The student council
presidency at L. B. Gould High School in L. B. Gould, Ohio
became a totalitarian autocracy so quickly that nobody was
prepared to stop it. In fact, nobody quite knew what was
happening when Molly Pearson swept into power. Most student
council elections are fraught with empty promises, grossly
overstating what was usually a benign position. Molly jumped in
and not only made those empty promises, but proposed making all
school operations more student-centric. Rallying against a
spineless principal proved far more powerful than arguing about
vending machine prices. Her opponent, the kind of pompous
upperclassman that usually runs for these things, didn't have a
promises that proved to be empty in the Pearson Administration
were those that actually benefited the student body. When she
proposed making things more student-oriented, by 'student' she
meant herself. By the first day of her freshman year, the
principal had lost all managerial power and the school board was
at her command. The quiet little ninth-grader proved to be
nothing short of tyrannical, manipulating the school's
intricacies to reward her allies with popular teachers and
favorable grades, while squashing her enemies with first period
members of the council fell in line easily enough, perpetuating
the general uselessness of their positions. The only officer to
actively protest was the secretary, who resigned a month in.
Eager to show off her 'enthusiasm' for 'democracy,' Molly held a
special election. A tall, eloquent freshman named Claude ran,
vowing to rein in President Pearson's power. He won in a
landslide. A week after he had taken office, Claude not only
joined forces with her, but also turned on his strongest
supporters. These enemies of the council soon found themselves
academically-ineligible for all extracurricular activities.
Claude on hand to quell any resistance from the inside and
handle all of Molly's mundane affairs (classes, clubs,
propaganda), she became untouchable. She and Claude annexed a
large office next to the lunchroom. It even had an outside
window, despite not being near an exterior wall. Her network of
informants grew, preventing anyone from speaking ill of the
council and making them reconsider even thinking ill of it.
Molly and Claude were re-elected easily for their sophomore
year; both ran unopposed, conveniently sparing them the need to
rig the vote.
did Molly Pearson bring L. B. Gould High School to its knees? Or
even its concrete foundation, since it was a building and didn't
have knees? It would be irresponsible to detail her process.
After all, if a humble school in Ohio can succumb to this, any
kid with the proper framework can do the same to his or her own
school. Likewise, as none of the anti-Molly rebel movements had
found any semblance of a foothold, there's nothing to tell on
that front either. Thankfully, our story has little to do with
this. Molly had set up this little empire simply as a path of
least resistance. Why bother slogging through normal high school
with easier options available? Besides, Molly knew her
priorities: she was training to be a guardian in the Magical
Magical Security Taskforce- one of the few organizations more
powerful than the L. B. Gould High School student council. As
the name implies, they deal with magic, namely preventing its
misuse by assorted evil forces. As to be expected, they tend to
work transparently on Earth, as neither the good guys nor the
bad guys benefit from letting any local idiot in on the game. In
fact, only a small percentage of MST employees actually live in
public society. Many are out and about, overly and covertly
doing battle with demonic forces across various worlds. Others
have desk jobs and don't get out much.
her status in both the MST and her high school and Molly Pearson
was possibly the most powerful sixteen-year-old girl on the face
of the planet. This is not to say she's a terribly strong mage
yet. There are stronger seventeen-year-old girls,
sixteen-year-old boys, as well as one particularly gifted
thirteen-year-old who can change gender at will. Of course, none
of these enlightened children could hold a light spell to the
upper echelon in the MST hierarchy. Those old fogies would give
these brats what-for without getting their beards dirty.
guardian, however, Molly was an important member of the MST.
Guardians raise, train and nurture new recruits. Twice a year,
she would attend training sessions at one of the MST's many
academies scattered across the globe. There she learned
important leadership qualities, rigid MST protocols and ways to
improve on her own abilities. This was her true education. The
other ten months were spent in a simple routine of bossing
around the superintendent and making sure Claude prevented a
violent student uprising. Molly hated violent student uprisings.
often, the Magical Security Taskforce would review their
timeless and perfect methods of operation and make significant
revisions. Sometimes this meant an extra session to get
everybody caught up. Such was the case in Molly's sophomore
year, sending her far out of town in the last week of March to
take in some new information. She changed L. B. Gould's spring
break to the last week of March to accommodate this.
meant one thing to Troy Monroe: the bitch was out of town and he
could make a move on Molly's sister.
just an anonymous locker tenant- another pawn on Molly Pearson's
game board. His school participation was minimal, he made no
effort to be sociable outside his small circle of friends and he
did his best to not step over any boundaries where the student
council was concerned. He was neither a stand-out student nor a
stand-out athlete. Hell, he wasn't even a stand-out loser. His
face was free of acne, but also of personality. There was
nothing enticing girls to hang a pin-up of him in their lockers,
nor did they run away screaming when he tried to talk to them.
Usually they just looked at him quizzically and wondered why. He
had brown hair, brown eyes and, on the fateful day in March when
he first talked to Renee, a brown shirt.
had started out normally for Troy. History class, oath of
allegiance to the student council, then homeroom where the class
would let out their frustration by shouting angrily at a rival
school's mascot for two minutes. After school, Troy headed to
the garage for motor club.
motor club was far from prestigious. Troy was among four or five
kids that spent most of their time restoring whichever old
vehicle the head of the club could dig up. That day he poked his
head under the Corvette they was trying to restore and saw the
face of Renee Pearson.
and Molly Pearson had just four things in common: they were both
female, they had the same parents, they had the same last name,
and they were remarkably intelligent. After that, they were as
alike as apples and orchids. Molly dedicated her mind to very
few aspects. As long as she was a great mage and a fiendish
despot, she didn't care. Renee, however, dedicated herself to
whatever struck her fancy at the time. Thus far in her freshman
year, she had spent time as a member of almost every club in
school, barring the student council and the football team (Renee
could have joined either had she asked Molly nicely enough).
