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Five Becomes Four - Chapter O3

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Five Becomes Four - Chapter O3

Post by ThaliaAnderson on 20th July 2010, 3:32 am

Only two more after this. >>
Notes about this chapter:
--It's a cruddy explanation chapter. Basically, telling Brynn what the crap is going on. It pretty much serves no purpose after that, other than to introduce Pablo/Brynn's parents.
--I'm terrible at explanation. But you know what's going on. Just skip to after the explaining to what's important. >>
--I feel like I made Nana kind of a creeper... all like, "OINOU. UR THE KID I JST TOK IN." Or something like that. You know. Too friendly..?
--More blatant Synn. What else do you expect from me? Like... seriously. Oh, and if you've been paying attention, somehow Sid always ends up "hauling Brynn to her feet" in every chapter. Which brings up the question of how many times can Brynn get knocked into a position where someone would have to help her up every five pages? >>

* * * * *
Once we all had made our way back into Wu’s Garden, the five of us trudged up some back stairs and Sue showed me into a bedroom that looked like it belonged to two girls. I guessed it was Tyko and Sue’s room.

Sid pulled in a couple beanbags from the room across the hall and he and I plopped into them. Tobey climbed up to the top of the bunk bed and hung from the ladder, while Tyko and Sue simply sat on the bottom bunk.

“Where do we start?” Sue asked aloud. Everyone stayed silent, unsure of what to say.

“I have an idea,” I spoke up. “How about telling me what that thing was outside?”

Sue nodded. “That’s a good spot, I suppose,” she murmured. I sat forward on my knees, waiting expectantly for her to continue. “That was… made… from a… recipe…” she trailed off, glancing awkwardly at Sid.

“A recipe?” I wondered in amazement. Either everyone here was crazy, or they enjoyed pulling extremely elaborate pranks on unsuspecting strangers.

“You see, our Nana trained a long time ago with her master and one other classmate,” Tobey broke in. “But then, he turned all crazy-evil and used all their training and recipes against their master and our Nana!” I raised an eyebrow at that line.

“What he means to say is,” Sue interrupted, “is that our Nana’s master had this… magic cookbook, if you will… filled with recipes that could wreak havoc and destruction on Chinatown. And now the recipes are all scattered, and it’s up to us to find them.”

I held in a snort. “How come Chinatown is so special?” I asked, humoring them.

Sue shrugged. “Wrong place at the wrong time, I suppose,” she answered.

Sid suddenly cut in. “We understand that this sounds kind of psycho, but it’s the honest truth,” he said softly.

Right. That was supposed to make me believe them. Okay, whatever.

Funny thing. I actually was beginning to believe them. Crazy, huh? I couldn’t quite explain it, but the way Sid spoke about the matter said that he was dead serious. And I knew that.

“Alright, so this magic… cookbook… Where is it?” I asked.

Sid shrugged. “All we know is that Nana has it somewhere. She keeps it safe.”

“How do you even know it exists then?”

Sue gestured her hand to the window across the room. “You saw that monster. It was nothing ordinary,” she said. “And we have seen it. We just don’t know where it’s kept.”

I nodded. “Why would anyone want to use a magic cookbook to destroy Chinatown?”

Tobey snorted. “Kong Li,” he muttered in disgust.

“Who’s that?”

“He’s Nana’s classmate,” Sid explained. “He wants the cookbook so he can take over Chinatown, and then eventually, the world.”

“So this is a pretty big responsibility you have,” I said in awe. “I take it your winning so far, because no crazy old guy has tried to take over the earth yet.”

Tyko laughed. “I guess so,” she grinned.

“Tyko hasn’t been here very long,” Sue spoke up. “She came here about a month or two ago. She’s a new addition. And so are you…” She glanced up at me. “If you want.”

I shook my head in disbelief. “Well, I don’t have much of a choice, do I?” I smiled. “I don’t have a home anymore and I’ve just been offered one and a job.” I glanced at Sid and saw him give me a thumbs-up. “So, I guess I’m all for it,” I finished.

