Keep Calm and Disillusion

Wondering why the world didn't end in 2012? Well it did. You just don't of know it. I
f you're reading this now, it means we've saved humanity.
Or at least you.
So who are we? We're just a couple of average Australians, hoping to save the world and win a normal future. But not just hoping - no,we're fighting.
Because in a world where rejecting reality can enslave you to invaders, we refuse to dream.

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2. Chapter Two: Yeti's First Installment

Chapter Two: Yeti’s First Installment

Well, Mr. Darcy, I can’t help but notice that you failed to describe either you or me in your last episode. I suppose that you expect me to take control of this undesirable deed, and – as I am a very nice person – I just might let you get away with it. After all, you were kind enough to start the story for me.

                So Jacob Darcy: what does he look like, I hear you ask? Ah, the very thought of him makes me laugh, and not necessarily in the way you might think. It is a laugh of fondness. I am hugely fond of Jacob, and I feel comfortable enough to say that now. I think our experiences together warrant it. Of course, back at the start of camp, when we were still relatively new friends, I did not feel half so easy.

                Which is why I never complained to him about being stuck with Isaac.

                ‘You couldn’t take the world over that way,’ Isaac corrected me, his bright eyes lighting up, probably in relief at finally being able to be himself – completely. He didn’t have to impress me, of all people. ‘If you did the frogs would stop you at once.’

                ‘Since when did the frogs matter?’ I replied, sounding very callous, but looking thoroughly enthralled. I enjoyed our strange chitchat, but I didn’t enjoy the looks I was getting from everyone else. Her? I could almost see them thinking. Talking to him?! Yes, it was strange, I agreed, but they could at least stop making me feel it so keenly.

                I finally managed to ignore them when Isaac said the most ridiculous thing I had ever heard come from his mouth.

                ‘The frogs mattered ages ago, back at the creation of the world where they rose from the froth of the ocean and dominated the minds of men.’

                I practically choked on my lunch. ‘What?!’ I cried. ‘That doesn’t even make sense!’

                ‘It makes perfect sense.’ Isaac objected, and I knew he was feeling very comfortable. Isaac hardly ever objected to anybody, for fear of being outcast.

                He grinned his crooked grin, and I couldn’t help but smile back at him. I knew he was incredibly intelligent, but he always looked so clueless, with his wide eyes and many freckles. But, then again, he didn’t look that open with everyone.

As you may have gathered by now, Isaac is still growing, and he’s super tall. His brothers usually call him Beanstalk, while I call him Bean, but he doesn’t mind either way. Isaac’s the popular one, but – surprisingly enough -he’s actually really shy. He’s just done a Mr. Collins (again with the Pride and Prejudice references) and memorized a bunch of conversation starters, continuers, and some useful compliments.

                The afore-mentioned medicine student at Melbourne Uni (yes, Jacob, I know that sounds very formal. Blame Westley – I need to stop talking to him) is dark and handsome, more so than Westley by public opinion, but that could just be because he’s got more people on his side to argue that. Unlike Westley, his angular nose is straight (as Westley’s has a small kink in it, like (and I quote) ‘Barbra Streisand or whatever’), and his face is long and oval shaped rather than short and circular. But the two of them have freckles all over their face, though most people say they’re subtle. Another similarity are their eyes – both have blue. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say Westley’s eyes are far cooler than Isaac’s.

Timothy, the camp leader, walked up just then, forcing me to stop admiring Isaac (which I hoped he hadn’t noticed me doing, because I really didn’t need him to take it the wrong way) and smiled kindly at the both of us. Timothy was one of those few popular people who knew my name, Isaac being another of them.

                ‘Hey Yiti,’ he said, making my nickname sound amusing with his Kiwi accent. His brown eyes were lit up playfully (though that was nothing unusual), and his smile made his face look bright and crazy, as always. After a brief welcome to me, he turned to Isaac and said, ‘Imily wants to speak to you.’

                I gathered he meant ‘Emily’, as did Isaac, who – without another word, just a sort of guilty glance out of the corner of his eye – sauntered off instantly.

                ‘Bye, Yiti!’ Tim cried politely, following Isaac.

                I shrugged and turned my attention back to the other people at the table. Westley glanced at me and smirked very obviously. As for Jacob, he didn’t even look at me. But I could tell he had noticed my abandonment because his blue eyes had lit up cheekily – happily – and there was a hint of smirk at the corners of his wide smile.

