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 Post subject: Re: Fanfiction Club
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:17 pm 
Chocolate Chip
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I really enjoyed reading all these! Everyone did great!
So, what should our next writing topic be?

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"Next up, Mark Morgan's message to all math maniacs in the middle school is meaningful if you mingle by the mezzanine for a momentous mix of methodological mayhem and a menagerie of multiplicative inversions. Ha ha ha! I bet I could say this backwards. Inversions multiplicative of menagerie a and mayhem methodological..."


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 Post subject: Re: Fanfiction Club
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 12:39 am 
Fudge Marble
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Thanksgiving themed by the end of November?

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"Let me get this straight. I bet all those non-friends of yours try to embarrass you about your love for that stuff, right? So, you almost feel like you have to hide your treasures away and can only take them out in secret on rainy days when your mom goes to the store to get more liver and nobody is around to berate your sensitive spirit. Is that what you’re saying?" -Jay Smouse


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 Post subject: Re: Fanfiction Club
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 7:35 am 
Strawberry

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PennyBassett wrote:
Thanksgiving themed by the end of November?

I did have an idea for a scene set during thanksgiving.


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 Post subject: Re: Fanfiction Club
PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2019 9:10 am 
Chocolate Chip
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PennyBassett wrote:
Thanksgiving themed by the end of November?

That sounds fun! I'm down.

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 Post subject: Re: Fanfiction Club
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 8:10 pm 
Strawberry
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Me too! And I'll try to actually get mine done by the deadline this time. XD

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Shiyanne Rylie Steele

Buck and Jules Shipper
Wooton is the best character on Odyssey ever. Fight me.


"It's not that we don't make sense, it's that we have a different way of looking at things that do make sense." ~Wooton Bassett


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 Post subject: Re: Fanfiction Club
PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2019 7:43 pm 
Chocolate Chip
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So here's my thanksgiving fanfic about none other than Jay Smouse.

Is it so wrong to want one normal holiday? I mean- why does every single year have to be so… weird? My story starts off with me sitting on the kitchen counter, listening to Twenty One Pilots, flipping through an electric guitar magazine, eating animal crackers and drinking apple juice (don’t judge) when my brainiac dad walked in.
“Son,” he said looking up from the notepad that he carried around everywhere, “your mother is going to be getting home late due to an emergency operation.”
“What’s your point?” I asked through a full mouth of crackers.
He blinked at me in silent disgust for a second. “She is now unable to go pick up the turkey and the other ingredients, so you get to.”
“Wait- you want me to go shopping for our entire Thanksgiving meal?”
“Yes.”
“But-”
He gave me that dreaded dad look.
“Um, okay…”
“You’d better get going.”
I slid off the counter and briefly glanced at dad’s notebook as I passed him. Complicated algorithms covered the page. I sighed.
How is this my dad?
“Here’s the list,” he handed me a neatly folded sheet of paper.
“See ya,” I muttered, stuffing it into my pocket.


I parked my BMX bike outside Finnemin’s Market and made my way into the back of the store. I guess I probably should’ve thought through the fact that I was supposed to buy a twenty-five-pound turkey and somehow carry it home… in my backpack.
A herd of women mulled around the store, making last-minute purchases for Thanksgiving. I wandered over to the frozen section and glanced in the empty freezers. Every single turkey was gone. A worker in a red “Finnemin’s Market” vest knelt on the ground, loading cans of asparagus onto the shelves. I walked up to her.
“Heya-”
She looked up, “You need something?”
“Yeah, I need a turkey.”
“I’m sorry, but we’re sold out. The next shipment doesn’t come in till Saturday.”
Crud. Dad’s gonna kill me.
“Oh…”
“What are you doing buying a turkey the day before Thanksgiving anyway?”
“Uh, well, isn’t that how it normally works?”
She laughed. “Normally folks buy the turkey several days beforehand.”
“Um, right. Thank you!” I fake smiled and rounded the next aisle. For genius parents, they sure didn’t act all that genius.
I pulled my phone out of my back pocket to call dad.
“Yo, dad?”
There was a momentary pause on the other side. “Yes?”
“So um, there’s no turkey…”
“Okay.”
“So- what do I do?”
“I’m sorry, I can’t talk now. I’m on a business call. Can you talk to Wally?”
“I- I guess.”
“Good. Bye.”
Dad hung up.
Great.
I found Uncle Wally’s contact info.
“Hello?” he asked after the third ring.
“Hey, Uncle Wally, it’s Jay.”
“Oh, Jay! What’s up?”
“Well I’m at the store to buy the turkey, but they’re out. So dad suggested I call you.”
“Where’s Silvia?”
“Slicing open someone’s skull.”
“...okay then. So you need a turkey?”
“Yeah.”
“Hm, okay. I’ll pick you up.”
“Pick me up?”
“Yeah, we’re gonna go find us a turkey.”
A smile tugged at the corners of my mouth. “Okay, bye.”

I was standing at the curb outside the store when that red, beat up, 1990 Acura Integra pulled up. “It’s a true classic,” Uncle Wally would always say, and I agreed with him… most of the time. Cuz like- there’s no air conditioning or heating. So when it’s 32 degrees out you really gotta bundle up.
“Get in!” he yelled through an open window.
I sprinted forward, pulled open the door, and hopped into the front seat.
“So, what’s our plan?” I asked, rubbing my half numb hands together.
“Turkey hunting.”
“What- you mean like go to every store in Odyssey, or actual turkey hunting?”
He smirked. “Jay, you ever held a gun?”
“Nope.”
Wow, did I actually just say that?
“There’s always a first time.”

