Kevin Maggliardi, Levi Cranston’s (The Magic Video Game) friend, and Kevin's girlfriend, Shanti Lee, decided to spend a quiet evening at Kevin’s Cambridge apartment. No one else was home. Kevin had spent the afternoon with Jing Hao, Mike Wong, Levi, Jack Andrews, and Asad Prejesh. They went into downtown Boston to try an Italian restaurant that they had never been to before.
That evening, Jing, Mike, Jack, and Asad were going to some bars. Levi and his girlfriend, Mackenzie, spent an evening together at their apartment in Allston.
Kevin and Shanti decided to put on some goofy adult cartoons for a bit, while feasting on Indian food. Kevin was on the outer end of the couch, sitting sideways, while Shanti was nestled between him and where the pillows meet on the couch.
Her head was on his shoulder, and his head lay on top of her head. He took a deep breath, and Shanti wrapped her left arm around his chest. Then, she put her ear between his left armpit and his left breast. While she could hear his deep breathing, she could also hear his quiet heartbeat. She looked up, and Kevin’s eyes were closed. He must have been a little too tired of watching cartoons for over two hours.
Shanti got up and turned off the TV and returned to her place on the couch.
“Hey, Kevin?” Shanti asked.
“Yeah?” Kevin responded sleepily.
“Can I hear your heartbeat?”
Without hesitation, Kevin pulled up his shirt up to his collarbone. Shanti could see his ribs every time he took a breath, and she also thought she could see his heart beating through his skin. His belly button was exposed, and she wanted to poke it with a q-tip. Her ear was pressed firmly on the lower part of his left breast, and she just paid attention to the intense whooshing of blood through his mitral valve.
“Your heart is so loud, fast, and strong. Are you nervous?” Shanti asked.
“No,” Kevin replied quietly with a soft smile.
He took a very deep breath, and Shanti noticed a couple skips in his heartbeat. She thought that was super cute.
“What is your heart rate, if you don’t mind my asking?” Shanti questioned.
Kevin checked his watch, which has that feature.
“122,” Kevin stated.
“Sounds way faster than that,” Shanti said. “I’m gonna get it to pound really hard for me. So get ready.”
Shanti was wearing a white floral button-down shirt. She unbuttoned the top three buttons, so the top part of her chest and part of her bra were exposed. Her ear was still on his chest. She heard even louder and deeper heartbeats inside Kevin’s chest. He must have been getting really excited, so he checked his watch again.
“134,” Kevin replied.
“Good!” Shanti exclaimed.
Kevin’s left arm was wrapped around Shanti. She took his right hand and placed it on the top part of her chest, so that he could feel her fast and strong heartbeat as well. He placed his left hand over Shanti’s left ear, so his heartbeat was all she could hear. He was starting to breathe really hard, as he was so excited.
They were super happy with doing nothing other than this for at least ten minutes.
“Shanti?” Kevin got his girlfriend’s attention, with his hand still on her chest.
“Yeah?” Shanti replied.
“You ready to find out how fast my heart is beating?”
“Oh my God! You have a shit ton of adrenaline flowing through you.”
Kevin let out a soft smile and then was quiet. His eyes were closed again, and Shanti thought he made a soft and cute noise through his mouth. His breathing was steady. His heart was racing, and chances were that it wouldn’t slow down any time soon.
Like around June 2018
Levi Cranston (The Magic Video Game) and his girlfriend, Mackenzie Burbanks, were out and about on the mean streets of Boston. Jack Andrews and Asad Prejesh were in their apartment playing video games for the evening. Their new friends, Jing Hao and Kevin Maggliardi, invited them all to play video games, but everyone else declined. Especially since Levi and Mackenzie had a date, and Jack and Asad just simply did not feel like playing tennis.
It was around 6 pm, and Jing and Kevin walked over to the nearby tennis courts, where they all practice. They were planning to stay for at least three to four hours.
“Should we run around the track first?” Jing asked.
“We always do, so I think that answers your question,” Kevin replied.
“Okay, so let’s do it.”
“We need to leave around 9:30, because Levi wanted to chat around that time.”
“I think we’ll be done by then,” Jing said.
“Usually, we are,” Kevin remarked.
“When is Sheridan coming to the States?”
“Next week. He is stopping in Dublin first.”
“To do what?”
“To party there, I think.”
Sheridan is Kevin’s oldest brother, who is 32 years old and lives in London to pursue his doctorate degree in biomedical engineering. He has another brother, Graham, who is 29, and lives in New York City for work, as he works in IT. His only sister, Addison, is going to be 27 years old in a couple weeks, and she lives in Chicago for graduate school. Kevin just turned 25 years old, and Jack, Asad, and Levi view him as their little brother. Kevin is originally from Cranston, Rhode Island, pretty close to Levi’s motherland.
Levi and Kevin met at their tennis coaching job. Levi works in IT for one company in Boston, and Kevin works in IT for another company in the same building, so they very often commute to work together.
Levi, Mackenzie, Jack, and Asad share an apartment in the Allston neighborhood, while Jing and Kevin have a place in Cambridge. It is either a fifteen minute commute by bus, or a thirty minute commute by foot.
Jing is from Garden City, a suburb of New York City. He is 25 years old, and has a younger sister, Amanda, who is 23 years old. He and Kevin met when they went to college in Boston. Jing also works in IT, and he is looking to go into grad school pretty soon.
