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About this City Journal

Welcome to the life of 17 year old Noah Warden of Timbervale. All his life, he's been abused at home, kids at school hate or torment him, and to top it all, he's got two metal limbs, causing...

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Porter

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The Perishers- Come Out of the Shade


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James Bassler’s home was a quaint two-story house nestled deep within a quiet subdivision.  But in spite of the cozy charm of the house’s exterior, the interior was a bastion of technology.  In the living room, a large, high definition television comprised almost half of one wall by itself, complete with a theater style sound system and a vast library of Blu-rays and CDs.  Walking around in awe, Noah spotted James’ collection of video game systems, from a Playstation 4 and Nintendo Eon to the now archaic Xbox 360. 

 
James watched the young teenager look around with all the wonder of a child in an amusement park and was pleased.  It made him happy to know that someone could derive joy from his things.  He had not purchased them out of any particular need or want; he had simply wanted to fill the own void in his life left by-
 
“Dr. Bassler?”
 
“Hmm?” James was glad for the interruption. 
 
Noah looked shyly down at his feet.  “Is it okay… if… later… I could….” His downcast eyes shifted towards the guitar-shaped controller for the Guitar Hero video game. 
 
James grinned.  “Of course you can Noah.  You can play whatever you want.”
 
“Thank you.” The depth of the young man’s voice signified a greater gratitude than simply being allowed to play a video game. 
 
“You’re welcome,” James said.  He turned away from Noah, as much to hide his own emotions as to let the boy continue looking around. 
 
Setting down his briefcase and walking upstairs, James shrugged off his suit jacket and tie, and unfastened the first few buttons of his shirt. He stepped into his bedroom and tossed the jacket and tie onto his bed before going to a closet to grab bedding for the spare bedroom.
 
He walked out of the room and into the second bedroom of the house, trying not to think about the last person who used it. 

 


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After making the bed, he began to walk back down the stairs, pausing at the foot when he saw what Noah was looking at.  With a small, tired sigh, he entered the living room and walked over to the teen. 
 
A collection of framed photographs sat on a small end table in the corner of the room.  Noah was currently holding the largest of these in his hands, looking at the faces that had happily posed so very long ago.
 
Noah glanced up at James and immediately returned the photograph to the table. 
 
“I’m sorry,” he said quickly. 
 
“We really need to work on your excessive need to apologize, Noah.” James picked up the picture and held it out so the both of them could see it.  “If you’re going to be staying here, I don’t expect you not to look at anything.”
 
In the photo, there was a man with short black hair and square-framed glasses, holding a little girl with pigtails.  The man posed with a friendly smirk while the little girl smiled cheerfully.
 
“Who are they?” Noah inquired.
 
James stared at the picture for a moment before saying, “My family.”
 
Noah glanced questioningly at James, who took a deep breath before continuing. 
 
“His name is Marcus,” James explained, pointing at the man’s smirking face.  “He was my partner.”
 
“Oh.”  Noah turned back to the picture as James’s finger trailed down to the little girl.
 
“Her name is Alyssa.  She’s Marcus’ daughter… but I always thought of her as mine, too.”
 
“Where…?” Noah began, not wanting to be too nosy. 
 
“Marcus died a few years ago in a car accident.”  James stared sadly at the photo.  “I had no legal rights to Alyssa… even though I helped to raise her and she even called me-“
 
James couldn’t bring himself to say the word.  He cleared his throat and continued.  “Anyway… after Marcus died her mother came and got her… and I haven’t seen her since.”
 
James placed the photo back on the table.  “I get pictures and cards, though,” he said, as if that made up for it. 
 
Staring at the faces of his lost family, James could feel Noah’s gaze upon him.  For the moment, it was too much for him to bear and he quickly changed the subject.
 
“So what would you like for dinner?”  James walked into the kitchen and began to rummage through the pantry, nosing through various boxed items.  “I can’t promise you that I’m much of a cook, but I haven’t killed myself yet, so that’s saying something.”
 
Standing in front of the open pantry door, James paused as he felt a hand gently ease into his. 
 
Noah’s hand was small, soft, and warm.  James shut his eyes against the sting of tears, finding it ironic that his own personal tragedy was all it took to get him to open up.  He tightened his hold on Noah’s hand and gently caressed the boy’s wrist with his thumb.
 
