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Here is a story a friend of mine is writing. If anyone wants to help out with any suggestions it'd be much appreciated!

Birdy, New Ch. 1

WARNING: The following is a completely fictional story with scenes and language that's not appropriate for some readers. Reader discretion is advised.

The author and creators of this story also do not condone or advise repeating many of the actions of the characters, and many of the character's actions should not be attempted/emulated in real life. Consult your common sense and local laws for more information.

[align=justify][align=left][align=left] It was a bright October day in the rolling hills of Ithaca, New York. Around the small town, two universities and surrounding farmlands, the gifts of fall painted the landscape in strokes of crimson, gold and orange as far as the eye could see.
"Dang, you don't get views like this back home," a young man in a navy hoodie commented, gazing at the passing scenery from his bus seat next to the window.
"You've said that, like, twenty times already, John," replied young man sitting to John's left in a motorcycle jacket, rolling his eyes.
"Well, Jack, we don't exactly get all four seasons where I'm from," John casually shot back.
"Oh, what burdens you must endure in the beautiful paradise of Hawaii ne," Jack said with a roll of his eyes, purposefully slurring the Aloha’s state’s name in one breath.
"Hey, it ain't perfect; every place has its problems, Hawaii included,” John returned, pronouncing the island state’s name with all three syllables. “Back home food costs more there than up here on the mainland, it costs an arm and a leg to live in someplace approaching decent, gas prices are ridiculous, and we still have crim-"
"Yet everyone wants to go there," Jack cut in. "Which brings up the question: why did you come all the way here to New York? Don't they have a university in paradise?"
"Hah, yeah several, but there’s no way my mom-”
"Wait, let me rephrase that: for what reasons did you leave paradise, aside from your scholarship and mommy and little sister issues?"
John began his reply with a punch to his questioner’s shoulder. "Hey, someone has to set a good example for my little sis-"
"Again, you, setting a good example?" Jack interrupted with a snort. "Hope she has some other examples for cooking and cleaning." The young man laughed lightly as he leaned forward in his seat, narrowly avoiding another blow from John. "And another role model for punching too." He winced a second later; most likely with a new bruise in his side. "You treat your sister like this?"
"Nope; just knuckleheads like you," John said matter-of-factly, leaning back in his seat. Looking back out at the passing crimson and gold trees he continued, "And you're one to talk; who's the one that came here to avoid being cut off by his mommy and daddy?"
"Hey, it's not because they threatened to cut me off, per se; they threatened to sell my motorcycle when I wasn’t home!"
John gave his travel companion’s hazel eyes a sideways glance. "…Right...well, while you decide when to tell me the full and true story on that, back on topic." Returning his eyes to the passing scenery he could see, between the New England style homes, several trees with leaves a patchwork of green, yellow, purple, orange and red. "Another reason that I came up here is because this place isn't Hawaii. Back home we pretty much have two seasons: spring and summer. And in spring, it just gets down to the sixties and rains some. And the trees," he paused, letting out a short laugh, "they stay green most of the year, then the leaves turn brown and fall off the tree, with no special transformations like we see here." The scenery shifted to that of various shopping centers amongst lakes of concrete. Turning back to Jack, the Hawaii youth finished, "So, I figured that after nineteen years living on the rock, it was a good time for a change."
Jack stared at his friend, and shook his head after a while. "Weirdo." He pulled out his phone, gave it a few taps and snickered. "I mean, who travels over half an ocean and across a continent to see some tree leaves change color?"
"Hey, I came to see the different people too; figured a change in local culture would be an experience too."
"Whatever you say, oddball."
"But just imagine how bored and boring you would be if this oddball didn't come up here?" John smirked, folding his hands behind his head.
A half smile curled on Jack's face as he pushed John's elbow so that his palm would smack the Hawaii boy in the head. "Bored, maybe, but boring?" He scrunched up his face and shook his head, "Not a chance."
The boys exchanged a chuckle or two just as the bus came to a stop in front of the local shopping mall. Quickly hopping out, they leisurely walked into the enclosed halls of stores.
"Hm, wanna check out one of the Halloween shops?" Jack asked, unzipping his jacket, revealing, a green t-shirt that read 'Ithaca is Gorges’ beneath the black leather.
"Sure,” John shrugged. Putting his hands in his hoodie jacket pocket as they passed a long series of jewelry display cases he thought aloud, “Not much else to see here.”
