Monday, March 14, 2016

No Update Today

Sorry, y'all. My life and computer have been hectic, so there will be no continuation of Loony, Talie, and Andi's story today.

The new chapter should be up by next week.

Enjoy these fan videos of other things in my absence:


Monday, March 7, 2016

Once Upon a Moonlit Night... - Chapter 7: This Is What Dreams Are Made Of

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Read Chapter 4

Read Chapter 5

Read Chapter 6

 Talie made her way inside and sneaks into her bedroom. Her Dad knew she was staying out, but she still didn't want to wake him, he had to work tomorrow. She kept texting Andi about the date. Andi seemed to be responding positively, though some of the sentences she was sending could be interpreted differently. Even so, Andi told Talie about the dance coming up.

"Dance?" texted back Talie.

"Yeah. The school just sent out an email about it today." replied Andi.

"I never got an email." typed Talie.

"You're so new, you might not be on the mailing list yet." Andi responded.

"Why didn't Loony tell me about it?" replied Talie.

There was a long, long pause before Andi responded back.

"Oh, you know Loony. It probably slipped her mind while she was drinking some Blue Moon." Andi texted back. There was a smiley emoticon.

"Well... I think I'll ask her, then. See what happens." replied Talie.

There was another long, long pause.

"Sounds great." texted Andi. "I mean, it's not like I was going to ask you, or anything. Go with Loony."

"Wait" Talie texted back. "You were going to ask me to the dance?"

"That's not important." replied Andi. "I'm sure you and Loony will have a great time together. Must run. Sleep well tonight."

"You too. Sorry." responded Talie. She was now awash with mixed emotions. She just had the best date of her life with the best girl she had ever met, but the closest thing she has to a friend in MN wanted to take her to the school dance. Deciding that emotions are weird and things are confusing, Talie just plugged in her phone and crawled into bed. What should've been a night of sweet dreams of kissing Loony became a chaotic emotional roller coaster.

The sky was clear and the Moon was full. There was a clearing in the woods near the lake. Talie was tied up to a stake and had unlit firewood at her feet. In the clearing were two wolves: one red and one white, fighting each other viciously and drawing blood. Talie looks around and sees Andi hiding behind one of the trees, as if hesitating to come out and help. The two wolves had finished fighting: the red wolf lay on the ground, bleeding out. The wolf slowly turned back into a human. Loony's naked body lay on the ground, scratched and gutted. The white wolf made it's way over to Talie tied at the stake. That wolf turned into a human as well. Chris, naked, stood there. He grabbed a packet of matches from behind the stake, lit one on file, and dropped it on the firewood. It began to take ablaze. Chris smiled.

"I do love the taste of the fresh meat." he said.

Talie couldn't feel any pain, but struggled as she tried to free herself from the ropes. As the flames began to engulf her, she saw Loony struggle to get to her feet, and then tackled Chris with all of her might.

Talie awoke in her bed with a sweat. She could feel herself sticking to the bed she was resting on. There was a buzz from her phone. Talie got up to check. Loony was texting her.

"I had a lot of fun last night." the message read.

"I did too. So, Andi told me about this dance..." replied Talie.

"I don't do dances." replied Loony.

"Do this dance with me?" Talie texted back.

There was a long, long pause.

"I will make an exception for you, my Tail. I would love for you to take me to the dance." replied Loony.

"Great! Awesome!" texted back Talie.

"We'll figure out the details in the coming weeks. I look forward to taking you dress shopping." texted Loony.

"Can we bring Andi with us? Dress shopping, I mean." replied Talie.

"Of course. The more the merrier, I love that little dweeb." texted Loony.

"It'll be great." replied Talie.

"Until Tuesday, my Tail." replied Loony. She also sent a heart emoticon.

Talie was once again awash with mixed emotions.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Once Upon a Moonlit Night... - Chapter 6: Pizza Day

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"Welcome to Rafferty's Pizza, how may I help you?" said the lady working at the cash register forcing a smile.

"I do believe you know me." said Loony. She produced her school ID and handed it to the cash register employee. After looking at the ID, her demeanor changed.

"Oh yes! Loony and friend. My mistake. We have a table with two Blue Moons and a large Kelly's Premium waiting for you! Just pick your table and it will be delivered." said the lady, this time actually beaming with excitement.

