It’s finally out! The second installment of my series LEVELS, POWER PLAY, is finally available to read on amazon.com, and as a result I have some more good news, I am launching a mini series titled THE JOURNAL SERIES OF PRINCE, FLEANA, KATRINA, AND MARION at Wattpad.com under my screenname Levelskid. And I am going to share a chapter with you. To read more please visit Wattpad or if you want to read my second novel, go to amazon.com and search POWER PLAY by Xavier McDougle for $6.99, but if you act now until Oct 6, you can get it for free. Well, here comes another installment of the quirky adventures of Prince, Fleana, Katrina, and Marion:
I was studying for one of Mrs. Rosethorne’s exams with Prince, Katrina, and Marion, and I have to admit it was a bit of a challenge. English was never my best subject. Give me a gross Biology textbook any day. I guess I should’ve invited Zach, Alicia, and Asa over, especially since Alicia was Mrs. Rosethorne’s daughter, but I didn’t want them to see me struggling like this and I knew Mrs. Rosethorne wouldn’t help Alicia any more than us, in fact I think she might make it worse us for even thinking about it. Technically, we were supposed to take it a week ago, but considering we got busted for cheating the last time, the school had decided we should do all of our work from that week over again without the psionics so we were in the middle of catch up. It’s as exhausting as it sounds.
I heard someone knocking on the door.
Katrina lifted her eyes in annoyance. “Answer it.”
I inhaled a column of air, and blast the door open.
Some man with a raised hand stood at my doorway. He wasn’t someone I knew so I guessed he must’ve been new to our building complex. His eyes told me he was angry, but cautious as if he were afraid we might hurt him. It was a common thought among the humans here. At least that’s what Kat told me. I didn’t need to feel their emotions to validate that.
I continued writing. “My mom’s not home.”
“Yeah, I know. I, uh, talked to her in the hallway.” He told me.
I raised an eyebrow. “Did you? Are you surprised that’s she’s my mother?”
Even without looking I could tell he was blushing. My mom looked young, about twenty-six physically, but she’s actually over a hundred years old. I’m not making this up. BioticAbiotics age differently. I would be much younger, which is saying a lot since I look like a tall ten year old at eighteen, but apparently how you age depends on the environment around you, and the environment around me is way worse than when my mom was a kid.
Anyway, our rotund neighbor coughed in his palm. “Um, yes, well I moved in from across the door–”
“And I’m guessing you’re not here to deliver a fruit basket.” Katrina batted her eyelashes and put on her best fake smile. Her sarcastic looks are easy to pull off with how much eyeliner she wears.
The man’s face turned red. “Look! I heard the rumors about all the weird stuff that has been happening since you got here and I came to tell you to stay away from my room.”
I wanted to ask why did he move here in the first place but my mom taught me manners, but honestly, the rumors were all true. I don’t know why my friends’ and my families’ attract all the weird stuff we do, but we had all grown to accept it. Didn’t help much with neighbor relations though.
“Alright,” Prince said. “but I don’t think it’ll help much.”
“What’s that mean?” The guy looked defensive, but I could sense he was ready to crap himself.
“Didn’t you hear about the curse?” I added in my spookiest voice.
“Everyone who has ever lived across my door will always leave because something bad happened to them.” Then I changed my tone back to its normal sunny self. “Or something very funny!”
“Y-you’re full of it! There’s no curse!”
“Probably not, but weird things do happen, and lot’s of people have come and gone.” Marion told him. “Be careful man.”
“Y-you people stay away from me!”
He slammed the door behind him, and I heard his feet thump against the floor.
“He needs to lose some weight. Can’t be good for him.”
I would love to say that we were just screwing with our neighbor about the curse, but we were seriously not sure if the curse was fake or not. For as long as I could remember weird stuff has happened and it always strikes whoever lived across Fleana’s door and it always had something do with at least one of our families.
Trust me it didn’t take long to for it to strike the new guy. I was listening to some music, trying to keep the temptation to read someone’s mind out of mind when my sister walked into my room.
“I wasn’t reading you’re mind.” I told her.
Her tone sounded like she didn’t believe me. “This came for you.”
She dumped a package on my lap.
“Is this the–” I stammered.
“I don’t care what it is. Just keep out of my head.”
“Like I want to know what snack you’re in the mood for.”
I took the package and walked over to Marion’s room next door.
“Hey, Solar.” I knocked. “The package came.”
The wrong Solar answered the door.
“Oh, hi Flare.”
