Whatever This Is | Teen Ink

Whatever This Is

September 9, 2018
By ChamiKhan, Afton, Wyoming
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ChamiKhan, Afton, Wyoming
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Favorite Quote:
“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius, and it is better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” -Marilyn Monroe

Author's note:

I reeeeeeeeeeally like Gravity Falls. This is my first story on here, don’t judge it too bad.

The author's comments:

Hope you like it! Don’t forget to leave comments; I live for critique! :)

Friday, May 10 11:30 AM

Tom sighed and set his tray down next to Nate. “Hey,” he said.

    Nate didn’t look up from his mashed potatoes he was stirring. “Hey,” he replied.

    Tom raised an eyebrow in concern. “Are you doing okay?” He asked. Distracted, Nate nodded.

    Tom cleared his throat. “I got a B on my algebra test, Nate? Nate? Are you sure you’re okay?”

    Still obviously not paying attention, Nate nodded. Tom went on. “I’m dating someone. We had sex last night. I renounced my sexuality to straight and she’s a girl.”

    Again, Nate nodded, and Tom slumped. Sighing, he sat down and grabbed Nate’s face and turned it towards his. “Dude, we’re in the middle of the cafeteria! What do you think you’re doing?!” Nate demanded, paying attention now.

    Tom let go and gave Nate a look. “You’re preoccupied with something that’s clearly important, otherwise you would have heard what I just said. I don’t care if you tell me what it is or not, but if there’s anything I can do, then you’ve got to promise to let me know, alright?”

    Grumbling with a hint of a smile on his face, Nate nodded. “Fine. You want to come over after school tomorrow?”

    Tom cocked his head to the side. “Why not today?”

    Nate visibly winced. “I’m, ah, busy.”

    Tom nodded, and together, they ate lunch together in awkward silence, Nate going back to his thoughts. After a moment or two, Tom was done eating and left to grab some books at the library. He returned as the first bell rang, to find Nate still sitting there, not having even eaten his food. Tom rolled his eyes and quickly took care of Nate’s tray, and gently shook him. “Nate, the bell rang. You’ve got to go to class. Nate? Nate!!! GO TO CLASS!!!!!!!!!”

    It took a moment, but Nate looked up, and Tom took his bag and led him to his first class after lunch. Tom went to his own class, still deeply worried. There were occasions where Nate got really deep in thought, but never this deep before. There must be something really taxing him if it’s this bad. He just wish Nate would tell him. It wasn’t like Tom was offended by the fact that Nate didn’t want to share with him, it was just that Tom was normally able to help him with whatever he was going through, and it looked like Nate was really going through some tricky business. Also, Tom was really curious about just how bad Nate’s issue was that he didn’t tell him right off the bat. So what could be going on?

    Nate said Tom couldn’t come over today because he was ‘busy.’ Could it be with the ‘issue?’ Tom pursed his lips and began to form a plan . “Tom?” The teacher’s voice made him snap up. “Do you know the answer?”

Tom went rigid, trying to breath deeply. All eyes were on him, and he didn’t know the answer. “Um, no…”

The teacher nodded. “That’s what I thought. Would you like to share what was so important that you had to think about it now instead of later, when you weren’t learning?”

“No…” Tom mumbled. The teacher nodded and went back to the lesson while Tom silently cussed her out. It was the last week of school, he shouldn’t have to still be learning. He huffed to himself and looked at the clock. Good. Only two hours left, then he could find out what was going on with Nate.

Friday, May 10 4:30 PM

Tom opened his front door and dropped his backpack, then took off his shoes. “Mom, I’m home!” He yelled.

“Great,” she called back. “There’s some milk and oatmeal cookies on the counter for you, and I don’t want to hear any complaining about them being oatmeal. They’re more healthy for you than chocolate chip and you know it!”

Tom shrugged and took a bite of the top one, then took a sip of milk. “Hey, Mom, I’ll be going over to Nate’s in a sec as soon as I finish your amazing cookies. Thanks, by the way!”

He heard his mom chuckle at his flattery, then she responded, “Alright, just don’t forget to do your homework when you get back. Don’t forget to take your stuff if you’re staying the night!”

“‘Kay,” He yelled back. Quickly, he finished he cookies and milk and bolted out the door. He had a mission: he was going to find out what was going on with Nate, for better or for worse.  

Quickly, he hopped on his bike and sped over to the house up the hill to his. Gently, he laid his bike to the side of Nate’s lawn and walked up to the door. It was askew, and broken off its hinges. Really worried now, Tom crept inside, imitating Tom Cruise. He stopped and listened, then gasped when he heard several muffled thumps against the walls downstairs. He sped downstairs and kicked the door open to an astonishing sight.

Nate was fighting several men dressed in cargo pants, black, tight shirts and dark sunglasses. He was doing an amazing job fending them off, using these bluish white balls that grew in his hands, then throwing them at the men who were tossed against the wall by the sheer force of them. Tom watched, his mouth gaping like a bass fish. Nate was doing a wonderful job fighting them off until… he spotted Tom. “Tom?!” Nate exclaimed.

