New Short Story

The Pools of the Mind
by: Josef Edwards

Author's Note

This story is a combination of fiction and a series of real events from my life. How I thought of this story was me remembering the different memories of my life and my faults, just out of the blue really. These memories were all squished together into "pools" of memories that showed the history of how I came to be today. Those pools were always sealed by a dam of mine during 8th grade and this year. I could never show my imagination in a way that other people would care to see, but even so I tried in different ways but the dam would never crack. It then came to me one night.

that "small voice" of mine told me to write these pools of memories into a story. And so I created a character that is like me but I wanted to also make him a different entity so as to describe him in better detail. The narrator, which is the small voice, is around the lines of me speaking my own words. Some of these events that this small voice describes never happen, but some of the event really did happen such as the "glorified moments," or events that evolved friends or family. The characters of this book have different names but are entities of real people that I've known for these 2 years and the other 13 if you may.

And now I hope I have given enough effort to show you that even though us teenagers act the same in school outwardly, we in our minds have different pools and different stories to tell that are blocked by a dam that just needs a small voice to crack its hull.
-Josef

Introduction

Hello fellow reader, let me just start off with a few pointers before you start whizzing through every word in this story and forget about it the next day. Y'know when you ask for help from God, or just help in some shape, and all you get is that small voice of yourself telling you a answer? You immediately just think that that's just you thinking that and whatever that little voice just said won't help you in anyway shape or form. Well dude I hate to say this, no scratch that I always wanted to say what I'm about to say, but that small voice of yours could give you god like advice. I believe God uses that small voice to give you information to help you, I mean you know the old saying "God works in mysterious ways." Well this would be a mysterious way wouldn't it?

I mean really... do y'know what God's voice sounds like, of course not! So wouldn't it make sense to use a voice that you're most familiar with, that you've heard since you first spoke your first word? Now of course what I'm saying is probably is causing some controversy in some minds that either don't believe in God or just think this is so crazy and should be nailed to a cross itself. But really I'm just speaking from one the pools of my mind. But no matter what you think you should hear that small voice in your head at least one time, maybe it WILL help you in some way.

Now that's out of the way you're probably wondering who I am? Well I'm the thing that I have been talking about for three paragraphs, I'm the small voice of a teenager. And let me tell you the small voice of teenagers is less widely use in general and saying what I just said gave load off my mind.(pun not intended on me being a different person.) Whose mind you ask, well the mind of Josh Eddin. The main character of our little story who I know the most of.

I know all of his secrets; his secret talents, shames, and all the little itty bitty tiny crumbs of dirt that if the paparazzi found out on Justin Bieber there would probably be nothing but news about it. His up and downs his ins and outs and all of such things. Now you're probably saying that I'm invading his privacy but may I remind you that I, AM, HIM. I think I have a right to tell you his story, I don't think I will need hand written permission from myself. Though I will give you this I will try to keep him in a good light as much as possible but his dark side has to come out now and then.

His mind is quite interesting really, he has a imagination the size of the sun itself and he is as bright as that same metaphor. It's just he can't seem to really bring that talent out fully in his music or writing when a crowd is around him. If only people could see all those pools of memories, dreams, and wonders in his mind like I could then maybe this wouldn't be a big deal. But they can't, they only see a guy who sits quietly and is usually a loner in High School terms. But it's there and real, I have personally swum in those pools and boy what a swimming experience those pools are.

They hold so many interesting things, thousands of different ideals and ideas. I wish I could tell you all of them but it would take a lifetime to show them all in full detail, so I can only show you what I can, to you, in this story. Now that I have given an introduction of our star and his narrator, shall we begin the real journey? We shall begin at his 8th grade year and work our way up to the end of his freshmen year. We might go back a little in time just for background references, so just keep that seat belt strap on. Here he comes he is all ready to take the stage and show the world finally what he really is.

He is now finally going to spill out those pools and crack the dam of concrete for everyone and let them see themselves. Hope you brought your swimming suit and surfboard man, because those waves are going to hit in huge torrents. Here he comes, Josh Eddins!

Chapter 1: Not Another Year

I remember those last days of summer when Josh's mind was whacked up. I remember swimming in a pool of despair, or rather an ocean, since that's what I/he kept thinking. He kept rambling over and over that he couldn't make this year. "Oh come on!" I said."you already went pass two other years, so why not this?" But those words of what I said were in vain, because the thoughts of desperation and despair kept getting deeper.

