"The Ballin' Pranksters in… Prankers Exposed!"

Chapter 7

Created by The Spectacular SpiderDom


The next day at Elton John Middle School, the warning bell echoed through the halls and deafened kids that were unlucky to be standing underneath the loudspeaker. Everyone scrambled through the halls and sealed their lockers tight. Grabbing their backpacks and hustling past one another, they snarled at others to get out of the way and prayed they wouldn't be late to class.

Tracy Lamarche strolled down the hallway reading a book called "Robotic Engineering For Dummies Scientific People". Beside her was her best friend, Lacey Paulson, who was dribbling a basketball up and down.

Jasmine Brynner, as usual, was strumming chords on her guitar and whistling to the melody. She eventually picked up her instrument, placed it back in its case, and tipped her hat to the people she passed.

Two boys made a seductive whistle as soon as they saw her. As a result, she walked towards them and smacked them across the face with the case.

Walter Henning walked beside his country singing friend and waved her hello, as he searched through his hat. He appeared to be looking for something important.

Wendy McFadden stood near her locker, waiting for Charlotte so they could walk to class together. But as she looked in every direction possible, there wasn't any sign of her to be seen. Scratching her blue-haired head, she closed her locker and pulled out her cellphone, dialing Charlotte's number.

Holding the phone up to her ear, she listened for a ringing sound.

While she waited, she watched Michelle, Gregory, and Vanessa walk down the halls. She stuck her tongue at the three of them, which resulted in the mad scientist flipping her off with her middle finger. Wendy's eyes lit up with shock and shook her head.

The trio was in the middle of an important conversation.

Well, Vanessa and Gregory were. Michelle, on the other hand, had her head shoved inside her backpack.

"And that is why the Percy Jackson movies have never been as good as the books," Vanessa finished explaining her story. Gregory nodded and stroked his chin.

"That's… pretty cool, and also sad," he replied. "Fans of a book normally get excited about a movie adaptation, but for them to find out the movie stinks… it's heartbreaking, y'know? I mean, wasn't there another bad movie that was based on a book? What was it called, Atticus Fool or something?"

Vanessa adjusted her glasses and raised an eyebrow. "You mean Artemis Fowl?"

"Yeah, that's the one!" Gregory snapped his fingers with joy. "Wasn't it bad or something?"

"Bad? It was a disgrace to its source material," Vanessa chuckled. "It was also the only reason my Mom canceled her Disney+ subscription."

"Hey, guys," Michelle interrupted the conversation, sticking her left arm out of her backpack's front pocket. "Have you seen my journal? I can't find it anywhere."

"It's not in your backpack?" Gregory asked.

"It should be."

"Maybe you left it at home?" Vanessa said, raising a finger.

"No, I always keep it inside my backpack. I never go anywhere without it, otherwise, I'd miss something worth writing down."

"Here, let's retrace your steps," Vanessa smiled, pressing her hands together. "Where was the last place you had it?"

Michelle stroked her chin and looked up at the ceiling.

"I don't understand why people look up whenever they start thinking of something," Gregory said. "Is there something about it that gives them inspiration?"

"Hush, Greg, I'm thinking…" Michelle replied. She closed her eyes and rubbed the sides of her forehead, trying to remember where her journal was last seen. "Let's see, I remember giving it to Vanessa when I arrived at Hendrick's Park. We were talking about The Skunkinator before Charlotte showed up and…" she opened her eyes and released a loud groan. "Son of a bitch!"

"You remember where you left it?" Vanessa inquired.

The three of them suddenly stopped in the middle of the hall.

"Yes," Michelle huffed, rubbing her eyes in frustration. "I left it at the badminton court. God damn it! I swore to myself that I would never lose it!"

"Hey, hey, don't get upset, Michelle," Gregory smiled calmly. "We can always get it back after school."

"And wait for someone to steal and read all of my personal info? No thanks!" she shook her head and began to walk the other way. "Class doesn't start until another three minutes, so I'll just rush over there and get it back."

"Whoa, what?" Gregory gasped.

"Michelle, you can't leave school property," Vanessa said. "You could get in trouble."

