By this point in time, he was picking dead skin off of his toes for amusement. He had a small pile on the carpet now and he would be damned if he couldn't make a small mountain of the stuff before he had to pick it up. Grandpa was a nice guy, sure, and he understood this was a better alternative to bouncing the baseball off the wall and catching it for hours on end, but no one liked the idea of dead skin on the floor.
Things had been hard as of late. The entire town was on a strict curfew and the only people allowed outside were the adults, and even then they could only grab the necessities before running back home. It was the monsters. There had always been a few imps near the forest, that was a given wherever you lived in the world, but they had grown adventurous as of late. There had been break-ins and reports of even more serious threats popping up like ogres. It was kind of scary at first, but now it was just a pain.
Seven in the evening rolled around and Grandpa came downstairs to watch the news. He crept up behind the boy in front of the TV and threw his shoe at the piano. The baby grand let out a horrible twang and the kid flipped over the coffee table while swinging his bat around claiming that he was going to show any imps what a touchdown really was.
"A touchdown is in football, sport." The old man said taking his place in the comfy chair. He cracked his back and wiped off his glasses. "You showed that coffee table what's what, though." He chuckled again and dug the remote out of the cushion.
The kid frowned and flipped the table back over. He plopped down in front of the television and rolled from side to side. "All you did was startle me, Gramps! I totally knew it was you and couldn't bring myself to breaking your precious geriatric kneecaps! A guy your age would crumble to dust if I was being super serious." The both of them then chuckled and turned their attention to the news. It was Mayor Cosby.
"Oh hey, maybe he's going to lift the curfew or something!" The boy said rocking on his behind. "It's been loooong enough."
The Mayor waved to his people from his office and adjusted his sweater vest. "Hello there keeds I bet you're wondering why I'm up here with the talking and the news and the oh ho ho ho you know what I mean!" He laughed loudly at his own kooky antics and put his hands behind his back. "We got monsters in town still with a raaaaar and making a mess and this reminds me of my brother when we were both keeds and he would say Bill let's go stomp the flowers in the old lady's yard and we'd get a spankin' as old dad would come on down the line saying keeds why is the yard of the lady and the flowers and the stomping-oh you know what I mean!"
The boy's grandfather was laughing and slapping his knees. He wiped a tear from his bright blue eyes and pointed to the TV. "Ha! I do know what he means! Just listen to how silly his voice is! Casey! Casey! Oh my gosh! He is the best Mayor ever!" Old people loved their politicians.
Casey was a boy who played by the rules and liked the order they helped bring into things, but Cosby's vague promise to keep the curfew up clashed with his otherwise adventurous nature. He couldn't handle being cooped up and harassing his friends over the internet in order to keep himself from going stir crazy. This was cruel! Unusual!
"So keeds why not listen to some jazz music and grab some Jello brand puddn' pops and just play on your xmachines and playboxes and your wii-wees and let the nice old policemen with their guns and hitting sticks-you know for the bashing and the blunt for imp skull impactin'-aww you know what I mean! See y'all tomorrow! This is your neighbor Mayor Cosby saying goodnight! Lock your windows! Eat your pudding. And any of your grown-ups out there with a bit of ol' civic pride can come to my office volunteer to help this horrible plague! Lookit us with the unity and the..." he trailed off on another speech.
The boy's grandfather frowned. This was as painful for him as it was for the boy. "Sorry sport, maybe you can watch a good movie or something. I'm sure things will change tomorrow." He ran a hand through his thinning gray hair and shrugged. He couldn't really do a thing about it. "Maybe we can look at some of my old baseball cards and sort them ou-"
The pile of dead toe skin hit the TV and Casey stood up tugging at his neck bandanna. "No way! No way! No way! No way! I'm not going to stay in this house and just...just...." He fished for a few words but ultimately fell prey to his usual lack of eloquence. "...just do the opposite of having fun!"
"I understand. That's why, tomorrow, I'm going to go to the store." The old man said. "Perhaps spend a long time there." He raised a dark eyebrow and chuckled to himself. He always did a lot of laughing when he was trying to be sneaky. "Would be a shame if the door was unlocked..."
"And then I'll totally go to the Mayor and demand he do something!" Casey said hoisting his bat into the air. He knocked over a lamp and winced as it crashed to the ground. "Sorry about that, Gramps." He adjusted the lamp and sat his bat down. "I have to ask though, the timing of you saying this is kind of really, really convenient. I was planning on running out and doing this within the next few days...are you psychic?" It would be really cool if he was. Casey was very adamant in his belief that the elderly all possessed metaphysical powers and were all old sages, no ifs ands or buts.
