Olive Branches, Chapter 7

Hey, Guidesters! Sorry, it’s been a while. I was deliberating on whether to post this chapter, but, here goes.

This chapter was written by KhrizKoolKatz.

Monday, September 7 – Thaddeus Goodwin

It was lunchtime, finally. Now I could get some elbow room away from those dorks. 

I walked down the hallway stealthily, spinning around occasionally to check if anyone was watching me. 

“Phew,” I sighed. Not a soul in this miserable place. I snuck (whatever grammar nerds) into the restrooms with one goal in sight: escape. I sped to the furthest stall and looked at my window of opportunity–a tiny window high up on the wall. Using the same method I had used for the umpteenth time, I jumped, grabbed the top of the stall, hoisted myself onto it, and then gave the frame a solid kick. 

The poor thing fell out of its place, allowing me to slide through the aperture I made and drop onto the outside. Sure, I had created some racket, but the chatter in the cafeteria would’ve drowned it out. Then I heard someone…crying?

I whirled around, with my unsheathed pocket knife in hand. Nothing. I peeked around the corner only to find a girl sobbing behind the school. Hmph. I couldn’t get caught, especially on the first day of this morose school year. Luckily for me, the morons who built this dungeon had conveniently placed a light pole on the side of the building. Now I could climb up it and jump onto the roof without getting unwanted attention. After that, I surreptitiously crawled to the rear edge of the roof. I looked down to see the same girl crying.

  “Still?” I muttered to myself. “What a loser.” I hadn’t seen her before, so I knew she was one of the newbies. Since I didn’t want to stand here watching her bawl and waiting for her to stop her drama scene, I moved to the front. I stayed low to make sure no one would notice. I scanned the parking lot, looking for the car I drove to school. 

“Where’s the stupid car that Zane and me–oh right.” I cursed. I forgot that I sent that vehicle flying into the woods. Yes, the put-a-rock-on-the-gas-pedal tactic had bought me some insurance to guarantee me another free day as a gangster. After that idiotic memory lapse, I went back to check on Ms. Emotional. She wasn’t there. 

“Thank God–oh, wait I’m an atheist.” I slid down the pole and noticed the giant mural on the other wall. Running my hand over it I mumbled, “Nice work, man. Didn’t know ya still had it in ya.” I then silently ran off into the woods.

My first destination was my house, which I abhorred, but went there nonetheless for two reasons. One, to check if my “parents” were home (they weren’t); and two, to get my new mode of transportation, my skateboard.

I got in, got it, and got out, and now was on my way to where the gang was meeting. I belonged to a gang called Team Infinite, well, I would call them a team, but to some posh religious freak, we would be a gang. I called it a team ’cause when we hung out, we’d be freerunning and skateboarding, which are sports. And as a team, we wouldn’t be going around doing illegal things. We didn’t smoke, drink, and do drugs like those crazy dudes in gangs. Yeah, we each had our personal lives of crime, but when we’re Team Infinite, we’re friends. A brotherhood. A family.

  So Jace was the boss, and then you had Nick, Bryce, Zach, Levi, and Joey. Levi and Joey were mostly in school, so I’d rarely see ’em. As I skated to the skate park, our meeting place, I heard a familiar voice. 

“Yo, Goodwin!” I stopped and turned around and saw Jace. 

“Hey, chief,” I said as we fistbumped, “Whazzup.”

 “Well, I’ve got news,” he said as we started walking to the skate park. 

“Yeah, what?”

  “We’re gonna have a new member.” 


  “Some kid named Kyle. Kyle Shades.” 

“Oh. Ain’t he Nick’s cousin?”

 “Yeah, that’s right.”

  When we got there, we met up with the rest of the gang. As we fistbumped and shook hands with each other, Jace whistled. We all looked up at him. 

“Aiight, team,” his voice boomed throughout the empty skate park. “We got a new kid here. What’s ya name?” He asked, looking at the new guy.

 “Kyle, Kyle Shades,” he answered with a smile. After we gave him a warm welcome, Jace continued. “So Kyle, ya think you good enough to join us?” 

“Yeah,” he confidently replied.

  “Kay, so we have a couple of tests to see if you got what it takes–the 4 S’s. Stamina, strength, speed, and stealth. Got it?”

“Yup.” As Kyle started the tests, Nick, Zach, and me walked to a bench. When we sat down, Zach slugged me in the shoulder. 


“So Thad,” he said, chuckling, “how’s your first day of school?”

“Yeah, whatcha learn?” Nick teased. 

I chuckled. “I learned that those people at my school still need a brain. I got out the same way I did millions of times.” 

We laughed. 

“I mean, it’s like they want me to escape.” 

“Well, they are Bible creeps. They’re just too holy for you.” Nick scratched his head. “I don’t get it. What is the deal about the entire Jesus thing?” 

“Well, from what I know,” I stated, “you just gotta believe some guy died and rose again a long time ago and then you can act all ‘holier-than-thou-art’ with everyone who don’t.”

“That’s lame,” Nick spat. “And the funny thing is that some of them act as bad, if not worse, than us,” Zach said.

I nodded. “They’re all hypocrites. Just good-for-nothing self-righteous judgmental freaks. Seriously, one of them was asking me about my sister. Tch. I told them she was dead and they were all like ‘Oh I’m sorry.’ She even got the stupid place wrong.” 

“Why didn’t you beat her up?” Nick smirked. 

“Pffh, I don’t need to waste time or energy on wimps like her,” I scoffed. 

“Oh, so you like her.” I shot Zach an annoyed glare. 

“Oh come on, bruh. There’s only one girl I like and that’s Claire.” 

“Lucky duck,” Zach muttered. Before long, an exhausted Kyle was done, and he became an official member. As we congratulated him, Jace whistled again.

“Listen up, Levi told me a couple of days ago that some guys from another gang are waltzing through our territory. He said he saw ’em on the south side, not too far from here. So, y’know what that means. Wednesday night, we’re gonna fight ’em. Since they’re the Wrathbones, Imma allow you guys to bring and use weapons. Kyle, you don’t have to join us, since you’re new, but if you want to, you can.” 

Kyle nodded. 

“Aiight gang, that’s it. Seeya.” 

As the team disbanded, we congratulated Kyle again and bumped each other’s fists. I got on my board and sped to Claire’s school so I could walk her home. 

I looked at my watch. 3:42. Hopefully, she’d come out soon, ’cause if I didn’t beat my parents to the house, well, let’s just say I’d be in big trouble. I turned on my MP4 player, put on my earphones, and listened to my music at max volume while I waited for Claire, trying to drown out the awful thoughts of my parents that filled my mind.

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Olive Branches, Chapter 7

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