I GOT A PROMO

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So as of today, I have free promotion going on at Amazon. I will give you a link.cropped-index.jpg

It is another installment of the Journal Series of Prince, Fleana, Katrina, and Marion. The book on sale are the first four entries of their journal where they were experimented on by Ecosystems Corporation and trying to not fail out of school. I’ve been hard at work with other entries and have a few published. Check ’em if you would. Here’s the link: https://www.amazon.com/JOURNAL-ENTRIES-Journal-Xavier-McDougle-ebook/dp/B07124GDKG/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1496606407&sr=8-9&keywords=xavier+mcdougle

Go get a free copy before June 8th.

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POWER PLAY & THE JOURNAL SERIES OF PRINCE, FLEANA, KATRINA, AND MARION

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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:

ROBOTIC SERVANT

I. FLEANA

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.
“What curse?”
“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.”

II. KATRINA

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.”

III. MARION

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–”
“Hey?”
“But I couldn’t concentrate on anything if the bathroom is–”
“Guys!”
“What is it Matthew?” Katrina glared at him.
He pointed at the space where the servant stood. “Robot’s just left.”

IV. PRINCE

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?!”
“Yes.”
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’re lying.”
“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.”

POWER PLAY EXCERPT

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So I am close to finishing editing my second novel, Power Play, so I thought I share an excerpt. Enjoy fellow readers, writers, and novelists.

CHAPTER ONE
PRINCE

     Katrina raised her hand, her fingers arcing with electricity, and blasted one of the dummies we had set up around the junkyard. The blast had looked bigger than usual. I wondered if she had been eating her veggies or something and I was thinking that maybe I should try some of her mother’s cooking. It may have helped me out with my little problem.

Marion eyed another dummy and flexed his palm. Flames started to curl off the tips of his fingers and formed into a ball. He lobbed it at another dummy, causing it to erupt into a small bonfire.

Fleana smiled, reveling in the display of fireworks. I felt the wind picking up and my heart raced as the next dummy levitated five feet in the air. Fleana twitched her nose and the dummy went sky high.

You might be wondering why we were abusing a couple of poor, defenseless dummies. Even more importantly, you may be wondering how a couple of teenagers have superpowers. Well, its kind of a long story and it would probably take all day to catch you up on how all this nonsense, which quite frankly is still new to us, happened. Fortunately, I have time on my hands. We’re what you call BioticAbiotics—living nonliving things. This stuff sort of comes with the territory. Don’t worry, you’ll catch on. Technically, our “powers” were supposed to be used to support the planet so that everything including us could survive, but my friends and I use them kind of like a super power.

Fleana trained her eyes on me. “You sure you don’t want to try this?”

I shifted my feet. My pals had been trying to convince me for a week to try using my abilities. “I don’t know guys I’m just not feeling it.”

“It’s been three months now, Spikes. You have to try,” Katrina reasoned. “we need to practice for the new school we’ll be attending. I heard Level Placement is brutal.”

I guess I should explain. My friends and I would be attending Levels Academy in two days—A school that both our parents and older siblings had attended for BioticAbiotics. I shuddered thinking about a school full of hormonal teenagers that were just like us. I certainly wasn’t looking forward to it after what happened just three months ago. I just couldn’t imagine the reactions from the students and faculty.

What happened? Well, I’m going to make this short and simple: Three months ago, my friends and I had no idea what we even were, so when our powers (BioticAbiotics call them traits or characteristics) had actually showed up, we sort of panicked, not unlike anything else that happens during puberty. Don’t get me wrong, it was cool and all, but we managed to get into serious trouble with them. When our parents had finally told us what was going on with us, let’s just say that in hindsight, blowing up the lab we were born in was probably not the best way of getting information. Word of our actions had hit the local news across town and unless they had poor reception in the troposphere, I’m pretty sure most of the student body and faculty had heard of our blunder. And here I thought I was done with all the embarrassing stuff that happens in school.

Attending Levels meant that my friends and I were going to meet some challenges, but my biggest challenge would be getting my traits to work properly. What can I say? Some people mature slower than others even if you were born at the same time.

“Okay, I’ll try.” I told them.

I thrust out my palm but nothing happened. On my second try, my hand grew cold and a ball of steam condensed in my palm. It was the first solid ball I had made in the past two weeks. I lobbed it a dummy causing frost to cake over it. Despite it working sometimes, my power were pretty meager at that point. Nowhere near as big and powerful as my pals’.

I turned my head to my friends. “How’s that?”

“Not bad,” Fleana said encouragingly. “but it needs a little more oomph!”

Fleana was a part time cheerleader. She’s always positive and sometimes, if you’re not watching carefully enough, that’s how she often gets away with things. You wouldn’t suspect her to do any wrong. Thankfully, that part of her rarely shows up.
I went to try again with much better results. The next dummy turned into a popsicle.