“This weather is pretty nice,” Jing remarked after a couple laps around the track.
“Yes, it is,” Kevin responded. “What time is it?”
“Time for you to get a watch.”
“I have never heard that one before!”
“No?” Jing asked, taking things a bit literally.
“Nope,” Kevin rolled his eyes and smiled.
“Time for tennis?”
“Time for tennis. We have a few hours.”
“We agreed 9:30, right?”
Tennis practice was a complete blur. By the time they got on the tennis courts, it was already 7 o’clock in the evening. They had a couple hours before they’d have their phone chat with Levi, Jack, Mackenzie, and Asad later tonight.
A couple hours later, Jing and Kevin were really tired, sore, and sweaty. They headed back to their apartment in Cambridge, where they would get ready for the night. It was Thursday evening, so one more day before the weekend.
That’s why they all needed to chat.
When they got into the apartment, Jing beat Kevin to the shower, kinda pissing Kevin off.
Kevin used this time to lie on his bed to stretch his back out a little, and to throw a tennis ball against the ceiling. He decided that now was a good time to call Levi, and so he did.
“Hey Kevin, I have you on speaker,” Levi answered on his end. He and everyone else must have been out in the common area.
“Hey, how’s it going?” Kevin asked.
“Well, Mackenzie and I are back from our little date. We ventured out on the harbor walk and the North End.”
“Very nice. We’re all gonna check out the harbor walk again this weekend, right?”
“I wouldn’t mind doing that. We could also go out to Cambridge, whatever works for you,” Levi said.
“Well, I’m totally open. Jing is taking his sweet little time in the shower,” Kevin replied.
“I figured as much.”
“What is everyone else doing?”
“Well, Mackenzie is in our room. I think she’s on a phone chat with her family. Jack and Asad are in the kitchen heating up some leftovers from the night before.”
Jack and Asad had some Indian food from last night that they decided to heat up now, after spending at least two hours playing video games. They were being summoned into the living room to come up with some plans to hang out that weekend with Jing and Kevin.
“Hi Kevin,” Jack responded once he and Asad walked into the common area.
“Hey guys,” Kevin responded back.
“How was tennis?”
“It was pretty great. I beat Jing on all matches, so that was nice.”
“I wish we were there to witness it,” Jack said.
“I know! You missed out on a great evening,” Kevin exclaimed.
“Well, we were playing tennis on TV.”
“Not as fun.”
“Next time, we’ll play all of you.”
“Sounds like a plan. Well, Jing came in, and I’m going to shower. I’m disgusting.”
“Okay, you do you.”
Levi Cranston's (The Magic Video Game) friends, Kevin Maggliardi, Jing Hao, Mike Wong, and David Rogers were in college playing tennis. They were about to start classes the next day, and they wanted to have one last night together where they didn't have to worry about homework, papers, or tests.
It was a really nice night in Boston. After playing tennis in this breezy weather, the boys were going to watch TV cartoons and eat their weight in pizza once they returned to their dorm.
Kevin's best friend from back home, Shanti Lee, just moved to California for college, and it broke his heart. He was excited for her because she went to school out on the west coast, but they would not be able to hang out again until at least Thanksgiving break.
For the past week, he was really sad and needed extra motivation to go out and do anything with his friends. David, Mike, and Jing basically dragged him out of bed to get him to hang out with them in Boston for the day.
Once tennis practice was over, Kevin started crying. The other three kids ran over to him to see what was wrong.
"My arm really hurts," Kevin stated while grabbing his arm.
"You alright?" David asked.
"It's really sore. I think I may have pulled a muscle."
"Maybe you have tennis elbow?"
"Maybe," Kevin replied through his tears.
"Maybe ice it when we get back," David remarked.
Kevin nodded while trying hard to fight back tears. It took him a little while to catch his breath and dry his eyes.
His arm was perfectly fine. He was crying about Shanti.
Sunday, November 25, 2018
Levi Cranston (The Magic Video Game) and his girlfriend, Mackenzie Burbanks, spent the whole afternoon in downtown Boston with their friends, Jack Andrews and Asad Prejesh. They all live in Allston, a neighborhood in Boston, so they took the green line into the downtown area.
The four kids were there around noon, and they planned to stay out for as long as they wanted. At 7 pm, Levi and Mackenzie left to go back to their apartment. Jack and Asad decided to stay out for a little while longer.
Levi and Mackenzie wanted some "alone time" for a while, at least until Jack and Asad came home. After taking off their coats and settling in for the night, Levi put on one of his favorite songs and softly sang it to Mackenzie. She was lying on her back on the couch in the common area, and Levi sat by her feet.
A few minutes later, he moved on top of her and started kissing her. Mackenzie could feel his extremely fast heartbeat against the right side of her chest. Her magenta quarter zip was starting to make her feel hot. Mackenzie pulled Levi's shirt up and placed her hand against his chest.
Something Levi absolutely loves when she does this.
Once they decided to put on some classic rock music, Levi decided to lie next to Mackenzie. He pulled his shirt down, but the lower part of his belly button was exposed. Mackenzie put her ear against Levi's chest and listened intently to his heartbeat.
Another thing Levi absolutely loves when she does this.
His heart had slowed down a bit, but it was still pretty fast. While Mackenzie's head was still against Levi's chest, he slowly stroked her hair. Mackenzie closed her eyes, and she thought that she could possibly fall asleep to the sound of Levi's heart beating.
