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Grace. That was the name of the girl who sat between Ann’s desk and Marcus’s desk in Mr. Allen’s chemistry class. The name of the girl now sliding a folded slip of paper Ann’s way. But the note wasn’t from Grace.

Is it later? ~ Marcus

You’re signing your notes? Who else would be sending me notes? Also? Stop it. You’ll get me in trouble. It’s not later.

But it is later.

Not later enough.

Come on. What are we supposed to do about Josh?

Who’s we?

Me then. What’s me supposed to do about Josh?

I don’t know. Figure it out without me.

Josh isn’t special. Shouldn’t he be special?

Ann quashed a couple fond memories. There are lots of ways to be special. 

Doesn’t he need to be special in a way that’s useful?

That would make the most sense, yes. But it doesn’t have to be obvious.

Yeah? So what then?

As the Chosen One, Josh could have access to some kind of power, but he might not have access yet. Or he’s never realized how to use it. Or it’s not that simple. It could be about who he is. Something to do with will or honor or strength.

Josh?

Or it’s about who his parents were: his blood. Or it’s about who the Evil Overlord is.

Like his father or something? Is the Evil Overlord his father?

I don’t know. Maybe.

THAT’S POSSIBLE?

I said MAYBE: sheesh. How much does he know about his parents?

The usual stuff you know about people you never knew. Stories, pictures. A few things they might have passed along if they’d lived.

Heirlooms? Like a sword? A book full of mysterious symbols? An old gun? Magic bullets?

No, like a coat. And a watch. And a quilt his mom made.

What good is that?

Hey.

Sorry. Look, this isn’t really my business. If you want it to be your business, you should talk to Josh. Ask him about his family’s past – possible secrets. Find out if he’s ever noticed anything strange. If he’s ever been able to do anything unexpected when under stress or something. Find out where he really got that scar.

How am I supposed to bring this up? He’ll think I’m crazy. 

Welcome. To the club.

=] We have a club now?

Ann scribbled an angry face. I didn’t mean it like that. There’s no club. You’re on your own.

Okay. ; ]

Marcus, I’m serious. If you find anything out, I don’t want to hear about it. 

He drew her a thumb’s up.

She ripped up the paper and let it fall to the floor beneath her desk.

The next note’s handwriting was different. Grace’s.

What’s this club? 

Ann shook her head when the girl glanced at her. Grace slid another note, this one to Marcus.

Ann bent over her notebook, ignoring them. A bit of paper pricked her arm.

Can I tell her about the club? 

Ann wrote with dark, slashing print. The Going-to-End-Up-Slain-by-the-Evil-Overlord Club?

I think we’re more like a task force than a club. Ann’s Anti-Evil-Overlord Task Force. 

There’s no we. I told you. 

Is he harassing you? I’ll stop passing his notes. 

Ann sent Grace a grateful smile, then turned her attention back to Mr. Allen’s lecture.

But Mr. Allen wasn’t lecturing. Not anymore. He was glaring at her, at Grace, at Marcus. The other students were all looking at them.

Ann blushed.

All three received detention.

Another angle on The Chosen One’s Farm. Someone lurking, probably. In the fields. Come autumn. 

 

*This has been Part Five of Ann versus The Evil Overlord

*Note: no actual farms have been or will be harmed in the making of this story. (My mother has expressed concern. It’s her farm.)