I stood in the dingy garage as Uncle Wally submerged himself into a scary-looking closet full of who-knows-what. After several very movie-like bangs and ouches, he pulled out what looked like a bunch of collapsed bushes.
“And here’s,” he dropped the pile on the ground, “our camouflage.”
“Wha-”
He held one up. “It’s called a ghillie suit.”
“Looks like a bush,” I said dryly. And trust me, I know what a bush looks like.
“That’s the point.” He pulled two black cases out of the closet. “And here’s our guns. Get in the car, we got some turkeys to shoot!”


About an hour later, we were parked in the middle of nowhere, unloading our hunting equipment from the car.
“I grabbed the extra small one for you,” Uncle Wally tossed me a ghillie suit.
“Uh, thanks…”
After about twenty minutes of what seemed like an unending struggle to put on a bush, we were set. Uncle Wally looked like an overweight monster from a horror movie and I looked like an idiot- well, I guess we both looked like idiots. I followed my bush of an uncle through the forest for about two miles. Finally, we got to a clearing in the trees.
“Okay, let’s stop here. See that lake?” Uncle Wally pointed straight ahead.
“...It’s half-frozen.”
“There’s a section that’s not. The turkeys will be coming around here sooner or later. And I brought my turkey call.”
“Ooo, cool! What’s that?”
“The name is self-explanatory, Jay. Turkey. Call. You call turkeys with it.”
“Ah…”

We ended up sitting there for around two hours before any form of life came out. I was twirling strands of dead grass around my fingers when the first chubby bird showed itself.
Uncle Wally slapped my arm.
“Hey-” I started, his hand closed around my mouth.
He held a finger to his lips and handed me a rifle. A herd of turkeys began to waddle around the field.
“...Okay, Jay, aim for right behind the wing,” he whispered, lifting his own gun.
I closed one eye and peered through the scope with the other. A thin “+” lay across the glass. I aimed behind the wing. My finger squeezed the trigger. There was a loud bang and then a searing pain shot through my right shoulder.
“Agh!” I screamed, the gun clattered to the ground.
“Jay! Jay, you got him!”
I collapsed on the ground, fire running through my arm and side. I fought to breathe.
“Jay, you okay?”
“...no.”
“What happened?”
“My- shoulder,” I choked.
Uncle Wally moved my leaves out of the way and pulled the neck of my shirt down.
“Oh God! Your shoulder’s purple!”
I didn’t say anything. My head spun. I heard him fumbling around in something, then he began to talk to someone. His speech sounded oddly slurred. Next thing I knew I was being laid on a stretcher, and loaded into a helicopter (how or when it got there, I have no idea). Someone was cutting me out of my ghillie suit.
“Okay, let’s see that shoulder of yours,” a calm female voice said.
An ice-cold finger touched my shoulder. Stars shot through my blurry vision.
“I- I think- I’m going to p- pas…”
And then everything goes blank.


Thump. Thump. Thump.
My eyes opened slowly. A bright golden light shown in my eyes. Everything was blurry.
White figures surrounded me.
Is this heaven? It’s so- small…
“Jay...” a soothing masculine voice said.
“Y- yes?”
I became aware of a tight pain in my right shoulder. Maybe it was those newly acquired angel wings that I had been dreaming about.
“Come on, you can do it.”
“I…”
“Jay!”
A large shadow stood over me. I blinked several times.
Is that- a- a bush?
“Jay!”
Uncle Wally?
“Mr. Haggler, I would suggest that you take that off.”
I blinked again. Everything was starting to come into focus. Uncle Wally stood over me, a ridiculous grin on his face.
Definitely not heaven.
“How do you feel?”
“Awful,” I groaned. “What happened?”
“You dislocated your shoulder,” one of the nurses said.
“Ugh… How’d I do that?”
“You weren’t holding the gun properly,” my uncle informed me. “But Jay, you got us a twenty-eight-pound turkey!”
“Great…”
“So, can we go home now?”
“Not yet, we need to get in contact with his parents before he can be released.”

So there I was, lying in agony on the hard, metal examination table. Every slight movement shot a wave of pain through my shoulder. Finally, my dad showed up to sign some papers and they released me from that disease filled nightmare of a building. They told me I have to wear a sling for the next twelve weeks, but it’s blue, so that’s cool. Uncle Wall offered to take care of the turkey. Although most any other day I probably would’ve wanted to pluck all the feathers, chop the legs and head off, and gut the turkey. But at that moment all I wanted to do was sit under my Elvis Presley blanket, in bed. So that’s what I’m doing now. It’s 11:52 pm. I’m a secret night owl, but a man needs his time alone and if the night is his only time to get it, then he’ll do it then. Well Journal, thanks for always being there for me.

-Your most faithful friend, Jay

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"Well, that wasn't Shakespeare's Henry IV, but it'll have to do." -Don Polehaus


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 Post subject: Re: Fanfiction Club
PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2019 8:05 pm 
Strawberry
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Here's mine!

If you want a better context as to what this story is about, you can read the brief preface in the box below. Or, if you’d rather be surprised by the exposition, just skip on down to the bottom button. :)

This is a Thanksgiving story about Jenny and Monty Whittaker, told from Jenny's POV. It takes place in the present, and it's the first time we've heard from Jenny in a long time. And the rest pretty much explains itself. I hope you enjoy!!


They’d kicked me out of the lab over the holiday, so I had to go home. Only it wasn’t home, really—just a hole-in-the-wall studio apartment on the south side of Chicago. Home was…I didn’t even know anymore.

Still, what did I have to complain about? I had made it, hadn’t I? After double majoring in violin performance and nuclear physics at the University of Chicago, I was now a highly favored research assistant at Argonne National Laboratory, on the fast track to becoming a lab director.