                ‘Been ‘bandonded, have you, Maryetti?’ Westley said brightly, his obscure, side-blown face inducing amused smiles within me. I let them find their way to my face, and shook my head playfully.

                ‘Just rejected. There’s a big difference.’

                ‘I fail to see it.’ Westley returned, raising his eyebrows judgingly, as if he were much older than me – which he really wasn’t. In fact, I was two months older: exactly. It’s somewhat scary, actually. ‘Do explain the difference for me.’

                ‘All right then, I will. Abandonment and rejection are, essentially, the same thing, but I prefer to think of them differently. Abandonment can, in my mind, imply a reluctance to leave, but a necessity to do so. So kittens are abandoned on the side of the road when they cannot be looked after. But if you are rejected, then that implies that the person was not sorry to leave you at all. In fact, they were somewhat willing.’

                Westley pulled an obscure face then – one I called a zelver, which only made him shake his head at me even more, though he was honestly just as bad as I was when it came to making up words – and, while his eyebrows knotted, his mouth pulled itself downwards into a frown, and his eyes rolled, Nikki Hughs interrupted.

                ‘What…..are you making up rubbish again?’

                I didn’t take well to Nikki, but I tried to smile anyway. ‘That’s me: rubbish-maker-up-er-er of the century.’

                She only rolled her gorgeous hazel eyes and turned away, her perfect nut-brown hair flicking insultingly. Honestly, I could never win with that girl.

                But – whatever she had done – it completely ensnared Westley. He looked at her, blue eyes wide with admiration and desperation. He would do anything for her; that much was perfectly obvious.

                I suppose as the female narrator of this story I am obliged to fill this story with great emotion, but – to be honest – I didn’t feel anything but annoyance at the fact that Nikki could get away with more or less treating everybody like dirt. Especially Westley.

                ‘I’m thirsty.’ She complained suddenly – loudly.

                ‘The jug’s empty.’ Jacob pointed out. ‘Maybe I should fill it.’

                ‘Why doesn’t Nikki fill it?’ Thomas teased, knowing full well that would never happen. Nikki’s annoyed face – which for all artistic purposes I shall insist on calling a zelver – only confirmed this fact.

                ‘I’ll do it!’ Westley cried, jumping to his feet and making me sigh. He was so obvious. It was honestly depressing.

                Jacob rolled his eyes, as did Thomas, but – seeing as everyone else was too lazy to get up and refill the jug – they let him do it. Besides, it was no use trying to do it for Westley. If Nikki had suggested it, wanted it, or even hinted at it, then he would do it. It was the strangest scenario, for he was usually the laziest person in the room.

                I watched him quietly from a distance, hoping beyond hope that things wouldn’t go bitterly wrong for him. Despite the fact that I didn’t want to be teased about liking him, I did care – and was perfectly happy to make it known that I cared – about whether or not his heart was ripped to shreds by some moody, person-using, fifteen year old girl. He may have been a complete idiot to ‘fall for her’, but he was an idiotic friend of mine, and thus I would not allow him to be hurt.

                I only hoped he didn’t do anything stupid while I wasn’t looking.

*

The day seemed to pass slowly, and lulled me (and most of the campers) into a sort of daze, but when evening finally came, all awoke instantly.

                We were going to play four team capture the flag, and in the dark. Or at least eventually in the dark, as the first half would indefinitely be played in the sunset.

                I was so often disappointed when it came to teams at camp, and today was no exception. My only consolation was that Thomas was on my team, even though I could hardly speak to him. He never said much, and was rigorously reticent.

                ‘You ten, guard the north side,’ our team leader instantly began shooting orders about, ‘you fifteen attack,’ and so on and so forth. Then, after about five minutes, he turned to Thomas and me. ‘You two…. What are your names again?’

                Thomas hardly even blinked at this, whereas I sighed. I knew who my leader was – I’d known him for five years. I could tell you everything about him – in essence – and he didn’t even know my name. But I didn’t rub it in – that would have taken too long. Jogging people’s memories about me always did – I simply said, ‘Maryette. I’m Maryette, he’s Thomas.’

                ‘Okay. Well, Maryette and Thomas, you two can stay here and guard the flag.’

                Typical, but my preferred job. I always got caught by the enemy anyway.

                ‘Sure.’ I acknowledged the leader, and the group began to disperse.

                Thomas and I were soon left perfectly alone with the flag in an alcove of trees. Turning to him slowly, I saw his dimples were clearly visible, and I knew he was about to say something inappropriate. Something that should have been perfectly awkward for me, as he was only in grade nine.

