Mike Schlappi. Wow."If you can't stand up, stand out."
This man gave a presentation at my school today and it blew me away. He was shot in the chest at point-blank range and paralyzed from the waist down, condemning him to a future of life in a wheelchair at age fourteen. And yet, he played basketball Olympics. This man has survived on the outside by the help and support of his family, but he has survived inside by his always-cheerful attitude toward life. He is an inspiration.
His website: http://www.mikeschlappi.com/index.php
He held a writing workshop during 6th and 7th period today which I attended with my friend. Thirty kids were in that workshop when our school holds at least 2,000. Only certain kids who were serious about writing were chosen to attend by their English teachers. After a brief talk he gave us some time to write a paragraph or two of the first thing that came to our mind (a whole writer's block therapy exercise). He then allowed some volunteers to read what we'd written. I was the se
Outfits"Harley, leave me alone." Joker clenched his teeth as he growled at the dancing woman in front of his desk. She didn't seem to notice the seriousness in his animalistic but distracted warning. She held two shirts suspended in the air by hangers, glancing back and forth between them and biting her glossed lips in thought.Outfits2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"First, tell me which one you like better!" She squeaked, holding the shirts over her body one by one. She had her "pajamas" on; a cottony black button up shirt she sewed herself with red hearts all over it, paired up with matching sweat pants. Joker kept his focus on the long pencil in his hand, sketching routes through a complex blue-print of a building.
Once the sirens rang, these doors would be locked first, then these over here. This one would be easiest to break open but the elevator would be shut down, so... we'd have to take the stairs down a couple of floors or should we go up? Hmm... Maybe I should take a trip to the airport and steal a helic
That Boy - Page 1That BoyThat Boy - Page 13 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Fan Fiction by JokerAgentChaos on deviantart.com
Eighth grade. Oh boy, let me tell ya! It's a nightmare for the nerds and little kids who haven't gone through puberty, but heaven for the popular kids, the punks, the bullies, the hot girls.
There were many classifications in middle school that a kid can slip into.
For girls, you were either a sweet, nice girl who got good grades, or a hottie; a snob. The one with all the popular kids.
It was tough being in this top category. The category I'm in. Anyway back to my rambling!
Let's see, now for guys there's the "Nerds", of course. Computer geeks, smarty's, you know the works.
Then there's the "Jocks"; the basketball, football die-hards. Tall with their teen muscles developed, they have all the girls after them, they have the practices every day after school.
Then there's the punks, the gangsters, the "cool" guys. Yep! Those are the main three labels for guys.
There are some people, just a few, who don't fit in any grou
That Boy - Page 53I scratched the branch under me with my dirty nails, feeling the tough wrinkles in the thick skin of the tree. After a while of staring at the never-changing grey sky, I slid my hand in my hoodie pouch and brought out the handgun I stole from Officer Gordon. It wasn't clipped very securely in his holster, and he didn't notice it was missing from his belt when he left. I smirked and examined the elegant weapon. I easily identified it as a Pietro Beretta, the common police corps firearm. I read the "MOD.92FS-CAL9" Printed on the muzzle over a dark red stain; old rust-like blood that had waited too long to be washed off. The thought of Gordon killing someone was an absurd idea to me. He just seemed too innocent to murder anything. Maybe this gun was someone else's before it was his. The black hole at the tip of the muzzle seemed like a black hole of death.That Boy - Page 532 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I looked into it with wonder, holding the black plastic grip on the handle with both hands. After staring into that Beretta I closed m
That Boy - Page 4Sixth period was Gymnastics, my favorite class, which I topped the whole school in! I usually exceeded my friends incredibly, but today I didn't focus very well.That Boy - Page 43 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I felt a lot of things at once, and I couldn't get away from my crowd of friends. As we waited our turn for the jumping board, they whispered to me.
"What happened? What did Travis do? What did the boy say?" They kept asking me these things I didn't want to answer!
Finally the period was over! I had never wished for gymnastics to be over quickly. Today I did. Surviving the stampeding hallways, I made it unharmed to seventh period. History.
This was the last class of the day. I was the fourth person in the room, getting there early. I went to my seat, next to the window. An essay was due today and I pulled it out of my folder. Some kids arrived and did the same. We still had three minutes before class started.