It was all I’d ever wanted, right? It was all anyone ever had wanted for me—what I was born to do. Everyone said so. But lately I’d had my doubts.

It seemed like all the dreams of young Jennifer Whittaker-Dowd had come true. But at what expense? I had alienated my family and friends—everyone I used to care about. Now, all I had outside the lab were the four blank walls of my tiny apartment.

I stared out the window at the dingy piles of snow outside. I knew it would all be melted by Christmas. That was the way it always worked around here.

The door buzzer sounded, and I ignored it. That was always happening around the holidays—visitors pushing the wrong buttons in their excitement over gathering with friends and family. It was never really for me.

Suddenly, I heard a tap on kitchen window. Was I hearing things? There it was again. I wasn’t hearing things. Making my way to the kitchen, I saw the silhouette of a man standing on the fire escape outside the window.

I was about to scream when I realized the face peering in my window was one I recognized.

“Monty?! What are you doing here?”

I cracked the window open.

“It’s good to see you, too,” he chuckled. “Are you going to let me in, or are you just going to stand there staring at me?”

“Oh, uh, yeah, sure…” I opened the window all the way and pulled out the screen. “I’m still stuck on why my brother is climbing through my window on Thanksgiving Day.”

“You didn’t answer the door, so… I mean, you didn’t think I was going to give up that easily did you?”

“Okay, but that doesn’t explain why you’re here in the first place. Mom asked you to come check in on me, didn’t she?”

“That doesn’t matter. I would have come anyway. We haven’t seen or heard from you in months. Besides, I was already in the neighborhood for work and decided I’d just drop in to spend Thanksgiving with my sister. So…” He cast an amused glance at the pajamas and slippers I was wearing. “What are your plans for the day?”

“I, uh, don’t really have any.”

“Perfect! Then we’ll cook Thanksgiving dinner together.”

Wasting no time, he flung open the refrigerator door.

“There’s not much in there,” I cautioned.

“You aren’t kidding! Do you even eat anymore?”

“Sorry, I wasn’t really expecting company.”

“Really, Jen—pizza rolls?” he questioned, peering into the freezer. “You live in the city with the best pizza in the world, and you…” I shot him a look that told him I was not amused. “Never mind. There’s a 7-Eleven down the street. I’m going to go scrounge us up something real to have for Thanksgiving dinner.”

Before I knew it, he was on his way out my front door in that Monty Whittaker whirlwind of reckless energy I knew so well.

“Do me a favor and answer the door when I come back, though, will ya?” he hollered over his shoulder as he dashed down the stairs.

He was back in 20 minutes with an armload of edibles, which he proudly displayed on the kitchen table.

I don’t know what kind of wizardry he concocted, but he managed to take the pathetic spread of gas station chicken wings, boxed stuffing mix, instant mashed potatoes and gravy, wilted bag salad, and day-old apple fritters and make it all taste like five-star cuisine.

“Well, shall I say grace?” he asked as we sat down before our make-shift feast.

“Sure.”

I felt like a little kid, squinting through half-closed eyelids while he prayed a blessing over the meal. I hadn’t thought about God in a long time. It was strange to hear my brother speaking so naturally to Him, like he was talking to his best friend.

As we cleaned up the dishes after sufficiently stuffing ourselves, my brother’s eyes settled on the single element of décor in my matchbox-sized apartment. It was a simply-framed photo of the three of us—Mom, Monty, and me—taken the Thanksgiving before. That was the last time the three of us had been together. And that had been the day everything went wrong with Mom.
“What happened between you two, Jen?”

“I don’t know—we’d just become…distant. I don’t know why. And then we just blew up at each other. I don’t even remember what it was we fought about. We just suddenly couldn’t stand to be in the same room with each other. I miss her, Monty.”

“She misses you, too, you know.”

There was silence for a few moments, then, “Do ever play anymore?” he asked, nodding at the dusty violin case that sat in the corner of the room.

I grunted. “Not since I flunked my audition with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.”

“That’s a shame.” He looked genuinely disappointed. “Would you play something for me now?”

I knew it was useless to protest. My brother was the only person I knew who was more strong-willed that I was. Before I could think about what to play, the familiar strains of “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” came floating from the long-silent strings. Why was I playing that song?

Then I remembered all those years ago when I’d been selected to play the solo in that piece as a guest performer in the Odyssey Youth Symphony’s holiday concert. A couple of the orchestra members nearly lost their minds over it and said some pretty nasty things to me. Monty stood up for me, though. Just like he always did.

And suddenly it struck me that, in spite of all the pressure I had always put on myself to perform, none of that had ever mattered to Monty. He was always there for me no matter what.

I stopped abruptly.

“Thank you, Monty.”

“For what?”

“For always having my back. For never caring whether I’m first chair or not. For climbing in my window to visit me for Thanksgiving dinner. For being…you.”

“Aw, come on, Jen. I’m your brother. That’s what I do.”

Neither of us had ever been very good with emotions. So I just began playing again, and Monty hummed along.

We sat around laughing and talking for hours after that, just like old times. I’d forgotten how much I missed that.

Finally, Monty stood up and said, “Well, I have some reports to go over before, uh…an inspection I have to do tomorrow.”

I laughed lightly. “Yeah, sure you do… Hey, can I ask you a question?” I didn’t wait for him to answer. “You’re not a food inspector, are you?”

“Leave it to my sister, the smart one, to figure it out.” He shrugged. “I guess you could say I’ve become involved in the, uh, ‘family business.’”

I nodded. “I always knew you’d end up following in Grandpa and Uncle Jason’s footsteps.”

