“God! I really hope he likes it Riddler. I can’t get another C in his class!” I complained to my girlfriend.
“Let me see, Isaac.” She grabbed the book out of my hand. She turned to the front page where my only “baby” picture was and grinned. “Awww, don’t you look so cute!” she squealed and teased.
“Dammit, Riddler! Give it back.” I yelled as I tried to take the notebook away.
“Chill, Isaac. You wanna good grade, right?” I nodded. “Then let me look through it. Besides, I know exactly how he grades these things.”
I gave in knowing she was right. If anyone knew how Mr. Moss graded the biggest report of the year, it would be his daughter. “Fine, but no teasing. I mean it Riddler!”
She laughed and turned the page where my life story began.
(Katie, Jenny, Jonny, and Isaac)
I don’t know what you would consider my family. Are we normal? Hardly. But is any family truly normal? I doubt it. My past doesn’t start as far back as most. I don’t know anything about my life beyond Neverglade. At the age of twenty-months my mom packed our stuff and moved my sisters, my brother, and I to this “paradise”.
Where’s dad? Well, that’s an answer I really don’t know.
My oldest sister, Katie and I don’t really have a relationship beyond the fact that I know she was the one that taught me how to walk. When we moved to Neverglade my sister was sixteen years older than me, and in her senior year at Neverglade High.
She graduated and decided that she was going to move away. My ma told me that Katie needed to get away from Neverglade and away from us. When I asked why, she told me that Katie needed a fresh start in her life. After looking through my photos, and realizing that the only picture I have of Katie smiling, is the one from her graduation, I knew that ma was right.
Katie headed off to college and to this day, I am not sure exactly where she is. I do hope that where ever she may be, that her life holds more happiness than when she was here with us.
My toddler years are the few years that I really can’t recall. My sister, Jenny, had started high school just shortly after Katie took off. As they years went on, my family did what any normal family did – we lived.
Ma told me I was one of those type of toddlers that obsessed over everything I could get my hands on. She had to tear me away at night from my stuffed bear, King Tut. The bear once belonged to my father, and is considered one of my most prized possessions.
If I wasn’t obsessing with my bear, I was obsessing with books. Ma told me that I would force her or anyone else in the room to read to me. That’s where the obsession for my favorite author started.
My favorite book: “Where’s the Magic Gnome” by Cocaine Chimeree. I actually destroyed the book I read it so many times.
By the time I was six, my sister was getting ready to graduate high school with her high school sweetheart, Joey Martini. Joey’s the nicest guy in the world. I remember him always coming over and helping my sister babysit my brother, Jonny and I. He loved hanging out with us kids. In fact he even taught us how to break dance!
Joey proposed to my sister six months after he returned home from firefighting training. He was hired at the local fire station. My mom was so thrilled she started to plan the wedding immediately. My sister couldn’t be happier.
The two were married within the year of their engagement. Jenny moved in with him downtown in a small little two bedroom rental.
With the wedding over, that left my brother and I. Jonny’s five years older than me and it shows. We aren’t close, not by a long shot. Jonny and I are totally different, which makes us want to kill each other on most days.
I remember how our rivalry started. Jonny dared me to climb the tallest tree. I didn’t get far when my ma yelled at me to get down. Jonny ran off and laughed at me. I hated getting into trouble, and when I sat down on the tree branch, I pouted. Ma yelled at me again to get down. I told her that I was just having fun. She didn’t care. “It’s too dangerous!” She shouted.
I spent the entire day in the house after that thanks to my brother.
When he wasn’t being a jerk, Jonny was pretty cool to play with. That is if you don’t tick him off. We both loved the small sand box out in our back yard. Jonny always showed me up when it came to building castles. I was young though and didn’t care. That was until I started to get a bit more creative. He hated that I was “better” and destroyed my castle. We fought that day, and were both restricted from playing in the sand box for a week.
For the longest time my brother and I shared a room. Since I was still so young (seven), I still had ma read me a bedtime story. The last time I slept in the same room with my brother ended in a huge fight. Ma was reading me a “Jack Hart” Mystery book by Cocaine Chimeree when my brother scoffed and teased me.