After a few minutes, James sniffed and cleared his throat.  He stared down into Noah’s blue eyes with a grin. 
 
“Can you cook?” he asked. 
 
For the first time since James met him, Noah Warden smiled.  It was a thing to behold.

 


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WOW! It's been FOREVER since I last update. School has been hectic and so have the holidays. I can't believe that I won Best Story CJ, on top of Best Added Graphics AND Best CJ Support this year! Thanks to all of you for voting! Without you guys, I wouldn't be here. Anyways, I figured I'd try and bring in the new year with even more CJ goodies for all of you!

This time around I figured I start a new idea on the extra shots. This week is the weather them.... including a few shots from the new region I'm working on! Don't forget to click on each picture in the update to get a full resolution of each one.

Jacob

PS: Expect some nice eye popping disasters next update 2.gif

Porter

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How to Save a Life- The Fray


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James sat back down at his desk.  Noah looked around uncomfortably, and he knew he would soon want to leave… which led him to the moment he had wanted to avoid most the entire afternoon.

Grabbing a pen, he flipped over and frantically signed some forms that were lying on his desk. 

“Now, in regards to punishment,” James began evenly, not wanting even a hint of emotion to be reflected in his voice.  “Please keep in mind that by all rights, I should expel you for what happened today."

Noah nodded reluctantly, waiting for his sentence.

“I’m giving you one week of out-of-school suspension,” James said, watching the boy carefully for any reaction.  He hated that he had to punish him at all, let alone suspend him for three whole days.  But since he had additionally placed the name callers into in-school suspension for two days, and Noah had actually done physical damage to school property, his punishment had to be steeper. 

James folded the forms and sealed them in an envelope.  He slid the envelope across the desk to Noah, who looked questioningly at it. 

“They have to know?” he asked.  His voice had taken on an edge of fear that caused James to take notice. 

He immediately realized that Noah’s problem wasn’t in the punishment itself, but in having his parents find out about it.  After working with teenagers for years, James knew the drill. Noah would have gotten up every morning during his suspension, left his house for eight hours, and come home at the usual time, with his parents being none the wiser.  It was precisely the reason he had been the one to initiate mutual communication for school suspensions, as opposed to the old form letters that mysteriously never made it to their parental destination.  He had always considered it one of his better administrative decisions…

… Until now.

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He was horrified to see the teenager’s trembling hand reach out to grab the envelope. Noah’s eyes had once again taken on that terrified glaze that he could hardly bear to look at. 

The envelope fluttered in the boy’s hand.  He was trembling all over. 

What was going on in the boy’s home that caused him such fear?

“I’m sorry,” Noah said again, standing to leave. 

“Wait!” James said, dropping his reserved façade. 

“I’ll take you home,” he announced suddenly, to even his own surprise.   

Noah looked suspiciously at the principal.  “What?  Why?”

He racked his mind for a decent excuse. 

“Because… after everything that’s happened today, I just think it’s safer if you don’t walk home alone,” he said.  “You don’t know if any of those boys might be waiting for you.”

“I can take care of myself,” Noah insisted.

“I’m not implying that you can’t.  But I just think it’s best for today.” 

He could sense the boy’s mind turning, trying to figure him out….

“Okay,” Noah finally relented. 

James exhaled a sigh of relief, unaware he had even been holding his breath.


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“Go forward at the next light.  It’ll be the second building on the left.”

In order to prolong the car ride, James drove just under the speed limit- much to the displeasure of his car's engine.  He had tried to engage the young man in conversation during the trip, but a deep and meaningful discussion was impossible where eye contact, even if it was only one-sided, could not be maintained. 

Out of the corner of his eye, he could see Noah nervously picking at the envelope containing all the sordid details of his classroom outburst. 

James had worked with children and teenagers for a long time now; he knew all of the signs. 

However, there were procedures for these kinds of things. Things like legalities. He couldn’t just act on a premonition.  No matter how overwhelming it was.

Could he?

James could not shake the growing, dreadful feeling that time was running out.

As he approached the light, it turned red.  He stopped and put on the right turn signal.

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Noah unbuckled his seatbelt and clutched the envelope in his trembling hand. He let out a long, shuddering sigh that hurt James’ heart.  He shut his eyes against the sound and came to a decision.

“God damn it,” he whispered. 

“Dr. Bassler?” Noah said.

