Initiation- Part I

Reads: 473  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 2

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
After publicly beating another kid nearly to death, A sophomore in a new high school befriends a group of boys who aren't afraid to take care of business. Any dirty work that needs to be done in the school, they get it done. Though the power he accumulates is unimagineable, the terror and pain it also brings quickly outgrows it. Meanwhile, he works towards winning over the ambiguous blonde that influences his every decision. .

Submitted: March 03, 2012

A A A | A A A

Submitted: March 03, 2012



Initiation- Part I

by Carter Breaux

After scraping my way to the back of the store, I immediately tear off my pant leg right below the hip. Blood sticks to my leg the way syrup sticks to a pancake. Peeling the layers apart singes the hair from the back of my neck, and for the first time since I joined Daniel in his schemes, a tear falls from my eye. One after another they run across my cheeks as I sit hopelessly deep in the back of the convenient store. There is a bullet in my leg because I made a stupid decision. Something I never should have done. I was lonely, lost, tormented. But he showed me a way out. A way to defeat the powerful, to show them I was in control. I anticipate the excruciating pain as my hand approaches the bullet hole. I stick two fingers in to try and pull out the lead shrapnel buried deep inside my right thigh. The sweat on my fingers burns like alcohol. I scream in agony and I am forced to retreat. Tears run faster. Shorter breaks in between their departure from my eyes. One drips into the wound. It stings but it's better than a bullet. This tear gives me a boost of courage through the night. Like a mother kissing a scraped knee.I don't know why, But it was one drop of hope in a cauldron of pain. The hole needs to be larger or I'm never getting that bullet out. The thought of what I did still gives me nightmares, I never could have done it without that tear. I pull out Daniel's Italian style Switchblade and shoot the blade open. The "shing" it makes forces a thick whimper from me like a small child. I wait, I wait, and then thrust the blade full force into my leg where I was shot. The muscle resists like I'm cutting a thick steak, but I know the worst is still to come. I twist the blade to widen the hole, and to retrieve to bullet from my leg.


He shouldn't have messed with me, this kid. He had it coming. I told the principle my story and got off easy because it was my first record of trouble since Kindergarten. I remember the way the blood matched the red lockers of the sophomore hallway. I didn't realize how powerful I was until afterwards because it blended in so well. Everyone hated the kid, who's name I still don't know. He was the jerk who bugged everyone. And he sure as anything bugged me. 7th hour of my second week at my new school. This kid had not shut up since the minute I had arrived at Franksburg High. It just had to be me he wanted to bother. The things he said I won't repeat. But they weren't nice.

He never touched me. Never tapped me on the shoulder, never shook my hand, just stayed a few inches away as he insulted me. So one day I just decided to ignore him, he didn't like that. He grabbed my shoulder and spun me around. My fist kept on going to his jaw, through his jaw. Because it was broken in one blow. Now I'm not a doctor, but the crunching sound it made was exquisitely reassuring. He fell to the ground and I jumped on top of him instinctively to beat his face in. The entire sophomore class crowded around to watch the execution. The kid went limp after 3 punches, but that didn't stop me. My incontrollable goal was to make sure he didn't wake up. It felt so short but lasted so long. Beat after beat, punch after punch. The silence of all the people watching emphasized the sound of thunder and the speed of lightening excerpted by my fists. The whipping of my knuckles through the air, followed by the satanic deflation of his cheeks, repeated itself over and over, like a broken record skipping its melodies. I felt like a god, and in that moment, I was. I finish my work and take a large breath in like a dog. I look up to see everyone staring at me, as if they were tourist at a zoo. I look at the lockers, then down at the kid's face. He would be disfigured for life. I will admit that I felt extreme remorse for what I had just done. But of course, I didn't let anyone watching know that. I sat for a moment as I let the glory stain my reputation. Then I get up and walk away with a swag, which was really just my legs un-used to walking after being on the ground so long. I intended to head straight to the principle, knowing that I would be punished. I pat some guy in the front of the crowd on the chest, and I assume I left a handprint of blood since I was still covered in it. Little did I know who the kid I patted happened to be, and the impact he would have on my sophomore year.


