November 16 - See? I'm already running behind. It is actually quite early on the 18th, but I want to keep on track, so here is a "November 16" entry anyway. Let's get everything rolling with...
The Forbidden Territory
Erl hunches over his locker as he fumbles the combination. Around him, the noise and excitement of other high school kids heading home for the weekend crowds him as he tries to be inconspicuous. "Please," he thinks, "let me get out of here just once without being seen by..." Right on cue, the door to his locker suddenly slams shut, nearly catching his fingers.
"Yo, Nerd-man. Where you think you're going?"
Erl doesn't even look up at the brutish pig-face now mere inches from his own. "My last name is Nerdman, Butch. Both syllables share equal emphasis."
A sadistic sneer creases Butch's fat face. "You talking back to me, Nerd-man? What, are you tired of breathing?"
"Ha-ha, Butch. Very amusing."
Annoyed, Butch shoves Erl's face against the lockers, causing a loud "bang" and the half-hushed giggles of passersby. In Erl's heart, a fist is forming, but in the school hallway, all that forms is a mask of beleaguered acceptance. He's been through this before, nearly every day since his Freshman year began. "What do you want, Butch? I don't have any money."
"No? Then you better get some, Nerd-man...or you don't get this back!" With that, Butch snags the cellphone from Erl's backpack.
"Come on, Butch! Give it back! I need that." And he does, but really just to find out his weekend work schedule at the library.
"Then you better come back Monday with, uh...fifty bucks." Glaring at Erl with malicious glee, Butch kisses the cell, then puts it in his back pocket, just as Algebra teacher Mr. Gilbertson rounds the corner.
"Is there a problem here, boys? Erlingston? Richard?"
Erl smirks to himself upon hearing Butch's real name, then quickly looks away as he catches Butch's eye. Butch smiles broadly, and says "No sir, G-Man! We're just making plans for the weekend. We're gonna raise some money for our favorite charity, aren't we, Erl?"
"R-right. Right...Richard." Erl couldn't resist, even though he knows he'll pay for it.
"Alright, boys. Alright" As he continues on his way, Mr. Gilbertson casts a wary eye on the grinning Butch, adding "Carry on."
Watching carefully for Mr. Gilbertson to be just out of earshot, Butch replies "Oh, we'll carry on, G-Man...won't we, Erl?"
Sensing an opportunity to make good his escape, Erl has already moved several feet away as he says "I'll get your money for you, Butch. Just don't hurt my phone."
"I'll hurt more than that if you don't come up with the cash, Nerd....man." With that, Butch turns and lumps off, leaving Erl to slink away though the closest exit, heading for the library. He has no idea how he'll ever be able to come up with fifty dollars, no idea whether he'll ever be out from under Butch's thumb, and absolutely no idea whatsoever that having had his cellphone stolen will soon lead him to the greatest adventure of all time...
OK. That's all for the 16th. As it is now almost 2:00AM on the 18th, it may also suffice for the 17th as well. Here, then is Just One More Mini-Comic Character of The Day - Cane Toad (by Brian Payne)!