Ethan CT Burwell
The following information was just recently released from a classified file that is only accessible through the Commander in Chief of the United States of America’s army. Whether or not the following is true is irrelevant, what is relevant is that someone died. Not from natural causes, but from unnatural causes. The names have been changed to protect the innocent, but as for the non-innocent they’re names have not been changed. They have not been changed for one reason and one along, they are dead. They are dead because they died. They did not die from natural causes but from unnatural causes.
MONDAY 9:15 AM
“Okay class, before the bell rings I want you to know that your research reports are all due in one month.” Mr. Orr, the biology teacher, was informing his class.
“What are you going to do your project on?” Margaret was leaning across her desk to talk to her friend Sarah.
“I don’t have a clue.” Sarah answered her. “You?”
“I don’t know.”
“Well, we have a month to figure it out.”
BING, BING, BING, BING
“See everyone tomorrow.” Mr. Orr called out as the class flowed in to the hall.
“Hello, Margaret.” Ethan called out as he passed her in the hall.
“Hey, Ethan. How are you?”
“I’m good, how’s that bio project coming?”
“Bio project? Oh…yeah…”
Their biology class was studying development and growth of living organisms and earlier that week their teacher had assigned them a research project. The project was to research and observe the development of an organism. Ethan had known what he was going to do ever since the project had been assigned. He had his heart set on studying the development of bread mold. In fact at that very moment there was a soggy sandwich inside of a shoe box sitting under his bed. He was going to use the mold to make an anti-asthma syrup. Then, when it was perfect he would sell it to the world on EBay and become rich and famous while saving the lives of millions at the same time.
“…the project.” Margaret continued “Well I was having a hard time deciding. I was watching the Loony Tunes last night and Buggs Bunny, well he made this carrot cannon and he shot all of these carrots on to every planet in the universe. And these carrots, well they kept growing on the planets and they became the dominate life form. Then, he used the carrots to convert all of the carbon dioxide in the universe in to oxygen. So, anyway, I thought I would do it on the growth and development of a carrot.”
“Cool! So are you going to plant ‘em and watch ‘em grow then, pick ’em and then use them to catch a cute baby wabbit and name it Hortense and watch it grow and have babies then do your report on wrabbits?”
“No, I’m just going to do it on carrots.”
“Ok. How’s Sarah’s project”
“I don’t know why don’t you go ask her?” Sarah had just come around the corner and was joining them.
“Hey guys.” Sarah hollered.
“Hi, Sarah.” the both answered.
“How’s your project coming?” Margaret asked.
“My project? Yeah….uh….its not. Well, at least not until I think of an idea.”
“No project then, huh?”
“No, Ethan I don’t have a project yet. Do you?”
“I’m making an anti-asthma syrup from bread mold, you can use it too if you don’t have a project.”
“No!” Sarah shrieked.
“No, no, it’s ok I’m using wheat and rye bread, you can use pumpernickel or something. It’s only cheating if you use the same type of bread. You know that pumpernickel is Barney’s favorite type of bread.”
Sarah just looked at him.
“So what’s your project on?” she asked Margaret.
“I guess that I’m doing it on the development of carrots.”
“Oooo, carrots are my favorite vegetable.”
“Question.” Ethan was raising his hand. “How are you going to watch the development of a carrot when it’s in like three inches of dirt?”
“Well” Margaret answered “I’m not going to put it in dirt; I’m going to put it in a mineral rich water solution.”
“So, you’re going to put it in a container of weird water?”
“That’s the plan.”
“You know, the one guy created wolverine in a water container at Alkali Lake. X men?”
“Ok….what ever you say, Ethan.”
“Anyway…I wish that I had have thought of carrots. That’s soo cool.” Sarah was impressed. “I have no clue what I’m going to do.”
“Why don’t you go talk to Jamie?” Margaret advised. Jamie had already taken biology with Mr. Orr.
“You know what; I’m going to go do that. Do you know where he is?”
“He’s in his locker. Here, wait a minute we’ll come with you.”