The old man chuckled again and put a hand in his vest pocket. After a few moments of digging, he pulled out a crumbled piece of napkin and sat it on the coffee table.
step 1: break out of house. may have to deal with old man as his heart is too big. may have to put him down (<--joke)
step 2: find monsters
step 3: kill all of them with bat
step 3a: use the phrase "homerun" somewhere
step 4: all the other monsters are scared
step 5: use new status as bane of all monsters to tell annoying pudding mayor that i am going to save the day
step 6: kill more monsters
step 7: the day is saved thanks to casey
step 8: do NOT get grounded/die/exiled out of town in process
The boy was bright, but when he didn't get out, he started to slip. Several months ago, when he was bedridden for a week, he had written an expansive escape plot where using nothing but underpants, a fork, and a wad of M80s, he would free himself to play baseball. Just like this time though, he had set his plan out in the open and was found out immediately.
"I've got to get a shoebox for these things." Casey mumbled quickly taking the napkin back. "But I mean come on, I know it's totally childish and really unrealistic, but what good does staying inside do? It just gives the little monsters more freedom to run around!"
"I know, I know." The old man said checking his wristwatch. "I trust you kiddo, I truly do. There comes a time in everyone's life where they find a cause, or a challenge...or one where a cause or challenge finds them...and they simply go with it. It's apart of growing up. You go in a boy, you come out a man."
Casey laughed a bit and imagined himself with full blown mutton chops. God, that would be the day.
"One question though, Grandpa!" He said snapping his fingers. "What was your cause?"
The old man stood up and ruffled his grandson's hair. "Champ, I'm still fighting my cause." He then held out his hand to the boy, wanting a handshake. "But enough about me. Let's shake on something though. You promise me that if things get hard for you, you'll be smart about it. I don't be the one telling your friends on the internet that you were torn apart by imps. It might cause that one kid you know to go crazy and bring you back as a cyborg."
"I promise. Don't worry about m-OH GEEZ!" The zap the joy buzzer had given him had nearly sent him flailing into the television. "Grandpa, that's dirty pool!"
"I know, I know. I'm like a horrible vampire that gathers his strength from total saps." The two patted each other on the back and went their separate ways.
Yeah old man, I hope you like your kick me sign. Casey thought with a smug grin. As he walked into his room he paused. Sure enough, he found a sign on his back as well. It said "nice try" and a winking face on it. The old man's calling card. Nothing got past him.
The boy took a moment to look at himself in the mirror. He had a big day tomorrow and for some reason, part of his mind was telling him that it was just the start of something much larger. Then again, he treated everything as if it was the start of something truly excellent.
Casey went by his last name because it was a lot better than Leeroy and was just a baseball kind of name. He was always the optimist. He was a lot of good things. Everyone in the neighborhood loved him like a son or brother. Like anyone his age, he got into mischief and caused his share of problems, but he always held himself accountable for everything he had done. That's just how his Grandfather had raised him.
Grandpa was his idol, teacher, and primary source of amusement. The old man had been taking care of him from day one, whenever that was, and was truly loved by the community. He ran a store downtown that saw enough business to keep Casey clothed in the finest of frivolous neck pieces and to help pay for the countless windows he had busted out playing baseball.
Baseball was a passion for Casey. He could violently regurgitate stats, records, and all sorts of trivia at the drop of a hat and nearly shed a tear when the home team suffered even a draw. He dreamed of someday playing along side the city's team, but due to what he was, he likely would never have the chance. He was special. He had been given a Title.
Persons born with a Title stood out from the general population due to the powers they would eventually develop. No one quite understood how or why certain people were given these abilities, but they had always been revered positively. They helped run the nation and helped people with their problems. In times of crisis they would rise up and help stop whatever it was that was plaguing the world, but the last time that happened escaped even the minds of the most respectable scholars.
Among those special persons were Casey's three best (human) friends in the whole wide world. He had met with them plenty of times, but due to the distance they all lived apart, they spent a great deal of their time hanging out over Pesterchum and
drawing dicks in Pesterscribble playing games online. As of late though, they had little time to speak with each other. The entire area had been going to crap as of late. The town where his Bestest Take A Bullet For This Ugly Ape No Bromo Bro lived had been under absolute lock down and he had been spending his time making sure his mother was alright.