"Dude calm down and enjoy the rest of summer break and think positive of this year!"

Of course he didn't listen to me on that either and he kept on rambling over and over again. After a twenty four hour period, he finally began to think more clearly and get that oh so powerful imagination of his working again. "Maybe it won't be so bad," reasoned Josh. "Who knows, maybe this will be a year that I can show others that I have something inside me worth saying."

The pools changed into one of a dream like state. The waters were steady and warm, and flashed different images of success or different moments of brilliance, millions upon millions of them. What always stuck to me was the one where Josh was up on a high platform with a speech made from the essences of his mind.


Here is a small part of the speech that would never be said:
"Come together everyone and listen to what I have to say. We must come together and rejoice of what we have, and show the world that us teenagers can be different and yet be whole, and we can show the world what God wanted this world to be in the first place."

Those thoughts calm him down for those last few days of glorious sunshine, relaxation, and just letting the mind go free and fly across the world. "bliss" as people who would call it, pure bliss. If Josh had that feeling all the time, then who knows, he probably would've taken on Obama as president of the United States and win. but of course the world doesn't allow this, for if it did then we would technically still be in the Garden of Eden and eating all that fruit until we got sick of it and demanded something different from God. (Pizza anyone?)

But even so, Josh would have some moments of glory in his 8th grade year but it wouldn't fully show what he could do.

Chapter 2: Preparation And How The Average Teenage Boy Does It

Before we start this chapter I would like to say a few things. I will cut the oh so wonderful suspense and say that Josh will have 4 moments in his 8th grade year. One will be in doing a solo in front of a crowd, the next in a stand up of sorts, a speech, and finally a theatrical moment. We will get to those eventually but we have to get through the background of everything and meet other important characters along the way. I mean come on... I don't think Josh is the only person in this world, this isn't I Am Legend.

...


Now Josh clearly had to start preparing for the school, or "the gates of hell" he would call it in a poem he would write later on. The pools were lakes of thoughts and plans as Josh started preparing for school. In the end this is what he came up with.

The steps for preparing for the school year; by Josh Eddins:

1. School supplies and necessities.
2. Gum.
3. More gum.
4. Having your mind set on school.
5. Clearing your mind and thinking on school even more.
6. Praying to God that you won't get caught chewing that gum you bought.

Josh of course started with number one. When there was only 4 days until the first day of school started, Josh and his parents went to the store to get school supplies. Walgreens seem to be my/his parent's favorite place to get anything that evolved supplies of any sorts.

"Ok let's makes this quick and simple this year mom" Josh said when they enter the store.

"Hun we can't really make this quick. We have to make sure you have EVERYTHING for school so you won't come into class one day and find out you forgot an entire classroom of supplies!"

"That's not what I'm talking about mom, I'm saying let's not spend 2 hours in the makeup department for 'extra' supplies" ("Whatever Josh, y'know you'd rather wear that makeup than prepare for school." I said)

"OK bud I get it..." Said mom with a red rose face.

Thankfully she didn't stray to the other departments and kept to Josh's side to the School Supplies aisle. I won't bore with the detail of how mother dearest droned on and on on what was needed most and needed least, and which item seemed to be suited most for each class. Honestly I couldn't tell you the next 30 minutes of that part of his life since all traces of thought seem to shut off, I guess that's what a parent's voice does to you. Everything comes back to me when the drone of her voice finally ended and we finally get to step 2 & 3. Yes that's right, the almighty manna of life, gum.

All of it was next to the paper section for some reason, all in different flavors and varieties; blueberry, cherry, chill mint, passion fruit, regular mint and a whole lot of more flavors.

The two categories in whole for your knowledge:
mint and non-mint.

These were one of the only times he listen to me give him advice.

"Choose mint dude, it will make your breath smell better and make you more aware if the teacher has caught you." He took this advice. (by the way I do give him advice that is godly but I'm only a teenage mind so don't I will not be giving him words from the Lord himself all the time.)

