Chapter 1: Charlie Hills, Super Popular Jock Dude
Okay, maybe your life is tough. Maybe you've just been through a bad middle or high school breakup and you need time to cool down. Maybe you're drowning in your school workload. Honestly, I've never experienced that before. Okay, I've had a few short-term relationships and a couple flings. But nothing serious. That's not what even middle and high school are made for. To me, school was just another place where you can hit on smoking hot cheerleaders while vandalizing rocks and houses and cars. Some people think school is all about learning and achieving and work. That makes you a freakish loser, at least here at Cinder Valley. Being a freakish loser means you will be hunted, shot, and left for dead. In most cases. I'm not one of those losers.
For me, life was all simple and easy, at least until the new kid moved across the street. He's the capital of "loser". But I'll save that part for later. But what was really weird about this was just the fact that he was moving in. I've always lived in the same house. Same school, same everything. I've always had the same group of friends. So wouldn't you think it would be weird to have some kid from a different state move in across the street? This was the first time this happened, and it felt sort of alien. I know almost everyone at school, so, when he came, I sort of checked him out from a distance. That's the way it always is with the new kids, especially in Cinder Valley High School, Well, as I soon found out, THIS kid didn't need checking out. I don't even know the kid's name and I know exactly what kind of person he is: He is a total weirdo. For one thing, he doesn't even look like he's starting high school. He wears ugly old sweaters and acts like a three year old. He always rides down the street on his bike with training wheels - Training wheels! - Screaming his head off. Can anyone have peace? He says hi to everybody like they were his long lost best friends, even if they don't know him. You see him on the slides at the park near our neighborhood, riding on the swings on his stomach, screaming like - I don't know, a wild banshee that just got proposed to. But I don't even think that explains it.
You see him carry the mail back to his house, always dropping some of the mail on the way. You peek in one of the front windows, and guess what you see? Him. Watching Blues Clues. Smiling, no, more like LAUGHING at the supposedly funny parts. I know I said this already, but he looks about twelve, but I know he's actually fourteen, which means he's a high schooler. Can you guess which one he's going to? That's right - Mine. We live right across the street from each other! How could he not be going to Cinder Valley? I've faced the facts that it's likely I'll see him in high school. But then I always remind myself that he'll probably be stuffed in a locker the whole day. By me, of course. I made it my promise to kill this kid personally, physically and emotionally. This kid screamed through half my summer. He deserves to pay. I always tell my friends he's loud and annoying. No one can ever get any peace and quiet with him screaming like a maniac down the street. They all share my ambition of targeting him this year, although none of them live in the neighborhood. Last year in eighth grade, we were the kings of Cinder Valley Middle. We were so popular that we always had a line up of "witnesses" to clear our names so we almost never got in trouble. Or at least, not in any serious trouble. We always won. That's how it has always been, and that's how it'll always be.
So, what's so different about high school? My friends have no answers. They're all shaking in their skins, something about high school fever? It's like, seriously, are you freaking kidding me? The person who made up that rumor must have no life. Lame. Probably works at WalMart or dropped out of school like the rest of the rejects.
But high school rejects are the least of my problems. Why are my friends so nervous? Why am I so nervous? Is it just normal school jitters or something more serious? I REFUSE to believe this is because of high school fever. Nothing this lame can scare someone, not even the lamest guilible reject out there. Except.... For that one kid. I had a feeling he'd believe anything. What was his name again? Jerry? Jonah? Jack? It didn't matter. I'd find out at orientation.