Tom winced and the men stopped trying to fight Nate and turned to face him. “Sith,” Tom mock swore under his breath as one of the men lunged at him. Tom dove to the side to avoid him only to have another evil dude put him in a headlock and lift him off the ground. Nate stopped as Tom felt a cold, round bit press against his head. Yup, Tom thought, that’s a gun alright.

“Let us go with the Orb, and we won’t kill him,” the baddie that was holding him said. “Otherwise…” He trailed off and Tom swallowed nervously. This was cool and all, but he kind of didn’t want to die. Scowling, Nate stepped back in submission.

“No,” Tom tried to say. “Nate, no. Don’t do it, Nate. I’m te-agh!” The arm around his neck squeezed tighter, and Tom suddenly found he couldn’t talk.

Nate stayed where he was as Tom felt the bad guys back out towards the door. “Stay,” he heard Big, Tall, and Gruesome (the one that was holding him)  command. Nate did as he was told as light suddenly shot up around them and Nate’s basement disappeared.

They were teleporting, Tom realized as he, the other bad dudes and Big, Tall and Gruesome appeared in a dark, circular room. BTG smiled down at him. “Here we are, kid. Hope you enjoy your stay,” he said. All the other dudes laughed like they had just attended a stand-up comedy show. Tom raised an eyebrow. The arm had loosened around his neck  just enough for him to talk.

“Seriously, dude? That really wasn’t that good of a joke. That wasn’t a joke at all, just sarcasm. I’m disappointed in you all. In fact-agh!” Tom desperately clutched at the arm that was now tightening around his neck until he couldn’t breath. Spots began to appear in his vision while his lungs cried out in agony. After what felt like an eternity, the pressure loosened and Tom hungrily sucked in air. TDG laughed.

“Not so funny now, are you, kid?”  His voice raspy, Tom responded, “No, but that still doesn’t mean you are either.”

The other men stifled their laughs and Tom’s lungs closed off again. “That’s enough of you, kid. I don’t like smart-asses.”

Tom glared at him, but stayed silent. TDG smiled. “Much better. The boss-man will see you now.”

Tom still in TDG’s headlock, TDG carried him out of the room and down the hall. They made two lefts, a right, and went through the first door on the left. Tom’s neck and lungs hurt like the Dickens, but the pain was dulling a little. Inside the room, there was a desk, and a swivel chair facing away from Tom. TDG held Tom there for a second before a voice behind the chair spoke. “Ah, Nathan. I’ve been expecting you. I knew your parents and sent them into hiding. I’ll send you into hiding too, in the afterlife!”

With that, the chair swiveled around to reveal a man with jet-black hair, a tuxedo and a red rose in his front pocket. The man was clearly taken aback, as this was not Nate. The man looked at TDG. “Where is Nathan?” He asked in a British accent.

TDG looked at the ground. “He fought well. We didn’t think we were going to make it out of there until this kid decided to step in. We grabbed him and threatened Nathan we would kill him if he tried to stop us from leaving. So we took the Orb of Omniscience and the kid, and we booked it.”

The man nodded. “I see. You could of taken Nathan as well, if your brain had the capacity to think of such a thing. Romero!” He called.

Another guard entered the room and raised his hand in salute. “Yes, sir?”

“Kill him.” Romero looked between TDG and Tom.

“Which one, sir?”

“Big, Tall, and Not Black there.” Romero nodded.

“Yes, sir. May I call for backup? He might struggle.” The man rolled his eyes.

“Not if you shoot him.” Romero nodded and did just that. TDG crumpled to the floor, dragging Tom down with him. Romero quickly came over to Tom and picked him up by the back of his shirt. Numb from just witnessing a man get killed, Tom just hung there, limp, with his ears ringing.

“What do you want me to do with this one, sir?” Romero asked.

The man considered this for a moment, then replied, “Handcuff him to the chair in front of my desk. I want to have a little chat with him, alone.”

Romero gently set Tom down in the chair, then used four pairs of handcuffs to secure his arms and legs to the different parts of the chair. Romero nodded respectfully to the man and left, closing the door behind him. The man watched him go, then turned his attention to Tom. “Hello, young one. You just happened to be in the wrong time at the wrong place, didn’t you?”

Tom didn’t answer, vouching instead to stare blankly ahead in shock. The man went on. “I am Thaddeus Channey, your host. Welcome to my not-so-humble abode. The upper floors are much more luxurious, but you unfortunately will only be seeing the lower floors where the others are being kept.”

That broke Tom out of his trance-like state. “Wait, what?! You have others?!” He exclaimed.

Thaddeus looked up from examining his nails. “Ah, the boy speaks. Yes, there are many other prisoners I have besides you. Now, I like to make it a point to know the names of the ones who will be staying under my roof, so if you wouldn’t mind…”

Tom wasn’t done yet, though. “And another thing! You just killed that dude!”

Thaddeus raised an eyebrow. “Romero killed him, not me.”

“No, but you ordered him to! TDG might have been a jerk and might have almost killed me several times, but that doesn’t mean he deserved to die!” Thaddeus cocked his head at Tom.

“You are saying he didn’t deserve to die, even though he was a very bad man, he kidnapped and almost killed you, and he was trying to kill your friend?”

