Part 1: Captain Origamica and the Llama of Dance
Going too far
Poor Larry. Such an innocent mascot. But he doesn’t even know the plot against him.
It all started on Family Night Extravaganza last year at Barnes Middle School. Larry the Dancing Llama came to do a concert for the students’ little siblings. His songs are corny, but his dancing is decent. He also does some pretty cool flips and aerials. Even though I know most of my schoolmates hate him, I didn’t think they would go this far.
“Great news, middle-schoolers!” our perky principal, Ms. Storm began over the intercom, but none of the students believed her. “Larry the Dancing Llama is coming back for this year’s Family Night Extravaganza!”
She must have thought we were all cheering, but she obviously couldn’t see the look of irritation on the faces of every student in the school.
At recess, I saw a group of people talking about Larry the Dancing Llama. Jerry was one of them. I began eavesdropping. (What? It’s human nature!)
“…And then, we’ll sabotage the show!” Jerry said. That was all I heard before we had to go inside.
I immediately told DT and Tyler.
“Well then, it’s time,” Tyler said.
“Time for what?” I asked.
“For rescue,” DT said.
I walked up to Jerry at lunch.
“We know your plan, Jerry!” I said bravely.
He held up Shred Skull, who was looking more mischievous than usual.
“What plan?” Shred Skull said, with the worst German accent ever.
“Your plan to defeat Larry the Dancing Llama!” I said back.
“I am merely a piece of paper! What would my carrier and I do to such a kind, dancing South American creature?” he said innocently and slyly.
“But, if you really think that we would do such a horrible thing, give this to your… eh… Zacky Barnes friend.”
He threw a paper airplane at me. It hit me right in the forehead! After saying, “Oww!”, I looked at the airplane. I have to say, it was pretty well made. It read, UNFOLD ME. I opened it up, and saw the words, Zerstörung durch Insekten! What language is that, anyway?
The Family Night Extravaganza is in two days. That means only two days to figure out how to save Larry the Llama. Zack and I were just working on an origami Bucky Barnes when Tyler ran through the hall, literally bouncing off the walls. (He’s an expert in parkour and free running.)
“Hey, guys! Look what I got from Jerry yesterday!” he yelled as he ran to us.
He pulled a creased piece of paper out of his pocket.
“Do either of you know how to read this?” he asked.
“What language is it?” Zack asked.
“It’s a European language. I’m willing to bet it’s German,” I said.
Just then, our science teacher, Ms. Gretchen, who is octilingual, walked by. (I know, octilingual is not a real word. But she speaks eight languages!)
“Ms. Gretchen, what does this say?” Zack asked.
“Destroying…destruction by…insects. Destruction by insects. Why?” she replied.
“Oh, no reason,” he said.
Science class. My favorite class. Except for today.
“It’s time for… BUG-APALOOZA 2012!” our science teacher, Mr. Malcolm said enthusiastically.
I stared at the teacher in horror. I could only remember “Destruction by bugs.”
“Now, I was surfing the web. SPIDER JOKE!” the teacher began. We groaned.
“And I Googled ‘most destructive species of termite’ and ordered a case full of ’em!”
My eyes widened in terror.
“Introducing… Coptotermes formosanus, the Formosan termite!”
Our teacher brought out a glass case filled with termites on a pedestal and set it near the middle of the classroom. Just then, I caught Jerry, who happened to be sitting in the row above the case, pouring a cup of water onto the floor near the case.
“Mr. Malcolm, did I spell Formosan correctly?” Jerry asked.
“Let me check,” Mr. Malcolm said, and began walking over there.
Realizing Jerry’s plot, I yelled, “NOOOOOO!” But it was too late. Mr. Malcolm slipped and crashed into the case. The glass broke and the thousands of termites escaped into the school.
“Students,” Mr. Malcolm said, “go home. We’ll deal with this termite infestation.”
I murmured, “You win this round, Shred Skull.
The Wins of Change
The next day, at home, we all received an e-mail that read,
Because of the termite infestation, the Family Night Extravaganza will be moved to the J. Jonah Jamison Civic Center. It will be rescheduled to two days from now.
Your amazing principal,
Ms. M. Watson
I was shocked. I won’t be able to go two days from now, because it’s Mark’s birthday! His parents are taking him out to eat and I’ll be home alone!
I called my friends and told them the news.
“Bummer,” Tyler said.
“We’ll do whatever we can to save Larry the Dancing Llama, Zack.” DT said.
