Written by Restingturtle51
Author's Note: Hey guys! This is my very first story, so I request that you be gentle. Constructive criticism is allowed, but flamers will be ignored. Also, fair warning to the audience – this story is rated T for a reason. There WILL be violence and language, although this chapter is more on the mild side. Also, characters can die, regardless of how important they are to the plot, so… Don't come crying to me if a character you like is killed. That's life. Deal with it.
Chapter 1: The Book
Winston walked home, wetting his feet in the occasional puddle. A ghastly mark was clearly visible on his face, of which he acquired but moments before. His clothes were tattered, and his hair disheveled. In all honesty, he looked as though he had gone to hell and back. The only question was, how could he possibly hide these exceedingly obvious injuries from Charlotte? She could be very protective at times. …Like a mother, he guessed. Not that he knew how a mother was supposed to act.
He had never truly understood what it felt like, having parents. After his real mother died upon giving birth, his father committed suicide. After that, well… Winston was adopted by Richard and Charlotte O'Neil. They had a beautiful daughter, named Olivia. She wasn't terribly amazing when it came to academics though... She always had to ask for help.
Taking a deep breath, Winston arrived at the front door of his home; it was made of mahogany. Gathering his wits, he ventured inside, sneaking into his room. "Hi mom! I'll be in my room… Studying." He locked the door behind him, making his way towards the bathroom mirror. There was a dark circle around his right eye, dark and puffy. No doubt the cuts around it had been infected...
After rinsing his face with cold water, Winston considered using Charlotte's make up to hide the black eye… The idea was discarded as soon as it was made. Sighing, he collapsed on his bed, the mattress uttering a contesting sound. The ground underneath it squeaked. "What am I gonna do?" He decided to start studying for real, as he had nothing better to do. Besides, he had an upcoming test. It was a biology exam regarding the structure of DNA. The subject was relatively interesting, in his opinion. Perhaps he ought to make a career out of it… He could be a biological engineer. Yeah… A biological engineer. That sounded fun.
Glancing towards his desk, he frowned. There was a leather-bound book on it, which was odd, since such covers were essentially outdated in modern society. It was all about paperbacks or e-books, nowadays, and even then e-books dominated. The book was black, and had glossy gold letting on the covering, reading "Universe." Picking it up, Winston opened it, his curiosity piqued. The first few pages were filled with written text, and the cover had some sort of instruction manual, if that made sense. The rules were written as such:
I. Events written in Universe will come true within the next twenty-four hours, unless otherwise specified.
II. Events cannot force others to think or feel things they would not otherwise.
III. Events cannot defy the laws of physics, without due cause.
"Hm…" Winston stared at the book, an eyebrow raised. "A book that grants wishes…" Despite his skepticism, he resolved to try it out anyways. His pen hovered over the first available page, pondering as to what it would write. Perhaps it could get those bullies from earlier expelled… That would be nice. He began to write. [Those bullies from earlier… I want them to be kicked out of school.]
Winston nearly fell from his seat as the words he had written seemed to seep into the page. It was replaced by fancy handwriting, in a very old fashioned manner. Was an invisible being writing in the book? If so, then… "This book is legit?!"
The invisible entity finished writing. [You need to write with the provided pen. Plus, you don't know those bullies' names, am I correct? Also, yes, I'm "legit."]
Grinning from ear to ear, Winston furiously wrote his response. [What do mean by all that? "Provided pen?" The names of the bullies?]
[Check your pocket. As my new Master, you are in possession of the pen. It is magically enchanted to return to your pocket, should you lose it.] Just as the invisible writer had said, there was indeed a pen in Winston's pocket; it was cool to the touch, and was dominantly blue. [Also, when you write about events regarding specific people, you need to know their full names. Sure, I could tell you, but it would cost you.]
Timidly, Winston scribbled his next question on the paper. [Cost me? Cost me what?]
[You see, all people are composed of three segments: the mind, body, and soul.] the writer explained. [If you want me to tell you stuff you don't already know, you have to give me your soul. After that comes the body, and then the mind. After that though, you're worthless.]
Biting his lip, Winston looked away. To get any information off of the book, he had to sell his soul… That wasn't exactly a fair deal, but… Why, under what crazy circumstances, would he actually use it? Getting someone's name wasn't too difficult. If no one even knew of the book's existence yet, he could randomly ask for people's names without regret; no suspicion would fall on him, as it was believed to be impossible to do even half of what the book claimed.
[Okay. I'll get back to you on their names.] With that, Winston turned on his computer, listening to the gentle hum of the device. It took a minute or so for it to turn on, but not too long. Apps were placed on the left side of the screen, carefully organized according to the alphabet. Most of the apps were nothing more than games. Role playing games, to be more precise.
