Phoenix Feathers: Curator of the Dragon Gate

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Getting Schooled

If your Bark’s worse than your Bite, then what good is it?

Phoenixes! Phoenixes! PHOENIXES!

I Hate Phoenixes!

Sorry, I just thought it would be a nice reminder that I don't particularly enjoy the species. Especially since my list continues to grow as to why I should hate the little monsters.

Truthfully, I didn’t always have a reason to hate them. And yet, I’ve have hated them as far back as I can remember.

“(Yes we win!),” Enya hopped up and down. For the first time (since I’ve been here at least) the Phoenix chicks had won that idiotic game of theirs. Apparently, the time limit had exceeded seven minutes by at least several clicks. Whatever a ‘click’ is…

“(Inari, I’m tired…),” Kiki huffed out of pure exhaustion, “(Couldn’t you guys take it easy on me today. I’m still recovering.)”

“(No!),” the rest of the chicks shouted.

“(Don’t worry Kiki, I went easy on you.),” lazy Tana yawned.

“(It doesn’t count if you just stand still, Tana.)”

“(What about Milkshake? He ran straight at her.)”

“(You can’t go much easier on her than that.),” I shrugged, “(and for the last time my name’s Tyler now.)”

“(I thought that the last six times you said that was the last time.),” Fia cocked her head. I didn’t even bother to look at her. She said the same thing the last five times that I said told them what my ‘real name’ was too.

“(You don’t have any pride as a Phoenix.),” Enya smacked me in the back of the head, “(So you deserve a name suitable for your lack of honor.)”

“(Give me one reason why I should respect any of you!)”

“(Well, for starters…),” Siggy laughed, “(you’re the youngest, can’t fly even a few inches off the ground even lazy Tana can knock you out with one attack and…)”

“(Okay, I get it!),” I sneered, “(So I’m inexperienced, but that can change in a very short time. Watch.)”

I blew a few embers, “(See? I learned that when I was kidnapped. Not bad for a day old, right?)”

“(So what… I did that the moment I hatched.),” Idris bragged. My gut told me she was lying, but what else is new?

“(Well, how about my speed.),” I said jumping up and ran in a random directions.

“(Now that is impressive.),” Enya nodded as I started to run more and more into a star shaped path.

“(Yeah, too impressive.),” I heard Adian say before I tripped over an outstretched claw. I tumbled several dozen times before finally crashing into the metal chicken coop wall. As predictable as it is by now, I was knocked out.

In Golnar, there are five major schools. Not to say that there aren’t others, but these five are the most well known. Four of which, specialize in teaching students how to raise and train Yokai (Golnar Vermilion Academy being the biggest and most popular choice). Only one of these five schools specializes in the raising of young people. Almost everyone in Golnar has had to go to this particular school at least once in their school life. Mainly because it has the only Preschool in Golnar.

“Here we are kiddo,” Dad said with me on his shoulders.

“Dad, I don’t like it here,” I whined.

“Oh? And what so wrong with this place?”

“It’s too big and there’s too many strangers.”

“Well, once you get to know these strangers then they’ll become your friends.”

“Is that really true?”

“Yep, that’s how I met your mother,” Dad laughed and swung me from his shoulders down to the ground, “you’ll see.”

“Welcome to Golnar Golden Elementary,” the woman at the front door waved to the random assortment of people that walked up to the school, “Oh, hello Mr. Lawrence. Welcome to the G.G.E.”

“Hello Ms. Teacher,” Dad chuckled.

“Now Mr. Lawrence, there’s no need for you to joke around about such things,” the teacher chuckled as she bent down to my eye level.

“Just introducing you to your newest student.”

“So this is Jonathan,” the old woman bent down to my eye level, “my, I can see the resemblance.”

“I don’t want her to teach me,” I hid behind dad, “She smells like Jay-jay’s nest.”

"Jonathan Tyler Lawrence,” Dad groaned, “I thought I said to be nice.”