"It's not like I'm marching off to play hooky!" Michelle retorted. "I'll just hop on my hoverboard, zoom over to the park, grab it, and-"

Suddenly, a loud sound came from the loudspeaker followed by a soft thump. Everyone in the hallways stopped walking and looked at the nearby speakers, wondering what made that noise. At first, nothing seemed to happen so the kids resumed their walk…

…when all of a sudden.

"Good morning, Elton John Middle School."

A dark voice echoed through the speakers.

"I know morning announcements don't usually start until second period, but this is something I think all of you would like to hear. You may be wondering why Principal Sterling isn't doing this morning's announcements. That's because she had a busy errand to run, but don't worry, she'll be back soon…"

Every student exchanged a curious glance.

"I want to read all of you a story, one that's part of a collection I found in Hendrick's Park the other night. I skimmed through the pages to see which one was worth reading, they're all really good reads… but this one, in particular, stands out the most."

"My journal…" Michelle heaved nervously. Her green eyes popped from their sockets and her face turned as red as a tomato. "That guy's got my journal!"

"Whoa, let's not jump to conclusions," Vanessa said. "Maybe somebody else left their book in the park."

The announcer read the first line from the story. "Wittman's Pranking Log – Number 264".

Michelle's face immediately went pale, as she looked down at Vanessa with a face that said I told you so. Vanessa and Gregory nervously smiled.

"Okay… maybe it is your book," Vanessa chuckled.

"No, Vanessa. That's not a maybe, that IS MY BOOK!"

The anonymous speaker kept going. "Yowch! I've seen plenty of kids get smacked before, but I've never seen anyone land an uppercut like that. Only one person has that kind of strength and his name is Mack Mackenzie, also known as Big Truck Buck. Not sure what inspired the nickname, but that's what he wants everyone to call him. It wouldn't sound so dorky if he didn't always refer to himself in the third person. Oh, who am I kidding? It sounds stupid either way. Is he like some cheesy '90s superhero or something? Only dorks who spend their time watching cartoons about ponies do stupid stuff like that. Makes me wonder if Mack (oh, excuse me, Big Truck Buck) is seen as the big, strong, tough guy… or the biggest joke in the school."

Everyone in the hallways either laughed or gasped with astonishment. Most of the students knew Michelle Wittman as the world's best prankster, but they never would've guessed she'd write things as mean like that, especially about someone sensitive to name-calling.

While some of the kids shrugged this off and walked away, others slowly turned to the trio at the end of the hall.

All of them stared back, wondering what to do next.

Michelle felt her blood boiling and her forehead being flooded with sweat. Her private journal was in the hands of someone diabolical enough to read it out loud. The secret was out, there was nothing she could do to stop it. Looking left and right, she saw a million eyes staring back at her and heard a thousand whispers shooting back and forth.

Her green eyes were surrounded by red popping veins.

Her heart was pumping faster than the speed of light.

Her hands were clammy, and her stomach felt queasy.

She had no idea how she was going to get out of this.

Vanessa and Gregory shared one small glance before they slowly turned to their best friend.

"Dude… is that the kind of stuff you always put in your journal?" Vanessa asked.

Michelle clapped her hands together and took a deep breath. "Guys, I can explain."

"Do you write nasty things about everyone we know… including us?" Gregory asked, pointing to himself and Vanessa.

"What, no!" Michelle retorted. "You two are my best friends, why would you think-"


A clarion call filled the entire school and prevented the teenage prankster from explaining her situation. She and her best friends look across the hall and watched as other students turned the other way. As soon as they saw who made the sound, they immediately got out of the way; backs pinned against the lockers.

Michelle, Vanessa, and Gregory broadened their eyes and dropped their jaws. While they shouldn't be too surprised by this person's appearance, they were shocked by how angry he was.

The person standing all the way across from them was none other than…

…Mack "Big Truck Buck" Mackenzie.

"Uh, oh…" Gregory gulped.

Mack cracked his fingers and stretched his neck, raising one pudgy finger at his attacker. "You think it's funny to make fun of Big Truck Buck's name?... You called me a cheesy superhero?... Said I was a BIG JOKE!?"