"Thank you, my dear." replied Loony. "Where do you want to sit, my Tail?"

Talie looked around and, behind her, saw an empty booth the perfect size for two people.

"How about that booth?" asked Talie. "It'd be the perfect size for the two of us."

"Whatever you wish, my Tail." replied Loony. Talie felt a shiver go down her spine as they made their way to the booth. They sat across from each other. Almost instantly, their pizza and drinks were brought over. The pizza was covered in a variety of meats and, unsurprisingly, the alcoholic drinks reeked of potential bad decisions.

"When do we pay?" asked Talie.

"We don't. My family has a deal worked out with the management. Free food and booze for the Wolf Pack." replied Loony, putting a slice of pizza on a plate and handing it to Talie. "Here's a slice for you."

"Thanks." said Talie, taking the slice of pizza. "Wolf Pack?"

"It's what we call ourselves, don't think too much on it." replied Loony, supplying herself with a pizza slice.

"And we get booze even though we're..." started Talie.

"Shhhhhh." replied Loony. "If you say that out-loud, they'll take the booze away. ...You're such an innocent, little girl, I like that about you." Loony took a sip of drink and took a bite of her pizza. Talie was speechless. "Well, eat up, my Tail."

Talie took a bite of pizza. She was pleasantly surprised at how much she liked it. She also took a few sips of her beer. Talie didn't like the flavor very much, but since Loony seemed to like it, she drank it to humor her.

"What deal has your family struck?" asked Talie.

"I don't know. My aunt has all the information about that. I stopped listening after hearing "free food and booze." replied Loony. Talie thought that was fair."So, your parents worked at Disney World."

"Yeah." said Talie. "Though I preferred the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal."

"I've always wanted to go there." said Loony, eating more pizza. "I've loved those books ever since I was a child."

"I... liked the movies." said Talie, hoping that wasn't going to be a deal breaker.

"Lucky, you get the read the books for the first time. Next time, let's have a Harry Potter reading date." said Loony. "Who's your favorite character?"

"I liked Tonks okay." replied Talie.

"My favorites are a tie between Luna Lovegood and Remus Lupin." replied Loony, finishing her pizza and beer. "Whenever you're ready, we can go get desserts at the Chocolate Ox."

Talie finished her pizza and beer in silence. After finishing her meal, Loony took her by the hand and they walked to the Chocolate Ox. The place was covered, head to toe, in candy and sweets. Loony brought her over to where they served ice cream. The server was a woman who could only be described as a witch who time traveled her way to the present from the late 1960's.

"Hello Oceania!" said Loony.

"My dear darling Loony. And who's your friend?" said Oceania.

"This is Talie. She's new to town." said Loony.

"Nice to meet you, Talie." said Oceania. Her smile was wickedly sweet. "One scoop of vanilla ice cream each?"

"Yeah, that's fine." replied Talie. Oceania brought out two cones of vanilla ice cream for Loony and Talie.

"Feel free to hang out inside. It's cold out there. I'd for either of you to freeze." said Oceania.

"Thank you, Oceania!" replied Loony.

"Thanks." said Talie.

Talie and Loony walked around the store, talking about candy, school, Harry Potter, and other sweet nothings that the casual observer would just ignore. After finishing their ice cream, Talie and Loony made their way back to the car. Once the music started playing again, the drove out towards Talie's cabin. The sky was cloudy and everything was dark, minus the headlights from Loony's car. After much time had passed, they had arrived at Talie's home.

"Did you have fun?" asked Loony.

"Yes. I did. Thank you." said Talie.

"Do you want me to walk you up to the cabin so you don't fall again?" asked Loony. Talie laughed.

"I appreciate that, but I think I'm good."

"Okay." said Loony. Talie couldn't help it. She kissed Loony on the lips. Before she could pull away, Loony put her hand around Talie's head to make the kiss last longer. Talie could feel herself melt, never wanting this moment to end. But, eventually, their heads separated. Loony smiled.

"I've been hoping for that all night." said Loony. "Have a good rest of your evening. See you on Tuesday."

"Thanks." replied Talie, out of breath. "You too. See you." Talie quickly made her way out of the car, up the hill, and to the cabin. She looked back to see the car's headlights fade into the horizon. There was a beep on her phone. Talie took out her phone and saw that she had received a text from Andi.

"How was the date?" the text read. Talie quickly typed back a message.

