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Road Trip - School Spirit Continuation

by WinterGrimm


Road Trip

1.

The shadowy grass made a wet squish with each step. Thomas followed Rocky as they crossed the soccer field. “So,” Thomas said. “Where exactly are we going?”

“Groundskeeper’s shed.”

“Hold on, hold on.” Thomas stepped in front of Rocky, placing his skinny hands over Rocky’s broad chest. “That’s all locked up. What do you propose we do, break in?”

Rocky kept walking, forcing Thomas to walk backwards. “That was the plan.”

“WHAT?”

“Where else are we going to get a shovel and a trash bag this late at night?”

Thomas put his hands down and Rocky went around him. “You have a point there.” The runt stood there and contemplated his criminal action. He quickly assessed the level of danger and risk involved. “You’re right…” Thomas looked around, only to notice that Rocky had not missed a step to wait for him and was already so far ahead that he was nearly lost in shadow. “Hey, wait for me.” Thomas ran to keep up with his friend. After ten or twenty seconds Thomas caught up with Rocky. “Okay, so we know what we have to do. How are we supposed to get in. I mean I can’t pick locks. Can you?”

Rocky shrugged. “Yes and no.”

“Yes and no? What does that mean?”

Rocky said nothing as he continued on his seemingly endless trek.

The shed was painted blue with white trim, with a painted horse emblem. The school’s mascot. Rocky circled the abandoned building until he got to the wide door. This side of the school was near a bicycle path and the shed was half illuminated by street lamps. Rocky looked at the padlock on the door intently. “Okay, now how hard can it be?”

“How hard can what be?” Thomas asked, jumping up to try to see the padlock over Rocky shoulder. “Haven’t you picked locks before?”

Rocky’s mouth formed a thin straight line. “I have. But this time I don’t have a sledgehammer.”

“I’m sorry to make such a nit picky distinction, but that would be breaking the lock. Anyone could do that.”

“Oh shut up, Tom.”

Thomas looked around. “Maybe we could find a really big rock…” With that he took a few steps toward the bicycle path.

“That’s not going to work, you dolt.”

Thomas squinted into the inky river and spotted a patch of rust, half illuminated by the street lights. In his excitement Thomas stumble-ran to this new discovery, and nearly spilled himself into the black river. A rusty old bar stuck halfway out of the mud like the sword in the stone, waiting for the future king. For a few seconds he stared in reverence of his discovery, then pulled it slowly from its muddy resting place and held it triumphantly aloft. “I think I found something.” He proclaimed.

“Well, bring it up here.”

Thomas considered the ‘Excalibur’ pipe for a few seconds then ran back up the sloped, grassy hill, across the bike path and back to where the shed resided. “The lady of the river hath given us a great gift this eve.” he said as he placed the rusty pipe in Rocky’s large hands.

Rocky just shook his head. “Alright,” he said as he placed the pipe in the metal loop between the padlock and the door. “I may need some help prying this open.”

Thomas walked over and grabbed onto the end of the bar. “On three?”

Rocky nodded.

“One … two ... th—“ Thomas heard something behind him. Quickly he spun around to see a man in sweat pant and a sweatshirt jog by. Thomas and Rocky turned around quickly, hiding their instrument behind their backs. Each placed an unassuming expression on their faces.

“Nice night, eh?” The jogger said, almost more to himself.

“Umm … yeah …” Thomas managed to say.

“Well, have a good ‘un.”

“Thanks.” Thomas and Rocky both said and waved.

“Who the hell jogs this late at night?” Thomas asked.

Rocky just shrugged his shoulders. “Okay, on three.”

“One … two … three …” Rocky and Thomas began pushing and pulling as hard as they could. The door made a cracking noise and the lower end of the bar made a hole in the door without damaging the lock in the slightest.

“So much for your magic pipe.” Rocky leaned up against the door.

“Shut up.”

Rocky jumped nearly five feet in the air as the door to the shed exploded in a rose of scarlet fire. Quickly he patted the small fires out of the sleeves of his shirt. “What the hell was that?”

The two nearly jumped out of their skin when Hana materialized before them, aura crackling with a frustrated sneer gracing her blood stained lips. “You were taking too damn long.”

“I-I thought you couldn’t leave the field.” Thomas said.

“No, you idiot, I can’t leave the school grounds. Geez, you all go to this school and you didn’t know that.” Hana Madison crossed her arms tightly over her translucent chest.

