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Laika Grove (a collection of oneshots)

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The fifth of September finally arrived in the town of Laika Grove. Kids of all ages along with their families were hustling and bustling, trying to get ready for school. Unfortunately for Kubo, he was one of those kids. He sat quietly at the table eating his breakfast, or at least attempting to.

He and his mother, Sariatu, had finally gotten the chance to find refuge in America only a year ago due to his family's toxic ways. His father, Hanzo, unfortunately had to be left behind in Japan due to not being able to get filed in time and financial issues.
The two try their best to keep in touch with him and make sure he's okay, but for now they sat in a two bedroom house at the far east of the town, trying to keep a low profile.

After a year of adjusting and getting used to his surroundings, Kubo was finally enrolled in Laika Grove Middle School, much to his displeasure.
Picking at his bacon with a fork, he looked up at his mother who pouring herself a cup of tea at the counter. Her face looked lost as usual, her eyes were slightly pink due to her crying earlier in fear of Kubo going into such a social area. This made Kubo feel worse about going to school.

“Can't I stay home with you? Just for today…” the boy finally spoke up.
Sariatu slowly looked to her son, giving a reassuring smile, she spoke, “You need to go out and get a proper education and make friends..”
“I don't think anyone would want to be friends with me..”
“Why not?”
The woman walked over and took a seat in front of the boy.
A few seconds passed before Kubo said anything, “I don't think people would like someone with only one eye….or a terrible family..”
Sariatu placed her tea down on the table, her expression becoming more stern. “Now that's nonsense Kubo. I'm sure there's someone out there who'd find you a very interesting. Just keep your chin up.”
Kubo finally ate a piece of bacon that was starting to get cold. “I guess..”

Sariatu glanced at the clock, 10 minutes after 7. “You should get going, the bus will be here in another 10 minutes..”
Hearing this, Kubo got up and carried his remaining food to the garbage disposal.
After cleaning up, he headed to the hall closet and grabbed a dark blue hoodie and slipped it on. Grabbing his bag and shamisen, he turned to his mother, now heading to the backdoor, “Ittekimasu!”
Sariatu turnt to the boy and responded “Itterasshai!”
With that, the boy opened the door and exited the house. Walking slowly to the bus stop, praying the bus never comes.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
After what felt like hours, the bus finally appeared around the corner stopping in front of Kubo.
As the doors opened, Kubo took notice at the tall slender man with a red hat on his head sitting at the wheel.
“Good morning, little one! Ready for your first day?” He spoke in a british accent.
Kubo faked a smile and nodded.

As he entered the bus, he instantly regretted it as everyone one on board stared at him.
Staring at his shoes he walked, down the aisle to take a seat at the back, mutters and whispers passed his ears as he passed each seat.

Kubo sat near the window, trying to keep his mind distracted with the town whizzing by. A boy, much taller than him, glanced at the one eyed boy who just sat next to him, curiosity in his eyes. Kubo took notice of this and slowly turned to the lanky boy. Instantly, the boy averted his eyes, muttering a “sorry”.

Kubo remembered what his mother said and thought to himself. The boy didn't seem intimidating, plus he knew no one was gonna be instantly friendly with him.

Taking a deep breath, he turned to his seatmate and gave a friendly “Hi..”
The boy turned to Kubo in surprise, he thought twice before saying, “Hello.”
Kubo raised his hand offering it to be shook, “I'm Kubo..”
The other boy gladly took the hand, shaking it a little hard, “Arthur, but please just call me Eggs.”
“Eggs?” Kubo then noticed the boy was wearing a box with the same name on it. “Oh..”
“Heh, yeah. Everyone calls me it, even my family.”
Kubo smiled, he never thought he'd meet someone so friendly.
“So are you new here? I've never seen you before.”
“Yeah, I moved here last year. Today's my first day..”
“Wow! Well if you'd like, I can give you a tour of the school.”
Kubo’s eye widened, “You'd do that?!”
“Sure! It's the least I could do for a new guy. Nice eyepatch by the way..”
Kubo couldn't feel anymore happy with such a kind gesture Eggs gave him, not to mention a compliment with it, “Thanks..”

The bus pulled up at the front of Laika Grove Middle School. Kubo now felt excited seeing his new school in front of him.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
It hadn't even been an hour of the new school year and Norman was already scrubbing off the words 'Freak’ and ‘Weirdo’ off his locker. He wasn't surprised considering only three people in the entire school body cared about him. Neil, Coraline and Eggs. Once in awhile Salma showed sympathy but she never really cared for Norman.

Speaking of Coraline, the blue haired girl was making her way to her locker which was coincidentally right next to Norman's. “Morning Norman.”
“Morning…”
She took notice of the smeared 'freak’ on the locker. “Alvin's at it again isn't he?”
The boy turned to the girl giving her a simple nod,
The girl pierced her lips in annoyance, “You'd think after the whole witch’s curse thing he'd treat you better.”
“I'm not even surprised, this is Alvin we're talking about…”

Coraline opened up her locker, “Did you even try telling the principle?”
Norman scoffed, “As if he'd care, Besides, I say let Alvin and his goons have their fun.”
The girl passed him another bottle of cleaner from her locker, seeing as how he was running out of it. “What do you mean?”

Taking the bottle and scrubbing off the last of the letters, Norman simply said, “Alvin can't even spell his name, I think he's got more than karma coming for him in the future.”
Coraline let out a chuckle. Closing her locker she asked, “Hey, what class do you have?” Norman opened his locker and placed his stuff inside, “I have biology now. You?”
“History…” she let out a dreaded groan, causing the boy to giggle.

As the two talked they heard someone greeting them.
“Hi Norman, hi Coraline!”
The two turnt to their waving lanky friend as he passed by them.
“Hi Eggs.” Norman waved.
“Hey Eggs!” Coraline waved, she noticed a small boy with him. His right eye was covered by his hair.

Once the pair were out of sight, she pulled on Norman's sleeve. “Who was that?”
Norman looked at her confused and slightly annoyed, she knew he didn't like being touched but did so anyway, “Who was what?”
“That! There was a boy with Eggs. He looked weird..”
Norman didn't even notice the other boy, “I don't know. I wasn't paying attention..”
The girl groaned, letting go of the boy’s sleeve. “You never pay attention…”

She looked down at her watch. “Well I'm going to class, later..”
“Yeah, bye..” Norman slammed his locker and walked to his biology class.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
“Over there is the math room and right here is the library.” Eggs pointed to the double doored room. Kubo’s eye lit up at the entirety of his surroundings. He had no idea that school was like this. So big and filled with so many rooms. He almost felt overwhelmed. “Wow! This place is so huge!”
“It may seem huge now, but trust me, you'll get used to it.”

As the two walked down the hallway they passed by a set of lockers. In front the lockers was a blue haired girl and a spiky headed boy. “Hi Norman, hi Coraline!” Eggs waved as he walked past them.
Kubo looked over at the waving kids, “Who are they?”
Eggs turned to the shorter boy, realizing he never mentioned his other friends. “Oh those are just some friends of mine, they're really ni-”

“Eggs!!”

They two looked up to see a ginger girl waving them over.
“Winnie!!”
The boxboy ran up to the girl and hugged her, spinning her in the process. “How are you? I haven't seen you since July!”
Letting go of the boy, she said, “Sorry, we went to London in August. We just got back last week. How are Fish and the others?”
“They're doing pretty well. My father recently moved all of us into a bigger house so we could be more comfortable.”
“That's good.” She glanced over at the smaller boy a few steps behind Eggs.
“Who's that, Eggs?”
Eggs turned over to the shamisen wielding boy, gesturing him to come over. Kubo slowly walked over to the pair. “Winnie, this Kubo, he's new here. Kubo, this is Miss Winifred Portley-Rind.” Eggs said putting a classy tone in his voice when saying Winnie's name.
The girl looked at her friend with a cocked look, “Ahem, you may call me Winnie. It's a pleasure to meet you.” She shook the small boy's hand. “It's nice to meet you too.” Kubo smiled

“So Kubo, where are you from?” The girl asked.
Kubo shyly muttered “Japan..”
“Oh Japan! I bet it's beautiful over there. I’ve always wanted to go.” Winnie exclaimed, causing the small boy to give a shy smile. “It's really not that great…”

Eggs eyes moved to the shamisen over Kubo’s back. “Oh Kubo, I've been meaning to ask, what's that?” He pointed to the instrument.
Kubo somehow forgotten he even had the shamisen on him. He pulled it in front of him and held it in his hands. “It's my shamisen.”
“A what?” Winnie asked in confusion.
“A shamisen. It's basically a Japanese banjo..”
“Do you play?” She asked now intrigued.

Kubo taken aback. Play here? Now?
“Uh yeah, but-”
“Well play something then!”
“Yeah, Kubo! Play!” Eggs chimed in.
Kubo nervously looked down at the instrument. “I don't know..”
“Oh come on! Please” The girl begged him.
Kubo stared at the two kids, both faces filled with excitement and plea.
Finally Kubo gave in. With a sigh, he took his pick out of his pocket. Just as he rose his hand to strum.
Riiiiiinggg

“Aww dang it.” The girl groaned as she saw the hallway began to clear up. “What class do you have Eggs?”
“Math, what about you?”
“Biology..”
The boxboy turned to his one eyed friend, “What do you have Kubo?”
Kubo quickly took out a piece of paper from his pocket. “...... biology..”

Eggs smiled, “Great, Winnie can take you to class.”
“It be my pleasure. Come on Kubo.” She said taking Kubo's hand. “Bye Eggs.” She waved as she began to walk to class.
“Yeah, bye Eggs. Thanks for the tour!”
Kubo smiled.
“Bye guys!” The boy waved as he made his way to the math room.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
The class was filled with students doing all kinds of shenanigans. Some were throwing paper planes and balls, others were talking loud and being obnoxious.
Norman sat quietly in his seat, reading his bio textbook out of boredom. He felt a paper plane land in his hair. He annoyingly plucked it out, noticing there was writing on it. He opened up the plane stared at the almost unreadable scrabble in front of him. He read aloud, “Why was the ghost lonely on his first day of school?..... Because he had no body to talk to…”

With that, a loud outburst of laughter came behind him. Turning to the source of the laughter, Norman gave a dull look as it was none other than Alvin and his lackeys.
“Boom! That's Alvin for ya! Am I right?” The bully turned to his friends who of course agreed with him. Norman rolled his eyes as he went back to reading about cells and molecules.

Winnie and Kubo entered the room. Kubo's face was in awe at the posters and replicas in the classroom. “There’s an empty seat behind Norman.” Winnie pointed to the spiky haired boy. Kubo instantly recognized the boy from earlier. “Is he your friend?” Kubo asked.
“We talk..sometimes. He's more of an acquaintance..Anyway, hurry up and sit. Mr. Snatcher will have your head if your not seated.” The girl ushered him to go to his seat.

Kubo didn't even have time to ask who was Mr. Snatcher. He sat down and leaned his bag and shamisen against the wall. He looked up at back of Norman's head, wondering how'd he even get his hair to stand up so straight. He was pulled out of his thoughts when the door opened and everyone scrambled to their seats.

A large man with very skinny legs walked in with one of the most miserable faces Kubo has ever seen. “Good morning claass…” he spoke, annoyance in his voice.
Everyone spoke, “Good Morning Mr. Snatcher.”
“I'm sure aaalll of yoou are excited for another year of learning and fun…”
A few mutters of 'yeah’ and 'greaat’ rang through the room.

The man sat down at his desk and flip through his attendance book. “Hm...it appears we have a new student in our class today.” He scanned the room until his eyes landed on Kubo.
“Stand, introduce yourself and tell us where your from..”
Kubo hesitantly stood up, feeling small under the eyes of everyone in the room, minus Mr. Snatcher who was writing something down on a piece of paper.

“My name is Kubo...I’m from Japan. Me and my mom live at the end of town..”
“Why do have one eye?!” Alvin yelled
A few kids started giggling and snickering.
Kubo felt his face turn a slight shade of red, “Uhh…”
“Enough!” Mr. Snatcher interrupted.
He looked Kubo in the eye, “Sit down…”

Kubo let out a sigh of relief as he sat down. He noticed Winnie giving Alvin a mean glare, thankfully the bully didn't notice.

After roll call was done, the teacher got up out of his seat and moved to the board.
“Take out your textbooks and turn to page 19..”
Everyone began flipping through their books. Kubo did so too, but turned his head towards the window, not paying attention to anything that was going on in the class.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Recess seemed to have taken forever to come but everyone was relieved for it to be here.
The hallways spilled with children, some heading outside, others heading straight for the bathroom or cafeteria.
Kubo walked through the hallway trying to get to his locker. It was hard considering the traffic of kids and the crowd.

As he walked, he passed a door and heard murmuring coming from it. Kubo looked up at the sign of the door, Janitor's closet. Curiosity took hold of him as he inched closer and pressed his ear against the door.
“Yeah, so far the day's been pretty boring, I just wanna go home…….hehehe yeah, everyone really is acting like zombies..”
Kubo stood on his tippy toes and tried to look through the tiny window in the closet.
It was Norman, but he seemed to be talking to the wall. Before he could question what was going on, his hand accidentally pushed down on the handle of the door. Kubo stumbled in causing the other boy to whirl around looking at the intruder.

The two boys stared at each other for a full on minute. The red hooded boy’s face eventually turned to a shade of red. “Uuhhh... what are you doing in here...?”
Kubo composed himself, clearing his throat, “I think I should be asking you the same thing...”
With that Norman’s expression quickly changed into an annoyed glare, “You were spying on me, weren't you?”
Kubo quickly raised his hands in defense “N-no! I mean kinda, but I didn't mean to walk in, well stumble in..but.. who were you talking to?”
“That's none of your business.” He said walking out of the closet leaving the other boy behind.

Kubo quickly followed after him, in attempt to make amends with the boy. “I'm really sorry, I didn't mean to intrude.”
“......it's ok..” Norman tried his best to not make eye contact and ignore the smaller boy.

“Uh, I'm Kubo by the way..”
Norman finally glanced at Kubo, his expression still hadn't changed. “I know. You introduced yourself earlier, remember?”
Kubo's face flushed realizing he forgot about biology class. “Oh...heh, yeah..”
“.. It's Norman by the way.” He said looking ahead of him, his face now softening.
“Oh I know.”

Norman was surprised he knew his name, but then again the rumors probably spread to boy already. “Lemme guess, you heard the rumors?”
Kubo stared up at him in confusion, “What rumors?”
Norman turned to the boy in shock, “You haven't heard any rumors?”
The one eyed boy shook his head.
Norman was both relieved and surprised. He would've assumed Kubo would've known about his gift already considering rumors spread like wildfire at this school.
“Oh…well how do you know my name?”
Kubo smiled, “Oh Winnie told me this morning.
Of course that made sense, how else could Kubo have found a seat?

Norman and Kubo entered the cafeteria.
“Well I'm gonna go buy some lunch...bye Kubo” the spiky haired boy left the smaller boy on his own.
“Oh uh bye!” Kubo stared at the sea of children eating, chatting or just being obnoxious. He didn't know where to sit and started feeling alone. Just as he began to leave he heard someone calling him.

“Kubo!”
He turned to the source of the voice. At the very back of the cafeteria, Eggs was sitting with Winnie and the blue haired girl from earlier. He was waving him over, “Kubo, over here!”
Kubo shyly smiled as he made his way over to his friends. He sat between Winnie and Eggs, placing his bag on the table, “Hey guys.” He opened his bag and pulled out a bento.

“How was class?” Eggs asked eagerly.
“It was okay. Pretty boring..”
“Yeah, get used to it. Mr. Snatcher hates kids and wants to make our lives miserable. One time he suspended a girl for answering a question wrong.”
Kubo stared in shock at Winnie, “Wow, really?!”
“Yeah, I was that girl..”
The trio started laughing at her quirky remark.

Kubo noticed the blue haired girl was staring at him in confusion. Kubo instantly stopped laughing realizing that he never introduced himself to her. To her, he was a random stranger who just sat down and started talking to her friends. “Uh..hi..”
The girl raised her sandwich to her mouth, “Hi…” she took a bite.
“I'm Kubo.” He held out his hand to be shook.
She swallowed, “Coraline. Coraline Jones.” She shook the boy's hand, “What kind of name is Kubo?”
Kubo's smile started to fade. He felt offended by such a question. He smirked and said, “What kind of name is Coraline?”
She glared at the boy, “A unique one!”

Eggs butted in, “Don't mind Coraline, that's her way of being friendly.”
Her eyes turned to Eggs, her glare sharpening, “It's not! I was just simply asking.”
Eggs simply smiled at his striped sweatered friend. Kubo relaxed in his seat as he opened up his bento and pulled out an odango to eat.