James opened his eyes just as the light turned green and the driver in the truck behind him honked his horn. 

He switched off the turn signal and turned right through the intersection.

Noah gave James a cautious look.  “You turned the wrong direction.”

“It would appear so.”  He didn’t take his eyes off the road. 

“Why?”

James took a deep breath. 

“Because…  I don’t know if I could live with myself if anything happened to you over a stupid week long suspension.”

He could feel the boy’s deep blue eyes crawling over him, questioning him, gauging him, wanting to trust, wanting to believe.

“If you want me to take you home, say the word and I’ll turn around right now,” he concluded.

He continued to drive, leaving Noah to make his decision. 

After a moment, he heard the sound of a fastening seatbelt.

James smiled in relief.  For that one moment, he thought he had never heard a more lovely sound. 

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Well, that's it for this week folks! Been busy for the last couple of weeks (blame Zel and school) so the story has been lagging a bit on the update end. Anyways, hope everyone enjoyed the update and expect another soon / eventually / in this next century.

Jacob

Porter

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Carly Simon- Your're So Vain


After two straight hours of soothing the jumbled nerves of a group of traumatized students, convincing the police officers called to the school by said students not to arrest Noah, and fielding the first of what would surely be countless phone calls from outraged parents screaming for the boy's head, James was finally able to escape into his office with fifteen minutes to spare before the end of the school day.  He closed his eyes and sighed, letting his head clunk against the door behind him. 

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He heard a faint shifting noise and opened his eyes, turning his attention towards the root of all the excitement of the past two hours.  

Noah sat in one of the two chairs in front of his desk, staring down at the ground.  James felt guilty leaving him to sit for so long, but there was also no way in hell he intended to throw the boy to the wolves waiting to devour him.  Nor was he going to let Noah go home without speaking to him first. 

He walked over to his desk and sat down in the plush, leather chair, resting his elbows on the desktop.  He stared at the top of Noah's downturned head, and was promptly overcome with an urge to sweep his bangs out of his eyes.   

James cleared his throat, pushing away the mental image of smoothing the boy's hair back and wondering how it would feel between his fingers… although the thought didn’t disappear completely. 

 

As he opened his mouth to speak, he was caught off guard by the teenager’s small, still voice.

 

“I’m sorry I made trouble for you,” Noah whispered softly.  He nervously picked at the sole of his shoe, refusing to meet James’ eyes.  

 

James titled his head slightly, looking at the top of the intriguing teen’s head.  Here, in this day and age of school violence, he had just caused a state of panic among his classmates and yet he was apologizing for ruining the day.  He couldn’t deny that it touched him and he pursed his lips to block the smile that had begun spread across his face. 

 

He wanted to tell Noah that he had absolutely no reason to apologize, that those bullies got exactly what they deserved, and that he did absolutely nothing wrong. 

 

Instead, he said, “What’s done is done.”

 

What’s done is done?  What the hell was that? James thought. 

 

He cleared his throat for a second time and started over.  “So what happened?”

 

Only then did Noah look up.  James was again struck by the look in the boy’s sapphire-colored eyes, eyes that looked like they had seen more than any seventeen-year-old should ever have to see in such a short span of existence. 

 

“You were there,” Noah replied, “You saw what happened.”

 

“And now I want you to tell me,” James responded.  “In your own words.” 

 

“There’s nothing to tell,” Noah said, turning his gaze away from James and staring down at his leg.  “I just…”

 

“Just what?” he gently prodded him.

 

“I just… couldn’t… take it anymore.”  The young man began picking at his shoe again and mumbled something that James could not hear.

 

“What did you say?” he asked. 

 

The blonde sighed.  Even with his head down, James could see crinkles in his forehead and knew the boy was frowning, but he didn’t think it was directed at him. 

 

“I said they’re not even tin.” 

 

Even though Noah was too busy concentrating on his shoe to see his face, James covered his mouth with his hand to conceal a smirk.  He had a strong suspicion that Noah Warden was completely oblivious to his own cleverness. 

 

“Well, Noah,” he began.  “Bullies aren’t usually known for their intelligence.”

 

The picking fingers paused.  Noah slowly looked up and met the eyes of his principal. 

 

The corner of his mouth twitched slightly.  It was the closest thing to a smile that James had ever seen coming from the young man. 