I sat in my room and folded. I tried to fold the Incredible Hulk, but I accidentally made a circular shape.
“Ugghh! I can’t do origami and I can’t save Larry!” I yelled, then threw my failed Hulk across the room. To my surprise, it shot right back at me. I tried it again and it boomeranged back.
“Hmmm. This could come in handy.” I said to myself.
“Well, Zack, we know how much you and Mark like Larry the Dancing Llama…,” my mom began.
Today is Mark’s birthday. Today is also the day that Jerry and his group will attempt to sabotage the show.
Not today. I won’t let them. No more timid me. If they’ve got a problem with him, that’s their fault.
“…So, we decided that we would drop you and Mark off at the Civic Center to see him!” my mom said excitedly. Mark danced around.
“Yaaayyyy! Wawwy the Dancing Wwama!” he said.
I immediately called my friends.
“Great! We can carpool so Mark, my brother, Steve, and Tyler’s brothers, Hansel and Malcolm, can all hang out while we save Larry the Dancing Llama!” DT said.
“I sure hope Shred Skull just Fled Skull,” Tyler said.
We all got into the car to go to the Civic Center. It’s time for rescue.
Moment of Puke
We drove through heavily pouring rain, but it was worth it. We ran out of the car with our umbrellas and went into the Civic Center.
We stepped inside a huge auditorium with a giant stage with a huge curtain behind it. Above the stage was a balcony for stagehands to stand on.
Mark, Steve, Hansel, and Malcolm, along with tons of other toddlers were chanting, “Larry! Larry!” (Excepting Mark, who was chanting, “Wawwy! Wawwy!”)
“WELCOME TO THE FAMILY NIGHT EXTRAAAAAAAAVAGANZA!” the principal, Ms. Watson roared.
There we were, DT, Tyler, and I, about to save Larry the Dancing Llama from the wrath of Shred Skull. And we had no idea how.
“And for your entertainment, we have none other than…
LARRY THE DANCING LLAMA!”
Larry danced out from behind a red curtain and the auditorium filled with the sounds of hundreds of cheering toddlers.
Then, out of the corner of my eye, I could see a kid on the balcony holding a Joke-Co. Puke-o-matic Penguin aimed at Larry! (The Joke-Co. Puke-o-matic Penguin is a prank toy to make it look like someone threw up. It’s like a water gun, but people fill it with food.)
I pointed it out to DT and Tyler.
“Well, here goes,” I said. I placed Captain Origamica on my finger and snuck up the stairs that led to the balcony.
Then, I could finally make out the face of the kid. And the red face of his puppet.
“I’ve got you now, Shred Skull!” I said. That was all I had thought through.
“Oh, have you, Captain?” Shred Skull said. That fake German accent really gets on my nerves. “You see, when Larry does his aerials, I will coat him with last week’s lunch!” Shred Skull said, then he did an evil laugh.
Larry was preparing to show his best moves, and Jerry was preparing to fire. I rummaged through my pockets to find anything I could use to stop Jerry. Then, I pulled out my failed Hulk and threw it at Jerry. It shot toward him, but he dodged it.
“It that the best you can do, Captain Origamica and Zacky Barnes?” Shred Skull said.
Suddenly, the failed Hulk boomeranged back at Jerry. It startled him and he dropped the Puke-o-matic Penguin off the balcony. As it fell, it made a stream of juice that looked like fireworks, which made the audience cheer.
Jerry charged at me. I jumped out of the way, but Jerry kept running. Wait a minute, I thought. He’s not trying to tackle me, he’s trying to escape!
Jerry dashed down the stairs and I dashed after him. He ran onto the stage.
“Stop!” I yelled. “He’s trying to hurt Larry!”
“Not on our watch!” Malcolm yelled. “Kindergarten Squad, time to Toddler up!”
Suddenly, Malcolm, Hansel, Steve, and Mark began throwing water balloons at Jerry, giving Larry time to escape. All of the other kids cheered, thinking it was all part of the show.
After the show, Larry came up to talk to me. He took off his costume. He was actually a tall, muscular man. He was wearing red, white, and blue clothes.
“Thanks, kid. You saved the show!” he said.
“Your welcome,” I replied.
“So, who’s that on your finger?” he asked.
“Oh, that’s Captain Origamica,” I said.
“So, what’s your name?” I asked him.
“Call me Steve,” he said, then left.
Wait a minute, was that really… no, it couldn’t have been… but was he? No, he couldn’t have been.