As he was about to eat, to his surprise, a familiar spiky haired boy took a seat next to Coraline. Norman simply waved as he took up a spoonful of mac and cheese. Everyone except for Kubo greeted him warmly.

“Say Norman, where's Neil?” Eggs asked, popping a potato chip in his mouth
“Sick..” the boy answered, eating the mac and cheese.
“Welp I guess Wybie isn't the only one then, he caught the flu a few days ago..” the striped sweater girl added.

After a moment of silence, she spoke again,
“Hey, Norman, see any new ghost recently?”
The boy instantly dropped his spoon. He groaned, placing his head in his hands, “Gee thanks Coraline, now the new kid knows I'm a freak.”
Kubo lowered the odango from his mouth, “You can see ghosts?!”
Norman buried his face further, he muttered, “No..”
Everyone else at the table answered, “Yes!”
“It's incredible what Norman can do! He's like the bridge between the living and the dead!” Eggs exclaimed eating a potato chip in the process.
“Yeah, I used to be able to see them too with this thingy the Forcibles gave me, but a witch burnt it.” Coraline added.
Kubo's eye widened in surprise. He had no idea his friends had such weird experiences.

He turned his attention to the medium who was averting his eyes from the group and eating.
“Do you see them all the time?” Kubo asked, finally eating his treat.
Norman simply nodded, not bothering to look at the boy.
“I can kinda see ghosts too…” Kubo simply said absentmindedly.

To his surprise, everyone at the table yelled out, “You can?!?” Even Norman was staring at the small boy. Kubo shrank in his seat as they continued to stare,
“...Yess? But I don't see them see them, it's a festival we did back in Japan.”
The group shrunk back a little in slight disappointment but urged him to go on
“We'd take a lantern to a river and try to communicate with our deceased loved ones. Once the lantern lit up we'd place it in the water and send them off.”
A few moments of staring and blinking passed before Coraline said, “That sounds boring..”
This caused Kubo to frown which caused everyone else to glare at her. “What? I'm just saying..”

Winnie turned to Kubo, “Speaking of Japan, Kubo, you said your shamslen.”
Kubo stared at the ginger in confusion before he realized she was talking about his shamisen. “It's called a shamisen, Winnie. And I don't know...I don't wanna draw a crowd.”
“Oh come on Kubo! You said you would.” She begged him.
He wanted to play, yes, but he'd risk revealing his magic. Who knows how the entire cafeteria would react to origami figures dancing on the table. Kubo then remembered about the music room and Eggs saying it was usually empty on Mondays. “Tell you what, after school you guys meet me in the music room and I'll play something for you?”
“Do I have to wait so long?!” Winnie whined.
Kubo nodded.
“Humph, fine!” She huffed placing her elbow on the table and her head in her hand.

Norman noticed the unusual food Kubo was eating. There were mounds of rice wrapped with a black thing, some noodles and some balls on a stick in the container.
“What's that?” he asked curiously.
Kubo looked up at the boy and took the stick out of his mouth, “Odango, some noodles and onigiri. My mother made them.”
Norman nervously asked, “Can I try some?”
Kubo gladly gave him some of his lunch to try, smiling at the boy's interest in his food.
Norman took up the odango and sniffed it. It had a sweet syrupy smell.
Finally the boy took a bite out of the food. After a few chews he stopped, eyes widening. His face instantly lighting up at the delicious taste of the treat, “Wow! This is really good. No, this is great!!”
Coraline looked over at the boy enjoying the food, curiosity hitting her now.

“Can I try?” she asked to which the medium nodded and handed her the remaining odango. She took a small bite, nodding at the treat, “It's okay.”
“I think it's more than just okay.” Norman said taking back the stick.
Soon Eggs and Winnie wanted some too.
“Can I get a bite?” Eggs asked the red hooded boy. Norman passed the rest to the two. Winnie plucked an odango from the stick and popped it in her mouth while Eggs scarfed down the whole thing.
Winnie's expression darkened and she swallowed hard, “It tastes weird.” Licking the remaining crumbs in her mouth.
Eggs however continued chewing the treat, even biting on the stick. He swallowed, “Hey, these really do taste good! Do you have any more?”

Kubo then offered the two boys the remaining odangos in his bento which the gladly took. The group tried out the onigiri too. All of them agreed it tasted plain. Kubo really felt at home seeing his friends talking about the taste of the food and asking him random questions about Japan.

After a solid hour, the bell rang, and the cafeteria began to empty. Coraline and Kubo had the same class so they walked with each. Waving goodbye, the five kids went their separate ways.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
The final bell for the day finally rang. Kids were pouring out of every door. The hallway was filled with kids attending to their lockers or talking.
Kubo placed his books back in his locker. Slamming his locker, he made his way down hall, locating the music room.

As he made the corner to the music room, Eggs appeared in front of him, “There you are! We thought you left.” He said, taking Kubo's hand.
“Sorry, the crowd was crazy.”
The two boys entered the music room.

Winnie and Norman were sitting patiently waiting for the boy, while Coraline was sitting at a drum set absentmindedly tapping a cymbal with her finger.
“Oh, you found him!” Winnie jumped up to her feet.
Kubo smiled and waved, “Hey, sorry I'm late..”
“Eh, it's alright…” Norman remarked.

Eggs took a seat next to Winnie and Coraline walked over.
“Alright, so why's playing your guitar thing such a big deal that we have to stay in music room?” The blue haired girl asked.

Kubo pulled the shamisen in front of him and pulled a pick from his pocket.
“If I'm going to play this, you have to promise you won't tell anyone about what you're about to see.”
The group turned to each other in confusion. Soon Eggs spoke up, “Uh..why?”

With that, the boy closed his eyes and began to strum the instrument, playing a soothing melody.
As he played, the music note sheets in the room began to float. The group watched in awe at what was going on.
The music notes flew high above their heads and suddenly began to fold.

The papers took the shape of many things.
There was a tiger, a owl, a flower, a swan and a warrior.
The now folded origami figures floated down and landed gracefully on the tiled floor.

With that, the boy stopped playing and slowly opened his eyes.
The group was staring at him as if they saw a ghost. Kubo felt intimidated, starting to regret doing this.
“Uhh...ta-da..?”

There was a suffocating silence between them, each second that past Kubo became more and more fearful of their reaction.
Surprisingly, Norman was the first to break the silence, “H-how did you do that?!”
Kubo hesitantly answered, “I have magic…”
Eggs kneeled down as he took a closer look at the figures in front of him, “These are incredibly well made!”
Winnie then began clapping, “I don't know what you did but, bravo! That was amazing!”
Coraline joined her in clapping,“Yeah, that was fantastic!!”
Soon everyone was clapping at Kubo and praising him.

Kubo shyly smiled and took a bow, “Thank you.”
After the applause, everyone surrounded Kubo asking multiple questions on how he did that.
Kubo explained how exactly he got magic and how is magic works, trying his best not to mention anything about his eye or his grandfather and aunts.

The group were in awe after his story and praised him some more.
Kubo smiled. He was glad that his first day of school was a great success.

Chapter Text

Kubo found himself being dragged by the hand of Coraline one Friday evening at school. He had so many questions as to how he got stuck in such a situation.
“Wait, where are we going?” Kubo asked in utter confusion.
“For the one hundredth time, I'm taking you to math room to see the others.” she answered, sounding annoyed.
“Why?!”
“Because-”

The two entered the room. It was empty, with the exception of Eggs, Norman and Wybie in it.
Wybie sat at the teacher's desk while Norman and Eggs sat in the first and second row side by side.
“Here he is.” The blue haired girl pulled the small boy in.
Wybie instantly got up from his seat, “Finally..”
He walked over to the two.
Coraline turned to Kubo, “Kubo you remember Wybie, right?”
The small boy nodded, “I'm in history with him.”
“Great, now that everyone is here, have a seat please.” Wybie gestured them to sit.

As the two sat down, Kubo asked, “Uh..so why am I here again?”
The hunched boy sat at teacher's desk, “All four of you are suspects for a heinous crime.”
The four all stared at each other confusingly.
“All right Wyborne, what's this ‘heinous’ crime of yours?” Coraline finally spoke up.

The boy then made an annoyed expression before reaching into the drawer of the teacher's desk and pulled out his bike mask..or at least what was left of it.
The mask was severely damaged, the periscope on it was broken, the lens were cracked, part of the mask was broken off and the paint was chipped.

“One of you broke my mask. And nobody's leaving till I find the culprit.”
Coraline instantly stood up, “You brought us here for your stupid mask?!”
The boy, though offended, answered, “Yes Jonesy, this all about my mask..”

It was Norman's turn to speak, “So what makes you think that it was us who broke it?”
“Because all of you were nearby when it happened!”
Eggs chimed in, “Uh..when did all of this happen exactly?”

Wybie looked at the group in annoyance, “You mean you guys don't remember about what happened at recess today?”
Everyone shook their head.
The boy sighed, having no choice but to jog their memory.
“You guys just got back from lunch, I was in the hallway..”

Flashback
Wybie was sitting on the bench reading a book, when he heard the group approaching him, “Hey guys!”
The group turned to their hunched friend, greeting him warmly.
“Hey Wybie, whatcha reading there?” Eggs asked.
“Oh uh it's just a random book my grandma gave me to read, it's actually really interesting..”
“Cool.” Norman responded
Wybie then placed the book down near his book bag and turned to the group,
“So uh I was-”

“Wybie!!”
The kids turned their attention to the hallway. Salma was running up to the group. She looked annoyed and out of breath, “There you are! We're supposed to do our science project in the library, remember?!”

Realization instantly hit the boy causing him to stand up, “Oh shoot, I almost forgot!”
“We don't have all day, come on!!” With that the girl took off down the hall.
Wybie turned to his friends, “Sorry guys, I gotta go! Talk to you later!!” He said as ran off after her
Everyone waved and bid him farewell.

“After running off in such a hurry I realized I left my stuff behind, so I ran back.”
Wybie approached the bench and took up his book.
He unzipped his bag to place the book in.
His face was instantly filled with sheer terror.

“When I opened my bag, I found my mask was completely destroyed inside!”

Present
“It was you four who were near it! Now I wanna know who did it!”

Coraline flopped down in her seat, “This is crazy! Why would any of us want to destroy your dumb mask?!”
“Yeah, I never even seen your mask before this.” Kubo chimed in.
“Well you guys better figure this out, cause nobody's leaving until we find out who did it.” Wybie sternly said, folding his arms.

The group starred among each other suspiciously. Looking each other up and down for anything unusual about their behavior. It wasn't until Coraline noticed screwdriver suspiciously sticking out of Norman's hoodie pocket. Without thinking twice she grabbed the object and lifted it in the air.

“Hey!” The medium said grabbing at the object.
“Aha!! A clue!!” Coraline said pushing away the grabbing boy from her arm.
“No Coraline!! Give it back!!” He said reaching for the tool.
Coraline pushed the boy away and made her way to the front of the room.
“Gentlemen, I present to you a screwdriver, found in the pocket of Norman Babcock himself.”
Her eyes moved to the spiky haired boy, now slouched back in his seat in pure embarrassment.

“Tell us, Mr. Babcock, why do have this on you?” She asked looking accusingly at the boy.
The boy only muttered something under his breath, looking away in shame.
The girl gave a triumphant hmph before concluding, “This is proof that the perpetrator behind this is none other than, NORMAN!!” She yelled, pointing at the boy.

Kubo and Wybie gasped while Eggs let out a “dun, Dun, DUUNN!!” causing everyone to stare at him weirdly.
“What? I'm giving an effect to the mood.” He answered.
The girl cleared her throat, “You see after you left Wybie…”

Coraline’s imagination
“We all went our separate ways at that spot.”
The group disbanded at the bench, Eggs and Kubo walking down the hall while Norman turned to head to the bathroom and Coraline went upstairs.

“It wasn't until I heard a yelling sound coming from the bathroom.”
Coraline heard a loud outburst from the bathroom. She curiously walked down the stairs and approached the door. She pressed her ear against it.

“I heard Norman talking to himself, as usual, he was saying something like 'WHY CAN'T I BE AS COOL AS WYBIE!!?? HE GETS GOOD GRADES, A MOTORBIKE AND A COOL MASK!!” She gave Norman's dialogue a ghoulish and furious tone.

“Then all of the sudden the door bursted open!!”
Coraline barely had time to move away before the door swung open. The spiky haired boy stomped out in anger and disgust. He headed straight for the janitor’s closet, slamming the door in the process.

“Not two seconds went by before he came out, dread and rage on his face!”
The boy stomped out of the closet, a screwdriver in his hand. He stormed right up to the abandoned bag on the bench. He unzipped it and revealed the mask in all its glory.

“He didn't even hold back. He started stabbing, unscrewing and ripping the mask to shreds!! Until there was nothing left of it.”

The mask fell down and clattered on the floor, broken into pieces.
The ghost boy turned to the girl, eyes green with envy before letting out a menhasing cackle, loud enough to reach the heavens.

Reality
“I barely had time to run before he got me!” The girl said closing her eyes and putting her hand up to her forehead as if she was falling ill.
“That poor mask didn't deserve such a fate from such a fiend!!”
She opened one eye and scanned the room.

Everybody looked in annoyance and disbelief.
She changed her posture immediately and stared at the boys in confusion, “What?”
Norman instantly sat up, “That has got to be one of the most stupidest stories I've ever heard since I watched Blood Diner for the first time!!”

The girl scowled at the boy, “Oh, what do you know?! You're probably saying that cause your guilty!”
“Guilty?! I'm guilty for becoming a rogue, green eyed psychopath out of the blue and destroying a mask?!”
She rolled her eyes, “You say that like it's never gonna happen..” she muttered.

The boy's face instantly tightened in anger, “What was that?!”
Wybie finally butted in the two’s petty argument, “Enough!”
He looked up at Coraline, “Look Jonesy, I appreciate you finding evidence in the matter, but I think I speak for all of us when I say Norman didn't psychologically snap at decide to destroy my mask..”

Everyone other than the blue haired girl agreed and nodded.
The girl finally gave up the facade, “Fine..Norman didn't do it.”
The medium let out a sigh of relief.
“But that still doesn't answer why he had the screwdriver!” Coraline pointed out.

Wybie rubbed his chin, “That's true. Norman, why did you have the screwdriver?”
The ghost boy slouched back in his seat, his face turning a slight shade of red.
“Oh um it's for...brkingthwtftion…” He muttered.

“For what?” Eggs asked, becoming curious.
“Ahem, I said...it's for brkingthwtftion….” He attempted again.
“For crying out loud Babcock, if you got something to say spit it out!” Coraline yelled, now getting annoyed.
The boy glared at the girl before letting out a heavy sigh.
“I used it for fixing the water fountain…” he finally admitted.

The group starred at the boy in utter confusion. He groaned, knowing he had to clarify.
“So earlier this morning, I was walking to Social Science class…”

Flashback
Norman was walking down the hallway, focusing on where he needed to go. It wasn't until the drama club passed by him that he lost his concentration.
He overheard their discussion, “So yesterday my cousin watched The Shining for the first time, pssh what a lame movie.”
“I know right? Everyone knows that Blood Diner is waaay better.”

Norman made a face of disgust. Did they really compare a timeless classic to baseless dribble? Before the boy could even snap out of his thoughts, his face connected with an open locker door, causing him to stumble back in pain. He then tripped over his own shoelace and fell to the ground with a thud, at least not before hitting his arm on something.

Sitting up from his pathetic fall, rubbing his head and groaning in pain, he turned to what his arm hit. His eyes widened in hysteria as he say the hand rest for the water fountain had fallen off, luckily nothing was too severely damaged.
After staring at the mess for a good minute, looked up at the ceiling in annoyance.
“Good grief…”

Present
“So basically, I had to sneak into the janitor's closet to get the screwdriver, fix the fountain and make it to class in time all because of someone's stupid opinion….I can't believe my dumb luck…”

The room fell quiet for a minute until, Coraline started snickering.

Everyone else instantly erupted with laughter afterwards. The boy's face instantly become as red as a tomato, “I-it's not funny!”
“Oh believe me Norman, it's funny!” Kubo said in between laughs.
“I bet he looked so dumb just sitting there on the floor!!” Coraline laughed.

The medium instantly pulled his hoodie over his head, drew the drawstrings and face planted on the desk, “..... aren't we supposed to be figuring out who broke the mask?!” He muffled.
Wybie finally stopped laughing, “Right, right. So we know Norman didn't do it.”