Fleana clapped merrily. “There you go! Try again!”

So I did that for about three more times, which is more effort than I put in three months, and made the dummies I shot into miniature snowmen. My friends cheered, encouraging me to keep going, but the moment was short lived. On my next try, nothing happened. I tried several more times but no luck. I shook my head.

Kat came up to me and placed her hand on my back. “It’s okay. It’ll show up again. It’s better to try and fail than to not try at all.”

That’s Katrina for you. Always sensible, always responsible, and she always has a sweet spot when it comes to wounded puppies.

“I know, I know,” I said. “I just wish it would show up before school starts.”

“When it happens, it happens.” Marion reasoned. “You can’t rush these things.”

If you ever needed a level head to talk to then Marion’s your man. He always seems to be on top of things, never worried about anything.

Fleana looked at her watch and her eyes widened. “It’s late! I have to get home or mom will kill me!”

She jumped in the air and flew straight to our apartment. Flying’s become Fleana’s main source of transportation even when it’s not necessary. Our apartment was only a couple blocks away and Surrealton’s so small that driving from one place to another is seen as redundant.

“Show off.” Kat said. “But it is getting late. We should get going.” I heard her mutter. “Mom would be checking off supplies again.”

We began marching home, prepared to face the challenge of packing for school.

When I walked through the doors of my apartment room, my dad looked up from his paper and asked. “Where have you been?”

I told him. “With my friends at the junkyard.”

“Getting in some training before school, huh? Good thinking you might wanna bulk up. Standards are much higher now than from the time I went there.”

That didn’t make me feel much better. I had lied to my dad a week earlier about my abilities developing past latency. I was hoping they would’ve developed any day now so that it wouldn’t have to be such a lie. Obviously, that hadn’t been the case so it just left me in a worse spot.

The phone rang and dad picked it up. “Hello…yes…oh, okay. He’ll be there in the morning.”

He hung up. “That was Dr. Norman. He wants to do one final check up tomorrow morning. You okay going by yourself?”

“Sure.” I said.

Dr. Norman was the family doctor for my friends and me ever since the day we were born in Solarana Labs as asexual test tube babies. It’s kind of a weird story. A couple of months ago, I had accidentally frozen his arm when he tried to give me a shot, but thankfully he had forgiven me for that. Not a lot of people would.

As I walked down the hallway to my room, I bumped into my older brother, Nathan. He held my backpack in his hand.
He dropped it into my arms and it weighed a ton. “Here, everything’s accounted for.”

“Thanks bro. But I could’ve done that myself.” I grunted.

“Oh, I know. I just wanted to save you the trouble.”

Translation: he wanted me to reflect good on him. Nathan was going to be a teacher’s assistant at my new school for college credit and well, he’s a bit of an overachiever. He’s always pushing me to do my best. Not that I didn’t appreciate his help or anything, but it can be a bit overbearing sometimes and with my traits still on the fritz, I just wasn’t looking forward to one of his lectures about how eating more vegetables or ice cubes or whatever is essential to the proper functioning of traits. Older siblings can be a pain, even if they’re adopted.

After dinner, I slumped onto my bed hoping things would get better by tomorrow. But somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew things were about to get a whole lot worse somehow.

DAILY POST

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Poor Pecola. I just finished reading “The Bluest Eye” and as I had suspected, it was a tragedy. Pecola is finally happy with her blue eyes…to go with her insanity. Even though the child was born of incest, its dying was harsh. The novel actually challenge the notion of whether it had the right to live. Though, I for a split second it was better dead because of the environment it would have to grow up in, I immediately rebuked the thought and myself briefly. Life is precious. It should be treasured always. It’s those subtle pressures that we don’t see that we need to watch out for. It does good to reflect on why we believe the things we do or like certain things and consider other things to be ugly. By the way, I need to remind you that this eye color:

is pretty too. It’s most common, but it’s still beautiful. Anyway I registered for classes next year (should be the last). I got Fridays off, but at least they’re not all squished together like this semester’s. I had to go jogging late, but at least the sun was still out. I also got started on the next book “Typical American”. Should be…what it is. I had to pay seventy dollars (I got paid back) to have the washing machine fixed. And that is good night.

DAILY POST

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Well, today starts with me finishing and turning in my paper for literature class (I hope I did well) and I finally finished the Final Fantasy XIII walkthrough and am now watching XIII-2. Boy that sounded nerdy but that’s what I do when I have time on my hands other than looking for more scholarships. It was such a nice day, and after editing some, I went out for some sprints. Nothing beats a good run. Well, maybe a few things. The Wizards beat the 76ers, and on a good note “The Bluest Eye” is good read. Night.