Unlike Molly, her active school participation, outgoing attitude
and consistent good grades made her a genuine gem of the school
and one of the most admired girls in her class. It also didn't
hurt that she was gorgeous
oil splotch on her cheek didn't change that. Actually, it might
have been the oil splotch that did it for Troy. He wiped it off
helpfully and asked, “When did you join the club?”
giving it a try,” Renee said. As it would turn out, Renee ended
up being part of the club for exactly two hours and fifteen
minutes. In that time, Renee had discovered that working on a
car was not as similar to building a computer as she had
Troy and Renee bonded quickly under that Corvette. He gave her
the grand tour underneath, cheerfully explaining what everything
was and growing more spirited every time she smiled in
understanding. In time, they were talking about all sorts of
meaningless trifles like TV, the weather and teachers that
rubbed them the wrong way. Once they slid out from under the
car, Troy was madly in love. Or at least as madly in love as
teenage boys get spending two hours fixing a car with a pretty
maybe we should get together sometime,” he asked, surprised at
his composure. Lesser men would be shaking in their sneakers
near a girl this fine.
his confidence, Renee frowned. “Oh... uh... that's probably not
a good idea. I don't think you're on the approved list.”
approved list?” Troy said, furrowing his eyebrows.
sec.” Renee typed Troy's name into her cell phone. A buzzer
sounded. “Nope,” she said. “It's not you, it's just that if I
ever went out with someone Molly didn't approve of, she'd have
shrugged. “Oh well. Bye Troy!” Renee smiled again and ran out of
night of meditation, Troy found it hard to take no for an
answer. Especially since Renee never actually said 'no' to him.
Had it not been for Big Sister, she may have even been open to
the idea of courtship. No way was Troy letting that slide. There
had to be a way for him to see Renee far from the omniscient
eyes of the student council.
spring break. He saw her again in the library the next week.
Hiding between the 900 stacks of the non-fiction section, he was
able to speak to her unobserved.
chuckled when he brought it up. “Seriously, Troy, you don't want
to go there. Someone asked last month and said 'to hell with
Molly.' I haven't seen him since.”
smiled, well prepared. “What about spring break? Does Molly
control everything out of school too?”
Hesitant, Renee replied, “Well... yeah.” Then it struck her. “Oh
wait. She's going away to her leadership camp this year. She'll
be gone all week.”
looked around, not only for any eavesdroppers but for any
lingering security cameras. Then she giggled. “Oh hell, let's do
did. And for one magical week, it was good. On Monday, they took
in a movie, laughing at the drama and crying at the jokes. It
was a terrible film, but a good date. On Wednesday, they hiked
up the bluffs outside of town and enjoyed the sunset and a kiss
from a distant hilltop. On Friday, they walked hand-in-hand
throughout the huge festival that makes L. B. Gould so famous
(you know the one). Renee found herself charmed by Troy's
passively positive attitude. He wasn't normally enchanted by the
world, and had no reason to be, but he made jokes. She had
always enjoyed life's little pleasures, so she laughed.
also enjoyed being one-half of a forbidden couple. Molly would
certainly not approve of their relationship, and the possibility
of a scandal, especially with something so innocent, excited
her. For one week, she and Troy were Romeo & Juliet, Danny &
Maria and Anakin & Padme. Troy wasn't nearly as giddy about the
prospect of Molly running him through with a sword, but Renee
had the looks and personality to make it worthwhile, and for one
week Troy had her.
came Sunday. After a week of bliss, they hunkered down in Troy's
room to finish all the homework they were supposed to be working
on all week. Troy tried hard to focus on his algebra, but
couldn't help but think about the future. They had never
discussed what was supposed to happen next. Molly was due back
later that day. Hesitantly, he asked, “So uh... what happens
scramble to finish all this. Forgot we had so much.”
his pencil down and looked at her as she completed chemical
formulas without a care in the world. In a way, it pissed him
off. He walked over and sat down on the bed next to her. “You
know what I mean. How do we keep this from your sister?”
looked up, suddenly bothered. She sat up and looked him in the
eyes. “Well, I hadn't thought of that.”
grimaced. That seemed like an important detail to him.
giving it a little thought, Renee said, “Well, we'll just have
to try to be sneaky.”
find out,” Troy insisted. Molly always found out.
when she does, I bet she'll see how sweet you are and approve of
it. Won't that be fun?”
skeptical. Molly approving of anything siding with truth or
love? Unlikely. His face didn't reflect any of that, however,
because Renee called him sweet. Boy damn near melted. She smiled
back and embraced him, slowly leaning in for a kiss. He was
eager to receive it.
when the door flew open. Troy felt a bitterly cold wind sweep
through the room and heard a vicious clap of thunder nearby. Or
at least he thought he did. Molly Pearson had that effect on
people, and there she was standing before the two lovebirds.
Certainly, she must have said something, but Troy didn't
remember what exactly it was. Only the eviscerating feeling that
comes with earning Molly's eternal scorn. Before Renee could
even attempt to praise his virtues to her sister, Troy's high
school life was essentially over. Molly would see to that.
thing he remembered from all that was Renee's reaction once
Molly was finished. After destroying Troy, Molly gave Renee a
simple look of mild disapproval. Renee stood up, gathered her
things calmly, chuckled a little at the rough turn of events and
said, “Sorry, Troy.” For all the injustice and pain Troy was
suffering, Renee didn't seem to notice. Instead, she just nodded
once at Molly and walked out. If Molly followed through on her
many threats issued to Troy that day, it would be the last time
he would ever see Renee.
makes it the perfect place to start our story about the Magical