“Speaking of which—“ he interrupted before I could speculate further. “We’ll be in Odyssey with Grandpa and Jason for Christmas in a few weeks. You should come.”

“Maybe I will.”

He wrapped me up in a big bear hug, just like he used to.

“And call mom, will ya?”

I nodded, wiping at a wayward tear that suddenly came trickling down my face.

“Hey now, none of that!”

He gave me one last hug, then, just as suddenly as he had come, he was gone.

As I watched him strolling away down the sidewalk, he turned in the direction of my window to wave a final goodbye. I waved back, thankful for such an incorrigible, headstrong brother who never gave up on me. Spending time with him had helped me remember how much I really did have to be thankful for.

Once he was out of sight, I picked up my phone and scrolled through the contacts until I settled on Mom’s number. I hesitated for a moment, then tapped the green call button.

“Hey Mom, it’s Jenny. I, uh… just wanted to call and wish you a happy Thanksgiving.”

_________________
Shiyanne Rylie Steele

Buck and Jules Shipper
Wooton is the best character on Odyssey ever. Fight me.


"It's not that we don't make sense, it's that we have a different way of looking at things that do make sense." ~Wooton Bassett


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 Post subject: Re: Fanfiction Club
PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2019 8:12 pm 
Fudge Marble
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Stunning per usual, Miah!
Finally finished mine lol

Eugene adjusted his spectacles and tried to focus on the road ahead of him. What an endless road it was. His eyes darted down to the Google Maps app on his phone.
2 hours
“Fantastic,” the genius mentally muttered, adding sarcastic flare that only he could appreciate, this word being silently mouthed at best.
Katrina took a heavy breath, tired of scrolling through Facebook. She tried to straighten herself, spinal aches appearing thanks to three and a half hours of driving. With one hand on her neck, she turned to the backseat.
Buck turned up the volume on his phone. He could feel his foster mom’s eyes on him and was in no mood for conversation. He was comfortable the way he was: his back against his memory foam pillow, the rest of him sprawled out over three back seats of Eugene’s Toyota Yaris. Comfort had been a thing so rarely enjoyed lately. He wasn’t about to spoil it with another awkward and forced discussion. Brendon Urie’s voice got louder as ‘Into the Unknown’ began to play for the fifth time in a row. A perfect song, featuring vocals the ex-convict from Louisiana could only dream of imitating sufficiently. He was about to look at a meme Dion had sent through Instagram when Katrina’s French-tipped nail tapped his knee. He raised his eyes to lock with hers.
In the golden-hour sunlight, Buck’s eyes shone with blue irritation. She made her attempt regardless.
“What are you looking at?”
“What?”
He removed his left Airpod.
“What are you looking at?”
“Instagram,” he shrugged, nearly rolling his eyes.
“Cool…” she forced, realizing there wasn’t a follow-up sentence prepared. His eyes remained on her, holding consistent disinterest.
She stared out the window for a second, causing Buck’s eyes to narrow. He wasn’t going to let her interrupt him without good reason.
“Are you excited to meet everyone?”
‘What kind of question is that?’
“I don’t know. Sure.”
“That sounded… unenthusiastic.”
“Sorry.”
“Does anyone want to stop? There’s a gas station coming up,” Eugene asked.
“I’m good,” Buck answered, replacing his left earbud.
“Yeah, I’m fine.”
“Very well.”
And hence began a two-hour silence in the Meltsner car.

“All settled in?”
Katrina stood at the door of her brother’s old room, where Buck sat on the navy-blue bed, flipping through a Spanish textbook.
“I think so,” he nodded, earbuds in once again.
“Fredrick and his family are here. They’d kinda like to meet you.”
Buck took a long breath in.
“Okay.”

Millie Shank’s lived in a two-story, four-bedroom Chicago home. It was open-looking and surprisingly modern for the feisty gray-haired woman that Katrina’s mother was. When Buck came downstairs, he entered the living room area to find a tall, blond man wearing a crisp button-up. At his arm stood an African American woman in a just as nice red coat. Their twin girls chased each other around the kitchen, holding spoon-fulls of dough, taking time to lick the batter now and then before going back to their game. They were about five. Fredrick and his wife were describing the new car they’d just purchased when Buck became visible.
Katrina noticed him first and didn’t waste time getting to his side and clearing her throat.
“Sorry to interrupt, but um, this is Buck.”
“It’s no interruption. It’s nice to meet you, Buck. I’m Fredrick, this is Malaya.”
The three of them shook hands.
“You’ve been living with Eugene and Katrina for what was it… a year?”
“I think it’s been a year and a half,” he said, more to Katrina than Fredrick.
“Wow, yeah just about. Next July it’ll be two years.”
“And you’re sixteen?”
“Yeah.”
“Buck is the wide receiver on his high school football team.”
“Really? That’s awesome,” Malaya smiled.
“It’s fun.”
He tried to smile.
“Buck, you should try this batter,” Millie said, pulling him into the kitchen. She handed him a spoon, and he tasted the sweet dough.
“Hm. That’s good.”
“Are you sure? It doesn’t need salt or more sugar or anything?”
“I really wouldn’t know, but it tastes amazing as it is.”
“Buck is far from a picky eater,” Eugene chuckled.
“I’ve never heard him complain about food,” Katrina added.
“I don’t like everything. Pickles are gross.”
“See, I don’t get that, because you like pickled flavored things.”
“Pickled flavored things?”
“Yeah, like you bought pickle-flavored potato chips one time.”
“Oh, yeah I like those. I don’t know why. I think it’s the texture of cucumbers.”
“Oh, ‘cuz you don’t like those either.”
“Right.”
“Okay, that makes sense.”
“Yeah. Um, I’ve gotta go finish up some homework.”
Katrina nodded,
“Alright.”
He went back upstairs. As Fredrick continued his story, Katrina turned to Eugene.
Katrina’s eyes darted upward, then back to Eugene’s. He understood and excused himself from the gathering.