Part of him thought this might be something stupid like the end of times. Monsters had always menaced everyone, but as of late, they had been doing terrible things and there was even talk that far, far away, they had overrun a big city. No one believed it though. No one wanted to. Plus, if it was the end of times, he would have a super awesome Sixth Sense nosebleed, right? He was the Seer of Stars after all. That had to mean something.He didn't know what yet since the only thing he ever predicted was being grounded for knocking out four windows by accident.
Still, Casey was a kid. All of this heavy talk and big plans with high stakes were a major buzzkill. He needed to explain his super awesome adventure to someone. Without a word he logged on to Pesterchum to see who was on. Immediately he was spammed by one of his neighbors.
-- glubGlub [GG] began pestering abrasiveOutfielder [AO]--
AO: Oh hey man this is a bad time
GG: glub glubglub
AO: Yeah I know Im bored too just chill out Im on it
AO: Oh my god just go salivate at this
AO: No problem bro you just need your fix
AO: Let the png soothe you until I take care of this
AO: Now Im busy go glub at someone else bye
-- glubGlub [GG] ceased pestering abrasiveOutfielder [AO]--
Salamanders meant well, and his neighbor did too. Still, he had to break this to someone who wouldn't be totally taken aback by mushrooms. Luckily enough for him, someone was online.
--abrasiveOutfielder [AO]began pestering plaugedArtisan [PA]--
AO: Oh hey listen look I know you have horrible disease each day but I have news
PA: oh, you have news. how quaint to imply this could even remotely compare to my own problems in importance. i suppose i should humour you and say i'm all ears, but would my lack of sincerity even go through digitally? of course not so don't let me stop you i guess do whatever you want what do you want anyway.
AO: The block of text probably means oh yes please pal tell me so anyway I will
AO: You know all the monsters that swarmed my town so we have a curfew and I cant go outside to play ball
AO: So I just message you for hours
AO: And hours
AO: And hours
AO: Into the night
AO: Im going to go find the Mayor and make him tell me where their nest is and Im going to kill them all for real
AO: Ok now your turn I want to see you digitally convey how pooped your pants are
PA: oh wow, bravo, that sounds remarkably retarded and reckless. i even pulled out the alliteration for you because i know you won't listen to anything anyone says unless it's catchy, you owe me one.
PA: couldn't you at least do something remotely inspiring because gods know i need it, killing monsters is so passe and now you're just part of the problem.
AO: Part of the problem
AO: No this is like elite day saving stuff
AO: Gramps even egged me on and everything
PA: he'd egg you on to do anything. isn't it nice to have someone so supportive. but you'll just become another fanfiction statistic.
PA: this just in: plucky pseudo-delinquent dies to something we just like to call a 'grunt.' in related news, more of the same literary trash skyrockets in ratings because some idiot got himself killed and now people can relate.
AO: Two things wrong with that like so hard
AO: Ok one Im not going to die
AO: Two youre just mad because you would sleep through the news and be late publishing your super hot me x imp x baseball death fiction
AO: I know how you function lady
PA: that's slanderous, you know i do my best writing once i've taken all twelve of my otc meds but it's also the work you can't hold me accountable for at all. i blame the brands.
AO: Why does your matron give you the adult stuff
AO: I mean even I can throw you and my arms are like balsa wood
AO: Bless my heart
AO: Is it in bad taste to say bless my heart to myself
PA: yes, it is. you're going to language hell.
PA: secondly, it's because she wants me dead.
AO: Here comes a zing
AO: Ill see you there
AO: Right there with that Squall fanfiction you wrote for her birthday
PA: this is my best 'zing' face, except that was a terrible 'zing' and didn't even apply so nice try but your zing was more like a mildly tangy laffy taffy.
PA: and that was a masterpiece, i'm not sure what you're talking about.
PA: she just has no taste and neither do you.
AO: Incoming zing
AO: You have no taste because your nose is always stuffed up
AO: End zing
PA: i think the concept of zinging is more effective when you don't tell me you're about to zing.
PA: and please don't trivialise my plight, you have no idea what an incessant headcold does to your inner muse, not to mention what The Poison does. i'm lucky i'm even coherent right now.
PA: am i coherent?
AO: All I see is crazy keyboard mashing
AO: Lilith speak to me
AO: Have you finally given in to The Poison
AO: Oh gods no no no no no no no
AO: I was going to rate up all your terrible stories and everything
PA: relax, i'm just using text-to-speech because i can barely open my eyes right now, i'm not surprised if i come off as loopy.