Once Jack and Asad came back from downtown Boston, they noticed that Levi and Mackenzie were half-asleep on the couch in the common area.
"Okay, lovebirds. We are home," Asad announced.
"And we brought home some pizza," Jack added as he carried two large pizza boxes into the apartment.
"Oh good. I thought I heard my stomach making some loud noises," Levi replied. Mackenzie's head was still on his chest. "So what do we owe you?"
"Each of us pays $8," Jack said.
"I've got myself and Mackenzie," Levi remarked. Mackenzie was still in her own little world.
From The Crazy Chicken Escapade
It was the next morning, about 8:30. So, not too early and not too late. Strangely enough, all three boys were awake at this time. Andrew woke up at 7:30, and David and Levi woke up at the same time….at 8:06. Kaloi, Marty, Sporto, Cosmo, Jack McFrost, and Jefferson gathered around the table and ate buttermilk pancakes, maple bacon, and eggs, courtesy of Kaloi. The three boys joined everyone once they got ready for the day.
Today, Kaloi and Marty were going to take everyone to the Crazy Chicken Village, or at least try to.
Kaloi, Marty, Sporto, Cosmo, Jack McFrost, and Jefferson told the newcomers about this odd place. On their thirty-minute walk toward the Crazy Chicken Village, the kids met a heavy man with a bib and a fork and spoon in each hand. On his shirt, there were six letters, two of them were in blue ink, two were in green, and the last two letters were in red. These letters spelled out “H.O.T.C.C.V.”
“I have no clue what those words stand for,” said Andrew.
The other two boys looked at the acronym carefully.
“There are many possible words to choose from. There is ‘Heart Of Those Carelessly Creepy Villains,’” said David.
“There is ‘Hippo Over Thy Courageously Crying Vitamins,” Levi remarked.
“That doesn’t make a lot of sense,” Marty replied.
“What would?” Sporto questioned.
“The letters would not make a lot of sense,” Cosmo said, and this time, he was the most serious that he has ever been.
“No, Cozz. I meant, what would make a lot of sense?” Sporto asked.
“AW, NUTS!” Cosmo shouted, and everyone looked at him. He pouted.
“No pouty lip, Cozz!” Jefferson shouted.
“DON’T BE SILLY! PENGUINS CAN’T POUT! DON’T CALL ME COZZ EITHER! I HATE BEING CALLED COMSO, COMMY, COZZY, COM, COZZ, COMICOZZER, COSMIC, AND I REALLY HATE BEING CALLED COMICOZZY!” Cosmo screamed.
“Do you mean….kamikaze?” Jack McFrost corrected him, like he always has.
“A bunch of hard-to-spell and hard-to-pronounce words again, huh?”
This conversation was interrupted by a nasty greeting. A greeting so nefarious that thunder was suddenly heard by everyone. A man, who came out of his brown English Tudor house, wore a white t-shirt that had the acronym, H.O.T.C.C.V. on it. He also wore blue jeans, and a black cape tied around his shirt. This man had a mole on his long nose.
This man was either trying to be a “superhero” or “supervillain.” Or maybe just a comedian.
“Who dareth entereth me private space?” sneered the man.
“My name is Marty. I am a polar bear, and we are on a journey to make an agreement with the crazy chickens,” Marty replied.
“I am Anthony T. DeSillyhead, Head of the Crazy Chicken Village. That’s what H.O.T.C.C.V. stands for, but this isn’t my shirt.”
“Whose is it then?” Sporto asked.
“Mayor Cluck’s, but his mommy made him take it off. He got in trouble when he made spoiled egg salad instead of fresh, and he added a hint of baked beans to it, so they all had a delightful music recital. If you want to know what my middle name is, it is Tony. So, my full name is Anthony Tony DeSillyhead.”
“Isn’t Tony a short form of Anthony?” Levi questioned.
“Indeed,” Anthony answered. He looked as if he was about to cry, and he did for only one minute.
Marty offered him a handkerchief, and Anthony blew very hard into it. After Anthony pulled himself back together, he invited everyone to dinner at his house, which consisted of fried chicken, Caesar salad, and root beer floats. Again, the time spent at Anthony’s was a complete blur, so no one would probably remember what exactly happened during the time at Anthony’s. After the long day, Anthony offered a ride home for everyone. At 11:30, they were all back at Kaloi’s humble abode.
Tomorrow was going to be another fun, but long, day.
During the night, when everyone was asleep, there was the craziest chicken lounge a few blocks away, where every chicken soul was hyper in the middle of the night. Everyone was being immature and running around the place, and there were some chickens who were being mean and pushing their elders out of their seats.
“HUSH NOW, CLUCKS! MR. BRADFORD HAS SOMETHING TO SAY!” a random chicken randomly shouted over the microphone at the most random moment.
“Greetings, rude chicken legs. We have introduced our beloved, well-respected, sweet, and absolutely gorgeous fellow chicken in all this district, area, and village, oh my! And this chicken is NOT as rude, mean, and selfish as you rotten little spaghetti arms. Well, here is our first-rate citizen, Radcliffe Mostaccioli!” Mr. Bradford, another fellow chicken announced.
Everyone’s applause sounded like the roars of chicken thunder. Radcliffe was indeed very gorgeous because he wore a sparkly purple shirt, and some female chickens almost fainted from just looking at him.