Coraline placed the screwdriver on the teacher's desk and sat down. The group then exchanged stares between each other, eyes narrowing in suspicion. Norman sat up and suggested, “Well, I personally believe Coraline broke it…”
The girl's eyes widened, “What?! Why would I break it?!”

The boy got up and made his way too the front of the room, “Lady and gentlemen of the jury..”
“Jury?” Kubo whispered to Eggs causing him to shrug.
“I'd like to ask you a few questions that I'm sure all of you have the answer to.” The medium paced around the front.
“Now, isn’t Miss Jones, known for being the closest to Wybie?”

Everyone nodded and agreed.
“And doesn’t she pick on him alot?”
Once again everyone nodded.
“Well, I believe the reason why the mask was broken is due to Coraline doing it as a joke or even...Payback!!”

Only Eggs gasped at the assumption, causing everyone other than Norman to stare at him. The box boy sank back in his seat under the eyes of everyone.
“Pssh, oh please! You have absolutely no proof that I broke the stupid thing.” The girl pointed to the boy.

“Hey!” Wybie remarked at her calling the mask stupid.
“No offense.” She answered
The medium then smirked, “Oh no? Then..”
He grabbed the girl’s arm and pulled down her jacket’s sleeve. On her arm was white paint.
“What’s THIS?!”

The room erupted with gasps and once again Eggs went, “dun, Dun,DUN!!”
The girl quickly withdrew her arm from the boy's grasp. Pulling up her sleeve she yelled, “T-that’s none of your business!!”

The medium turned to Wybie, “Mr. Lovat, I present to you what really happened...”

Norman’s imagination
“After we decided to head our separate ways, I saw Coraline head upstairs, she looked like she was in a hurry.”
Coraline ran up the stairs, not even looking behind her.
Norman made his way to the bathroom.
“I went to the bathroom. After using it, I ended up talking to my friend Bruce.”

Eggs butted in, “Wait, dead Bruce or Bruce from English?”
“Dead Bruce.”
“Ah. Continue..”

“Ahem anyway, me and Bruce were talking and getting along.”
Norman laughed as his friend made a witty remark, “Your kidding? Did that really happen?”
His ghostly friend nodded.
Norman laughed some more, his grinning was put to a halt when a loud clatter came from outside the door.

“All the sudden I heard this loud sound outside! So I went to investigate.”
Norman peeped out the bathroom door, his eyes the hallway. His eyes caught his twitchy witch friend running down the hallway.
“That's when I saw Coraline running down the hall.”
His eyes moved to the bench with the where Wybie’s stuff were.
“That's when I noticed Wybie's stuff were still on the bench and they looked like they were messed with.”

Reality
“With the paint on her arm and her running away from the scene of the crime, I think it's clear to that Coraline was the one who broke it. The evidence is on her arm and she has a motive.”

Kubo clapped at Norman’s assumption, admiring how well he presented his side of the story. Norman proudly smiled at his one eyed friend.
Coraline finally spoke up, “That's not what happened!!”
Norman’s smile instantly fell as he looked at the girl, “Yes it did..”
“No! It didn't!”
“Yes!! It did it”
“No!!! It didn't!!” She yelled.

“Then explain the paint on your arm.” Norman fought back, crossing his arms.
“Alright, this is what really happened...I was walking up the stairs, at the time I didn't have my jacket on..”

Flashback
Coraline walked up the stairs. She wanted to meet up with her friends she met in the gardening club. She absentmindedly brushed her arm and leg against the white wall. Her eyes caught a sign on the wall.
'Wet Paint’.

Her eyes widened in horror. She immediately withdrew her body from the freshly painted wall. Her arm, dress and stocking was smeared in white paint.
She groaned as looked at her ruined clothes.

She turned to walk down the stair, she was startled by a loud crash. She rushed down to find Wybie's stuff sitting on the bench.
Shrugging it off, she bolted down the hallway to her locker.
She stopped abruptly in front of it and quickly opened it. Rummaging through it she found her gray jacket.
She quickly slipped it on.

Present
“I got paint on me because of the stupid school having wet paint signs in nearly unnoticeable places! Just look at my clothes.”
She got up and showed a faded white stain on her orange dress and green stocking.

Everyone let out an “Ooooooohhh…” at the girl's proof. Norman went back to his seat, “Welp, guess it wasn't Coraline then….for once…’
She rolled her eyes and muttered a “Yeah, ya think?”
The red hooded boy glared at the taller girl.

Wybie looked frustrated, “Come on! One of you had to have broke it, or at least seen who broke it!”
The group looked among each other. They immediately noticed the nervous expression on Eggs’ face. Everyone turned to him causing him to shrink back a little.
“Eggs? What do you know?!” Coraline eyed him.

“What? Me? I-i don't know anything..!” he answered, nervously laughing in the process.
“Eggs, come on if you know who broke Wybie's mask just say it.” Kubo said, trying to look as reassuring as possible.
“Yeah, as long as you're being honest, nobody's gonna hurt you.” Norman pitched in.

Eggs looked down at his shoes, “...if I told you..you wouldn't believe me.”
“Who cares if we don't believe you! Just say something!” The blue haired girl glared at the box boy.
The two shorter boys glared at the girl's harshness.

The lanky boxboy gulped and finally walked up to the front.
“... Alright what I'm about to say is gonna sound so fake it'll make Coraline's story sound realistic.”
Norman snickered at Eggs’ comment causing the girl to harshly elbow him in the shoulder, this causing him to squeal in pain.

Eggs cleared his throat, “I think who broke the mask was….a monster.”
Silence rang throughout the room for a solid minute.
Coraline instantly stood up, ready to yell at the boy. Norman and Kubo we're the ones who had held her back , calmed her down and sat her down.
“Go on.” Kubo urged him on.

Eggs nodded, “So it was after Wybie left, me and Kubo started walking down the hall…”

Eggs’ imagination
“Kubo ended up leaving to go outside for awhile, so I bid him goodbye.”
Eggs waved as he watched his one eyed friend run off down the hallway.
Eggs began to walk around, leisurely.

“I was minding my own business, looking at posters, over hearing gossip, so on so forth. Until suddenly…”
Eggs heard a loud clatter from the garbage bin nearby. He whirled around to barely glimpse a black creature whiz by him.

The boxboy let out a yelp in surprise as the thing turned the corner.
“This weird thing came out of nowhere and just started gunning it down the hall! So I decided to follow it.”
Eggs started running after the thing. As he turned the corner he saw the thing running ahead towards the stairs.

“I tried to catch up to it as best as I could, but he was almost out of sight.”
Once the boy was near the bench the cat was out of sight. He looked around his surroundings, waiting for the creature to reveal itself.

“That's when all of the sudden the bag began to shake, furiously!”
Eggs’ attention immediately snapped to the bag shaking and moving furiously.
Growls and snarls could be heard from the bag.
The boxboy looked in sheer terror at the inanimate object coming life.
The bag began to jump and flail around, the growls turning to howls.
It was at that moment Eggs backed away and ran for his life, screaming at the top of his lungs.

Reality
“I didn't even look back! I don't know what was in that bag and I had no intention of finding out.”
Coraline spoke, “That's absolute nonsense. Monsters don't exist!”
Norman began to giggle at the remark, causing the girl to look at him in confusion.
“What?”
“Nothing, it's just..I find that funny coming from the girl who starved a witch who nearly sewed buttons into her eyes.” The medium snickered.
The girl rolled her eyes, “Ok so maybe monsters do exist, but why would one just randomly appear in the middle of school?”
The lanky boy shrugged, “I don't know, but I know what I saw!”
Norman pitched in, “That would explain the whole clattering sound.”
“And the loud yell I heard.” Coraline chimed in.

Kubo stood up, “Actual. I think it was Eggs’ who broke it.”
Eggs eyes widened in disbelief, “Wha-Kubo?! Why would think I'd do such a horrible thing?!”
Kubo sighed before finally admitting what he knew, “It's mostly due to how you feel towards Wybie that's why I say that.”

“What are you talking about?” Wybie spoke up.
Kubo explained his theory, “Well you see…”
Flashback
“Eggs isn't really known to be the jealous type but...he does often wish he was more like you”
Eggs and Kubo sat in lunchroom all by themselves.
“So that's basically why me and mom hate Sundays..” Kubo finished as he ate a potato chip.
“Hmm..” The boxboy said, not really paying attention.
“Something wrong?”
“Huh? Oh uh nothing... it's just, sometimes I wished I was more like Wybie…”
Kubo looked confused, “Wybie Lovat from history class?”
“Yeah, he's really cool. He makes some of the best stuff around. And he's good at literally every subject!” the boxboy answered.

Kubo's imagination
“What I think could've happened over time was..”
Eggs ran up to the bag, unzipping it in the process.
“In a fit of unknowing jealousy, Eggs could've broken the mask.”
Eggs started ripping the mask and smashing it.
After the deed was done, Eggs looked at what he'd done in sheer terror. Without thinking he yelped at the mess he made and ran off.

Reality
“Eggs probably didn't even realize what he'd done and worriedly ran of screaming.”
Eggs instantly spoke up, “I would never do such a thing! Your a liar!!”

Kubo's eye widened, his face then tightened, “I was only assuming! Besides the whole monster thing sounds fake to me!”
Eggs’ made a furious face, “How dare you even think I'd break someone else's thing out of jealousy!! Who's to say you were the one who broke it?!”
“I didn't break it!! I never even seen it before this!!”

Coraline decided to stop the argument, “Alright! Could you guys shut it up already?!”
Eggs turned to Coraline, “This is your fault!”
The girl's eyes widened. She stood up and began to yell too. “My fault?! How's this my fault?!”
Kubo spoke up, “Your the one who wanted to talk to Wybie!! You just had to bring us along!”

It was Norman’s turn to talk, “Uh actually, we chose to follow her...she never dragged us along.”
The two boys turned to the medium.
“Oh so now for once your siding with her?!” Eggs glared.
Norman’s face became annoyed, he stood up, “I'm not siding with anybody, especially her. Who knows, maybe she really did break the mask.”

Coraline instantly turned to the red hooded boy, “For the last time, I didn't break the stupid mask!”
The boy became angry as well, “Yes, you did!!”

With that the group started yell and arguing with each other. Wybie watched in surprise as the four fought.
“Hey guys!” He attempted to calm the group down.
“Guys, guys there's no need to fight!!”

After two minutes of constant yelling and bickering, the kids were interrupted by the sound of meowing.
The group turned their attention to the slightly open door.
A black cat with blue eyes stepped in, there appeared to be something in his mouth.

Eggs shrieked and hid behind Coraline, “It's the monster!!!”
Coraline instantly shook the boy off her back, “Get off me!! It's just the cat from my neighborhood..”
The cat jumped up onto the teacher's desk where Wybie welcomed it lovingly with a pat on the head.
“There you are! I've been looking all over for you!”

The group starred in utter confusion at the boy welcoming the cat.
“Uhh Wybie, why's your cat at school?” Norman asked.
The boy looked up at the group, “Huh? Oh! Uh this isn't my cat, he's just feral. He likes coming to school with me so..”

Wybie noticed the cat had a black thing in his mouth, “Hey, what's this?” The boy pulled the object out of the cat's mouth.
He examined it, then realization hit him.
He took up the remains of the mask and the object at the broken part of the mask.
It fit perfectly.

He then turned to the cat, “Did you do this?”
The cat simply licked his paws, looking as if he had not a care in the world.
The hunched boy turned back to his mask, “....welp that explains the claw marks..”

Coraline spoke up, “What are you talking about?!”
The boy sheepishly looked up at the group.
Letting out a nervous laugh, he finally answered, “uhhh funny story, you're gonna love it. It was actually, plausibly, theoretically the cat's fault.”

The group let out a “What?!” in unison.
“I-i forgot I brought him to school. He must've jumped into my bag and rummaged through it.”
“That all explains it, the loud clattering noise.” Norman said
“The yells and growls! It all makes sense.” Kubo concluded
“Wait, wait, wait..just so we're on the same page here..the cat was the ‘monster’?”
Everyone groaned at Eggs stupid question.

“Wait wait, wait, hang on for one second! You're telling me we sat in this room for almost an hour trying to figure out who broke your mask when it turned out to be the cat this whole time?!?” Coraline yelled
Wybie nervously chuckled, “Uhhh...yessss?”

Coraline simple made a tired smile, “Wyborn Lovat?”
“Uhh..yes Jonesy?”
“Run..”
The boy looked at the girl confusingly, “What do you me-”
“I said..” she instantly barreled towards the boy, fists up, “RUN!!”
Wybie screamed as he scrambled out of the room after realizing he was being chased by the girl.

The boys looked out the door and watched as the girl flung her flats at the boy while yelling at the top of her lungs and chasing him down the hallway.
“.....you know someone should go stop her..” Norman said.
The boys looked at each other and simply concluded with a “Nahh…”

End.

Chapter Text

Norman sat quietly in his room, examining his zombie action figures. It was a quiet Saturday afternoon. The boy just finished watching his favorite zombie movie for the 20th time.
He flopped back on his bed, letting out a groan, “I'm soo bored…”
He then looked over at his phone, thinking maybe he could hang with his friends.

He started to text Neil, hoping that he was free.
“Hey Neil, I was wondering if your free today so we could hang out.”
The medium waited for a few minutes before getting a reply.
“Can't. Me and Mitch are heading out to watch a baseball game right now.
Maybe tomorrow.”

The boy sighed, then attempting to try Coraline.
“Hey Cora, you busy?”
Two minutes passed and the phone vibrated with a reply.
“At a gardening show with my parents. Sorry.”
Norman then tried Eggs.
“I'd love to come over..but Shoe got stuck in the dishwasher again. Won't be able to go out till we fox this. Sorry.”
The phone buzzed again.
“*Fix...stupid autocorrect”

Norman chuckled at text before becoming discouraged again. He tried Kubo, praying he could at least hang out with him.
“Sorry, gotta take care of my mom today. Tomorrow, I promise.”
The medium finally tried Salma, he was that desperate.
“Hey Salma, I know we don't talk alot but maybe you and I can hang out sometime?”

The boy was surprised when he got an instant reply. He checked his phone, only for his face to fall.
“No.”
Ouch. He wasn't too surprised though.
Norman flopped back on the bed, staring up at the ceiling.
He let out a loud long groan out of boredom.

He was interrupted by his older sister, Courtney, coming up to his door.
“Hey pipsqueak!”
Norman turned his head to face the door, “What, Courtney?”
“Mom wants you to go the grocery store and pick up some stuff..”
The boy instantly sat up, “Really?!”
“Yes, really..” she said halfly annoyed.

Norman instantly ran up to the door, “Tell her I'll be down in five minutes!” He quickly slammed it before Courtney could say anything. He quickly ran up to his closet and picked out a white long sleeved shirt with black sleeves and a pair of jeans.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Norman came running down the stairs. He slid into the kitchen where his mom was cooking. He walked up to her, “You wanted me, mom?”
Sandra turned to her son, “Oh Norman! I want you to buy the stuff on this list at the grocery store.” She handed him a list.

“Make sure you get what's exactly on the list.”
“Yeah sure, mom.” He said, stuffing the list into his pocket.
Sandra walked over to her purse on the table. She pulled out $55 dollars.
She handed the money to Norman, “$30 dollars for groceries, $5 each for the bus fare and $15 just in case. Don't lose it.”
Norman nodded at the lady, “I won't.”

“Good, now get going.” She said while planting a kiss on the boy's forehead.
“Alright, alright. Bye Mom.”
The boy ran to the hallway.
“Oh, Norman?”
The boy paused as opened the front door, “Yeah, mom?”
“Do you have your phone on you?”
“Yeah. And some earphones.”

“Good, keep your phone on and don't be afraid to call if anything happens.”
“Okay!” He said, finally leaving the house.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Norman casually pushed the shopping cart as he strolled through the store. He examined the list and scanned the aisle for what he was looking for.
After 20 minutes of shopping, getting distracted by a weird or cool product and struggling with the broken wheel on the cart, the boy finally checked out.

He walked out the grocery and walked to the bus stop, lugging the groceries in his hands.
He sat at the bus stop and waited quietly. An elderly woman sat next to him, minding her own business.
The medium decided to kill some time by putting in his earphones and listening to some music on his phone.

Shortly after the first song was finished the bus arrived. Norman paid his fare and sat down near a window.
He watched calmly as the town passed by.
Letting the music play soothingly, he soon fell asleep.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

“Hey, kid! Wake up already.”
The boy stirred in his sleep, attempting to muffle the sound of a shouting man.
“GET UP!!”
Norman bolted up in shock, “Wha-what happened? Where am I?”
He looked up to see the bus driver glaring at him, “You getting off or what? I gotta get home!”

