Back to creative writing

(I might have once published this in my Pixelated Novel website, before it was hacked and had to be taken down. But I added to it today and I really like it.)

Traynor and Well worked at Well’s dad’s copy shop after school. Traynor thought that he owed it to his foster family and Well agreed, but his parents thought that he had to work anyway. “Maxwell, adversity builds character,” his father would say. Well thought he had enough character, what he really wanted were plot and setting.[1]

Traynor worked the register and answered questions whenever customers came in. Well didn’t concern himself with such details. He instead would sit in the corner and quietly do his homework, occasionally pausing to correct one of the many errors Traynor would inevitably do when left alone.

“Well, quit reading dirty magazines and help me! There are too many customers.” Traynor would often say. Well had managed to coordinate his schedule so that it was identical to Traynor’s because he was the only one that could supervise him. Well knew Traynor only listened to people he respected. And Traynor respected Well because Well was not afraid of Traynor. He knew Traynor was only a kid with a f––d[2] up past. He knew there was nothing weird or special about him.

Traynor was a good worker, but he always seemed to miss things that were very obvious to Well. He once forgot to lock the back door, for instance. Nothing happened, but Well never let him live it down. Additionally, every April, he would be an hour late to work and every October he’d leave an hour early, seemingly because he was stupid. Also, there was the time he forgot to bring pants to work.

It was a late Friday in September and the boys were at the shop after school. The shop was peculiarly empty on account of the hurricane warning that had been all over the news since the morning. In fact, they’d been let out early by a panicked, yet somehow still monotonous Mrs. Gorf in the middle of third period. She’d been crying about how it was the storm of the century and she’d lost her daughter in the previous storm or century or something. Well waited while Traynor selfishly comforted her.

So, obviously, when they showed up for work, neither Traynor nor Well had any clue that there was a storm going on in any way. Traynor thought it was strange that no customers came in all evening. He also felt it was odd that his hair stood on end, as it did whenever it rained, but there was not a non-swirling cloud in the sky. The letter O in the Quick Sto- across the street was swinging wildly. Traynor feared it might fly off in the same way the ‘P’ of had vanished the previous year. That time, the ‘P’ had been ripped off by a storm destroying the Cut & Paste store next door. PQuick Sto- changed its name the next week.

“I think the storm is going to be pretty bad, are you sure I still have to work today?” Traynor asked. Well ignored him, he was running system diagnostics on every device he had. They were from a poor family, so all of his devices were several generations old: his great grandfather had been the last generation able to afford the machine Well was using. The ‘Net always shut down during storms. But because they only knew about the weather from the ‘Net, Well and Traynor would have had to have already known why the net would be shut down in order to understand it was shut down.

Would you like to update? The machine said. Well did not. Actually, he did, but he could not. He viewed this as a tragedy.

“Didn’t your father say to meet him at home? Wasn’t he panicked about leaving town when he called?” Traynor asked, his hair entirely on end now. Well ignored him as he had ignored his father’s messages. As a rule, he viewed it as his responsibility to make his parents wait several hours before responding to them.

Just then, the door burst open and a girl Traynor’s age stumbled inside. She had dark auburn hair with golden brown eyes. She had light skin and a heart-shaped face and a permanent half-smirk that lit up the room whenever she smiled. She had delicate hands and an athletic build that came from years of soccer. Her name was Jixa and she was to become the major quest of Traynor’s life. Traynor, of course, doesn’t know this yet. And he was about to do and say several stupid things in that respect.
“Oh my gosh, thank god you’re still open!” Jixa exclaimed. “I have to get these posters out before the storm gets any worse!” Jixa held up flyers specifying instructions in the case of an emergency.

Traynor’s jaw dropped. She was, in a very real sense, the girl of his dreams. He stared at her and she looked back. It was hard to tell who looked more bewildered. It was not at all a romantic sight. Not sexy in the least.

Well, who usually only stood up to go to the restroom, sprung to his feet to relieve the non-sexual tension. He took the sheet away from her and moved to the nearest copy machine, “Well, then we should get to the newest, most expensive machine. How copies would you like?”

“A thousand! These have to go everywhere. There’s a hurricane here!” Jixa responded.

Traynor’s eyebrows shot up near his hairline. Well merely stumbled in his step. “Hurricane?” Traynor asked.

“Yes, it’s hurricane Aleph! They’ve been talking about it for weeks. It’s going to destroy this city and it’s right over us!” Jixa exclaimed.

“Oh.” Well had wondered why he had 117 missed calls from his parents that afternoon. He turned to Traynor and mouthed the word Oh. Traynor understood. After all, Well had just said “Oh” one second earlier.

At this exact moment, the O in the Quick Sto- across the street flew out and destroyed the entrance to the Copy Shop, trapping the trio in the path of a hurricane.


[1] In this chapter, Well’s wish would not be granted. Instead, Traynor would be the one to develop a plot and setting. They don’t know that yet, though, so shh! Don’t say anything.
[2] the censored word is ‘fucked’

About Pixel

Pixel Q. Styx refuses to talk about himself. If thou wishest, thou may infer from his blog what thou wishest.
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