I went to the basket near the door and turned the essay in. As I turned around, the boy silently walked in. I stopped i
That Boy - Page 23I listened to the sounds of the night, never hearing them this clearly before. More men came into the Walgreens store, in a greatly heated argument. They stayed in there shortly, and then came out, fighting brutally.That Boy - Page 233 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
They fought roughly and angrily, moving down the street. "What IS IT with men and fighting?" I mumbled to myself.
"I can tell ya, Harl."
I fell out of the tree, startled and panicked. He was behind me the whole damn time!?!? I sat up, sore and scratched by the branches.
His gaze was still on the men in the distance, his hood casting a shadow over his face, of course. He was behind the tree, leaning on a tall fencepost.
"Men like them... they fight because they never knew any different. Simple as that." He turned his black eyes to me as I stood up, brushing leaves off of my body.
"Wise little owl you are..." I mumbled, pissed off and embarrassed.
"Clumsy little squirrel you are." He replied coolly. I had to admit, that was a good comeback.
"What are you doing here?" I asked
That Boy - Page 20He saw the realization creep slowly in my eyes. "'Cause you are different." He told me, slowly, letting it sink in.That Boy - Page 203 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Then he added, "Like me."
"You aren't different; don't let them make you think that! Theythey just need someone to pick on so they can feel bigger!" I burst out, suddenly furious at my friends.
"No, I am different, Harley, I REALLY am!" He growled, relaxing his arms a bit.
"You're just a boy, like the rest of them! You're a little quiet, but who cares!?! I know people who are way too loud!" I tried to help him see it from my point of view; he was just a normal boy! He wasn't a freak!
He pulled off his hood with a frustrated jerk, exposing his dirty blonde hair to the harsh wind. "You want to know why I am different? Huh Harley? You want to know?" He pulled down the collar of his hoodie, stretching it, showing me his throat and chest. "THIS is why I am different!!!"
Just on the part I could see, the area around his collarbone, just below his neck, just see
That Boy - Page 28I'm not going to tell her my name. No one will ever know my name. She was right though, I at least had to have a nickname.That Boy - Page 283 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I looked at her again, and she could see that I was thinking about it. "Something only I would call you." She repeated.
Something only she would call me. I sat up on her bed and fingered the stain my blood had left on her covers. I thought about a name. Something simple, but still having a trace of myslef in it.
"Um... I guess... Jay. Like the letter... J."
"J?" She smiled, glad to know what to call me now. I nodded, liking the sound of how she said it. "J."
She let outy a giggle and rocked back and forth on her knees. "Okay! Sounds great!"
The car honked outside. I was so late to school! I ran into my parents' bedroom, keeping quiet so my mom wouldn't wake up.
I fished through my dad's shirts, he must have a hoodie somewhere! J couldn't stay here all day, and he couldn't go to school with a bloody shirt. I grinned as I found a black hoodie. It might be a l
That Boy - Page 7"Do you live over here?" I heard him say, not daring to look straight at him.That Boy - Page 73 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"Yeah, I live further down, behind the Walgreens. What about you?" I asked sweetly, daring to turn and face him as I walked.
Really Harley! Why'd you have to ask that? And why'd you have to answer him?! Come on! Telling him where you lived!!!??? How stupid!
"Nowhere." He answered. Okay. I couldn't tell if he was dismissing the question, or answering her truthfully.
There were dark gray clouds above us, but it wasn't going to rain anytime soon. Snow never stuck to the ground, winters were dark and rainy.
We came off the ramp and were now walking on the sidewalk. The wind was frostily chilling, and I liked it. We passed some old stores, seeing many spooky alleyways and some kids doing drugs after school.
After some more awkward silence, I pointed to my house, not knowing what else to do or say. "See, that's it."
I liked my house; it was one of the few nice ones in this city. Down the abandoned little road, back
That Boy - Page 33At the back of the library, J turned around and scanned the room. "This is SO not the place I usually go, by the way. I'm not like, a nerd or anything." I told him.That Boy - Page 333 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"Of course not, Harls." He walked backwards to the emergency exit doors. I glanced behind me. No librarian, no kids. "Uh, won't those trigger an alarm or something?" I asked, seeing that he was gonna go outside.