 

He felt a cautious ray of hope.  If he could just keep getting Noah to open up, inch by inch, then maybe-

 

The door to the office burst open and slammed against the wall with a large bang, causing both James and Noah to jump in their seats.  James glared at the intruder, furious for the interruption, especially since he felt he was finally making a tentative connection with the troubled teenager.

 

Eric Meredith, the school’s head physical education teacher, bounded into the office, followed immediately by James’s secretary, Ms. Blumm. 

 

“James!” Eric started.  He glanced down at Noah, who had all but hunched over in his seat at the intrusion. 

 

“I’m sorry, Mr. Bassler, I strictly told him you were not to be disturbed!” Ms. Blumm exclaimed.  She gave him a worried look but James found no fault with her; when Eric wanted his way, he kept going until he got it.

 

It was a fact that he knew all too well. 

 

Mister Meredith,” James said, struggling to keep his voice calm for Noah’s sake.  “My door was closed for a reason.”

 

Eric stood stubbornly in the office doorway, making absolutely no attempt to leave.  James clenched his teeth and glanced at Noah, who sat quietly with his head down and his arms folded protectively across his stomach.  He noticed again the lengths the young man took to conceal his prosthetic and felt a wave of protectiveness towards him. 

 

Just when he was positive that the kid would have opened his emotional window for him, even just a little bit, Eric’s uninvited outburst had effectively slammed it shut.

 

For that, James hated him.  As if he needed another reason. 

 

Turning his attention to his secretary, he smiled reassuringly.  “Thank you, Katie,” he said.  “I’ll take it from here.”

 

Her eyes darted knowingly between the two men before she exited the office.   In them, James could see the confirmation of her suspicions and he was perturbed with Eric all the more for his brazenly presumptuous attitude in such a public setting. 

 

“Noah, I’ll be right back,” he said softly. 

 

James stood up and walked around the desk.  As he approached the doorway, he favored Eric with an ice cold glare before walking out into the hallway. 


“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” James asked quietly.  He stood in front of the closed door to his office and stared at his employee and former lover, careful to keep a considerable distance between them. 

 

“I heard that this kid went crazy and started attacking people, so I came to see if you were alright.”  Eric smirked and leaned against the wall in a most unprofessionally casual way. 

 

“Liar,” James whispered.

 

He glanced past Eric’s shoulder and saw Ms. Blumm watching them in awe.  Upon being discovered, she quickly ducked her head back down and pretended to be fascinated with her computer monitor.  James shook his head; this was the last thing he needed.

 

“Listen to me, Eric, because I’m not going to tell you this again,” James began, his voice full of silent warning.  “We are finished. Unless it is work related, you are not to talk to me.  So stop finding every pathetic excuse you can think of to come to my office.”

 

“Well aren’t you the big man in charge… at work, anyway.”

 

Eric smirked again and at that moment James would have given just about anything for a metal limb of his own.

 

“I’m not going to tell you again.”  He gave the arrogant man a final, scathing glare before walking back into his office. 

 

Eric Meredith stared at the closed door as the final bell of the day rang and students began to pour into the hallways. 

 

“It’s not over, James,” he muttered to himself.  “Not until I say so.”


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Well, again... sorry for lack of actual story pictures.... once again, I blame it on there being only so many shots you can take of a building...

Jacob

Porter

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 Pieces of the People We Love- The Rapture

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Dr. James Bassler, Principal Bassler as the students called him, walked through the empty classroom and crept into the small, adjoining office.  There were ten minutes left in the lunch hour, but he wanted to position himself before the students started to arrive.  

Without turning on the light, he shut the door until it was just barely open.  The room had a large, two-way mirror, as did each classroom in the building- something he still thought was a bit peculiar.   He leaned against the desk and looked out into the classroom, feeling very much the peeping tom.  Unless one of the students came barging into the office, they would not be aware of his presence for the entire duration of the class period, which was his preference.  He wanted the students to act as they normally would whenever he observed the teachers for evaluations.  

The door to the classroom opened and James, assuming it was Mr. Stalwart, popped his head out of the office door to announce his presence.  But instead of the teacher's somewhat childlike and bespectacled gaze, he was met with the cold blue glare of the newest senior class arrival, Noah Warden.  