Tyko grinned again, wider this time, and stood up. “Welcome!” she greeted, sticking her hand out to me. I took it and she shook it vigorously.

Just then, a loud, booming voice called from downstairs. “Sid! Sue! Tobey! Tyko!” it yelled. “You’d better get down here right now. Deliveries!”

“Oh boy,” Tobey muttered and jumped off the bed. He bolted out the door and was gone in an instant. Tyko and Sue chased after him, Sue stopping at the door only for a second.

“Thanks for all your help,” she thanked me, and then to Sid, “Hurry up. Before Mr. Wu blows a gasket.”

Sid nodded as Sue disappeared down the hallway. He turned to me, still sitting in one of the beanbags, and held out his hand to me. As I took it, he hauled me to my feet and smiled. “Thanks.”

I could feel my face turning pink. “No problem,” I replied. He dropped my hand and motioned to the door.

“Are you ready to meet everyone else?” he suggested.

“Everyone else?” I couldn’t help myself. I squeaked.

Sid chuckled. “Mr. Wu, Nana, and Barney. There’s not too many more,” he teased.

I let out a breath of air I hadn’t realized I had been holding in. “I guess I can handle that many,” I relented, finally returning his smile. Sid laughed again and led the way down the hall and down the stairs, into the kitchen. We were met by a very large and very red-faced older
man. He looked in his late forties or so, and he definitely wasn’t happy.

“Sid!” he shouted. “Where have you been? Take these deliveries to Mr. Jin immediately!” He shoved a few paper bags into his arms and pushed him out the back door before Sid even had a chance to react.

He spun around; ready to yell some more, and then he realized I was a stranger to him. “Who are you?” he demanded, losing no steam.

Before I could say anything, a voice behind me replied, “You must be Brynn.” I glanced over my shoulder and saw an old woman standing directly behind me. She held out her hand. “I’m Nana,” she introduced.

I shook her hand and smiled. “Yeah, I’m Brynn. How did you know?” I asked.

“Tyko told me,” she answered. “Welcome to life at Wu’s.”

“It’ll be hard to get used to,” I admitted. “Especially with the coo-,”

Nana cut me off abruptly by seizing my wrist and pulling me through a door, into the shop area. I gave her a questioning look and she said, “Calvin doesn’t know about the cookbook.”

“Who’s Calvin?”

“Mr. Wu,” she clarified, pointing through the window in the door to the still red-faced man, who was now yelling at someone I had met earlier. I think his name was… Brian?

“Who does know?”

“Only us,” Nana replied. “Me, Sue, Sid, Tobey, Tyko, and you. And Kong Li,” she finished.

“No one ever really told me,” I began, “but who’s Kong Li again?”

“He’s the one who wants the cookbook.”

Oh yeah. Tobey mentioned him a couple times. I guess I hadn’t been paying attention.

“How long has this been going on?” I wondered. “I mean, the whole Kong Li thing.”

“For a long time. Ever since we had lessons from our Master. But he hasn’t been a problem until about a year ago. Sue, Sid, and Tobey have been fighting him for a while.”

“I’ll do my best,” I promised half-heartedly.

“You’ll do fine,” Nana reassured. “I have a good feeling about you.” She gestured to the stairs. “I’ll show you around some while the others are on deliveries.”

I nodded and followed her up the stairs. She led me back into the room I had been in before; the one I assumed was Sue and Tyko’s room. “You’ll stay with the girls,” she said. Nana glanced around before saying, “Wait here,” and leaving the room. I studied the room,
memorizing where everything was located. Nana returned a few minutes later and unfolded a mesh hammock thing. “We don’t have another bed, so I hope this will suffice,” she said, apologizing.

I nodded. “That’s perfectly fine,” I assured. I reached out and took two corners of the hammock and she and I towed it over to the corner, right beside the window. Nana produced a pack of tacks from her pocket and together, we hung it up perfectly. “Thank you… Nana,” I managed, glancing at her for a brief moment.

“For what, Brynn?” she asked.

“Everything,” I replied. “The job, a place to stay. It really means a lot to me.”