“I can’t believe you still have mom read you bedtime stories, Isaac.” He laughed. “What are you, a baby!”
I fought back by telling him to “shut the hell up!”
Ma silenced us both and the next day, I was given Jenny’s old room.
It wasn’t until I was eight years old that my life turned upside down. It was the year that my miserable existence changed for the better.
It was the year I met my best friend, Riddle Moss and her amazing family!
Although our first meeting wasn’t all that great. I was sitting on the playground, minding my own business when a girl walked up to me.
School for me has always been hard. I was an outcast from day one. So, for someone to just come up to me, I was a bit cautious. And I had a right to be. The girl pushed me to the ground. “Stop staring!” She yelled.
I wasn’t staring before, but now I was. I got up and shoved her back. That’s when I heard the squeak of the voice. “Knock it off Story, he’s not doing anything.”
“Fine.” She said to her sister before glaring back at me. “Stay away from me Potterhead!”
Potterhead? I knew that was a reference to Harry Potter, but I really didn’t think I looked like the guy. I didn’t like being teased, not only was it cruel, but there wasn’t any purpose. So I fought back by calling the girl, “Swamp Thing.”
“Ya know, Isaac, you might want to cut that out.” She pointed to Story’s nickname I dubbed her when I was seven. “Dad is gonna kill you if he reads that.”
I shrugged. “She called me Potterhead.” I defended. “Plus it was years ago. It’s not like I still call her that.” I winked. I actually did, but only if she referred me as Harry Potter.
The other girl giggled and I wasn’t sure if she was laughing at me or at her friend. “And who are you?” I asked her.
“Riddle.” She said as she stuck her hand out.
“As in the Riddler?” I joked. “Ah, Riddle me this, riddle me that, you both are two big brats!” I yelled and ran off. It was cruel, but it was all I could do from not showing my true emotions.
Unlike her sister, Story, Riddle didn’t take offense to the joke. She and I became close friends at school after that day. She tried to apologize about her sister’s behavior, telling me that Story doesn’t like it when people stare at the two of them. She also doesn’t like it when someone gets too close to her sister, as I found out later.
For a while Riddle came to my house after school. It was great. . . Or it was for a while. One day, Riddle brought over these awesome pirate costumes to play in. We were chasing each other, taking turns playing the pirate and the Royal Guard. I remember tagging her and going, “Walk de plank ya scallywag!”
In one single instant I was pushed and turned around by my brother. “WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING!” he yelled.
“Playin’ arrrggg.” I joked.
“Take off that damn costume, and if I EVER see you in it again, I’ll kill you!”
“NO!” I fought back.
I still don’t know how or why it started, but our sibling rivalry went from bad to worse. We kicked, punched and beat each other down. I didn’t hear Riddle run into the house, and I certainly didn’t realize she went and got my ma. Ma was pissed though when she finally tore us apart. She sent Riddle home and the two of us into time out.
All I remember was crying while I stood there for a good hour. I tried asking why Jonny reacted the way he did, but he kept silent as he wallowed in his own anger.
It wasn’t until later that night, did I learn why my brother got angry with me. I waited till ma came in to read me. I stopped her mid-sentence and asked her the question that had been on my mind all day. “Ma, why was Jonny upset about my pirate costume?”
She gave me a smile, “Because, it’s what Jonny use to play with dad. It probably brought back those memories and he took out his anger on you.”
I only nodded. For the first time in my life, my ma mentioned my dad. I wanted to ask more, but ma started to read again and I couldn’t help but drift off to sleep.
Instead of hanging around my no-good evil brother, I decided to hang out at Riddle’s instead. Her place was the coolest place ever! The Mosses welcomed me into their home with open arms. Riddle and I did everything together there, including beating her dad at every multiplayer game they owned.
“Yeah, only cause he let us.” Riddle laughed.
I shrugged. “But you have got to admit, it was fun doing so. Keep reading we don’t got much time during break and it’s due next class!”
As the years went by I found myself spending more time at the Mosses and less at my own place. In fact, I ate dinner with the Mosses almost every night. Ma wasn’t a bad cook at home. No, it was more like Mrs. Moss was the most AMAZING chef in the world! It also help that Mrs. Moss made my favorite food for me quite often.