“Greetings, fellow chickens! I am here to be silly, but am I also here to blame those knuckleheads who stand in front of the stage? Palooza, no! I am here, before we have fun, to give you a lecture, which will last exactly thirty minutes, and it is about kindness and caring, instead of pushing people out of their seats,” the beloved chicken said.
Radcliffe then proceeded to give his lecture, which was mostly serious, except for some random jokes that he had thrown out there just to catch his audience off guard.
“I believe that we all need to be nice to each other, like me and my girlfriend, who I am now going to propose to. I would like her to accept my proposition for marriage,” were Radcliffe’s ending lines of his lecture.
Radcliffe’s girlfriend’s mouth dropped with utter excitement. Applause roared throughout the whole room, and Radcliffe put a silver ring on his now fiancé’s finger.
As the lecture came to an end, and everyone was all happy and whatnot, there were suddenly four people who slowly entered the party. They happened to be:
Darveda Davucci Illiona,
“You two will go to the other side of the lounge and do as I say, or you will get no ice cream forever and ever, amen,” Darveda ordered Bug and Hilda.
Hilda and Bug walked slowly to the other side of the lounge. Radcliffe was in the middle of one of his best jokes, and Hilda, because of how short she is, snuck up behind him and tapped him on the shoulder. Radcliffe ignored her the first time. However, the next time, out came a rude….
“WHAT?!” from the newly engaged chicken.
Hilda laughed a cunning laugh, while she took a gem out of her dress pocket.
“You are under my control. Look deep inside this beautifully gorgeous gem,” she said to Radcliffe.
“I think that was actually pretty redundant.”
Hilda thought to herself for a few moments, and then she proceeded to make her move.
“You are an elephant,” Hilda said to her chicken “comrade.”
Radcliffe started to act like an elephant.
The hypnotizing of Radcliffe was really working, which was horribly bad. As a matter of fact, every chicken in the room was hypnotized, and Hilda slowly removed the ring from Radcliffe’s fiancé’s finger and slowly put it in her coin purse.
“It’s sleepy time for Radcliffe, isn’t it? You will go to sleep because I said so,” Hilda said.
The goofy chicken soon became unconscious, and he fell asleep, too. This was a lucky day for the villains because the electricity went out. It was so dark in the lounge that Darveda, Nelson, Hilda, and Bug could get away with attempting to make a deal on the Winderplassic Estate with Radcliffe and Marty.
Everyone in the lounge went BONKERS! B-O-N-K-E-R-S.
“We’ve got him, you bolognaheads! When he signs the deal with us, we will take over the world, the earth, and the living planet, oh my!” Darveda laughed.
The other three bad guys laughed with her as well.
“Darveda?” Nelson got his comrade’s attention after five minutes of doing nothing other than laughing.
“What is it, you bolognahead?!” Darveda snapped.
“The world, the earth, and the living planet, oh my, are all the same thing.”
Darveda gave Nelson a crude glare.
“I knew that all along!”
Meanwhile, in the morning at Kaloi’s house….
Andrew woke up at 8 in the morning. It was a little boring, knowing that he was the only kid of the three who is a morning person.
Levi and David were still sleeping soundly when Andrew returned to the room. David stirred, but it was obvious that Levi was still in a deep sleep.
“Good morning, sleepyheads,” Marty said to the boys. Levi and David woke up in a bad mood. Both boys’ eyes were closed while they were fighting very hard to wake up.
“Good morning,” Levi replied sleepily. He raised his head high enough to acknowledge Marty’s presence, and then his head hit his pillow.
Levi fell back asleep.
“I heard back from Anthony Tony DeSillyhead early this morning. Darveda and her sidekicks have tried to take advantage of the chicken population, and Anthony wants us to return the chicken community back to normal.”
“Levi fell asleep,” David answered sleepily. He, like Levi, raised his head high enough to acknowledge Marty’s presence, and then his head hit the pillow.
Like Levi, David fell back asleep. Andrew was the only boy who was somehow fully awake.
“We need to start on our expedition to return the chicken community to normal!” Marty exclaimed.
“Kids these days.”
“I think David and Levi were both playing video games all night long,” Andrew said to the polar bear, reassuringly.
“I thought I heard video game music being played from my room last night. Did you play video games with them?”
“I played video games with them for a while, but then I went back to my quarter to finish my book.”
“How was it?”
“The book was not as good as I had hoped, but I have another book that I was going to start tonight.”
“You are quite the bookworm, aren’t you?”
“Yes, I am.”
Andrew wasn’t quite sure what to do next. He felt a little odd being the only boy up, but he then realized that David and Levi were going to suffer the consequences of being up so late. Not that Andrew wasn’t up late either, but he considered the beginning of the journey. Andrew knew that they were all going to start finding a way to rebuild the chicken community the following day.
Thirty minutes later, both David and Levi woke up, at about the same time. They both got ready for the day, and when the two boys returned to the quarters, both were wearing Hawaiian-print shirts. Since this was a complete déjà vu moment, Andrew decided to change into a Hawaiian-print shirt as well.
“How long did you stay up last night?” Andrew asked Levi.
“David and I stayed up until about two in the morning. You?” Levi responded.
“Until about eleven o’clock that night. I could overhear you and David yelling while you were trying to beat Cosmo and Jefferson at a game. It was amusing.”
“Oh yeah! That was so much fun. We were playing some classic car racing games against Cosmo and Jefferson, and, sadly, they won most of the time.”