Norman then realized he fell asleep. He scrambled to get his stuff, “Sorry! I'm getting off!”
The medium then hurriedly stepped off the bus, “Sorry again!”
The bus driver rolled his eyes and shut the bus doors, “Yeah whatever…”

The bus then drove away, leaving a cloud of dust behind.
Norman turned around and took in his surroundings. His face immediately changed in horror. All around him was nothing but a few light posts and trees.
The place was unrecognizable.
What made things worse? It was getting dark..

“Hey. Hey, where am I?!” The boy searched around to see any sign of the town. Nothing but trees and lights for miles. He then began to run in the direction he came from. “Hello?! Someone?! Where am I?!”

After what felt like a mile of running, he slowed down. He was filled with hope when he saw a convenience store in the distance, he could ask for help there.
Lugging the groceries along, he ran to store.

He stumbled in front of the automatic doors as they slid open. He entered in the store, looking around. He noticed nobody was in the store except the clerk. He turned to the clerk at the counter.

“Hello and welcome to Frosty Mart. We're open 24 hours a day, my name is Drew how can I be of assistance…?” The clerk boringly said.
“Hi, Drew..? Do you know where I am at the moment?”
Drew looked down at the boy in boredom, “Your at Frosty Mart...open 24 hours a day..”

The medium became annoyed by his answer, “No..I mean where am I?”
“At Frosty Mart open 24 hours a day..”
Norman then let out a sigh. He didn't have the time for this.
“No! I mean at this given moment in time, where on Earth am I?” He asked in exasperation.

The clerk checked the cash register, slowly counting the money inside. He then tapped in some numbers on the cash register, slowly.
Norman stared at him for 3 minutes, the beeping get more annoying every second.
He finally tried again, “Sir?!”
The clerk looked at the boy, “It's Drew..”

“I don't care! Where am I?!” the boy asked, now clearly frustrated
“Your at Frosty Mart..open 24 hou-”
The boy let out a loud frustrated groan, “You know what?...just tell me how far Laika Grove is from here.”
“About forty miles if you walk…”

The boy stared up at the clerk in disbelief, “Forty miles?!”
Drew went back to checking the cash register, “.....Uh huh..”
“I can't walk forty miles!!”
The clerk didn't even acknowledge the boy's distress.
Norman looked annoyingly at the clerk, “Do you know when the next bus is coming?”

Drew looked at the boy for a second then went back to his work, “No..”
Norman then realized he wasn't getting anywhere with Drew's “help”, “Thanks a lot…”

He proceeded to leave the store, feeling hopeless. His expression tightened when he heard the clerk say, “Have a frostastic day…”
“Uh huh..” was all Norman could mutter under his breath.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Norman trudged down the side of the road hopelessly. How on earth was he gonna get home? He couldn't possibly walk forty miles. He looked up at the dim sky, it wouldn't be long before sunset.

He instantly remembered that he had his phone on him. He quickly pulled it out and proceeded to call his mom.
“Come on..come on…
The phone made a beeping sound which caused him to look at the screen.
No service.
“Oh come on!!”

He desperately tried again, praying it would somehow work. Nothing but beeping. He shoved his phone back in his pocket, letting out a sigh. He slowly sat down in the dirt, he was officially stranded.

He wondered what was happening at home; Mom was probably having a heart attack while Dad was trying to calm her down. Courtney was most likely texting about it to her “friends”. He sighed, feeling in absolute lost. It'd be days before he'd see Laika Grove in the distance.
He then suddenly heard a familiar voice calling him. He looked in the direction were Laika Grove should be.

His face lit up when he saw his ghostly friend floated over to him.
It was Bruce, for some reason he was all the way out here.
“Hey Norman, how's it hangin’ dude?”
“Hey Bruce! Nothing really just... thinking.”

“Whatcha doing all the way out here? You heading to New York or something?”
The boy shook his head, “I fell asleep on the bus and now I'm stuck out here..”
“Aw that sucks, you know my cousin did that once...never seen him again…”

This made the boy more nervous about his situation. The ghost immediately saw this and tried to reassure the boy, “I mean, not that that's gonna happen to you, my cousin was a little coocoo upstairs, you know what I'm saying?”
Norman gave a crooked smile, trying not to worry the ghost too much.

“Hey, you know if it helps I could probably get you home..” Bruce offered
The boy nearly knocked over a grocery bag as he shot up, “Really?!”
“Yeah man, the town isn't too far away from here.”
“Thank you! I had no idea how else I would get home!” Norman exclaimed as he reached his arms out as if he was about to be lifted.

Bruce looked at his living friend’s gesture confusingly, he stared at him and asked, “What are you doing?”
Norman made a confused face, “Aren't you gonna fly me home?”
“Fly you home?!” With that the ghost started cackling obnoxiously, repeating “fly” in between laughs.

The boy slowly lowered his arms as he watched the ghost laugh hysterically, “What's so funny…?”
Bruce began to stop laughing and wiped his ectoplasmic tears, “I can't fly you home! I'm a ghost, I'll phase right through you.” with that the ghost flew and phased right through the medium. “See?”

“Oh come on! Can't you just...float me home?” Norman asked, sounding desperate.
“Sorry kid, only really powerful ghosts can do that. Like the ones who did dark magic or witchcraft when they were alive..” the ghost said, crossing his arms.
Norman sighed, “..Okay, so how exactly are you gonna get me home?”
Bruce smiled confidently, “Don't worry, I've got an excellent idea.”

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The two ended up walking all the way to a run down motel, it was a miracle the place was still in business due it's dilapidated structure.
Norman stood in front of the building utterly baffled.
“This is your excellent idea?”
The ghost looked at him in annoyance, “Look, cut me some slack, when I last came to this place it was in way better condition then now.”

The boy made a dull expression, “When exactly did you go to this place again?”
“Two days before my motorcycle accident back in 87’….”
Norman rolled his eyes, “ Of course…”

The boy then open the door to the motel, peering through to see if anyone still worked here.
The place was well lit and didn't look as bad as the outside did.
“Uh...hello?” The medium stepped in, looking around for anyone who worked here.
“Hello? Does anyone work here?”
There was a loud clutter from the front desk, a man who was very tall and wore a suit and tie, emerged from behind the counter.

“Huh? Yes! What?”, the man yelped, eyes dashing around the room before it landed on the spiky haired boy. The man instantly cleared his throat, “Good evening and welcome to The 5 star Motel and Restrooms. Which shall I offer you, young man?”
Norman stared at the man in confusion. He quickly shook his head and answered the man, “Uhh….can I use your phone please? I’m kinda lost..”

The man then grabbed the phone on the desk, “Of course. What's your name, give the number and where you're coming from please.”
“Norman Babcock and I live in Laika Grove.” Norman then gave the man his house’s phone number.
“Alright….that’ll be $15…”

The medium stared at the man, not sure if he heard him correctly, “What?”
The man then cleared his throat, “The phone call costs $15…per minute..”
“What?! I'm not paying $15 dollars for my mom to know I'm in the middle of nowhere!” The boy exclaimed at the clearly cheap man.

The man then set the phone down, “Oh well. Looks like you can't call your mommy to come pick you up.”
Norman grabbed his stuff and began to make his exit, “My bus fare costs way less, have a good evening..”
The man then exclaimed, “Mmm, welp looks like the kidnappers will have fresh bait tonight..”

Norman stopped dead in his tracks. There were kidnappers out there?
“Oh and God forbid the bears! They're probably outside right now. Oh and those drunk drivers who just can't seem to stay on the road... don't care squat if they hit anything-”

Norman slammed his hand on the desk, $15.00 dollars in it. “Hurry up and call her already.”
The sly man smirked immediately pocketing the money, “Pleasure doing business with ya!”
He then proceeded to dial the number on the phone.

After what felt like five minutes, there was no answer. The man looked at the phone and hung it up, “Ooo tough luck kid. Phone line’s busted.”
“What?! Oh come on! Can't you try again?” Norman begged.
“Mmm, well I could..if you give me $15 bucks.”

Norman glared at the man, “I don't have anymore money!”
The con artist then checked his watch, “Welp times up, gotta get going.”
With that the man climbed over the desk and exited the motel.

“What the- Hey!!” The medium proceeded to chase after him, “Where are you going?!”
The man climbed into his car, “Vegas!”
“But I still gotta get home!!”
With that the man began to laugh, “Listen the kid! That motel and phone line haven't been working since 92’. I just came here to loot some stuff!”

The man then pulled a dime out of his pocket and threw it at the boy, “Go buy a soda…”
With that the man pulled his car out of the parking lot and raced down the street, leaving a plume of dust behind.

Norman dropped to his knees in disbelief. Not only was he robbed and scammed but he still couldn't get home. “Why does the universe hate me so much!?!” They boy screamed to the heavens.

Bruce appeared next to the boy, “Yeesh, hope that guy crashes halfway down the boulevard…”
The ghost looked at his now at lost friend, “Hey No-man, it's gonna be alright! Look on the bright side, at least your 10 miles closer to the town.”

The spiky haired boy glared at the specter in a way that read, 'Now’s not the time.’
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Norman and Bruce ended walking for 20 miles. Or at least floating in Bruce's perspective. At this point it was dark outside. The poor boy was extremely tired, so much so that he ended drinking some of the orange juice from the groceries.

The boy fell to his knees, gasping for air, “How... much….farther…?”
“Another 10 miles..” the ghost answered.
Norman collapses on the ground, breathing heavily, “I can't do this anymore Bruce...I'd rather be eaten alive by a bear or something….”
The ghost mimicked the action of patting the boy on his back, “Well at least it's not raining.”

Suddenly thunder rolled out of nowhere followed by heavy rainfall.
A moment of nothing from the boy was followed by a loud angry yell from him.

Norman instantly shot up, face filled with rage and mud, “I can't take this anymore!!! Why did I have to go get the groceries?! Why couldn't Courtney do it?!?! I was grateful for going outside, yes, but if I'd known this was what I was getting into I would've locked my room!! Now I'm gonna get eaten or ran over or kidnapped all because of these STUPID GROCERIES!!”

With that the boy kicked the bag, spilling the contents out. He then immediately fell to his knees and covered his face as he silently began to sob.
Bruce stared hopelessly at Norman, not doing anything considering he didn't know what to do.

Time slowly, as the boy let out all his anger and fear into his soaked palms. The ghost sat down the boy, staring down the street. The rain seemed to get heavier as the minutes went by.

Bruce could've sworn he saw some red and blue lights out in the distance. They were quickly gone as soon as they appeared. Then he heard faint sirens. He instantly stood up at the sound, looking straight out at distance.
A minute passed and the red and blue lights returned, closer than they were before.

Soon a police car came strolling down the street. Bruce's eyes lit up in excitement, he turned to his living friend.
“Norman get up!! We got help!!”
The boy stayed put, “Yeah Bruce...I'm sure 'help’ is here…”
“No seriously, they can help you!!” The ghost attempted to shake the boy only for his hands to phase through him.

“Are they gonna help me like how that con man and that stupid Frostmart dude did?” The boy shivered.
The police car’s sirens blared louder causing the boy to finally remove his hands from his face and look up.
Seeing the car, Norman jumped up immediately and started waving his arms, “Hey!! Hey over here!!”

Bruce did the same, trying to alert the car.
Norman successfully got the car's attention as it pulled over to him.
The window rolled down. Inside was Deputy Dwayne behind the wheel and Officer Hopper in the passenger seat.

“What in the name of all things holy are you are doing out here, boy? Do you have any idea what time it is?” the deputy began.
“Yeah! Your mom's worried sick about you!” The officer added.
“Quiet Hopper! I'm doing the accusations here!”
“Oh..sorry..”

Norman sighed, “I'm really sorry about all the trouble, I missed my stop and I ended up getting lost..”
“And how exactly did that happen?” The deputy asked.
Norman hesitated, there was no way of making the situation look like a mistake, “I uh...fell asleep on the bus…”
Officer Hopper laughed at the boy, “Ha! Bet you had a comfortable sleep, getting yourself in trouble like that!”

“Hopper!!” Deputy Dwayne yelled at her comrade.
“I'm staying quiet!” He yelped.
She turned back to the boy, “Well, I hope you have fun explaining that to your parents when we get you home.”
With that she unlocked the car door.

Norman grabbed the soaked bag of food and climbed in, relieved he was going home, “Oh trust me, I will..”
The deputy looked in her rear view to look at the boy, “Is that sass I hear?!”
The medium immediately straightened his posture, “No ma'am! I'm just happy I'm going home…”

“Mmm…” was all the deputy said before she began to drive. Norman looked out the window at his ghost friend.
Bruce gave a thumbs up. Norman then waved at the ghost, showing how thankful he was for his help.

With that the police car drove off, heading towards the town.

End.

Chapter Text

Coraline and Norman walked out of a fast food joint named Lendy’s one Friday afternoon. Both of them were conversing while finishing up their drinks.

 

“So Nancy goes, 'Yeah? Well try being shot in the head while a car is pinning you against a tree.’ then Mary-Ann is like 'That’s nothing compared to be flung of a third story balcony by your lover!’, You know what I'm saying?” Norman said drinking his orange soda.

Coraline simply stops and stares at her friend, “No….”

 

The two were interrupted by the sound of someone barreling down the street behind them. Before they could even look behind them, the two were knocked down by a tall figure. The three brushed themselves off, the perpetrator immediately apologizing.

“Oh! Sorry Norman! Sorry Coraline!”

He then helped the two up.

 

The person turned out to be Eggs, he looked as if he was in a hurry.

Coraline's face tightened, “Watch where you're going next time Eggsbert!”

Norman looked up at boxboy, “Where you going in such a hurry, Eggs?”

 

“Oh, I'm going to go see Jade the Magnificent!”

The two looked at each other in confusion then turned back to their friend.

“Who did a what now?” Coraline asked.

Eggs looked at them weird, “You mean you haven't heard of her?”

The two shook their heads.

“She’s an amazing fortune teller who just came into town a few days ago. Everyone is talking about her, I wanna go see for myself!”

 

The two looked at each other again, wondering who this strange fortune teller is. They then turned back to the boy.

“You mean someone who predicts the future?” Norman asked.

“Yeah! You guys wanna come see her?’

The two thought to themselves, they never seen this new fortune teller and they really had nothing else to do.

 

“Well I guess since we have nothing to do-”

“Great! Come on!!”

Without warning Eggs grabbed his   friends’ arms and started zooming down the street, causing the two to yell out of surprise.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The three ended up in town square. Nearby a fountain, a purple velvet tent was pitched along with a magenta van with purple and gold swirls painted on it. In big bold words “Jade the Magnificent” was inscribed on the van.

“Here we are! I can't wait to get my fortune told!!” Eggs exclaimed.

 

“This is it? I thought it would be more…...green…” Coraline remarked.

“You know just because someone is named after a shade of green doesn't mean everything about them is green..” Norman said.

“I'm just saying this is a little too pinkish to me..”

“How's it even pin-”

 

The curtains to the tent opened, a little girl came out holding a cat in her arms.

“Did you hear that Little Butler? We’re gonna have cotton candy rain tomorrow!” She said running out. Before anyone questioned what was going through that girl's head the curtain opened once again,

“Next.” A voice said.

 

Eggs grinned from ear to ear. He turned to his friends, “Wait here, I'm gonna go get my fortune told!”

The box boy vanished into the curtains.

Norman looked up at Coraline, “What do you think that girl meant by cotton candy rain?”

Coraline fanned the air, “Eh, she's like six. She'll figure out eventually that sweets don't fall from the sky.”

“Still, that fortune teller must've told her such a thing..”

“Maybe..but still, she probably said that cause she didn't wanna disappoint that kid or something..”

Norman pondered to himself.

 

The two waited outside for fifteen minutes, slowly getting impatient. Coraline ended up sitting on the pavement, getting tired of standing.

“What's taking that egg-brain so long?”

“Probably taking Jade longer to predict Eggs’ future cause…..this is Eggs we're talking bout..” Norman answered, leaning against a lamppost.

Coraline simply nodded.

Soon the curtain opened, Eggs emerging from it.

The boy looked upset.

 

Coraline stood up, ”What took you so long?”

Eggs only looked down at her, his face saddening.

Norman walked over to his friend, “Eggs, are you okay?”

“No..” he simply answered.

“What happened? Did you get your fortune told?” The blue haired girl asked.

He nodded.

“Well, what'd you get?” The medium asked.

 

The box boy took a while before he gave them a gold paper he had in his hand.

Coraline took it and read out loud, “In the near future your beloved family will kick you out because you did something stupid..”

The boy let out a whimper as he looked up at the sky.

 

Norman dulled his face, “Oh come on Eggs, that's not gonna happen-”

“It kinda can, I mean this is Eggs talking about.” Coraline retorted.