                ‘Is this a set up?’

                I laughed and teased him back. ‘I don’t know, Thomas. Is it working?’

                TD’s blue eye that I so often mistook for brown lit up cheekily, even in the moonlight. ‘I think so. Why don’t we elope and come back in two hours when the game is done?’

                ‘Sounds like a plan.’

                That was the good thing about Thomas. He was so ridiculous he was easy to talk to – when he did talk.

                We stood in complete silence for half an hour, which was a little less awkward than I thought it would be. I had never really spent any time with Thomas before, and I was noticing how similar he looked to his brother. Even though he had light blonde hair, he had the same nose as Forty (angular with a kink ‘like Barbra Streisand or whatever’ – no, Jacob, you’re never going to live that down), and a small, long face which was similar to Isaac’s. I liked his face, I decided. It glowed with youthfulness, burst with integellence, and – right now – spread laughter wherever he turned.

Thomas turned to me without any warning, so I quickly darted my eyes away. The fact that he had decided to look at me surprised me, though what was even more surprising was his facial expression. Eyebrows knotted, mouth half open as if he were about to say something but didn’t quite know what to say…. I began to wonder if I should worry. I was pretty clueless that way.

                ‘I’m sorry.’ He finally said, sighing heavily, as if even that had been hard for him. ‘I really can’t speak.’

                I smiled kindly, being careful not to laugh. ‘You just did.’

                ‘That’s not what I meant. I mean, come on, we can’t stand here for 2 hours and not speak.’

                ‘An hour and a half.’ I corrected him. ‘And why not? We’ve already pulled of half-an-hour.’

                ‘Because if we stand here for 2 hours straight it’ll be a complete waste of time and I’ll look like a social reject.’

                ‘I doubt there’s anything wrong with that, if society’s judging.’

                Thomas seemed to appreciate this. ‘Still. I’d like to have at least one friend.’ He turned to me helplessly, arms crossed over his chest. ‘You pick the topic.’

                I tried not to seem too bothered by this and nodded. ‘All right. Let’s talk about frog world domination.’

                He groaned at once. ‘Not one of your silly Isaac conversations.’

                ‘Hey, you didn’t give me much to work with.’

                ‘Fine, you know what? I can’t speak. Let’s just make a run for it.’

                It took me a minute to work out what he was saying. ‘You mean leave our flag unguarded and try for the enemies’?’

                ‘Exactly. It’s nearly dark – we can go into stealth mode.’

                ‘I’m terrible at stealth mode.’

                Thomas only shook his head. ‘You’ve never had me as back-up.’

                ‘Fair enough,’ I figured.

                So we ran towards the cabins to fetch supplies.

*

We were wearing black now, and relied heavily on Thomas’ pathetic little torch. It didn’t do much in the darkness, but we both knew that was a good thing. It meant the opposing sides would never see us.

                ‘Let’s just check up on our flag first.’ Thomas said, leading me back to whence we’d came. Once we’d seen that it was still where we’d left it and we hadn’t lost yet, we happily continued towards the far side of the camp, where Thomas suspected the blue team’s flag was.

                ‘What team are we on again?’ I asked, beginning to feel a little tired.

                ‘Red.’ Thomas replied, completely unbothered. This surprised me. After all, wasn’t Westley – the person who was always annoyed with me – his brother? Even Jacob had raised his voice to me in frustration once, and Isaac had actually snapped at me before realising I didn’t understand a word he had been saying…. Yeah, card games. Good fun for all when you don’t know how to play them. But Thomas…. It finally hit me that he was patient. Really patient.

                ‘I don’t bother you?’ I whispered, and Thomas simply shrugged.

                ‘I keep calm. You should try it sometime.’

                His white teeth glinted in the dark, suggesting a smile, so I knew he was only teasing. Still, his point was valid.

                We heard footsteps, and I froze instantly. Do you think someone like me would know what to do in a situation like that? I’d always been dumped with the flag – I didn’t know whether or not to hide or charge forward. I didn’t even know if Tom and I were still on our territory or not!

                A strange force reached out and pulled me towards a tree, where I realised I was close to Thomas. It wasn’t uncomfortable, because I was so short, and he was so tall – despite being younger than me – but it was relieving. It meant I didn’t have to choose our hiding place. I didn’t even have to choose to hide!