Marion’s dad was a pretty imposing guy. He was six feet tall, hardly blinked, and speaks in a low monotone. He was basically a taller, more stoic version of my friend.
He eyed my package. “So what’s inside this package?”
“Just an art project.” I said, hugging the package tighter than I meant to.
“May I see this project.”
“Sure, but it’s in pieces.”
I slid my finger across the tape, the electricity I generated cutting through it like a buzzsaw, and showed him the contents.
Flare sneered and poked at the bronze and golden gears. “What’s that supposed to be?”
If I could blush, my face would’ve been totally red. “A-a robotic servant.”
Flare’s sneer deepened, but he called his son
Marion came barreling to the door. A few strands of his hair were burned. Being a core, Marion was hard to burn, but given enough heat something was bound to get singed.
“Matthew gave you a fiery noogie?” I guessed.
He brushed the burned strands with his fingers. “Yeah. He thought I took his phone and wouldn’t stop until I give it to him. He laid off when I told him to try using the house phone to call it. It turned out that his phone was in his back pocket the whole time.”
“What does my sister see in the guy?”
“At least he said sorry. Anyway, the package here? Awesome! Let’s put it together.” He looked at the instructions and frowned. “Maybe we should let Prince put it together. We need a super brain just to read this.”
Prince fixed the servant up in no time. He put the thing together like it was a puzzle meant for kids. He didn’t even need to look at the instructions.
“And there we go. One servant up and almost running.” He finally said, clapping his hands together. “Now all we need is some power.”
Electricity began arcing across Katrina’s fingers as she prepared to fire.
“But not a storm sized one.”
Katrina dropped her palm. “You’re no fun.”
“So where do we get this power?” I asked.
“Lookie, Lookie!” Fleana found a power chord sticking right out of its…
“The thing gets power out of it’s butt!”
“What kind of machine gets nutrients out of it’s rear end!” Katrina complained.
“Hey!” Fleana sounded genuinely offended. “Don’t be rude! You’ll hurt its feelings.”
“So you’re empathic to machines now?”
“I don’t know. Maybe. Anyway, I’m just gonna plug this in.”
Fleana shoved the chord into the socket and the servant’s eyes lit up, probably enjoying the meal he’s eating.
“Well, we got a minute,” I said. “now what?”
After a brief pause, Katrina finally said. “Wanna play some video games?”
“Eh.” I shrugged, and the four of us headed toward my room.
“Is it my turn yet?” Fleana whined.
Katrina didn’t look away from the screen. “You just lost. It’s my turn.”
Fleana groaned. “Can someone at least give me a drink?”
Just then I heard clanking down the hall, some ruffling in the fridge. I’d assumed it was my dad or Matthew, but last time I checked they didn’t make clanking noises, not that I know of anyway.
Something came marching down the hallway toward my room, and emerging from the darkness that is my hallway with a drink on a tray was the robotic servant. It was six feet tall with a golden body. It was a simple design, a human body with a top hat, but something about it just seemed…uncanny?
The servant hunched and pushed the tray toward Fleana. Fleana smiled, which even apathetically, I didn’t understand how she managed it, and took the orange juice.
“Thank you.” She said nervously.
“What are your orders?” It asked.
Katrina was trying hard to keep a smile on her face. “No, that’s okay. We don’t need anything.”
The servant just stood there motionless. It’s eyes were trained on Katrina as if it were waiting for another order.
Matthew peaked his head through my door, his eyebrows arched. “What in the world is that thing?”
Prince pushed passed him. “Excuse me.”
He sipped his orange juice and turned his head toward the servant. He didn’t seem bothered by the fact that there was a creepy robotic servant standing next to him.
When his glass was finally empty, he said. “The servant’s up.”
I rolled my eyes. “No duh genius. How long has it been up?”
“I don’t know about an hour or so.”
“What?!” Fleana snapped.
“And when were you planning on telling us that?” Katrina dropped the remote just as her character got killed.
“Right after he cleaned my bathroom!” Prince turned livid.
“Uh, guys?” Matthew interrupted, but Prince was on a roll.
“My dad told me we can’t keep it in our room–”
“But I couldn’t concentrate on anything if the bathroom is–”
“What is it Matthew?” Katrina glared at him.
He pointed at the space where the servant stood. “Robot’s just left.”
We spotted the servant heading to the next floor, apparently with a goal in mind. Matthew, Katrina, Fleana, Marion, and I didn’t stop it so much as watch it.
“What’s it doing now?” Matthew asked. “Spikes, did you give it another order?”
