As I've been telling you for years now, sometimes I'm not up for a little caption story. I like things the most when they're very detailed, and thus I often conceive quite complex ideas that are too long to make into captions, but can work as fleshed out and lengthy stories.
There are two problems about writing those, though. First, my English is still very poor, and writing something so long would be a painful experience both for me and the readers. Then there’s the fact that I can take a LONG time before actually making progress with something, as those who have been following The Reversion should know.
Thus, I simply write a complete story outline (which are still quite long and detailed, mind), in the hope that an author would come that would help me put those ideas in worthy words. After several failed attempts, such an author finally came in the form of BLZBub.
He has been crafting one of those ideas into something I’m quite sure you’ll all enjoy. And believe me, what we have in store for the next chapters is something to behold.
This is a first mouth opener in the shape of a Prologue. The story is named Class Project and you’ll soon see it’s quite ambitious. As such, it won’t have many pictures, and when they do, I hope you’ll excuse me if they don’t always add up with each other. Finding the proper images for something in such a large scale is quite difficult. But use your imaginations, and I’ll promise the story itself will make up for all picture mistakes.
So, without any more preamble, here’s the Prologue. As I told you, the whole outline was created by me, but all actual writing was done by BLZBub, and I want all credit to go to him.
If you’re as grateful to him as I am, then speak up and comment.
And by the way, this is the blog's 400 post. What a better way to celebrate?
And by the way, this is the blog's 400 post. What a better way to celebrate?
That fateful day started like any other day for Natalie Spencer. She woke up bright and early, earlier than most 11-year old girls on a school day. That was because she had a lot to do in the morning before school started. Getting dressed was the easy part, picking out a white shirt and socks to go with her Maryjane’s. Choosing a dress was a bit trickier, but she decided to go an emerald green one that matched her eyes and contrasted with her fiery red hair. Everyone knows that red hair and green eyes went really well together, if only freckles weren’t in the bargain. But Natalie thought she looked pretty enough for people to overlook her freckles.
Once getting dressed was done, Natalie turned her attention to her schoolwork. Of course, she had already done all that was due today, but her parents always told her it was best to get ahead of everything. And parents typically really mean ‘everything’. Natalie was already at the top of her class, but her parents discouraged her from complacent. Staying at the top required constant focus they said. Speaking of which, she better get downstairs or they’ll finish breakfast without her.
As Natalie approached the kitchen, she could hear her parents talking. That was hardly unusual for them to do at breakfast, but it quite unusual for them to not be talking in an easy warm manner.
“You know she’s a bright girl. She could handle this thing better than the other kids,” said her dad’s voice.
“But she’s still just a girl. She’s too young to even think about something like this, let alone how the other students will handle it,” said her mom’s voice.
“There you go again, holding her back,” said her dad’s voice, “She would have skipped a grade if you didn’t keep worrying.”
“Well I’m not the one who’s making her skip her childhood. She only gets one and-” said Mrs. Spencer before Natalie came into the kitchen. Her parents quickly stopped talking. “Morning, Natalie, are you ready to school?” she asked as if she hadn’t been arguing with her husband a moment ago.
“Uh, yeah, is there something you guys wanted to tell me about?” asked Natalie.
“No, not just yet,” said Mr. Spencer, “You better get your breakfast while you can.” Natalie frowned. This wasn’t the first time her parents had been acting odd lately, but this was the closest she had gotten to finding out why they were acting this way. As soon as she got back from school, she’ll have to start some serious investigating to find out what they were hiding.
The strangeness didn’t lessen when Natalie got to school. The teacher for her homeroom class was unusually late, so the kids were mostly talking to themselves. While a couple were talking about more mundane things like recent TV episodes or upcoming movies, there was still the local gossip going around.
“So, how was the movie you and Peter went to see?” asked Natalie.
“Oh, it was ok, the trailers kinda embellished it more than it actually was,” said Paige, a blonde girl who was one of Natalie’s friends.
“Oh, who cares about how the movie was? What about you and Peter?” asked Miranda, a Hispanic girl who was Paige’s other friend. Most of the other kids saw Natalie as a prep girl, which she kinda was, actually, but not as snooty and conceited as most believed. Miranda and Paige knew better than that, though.
“Oh, well, after the end credits started rolling, we, uh…”
“Come on, out with it,” said Miranda.
“We kissed,” said Paige.
The other two girls squealed.
“Oh, you are so lucky to have a boyfriend,” said Miranda, “Was it everything that they said it was?”
“Well, not that big. I mean, our lips pressed together but that wasn’t a lot,” said Paige.
“Paige, you’re supposed to be kissing deeper than that,” said Miranda.
“But I think Mom and Dad are starting to get suspicious. They’ve been acting weird around me,” said Paige.
“Hey, my parents are acting weird too, but I don’t let that get in the way of me and my boyfriend,” said Miranda.
“You have a boyfriend?” asked Paige.
“No, but if I did, I wouldn’t let them get in the way,” said Miranda.
“Wait, your parents have been acting weird too?” asked Natalie, “Have they been acting cagey and secretive and having conversations that stop the instant they notice you?”
“Well, I guess, I thought they were talking about me and Peter,” said Paige.
“Well our parents couldn’t be talking about Peter, right?” asked Natalie.
“Not that likely,” said Miranda.
“Figures you losers wouldn’t know about what’s going on.” Natalie, Miranda, and Paige groaned with annoyance before turning to see a girl with blonde hair that was darker than Paige’s and a smug expression on her face.
“What do you want, Brianna?” asked Natalie, sounding really irritated.
“You should know better than to speak to me with that attitude, missy,” said Brianna haughtily.
“Just because my dad works for your dad doesn’t mean I work for you,” said Natalie.