PA: and be sure to rate them fairly, as much as i'd love to win the fandom fiction finals of 20XX i'd not like to be accused of bias.
AO: I would totally read them but
AO: Ill do it later is that ok
AO: Im not really in the mood for uh what do you have up
AO: OH MY GOD WHAT IS THIS
PA: don't even bother i'm just going to delete it all in the morning i'm not even fit to be a writer. tell your friends you befriended a failure and apologise on my behalf for all the pain i've caused with my god-awful prose.
AO: Awww come on
AO: Youre just like sick
AO: You have good stuff
PA: i don't need your pity.
AO: Pity is when I just rate your stuff four stars anonymously
AO: I really mean it
AO: I would swear the lives of our other two friends on it
PA: that's you? don't skew the polls. i may not have talent but i do have my dignity.
PA: brb just sneezed all over the keyboard should clean that up
AO: Well Ill take it as a good luck sneeze
AO: And get better because I will commission like a million fics of my victory
AO: Ill call the first one like uh
AO: Coolguy proves Snotgirl wrong
PA: there i think that did it and that's a stupid name feel bad.
AO: At least your keyboard is clean because when you cry your WRONG TEARS
AO: All over your WRONG FAVE
AO: It will be all wet
PA: i'm sure you've never had to clean a keyboard in your life due to your priveledge and you couldn't possibly understand. maybe your own Wrong Tears will give you good experience.
AO: But if Im wrong
AO: Pauses are here
AO: And here
AO: I will be dead
PA: the Wrong Tears of your Wrong Ghost, then.
PA: also please don't joke we all know you can't die, that's why you can't go fight the monsters right.
AO: Im not going to get hit in the head by a walnut blown by some freak gust of wind this time and pass out
AO: Which leads me to two things
AO: Walnuts suck
The wind sucks
AO: Oh and by the way one last thing before you pretend to pass out for attention
PA: why would i ever do that.
AO: Oh no reason
AO: Just heard it through the grape vine
PA: i am actually passing out right now and not doing it for attention that would be stupid and undignified but what do you want to say.
AO: Ok unrelated from all our other stuff but
And dont think Im insane
AO: Do you feel like youre being watched lately
PA: in a non-judgmental matronly sense, i take it?
AO: Other than your creepy witch hag lady that Gramps says to never piss off
AO: Just in general
PA: in that case
PA: yeah kind of. but i tend to either tune these things out or forget them when i'm no longer in a foggy state of mind until they're brought up again like now.
AO: Does it make your butt turn inside out too
AO: Im sorry I forget youre a girl I meant to say
AO: Doth this horrible thing make thine anus go insanus
PA: thank you for making a disgusting thing rhyme thereby making it classy.
PA: i guess. i just try to push it aside why are you asking this i figured i was being needlessly paranoid and you're a terrible enabler.
AO: I dunno I just felt it a lot lately
AO: And I only enable you because my stack of really awful jrpgs is empty
AO: And I feel bad for playing them
PA: call it your guardian angle, maybe that'll help.
AO: I guess becuase no guardian angel I ever heard of makes my butt pucker with pansy baby fear
AO: And I guess you should sleep so Ill let you do your hardcore drugs now
PA: clearly you've been read the wrong bedtime stories. i bring up the bedtime stories because now im passing out goodnight dont let the wandering eyes bite
AO: Goodnight I hope your matron doesnt like
AO: Blend you into witch brew
PA: always a legitimate concern
AO: K night Jegus lady
--abrasiveOutfielder [AO]began pestering plaugedArtisan [PA]--
Lilith was always sick with something. Casey never knew a day in the history of their friendship where she wasn't complaining about her lack of muse or how many bottles of adult strength cold medicine it took just to make her stuffy nose go away. She was a good friend though, and probably the most down to Earth person he knew, which was a sad truth regardless of how one spun it.
The moon came out after a while and with all of his conversations closed, Casey looked to his bed. Seeing the big baseball in the sky always made Casey tired. Sure, only poopybabies fell asleep at midnight, but he had a long day ahead. He jumped in bed and pulled up his covers and got comfortable. The moon shone through the open window and slowly helped lull him to sleep.
Something then got between that light and himself. The feeling of being watched crept over him.
A humanoid figure watched him from the neighbor's roof. It glared right his open window with large black, reflective eyes. It drew a hand to its neck and made a throat slitting motion before shaking its head and vanishing with an unreal speed.
Casey would swear that it was a nightmare when asked why he looked so tired, but it wasn't.