As Michelle and Vanessa shivered out of fear, the only brave boy of the bunch slowly walked two feet forward and spoke to the bulky teen. "Mack-"


"R-right, sorry… Look, Michelle probably didn't mean the things she wrote. S-she was probably out of her mind the day she wrote it."

Michelle glared at him.

"M-maybe we can come to a peaceful resolution? Maybe we could get some tea and talk things out?"

Mack huffed and puffed before he took a deep breath and gave them a slight grin. "Yeah… Big Truck Buck would like to talk…" his grin faded into clenched teeth. "WITH HIS FISTS! ARRRRRGH!"

Following his last comment, he took off down the halls like a lion out for blood.

"RUN!" Michelle screamed, grabbing her best friends by their wrists, and taking off in the opposite direction.

Mack zoomed past everyone in the hall, who were all kind enough to let him pass. Even they didn't want to suffer his wrath. Michelle and her friends turned to the right with Mack following close behind.

Kicking down a set of brown doors, the trio of pranksters were greeted by a set of three large stairs. They looked upward and started running for their lives, not caring about how tall the blue-colored staircase was. As soon as they got up to the second flight, they heard a loud roar come from below. Gregory glanced down and saw Mack barge through the doors, literally knocking them down to the ground.

He looked up and scowled at the escapees.

"Gaaah!" Gregory screamed.

Mack jumped on top of the first staircase and dashed after them, clapping his knuckles together.

"He's coming this way!" Gregory shouted.

"He's not gonna get far!" Michelle replied, as she reached into her backpack and pulled out a banana peel. She looked down at her chaser and showed him the item in her hand. "Hey, Truck Buck! Catch!"

She chucked the banana peel over the side and watched it land all the way on the floor. As soon as Mack heard the splat, he ran back down the stairs. "Litterbug! No one litters in Big Truck Buck's town!"

"Go, go, go, go!" Michelle motioned to her friends, as she opened the door and allowed them to enter the next floor. She quickly followed behind and slammed the door shut.

Mack picked up the piece of garbage and cringed when he saw that the peel was mostly covered in brown spots. That was one of the many things he hated in life. He threw it away in a nearby trash can and wiped his hands together.

"Stupid litterbug," he mumbled, as he walked to the end of the staircase and looked upward.

Normally, someone like him would just walk up the stairs to chase after his enemies, but he assumed that they got pretty far. He needed another way to track them down. Scratching his thick, orange mustache, he walked out of the stair room and heard a ding come from the right corner.

He walked towards the edge and glanced at what made that sound. It was an elevator and Wendy McFadden was about to ride inside.

Stretching his muscles, Mack approached the Japanese woman and tapped her on the shoulder. "Excuse me, can Big Truck Buck use that?"

Wendy knew why he wanted to use it, so she moved to the side. "Go right ahead."

"Thanks," Mack replied kindly, as he stepped inside and pushed the button.

"Make sure Michelle gets what she deserves. I want you to paint this school with her blood and use her bones to make a necklace!" Wendy laughed psychotically.

The chubby hall monitor raised an eyebrow and said, "Big Truck Buck doesn't do that… what's wrong with you?"

The elevator doors closed, leaving Wendy all by herself.

Michelle, Vanessa, and Gregory ran down the halls with no intention of looking back. They didn't hear any grunts from behind, but they didn't want to take any chances. They ran towards the end of the hall before they came to a stop and hid around the corner of the hall.

Huffing and puffing, each of them slowly looked around the corner to see if he was there, but to their luck, he was nowhere to be seen.

Gregory placed a hand on his heart and gave a sigh of relief.

Vanessa and Michelle walked to the left with their best friend following behind.

"I think we lost him," Gregory puffed.

"Thanks, Captain Obvious," Michelle replied with a huff.

"So… anyway we can gonna fix this?" Vanessa inquired.

"Yeah, we're gonna find the asshole who stole my journal."

"No, I meant get Mack to stop chasing us. We can't run around the school like maniacs for the rest of the year!"

"We can worry about Buck Truck Buck Guy or whatever his stupid nickname is. What's more important is getting my journal back and shoving my foot up the thief's-"

"Uh… guys?" Gregory shivered. He grabbed both girls by their shoulders and turned them in the direction he was facing. They heard a ding come from the elevator in front of them.