“Oh well. At least it was fun!” Andrew replied.
“It was a lot of fun. And now I feel like I jumped out of a building,” Levi answered.
“I move around a lot when I sleep. I guess I moved around a little too much last night, and I forgot to put my ankle in a brace.”
“You have to wear an ankle brace?”
“I should, especially when I play tennis or sleep.”
After a few more minutes of conversation, David, Andrew, and Levi realized that they had not started on their journey yet. The three boys were still waiting for Marty to enter the quarters and announce the plans. While waiting for Marty, David, Andrew, and Levi sat quietly, eyeing the walls decorated with blue, green, and red paint, each boy’s favorite color.
Five minutes later, Marty entered the quarters.
“What are we going to do right now?” David asked Marty.
“We are going to Kaloi’s forensics lab in a few minutes,” Marty replied.
“What will that do for us in what we want to find out about the chicken community?”
“I doubt that the actual forensics lab will solve any of our questions. However, Kaloi was in touch with Anthony Tony DeSillyhead last night when there was all the commotion, so he might give us some information.”
“That’s still a good idea, though,” David remarked.
“He should give us some information, and he might even point us in the direction of what we need to do next,” Marty said.
“Have we met him yet?”
“The only boy who has is Levi, but he is a pretty cool guy. You all will like him, I’d think.”
“I’ve seen pictures of him on top of the fireplace, by the other pictures of all of you.”
“All of those pictures are from our senior years of college.”
“Where did you all go to college?” Levi asked.
“University of Wakahakai,” Marty replied.
Sunday, September 2, 2018
Levi Cranston (The Magic Video Game) came back home from a very sweaty tennis practice. He and his best friend, Jack Andrews, played singles, and they had to cover the whole sides of their own court. It was very humid today, but that did not stop Jack or Levi from playing their most favorite sport. Asad Prejesh, their other friend, spent the whole day in downtown Boston with a few mutual friends. He was really not in the mood to play tennis as he thought it was way too hot to even be outside.
Yet, he was still outside with their friends, Jing Hao and Kevin Maggliardi.
Mackenzie Burbanks, Levi’s long-time girlfriend, was out earlier today with a few of her friends, Suzanne Gopal and Jennifer Watson. Once she and her girlfriends called it quits for the rest of the day, she resorted back to the apartment and put on some comedy TV shows while waiting for Levi, Jack, and Asad to return.
Around 2 pm, Jack and Levi returned to the apartment. Jack decided to take a shower first, and Levi decided to relax in his room. Mackenzie was still watching TV, as she did not feel up to going outside due to the hot weather.
Boston is a great city, but sometimes it can get a little too warm.
After his shower, Jack decided to go back out and meet up with Asad. Levi decided to shower next, which only took him about 20 minutes.
Mackenzie was half-awake by the time she felt a soft tap on her shoulder. Turning around, she realized it was Levi trying to get her attention. She was a little tired from watching TV for a straight hour and a half, so she reached for the remote to turn off the TV.
Levi turned off the TV for her.
Both Levi and Mackenzie lay on the couch together, enjoying each other’s company. Both of them being introverts, they didn’t feel the need to really carry on a conversation. As long as they were both in the same room together, this inseparable couple could not be any happier.
Levi was wearing his gray t-shirt with the words, “Rhode Island” on the front. He lay with his back on the couch, with his hands behind his head.
A few minutes later, he slowly pulled up his shirt, so that his belly button was exposed. Mackenzie could also see the ends of his ribcage when he would breathe in. And she also thought she could see his heart thumping away against the left side of his chest.
Levi is very thin-chested.
He took her right hand and put it against his chest, so that she could feel his strong heartbeat. He then covered her hand with his left hand, with both his and her hands flat against his chest.
Levi’s eyes were closed, and he was smiling. Mackenzie was also in an elated state herself. She leaned over to kiss him on the lips. When they started kissing, Mackenzie could feel Levi’s heart pounding. She knew his genuine love for her, and how they have successfully maintained their relationship for nearly 13 years.
Levi and Mackenzie will both be 27 years old this year.
Levi’s heart was very fast, yet mostly very steady. Mackenzie thought she may have felt her boyfriend’s heart skip a beat a couple times.
Her hand stayed on his chest, and he was perfectly alright with that. Her eyes were closed as well, and she envisioned hearing his heartbeat with every pulse.
His heart was pounding much harder now than during tennis practice, and it could possibly have burst in his chest if he wasn’t too careful.
Not like that would happen, though.
Both Levi and Mackenzie were elated, until they heard the door open. A few seconds later, Asad came inside the apartment and saw the couple on the couch in the common area.
“Okay, lovebirds. I’m home,” Asad announced.
“Shit, where’s Jack?” Levi responded, quickly pulling his shirt down.
“Oh, he’s out and about.”
“I thought you two were doing something together.”
“Jing and Kev were too tired. Besides, it’s too hot to do anything,” Asad replied.
“I agree,” Levi remarked.
“Jack should be coming home soon. Pizza tonight?”
“You beat me to the punch.”
“Levi’s heart nearly punched me in the hand,” Mackenzie blurted out. Levi’s face turned beet red, but he laughed it off. So did Asad.
From The Magic Video Game 2: Time for Tennis
Levi stayed up until 2 in the morning playing video games. As always. When he finally went to bed, he noticed that his little sister was waiting for him. She was sleeping on the left side of the futon, the side against the wall, with her pink teddy bear in her arms.