Buck was staying in the third room down the hall. Eugene tapped on it, and Buck was soon standing in front of him.
“What?”
“May I come in?”
“I guess,” Buck shrugged, and walked back to his bed. Eugene closed the door behind him.
“Are you feeling well?”
“I’m fine.”
“Are you sure? You don’t seem… yourself.”
“I’m just tired. It was a long car trip, and I’m still stressed about, ya know…”
“Not particularly.”
“Um. Spanish. Mrs. Lugers just assigned us more homework than I expected for the break.”
“I see. Well um, if you’re sure.”
“I am.”
Eugene nodded and turned toward the door.
“Buck?”
“Yeah?”
“I’m always here for you. Katrina as well. If- if you ever need to talk. Just, please know that we’re here.”
“I know.”
“Alright. I would expect dinner to be ready around six.”
“Great.”
Buck swallowed a lump in his throat as Eugene left the room. Discomfort had returned.

Dinner was delicious. Buck sat between Eugene and Brooklyn, Katrina’s oldest niece. She was ten, and thought herself very mature, as she daintily sipped sparkling cider and was careful to dab her lip after each bite of potato soup, each nibble of salad. Buck’s mannerisms, while polite, probably looked clumsy next to such mechanic actions. The conversation stayed on family, money, and the occasional cultural reference. Buck didn’t say much. Katrina talked quite a bit, her voice holding a more formal tone than usual, and Eugene added to the conversation every once in a while but avoided his usual technical descriptions and big words. The meal ended, and while the adults gathered in the living room for cocktails, Buck took sweet refuge in his room.
“So, how is it?” Jules laughed over the phone.
“I can’t believe we drove five and a half hours for this. I mean, this is what people mean when they talk about family Thanksgiving?”
“Are they fake?”
“Completely. Even Eugene and Katrina change their attitude. It’s insane.”
“Where’s everyone now?”
“Downstairs. They’ve been talking for a couple of hours. The kids went to bed right after dinner.”
“At six-thirty?”
“Yeah. That’s the other thing. Everyone is so protective. Katrina’s cousin, Silvia- she’s fifteen- obnoxious, but she kind of stumbled down the stairs earlier, and I thought her mom was going to have a heart attack. Like- they’re people, not glass.”
“Ugh, there were so many helicopter parents in LA. I know exactly the type. Steer clear, captain. You’ll be home soon. And, when you do, you have to come over. Connie is making extra cheesy mashed potatoes. She’s making more than usual this year, so we are going to have a cheesy potato and Doctor Who marathon.”
“Sounds perfect. Oh, someone’s at the door. Come in! I gotta go.”
“Alright, see ya.”

The group of family broke into a laugh as Eugene finished his story. The conversation took a different turn as someone mentioned a deceased relative, and the attention fell on the left side of the room. Katrina, who sat far to the right, was called into her mother’s bedroom.
It was a beautiful, beached themed space, with large windows that had a nice view of the city, and a spacious master bathroom. Katrina took a seat on the bed with her mother.
“Come here.”
With that invitation, she put her head on her mom’s shoulder and cozied into her embrace.
“What’s going on?”
“I’m a bad parent.”
“No, you’re not, dear. Why would you say that?”
“Buck will barely talk to me and I don’t know how to get through. Something is wrong. I know it is, but he won’t tell me what.”
“Boys his age are often closed off about their feelings.”
“I know, but he usually talks to me. For the past week though, it’s like I’ve offended him. Everything I do seems to offend him.”
“Hm. Have you asked him why he’s acting this way?”
“Of course.”
“You’re not perfect, you know.”
“I know.”
“But I think you should still talk to him.”
“I’ll try again, but… I don’t know. It’s so hard sometimes.”
With this sentence, a few tears fell. She brushed them away as her mother kissed her head.
“I’m proud of you, Katrina. You are much stronger than I ever was.”

After a long-overdue conversation, Katrina Meltsner wearily trod up the stairs to the borrowed bedroom of her foster teen and knocked on the door.
“Come in!”
She opened the door.
“Bye.”
He turned off his phone.
“Hello,” she began.
“Hi.”
She inhaled slowly.
“You could come down at talk with everyone if you wanted.”
“Um. I don’t- really want to.”
“Okay. Do you um… Do you need anything? I was thinking about heading to Walmart in the morning.”
“Could you get cough drops?”
“Are you feeling sick?”
“My throat just hurts a little bit. I get allergies in the fall.”
“Oh, that’s right. Okay. I’ll pick some up.”
He nodded thanks, and then Katrina said something that caught herself off guard.
“Buck, have I offended you in some way?”
He made eye contact.
“No…”
“Then what’s going on? You haven’t… talked to me lately. Or Eugene. Did you really turn him down about another hike?”
“Yeah.”
“See, explain that to me. You love hiking.”
“Yeah, it’s just- hard to explain.”
“Try.”
He swallowed, looking for the right words.
“We’re not- family.”
“Yes, we are.”
“Yeah, you say that all the time, but it’s not true. I’m not- part of your family. I’m not a Meltsner or a Shanks, I’m nothing like you. We don’t even have the same accent.”
“That doesn’t matter.”
“But it feels like it does! It’s like… most of the time I can forget that we’re not related. I can pretend you and Eugene are my parents like you raised me or something. But holidays weren’t- great for me, before. It’s just harder to pretend when all of my friends and you, and your family know how to do the family Thanksgiving thing while I don’t.”
“I’m sorry.”
“That doesn’t really help.”
“I know. Can I give you a hug?”
He nodded and she pulled him into a long embrace. A sob or two may have escaped.
“Look at me.”
He did, sniffing.
“I wish I could fix it somehow. We’re in a rare situation. But I need you to remember that Eugene and I love you. Even when you feel like you don’t belong or when you don’t know what you’re doing at our silly family gatherings. Neither do we by the way. I know my family can be stressful, but they do want to get to know you.”
“Okay.”
“So, will you come down for a little bit?”
“Yeah. Yeah, I think I will.”
She turned to leave.
“Katrina?”
“Yeah?”
“Thanks.”
She smiled, and comfort was restored.