Mack Mackenzie emerged from the elevator door with snarls escaping from his mouth. With his fists clenched and his teeth gritted, he stretched his neck and clapped his fists together. His brown eyes stared deep into the trio's souls.

"Where were we?" Mack smirked. "Oh, yeah… HARGH!"

"Crap!" all three of them shouted, as they ducked underneath a large punch and rushed to the side, avoiding another attack. Mack fell onto the ground and watched the trio take off down the hall. He slammed his fists against the ground and jumped back up.

"Get back here so Big Truck Buck can slap you!"

Michelle, Gregory, and Vanessa ran past several doors and searched for a way to escape. They were tempted to hide inside one of the classrooms, but teachers were inside all of them either filling out paperwork, getting ready to teach or watching funny internet videos. The trio kept running and running, hearing Mack's footsteps echo behind them.

Fortunately, they did come across a classroom and the door was wide open.

"This way!" Michelle pointed, as she grabbed her friends and tossed them inside the room. She grabbed the door and slammed it shut, hitting Mack in the nose.


She ran to the side and picked up a few student desks, pressing them against the door. "Ness, come help me with this!"

Vanessa ran over and helped pick up desks and threw them against the door.

Mack got up after rubbing his orange-haired head and shoved his right shoulder against the barricade, but it didn't move an inch. Grunting, he tried it again and got the same result. One more time, still nothing. Yelling as the behemoth people saw him as he began punching and kicking the door.

"OPEN THIS DOOR!" he exclaimed. "OPEN. THIS. DOOR!"

Michelle and Vanessa backed away from the door, wondering what to do next.

Meanwhile, Gregory huddled near the corner and wrapped his arms around his knees. "There's no way out! There's no way to escape! We're doomed! Doomed, I tell ya! I should have been a better boy!"

Michelle looked over her shoulder and ran towards the windows. Undoing the lock, she lifted one up and saw that there was a roof that stretched all the way around the school. She snapped her fingers and made a small laugh.

"This way!"

"What are you, nuts?" Gregory asked with a gasp. "I'm not going out there!"

"Do you want to get your face smashed by Mackie out there?"


The hall monitor was close to breaking the door.

"On second thought, let's go," Gregory said, as he jumped up and slowly climbed out the window.

Vanessa followed close behind and Michelle placed one foot over the railing.

Just as the pranksters closed the window and pressed their bodies against the walls, they heard a loud crash come from inside. All three of them shouted before they quickly tip-toed against the wall and across the green platform. When they got towards the end of the wall, they quickly leaped over to the next platform and ran across the roof. The school's courtyard was right beneath them and some kids were watching them, wondering what they were doing.

Mack opened the door and looked in both directions, searching for his prey.

Once he saw them, he grunted and climbed out of the window.

"W-whoa!" he mumbled, nearly slipping off the edge.

He quickly regained his posture and dashed after the pranksters.

"YOU CAN'T OUTRUN BIG TRUCK BUCK, BIG TRUCK BUCK IS A SUPERSTAR!" he hollered at the top of his lungs, as the escapees leaped down to the next platform. "EVERYWHERE YOU GO, IT'S BIG TRUCK BUCK!"

"If he says Big Truck Buck one more time," Vanessa rolled her eyes.

"Jump down!" Michelle called out.

The pranksters found a spot where a pole would safely take them down to the ground. Since these two were the most experienced in parkour, Vanessa and Michelle went first. One at a time, they wrapped their legs and arms around the pole, sliding down with ease. Landing on the ground with a stomp, they looked up and held out their arms.

"Greg, come on!" Michelle waved to him.

"I-I-I can't!"

"Just slide down, we'll catch you!"

Gregory placed a finger in his mouth and shivered once again.

"You, stay right there!" Mack pointed at the boy and howled. He almost tripped over the side again, but he jumped up and kept running.

Gregory gasped and finally did what he was told to do. He carefully wrapped his legs around the pole and grabbed onto it with his arms. His rear shot off the edge of the roof and he slid down to the ground…

…well, that's would've happened if a strap on his suspenders didn't get stuck to a nail in the pole.

He looked up at the nail and groaned in annoyance. "Are you serious!?"

