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Cartoon Mayhem

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Deep in the depths of an average high school, a peculiar machine awaits. Within this device lies a world unknown to most. Two kids think it'd be funny to enter this world and see what awaits them.

Humor / Adventure
Age Rating:

Chapter one:

I feel like like a lot of kids would say that doing nothing in math class is better than actually doing something. I would disagree with that statement. Hey, you can call me crazy if ya want, I’m just saying. Because if we are doing literally nothing, then what the heck is the point of being there? Really, what is it? I dunno. Because just sitting there, on your phone, or talking to your friends, seems boring. Sure, those activities on their own are great, but that isn’t what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the fact that doing these things during a period of time where you are supposed to work is just a waste. If we are put in school to get learning and papers filled, then why in the name of Atlas would we just sit there and twiddle our thumbs? I don’t think we would, but apparently no one else thinks that. Considering whenever there’s free time, which is very rare in high school, even as a freshman, my other classmates go absolutely nuts. I’m not kidding. A pretty famous incident happened about a month ago. Three boys decided to go sneaking into the office, when there was a supposed ‘ secret meeting,’ among the staff. It sucked too, considering that a good amount of the teachers were at said meeting, leaving us students with awful subs. Sure, sometimes you get good subs, but most of the time, ya don’t. Like this sub for english I had last thursday, Ms. Parker. She seriously didn’t even give a nickel at what we were supposed to be learning. I’d seen kids literally smoke in that class and she didn’t notice. The one time she did see the kid got away because he shoved the cigar into another kid’s lap before she saw him. I’m getting off topic.

The three boys who snuck into the secret staff meeting found out some interesting info. The teachers denied it, saying it was “ Simply false hearing.” But tons of kids around campus went nuts with ideas. They said the school district was slowly turning into a tyranny, or an anarchy. Or that they would finally make school fun, and make it something to transform the future of education. All this sounded great to me, I mean if it’s true, then I would certainly like school more. But don’t get me wrong, I like school. I feel like I am one of the only girls, and one of the only kids in general, that finds enjoyment in learning something new. Things like how the world works in physics, or how to deal with hard problems using the variables you’ve been given, not just in math, but in real life. How to speak spanish, and understand art and literature. Is that not good? Is that not a nice thing to know? All they care about is Fortnite and playing games. Games barely get you anywhere in life. Sure, there is esports, but that rarely gets anyone to any place. Even if you get money, it won’t last long, that’s for sure. Only a small percentage of the players even make it that far. Plus if you do get to the finals, the chances of winning are puny.

Because of this, I was very lucky to be partnered with a particular boy in four of my classes. No, it’s not for anything romantic, so don’t you DARE think that! It’s for… his logic. Mark thinks of things similar to how I do. He actually enjoys learning new things, and is open to anything that is weird and different. Which is why I like him, he won’t judge too quickly, and he can be situational and smart about whatever topic.

“ You seem happy so often. To me it doesn’t seem like you think that much about things.” Mark told me. “ Lindsey, consider yourself lucky.” We were both sitting in math, being seated next to each other in the back row. The finals test we were given was over for us. It wasn’t the end of school, we had three more days next week, but still, it was nice to have it over with. Mark was in his usual clothing. Blue T-shirt, and black pants. His curly black hair frizzled on his head. His yellow eyes furiously re-checking his work, to make sure he didn’t miss anything. His white skin a tad tanner than mine.

“ I mean, I guess so. I feel like not thinking about things sometimes can actually help you out. You know?” I responded. He looked up from his fourth time of checking.

“ Yeah, but it doesn’t work that often for me. I dunno why.”

“ You can just do stuff that you enjoy, tell yourself that you’re fine, and have nothing to worry about. Talk to the people you trust, that kind of stuff.” I pointed at his papers. “ Also you can turn that in now. I think it’s been checked enough.”

“ I know I know. I am just making sure.”
“ But does making sure mean you look at it for the next twenty minutes when you’ve already finished?”
“ Yes. Maybe.” He said seriously. I laughed.

“ Well you have fun with that, Imma turn in mine.”
“ Wait I’ll go with you!”

