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    Zach
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

Rule the World - 2. Chapter 2 - The Phantom

Hey, they totally didn't hallucinate that one time.


Chess is a wonderful thing. One minute it seems you're losing, the next you've got your playmate in a check they can't seem to get themselves out of. It's the ultimate satisfaction.

And Addy was feeling a lot of satisfaction right now. Her masterful 17 turn plan was finally reaching its climax. Just one more move...alas, her phone rang.

"Hey, Addy here."

"Studmuffin Zach here. Is...is there anywhere you have to go today?" Confusion filled Addy's features.

"Well, I do have to buy a new calculator. But, um, Zach? We're on a call in the computer, why are you calling over here too?"

"My dad just told me that if I don't go walk outside and live or whatever he'll cut my hair down himself! It's the hairmaggeddon!"

"Err. Zach, we're on a call and I didn't hear anythi-"

"Would I lie about my HAIR, woman? How do I get to your place? I'll be there in five." Zach could hear her sigh over the line.

"Look, just turn to the right when you leave your house and keep walking. We live on the same street. I'll be outside so you can't get lost."

"Awesome! See ya there." Wait.

"Wait! What about the chess matc-" Aaaand he hung up. Addy turned her eyes to the screen and her jaw dropped into the floor. During their call, Addy's timer had run out, making the game skip her turn, thus passing control over to Zach. Taking advantage of this, he had placed her on a check mate.

"This is unbelievable!" A few minutes later, when Zach waved at her beaming in joy, she walked up to him and smacked his head.

_________

"So. Do you need to buy anything? Or did you just need a way to cheat?" Addy was, if you consulted a dictionary, probably very upset.

"Of course I do, girl. When have I ever lied to you?" Actually, if you consulted a dictionary, her face would be the example picture for the word.

"It's AMAZING how much you lie to me Zach. And I've known you for like six days. I made a list. It's a long list!" Zach giggled. Addy frowned harder.

"You did? You gotta let me read it sometime. Where's the mall, anyways? It must've been like 15 minutes already..." It's not like it was tiring or anything. The sun was just being particularly nasty that day, and sweat on a pretty boy's face was only hot under very specific conditions. They weren't under them, so it was just gross.

"...We are at the mall." And they were. To their left was a fence which surrounded a huge mall complex. It was only a few more minutes until they had crossed the entrance, being greeted by a surge of cool air conditioning.

"We're kinda going to the same place, I bet. I just need to buy a bunch of pens and pencils. Maybe we can get a smoothie." Zach's parents hadn't restocked the snack basket yet, and his blood:sugar ratio was dangerously close to reaching normal levels.

"Really? What house doesn't have those?"

"Legit question. But not every house has an architect dad. He went all King Kong on them. The guy's kind of bananas, man." Addy rolled her eyes.

"No wonder."

School utensils aside, they did end up getting that smoothie at the food court. Zach finished his in ten seconds, but he was nice enough to let Addy sit to drink hers at peace.

At peace. That word suddenly clicked in Addy's head. Peace. Her eyes flew wide open.

"Wow, Zach. You haven't said a word since we sat down! Are you alright?" Like snapping from a trance, Zach jolted in his seat. Truth is, his brain was engaged in the most complex of processes, all gears turning to solve a crucial yet so ever difficult conundrum.

"Do you think Connor likes smoothies?" There was no tumbleweed, but the flying napkins probably served the same purpose.

"Seriously? First of all, Zach, everyone likes smoothies." Zach pouted.

"Dad doesn't like smoothies." He crossed his arms and everything.

"Zach. Second of all, Connor is not your dad." As Addy resumed finishing her smoothie, Zach's face went from whiny to disturbingly infatuated.

"Oooooh I think he is. Y'knowwhatI'msaying?" Addy choked on her drink.

"Zach! Third of all, you haven't even MET him. I barely interact with him! He could be a jerk, for all you know." But Zach was unwavering.