"Everything I could've hoped for and more."

Read Chapter 7

Monday, February 22, 2016

Once Upon a Moonlit Night... - Chapter 5: Saturday FINALLY Arrives

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Talie could not wait for Saturday. She began counting down the seconds of each day, wondering why she didn't just have a goddamn time machine. Andi was strangely silent throughout the week. Whenever Talie looked over at her, Andi would swiftly turn her head in another direction. Normally Talie would've been confused by this behavior, but it didn't matter. She had a date coming up. Whenever Talie saw Loony in homeroom and at lunch, they would hold hands. Loony would smile or say sweet nothings about stuff, and Talie would giggle.

Finally, Saturday night arrived. Talie's Dad didn't mind that his daughter had a date, or even that the date was with a girl.

 "Boys are fucking stupid and don't know how to treat their women right. Your girl already has one up on that. Just don't fuck up the relationship, you daughter of a bitch." said Talie's Dad.

"Thanks motherfucker." replied Talie. "Don't be a fucking waste of space."

"That's a lot coming from you." replied Talie's Dad with a smile. From an outsider's view, their words would make no sense. But they both knew that the best way they expressed love was with mutual shit giving and insults. There was a loud "BEEP" outside the cabin. Talie went to look out and saw a beautiful, gray car waiting in the drive way. Talie grabbed her jacket and basically parkour-ed her way out the door in her excitement. She was moving so fast that she tripped over her feet and fell into the snow.

"My Tail, are you okay?!" screamed Loony, running from the car. She was wearing fishnets with her tennis shoes and a sleek, black dress underneath her leather jacket with a fur trim. Talie became speechless all of a sudden and worried that her screenprint Disney shirt (that her Mom got her for her birthday a few years ago) and her jeans were not cool enough.

"Can you walk?" asked Loony.

"I think I can." said Talie, slowly making her way back to her feet.

"Do you need me to carry you to my car?" asked Loony. Almost as a reflex, Talie felt herself go weak in the knees. She fell back into the snow, almost as a joke.

"Yes. I think I need to be carried." said Talie, almost with a look of pleading in her eyes. Loony laughed as she understood the joke.

"Okay, I'll carry you." smiled Loony. Loony scooped up Talie in her arms, like those cartoons where the husband swoops up the bride as they walk into their new home. Talie felt so safe in Loony's arms that she was disappointed when Loony let her go in the front seat of the car. The seats were soft, covered in some sort of fur.

"Don't worry, it's faux fur." said Loony as she got in the driver's seat.

"Where are we going?" asked Talie.

"We're gonna take a bit of a drive to the small town of Nisswa, MN. They've got this pizza place called Rafferty's Pizza. Then, we'll get some ice cream at the Chocolate Ox across the street." replied Loony, taking the car out of the drive-way. "Do you mind if I put on some music?" asked Loony.

"No, not at all." said Talie. Loony went to her iPod attached to the car radio, and began to play "The Lion The Beast The Beat" by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. As the music filled the car, Talie began to get nervous. What if she made a mistake, what if Loony decides that she doesn't like her after all?

"So, my Tail. Where did you move from?" asked Loony.

"Florida. My Dad and Mom worked at Disney World together, but then things went bad and Dad couldn't stay in Florida any longer. He got a job here, and we moved." said Talie.

"What happened?" asked Loony.

"It's a bit of a long, complicated, painful story that I don't want to get into at the moment." said Talie.

"I understand. I don't have pleasant stories of my parents either." replied Loony. "Dad left as soon as the pregnancy test came back positive. Mom was an emotional wreck until the emotions killed her when I was 7 years old. I lived in foster homes for awhile, and then was homeless in the Twin Cities, until my Dad's sister finally tracked me down and took legal custody of me. She calls herself "Oceania", but her real name is Dawn."

"Why does she call herself "Oceania"?" asked Talie.

"Fuck if I know. But she's the most stable parental figure I've ever had and she let's me express myself how I choose to. She supports me and she cares about me. If she can respect my identity and who I am, then I will respect hers." replied Loony. "How are you liking MN so far?"

"I kinda miss the warm weather, but I like not being around Floridians." said Talie.

