Drama Mystery Friendship

School, 7:57 am: Arius

I leap out of the car to see the haphazard brick school building. Children careen into each other and tumble towards the ground. I hear people howling and laughing. They seem to be causing a riot, but in reality, they act like every other middle schooler. I quickly stride towards the doors as the bell shrieks, making my ears ring loudly. 

As I near the doorway, rowdy students push past me. Drifting towards the back of the crowd, I bump into another boy. After a quick apology, the student introduces himself. He is moving so fast I can barely make out his slim figure, but I’m trying to listen to his hushed sentences. I get distracted by another kid’s disruptive shout to classmates down the hall. We keep walking, him going backward, although he trips on another student’s shoelaces; face planting into my knee. We have known each other for a matter of minutes, but I feel the beginnings of a friendship. 

The rest of the morning went by pretty well for my first day. Now, we sit in the packed cafeteria. I can smell everyone’s lunch; thank the sardine-level squished lunchroom. I guess I know what is for lunch today, pork sandwiches, and tuna salad. Gross. Finn reaches and grabs the big juicy apple from the corner of my tray. I slap his hand, and he lets out a gasp as if I hurt him. Although I deny Finn my apple, I don’t care if he has it. 

Jokingly, I sit up and act all proper while giggling to myself, “Here is my apple; I give it to you in my appreciation of our friendship. “ I can barely make the words out before we both crack up. I don’t think Finn ever ate the apple, but it certainly is a memory. 

When the last period rolls around, I ask Finn the burning question, “Would you wanna hang out after school?” I explain to Finn that my sister would drive us to my house, and what we could do there. I take forever to lay out the details, and before I’m finished, our strict, to the book, history teacher is looming over my shoulder. 

“No talking in my class boys. I expect better from you,” she snaps, which shuts us up; but not before Finn whispers to me.

“Totally,” he says, just as Ms. Barnab struts away. 

Later that afternoon I hear an ear-piercing, endless honk and it takes a minute but I recognize it as my sister. Quickly, I turn to Finn and tell him to run to the car, before Rue ditches us. I know my sister would leave us if we don't hurry and get ourselves in the flipping car; as she so lovingly puts it. We race to the car, twisting and turning through kids carrying full backpacks. I accidentally elbow a kid but have no time to apologize. Finn stumbles over the uneven sidewalk but quickly regains himself. I don't notice it. I'm imagining what the night will bring, and not paying attention. Since I'm off in my own fantasy, I run face-first into the passenger's seat window; leaving a slobbery lip print. Finn drops to the ground in laughter, gasping for breath.

“Get in here dummy!” my sister says fiercely, but she can’t hide her grin. Of course, she is laughing at me, who wouldn't, I’m a fool. I pretend not to notice and play along with her.

“Jeesh okay we’re coming, chill out. We ran as fast as we could, just for you, be grateful,” I say, as Rue gives us an overly dramatic eye roll, then starts the car. 

Finn and I make small talk on the way home. It's pretty boring but we don't want to get kicked out of the car for being “irritating”. The five-minute conversation forms from a quick introduction and a snapshot of the recent weather. Once the car pulls up to sixth street I grab our bags while Finn shuffles out of the stuffy car. 

I unlock our ruby red door that looks as old and overworked as my grandparents. When I pull open the door, a gust of cool air catches me by surprise. Finn and I toss our backpacks under the oak bench in the cluttered entryway. My mom yells from upstairs, asking if I had fun at school. We both reply yes. That catches her off guard.

“Honey, is there someone here?” she interrogates with a frightened tone. 

"My friend, Finn is over, is that ok? Rue didn't care," I answer, watching my words carefully; something seems off with my mom.

"Whatever Arius, just ask me next time," she shoots back, fear slipping through her calm act. This scares both Finn and I, but we continue to enjoy our afternoon. We are playing video games, watching shows, and laughing together; past most peoples' bedtimes. My night is going perfectly, and I hope Finn is having fun. Until we hear a terrifying, unusual, knock on the front door. 

Expecting a neighbor or salesman, I’m ignoring the persistent thumping; for a while. On the sixth or seventh knock, I round the corner and pulled open the brass-handled door. Finn following closely behind me. I find a couple of packages, which is strange because the mailman doesn’t usually come at night.