"He can be a jerk, as long as he jerks me around. If you know what I m-"

And that's the story of how Zach first got slapped. In this city, at least. Two days later, Monday arrived, marking the beginning of the school year.

________

It was 6 AM, and Zach had already showered, brushed his teeth, packed his bags, called Addy just to piss her off, AND cooked breakfast.

"Mom? Dad? Why did you teach me to be a responsible early bird? This sucks. The bus will arrive at like 7:15 or whatever." Zach's parents were merrily biting away at the scrambled egg special. They shared a very guilty look between them. It was his mother who spoke first.

"To be completely honest, Zachary, my dear...you making breakfast for us everyday was the main reason." Hurt. Betrayal. Ire. One look at Zach portrayed these strong emotions. He slammed his hands against the desk in indignation.

"Mom!? No...Was this your plan too, Dad!?" His dad just looked down on his cup of coffee.

"Ya've never seen me cook now, have ya? You're a godsend, son. It went just as planned." His words were sealed by the sound of him sipping his mug. Zach felt this was even worse than the pillow incident. It was horrible.

"You two have no shame! Pancakes for a month!" The arguing that ensued made the wait for the bus pass in the blink of an eye. When Zach stepped in, he spotted Addy all the way on the last seat, listening to music. He waved at her, but she didn't notice.

"'Sup girl. Why're ya sitting all the way back?" She didn't even turn back to look at him.

"So I can sleep just a few more minutes, dunce. SOMEONE woke me up at 5:30."

"Aww don't be like that, Addy. I brought you cookies!" Now she turns. Sugar really does create world peace. Addy stared at the little bag of cookies for some brief moments.

"...Hmph. I'm not forgiving you just like that." Yeah right.

"Yeah right. I made those yesterday, you know? They're magical. I'm sorry for pranking you so much, so try them out. Please?" Addy WAS considering eating her first one before she heard his words.

"Ugh. Now I'm not sure if I can even eat these. They're not drugged, are they?" Zach reached into the bag and ate one of the cookies himself.

"Nope." That seemed to be enough, and she dared to start eating them. They had just the perfect mix of butter and sugar. Zach was the anti-christ, of the diet religion.

"...They're good. I forgive you." Zach broke out his gentleman grin, and Addy couldn't help but smile a little herself.

"I'm still pranking you, though." And then her smile and optimism were all gone.

Their bus trip was a blur. Mostly small talk, and a little bit of Zach whining that Connor wasn't on the bus. Actually, 90% was definitely Zach whining about Connor. No matter what topic Addy brought up, it eventually returned to Connor. Somehow. After Zach began wondering about Connor's choice of toothpaste she just gave up.

They were assigned to the same class, in a small showing of the universe not being a snob. But then Connor wasn't in class B, which meant Addy had to endure more whining.

"Zach! I get it, you like the dude. You need to calm down. Seriously! You're going to scare him off."

"Well, Addy. You're a young lady I respect very much, so I'm going to try and take your advice." There was a small moment of silence. Addy was almost flattered. Sometimes Zach's words came out like musical notes, striking all the correct tones.

"Wow, really? Tha-"

"I'll probably fail, though." Just then, their homeroom teacher walked in. And that was the end of that discussion.

"Wow Addy, that teacher has a huge rack." It was true, her chest was bouncing as she walked.

"Shh. That's one woman you don't want to piss off." The teacher cleared her throat before addressing the class. Everyone went silent, Zach even heard some swallow in anxiety.

"Good Morning, students. As a few of you may have noticed, this class has been assigned to receive a new student. It's no more than a formality, but would that student please stand up and introduce himself to the class? Full name, talents, whatever. We have a lot to cover today, so make it quick." The pen holding the brunette teacher's hairbun together had this red ribbon sprouting from its tip, and the teacher couldn't seem to stop fondling it as she spoke.

Nothing happened for a while. Addy sighed and poked Zach's sides with a pencil.

