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When the Clock Strikes Midnight

When the Clock Strikes Midnight

By Tiana Chan

 

Chapter 1

Lies and Truth

 

“Midnight… No offense, but your name always gives me the creeps on Halloween…” Jennifer shivered. EVERYONE makes fun of my name. Even my best friend!


Today was Halloween, the one night of the year I’m allowed outside after dark. I couldn’t wait to run outside and sniff the fresh, night air! But I don’t need a costume. I have my secret.


“So, can you make it to the Halloween Hustle tonight?! It starts at midnight.” Jennifer continued. Uh. Midnight!! Why do all the fun things start at midnight?!


“Umm, sorry Jennifer, I, er, can’t make it. I have, umm, family business.” I replied, showing no emotion. But inside, I wanted to do anything in the world to go!! My last Halloween in this little town can’t even be fun?!


“What family business?! Not to be nosy or anything, but this is the LAST Halloween we’ll ever have together!! Don’t you want to make one last Halloween memory?!” Jennifer pleaded. She just won’t understand!!


“Jennifer, you don’t know how much I long to go!! But I need to stay ou- I mean IN, it’s a family tradition, so, yeah.” I kept the fake information coming into my head.


“But Midnight!! Wouldn’t your family understand if you just told them you want to remember this place with one last memory?! What if you couldn’t attend your tradition for just one time?!”


I hated to lie to my best friend, but I could end up in a science lab if I didn’t. I shuttered just at the thought.


“Umm, no!! I, umm, HAVE to go!!! There’s no REAL apparent reason, I just HAVE to go!!!” Uhh… why do I come up with such phony stories?!! Jennifer is like an EXPERT at identifying lies…


“Umm… ok… so… fine!! So what are you going to dress up as?! I never seen your costume…” Jennifer suspiciously asked with a raised eyebrow. Oh no. What excuse do I give now?!


“Ummm… the usual… I’m going as a black cat…” That’s not really lying, it’s kind of true…


“But what’s the point of having a costume if you’re not going anywhere?!” Jennifer stated. How does she win every single debate?!


“Umm… HAHA!!!! Hehehe!!! I was just, umm, kidding!! I don’t have a costume!! My family, ummm, just, umm, stays in and, umm, munches on candy all night!!” I stumbled awkwardly. Why do I say all the wrong things?!


“Umm… ok… so, what do you do at your family tradition besides munching on candy?!” “Umm… actually, that’s it!! But it’s in, umm, our gene not to get fat…”


“Ok, umm… Midnight, are you ok?!! You’re acting all weir-” “WEIRD IS GOOD!!” I shouted. This was really stressing me out…


“Umm… Oh!!! I know what we can do!! I’ll FaceTime you at midnight!! We can still make memories!!” Jennifer smiled.


I went with my only option, even though it was lame, “Oh, umm… sorry Jennifer, my family won’t let me while we’re feasting…”


“Midnight, I know you’re hiding something from me. Your family isn’t THAT unreasonable. Come on!! SPIT IT OUT!!!!”


Just great!! If I tell another lie, she’ll sense it!! I’ll just have to tell the truth and hope she won’t tell anyone!!

“Fine!! You’ve got me cornered!! But you can’t tell ANYONE!!!!! If you do, I’ll, umm…”  PUT A CURSE ON YOU SO THAT YOU CAN HAVE BAD LUCK FOR 10 YEARS!!!!!!!!!!

I would never do that though… That’s why I said the last part in my head…

“Never mind!!” I finished. Jennifer was getting really irritated and annoyed…

“Midnight, I don’t like to repeat myself twice, but SPIT IT OUT!!!!!!” she shouted at me.

“Fine!!! But can we go to a private place first?!” I mumbled. “Seriously?! We’re the only people in here!!” Jennifer replied. “Hey, it’s a big room!! You never know who’s eavesdropping!!” “Fine!!”

I can’t believe how I got myself tangled in this mess!! Maybe in 24 hours, I will be in kitty heaven, where I can rest in peace. Well, there goes my life!!

Jennifer and I cautiously entered the janitor’s closet, and then she started staring at me in this SUPER creepy way. Like she was one of those anime girls with super huge eyes. My nerves were screaming at me to sprint back to my locker and somehow I would manage to fit in my very tiny locker, lock it, and stay in there FOREVER!!!!!

But my brain told me to calm down and just tell Jennifer the truth. Then maybe suicide myself instead of waiting for scientists to do it for me.

“OK….” I began slowly. “So… umm… I’m a weal bwak caf, I va so fall umwucky caf ho crosses efreyone’s paf. So, there you go!!!” I beamed at Jennifer. Then I looked at her with innocent puppy eyes.