“He tried to kill me twice, and Nate is my best friend. So, yeah, it might seem like he deserved to die, but that doesn’t mean that he actually did! What kind of a sick person are you?! You sent your man to attack a kid, ended up kidnapping a kid, and you just killed TDG!” Thaddeus looked at him oddly.

“TDG?” He asked.

“Tall, Dark, and Gruesome,” Tom mumbled. Thaddeus laughed.

“Oh my, you do have quite the character, don’t you? I’m going to have fun breaking you.” Tom stared at him in shock.

“Break me?! What the crap did I do to you?!” Tom demanded. Thaddeus laughed.

“Nothing, that’s the point. Also, if your friend sees you like that, it might break his spirit and he’ll stop fighting with us. It’s just a teeny bit of discomfort for a bigger goal.” Tom’s eyebrows flew up.

“A little bit?!”

“Yep. It’ll all be worth it. To me, that is. Now, once again, tell me your name.” Thaddeus commanded.

“Tom. Why do you want to know again?”

“I just like to know. Helps me keep inventory if I have a name associated with a face. Now, let’s have some fun, shall we?”Thaddeus raised his arm to snap his fingers and summon Romero, but Tom yelped, “Wait!”

Thaddeus looked at him, bemused and a little exasperated. “What?”

“Aren’t you going to tell me why you’re doing this?”

“Doing what?” Tom tried to gesture around him, but was painfully reminded that they were handcuffed to the chair.

“This. Don’t you have a reason for attacking and kidnapping children?!” Thaddeus considered this.

“I’m going to rule the world,” he declared. Tom raised an eyebrow.

“Seriously? That’s the least original reason I’ve ever heard.” Thaddeus’ squinted at him.

“Oh, really? And just how many supervillains have you met in your lifetime?” Tom straightened his slumping shoulders.

“Absolutely none. But that doesn’t mean I don’t know some crappy reasons when I hear it. What would you do when you ruled it? There’s not a lot to do after conquering a planet. Killing everyone is unreasonable, as I imagine you would still like a donut every morning.” Thaddeus spluttered.

“How do you know I have a donut every morning?!” Tom raised an eyebrow and pointedly looked at the Dunkin’ Donuts bag next to a StarBucks coffee cup in the garbage can.

“Oh.” Tom went on.

“Ruling would get pretty boring, I mean, come on, bro. Hearing whiny complaints about not getting enough food everyday wouldn’t be too fun. And the constant rebellions! Everyone trying to be the hero that killed or overthrew the dictator, constantly being interrupted during dinner, I mean, that would just get boring. Revenge on your enemies is great, but what about after you kill them? All that pleasure just wears off eventually, you know?”

Scowling, obviously dumb-founded, Thaddeus just stared at the wall for a second, before angrily snapping his fingers. Romero came in quickly, and stood at attention. “Yes, sir?” He asked politely.

“Take Tom here to my special room and set up a camera.” Romero raised his eyebrows worriedly.

“Your bedroom, sir?” Tom’s mouth opened in pure disgust and horror, and Thaddeus turned a bright purple.

“No, you oaf! The torture chamber in the room down the hall from here!”

“Oh. Sorry, sir,” Romero replied monotonously. It was clear he had to put up with this a lot, and Tom felt bad for the poor dude, until Romero took off his handcuffs and hoisted him in the air by the back of his shirt again. Romero carried him out of the room like that and into the room that Tom assumed was for torture. Again, Romero gently set him down in the chair and walked away for a second. Seeing his chance, Tom bolted for the door Romero had left open only to see his feet leave the ground and a familiar pressure form on the back of his shirt. Romero sighed.

“You know I can’t let you do that, right? I’m sorry kid, but that’s the way it’s got to be done.” Tom scowled.

“You do have a choice, you know.” Romero set him down again on the chair and handcuffed him the way he did before. Romero looked down at him curiously.

“What do you mean?” He asked, genuine interest in his voice.

“Well,” Tom said. “You are a grown man who can make decisions for himself. I don’t think there’s anything keeping you here, is there?”

Romero shook his head. “No.”

“Then why do you take all this BS from him?”

“He raised me, Thaddeus did. I owe him my life. So now, I serve him.” Tom furrowed his eyebrows.

“So, he took you away from your real parents, making sure that you would be this loyal to him and him only?” Romero paused in setting up the camera.

“Ah, yeah. Basically. But he still raised me, so I still owe him.”

“Is he even paying you anything?”

“No… I owe him.” Tom sighed.

“Listen, dude, even when you’re working for your parents, they’re still supposed to pay you so you can make a living for yourself. What you’re doing right now isn’t payment, it’s slavery. And, I don’t know what Mr. Thaddeus over here taught you, but where I come from, slavery is wrong. You do have a choice.” It was at that moment that Thaddeus decided to come and join them.

“Good, Romero. Is everything ready?” Romero nodded.

“Yes, sir.”

“Very good, If you will hit the record button on the camera, the video recording button, that is, we can begin.” Tom looked at Romero hopefully one last time.

“You don’t have to do this, bro.”

Romero looked down at him sadly. “Yes I do.”

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