 Five minutes later, a second summoning brings me rushing towards the door. It is my father, dressed in a blood-red silk coat, embroidered with an unrecognizable black design. Yet, it isn't my father's unusual dress that bothers me; it is the fact that he covers the emblem on his chest. After a minute, my father breaks the silence.

"Hello Arius, I see you brought your friend over. Goodnight. Now move along." Slowly, my father squeezes and squishes past Finn, and then continues down the hall. I notice my father covers the chest of his cloak until he finishes scurrying up the stairs. I reclose the door and try to shrug off the unusual experience, but it's hard to rub off the questions I have. 

After my mom and I drop Finn off that night I muster the courage to ask her about dad’s strange behavior. 

“Mom? What the heck is wrong with dad, he’s acting weird and covering his chest. Not to mention wearing a cloak,” I mention softly. 

My mom looks at me and turns down the air in the car; then she sighs under her breath, shaking her head. “Honey it’s nothing. He’s just exhausted, your dad needs a break,” she tells me; and it makes me feel better, but I still have an itch to scratch. I don’t sleep well. 

Finn’s house, 11:09 pm: Finn

“Mom, that kid was cool and all but his dad gave me shivers down my spine, something about him was just off. He had this thing on his cloak he was wearing. When he saw me he covered it faster than you can say mysterious. I wanna be friends with Arius but I don't want to go back to his house.” 

My mom brushes it off like I'm telling a complete lie. I beg her to believe me because he gives me the spooks. I can’t figure him out, and I’m bewildered by him. His appearance had a Tim Burton vibe to it, and it doesn’t get any worse than that. My mom again tries to sweep it under the rug and tells me to go to bed. I shoot her a sassy reaction and stomp my way up the stairs. 

After my hissy fit, I whip out my phone and try to find out more about “Mr. Seth Jodenberg”. I couldn't find anything too informational, but when I switch to images I found the logo that was stitched on his cloak. The time falls to 3 a.m. and I'm left with all I need to crack the case of the mysterious Jodenberg. I jot down every detail that I have collected through the numerous search engines and websites. I can’t wait to tell Arius, but then I remember, this is his dad. What’s worse is that he seems not to realize something is off with his parents- both of them. Telling him might ruin him, crush him. His trust with them will be obliterated. Trust with the people who will take care of him for the rest of his childhood, life even. Yet, Arius has to know. 

Even though I desperately want to tell him, I can't bear hurting Arius. So the next day, at school, I decide it will be best to ignore Arius; even if that would hurt him. I knew that I would let something slip if I spoke to him, something that would hurt him more than a fizzling friendship.

School, 11:39 am: Arius

It's already the fifth period and Finn hasn't said a single word to me yet. He must not have had fun when we hung out, I guess he did seem a little spooked. I waved at him twice and asked how his day has been and both times I got a dreadful glare. The glare you never want to see; the “I hate you” glare. Maybe he isn't who I thought he was after all. Finn just isn't the same person I met yesterday. I want to take my apple back from him; he’s a jerk. 

I glance backward, down the linoleum-tiled school hallways, to see Finn. I wanted to ask him what I did wrong, but before I can utter a single word, he pulls a ringing phone out of his pocket. Great. It’s probably his friends calling, trying to make plans for the weekend; Finn has a better life without me. 

School, 11:40 am: Finn 

“Hello, this is Finn,” I speak into the phone. I don’t recognize the number and a middle-of-the-day phone call is usually out of the question. There is an abrupt silence, then a shocking response. 

“You stay away from my boy, hear me? I don’t know what you have figured out, but you stay away from Arius. He doesn’t need to know, get out of his life, and keep this between us,” the voice disappears and the line drops dead.

October 23, 2020 17:06

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17:03 Mar 04, 2021

Woah Maarit this is super duper good! I wonder who helped you write it... :) Also, you should make more stories I love reading them when I am bored at school!


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Ann Rapp
01:54 Oct 29, 2020

Hi Maarit, I enjoyed your story, but it ended just when it was getting exciting! I hope you continue writing it, as I think you've got a good idea here. Your descriptions are unusual and very good, and you are good at writing dialog. But I want to know more, and what happened between the two boys. Hope to see more of this story at some point.


Maarit Mattson
19:13 Oct 30, 2020

Thank you for your feedback! I really enjoyed writing this story, and am planning to add more in the future.


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