Chapter 8:

The Campfire Club

Pandora's Box

We hurried as fast as we could over to the field behind the school. I had no idea what this was about, but I had the feeling that it's going to be another thorn in my side.

The field was grassy and open, with some soccer goals and some other sports equipment set up. In the center, there was Ryo and he looked to be confronting three other boys. Behind them was what looked to be a burning pile.

"What the heck is going on, Ryo?" I asked.

Ryo turned towards me, facing his back to the other kids.

"These jerks are burning our fliers!"

"I don't know what your issue is dude. I said we got permission to burn this stuff." A boy with bleached hair and earrings said.

"How is a fire even allowed on school grounds?" I asked.

"We're the campfire club. Obviously this is a club activity." Another boy with a mohawk and a tattoo on his wrist said.

If I recall last year these guys attempted to form this very same club. President Sato rejected it instantly because it was obvious they were just using it as an excuse to do delinquent activities at school. I'm almost certain these guys have gotten in trouble in the past for arson too.

"How the heck did the school allow you guys to become a club? This seems kind of dangerous." I said.

The bleached haired kid shoved Ryo a bit.

"If you and your boyfriend have a problem with it, take it up with that Sato chick. She finally approved our application from last year and that little freshman lackey of her's said we could burn any white flyers hanging in the halls."

Ryo turned around and balled his hand into a poorly made fist.

"You wanna go bro!" Ryo said.

"If you're looking to throw hands, I'm down." The one with the earrings said with a grin.

I quickly got in front of Ryo before he did anything stupid.

"Come on bro. It's not worth it. All you'll do is just get yourself expelled. Let's just go confront the student council."

He huffed with an irritated look on his face.

"Fine. You can bet I'm going to give those girls a piece of my mind!"

"You gonna run away with your boyfriend after all the big talk?" One of the boys shouted.

I was afraid Ryo was going to snap, so I proceeded to physically push him away, back towards the school. He flipped the group off as we left. Luckily all they did was shout insults at us.

They had mentioned something about a freshman lackey. I'm assuming that Sato already took it upon herself to replace me.



Ryo threw open the door to the student council room.

"You're not getting away with this you demon!" Ryo said, extremely fired up.

"Good afternoon Ota-san, how can I help you?" President Sato spoke with a smug grin.

"Don't play dumb, you know why we're here."

Mei, who was sitting on the couch, suddenly butted in. She had a look of disgust the moment she saw Ryo. Instantly, she dropped her typically cutesy act.

"Tch, don't even waste your time, Shiina-chan. He's not even supposed to be in here in the first place," She said.

"That's only cuz you three banned me, for no reason whatsoever."

"No reason? You would tag along with Kuro everyday and claim you were 'interested in getting involved too', but then just hit on Shiina-chan and Rin-chan and make everyone really uncomfortable."

"Well of course, it's not like I would hit on a goblin like you."

"Are you done with your childish comments? This is why you'll never get a girlfriend."

"Thould I ethcort them out, Yothino-thama?"

A short chubby kid with a black bowl cut and buck teeth seemed to manifest out of nowhere. I hadn't even noticed him when we entered the room.

"Who the heck are you?" I asked.

"My name is Thuko Thoda. I the new thecretary of the thudent counthil."

"Thuko Thoda? Is that a foreign name or something?"

"No, it's Thuko Thoda."

"Yeah Thuko Thoda. That's what I said."

"No Kuro, I think he's saying Zuko Soda." Ryo said, trying to see if he could clarify.

"No thath not right either. THUKO THODA!"

"Now Now, Suko-san and Yoshino-san. It's alright. Let's just hear these two out."

Sato quickly shut down the petty bickering among us four.

"Yeth Ma'am."

Thuko, Zuko, Suko... or whatever his name is obediently sat down like a loyal dog.

I spoke up,

"Why the heck is there a new club burning our fliers in the school's field?"

"New club... Hmmm. Oh, you must mean the campfire club. Yes, after some reconsideration, I decided to approve their application from last year. As for your fliers, there must have been some sort of miscommunication."

She had a sarcastic tone as she spoke.

"Miscommunication? They're burning our stuff!" Ryo said.

"If I may ask, what color paper were your fliers printed on?" She asked, seeming to already know the answer.

"Regular white paper. What else would I print it on."

I could already see the game she was trying to play.

"Oh, you two must have not gotten the memo. As of the beginning of this week all fliers that are to be displayed on school grounds must be printed on any colored paper other than white. You see, there was so much clutter on the walls of this school, we had to do something to reduce it. The campfire club was even kind enough to help dispose of all that paper."

"How does getting rid of white paper reduce clutter?"

"That's simple, it allows us to get rid of any old outdated fliers and it forces clubs to create updated ones. I apologize for any inconvenience. You two are more than welcome to reprint your fliers on compliantly colored paper."

As usual her ideas were underhanded, but effective. Something tells me though that this wasn't actually about clutter and more about spiting me.

"I hope you know that cheap tricks aren't going to stop me. I'll have you know I have a secret weapon up my sleeve."

I was of course referring to Red.

"Hm. Very interesting. I suppose you'll need whatever it is, considering you have 0% support in the most recent poll."

"Wait, what poll?"

"The one in the school paper. You didn't know they publish a weekly poll for the election?"

That's a bit concerning, but after this first debate I should have more exposure. Hopefully that should narrow it a bit.

"Yeah whatever...Let's go Ryo. We have new fliers to print out... And President Sato, you better be ready for that debate on Friday."

She chuckled a bit.

"Okay, I'm sure it will be a fun time."

Ryo quick jumped in to try and get the last word,

"And Mei. I hope you know your days as vice president are numbered. When Kuro wins, I'm taking that title."

"Pft, you're just butt hurt at me from middle school still. Just get over it already."

Mei had zero sympathy for him.

"How could I!? you're the one who intentionally chose to reject my confession to you in front of our entire school. You even drew up some fake tears and made me seem like a total stalker."

"If I didn't do that you would have never left me alone."

"Then I guess I dodged a bullet. Who would want to be with someone like you anyways?"

"Alright, I think she gets it. Let's go."

I had to force Ryo out the door in order to get him to stop bickering with Mei.

"Sato is such a snake and that kid with the bowl cut is a total tool. You think he even knows he's getting taken advantage of like you were."

"I have no Idea, but-"

We were suddenly interrupted.

"You two morons are blocking the door."

It was Sakai Rin, the student council treasurer. She was wearing her hair down for once rather than in her usual braid. I looked like she just finished tennis practice and put her school uniform back on.

"Oh sorry." I said a bit coldly as I stepped aside.

She was about to open the door, but stopped suddenly and pulled something out of her bag.

"I uh... have been meaning to return this to you. It's that math notebook you loaned to me a while ago."

Her cheeks turned a little red and she refused to make eye contact.

"Don't get the wrong idea. I'm only giving you back what's rightfully yours."

I took the notebook and thanked her. She entered the room and closed the door behind her.

Ryo and I turned to each other.

"Total tsundere." He said

"Yep, I'd call that the textbook definition."

After that, the two of us spent the remainder of the afternoon redoing all the fliers and hanging them back up. It was a headache, but we got it done.

N.J. Ecalus
Taylor J
Mario Nakano 64