"Ow! Oh! Oh. That's me. Oops." Zach decided there was no point to keep the class waiting any further, so he decided not to expand on his incredible curriculum.

"'Sup guys! I'm Zachary Russell. Call me Zach, though. I cook things. Oh! Oh! I can totally tell you the first fifty digits of Pi, if you want." Zach shot puppy eyes at the teacher, almost begging her to let him do so. The teacher debated the issue with herself for some seconds.

"...Is that so? Let me get my calculator out, and...go." Zach grinned and took in a huge gulp of air.

"3.1415926535897932384..." The teacher's face was filled with incredulity.

"Holy shit." Someone gasped. His name forever lost to the ages.

"...626433832795028841971693993751!" Zach took in another huge surge of oxygen into his lungs. Addy's jaw went through the desk, and the teacher was visibly shocked. The entire class was silent.

"Dang. Did I get the 24th digit right? I always mess up that one." Zach's words broke the trance, and the teacher cleared her throat one again.

"That was correct, Russell. Please sit down, would you? For those who don't know me, call me Miss Souza. Let's get started." Zach went back into his seat. He was beaming.

"Dude." Were all the words Addy's shivering lips could blurt out. Zach turned, giving her a very judging look.

"Shh. Addy, we're in class! Come on, girl. Dun make me look bad." With that, he swiftly turned around. Addy just didn't get him, sometimes.

________

When you actually pay attention in class, it somehow goes past in flash. Addy had never felt like -she'd- be a bad influence, but Zach was like a bull. You seriously could not talk to him about anything mid class. The moment the bell rang, he swiftly went back to his usual self.

"Are you bipolar or something?" Sometimes some questions have to be made twice.

"Nah. I'm classpolar. Mom taught me the key to success is knowing the time and the place." And right now, it was lunch time. The place was booming, as was to be expected.

"That's such bullshit, Zach. You woke me up at 5:30!" Zach sheepishly played around with his hair.

"Aww. Addy. With friends there's always time for fun. Let's skip the bad cafeteria food, I brought lunch." Zach was also extremely impatient, and that gigantic line just for awful tasting food was a definite no.

"Oh, you did?" Then again, he had brought a bag of cookies.

"Duh. I have standards, girl. No way I'm eating school food. Do you like apples? I do, and I've got two!" Addy shrugged. Free food was free food.

They spotted a free table and sat down to eat. Well, Addy was going to eat. Zach was already finished.

"Eating that fast is seriously unhealthy, you know." Zach ignored her. He was biting his lower lip. He was getting ready to make the big question, and Addy could feel it. Damn it, it was like watching a train about to crash.

"No, Zach! I haven't seen Connor!" Zach's forehead hit the desk, and Addy kept eating.

"This sucks. How can he not be here?"

"I don't know, man. Maybe he j-OH GOD IT'S HIM!" Zach's eyes flew open and he spinned around like a toy top. His head was jolting in all directions. He looked back at Addy, almost in tears.

"I...I don't see h-"

"GOT YOU, SUCKER." Glass broke. Actually, that was just Zach's heart.

"...You monster. I gave you food. I Gave You Food!" Addy was just giggling. Karma was a bitch.

"S-Sorry Zach. I just...I just had to." Zach just sulked as Addy finished eating.

"That's weird, though. If he's not here, where is he?"

"I know! Addy, why don't I ask someone from the other class? They should know." Addy shrugged.

"Those dudes in that table over there are from the other class. Give it a shot." She'd take the two minutes of non-Connor talk. Zach nodded. It was time. No great story starts with silence. That Zach knew of, at least. He stood up and gallantly made his way to the table of talkative jocks.

"Oh man, I immediately regret this." Addy was sure the jocks in her grade weren't mass murderers, but it wasn't like Zach was their type of man.

"'Sup Guys. Have any of you seen Connor? He has red hair, so you can't miss 'im." The table's chatter just halted. All eyes were on the new kid, asking for the non-new kid.