_________________
"Let me get this straight. I bet all those non-friends of yours try to embarrass you about your love for that stuff, right? So, you almost feel like you have to hide your treasures away and can only take them out in secret on rainy days when your mom goes to the store to get more liver and nobody is around to berate your sensitive spirit. Is that what you’re saying?" -Jay Smouse


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 Post subject: Re: Fanfiction Club
PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2019 8:13 pm 
Fudge Marble
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Ooo and I just saw yours, ByeByeBrownie! I will read it soon!!

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"Let me get this straight. I bet all those non-friends of yours try to embarrass you about your love for that stuff, right? So, you almost feel like you have to hide your treasures away and can only take them out in secret on rainy days when your mom goes to the store to get more liver and nobody is around to berate your sensitive spirit. Is that what you’re saying?" -Jay Smouse


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 Post subject: Re: Fanfiction Club
PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2019 6:48 am 
Strawberry

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I'm afraid i haven't done mine yet due to other stuff happening, but I will still try and upload it at some point. Mine is set during the 25th anniversary live show, with Penny, Katrina and Buck explaing the trouble they went through to find a replacement turkey.


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 Post subject: Re: Fanfiction Club
PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2019 8:40 am 
Fudge Marble
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Oh sick! I'm excited to read that!

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"Let me get this straight. I bet all those non-friends of yours try to embarrass you about your love for that stuff, right? So, you almost feel like you have to hide your treasures away and can only take them out in secret on rainy days when your mom goes to the store to get more liver and nobody is around to berate your sensitive spirit. Is that what you’re saying?" -Jay Smouse


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 Post subject: Re: Fanfiction Club
PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:24 pm 
Strawberry
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Fantastic job, friends! Next up: Christmas theme by, say, New Year's?

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Shiyanne Rylie Steele

Buck and Jules Shipper
Wooton is the best character on Odyssey ever. Fight me.


"It's not that we don't make sense, it's that we have a different way of looking at things that do make sense." ~Wooton Bassett


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 Post subject: Re: Fanfiction Club
PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2019 7:37 pm 
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Sounds good to me! I finally read yours by the way! It was so sweet! I really enjoyed it!

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"Let me get this straight. I bet all those non-friends of yours try to embarrass you about your love for that stuff, right? So, you almost feel like you have to hide your treasures away and can only take them out in secret on rainy days when your mom goes to the store to get more liver and nobody is around to berate your sensitive spirit. Is that what you’re saying?" -Jay Smouse


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 Post subject: Re: Fanfiction Club
PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2019 8:25 pm 
Strawberry
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Thanks! I'm beginning to think that's my style: sweet and sappy :P I need to diversify!

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Shiyanne Rylie Steele

Buck and Jules Shipper
Wooton is the best character on Odyssey ever. Fight me.


"It's not that we don't make sense, it's that we have a different way of looking at things that do make sense." ~Wooton Bassett


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 Post subject: Re: Fanfiction Club
PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2019 9:56 pm 
Fudge Marble
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Haha, it's fine with me. BRING ON THE TEARS

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"Let me get this straight. I bet all those non-friends of yours try to embarrass you about your love for that stuff, right? So, you almost feel like you have to hide your treasures away and can only take them out in secret on rainy days when your mom goes to the store to get more liver and nobody is around to berate your sensitive spirit. Is that what you’re saying?" -Jay Smouse


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 Post subject: Re: Fanfiction Club
PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2020 10:23 pm 
Chocolate Chip
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Sorry I'm so late. I forgot about this.
Mine is sort of long...
It was Christmas Eve in the little town of Odyssey. Snow fell gently, adding to the accumulation that had been growing higher each day. The streets buzzed with activity as people did last-minute shopping. The traffic was slow as people drove home and out of town. Christmas carols could be heard by groups who sang at each house. It was a time of happiness and joy for everyone.
However, exceptions could be found in the ever-popular building of Whit’s End, which at the moment was bustling with people and kids as they counted down the hours to their favorite day of the year…

Jason’s POV.
I couldn’t help but roll my eyes as Jay glared at me again.
“Alright, what’s wrong with it this time?” I asked.
“Ugh!” he groaned, spinning his stool as if he were a king meant to be served. “How would I even begin to answer that question? First of all, what are these brown things on top?"
"They're called nuts, Jay."
"Disgusting! What is this, a health-food restaurant? These shakes are supposed to be true junk food!"
I leaned back on the counter, beginning to get annoyed with Jay’s demands.
How did I get talked into this? It had started with Dad making plans to meet up with Jana in California. Unfortunately, I was still stuck with J and J’s Antiques. And even worse, Connie and Eugene were too busy to run Whit’s End. The Meltsners went on vacation in Florida and Connie had her hands full running the Christmas Eve service at the church, so I was elected to watch Whit's End. That meant missing out on the family time, trying to sort out the antique store, and running Whit’s End, the latter of which I didn’t usually mind, but…
“Earth to Jason!”
I was awakened by Jay waving a hand rudely in my face.
“Right,” I muttered, grabbing the untouched milkshake from him. “Remake number 3, coming up.”
“Leave off the caramel sauce this time!” he yelled after me.