“Midnight, you have ONE more chance. I hate doing this to you, but I’m SERIOUSLY going to call the police if you fail this time. Yes, I know, it’s like emotional blackmailing, but I’ve had ENOUGH!!!!!!” Jennifer screeched. Uh oh! She’s got me trapped for sure now!!!

“Umm…. Fine…. I’m–” I hesitated. Then I continued, “I’m a cat-human. At midnight, I transform into a cat-human. But to all human eyes, I’m a black cat. Halloween is the only day out of the whole year that I’m allowed outside. But that’s only because there’s a species of mice that come out only on Halloween too. But those mice are bad luck, but it doesn’t affect me. So when I cross someone’s path on Halloween, they get bad luck because the mice who crossed their path first gave them that. I’m not bad luck, the mice are.”

“But if people are trying to capture you, then why do you have to go out on Halloween?! Can’t you choose not to?!” Jennifer questioned. “Well, yes, but as the black cat, it’s my instinct  to chase after those mice. It’s so strong I can’t control it.” I replied.

“Well, OK then… That’s all I wanted to know…” Jennifer said. Just at that moment, the bell ending lunch rang. I opened the door and walked alone to my next class.

Chapter 2

Going Separate Ways

The school day seemed to drag on forever. I kept staring at the clock, waiting for the bell to ring.

RRRRRRIIIIIINNNNNNGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!!!! I sprinted out the door before anyone else. I ran down the halls while they were still empty. I didn’t want to get stuck in the crowds.

I snatched my key, unlocked the lock, grabbed my bike and pedaled harder than ever. Not looking back, I took a shortcut home.

Seriously, I didn’t want my friends to question me about, well, you know…

I took a nice, long, nap. When I woke up, it was 11:30, and I was STARVING!!!!!! But I had to wait for my Halloween feast.

I feel really bad just leaving Jennifer hanging. Maybe I should meet her at school before midnight?!

Hey, I had half an hour!! I could spare some time!! I ran to school.

Sure enough, Jennifer was standing at the gate, chatting quietly with Sarah and Leann, my two other BFFs.

When I caught their eyes, Leann and Sarah skipped over to me and burst with questions.

“Is it true that you’re a black cat?!” “Do you really chase after bad luck mice on Halloween?!” Do you really transform into a black cat at midnight?!” “Is that why your name is Midnight?!”

I glared at Jennifer. She said she wouldn’t tell anyone!! In a way, she is murdering me!!

Jennifer stared back innocently, in a look that was screaming “Just your besties!!”.

“STOP, STOP, STOP!!!!!!!! Yes, it’s all true!!! Please don’t tell ANYONE!!!!! Unless you want me to die, of course…” I hissed.

“Oh, yeah!! Midnight, I made this for you!!” Sarah piped. Uhhh… It’s not another crazy invention, is it?!

She handed me a watch, but instead of a clock, it had a tiny little screen that acted like a switch. An on and off switch.

“Ummm…. Thanks?! Umm… So what exactly is it?!” I replied.

“I call it, the Swiftswitch!! It can make you switch your brain from where you really are to the party!! When your brain is at the party, a hologram of you will appear at the party, and that will serve as your body. You can walk, talk, and eat like everyone else!! And when you switch back to where you really are, you can use your body again. Oh, right, also when you are at the party, no one except for Leann, Jennifer and I can see and hear and be effected by you.” Sarah explained.

“Ummm… Sarah, how will I look like where I really am?!” I questioned. I don’t know if I should trust this Swiftswitch thingy… Sarah may be a great young scientist, but some of her ideas are just… crazy!! No, no, crazy’s good. LUNATIC!!

“I’ve got that covered. You will appear invisible!! But if you reappear again, you can’t be seen if you want to protect your secret. So before you switch, you must be well hidden somewhere!!” Sarah replied.

I must say, this was a pretty good idea!! And Sarah NEVER announces a product until she tested it. Sarah is one wicked scientist!!

“OK, Sarah, I’ll do it!! But I’m still not believing your theory that the world’s going to end!!” I cheered.

“NO!!!! I’m SERIOUS!!!!! The world’s gonna end on November 26, the day before Thanksgiving!! So forget about the holiday season!!” Sarah screeched. Uhh… That girl is so, umm, no-word-to-describe-besides-lunatic!!

“Oh Sarah, don’t go hyper again, EVERYONE knows the world is NOT going to end!!” Jennifer rolled her eyes.

“But LEANN!!!!! YOU’RE still with me right?!” Sarah shouted. “Umm… Yes?!” Leann replied. Come on Leann!!! Speak your own mind!! Even you know that the world’s not REALLY going to end!!

“Well, I’ll see you guys later!! As a hologram…” I waved and strolled away.

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