Norman elbowed the girl's arm before continuing, “Your dad and the trolls love you very much, I doubt they'd ever kick you out.”

“But they are! Jade said so and Jade never lies!!” Eggs exclaimed.

“Oh come on, just because she claims to see the future doesn't mean she can!” Coraline said.

 

“But still, what if she's right?! I can't sleep outside! My neighbor has a chihuahua that's scares me!!”

“And that's why you're not gonna sleep outside, Mr. Trubshaw knows you won't survive out there and wouldn't put you you through something like that.” Norman reassured.

“I don't know...Herbert Trubshaw can be a little coo coo upstairs..” Coraline absentmindedly said.

The two stared at the girl in annoyance. She looked at them, “What?”

 

Eggs looked at his watch, “I should probably get home! If father really is gonna put me out I better try to get on his good side!”

The boy ran off after saying his goodbye.

Coraline turned to the spiky haired boy, “Mr. Trubshaw has a bad side?”

Norman rolled his eyes as he proceeded to approach the tent.

 

Coraline noticed this, “Hey! Where are you going?”

“I wanna talk to this Jade person, there's something fishy about her..”

The boy disappeared into the tent.

“Hey! I thought we were done with Jade! Norman!! I wanna go home!!”

The boy wasn't coming out of the tent.

“Ugh!! Fine!!” She then walked over to the tent.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Jade sat quietly in the tent, drumming her fingers on the table. The tent was filled with wind chimes and beads hanging from the ceiling. Behind Jade hung a giant dream catcher and sat a large chest. On the shelf was two candles and a few books.

On the clothed table, a crystal ball sat in front of the fortune teller, followed by a notepad filled with gold paper.

 

Norman came in, taking in the surroundings. His eyes fell on the clairvoyant. Her body was cloaked in a long purple velvet robe. Only her face was visible. On her forehead was a beaded headpiece, her eyes were a deep shade of green.

 

The boy sat down, “Uh...hi?”

“Good afternoon, what is your name?” She spoke, her voice was oddly deep.

“Norman.”

She took out a pen and scribbled down something on her notepad. “I've been expecting you, Norman. In order to do this session, please pay me $10.”

Not questioning anything, the boy gave her the money, which she placed in a pouch on the table.

 

She then turned back to the boy, staring him straight in the eyes. This went on for a solid minute.

Norman started to be become uncomfortable, “Uh…..what?”

“I'm reading you.”

He blinked, confusion in his eyes, “You're what?”

 

“I see that you are troubled. A very smart one, who is mostly unappreciated.”

The boy scoffed before fanning the lady off, “Oh I'm not that smart..”

Jade then looked into her crystal ball, her hands caressing the orb, “....yes...I see...you have many misfortunes, am I correct?”

 

Norman made a confused face, “No...not really…”

The fortune teller stopped looking at the orb and stared at the boy, she looked as if she realized something, “Oh...my mistake…”

She then looked back at the crystal ball, concentrating harder.

 

A few minutes past, Norman was slightly becoming impatient.

“So when do I get my fortune told..?”

The lady snapped out of her concentrative state, “Huh?”

“My fortune….aren’t you gonna tell it?”

Immediately Jade sat up in her seat, “Oh yes!”

She cleared her throat, “Of course I am! In fact…”

She scribbled down something on her notepad. She ripped the page and gave it to the boy.

“This is what I foresee for you. Please come again.”

 

Norman examined the paper, his face becoming utterly baffled, “Uh….what kind of prediction is this?”

“Please come again!” She said, trying to usher the boy out.

“But-”

Please come again!! ” She exclaimed through the grit of her smile.

Norman, defeated, scowled before exiting the tent.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Coraline sat on the pavement outside of the tent. She was getting tired of waiting.

The tent opened to reveal her friend finally exiting the fortune teller’s domain.

“Well it took you long enough!”

 

Norman's face was a mix of confusion and upset.

“Well? How'd it go?” The girl ask.

Norman proceeded to read his fortune, “In the coming future a taco truck will offer you free sushi, it won't end well…”

Coraline stared at him baffled, “What kind of prediction is that?!”

 

“That's what I said! And when I was trying to talk to her about it, she kicked me out!”

“Well, what exactly did she do?”

The boy explained the whole process, emphasizing the staring, the amount of money charged and her “concentration” on the crystal ball.

“What kind of fortune teller is that?!”

“I know! She faked everything and robbed me of ten bucks!”

 

The girl chuckled, “Can't believe you were stupid enough to get scammed..again.”

The medium glared at her, causing her to stop.

Coraline's eyes moved to the tent, she too now concerned about the fortune teller.

She then looked out to the street,  “Whatever, it's just a stupid fortune teller. I really gotta get home. My mom will have my neck if I get home by dark…”

 

Norman sighed, “Yeah. Why should we care what she does?”

“Yeah. Welp, later Norm..” the girl said leaving her friend behind.

“Bye..”

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Saturday whirled in fast. Norman sat on the couch, watching TV. His grandma was right beside him.

“I don't understand any of these shows, they're so uncultured.” She said.

The boy chuckled, “Yeah, nobody really watches TV these days anyway.”

“Back in my day, we had funny sitcoms that would even make your grandfather laugh.”

 

Norman's attention was interrupted by the sound of the front door banging.

“NORMAN!!! GET THE DOOR!!” His older sister yelled from the kitchen.

“I'm busy!!” The boy yelled back.

The door banged louder, followed by the doorbell ringing several times.

“I'M BUSIER!! GET THE DOOR!!”

 

The medium let out groan as he made his way to the door, “Alright!! I'm coming!!”

He opened it to reveal Coraline.

She had a look of urgency in her eyes, not to mention that she looked as if she had ran all the way here.

“Coraline?! What are you doing here?”

The girl huffed, “Town hall….Jade….crazy...need to come...now!!”

 

He stared at her in confusion and concern, “What?”

“Jade is having a rally at town hall and everyone's gone insane and you need to come see this, now!!” She blurted.

“Wait what?”

Before he knew it, the girl grabbed him by the arm and raced down the neighbourhood, causing him to yell out, “Wait!! I still have my bed slippers on!!”

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Town hall was crowded with people people all over town. Even the mayor, Lord Portley-rind and his family were there.

On a stage, that seemed to have been just setted up, was none other than Jade.

She was wearing a dark green dress and a magenta cape on her back.

 

Norman and Coraline managed to squeeze through to the front of the crowd.  

“You brought me out here to be in crowd?!” The boy annoyingly asked.

The girl shushed him and pointed to the main event on stage.

 

Jade took a bow as the crowd cheered, “Thank you! Thank you!!” She purred.

“Now, for my next act, I'll need a volunteer from the audience.”

The crowd erupted with plea and begging as everyone fought to be Jade’s volunteer. A young man yelled out, “Excuse me!! I'd love to go!”

Jade scanned the crowd until her eyes fell on the young man, “You! Come on up!”

 

There were a few awws but the crowd eventually parted to allow the man on stage.

“And what is your name?” the clairvoyant asked.

“Melvin..”

The lady smiled widely, “Alright! Give a hand for Melvin everybody!”

 

The crowd began to cheer. Norman looked over at Coraline again, “Why's everybody cheering her on? She's just a fortune teller!”

The girl once again shushed the boy again, “Watch!”

 

The clairvoyant then took out a pack of cards, she then closed her eyes, “Please take three cards out of the deck.”

Melvin took out an ace, a jack and a queen.

She then turned away from the man, “Please show the audience your cards.”

Melvin raised his hands and showed everyone his cards.

 

The crowd seemed to have shuffled closer to the front because Norman and Coraline soon found themselves being pressed into the stage.

Jade spoke once again, “Now turn to me.”

Melvin then faced the lady's back once again.

“Without me knowing what your hand is, I shall name the cards you've chosen.”

 

There was a moment of silence. Jade then recited, “An ace, a jack and…..a queen!”

The man looked at his cards, “She's correct!”

The crowd began to cheer and applaud at the show.

 

Coraline turned to Norman, “I think you were right when you said that Jade is nothing but a fake.”

Norman suspiciously eyed the lady taking a bow on stage, “Mmm.... she's acting more like a magician than a fortune teller.”

The girl nodded, “I'm no fortune teller, but something tells me that they don't put on street shows and cause the town to go nuts.”

 

The boy stared at the lady's actions, then he glanced at Melvin who also was basking in glory, a little too much to be a random volunteer.

Coraline continued, “I told the Forcibles about Jade this morning. According to them, everything she did is practically screaming that she's a fake.”

“Okay but, how exactly are we gonna prove that she's a fake?” Norman asked.

 

Jade strolled over to the side of the stage.

Her crystal ball sat on a table right next to her, “Now, is there anyone who wants me tell what their future holds? Don't be shy!”

The crowd roared as everyone began to beg the clairvoyant to be the next volunteer.

 

Coraline and Norman ended up slipping away from the crowd.  

“This is crazy! How'd she become so famous in the span of one night?” The boy asked.

“I don't know. What makes her so believable is my question. I went to her this morning before her “show” and this was my fortune.”

Coraline pulled out a gold note from her pocket and read, “At 12:00pm sharp, you will stumble upon $100 on the sidewalk.”

 

Norman looked up at the clock tower in the center of the square.

1:57pm.

“Did you find any-”

“No.” she answered.

“Ah..” he responded.

The two ended up walking all the way over to the water fountain. The sat on the edge and stared at the show.

 

“If she keeps this up, there's no telling what she'll do to the town. She'll probably scam everyone and brainwash everyone into thinking their fortunes are real.” Norman said.

Coraline scanned the area and noticed something. Melvin was getting off the platform, and suspiciously headed backstage.

“Hey!” She elbowed the boy, “Did you see that?!”

 

Norman looked around to see what was going on, “See what?!”

“That Melvin guy just went backstage. Isn't he a volunteer?”

“Yeah but, maybe he's still assisting her..”

The girl looked at the boy stupid, “Volunteers don't do that, dum dum!”

 

Norman glared at the girl, “I was only saying!”

Coraline stood up, “Come on! Let's go check it out.”

“What!? We can't! We could get in trouble!”

Norman tried to stop the girl.

“Nobody's gonna see us! Let's go see what that guy's up too.” She persuaded, dragging the boy by the hand.

 

Norman attempted to try to stop the girl again but realized that there was no stopping her.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Backstage was filled with weird and bizzare props and items. There were firecrackers, crates, costumes hanging off a rack and vials of weird liquids.

Coraline took up a vial and uncorked it, taking a whiff of it's essence.

Norman looked at the girl in terror, “Don't smell it!! It could be poisonous!”

 

She coughed and held the bottle away from her, “It smells like granny perfume mixed with vegetable oil!”

Norman shook it his head at his friend’s stupid move. He looked around and took in his surroundings. His eyes fell on a to do list that was placed on one of the crates.

 

He took it up in his hands and examined it, “1. Scam people...2. Attract willing customers with stage show….3. Make enough money to move to California?”

Coraline looked over at the boy, “What?”

Norman immediately showed her the list, “Look! This is what Jade's been doing the whole time!!”

 

The girl stared at the paper before widening her eyes in shock, “That thieving witch really is trying to scam the town!!”

“We gotta tell someone about this!”

 

There was a loud crash from the very back. The two looked in the direction of the noise. Footsteps could be heard sprinting away from the sound.

“That must've been that Melvin guy!!” Coraline yelled.

She immediately sprung into action and began to chase after the man, Norman following behind her.

 

The two chased the man until they finally cornered him.

He looked terrified, “Please go away! Leave me alone!!”

Coraline began to pursue him, “What are you doing back here Melvin?!”

The man didn't say anything.

“Well?!” She tried again.

 

The man moved up closer against the wall, “I-it's none of your business ma'am! Please go away!”

Norman tried, being a little more calmer and reasonable, “We don't want any trouble, we just wanna know why are you backstage?”

 

The man still didn't speak.

“Please Melvin,  we just wanna know..”

Melvin swallowed, “Carter..”

The two let out a confused,.”What?”

“My name is actually Carter….”

Coraline spoke up, “Then why didn't you tell Jade your really name?”

 

He didn't speak again. His eyes darting all over the place.

Norman eyed the man. His eyes widened in realization, “Cause his apart of the act!!”

Coraline looked at her friend.

“Jade picked him! He acted as if he was a volunteer and knew all her tricks!” The boy continued.

 

It made sense to the girl. She turned back to the faker’s assistant, “Alright Carter! We want the truth! Is Jade trying to scam the entire town?”

Before they could get there answer, a familiar voice spoke up from behind them.

“That's none of your business!”

 

The two turned around and saw the clairvoyant behind them. Her face was filled with rage.

Norman and Coraline began to back up. Before they knew it, Carter held them both by the shoulders.

“Hey! Let us go!!” Coraline shouted, trying to break free.

“You can't just scam everyone to get what you want Jade!” Norman yelled.

 

Jade simply laughed, “Oh I can't can I? Well, why don't you tell that to the 100’s of people who believe every word I say. And if you think you're gonna take that away from me, you're sadly mistaken!”

The lady looked to her assistant, “Take care of them and meet me on stage! Time is money!!”

 

Carter then dragged the two down a hall to a different exit. Both tried to fight and yell but to no avail.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Norman and Coraline ended up being tied together in Jade's van. Both of them tried their best to break free.

“You just had to go backstage, didn't you?” The medium sarcastically mumbled.

“If we never went backstage we wouldn't have found out Jade truly is a scammer and a fake!!” She yelled.

 

“Okay, okay! We just need to find a  way to get out of here. Then we go to the police and tell them about this.” Norman planned.

“How exactly are we gonna get out of here? We're tied together and nobody knows where we are!”

The boy looked around the van.

 

Most of the seats were taken out, leaving enough room for random piles of junk. Jars of marbles, boxes, piles of clothes, a toolbox.

Wait, a toolbox!

“Hey! I have an idea!”

“Is it a stupid one? Cause I'm honestly not in the mood for stupidity right now.” The girl retorted.

 

Norman groaned, “No! Look, there's a toolbox over there! I bet if we could get it open there might be something we could use to cut the ropes.”

Coraline tried to turn her head to where Norman was looking but only managed to see the toolbox at the corner of her eye.

“Okay! But how do we get over there?”

 

The two sat on the floor of the van, back to back.

“Try getting up.” Norman instructed.

Coraline pulled her legs to her body and attempted to get up, only to struggle and eventually fall down. “You're too heavy!”

“Okay, let me try.”  

Norman struggled lift his body up. He abruptly collapsed on the floor.

 

“Great! Now what?” The girl sneered.

“Let's try together! On the count of three, we lift each other up, okay?”

Coraline nodded.

“One...two...three!!”

Both of them attempted to get off the ground.

After a minute of struggle, Coraline was able to get up. However, Norman was suspended off the ground due to the girl's height.

This caused her to stumble backwards, but she manage to get her footing.

 

“You okay back there?” She asked.

“Despite the fact I can't reach the ground, I'm good.”

The girl rolled her eyes, “Can you see the toolbox?”

“Yeah, but I can't reach it!”  Norman answered.

 

“Okay. Let me see if I can get it.”

With that, Coraline spun around to flip sides with Norman.

There was a loud bump, followed by a cry, “Ow!!”

“What happened?”

“I hit my foot on the seat!”

She lidded her eyes, “Oh man up!!”

 

She used her foot to lift the latches and open the toolbox. Inside was a hammer, a screwdriver, a wrench and a box cutter.

“Okay, there's no saw, but there's a box cutter.”

“Okay, use your teeth to grab it.” The boy said.

 

“Are you nuts?! I'm not putting a blade in my mouth!!” The girl shouted.

Norman rolled his eyes, “I meant by the handle!!”

The girl got on her knees, leaned over and picked up the box cutter with her mouth.

“Mow wuff?!” She asked.

 

“Position the box cutter so that the blade sticks out of the toolbox, then use your chin to close the box.”

Coraline did exactly what he said. She spat a little, attempting to get the taste out of her mouth.

“Eugh! Alright now what?” She asked.

“Alright, you're gonna have to rub against the blade and saw ourselves free.” He instructed.

 

“Okay, now I know you're insane!” the girl shouted.

“Do you want to be stuck like this for who knows how long?!” Norman yelled.

“No.”

“Then saw!!”

Coraline groaned. She inched towards the blade and began to rub against it.

 

5 minutes passed and the rope wasn't cut.

“This is taking forever!!”

“Just keep going. We're almost free!” The boy encouraged.

Coraline sighed and continued to saw the rope.

 

Finally, the ropes broke, freeing the two.

Coraline stretched her arms and instantly got up. Norman did the same.