I loved the Mosses – well almost all the Mosses. Riddle was my best and closest friend. She and I played everything together.
Story on the other hand, always tried to get in the way. She would sneak up on me and Riddle while we played, and waited for me. That’s when she would scare me half to death.
The older I got, the more distant I became with my family back home. By the time Jonny was sixteen I probably spent maybe an hour with him at most since our fight over the pirate costume.
It wasn’t that I didn’t love my family, it was more that I loved being away from them and living my own life. Besides Jonny had his own life and his own agenda.
When I was home, my brother and I continued to torture each other. We’d find ways to get on each other’s nerves. Although, I have to say, for a sixteen year old Jonny isn’t that bright when it comes to pranks. Me, on the other hand, am a mastermind.
I love computers and by the time I was twelve I learned how to hack onto the computer. I often would search for hideous pictures on the web and make a cool little virus so that when Jonny got on the computer the pictures would jump out at him and scare him. He’s such a wuss, that anything can scare him.
It was about that time that my brother and I also learned something about our mother.
It seems like I missed out on a lot being over at the Moss family, because one day ma had a huge announcement for the two of us.
That day she called up Mr. Moss and had him send me home so she could tell Jonny and I something that we never expected. “I’ve met a man, and I’ve been dating him for almost six months.” she told us. “It’s gotten pretty serious, and we are considering getting married someday.”
Jonny took the news pretty hard. He called her names and screamed till he was crying. He then stormed out of the house. Ma waited till he was gone and then asked me how I felt. I shrugged. I didn’t care if she was dating someone. All I asked was, “what’s his name?”
“Scott Conner, but he goes by Scotty.”
I nodded and went to my room. So, she was dating a guy named Scott Conner. And if she married him, that didn’t really change anything. You see, I only looked up to one man in my life, and I’d only ever consider him to be a father figure.
Mr. Moss. . .
Riddle started to laugh. “Hey brown noser!” She joked. “Are you serious?”
“Oh shut up.” I said as I turned red in the face. It was actually the truth. I looked up to Mr. Moss than any other person on the face of the planet. Sure, he’s now my English teacher, but he’s been more than that to me. “It’s the truth Riddler. Your dad’s really all I have in my life. Why wouldn’t I say that?”
She smiled and gave me a hug before continuing. (Even if she giggled as she read the next page).
Mr. Moss has always been the man I’ve looked up to. I’ve never known my real father. Ma’s never really talked about him and my brother won’t even mention him. So, for me I didn’t really understand what a father really was until I met Mr. Moss.
Not only can the guy make you laugh, but he’s the most interesting person I have ever met.
One of my favorite memories, is listening to Mr. Moss tell Riddle, Story, and I a ghost story from the past. The story was so unique that it was as if you were taken there as he talked. I even remember screaming and gasping at points in the story. It was at that moment I knew what I wanted to do in my life. . . I wanted to be a writer. I wanted to be just like Mr. Moss, and tell interesting tales and pull my audience into a world of the unknown.
I found myself so intrigued with storytelling that I was constantly heading to the library to research and read. Actually, I went there to research my favorite author. Who better to learn from than those that you read?
Mr. Moss walked in one day and saw me. I smiled and waved. He walked up and looked at the old book I was reading and lifted it enough so he could see the title. I was reading Cocaine Chimeree’s “My Journey Through A Legacy.”
He froze and looked at me. “Where’d you get that book?” He asked.
I pointed to the back section. “They have all kinds of old books here, Mr. Moss. Did you know that this guy, Cocaine, wrote over one-hundred books? I didn’t know that! I’ve only ever read the Jack Hart books!”
Mr. Moss nodded. “No, I, uh, didn’t know that. Is that your, uh, favorite author?”
Riddle stopped reading and looked at me before looking at my book again. “What?” I asked.
“Um nothing.” She mumbled before continuing,
“Yup! I’ve been reading Jack Hart books since I can remember!” I told him.
When I wasn’t reading or going to school, I tried to spend as much time as I could with the only father figure I had. I actually refused to meet this Scott Conner. Mr. Moss took me under his wing, and he even took me on a father-son camping trip with him and Chance.