At first, James was taken aback by the glare, but he quickly realized that it was not a glare intended for him.  Considering the boy had just returned from lunch, the daily social event of every high school in the world, James could only imagine the kind of taunting he must have endured not only today, but every day. And must been quite bad on today, for, unless he was mistaken, there white flakey residue on the front of the boy’s pants.

It was well known among the staff that the young man, while showing amazing brilliance in his studies, was a social pariah among his classmates.  The cruelness of teenagers being what it was, there were a number of reasons for Noah's unpopularity:  he was a bit short in stature, barely rivaling the shortest of the girls in the school, and his voice was somewhat high pitched, further adding to his frequent comparisons to the female form.  But what the students ridiculed him about most, which infuriated James to an astonishing degree, was the teen’s... disability. James sincerely hated to use the word, even though that was how every other so-called expert chose to define it.  

Noah's right arm and left leg were gone, replaced by auto limbs. James had never seen anything like it before.  Through conversations with the boy's teachers, he had come to learn that the students nastily referred to him as "Tin Man," and he would happily and permanently suspend any student that he ever discovered calling him that.

 
James furrowed his eyebrows at the strange sense of fierce over protectiveness that overcame him.   He shook off the feeling and returned his attention to the matter at hand.

"Hello, Noah," he said, managing to keep an authoritative tone in spite of how he must have looked, poking his head out of an empty, darkened room.

"Hi," the boy said quietly.  Realizing that James was not a fellow student waiting to verbally attack him, he softened his glare but James could still see that he was very emotionally defensive, and in his opinion, rightfully so.  

"I'm going to be doing an evaluation of Mr. Stalwart," he explained.

"Okay, Dr. Bassler," the blonde replied, with a slight shrug.  

James stared at him for another moment, taking in the sight of his hair, eyes, tattered jeans, and dingy grey hooded coat.  He regarded the young man with a small, curt smile and a nod before returning to the darkness of the office.  

A bell sounded, signaling the end of the lunch period.  Noah took a seat at his desk and folded his arms on the desktop, taking extra care, James noticed, to conceal his auto limb arm with his real one. He felt a stab in his heart and turned away from the two-way mirror, once again vowing to rain down serious world-renowned Principal Bassler vengeance on any student he caught teasing him. He then mentally reassured himself that he would do the same for any student, any student at all.

It wasn't as if Noah Warden was any exception...

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"Oh, couldn’t everyone please quiet down a bit?"

Ryan Stalwart- who was decidedly much less butch than the sound of his name, James concluded, was frantically trying to gain control of his classroom, with little success.  He thought briefly about intervening, but decided against it.  If he did, Mr. Stalwart would be useless as a teacher in his school from that point forward.  Any teacher who needed to rely on the principal to come to their rescue quickly gained a negative reputation and lost respect among the entire student body.  

So while Ryan continued trying to take the reins of his classroom, and came progressively closer to forfeiting his pay increase, James found his attention wandering once again to Noah.  The boy had sat studiously the entire period, reading his textbook and listening to the teacher as much as was possible through all of the noise.  

A group of particularly annoying wannabe thugs, led by one Ashton Paul if memory served him correctly, were talking amongst themselves and sneaking glances in Noah's direction. After years of experience, James did not like where this was going.  

He didn't like it at all.

Get a handle on this, Stalwart, he thought.  But the bumbling man had given up trying to quiet the dissenters and instead concentrated on instructing the few studious pupils who cared to listen to him. 

“Amazing strategy,” James muttered under his breath.  

"Hey Tin Man!  Where's Dorothy?" one of the would-be hooligans called out, prompting many of the students to snicker. Noah instinctively drew his metal arm closer to his body and stared down at his desk.  

James felt a tightening in his chest as the first stirrings of anger began to rise within him.  No student should be subjected to that kind of insensitive banter.  Especially one with what was considered to be a handicap.

Cries of "Tin Man!" began to rise from the group of bullies who would soon be having an up close and personal meeting with Principal Bassler.  Some of the students began to join in, while a few others had the common decency to look shocked and horrified by what was taking place.

STALWART, if you don't put a stop to this, so help me...

The cries continued.  James's dark eyes made a mental calculation of the name of every single student participating in the debacle. 

He stepped away from the desk and was about to walk into the classroom, without the least bit of sympathy or concern for the teacher's future effectiveness in the classroom.  Or his future employment, for that matter...

Then everything went silent.  

He glanced back through the mirror and was unsure if he should be relieved or nervous about what he was seeing. 