“Alright! Now let's get the heck out of here!” She exclaimed.

“Right!”

They ran over to the van door, unlocked it and escaped.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The crowd was slightly lesser than before, but it was big nonetheless.

Jade was on stage attended to another customer, or to her, another victim.

“Keep an eye out for Carter. We don't know if he's out here.” Norman warned her.

Coraline nodded, “You go get the police. I'm gonna try and get the mayor's attention.”

The two set off on their tasks.

 

Coraline shuffled and pushed through the crowd until she made it to the mayor's float.

“Excuse me! Mr. Mayor!!”

Lord Portley-rind was, of course, to enticed into the show that he didn't notice the girl. Lady Portley-rind however, was too busy miserably watching the show.

Winnie, thankfully, was the only one who noticed the girl's screams.

“Good afternoon, Coraline! Enjoying the show?” She greeted.

 

“No time for introductions! I need to talk to your dad!!” The girl yelled.

Winnie looked at the girl funny but eventually turned to her father, “Father? Father! Someone wants to talk to you!”

The mayor didn't even take his eyes off the show, “Mmm? Uh, take a message.”

 

Winnie sighed, “Sorry, he's busy..”

“But this is really important!! Jade's a scammer and a fake!” Coraline exclaimed

“Jade is a what?!”

“Me and Norman found out, and then she tied us up and threw us in her van!”

Winnie looked skeptical but tried again, “Father, Coraline thinks Jade is a scammer!”

“Yes yes, that's nice Winifred…” He said patting her head, still focused on the show.

Winnie turned back to the twitchy witch, “If this is really serious, I advice you go to the police about it. Father doesn't look like he's gonna be any help…”

Coraline groaned. Defeated, she retreated to go find Norman.

 

Norman managed to find Officer Hopper patrolling the clocktower. He was explaining what Jade was up to. Hopper was taking notes.

Coraline ran up to the two, “I couldn't get the mayor to help.”

“Don't worry, Officer Hopper is gonna help us.” Norman reassured.

“I'll start helping once I have some evidence.” The officer said.

 

Norman searched his pocket and pulled out Jade's list, “Coraline, show him Jade's prediction.”

The girl pulled out the gold paper. They both gave the officer their papers.

“There's more evidence backstage and the rope is in the van.” Norman informed.

 

“Okay, I'm gonna do some investigations and see where it goes from there. For now, you two keep your distance from the scene. Alright?”

They both nodded.

With that the officer left, heading towards the stage.

Norman and Coraline gave themselves a fist bump. It wouldn't be long before Jade was taken cared of.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Sunset fell on the town quickly. The crowd cleared up after the police got to the square. Jade and Carter were being arrested, it even turned out that Carter was Jade's brother.

“You can't do this!! I'm innocent!!” The faker yelled as she was placed in the police car.

“Yeah, yeah..tell it to the judge.” A cop said.

 

Coraline and Norman watched everything unfold. The sat on the fountain, they even had popsicles in their hands having gone to get something to eat after the situation was solved.

“I'm glad things turned out okay.” The girl said.

“Yeah. Justice was served and Jade and Carter will be serving for the crime.”

 

Deputy Dwayne walked up to the two, “Welp, Jade and here lackey's off to jail. Turns out she’s involved with a bunch of scams across the country.”

“Wow. Well at least she's getting what she deserves.” The medium said.

“Glad you two were brave enough to pursue the crooked. Couldn't have done any of this without you guys help.” The deputy thanked.

 

“It was no problem Miss Dwayne.” Coraline said.

“That's Deputy Dwayne to you young lady.”

The deputy looked down at Norman's feet, “....Are you aware that you're wearing zombie bed slippers?”

Norman looked down at his feet, he completely forgot about he had them on.

“Oh yeah, kinda forgot I had these on.”

 

“Uh huh…you kids take care of yourselves..” She said as she walked back to the police group.

Coraline looked down at Norman's feet, “Can't believe you still wear those. What are you, eight?”

The girl went back to eating her popsicle.

Norman simply shook his head and looked up the sky. He was just glad everything was okay.

 

End.

Chapter Text

“Isn't today a great day, Fish? The sun is shining, the birds are singing! I can't wait for the gang to go on a picnic today!!”

Eggs and he's former “father” Fish were strolling down the sidewalk one day. Eggs was correct when he said the day was perfect.

 

His plans were to head to local park and have a fun little picnic with Norman, Kubo and Coraline. He of course invited Winnie, but she declined saying her mother was taking her shopping today.

Eggs had a big picnic basket in hand as he took in the scenery. Fish  on the other hand, had a picnic blanket it his hands.

 

The two soon arrived at the gates of the park, “Alright, they said they'd meet us out here.”

They took a seat on a nearby bench and waited, watching people enter and leave.

Time slowly passed and Eggs ended up checking his watch.

15 minutes passed and there was still no sign of his friends.

 

Fish let out a few grunts and gurgles showing he was talking to the boy.

“No, don't say that. I'm sure they're just running late…”  Eggs responded.

Soon an hour passed and the gang still hadn't showed up.

“What on Earth is taking them so long?”

The box boy decided to call them to see what was going on.

 

He called Kubo's place first,

“Hello?....Oh hello Mrs Sariatu! Is Kubo there?.......Sick?! Oh I had no idea!....Ok thank you...Bye..”

He turned to Fish, “Did you hear that Fish? Kubo's sick!”

Fish cooed and pointed to the picnic basket.

 

Eggs shook his head, “No, He won't be able to make it..”

He thought to himself, he was worried about his friend being sick. He looked at his picnic basket.

 

Eggs made up his mind, “Kubo must be going through so much pain. We should go help him!”

Fish’s eyes widened in confusion, he spoke again to the boy, sounding like he thought it was a bad idea to go to Kubo’s house.

“Oh come now, Fish! My friend is feeling under the weather. It's up to us to make him feel better!” Eggs proudly said

 

He started to run to his friend’s house, “Come on! There's no time to lose!!”

The troll tried to contradict but the boy was already out. Letting out a sigh, he quickly ran after the boy.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Sariatu sat quietly on the living room couch reading a book. Kubo could be heard coughing from his bedroom. She was really tired, having to take care of her sick son and having night terrors from last night.

 

The doorbell rang, causing her to snap out of her read.

“Coming…”

She walked over to the door and opened it.

Eggs stood outside, wearing a big smile. He held a first aid kit in his hand. Fish stood with him, his expression was nervous.

“Hello Mrs. Sariatu! I came to help take care of Kubo.”

 

The lady looked at the boy in surprise, “Oh Arthur. Thank you, but I'm sure we're fine.”

Eggs and Fish entered the small house, “Nonsense! You're probably really tired and wanna take a nap. It's no problem for me to help!”

Sariatu smiled at his kind gesture, “I am a little tired…”

“Great! You go get some rest and I'll take care of Kubo.” He said ushering her to her bedroom.

 

“Uhh, just be careful! Don't do anything to crast!” She said as she closed her room door.

Eggs turned to Fish, “Alright, Fish. You ready to help out with the place?”

The troll nodded giving a reassuring smile.

Eggs smiled.

The two walked down the hall. Eggs knocked on a door that had a samurai poster on it.

 

There wasn't an answer. Eggs tried again, “Kubo? You in there? It's Eggs and Fish!”

There was a faint “Come in..” from the door.

Eggs opened the door and stepped in, along with Fish.

Kubo laid in bed surrounded by tissues.  

He looked as if he was trying to sleep.

The one eyed looked up at his box friend.

 

“Eggs? What are you doing here?” He asked.

Eggs strolled over to the boy, setting the first aid kit on the night table.

“I came to help you feel better. You know, cause you can't go to the picnic.”

Kubo sat up, “Was that today?! Oh, I'm really sorry Eggs! I started feeling woozy yesterday and I couldn't get up today…”

Eggs fanned off the boy, “Don't worry about it! Your health is far more important. So, do you need anything?”

 

Kubo coughed, “Well, some lemon tea sounds ni-”

“Alright!! I'll get you a nice cup of tea! Wait right there.” The boy ran off down the hallway, leaving Fish behind.

Kubo looked at the troll, confused. Fish simply shrugged at him.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Eggs zoomed into the kitchen. He quickly located the kettle and filled the pot water.

He turned on the stove and set the kettle to boil.

He then took out a cup, “Alright, where are the teabags?”

The boy started to rummage through the kitchen trying to find the teabags.

He eventually ended up looking in the fridge.

 

On the door shelf there were the teabags.

“Who on earth keeps tea bags in their fridge?”

Eggs shrugged it off and looked through the various boxes of teabags.

Camomile? No.

Green tea? Nah.

Red rose?!

“Ew! Who would ever drink this?!”

Eggs went through every single teabag and there was absolutely no lemon tea.

 

“Hmm. Now what am I gonna do?”

The box boy’s eyes scanned the fridge until fell on a bowl of green lemons.

“Ah!”, Eggs triumphantly picked up a lemon and slammed the fridge.

By this time the kettle began to whistle.

He turned of the kettle and poured the water into the cup.

 

Eggs got out a knife and looked at the lemon.

“I never cut a lemon before…...it can't be that hard..”

He placed the lemon on the counter.

Raising his knife wielding hand, he swung down.

The boy let out a sharp yelp and immediately dropped the knife.

 

He managed to cut the lemon in half but he ended up cutting the very top of his finger. He placed the finger in his mouth.

He managed to stop the blood quickly.

Letting out a sigh, he added sugar to the tea.

 

Aiming for the tea with the green lemon, Eggs squeezed the slice. A majority of the juice got in the drink, but some sprayed into his left eye.

Accidentally dropping the lemon into the drink, Eggs clenched his eyes and hissed.

Running straight to the sink her tried to wash the sting out of his eyes.

 

“Eggs?! You ok out there!!” Kubo yelled from his bedroom.

“Yeah!! I'm fi-” the boy accidentally banged his head on the faucet, causing him to stumble back a little.

“Perfectly fine!” He finished.

 

He grabbed a saucer and took the tea to his friend’s room.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Kubo sat quietly and waited for Eggs to come back. Fish sat beside him trying to keep him company, which was highly appreciated.

Eggs entered the room with the steaming tea, “Here you are!”

 

Kubo stared at the tall boy. Eggs eyes were pink and irritated and his forehead was bruised.

“Uh..are you ok??” He asked.

“Yeah yeah, I'm fine!” The boy reassured, given the boy the drink.

“Drink up! It'll make you feel better!”

 

“Thanks!” Kubo took the tea. His face turned concerned as he looked at the cup. The tea was murky and had seeds in it. He gave it a smell. It smelled like hot water.

Shrugging it off, he took a sip.

He didn't even swallow it as he immediately spat it out.

 

This startled Fish and caused him to jump into his box which made him fall of the bed.

“What the heck is this!?!” The sick boy exclaimed.

“It's lemon tea! I couldn't find any tea bags so I cut a lemon and added some sugar. Does it taste good?” Eggs explained

Kubo noticed that a green substance floated to the top of the drink. He fished it out and found it to be a lime.

 

“Eggs! This is a lime!! You made lime tea!”

“What?! Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry!” The boy apologized.

Kubo placed the sour tea on the night table, “It's fine. Could you get me an ice pack? My head's throbbing.”

“Sure!!”

The boy raced down the hall to the kitchen.

 

A few seconds later, Eggs returned with the ice pack.

He neglected to wrap the pack with a towel, before he placed it on the small boy's head.

This caused Kubo to yell due to the intense cold on his head. He grabbed the pack but instantly dropped it due to sting of the cold.

Eggs immediately grabbed the pack, “Sorry!! Was it too cold?!”

 

The sick boy rubbed his head, “Yeah….you’re supposed to wrap that pack with a towel.”

“Ah, I'm really sorry!! I've been nothing but trouble.”

Fish popped out of his box and muttered something under his breath causing Eggs to glare at him.

“No no it's fine…” Kubo coughed.

 

Eggs thought to himself, he really wanted to help his friend feel better.

“Ah! I know! I'll make you some chowder to help you sleep!”

Kubo's eye widened, “Oh that's okay! I'm not hungry!!”

“Nonsense!! It'll be my pleasure; besides, I came here to help you feel better.” Eggs pushed the boy down in bed and tucked him in.

 

“Now you stay here! I'll make you something delicious! Come on Fish.” The boy said grabbing the arm of his boxtroll friend and exiting the room.

Kubo simply shook his head. He really wasn't in the mood for this

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Eggs had the chowder burning on the stove. He had multiple band aids all over his fingers due to cutting and misfortunes. Fish sat at the dinner table, he was covered in sauces and water.

“Okay Fish, pass me some hot sauce, please!” Eggs requested.

 

Fish jumped out of his seat and gladly gave the boy the red bottle.

Eggs took out a tablespoon and poured the sauce in it. He then used the spoon to mix the chowder.

Fish worriedly grunted at the boy's action.

“Of course not! This is the perfect amount of hot sauce. Father did say a little spice makes everything nice after all.”

 

He turned off the fire, poured the chowder in a bowl and placed it on a tray.

The two walked to Kubo's room, chowder in hand.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Kubo looked at the chunky chowder in disgust. It was a light red and covered in herbs.

“Go on eat up!” Eggs earged.

Kubo hesitantly took a small bite.

Seconds later he dropped the spoon and started breathing heavy, “Get water! Get water!!”

 

Eggs, frightened by the boy's actions, ran and got a glass of water.

“Here, I got the wate-”

The boy tripped over his own feet and fell on the floor, sending the water flying out of the cup and landing on Kubo's face.

 

Eggs sat up and watched in horror at his soaked friend. Kubo sat there, his eye clenched and his expression upset.

“I'm so sorry!!” Eggs jumped up and helped clean up the boy.

 

The box boy then noticed a bunch of clothes piled up in the corner of the room.

“That's it! I'll do laundry to make it up to you!!” Eggs exclaimed as he grabbed the clothes.

“No!! That really won't be necessary!! “ Kubo yelled.

But Eggs and Fish were already out the door.

The boy let out a loud groan. He couldn't take this anymore.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

An hour passed and Eggs managed to turn the place upside down.

The kitchen was covered with food and the dishes were piled up in the sink.

The laundry room was covered in suds.

The backyard was covered in dirt.

The living room was filled with vacuum dust.

 

Sariatu had eventually woken up and seen the mess. When she did she nearly fainted. All that came out of her mouth was, “How…..why did….what…”

Kubo walked over to his mom, “I'll take care of this…”

Kubo found Eggs and Fish “cleaning” the bathroom. It turned out what they really did was cover everything in hand soap and scrubbed it with a hair brush.

 

“Eggs?”

Eggs looked up and saw Kubo in the doorway, “Kubo?! What are you doing out of bed?!”

Kubo approached the boy, “Could I talk to you two outside the house?”

“Of course!” Eggs said.

Fish nodded.

 

The three ended up outside the front door.

“Listen. I appreciate your help, truly and deeply, but I think you've helped enough.” The one eyed boy said nicely.

“But I still can help! You're still sick after all.” Eggs begged.

 

Kubo handed the tall boy his first aid kit.

“Thanks, but I'll be fine. Take care.”

With that the sick boy went inside and slammed the door, locking it in the process.

Sliding against the door he let out a sigh of relief, “Baka…”

 

Eggs let out a sigh and took Fish’s hand, “Come on Fish, let's go..”

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The two ended up in Norman’s neighborhood, absentmindedly walking.

The boy was a block away from his friend’s home.

“Say Fish, you don't think Norman is sick too do you?” He asked.

Fish gurgled a response.

“Maybe...But we should go check up on him just in case. Come on!!”

The boy then raced down the street to the Babcock home.

Fish quickly pursued the tall boy.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Norman lugged himself downstairs to answer the ringing phone. He recently caught a bug and felt miserable. Bundled in pajamas, a bathrobe and a scarf, the boy weakly answered the phone.

“Yes, Babcock residence..”

Kubo was on the other line, “Hey Norm. You feeling okay?”

Norman coughed loudly, “I can't feel anything but heat and pain. How are you doing?”

“I'm not too bad. My throat's pretty sore. I called Coraline and she's doing pretty bad too.”

The medium sighed, “Then it looks like everybody's got the flu, huh?”

“I wouldn't say everybody... there's still one of us that sadly hadn't caught the flu…”

 

“What do mean by sadl-”

There was a loud slam behind the ghost boy.

He whirled around and saw Eggs and Fish in the doorway. Eggs waved a first aid in his hand.

“YOO HOO!! NORMAN!! I HAD A FEELING THAT YOU WERE SICK!!”

“Eggs?! What are you doing in my house?!”

 

Kubo held the phone away from his ear, only hearing, “I'm here to help you feel better!!”

