Gods and Monsters
Chapter One: The Beginning
A famous American author once said that extraordinary things are always hiding in places people never think to look. That quote would later prove to be true for one girl named Yugi Mutou, who remained seated at her small wooden desk, as her fellow classmates filed out of the classroom one by one to attend recess.
“Hey, Yuug? Why don’t’cha come play basketball with the rest of the girls?” asked her classmate and resident bully, Joey Wheeler. There was a slight leer to his face that Yugi knew too well.
“Yeah, Yugi. It will be very uplifting,” added Tristan, who like Joey, was trying to hide his shit-eating grin at the thought of seeing up Yugi Mutou’s skirt.
Yugi resisted the urge to roll her eyes. Honestly, this was the same shit that she went through every day with these two fucking perverts.
“No thanks, guys,” she replied, trying to keep her voice ridiculously polite, as she pulled a heavy gold box with hieroglyphics adorning all four sides out of her school bag. The Eye of Horus served as the box’s focal point, and like the artistic magic of the Mona Lisa, the Eye of Horus seemed to follow a person no matter which way it was turned.
An observation that Joey quickly took notice of.
“Hey, Yuug, seriously, though? Why are ya always messin’ around wit’ that creepy puzzle box, anyway? Why don’cha act like the other girls and mess around wit’ makeup or somethin’?” He and Tristan smirked and exchanged knowing looks.
“Unless…” Before Yugi could react, Joey snatched the puzzle box up. “You might end up likin’ girls a little too much…” Joey leaned forward, his brown eyes meeting Yuugi’s violet eyes. “Ya know what I mean, Yuug?”
Yugi felt her face heat up against her will...she knew all too well what Joey meant, but she wasn’t about to let it show on her face.
“Yugi’s a lesssssbooooo” sang Joey, as he tossed Yugi’s puzzle box to Tristan, who caught it like a basketball.
Yugi stood up. “Give it back, Joey. Now.”
The boys continued to toss the puzzle box around as if they had not heard Yugi, which really didn’t take her by surprise. Her voice was high and girly. If she was being completely honest with herself, not even she would be able to take her voice as anything serious or worth paying attention to.
She was just cute, docile, and sweet Yugi Mutou to most of the students and staff at Domino High School...
“GIVE IT BACK NOW!” Yugi yelled, the harsh ringing in her ears surprising even herself.
“What in the hell is going on?” a familiar voice rang out, causing Joey and Tristan to stop in their tracks.
Téa Gardner stood in the doorway looking furious as she marched over to Joey and Tristan. “Let’s just get a few things straight, Wheeler!” she grabbed the puzzle box from Tristan before he could even blink and sat it back on Yugi’s desk. She marched up to Joey, holding herself high enough to where she was nearly nose-to-nose with him. “You will leave Yugi alone from now on, do you understand me?”
Joey scowled. “Fine, we’ll leave your girlfriend alone. Jesus, Gard---Oww! You stupid bitch!” he yelled as Téa kicked him sharply in the shin.
“And quit obsessing over her, as well as my sexuality! Just because we don’t want you looking up our skirts, doesn’t make us lesbians, Joey Wheeler! And even if we were, it wouldn’t be any of your goddamn business! God, with that attitude, I wouldn’t be surprised if you were still a virgin.”
Joey began to sputter and Tristan’s face turned red.
“Of course I’m not a virgin!” Tristan boldly proclaimed. “I’ve been laid by tons of girls! Way hotter than you two!”
Before Yugi could even process what was actually going on, she heard herself saying: “Do you give your hand a different name each night, Tristan?”
At Yugi’s bold implication, Tristan’s face turned even more red, sweat coming lightly down the sides. “Fuckin’ bitches! C’mon Joey, let’s go.”
Giving both girls mutinous looks, the two stalked out of the classroom, leaving Téa and Yugi to themselves.
Once the girls had convinced themselves that Joey and Tristan had truly left the vicinity, both of them gathered around the golden box.
“So...what does this do?” Téa picked it up, to examine its contents, but quickly placed it back on Yugi’s desk.
Looking bewildered, she held both of her palms out to Yugi, who noticed they were bright pink. It almost looked like a sunburn.
“It burned me, Yugi! Doesn’t it hurt when you pick it up?”
Yugi shrugged and picked up what looked to be a simple edge piece. “No, it feels...warm, but, like, comforting warmth...you know?
