Adam let out a long sigh and continued tapping his pen (he hated pencils with a burning passion) against his History class desk. It was the last period of the day and his brain was completely fried from having to do math in the previous period. What had originally just been mindless tapping at, like, three-quarters time roughly, turned into "Death by Glamour" (he likes Undertale), even though Mettaton Ex was, like, his least favourite boss to get through on his genocide run. (How could he? I have no clue.) However, he realised it was way too fast for his pen tapping skills, so it turned into the "Dogsong." (The annoying dog's theme. You know, the part where the artifact gets absorbed and the dog flies through the motherfucking wall? Like what the hell.) And, just like that, his weird dream from last night resurfaced in his brain. It was plenty weird to him, considering his normal dreams were just, like, infinite loops of the same day, but with dogs.
Everything's better with dogs.
I- I was a... Adam furrowed his eyebrows, his mouth tipping into a confused frown. A girl? And I was thin. And blonde. And I had this big ass apartment. Woah. There was a television in the bedroom. And the bed was king size, I think. Man, what if I lived like that? And... the phone kept vibrating but I didn't know the password, I'm pretty sure. What was the contact name? Adam squinted at nothing in particular, trying to focus in on the blurry image in his head. L- lil- lil something- lil shit? Yeah. The contact name was "lil shit." Wow. I think I just spent the whole day sleeping. The bed was really comfortable. And-
"Adam!" The brunet boy shot up in his seat, his back straight (unlike his usual slouched and totally awful posture) as he stared at the angry face of his teacher. Ahhh shit. "Can you answer the question?" Adam blinked at, like, the speed of a machine gun or something, his mouth opening and closing without any words coming out.
He had a total brain fart on top of not knowing what the frick frack snick snack paddy whack was going on.
Eventually, Adam's idiocy was interrupted when someone else pitched in with, "The Forgotten Battle, otherwise known as the Campaign of the Aleutian Islands on June 3rd, 1942 between the Alaskan territories and Feudal Japan." The cool and almost (well, very) condescending voice was one Adam recognised instantly. It belonged to one of his very few friends.
"That is correct again, Sam. However, next time, please make sure to let Adam answer his own question." Adam looked over his shoulder to throw a grateful smile at his friend, but was instead greeted with an intense glower. He sunk into his seat and averted his eyes as he fiddled around with his pen as his teacher moved on to talk about the United States' involvement in the Second World War. Honestly, it was really interesting shit, but it was hopeless trying to get Adam's mind back to work.
By the end of the class time, the only thing he had gained knowledge wise was that Sam was some kind of World War II super enthusiast.
Well, Sam knew, like, basically everything, so maybe that wasn't something gained.
When the period ended, Adam managed to escape the classroom and swiftly grab his things from his locker before he could get plowed over by the torrent of students pouring into the hallways from the other classes. (Public school's a riot.) However, that didn't prepare him for the shitstorm he was about to head into face first when he arrived at the Willow High Gazette Official Clubroom (the all capitalisation is a must). Ah, the Newspaper Club. I literally can't think of a stranger group of students. Including Adam, it's four completely different backgrounds and levels on the school's social hierarchy. One representative from each social category, if you may.
First, there's Sam. I mentioned her earlier.
She's second best girl.
(Still going with Ollie.)
She used to have really long and really straight brown hair, but after a few drinks and some dares one weekend, she came in the next day with the left side shaved and the right side white blonde with purple tips. Her eyes are brown too, but she wears two different cat contacts for each eye; one blue and one yellow. She doesn't like that much, but she can play the viola and knows how to ballroom dance for some reason. (She's someone I would either avoid completely or be best friends with in real life.) Despite all of this, she is one of the best students in the entire school and still is literally one of the few nerds that rise up above everyone on the school's social levels. You know, the popular ones. To be honest, she could have a crap tonne of friends and maybe even a clique of her own if she didn't hang out around loners and introverts. (They're not stoners, by the way. Just, you know, clarifying.) Plus, I mean, she's part of the newspaper club.
I think that says a lil something about her, if you know what I mean.
Anyway, the next one is Leo.
Technically, his actual name is Leonardo, but let's be honest; it's a completely stupid name and he isn't good at painting or science. Hence, Leo. There's another thing about him I should probably mentioned.
He is not Hispanic.
Louder for the back, he is not Hispanic.
Latino, yes, since Brazil did fall under that category of the world; Portuguese, kind of not really; Hispanic, no. Also, just because his skin his tanned, his hair is dark brown, and his eyes are dark brown, it doesn't mean he's Mexican.
He's Brazilian, dammit.
Anyway, he's a nice dude, has a decent amount of friends, with just a bit above subpar grade levels. however, his photography skills are absolutely phenomenal. I'm not even joking. He could literally take a picture of grass or bird shit and art critics would be in complete and total awe. It's the only class he has higher than a B+ in. He has this really strange obsession with this weird soda called "moxie" and obscure holidays that no one actually knows about. Also, he's got an ear piercing on one ear. It's one of those dangly ones.
Not sure why he got it.
Last but definitely not least is Rose.
She's got dirty blonde hair that she always braids for some reason. She's got hazel-ish eyes. She recently transferred into the school from a private one in the United Kingdom. (Somewhere in Northern Ireland, I think it was.) Rose is one of those kids that are overachievers on their own without constantly being pushed by their parents.
And she makes it look easy.