“You also told me to be honest.”

“So, he’s one of those types of students, I see,” Ms. Teacher’s eye twitched, but the old woman kept her cheery smile, “Oh well, come with me dear.”

I gripped tighter to Dad, “Why can’t mom teach me?”

Dad just shook his head, “I know that it’s hard, Johnny, but you can be a grownup for me, can’t you?”

“But grown ups don’tneed teachers.”

“No, but as a grownup, you’re going to have to rely on more than just me and your mother.”

I still didn’t let go of his pants leg, “What if a monster attacks us?”

Dad groaned, “Tell you what, I’ll let you take ‘Jay-jay’ with you.”

“Really,” I asked.

“Really,” he smiled, taking the silver bell off from arround his neck. The teacher frowned at the idea, but dad simply winked at her. It was a sweet and simple lie. So then, she didn’t argue when he gave me the bell to wear, “But you have to promise me that you wont use Jay-jay, unless there’s trouble.”

“I promise,” I pinkie swore on the spot.

I still didn’t want to leave. What did you expect? I was like Four, maybe Five. But still… It’s not like I was the only one that was nervous about their first day of school.

I took my teacher’s hand as she lead me into the classroom followed by other students.

“He’ll get along fine here,” one of the parents smiled after he crept up behind my dad.

“Are you sure about that?”

“Well, if you’re still feeling uneasy,” Dad’s friend chuckled, “I’ve got a little surprise for you. A secret only a select few hundred parents know about.”

I don’t remember my first day of school as well as I’d like, but it’s important for you to realize that it is important to me. The teacher left me alone almost immediately after we entered the school. There was this fire truck. Ironically enough, it was the first toy that I started to play with. Another kid came over. He wanted my toy and was willing to just take it.

But then I… um… guess there’s no way for me to sugar coat this. I picked up the metal toy and struck him in the face with it. Then I went back to playing. I don’t remember what was going through my mind when I did it. Heck, I don’t even remember doing it. Dad told mom about it later on, which is the only reason that I’m able to ‘remember’ it. Now, as for why this moment was so important to me…

"Tyrone,” Gary Bondell shouted from behind the two-way mirror. The other parents that were spy-er ‘witnessing’ their children’s first day of school fell dead silent at what they saw. Mr. Bondell would have gone out there to spank me himself if one of the other parents hadn’t started laughing hard.

The entire room stared at my father.

“I’m sorry,” Dad tried to contain his laughter, “That’s my boy.”

“You think this is funny,” Gary grabbed Dad’s shirt collar, “Your son hit my boy.”

“I don’t think this is funny,” Dad snickered, with a smile still plastered on his face, “It was very wrong and he shouldn’t have done it.”

“Then what’s so funny?”

“Nothing, I’m almost proud of my boy,” Dad smiled, being the only one who knew exactly why he was smiling.

"You’re proud that your boy hit mine,” Tyrone’s dad shouted.

“No, Almost,” Dad pointed at the window again, “and just look how well our kids are getting along now.”

“Oh god no…,” Mr. Bondell let my father go as he watched. Tyrone had come back with a different toy, a plush Inukami. It became apparent that we were making up when I let Tyrone play with me. Believe it or not, friends for life.

“See we have nothing to worry about,” Dad chuckled, “They’re getting along better than we did as kids.”

“What did I tell, ya,” Dad’s friend chuckled as Mr. Bondell let Dad go, “But did he have to be so rough on him?”

“I believe that the saying goes ‘the top dog doesn’t have to bark the loudest, just bite’,” Dad grinned at Gary, implying a different meaning underneath.

“Just keep your little monster away from our kids,” another parent yelled at Dad.

Another girl came up behind Tyrone and stole the Inukami plush. Both of us started to yell at the girl but she nearly bit our heads off. So we backed off.

"Ugh, Ms. Jade,” the same ‘parent’ groaned at the sight.

