I get a call from Ly while playing a videogame with Al at his house. Eli, in cat form, is taking a nap on the couch behind us. I think I finally wore them down to a truce. My phone rings. I stretch for it, not taking my eyes off the screen. I grab it, don’t look at caller ID because that would mean diverting my attention which would be an extremely foolish move, and answer it.
“Hello, IT, have you tried turning it on and off again? This is Michelle speaking.” I say automatically, while getting a blue shell and throwing it at Al’s cart.
“Mich? Come outside, we need to find Julie.”
“What, now? Dude, I’m about to beat Al’s ass on the rainbow road. Full concentration here, you understand, right?”
“It’s important! I got a text from some 2p’s saying they have her right now. Now do you understand?”
“2p? What the hell’s a 2p?” I ask, but Al stiffens right beside me.
“Hang on a sec, Lyllz.” I say. I set the phone down and pause the game. “Al, what’s a 2p?”
“Er, nothing, why? Is it important?” He asks, sweating and looking around.
“Well, apparently a bunch of them found Jules, and that’s a bad thing?”
“What?! We need to save her!” He says springing up. He wakes up Eli, who automatically transforms into a guy.
“WHY ARe you shouting?” He asks crankily.
“Julie just got kidnapped by murderous clones of us countries!”
“Kidnapped?!” I say.
“Murderous?!” Eli asks.
“Clones?!” Ly says, muffled from her position on the floor, phone faced down.
“Opps! That’s right, you’re still on the line.” I say, picking her up and putting her on speaker.
“Whatever. Just come help us!” She says, then the line goes dead. The three of us look at each other, then bolt out the door.
“What’s up?” I say as we meet up with the others. Ivan and Zara are huddled together, looking somber, Ly and Canny, looking scared, and Arty looking, well, numb.
“She’s somewhere. We don’t know yet.” Zara says. She looks down and mutters,”I can’t believe she’s missing, And on my wedding day.” I see a tear drop from her face, and Ivan comforts her.
“We’ll find her.” I say.
“Yeah, because heros never fail!” America says.
We all split up to search for Jules. Eli with Arthur, Zara with Ivan, Ly with Can, and Me with Al. “You need to stop saying that.” I say to him as we walk away.