As he took the gum to his mom, who was just ringing up the school supplies, he felt like he was a genius master mind who was breaking the rules in the most complicated and greatest ways. ("It's only gum, I told him.) When he got to his mom, he told her he wanted the gum for after school. She agreed and so completed step one through three. Step four and five would slowly be taken through and through as the last days went by. Those few days were when the pools were that of pure concentration and acceptance that school would come in a matter of days. Step 6 would be the thing taken everyday before and after school started.

Chapter 3: And Then There Were None


Yup none indeed, Agatha Christin's title couldn't have better suited the end of days for Josh. (summer that is.) Thankfully no one died during those days but it definitely felt like Josh wanted to hang himself. Ah yes teenage drama is very cruel is it not, but it probably was one of the variables of why the pools of imagination were so deep. Again the pools became an ocean of despair, but this time with some of his imagination mix into the waters.

How Josh walked to school:
he either walks from the apartment complex either in torrents of dark waves or on a beam of blissful radiant light.

Yup even just walking somewhere, Josh just went crazy as hell in the head. Taking two years of Spanish didn't help his swimming mind. I swear I heard one sentence of panic in Spanish as he was walking that went sort of like this, "El diablo es el principio de la escuela." The devil is the principle of the school.

As he got closer to school's campus he remember step 4 & 5 of the strategy of preparing for school, and started to relax. He also remember that he was on a mission to show everyone this year that he was different and even though he knew other teens kinda felt this way, he knew he wanted to show that he wanted it more than others. One thought that went through his mind was "do not conform to this world but be changed by the light..."

"I've heard of that somewhere, but where?!" inquired Josh.

He would find that out soon enough, but that bit of knowledge would be shown on a different moment in time because he was now facing the closed jaws of the gate of hell. Or let's just be mature here shall we, the front doors of the school with the the name of it at the top.
What Josh saw and what was really there in real life:


Columbia Middle School in bold print (aka the name of hell in Joshanese)
The front doors below the name (Gates of hell in Joshanese)

Oh what a wild mind this kid had, I always got a thrill in swimming in the pools of that imagination. Adults and the narrow minded are missing out on this, that's for sure!

chapter 4: Meet The Heroine Amiga

As I said not too long ago, there would be more people we would meet over the course of this story. Some we will meet more then others, such as life. The first I would like to state is not someone we meet in the next chapter because she doesn't go to "this gate of hell," as Josh would put it. But she is important and her name is Jasmin Venkus. One of Josh's friends since preschool, they could not be torn apart. Their long friendship started when Josh was being picked on by a couple of brats at the preschool.
"...what's wrong? You’re going to keep crying cause your mom died in a car accident?!" brat #1 said. (I still wonder how this kid already knew about death.)

"What's death? Mommy isn't that, she in the hoshpitable waiting for me!" sniffed Josh. The pools were cool when he said that.

"OHHHH yeah sure but from what I heard she won't be the same again, I bet she won't remember you!" brat #2 said

"shut up! you don't know anything!" Josh shouted, I remember that the pools seem to heat up quickly when he said this, he would fight if he had to prove his point.

"Oh yes we a-"

"HEY STINKY HEADS, WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU DOING?!" said a strange voice to the left of Josh.

"Oooooh, here comes miss hot head!"

"Oh tough little boys aren't you? I bet you two don't even have any mommies and have to pick on others like the little stinky heads you are!" said the stranger. (please note that stinky head is the worse words to say in preschool.)

"Tha-, THAT'S NOT TRUE!" Brat #1 said.

"Hearing your voice it sure sounds like it is." A grin slowly spread across her face.

"pfft, let's go, these two lovey dovies aren't worth it." Brat #2 snorted, a piggy snort may I add.

The two brats left without another word, but Josh could see that they lost to this girl.

"Hey are you alright?" Said the strange girl.

"Ye... yes..." He slowly said.

He turn around to look at the stranger. She had very light blonde hairs that seemed to look white when hit with direct sunlight. She was skinny and her face was that of wild wonderment and energy. Her skin was pale and she looked soft and innocent, though she was defiantly one of the tough ones.

"Don't listen to those two, I bet they will end up in the time out corner when we get to the bigger kids school, and we will be laughing at them!"

"You... you think so?" Josh silently said.

"I know so! Now come on what is your name?!"

"Ja...sh, I mean Josh."