He then hung up the phone, “Aww Eggs, now you're gonna cause mayhem for Norman.”

Kubo simply looked at his own disaster of a home, “I just hope Norman can handle the mess…”

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Norman sat in his bed, patiently waiting for his friend to bring him food.

“Alright! I made you some chowder. I hope it's good this time.” Eggs said as he stepped in and placed the tray on the boy's lap.

“This time?” Norman asked, looking skeptical.

 

Fish tried to explain the story, but Norman of course couldn't understand a word he was saying.

“Well it was a slight mistake for making it too hot. But I've learned my lesson! Anyway you should eat up!”

The box boy placed the spoon on the tray, “Here.”

 

“Uh..t-thanks..” The medium stared at the bowl.

He noticed Eggs was looking at him with big expecting eyes. This made him feel more guilty.

Eventually he took a spoonful and hesitantly took a whole bite.

 

He slowly chewed the food before swallowing. Nothing happened.

He gave a sigh of relief but quickly feeling his tongue burn of spice.

He hollered out of pain before breathing heavily and face planting into bowl.

 

“Aahh!! Norman! What's wrong!?!!” Eggs screamed in fright.

Fish dipped his finger in the chowder and took a taste. He instantly gagged.

The troll then spoke to the boy in his funny language, the only understandable word was “pepper”.

“What?!? Oh no! I thought that a teaspoon of pepper and hot sauce would be fine!”

 

Norman slowly sat up after the heat wave subsided, “Eggs, I think I wanna sleep now…”

“Oh of course!! Let me get the food for you.” Eggs said as he took the tray.

The bowl instantly fell from the tray and splattered all over the bed.

Norman yelled out as the hot chowder fell on his lap.

 

“Sorry!!” The box boy exclaimed.

Fish simply muttered something under his breath, shaking his head at the boy's clumsiness.

“It's okay!! I'll just dust off the sheets!”

With that, Eggs grabbed the sheet and yanked it off the bed.

This caused Norman to fall off the bed with a loud thud.

 

“Ow!! Why...why of all the days did I have to be disturbed today…?” The spiky haired boy muttered to himself.

Eggs made the bed and fluffed the pillows.

“Here you are! Good as new!”

Norman climbed back into bed, “Thank you…” he coughed.

 

“Now you're all nice and bundled up. Oh! I know!!”

Eggs ran over to the stereo and pulled out a CD, “Soothing music! That always puts me to sleep.”

He began to push all the buttons on the machine, getting slightly frustrated, “Don't worry, nice music coming right up….no that's not right...hmm how do you work this thing?”

 

Norman sat quietly, waiting for the music. He looked at his friend unamusingly.

“Aha!! Alright here we go!” Eggs pressed a button.

Immediately loud rock music started to blare from the speakers.

Fish hid in his box by the noise and Norman covered his ears and screamed in surprise.

“Ah! Sorry sorry!! Must've pressed the live radio button by mistake!! I can fix it!!” Eggs then started pressing all the buttons at once.

The stereo then shorted out and slightly exploded in his face.

 

Eggs slowly turned to Norman, ash on his surprised face.

After a long moment of silence, he nervously laughed.

“W-well not everyone needs music to sleep..”

Norman had enough of Eggs’ antics. Anger took over his whole red face.

He strained under his breath, “He hasn't even been here for a full hour…..I just want to get…..Some….SLEEP!!”

 

And like a ticking bomb, Norman exploded, “GET OOOUUUTTT!!”

Eggs grabbed Fish and his first aid kit and fled out the door, “Im sorry!!”

_________________________________________________

Eggs and Fish walked through the crowded town. He felt really bad for his past failures of taking care of his friends.

“This is going down in flames. All I want is to help my friends get better but it's like I'm making things worse.”

Fish held Eggs hand and spoke to him reassuringly.

 

“I know...but I feel like I can still help them. That they need my help! I gotta do something.” He said worriedly.

The troll spoke again.

“My best wasn't enough, Fish. I need to try again.”

The boy thought to himself; who else was supposedly sick?

“I know! I'll help Coraline! But this time I'll do it right!”

Fish yelped as he watch the boy began to speed walk in the direction of the pink palace. He ran up in front of Eggs and stopped him.

 

The troll tried to convince the boy that helping the girl wasn't worth his time.

“What? Oh come now Fish! The pink palace is always so cold and dreary. The poor girl must be suffering up there. It's up to us to help her!”

He took the troll’s hand and walked to the pink palace. He was positive nothing would go wrong this time.

 

Fish simply muttered under his breath, shaking his head in the process.

“What do you mean by 'misplaced kindness’?” The boy asked.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

“What? He went over to your place too?”

Coraline sat in her bed on the phone. On the other line was Norman.

“I just got a phone call from Kubo telling me the exact same thing.” She said.

Norman coughed, “I honestly don't know what I'm gonna do with Eggs. Coraline you should be careful in case he comes over!”

 

“Mmm. And just when I had to deal with my mom while being sick-”

There was a loud thud and yell that came from the kitchen.

“Speaking of which, I gotta go make sure my mom doesn't kill herself!!” She hung up the phone.

Running down stairs she entered the kitchen to find her mother nearly falling of a broken stool as she tried to change the curtains in the kitchen.

 

“Coraline! Could you help me out here?!” Mel begged her  daughter.

The girl grabbed the slightly broken leg of stool to help balance it.

Mel then took the curtains down and got down, “Thank you..”

 

“Mom, you need to take a break! You're getting sick!” Coraline said.

“I'm not getting sick! I'm just tired!” The short lady then coughed hoarsely, “Besides, with your father out on a business trip, I have to do all the work.”

 

“You nearly fell off a stool! Not to mention you broke the vase in the living room and caused a power outage in the house. I think it's best you took a five.”

“As much as I'd love to, I-” Mel held her head as she felt a migraine coming on.

She groaned, “... actually..a break doesn't sound too bad.”

 

She then walked out the kitchen to her bedroom, leaving Coraline behind.

The girl sneezed as she looked around the house, “I wish dad were here. Then the chores could be done.”

 

“That’s what I'm here for, my twitchy witch friend!”

The girl turned to the backdoor and saw Eggs in the doorway along with Fish. He stood in a heroic stance as he stared at the girl.

Coraline sighed, “Eggs, you're here…..in my house..”

They stepped in, “Yep! I'm here to-”

“Make me feel better, I know..”

Eggs was taken by surprise, “How'd you know?”

“I have my ways. Anyway, the only thing we need help with is minor house work.” She coughed.

 

Seeing the girl cough caused the boy to attempt to escort her to bed, “You're still sick! Off to bed with you.”

“No no, I'm f-” she coughed again, “My fever's almost gone!”

“Nonsense Miss Jones, you still need to get some rest. After all there's a saying that goes, 'Tomorrow is always another day to catch another cold.’”

The boy walked the girl to the stairs, “You can't say it's over till it's over! Now straight to bed!”

 

“Okay okay!” Coraline grunted. With that she walked upstairs to her room.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Coraline laid snug in her bed. She let out sigh of relief, “Finally. Peace and quiet. Now I can sleep.”

She heard the door open. Opening her eyes, she saw Eggs and Fish.

Eggs was wearing her dad's white coat while had a paper hat on his head.

 

“Alright Coraline! Time to take care of you!!”

The girl stared at the boy in complete shock. She was conflicted to either laugh or ask why he was wearing such things.

The two walked over to her bed. Eggs gave Fish the first aid kit, “Have you taken your temperature yet?”

 

“Uhh..no-”

“Great! This is the perfect time to take it?" He turned to Fish, “Fish, take out the thermometer!”

Fish opened the first aid kit and grabbed the thermometer. He gave it to the tall boy.

“Thank you.”

The boy shoved the thermometer in the girl's mouth.

 

Eggs looked at his watch and waited. A minute passed and there was a beep.

He pulled it out of her mouth and examined it.

The numbers were glitched and kept blinking.

“Hmm, Fish? You sure you put fresh batteries in this thing?” He asked, flashing the thermometer in his hand.

 

The instrument accidentally flung out of his hand and flew all the way to the window. It crashed through the glass causing a cold breeze to escape into the room.

 

Coraline looked at the giant hole in the window in surprise. She quickly pulled the comforter closer to her and glared at the boy, “Eggs!!”

Eggs nervously laughed, “Heh, well I may have blundered a bit. But taking temperature isn't a crucial step to recovery!” The boy defensively waved his hands.

Both Coraline and Fish glared at the boy.

The girl coughed, “Why are you such a clutz…?”

 

“It's okay! I can fix this!” The boy grabbed some tape and some paper. He then taped the paper to the hole in the window.

“Ta-da! Good as new!”

He walked back over to the girl, “Now, how bout I make you some chowder to warm you up?”

 

Coraline instantly waved her hands and yelled, “No that won't be necessary!! I just ate!”

Eggs looked disappointed, “You sure?”

“Yes!” She nervously smiled. She remembered both Kubo and Norman warned her of the chowder.

“I'm really tired. I just need to sleep!” She fake yawned, trying to get the boy to go away.

 

“Well, I'll put on some music to help with that!” He said walking over to the stereo.

Fish shrieked and ran over to him, trying to stop him from touching the stereo.

Eggs turned to Fish, “What's with you? I can't take care of Coraline if you guys keep stopping me!”

 

The girl spoke up, “Well just ask my Mom! I'm sure she needs help with lots of stuff!”

Eggs face lit up, “That's a great idea! Come on Fish, let's go ask Mrs. Jones!”

The two exited out of the room.

 

Coraline let out a sigh of relief, only to be distributed by the sound of Eggs falling down the stairs and a faint “I'm okay.”

At that exact moment, the paper that was tapped to the window blew free and flung onto the girl's face, followed by cold wind.

She let out a loud groan.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Eggs and Fish stood in the kitchen wearing cleaning aprons.

Eggs proudly asked, “Are you ready to impress Coraline and help out, Fish!”

Fish happily babbled and nodded his head.

“Right! Now let's get started!”

 

Unfortunately, the two weren't good at any house work.

Fish ended up breaking plates. Eggs covered the floor in soapy water, instead of mopping.

They both broke a snow globe or two in the living room and accidentally tore the curtains in the process.

After tending to the garden outside, Fish got mud everywhere in the house, even the ceiling.

 

Coraline and her mother watched the whole thing unfold.

Mel was too tired to care and simply told the girl, “You clean the living room, I'll take care of the rest after another nap.”

With that she left the room.

Coraline simply let out a tired sigh.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

A week had passed since Eggs’ quest to help his sick friends.

On Tuesday, the boy stayed home from school. It turns out him helping sick people caused him to catch the flu.

 

He laid moulded up in bed. Fish laid at the foot of the bed covered in a sweater and blanket. Both got the flu.

Herbert opened the door to the sick boy’s room.

“Hey son, you feeling any better?”

Eggs pitifully looked up at his father, “No..”

Fish muttered something under his breath and sneezed.

 

“Don't worry, you'll be better before you know it. But you know what'll make you feel better now?” the inventor asked.

Eggs sat up and rubbed his eye, “No..?”

Herbert stepped over to door, “You're friends came to visit!”

 

With that Coraline, Norman and Kubo stepped into the room. All three were wearing white and had a nurse hat on.

They all greeted the boy.

“I'll leave you guys alone. Holler if you need anything!” With that Herbert stepped out.

 

“Oh..hey guys..” Eggs weakly greeted.

Kubo walked over to the sick boy, “You're not sick are you?”

“Sadly yes..”

Norman shook his head “That's too bad. But that's why we're here, to help you feel better!”

Eggs coughed, “Oh.. thanks..”

Coraline stepped over with a tray of chowder in her hands, “I made you some chowder to help warm you up!”

 

She placed the tray on the boy’s lap, “Eat up, eat up!!”

“Oh.. thanks.” He took up a spoonful and gave it a taste, only for him to gag.

“Do you like it?” Coraline asked looking excited for the answer.

“Uhhhh….yeah...delicious..” Eggs lied taking another bite which triggered another gag.

She clapped her hands, “Great! You need it to eat lots!!”

 

Norman took out a thermometer, “Now we check your temperature!”

The girl quickly snatched the instrument from the medium.

“Not yet! We check it later!”

“Hey! He needs to check his temperature!” He yelled.

Coraline angrily looked at the short boy, “He eats first!”

Norman glared, “He takes his temperature first!!”

 

The two began to bicker and argue.

Kubo took out his shamisen, “Don't worry Eggs, I’ll play you something to help you sleep.”

Kubo then began to strum the instrument loudly. Some of the papers in the room began to swirl around.

 

Eggs muttered to Fish, “Is this what you meant by misplaced kindness?”

The troll nodded.

Eggs sighed, “I just wanna sleep!”

 

End.



Chapter Text

“No! Don’t go in there Justin!! You’ll die!”a woman yelled from the TV.
The gang sat in the Trubshaw residence, currently watching a horror film.
They sat in the family room and watched the scene unfold.
“Relax Stacey, it's just a stupid closet.” Justin rolled his eyes at the girl.

“Man, Justin really is dumb!” Kubo remarked.
“I know. You'd think after watching blood coming out underneath the door he'd run…” Norman agreed.
The man entered the closet, “See? Nothing to worry abo-”
He was instantly dragged in by a tentacle looking thing. Loud shrieking and screaming could be heard afterwards.

Eggs hid his face behind a cushion in fear. Everyone else seemed absolutely fine about the scene.
“D-don’t you think we should watch something else? You know, something less terrifying…?” He nervously asked.
“Oh quit being such a baby Eggs. It's just a dumb movie…” Coraline shushed the boy.
“Yeah, I watched this when I was six and I was perfectly fine!” Norman added.

“Wait, who's blood is this?” Stacey walked through a narrow hall into a room. In the room was a bunch of bloody corpses, some of them were splattered on the walls, others hung from the ceiling. The woman shrieked.
After seeing that imagery, everyone shrunk back and let out remarks like “Ewww” and “Gross!”
“Ew! Norman, turn it off!!” Coraline exclaimed covering our eyes.
“Yeah! Turn it off!!” Kubo urged.
“Okay okay!!” The boy reached for the remote and switched off the TV.
Everyone sat there for awhile, relieved that the image was gone.

“So I'm a baby you say?” Eggs sarcastically remarked.
“Shut up, Eggs.” Coraline said.
Norman got up, “Now what?”
“We can always go grab something to eat at the Witch’s diner..” Kubo suggested.
“Nah, I don't really like going there anymore..” the medium shot down.
“Why not?”
“Ever since the witch’s curse incident, Norman doesn't like to associate himself with anything witch like..” Coraline answered.
“I find it disrespectful to Aggie..” The boy finished off.

“Oh you mean that prenderghast kid who tried to kill you or something..?” Kubo asked.
Norman nodded.
“Hey I know! Why don't we go to the arcade? I think I heard they were installing a new game.” Coraline suggested.
“Hey yeah! Alien Mega Fighters, they say it's a pretty good game.” Eggs chimed in.
“That's a great idea, Cora.” Norman said.
“Of course it is. I came up with it.” The girl narcissistically said.

Everyone got up and walked to the door.
“It's too bad Eggs house is so big! Feels like it takes an hour to get downstairs..” Coraline groaned.
“Hey it's not my fault. There's 68 of us here, we need space.” The tall boy defended.
“Yeah, but would it kill you guys to install an elevator or something?” she scoffed.
Eggs stopped in his tracks for a second, causing the others to look back at him. He smacked his forehead as if he completely forgot about something.

“I forgot! We have a dumbwaiter that leads to the kitchen in here!” He said.
The kids looked at each other then back at the boy.
“What's a dumbwaiter?” Kubo finally asked.
Eggs stared at the trio in utter confusion. “You guys seriously don't know what a dumbwaiter is?”
They all shook their heads.
He then walked over to a corner of the room were a bookcase sat. He bent down and moved a large stack of books that laid on the floor. The group walked over to the boy.
In front of him was a small door. Eggs opened it to reveal something that looked like a elevator.

“This is a dumbwaiter. Think of it like a small elevator. Sometimes the trolls ride it up here, other times we use it for food.”
“It looks cramped.” Norman remarked.
“It's perfectly fine and actually quite roomy. Wanna try it out?” Eggs asked.
They group stared at each other, uncertain if this was safe or not.
“Well...Okay..” Norman hesitantly said.
“Great!” With that Eggs climbed into the dumbwaiter and awaited his friends to follow.
Norman hesitantly crawled into the small elevator. He noticed his hair was so tall it bended against the ceiling.
“Come on Coraline! It's not so bad.” Eggs urged the girl.
“I don't know...the last time I climbed into a small door I nearly got eaten by a spider witch..” she said.
“Come on, there's nothing to be afraid of, it actually feels kinda comfortable.” Norman said.