“But I was playing with it first,” Tyrone complained, despite that he was frightened out of his whit’s end.

“Don’t care,” Jade snapped at us again. It was the first real statement that she had made to anyone in months.

“No, that’s not how you ’sposed to treat it,” Tyrone watched her start to punch the plush toy, ”Stop punching Leo Jr!"

“I don’t care you dumb…,” the girl tried to yell a word that she wasn’t able to pronounce yet, “Dumb… dumb dummies."

“Hey, I ain’t dumb,” Tyrone snapped.

“Dad says that name callers are hippo… hippo… hippocats,” I said to her.

“What does that mean?”

“If you call someone else a name then you are what you are calling them,” I nodded to myself. That sounded right.

“So you’re saying that I’m dumb because I call you dumb,” she thought, “Now that’s dumb!"

“Don’t call my dad dumb!”

“I didn’t dummy,” she yelled then got quiet again, “your dad sounds a lot like mom.”

“What’s a matter?”

“Mom, I haven’t seen her in so long,” the girl started sniveling, ”I want to go home…"

“I know how ya feel. I want my mommy to teach me, not Ms. Teacher.”

“I just want her to stop ouching Leo Jr.,” Tyrone whispered in my ear.

“You guys want out of here too, right,” another kid came up to us, “Then how about we escape?”

“Escape,” we all asked in unison.

“Yeah escape,” the kid pointed in the air, “through the vents, outside, and then home!”

“You’re crazy and a dummy if you think that would work,” the girl pouted, “I should know… I already tried.”

“Well, you didn’t have me on your side before, see,” the boy pointed at himself, “I, Brandon, can get us outside no problem.”

“I agree with her,” Tyrone said, “even if she’s an Inukami hater.”

“Never know until you try,” I quoted dad again, “I say we do it!”

“Just what mom’d say,” the girl smiled, “Okay, I’m in…”

“Then here’s what we’ll do…”

The memory faded away as I suddenly felt like I was tossed into the ocean

“(Pops? Hey, Pops),” Phineas poked at Brandy’s leg, “(He fell asleep at the counter again. Oh well, more fun for me.)”

Phineas sprayed him with a relatively small amount of water…

“Gah, what the? Phineas,” Brandy shouted, ”What did you do that for?”

“You fell asleep again, Pops,” Phineas said as he pointed back to the nursery.

“Pops? Why are you calling me Pops,” Brandy was slightly confused for a moment about his own identity. Both of them were exhausted and too tired to notice that Phineas was speaking English at the time, “Yawn… I’m tired.”

"You’re tired? I had to fend off over a dozen baby Yokai on my own and you’re tired?"

“Sorry Phineas,” Brandy yawned looking at the clock that was flashing 7:00, “I didn’t mean to fall asleep.”

“I understand,” Phineas yawned.

“What did you say?” Brandy blinked suddenly, transitioning quickly from the ‘half-asleep’ state to the ‘tired but mentally functioning’ state.

"Ogilletni te…,” Phineas tilted his head.

“Man, must have been that mind link I have with Tyler,” Brandy sighed, “I’m even starting to dream about his past now…”

“(So… what were you dreaming about?),” Phineas asked, but it took Brandy a little longer to translate it.

“I was, well, we were dreaming about our first day of kindergarten,” Brandy chuckled, “I remember, I lead this small group of us to… Oh, that dirty rotten little liar!"

“(Watch it!),” Phineas shouted as Brandy nearly ran him over to get the journal from across the room. Brandy rapidly flipped through the pages to find that picture of his uncle and his friend again.

"Damn it,” Brandy cussed when he looked at the picture again, “why didn’t I notice it before?”

“(So you just realized it?),” Phineas laughed, “(Boy, you’re so slow sometimes.)

“Let me guess,” Brandy groaned, “you noticed Tyler lying right away, didn’t you?”

“(You’re lucky you’ve got your father’s good looks.),” Phineas snickered.

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