"You have any better ideas as to how we may entertain ourselves in this middle of nowhere?”
John playfully nudged his biker pal. "Now now, be nice, Jack; you might offend some of the locals. And if you’re that bored, we can always go back to campus and-"
"Nope, nope, and nope; no problem sets or boring ass readings on the weekend, and-” Jack stopped mid-sentence, a rock jingle and a buzz cutting him off. Pulling out his cell phone he tapped the screen a couple of times to open an email. After reading a few lines of the message, he jerked his head back slightly. "Seriously? In Collegetown?"
"What?" John raised an eyebrow.
Jack held up his phone for his friend to read the screen.
"...dude, isn't that the fourth crime alert this year?" the Hawaii boy asked, perplexed.
"Don't ask me, it's not like I count them," Jack shrugged, putting his phone away as they turned into the nearest Halloween store.
"Someone should," John thought aloud, glancing aimlessly around at all the various Halloween props, costumes and other paraphernalia cluttered around the store. "And we probably don't hear of all the crimes, let alone all of the few that people actually report."
Jack rolled his eyes. "...Dude, it was just a strong-armed robbery."
"Yeah, a strong-armed robbery; how would you-”
Jack cut in with a mocking voice, “Feel if someone stole from me?" The motorcycle boy chuckled as John responded with an elbow to his shoulder. Replying with a shoulder shove of his own, Jack added, “You are far too predictable at times, my friend. So-”
“Suck it, and or deal with it?” John finished, raising an eyebrow. The two had reached a wall filled with Halloween masks and hats. “You, my friend, are far too predictable most of the time,” John said, tossing Jack a dunce cap, “so answer the question.”
Jack snatched the hat out of the air, making sure to flip John off as he returned it to the rack. "I’d feel shitty of course, counselor," he replied with mild sarcasm, tossing a huge pink Styrofoam cowboy hat at John. "Great in part due to the fact that I know no amount of bleed hearts like you will get my shit back."
"And why is that, oh wise smart-ass?" John asked with equal sarcasm, putting on the hat as he tossed an oversized British police helmet at Jack.
"Because," he paused, putting on the hat with both hands and slouching enough so that his stomach would stick out, "with the shit descriptions like the one from that alert, there's not much of a lead to go off of," he paused again, tossing off the police helmet like a Frisbee and grabbing an oversized crown for himself, "and our lovely local campus security and cops probably have more pressing fish to try to fry."
John swapped Jack's crown with an old man mask. Pulling on a full-face black and white bird mask he replied, "Maybe, but with all the cameras and social media stuff out there, you think they’d easily be able to find some clues out there."
"Heh, well, if you really wanna get into it, Johnny boy,” Jack began, flicking the beak on John’s mask, “putting certain privacy issues aside, even if people are nosier these days and even if you get access to the info,” he paused, putting on a Batman mask, “who would give a big enough shit to put the info out there in the first place, and or help to put all the disjointed clues together?"
John pecked the Dark Knight mask between the eyes before pulling of his bird mask. Tossing Jack a jester hat with a jingle of its bells, he replied, "Someone should."
“Yeah, well who-”
“HEY!” came a woman’s voice, “GIVE THAT BACK!”
The two college boys looked towards the source of the noise outside of the store. A tall figure bolted past the entrance and too the right in jeans and a black hoodie, the hood pulled up and a purse in hand. A middle aged woman soon came trailing after him at a much slower pace.
“Huh, there’s something,” Jack mused aloud.
John turned to face Jack, only to find a jester hat and Batman mask flying towards his face. As he reached up to catch the costume pieces, he felt the bird’s mask being snatched out of his hands. “Hey! Jack-” he stopped as he realized his friend was running away.
Jack continued on, putting on the bird mask and zipping up his jacket as he went. Ignoring the angry store clerk, he weaved to the side of the store’s sensors and out the door and to the right. Hearing no alarm blaring behind him, he sped after the hooded guy and middle-aged woman.
John twisted his head down and to the right, keeping his eyes on the store entrance as he let out a small groan. Cursing under his breath he tossed the Halloween goods onto the rack, and sprinted back to the mall. On his way out he pressed twenty dollars into the store clerk’s chest. “Sorry, this should cover it!” he called as he exited the store and chased after his friend.
Spotting the black and white bird mask turning left in the crowd, John headed towards the food court in the center of the mall. Seconds later, his phone began to ring. Glancing at the screen, he answered, “What the hell, Jack?! Wh-”
“Whoa, chill out, slow poke,” Jack said, a hint of laughter in his voice. In a lower tone he added, “Head to the Sears entrance by the theater parking lot; we can cut him off that way.”
