Chapter 1:

Chapter 1

School Days

Volume 1- Advent 

"Nina, when does the swimming tournament start?," asked Ursula Toliver, a girl with brown eyes and long black hair that she always wore in a bun. She had dark skin and a slim figure.

"Let's see. Since today is April 30, 1992 and the tournament begins on June 1st, we have a whole month before the tournament begins," said Nina O'Donnell, a girl with wavy red hair that were slightly shorter than her shoulders. She always wore a teal colored bow in her hair. She had green eyes. 

"That means I have a lot of time to relax. I'm saved," Ursula said, sighing, as she rested her head on the side of the school swimming pool with Nina sitting there. 

"You still have to practice, Ursula. You're a part of the swim team, too," Nina said. 

"Yeah, yeah, I'll practice. I'm just looking forward to spending the whole of May roaming around the mall and finding a boyfriend. I'm so excited!," she said, splashing her feet in the water. 

"Toliver, the Principal's waiting for you in his office. Go see him," someone said, and dived into the pool. 

"Right now?!," she asked the girl. 

She nodded. 

"God, what a hassle," she said, sighing. 

Nina and Ursula changed out of their red one-piece sport swimsuits into the clothes they came to school in. A white t-shirt with blue shorts, yellow high socks and black shoes for Ursula. As for Nina, an orange shirt with a teal colored skirt and sea green colored tights with black sneakers. 

Ursula went inside Principal Mallard's office, while Nina waited outside, sitting on the bench outside the office. Her brother Sawyer, a boy with short, messy brown hair and brown eyes, wearing a yellow-green T-shirt with blue jeans, was standing in front of the principal, his head bowed down. 

"Come in, miss Toliver," the Principal said. "Sit down," he said. 

She sat down on the chair in front of the Principal's desk. 

"Your brother, miss Toliver, is a part of the occult club. Did you know that?," the Principal asked. 

"No. But I did know he was part of a highschool club. But didn't know it was this one," she answered. 

"Miss Toliver, we are shutting down the occult club because the club members play Ouija board, your brother included. Someone complained to us about this and acts of such kind will not be allowed in Jubilee high. I believe you will convey this message to your parents on my behalf," he said. 

"Y-yes, I will. Thank you," she said as she got up to leave, Sawyer following her out of the office. 

When she came outside, Nina quickly got to her feet and got in step with her. 

"What happened?," she asked. 

"This stupid brother of mine, plays Ouija board with his other club members and someone complained to the Principal about it and now he wants me to tell Mom and Dad about it!," Ursula said, in one go. 

"What?!," Nina exclaimed. 

"Ursula, don't you dare tell Mom and Dad about this!," Sawyer said, interrupting their conversation. 

"What?! Who are you to give me orders?!," she said. 

"Oh, you forgot about that physics test on which you scored so well?! What was your score, again? A 43 out of a 100?!," Sawyer said, raising his eyebrows and smirking. 

"What the hell?! You can't do that at all!," she said. 

"I can! You know Mom and Dad will kill you and me if you tell them about the occult club and I tell them about your physics test," he said. 

"Fine!," Ursula said. 

"Bro, don't take your hand off the board," someone said. 

"Yeah, you don't want your house to get cursed or something, right?," another boy said. 

"Yeah, yeah, I know," Sawyer said. 

Ever since the occult club had been shut down two weeks ago, the members had decided to play Ouija board at one another's place every Friday. This Friday, six boys from the club had been gathered at Sawyer Toliver's house, just as planned. Sawyer's parents were out for the night and his sister was at her best friend's house, and she would come back at 11 or 12pm at night, and the boys would be done with their game by that time, too. Or so they thought. 

"Sawyer, what are you doing?! Don't move your finger, damn it!," someone yelled. 

Ursula was at the door now. Nina's parents had to leave because her grandmother had fallen sick, leaving Ursula to come back home because Nina's parents had asked her to lock all the doors and windows, and had asked her best friend to leave for the night. She sighed. 

"Why did her grandma had to fall sick tonight out of all nights?", she said, under her breath. 

She opened the door with the key she had. 

"Sawyer's being loud. Does he have friends over?," she thought. 

She entered the hall and was shocked to see her brother and six other boys playing Ouija board. Her eyes widened. 

"Sawyer, what the hell?!," she asked, "You haven't stopped playing this cursed board game even after the principal shut your club down?!." 

"Sis, calm down. We just like to play it a lot. That is why we're all gathered here to play it!," her brother answered. 

"And you think you'll get away with this?!," she asked, "And what are all of you stupid idiots waiting for? Get out! I'm calling your parents right now!." 

So she dialed all of the club members' landline numbers and told their parents what their kids were doing. All of them came to pick their children up from Ursula's house, apologizing to her for the inconvenience their children had caused them. 

"Now listen, you idiot, what the hell do you think you were doing there with your friends?! Do you know how crazy it is to play a board game like that? And why the hell are you an occult club member in the first place?!," Ursula asked Sawyer, when all the other members were gone. 

"Look, sis, it's not my fault you don't know the thrill of playing Ouija. You just can't understand how awesome it is when you feel like some spirit is around you," Sawyer said, yawning. 

"More like a demon is around you. What were you even thinking when you invited your friends over?!," she asked. 

He didn't answer and yawned. "Sawyer, answer my question!," she said. 

"I don't want to! You talk way too much, Ursula," Sawyer said, sticking his tongue out at his sister. 

"I'm telling Mom and Dad about your actions," she said, "I can't deal with you anymore. I'm going to bed. Bye!." 

