The bell rang loudly, waking Peter up from his seventh-period nap. His bleary-eyed face snapped up from his crossed elbows.
“Wha—?” A shiny string of drool connected his bottom lip to the surface of the desk.
“Jesus Christ, Lee!” Blake Turner jeered. “Wipe your fucking face!” He walked out of the classroom, shouldering his backpack over his varsity letterman jacket.
Peter’s eyes narrowed in rage. He reached into his hoodie, grasping the multi-function weapon (it looked like a pen, but could also morph into a knife, garrote, or a high-voltage taser) he called “The Buttfucker.” His fingers danced along its ridges, pushing its triggers in a five-key sequence. A second from now, Blake Turner would be shucking and jiving to the tune of fifty thousand volts, seizing up so goddamn hard that—
Peter sighed. His thumb grudgingly clicked along the weapon’s surface, deactivating its taser. Blake’s dad was a top-ranking member of ANOS. He could order Eun Yin raped to death, or have his twisted minions eviscerate Reptar.
“Huh?” He looked over his shoulder. Eun Yin was staring down at him.
“Are you going to yoga?”
His face twitched with murderous rage; he was still fantasizing about attaching sparking electrodes to Blake’s ballsack.
“Ugh!” Eun Yin exclaimed. “Gross!” She reached in her blouse, produced a Kleenex, and reached towards him.
Peter scowled. “What’re you—”
“You’ve got a giant booger hanging from your—”
He twisted in his chair. “No! Don’t—”
“Peter, just let me—”
“LEAVE IT!” he thundered.
Their math teacher, Mr. Holfin, looked up from his laptop. He cast a dull glance at them, then resumed surfing the interwebs. He, like most teachers at Atherton, was fully aware that the inmates ran the asylum.
Eun made another attempt to brush off the booger, but Peter waved her away.
“It’s a mark of honor! Leave it be!”
A strained sigh. “Seriously, Peter? You’re going to yoga with a lump of snot hanging from your face?”
“The purpose of yoga is to propagate harmony, which means embracing darkness.” He stood up, lifted his backpack onto his shoulder, and gave her a malicious smile.
“And darkness includes boogers.”
Kaelee Simmons—junior, dance team co-captain, chess club—taught afterschool yoga.
Yoga was the most popular of Atherton’s afterschool offerings, and it made perfect sense; the students’ parents were involved in dark-ass weapons research. Slaving away on robot-spiders or forced alertness vivisections was a surefire way to raise your stress levels, which meant the students at Atherton got a second-hand dose of what the fuck am I doing dissecting live Insectoids, or Dear God why the hell did I create a miniature civilization and contain it in a bottle, only to tyrannize it with nano-vampirics?
Peter unfolded his mat—a prominent amanita muscaria mushroom was emblazoned across its center—and flapped it onto the ground. Eun Yin, standing to his right, recoiled in horror.
“Oh God,” she gasped, covering her nose and mouth. “How long has it been since you’ve washed your mat?”
He gave her an irritable look. “It doesn’t smell that ba—”
A boy behind him retched into a cupped hand, then fled from the gym. Nearby students scuttled away, leaving Peter a ten-yard radius of empty space.
Peter lowered his face to the mushroom, gave it a sniff, then threw the students a puzzled glance. “It’s not that bad— smells kinda good, actually.”
“Peter!” Eun screeched. “It smells like hobo bukkake!”
Peter shrugged. “Whatever. You just—”
Kaelee’s speaker-amplified voice cut him off. “Cross your legs and take a seat. Deep breaths. Deeeep breaths…let your awareness settle into your body…take note of how you’re feeling…don’t judge, just observe…”
In a few minutes, the students were performing down-dog, sun salutations, and chaturanga pushups. Peter followed along, pushing his lanky muscles as hard as he could. The space around him was maintained throughout—no one wanted to sniff his unspeakable evil.
Calm spread throughout the gym. Inhale, exhale, contract, extend…it all flowed effortlessly together. The students’ anxiety dimmed and faded, lost in a hypnotic sequence of focus and release, focus and release. Everyone was chill; everyone was copacetic.
Everyone except for Peter Lee.