I hope the police don't track me from the scene. I left a clear trail. The blue of my jeans soaked with the red of my blood forms a sickly dark purple. I could feel the blood running down my leg like raindrops across a windshield. Two separate streams would meet to create one larger stream. Two larger streams would fuse to produce one even larger stream. Over and over it did this until it dribbled down my leg onto the pavement. When you think of something hollow, you may think of something light. Something that doesn't really have much mass. I assume that this was the logic behind titling the town's only convenient store "The Hollow Cost," as to simply imply the prices are low. As I limp my way to the store's large front, using my trusty 2x4 as a cane, I realize first thing that they are closed. Not many convenient stores are open at 1:45 a.m. There are no cars there, no workers, no cameras to catch me, and I need in. So I break the window with the 2x4, crawl through, and scrape my way to the back, just In case anyone should stroll by.


Lasagna for lunch the next day. Yum... I obviously wasn't appetized by this due to the fact that the poor kid, who couldn't have just shut up, was going to be in the hospital for a long, long time. Followed by therapy, I assume. I sat alone at a lunch table for two reasons. One, I'm the new kid. No one knows the new kid well enough to invite them to join their table, or no one is willing to reach out to him. And two, well, I'm the threat of the school now. And you should understand that these aren't your standard, 8-seated round high school lunch tables like in every cafeteria. These are long, rectangular tables that could fit dozens of people. And I was alone at one. Every other table was packed with intimidated kids too afraid to even sit at the other end. I didn't know whether to enjoy this or be in sorrow, but for the day, I was just hungry. The constant droning of kids talking at all the tables runs my mind blank, so I just sit and eat and look occupied by whatever. I struggle to pick up my milk due to the fact that my hands are so sore, and probably broken from the menacing events of the previous day. Finally a kid strolls up, so I immediately analyze him. My size, maybe bigger. Timex watch. Nikes. Hair like Tyler Durden. Composure like a pothead, but he wasn't high and smelled like rebellion, not smoke. Simply the way he walked up reeked of revenge on authority. He sits down, Slowly chewing his gum, and puts his elbows on the table to lean in close to me. He looks me in the eyes, and I look him in the eyes. Daniel is his name, and he says he too knows what it's like to be in control.


"Put the gun down!" Daniel is about to pee his pants.

"Dear Jesus!" Terry runs away.

"Twenty-two dollars?" I'm still strong.

"Don't hurt him man!" Mal is crying.

"Twenty-two dollars?" I can't believe I'm doing this for 3 bucks.

"We should have never done this!"

"Don't take another step!" his trigger finger is trembling. Part 2 of my initiation is not going quite how I had hoped.

"Twenty two bucks, you're kidding!" I say with a laugh. "My goodness. If you're willing to shoot a man... For twenty.two.dollars.. then go ahead and pull the trigger. I don't even care!" he has to make a choice. Shoot me or give up the money that isn't even his. Poor guy, almost in tears, hands trembling, trying to remain strong. He slowly puts the gun down, and slowly I walk up to him. "Now hand me the money," I say in a gentle voice.

"No," he whimpers. At this point he doesn't care about the money. Neither do we. Now we only care about going home the victor, not the victim.

We act like that's not true. He has the wallet in his hand, I see it, and I go for it. I grab the wallet and strike him in the jaw. The gun goes flying and the kid spins like a top. When he hits the ground kick him in the stomach and he folds in two like a piece of bread. I turn around and head towards the side of the nearby dumpster to grab an old 2x4 with a nail in it. Now I'm ready to do damage. But by the time I turn around he had scampered to the gun and picked it up, pointing it directly at me. I knew I was in deep now. He pulls the trigger, his bad aim in my favor, and hits me in the leg rather the chest. At first I don't scream, I simply fall to the ground in shock. Malachi runs, of course, it is Mal. The shooter takes off as fast as he can in the opposite direction and Daniel goes after him. Thanks guys. My leg feels warm and then begins to throb. Stronger and stronger until each pulse feels like a mallet on a chisel, splitting the bone up the middle. Agony. And Blood. Lots of it. Different than the blood from a small cut or minuscule wound, this blood was thick and dark. I had to get out of there. I push myself up with my hands because my leg was useless. I grab the 2x4 from moments before and head off. Not a second to waist on pain. At this point I wonder what Daniel's next “Big Job” was that he continued to talk about, it must have been important. Though at this moment, I don't think I'm going to live long enough to be part of it, but I have to keep moving. I work my way down the dark sidewalk and hope for a store light in the distance, but all I see is the dark windows of the Hollow Cost. Good store, bad name. I expect to find refuge there. So I work my way to my final destination, balancing on my left leg alone, and hope the police don't track me from the scene.