“ You always wait for someone else to go first.”
“ I know, just… shut up and go!”
“ Alright, fine.” We both stood up and turned in our finals.

At that point, it’s like I was saying before. BORING. Other kids were doing their own things, but I wasn’t. Sure, I had a book to read. But I just didn’t feel like it. Mark was on his phone, watching anime. I swear he’s seen more anime than real life people. Hopefully he doesn’t see the real world as 2-D images. I slumped my head on my desk, trying to rest. At first, it did work. I was thinking about floating islands, that were guarded by humanoid echidnas, and fought against evil robots who tried to take over their land. It worked for about ten minutes. I raised my head and looked at the clock on the upper portion of the classroom’s right wall. It said 10: 50am. We still had fifty five minutes left.

“ Ugh, jesus this is boring.” I moaned.

“ Why don’t you read your book?” Mark asked.

“ Well because I just don’t feel like it.”

“ Why?”
“ Because I don’t. I dunno. Maybe in a bit.”
“ Then you can rest or something till that time comes. Wanna watch anime?”
“ Sure.”

I watched with him for the next fifteen minutes. I think anime is cool. I don’t really get the prejudice that a lot of kids seem to have against it. Well, that’s mostly true. I’ve only seen some anime from my friend’s house and a bit on Youtube. And, it looks interesting, and it looks publically inappropriate. As in the sexual content in it sometimes can get seriously out of proportion. That I can understand why people don’t like it. I’ll just be watching an episode of one series, perfectly fine. Then, out of nowhere, some explicit content gets blasted in your face, without warning. That, I can say is annoying, not to mention awkward, even if I’m by myself. Other than that, it’s fine! Some people are just too quick to judge things, even when they don’t know anything about it. Regardless, I got bored of that also. Especially since Mark had to keep the volume off. In the episode, there were explosions and things happening, but I couldn’t hear it, which also made it less interesting.

I slumped back in my chair, staring at the ceiling. I thought of what I could do that would be interesting. A light bulb lit up above my head.

“ Hey, Mark.”
“ Hmm? What?”
“ I know what we could do.”
“ Yeah? What is it?”

“ The Ink Machine.”

“ Bendy?”
“ No! The one under the school!”
“ That’s just a myth!”
“ No it isn’t!”
“ How do you know?”
“ Ok, listen close.” We leaned in close to each other, so the teacher didn’t hear.

“ Last week, on friday. I was going to the bathroom, during the fifth period, and I saw something.”
“ Something?”
“ Yeah. Two kids, boys. They were standing in the quad, looking for something in the grass. At first, I thought they just had lost their keys or something. You know, like Alan in art class lost his keys.”
“ That was pretty funny honestly. He was moaning about it for days afterward. Then I found them for him during one of the outside drawing periods.” Mark and I both snickered a bit. I continued.

“ Yeah, it was comical. Anyway, they were actually looking for these little buttons hidden in the grass. I know this because I watched them press four spots in the dirt. Then, something happened in the ground, and they descended into the earth! I checked after I used the bathroom, and indeed there was four buttons. I didn’t do anything at the time since I had to get to spanish. But why not now?”

Mark looked skeptical.

“ You sure about this?”
“ I am! Do you trust me?”
“ Sure. Definitely the only one I can trust in these kinds of classes.”
“ Same!”
“ Alright. Well, I guess we can try it. But what if we aren’t back in time?”
“ Well it is a half day. So school would be over anyway.”
“ Oh right. Yeah, ok. But how do we leave for so long?”
“ Just ask to use the bathroom or something. Since we already finished, Ms. Yeeson won’t mind.”
“ You think so?”
“ Yeah why not. You know she doesn’t do her job when it comes to punishments.”
“ Sometimes that’s not a good thing. ’Specially with these kids.”
“ True. But you wanna do it with me? It should be fun!”
“ Eh… sure, yeah. Let’s get out of this class.”
“ Alright!”

Mark was the first one to leave the room. It was easy for him. He just asked to use the restroom and our teacher let him. But for me, it wasn’t.