"Nice to meet you Josh," she said with a giggle when he mess his own name up at first."My name is Jasmine. Want to play with some playdo with me?" Jasmine asked.

I remember what Josh's mind felt like the moment she said that. It was warm, but not that of boiling water anger but of that of a spa. He never had friends up till now and it felt damn good. When they started playing with that playdo, any other time he would play with playdo in his life it never felt the same as that time in preschool. And that was how it began; they became close friends even when they didn't go to the same school when they went up to the "bigger kids’ school."

They wouldn't see each other as often when high school began to come around the corner. But no matter what Josh did, he would always remember her and what she did.

Chapter 5: The Accident

Yes as you saw, Josh's mom had a accident when he was in preschool. He was too young to fully understand how bad this was, he only knew that mommy was hurt real bad. How he came to know this information was after the teacher publicly humiliated him in front of the entire class by asking a dumb question of "You look old Mrs. teacher, are you over 50?" Really I remember that lady had issue and that question didn't help at all. Anyway she went up, grabbed him, and seemed to slam dunk him right on the time out seat, which of course made him start to cry.

After ten minutes on the timeout chair with giggling being overheard as he sat, and his name heard every now and then in the middle of those fits of giggles, his dad came in. He first went up to the teacher telling her that he was taking him home early. She of course inquired on why he would be taking the trouble maker, on which he only plainly reply, "There has been a accident."

She nodded and told Josh he may leave the timeout chair. He thankfully got up and ran up to his dad with eyes on inquiry of why he was leaving early. As they went into the mid-morning air Josh finally asked his dad why he was leaving so early. His father was holding back tears when he said these words. "Son, mommy has been in a accident and is hurt really bad."

"Real bad?" Josh said innocently.
"Real bad..."

That was all they said as they reach the car and drove to the hospitable. I remember that the pools were small whirlpools of confusion and a hint of wanting mommy safe. I tried to comfort him by telling him, "everything was going to all right" but I was only him and so I only knew as much as him, which was nothing at all.

As they approach the hospitable there was a hint of fear that something might have happen to mommy while daddy was picking up his son. As they waited in the waiting room Josh saw a couple of toys. The toys didn't seem colorful or wonderful to play when he saw them; all Josh wanted was to see his mommy. A few minutes later he got his wish and was soon at her beside. I don't remember much of what happen since a child's memory of something horrific is diminished.

But I know that Josh was happy to know she was alright but sad that she had trouble knowing where she was or who was there. As it turn out later on his mom wouldn't remember the first time her son came to see her but she would find out later when she would make a full recovery, Though sadly her memory and internal temperature we be out of whack for the rest of her life. Without this happening who knows might have happen. To me I believe if this hadn't happen Josh wouldn't have learn a lesson of life, or met Jasmine, or have the imagination he has today but only God knows but deep down I feel that this would've been what would have happen if this one domino didn't top over the others. Man the domino effect can be just as mysterious as the Lord himself...

Chapter 6: Through The Gates

Before we go through the gates I want you to meet some people. In fact these people are who Josh saw before he went into the gates.

The list:
Kimberly: A goth dressed girl who attitude and enthusiasm didn't match her cloths, talks to Josh sometimes on YouTube.
Katy: Energetic girl Josh met in six grade, likes to talk about Harry Potter a lot. I remember that Josh was thankful it was not twilight later on.
Jake: A medium tall teen boy who Josh met in 6th grade, became friends for middle schools year but in high school will have parted ways and be hostile to each other. Funny thing, he's in his classes now but wasn't in any of his classes when they were friends.
Zach: An afro haired kicked that softly talks, one of Josh's friends.


These are the people who Josh saw on the first day of school, which seem to calm him down since the pools seem to now have essences of horrible memories past, or nostalgia.

"Josh!!!" Kimberly cried out "what's up man?!"

"heh, not much" Josh quietly said. "And you?"

"Me? Well I'm hating that school is now again starting and..."

"Hey scissorhands!" Came Hop's voice out of the blue, cutting off Kimberly's.

"Hey Katy, still calling me that I see?"

"Yup! It just suits you for some reason." Katey energetically said.

"I don't have sharp hands, nor do I look goth." Josh said.

"But still! Oh, here comes Jake and Zach."