"Fine! Do whatever you want. I'll tell them that you failed your physics test, too," he said, walking upstairs to his room. 

"Yeah, yeah, do as you like," she said, walking upstairs and slamming the door shut. 

"Toliver, someone's beating your brother's ass along with some other kids!," someone said to Ursula as she walked out of the chemistry lab with Nina. 

"What?! Where?!," she asked. 

"In the parking lot," someone else said. 

She quickly ran to the school parking lot, Nina following her. She was out of breath when she found her brother, his nose bleeding, along with other injuries. But someone had cleaned up most of them for him. He was wiping his bleeding nose, when Ursula ran to him. 

"Sawyer!," she said, as she made her way towards him through the parking lot. A lot of cars were gone by now because school was over and chemistry was Ursula's last class of the day. He looked up at her sister, who sat on her toes to look at him. 

"What happened? Who did this to you?!," she asked, eyebrows furrowed in worry. 

"I don't know. There were two more guys with the club president and the guy with the glasses beat the shit out of me and the others," he said, constantly wiping his nose. 

"Give it to me. I'll do it," Ursula said, taking the tissue from his hand and gently wiping his nose. "Your clothes are dirty, too," she said as she looked at his orange t-shirt and blue jeans, "Mom will get mad at you." 

"Oh, and you're worried, sis?," Sawyer asked, laughing. 

"Of course! You're my brother," she said, sticking a tissue into his nose, "Most of the places you were beaten at, they're quite clean. Did someone help you?." 

"Ursula!," Nina yelled from behind.  Ursula turned to look at her. 

"Sis, that's the girl. She helped me," Sawyer said, pointing to the girl standing next to Nina. 

She and Nina made their way towards Ursula and Sawyer. The girl came into view: she had wavy chestnut hair that were styled into a ponytail and held up by a green hair tie. She had pale skin and black eyes. She wore a green Jubilee high bombers jacket with a simple blue t-shirt, tucked in her blue jeans and a green cap. She also wore green earrings on her earlobes. She looked very tall and strong. 

"Ursula, she is the one who saved your brother and the other club members from the guy who beat them!," Nina exclaimed. 

Ursula stood up, followed by Sawyer and shook hands with the girl. 

"Hi, I'm Ursula Toliver and Sawyer's sister. Thank you for saving him and wiping the blood from his injuries, too," she said, smiling. 

"I'm Mabel Kanamori. Nice to meet you, too. My brother Bruce, is in the occult club, too. So, when I heard that he was getting beaten, I had to rush in to save him. Turns out, I ended up saving the other kids, too," the tall girl said, smiling. 

"Which club are you in?," Ursula asked. 

"The judo club," she said. 

"Oh, I'm in the swimming club. Nina is, too," she said, pointing at her. 

"Oh, that's amazing," she said. 

"Mabel!," a short kid yelled from behind. 

"Bruce, are you done cleaning the blood off your shirt? Let's go home now," Mabel said to her brother. 

"We should be heading home, too, Ursula," Nina said. She nodded. 

"Thank you once again," she said to Mabel. 

"N-no, it was nothing," she said, smiling. 

They turned around to walk. Sawyer and Bruce went to get their bicycles, while the three girls waited for them outside the school. 

"Where do you live, Mabel?," Nina asked. 

"Oh, street number 23," she answered, taking her cap off and putting it back on after tightening her pony tail. 

"That's not that far from here, then. I live at 2. Ursula lives at 11," Nina said. 

"Did you see who beat them, Mabel?," Ursula asked. 

"No, I barely made it in time. If I would've come even a bit late, I think that guy would've killed our brothers," Mabel said, shaking her head. 

"Was he dangerous, the guy who beat them? Sawyer said there were three," Nina asked. 

"I don't know. When I got to them, there was no one and they were just lying around, all bloody with his punches," she said. 

"You could tell they were punches?!," Ursula asked. 

"Yeah, I do judo. I have a good idea of all of those moves," she answered. 

"Sis, we're going on ahead of you!," Sawyer said, riding his bicycle, Bruce behind him. 

Ursula nodded. So, the two boys raced on ahead of the girls. 

"Why don't we walk home together?," Nina asked. 

"I'll reach my house the earliest, then Ursula, and then you, Nina. Will you be fine walking all alone?," Mabel asked. 

"Yeah, I'll be fine. I always walk home alone. I'll be good," she said. 

"You dress up like a boy, Mabel," Nina asked. 

"Yeah. Actually, my parents were going to have two boy twins before me but the delivery didn't went well and they died. I was born later but they wanted a boy. So, my Mom always made me dress up like a boy," she said. 

"But, you have a brother now. So, why don't you stop wearing these boyish clothes, then?," Ursula asked. 

"Uh, I kinda like this boyish attire. Though, I like girly clothes, too," she answered, laughing, "Plus, Bruce was born three years after me. And my Mom had a lot of problems during her pregnancy, too. So, I guess I got kinda used to being a boy for them." 

Ursula smiled at Mabel. She was at a loss of words. 

"Do you have some girlish hobbies?," Nina asked, trying to change the mood. 

"Let's see.. despite my tomboyish exterior, I'm kind of a person who enjoys cooking, gardening, flower arranging, and handicrafts. I kinda dream to have a happy marriage and own a flower and bakery shop," she said, scratching her neck. 

"That's kinda cute," Ursula said. Mabel laughed. 

"Well, my house is here. I'll see you later. Bye!," Mabel said, as she walked to the door and waved her hand to them. They waved back. 

Syed Al Wasee