Kickoff

Kickoff written by Sorin_Sunchild

Lured

Something isn't right with his friend...

Simon wasn't good at making friends. It was a trait he'd always tried to work on logically. He'd research what made other people popular and then try to replicate it. Needless to say, it hadn't worked. At twelve years old, he felt pretty pathetic for his lack of meaningful connections with anyone.

Then, a new kid had come to his school. Theo had messy hair and he carried dirt in his pocket. Theo spoke with an accent none of them could place and looked at you with twinkling eyes crinkling with hidden knowledge. Theo was too weird to befriend and too aggressive to bully. Theo had wanted to be Simon's friend almost right away.

Theo's hand had been cold and dry when it clasped Simon's and shook it briskly. He hadn't introduced himself, instead he had spoken as if they'd known each other for years and years. Simon, perplexed but happy, nodded along and listened to whatever Theo had to say. He tuned out sometimes but Theo didn't seem to mind. Theo grasped Simon's hand again and that was when
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he said "We should go play in the forest together. It'll be fun. I always find lots of things to do out there."

Simon didn't need to ask which forest Theo meant. In this area, everyone knew of Tribune Woods. It blotted out the landscape on almost all sides. 'If he knows we just call it the forest, he must be from around here, but he's only just started school...' Simon thought.

Of course there were such things as other schools in the area. There was no need to be paranoid.

Even so, Simon walked behind Theo the entire time. Theo picked up a large stick and swung it from side to side. He wasn't talking now, but Simon was almost glad. The forest always made him feel peaceful. He often came here alone. Theo seemed just as natural and at ease here, and Simon was having a good time being in someone's company until Theo deviated off the path and started to cut his way towards a large rock jutting from the bank of the river which twisted through Tribune's middle. Simon had been warned of the
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dangers of the river, or at least, of not crossing it safely by one of it's bridges.

"This is the place." Theo grinned. He waited for Simon to come cautiously near before he tapped the rock. The rock sank deep into the mud as if someone or something was pulling it down from underground. There was a thick heavy set of thumps as stairs opened up in the mud, leading down down down into the ground. Simon's frowned in confusion.

How? What? Why? None of this seemed right. He looked up at Theo. Theo and his knowing eyes and his wide grin. Theo who wanted to be his friend.

"Oh...neat." Simon said.

Theo grinned wider. "It's even more neat inside. Come on, we can use it as our club house."

It was the use of the term club house, the idea that Simon could belong to something bigger than just himself, something for him and his friend, that decided it for him. As Theo started to descend the stairs, so did Simon.
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