After sometime the girl climbed in. She got comfortable and looked at Kubo, “Well what are you waiting for? Hop in.”
Kubo approached the dumbwaiter. The boy stopped dead in his tracks as he heard a creaking sound. The kids eyes widened as they felt the elevator slightly shake.
Before they knew it, the dumbwaiter slid down the shaft at top speed, causing the three to scream out. As soon as it started it stopped abruptly.

The sudden stop caused Eggs to bump his head on the ceiling. The three were stuck in a daze, wondering what the heck just happened. They were snapped out of their thoughts by a distressed call from above.
“Are you guys okay?!?” Kubo shouted.
It took a while before Eggs finally answered, “Y-yeah! We're fine!! What just happened?!”
“I don't know, you guys just fell and stopped!” The small boy answered.
Coraline looked up at Eggs, “Eggs get us out of here! I'm not dying in a box!”
“Alright alright! Everyone calm down, I'll pull us up.”

The boy grabbed onto the rope and tried to pull the dumbwaiter up. The rope twanged and wouldn't budge. After three pulls the rope still wouldn't budge. Eggs looked up at the ceiling,
“Kubo! Can you look at the pulley and see what's wrong?”
Kubo looked into the narrow shaft and looked up. The rope around the pulley seemed to have some how knot, causing the dumbwaiter to just hang.
“The rope got knotted up so it's stuck!!”

“Wait, what does that mean?!” Coraline nervously asked.
“With the rope stuck, I can't pull us up or down.” Eggs responded.
“So we're stuck in this thing?!” Norman exclaimed.
Eggs looked back up at the ceiling, “Kubo, can you reach the pulley?”
Kubo looked at the pulley and attempted to reach. His arm was way too short to grab it.
“I can't reach it! If I go any further I’ll fall in!”
“Alright! Go get help!” Eggs called out.
There was silence. He started to think Kubo left but soon he was heard, “Who should I get exactly?”

“Anybody! The trolls, my father, just anyone!!” Eggs yelled.
“Hurry!!” Norman added.
“Okay! Don't move!!” The boy left.
“Wasn't planning on it…” Coraline sarcastically said.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Kubo ran down the flight of stairs to the sixth floor of the gynormas house. Running down the hall he opened the door to a room and yelled.
“Eggs, Norman and Coraline got stuck in the dumbwaiter!”
Kubo immediately realize the door he opened had no trolls or Herbert inside, but hanged up clothes, shoes on the floor and file cabinets.
He opened a closet door.

“Dang it..” the boy closed the door and ran to the next room. This room was awfully loud like music was playing in it. He opened the door to find five trolls playing around with a bunch of instruments. All of them were so intrigued in their orchestra that they didn't even noticed the confused boy staring at them.

Snapping out of his stare, Kubo proceeded, “Uh, hello? Excuse me!”
The band of trolls didn't look away from their music. One even started to “sing” obnoxiously loud.
Kubo tried again, raising his voice a little, “Excuse me!! Could you help me please!!”
The trolls still didn't notice. Kubo stomped his foot and yelled at the top of his lungs, “Hey!! Eggs is stuck in a dumbwaiter and needs help!!”
One of the trolls holding a trumpet glanced at the boy and waved before playing the instrument extremely loud.

Kubo glared at the group before finally giving up and exiting the room. Walking down the hall he muttered, “This is gonna be harder than I thought..”
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
The three sat in the box, looking worried and annoyed. It felt like it had been ages since Kubo left.
“Ugh! What's taking that shrimp so long?!” Coraline groaned.
Norman slightly glared at her, “He's probably still trying to find help. And he's not a shrimp..”
“Well of course you'd say that. You shrimps usually stick up for each other or something.” She muttered.
Norman’s glare intensified. Seeing this, Eggs quickly butted in, “Hey, can we not fight right now? It's one thing to be stuck in a dumbwaiter, it's another to have you two yelling while being in a dumbwaiter!”

“Well we'd probably wouldn't be fighting if you hadn't gotten us stuck in here!” The girl retorted.
“How was I supposed to know that this would've happened?!” Eggs defended.
“You've lived here for so long! Figure it out!”
“We just moved into this house!”

Norman yelled, “Hey! Are you done? Cause being stuck in here really amplifies how annoying you guys can be!”
With that everyone shutted up. A few minutes passed and a gurgling sound was heard.
“Norman?” Eggs asked.
“What?” the boy answered.
“I'm hungry..”
Both Norman and Coraline let out a long sigh.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
At this point Kubo had been through several rooms trying to find any help, but every time he tried the trolls were either too busy to notice or it was just another dumb closet. Seriously, how many closets did this house have?

The boy stumbled into the bathroom to find two trolls in there. One was sitting over the toilet trying his best to flush a bunch of stuff down while the other was drinking from an overflowing sink.
Kubo stared at the ordeal for good minute before the two noticed him and stared at him.

He noticed the shorter troll at the toilet had a shoe on his box while the taller troll had a fish on his.
“Are you two...Fish and Shoe..?” He simply asked.
The two looked at each before nodding.
“Oh thank stars! I need help! Eggs, Norman and Coraline are stuck in a dumbwaiter!!”
Fish immediately yelped at the sound of Eggs being in trouble. Quickly turning off the pipe and climbing of the sink he asked Kubo where they were. Kubo of course didn't understand a word he said.

“Uhh..I'm sorry..I don't understand what you're saying.” The boy said.
The troll groaned and looked to Shoe for help. Shoe only shrugged not knowing what to do. Turning back to the boy, Fish thought to himself. He then came up with an idea. The troll began to reenact what he was saying. He acted like Eggs falling down and quickly mimicked the acting of searching for something.

Kubo stared at the troll’s antics, “Uh your searching for something to help Eggs?”
Fish shook his head and tried again, this time pointing at Kubo.
Kubo then understood, “Oh you wanna know where they are?”
The troll nodded vigorously.
“They're upstairs! Come on!” The boy said, running out the room.

Fish followed in pursuit leaving Shoe behind. Shoe simply shrugged before going back to flushing random objects down the toilet. Before he realized it, Fish ran back and grabbed the troll’s arm before dragging him out.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
“So bored...sooo booored...so so so so booreddd!!” Coraline dragged on.
Norman looked as if he was gonna explode with annoyance. The blue haired girl had been drowning on for twenty minutes.
“So bo-”
“We get it alright!? You're bored!! Wanna say it louder so maybe the whole house can hear?!” The boy exclaimed.
Coraline shrunk back a little at the sudden outburst but quickly regained her posterior.
“How long have we've been in here anyways?” she groaned.

“Probably hours or even days..!” Eggs said.
“We've only been in here for half an hour..” Norman bluntly said.
Eggs groaned, “I’m soo hungrrryy!”
The boy slightly slid down causing his foot to brush against Coraline's arm. Much to the girl's disliking.
“Hey! Get your grubby feet off of me!! She said pushing his legs back. This caused Eggs to suddenly sit up and bump Norman in the shoulder.
“Ow! Hey!!” The medium cried out. He glared at the girl.

“Hey, don't look at me! Look at Egg boy over here.” She blandly said.
“My feet are not grubby!” Eggs yelled.
“Well keep them to yourself!” Coraline yelled back.
“Ugh! Can't you go two minutes without causing an argument?!” Norman asked annoyingly.
“I don't cause arguments! You guys just irritate me, so I speak up!!” She defended.

“We'll try not speaking up for once!!” Norman yelled.
“Fine!!”
“Fine..”
“Whatever!!”
The place grew quiet. Nothing but the sound of wind blowing through the dumbwaiter’s shaft.
After a few minutes Eggs broke the silence, “Hey since we're stuck in here why don't we play a game?”
The two stared at the box boy as if he were insane.
“How the heck are we supposed to play a game in a place like this?” Norman asked.
“It's a simple game. We tell a story we never told each other before.” The box boy replied.

Once again Norman and Coraline simply stared at each other.
“Look I'll even start. So one time when I was nine, me and my father went to this weird restaurant on the corner of town. They had these weird ‘exotic’ foods that kinda looked like slime. Oh and the place smelled like burnt feet. Also they had…”
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Kubo, Fish and Shoe ran down the long hallway. They were stopped by a long line of trolls nearby the stairs.
“Hey! What's going on?” Kubo exclaimed.
Fish leaned over to the side to see where the line lead. Ahead of them was a bunch of trolls trying to lift an AC unit upstairs. Because of the struggle it lead to the traffic.
“Great. Now what?” The boy turned to the two trolls. Fish thought to himself. Soon Shoe spoke. Whatever he said it caused Fish to agree with him. After what looked like they were formulating a plan, Fish grabbed Kubo's hand and dragged him into a nearby room, Shoe following in pursuit.

They was nothing much in the room but an old tv and a couple of crates. There was a window in front of them. Fish and Shoe ran over to the window and tried their best to open it. Seeing there struggle, Kubo walked over to the trolls and easily opened the window. Shoe muttered something under his breath, causing Fish to glare at him.

“Okay. Now what?” The boy asked.
Fish got up on the window sill and began to point at the fire escape outside, babbling in the process.
“You want to go out on the fire escape?”
Fish and Shoe nodded, Shoe actually pushing Kubo towards the window.
“Okay, okay.” Kubo climbed out of the window and slightly stumbled onto the fire escape. Looking down, his stomach became queasy at the sight of how high up they were.

“... Alright..it's only one story..we can do this..”, With that the boy climbed up the fire escape slowly, the trolls following behind.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
“And that's how I got tapeworm from eating an exotic cockroach in my pot pie!” Eggs proudly finished. Norman and Coraline just stared at the boy in utter disgust. Eggs looked at the two as if what he had said was wrong.
“What? It's not the worst sickness I've been through, plus the tapeworm only lasted for 4 weeks.”

Coraline instantly held her mouth as if she wanted to puke. Shaking it off she loudly said, “What is taking Kubo so long?!”
Norman slumped back, “Yeah, where is he? It's been an hour now..”
“Maybe he left to go get pizza or maybe he got held up in the music room. It's easy to get held up in there.” Eggs suggested.

“Why on earth would Kubo leave to go get pizza?” Coraline asked
“.....I don't know….I’m hungry and all I can think of is pizza…” The boy answered.
Both Norman and Coraline groaned at the boy's answer.
“Well... at least it can't get any worse…” Norman sighed.
Suddenly a buzzing sound came out of nowhere. Soon a fly flew into the dumbwaiter through a hole in the roof.

Eggs’ eyes immediately lit up at the sign of the bug. The fly land on Norman's forehead. Eggs slowly raised his hand, readying himself to smack the small snack.
Coraline quickly said, “Don't you even dare..!”
“But I'm hungry!” The box boy anticipated.
“A fly won't stuff you!” The girl contradicted.

Slowly the boy put down his arm, causing the other two to let out a sigh of relief. A moment passed and the fly slowly inched on the medium's head. Without warning Eggs out right smacked the boy's forehead, catching the fly in his hand.
This caused Norman to yell out in pain and utter shock. Eggs could care less as he quickly ate the fly happily in his hands.

“Eww, Eggs come on!!” Coraline sneered in disgust, clenching her eyes at the sight.
“I'm sorry! But if I don't have something to eat in the next hour, I’m gonna starve!” He said licking his lips.
Norman rubbed his forehead but quickly regretted it as he felt the remains of the fly stick to his hand. He frantically wiped it on to the taller boy's sleeve while yelling “Ewwww!!!”

A minute passed at Eggs looked at his sleeve and slowly licked off the remains, much to his friends displeasure.
“Ugh, where is Kubo?! I can't take any of this anymore!!” Coraline exasperated
“Where ever he is he owes us big time for keeping us here…” Norman sighed.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Kubo tried his at most best to climb the fire escape. Too his surprise it was actually difficult. Soon he made it to the next window. Crawling in, he pulled Fish and Shoe in. Coincidentally it was the exact same room the dumbwaiter was.
The three ran over to the opening, looking down at the indeed stuck dumbwaiter.

“Eggs, Norman, Coraline!! Are you guys still in there?!?” Kubo yelled.
“Yep!! We're still here!!” Norman yelled back.
“What took you so long!?!” Coraline pitched in.
“I ate a fly!!” Eggs exclaimed.
“That's...nice...Anyway, I got Fish and Shoe to help!!” The small boy yelled.
There was a sound of a sigh of relief.
“Great!! Now find a way to get us unstuck!!” Eggs yelled.

Kubo looked at the trolls, “So, how are we gonna get them unstuck?”
Fish and Shoe babbled and chattered about something. Kubo only blinked in confusion. Groaning, Fish only climbed into the opening, landing on top of the dumbwaiter. Shoe followed.
After the loud clangs, Eggs’ voice returned, “Hey what's going on?!”
“Uhh.. I'm not sure yet!!” Kubo replied.
Fish began to talk to Eggs through the small hole.

“Oh okay. Good idea! Hey Kubo?!?!” Eggs yelled.
“What?!?” Kubo yelled back.
“The trolls are going to jump on the dumbwaiter to try and pry it free!! They'll need your help!!”
“What?! Are you crazy?!?!”
“It looks like it's the only way!! Come on just do it!!”

Kubo looked down at the dumbwaiter nervously. After much hesitation, he finally climbed in and landed on it. The loud thud cause the entire thing to shake.
“Okay, on the count of three we start jumping up and down. Okay?” Kubo asked his troll friends. They both gurgled and nodded.

“One...two..three!!”
They all began to jump up and down on top of the dumbwaiter, causing some screams from underneath them. After four jumps, Kubo notice that the rope was coming undone. “It's working!! Keep jumping!!”
The three jumped five more times until there was a loud creak. Before they knew it the dumbwaiter came loose and began to fall again. Everyone began to scream as Kubo, Fish and Shoe clung to the roof of the machine for dear life.

Somehow, Shoe remembered he had some stuff for the toilet still in his box. He quickly rummage through it, throwing away some stuff, until he found a large nail file. Quickly, he slipped it between the dumbwaiter and the wall, in attempt to slow down and stop them from crashing. Miraculously, the dumbwaiter slowed to a perfect stop at the bottom.

Once the dumbwaiter made it to the kitchen, everyone jumped out, relieved they were still alive.
Collapsing on the floor, Coraline said, “Never...again!!”
Kubo sat on the kitchen counter and looked amongst his friends, “Is everybody okay?”
Everyone groaned out a sarcastic “Nooo..”
“Good to hear…”
Norman looked at Eggs, “What exactly made that stupid thing get stuck anyway..?”
“I'm not sure...it's never done that before..” The tall boy responded.

Fish hopped off the kitchen counter and began to babble about something. Shoe joined in. Eggs listened to them attentively, slowly his facial expression turning into a face of realization.
“Ooooooohhh...oh that makes so much sense…”

Coraline sat up, “What? What makes so much sense?”
Eggs nervously chuckled as everyone stared at him, “Well um it turns out that the dumbwaiter can only hold up to three trolls or in this case two humans. I guess I must've overloaded it….sorry..”
Everyone then glared at him, some more intense than others.
“You're telling me, I was stuck in that thing for two hours cause we were too heavy?”
Eggs swallowed, “At least we're out…”

Norman got up, “Whatever. We're out, we're safe! Now let's go to the arcade and play Alien Mega Fighters till the sun goes down and forget this whole thing ever happened!”
The group slowly got up, agreeing with Norman.
“Yeah! Come on! Hopefully the line isn't too long for the game.” Kubo said.

The group quickly made their way out of the kitchen. As they walked Kubo glanced at Norman and noticed there was something on his forehead.
“Hey uh you got a little something on your head..” He pointed at his friend’s head.
Norman immediately slap his hand over his head, trying to cover up Eggs’ previous snack.
His face turned a shade of red, “I-ignore it…”
The small boy looked at his friend weird before brushing it off as they continued to leave the house.

As the door slammed, Herbert came down from upstairs, holding a wrench.
“Eggs? Eggs!! I heard screaming so I came down here…”
He sighed, slightly fatigued at the amount of stairs he had climbed down from, “We really need an elevator…”
He stepped into the kitchen to see Fish and Shoe eating out of the fridge.
“Hey, you two haven't seen Eggs have you?”
The two looked amongst each other before Fish answered, gesturing towards the door.

“Ah. He left…” He said to himself.
“Hey, someone flooded the sixth floor bathroom. You wouldn't happen to know who did such a thing would you?”
The two trolls quickly shook their heads, Shoe trying to act innocent.
“Oh well... I'll ask everyone at dinner…”
With that the man took out a jar of jelly out of the fridge and made his way upstairs.

The two trolls let out a sigh of relief before going back to eating.

End.