Noah was now standing by his desk. He couldn't see his face, but he recognized the heaving of the boy's shoulders for what it was…

Rage.

"Sit down or walk away, Noah," James whispered, mentally pleading with the boy.   

However, Noah did neither.  He began to walk in the direction of the offending bullies, who were grinning cheerfully at their accomplishment.  Everyone in the classroom, including the useless, soon-to-be unemployed teacher, watched him with silent interest.

Through the mirror, James could see the intent in the teen’s eyes and immediately burst out of the office to stop him.

He curled his auto limb hand into a fist…

"Noah!" James yelled.

…and brought it down onto the desk of the lead antagonist, completely obliterating it.  Shards of the wooden desktop flew into the air and the desk's frame crumbled into a twisted metal mass, effectively trapping the now terrified bully inside of it.  

Cries of shocked surprise rang out in the classroom.  A few students ran out of the room in fear.  Ryan Stalwart looked as if he might faint.  

Noah grabbed the blubbering teenager by the collar with his real hand and presented him with his metal fist.  His friends made a move to stop him but immediately backed away when they saw the very real threat that lurked in the blonde's cold blue eyes.  

"Do you want to see what else this 'Tin Man' can do?" he sneered at the bully, who worked his mouth wordlessly in fear.

"Noah," James said softly.  He stood behind the enraged teen and placed a gentle hand on his shoulder, wondering what on earth he would do if he tried to hit him with that massive metal weapon.  

However, he needed not to have worried.  At the sound of his voice, Noah immediately let go of the kid and turned around, giving him such a look of tormented agony that James thought his heart would break.  

There was something else present in those pained blue eyes, something stemming from more than just the adolescent taunting. James had an almost insurmountable urge to take the boy in his arms, right then and there, and he actually caught himself moving slightly forward to do that very thing.  

It was only with a tremendous force of will that he stopped himself from reaching out to Noah, firmly reminding himself that he was the principal of this school and he had a job to do.  Every eye in the classroom was now on him and, first and foremost, order needed to be restored.

"Noah," he said again, this time a bit more firmly.  "Report to my office… Right now."

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Was a bit light on all the normal shots (kinda hard to get a lot of different shots of the same school ya know) so I threw in some more random pictures. Enjoy!

Jacob

Porter

 

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Gary Giles- Mad World

Another round of thunder rattled the window as Noah laid in his bed, looking at the shadows of light flashing through his window, the lightning providing a momentary contrast in the still dark room.  Looking over at his small alarm clock, he sighed.

“Looks like I’ve woken up before the alarm. Again,” he said quietly to himself before reaching over to shut off the alarm.

Pulling off the covers from on top of him, he slowly sat up in the bed, shivering slightly as the cool air in the room leached away his body heat and left his metal arm feeling like an ice cube against his side.

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Straining his ears, he was soon able to make out the sound two sets of snores through his bedroom wall, more muffled from the rain pattering on his bedroom window. With the relief spreading though him, he got up, and shuffled sorely into his bedroom to begin getting ready for the day.

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Finally satisfied he’d gotten all the water from his shower out of the joints and spaces in his arm and leg, he quickly got dressed, cringing as his right foot, yet again, shredded his sock as he pulled it. Shaking his head, he decided to ignore it, and pulled on his shoes and walked out of his room.

Grabbing his backpack, he rushed out the door and into the hallway, fear tearing through him that he’d wake one of his two foster parents with his morning routine.

“Crap!” he swore to himself, realizing that he had, yet again, forgotten his umbrella at home, leaving him yet again to be drenched by the time he made it to the train station.

Running as fast as he could, he quickly made it to the old towering brick structure of the elevated train station, and grabbing his wallet, swiped his train pass through the turnstile, and shoved his way through the crowded stairway.

Now able to rest, he looked around, watching the people, who like him, were waiting for the next train. That was, until his attention was quickly turned to the sound of something he’d heard every day at school.

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“Why look everyone, it’s the Tin Man!” the voice, coming from one Ashton Paul, called out behind him, followed by the idiotic laughter of teenage boys, “Where little Dorothy, Tinny?”

Sighing, Noah continued to stare forward, quietly glad as the gleaming metal train screeched to a halt in front of him.

“Awww, what’s the matter Tin Man,” Ashton continued, mocking sympathy filling its voice.