Thomas cowered a bit from the angered spirit. “Umm… right.”

One of Hana’s red eyebrows raised to them, then her eyes narrowed. “What are you waiting for? Get the stuff.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

Obediently, Thomas and Rocky gathered the needed equipment for Marie’s master plan. Thomas knocked over a stack of rakes reaching for the shovel and Rocky nearly dropped a gasoline can on his head reaching for a trash bag.

“Get two. We may have to double bag her,” Thomas suggested.

“Are you calling me fat?” A ghostly voice came from behind him.

“No!” Thomas insisted.

“No, not at all.” Rocky placed a cheesy grin on his face and pointed it in the direction of the voice.

The two boys and invisible specter headed back to the practice field where Jason Nakayama, boy shaman, and Marie Ortiz, the newly-psychic new girl were awaiting their return.

“So ..” Rocky said as he shoved the head of the shovel into the grassy earth, “…what now, fearless leader?” He picked up the garden bag filled with the part of the practice field he had recently unearthed.

Marie wrapped her hands around her knees. Even in Rocky’s coat she still looked cold. “Now we go to the sight of the accident.”

Thomas and Rocky nodded, then Thomas slowed to a stop as he realized a problem with their plan. “—And we’d be driving in whose car?”

Jason placed his fingers to his chin. “I never thought about that. Don’t you have a car, Rock?”

“Naw, man. You forget, we’re so poor we can’t pay attention.”

“Don’t look at me.” Marie shrugged. “I’m only fourteen. I can’t even drive a car.”

Rocky thought for a moment. “That only leaves…” his heavy gaze fell on Thomas. “… the soccer-mom-mobile.”

“Nonononono! No!” Thomas shook his palms in a universal ‘stop’ way. “If my parents found out I took their car at close to three in the morning to drive up to godknowswhere they’d kill me.”

Eyes of no mercy swarmed around Thomas and the unyielding weight of peer pressure fell upon him. He pointed a frantic finger at Jason. “HIM!” He shouted. “What about Jason?”

“I’ve never really had need for a car. I like walking.” he said with a half-lidded smile. “Look at it this way, we’ll probably be back before your parents wake up anyway. So there’s nothing to worry about.”

“No matter what you say. No matter what torturous techniques you devise. I shall not give up my stance.” Thomas stepped back from the onslaught of open stares. “Stop looking at me.” a few more steps. “YOU SHALL NOT PASS!” he screamed as he stabbed the half-rusted pole into the ground.


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Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:55 pm
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writewannabe wrote a review...



Okay this is very well written and I hope that you did continue with this, since this was written several years ago. I am not going to mention anything about typos because they were covered by the other reviewers and you probably already did the editing. Maybe work on the description. Thomas sounds like he can be on the nerdy side. Maybe create an image on him wearing black, thick-lensed glasses and constantly wiping at his dripping nose.




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Tue Dec 21, 2004 5:03 am
J. Wilder says...



“I can’t believe you talked me into this.” Thomas moaned from behind the wheel of his parent’s brand new 2004 Dodge Grand Caravan. Cherry red. Just waxed. Super-clean interior. He was definitely going to be dead when he got home. Of course no one could hear him over the stereo blaring Culture Club’s Karma Chameleon.


The period after "into this" should be a comma. I like this paragraph because it's specific about what kind of car he's driving and what song is playing on the stereo. If "Karma Chameleon" is the name of a song it should be in quotes.

Just so you know, if you're planning on publishing this it's illegal to use song lyrics written by someone else without permission.

While she herself hadn’t taken up any space being an immaterial ghost, but the trash bag filled with earth that tethered her to the material world took up a great deal of room.


I think this should be, "While she herself didn't take up any space, being an immaterial ghost, the trash bag filled with earth that tethered her to the material world took up a great deal of room," or "She herself didn't take up any space, being an immaterial ghost, but the trash bag filled with earth that tethered her to the material world took up a great deal of room."

“What?” He asked, trying to pierce the music.


There's no reason to capitalize "he."

“I can’t believe you talked me into this.” He shouted.


The period after "this" should be a comma and "he" should not be capitalized.

After nearly an hour and eight “Hits of the 80’s” later the suburban terrain has utterly disappeared and the highway became a winding forest road.


Since this is in past tense, "has" should be "had."