And her prediction was right, for as Josh turn his head and gave me a field of view of the two they were already 5 feet away.

"Sup Josh" said Jake, Josh just shook hands.

"Hey scissorhands" said Zach's low voice.

a few seconds later they could see that people were starting to walk forward towards the door. "Hey guys it looks like we're going in! Come on let's just finish this final year of middle school." Kimberly sighed.

"Couldn't agree more" said Josh in his mind. (Here is a small fact, every time Josh talk in his mind the pools and ground shook like a earthquake.)

As Josh turn he could see the sea of faces starting to go into the doorway. "Well go on then, go into the gates Josh." I said.

And for the second time in a roll today he listen to me and went in, I felt like I won the lottery that day.

Chapter 7: The Halls of Hell, And the Introduction of Everything

As he went through the frame of the door, it seemed to him that he stepped into a different world. It was cool outside as Josh remembered, but inside it seem to be a festering furnace. There were no windows to look outside, just yet, so it seemed to Josh that he was inside the center of the Earth. "The halls of hell...." he said bleakly.

Even though he was over dramatic with the doorway and name outside, I would have to agree with him on this one. It was like hell, everyone was jam packed and everyone and everything seem to emit a heat wave. They were all being herded downward through the long hallway. He remember the last two years and remember that they were herded the same general direction, the commons. When he remembered this little piece of information he then began to frown as they drew towards their destination.

He didn't think it couldn't get anymore hot then it did in the halls, but it did. Because when he went past the frame into the commons it felt like they were inside the same furnace, but someone came in and started feeding the fire with a bag of hot coal and gasoline. The entire room blazed all around as they were all told to take a seat in front of the stage. "Why can't we just go into the gym, it's more aired and colder." he complained inside his mind.

"Probably because they are Satan's minions who want you to suffer knowing that a cool gym is only fifty yards away from the doorway," I said, on which he couldn't help but smile and grimace at the idea.

As Josh found a seat near Kimberly, Katey, Jake, and Zach the introduction from the principle was about to begin. "El diablo es el prinicpio de la escuela." He said under his breath as the principle began to go towards to middle of the stage.


tap, tap, tap went the mic the principle was holding. "testing, testing." He said quickly.


"ah there we go! Usually that thing wants to cut my voice in mid sentence as some of our 8th graders remember." He said with a smile.


And boy did Josh remember for I saw a reflection in the pools of when the principle was about to say "welcome you astounding students of Columbia," when all of a sudden the mic cut off at the beginning of astounding and it sounded almost exactly like "welcome you asses."


"Anyway..." came the principle's voice out the darkness of his mind, which woke Josh from his trance.


"I would like to say that my name is Principle Horton and I would like to welcome all the new 6th graders here this year and welcome back the 7th and 8th graders." Silence came as the principle waited to see if there would be any outburst of cheer from a grade level, nothing came.


"As usual you will find your homeroom teacher and be taken up with them to their classes and then find your way around to your other classes. The teachers..." he paused, and pointed with his finger to the back. "are over there."


Everyone turn their heads to get a better look at the teachers. Some were young and seem to have only started their teaching career. While others were worn from age and seem to have been teaching for a few decades. Each one of them was holding a sign with their name on it. "For you new sixth graders who are a little freaked out on not knowing where the classes are, your home teachers will make sure to give you information on where you are." Josh could here a few sigh of relief from behind him.


"Now before you get up and start heading to your teachers I would like to go over a few guide lines." Principle Horton said. "All paper work for registration is due next week, and make sure to bring money tomorrow if you need to buy a lock or a gym uniform. Finally I would like to say to everyone that you will have a lesson about PRIDE, yes even you 8th graders."


Josh chimed in with the groans to make the 6th graders nervous, and also just to express their disapproval of PRIDE. To Josh it was just another failed acronym (Perseverance, Integrity, Discipline and Excellence.) that tried to bring everyone together. "Well I guess it did..." he though, "it brought us all together in hating it for making school days longer."


Another reason why no one like PRIDE was that it made the 5th block CAT classes longer by another forty minutes. Of course it wasn't popular when it first started but this made its reputation worse. After a few more seconds of groaning, the principle's voice finally came back from the silence.


"Yes, well now that's in order you may stand up to find your teachers. Their names should be on your 3rd block on your seclude. The teachers will tell you the rest when you get to their class."