So the three set off to find Jamie. Jamie was a senior who had done the same bio project three years ago. Jamie and Margaret were sweet hearts. Their love for each other flowed like the Amazon. They were like two peas in a pod, two wheels on a bicycle, two wings on a bird, two eyes on a face, two ears on a head, two 2’s on a non-digital clock, two E’s in “ice age”. They completed each other, completed each other like hot and dog, like yin and yang, like Bert and Ernie, like snow and cone, like happy and days. They were inseparable, except when they weren’t together. Jamie was in his locker at all times, even when he was in class taking a test or at home. He ran a store there where he sold anything that a schoolgoer could need.
“Question.” Ethan was raising his hand again as they walked to Jamie’s locker.
“Yes?” Sarah asked.
“Would this count as a noble quest? I know that we already know where he is but can we call it a quest anyway?”
“Sure, Ethan, you go ahead and call it a quest.”
So, onward they went on their quest to find Jamie, even though they already knew where he was. Upstairs, downstairs, through the thick, bustling, jungle of people yearning to be free of the prison of their youth in which they had slaved for so long a time that none could remember the call of the great out doors in which there were no walls. When at last they came to Jamie’s locker. When they found it they all poked it once with their pointer finger then three times with their pinky and thumb. Then, they kicked it once and spun in 3.1416 circles and stuck out their tongues and hopped 2.5 times. (Note: for any spies trying to steel Jamie’s secrets this is not the actual code. But, now you know that this isn’t the code so you wont try to use it and you know that it’s some thing else. Unless you know that I’m trying to trick you and trying to get you to use a different code so that I’ll unveil the real code in the story, even though I didn’t.) When they finished the code, that isn’t the real code but does work for the moment, the locker opened. Inside Jamie was sitting at a desk doing homework. His locker was dimly lit and there were rows and rows of shelves.
“Hey guys” he called out in his booming voice. “What brings you to my locker?”
“Well” Margaret answered “we’re doing a project for Mr. Orr. We have to observe the development of an organism.”
“Hey, I did that project three years ago.”
“I know, that’s why we’re here. We need your help.”
“Ok then, shoot.” Jamie instructed.
“Well, Sarah needs an idea for her project.” Ethan informed him.
“When is it due?” Jamie asked.
“Three weeks.” Jamie walked to a shelf a few feet away, picked up a jar with a small cotton looking ball inside and handed it to Sarah.
“What is it?” she asked.
“A spider sack”
“Ewe. Do you have anything else?”
He disappeared and came back with a jar of green water.
“And this is…?” She asked questioningly.
“Fine Sarah said surrendering.”
“And what about your project?” he asked Margaret.
“I’m doing it on the development of carrots, but I need something to make them grow fast, under three weeks.” Jamie handed her a bottle of blue liquid that he had found while she was talking.
“This will make them grow in three weeks but they will be slightly smaller than normal.”
“Perfect.’’ Margaret was happy now.
“And you?” he asked looking at Ethan.
“No, I’m fine. My project’s under my bed.”
“Yeah, I’m growing mold.”
“How much do we owe you?” Sarah asked.
“It’s on me.” Jamie told them. Back in the hallway they found out that it was now 3:01 so they all ran to catch their busses.
2.9999 WEEKS LATER
“How’s the mold coming?” Sarah asked Ethan.
“It’s pretty good. I was surprised though. I expected it to be black and green but it was bright purple. Sort of like a…..a bright purple piece of bread.”
“That’s really nice, Ethan.”
“Well how are your frog eggs?”
“They hatched. Eleven of them.”
“Did you name them?”
“Yes I did. Frederick, Stanley, Beatrice, Rachael, Dude, Zipper, Kino, Pilkington, Jones, Roger, and Frootloop.”
“Yeah, he only swims in circles.”
“Hello” Margaret called as she walked up to them.
“Hi, Margaret” they called out.
“How’s the carrot?” Sarah asked.
“Yes, the carrot well it actually kind of blue.”
“Yeah. It looks like a normal carrot except its blue. I’m going to go talk to Jamie right now.”
“Did you name it?” Ethan asked.
“Name it? No.”
“Then name it Wolverine.”
“Ok, I’ll do that.”