“I couldn’t leave a child homeless,” Nana laughed. “Especially when they could be useful.” We both chuckled for a moment and then Nana became serious. “I’ll have to set you up with a job,” she said, half to herself. “You can probably do cashier things. Like a waitress.” She looked at me. “Do you think so?”

“Sure. I’ll do anything.”

Mistake. Being a waitress was difficult. Half of the customers who came in within the first ten minutes didn’t speak English. And if they did speak English, it was really crappy English. I could hardly understand anybody that I talked to. It wasn’t until a group of teenagers came in that I finally met someone who spoke my language. But that didn’t change the fact that the menu was in Chinese. The only thing I knew in Chinese was ‘ai-ya’, and that was an exclamation for bad news. I’d probably be using that a lot.

Sue, Sid, Tobey, and Tyko finally returned from making their deliveries and plopped into a booth near the door. Tyko called to me across the room, and I trudged over to them wearily.

“You look tired,” Sue noted. “What have you been doing?”

“Learning a second language,” I replied monotonously.

“Chinatown too hard core for you?” Tobey teased.

“I’ll get the hang of it,” I shot back.

“Well, while you figure that out,” he continued, “I’d like a root beer.”

“Ooh, me too!” Tyko piped up. I gave her an exasperated look and she smiled sheepishly. “I’m thirsty,” she moaned.

“Oi,” I muttered, tramping back across the room and grabbing two glasses from the back and filling them with pop. I crossed back to the table and held them just out of reach of the two teens. “Hey, five bucks,” I said, smirking.

“I don’t have any money,” Tyko complained. She cast Tobey a sidelong glance that resembled a pout.

“Sid…” he trailed off, glancing at him. Sid shook his head.

“You ordered it.”

Tobey groaned and pulled a wadded-up five dollar bill from his pocket. “What a rip,” he muttered. “I’ll never eat here again.”

“Good thing we live here Tobey,” Sid said, rolling his eyes. Tobey moaned and pounded his head against the table.

Later that night, as we all got ready to go to bed; I stepped out of the bathroom, dressed in my pajamas. I still felt a little awkward around everyone, since I was still pretty new. I’d been tossed into this bizarre situation in the space of about five hours, and it was hard to grasp. I could kiss the normal world goodbye and get ready for a strange adventure.

I entered the room where I was going to stay with Sue and Tyko and glanced around. Sue sat on the top bunk, fixing her pillow. Tyko bumped around in the closet, searching for something.

“Um…” I trailed off awkwardly. “Is there a couch or something downstairs I can sleep on?”

“Didn’t you and Nana set up the hammock?” asked Sue, crawling into her bed.

“Yeah, but I need… some time,” I explained. “Just for me to get a grip on things.”

Sue nodded and called to Tyko. “Show Brynn where the sofa is.”

“Why me?”

“I’m already in bed.”

Tyko pulled her head out of the closet. “Do you have a blanket… or pillow… or anything?” she asked. I shook my head. “I guess you’ll
have to ask Sid and Tobey for something. We each only have one. The guys horde them all.”

I smiled and closed the door behind me, knocking on the one opposite the hall. I could hear muffled voices from inside, and finally, Sid pulled the door open. “Brynn,” he said, surprised. “What do you need?”

“Tyko told me you guys would have an extra pillow and blanket,” I stammered, glancing at the floor.

Sid nodded and his eyes darted around the room, searching for something to give me. He jogged across to their bunk bed and reached to the bottom bunk. He grabbed a yellow blanket and tossed it to me. “I don’t use that one much,” he explained. “You can keep it if
you want.”

Tobey laughed. “A keepsake,” he swooned from the top bunk.

Sid rolled his eyes. “He’s just brooding over the fact that Tyko mocked him today… again.” Tobey took his pillow out from behind him and threw it hard at Sid’s back. Just before it made impact, Sid caught it easily in his left hand. He held up the pillow to me. “Look. I found you
a pillow.”

Tobey protested from across the room. I smiled and said, “Won’t he need this?”