Téa rolled her eyes. Her shorter friend was such a space cadet and whether or not Yugi liked to admit it, she was most definitely a romantic at heart.
Which reminded Téa…
“Hmm?” Yugi was once again fumbling with the various puzzle pieces, turning certain ones in various complicated positions, that made absolutely no sense to Téa.
“C-can I ask you a question?”
Yugi immediately stopped working on the Puzzle at the tone of Téa’s voice. “Of course you can. You know that. We’ve been best friends since Kindergarten.”
“Right…” Téa took a deep breath. “When Joey and Tristan were...well, what they were implying----I mean, I guess----”
Yugi held her hand up, trying hard not to laugh at her best friend’s flustered appearance. “You mean if I’m a lesbian?”
Téa let out a sigh of relief. “Yes, that. Thank you, Yugi. I couldn’t even articulate what I wanted to say. Now I know how Joey and Tristan must feel…”
At those words, Yugi and Téa traded gazes and immediately started laughing.
“But to answer your question,” Yugi wiped her eyes. “I’m not a lesbian.” She paused, looking at Téa’s impassive face. Yugi felt her hands begin to get clammy. “I’m, uhhh, bi.” She looked down at her puzzle and began messing with the puzzle, refusing to look at Téa, who had yet to say a word.
“I kind of had an idea.” Téa said after a few seconds.
Yugi stopped working on the puzzle and looked up at Téa. “You did? What did I do?”
Téa shrugged. “Nothing really. To tell you the truth, Yugi, I’m not entirely straight myself, either.”
Yugi looked up, shocked. “You’re not?”
Téa smiled. “I came out as bisexual to my parents when I was twelve.”
“Oh?” Yugi momentarily looked up from her puzzle, which was now looking like a collapsed pyramid. She wondered why Téa had never mentioned this piece of information to her before, but quickly brushed it off. Regardless of their friendship, it was Téa’s own business who she chose to discuss her sexuality with.
“Yepp...they weren’t too happy about it at first, but they are slowly becoming more accepting of it. I think it’s because they are absolutely terrified of losing ‘their darling daughter.’ Especially since I’m going to New York in a couple of years, anyway. Then I can kiss all the women I want!”
Yugi beamed. “That’s great, Téa!” she closed the puzzle box gently. Suddenly, she was struck with inspiration; she just hoped that Téa would remember…
Yugi slid out of her desk and stood in front of her friend (barely making it to her chin). Téa looked puzzled until Yugi held out her pinky finger. “Vault, Téa?”
Téa positively beamed. “Most definitely Vault, Yugi!” she linked her pinky finger together with Yugi’s.
After they let go, Yugi gave Téa a rough hug. “Thank you, Téa, for being so...amazing.” Yugi gave her childhood friend one of her famous dazzling yet shy smiles.
“Anytime, GameGirl.” she smiled, as she watched her Yugi skip down the hallway. Her Yugi.
“Those fucking bitches!” Joey fumed as he and Tristan ran down the nearly empty high school. A great deal of the students had left early, as it was Friday.
“Well, what are you gonna do about it, man?” Despite his loyalty to Joey, Tristan just really wanted Joey to see reason. Right now the boy was close to spitting fire. With his wild blonde hair, tall stature, and angry words coming out of his mouth (each swear word stronger than the next) Joey was quickly resembling a very pissed off Fabio-Dragon.
“Who do Mutou and jumped-up Gardner think they are?” Joey stood by the bay window, overlooking the school’s moat, which was still looking pristine clear.
“Well…” Tristan started to say, but it was as if Joey did not even hear him.
“I mean...Yugi seemed pretty upset over that puzzle…” Opening his slightly dirty hand, he showed Tristan the glittering Eye of Horus.
Yugi’s puzzle piece.
Tristan glared at his friend. “Listen, dude. We have a code. We don’t mess with girls.”
Joey shrugged in a ‘Devil May Care Way,’ and open the bay window, the lazy May air flowing through the empty hallway.
“Ahhh, the fresh smell of victory!” Joey grinned.
Tristan shook his head. “You’re an asshole, man. Picking on girls. Girls like Mutou, no less. I can see your dislike for Gardner, but Mutou?”
Joey shook his head. “It’s not dislike, Tris.’ I’m tryin’ to teach her a lesson. If she can’t stand up to guys like us, then how is she gonna be able to stand up to the really nasty guys? Guys like---”
“Well, well, well.” A familiar voice came around the corner. “Sounds like Wheeler and Taylor like to mess around and bully girls.”