Michelle and Vanessa had the same gesture before they grabbed Gregory by the side and yanked him down. It was hard to do so since the strap was insistent on staying stuck on the pole. Still, the two teens kept pulling and pulling, hoping that Mack would give up this crazy chase.

"Sheesh, man! What's that thing made of? Solid steel!?" Vanessa frustratingly inquired.

Mack was getting closer and his fingers were wrapped in a choking position.

Michelle gasped, as she and Vanessa gave one last tug and ripped Gregory away from the pole. The suspender broke in the process and he barely dodged Mack's swipe. He fell right on top of the teenage girls' stomachs.

"Oh, sorry!" he apologized, as he got back up and helped them on their feet.

Mack swung his arm left and right. "Get back here!"

The three kids stepped back a few feet before they took off running.

The hall monitor continued waving his arm around before…


…he heard a noise come from underneath him.

He stopped waving his arm and looked underneath his stomach, noticing that the green edge was denting due to his massive weight. Gulping, he looked to the side as if an audience was watching him and said, "Uh, oh.."

He fell over the side and landed on top of someone below him.

That someone was Walter Henning.

"Oops, sorry magic man."

"Urgh… it's okay."

Charlotte Withers came out of the guidance office with a tissue in her hands. With a deep sigh, he wiped a tear flowing down her eye and threw it in the garbage can nearby. She was about to close the door when she heard the sound of footsteps coming from her right.

"Huh?" she murmured before she watched Michelle, Gregory, and Vanessa pass some students in the halls and shove them out of the way. They didn't care if they were being cursed at.

As Gregory and Vanessa continued running, Michelle stopped in her tracks and locked eyes with her rival.

Charlotte raised an eyebrow and looked left and right. "Uh… hi?"

Michelle looked at the room number she came out of and noticed it read, "Principal/Guidance Office". She then looked back at her rival and made an angry expression on her face. She remembered last night that Charlotte walked away from the badminton court when she lost, which was also the same location her journal was taken from. Clenching her fists, she finally placed two and two together.

"It was-"


Mack came running down the hallway. "Get back here!"

Michelle screamed and ran the other way.

Charlotte watched as Mack ran past her.

The three runaways dashed right past a security guard, which caused him to step away from the wall and blow his whistle at them. "Hey! No running in the halls!"

The security guard then turned around and saw Mack running towards him.

He gasped. "Ah-"


Mack shoved his way through the security guard, which caused him to fly over the side and land on the ground.

Charlotte cringed upon seeing that and watched her two rivals and crush open the door and run outside.

"Okay?" she said to herself, as she closed the guidance office's door and went about her day.

"Get back here! Big Truck Buck will show you who the joke is!"

"Dude, will you chill out already!?" Michelle screamed back as she ran outside.

She and her friends ran along the grassy plains on a beautiful sunny day. Some of the kids were relaxing outside before packing up for class, some of them watched the kids chase each other while others chose to mind their own business. Michelle, Gregory, and Vanessa kept running until they saw someone handing out flyers for the school play.

"Rocketship Run: The Laurie Berkner Story – Auditions Being Held from Thursday to next Friday. Don't miss out on an extraordinary event. Auditions for characters are in Music Room 23B".

As soon as the female student passed out a flyer to the next person, Michelle quickly ran over and smacked the papers right out of her hands.

Mack was about to grab Vanessa and Gregory, but his face was suddenly covered by papers.

"Sorry!" Michelle yelled at the person, as she and her friends took off down the yard.

Waving his whole body in every direction, Mack ripped the papers from his face and took a look at one of them. He paused for a few moments before he rolled one of them up and placed them in his pocket. Normally, he would help the messenger clean up the rest of the papers, but he was too focused on getting back at Michelle and her crew.

Speaking of which, all of them were approaching the football field, where the school's team, The Yellow Brick Roads, were practicing. Each of them had bright yellow jerseys with a picture of the yellow brick road on their backs. They had white helmets that matched the color of their sleeves and leggings. They were in the middle of tossing the football itself back and forth, tackling each other in the process.

"Aw, fudge nuggets!" Gregory gulped. "Not the football team!"

"Did you just say fudge nuggets?" Vanessa raised an eyebrow.