Once again the three set off to find Jamie. Onward they marched. Upstairs, downstairs, through the thick, bustling, jungle of people yearning to be free of the prison of their youth in which they had slaved for so long a time that none could remember the call of the great out doors in which there were no walls and the green grass grew all around. When at last they came to Jamie’s locker. When they found it they all poked it once with their pointer finger then three times with their pinky and thumb. Then, they kicked it once and spun in 3.1416 circles and stuck out their tongues and hopped 2.5 times. This was Jamie’s secret code that is once again no longer a secret, unless I’m trying to trick you, which you don’t know if I’m trying to do. Anyway, the locker door opened as it had before. They walked in. Once again the locker was dimly lit and Jamie was at his desk doing his homework.
“Hey guys, haven’t seen you in a while.”
“Hi Jamie” Margaret spoke “I’ve got a problem.”
“Yes, you know that carrot solution that you gave me 2.9999 weeks ago?”
“Carrot solution? Umm, yeah, the carrot solution” he was a bit confused.
“Well, my carrot is blue and that has to change very fast.”
“When is it due?” he asked.
“Well then, I know exactly what you need.” He pulled a long syringe from a top shelf and handed it to Margaret. It was filled with an unusual watery orange liquid.
“What is it?” Margaret asked.
“Orange juice” Jamie answered jokingly. The three exited back into the hallway.
Back at home Margaret pulled out her blue carrot and the syringe. She injected all 8mm of the solution into Wolverine and watched him for a moment. She then went to her computer to finish up her report.
THE NEXT DAY 7:45 AM
Ethan was just shutting his locker when Margaret ran up to him.
“Where’s Jamie?!” she yelled half mad half panicking.
“In his locker just like he always is. Why?” Margaret pulled a brown paper bag from her backpack and flipped it upside down. A black soggy fell in to her hand.
“What is that?” Ethan asked.
“That is my bio project, that is my bio grade, that is my bio average.” She was really mad.
“It looks…sort of…uh….”
“Dead!” Margaret finished his sentence.
“Gee, what happened to it?”
“Jamie! That’s what happened to it. Jamie and that no good orange juice. I’m going to kill him!”
“Well, right now you have to go to voice so, you’re going to have to wait until 2:15 to kill him.” Margaret was disgusted at the thought but she knew he was right. She couldn’t afford to fail bio and voice.
“Ok, are we going to go kill Jamie now?” Ethan asked.
“Yes” Margaret answered, however she had calmed down since earlier. Sarah was with them now.
“How’s Frootloop?” Ethan asked her.
“Better than Wolverine.” she replied.
Once again (again) the three set off on another quest to find and conquer Jamie. Onward they marched. Upstairs, downstairs, through the thick, bustling, jungle of people yearning to be free of the prison of their youth in which they had slaved for so long a time that none could remember the call of the great out doors in which there were no walls and the green grass grew all around and the bluebirds fly. When at last they came to Jamie’s locker. When they found it they all poked it once with their pointer finger then three times with their pinky and thumb. Then, they kicked it once and spun in 3.1416 circles and stuck out their tongues and hopped 2.5 times. This was Jamie’s secret code that is once again (again) no longer a secret. But, I know that you know that this really isn’t the code so the real code is still a secret, unless I’m trying to trick you, which I know that you don’t know if I’m trying to do because I haven’t told you. Anyway, the locker door opened and in stepped the trio, and once again Jamie was at his desk doing his homework in the dimly lit locker.
“Hey guys” he hollered in his booming voice “I haven’t seen you in what three weeks?”
“Oh, don’t give that!” Margaret was mad again “you murderer, you killed my carrot and you know it!”
“What?!” Jamie asked surprised and confusedly “No I most definitely did not!”
“Yes, you did! That orange solution that you gave me yesterday?” she pulled out the carrot and showed it to him.
“I didn’t give you anything yesterday because I wasn’t here yesterday.” as Jamie told her this he pulled up the attendance for the entire school on his laptop and showed her that he wasn’t in school yesterday.
“Well if you weren’t her then who killed my carrot?” Jamie walked over to a camera that he kept on the wall of his locker. He spent a minute rewinding, and then he stopped.
“Russell” he said to himself.
“Who?” Margaret asked. Ethan and Sarah watched.