"That loser? Who cares, man." It was like a pile of bricks. These people were super rude. Although teenagers being rude isn't exactly new. Zach couldn't be distracted by poor manners, though.

"Thanks rudebros, I'll keep looking~" Zach waved bye to them and walked back to Addy. His shoulders slumped and he sat down.

"Ugh. They're ruder than you when you wake up, and they don't know. They called him a loser and everything." Addy ignored the jab, and took the last bite from her food before speaking up.

"I figure he doesn't eat lunch here, then..." The air around them had changed. It was weird, almost like a dead end. Zach's face lit up after a little while, though.

"Addy! Where do losers eat lunch?"

"...The kids' table?" Zach frowned.

"Come on, Addy. We're in highschool, there's no kids' table!" Addy sighed. She ran her hands through the bangs over her right eye. Oh no, she was looking like Zach's mother now.

"Maybe he doesn't even eat. You know what, Zach? He's probably not even real." Zach's eyes sparkled, and Addy swore she saw glitter.

"Addy, you're a genius! Connor's a ghost! And we all know ghosts live in the library, so he must be there! Let's go, girl." No comment.

"You're not actually this stupi-UGH!?" Her phrase was interrupted by Zach flying out of his seat and yanking her out her seat. Never mind that the whole cafeteria looked at them like a bunch of circus animals, their destination was clear.

"Actually. Addy, where's the library?" Addy groaned in frustration. This was the most unpaid chauffeur job in history. The library was on the top floor, and they walked towards it. Zach was running, but he got shouted at. Several times.

"Look, Zach. Lunch's over in 15 minutes, so if you don't see him there, can we just relax?" Zach was almost shaking, his body was holding way too much excitement.

"Sure thing. He's totally in there, though. Aren't you excited to meet a ghost?" Zach's mouth went up, Addy's went down.

"He's not a ghost! I was kidding!" And Zach's last name was pancakes.

"Sure you were, Addy. Sure you were." Zach lead the way, and they both went into the library. It was dead silent. Addy had to remind Zach that libraries are, indeed, places with very little noise.

And then they saw the familiar sight of red, sitting by himself in one of the tables. As he read a book, his face was so very serious, incredibly focused. Zach noticed as they got nearer to him, that he could see a clear ocean in his eyes.

Zach gulped. He was real. And he made Zach's chest flutter.

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You can also follow @Pancake_Zach, if that's your thing.

Reviews are appreciated! Constructive criticism over anything, yeah? Good
day everyone!

Copyright © 2016 Zach; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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Rudebros... Hahaha. I'm still laughing over that jock table scene. I don't think Zach is bipolar. he's just mainlining sugar. And you just had to end it right as he gets to Connor. Argh...

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Not bi-polar, sugar-rushed and maybe a little ADHD thrown in for good measure! (Oh, look, there's a squirel....)

Seriously funny stuff going on here, and going to be interesting to see how Connor reacts to Zach!

Keep it coming!

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On 04/29/2015 12:45 AM, drpaladin said:
Rudebros... Hahaha. I'm still laughing over that jock table scene. I don't think Zach is bipolar. he's just mainlining sugar. And you just had to end it right as he gets to Connor. Argh...
Sugar is definitely his main weakness! I'm glad you've enjoyed it.

 

I admit I mostly write this while on a sugar rush myself, lol.

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On 04/29/2015 04:46 AM, Robert Rex said:
Not bi-polar, sugar-rushed and maybe a little ADHD thrown in for good measure! (Oh, look, there's a squirel....)

Seriously funny stuff going on here, and going to be interesting to see how Connor reacts to Zach!

Keep it coming!

I'm not sure if it's ADHD. The guy can seriously keep focused when he wants to, like in class!

 

Thanks for your reviews <3

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Too bad he's not a ghost. I love ghostly love stories. :)

 

Job well done, Zach. Hilarious and engrossing. I think your writing improved in this chapter as well, so you're definitely headed in the right direction. Less rough spots and better flow. Looking forward to more.

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