"I have an idea," Michelle smirked, turning over her shoulder to see that Mack was far behind. "Split up!"

"WHAT!?" both of her friends bellowed.

"Even a big behemoth like him can't catch up to all of us at once. Besides, I'm the one that pissed him off, so it's better you two escape on your own."

"Why are you talking as if you're a superhero?" Gregory huffed and puffed.

"And here's the part where I'd say, are you crazy!?" Vanessa chimed in. "We're not gonna let you get pummeled by Mack!"

"I'm not gonna get pummeled!" Michelle answered back with another grin. "I have a plan for that. Split off when I count to three. You two head left, and I'll go right, got it?"

Both of them shared a nervous glance before they finally nodded.

"Good, on my mark," Michelle said, staring off into the football field. "Three…"

Mack was catching up.


One of the football players got tackled by another one.


Michelle quickly swerved to the right while her best friends went left. Mack didn't bother chasing after them; his eyes were solely on Michelle, who rushed into the football field without hesitation and snatched a football away from one of the players.

"Hey!" the player shouted. "Give that back!"

"Gladly!" the teenage prankster replied, as she turned around and held the ball tight in her palms. She kicked it with full force and watched it fly over the entire stadium. Every football player watched it pass over them in the blink of an eye, the shot was so high that it made the coach's jaw drop.

The ball continued soaring through the bright blue sky before it fell right into Mack's arms.

"Huh?" the bulky hall monitor stopped and looked at the ball in his hands.

"There it is!" another player shouted. "Get him!"

Mack looked up and broadened his brown eyes. Every football player was rushing right towards him with the intent to snatch that ball back. Mack briefly looked down at the football before he clapped it against his right palm. Screeching to the highest pitch his voice could go, he rushed through the football field and shoved every single player out of the way.

"Whoa!" the coach gasped. "That man's got good form!"

Shouting as if he was entering a war, Mack charged through the players and knocked them down on their rears and sides. He finally threw the football to the side, which hit a player in the back of the head, knocking him out cold. Mack clenched his fists and turned to the right, where Michelle kept running.

Gregory and Vanessa were running towards the bleachers.

"Tell me that wasn't her plan!" the former said.

"I hope it wasn't!" the latter answered. "But at least it slowed him down a bit."

As soon as she said that the brown jacketed man picked up the pace.

Vanessa rolled her eyes. "I hate you, Lady Luck."

"Who's Lady Luck?"

"Just an expression, Greg."

She and her best friend ran to the side of the bleachers and climbed inside, where they quickly climbed over a bunch of poles that were holding the seats together. Upon reaching their legs over the last set of poles, they crouched down and hid from plain sight.

They watched Michelle and Mack disappear into the distance.

Both of them gasped and looked forward, waiting to see if they would show up again.

But after a few seconds of waiting…

…nobody had returned.

"Holy shit!" Vanessa gulped, as she whipped out her cellphone and dialed Michelle's name. She held it up to her ear and waited for a response. "I swear to God, if you don't respond, I'm gonna march over there and kill you myself!"

Gregory gasped.

"Oh, it's just another expression, Greg!"

She waited a few more moments for a response, but the phone eventually hung itself up. It didn't bother to go to voicemail.

"Are you kidding me!?" she exclaimed, dialing the number again.

But just like before, no response.

"Come on, come on, come on!"

One more time? Still no response.

"Damn it!" Vanessa slammed her phone against the metal bar above her head before placing it in her pocket.

"Oh, what are we gonna do!?" Gregory shivered once again, pacing himself back and forth. He pulled his beret over his face and clattered his teeth. "What if Mack kills Michelle? I can't live with that kind of guilt! I can't live with the fact one of my best friends who I've known since the beginning was murdered because she wrote nasty things about Mack Mackenzie! Oh, my god! I'm gonna live the rest of my life knowing that Michelle Wittman died because I was too scared to-"



Gregory leaped into Vanessa's arms and both of them screamed at the top of their lungs.

Michelle stood right in front of them and laughed, slapping her knee in the process. "Wow, Greg. It's really nice to know you care about me, ha-ha!"

Both of her friends were shocked but also angry.

"Y-you're alive!?" Gregory inquired.