It was now 9 o’clock in the morning, and Evelyn Maeve woke up. She saw Levi sleeping very comfortably on his futon. The girl really wanted to wake her older brother up. However, she knew how he always has been, and so she decided to let him sleep in a little longer.
It was now about 9:30, and Levi somehow heard his phone go off. He didn’t have an alarm on it or anything; the ringtone sounded like that of an old alarm clock. Levi was sleeping on his right side when he heard his phone ring, and he was able to answer it in no time at all. He didn’t even look at the caller ID.
“Hello?” Levi answered feebly.
“Who am I speaking to?”
“No, seriously. Who am I speaking to?”
“The. Fat. Pigeon.”
“The. Fat. Pigeon.”
Levi didn’t answer back. Instead, he just hung up the phone. The boy tried very hard to go back to sleep. He was now lying on his stomach, making attempts to sleep in a little longer. His head was underneath his pillow, and he was sprawled out on his bed like a spider. Levi was really not in the mood to talk to anyone. Of all people, the Fat Pigeon.
Levi’s phone rang again, and he answered it.
“….What are you doing?” he asked the same person over the line.
“I’m going to Mexico!” the Fat Pigeon exclaimed.
“I just woke up.”
“Good! So, I can tell you that I’m on my way to Mexico!”
“Well, good for you. I’m going back to sleep now. You woke me up.”
“I called that I’m going to Mexico because I knew you’d be jealous!”
“I don’t care. I don’t really like Mexico that much anyway,” Levi replied.
“We are going to Cancun!” The Fat Pigeon announced gleefully.
“I can’t wait!”
“Well, it was nice talking to you.”
“Don’t hang up yet! Well, you’re so nice!”
Levi hung up once again. He lay back down on his futon, breathing hard. First of all, why would the Fat Pigeon want to call Levi anyway? Did the Fat Pigeon want Levi to be jealous of him just because the he was going to Mexico, and Levi wasn’t? The Cranston’s have been to Mexico before, but Levi never really loved being there that much. When they vacationed to Mexico, he liked where they were, but he hasn’t shown much interest in going back to the same place again.
For five minutes, the boy was lying on his stomach. He knew his shirt was pulled up some, but he didn’t really care. His left ankle was sweaty because he had left it in his brace all night long, but he didn’t take it off. Duchess came in and lay right next to him. And the cat started purring like a motorboat. All Levi wanted at this point was to be able to go back to sleep. But his phone rang. Once again.
Levi had to pick it up this time.
“What do you want?” Levi answered, annoyed.
“Oh, and did I mention Adam Dahnwright?” the Fat Pigeon answered back.
Levi thought very hard about why the Fat Pigeon had just mentioned Adam Dahnwright.
“What happened?!” Levi asked, almost angrily.
The Fat Pigeon did not say anything else. Instead, he was humming and whistling some music from Levi’s favorite video games. Levi grew even more annoyed that the Fat Pigeon was now trying to avoid his question. This could really have led up to some serious manners.
“What’s going on?!” Levi questioned, extremely annoyed.
“You never gonna catch ‘im!” The Fat Pigeon joked.
“That one game you had?”
“Don’t tell me he took it.”
“Well, he did.”
“Good. Now, I will have to go over to his house to retrieve that video game.”
“Yeah. I think you will have to.”
Levi rolled his eyes and hung up on The Fat Pigeon one more time. He was so mad that he could even envision smoke coming out of his ears. Not that smoke really came out of his ears, since that can’t really happen. But that was how extremely furious he was.
The boy quickly brushed his teeth, combed his hair, and put on some clothes. Afterwards, he walked downstairs into the kitchen. He saw Victoria and Olivia sitting down, drinking some tea. Evelyn Maeve was in the common area with Duchess and Prussia. When Levi’s two older sisters saw him, they knew that something wasn’t good.
“Hey, did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning?” Victoria joked.
“Very funny,” Levi answered blandly.
“Victoria,” Olivia warned their older sister.
“Yeah. This is very serious.”
“Apparently, Adam Dahnwright took one of my video games last night.”
“I want it back. Now,” said Levi.
“I understand that,” Olivia answered.
“And I want one of you to come with me to get it back. I am not going there by myself.”
“Where does he live?”
“Bond and Campbell.”
“I’ll come with you.”
Adam Dahnwright is really not a bad kid. Really, he is not. However, he really thinks it is funny to pick on someone, like Levi, who may pose a threat to him in the near future. Basically, Adam thinks he is “all that,” meaning a direct sense of arrogance. Not that Levi isn’t arrogant, since he can be as well. But Adam tends to have the mentality that he should be entitled to, at least, everything.
It really shouldn’t be like that. Should it be?
It took Olivia five minutes to find her shoes, put them on, and tell Levi that she was ready to go. The weather wasn’t all that great. But not all that bad either. No one was quite sure what would happen in a thirty minute time span. It could stay partially sunny. But it could also start down-pouring any minute. Olivia and Levi were going to “bite the bullet” and walk to Adam’s house.
“Was it your most favorite video game?” Olivia asked Levi on the ten minute walk there.
“One of them.”
“Well, you will get it soon. Stay positive.”
“The question is: how did he take your video game?”
“My assumption is that it fell out of my backpack, and he took it that way.”