"Don't let 'Minnesota Nice' fool you, my Tail. Minnesotans are their own brand of absurdity and ignorance. Minnesota Nice is really just Minnesota Passive Aggressive with small dash of Superiority." said Loony. "And it will get warm again. Just wait for the spring and summer. It's nothing like the ocean, I'm sure, but watching the sunrise over the lake after a long night is breathtakingly gorgeous."

"Have you been in Minnesota your whole life?" asked Talie.

"Yep. Born and raised in the Land of Whatever-the-Fuck-Amount-of-Lakes-It-Is-Now." said Loony. Talie laughed. "For better or worse, this state is my home and I will be a Minnesotan for the end of all time. No matter if I move out of state, my blood will run as cold as the winters here, and then be sold on a stick at the State Fair."

"Okay." said Talie.

"Your shirt is cute. I loved that film." said Loony, referencing Talie's Disney shirt.

"Thanks. I really liked it too." said Talie.

"That's one thing I like about you, my Tail. You aren't afraid to like the things you like. Both you and Andi have that trait. I applaud that." said Loony. "And we're here. Don't worry about pausing the album. It will turn off on it's own when I turn off the car." Loony pulled the car into the parking spot.

Talie got out of the car. This small town had little shops on each side of the street, but being late on a Saturday night in the middle of winter, not many people were out. Talie could only imagine how many people would be here during the summer, remembering how busy all the t-shirt and surf shops were busy in Miami all year long.

"In here, my Tail." says Loony. She had already opened the door to Rafferty's Pizza. There was a sign with a small leprechaun on it with the Irish flag. Talie was confused, as she was pretty sure the Irish were not responsible for the existence of pizza. When she walked inside, she saw the bar that served beer and wine, and then understood not only the sign, but what Loony meant by Minnesotan ignorance and absurdity. Even so, she was hungry and was excited to get pizza. She picked up a menu and followed Loony to the cash register to order.

Read Chapter 6

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Monday, February 15, 2016

Once Upon a Moonlit Night... - Chapter 4: Ten Minutes Ago

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Ten minutes ago. That was when Talie's life had change its course. This morning, she was wondering what the hell she was doing in Minnesota, but now... now she had gone loony for Loony. Which class was she in? Who cares? She'd being Loony again at lunch and she could not wait. Loony's Tail, she thought. Probably the weirdest nickname she had every received, but when Loony spoke it, it just made sense. There was no explanation for what Talie was feeling... a deep want, no, a deep need to be in Loony's presence and to do whatever she could to make her happy. No matter the deed. No matter the cost.

Talie spent the morning in a haze of Loon-acy as she followed Andi from class to class. Andi kept talking about her favorite video games and complimenting Talie on her wardrobe choices, but Talie was too distracted to notice. Finally, it was lunch time. Talie would get to see Loony again. After Andi heated up her instant ramen and Talie got her sandwich, they went to the lunch table. Loony was sitting there with a bunch of other people of various genders and identities. There was a mix of nerd and goth clothing, directly contrasting the bright white snow falling outside the window.

"I'll introduce you!" said Andi, way more excited about this than she should be. "That's Ray, you saw him in chemistry this morning. That's Nat, she has the same name as you...."

"I can go by Talie, she can go by Nat, identification problem solved." Talie said.

"Great!" said Andi. "The twins are John and Wayne, they like cartoons and stuff. Then there's Annie, she's obsessed with weddings and the 1950's, then Prim, they super like plants, and Zahir, our token minority..."

"Go to fuck, Andi." said Zahir.

"...and then finally we have Rema and Drew, our chess champions, and of course you met Loony this morning." said Andi.

"Andi, that wasn't a cool thing to say." said Ray. "I know you were trying to be funny, but that was bullshit."

"Thanks Ray." said Zahir.

"We're some of the few non white dickbags in this school, we got to stick together." said Ray.

"I resent that." said Nat.

"You're not a white dickbag though, Nat. You're a white pussy pouch." said Zahir.

"Nice." said Ray. He and Zahir fist pump. Nat huffed and puffed her frustration.

"Sorry Zahir." said Andi. "What I said was bullshit and I didn't mean to hurt you. I promise to be better in the future."

"Thanks Andi." said Zahir. "I don't forgive you, but once I kick your ass in Smash Bros, we'll be even."

"Oh, then I won't be forgiven for a good long time..." said Andi. "Hey, Talie, come sit by me." Andi grabbed Talie's shirt and sat her down on the end of the table. As soon as Talie sat down, she looked up and saw Loony staring back at her. Loony's eyes were hypnotic and Talie couldn't stare away.