I didn't know what a switchblade was when I met him, but in time, I became mighty familiar with Daniel's. Later on I would watch movies like "The Outsiders" and realize how retro they really were, and how much more intimidating that made them seem. For now though, I'm just listening to him speak through the noise of the lunchroom. Daniel tells me his history as a vigilante, for lack of a better word.

"You know how there was always that one kid in grade school who put tacks in the teacher's chair?" he asks. He takes a chip from my lunch tray and holds it in his fingers for a moment, then eats it. "That was me. You see Terry over there in the blue?" he says giving a nod over my shoulder. I turn around to see two kids looking right at us, one was a scrawny, scraggly haired boy in a green striped shirt who continued to eat his lunch. The other a large kid with dark hair and a face like a bulldog, his arms crossed intimidatingly, wearing a navy blue shirt. "He was the one who would steal your lunch money. He's been held back twice." I turn away from the two of them, afraid to break eye contact with Terry, and face Daniel once again. "And little tinker bell sitting next to him in the green, that's Malachi. He would have been the teachers pet." I turn again to see the two, exactly how they were before. "The kid can suck up to any teacher and get us whatever we need.” He says. I don't know if he was being sarcastic or literal, I still don't even know what the point of his whole grade school analogy was.

"What's your name?" He questions. I pause, but then answer.

"Evan" I say, and his reply is almost Philosophical.

"Well, Evan, how would you like to have the power you felt yesterday, everyday. And get paid to do it?" he says. There's not many immediate answers to a question like that.

"What are you saying?" I ask. He stares at me for a moment then speaks.

"Us three are the ones who do things around here. We get things done. We're not afraid to pull a few strings to make things the way they're supposed to be. It can get a little dirty sometimes, but we manage to stay out of Juvie. I know how to do it, Mal can get us what we need, and Terry's just the brute force. If some kid's getting bullied, he comes to us. We corner the guy, throw him around a bit. And he's cured of his need to bully people. Now this job pays. Not just dollars from the sissies gettin' messed with, but from the pure immortality you will gain at this school just from being seen with us." I'm intrigued, I feel important. I still don't know what to say. "I've got a bloody handprint on my shirt that tells me you're a perfect addition to our team. But I have to know if you're interested, and if you can pass initiation, before I tell you what were doing next." If I could go back to that moment, now, I would say no and walk off, never to speak with him again. But you should remember that I had no friends, and with nobody messing with me for my entire sophomore year, and maybe even my full course of high school, that would save me a lot of time and bloody knuckles.


"Here," Daniel says, slipping his trusty Switchblade into my back pocket. "You'll need this more than I will."

"Thanks" I say. And going back to that night now, I realize just how thankful I really am for it. 1:20 a.m. And we're headed to our job, in the since of the term meaning "Mission" or "Heist," not "Career." It's 1:21 a.m. and I review the plans. Why this kid wanted his wallet back so bad I still don't know, but probably to avoid the weakness tied with just letting the other guy get away with it. A late nighter, one we clearly weren't invited too, ending at 1:30.

We walk to the place where it's being held and arrive just as everybody In our school is piling out of the front doors. we can immediately tell there was alcohol here. Kids laughed loudly and tripped over the flat sidewalk like professional alcoholics. For a brief moment I wonder if Taylor is anywhere in the crowd, but I could almost guarantee you she wasn't. "Hoods up. Masks on. Rock and roll." That was always Daniels line as a cue for us to get ready. I pull the mask out of my jacket pocket and slip it on. Once the four of us do what he says we speed up slightly to approach the caravan of teens moving down the street. We slip in at our designated entry points and blend with the crowd. Hoods up prevents anyone behind us to see that we're wearing masks, and with the tight packed crowd, no one in front of us would be turning around to see them. As the crowd moves I work on spotting the target, not knowing where he really was. All I knew for sure was not to leave the sidewalk that we were already on, because that was for sure the path he would be taking home. The crowd thins some as strings of kids slip off to head towards their respective abodes. eventually there are three or four other kids left, laughing and talking among each other until they leave also, leaving just one man, our man. Me and Daniel are in front, with Terry and Malachi in the back. "Boys!" shouts Daniel and we all tear off our masks. The guy stops walking, confused by what is going on. I pull out the switchblade and I know that this job is mine to control. I shoot the blade open and approach him with it.