“Did your jaw rust shut? You know, I’ve got just the thing to fix that!” another voice, most like one of his goons, from the small group  yelled out over the mild roar of the station as people made their way on and off the train.

Suddenly, Noah jumped as he felt something slam into his back. Jumping he turned around to see a bottle, quiet obviously from a trash can from the pieces of refuse stuck on its sides, laying on the ground behind him, it’s brand name laying face up towards him, reading in bold letters “Buy-n-Large Discount Motor Oil.”

Rolling his eyes, he silently was glad that at least this time it was an empty bottle, and the cap was in fact securely on top of it.

“Oops! Our bad! We thought you were the scrap heap,” Ashton’s voice, along with even more laughter, carried over the crowd, as Noah looked forward again and stepped on the train.

Turning around, he watched in a resigned silence as the doors closed and the train left his classmates at the station.

---

Waiting in the lunch line, Noah stuck his nose back in the history book he’d been reading as the line moved forward again. The morning itself had been uneventful; the pop quiz in AP Physics had been rather easy, Calculus was a repeat of the previous week, and his private studies hour was always the pinnacle of his day. Physical education, on the other hand, had been an utter nightmare. It wasn’t that Mr. Meredith was a bad teacher, but asking him to keep up with everyone while running was next to impossible when you had metal limbs. And the usual name calling in the locker room was something he’d come to expect.

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Looking up, he saw that it was his turn to grab his food.

“Oh! Noah! What will it be honey?” the older woman asked, smiling at him.

“Um…” he replied, looking over the different dishes, before finally deciding, “I think I’ll go with the chicken fingers, some mashed potatoes, peas, and… orange sherbet.”

After the woman finished loading up his tray, he grabbed it and made his way to the register, and paying for his food, walked out into the bustling lunchroom.

“Hey guys, look who it is!” a voice in front of him exclaimed, causing Noah to jerk his head up, to find Ashton smiling evilly at him.

“Tin Man!” the group called out, in unison, as he walked past.

Suddenly, Noah’s foot caught on something under him, sending him flying quickly at the floor, before slamming squarely on top of his tray.

Groaning and picking himself, the sound of the entire school laugh at him filled his ears. Finally standing up, the roar of laughter got even louder. Confused, he looked down at the front of his body, his attention quickly drawn to his groin.

Oh dear god, his mind screamed, his face turning a deep shade of red as he started to make his way out of the lunchroom, the front of his pants looking as though he had just had a very intimate moment with his mashed potatoes.

“I bet I know where the Tin Wonder gets the gravy for his mashed potatoes!” he heard Ashton yell out between laughs as the metal doors slammed shut behind Noah.

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These last two are to show you how far I am on building the city...

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Jacob

 
Porter

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To Build a Home- The Cinematic Orchestra

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Cold and rainy weather officially sucked, Noah Warden decided, shivering as he climbed the last flight of stairs to his foster parents’ apartment, leaving a small trail of water droplets behind him.

 

“Why can’t they just fix the elevators already? It’s been 2 months now since they broke down!” he said out loud to himself, gripping the rail softly with his metal hand, letting out another involuntary groan as his corresponding metal leg creaked, sending another dull throb up his thigh, and took another step, much to the chagrin of the seventeen year old.

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As he continued his climb up the slightly rotted stairs of the aging building, worry and fear began their usual build up in the pit of his stomach.

He knew he shouldn’t have stayed so late at the school, but it was just that it was always better than the prospect of being at home.

Really, he admitted to himself, anything was better than being in this place. Even if everyone at school though he was a freak, it was at least somewhere he could be happy for a few short moments in the day.

Walking down the quiet, dimly lit hallway, he slowed his pace and tried to fight back the shiver of dread creeping up his spine, and swallow back the bile rising in his stomach. Grabbing his keys out of his pocket, he shifted the weight of his backpack as he tried to quietly unlock the door and make his way into the apartment.

Finally hearing the lock click softly, he slowly took out his key, and opened the door slowly. Stepping in, he softly set his bag on the kitchen floor, and turned to close the door.

“So where the hell were you at this time you little RUNT!?” a voice, unmistakably the one of his constantly drunken foster mother, yelled out from the corner of the dark kitchen.

Cringing, he finished closing the door, swallowing the lump in his throat in time with the clicking of the latch.

