Mayhem McHanson

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9/24/2023 10:54pm

"Just sign here," Ms. Louisa said.

What kind of new hell had I gotten myself into? For instance, was this some kind of ACTUAL pact with the devil?

"Oh, no, nothing like that," Ms. Louisa said, obviously reading my mind. "This is just about acknowledging your intent to transfer to Psychic High School."

"Leave Iron Bar High School? Just like that? I'm sure it's not that easy. They'd rather kill me than let me leave this place, knowing what I do. Disappear me, you know? Tell my parents I got caught in a meat grinder in the cafeteria. Or actually put me in one. Oh my god it's THAT, isn't it?" I took the pose for a Level 9 Concussion Blast, but it was Ms. Louisa! How could I attack her?

"Excuse me?" Ms. Louisa said, looking honestly flustered. "'Iron Bar High School?' Is that what you call it? Oh my, no. This is Central High School. One of the three high schools in the Tri-cities. It's part of the Tri-cities school district, and like any public high school, you can transfer out. All it takes is a little paperwork."

"What do you mean? This must be one of the top schools for training psychic assassins in the world! Perhaps THE top school. The ruthlessness, the power..."

"Oh my, no. It's just an average public high school. But I guess we were a bit slow at extracting you. Ms. Belzebuth tried to recruit you herself but had trouble connecting. Clarissa and my team are here to catch most of the Specials but you had your own ideas, didn't you?"

She winked at me.

"So, now that you're here..."

And that's how I ended up at Psychic High School. I'm still in regular hypnogogic therapy to unknot what happened to me at my old school, but the nurse says writing it out in my journal like this will help. And, frankly, maybe I do feel a little bit better already...

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8/30/2023 10:06pm

"You've been adjusting to my class very well," Ms. Louisa said.

It was private study time with Ms. Louisa. Mandatory office hours.

"Yeah, well... uh..." I wasn't sure if I should take that as an insult. "It's certainly... different from my other classes."

"Really? How so?"

Ms. Louisa was always asking questions. She obviously had training as a counselor or therapist.


"Well, everybody's so nice," I ventured.

"And you don't want to do bad things to nice people?" she asked.

I didn't know why she put it that way, but it was true.

"No... I don't want to do bad things to nice people. That's weird."

It was weird. Doing bad things to people was the way you got ahead at Iron Bar High School. What was happening to me?

Ms. Louisa had gotten up from her desk and was lowering the blinds on the window of the classroom door.

"We thought so," she said. "Now stay still and this won't hurt a bit."

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8/11/2023 9:50pm

"Hi. I'm Clarissa. Would you like to be my study partner?"

It was the goon in the seat next to me in Ms. Louisa's special class. She looked at me in a really unnerving way.

"I'm already his special buddy!" squealed the goon in the seat next to me on the other side. "I already loanded him my lucky pencil!"

I looked down at the pencil on my desk. It had recently been chewed on.

I recognized them both from the table at lunch where the goons sat. Only the lowest of the low at Iron Bar High School spent time picking on the goons, bullying them with whispersplits or grand mals in the halls. It was all below me so I never got involved.

"He's my big friend but I can share him with everybody," came the voice of a tiny goon who had snuck up from behind and was now... hugging me.

My mind raced through a short list of psychic attacks to protect myself. Migraine Aura? Instant Ego Depletion? B.O. Explosion? I doubted the last would have any additional effect on them, and I'd still be stuck in the same classroom.

I struck the pose for a Level 7 Hissing Repulsion, and looked Clarissa in the eye through her Coke-bottle glasses. She smiled back through her braces.

It just wasn't worth it. Not with these goons. They'd never have a chance against my attacks.

"Good afternoon class!"

Luckily Ms. Louisa arrived and they started leaving me alone.

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7/26/2023 11:53pm

"Remedial English? You've got to be kidding!"

They weren't kidding. Ms. Belzebuth was there in the principal's office, using words to criticize my rhymes, telling the principal my references were ambiguous and impossible to follow and lacked clarity.

"Yeah I'll give you 'ambiguous'" I said.

Unfortunately, the principal had the level 11 shielding units cranked up on his desk and I couldn't get a thing through.

"THEREFORE," the principal continued. "You are to start joining Ms. Louisa's special class, every day at 2pm."

Special class? With all the goons? What exactly was going on here?!

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7/16/2023 8:24pm

Ms. Belzebuth had it out for me.

"You got the theme to The Stranger wrong. Rewrite it tonight for half credit."

"Your thesis on The Prince is ridiculous. Your argument is pointless. No credit."

"Completely misinterpreted Lord of the Flies. F."

Naturally I attempted the same techniques I'd used with other teachers to get them in line. Her defenses were too strong for misadventure at the grocery store, or tripping down the stairs after her malign yoga class. And approach via the Gates of Nightmare proved more than I'd bargained for, or run into with any other staff member.

"GARRRRRECK-MATOUB!" her dream tulpa roared in my face.

Whatever it was, Ms. Belzebuth seemed intent on holding back my GPA and preventing me from graduating with the honors I so richly deserved.

And I wasn't going to have that. Not after I'd learned so much. Was this some kind of final test? Some sort of graduation trap, purposefully set? The final puzzle to solve before ascending to my greatness?

"CRRRRRK" went the loudspeaker. "Mayhem McHanson to the principal's office. On the double."

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7/5/2023 9:16am

Pretty soon I was ruling the roost. Psychic attacks that seniors were still perfecting came intuitively to me. I was elected president or prince or magus of every school club, including Psychokinetic Marksmanship, Nightmare Club, Future Underminers, and Model Cabal. Every other student wanted to be my underling, and I cut a wide swath of terror and respect across the face of the life of the school.

I was set to graduate years early as valedictorian, with a scholarship to the Evil Private College of my choice.

If it hadn't been for Ms. Belzebuth. The English teacher.

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6/20/2023 10:19pm

Life at Iron Bar High School was ultra competitive. On my first day I was attacked by other students thirteen times. Psychic boobytraps, emotional mine fields, a panic virus. My locker combination was stolen from my mind, a stapler was sent to attack me, and I got knocked around in the halls by everyone else's mental defenses.

I got along well there. I didn't feel especially competitive at my old school, because I didn't really care about anything. Something was missing but I didn't know what.

Iron Bar High School changed all that. Now there was something to keep my attention. Something that could utilize my potential.

And it turned out I had a lot of potential.

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6/14/2023 10:23pm

I was originally recruited by a rival school. A school so secret that we were never told its name. We just called it Iron Bar High School.

Every day, the armored limousine came to pick me up.

Every day, the driver tied a blindfold around my face and put me in the back.

Every day, on the drive to Iron Bar High School, I was reminded that any attempt to remove the blindfold would result in an anesthetizing gas being released into the passenger compartment.

I never felt it was worth testing that claim. School was fun.

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Introduce Yourself
6/2/2023 7:10pm

They gave me special tests at my first school. They never explained a thing. Everybody was so hush hush. They had me feeling odd shapes in velvet bags, identifying primitive sigils, matching tones with my voice.

It was soon after that the armored limousine appeared at my house to take me to my new school.

But it wasn’t Psyhigh.