The bell rang loudly, waking Peter up from his seventh-period nap. His bleary-eyed face snapped up from his elbows.
“Wha—?” He cast a dazed look around. A shiny string of drool connected his bottom lip to the surface of his desk.
“Jesus Christ, Lee!” Blake Turner jeered. “Wipe your fucking face!” Atherton’s alpha jock walked out of the classroom, shouldering his backpack over his varsity letterman jacket.
Peter’s eyes narrowed with rage. He reached in his hoodie and grasped 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 hidden triggers in a five-key sequence. Mere seconds 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’s Assault and Response Division. He could order Eun Yin raped to death, or have Reptar eviscerated.
“Huh?” He looked over his shoulder. Eun Yin was staring down at him.
“You going to yoga?”
His face twitched with murderous rage; he was still fantasizing about attaching sparking electrodes to Blake’s ballsack.
“Ugh!” Eun exclaimed. “Gross!” She dug in her purse, produced a Kleenex, and reached for his nose.
Peter scowled. “What’re you—”
“You’ve got a giant booger hanging from your—”
He twisted in his chair. “No! Don’t—”
“LEAVE IT!” he thundered.
Mr. Holfin, their math teacher, looked up from his laptop. He gave them a dull, vacant glance, then resumed surfing the interwebs. He, like most of the faculty, was fully aware that the inmates ran the asylum.
Eun made another attempt to brush off the booger, but Peter angrily waved her away. “It’s a mark of honor! Leave it be!”
A strained sigh. “Seriously? You’re going to yoga with snot on your face?”
“The purpose of yoga is to propagate harmony, which means embracing the darkness.” Peter stood, shouldered his backpack, and threw her a rakish smile.
“And darkness includes boogers.”
Kaelee Simmons (junior, dance team co-captain, chess club president) ran Atherton’s after-school yoga program. Her class was incredibly popular and it was no surprise—most of the parents were involved in dark-ass weapons research. Nearly every kid got a second-hand dose of what the fuck am I doing dissecting live Insectoids, or Dear God—why did I create a miniature civilization and contain it in a bottle, only to tyrannize it with nano-vampirics?
Peter unfolded his yoga mat (a prominent amanita muscaria mushroom was emblazoned on its center) and flapped it onto the ground. Eun Yin, standing to his right, recoiled in horror.
“Oh God.” She cupped her nose and mouth with her right hand. “Peter—how long since you washed your mat?”
“What? Why?” He gave her an irritable look.
A boy behind him vomited onto the floor, then fled from the gym. Nearby students scuttled away, leaving Peter a ten-yard radius of empty space. He lowered his face to the mushroom, gave it a sniff, then straightened up and looked around, puzzled.
“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 echoed through the gym: “Cross your legs and take a seat. Deep breaths. Deeeep breaths…take note of how you’re feeling…don’t judge, just observe…”
Minutes later, students were performing down-dog, sun salutations, and chaturanga pushups. Peter followed dutifully along, pushing his lanky muscles as hard as he could. The space around him was maintained throughout—no one could stand his olfactory evil.
Inhale, exhale, contract, extend…it all flowed effortlessly together. The students lost themselves in a soothing rhythm of focus and release, focus and release. Everyone was chill; everyone was tranquil.
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 random students. He hoped—no, he dared—these slack-ass fucks to try and best him in cobra, headstand, lotus…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 was for the strong, yoga was for the worthy, yoga was for the—
He dropped down and started knocking out pushups. Spittle flew as he shoved and grunted, veins bulged around his rage-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!”
“FUCK YOU!” Clap.
“FUCK YOU!” Clap.
“FUCK YOU!” Clap.
The entire class stopped to watch. It was pretty impressive; he 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.
After two straight minutes of hate-sturbation, he snatched up his mat and made a break for the doors. As he busted through to the outside courtyard, his chant gave way to a full-throated roar:
“FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU AHHHHHHH!!!!!”
The double-door entrance swung shut, booming loudly in the now-silent gym. Peter’s shriek dimmed and faded.
Kaelee Simmons cleared her throat.
“Um…o-kay. Let’s keep going, shall we?”
After yoga, Eun Yin headed over to Peter’s. She found him in his room in his boxers and t-shirt, shadowboxing the air.
“Eun.” He threw a question mark kick, a double-leg shoot, then switched to a wrestler’s sit-out. “What’s up?”
Eun doffed her backpack, eyeing him cautiously. “Um…where’s your mat?”
“Soaking in Axe Body spray.” He transitioned into a Keysi elbow-guard, aggressing forward with a series of short, chopping strikes.
“Peter can you just—”
“HYAAHH!” He threw a spinning wheel-kick.
“Could you just—”
“ARRRGGHHH!!!” A ten-punch straight blast.
He put his hands on his hips. 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 constantly speculating about who was packing the bigger piece: flaccid Chewie or hard Lando.
“Holly’s party—you going?”
He dug in his nose with a sweaty finger, inspected the booger, then flicked it away. Eun winced in disgust.
“Yeah. Why?” He wiped his hand on his boxers.
She sighed, rolling her eyes again. “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 from the fumes. “Peter, it’s okay to be late; it’s not like we’re—”
“No!” Peter stretched his boxers open and doused his nuts. “Not tonight!” He met her gaze and became unnaturally still.
“Tonight will herald the birth of the Fuckrising,” he intoned gravely.
She crossed her arms and gave him a dubious stare. “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 doorway, snapping his lapels briskly down. On his way out, he grabbed a green-glowing vial and stuck it in his pocket.
Eun noticed, but didn’t comment. 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 nothing of the sort would happen again. (She wasn’t sure if she actually believed him, but as things stood, she was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.)
Eun hopped on her bike, Peter on the Bitemobile, and they made their way over to Atherton High.