Chapter One: Me, me, me

Chapter One: Me, me, me

A Chapter by TopHatGirl

   “Shipton! Pull your head out of your a*s and focus on the goddamn game!” The fat, chubby coach well into his 40’s shouted, standing on the sidelines on the afternoon practice that Tuesday. The other members snickered obnoxiously, as Adam could only nod numbly.

   “Yes, coach,” he said, giving a mock salute and kicking himself to pay attention to yet another drill.

   “Yeah, Joanie, get your head in the game,” the burly player next to him remarked, elbowing Adam in the side. ‘Joanie’ was a reference to Adam’s middle name of Joan. He really didn’t want to talk about it, it was embarrassing enough without the guys using it as a teasing nickname. Sighing heavily, he managed to give a hollow laugh before focusing back on practice.

   They had been out on the field for two hours now. The new school year required a bunch of bullshit exercises that were a few points away from pure torture. The hot sun blistered down on his back as he ascended the bleachers, feeling the sweat pour down his neck and bubble into a future heat rash. The only sounds that day were the shrill shrieks of the coach’s whistle and the enthusiastic shouts from the cheerleaders on the opposite side of the field. There was a game on Friday, and everyone was getting pumped up for it. First game of the season, where everyone would come out in dumb face paint and pretended they even knew what was going on.

Adam was a fan of football, sure. But he sure did hate preparing for it.

   Though, he would take a million blistering running drills in beginning of fall heat than having to go home and deal with his dad.


   “Hey, Dad, I’m home,” Adam Joan Shipton called out to the expansive house before shrugging off his shirt and heading to the bathroom. His dark skin was drenched in disgusting sweat that stunk to high heaven. The bathroom tiles were cracking a little, but there was no way he would call a repairman in here. There was no response from his father, a typical thing of him. Adam stared at his reflection in the mirror, rubbing at his jawline to see if he needed to shave again. Black strands stuck to his forehead, and he was debating on whether or not to hop in the shower for a few minutes.

   “Adam, my boy!”


   His father, a man in his early fifties with dark crinkles around his eyes rolled into the hallway, stopping at the open bathroom door. The wheelchair was squeaking a little bit, Adam would have to fix that later.

   “Hey Dad, how are you?” he asked, giving a small head jerk that was customary greeting for any sarcastic teenager these days.

   “Oh, the usual, the usual. I have perfected my mutualization configuration trigger, so I consider this day a great stride in academic progress!” Pausing, he gave a little wrinkle in his nose. “How was…football?”

   “Pretty good,” he responded, tugging on a random white shirt and exiting the bathroom, letting his Dad follow him into the kitchen. “Coach is riding me for being so out of it, though. Sucks. And congrats about the mutuawhatever.”

“Mutualization, Adam,” Mr. Shipton is quick to correct, coming into the kitchen and heaving himself into a chair. Adam opened the freezer, giving a quick glance over of the various frozen foods they had shoved in there. He opted for leftover pizza, and shoved three slices in the microwave before turning back to his dad.

“So what does it do?” he asked, not actually caring but finding it easier to just let his dad ramble.

And Mr. Shipton was going to ramble, before the door bell rang, the noise echoing through the house. “Coming,” he called, before rolling out again. Adam groaned, letting his forehead rest against the fridge, feeling the cold seep into his skin.

“Please tell me you didn’t set an appointment today. Please,” he begged, raising his voice so his father could hear it from the hallway. Not hearing a response, Adam followed his father into the hallway, smoothing down his hair to seem respectable for whatever customer and their kid was going to be waiting here. Dad gave a glance of mischief before opening the little red door, revealing a frazzled suburban mom and a squirmy seven year old.

Okay, maybe he should explain.

Adam does normal teen things. He goes to school. He gets average grades. He has a group of friends he hangs out with regularly. He spends his Saturdays playing shoot em up video games on his television. It’s just his dad that does irregular weird things.

His father basically invented a portal into a person’s dreams.

It’s pretty cool, in a mad cackling scientist sort of way. Except Dr. Shipton isn’t some cackling scientist, he’s a sweet tempered fellow who was in a car accident fifteen years ago that killed his wife and crippled him. Yeah, it’s the normal smart guy who’s disabled bullshit someone could see on a movie at any moment, but Adam didn’t really care about clichés. Sometimes he wished his dad was some lawyer or accountant, which would make things so much easier.