“Oh, so you know how he might have taken it?”
Olivia and Levi were at Adam Dahnwright’s house in no time at all. Olivia opened the door as Levi was standing almost directly behind her. He was really not in the mood to have to pick fights with Adam. Levi felt a huge lump in his throat, and he started feeling a little sick to his stomach.
This had to go well.
Adam’s mom opened the door after a few seconds, and she seemed very concerned at first. This lady, plump and dirty blonde-haired, seemed the opposite of her son. Or, hopefully, that was the case. The Cranston’s don’t know the Dahnwright’s all that well. However, both moms have run into each other at grocery stores and fast food joints in the past.
They have always seemed friendly toward one another.
“Hi,” Mrs. Dahnwright greeted in a kind manner.
“Hi. How are you doing?” Olivia answered.
“I’m doing well. How are you?”
“We’re doing well.”
“That’s good. I’ve run into Lisa many times at the supermarket. She’s very nice.”
“Why, thank you.”
“Hi,” Levi answered coyly.
As soon as Adam heard Levi’s name, he quit playing video games, ran into his room, and hid. He knew what Olivia and Levi were here for. And he was not going to admit his guilt. Oh well. In the future, when Levi and Adam are both in their twenties, they will probably admit their share of the guilt. It usually happens that way.
Or at least it should.
“We have a video game that we would like to pick up,” Olivia said.
“Oh yes. Adam, Adam, Adam. I never know what’s going on in that kid’s head. I would like to think that he just picked up the game and brought it home to make sure it was okay. But, also, I know he can be a bit of a brat,” Mrs. Dahnwright answered.
“At least it’s safe.”
“I know exactly where it’s at, so I will just bring it to you.”
Adam’s mom went into the living room; Olivia and Levi were standing in the dining room, which leads into the common area. Mrs. Dahnwright looked through the video games and found the one that the two kids were looking for.
“Looking for this?” Mrs. Dahnwright asked.
“Yes!” Levi exclaimed with sudden tears in his eyes.
“Thanks!” Olivia said to Adam’s mom as they left for home.
Once the two kids were walking back to their house on Elmhurst Avenue, Olivia said, to her younger brother:
“That was easy, don’t you think?”
The two kids continued to walk in the direction of their house. Inside, Levi was screaming with joy and jumping up and down until he couldn’t do it anymore. However, on the outside, Levi remained pretty calm. He was just glad to have his “best friend” back, his beloved video game.
January 6, 2019
Levi Cranston (The Magic Video Game), Jack Andrews, Asad Prejesh, Mike Wong, Kevin Maggliardi, and Jing Hao spent an afternoon in downtown Boston. Kevin left early because he was really not feeling well. Once he got back to his apartment in Cambridge, he fell asleep on his bed. He didn’t even bother pulling his covers over him, he was so out of it.
Around 4 pm, he heard a knock on his door in his subconscious, but he didn’t wake up. It was his roommate, John Harold, who slowly opened the door. Kevin was sleeping on his stomach, with his head buried in his pillow. When John knew that he was still sleeping, he closed the door and let Kevin sleep a little longer.
A couple hours later, Jing came home from an afternoon in downtown Cambridge with everyone else. He needed to get ready for the week, and he was hoping that Kevin could come with him to get his groceries. But he wasn’t sure if he would be up for it.
Jing slowly opened the door into Kevin’s room and noticed that he was still sleeping. He walked up to him and gently shook him.
After a few minutes, Kevin slowly stirred in his bed. His eyes were still closed, and he slowly waved at Jing.
“Good morning, sleepyhead,” Jing said to his friend and roommate.
“Good morning,” Kevin replied quietly. “What time is it?”
“It’s six o’clock.”
“AM or PM?”
“Your ma,” Jing replied.
“Very nice,” Kevin remarked even more quietly, pulling his pillow over his head. He could hear his heartbeat in his ears.
“How do you feel?”
“So I take it you don’t want to go back out tonight?”
Kevin decided to take the next day off work to recover from his cold. He actually started to feel a burning sensation in his chest, most likely from coughing so much. It didn’t hurt for him to breathe, but he was at least mindful of it. His nose was really stuffed up, and he felt worse now than he did when we was out and about with everyone else.
January 6, 2019
Jack Andrews, Levi Cranston (The Magic Video Game), Asad Prejesh, Jing Hao, Kevin Maggliardi, and Mike Wong all ventured out to downtown Boston to hang out for a few hours. Levi’s girlfriend, Mackenzie Burbanks, was having a girls’ day in with a couple of her friends to watch movies.
The six boys were at their favorite coffee shop during the middle of the day. They all went out for pizza, and now they felt like getting themselves a cup of coffee. It was about 2 o’clock in the afternoon, and all six boys were sitting inside the coffee shop talking about nothing other than tennis.
Jack looked over at Kevin and realized that he wasn’t nearly as talkative as he normally is. Kevin had dark spots under his eyes, which Jack noticed earlier today, but now he didn’t look well at all. His nose was very red now.
“You alright, Kevin?” Jack questioned.
“Yeah, I’ve got a really bad cold. I thought I could do more than what I really could do,” Kevin replied.
“Yeah, take it easy.”
“I think I’m gonna head back to Cambridge soon.”
“Yeah, you probably should,” Jack said.
“I’m like really tired all of a sudden,” Kevin responded.
“Alright. Let us know when you get back.”