I’ll show you bitches, he thought, straining to hold the best damn warrior III in the history of yoga. I will CRUSH your unenlightened, piece of shit bodies.
As he transitioned between poses, he threw mad-dog glares at the students around him. He hoped—no, he dared—these slack-ass fucks to try and best him in cobra, headstand, lotus…hell, he was glad his mat stunk; it was a valid form of psychological warfare. Can’t maintain satori while smelling bdussy? Then get the fuck out, weaklings, because yoga is for the strong, yoga is for the worthy, yoga is for the—
Peter’s rage built and peaked. He dropped down and started knocking out pushups. Spittle flew from his lips as he shoved and grunted, veins bulging and pulsing around his narrowed eyes. When he switched to burpees, his face turned an alarming shade of red. As he clapped his hands at the top of each rep, he yelled, “FUCK YOU!”
It quickly turned into a venomous, insistent chant:
“FUCK YOU!” Clap.
“FUCK YOU!” Clap.
“FUCK YOU!” Clap.
The entire class stopped to watch. It was pretty impressive; Peter was churning through a ball-busting set of advanced calisthenics—back tucks, jumping pistols, handstand pushups—that could have served as a bonafide soul-crusher in the Crossfit Games.
This went on for nearly a minute, then he snatched his mat up and ran across the gym, howling in rage. As he busted through its double-door entrance to the outside courtyard, his scream gave way to a frenetic gibber:
“FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU AHHHHHHH!!!!!”
The doors swung shut, booming loudly in the now-silent gym. No one spoke—everyone’s eyes were fixed on the exit.
Eventually, Peter’s hate-filled shriek dimmed into a far-off gibber.
Kaelee cleared her throat. “Let’s keep going, shall we?”
After yoga was over, Eun Yin headed over to Peter’s. She found him in his room, shadowboxing.
“Eun.” Peter threw a question mark kick, a double-leg shoot, then a sprawl. “Good to see you.”
Eun took off her backpack, eyeing him cautiously. “Um…where’s your mat?”
“Soaking in Axe Body spray.” He transitioned into a Keysi elbow-guard, aggressing forward using a series of short, chopping strikes.
“Peter can you just—”
“HYAAHH!” He threw a spinning wheel-kick.
“ARRRGGHHH!!!” A ten-punch straight blast.
He stopped flailing. Sweat dripped from his Han-filled gaze. “Speak.”
She rolled her eyes. “Okay, Emperor Palpatine. You know that tonight is—”
He chuckled. “Good pull.” Eun knew a lot about Star Wars, but not by choice; Peter was always speculating about who would win in a fight—Old Luke versus young Yoda—or who had the bigger cock: flaccid Chewie or hard Lando.
“Holly’s party—you going?”
He dug in his nose with a sweaty finger, extracted a booger, inspected it, and flicked it away. Eun winced in disgust.
“Yeah. Why?” He wiped his hand on his shorts.
She sighed, exasperated. “Because it’s happening right now, Peter!”
His eyes widened. “What time is—” He clicked his phone on, and saw it was a quarter past seven. “SHIT!” He grabbed the nearest can of Axe (there were seven of them scattered throughout his room) and began spraying himself down.
Eun fanned the air, coughing and squinting. “Peter, it’s okay to be late; it’s not like they’re—”
“No!” Peter stretched his boxers open and doused his nuts. “Tonight is special!” He locked eyes with her.
“Tonight will herald the birth of the Fuckrising,” he intoned gravely.
“I don’t even know what that means.”
“You will.” He raised his left arm and blasted a cone of Axe into the pit. “They all will.”
He clunked the can onto his desk and scrambled into a button-down shirt and a pair of jeans. “Let’s go.” He strode through the door, grabbing his lapels and snapping them briskly down. On his way out, he grabbed an innocuous green vial and stuck it in his pocket.
Eun Yin noticed it, but dismissed it. As long as black-ops ninjas weren’t holding her at gunpoint, she didn’t care. Peter had apologized for letting that happen, and promised that nothing of the sort would happen again. She wasn’t sure she believed him, but as things stood, she was willing to give him the benefit on the doubt.
Eun Yin hopped on her bike, Peter on the Bitemobile, and they made their way over to Atherton High.