Discord Chapter 1:

Technical Difficulties

(This is the first of eleven chapters made for a story I’ve given up on (due to the entire concept of it being full of plotholes) called Discord. Here’s the description I wrote a few years ago: “A boy named Max builds a portal to a different dimension where he befriends three humanoid beings, each with a unique ability, to save the world from the evil ruler of the craziest world one could never even dream of.” This chapter and story is pretty messy and has gone through many iterations and edits. Before publishing, I made some more. Enjoy!)

        Maxwell was always made fun of for his overactive imagination. Sure, everyone said that interdimensional travel was impossible, but what was stopping this 14-year-old from doing so.

        He was going to be a freshman after the summer break, and, at the time, it was near the middle of it. His mom wanted to put him and his sister in etiquette classes in the California suburbs he grew up in. Instead, she enrolled him in a STEM summer camp in Arizona because Max received a full-ride scholarship while his annoying younger sister, learned proper manners and ballroom dancing. 

        Max had always wanted to be a scientific engineer, so, during camp, he would work on his most important creations. He was testing his dubbed “best and latest” invention that would make energy molecules travel faster than the speed of light inside a space as small as a doorway. He believed that if he combined a series of different elements, he could make something unbelievable.

        Everyone in summer camp made fun of Max for being a nerdy, scrawny boy who believed he could make a scientific breakthrough. He was thrown around day after day, and his invention would constantly be destroyed or tampered with. Although this would have delayed his progress, he was able to find a small storage room where he could work in peace.

        That day, Max was tightening a bolt onto his oval-shaped piece of art with a Phillips Head screwdriver. His light brown hair was messy as usual (not like he combed it), and his green eyes glinted with creativity. He was wearing his favorite summer outfit, for he believed that day was the day: a yellow t-shirt, a green short-sleeve jacket, denim shorts, and his brown hiking boots. To top it off he wore his gray inventing goggles, a gift from his father before hehad left. He loved them so much and always had it on his head. 

        When he finished screwing down the bolt, he went onto another one a centimeter above a long row of unscrewed bolts lining the perimeter of his invention. Every time he finished one, he rewarded himself with a bite of his granola bar, refusing to take another until another bolt was finished. And this was for a boy who, at the movie theatre, would finish his popcorn 15 minutes after the movie started. To put it simply, this process was very difficult. The moment he was done with the task, he fell onto his back with exhaustion and consumed the rest of his snack.

        Maxwell closed his eyes, savoring the sweet bits of rolled oats, but after only a few seconds of silence, a purple flash of light lit up behind his eyelids with a zap. His eyes snapped open to see two beams of light coming from each side of his invention, meeting up to create a small circle no bigger than a pearl.

        Max’s jaw dropped, and he fumbled to grab his camera. Right before the phenomenon disappeared, he was able to stop his camera from shaking in his hands and take a picture with a loud click.

        He put down his camera and gaped at the portal. He was only able to sit in silence for a few seconds before the door swung open to reveal a middle-aged man with brown hair and a semi-formal outfit standing in the doorway.

        “What is going on here?” demanded the man.

        “Just testing my invention, Dr. Callen,” Maxwell replied quickly, throwing his granola bar wrapper in a small trash bin and grabbing his screwdriver as if he had been using it only a second before he had arrived. Lying, the best way to hide things from your superiors.

        “And how did it make that noise?”

        “Well…I…it was the engine I installed into it. I think it might be faulty,” he stammerd, trying his best to avoid the teachers piercing brown eyes.

        “You’re going to have to look for a new one in the spare parts shed, but unfortunately it’s right next to where everyone is working,” Dr. Callen said sympathetically.

        Max nodded.

        Dr. Callen was Max’s favorite teacher. The man had always favored Max because the teacher knew he was constantly bullied. He couldn’t do much about I thugh. You would assume teachers with Masters’ Degrees would have more status in the summer camp. Well, they don’t.