“Wait, what?!”
“Oh! And get your camera ready. Toodles!” Before John could say another word, Jack hung up his phone with a satisfying tap of his thumb. ‘This trip to the mall is turning out more exciting than I thought,’ the masked youth thought with a grin, stowing his phone away in his pocket.
Following the running black hoodie into Sears, Jack soon passed a middle aged woman bent over, hands on her knees. Glancing back he realized that it was the same woman that screamed for her purse. “Huh, not bad for her age, I guess,” he thought aloud. When he faced forward again, he quickly came to a stop. Glancing around he muttered to himself, “Aw shit, where did he go?”
Looking around, Jack found nothing out of the ordinary, save a few odd glances his way. ‘Alrighty…no one running, no one at the door, no one screaming, staring or pointing at anyone else but me…So-oo.’ He pivoted on his heels and faced the entrance to the fitting room. “Door number one it is.”
As Jack strolled into the fitting area’s hall of doors, he noticed that while there was no store attendant here, a female pair exiting the area glanced his way and over their shoulders, whispering something to each other. Smirking to himself, Jack began to whistle an old nursery rhyme, recalling the lyrics as he went.
‘All around the mulberry bush,’ Jack put his hands in his pockets, noting that all of the doors were closed. Bending down slightly he thought and whistled, ‘The monkey chased the weasel.’
Jack grinned widely when he noticed one pair male shoes with a familiar black hoodie and bag next to them. ‘That’s the way the money goes.’
He stood up straight and stood in the middle of the hallway, right before the thief’s stall door. He leaned forward and knocked on the door of the thief’s stall three times before returning his hand to his pocket.
“Pop goes the weasel,” Jack finished, in a scratchy voice the other man could certainly hear. The young man could not help but chuckle when he heard the other guy’s feet shuffle in the stall.
Continuing in the same gruff voice the masked youth asked, “Having fun stealing from old ladies? Kinda old fashioned, don’t you think?”
The thief lifted the purse off the ground, the contents of the bag softly rattling. The door to his stall jiggled slightly, the door tapping the frame ever so lightly.
“Well, in this day and age it’s probably not worth much,” Jack continued, “she’ll probably cancel her credit card long before you can use it. But, who knows...” He trailed off, taking a big step back towards the exit as he did so.
Suddenly, dressing stall door burst open, and the thief rushed out shoulder first. But instead of tackling Jack, he merely collided with the door across from him. Cursing under his breath, he rubbed his shoulder under a blue rain jacket, the hood up and covering his eyes. As he turned around to face the masked boy, he saw a flash and heard the click of a camera.
“Maybe she can just settle for your mug shot,” Jack cackled, grinning from ear to ear behind his mask as he tossed his phone in his left hand.
The thief paused for a second and took a half step back. He Jack up and down, his grip tightening on the old woman’s purse. Then, after pulling his hood lower over his face, he lurched for Jack’s cell phone.
At the sight of movement, Jack took firm hold of his phone. Just as the thief was about to collide into him, Jack turned to the side, and ducked down. While descending, Jack kicked the sole of his foot at the back of the thief’s knee just as the man was about to pass him. As the thief began to fall, Jack reached for the purse and got his finger tips on the leather strap.
Then, the thief yanked the purse closer to his body and out of Jack’s grasp. Rolling forward and out of the dressing room area he came to a standing position. He looked at Jack once and muttered something akin to, “Fucking freak,” before bolting to the parking lot exit.
Jack followed the thief, chancing a glance at his phone as it vibrated once. Smirking as he read a text message, he took in a breath and called to the thief, “Wait till the Dean hears what you did!”
The thief glanced over his shoulder at Jack as he pushed the door open, slowing down only for a moment. He soon picked up the pace as he looked forward. Once he made it past the door, his leg caught on something fairly large on the ground. He pitched forward and fell face first into the pavement with a thud. Turning over with a groan, he felt his legs slide down and to the ground unceremoniously. He was then greeted by the sight of a tall college aged guy in a gray hoodie standing up over him. Before the thief could do anything, the guy in the gray hoodie took a picture of his face.
“Damn that hurt,” John muttered, rubbing the left side of his back as he straightened up. Looking down at the thief he said, “Before you do anything else stupid, take a look around you.” He tilted his head to his right.
The thief followed John’s lead and looked to his left. There he found a very unhappy mall cop, standing atop his white three wheeled Segway. He looked to his right and found yet another, similarly disgruntled security officer. Looking to the sky he let out a long breath.