Every booth and table was filled as people ordered hot chocolate to help them recover from the cold. Kids chattered excitedly about what they would get for Christmas. Families piled into the booths to celebrate Christmas Eve with a Wod-Fam-Choc-Sod.
Among one of these families was the Parkers, who at the moment were discussing Christmas lists...and how long some made them...

Olivia’s POV
“Your list is so long that it’s taller than me!” Camilla accused Matthew.
Matthew, of course, went red in the face, because he knew it was true. “No it isn’t!” he complained. “It’s only long because I double-spaced it and used a crayon!”
“Did not!” I interrupted. “You used a pen.”
“Crayon, pen,” Dad laughed. “It’s still pretty long, Matthew.”
Matthew fumbled in his pockets. Of course, he had it with him. He wouldn’t be Matthew if he didn’t carry everything around with him. Out came a folded paper which was unrolled to reveal a list.
“Ha!” I snorted when it rolled off the table.
Mom was reading some of the items on the list. “Matthew, I thought we got you this last year!”
“No you didn’t,” he replied.
“Yes, we did!”
“Yeah, but there’s an upgrade that came out this year, sooo…”
Mom sighed and glanced at Dad. "David, I think our kids have forgotten how to give. I think they're stuck on being only the receiving end."
“Are not!” I jumped in. “What about our family garage sale we had last week? Half of profits went to the homeless!”
“Yeah, but we only made ten dollars,” Camilla said flatly. Count on her to ruin the momentum.
I glared at her. “Well…that doesn’t matter. We still helped someone!”
“Yeah. But we gave the money to a guy who looked homeless," she continued.
"And then he got mad because we thought he was homeless. And he was just a normal guy waiting for his taxi under that overpass," Matthew finished with a shudder.
I stammered, “Well…uh…it’s the thought that counts.”
“Ok, ok,” Dad cut in. “How about this: We should be alert this year and look for how we can help others. Then we can do something."
"Uh, ok, but isn't it too late? It's already Christmas Eve," I pointed out.
"It's never too late, Olivia," Mom answered.

Jay’s POV
I spun slowly on my stool, waiting for Jason to fix the shake. I glanced out the window. The sun was setting early, as usual. It made the snow on the lawn and the sidewalks glisten like crystal. A small snowman stood near the sign that said Whit’s End and sparkled the same way.
Snow.
Wouldn’t mind if I didn’t see snow for three years , I thought angrily, remembering the last few days.
I looked around the building. Some people had obviously come from shopping, because they carried so many bags they looked like they bought half the mall. Others carried already-wrapped packages, the evident work of that guy who always set up a wrapping booth in front of Jenkin’s Market.
I turned away from the scene to stare at a napkin dispenser on the counter. It had a candy cane stuck inside as decoration.
Does everything around here have to scream Christmas?
Finally, I stared at the floor.
A thought ran through my head, one I had thought several times lately.
You’re the only one in Odyssey who’s not having Christmas.
It never failed to make me remember what had happened a few weeks ago.
My parents suddenly got called away to a business meeting in New York. That left me home alone with Uncle Wally for the holidays. And he wasn’t closing the junkyard for Christmas, so he told me I should go with him and hang around. I agreed, but I soon discovered that there’s better ways to die of boredom than in a junk shop. So, I went home and quickly discovered that it was locked. I even asked him for a key, but apparently, I’m too ‘untrustworthy’.
“Jay…”
So much for a good Christmas. This year, I would be alone…doing nothing.
“Hello!”
I snapped out of my thoughts to see Jason holding out the milkshake to me.
“Thanks,” I muttered as I inspected it.
“Does it meet your standard?” Jason asked sarcastically.
“Yeah.” I wondered why he was in such a bad mood. Maybe it was because Eugene had set up a speaker that played Christmas music in the corner, and some kid ruined it so that it only played The Little Drummer Boy…over and over and over. But it was probably something else that was bugging Jason.
Jason turned to walk away. Suddenly, I grinned to myself.
“Wait, wait, wait!” I yelped. Jason froze in his tracks. I went on. “No, it does not meet my standard!” With this statement, I slammed the cup on the counter.
Jason nearly stormed over. “Jay, honestly, I can’t remake a shake so many times. That’s a waste!”
I smirked. “Ha! Gotcha!”
For a second, I wondered if Jason would throw me out of Whit’s End, but he didn’t. He just shrugged and walked away—well, actually, he ran, because a girl had just dropped her glass and broken it.