I don't think she's ever gotten a grade lower than a 99.5% (cause dammit, that one math test was pretty hard). She'd probably have a heart attack or a stroke if she did. She's the only student that's better than Sam and she's never left the honour roll every month she's been here. She also writes short stories for different children's magazines and she's won awards for nationwide academic tournaments. On top of that, she writes majority of the material for the newspaper. And she's an early riser.
Like I said, overachiever.
And she has friends.
What a feat, amirite? Nerds never usually have friends, yet she's got more than Adam.
Wow, Adam is kind of pathetic.
(My editor: You only now realised?)
Oh, shut up.
Anyway, these three people literally have nothing in common, yet today, they decided to band together to shit on Adam. The moment he stepped in the room, Sam slammed her hand against the desks arranged together and growled, "Dude. What the shit. You were supposed to be here yesterday." Her voice was probably the equivalent of liquefied poison syrup slowly dripping into a vat of lava. Deadly and not pretty when you're directly in firing range.
Adam didn't even have a chance to defend himself or even ask what was going on when Rose launched into a full on lecture without even pausing to breathe. "Adam, you do not have the luxury to simply take a day off from working on the Gazette. What on Earth made you think you could simply walk out on us when not only are our sales crashing down to the floor, but our production is slowing down even more than should be possible? This newspaper is failing and if we can't generate profit and make enough money to counterbalance the printing cost, this entire club is going to crash and burn and we have to pay the price right out of our pockets. You make up an entire 25% of the editing team and 33.3% in a continuous, non-terminating number of the writing team! That means you can't take mini vacations from this and you have to make sure you're actively participating!"
She could've just said a third, to be honest.
But, I mean, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
She's a nerd.
Adam threw a pleading look towards Leo, the only somewhat peaceful member out of all of them, but he merely shrugged and returned with a helpless expression. "Sorry, man, but they're right. Paper's goig down red. You made a promise and you weren't there. I can't really help you."
And you know what?
They were all totally right.
They had joined when they were all freshman and ever since, all of the original members had graduated from high school. Every new member that joined quit almost immediately after, whether it was from the boredom of lack of content or that they wanted to transfer to a different club so they could be with their friends. They were in such a shit show of a pickle that in one week, they decided to do an entire four page article on a kitten that they had found at the edge of campus grounds. However, since you could only do so much with cats, the entire thing consisted of less than a thousands words worth of pretty shitty metaphors, synonyms, and about thirteen different pictures of the kitten under ten different filters and a lens flare.
The saddest thing was that the week's paper was their best seller by a long shot when they managed to get a whopping ten copies sold.
Adam let out a long sigh and sat down at the table they were all gathered around at and took out his pocket notebook. He did his best (meaning he did crap) trying to ignore the glares from Sam and Rose and the disappointed frown from Leo. "Okay," Adam said, taking his pen out and scribbling Newspaper Problems on the page. He completely ignored what the rest of the members had said when he continued with, "I think we all know that the Gazette is going downhill. Does anyone know exactly why? That way we can, like, hone in on those exact problems and find ways to patch it up." The two blondes sighed in unison and resignation, deciding that directing all of their hate towards Adam was probably not a very, well, productive idea.
Rose added on with, "Our workload gets in the way of pushing out articles, especially since the Gazette is a 'daily'-" She used air quotes- "paper. With all of the seniors graduating and the freshman quitting, we have even less people that before to divide the work amongst, since each of us are busy majority of the day. The school itself also doesn't provide us with enough resourced and current statistics, so we can't use those to help us construct our volumes. We've been slipping behind our schedule at a gradual increase and the club's budget won't be enough the further we fall back." Adam nodded and jotted down-
No time, no money, no stats.
"So..." Adam trailed off, lost in thought, until he regained himself again. "For the workload thing, we could try recruiting new members for the club and get them to help with the writing and editing process. Maybe we could put some advertisements on the paper?"
Sam rolled her eyes and flicked Adam's forehead, earning herself a complaint in the process.
"No shit, Sherlock," she scoffed. "If it were that easy, we'd've already thought of it before you did and done it by now. One problem is: who reads the papers?"
All four of them silently and self consciously answered the question in a heartbeat.
"And since there's a lack of viewership," Rose added, "we won't be given the option to raise our budget. The school board and the student council won't see it as necessary if we aren't contributing money wise in some form or way."
All of them looked towards Leo, who had yet to pitch in his own personal thoughts.
Throughout the years they had known him, they had gotten used to him making astonishing offhanded comments. They wanted to know if this was one of those days.
The boy was fiddling with the strap of his camera when he finally noticed the attention he was getting.
"Um..." Leo rubbed the back of his neck sheepishly. "Rose basically covered everything I can think of. I guess the cost of everything is a bit much, since all of the photos we print are in full colour and you guys make me take pictures to fill up the extra space you guys don't have content for. The space on my pen drive and SD card that all of the photos take up is twice the amount of memory than the documents you guys write on Word. Also, this is kind of random, but I bought these new light filters for my camera and I'm kinda itching to try them out. I heard they work well with the sun and motion."
"The problem is," Sam said, "if we remove your pictures, the length of the newspapers will shorten so much that it will seem less like a paper and more of a glorified information packet. Plus, I'm pretty sure nowadays, people only buy the copies because they like the pictures. We don't have really anything else that can compare."
"Catch-22?" Adam summarised.
The three of them nodded.
"Even if we ignore all of those facts," Rose mused, "we still have one huge problem that we've all been avoiding and has to be addressed at some point or another."
All of them looked towards the Irish girl, who was staring back with a helpless face.
"Nothing happens in this school. We have nothing to write about."
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