Chapter 1 - Our heroes journey begins
Math, one of the greatest torture methods known to children kind. They deceived us when we were younger. Making us think our one, two threes were separate from our a b c’s. If only we knew of the great beast Algebra two before it prowled upon us all.
I swear I don’t understand this stuff. I mean who cares about the exact time Jane has to get to the bus stop. Jane needs to focus on running to the stop!
I huffed as I leaned forward on my desk. Staring intently at the clock.
“Come on..” I muttered.
Then finally the bell erupted to life. Freeing us all from the torture known as Algebra two! I was the first kid out the door.
As I made my way outside from the school. I quickly moved to the side of the building under a tree. Shielding myself from the blazing sun.
I took a breath and relaxed myself. Watching as one by one, all the kids faded away from the courtyard. Eventually leaving, just me.
“What the heck is he doing?” I muttered. I squinted my eyes and continued to look around the now empty school lot, half expecting to see him magically pop up. “I bet he got in trouble agai-”
I leaped forward in a panic as I heard someone yell into my ear. I looked behind me quickly, ready to attack.
I practically leaped out of my skin as I heard someone roar in my ear. I quickly spun around and held my hands up ready to fight. But I quickly just sighed in relief once I saw who it was. It was none other than my good old friend Zack, dying of laughter...
“Gotcha dude!” Zack laughed out.
He was hunched over now covering his mouth trying to compose himself. However, I wasn’t too entertained by his joke. I sighed and punched his shoulder, quickly walking away from the school grounds. Zack followed behind me, still laughing like an idiot..
Zack was about my height with shaggy brown hair that went down to his shoulders. He had this old school ‘rock star’ type style, and he always looked like he was up to something, like he just stole candy from a baby. He had his signature ACDC shirt on that he always seemed to be wearing (I swore he didn’t wash that thing), with his signature ripped jean jacket vest and black ripped jeans. He really had the too cool for school look down.
I was a lot plainer looking in comparison though. I had a blue zip hoodie I wore all the time, worn out looking jeans and short black hair that kinda hung in my eyes. I was the type of guy that could easily blend in with the background.
“So, want to hang out at your place today?″ Zack asked as he jumped ahead of me with a goofy grin on his face. He turned around, walking backwards to face me.
“Not unless you’re going to help with chores,” I replied.
Zack groaned, now facing forward again, moving his arms behind his head.
“I guess the Mighty Zack can help the sad, poor Stryder with meaningless tasks for a while.”
“You mean flirt with my sister all day?” I asked, raising my brow at him.
“Maybe just a little.”
“She’s too old for you man.”
“Love has no age; besides, she can’t resist this sexy beast.” He stopped next to me with his thumbs pointed toward himself and a cheesy grin on his face. I continued walking ahead and ignored him.
“There’s not enough water on this earth for all that thirst you got.”
“Like you don’t ogle at Alexis..”
“Shut up,” I mumbled.
We lived in a small city area, so our walk home usually consisted of a few shops and alleyways. It always smelled like cigarettes walking down the street, like someone was smoking right next to you. It wasn’t the best place to live, but it was affordable.
As we got further down the road to my place, my eyes widened in surprise at the sight before us. It was a bald guy. He looked like he was in his late thirties, maybe fourties. He was wearing clothes that were obviously way to young for him to be wearing. But the part that caught my attention was the Red Steel beam bandana around his neck. He must be one of them then, a Red Steel Gang member.
As we continued to walk, I noticed the guy seemingly change his path to walk directly in front of Zack’s. We grew closer and closer, but the guy didn’t move and neither did Zack.They bumped into each other as they passed.
“Hey Scrub!” The bald man barked out in our direction.
He stopped walking and so did Zack. We both turned around to face this guy who didn’t look happy.
“What?” Zack spat out.
“Maybe you didn’t notice, but I’m from the Red Steel Gang. So if you bow down and ask for forgiveness now, maybe I’ll let you off with a warning.” He glared down at Zack who met his glare with a smirk.
I could already tell this wasn’t going to end well...
“Look, I’m sorry for him; he didn’t know-”
“You can shove your forgiveness right here baldy!” Zack yelled back at the guy cutting me off.
He turned around and pointed at his butt, walking off in a huff.
“Zack!” I called out. The guy just started laughing and shaking his head.
“All right kid, you’ll regret that,” he croaked as he turned and walked away.
The Red Steel Gang- Zack just pissed off the Red Steel Gang. I took a moment to register in my mind, Zack just pissed off the most powerful gang in our city. Once we were far enough away, I yelled at him.
“What the heck is wrong with you? Do you have a death wish or something!” I roared, yanking him around to face me.
I could feel my heart racing a bit as I tried to control my anger.
“I’m just sick and tired of that Red Steel Gang, thinking they own the damn place; I’m not going to let them push me around.” He looked me dead in the eye.
I could see the conviction in him; it was rare to see him look so serious. I sighed and relaxed a little bit, I could see where he was coming from.
“Look, I don’t like it anymore than you do, but making enemies with a whole gang isn’t wise. We can’t fight all of them.”
“I know, I know. I just hate it. It’s like I’m trapped in my own damn city.” He growled.
“I understand. Regardless, if anything happens tomorrow, I got your back.” I gave him a reassuring smile, and I could see a wave of relief wash over his face.
“Five dollars a mask, sunny!” Zack was interrupted by the call of a small old man in the alleyway.
He was wrinkled up like a prune and seemed to only have a dirty white cloth on as clothing. He looked like he hadn’t eaten in days. I looked over at his small misshapen, cardboard stand where the two masks he referred to laid.
One mask was red and the other was white. The white one was sort of plain looking with two normal eye holes and a sword pointing downwards in the middle of it. While the red one looked like some kind of Japanese demon thing, with large teeth pointing up and down. I pulled out a twenty and handed it to the old man and grabbed both masks, handing the red one to Zack.
“Keep the change,” I said softly.
I gave him a nod as the old man seemed to be in disbelief at the twenty-dollar bill before him.
“Such a hero, Sir Stryder,” Zack mocked with his mask on; he was mimicking a crooked monster-walk now.
I just sighed and rolled my eyes at him. We both waved the old man goodbye and began to walk away.
“Thank you, my knight.” I assumed it was the old man, but I was puzzled somewhat by the tone. It seemed more...feminine.
I turned to say no problem, but the man and his stand were gone.
“Where did he go?”
“I bet the old guy had the munchies.”
I decided to just not think about it and push on back down the road.
We soon arrived at my dad’s apartment. It was one of those new-york styled ones that stands on the sidewalk like a corner store. We walked inside and walked up the steps to my door, I got my keys out and opened it. The apartment wasn’t all that big; there were only two rooms. My dad had one and my sister had the other, so I slept on the couch in the living room. Zack threw his backpack on the floor and jumped on my couch.
I sighed and walked over to him.
“Didn’t I tell you if you came over we had to do chores?”
Zack groaned.“But Lux isn’t here yet!”
“Well, too bad, now get up.”
I demanded as I flicked him in the face. He got up with a groan and we began to clean the house.