"Nope. " That's all he said as he leaned back and pushed the red doors open. I followed him outside. The wind sent shivers down my back and my hair was whisked up in my face. I tied it in a single ponytail behind my head as we headed toward the bridge.
"They've been broken for years. The school just doesn't want to pay to fix 'em." J explained, raising his voice slightly over the wind.
We went under the bridge; I never had gone under here before. Swear words were scratched and scribbled into the cement surrounding our torso. The wind licked at our legs as we stood on the scraggly rocks. I watched th
That Boy - Page 17In history, two periods after science, my friends forced me to come on the other side of the room and talk with them. The teacher was at his desk, letting the class chat and work on our assignments.That Boy - Page 173 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"I'm sorry Harleen!"
"Talk about the dumbest teacher ever!"
"That sucks! You should have just ditched him."
"I'd rather be paired up with a box full of cockroaches!"
"It's the same thing, Jenny!"
They laughed, and shot some glances back at the boy. I felt myself burning with embarrassment!!! He surely heard them!!! "Guys, its fine." I said, looking for something else to change the subject with. "Uh, have you seen Believe Me yet? Everyone says it's a good movie, but I don't know if it's worth the money."
"Yeah, we saw that last weekend." Katie blurted suddenly, obviously annoyed at me. They went and did something... without me? What? Why didn't they invite me?
"Oh, well thanks for inviting me." I laughed a little, kinda meaning what I said, but keeping the atmosphere friendly. Girls in my ga
That Boy - Page 10After school, I avoided my friends again and went to the guidance counselors' office. I pretended to fill out an appointment paper. Through one of the door windows, I could see him. Rotating slowly on a spinny chair, he was made of stone. The counselor was at his desk, asking pointless questions. The boy didn't answer them.That Boy - Page 103 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"Why don't you participate in class? There is no reason to be a slacker, you know how to read and write. I know you do. You may pretend not to. But I know you do."
I didn't answer him. I was sick of him. I never said anything to him, to anyone. Why do they even try? Are they that bored? They know I won't talk to them, why try!?
"We need to see some commitment from you, mister. You need to start doing your work, you need to talk when spoken to, and you need to tell us your name!"
My name? You want to know my name, well tough luck, chubby. No one knows my name. Only I know my name! Wait until he starts guessing again. Then I'll be entirely bored to death!
That Boy - Page 27He was laughing! Laughing!!!!The sound made my heart flutter!That Boy - Page 273 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"What!?" I laughed back. He came out of the closet, moving some shirt sleeves out of his face, and shook his head, still laughing. "You, you are just so damn funny!"
We both were laughing now. Laughing at each other, laughing about the fact we were laughing! My face was red with embarrassment, my ribs hurt with the laughter! I had just shoved him in my closet, leapt on the bed to try and cover the stain, and used my period as an excuse for it! And don't forget me calling him 'dude'!
He fell into my bed, squeezing his eyes shut and cackling ridiculously. I curled up, holding my stomach. What a crazy morning! We tried to catch our breath, and hold in our laughter. He managed to close his mouth, but still laughed in his throat.
I held myself in a sitting position with my shaking arms and wheezed, "Well... well, I just thought..." I couldn't control myself, I burst out laughing again.
I've never laughed before, it felt s
That Boy - Page 25*~*~*~*That Boy - Page 253 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I don't want to wake up. I want to dream still, dream about him, about how it felt outside at night. I wanted to still dream about him. Him. That boy.
Was it a dream? Do I want to find out if it was or wasn't? Did I want it to be real?
I gathered up the strength to open my eyes. I was lying sideways on my bed, diagonally across the bottom corner.
It wasn't a dream! He was there, in front of me!!!
He was on his back, his exposed face peaceful, his emo-ish black eye-shadow covering his eyes. His hair was dirty and stringy, his purple hoodie coated on one side with dried blood.
He fell asleep with ME, on MY bed, in MY room, in MY house!!! God, I was such a girl!!!
I wanted him to say here forever.
I wanted him to feel safe like this forever.
I wanted him next to me forever.
It was a memorable moment, a perfect moment. It was short lived.