“Roger-roger.” Thomas said


The period should be a comma.

Each twisted finger attempted, fruitlessly to claw through the bruise colored clouds that cut the stars from earth’s view.


I don't think the comma in this sentence is necessary.

“He’s definitely here.” Jason said after a very long silence.


The period after "here" should be a comma.

The four living and one dead


Might as well say "they."

The beam followed her and she stood next a tree, he hand stretched out across it.


I'm not quite sure what you mean this sentence to be. Maybe "The beam followed her and she stood next to a tree. His hand stretched out accross it."

Marie looked back at him with dark, watery eyes but said nothing.


I think this makes a good ending to the chapter. Definitely makes the reader want to read the next. I like this. I like this story better than the first "School Spirit" story (typed up a critique to that one earlier; I'll go submit it now). That one's not bad, either, though.




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Sun Dec 19, 2004 12:18 am
WinterGrimm says...



2.


“I can’t believe you talked me into this.” Thomas moaned from behind the wheel of his parent’s brand new 2004 Dodge Grand Caravan. Cherry red. Just waxed. Super-clean interior. He was definitely going to be dead when he got home. Of course no one could hear him over the stereo blaring Culture Club’s Karma Chameleon.

Every day is like survival, you're my lover, not my rival.

I'm a man without conviction,
I'm a man who doesn't know
how to sell a contradiction.

You come and go, you come and go.

Karma karma karma karma karma chameleon,
you come and go, you come and go.

Loving would be easy if your colors were like my dream


“Karma karma karma karma karma cham-ee-lee-yooooon!” Hana scream-sang along to the blaring chorus. Not that anyone could do anything about it. Hana had commandeered the radio, and nothing but the hottest hits of the 80’s would satiate her ghostly appetite to get her groove on. “I love this song. I listened to this song all the time right when the album came out.” She looked around. “I totally bet my friends that this band would never break up.”

Rocky, and Marie simply looked uncomfortably at each other through Hana. Rocky mouthed, “This is all your fault.”

Marie simply gritted her teeth and shrugged, shifting her weight uncomfortably. The backseat felt incredibly crowded with Hana in the minivan. While she herself hadn’t taken up any space being an immaterial ghost, but the trash bag filled with earth that tethered her to the material world took up a great deal of room.

Jason leaned his ear over closer to Thomas. “What?” He asked, trying to pierce the music. “What did you say?”

Thomas narrowed his eyes at the road and leaned closer to Jason. “I can’t believe you talked me into this.” He shouted.

“Oh, sorry man. You had the only wheels.”

“As long as you realize that I hate you all.”

Jason nodded and smiled. “Just as long as you understand.” Thomas never knew if he heard him or not.

After nearly an hour and eight “Hits of the 80’s” later the suburban terrain has utterly disappeared and the highway became a winding forest road. Hana had turned down the music a bit, much to Rocky’s relief, as he had stopped banging his head against the window to make the endless catchy 80’s tunes release his brain. She had insisted that she only ‘kinda’ liked Michael Jackson. No one really felt the need to explain what had become of his career either.

“Ok, Tom,” Jason said, coming out of a meditative trance. “I think it happened somewhere around here. Could you please pull over?”

“Roger-roger.” Thomas said and pulled into a rest area. “I had to go to the bathroom anyway.”

Marie looked over at the ghost who had seemed to have miraculous personality shift in the car. “Are you sure you’re ok with this?”

Hana threw a few strands of glowing blue hair from her face. “Well, I foresee one of two things happening…”

“What’s that?”

She shrugged. “Either he’s got a damn good explanation for all of this. Or I’ll place his soul in eternal hell-like torment.” In a disturbingly quiet gesture she began to rub her open palms together.

Thomas shuddered. “Maybe she hasn’t changed that much.”

“After twenty years of hate, would you?” Marie asked.

The silhouettes of black leafless trees tried to claw at the near black sky. Each twisted finger attempted, fruitlessly to claw through the bruise colored clouds that cut the stars from earth’s view. The final sound of civilization shot through the trees as Marie got out of the car behind everyone else. Thomas jumped a bit at the sound, but no one spoke afterwards. The four living and one ghost could only look into the abyssal forest. The salvation of the Caravan may have been only a few meters away, but it wouldn’t have done any of them any good. They would still have to cross into the threshold of the unknown. Trees seemed to rustle in the stagnant air and everything around them soon became bitterly cold, even more so than it had been before. Everyone could soon see their breath ahead of them.