“I’m right here!” Tobey complained, unwilling to get out of bed to get it from me. I thanked Sid and he closed the door behind me. I entered back into the girls’ room and asked Tyko to show me to the couch.

As we walked downstairs Tyko asked me a few questions. “Where did you come from?”

“Ohio,” I replied.

“That’s a long way,” she mused. She pointed across the back room to a ratty-looking sofa. “There it is. A real work of art.”

I smiled and thanked her. She disappeared upstairs and I threw Tobey’s pillow down on the couch and lay down, throwing Sid’s
blanket on top of me. I reached into my backpack that I had left there earlier and pulled out my most prized possession. It was a stuffed yellow teddy bear. He was old and grungy, but I still slept with him every night.

Just then, I heard pounding feet on the stairs. Sid appeared and looked at me in shock. “What are you doing down here?” he asked, sitting on one end of the couch.

“I’m sleeping down here,” I answered, pulling my legs up in front of me, holding my bear tightly.

Sid gestured to him. “What’s that?”

I blushed and pulled my bear out from under the blanket where I had been hiding him. “His name is Pablo,” I admitted.

He couldn’t help himself. He snorted.


“My dad gave him to me when I was two,” I explained. “Pablo was almost the only name I could pronounce fluently without any
problem, besides ‘mama’ and ‘daddy’. One of my dad’s close friends was named that, so I heard it often. It was the first thing I said when I got

Sid laughed. “That’s kind of adorable, in a weird way.” He glanced over at me. “What happened to your parents?” he asked tentatively.

I stared at Pablo. “They were… killed,” I said softly. “Murdered, I mean. I was really little, so I don’t remember anything about it. I was there, though. All I remember is, there were two of them. One of them put me in my crib before it happened. They turned me around and pulled the blanket over me. Then I heard the gunshot. I guess they didn’t want me to see it happen.”

Sid gave me an apologetic look. “I’m so sorry,” he whispered.

I shook my head. “It’s alright. The police never figured it out anyway. I guess it was just meant to happen that way.”

“Oh… Well, goodnight,” he said, standing up.

“Why did you come down here?” I said curiously.

“Oh, right,” Sid laughed to himself. “I was getting water.” He turned around and a few minutes later, he came back, carrying a glass of water. “’Night,” he called again, bounding up the stairs.

“’Night…” I murmured, pulling the blanket to my chin. It was warm, as if it had just been used. I didn’t get that. Sid said he barely used it. I squeezed my eyes shut and slowly drifted into a restless sleep.

* * * * *

Oh, and btw, anybody else unclear on how to pronounce Brynn's name? Star just asked me about it in the crackbox, and she thought it was pronounced like "Brian". I thought it was pretty straghtforward, but... you know, coming from a girl who's fake name has a silent "H" in it. XD

...that poot blanket. It's an on-going joke between Alix and me. XD

Last edited by ThaliaAnderson on 3rd August 2010, 9:06 am; edited 1 time in total


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Re: Five Becomes Four - Chapter O3

Post by AlixRobinson on 22nd July 2010, 12:39 am

Nana just magically keeps a hammock and tacks around. She's like a human Swiss-army knife xD

Oh, and for the benefit of anyone reading this who doesn't know how to pronounce Brynn's name (since Thallie didn't explain it in the Author's Note xD), it's pronounced like "Brin."

Also, Sid is so perfect it's sickening. I love him and hate him all at once.

Last edited by AlixRobinson on 17th August 2010, 2:33 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Five Becomes Four - Chapter O3

Post by ThaliaAnderson on 22nd July 2010, 12:44 am

Well, mostly it was for Star's benefit, and I'd explained it to her in the chat, therefore I didn't have much of a reason to explain. XD

Pffff, you know you love him.
It's the Tyko in your brain that dislikes him. x3

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Re: Five Becomes Four - Chapter O3

Post by AlixRobinson on 22nd July 2010, 12:48 am

Yes, that must be it.

Tyko influences me in strange ways.

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Re: Five Becomes Four - Chapter O3

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