“Well, I haven’t got all day to listen to your sniveling lies you little brat,” she called out impatiently.

“I…. I’m… I’m sorry. I just had a really big project to finish researching at school. I tried to call you but…” he stammered, slowly being able to make out the large, nearly empty bottle in her hand in the darkness.

“Bulls**t you tried to call!” she yelled at him, slamming the bottle on the counter and walking up to him, her fist clenched.

Wincing, he prepared himself for the punch in his stomach that always knocked the breath out of him and sent him curled up on the ground.

As he slowly forced his body to relearn how to breathe, he looked up through the pain filled tears in his eyes to see her walking back to the counter and grabbing the bottle.

“Let that be a lesson, you stupid little punk. And Dom wants to see you in the living room. Tell him I need more vodka,” she spat out at him, turning to walk back to her bedroom.

“I will, Lorene... Have a good night,” he mumbled, slowly picking himself back up as he fought the wave of pain spreading throughout his abdomen.

Slowly shuffling across the small kitchen to the living room, his heart began to race as he saw the large, imposing husband of his foster mother sitting in front of the TV.

“Umm…. Lorene said to,” Noah began, barely making eye contact with the man.

Cutting him off, the man let out a loud grunt as a sickly smile spread across his face.

“So, off with that little slut friend of yours?” he asked, licking his lips as he looked over the boy with a sickening hunger in his eyes.

“N….n…..no. I was trying to finish some research for a school project. I…. I…. wanted to get it done so I could d-do some extra credit,” he whispered out loud, barely audible over the sounds of the TV.

“Well, you never called, boy, so you know what that means,” the man said, still smiling as Noah flinched at the words. “I’ll be in after a while to give you your punishment.”

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Noah nodded as he fought to keep himself from vomiting, and made his way across the living room to the small room that he called his own.

Closing the door behind him, he quickly made his way into his tiny bathroom and emptied the small amount of contents in his stomach.

Finally finished dry heaving, he went to the sink and washed his face, looking at his reflection. Fighting back the tears as his mind took in the picture he saw of himself, he walked out of the room, shutting off the light, and switched into his pajamas.

Lying down, he stared out into the darkness of his room, watching the small blinking lights of airplanes passing in the sky out his windows as he slowly let his mind wander, his mind quickly blocking out the sound of his door opening and the heavy breathing of his foster father in the door way.

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Extras:

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Porter

Character Profiles

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Name: Noah Warden

Age: 17

Height: 5'2"

Occupation: Student

Background: Born without his right arm and left leg, Noah was left at a hospital, and thus put in the foster care system. Noah was adopted by Lorene and Dominique Warden, he's throughout his life has been battered and abused. Although he's a brilliant student, he often get made fun of and tormented about his autolimbs, as his prosthetic limbs are known to be called. (More to follow as the story progresses)

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Name: Dr. James Bassler

Age: 32

Height: 6'1"

Occupation: High School Principal

Background: After getting a masters in psychology, with a minor in child education, he took a job as a high school principal at Riverside South High. A widow, he's now devoted himself fully to his job, until he stumbles upon Noah's dark secret at home and decides to risk everything bringing Noah out of his abusive home. (More to follow as the story progresses)

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Name: Lorene and Dominque Miller

Age(s): 39 and 42

Height(s): 5'7" and 6'3"

Occupations: Waitress and Air Conditioning Repairman

Background: She's a mean drunk and he's a sicko. Nothing more needs to be said right now. (More to follow as the story progresses)


Porter

Information Center

Well, actually looks like I got some comments on this!!!!

Time to reply!!!

abcvs: That was corny beyond believe 3.gif We'll forgive you though. We know you can't help it. 9.gif

Zelgadis: Uh..... huh.... well, you just missed him. 22.gif

OK, now that that's over...

Well, I'm slowly getting the update done today so I can post it. As a few of you know, I photoshop the heck out of my pictures, rightfully so. Levels have to be changed, layers added, wetness provided... wait.... wetness? Anyways...

I should be posting the very first chapter here in a couple of hours (maybe I'll delay it until tomorrow just to be evil...) and figured while taking a break to just post an update and a sneak peek at the chapter header for all of you to see.

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See! Isn't it pretty?

Anyways, that's all I have for now.

I'll leave you with something extra though. How cool would it have been to see this at Liverpool Station???

Jacob

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