“He’s definitely here.” Jason said after a very long silence.

Thomas didn’t know anything to do, so he nodded in agreement.

“Well,” Jason forced an uneasy smile. “shall we?”

“Why the hell not?” Hana shrugged, placing an air of apathy about her.

The four living and one dead stepped across the barrier between the known and unknown and stepped into the forest. Thomas instantly clicked on his father’s maglight and illuminated the blackened forest. Brown and green leaves lay strewn across the dirt floor, there seemed to be a feint trail between the trees. Jason seemed to follow the path even without seeing it.

Marie walked through the beam of Thomas’s flashlight and into the sightless unknown. The beam followed her and she stood next a tree, he hand stretched out across it. “Hey, what’s up Marie?”

Jason went over to her and put his hand on her shoulder. “What is it that you see?”

Marie looked back at him with dark, watery eyes but said nothing.




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Sat Dec 18, 2004 11:30 pm
WinterGrimm says...



Thank you for this critique. I will go through and make grammar corrections forthwidth (meaning when I have time.) To be honest this story thus far is long short story length (about 44 pages). Then I planned to work on other stories, but none, as of yet have been flowing. I planned the adventures of these characters to be a series of shorts, like a TV series. Once again thanks for the imput.




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Sat Dec 18, 2004 10:56 pm
J. Wilder wrote a review...



I like it so far. It's kind of funny. You might want to say what Jason and Marie look like, though--and maybe show more about Rocky and Thomas look like too since all we know so far is that Rocky's big and Thomas is small and scrawny. This is part of a novel, right? Are you going to post more? (I'd like to read it.) This is the more specific stuff I noticed, mostly grammatical:

Thomas followed Rocky as the crossed the soccer field.


I think you meant "as they crossed the soccer field." I think it should be "Thomas followed Rocky across the soccer field."

“So,” Thomas began. “Where exactly are we going?”


Might as well be "said" instead of "began."

Thomas stepped in front of Rocky, placing his skinny hands over Rocky’s broad chest.


This comes off a little awkward, I guess because I've never seen somebody do that. It would seem more realistic if Thomas just stood in his way.

The shed was painted blue with white trim, on which was painted the horse emblem of the school’s mascot.


This makes it sound like the emblem is on the trim. Is it? If it's not then this is a misplaced modifier or something.

“That’s not going to work you dolt.”


Insert a comma before "you dolt," since Rocky is directly addressing Thomas.

“The lady of the river hath given us a great gift this eve.” He said as he placed the rusty pipe in Rocky’s large hands.


The period after "eve" should be a comma and the "he" right after it should not be capitalized.

“Alright,” he began as he placed the pipe in the metal loop between the padlock and the door. “I may need some help prying this open.”


Again, you might as well say "said" instead of "began."

Quickly he spun around to see a man in sweat pant and a sweat shirt jog by.


"Quickly he spun around to see a man in sweat pants and a sweatshirt jog by." (Sweatshirt is one word.)

“No, you idiot I can’t leave the school grounds. Geez you all go to this school and you didn’t know that.”


Insert a comma after "you idiot." I also think there should be a comma after "geez."

“Yes ma’am.”


Insert a comma before "ma'am," since they're directly addressing her.

“Get two, we may have to double bag her.” Thomas suggested.


I think the comma after "get two" should be a semicolon. Change the period after "her" to a comma.

Marie wrapped her hands around her knees, even in Rocky’s coat she still looked cold.


This should be split into two sentences: "Marie wrapped her hands around her knees. Even in Rocky's coat she still looked cold.

“Now we go to the sight of the accident.”


In this context it should be "site," not "sight."

Don’t you have a car Rock?


Insert a comma before "Rock" since Jason's directly addressing him.

Naw man.


Insert a comma before "man" since Rocky is directly addressing Jason.

“I’ve never really had need for a car. I like walking.” He said, smiling a half-lidded smile.


Change the period after "walking" to a comma. There's no need to capitalize the "he" after it. You could say "he said with a half-lidded smile" instead of "he said, smiling a half-lidded smile."

“Look at it this way, we’ll probably be back before your parents wake up anyway, so there’s nothing to worry about.”


I'd use a colon after "look at it this way" instead of a comma.





Poetry and prayer are very similar.
— Carol Ann Duffy