Chapter 3

Aaron Duran

“Aaron, come on! Are you ready?…Aaron! AARON!!!” my mother screamed her loudest, but to me it sounded like a whisper so I thought it was my imagination. Or that it was just coming from my video game. Yep, a typical Saturday morning for me.

Suddenly my headphones were yanked off my head. In that second I pulled from the world of Star Wars to the world of the screeching mothers.

“Aaron Thomas Duran! I have called you for a total of twenty-seven times now! Now do you want to go audition for the Disney thing or not?”


Like I had a choice. She would have dragged me by my ear if I had said no.

When we arrived at Disney, we were escorted to the backstage area building beside what used to be The American Idol Experience. Now it was some boring Frozen show.

When I walked into the area behind the TAIE I noticed how many people had come for the auditions. Apparently only four schools had been asked to participate, but it seemed that all of Central Florida had come.

Despite being in the sea of so many already sweaty Floridians, I kept my cool. No one was going to be as cool as me – The Aaron Duran. As far as I was concerned nobody felt as confident as I did.

Suddenly I noticed some kids from my school. I let my mom know where I was heading and walked over.

“Sup?” I said to no one in particular.
“Hey, Ron,” replied Brady Landers, “Nothing much with me except I’m surprised to see you here.”

I smirked. “You underestimating me?”

“Nope. Just surprised to see you anywhere early,” he smirked back victoriously.

“Hey, I am up early everyday,” I argued.

He laughed, “I know that! It must have taken a miracle to wake up your mom before the crack of dawn.”

Now I knew where he was coming from. I nodded agreeing with Brady. “The money,” I said explaining the miracle, “She’ll probably kill me if I don’t get the part.”

Brady laughed, but I stared at him. “Oh, you are serious?”

Shrugging I said, “You never can tell with my mom. I guess it depends if she gets her coffee before she checks her gmail.”

“Hey guys!” said a voice behind me. Turning my head around I caught a glimpse of really long Rapunzel worthy black hair. Then with my body facing the source of the voice, I realized it was one of the zombie-girls from school yestrday. Behind her were two other girls, her sister and Riley Hinderton.

“Uh…hello,” I failed at being cool. That was a first. “What’s up? I’m Jaden Duran…I mean: Hello, I’m Jaden and then what’s up?”

She smiled. Whoa what a smile. “Leeyia. This is my twin-“

“Persephani,” interrupted the short, black haired, and green eyed girl, “I can introduce myself. Thanks.”

“Sorry,” Leeyia said.

“Ello,” said another new voice, “What’s going on?”

“Hey, Quinton,” Brady said. I inclined my head at him. Quinton Orlando was the kind of guy who was born a nerd. He himself said he was destined for nerdness. Okay maybe I said that, but still.

Quinton was indeed geeky looking. With his glasses, dark short curly black hair, and pale face (and that was because he’s part Irish) he looked like a perfect geek/nerd. Ask him anything about Star Wars, Star Trek, math, science, ect., ect., and not only will he give you a perfect answer, but he’ll also give you the link, scene, or textbook on where to find the answer. It’s kinda hard not to hate him. Then again it’s hard not to be his friend because he doesn’t rub it in your face that he’s really smart.

“Hey. I’m Persephani…and this-“

“Leeyia here,” said she as she gave a glance at her twin. “Nice try.”

“Whatever,” said Persephani who couldn’t stop smiling.

There was a slight pause between our group. It was already crowded in the street area between Idol and the ABC commentary. Kids from three different high schools sat or stood waiting for the auditions to begin; oh joy!

Riley who stood next to me grabbed the end of her wrinkled nose. She caught us boys staring at her and informed our quizzical faces with, “Someone stinks…like BO.”

We cracked up laughing – all six of us. Except I stopped when I realized where the stench was coming from. Jacob Hinderton.

He looked our way while the girls laughed at Quinton who was pretending to smell his armpits. “Ewww! Oops! Boy, did I forget to scrub there!”

Brady joined in before he saw my signal, “Disgusting! You smell like an old deceased man who never took a shower in his life and died while running his last marathon.”

He finished saying the word “marathon” slowly and halfheartedly. Because just then Jacob Hinderton, our neighborhood bully who fortunately went to a different high school than his sister came over and stared down at Brady. Also, that’s saying something because Brady is like six feet three. Jacob, on the other hand, he’s really five foot nine but has really long feet; he tries to look intimidating but he loses the effect when standing on tippy toes.

“You think it’s funny? Try living with two sisters who take an hour shower each!” he yelled in Brady’s face.

“Smells like you need an hour shower,” Quinton whispered but not quietly enough. Jacob lifted his fist but-

“Jacob! I will seriously text mom!”

He turned to face his sister, not Riley but a bigger version of Riley. “Really? How many times as Mom told you to leave the neighbors’ kids alone.”

She walked right up to him in between him and Quinton, then stepped back hurriedly onto Quinton’s feet who twisted himself out from under her. “Sorry,” she said.

To her little brother, “Seriously consider taking a shower, please. Well, I’m off. Pick you up in a few hours, Ry.”

Riley nodded and glared at her older brother, “I don’t take an hour shower, fyi.”

Leeyia didn’t look too happy just then either so she added, “Try tomato juice. It should help get the skunk off you.”

Jacob gave her a cold look and walked off. Everyone stared at Leeyia. “What?” she asked.

I stared at her in amazement, “Skunk?”

The boys nodded.

“What?” she asked again, looking at her sister as if she knew.

Brady began, “We’ve tried to find a suitable name for our friend.”

“And skunk fits him perfectly,” Riley stated like she was a part of our plans.  Again we laughed.

“Welcome to Disney’s Hollywood Studios!” a female amplified voice filled the air, “The auditions for the new DHIs are now to begin! But we do ask that you fill the line provided which starts at Sorcerer Mickey’s hat.  Please no running, pushing, or skipping ahead in line.  Thank you and may your dreams come true!”

Quinton Orlando

Here they come, I thought, and there’s more than a 50% chance someone may trample over you.


“Mission 1, Objective: Reach Mickey’s hat before stampede reaches you. Sounds pretty easy. Ready Kingdom Keepers?” Aaron, the gamer, said.

“Mission accepted,” I joined in.

“Theyyyyy’rrrrrrrreeee coooommmming!” informed Riley.

Brady hesitated, “Uh guys, where’s Leeyia?”

Persephani quickly explained, “She’ll catch up.”

“Oh meh gursh! Rrruuuuuunn!” said a running-for-her-life Leeyia. We all took her advice to heart except for Brady; we ran.

As I was trying to calculate how fast we were running, we all heard a thud and a slight scream of pain, followed by more screams and one or two thuds.

“Lee!” shouted a black blob as I shot past her. Ahead of me, Riley and Aaron stopped and turned around. I ran past them too and was the first to reach the entry to the audition line.

I turned around, out of breath and began to walk down the line when I realized what the first thud was. Leeyia had been shoved to the ground and stepped on by the crowd of high-schoolers.