of his Honda.
Alicia watched all this from a short distance, a satisfied smile on her face. Not only was she showing the school system who was boss, she was also guaranteeing the imminent arrival of a bear. Bears, after all, loved chaos.
The principal was sitting in his office, wearing a similar grin. He was sure that, sooner or later, the students of Mr. Thompson's class would be eaten by bears. He planned to use the fear this created amongst his remaining pupils to reinforce the teachers' reign. Disobey and you will be eaten, he planned to say during the speech he gave at the funerals.
The vice principal, a tall, skinny woman named Mrs. Primpum, rushed into the room, looking frantic.
"Mister Principal!" she shrieked! "The rebels have set all of the cars in the parking lot on fire! They're carrying torches and gasoline!"
The principal shook his head and waved Mrs. Primpum away. "Not now, Edna. I'm planning my speech."
"But they've taken our bus drivers hostage!"
Suddenly the gym teacher's face pressed against the office window. "HELP ME!" he screamed, before being dragged away by some sooty-faced adolescents who immediately tied him to the top of the flagpole and began performing a war dance beneath him. A hand crashed through the window and grabbed a screaming Mrs. Primpum by the hair, pulling her into the bushes.
"EEEEEEEEEEEK!" she screamed, clawing at the grass. "MR. PRINCIPAL! HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELP MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!"
"Ugh, Edna!" he scowled, "I'm afraid I just cannot put up with your constant naggering! I have vice principals to take charge when I am busy! Not distract me! Why can't you listen, for once?"
"AAAAAAAaaaaaaaah..." Mrs. Primpum's cries diminished as she was dragged into the parking lot, where a squad of wild children leaped on her and began to whack her with whips they had made from the fabrics of their collective pants supply.
"Edna!" the principal slammed his fist on the desk. "Get yourself under control! If you do not apologize for your behavior right now, I shall fire you!"
Mrs. Primpum was bound with the pant-whips and strapped to the fire escape. There the students pelted her with the squirrels they had found lying around the parking lot.
"THAT IS IT!" the principal roared, toppling his mug of pencils. "Edna, this is inexcusable! Disrupting my speech planning and then not even bothering to apologize? Consider yourself FIRED!"
An errant squirrel came flying through the window. The furry creature bounced off the principal's mini fridge and began to contentedly gnaw on the wallpaper.
"Honestly, what has gotten into people these days!" he ranted, pacing in front of the shattered remnants of the window. "Kids absent... vice principals screwing the school systems with their own corruption! And now it seems like my office is infested with squirrels! WHO IS TO BLAME FOR ALL OF THIS?!"
"That would be me, sir," a voice replied from behind him.
The principal spun around and saw Alicia standing on the windowsill, a hand placed on her hip. She was wearing a cowboy hat for the effect.
"You," the principal hissed, ignoring the hundreds of flaming-sworded-ninjas filing into position behind the girl. "I always knew you were a troublemaker. Did you learn nothing from the last time you were punished? Do we have to give you more teeth treatment?"
"I think you'll find that impossible," Alicia said with a grin. "Your school walrus is now somewhere in Mexico being sold as a hat."
She hopped down from the sill, continuing her rant. "We've recruited almost every child in every school from here to Alaska. We've destroyed as many bear-proof cages as we can find, and we are now flaunting as many bear-attracting techniques as we can." She gestured at the parking lot behind her, where several students were doing a ridiculous dance around a platform, atop of which sat a menacing-looking saber-toothed tiger wearing a fuzzy green jacket.
"Why are you doing all of this?" the principal growled. "I mean, why would you want to attract a bear in the first place?"
"Because," said Alicia simply. "You adults have always told us not to attract bears. You've gone out of your way to keep bears out of our schools, our cities, our storage rooms. And we are all determined to bother you as much as possible!"
The children behind her roared their approval.
To their surprise, however, the principal started to laugh.
"What's so funny?" Alicia demanded.
The principal chuckled. "You silly little children. You thought this would bother me? This is exactly what I wanted. You see," he giggled, "I am a bear!"
Alicia leaped back in horror.
"You fiend!" she cried.
The principal raised an eyebrow. "Oh?" he mocked. "Isn't this exactly what you wanted? To attract a REAL BEAR?"
"You're not even a real bear," Alicia muttered. "You're only half a bear." The principal ignored her.
"But no!" he yelled, his face reddening. "You didn't care about the bears. You didn't actually want to see one! You only wanted to cause TROUBLE."
"That's not true!" Alicia countered, chin raised defiantly. "I've always wanted to see a bear. Bears are cool."
"You only think they're cool because they make you seem powerful!" The principal screamed. "Didn't you ever consider that bears have feelings too? That bears want to live their own lives?"