I heard my father coming up the stairs. The sun was out; I was supposed to be downstairs getting ready for school!!! My dad was coming to wake me
That Boy - Page 26"What...?" I slowly asked. I realized some of the blood stain was in plain sight from under me.That Boy - Page 263 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
A thought came in my head. Embarrassing, but efficient. "Oh...that. Uh, I was actually hoping you wouldn't see that..." I stood up and brushed a strand of hair out of my face.
"Are you hurt?" He was worried. He took a step closer. I acted uncomfortable. "No, I'm not hurt...dad..."
"What is it honey? You can tell me." He was confused now. I sighed. How freaking embarrassing.
I stayed silent as a rock in her closet, listening. Her dad had seen the blood on her bed. I knew I should have left! I shouldn't have slept over here.
I couldn't see what was going on; her door was almost all the way closed. I knew she was probably going to tell her dad everything. She didn't seem like the type to lie, especially to her own parents. I prepared to come out of the closet.
"Dad... I'm, uh... on my period."
I said it and gave my father a weak, embarrassed smile. His exp
That Boy - Page 3I told Travis to stop bugging me.That Boy - Page 33 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Travis laughed and said: "It wasn't me-- I swear! It was him!" He pointed to the boy next to him, the boy with the purple hood, the boy who never spoke, and the boy who everyone gossiped about.
Travis wanted to have fun teasing both of us!
The boy ignored us, as always. I muttered, "Shut up and leave me alone." to Travis. He didn't shut up.
"Hey emo, why you picking on my girl?" He teased. My blood flared like someone threw a match in a trail of oil. Was Travis acting like I was his girlfriend!?!
"Hey emo, you know how to talk?" Travis turned his body away from me and stared at the boy.
I felt angry and embarrassed. I focused on my paper in front of me. I didn't want to give Travis any attention to fuel his bullying.
But unfortunately Travis had forgotten about me and was interested now in getting the boy to talk.
Travis kicked the leg of the boy's chair, moving it a centimeter. "Emo freak, say something for once!" Travis laughed.
The boy turned his he
Joker's Journal - 1She's nuts. I hate her.Joker's Journal - 11 year ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Sometimes.Never mind. Always. I was stupid to let a psychologist attach onto me. As if I didn't get enough pointless therapy in Arkham! I had to bring a doctor outside as my own personal advisor. Idiotic.
What is this? Its a journal. Me scribbling my "thoughts" on a paper. She's making me do it. She's watching me right now. I ask her what the hell to write, and she suggests writing my current actions. That's what I'm doing.
Now I'm out of things to write. But you know what's funny? I can't write that I'm staring at a blank piece of paper, because that would be lying. I can however, write "Fifteen minutes ago I was staring at a blank piece of paper."
I know how to annoy her.
I am writing. I am writing. I am writing. I am writing. I am wr
She says that doesn't count. Now I have to sit here for another hour. Nothing is stopping me from leaving. Her glares don't intimidate me.
Hell with this.
She made me write that
Remembering HeathRemembering Heath2 years ago in Emotional More Like This
Four years ago, on January 22 2008, the world lost a great man. Not only a great actor, but also a great person. He wasn't just the characters he portrayed in his movies. He was someone's son, brother, friend, partner, and father. Heathcliff Andrew Ledger will always be remembered.
He surfed when he was a teenager in Australia. He went to the beach just like every other kid he lived around, probably un-able to be picked out in a crowd. His parents divorced peacefully and both of them got re-married and had one daughter each. Heath grew up in a family of women, and he joked about gaining much patience from it. His very first theatrical role was in a "Peter Pan" play when he was ten years old.
He moved from Perth, Australia all the way to America when he was just eighteen years old. He left his family, friends, home, and entire country behind. He was excited to have an opportunity to be in movies, but it was still a very different world to transition into and the road beyond the border o
Clown and Crow"Science nerd alert!" Joker shouted, opening the door to the lab without acknowledging the "WARNING: CHEMICALS AT USE" sign.Clown and Crow2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Jonathan Crane tried not to cringe as he adjusted the settings on a big machine connected to a 6-foot tube of murky blue liquid. "Go away Joker, I don't want you in my laboratory."