Eva’s POV
I couldn’t help but notice Jason running around like crazy while we were at Whit’s End. It seemed like he was the only one working that day. He was running left and right, taking orders, making things, and cleaning up spills. At least Whit’s End wouldn’t be open on Christmas Day.
I also saw Jay, sitting by himself at the counter. I thought that was strange, especially since he didn’t look excited like the other kids were. But I suppose one could expect anything from Jay. At least that’s what I thought, until he came by our table on his way out. He brushed against my mug and knocked it down into one million pieces.
We all jumped in surprise as the glass shattered. Jay was right in the middle of the spilled hot chocolate and glass fragments, trying to make a quick getaway.
“Hi! Bye!” he began, running to the door.
Jason was there just in time to stop him, holding a broom, mop, and dustpan.
“Sorry! I’ll pay for it!” he squeaked.
“Don’t worry about it,” Jason sighed. He started to sweep up the glass. “Nobody move!” he yelled to everyone nearby.
“Hello, Jay,” I said. “What are you doing here?”
“Uhhh, enjoying…the company of…myself. Why?”
“Does your family have any big plans for tomorrow?”
He laughed. “Plans? ‘Course! First, wake up at 3 AM to open presents, eat so much dinner that we pass out at the table, go look at Christmas lights and blast rap music so loud that people start honking—”
“Sounds busy,” David remarked. We exchanged glances. It was obvious, at least to us, that he was making it up.
“And what about you, Jason?” I called. He was sweeping the glass into a dustpan.
He replied without looking up. “Oh, me? Nah, nothing much. Just hanging out at home.”
“Not with your family?”
“No, it’s too far to travel in one night…but it’s fine.”
“That can’t be fine!” Olivia said, voicing my very thoughts.
Jason started mopping up the hot chocolate that had splattered all over the floor. “Well…yeah. But there’s really nothing I can do about it.”
David raised an eyebrow. “Is the turkey still in the freezer?” he muttered to me under his breath.
I felt like screaming at the mention of the thing. A few days earlier, I had ordered a small turkey from the store. But apparently, their definition of ‘small’ was our definition of ginormous. It was so huge that we planned to give it away and cook a chicken for Christmas. We still hadn’t decided who to give the turkey to.
“Five couldn’t handle it…how about seven?” he asked quietly.
“Hmm…” I mused. “We weren’t planning anything elaborate, anyway.”
David grabbed Jay’s hood with his right hand before he could escape. With his other hand, he grabbed the end of the broom which stuck out as Jason walked away with it under his arm. Both stopped in their tracks. “How would you two like to come over to our house for Christmas dinner tomorrow?”
“No, no, no,” Jason laughed. “You can’t do that…”
“You said you were alone,” I pointed out.
He didn’t look convinced. “Yeah, but that’s your family time.”
“We have plenty of family time already,” I said.
"We do?" Camilla whispered. Matthew shushed her.
Finally, Jason shrugged. “Well…alright! What time?”
“Five, sharp,” David said.
“I’ll bring something for dessert,” Jason agreed.
As Jason walked off, Jay wrenched free from David’s hold on his hood, muttering something about being arrested for breaking a cup.
“What about you, Jay? Any room in your schedule to come?” David questioned.
Jay made a face, as if he were mentally doing calculations. “Let’s see…move my five to eight, the ten to twelve, miss out on the invisible present opening…” he mumbled. Finally, he put a finger in the air. “I accept…under a time constraint, of course, but…yeah.”
Jay exited Whit’s End at a brisk walk, somehow looking less sulky than he did a moment ago.
David turned to us. “That’s what I meant by helping others.”
“But they didn’t need help,” Matthew said in surprise.
“Yeah,” Olivia agreed.
“Not in the way you’re expecting. There are a lot of ways we can help people in need. Yes, we can donate money to charities and help people who don't have a lot of money, but sometimes the people in need are right down the street,” I explained.
"What are we gonna do for Christmas if we're having them over?" Camilla complained. Matthew and Olivia nodded questioningly.
"Would you enjoy spending Christmas alone?" David asked the kids.
"No," they said simultaneously. Only Matthew muttered, "If I had a pizza for dinner,", but Olivia poked him.
I think they finally understood, after placing themselves in our guest's shoes.
“So, maybe we should go home and get that turkey ready, Mom,” Olivia said with a grin.
“Maybe so,” I sighed. “All hands on deck, we have a lot to do before tomorrow!”

_________________
"Next up, Mark Morgan's message to all math maniacs in the middle school is meaningful if you mingle by the mezzanine for a momentous mix of methodological mayhem and a menagerie of multiplicative inversions. Ha ha ha! I bet I could say this backwards. Inversions multiplicative of menagerie a and mayhem methodological..."


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 Post subject: Re: Fanfiction Club
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 10:32 am 
Fudge Marble
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Aw that was really good!! I wasn't going to write something for this one, but I might have changed my mind...

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"Let me get this straight. I bet all those non-friends of yours try to embarrass you about your love for that stuff, right? So, you almost feel like you have to hide your treasures away and can only take them out in secret on rainy days when your mom goes to the store to get more liver and nobody is around to berate your sensitive spirit. Is that what you’re saying?" -Jay Smouse


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 Post subject: Re: Fanfiction Club
PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 2:45 pm 
Strawberry
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Aw, that was so sweet! Loved it!

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Shiyanne Rylie Steele

Buck and Jules Shipper
Wooton is the best character on Odyssey ever. Fight me.


"It's not that we don't make sense, it's that we have a different way of looking at things that do make sense." ~Wooton Bassett


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 Post subject: Re: Fanfiction Club
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:27 am 
Fudge Marble
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Hey, do y'all want to try and write a really short fanfic before Valentine's Day? I realize it's on Friday, but it could be fun to try!

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"Let me get this straight. I bet all those non-friends of yours try to embarrass you about your love for that stuff, right? So, you almost feel like you have to hide your treasures away and can only take them out in secret on rainy days when your mom goes to the store to get more liver and nobody is around to berate your sensitive spirit. Is that what you’re saying?" -Jay Smouse


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 Post subject: Re: Fanfiction Club
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:33 pm 
Strawberry
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Working on it right now! :D

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Shiyanne Rylie Steele

Buck and Jules Shipper
Wooton is the best character on Odyssey ever. Fight me.


"It's not that we don't make sense, it's that we have a different way of looking at things that do make sense." ~Wooton Bassett


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