"What the hell was that all about?" Vanessa asked, dropping the man on his rear. "How did you get rid of Mack? We literally just saw you running a few seconds ago."

"That's the thing, Ness… my plan worked," Michelle closed her eyes and replied, raising a finger upward. "You see, Mack may have a lot of brute strength thanks to body fat, but it's because of that body fat that he easily runs out of energy. Charging into those football players took a lot out of him. So, I kept going a little while longer, but he eventually passed out. I'm not trying to fat shame him, but he should really take up exercising."

Vanessa was dumbfounded. "Wow… that shockingly makes sense."

Michelle nodded. "Mmm-hmm."

Gregory jumped on his feet and brushed off his brown pants. "Michelle, it's nice to know we got rid of him, but you know he's gonna come back, right? He's never gonna let this go."

"He'll give up… eventually. Right now, we need to focus on getting my journal back."

"Yeah, who was the guy that read it on the announcements?" Vanessa asked. "And why would they read your journal of all things?"

"Better yet, how did Principal Sterling allow them to come inside her office?" Gregory added to the many questions. "She would never do something like that."

"The answer to your questions is a lot simpler than you think," Michelle replied. "There's only one person sneaky enough to steal my journal, one person ballsy enough to read an excerpt to the entire school, ONE person who did this just to get back at me… and her name… is Charlotte Withers."

"What?" Gregory scratched his head.

"Think about it, guys," Michelle explained, patting her hands together. "Charlotte wanted to take Greg out on a date and now she can't because she lost the badminton game. While we were celebrating, she must've taken my notebook and decided to get her revenge by reading it to the entire school. And if that's not enough, I saw her walk out of the principal's office. Why do you think she was in there?"

Vanessa and Gregory shared a brief glance.

"It's obvious, guys. She's the one that stole my journal."

"Makes perfect sense to me," Vanessa nodded in agreement, folding her arms.

"Hold on, hold on," Gregory shook his head. "Something doesn't make sense. Michelle, I'm not saying you're wrong, but would Charlotte really go this far? She was acting a little strange last night while you were playing badminton. You asked her why she started acting so mean and I saw her get upset, almost as if she wanted to tell you something, but couldn't find the courage to do it."

"She was probably doing that to distract me from winning," Michelle retorted. "Charlotte would do anything for her own self-benefit."

"Yeah, but still… would she go as far as to steal your private journal?"

"Do you have another suspect on the list?"


"Then it was her."

"Well, it could be Wendy too," Vanessa added. "She's been kissing Charlotte's ass since second grade."

"True," Michelle stroked her chin.

"But anyways, how do we get your journal back? It's not like we could just walk up and ask for it."

"Maybe we should tell a teacher," Gregory suggested.

"What, are you kidding me?" Michelle asked. "As if teachers actually care about anti-bullying. Half the time, they don't even punish the bully. They just walk up to them and go-" She proceeded to mock an old male professor's voice. "Stop it, you're not being nice."

"Sadly, that's mostly true," Gregory nodded.

"So, what's our plan then?" Vanessa asked.

"Oh, believe me, I have one," Michelle smiled. "But I want to talk about it later at my house. Meet me there after school… there's something I've been wanting to show you guys for the longest time. I was gonna save it for Halloween… but there's no better time than now."


The first-period bell just rung.

"Shit, we're late for class," Vanessa moaned.

"Remember, meet me at my place later," Michelle nodded.

"Or we could talk about it during lunch."

"Nah… I'd rather discuss it privately."

"If you say so."

"Let's get out of here before we get in trouble," Gregory said. "I really don't want to see Mack's face when he wakes up."

With that, the three teenagers emerged from the bleachers and walked back inside the school, hoping that they wouldn't get in trouble for being tardy.

But as they walked through the doors…

…the mysterious figure from Hendrick's Park watched them from the rooftops above.

It looked down at Michelle's notebook before placing it inside its pocket.

Chuckling, it leaned upward before pressing a red button on a silver watch wrapped around its right hand. Suddenly, static started to blanket the figure's body and he began to disappear from sight.

Within a matter of seconds…

…the figure was gone.


Tune In Next Time For…

Ballin' Pranksters – Issue #2: A Call To Action