I don’t know Chance Moss very well. This trip not only let me get to known more about my mentor, I also got to know Chance. Chance and I joked around on our hikes all day. And at night we made gooey s’mores together as we both listened to Mr. Moss tell us his great campfire stories.
Of course, there were times where I wanted to be as far away as possible from Mr. Moss. Like when Story dared me to dump water on Chance, only instead of Chance being the person that walked up to the tree house – it was Mr. Moss. I don’t know if I was more embarrassed or scared. Mr. Moss was really mad.
When I tried to explain, he didn’t really care for it. I was banned from the house for two weeks! He lectured me first and told me that my ma would be expecting a phone call. I was in deep.
Of course if I had known that was getting off easy, I wouldn’t have been involved with Riddle’s plan of attack on her sister.
You see, she planned on getting revenge with her sister after Story teased me for a week straight at school. Riddle had me keep lookout while she set a trap up in the shower.
Little did we know that Mr. Moss was going to use the shower before Story.
“YOU SO AREN’T PUTTING THIS STORY IN!” Riddle screamed.
I laughed. “It’s ‘bout time the truth got out Riddler. I can’t be held responsible for it my entire LIFE!”
“You are such an ass, Potter.”
“Yea well, Riddle me this, Riddle me that. . .” I froze trying to think of a rhyme. Nothing.
Riddle laughed. “Can’t think of anything can you?”
“Shut up and keep reading.”
After hearing Mr. Moss swear for what seemed like forever, he came out with Mrs. Moss and sat Riddle, Story, and I down. “Alright I want to know who did this!” He yelled.
Mrs. Moss tried hard to keep a straight face, but we all could see her stifling a laugh. We all were. Mr. Moss had bright blue hair.
“Well, someone better speak up!” He yelled again. “Isaac?”
I kept my mouth shut.
Riddle kept her mouth shut.
She shrugged and kept quiet.
“Someone better talk!?!”
I looked over to Riddle, and knew that I couldn’t let her take the fall. I finally squirmed in my seat and confessed. “I did it sir.”
Mr. Moss gave me the dirtiest look, yelled at me, and sent me home. I was banned for a very long time.
By the time my brother graduated Neverglade High, I had no real relationship with him. We had our own lives.
Jonny graduated with honors in school and was accepted to the university in Cairo, Egypt. His life long dream was to be an archeologist. I didn’t understand why he wanted to go dig up graves, but it was his life. . . not mine.
My brother was still meaner than a cobra. A few weeks before my brother left for Cairo, I found him getting dressed in his room.
It didn’t take long for me to notice the ink on his shoulder. “Whoa! You got a tattoo!” I shouted. “Who the hell is Parker? Your boyfriend?”
In an instant my brother had me by the neck against the door. I knew I was being a smart ass, but I couldn’t believe Jonny’s reaction. I had never seen my brother get so pissed off. “Get the fuck out of my room!” He screamed as he threw me against the wall. “And if I ever hear you mention that name to me, I will come after you!”
I gulped and ran out the door. Who needs brothers? It was in that moment I really didn’t care if I ever saw Jonny again.
I spent my summer in my room while Jonny packed and prepared for his own departure. After the stunt that I confessed to doing at the Mosses, I wasn’t allowed over. Besides, they took a trip to Paris for like a month. Lucky!
That summer I started to write. The story I wrote was crap. I wrote about an alien attack invasion. It wasn’t any good, but it kept me busy. I only wished I knew more about the craft of writing. Actually I wish I knew a writer that could teach me how to better my art.
The only person I could think of that could help, is Mr. Moss. Though I knew the man probably hated me after the shower instance, I still took a chance. I went over there and asked him to look over my story. Although he said it wasn’t crap, like I thought he would say, he still said it needed a lot of work.
He even offer to give me lessons in writing. I was thrilled!
By the time my fourteenth birthday came around, I had been given tremendous amount of help by Mr. Moss.
Two days before my birthday, I got the biggest surprise in my life! Mr. Moss called me in his office – which frightened me, seeing as how NO ONE was allowed in there. He was standing next to one of his bookshelves when I walked in.
