Endgame

This was just another average school day to me, nothing special, with typical sunny California weather and peaceful Irvine’s lack of events. I casually strolled down to my mom’s car and put my school stuff in the car’s trunk. As I opened the door and plopped down on the seat, a glare coming from the rearview mirror locked onto and fixed itself onto my face. The mouth from that same face uttered angrily, in a short, staccato voice, the words “You’re dead!”

It was silent in the car, an eerie, unnatural silence, one that suffocated me like a straightjacket with a backwards hood. When my sister got into the car, she fell under the stifling blanket of silence as well. I was confused. And then, it hit me, my eyes wide with fear, realizing my situation. This was a trap!

When we reached home, my sister went up the stairs, her footsteps trailing away like a distant drum. She left me with the livid monster, thirsting for my blood—my mother. I got to the couch and sat down. Mom stood in front of me, unmoving, and then she turned to look at me.

“Well? What do you have to say?” My mother broke through the stillness with her shrill, merciless interrogation. It took only moments for me to think of at least fifteen examples of possible reasons for this confrontation.

“Uh… nothing, why, something happen?” I needed to be sure what it was she was going to attack me about. I couldn’t give away anything, as this Bad Grade Beast fed on weakness and fear, but I also couldn't attack, fearing the possible repercussions and counterattack.

“Geometry.” This one word, along with her singsong voice while saying it, sent a chilling shock through my already frayed nerves. All I could do was wait.

“Do you know what your grade is?” A question that I had no answer to, nor did I have the guts to answer the question with any sass.

“No. Why?” I could tell that this would turn into a full-blown harangue, fluctuating between bursts of pure rage, katana-sharp questions, and anything else that she could think of in-between.

“You’re failing, mister. Ni yo lai le! Wo gun ni jiang chi yiao lun zhun de du shu? Ni hai yiao suh muh ah? Huh? Well? Zhe ge suh muh lan chun ji, hah? Ni wei suh muh yiao shiang jiang zhi ah? Ni… Ni… lan dong shi!” She had me in her Tongue of Paralyzation, and there was no way out.

“But wait! That… it’s not…” Her diatribe made it impossible for me to even say my sentences. She refused to listen to anything, especially my excuses.

“What? WHAT DO YOU WANT?” She shot back quick and fast, her words screeching to a halt in my ears.

“This isn’t even a fair subject! Everyone hates the teacher and I’m just one-tenth away from a passing grade!” My protests were futile, unfortunately. With this much rage, she probably had enough adrenaline to stop a freight train in its tracks, let alone me.

“WHAT? YOU EXPECT ME TO BELIEVE THAT?” This pure, focused fury, all of it was thrown on me, and all I could do was watch as my A+ in Humanities, Highest Grade in Science, and New Record in P.E. defenses fell apart in the face of such a terrible attack. The beast had slain the hero, the hero no more than meat and bone torn to shreds. It was game over. I put down my controller. This was a level I think I’d need a guide for.





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