"Hello, my Tail." said Loony. She took a big bite of her beef jerky. "How's your day been?"

"Okay..." stammered Talie. "I've been kinda distracted all day..."

"Distracted by what?" said Loony with a smile.

"Uhhh...." Talie stammered.

"Again with the cute stuttering, my Tail. It's making it hard for me to resist you." Loony flirted.

"And yet you seem to have no problem with me..." screamed a voice from behind Talie. Talie turned around to see a tall, buff boy with white hair and sparkling blue eyes. He had scratches all across his biceps.

"Fuck off, Cinderella. Your shoe is another set of stairs." said Loony.

"The name is Chris, Loony. You of all people should know all about me and my names." said Chris.

"Hey Chris, Loony is done with you." said Rema.

"Yeah, go fuck yourself. Loony turned you down and doesn't want you back." said Drew.

"Checkmate, losers. I can talk to Loony if I want to. Free country." said Chris.

"Chris, there are people who do want to talk to you. Why bother somone who doesn't want to?" said John.

"He lost his pack, remember?" said Wayne. "It was when..."


"Don't refer to my Tail as fresh meat. Go make your own lone wolf pack and fucking leave. I don't want you and what happened with your pack is not my fault!" screamed Loony.

"Chris, just go. Please." pleaded Andi as she grabbed on to Talie's shoulders. "I don't want anyone to get hurt."

"This is not the end, bitch. Mark my fucking words." said Chris. And with that, he left the cafeteria.

"Sorry about him." said Loony. "He's a bit bitter since I dumped him."

"You... you were flirting with me?" asked Talie.

"You didn't pick up on it until now?' retorted Loony. Andi froze. She took her hands off of Talie's shoulders and her face turned red.

"No one's ever flirted with me before." said Talie. "It's... not something I'm accustomed to."

"Have you been on a date?" asked Loony.

"No." said Talie quietly.

"Well, I understand this is all sudden, being your first day at school and all, but I am free this Saturday evening. Want to go somewhere?" asked Loony.

"Sure." said Talie. This is the most excited she had ever been.

"It's settled then. Give me your phone, I'll type in my number." said Loony. After the number had been entered, Loony had Talie text her the address to the cabin she was staying in with her Dad so Loony could pick her up.

"Glorious. See you soon, my Tail." said Loony. The bell rang. Lunch was over. Talie continued to follow Andi throughout the day. Andi became much less talkative, only speaking when Talie spoke to her, and even then, in very short sentences. While Talie noticed the change, it didn't concern her. Her only concern was that Saturday night wasn't here fast enough.

Read Chapter 5

Read Chapter 6 

Read Chapter 7 

Monday, February 8, 2016

Once Upon a Moonlit Night... - Chapter 3: Who Is That Girl?

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The classroom walls were a perfect sheen of white, matching the snow outside. The floor was a gray tile that appeared to be stained with the tears of stressed out students. The class was filled with kids who were either working on homework or sleeping. The teacher was reading a magazine and sipping coffee. Andi walked over to the teacher.

"Excuse me, Mr. Pottersmithson?" asked Andi. The teacher looked up from his magazine.

"Yes, how can I help you, Andi?" he replied.

"This is Talie, the new girl?" she said, pointing to me. "Is there a desk for her?"

"Ah yes, Natalie." he says.

"It's Talie." Talie retorted. Mr. Pottersmithson put down his magazine and coffee.

"My apologies. I'm not great at names, but I will learn. Talie, I believe we have a desk in the back, next to Luniria Regulus in the back." said Mr. Pottersmithson.

"Oh great!" replied Andi. She looked over to me. "Loony is one of my good friends. We have lunch together every day. This will be great!" Talie didn't respond.

"You have the same schedule as Andi, right?" asked Mr. Pottersmithson. Talie nodded. "Cool. You'll have homeroom with me every morning. Honestly, as long as you aren't doing anything illegal, messing with me reading my -Zines, or being noisy, I don't care what you do in homeroom. Just stay at your desk until it's time to leave for your next class. You can do homework, sleep, doodle, listen to music, combination of the four, whatever. Everybody needs a chance to wake up and prepare for the day. Now go take your seat and welcome to Shiz."