Joey swore. “Stay out of it, Ushio.”
The brute of a bully leaned against the cold, freshly painted concrete walls. “Why should I, Wheeler? As protector of this school, I have a duty bound service to protect girls like Yugi Mutou and Téa Gardner.”
“Téa can take care of herself…” mumbled Joey, as he felt the pain in his bruised shin.
Ushio leered, contracting his large eyebrows together. “Maybe....but Mutou sure can’t. I’m sure that she would love to use my services against you two.”
Joey scowled. “Go ahead and try it, man. Yugi’s a cool girl. She’s not gonna side wit’ you over us.”
“Dude, you just stole a piece of her puzzle.” Tristan muttered to him.
Ushio smirked. Even though he didn’t hear what Tristan had said to Wheeler, he had a vague idea. “You know, boys, I may just go and see the lovely Miss Mutou myself. Talk to you later.”
As the oversized high school student headed down the empty hall, whistling to himself, Tristan and Joey looked at each other with worried expressions.
“What do you think, bro?” Tristan’s voice was hushed and his brown eyes were wide as he took in the size of Ushio’s retreating form.
“I say we’re screwed, man. Let’s jus’ hope Yugi isn’t as much of an asshole to us, as we were to her and Gardner.”
“You know, Téa, I think that we should be assholes to Joey and Tristan.” Yugi said in a resolute voice as she grabbed her Calculus and Literature books out of her locker, and shutting it with a slam of heartfelt violence.
Téa looked amused at her small friend’s passion to “get back” at Joey and Tristan for being dicks. Téa knew that it was all talk, too. Yugi was sweet to a fault, which unfortunately for her best friend, seemed to serve as both a blessing and a curse for her.
“You will not, Yugi Mutou and you know it,” Téa laughed, as they walked out of the school gate together. The warm spring breeze tickled their faces and blew their hair in a wayward fashion.
Yugi tucked a strand of her long crimson hair behind her ear and pushed one of her unusual lightning-shaped blonde bangs out of her eyes. “I knowwww, but God! They are in need of a serious wakeup call! Joey and Tristan need to know that not everyone is going to allow them to step all over and bully them!”
“I agree, Yugi.”
Both Yugi and Téa jumped at the sudden deep male voice, and Téa discretely fumbled in her school bag for her pepper spray.
Ushio stepped out of the shadows, his large hulking form overwhelming both girls.
“What do you want, Ushio?” demanded Téa, her voice surprisingly steady.
Ushio shrugged. “Just an observation, really. I overheard the two of you talking about Taylor and Wheeler and how they’re bullying you----”
“Ushio, they’re fine,” Yugi replied. She tried to keep her voice steady like Téa’s, but it shook slightly. She swallowed. “Honestly. Téa and I were just blowing off steam, so we’re going now.”
“Ya know, Yugi, I could protect ya from thugs like Wheeler and Taylor. All for a small fee, of course.”
“We are going!” Téa was angry. “Come on, Yugi.”
“Stay out of it, Gardner. This is just between me and Yugi.”
Yugi turned to Ushio, frowning. “What kind of person do you think I am, Ushio? Joey and Tristan are total dicks, yeah, but I don’t need protection from them.” She gripped Téa’s hand a little too tightly, her palm sweaty. “Come on, let’s go.”
Téa and Yugi had barely made it ten feet when Ushio called out: “Mutou, I expect two grand for my services or Wheeler and Taylor are going to be in a body bag the next time you see them.”
Yugi nearly dropped to the ground. “Two grand??! First off, Ushio---I don’t have that kind of money and I seriously don’t want your services, okay! Also, leave Joey and Tristan out of this. They’re idiots, yes! But you’re the biggest one of them all.”
Ushio frowned at Yugi’s reply. Maybe she wasn’t such a little wimp, after all.
Well, no matter. He’d get what he wanted from Little Yugi at midnight regardless if she had the money or not.
“I’ll see you here at midnight, Yugi.”
As the two best friends stood outside of the Turtle Game Shop, Téa once more begged Yugi to not meet Ushio at midnight.
“I’m not stupid, Téa.” Yugi smiled. “I’m sure that Ushio was just bluffing. He’s a moron.”