"Ally. Now. Walk." and Terry grabs his arm guiding him.

"Hey what's this all about?!" he says, still buzzed from his beer pong championship game.

"Where's Mark Davidson's wallet?" Daniel says. The kid turns to me, where I still have the blade to his neck, looking at me dumbfounded. I sarcastically mimic his face back, then slap him square in the mouth.

"Any fricken' time buttercup!" I say. I resist the urge to smile, I'm doing surprisingly well. It's a dark ally like in the movies, lit only by the end that opens up to the street. Their is a dumpster further down that emits a strong odor and is somewhat overbearing, but we are to busy to notice.

"I don't have it!" The kid says.

"We have good authority that you do." Replies Daniel

"Yeah?!" he says over confidently, "Who?!"

"Mark Davidson." says Malachi. Terry doesn't say a word, he never does. It hides his inner teddy bear when he's quiet. The kid is silent for a moment, slightly less loopy now. He looks at each of us for a good minute and then musters up his words.

"Well you can't have it!" he replies "Says my good authority!" and pulls out an old six shooter, probably one he found in a closet at the party. I slowly remove the knife from his neck and retract the blade to place it in my pocket once again. And I was wrong, he is more drunk than ever now. Drunk people and guns should stay out of my life and kept on the internet, because I don't want to see either of them ever again. I think the reason I remained so calm the whole time was that I never thought the gun was loaded at first, and when I realized it very well was, I was able to remain cool. The other kids, they knew the thing was loaded, and they all screamed when He pulled it on me.

"Put the gun down!" Daniel says, and he is about to pee his pants.


"Yeah... Yeah I'm interested," I say. Daniel takes another chip from my tray and eats it. The droning chatter of the lunchroom is gone now since I'm so engulfed in Daniel's proposition.

"You have a two-part initiation. Then we've got the big one. Today after 7th hour go to the history hall. Wait in Mr. Pertruck's doorway with Mal and Terry. Taylor Mitzcul's soon-to-be ex-boyfriend is being tutored in math and the quickest way to his car is down the history hallway. All the history teachers leave the soonest so luckily we'll have the whole hallway to ourselves. We'll give him his talk and then get out as fast as possible." Apparently Taylor Mitzcul's boyfriend had a few to many extra girlfriends because she was mad enough to hire us. He had been caught with half the girls in the school and Taylor was done putting up with it. "Tomorrow night, Mark Davidson wants his wallet back. He's got $22 in it and a Best Buy gift card. He said he'd give us half of the $22, which is eleven dollars to split among the four of us. That's two dollars and seventy-five cents a piece, so obviously this one's not about the money. Buy hey, he's a friend. The kid who took it will be at Friday's party that ends at 1:30, quite a late nighter but we might as well. Now are you still in?”

"Yeah, sure, why not." I reply. I am so stupid.

The lunch release bell rings and I pick up my stuff, dump my tray, and tell Daniel I'll see him after 7th hour. As I head to 6th hour science, I think about the kids whose jobs we're pulling. I don't know them, but I can't blame them for hiring us instead of taking care of it themselves. Dark matters require dark people to take care of them. And now, I was a dark person. Along with Daniel, Terry, and even Malachi. I still haven't formally met Terry or Mal. But anyways, on to sixth hour with the cute blonde girl. Some chick sits next to me in science and has wavy blonde hair, stunning eyes, and a smile that could seduce a blind man. She lent me a pencil on the first day of school, which ignited an acquaintance that includes daily conversations now. After what happened yesterday, though, I'm afraid she'll never look at me again. That's too bad, I never even got her name. I walk in and there she is, in the very back of the second to left-most row, I sat in the very back left. I'm nervous that she'll be scared of me now. She was clearly awaiting my arrival because before I even sat down, she spoke.

"That was some move you pulled yesterday," she said with a smile. She's the first person not to freak out at me after the fight, and the tension is relieved.

