Tim had woken up early that morning, after a lousy night of sleep, and decided to go to school earlier than usual in the hopes of finding a girl, or a teacher like Ms. Davis, by herself, so he could try out the ray gun on them. Of course, as soon as he’d woken up, he’d realized he could have just asked Heather who ‘Sweetie’ was while she was under the gun’s control the day before. He groaned inwardly at his own stupidity. He had yet to get used to the powers the gun had. He’d make sure to ask her today after school, he mused.
He was halfway done with breakfast when Mom and Dad had walked into the kitchen and sat at the breakfast table with him.
“Early riser!” Mom said. “This is getting to be a habit. I’m glad to see you taking your studies so seriously.”
“That’s my boy,” Dad said, slapping him on the shoulder. “Library club duties? Or maybe meeting with a girl?” Dad winked at him, slyly.
“No, I just have some things to take care of before homeroom,” Tim said. If you only knew.
His mother didn’t say anything, but she smiled at him. He wondered if she thought he was going to be testing out the lessons she’d given him over the weekend. In a way, I am, Tim contemplated.
He suppressed the strange bitterness he still felt when he looked at his father, no doubt spurred by the weird dream he’d had the night before, and asked him about his upcoming trip. His father said that it was scheduled for Wednesday, and would last an undetermined amount of time. Depending on the amount of work, it could be as little as two weeks and as long as a month. Mom sighed sadly when she heard that, and told Dad how much the family would miss him while he was gone.
As far as he could tell, Dad hadn’t noticed anything weird about Mom the previous day, but Tim knew that could change at any time. All it would take is a single moment of poor judgment or a slip of the tongue on his part. He wasn’t as worried about Mom—the instructions he’d given her would prevent her from even considering telling her father what the two of them had been up to. Tim made a mental note to use the ray gun on his father at the first opportunity, unconsciously patting the top of his backpack, where he had it safely stored. He surreptitiously glanced at his mother. She was wearing a bathrobe, and what looked like a nightgown underneath.
If only Dad weren’t sitting at the breakfast table, he would have ripped it off of her and taken her right then and there. His cock stirred slightly at the thought, but he put the idea out of his mind. Not now. But soon.
He finished his breakfast, said goodbye to his parents, and rushed out the door.
He arrived just as the school’s main gate was being unlocked, and prowled the hallways, going through every floor and peeking into every classroom and office door in the hopes of catching someone, anyone, unawares.
The only person he’d found was the janitor, a bearded, ponytailed man in his mid-sixties, taking a nap in one of the junior high classrooms.
Then, just as he was headed to homeroom, head hung in defeat, something caught Tim’s attention from one of the classroom windows.
“Didn’t there used to be a bunch of trees out there?” Tim said to no one in particular.
Curious, he walked into the classroom and looked more closely. It seemed the construction crews had been busy over the weekend. They’d felled dozens of trees and cleared out a big part of the area that Tim had been exploring on Friday. There were a number of new paths made by the machinery and stacks of lumber right outside of the softball field area.
I wonder if there’s anything left to find there, Tim pondered.
As soon as that notion came to his mind, others followed. Was his gun the only one out there? What’s to say there weren’t other gadgets there? Maybe an instruction manual or other documentation?
Tim made up his mind to explore the area again during lunchtime. Now that so many trees had been knocked down, there was much less of a chance that he’d get lost.
That’s how Tim had ended up exploring the remains of the woods at lunchtime. He decided to skip meeting Eddie and Yang in the cafeteria (Yang ended up eating alone, wondering where his friends had decided to run off to), and instead snuck out into the softball field, and then past that and into the construction area. He carried his backpack with him (there was no way he was going to risk leaving the mind control gun where someone could take it), and squeezed past the half-open chain-link fence.
Just walking through the area turned out to be a slog—unlike last Friday, the ground was wet and muddy, and his school shoes and uniform slacks got dirty in no time at all. Worse, there was no protective cover from the trees this time around, so the heat was unbearable.
Eventually, though, Tim recognized his surroundings. The log near where he’d found the gun had an interesting moss pattern that he remembered, and from that, he could place his location. Still…
What am I even looking for? Am I just going to randomly dig around?
After going through all the trouble of traveling out there, Tim realized that, without a shovel, he was going to get nowhere fast.
I’d probably need a metal detector too, and where am I gonna get that?