        The teacher smiled at Maxwell, and left the room, closing the door behind him. Max had worked tirelessly on the machine, but so far, he was unable to make any progress- until now. Instead, he would tweak his designs and change the variables, hoping something would happen. With a long sigh, he stood up. Maybe it was the engine. There were a lot of spare parts in the shed near the picnic tabled. Sadly, that was where everyone was working, meaning that Spark and his friends were there, people he definitely didn’t want to cross.

        Reluctantly, Max left the room and made his way outside, attempting to look as invisible as possible. If he was in a regular crowd, he would have been fine with standing out, but in this particular STEM camp, it was best to avoid confrontation. You would think nerds were nice, and most are except for four boys. Blaze, Stone, Bradon, and their leader Spark. They’re about as smart as the rest of the campers but a lot more narcissistic and overconfident. No one messed with them. Not even the teachers. Why? Their parents were rich, and both them and their children would often act violent and irrational when provoked.

        The moment he approached the picnic tables, the atmosphere went from relaxed to hostile and tense. Spark was showing off a very basic-looking robot with a smug grin as he boasted to the people around him who pretended they were interested. Right next to them was an open shed of spare parts holding enough contents to make an inventor drool.

        Slowly approaching the pile, Max attempted to be as quiet as possible. There was a lot that he wanted to take, but he forced himself to focus on the task at hand, the engine. But there was none in sight. That meant he had to dig deeper. And so, he carefully moved metal scraps and screws to the side.

        It felt like he was there forever until- Bingo! There it was, the shiny (most likely used) engine, glinty as if begging him to take it. With a grin he snatched the engine, unaware of the parts stacked dangerously above it. Like an unstable Jenga tower, the pile collapsed loudly, the noise ringing throughout the entire lab. Max winced, fearing the worst…and guessing correctly. Above him stood Spark and his buddies, smirking and laughing.

        “Well, look who came out of his burrow,” Spark sneered, “How’s that portal going? Have you rescued a princess yet?”

        His friends snickered.

        “Well I-” Max began.

        Stone interrupted him, “I bet he couldn’t climb up the tower, and he gave up.”

        More laughter. Bradon swiped the engine from Max’s hands and tossed it to Spark who caught it easily. He examined it before glancing back at his victim.

        “Do you need this?” he asked snidely.

        Max nodded, “I do. But, um, you can have it if you want.”

        Spark chuckled, “Thanks.”

        Then, with a crooked grin, he raised the engine over his head and threw it to the ground. It fell with a crash and broke before Max’s eyes. For good measure, Spark crushed it with his foot and kicked it like a soccer ball across the field.

        “Oops,” he sneered, “Looks like you’re going to need a new one.”

        Hopelessly, Max gazed at his snickering oppressors and then at the crowd around him. Not even a single one of them was able to meet his eyes, most nervously ignoring the scene.

        With a bitter scowl, Max stood up from where he sat and bolted down the hall and back to the storage room, biting back tears as he attempted to block out the insults and teases thrown at him. Once he had slammed the door shut, he kicked his invention in frustration. He hated it. Hated the way he was treated. Hated that he always had to hide in order to avoid a bruising. Hated that he was such a coward. If only he could just escape to somewhere, anywhere else. But he was stuck in his cruel reality, wasn’t he? With a sigh, he pressed his back to the wall. He was used to this. Well, was he really? If we was, why did he react the same way every time?

        A second later, it happened. A low buzzing, much quieter than before, broke out causing Max’s head to turn around curiously.

        The portal had flashed back to life, but this time, the portal was filled with a clear, swirling purple growing to a black in the center. Max stood and stepped towards it, mesmerized by the sight. It had worked, it had actually worked. He was so distracted, he forgot to look where he was stepping. His foot slipped from under his screwdriver, and he fell forward into his invention. There was no time for him to catch himself, call out, or even close his eyes because as the portal grew brighter, it engulfed Max. In a flash, the inside of the portal had disappeared, and so had Max.

        And when Max reappeared, he fell upon quite a peculiar place…

[Just barely 3 pages]

(Hey, I learned to indent with the power of copy and paste!)


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