Accessing his social media account, Instapic, his hands hovered over the keyboard, until he realized, he couldn't look up the names of his bullies, since he didn't know their names. "Idiot…!" Standing up, he stretched his legs and walked over to his closet. He knew he had a yearbook from his freshman year… Perhaps he could find the names of his bullies there…
After finding what he wanted, Winston strolled back to his desk. Sitting down, he grabbed a regular pencil, and began to write. [Hey, do I need the full name? Or just the given and surname?]
[You need the full name.] Winston cursed. He didn't have the middle names of his captors. [No choice then. I need to figure out their full names…]
[Good luck. You're going to need it.] The writer wrote.
Winston didn't reply, grabbing his raincoat; he could hear the pitter patter of water hitting the ground. "Damn." He then picked up an old baseball bat, a tad too small for practical purposes by now. Richard had given it to him for his 13th birthday. Winston had been such an athletic child back then. He discovered the wonders of virtual reality two years later.
The adolescent left his room, going straight for the door. "Where are you going, honey?" Winston looked to find Charlotte. She was wearing an apron, which had the picture of a cupcake on it. It had a smiley face. She always wore things like this. Her favorite shirt was a white tee with a yellow hand, its thumb up in the air.
"Emergency meeting," said Winston. He didn't want to lie, so he didn't say what the meeting was for. Instead, he left it up for Charlotte to decide. Ah, the joys of being a gamer. It made it so simple to get out of the house, on the excuse of meeting up with friends at the local café.
Charlotte sighed, walking away. "You and those meetings." Smirking victoriously, Winston left the building, out into the night. The book was tucked away in his jacket, the pen in his pocket, and a common #2 pencil in his pocket. The more he thought about it, the more he realized that if he went up to his bullies and straight up asked them for their full names, it would come off as suspicious… He needed to find someone he could trust. Someone who was good with computers. Hm… But who fit such criteria?
He didn't have very many friends… There was Jack, but he was far too talkative… Samuel too, though he wasn't a convincing liar. Should he end up being questioned by others, due to the presence of the book, he would be unable to protect Winston from unwanted eyes. Nick had the desired traits, though he wasn't terribly good with computers. As for George, he indeed was a computer nerd, but… He and Winston weren't the best of friends. Sudden interaction could prove to be disastrous, drawing attention to themselves. So many choices…
Winston ducked into a secluded alleyway, pulling out the book and the pencil. [Hey. Do you have any ideas?]
A sigh escaped Winston's lips. [You know, about who I should ask for help?]
[That'll cost you your soul.]
[No!] Winston was alarmed. [Out of the people I DO know.]
[Oh. Well, that's a different matter, then.] The writer wrote. [Perhaps you should ask Nick. He may not be exactly what you wanted, but… He's trustworthy.]
Winston nodded. [All right. Well, as proof of my power, do you think it'll be enough to show me talking to you?]
[Time to devour your soul…]
"Ugh! Dammit!" Winston exclaimed. [Never mind.] He pulled out the other pen. [At 5:00 PM today, Stripes the Tiger escaped from Ohana Zoo.]
[Oh, I see what you're doing. Gave yourself time to get to his house. Smart.]
[Yeah.] Winston then left, taking a bus to Nick's house. It was a small residence. Only two bedrooms, a kitchen, a dining room, and a single restroom. Winston had only been there once, so as to play retro games with Nick, which were actually played using controllers. No virtual reality. Just two controllers and a television screen.
He knocked on the front door. Nick was the one who answered it. He was brushing his teeth. "Whadda yah wan'?" said Nick, managing to speak in chopped syllables. Winston considered him in a rather serious manner. Saying nothing, he placed a finger to his lips. Getting the message, Nick nodded, guiding Winston over to his room. He locked to door behind him, going over to the bathroom; it had two entrances, so Nick had to lock it. He took the opportunity to remove the toothbrush.
"So, what do you want?" Nick asked once again, lifting an eyebrow.
Winston grabbed the television remote. "Stripes is escaping from the Ohana Zoo today, at five exactly. I said so."
"Um… Winston, are you feeling all right?" Nick stared at Winston with concern. Huffing, he tossed the book onto the couch. Nick stared at it, still not understanding what he was seeing. He read the message, his eyebrows furrowing.
His concern switched to surprise when an emergency broadcast turned on. It was 5:10 PM. "This is an emergency broadcast, presented to you by your local broadcasting network."
"What the…" Nick stared at the television in wonder.
