"Michael!" Mrs. Vectus slammed her two wrinkled, witch-like palms on the desk attempting to unnerve his resting soul.
"Oui, maître exalté?" Nike said, raising his head off of the desk while simultaneously pursuing the fact that she can't possibly be French (despite her claims) with a maiden name such as 'Miller.'
"Why don't you answer the problem." she said planning to embarrass him with a fiendish scheme. This would easily work on any other kid but unfortunately for Mrs. Vectus, Nike Orchard, was and always will be clearly unlike any other kid she has ever met.
"165,497 and if you could just call me 'Nike' I would really appreciate it, Mrs. V." just then the final bell rang as Mrs. Vectus pursed her lips in distaste and shouted the night's homework assignment to the escaping students.
Nike stood and smiled as he passed the wretched math teacher. Thoughts of pride surged Nike constantly for this was his relation with most teachers he was put up against, they lectured he ignored or argued they got frustrated and he bested them. You see Michael Orchard was smarter than most. To tell the truth many of the 'scholars' and 'mathletes' and 'philosophers' and the such were often dumbfounded when they came across him, and rarely anything became of it where a learned benefit was concerned. However, those who didn’t pretend to be on a superior intellectual level often got along quite well with him.
"You really need to stop man." Simon, the starting RB of the school's football team, said as he joined Nike in his evening commute through the hallways that lead to the salvation of the outside world. "Heard what happened in Vectus' class."
"I don’t know what you mean, I was just trying to take a nap." Nike defended. They shoved the metal hallway doors open and walked out on to the pavement, heading for the gray Cadillac parked on the far side of the lot.
"C'mon Orchard, you're too smart to be causing trouble like that!" Simon carefully inserted the key into the door and unlocked the car, "She's given you 15 detentions in the last three months!" They ducked into the car and sat down on the gray leather seats. The Cadillac was an older model, probably one made in the early 90's, and was owned by Simons father, Mr. Fender, who, when Simon was granted the privilege of his old car, was very particular on how it should be maintained. "Plus I don’t think Maddie is into delinquents." It was as if the simple mention of her name could conjure a lovey-dovey look in Nike's eyes. "Earth to Nike!" Simon tapped his forehead.
"Yeah?" The lovesick fool jolted out of his heartfelt slouch and redirected his vision toward Simon. A look of disappointment and exhaustion, as you might see on the face of a tired father as he arrives home, was painted across Simon's face. Nike's own father, in fact had used a similar face when Nike had come home one evening covered in dog saliva and wearing tattered clothes.
They pulled out of the parking space that might as well have a big S on it as a mark of territory and drove out into the street. Fall had officially set in around Richmond, Indiana and the trees had no problem showing it. The sides of the city's streets were lined with oranges and yellows and reds and browns all worthy of their own rainbow, and the town's folk loved it more than they could express.
"Hey man pull into that Speedway really quick." said Nike. Simon made a barely legal left turn and found a place to park. As they opened their doors The Civic sped around the corner adjacent to the store's face, drifting and making tire marks," Woah! what was that?" Simon stood silently, He knew that car.
"Let's hurry this up man." Simon closed the door with a clap and started toward the building. This particular Speedway wasn't unlike any you'd find in your own hometown but many found it special because of its usefulness to a town like Richmond.
"So, what do you mean Maddie doesn't like delinquents? Everyone likes delinquents." You see Madison Smith was Nike's current love interest and he was willing to gain any possible information about her any time it may be presented to him.
Simon opened a refrigerator door and grabbed a green drink Nike chose not to identify then paused and began to think. Simon found it was wise to think about how to answer Nike's questions because if he didn’t, Nike would ask even more. "What I meant--" Simon was cut off by two men who walked in the store. It's important to note no one else was in the speedway at the time so the ding of the bell and the wild, jumbled nonsense created for the other to caught the attention of Nike and Simon. The men, who were hardly acceptable for the title, given their faces showed clearly that they weren't much older than Simon or Nike, were dressed in baggy clothing and had military buzz cuts but sported a care free expression. As soon as Simon saw them his eyes darted outside the window then back at them. The Civic was parked outside. "We got to go!" Simon whispered, at this point both the two friends were hiding behind a rack in attempt not to be seen.