Tim left the partially demolished woods feeling somewhat stupid and defeated. He’d need to come up with a workable plan if he wanted to come back and explore here before construction work really got started.
He stepped back onto the softball field, sweaty and hot, his backpack heavy on his shoulders. He walked by the metal bleachers on his way back to his (gloriously) air-conditioned classroom…
And that’s when he’d heard it.
His sister’s voice.
“…Tim will feel like an even bigger loser?”
Talking about him? Calling him a loser? If his face weren’t already red because of the heat, it would have become flush.
Where was the sound coming from? He perked up his ears and listened quietly. They had to be somewhere really nearby.
“Tim…never…the most outgoing person…”
Another voice this time—a guy? It sounded familiar.
“…not going to…any of my track teammates…”
Heather again—was she…behind the bleachers?
As Tim stealthily walked behind the bleachers, he could feel a ringing in his ears.
Was this guy the ‘Sweetie’ from the texts? The one her sister had sent that nearly nude selfie to?
He wondered if he could control his rage when he saw that fucker.
And then…there they were. He saw his sister tilting her head up to kiss him. The guy, embracing her.
It made Tim so sick he could puke—this creep, taking advantage of his sister. They might not be close anymore, but it was still his job to protect her…from…from…
Heather had run off to one of the school buildings and hadn’t even seen him. He hovered over Eddie.
“So, Eddie…it was you all along.”
“Oh…hey, Tim,” Eddie looked up at him from where he was cleaning what looked to be the remains of a picnic lunch. Probably wondering how much he’d seen.
A secret date with my sister, huh?
“Was that Heather I just saw running out of here?” Tim asked, as nonchalantly as he could. A million questions flew through his head.
How long have you been keeping this a secret?
Why didn’t you tell me?
Was I ever even your friend, or were you just using me to get to her?
How far have you gotten with her, you creep? Second base?
He suddenly recalled Eddie bringing up Heather last Friday, out of nowhere. Mentioning how maybe she could help Tim get a date. Was this all some sort of sick mind game Eddie was playing with him?
“Uh…yeah…you saw that, huh?” Eddie shrugged, then stood up. “I’m sorry, Tim, maybe I should’ve told you earlier. Heather wanted to, so don’t blame her…”
Get my sister’s name off of your lips.
“…but I wanted to handle this a different way…”
Going behind my back.
“…and I was going to tell you eventually, I swear…”
Pretending everything was normal.
“…I hope you don’t think it’s weird, me and her—you know, I care about Heather a lot…”
Asking her for selfies.
“…I guess it’s kind of a relief, not having to sneak around anymore.”
“I see,” Tim said, all emotion drained from his voice.
“I understand why you’d be upset—I was just telling her you’ve got a protective streak, and I really admire that. But I would never hurt Heather. She’s…she’s really special.”
Tim wasn’t really paying attention to the platitudes Eddie was spouting anymore. He was thinking back to what his father’s co-worker had said the other night.
People who hide behind ethics and morality are cowards.
If you want something, you have to seize it.
Be a shark. Not a goddamn minnow.
Eddie had seen what he wanted. He’d been a shark. That’s all it was.
Now it was Tim’s turn.
“Tim? You gonna say anything, buddy? You’ve been pretty quiet,” Eddie smiled nervously.
“Oh—oh, no, it’s not that. I mean, I’m surprised about you and Heather, of course. But if you’re happy, I’m happy,” Tim lied.
“That’s such a huge load off my shoulders,” Eddie grinned.
“By the way, let me show you something really cool,” Tim said, taking off the backpack. “I found this in the woods over there, and I think you’ll like it.”
“Huh? What do you mean?” Eddie peered into the backpack as Tim shuffled through some papers and other assorted ephemera. Finally, he gripped the gun. Before taking it out of the bag, he switched the dial from ‘OFF’ to ‘CONTROL.’ Over the past few days he’d become so familiar with the gun’s configurations, he didn’t even need to see the settings to know he’d gotten them right.
Tim pulled the ray gun out of the bag and pointed it at Eddie. The chrome piece at its end glinted slightly due to the bits of light coming in through the gaps in the bleachers.
“Huh, is that a toy or something? Does it do anything specia—“
Tim fired the gun, felt the familiar warmth and vibration and heard it crackle.
Eddie immediately went limp.
Once I’m through with you, ‘buddy,’ you’ll regret even having laid your lascivious fucking eyes on my sister, Tim thought, as he smiled crookedly.