"Today, at five o'clock PM, Stripes the Tiger escaped from the Ohana Zoo. Officials are panicking, desperately trying to find him. There have been no signs of him thus far, and until then, extreme caution is advised. Please, do not approach the animal. Repeat, do NOT approach Stripes. Flee on sight." Nick watched the broadcast with astonishment, and disbelief. Although he didn't say it, Winston knew exactly what he was thinking. At least, he thought he knew. Nick was well aware of the town's sheer size. It was impossible to get from the zoo, which was on the other side of town, all the way to his house within the allotted time of ten minutes.
"What… How…" Nick muttered, trying to rationalize the situation. "Why are you showing me this?"
Winston told the truth. "Because. I need someone to be my eyes and ears. Someone who won't tell anyone else about the book."
Nick nodded, processing the newfound information. "Okay… What's the first order of business?"
"Well…" Winston grabbed the book and began to write. [Nick McCaffrey Turner discovers the names of the bullies. He tells said names to Winston Buccola Friesen.]
Nick regarded the words warily. "Are you sure about this? What if I get hurt?"
"Don't sweat it," Winston replied. "You'll be alive if you're able to tell me, right?"
"That's true…" said Nick, grabbing an old mask he made for the Festival of Masks, as well as his wallet. "Well, I'll be back."
Winston seemed to grow dark, and a confident smile came to his face. "You better."
Nick left his house shortly after meeting Winston. He was on edge, after seeing his friend. Winston wasn't acting normal. Was it the book? Had its power corrupted him? Whatever the case, Nick knew that the book was bad news. It had brought a more… What was the word? Oh, that's right. It had brought a sadistic persona to light.
Shaking his head, Winston tried to focus. Where would he go, if he were a bully? Hm… Maybe he'd go to the arcade to play some games… No. That's what he would do. "Critical thinking, Nick!" … Those bullies always seemed to spend their money on other things, like bike specs. Perhaps he could find them at some bike shop. Yes, he would check out the local bike shop…
It took a while to find the people he wanted. They were currently exercising on these cylinder things that kept their bikes in place. A holovision was sitting in front of them, displaying the same emergency broadcast. They were laughing, acting as though nothing was happening. The store owner was clearly unnerved, but he needed the business, so…
Nick walked inside, being as quiet as possible. The owner was about to greet him, when Nick rose a finger to his lips; she nodded, and glanced at the boys with a questioning gaze. Nick nodded, and walked over to the woman. "Would you happen to know the full names of these boys?" he whispered, pulling out a sheet of paper and a pencil. The woman hesitated, and Nick felt his throat hitch.
"Why do you need to know?"
Nick sighed, pulling out his wallet. He tried to tempt her with his allowance. "How we skip that part and get to the name?" She nodded, grabbing the money. The woman bent over, grabbing something underneath the counter. It turned out to be some rental contracts or something, involving the boys. It showed their full names, as well as that of the parents. Smiling, Nick wrote down the names and began to leave.
An arm stopped her. Nick turned to see a bully. "Hey, who're you?
Panicking, Nick was forced to come up with an escape plan. The only thing that came to mind wasn't very good. Yet, it was the only apparent way to escape, Nick thought. "Ugh!" the bully exclaimed, falling to the ground, clutching his groin. Seeing his chance, Nick booked it, escaping.
"Oh God…" said Nick, once he was sure that he was safe from harm. He slumped to the floor, hugging his knees. "I'm alive." He laughed. "I'm alive!"
"Wait, so his middle name's 'Louise?' …That's kinda sad." Winston looked at the names of his oppressors, frowning. What should he do to them? Death would be overkill… "All right…"
Nick watched as Winston opened the book, pulling a pen out of his pocket. The tip hovered over the page for a moment or two. He began to write. [Maximilian Jack Robinson, Trevor Louise Samson, and Marx Harrison Ford are expelled.]
"That's it?" Winston glanced at his friend, lifting an eyebrow.
"What do you mean?"
Nick shrugged. "I don't know. I thought you were gonna kill them or something, the way you were acting…"
"Of course not!" Winston exclaimed, horrified. "I'm no murderer."
Winston glanced back at the book. "Well… I've figured it all out."
"Figured what out?"
"I'll use it to grant everyone's wishes." Winston exclaimed. "With this book in hand, I shall create the perfect world, where everyone gets everything they desire! You, Nick, shall be my loyal guard, the Sentinel!"
"Ah, come on!"
"I'll get you a virtual reality console…"
"I'll toss in a side of wingman-ing."
"Wait. That actually worked?"
Author's Note: Hope you enjoyed, and remember to review! Just remember – flames will be quenched using the book!