                We listened to the two people whispering and giggling as they passed, then watched expectantly as a leader appeared out of the bushes. In an instant, there was a loud ‘roar’, two high-pitch screams, and an uneventful chase down the hill – in which the leader managed to catch both girls. Then, as he escorted them to jail, Thomas and I slipped onwards.

                I wasn’t good at moving quietly, especially not as the shrubbery thickened. Soon we were moving through bush, and I couldn’t see a thing except for the dinky little light patches offered by Tom’s torch. It was pathetic, and completely unhelpful.

                ‘I can’t see.’ I whispered to Tom, hoping to get some sympathy, or maybe a, ‘let’s turn around then.’ Instead what I got was a hand.

                I instantly withdrew my hand from his grasp, and he turned around – the first signs of exasperation showing. Yes, I had a special ability to annoy even those who kept calm.

                ‘I don’t like you.’ He hissed. ‘Just take my hand.’

                That sounds really mean out of context, but it was comforting at the time. I took his hand, and we progressed further into the dark bush.

                We walked for about ten more minutes in this fashion, but it felt more like an hour to me. It was so quiet and dark – all I really had to remind me I wasn’t asleep was Tom’s hand and the dumb torch – I nearly did fall asleep while walking.

                Nearly, that is, until Tom’s other hand came back and wacked me in the face.

                ‘Sorry!’ He whispered in my ear at once, panicking and trying to be comforting. He didn’t do a bad job of it, but I was so tired I think I snapped at him to leave me alone.

                ‘What have we stopped for?’ I asked impatiently.

                ‘Voices.’ Thomas replied, choosing to ignore my now foul temper. ‘And a tree over there. See? It’s the blue flag. And look who’s guarding it….’

                I squinted, and barely made out Westley and Nikki.

                I smiled, instantly cottoning on to what Tom was thinking. ‘Reckon they eloped yet?’

                ‘Like us? She didn’t consent.’ Tom returned. ‘Which is why they’re whispering so intently.’

                ‘What do you think they’re talking about?’

                ‘Don’t know, don’t care. What I do know and care about is the game, and our time is nearly up.’

                ‘What, already?’

                ‘Yes, already. Let’s get the flag and go.’

                ‘You think I can do that?’

                ‘I’m counting on you to be a distraction.’

                I rolled my eyes (not that Thomas could see, but I think he sensed it) and sighed. ‘What do I have to do?’

                Thomas beamed – again, I could see his glinting teeth – and whispered furiously in my ear. Then, as he eagerly pushed me forward, I tried to work out what on earth he meant.

                He expected Nikki to be careless, and basically let me take the flag. He expected Westley to be so wrapped up in Nikki that he wouldn’t notice I was coming. I was betting on the latter, but not necessarily on the first. I was pretty sure Nikki hated me, so she wasn’t likely to let me get away with her prize.

                I approached as quietly as I could… which was so loudly that Thomas groaned and practically rolled in agony in the background… and kept my eye on the blue flag. But the closer I came to its two guardians, the more I wanted to stop and stand up for Westley.

                 I didn’t know what they were talking about – I really didn’t. But whatever it was, it had Westley all frozen to the spot, and Nikki whispering away furiously. I don’t know, I figured they were arguing about Twilight or something. So I ran, stole the flag, and the listened to Nikki yell at Westley and blame him for it as I handed it to Tom.

                Thomas ran so fast I hardly had time to register he was gone. Then I realised I was all alone in the dark (unless I went back to Westley and Nikki who were yelling at each other angrily now) and tore madly after him. It was hard work, but I made it back to our base alive.

                By some miracle, our flag was still in its hiding spot, so Thomas and I set the blue flag up next to it and did a sort of victory dance. I think it was a cross between the Macarena and Psy’s Gangam Style, but that’s only slightly relevant.

                The car horn blared then, and the game was over: Thomas and I knew our team had won.

                People gradually began making their way past us, but we didn’t join them right away. We waited until I nudged Tom and said, ‘that’s him’.

                Tom frowned. ‘How can you tell?’

                ‘His walk.’ I explained. ‘Very direct. And his posture, silhouette… his stiff neck, jutted out chin, and duck lips.’

                Tom chuckled. ‘Jacob has duck lips?’

                ‘Pretty much.’

                The younger brother laughed delightedly. ‘I’m so glad I don’t look like him right now. Come on, let’s catch up.’

                We ran, feeling more than satisfied by our ‘noble’ deed.

 

 

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