And so everyone began to stand up and take their leave. As Josh and his friends got up they look at each others secludes Josh realized that none of them will be in any of his classes, expect for Katey who would be in his social studies class. "This sucks..." Josh said bleakly


"Yeah..." said Kimberly "but at least all 8th grade boys will be in the same lunch for this year."


"Yeah, but they separated the boys and girls this year" said Jake.


"Looks like there will be no flirting at lunch for you this Jake, unless your bi-curious?" Katey said slyly.


everyone started laughing until their lungs started to contract inward and they had to force themselves to stop. "Very funny Katey," said Jake after gasping for breath.


"I dunno Jake, I've seen you trying to give me seductive stares every now and then." Zach chimed in with a wink.


"Shut it Zach." and then proceeded to punch him on the arm.


"Well we better start going." Josh said "So we won't be forlorn out here with the ditchers and druggies."


"Yeah we should," Katey replied "Come on Jake you're in my homeroom this year!" And without another second of thought, she grabbed Jake by the arm and started dragging him to one of the older looking teachers.


"see you later scissorhands!" came Jake's voice.


Zach and Kimberly left with each other to their respective teacher teachers which in the end left Josh forlorn. Josh was then frighten on who his classmates were going to be. It wasn't a pleasant feeling to not know who your peers were going to be, and worse still when you had a experience with that in 7th grade. "Anti-nostalgia," Josh smirked.


"Well Josh only one way to find out," I said. "Take a breath and a step, that's pretty much the key."


Josh sighed at these words and started to pull out his seclude from his pocket.




End of Choice Piece part, the rest downward is the rest of the book that I will be writing. If you want to grade those parts you're more than welcome to.


Chapter 8: part 2 of The Halls of Hell, And the Introduction of Everything

He then began to read the fine text on the writing. "Mrs. Tutak," he said out loud, hoping that saying her name will make her come out of thin air.

But of course that didn't happen, so of course like an eagle searching for its prey he began searching for the teacher who had the sign named Mrs. Tutak.
After a minute of searching he found a student holding the sign and began walking towards it. "Is this where Mrs. Tutak is?" He asked stupidly.

"yes," Said the student holding up the sign.

"ok thanks," and proceeded to blend in with the group of students.

What first struck him was that the teacher wasn't around for what he could see. The thought didn't last long though for out of thin air a small, thin middle aged women came from behind them. "hello everyone." came a girlish voice from her lips.

"My name is Mrs. Tutak and I will be your homeroom/ Language Arts Teacher."

She then proceeded to take out a clipboard and a list of names.
"Stephen Andres?"

"Here!" Came Stephen's voice

"Matthew Anderson?"

"Here!"

And so went the roll call until Josh's name came up.

"Josh Eddins?"

"here." He said quietly

"Josh?"

"I said here!" he said a little louder

"ok then... Jasmine Erohi?

What, you thought something really dramatic was going to happen? Like she had some sort of grudge for him for some random reason and check him absent, even though he would be shouting here at the top of his lungs. That would make for a good part of the story but I have to stick the facts here y'know? anyway that was the most exciting part of the entire roll call scene so I think we should jump a little bit into time. I will tell you though she was a teacher that was tough and would've made for a very good high school teacher.

...


"...Ok it looks like everyone is here." Mrs. Tutak said as she was looking through her list twice. "Might as well head up to class, follow me everyone and try not to get lost like 6th graders."

And they went through the frame of the doorway and into a much cooler hallway. That might seem nice compare to when it was hot the first time they came in but it was just another circle of hell. For some reason they cranked up the air conditioner way too high, and soon enough Josh's fingers began to go numb.

"Jeeze the entire climate in this place is out of whack." Josh said shivering, "I mean come on, God made a lot better climate outside!"

The temperature going up the stairs was little better but the temperature went down again like a bolder when they went out into the 2nd floor hallways. They then proceeded down a long hallway that branched out to 6th and 7th grade classrooms. Finally, at the very end, the hallway branched out to the 8th grade classrooms.

"My room is the one second to the right of the 8th grade hallway." She said to no one in particular. "Remember that so you won't be late for class when tardies start affecting you."

As they file into the classroom they were told to take any of the empty desks.

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