Basically, people with horrifying or chronic nightmares come to him to get rid of it. And this ‘portal’ is so advanced that a person could physically enter and go into another person’s nightmare, and defeat it themselves. It’s genius, completely. If the government got ahold of it, there’s no saying what they could do. They could possibly see in the mind of psychopaths, or skeezy celebrities. Which is exactly why his father’s entire operation takes place in the basement of their quiet home. 

There are only two employees at his self-named IntueriCo, him, and Adam. His father runs all of the machines, repairs everything, walks the patients through the process. Adam is the one who enters the nightmares, finds the source of the fear, and defeats it. Right there. Using actual swords and a rusty suit of armor. It’s probably not the Brady Bunch style of family bonding, but they’ve been doing it for about three years now, and they’ve raked in a pretty decent amount of money. Not that they needed the money, they were pretty basic people. Occasional food, some school fees, that’s it. Oh, and funding their extremely expensive tech. That too.

The parent in front of them is obviously a rich suburban mom, prime bleached hair and collagen injected lips that swallow her face. The brat she had squirming at her side was dribbling snot and whining about lost icecream. Adam stared at them both in slight distaste, sighing deeply and letting his dad speak for him.

“Hello there Mrs. Branson,” he said in his friendly voice, before leaning down and smiling at the kid. “And you must be Braden.” Braden Branson, nice. Braden doesn’t respond, only clings to his mother’s white blouse, leaving a cheese smudge in its place. Dad lead them through the house, to the home elevator that was installed about two years ago. It’s nothing too fancy, just two plain doors in the side hallway that open with the press of a button. It’s roomy enough to hold a dude in a wheelchair and his kid, but not the two others, so they all squeeze in awkwardly.

The elevator lugged to a start, humming loudly as it dropped down into the basement. Dr. Shipton took this time to ramble about how the technology worked. “We will hook your child up to our brain monitors, where we will observe activity and spikes in adrenaline. We will induce the dream cycle of the sleep using artificial methods, and my son Adam here will enter your son’s mind physically and defeat whatever nightmare your son is having.”

The mother stared, snapping a piece of mint gum. “Uhuh, okay,” she said, her voice distant, like he was speaking in ancient tongues. This wasn’t even close to how it actually worked; he was using way more simpler terms. The elevator slammed into the basement, and the doors open with a bing. Adam followed his dad, not making eye contact with the parents and instead choosing to shove his hands in his pocket. The patient area was meant to seem cozy, with nice blue wallpaper and a comfortable mattress bed that’s cleaned daily. There were nice, non-threatening paintings litter the walls, and there is plenty of lighting rigged on a dimmer switch. Braden is directed to lie down on the bed, and Adam retreated to the monitors to watch his dad work his magic.

The mother sat down on a waiting chair and proceeded to text on her phone.

“We’re gonna hook up these fun little cups to your brain, okay?” Dr. Shipton said, turning on the board of buttons off to the side. He nodded at Adam, who went over to turn it all on. Adam would rather be doing his Trig homework, just to get it over with, but whatever. A row of monitors light up, showing the IntueriCo logo, and he typed in a few commands. His father is busy hooking up Braden to the monitors, telling him to breathe and relax.

Eventually, all is ready for the whole shebang.

Adam's never really liked going into people’s brains. It was cool, at first. Having a projection of yourself being placed in the subconscious, and controlling what to fight, what to do, etc. But recently, it’s been getting harder and harder to pull himself to do it. It's hard coming back exhausted and weary every damn time.

“Adam, time to ‘suit up’, so to speak.”

Suiting up consisted of putting on this completely dorky suit of armor that his dad had purchased. It was rusting at the edges, but other than that it was bland silver and covered everything except his head. It was bulky and difficult to move around in, but since most dreams didn’t really care about bullet proof vests, armor was the more reliable choice. A sword hung on a hook next to the Inhibitor, which he strapped to his armor. It was also quite heavy, but it gave him good arms.

The family taken care of, Adam opened an off door to the side of his dad’s equipment, maneuvering in his suit of armor and fiddling with the hilt of his sword. The mother stared at him, tilting her head at the hilarious situation. Except it wasn’t hilarious, because Adam hated being in this dorky armor while he fought off some ghost. Opening the door to the side room, he stepped inside the Inhibitor.

© 2013 TopHatGirl

Author's Note

Out of all my characters, Adam's one of my favorite.

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Added on May 20, 2013
Last Updated on May 20, 2013



[Redacted], NV

Hi, I'm TopHatGirl! If you're here about my character lessons or to get some advice, email me instead of messaging at [email protected]. This is because I don't go on this site as much anym.. more..

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A Chapter by TopHatGirl