Side Kicks and Barry Discovered

I watched Raya and the Last Dragon. It was pretty good. I feel like I didn't realize until Frozen that Disney Princess's always have some adorkable sidekick.

In life, I feel like adorkable sidekicks helps us out. In programming, there's Rubber Duck Debugging and elsewhere, there's the Think Aloud Protocol.

I've noticed how many times I go to ask someone a question or explain something, and the answer comes to me. I'm not sure if spiders are adorkable, or if I've watched one too many Disney movies.

I didn't mean for the spider to become a sidekick. When outlining more of the story, the spider seemed like a good long-term addition.

Barry Discovered

Barry had come to enjoy his alone time outside. The Walton's would lock him outside to feel “unburdened”. The neighborhood kids would always avoid Barry. This avoidance would make Barry aware of how alone he truly was.

Barry had a new friend in Terrance—or at least a new spider to talk to. Terrance ventured from afar before winding up in Barry's cupboard. With Terrance, Barry was willing to take his alone time outside the neighborhood.

Today, Barry ventured to Adventure Lake. Terrance was not the only spider Barry could hear. One of the other spiders told Barry of an herb at the peak of Adventure Mountain. The herb helped people sleep, even in the most uncomfortable of positions.

Barry and Terrance decided to scale the mountain. Looking around, Barry saw spiders joining them on their journey. Ever since Barry and Terrance met, spiders would travel close to Barry whenever he was outside. At first this bothered Barry, but now it provided comfort. Barry always felt unwanted, but now someone—or thing—wanted his company.

Be careful, it gets slippery up ahead Terrance told Barry. Barry could feel his sneakers losing traction on the damp grass and moss. You've got this some spiders motivated Barry. A smile grew on Barry's face. He never had a goal before, and Barry never would have climbed a mountain on his own.

At the top, Barry fell onto his back and breathed in the mountain air. “Ha, ha, ha, I did it!” Barry yelled. Where are the herbs? Terrance asked. Barry turned onto his stomach and picked himself up.

At the top of the mountain, all they saw was grass and skyline. Barry took a few steps and looked around. Then he saw it: a tree hanging off the edge of the mountain covered in herbs. Well, I've come this far already thought Barry.

Barry climbed onto the tree. He could feel the soft bark move and squish with his grip. Barry reached the herbs and stuck them into his hoodie pocket. Turning around, Barry felt his foot slip followed by his grip.

He was falling. Barry's life flashed before his eyes. There isn't much to see, thought Barry. Why me? Barry lived a lonely life. Would anyone miss him? Barry felt darkness.

We've got you Terrance yelled. As he fell, Barry could see the thousands of spiders jump towards him. Barry felt his fall slow down. The spiders had wrapped Barry in their webs. Traditional schooling would teach spiders do not show emotion. As Terrance climbed onto Barry's chest, Barry could see a sense of fear and relief in Terrance's eyes. I got you, Terrance assured Barry.

The spiders lowered Barry gently to the ground. “Thanks,” Barry said to the spiders. I'm glad your safe, Terrance replied from Barry's shoulder. Barry felt his pulse racing as he let out a deep breath.

As Barry turned around, his eyes locked with a red-haired boy that appeared to be around his age. The boy's mouth hung open. Barry wasn't sure what to do, so he started walking home.

Barry heard footsteps approach from behind. The boy's warm hands wrapped around Barry's forearm.

“You're a druid, aren't you?” the boy asked. A druid? Barry had no idea what the boy was talking about. “Please join my party,” the boy pleaded.

Barry had never been asked to join another person before—let alone a party. The Walton's were stuck with Barry. He looked down at the hands holding him. They were warm, unlike the cold hands Uncle Bernard or Aunt Lynn used to push Barry into his room.

Barry shook the boy off. “Your party?” Barry asked. “Yes,” replied the boy, “We need one more to go to Dungeon Crawler Academy.”

Barry laughed. Dungeon Crawler Academy? This must be a joke. The boy must have sensed Barry's disbelief. “Please come back this time tomorrow, you can meet the rest of the party,” the boy pleaded.

“Maybe,” replied Barry. No one had ever made fun of Barry. Before this, no one cared enough to even talk to him. If this was a bully, should Barry risk coming back? If this was a joke, Barry at least wanted to understand the punchline. Barry had never interacted with someone his age this long. He did not know what to do.

Barry started to walk away. “I'll see you here tomorrow then,” the boy called out after him.

The walk home was quiet. Will you be going back tomorrow? Terrance asked. I don't know, thought Barry. He could be your first friend, Terrance stated. You're my first friend Barry replied. Terrance blushed, I think you should go.

Barry and Terrance made it home. Terrance crawled into Barry's pocket. The door was unlocked, so it was safe to go in.

#fiction Day 2 of #100DaysToOffload 2021