“I will. I just started getting a pounding headache. Didn’t hit me in the chest like it usually does.”
“Well, that’s good.”
“Yeah, I think I’m gonna head out now. I really don’t feel well at all.”
Kevin picked up his backpack off the floor and said goodbye to everyone. He headed toward the door toward the common, where he was going to pick up the red line to take him back to his apartment in Cambridge. Once he got back home, he was very likely going to fall asleep as soon as he could.
The other five boys were going to stay out until about 5 or 6 in the evening, and then they were all going to get ready for the week ahead of them.
“Kevin’s been really sick for the past couple days,” Jing said.
“He sounded really stuffed up when we all met,” Jack replied.
“Yeah, he has a bad cold. He told me that he might take tomorrow off from work to recover.”
“Yeah, hopefully he will consider that.”
“The only other time I saw him really sick was when he had the flu in college. Then, he got me sick with it,” Jing remarked.
“That’s nice of him to give you the flu!” Jack chuckled.
“I mean, I’ve seen him when he’s had a cold, but it didn’t hit him as hard as this one has. Or I might be wrong.”
“The flu sucks worse.”
“Yes, it does.”
Jack was at their table with Mike and Jing. Kevin had made it home, and by the time he took off his shoes and lay on his bed, he was passed out. Chances were pretty good that once Jing came home, Kevin would still be sleeping. Their two other roommates went to New York City for the weekend, and they were likely not coming back until at least 9 pm tonight.
Levi and Asad were at the counter looking at what desserts to get. Asad wasn’t sure what he was going to get, but Levi wanted to get something for Mackenzie.
“I’m thinking about getting Mackenzie the fruit tart. What do you think?” Levi asked Asad.
“She like strawberries, doesn’t she?” Asad responded.
“Yes, that’s her favorite fruit.”
“Are you getting sick, too? You sound really stuffed up.”
“I think so. I hope Kevin didn’t give me his cooties,” Levi said.
“He probably did,” Asad remarked.
“I took a sick day on Friday because I was really not feeling well. I feel better now, but I hate my nose right now.”
“Get Mackenzie the fruit tart!” Mike greeted Asad and Levi.
“That’s what I’m thinking about getting her!” Levi exclaimed.
“What do you guys want to do after this?”
October 20, 2018
Levi Cranston (The Magic Video Game), Jack Andrews, Asad Prejesh, and Jing Hao were at their apartment in Allston, playing card games. It was around 7 pm, and they were expecting their other friend, Kevin Maggliardi, to get to the apartment around 5:30 pm. They knew that he had some errands that he needed to run, but they had not heard from him until about 30 minutes later.
At 7:15, they heard a knock on the door, and they knew it was Kevin. Jack walked over to the door because he knew that he was going to be really shaken up.
“Hey Kevin,” Jack greeted their friend at the door.
“Hey,” Kevin responded quietly.
“We’re all here in the common area,” Jack said.
“That’s good,” Kevin replied.
“You wanna talk about it?”
“Maybe in a bit. I need to catch my breath.”
“You ran all the way here?”
Jack and Kevin walked together into the common area, where everyone else was. They noticed that Kevin was absolutely not himself. He seemed really tired and out of breath, and he was really sweaty, after sprinting two miles from the scary incident. He appeared to be very shaken up, and Jack let him lie on their couch.
Levi and Asad put away the games, so that they could focus on helping get Kevin stable. No one has ever seen him like this before.
Asad got a pillow from his room and put it on the couch for Kevin to lay his head on. Kevin lay sideways on the couch, trying really hard to catch his breath. His hands were on his chest, most likely feeling for his heartbeat.
“My heart’s pounding,” Kevin remarked quietly.
“It’s okay, buddy. You’re safe here,” Jack replied.
“So what happened?”
“I was being followed and then held at gunpoint,” Kevin said.
“Oh shit. You didn’t lose anything, did you?” Jack questioned.
“I lost like $12 in cash, but that was about it. I didn’t have my wallet on me, so I lucked out. When I gave him what I had, I distracted him, and then I bolted. I think I ran like two or three miles. And then my asthma acted up a bit, so that was great.”
“Why did he follow you in the first place?”
“I have no idea why I was a target. Maybe it was because I had my backpack on me.”
“Yeah, who knows? But, at least you’re safe.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever feared for my life.”
Jing and Asad walked over to Jing and Kevin’s apartment in Cambridge, only a 30 minute walk on foot. Their two other roommates, David Vittorio and John Harold, wanted to hit up downtown Boston in the evening, so all four boys were going to head out that way shortly.
Levi and Jack decided to stay back with Kevin. They would probably watch TV for the rest of the night and let Kevin stay over.
“Hey Kevin,” Levi got his friend’s attention after he accidentally fell asleep for a few minutes.
“Yeah?” Kevin asked softly.
“Something similar happened to me when I was a kid.”
“I used to walk home from school, and I was approached twice in eighth grade,” Levi remarked.
“Oh wow,” Kevin replied.
“Yeah. It was pretty scary. When I was walking home from school, some old guy asked me if I was cold, since I didn’t have a coat on. That terrified me, so I bolted back to my house. That was the first time, and we thought we had everything settled. Then, a month later, someone screamed random crap out of their car, and I thought it was directed at me, so I ran back to my house. That was when I was walking to school. I couldn’t go to school that day, because I was too terrified.”
“I will be.”
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