“Russ, he killed you carrot.” Jamie showed her the video. Russ was Jamie’s twin brother. They looked a lot a like, especially in a dimly lit locker filled with rows and rows of shelves.
“Russ has this crush on you” Jamie explained “he tries to hide it and he denies it, but it’s really killing him. It’s eating him from the inside; from the deepest darkest depths of his heart, sort of like heart worms; except they don’t eat you they just clog your heart. He’s jealous of us and must have tried to frame me with the death of your carrot so that you’d hate me.”
“Where is he?!” Margaret demanded. At first she was shocked, but quickly became unsympathetic.
“He’s in the library.” Margaret turned to walk out of the locker.
“Wait!” Jamie called “I thought that your project was due today.”
“It was. I told Mr. Orr that I forgot it and that my mom was bringing it during ninth.” Jamie opened his refrigerator and tossed her a carrot and the video. Margaret left. Ethan and Sarah followed her.
IN THE LIBRARY
“What did you do?” Margaret yelled as she walked up behind him and pushed him in to the wall.
“What is your problem?!” Russ was surprised and upset.
“You killed my carrot!”
“What are you talking about? What carrot?!” Russ was very confused. After a bit of yelling Margaret showed him the video.
“Oh no. No, it’s not possible.” Russ suddenly felt lifeless.
“What?” Sarah asked.
“Come on!” Russ ran out of the library to his locker. The three followed. Russ put in his combination and the door opened, no jumping involved. “No!” he cried. Sarah poked her head in.
“Looks empty to me.”
“I know” Russ answered. He just stood there staring at the empty locker.
“What is going on Russ?” Margaret demanded. Russ explained. Three years ago he did the same project. However he did his topic on cell division and regrowth. Russ ended buying a starfish off of EBay and used it for his project, but before he brought the fish he experimented with some of his own cells. Some how he had managed to clone himself. Unable to keep the clone at home he hid it from the world in his locker.
“Somewhere there’s another me running around.” the three looked at him like he was crazy but couldn’t tell if he was lying.
“What time is it?” Margaret finally broke the silence.
“2:55, why?” Ethan asked.
“Ugg, I have to go give my report and this carrot to Mr. Orr. I’ll meet you guys in the band room.” Margaret ran off to Mr. Orr’s room while the others went downstairs.
FIVE MINUTES LATER
“Well, what did Mr. Orr say?” Sarah told them.
“I gave it to him and he said ok. Now what about this clone thing?” she asked Russ.
“I have no clue where he could be.”
“Then we should search the whole school” Ethan told them. “How about this? Would this count as one?”
“One what?” Russ asked.
“Yes, Ethan” Sarah cut in to the conversation “this is a quest, a quest to find a Russ clone.” Margaret wasn’t amused. Onward they marched. Upstairs, downstairs, through the thick, bustling, jungle of people yearning to be free of the prison of their youth in which they had slaved for so long a time that none could remember the call of the great out doors in which there were no walls and the green grass grew all around and the bluebird flies high above the rainbow. The four searched the whole entire school. There was no Russ clone. “Well, I guess there’s nothing we can do.” Sarah said as she sat down on the front steps of the school. The four just sat there.
FOUR WEEKS LATER
“Hey!” cried Margaret.
“What?” asked Ethan
“I got a 97 on that project.
“Sweet. Apparently my frogs got loose in Mr. Orr’s house and ruined all of his papers and ate his flu collection. I got an 80.
“That’s not that bad” Margaret replied. “How about you, Ethan?”
“Mr. Orr threw out my mold. He said that he had a hard time breathing when he opened it. I failed.”
“What about your life saving asthma syrup?” Sarah asked.
“Well, I tried to sell it on EBay and I got an email and a phone call from the W.H.O.”
“It’s ok, Ethan.” Margaret reassured him.
“So, no one ever found the Russ clone, huh?”
“Nope. He probably just made it up.” Sarah told them.
“Probably, but is doesn’t matter. I got a 97, so everything’s good.” Later that day the three went to Margaret’s house. Each laid a flower on the carrot’s grave that they had dug four weeks ago. On it stood a head stone that Ethan had carved out of a piece of wood. It read “In Loving Memory of Wolverine. Forever Orange Like the Sun.”