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   Chapter 7 Onyx

Blog of a Teenage Superhero By m i c h e l l e p a k Characters: 12351

Updated: 2017-12-01 19:04


"I“m so proud of you, Monet!" Percy squeals as I stagger out of the bushes. The cape is folded half-neatly under the gnarled shrub roots, the mask hidden under the thorny leaves. Sunlight dapples the grass in a watery shadow. I rub my ribs, scraping my thumbnail over the tender parts. My eyes roll back in my head. Even they hurt.

"H-Huuuh?" My voice cracks. I turn away from her and cough into the shrubs, blood and phlegm coming up in the back of my throat. Superheroes are tough. I“ll heal.

Percy offers me an awkward pat on the shoulder. "Are you okay?"

"Oh, fine, fine. What“s up?" I kick the mask deeper into the shrubs, hugging my arms around my aching stomach. I turn back around and offer Percy my biggest smile. She flinches. I must look as crappy as I feel.

"You won." When she looks at me, her face is a little green.

"I what?" I rub my sleepy eyes with one hand and my achy back with the other.

"When Masquerade and the new guy fought!" She rolls her eyes, leans in, and grabs me by the shoulders. She has to stand on tiptoes, and she“s already wearing heels. Cute ones, with little pink bows. "Monet! Where were you?"

"Throwing up in the bushes." I hug my stomach. A lump is welling up under my last rib and I hiss through my teeth. "What... do you think I was doing?" The smile feels wobbly at the edges. I“m really going to throw up in the bushes any second now.

"We took a vote. You know, the students were screaming and the teachers needed to do something to calm them down. Congratulations on winning the vice presidency." She bounces. Awfully impressive thing to do in those little bowed shoes.

I give her a slow nod, still reeling from the fight. Becoming vice president of the student council is the least of my worries, in fact, it“s the opposite of them. It“s a relief. Something normal is happening to me, for the first time in... ever. Great.

"Oh, uh..." My smile is a little more steady. "Thanks. Are Kaito and Finn good?" She“d know. The other kids are crowded at the front of the school, but Percy is small and charming enough to slip through them. Besides, she knows everything.

She rolls her eyes. "Them? They“re being chewed out by the police. Well, the blonde boy is, anyway. Is your stomach better? Oh, I“m sure you“ll be okay. Come on!“"

I“m bleeding on the inside is what I want to say. My bruises have bruises and I need a minute to compose myself and keep my insides from jellying up. But the pretty girl grabs me by the elbow and pulls me stumbling through the clipped wet school lawn, and who am I to resist a fellow student?

Max Preston is chatting up Chip Hardwell out by the tape, and the students have settled on the grass, legs tucked underneath them as if they were at a picnic, texting eagerly on their phones and chatting excitedly to each other. Some people are still filming the school. I still haven“t checked my phone, but I can feel it buzzing against my backside.

"Hey, Max! Chip!" Percy waves, flashing her manicured nails. The boys look up just as the Dipper Donuts van pulls in front of the school. It“s tradition, almost. We“re a small school. And sometimes, the superheroes get in the way of our day, so the Dipper Donuts van parks behind the police line, and offers students discounts on pastries for quick sales and good publicity. And it works. The kids are off, distracted and giggling, the teachers scribbling in their clipboards, cupping their faces, shouting, and staring off at the school with expressions that can only be described as pain. How can you blame them? The school is in anarchy and it isn“t even noon.

Max and Chip stride up to Percy and me, Max with a little bounce in his st

swishes around my shoulders, and lucky me, you can“t make out the rest of my clothes underneath. Like my grease-stained sweater-hoodie. Phew.

I click off the rest of the video, suddenly aware of the three kids cataloging my every move, every expression and possible reaction.

Max taps me on the shoulder. "They“re calling her Onyx." He waves toward the circle of girls flopped over in the grass, tapping eagerly at their phones. Each one is dressed in a superhero color, red, blue, green, yellow, and black. "They named her. She“s lucky they flooded the Journal“s media, or else the news would“ve called her LockerBuster."

"Uh, huh." I check my phone again.

Max offers another winsome smile. "Hey, Monet, can I have your number? For official business?"

And Percy is right that it may be too much for Red Comet High to handle. That smile melts hearts as well as knees. I cave and scribble it on his hand with the pen that“s always tucked behind my ear as the texts roll in.

CouchPoKaito: im good

CouchPoKaito: kinda freaked out tho i mean HOLY CROW MASQUERADE WAS GONNA KILL ME

CouchPoKaito: he was gonna drop me off a building

CouchPoKaito: it was insane

CouchPoKaito: DO YOU GUYS EVEN CARE???

FinnamonBun: We all watched the same video, Kai. I was there.

CouchPoKaito: shut up

CouchPoKaito: but thanks for trying to save me

FinnamonBun: No problem, dude.

CouchPoKaito: even tho you failed. really hard.

FinnamonBun: I“m not the one who got stuffed into a locker, so I“m the winner of the situation.

I can“t help a teeny grin. My friends are safe. My friends are safe and that“s all that matters.

"I“m going to invite the student council over to my house later," Max says. "To talk about damages. Think you can make it tonight?"

"Uh-huh." I bite my lip and shoot my best attempt at a cover-up to the boys.

ShowMeTheMonet: OMG!!! GUYS ARE YOU OKAY?

ShowMeTheMonet: i dropped my phone when I ran!! Been looking for it everywhere!!

ShowMeTheMonet: I hope you“re okay!

CouchPoKaito: she speaks

FinnamonBun: She lives!

I begin my walk toward the Dipper Donut van when Max grabs me by one elbow and Percy grabs me by the other. "See you tonight!" Max says. "I“ll text you the address." He even winks, and my heart ends its steady rhythm with a bang.

I am a girl of many commitments. First friends. Then work.

But before any of that, investigation. I“m going to find Red Comet.

Tonight.

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