"Hey, I wasn't trying to control any bears!" said Alicia, "I just wore jackets that are fuzzy. If bears like fuzzy jackets, then that's their choice to come and see one!"
"I HATE FUZZY JACKETS!" the principal bellowed. "WHY DO YOU PEOPLE ALWAYS GENERALIZE THESE THINGS? THAT'S SUCH A BEAR STEREOTYPE!"
Alicia stared at him.
"YOU THINK BEARS ARE ALL THE SAME? THAT WE DON'T HAVE FEELINGS? I AM MY OWN SELF AND IF I DON'T WANT TO LIKE FUZZY JACKETS, I DON'T HAVE TO LIKE FUZZY JACKETS!"
The fire-sword ninjas backed away, exchanging nervous glances. The principal glared at Alicia.
"People are so stupid, have you noticed?" he rasped, breathing heavily. "Never see beyond the bear. Never see what we truly are - WHO we truly are!" Alicia backed up to her ninja friends, who looked at her for instructions.
"But fine," the principal whispered. "You want to see a bear stereotype? I'LL SHOW YOU A BEAR STEREOTYPE!"
With that, he ripped off his suit.
Suddenly, they could see the principal for what he truly was: a monstrous, furry beast with claws and teeth like knives. His beady eyes stared at them, enraged. "IS THIS WHAT YOU WANT?!" he roared, barreling into the crowd of students. He leapt at the saber-toothed tiger and the two fought viciously while children scattered in all directions.
Alicia stared at her crumbling vision. In less than twenty minutes her life's dream had been accomplished and then dismantled. What was the world coming to?
The bear-principal struck out and slashed a deep wound in the tiger's thigh. It howled - at least, as much as a tiger can howl - and then threw back its head and let out a loud cry of pain and anger.
Suddenly, saber-toothed tigers began emerging from the woods by the school. Not just sabers: there were bengal tigers and panthers and big cats of every kind. The children scampered out of the way, but these new arrivals were only focused on the principal.
The bear growled a growl so low and intense it rumbled the ground beneath them. There was a crack of thunder and suddenly the cosmos in all their glory appeared above them, stars and galaxies shimmering and rippling. A tear appeared in the sparkling sky, and bears of all breeds descended from the heavens. Polar bears, grizzlies, black bears, sun bears, koala bears, panda bears...
The two ancient rival tribes stood a distance apart, on the verge of a battle. But before the fighting began, a figure slunk from the side of the tigers: the puma.
"Puma," growled the injured saber, "What are you doing?"
The puma did not speak to its cousin, instead guiltily sliding over to the side of the bears and taking a stance. There were rumbles and hisses of outrage from the tigers at this betrayal, but the puma held its position, saying, "This is where I belong. You will never understand, but I am at heart a bear."
The bear swung its head slowly and regarded the puma, the rage in its eyes slumping.
"Puma?" the bear asked quietly. Without a word the puma nodded. The two raised on their hind legs, and with an eerie balance, embraced each other.
Everyone stared. There was silence, the kind of silence you hear the minute before the shock waves of an explosion blow you off your feet. Then, from the roiling depths of the heavens above, came zooming a spinning whirling mass of light. The kids and tigers squinted as the beam shot down, finally placing a glowing spotlight upon Marsha.
Everybody gasped, but Marsha just smiled as her body began to change. A spiralling cone-shaped shell grew from the top of her head, and her body from the neck down morphed into tentacles. Two black, leathery wings sprouted from her back, and she rose into the sky. She was the legendary bat squid.
"Mother," all the animals whispered in fear.
"My children," the bat squid sighed. "You have been fighting for far too long. I have come to put an end to this feud. Embrace each other as family. There is no reason we should not all be at peace."
The bears and tigers slowly nodded and moved towards each other, apologizing for the damage done to both sides of the argument.
"Wait a minute!" Alicia shouted. "Who the heck are you?"
The bat squid turned to the child, a look of pity in her milky eyes. "Ah, little one. You have so much anger and spite within you. Open your eyes and your heart to the happiness within the universe. There is so much you have left to discover."
"But- but you were just a girl!" Alicia sputtered. "You were just a random kid in my class!"
"It was all a test, loved one," the bat squid sighed. "It was no coincidence the window of the house was open, nor that the marshmallows were on the counter. You were being tested by the cosmos, and you failed.
"But do not have sorrow, little one," she continued. "Life has many tests, and none of us can pass every one. There will be more tests, which you can use to learn and grow. Maybe some day you will be the one who tests us all. Grow, my child, and test, in the name of science."
With that, a purple glow enveloped the bat squid and all of the loving animals beneath her. With a flash, they were gone.
The children stood there in silence for a minute.
"Okay," shouted Alicia, "Now we burn the cafeteria!"
The children followed her, a war cry coming from their lips, waving their torches and swords alike.