Talie took her backpack, walked passed the isles of students, and took her seat next to Loony. After refiling through her backpack, she looked over at Loony with the intention to introduce herself, and froze in awe. She had never seen anyone look so gorgeous. Loony looked back at her and smiled.

"Oh, are you the new kid?" Loony said, with a voice as smooth as marble, yet as rough as sandpaper.

"Yeah. I'm Talie." replied Talie, now seemingly unsure of her own identity.

"My name is Lunira Remoonus Regulus, but you can call me Loony. Everyone does." Loony replied. Loony had bright red hair that flowed down to her shoulders, like a lion's mane crossed with a fiery waterfall. Her eyes were a dark shade of brown, like tree bark in the forest. Her clothes a beautiful skin tight black; with torn jeans, and leather jacket with a fur trim. Her tank top had paw-prints on it and her beautiful, black boots were covered in dirt and salt from the melted snow. When she smiled, her blood red liptick perfectly framed her pearl, sharp teeth. It looked as if she were going to devour Talie, but Talie wouldn't have it any other way.

"Okay." said Talie.

"Don't worry too much about this school, okay?" said Loony. "The principal always makes a BIG DEAL about how she has high expectations for her students, but the work isn't that hard and most of the teachers are pretty chill. Just communicate with them if you're going to have issues getting an assignment in and they'll work with you. This is not a great school, but it's lightyears ahead of all of my previous schools. Are you shadowing Andi?"

"Yes." said Talie.

"That adorable little dork. I love her." said Loony. "She's in a few of my classes and she and I have lunch with all our mutual friends. She'll show your around and I'll introduce you to the pack."

"Cool." said Talie.

"Do you ever respond with more than just a few syllables?" asked Loony.

"Uhhh... " Talie eeked out, finally at a loss for words.

"You're cute when you stutter." replied Loony. Talie felt a shiver go down her spine and her face turned a bright red. "Well, I need to get in a nap before this class is over. I look forward to getting to know you better."

"Yeah. Sure. Umm.... sleep well." Talie managed to say. Loony lay her head down on her desk and, after about 30 seconds or so, began snoring. The snores sounded exactly like growls. Talie could not stop staring at Loony. He had never met anyone as jaw-droppingly gorgeous like her. Nobody in Florida was anything like the goddess snoring in the desk next to her. Something awakened inside of her, something... powerful. A need, maybe. Talie felt a deep need to be near Loony and to do anything Loony wanted. However, in the hopes of not being a creeper on her first day, Talie suppressed that desire. She would wait until she knew Loony a little better, there was more of a relationship, and then see if it would work out, and if not, no worries, right? Right. Talie could be just be friends with Loony. It wasn't the friendzone if Talie liked the zone, right? Right. Talie kept going over this mental gymnastics when the bell rang. Loony awoke from her nap and winked at Talie.

"See you at lunch, Tail." said Loony. "Do you mind if I call you Tail?"

"No. No, call me whatever you want." replied Talie as she was grabbing her backpack.

"Good. You're my Tail. See you." Loony left the room. Talie found Andi and they made their way to the next class of the day.

Read Chapter 4 

Read Chapter 5

Read Chapter 6 

Read Chapter 7

Monday, February 1, 2016

Once Upon a Moonlit Night...- Chapter 2: Dear Old Shiz

Read Chapter 1.

Talie awoke to the alarm BLARGH-BLARGH-BLARGHing from her phone. In her tired stupor, she turned off her alarm, pulled her phone from the charger, got her clothes together, brushed her teeth, and made her way out to the kitchen. She heated up some sausages in the microwave, packed up a sandwich for lunch, and opened a can of Coke Zero to wake herself up. She looked over at her backpack near the door. It was covered in dust from being packed so tightly with various other things. She looked outside, and with a twinge of anger, put on her winter coat. The only fabric covering her legs were the tights she wore under her skirt, but at least her chest would be warm. The coffee maker beeped, signifying that coffee was complete.

Talie's Dad stumbled out of his bedroom in his pajamas. He got a mug of coffee and, when the microwave stopped, grabbed one of Talie's sausages. After a couple sips of coffee, Talie's Dad stuck the sausage in his mouth and made his way out to the car to get it started. Talie stuck the rest of the sausages in her mouth, drank the rest of her Coke Zero, threw away the can, and cleaned the dust off of her backpack. She made her way out to the car. She got in the back seat, opened her backpack, and looked at the printed out form confirming her enrollment at "William D. Shiz High School for the Gifted and Unusual."