At Yugi’s response, Téa lunged at her best friend, sobbing into her soft hair. “I just don’t want you to get hurt. You’re my best friend----I----”
I love you.
Yugi smiled. “I promise that I’ll be safe, Téa.” Yugi moved to the side to show Téa her crammed school bag. “Besides, I think that I’m going to solve the Millennium Puzzle tonight!”
Téa smiled softly. “I hope that you do, GameGirl. You’ve been at it for years.”
“Yup! And tonight it’ll be officially done!”
Téa turned to go. “Call me at midnight, so that I know you’re safe. And let me know how the Puzzle turns out!”
Yugi beamed. “Will do!”
“...almost there…” Yugi sighed, as yet another piece fit into place with its counterpart. After nearly seven hours of working on the Millennium Puzzle, it was nearly complete. Grandpa was going to be so proud of her! Less proud about the stacks of forgotten textbooks, probably, but still! How many avid gamers could say that their grandchild solved the impossible Millennium Puzzle?
One piece...One piece left...and I know which one it is…
Yugi placed her hand into the box, getting ready to snatch up the last Millennium Puzzle piece. Upon realizing that the piece wasn’t in the center, she jumped out of her chair, her hands continuing to search the now obviously empty box.
Yugi could feel her chest heaving. How…!? She was so close and she just had the Eye this morning…
That damn Joey Wheeler! If that idiot left it anywhere, he probably left it in their empty homeroom classroom, and Yugi just didn’t have the patience to wait and retrieve the puzzle piece in the morning. With any luck, she would run into a night janitor who would let her in.
Carefully placing the almost-finished Puzzle into its box and placing it in her school bag, Yugi quickly pulled on her uniform again, not bothering to button her pink jacket, as the air, even this late at night, was still mild and slightly balmy. Jumping on her bed, her bag draped over her shoulder, she climbed over to her highest dresser and pushed open her skylight window.
It looked like she was going back to Domino High tonight...
Yugi was about halfway to Domino High, when she felt as if she had been punched in the stomach. In her obsession of solving the Millennium Puzzle, she had forgotten about Ushio’s earlier threats about meeting her at midnight.
Stopping, Yugi pulled her phone from her uniform jacket, biting her lip at the time: 11:30.
Well, I can hurry and take the back alley out of the school. Ushio never hangs out there, anyway. Besides, I *have* to get that last puzzle piece…chances are he won’t even be there, anyway. He was probably bluffing...
With her mind made up, Yugi began jogging towards Domino High, the puzzle box hitting her side harshly.
Despite his age, Solomon Mutou had never been one to go to bed early. He blamed his early gambling days for that, so he often made a practical use for his insomnia by cleaning and organizing the Game Shop. Anyway, this time of night was always peaceful for him, so he was often able to fill out his inventory (as well as test out a few games) without the interruption of customers. So naturally, it came as a shock to Solomon when he heard frantic beating at the front door of the Game Shop.
Knowing that it could possibly be someone who had less than honorable intentions, Solomon grabbed the baseball bat that he kept behind the counter and he proceeded to the door, only to find his granddaughter's classmate, Joey Wheeler, looking rather frantic.
Frowning, Solomon dropped the ball bat and opened the door, feeling perplexed. Last he knew, Yugi and Joey had never been on the best terms. Maybe things had changed and Yugi just didn’t tell him…
“Is Yugi home?” Joey’s voice was hitched, as if he had been running with all of his might.
Solomon frowned. “Young man, it is 11:30 at night, why are you asking for my granddaughter? You need to head home. It’s late.” He tried to close the door, but Joey stuck his foot between it.
“Please, just check! I’ll leave if she’s here, I promise!”
Frowning at Joey’s bizarre behavior, Solomon nodded and turned to go into the upstairs apartment. Before he made it up the stairs, he turned to Joey.
“Stay where you are and don’t move.”
Joey nodded frantically, and feeling even more put off by Joey’s bizarre behavior, Solomon quickly headed to Yugi’s room.
Yugi’s door was closed, but that was no surprise, as it often was.
“Yugi?” he called, as he knocked on her door, confident his granddaughter was still awake, either working on her homework or that unsolvable Millennium Puzzle.
When he received no answer, Solomon opened the door, and to his horror, Yugi was gone and the window to her skylight was open.
She was gone.
Chapter 2 will be posted probably tomorrow or the next day. I hope that you guys are enjoying it so far. Send a review if you'd like. :)