"Yeah? You think so?" I say confidently.

"Yeah," she giggles "I do think so!" and now I'm pretty sure she's just flirting. I can't help but joke back and do my best to be funny.

"Well, I let him off with a warning this time!" I say, pretending to act tough. Her laugh is cute, and gives me a strong boost of confidence. I really like this girl.

"To be honest, that kid completely deserved it. He's been bugging all of the school since the day he showed up here!"

"Well why didn't anybody do something?"

"Nobody had the guts!" she says with another cute laugh. I smile back as another shot of confidence helps me reach my goal for the day.

"You know, we've been talking for a while now and I never even got your name, I'm Evan, by the way."

"Nice to meet you, Evan" she shakes my hand sarcastically. "I'm Taylor Mitzcul."


It was 12:55 a.m. and everybody at my house was fast asleep. I had to sneak out to our job taking place at the late night party, of which I never received and invitation to. I couldn't sleep that night anyways, or the night before. After breaking Taylor Mitzcul's ex-boyfriend I expected recognition from her today. But then I realized, she doesn't know it was me. She knows it was Daniel. This pains me, because my newly discovered talent had to remain a secret to the one I wanted to tell most. But on the other hand, it made me feel like Batman. A secret vigilante with a normal life, living contently without the credit he deserved. It's 1:00 now and I sneak out the window into the warm but chilled October air. I breathe in the freezing cold wind and feel like a smoker of 20 years finding it difficult to inhale. Daniel told me specifically to bring my jacket with the hood again, and he still has my mask. 15 minutes pass as I walk closer. I'm on the block where we are supposed to meet and I see three silhouettes in the distance under a street lamp. One my size, one bigger, and one smaller. Daniel, Terry, and Malachi. As I walk up to them they see me approaching and turn towards me, with Daniel pulling out my ski mask.

"I believe this is yours," he says handing it to me. I stuff it in my coat pocket temporarily and we talk the job over for a few minutes "Evan, this is part II of your initiation. You're the boss for this one. We wait in the crowd until our guy is the only one left. Then we move in. And Evan, promise me you wont put anyone in the hospital this time. I'm more afraid of you now than I am of Terry." Truth was, if you knew Terry, you would know that he fit better in Malachi's body than his own. The big softy loved cats, but had the face of a bulldog. He kept his fingernails well trimmed, but looked as if he ate fingers and nails for breakfast.

"I promise." I say, and then we head on down the street. We're significantly closer to our place when Daniel comes up to me from behind and slips something in my back pocket. "Here," he says. "You'll need this more than I will."


The bell after 7th hour rings, releasing us from school. Knowing now that the cute girl from science is Taylor Mitzcul, I'm going to beat the tar out of that stupid cheating boyfriend of hers. I get my stuff and put it in front of the doors that we will be escaping through. Terry, Malachi, and Daniel had already put their stuff there, and I know exactly where they are now. I quickly make my way to the history hall and slip into the large indention of Mr. Pertruck's doorway, immediately plowing into Terry as if he was an airbag. Daniel and Malachi were there too. These kids still scare me at this point. The only one I have talked to is Daniel, and that was just for during part of our lunch period, today.

"I was starting to think you wouldn't show," Daniel says in a hushed tone. He looks out of the doorway to see if the target is on his way, but finds nothing. "These are the guys." Malachi holds out a hand.

"I'm Malachi, call me Mal for short," he says. I shake his hand. He's a tiny guy, but you can see the potential he has to be underestimated. He's the type of guy that nobody would expect to have bad intentions. That's why his specialty is kissing up to teachers, gathering supplies and information, and never being a suspect.

"I'm Terry. It's a pleasure to meet you pal," The rhinoceros whispers with a schoolgirl smile, and in a much less thundering voice than I imagined. Wow, I'm proud to say that I am quite possibly the most dangerous person on this team!

"I'm Evan," I say. "This is my Initiation."

"We know," Mal says.

"It's gonna be great having a new team buddy!" the enormous Terry adds excitingly. It still shocks me how different he acted at the lunch table. I guess It's all just part of the show...