“Your dad is so far down the line that I’m not surprised he hasn’t told you what’s going on,” said Brianna smugly.
“Like you would know” retorted Miranda.
“Yeah, I actually do, my daddy tells me everything about his company because I’ll be running it someday,” said Brianna.
“What does Prescott Industries have to do with what our parents are talking about?” asked Paige.
“That’s for me to know and you losers to find out with everyone else,” said Brianna before walking off.
“Ugh, when I have kids, I’m gonna make sure none of them get spoiled,” said Miranda.
“Mr. Prescott can’t be that bad,” said Natalie, “If he was so tightly wrapped around Brianna’s finger, she would have had him fire my dad ages ago.”
“But she gets her way with everything else,” said Paige, “I don’t think she even does her own homework.”
“That might actually be true, since Brianna tried to make me do it for her once,” said Natalie, “But I told the teacher and he took care of Brianna.”
“You do know that’s probably why everyone thinks you’re such a teacher’s pet,” said Miranda.
“What? Agreeing with the teacher is a bad thing?” asked Natalie.
“Snitching is,” said Miranda.
“I was not snitching. Everyone should know the right way to deal with something is to tell an adult about it,” said Natalie. Miranda and Paige just exchanged a glance at that. “What?”
Just then, the principal’s voice on the PA system said, “All 5th grade students please report to the auditorium. There is an important announcement to be had there.” The students gave each other confused look. Just what was going on here? Their curiosity was great enough that they all headed towards the auditorium.
The kids were soon crammed into their seats in the auditorium. Up at the podium was the principal, looking somewhat nervous. As soon as everyone was seated, the principal said, “Good morning, children. As I’m sure you’re all aware by now, you have been going through some changes in the last few months. I’m certain your parents have talked to you about puberty-"
Quite a few kids ended up giggling at that, partially out of immature humor, partially out of embarrassment. The principal waited until the giggling stopped before continuing, “Anyways, normally at your age, we have a Sex Ed. Class-” There was even more giggling at that and the principal had to wait longer. “We would have a health class to explain what you’ll be dealing with over the next few years. But for this class, we’ve been presented with an…interesting alternative to simply teaching you. And here with us today to explain this new approach is Mr. Prescott of Prescott Industries.”
The kids gave a small round of applause as Mr. Prescott walked up to the podium. He shared a few facial features with Brianna, namely the color of their eyes, but Mr. Prescott’s hair was light brown. Of course, Natalie had seen his face before, namely from the Prescott Industries website. He looked a lot more jovial in person, more than she would have expected from Brianna certainly. He could simply be better at lowering his ego, but Natalie thought the expression in his eyes looked genuine.
“Hey kids, I’m Mr. Prescott, CEO of Prescott Industries,” said Mr. Prescott cheerily, “As you probably know, Prescott Industries is expanding the field of chemistry in every practical direction. We have developed new fuels, new cleaners, new medicines. That last division has been working with our makeup division to develop something quite interesting: the Fountain of Youth.”
There were many surprised and confused remarks from the students. One student in the back called out, “What’s that got to do with us?”
“I’m glad someone asked,” said Mr. Prescott, “As you can probably guess, developing a youth serum is not very straightforward and there are several failed formulas. But we have had produced some very interesting byproducts. These byproducts don’t bring us closer to rejuvenation, but I see the potential in each one of them. And this one in particular has potential for you all.”
With that, he pulled out a small bottle from his coat, one that was marked with a logo that was shaped like a W sitting on top of an upward-pointing arrow. The projection screen behind showed an image of the logo. “This serum is called Double-Up. Any living creature who drinks this will become twice as old as they were before for a limited time,” said Mr. Prescott.
There was a bunch of excited muttering from the kids. “I thought that would interest you,” said Mr. Prescott. “Of course, this serum would appeal to a very limited group. Not too many people older than you would want to add their own age again to themselves. But our government has come up with a plan to benefit all schoolchildren with Double-Up. And while I could tell you what it is myself, I think I should leave it to the brains behind this project, Ms. Forth.”
The students clapped again as a woman walked up to the podium. She was dressed in a government suit with brown hair coiled tightly in a bun and wearing glasses. She didn’t look as some government people do, probably in her thirties. Ms. Forth stood behind the podium and said,
“Thank you, children. There is a reason we are offering this opportunity to you at this time. You are on the cusp of puberty, a time of uncertainty. Many of you are worried you won’t grow up looking pretty enough, being teased and bullied for not maturing at the same rate as everyone. You worry about what you could do as an adult, how you’ll be able to confident enough to succeed in this world. This project you’re going to be a part of was meant for you to understand what growing up involves by giving you a sneak peak of what you’ll be like as an adult.
“Your parents have already been informed about this project and have given their permission to allow you to join it. After the presentation, you’ll proceed to your lunch period, at the end of which, you’ll be sent home with a vial containing enough Double-Up to make your aged state last a week. During the week, you will be excused from school and be allowed to spend your time as adults. However, there are rules you are to follow which will be included with your dosage bottles and you are expected to report daily about what your activities you did. Any breaking of the rules will result in an instant failing grade for this project. But you will still be able to enjoy your week without breaking the rules. And if your class is successful, we shall be introducing this to all 5th grade classes in every school. Be responsible, be careful, and have fun.”
With that, the principal returned to the podium and said, “You may now go to the cafeteria for lunch. There shall be a bus waiting outside for everyone who won’t be picked by their parents. Have a good day.”
There was a very noticeable buzz of excitement from the students as they went to the cafeteria. Some were almost too busy discussing the project with their classmates to notice the free pizza being provided. But no one is too excited to pass up on pizza. At the end of lunch, the kids lined up to receive their vials of Double-Up before heading home for a week of excitement and discovery.
CLASS PROJECT INDEX
CLASS PROJECT INDEX