"Who are they?" Simon yanked Nike onward with a serious intent. The other to had begun to poke around toward the front of the store clearly eyeing the cashier, "Hey man how much?" said the first.
"For what?" the cashier asked in a nonchalant, almost bored fashion, obviously not aware of what was about to happen.
"In the register?" Continued the first, pulling out a pistol. This caused the second to go into a fit of deranged laughter. Simon, reaching the door, didn’t care to remember the bell that sounded every time door opened or closed, and rushed out. Nike followed after but not before turning around to see the Deranged laugher's eyes meet his. Nike bolted to the car, fueled by the fear brought to him through the thief's eyes. BOOM! BOOM! Two gunshots rang out from the building.
"Oh my-" before Nike could finish taking the Lord's name in vain he was pulled into the car, hitting his head on the way, and dramatically driven out of the small corner lot.
"Who were those guys?" Nike screamed in terror as he held back tears of fear, "We could've— they almost— did you hear those shots?" The rare flaw in Nike's code was that he was extremely smart yes but also very emotional, a trait hardly found to be as strong in geniuses of his caliber.
"Nike, calm down, you aren't thinking."
"I'm always thinking" he quickly returned asserting his intellectual dominance.
"Then do something, those guys are dangerous!" The petty thieves belong to and unnamed gang that's only callsign are the menacing cars they drive, Honda Civics. "We need a place to lay low, they saw us and from what I've heard they never forget a face."
"Where are you getting all of this inside information from?"
"Well I do have more friends than you."
"That's your excuse for everything." Annoyed by his only friend, Nike traced his memory for someone who wasn’t a friend but would be more than willing to help. "Head to June's house."
"What? No way, not that psycho!" Simon's voice cracked as he said psycho, "I'm never talking to her again!" a feeling of stress broke out across every ounce of Simon's existence because in the back of his mind he knew that his "#1 fan" June Alcester was the only safe person to go to.
There was a pause and the atmosphere shifted. Simon checked his rear-view mirror, searching for any suspicious vehicles that may be following. He noticed two sedans, parked at the stoplight just behind them, that could've been and would've been just a random car to most, but was one Simon recognized to be dangerous.
"So, do you want me to give you directions or do you remember?" Nike suggested as Simon kicked the gas.
"So, you've finally come back. I was wondering when you'd need me next." June was wearing a t-shirt too big for her with the Richmond High colors on it and a handmade beanie that had the words, "I LOVE S. FENDER" stitched on to the front of it.
Simon sighed and reluctantly asked "Where did you get my shirt?" June dismissed this and motioned them toward her garage and handed Nike a baseball bat.
"Hold this. I'll get you the keys to my dad's car." She appeared to already have a full understanding of the situation without Simon or Nike saying a single world, "Alright you're gonna want to head to Indianapolis for a few days until the cops get a handle of things and you're 100% sure you are safe" She handed Simon the keys to her father's car and began to lead them out of the house. "Be careful we can't lose our star player!" She shouted as they walked down the driveway toward the red Chevrolet June had pointed out. They unlocked the doors started the car up and took off.
Nike was sure to remind his friend to follow June's exact rules, she was not only a stalker and a creep but also had the power of planning. They executed their turns carefully, leaving June's gated community and heading for interstate 70.
"Alright we're almost there." Nike proclaimed for no reason in particular other than to have the idea out in the air. It was as if this statement had spawned its own bad luck because as Simon checked his mirrors he noticed one, then another and another until he realized they were surrounded. The light before him shone red, but he was willing to take a chance. He pressed the gas petal with all of the force in his body and whipped the car toward safety and never let go.