"Minnesotans have weird names for things." said Talie as her Dad, having cleaned off the car, starts the car and drives off.

"No weirder than Florida, judgmental bitch." said her Dad.

"Well, maybe some fat jackoff shouldn't eat my breakfast." said Talie.

"It's my house and I paid for the sausages with my money. Technically, it's my food, you moocher." said her Dad.

"Whatever." said Talie. The rest of the drive was silent. When Talie's Dad drove up to the front of the school, Talie got out, closed the door, and walked up to the front door, without even saying goodbye. Talie looked a the school, which looked exactly like a prison, except with the bars on the window removed. When Talie walked in, she saw the main office with the principal's office and everything. Perfect, she'd know where that is at all times. Talie walked in the door and saw the secretary: a cheery pale woman who couldn't have been much older than herself.

"Hi, how may I help you?!" said the woman who was way too perky for this early in the morning.

"I'm Natalie. I'm a new student. I was told to come here first." said Talie.

"Oh yes, Miss Canine. Principal Pricklebush is in her office. I'll let you in." said the secretary.

"Pricklebush?" said Talie without hesitation.

"Yes. The Pricklebushes have been an important part of Brainerd since the beginning. Surely you've heard of them?" said the secretary.

"No. I've moved here from Florida." said Talie. The secretary opened the door and he eyes went wide.

"YOU MEAN THE LAND OF DISNEY AND SEAWORLD AND PUT PUT GOLFING?!" said the secretary excitedly, almost jumping for joy.

"That's enough, Erzulie. I will help young Natalie Canine from here." said a very stern looking woman, covered in the shadows.

"Yes, Ma'am" said Erzulie the secretary. She closed the door behind her. Principal Pricklbush looked at Talie for a really long time. Not taking her eyes off Talie, Principal Pricklebush grabbed the microphone for the school loudspeaker.

"Attention students: Andrea Meda, please come to the principal's office. Andrea Meda, please come to the principal's office." said Principal Pricklebush. She out down the microphone. "Please sit down, Natalie Canine." Talie sat down in the chair.

"Welcome to your new school. It appears that everything is in order. I have high expectations for my students and there will be consequences if those expectations are not achieved. Make sure you arrive on time, do your work to the highest quality, participate in extracurricular activities, and above all, have fun. The phone stays in your pocket unless you inform me of an emergency that you will be getting a call about." said the Principal Pricklebush. Erzulie opened the door. Andrea Meda stood there.

"Ah, yes, Andrea Meda. Come in. Thank you, Erzulie." said the Principal. Erzulie closed the door. "Natalie, meet Andrea. To make your transition to our school easier, I've assigned you to be her shadow. Her class schedule is the exact same as yours, so she will always be available for questions. You are both dismissed." Talie and Andrea left the office.

"Nice to meet you, Natalie. I'm Andi." said Andi. Talie was a bit bewildered to see Andi with a backwards baseball cap and wearing clothes two sizes to big for her.

"Talie. My name is Talie. I'm glad I'm not the only one with a nickname." Talie said.

"Yeah, the Principal has this weird thing about referring to everyone, except Erzulie, by their full first name and last name. Most of the teachers are pretty good about using preferred names, and even pronouns!" said Andi excitedly, as if that was a tick in the "progressive school" box.

"Cool." said Talie.

"Cool, indeed. The school work isn't that bad. Still plenty of time to play video games afterwards." said Andi.

"What videogames do you play? I've only really played Kingdom Hearts." said Talie.

"That's a good game. I play whatever seems of interest to me. At the moment, I'm replaying through the Mass Effect series. I really like Paragon FemShep and I am determined to get Garrus to love me." said Andi.

"Okay." said Talie.

"If you want to play more games, try Portal first. That's a fun, short game that shows the potential of the art form." said Andi.

"Thanks." said Talie, wishing this conversation would end because she has nothing to contribute.

"Our first class is homeroom. It's a really nice way to begin the day. Let's head inside." said Andi, opening the door. Talie breathes heavily and walks in, beginning her new life at her new school.

Read Chapter 3

Read Chapter 4

Read Chapter 5

Read Chapter 6 

Read Chapter 7