“ No. There are already five girls in the bathroom. I won’t let anymore girls go until the ones who are currently gone come back! I swear you all probably have some kind of conspiracy theory going on.” Ms. Yeeson told me. Even when I said it was an emergency she didn’t let me. Dang, well, if that wouldn’t work, I needed a new strategy. I looked to the kid in front of me. He was darker skinned, one of the kids who likes to be a class clown. Normally I don’t prefer to ask them for help, but this time I think it would be worth it. I tapped him on his shoulder. He was wearing a white jacket. He turned around and faced with me with his purple eyes.
“ What up?” He asked.

“ Can you get the teacher’s attention? I wanna see about the machine.” Every bad kid knew about it, so I knew that he knew what I meant. He smiled.

“ Yup.”
“ Thanks Daman.” He turned back around, rolling up his test. He put the ball in his mouth, and spit it at the teacher. She wiped it off.

“ WHO did that?!” Ms. Yeeson growled. Daman got up.

“ Ohhhhhh ssssory Ms. YEET! I wasn’t being caaaaaareful!” He said, dancing around the room. Everyone else started laughing, including me. During the distraction, I dashed out of the room, hearing the teacher yell.
“ DAMAN! This is the last time! Sit down or else you are going to the office! And summer school!” But he continued anyway. That gave me enough time to meet with Mark out in the upper hallway of the math building. He was waiting near the wall of another class.

“ Hey.” He said.

“ Hello. Come on, lemme show ya.” I motioned for him to follow me. He seemed a bit worried. But I was excited. If the rumors were true, we were in for an adventure!

We walked over to the quad. The circular patch of green was wet from early watering. A girl was walking through it, most likely coming from the bathroom. We passed her like normal. As we stepped across the grass, I kept checking around to see if anyone was in the vicinity. Nope. Not for now anyway. We needed to do this before any teachers saw us. If a kid sees us, then it doesn’t matter. Either they’d be in support of it or they’d tell, which no one would believe them. I stopped in the middle of the quad, Mark almost bumped me.
“ So what we are doing?” He asked. “ It’s hot out.”
“ Yeah it is. Probably cause it’s close to summer time.” I bent down, examining the ground at my feet. I pushed some of the grass blades aside, revealing a small bronze button. “ This!” I waved for him to look closer. “ See! There should be four of these. Can you look for the others?” Mark studied the button.
“ And this does what now?”
“ I dunno. Something involving the ground.”
“ That’s helpful.”

“ It’d also be helpful if you would just help me! So find the buttons please.”

“ You wanna do this even though you have no idea of what’ll happen to us.”

“ Yes.” Mark smirked.

“ God… Well, fine. I don’t have anything else to do.”
“ You can leave.”

“ No this is more interesting than that class.” He began to search around. I shrugged. At least he was coming with me. I didn’t want to do this alone.

After about seven minutes we finally found all the buttons. I swear my back hurt once we finished. We got some weird glances from other kids walking past us. None of them said anything so I assumed we were good. If any adults noticed I hadn’t seen them. That meant we weren’t in trouble. As I pressed down the fourth button, the quad vibrated softly. You probably couldn’t feel it if you weren’t on the grass. I half expected the entire thing to open up and swallow us like some kind of earth monster. Nothing that exciting happened. Instead a small cubicle hole opened in the center. A ladder stretched downward into...Somewhere. Some sort of faint light glowed at the bottom, but I couldn’t see where.

“ Huh, it actually worked.” Mark said.

“ It did. You wanna go first?” I asked.
“ Me? I don’t feel like dying.”
“ Who said you’d die.”
“ I am. I dunno what’s down there.”
“ So you want me to do it first.”
“ If you want to.”
“ Are you making me?”
“ No.”
“ Yeah you are.”
“ You’re making yourself go down there. I don’t care. I’d just rather not sit here and get caught by someone.”

“ Fine I’ll go.” I backed into the hole, placing my feet onto the bars and climbing down. Mark followed in after me. A slab moved back into place over our heads. It was mostly dark now, except for that light below us.

As we descended, I felt dirty. I’m not just talking about the poop that Mark apparently stepped in. I also mean the fact that I was in such a small space with dirt all around me. The ladder rumbled as we moved, making dirt fall on my head. It’s annoying enough as it is to clean long brown hair. But I continued, the excitement of even being here in the first place moving me onward. Or downward, you choose.

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