The Hawaii boy turned to the mall cop on his right. “Do you want this picture, or-”
“No, you’ve done enough, son,” the security officer said, getting off his vehicle. Taking the purse away from the thief he added warmly, “Thank you for your help.”
“Hey, what about me?” came Jack’s voice in a raspy hue.
John and the security officers turned and found Jack standing in the doorway of Sears, the bird’s mask still on. The security guards exchanged a glance, their brows furrowing almost in unison.
John’s right eye twitched slightly as he saw one of the guards reach for his walkie-talkie. Quickly he closed the distance between himself and Jack, and wrapped his arm around his friend’s neck. “Oh you nut, fine,” he began to forcefully lead Jack back into the store, ignoring his protests, “I’ll pay for one round tonight at Chapter House, just quit being such a weirdo.”
“Hey,” one of the security officers called.
John turned his head towards the mall cop, locking his arm so that Jack had to remain still. “Yes, sir?”
“You boys stop in a Halloween store today?” the officer asked, his counterpart dealing with the thief.
John glanced up for a moment. “We stopped in one earlier. We’re gonna go again though; forgot to buy something we need for Halloween.” He then added innocently, “Why?”
The mall cop gave a long hard look at the two college boys. “Nothing,” he said after a while. “Just stay out of trouble and thanks for the help.”
John nodded towards the officer and continued to lead Jack out of the store. Once they were out of earshot and sight of the mall cops, he released his friend.
“Damn, thanks for the headlock, jackass” Jack said, punching John in the shoulder blade as they walked through and out of Sears.
“You wanna get in trouble, dumbass?” John tossed back, returning the blow.
“I would’ve talked my way out of it. But, in any case,” he paused, slapping John’s lower back, evoking a small yelp of pain from the guy. “Seriously? The old ‘I-gotta-tie-my-shoe’ trick?”
“Dick, it worked, didn’t it?” John retorted, punching Jack’s shoulder a harder than last time. “Jeez, and why did you go and do that anyway?”
“Do what?” Jack asked, pulling off the mask and taking off his jacket.
John shoved a thumb back from when they came. “That!”
“What? It was your idea.”
“My idea?”
“Yeah! You said someone should help! So I helped.” He came to a stop in the food court, getting in line at the Sicilian Delight stand. After ordering a soda and a few garlic knots he added, “And even before you took your sweet time joining in,” he paused, paying for his food, “I was actually having fun.”
Jack took a bite out of the seasoned bread and turned around to find his friend staring at him skeptically with those dark brown eyes of his. “What?”
John shook his head and turned around to continue walking. “You’re a piece of work, Jack.”
“Hey, the old lady is going to get her bag back at least right?”
“Yeah, probably, but,” John paused, stealing a bread knot from Jack, “in the meantime you gotta pay for the mask you stole.”
“Hey!” Jack tried and failed to retrieve his food. “Well, you covered for me, right?”
“Yeah, tried, but you wanna get charged for shoplifting.”
Jack groaned. “Fine.”
“And you owe me twenty bucks.”
“Hey, what are friends for?”
Jack punched John in the shoulder. “Dick.”
“And here I was, just about to complement you on your bright idea to bring the mall cops.”
“Oh, we wouldn’t want that, now would we; the universe might collapse during your moment of humility as you complemented someone else for a change.”
“Hah, very funny, but-”
“Just go pay for the dumb mask; I’ll wait out here while you do it,” John finished, setting himself down on a wooden bench outside the Halloween shop.
Jack turned into the shop, flipping John the bird as he went. He chuckled to himself as John returned the favor.
John leaned back on the bench and let out a long sigh as he looked up at the fluorescent lighting. “Help, huh?” he mused aloud to himself. Lifting his head back, he found Jack leaning on the counter in the store, most likely trying to charm his way out of charges with the angry store clerk. Staring at the bird mask, John placed his elbows on his knees and laced his fingers together. After a while, as Jack came back, he leaned back again, a small smirk of a smile on his face. “We’re going to need more people for that.”
“Say what?” Jack asked, putting the mask on his head backwards, the bird’s beak facing out behind him.
“Not much.” John flicked the mask’s beak. “What would you say to making a team to help out others like we helped that lady today?”
Jack blinked a couple of times and chuckled. With a wide smirk he answered, “Sounds like fun and I’m in. Let’s do it.”



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First thing:


If you could separate the lines it would be much better. As it is right now, I can't read it to give proper feedback.


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Give me a bit. I forgot that it wouldn't keep the formatting


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Ok, here's a link to the google doc for Ch. 1