"Here he comes. I can hear them!" Daniel says, ducking back into the doorway. He pulls out a ski mask and hands it to me. "Hoods up, Masks on, Rock and Roll!" Daniel says. My first thought of his saying was that it sounded like something out of a tv show. Over time I would realize that our whole team was like a tv show, and he used his famous line plenty. We all slip our masks on and flip up our hoods. My heart pumps, my adrenaline runs, and I'm ready. We hear the kid talking with his math tutor as they walk down the main hall together slowly, then our man says his goodbyes and turns right down the history hallway. Mal walks out first, with his mask on, and simply passes the target. Who knows what the guy thought in that moment, viewing his own foreshadowment of death. Mal's job was to distract the tutor while we did the dirty work, just in case the tutor hears us before he exits the building. "Boys!" Daniel says loudly and we peel out of the doorway. I walk the fastest, to get in the first few blows.

I kick him full force in the groin, making him fold over in pain, then throw a wickedly powerful punch to the right side of his face, slamming him against the wall. He falls to the ground in a heap and Terry kicks him in the stomach, making the kid spit up blood. We both grab an arm and pin him to the wall where he moans in agony. Daniel comes up, tilting his head from side to side as he inspects the kid's face over. Daniel pulls his mask off, and I didn't understand why at first. Now I realize Daniel has it all planned out, second by second, and that I just have to trust him if I want things to go the way he's planned.

"Look in my eyes and tell me somethin'," Daniel says, "Why, if you have a girlfriend, are you messin' with every other lady in the school?"

"I..I don't know what you're talking about bro!" The kid says, earning him my fist in the stomach.

"Yes you do," Daniel replies. "You've got a girlfriend! A beautiful, beautiful girlfriend! Taylor, is it?" He knew her name just fine, but he sounded like the Godfather when he said it the way he did, so we just went with it. "Do you think you're too good for her?" Daniel interrogated, "You think she doesn't deserve your respect?!" he raises his voice.

"Of course she does.." Muttered the kid, and Daniel smiles.

"That's right.. but I'm sorry to say that she is too good for you! We're here as you're official announcement, to tell you that Taylor Mitzcul is dumping you like the way she should have months ago. Congratulations my boy! You can now have all the lady's that you want now!” Daniel is not done yet. “But I warn you, if we ever see you anywhere within speaking distance of Taylor again," Daniel put the icing on the cake by shooting out his switchblade just millimeters away from the victim's cornea. "Then I will personally carve your face like a Jack o' Lantern." The kid whimpers for a long while until Daniel retracts the blade. I take back what I said, Daniel is definitely the most dangerous person on the team. "I'm done with him," he says. Up until now all the punches I have given him were strictly business, but now I feel as if he needs a little personal punishment for hurting such a sweet girl as Taylor, my science buddy. So I bend his arm to grab his elbow, and twist it upwards while pulling down on his wrist. The sickening POP and the infinite yelp he lets out help me to assure a dislocated shoulder.

We drop him, he falls to the ground, and we leave... to go get some pizza. We find Malachi sitting on the ground in the hallway, having already done his job. We grab our stuff and walk out, not to be seen by a teacher or student. We walk to Terry's car, he drives because he has been held back twice and is technically a senior. I felt as if the kid would never be found, as if he would just be left to rot in the middle of the hallway, but for real, he probably just went to the hospital.

Daniel was the only one without a mask on, and Daniel never laid a finger on the kid. If the kid went to any authority to identify him, he couldn't pin Daniel for much. As for me and Terry, the ones who pulverized him, he couldn't identify us if his life depended on it. And he knew that we would destroy him again if he reported Daniel. Daniel had it all planned out. Second, by second, by second.

The next day at school, in science, I wondered why Taylor never gave me a big hug or even thanked me for what I did. This bothered me until right before Part Two of my Initiation, Mark Davidson's wallet. It's 12:55 a.m., and everyone in my house is fast asleep.

I ponder the outcome, the possible results of tonight's job. I never would have thought where I would be at 1:45 this same night. In the back of the Hollow Cost. Drenched in tears, blood, and regret. But I would not quit after tonight, though. In fact, I would take our jobs to the next insane step. Out of the school, and into the real world. A world that revolved around Money, Murder, and Taylor Mitzcul.

© Copyright 2020 CarterBreaux. All rights reserved.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Add Your Comments:






More Mystery and Crime Short Stories