“No. Wait–” I thought for a second. “No.”
“Then what’s it doing?”
“I don’t know, bro,” Marion told him. “how about we try following it?”
A few sparks danced across Matthew’s fingers, but if Marion felt intimidated, he couldn’t show it.
We found our servant knocking on our neighbor’s door, the one who visited earlier. Our neighbor finally opened the door. He was dressed in a white tank top and boxer shorts.
He slanted his eyebrows. “What!”
The servant then snatched him by the ankle and started tossing him around the room like a pillow. Our neighbor was screaming in agony as his body got more battered and bruised.
“Oh my God, you’ve created a monster.” Matthew still had his eyes on our neighbor.
“We didn’t create it,” Fleana explained, shrugging. “We just sort of put it together. And by we I mean him.”
I glared at her.
“Somebody get over here and help me!” Our neighbor shouted, but his voice sounded like background noises.
My dad walked out of our room holding a sheet of paper. “Good you here. Son have you read this warning when you–” He finally noticed our neighbor being flung around. “Oh, I guess you have.”
“What warning?” I asked.
Dad held up the paper. “This product has been banned in over twenty-five countries and under the troposphere due to attacks on humans. You should never build your own servant.”
“Well, that explains why we got it dirt cheap.” Fleana giggled.
“Yeah and now we unleashed it in the apartment, and there’s nothing we could do to stop it.” I said.
“Yeah, unless, y’know you flip the off switch on its back.” Dad pointed at it’s back where an obvious switch labeled “on/off” sat. “Blowing it up works too by the way, but let’s spare the insurance this time.”
“Um, sure, just hold on a sec.” Marion fearlessly walked up to the servant and flipped the switch to off. Too bad he flipped it when the robot was in mid swing. Our neighbor went soaring into my door. I’m pretty sure his arm wasn’t supposed to bend that way.
“Oh God. Oh God.” He moaned.
“Hey, Ralph.” My dad said. “Are you alright?”
“Do I look like I’m alright?!”
I offered him my hand, but he recoiled at me.
“Do not touch me!” He shrieked. “I’ll get myself up.”
I’ll be honest that hurt a little bit, but I still kept my hand out, mostly because I knew he couldn’t get up. He couldn’t use his dislocated arm so he tried rolling on his belly, but I guess the size of his gut kept him in place. Finally, he relented and let me help him.
“So do you believe in the curse now?” Fleana asked.
Ralph’s face got red. “No.”
“You don’t know that.”
“I have the psionic ability to sense emotions. Though trust me, it doesn’t take an empath to see that.”
“That’s…even for you that’s weird, right?”
“Sort of.” Katrina told him. “So I guess you’ll be moving soon.”
“Oh no. That’s what you want me to do.”
“We do?” Fleana raised an eyebrow.
“Yeah, I bet you set this up just to scare me off.”
“We did?” Katrina knitted her eyebrows.
“Well, if you think I’m going to be scared off by you freaks, you have another thing coming. I paid for this room, and I’m not leaving until I want to.”
“Aight, cool.” Marion told him.
“We’ll try not to bother you.” My dad said politely.
“Yesssss.” Ralph hissed. He slinked back to his room, not taking his eyes off us until he was behind his door.
“So Ralph’s his name?” Katrina pondered. “He seems nice.”
Some authors keep a journal of some kind that details stories that they like to keep secret. Admittedly I’m one of those people, but recently I’ve been pondering. Do they always have to be kept secret? Forever? Now I know most of those authors would say “Yes, that’s the point of them being secret”, but my mind doesn’t process that way. My secret stories just don’t always want to be kept secret. They want to be heard, and for a while I just shut them out. Now it’s got to the point where I can’t keep them under wraps anymore, so I decided to publish a few entries. My recent entry, Journal Entry #2, was one of those. Yep, that entry was one of the many entries detailing the messed up activity that goes on in my mind from time to time. Now, I find myself questioning my decision like I do with all my decisions. Except this is more serious as my secret stories has evolved into its own book series. Maybe it’s just a writers thing. While I question whether or not showing my secret stories was a good move, I’m glad I did. It made me feel comfortable in my own skin. This is who I am, what I think, my flaws, and my improvement of those flaws, and I am not ashamed. Besides, it’s not like haven’t kept some secret stories to myself. So do whatever you want with your stories. Be either keeping them secret or when you feel that you’re okay with it enough to reveal it to others. Either choice would make you feel better because no matter what it’s your stories. It’s a part of you and no one could take that away from you.