Joker skipped over and looked at what Crane was doing. "Oh, I'll be good, I promise." He muttered, obviously not meaning at all what he said.
Jonathan glared at him from over the rim of his black glasses. "Don't. Touch. Anything."
Joker smirked, but held in a wave of laughter, standing tall and at attention. Jonathan glared at him a while longer before cranking a wheel on the side of the machine and watching a green substance slowly flow into the blue liquid in the giant test tube.
"Grandma's old recipe?" Joker asked, clearing his throat slightly. Jonathan made a face at him. "What?"
"Fear toxin, I meant." Joker grinned. "Lighten up Jonny." He hit the back of Crane's head good-naturedl
That Boy - Page 32Gymnastics distracted my mind, as always. I focused on my body's movement, on the world spinning around me as I flipped and twisted in the air. We were practicing in our costumes now, and I felt more confident wearing the beautiful red and black diamond pattern.That Boy - Page 323 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
There was still a month or so until the performance. Our teacher wanted everything to be completely ready before the whole school saw us.
Lunch. No thanks. I'm not hungry today. I went instead to the library. I acknowledged that only the nerds and anti-social people went here instead of the cafeteria. Oh well.
I browsed the comic section. Nothing good. This school didn't invest a lot into books, which was fine with me. It sure made the next thirty minutes longer than they needed to be, though. Maybe I can find something worth reading in the information section. I searched through books about arts and crafts, dramas and plays, careers ooh, police books. Forensic cases and stories. Sweet.
I kneeled down and found a book on
That Boy - Page 30My friends were still whispering about me, a couple of them approached me and asked what my problem was. I told them nothing was wrong. I totally had forgotten about Katie. They were puzzled. They were confused. It was funny how much they rely on gossip.That Boy - Page 303 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Katie HAD told lies about me. She said I hit her or tripped her or something. Depends on who you ask. I told them it wasn't true. Some believed me, some didn't. I didn't care, I had realized I didn't need them; their social ladder was weak and always changing. I was better off with J's small stepping stool.
Just two steps, him being the only one above me. Second place was where I belonged. I liked being in second place. I liked being a supporter.
I had changed, literally overnight. The five minute bell rang; everyone put away their books and waited by the door. I tried not to look sad as I leaned against the wall.
The bell rang, and I slipped through the hallways to third period. Computer class. I was still lost in my thoughts; I didn'
That Boy - Page 31I ignored his request for a handshake. "I've known you since kindergarten, Jonny. No need for a formal greeting."That Boy - Page 313 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"Well, we never really had any sort of greeting. You never talk to me." He insisted on a handshake. I shook it.
He motioned forward and we walked to third period. Yeah, he was in my computer class. He was right too; I never did talk to him. No particular reason, nothing was wrong with him, our paths just never crossed.
"You never talk to me either." I said as we hovered by the door.
"Your body guards prevent me from interacting with you." He replied, talking about my popular group. He always talked in such an educated way.
"Yeah, well... not anymore." I said, watching my feet.
"So you're free now?" He asked.
Free? Was he saying I've been like a slave to them or something? I looked up at him, questioningly playful.
"You don't have to go to the mall or anything tonight?" He smiled.
I huffed out a laugh. "Nope."
"So you are free. Free of plans." He smiled charmingly
That Boy - Page 22I went to school the next day, needing to see if he was okay. He wasn't here today. I didn't talk to my friends. I skipped lunch, not strong enough to handle their glares and whispers. I felt alone, like yesterday had been a bad dream, a nightmare. I still couldn't believe what I now knew.That Boy - Page 223 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Travis flirted with me in fifth period. It had been a long time since he made a move on me, and I didn't feel like fighting him. I felt dead. I needed to see that the boy was okay before I could be.
Travis moved his chair close to me, pretended to help me with a question on my paper, whispered something pointless in my ear. When the teacher got our projects out of the cupboard and passed them out, Travis went back to his seat in the front of the room.
We separated the dried Play-Doh from the hardened plaster and admired our fossils. Our skeleton turned out perfectly. I stared at it, seeing the lines that his hands drew yesterday. A little skull with eyes, a rib cage, a pelvis, and bony legs and arms.