After seeing me he grabbed a box wrapped in birthday wrapping paper. “Happy birthday kiddo.”
“Wow, thanks Mr. Moss!” I exclaimed.
“Now I know it’s early, but I thought you should have it now. I really do hope you like it.”
I tore open the box and found a collector’s edition box with all of Cocaine Chimeree’s Jack Hart books. I opened the first one and gasped. NO WAY! Inside, the book was signed by the author himself. These had to be worth a fortune!
“How did you. . . Where’d you. . . Holy Hell!’
Mr. Moss laughed at my stuttering. “I knew you would like it. All of them are signed. . . I think.”
“But how! These were written a gazillion years ago!”
“More like a few hundred, give or take.” He smiled. “Have them. I don’t have use for them here. I’ve read them all.”
And in that instance my stuff teddy became a thing of the past. The books were now my most prized possession. I couldn’t believe that I had autographed copies of my favorite classics!
I celebrated my birthday in style. I invited all of my friends and family over. My mom even invited her firefighter boyfriend. I completely ignored him. As I got ready to blow out the cake, I was stuck on my wish. I didn’t really know what I wanted. I even asked Riddle, and she said to wish for a good time in high school. So that’s what I did.
A few weeks after my birthday my brother took off for Egypt. He and I talked a bit while he waited for his taxi. Ma couldn’t stop snapping photos of us. Jonny and I joked about her while she did so. We’ve never seen eye to eye, but as I watch him leave to head across the world, I knew I was going to miss him.
High School wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. Riddle and I were in the same school, and in the same classes. The two of us were still the best of friends. I couldn’t ask for a better friend than her.
Within my first year of high school Mr. Moss got me enrolled into the school’s newspaper. By the time I was a sophomore I made editor. I loved the clubs I was in. I was in Computer club, A writers club, and the school paper. I also helped with the school’s year book. Both projects are run by Mr. Moss.
However it wasn’t until this year that I really got serious in my own writing. After digging deep on the internet, I found my muse. I discovered a secret tale of a man who escaped from a Russian prison ten years ago. No one knew his real name, but the articles I found all called him Delta Nine. That’s when I began my first novel: Delta Nine and the Escape.
. . “Well?” I asked after she finished reading my project. I was hoping that it sounded believable. Most of the information I put in my report was true, but a quarter of it was a lie. Of course my real name isn’t Isaac, and my brother and sister isn’t Jenny or Jonny And Katie, well she’s most definitely not my sister – but my aunt. However, this was the price you paid when you were living in protective custody. I didn’t know anything about my father, other than that he was missing. Yet, it was because of him, that I had to lie to the people I loved and thought of as my real friends and family.
“It’s good, very –“
“HEY POTTHEAD!” Story screamed from down the hallway.
I looked over behind Riddle and yelled, “WHAT SWAMP THING!”
Riddle stifled a laugh. She hated the nickname I dubbed her sister, yet she couldn’t ever stop laughing. “Be nice, Isaac,” she whispered.
“I am nice, Riddler,” I winked at her and stole a quick kiss.
“Ewww get a room.” Story said as she walked up. “Hey Ritz, what do you see in this putz?”
“I’m still not sure. Maybe it’s the whole dream of screwing a guy with a magical wand.”
A cough to the distance had my heart stop before I could even laugh. SHIT! “Riddle, Story, class.” Mr. Moss said. “Isaac. . .” He held the door open and I nodded as I walked past Story and Riddle.
Behind me I heard Story yell her goodbye, “See ya Potty Breath.”
“Bite me E.T.!” I screamed before I realize what came out of my mouth. A smack on the back of my head told me that Mr. Moss had heard that. “Sorry Mr. Moss,” I mumbled.
“Go sit down.” He growled.
“Alright class!” He shouted as he closed the door. When he got the entire room’s attention he continued, “Take out your project. . . “ And that’s the moment I remembered that Riddle still had my English assignment.
Author’s Note: I just want to thank my dear friend StyxLady for letting me resurrect Story and Riddle Moss and for the Rain’s new house. I also have to thank Mariah for her Chim-Chim-Cheree blog. Without it, we would not have Cocaine – who by the way is the most amazing sim EVER!