Written by Joshua Croyle
Illustration by Noah Ridenour
Hi, my name’s Kayla! I’m a high school student and SuperVillain-in-training. Naturally, I go to SuperVillainy High.
Anyway, I was sitting in my second class of the day, Alias Unleashed. I was trying to come up with a witty SuperVillain name for myself. Today was the final day of the fall semester, so it was time for students to submit their names to the school board (though some students believe only Principal Royman looks at the forms) before they were either officially accepted or declined. I’d been trying to figure out a good alias for myself, but nothing was coming to me that wasn’t already copyrighted.
“Kayla Wruffe!” The teacher, Ms. Patricia, called my name, snapping me out of my mental block.
“Busted…” A guy in the seat behind me chuckled.
“Oh?” I turned around. “And what’s your SuperVillain name, Simon?”
Simon Pence was one of six other students who along with me made up the roster of Evil 101, the school’s equivalent of freshmen. We weren’t all the same age—I was 15, but Simon was 14—yet we still managed to be an odd sort of team together.
Simon gulped. “Uh, I could be called… The Jester?”
Ms. Patricia cleared her throat. “Miss Wruffe!”
“Y-yes, ma’am?” My voice shook. Walking up to her desk, I struggled to look Ms. Patricia in the eye. One eye, mind you. It was green and hairy, with some crusty stuff along the edges. Her auburn hair was tied back in a bun, carefully arranged so as to not cover her hunched and pointed shoulders. Her smile was toothless, save for one lone fang on the left side of her mouth.
“I have a job for you,” she said. “You think you can help me out?”
I sighed, relieved. As long as it wasn’t about my bad guy name, I loved to do favors for people. “Okay, sure.”
“I need you to get me the list of all copyrighted SuperVillain names we have on record,” she said. “I’ve just had them printed out in the library. Go fetch them, and then come right back.”
I only needed to hear the words “go fetch,” and my body began to tingle intensely. I smiled. Initially sprinting down the hall, I took to the ground, crawling on all-fours, as I began to transform. Dark brown fur began to cover my hands, feet, and every other part of my body. (Don’t ask where my clothes go, I don’t know either). I stuck my tongue out, grinning. I was a dog. That was my super power!
I pranced through the halls, smiling at anyone I saw, and they’d either wave or scoff. I didn’t mind. I loved to feel the wind shoving its way against me, trying to pull me back. I felt evil just cutting through the once-peaceful air, rebelling against the forces of Mother Nature.
I turned into the next hallway of lockers, and accidentally bumped into some guy, knocking him flat onto the ground. He was short, had wild green hair, and was the owner of a pair of glasses…Which were now crunched under my paw. Oops.
“Oh, sorry!” I said. “I didn’t see you there! Can I help fix your glasses?”
“My glasses?!” he cried. “What happened to my glasses?!?”
“Oh, uh…” I bolted up from where I was, leaving the poor fella without his glasses anymore. I shot down the hall like a bullet, my head hung low. I was a bad dog.
Wait… I thought. Bad dog… Could that be my name?
I paused in thought for a moment, and just then I felt somebody topple over me. It was Mira, from Evil 202. She looked pretty angry. Her hair was curly and black, her eyes were thin and veiled in dark mascara, her lips were oozing with dark red liquid, and oh yeah—below her waist were eight gigantic spider legs.
“You insufferable fool! You bumbling oaf! You wretched… Uh… Wretch!” she hissed, shooting a web towards the lockers on the other side of the room, and allowing it to shoot her down the hall.
None of those names sounded very nice, I decided. Bad dog doesn’t sound that nice, either. But I’m sure good dog wouldn’t fit at all. Grrr…
I started foaming at the mouth, letting my canines show through my grimace. I sped down the hallway, trying to find the library without anymore people hurting my feelings. I shoved through large crowds of students, knocking them over or trampling on them. They all shouted in fury, “You [CENSORED]!”
I’d never been called that before. I’m pretty sure the school board would be upset if I submitted that name. After turning the next corner, I stopped. My paws were tired of running. I was tired of stalling. My body began the reverse transformation, and I was 15 year-old Kayla Wruffe again. I slumped to the ground, buried my head in my hands, and broke down into tears. I’ll admit, that’s not my usual impulse, but it was a bad day, okay?
Someone came up to me, looking concerned. His skin was green, but in that lighting, it looked golden. His familiar amphibious features looked contorted with concern. He flopped down to my level, bending his knees, and brushed the hair out of my eyes.
“Hey,” he said. “Can I help you with anything?”
I sniffled. “Nah… Thanks, Gorph. I’ll be fine.”
Gorph cracked a smile. “What do you need?”
“Um… If you could grab the list of SuperVillain names for me from the library, that’d be awesome.”
“Okay. “He hopped down the hall. “Be right back!”
In a few minutes, he returned with the paper.
“Need anything else?” he said.
“No, I’m alright.”
He raised his eyebrows, letting my words hang in the air until they went stale.
“All right, all right…” I laughed, but the seriousness of my predicament dulled my spirits. “I didn’t get my SuperVillain name like I wanted to. I’m probably gonna get an F in class. I broke some guy’s glasses, got in trouble with Mira Webb, got yelled at by the other students, and…” I glanced around so nobody would hear me. My eyes filled with tears again. “I have ticks.”
“Gross,” he said, sitting down next to me.
I chuckled. “Tell me about it. And you don’t even wanna know about some things you go through when you’re a pubescent dog.”
“Girl, I eat flies, remember?” Gorph’s awkward smile raised my spirits like it did every time we talked. (Don’t tell him I said that).
Y’know, Kayla,” he said, nervously scratching the back of his head. “If you wanna hang out during lunch, I brought enough food for two.”
I smiled, lifting his chin with my finger so he’d look me in the eyes. “Thanks, Gorphyobb.”
“Actually, I’m going by The Frog Prince, now.” He blushed.
“I’m not calling you that.” I smirked, jokingly.
I gave him a big hug, took the villain name sheet, and began the long walk down the hallway. Long, that is, if you were a regular student. I stuck my tongue out, laughing, and bounded through the hall, a dog once again. If anyone dropped their books or got their homework or something along the way, I’d bound over and help them out. Except for Mira. I tripped her.
I was having a grand old time messing with bullies, aiding students, or fetching their books.
I glanced at the sheet in my hands, scanning for one particular name. It wasn’t there, just like I’d hoped. My tail wagged. I pranced into Alias Unleashed, caught my breath, and allowed myself to turn back to normal. I handed Ms. Patricia the sheet.
She glared at me. “Ms. Wruffe, I also have yet to see your homework. What name have you decided to take on for your SuperVillain persona?”
Simon giggled behind me. “Hey Kayla, I got my name all figured out. Just call me Mr. Slapstick.”
“Not a chance, Pence,” I said. “And don’t worry, Ms. Patricia. I have my name.”
“And that would be…?” she leaned in close, tipping her chair forward. I smiled.