Me: ATTENTION EVERYONE!
*Everyone shuts up*
Me: I would like to tell you all about something very bad in the world.
Max: *Yawns in boredom* Well, I can tell you that the Doomsday group is trying to kill all the humans in the world.
*Everyone begins talking*
Me: SHUT IT!
*Everyone shuts it*
Me: *sighs* Okay. What I wanted to tell you about is this man called Joseph Kony.
Angel: He's the bad guy, right? *bites cookie*
*I smack my forehead*
Me: Of course he's the bad guy. Now gimme a cookie. *I snatch cookie* He's in Uganda right now, and he's abducting children. He's been doing this for twenty-nine years.
Dr. Martinez: That's awful!
Me: No duh. The International Criminal Court has a list of criminals, and he's at the top.
Max: What for?
Fang: *crosses arms* Crimes of murder, rape, abduction, sexual slavery, stuff like that.
Max: You knew about this?
Max: And you didn't tell me?
Me: The point is that we need to stop him.
Fang: And how do you suppose we do that?
Gazzy: Ooh! I know! We could drop, like, a bomb on—
Me & Max: No.
Me: All we need to do is make sure that everyone knows about him.
Max: Your point being . . . ?
Me: *Groans in frustration* Okay. See this headband? *Points to headband*
Me: What does it say?
Angel: It says KONY 2012 *bites cookie*
Me: Exactly. I wore this headband today and yesterday, and now loads more people know about it.
Max: I don't do headbands.
Me: Well, you can do a whole bunch of other stuff. I sent everyone the news. Facebook, Twitter, texts, emails, phone calls, everything. There's a video on YouTube; I'll put the link on my profile. And I put it up on my blog; I'll put the link for that in my profile as well.
Max: What, you just know about Kony and that makes it all better?
Me: *sighs* It's a little more complicated than that. But yes, that's the general idea.
Dr. Martinez: Explain, please.
Me: The US government sent a group of 100 military experts to Uganda to help train troops there, and to find Kony. But the government still retains the right to cancel the mission and withdraw those troops from Uganda.
Max: When did you guys get here?
Edmund: Oh, we've been here the whole time.
Lucy: I think that Kony is a horrible person!
Me: ANYWAY, Barack Obama only sent those people because the public demanded it. If the US government thinks that not enough people know or care about arresting Kony, then they'll cancel the mission.
Max: So we need something really big. Something that can tell everyone about Kony.
Me: *nods* I know. KONY 2012 is the campaign to get Kony arrested this year. In order to do that, we need to spread the word.
Peter: We've been over this—
Me: I'm not finished yet, Your Kingliness!
*Other characters snicker*
Me: On April 20th, at sundown, people all over the world will meet. That's when we cover the night. We blanket every street of every city and town and neighborhood that we can reach with posters, banners, flyers, and stickers. The world will have gone to bed on Friday, and will wake up to a KONY 2012 world.
Max: Yeah, tiny problem.
Angel: There is the whole, not-enough-people-care thing.
Me: That's why we need to spread the message. Tell everyone. You guys go all over the world, go spread the word. Tell people, tell everyone about this.
*Flock nods to each other*
Susan: What about us? What can we do?
Me: Go back to your own archive. Tell every author there that they have to spread the word. Shoot an arrow with a message attached, or something like that. Spread the word, and save these kids. You guys got that?
*nods all around*
Me: Now gimme cookie *grabs cookie from Angel*
Author's Note: Okay, so I hope you guys like how I explained KONY 2012. Everyone, help us! Help Uganda! Help the world! Help these kids!
Disclaimer: Newsies, Maximum Ride, Chronicles of Narnia, all not mine. Anything you don't recognize, mine.
January 8th, 1900
I'm sorry I haven't written in while, but things have been busy.
Pa's job is paying well, and Les is doing well in school.
I found out, though, that David dropped out of school. Instead, he's been selling papes in the morning and the afternoon.
He made me promise not to tell, so I can't.
Les is getting better with his slingshot. Piper and Racetrack are still together, though now Piper and Jill are friends. I asked her about it, and she told me, "If it can't be me, might as well be her." She has a point.
Almost every day after work, Anita's disappeared to Brooklyn. I think to see Spot, but I don't know for sure. I remember she once mentioned to me that she has family in Brooklyn.
The boys are coming along well. Les and Genie and I have been teaching them nearly every day how to read, and they're learning fast. As soon as they can write well, and read well, we're going to teach them sums.
I caught Blink the other day in Central Park. He was talking with a girl, and I was suspicious, because the girl wasn't Genie. But then he gave her some money, and she gave him a necklace, and I knew he was buying something for Genie. He gave it to her today. It's a pretty necklace, nothing expensive, with a green-ish pendant.
Today after work I went to the lodging house like always. David and Havoc were talking in hushed voices, so I just walked right past him.
Jack greeted me with a grin. "Just in time for poker!" He said. He was at this table, with Racetrack and Skittery and Mush and Blink. Poker.
There's this thing that the guys do. When they play real poker, with money and cigars and chips and everything, they get their sweethearts to sit on their laps, for luck.
So I sat on his lap, like Piper sat on Racetrack's, and like Genie sat on Blink's. Skittery and Mush didn't have anyone on their laps, but that didn't seem to faze them.
With me on his lap, Jack won lots of money from Racetrack, who either always loses or always wins.
Jack won fifty cents from the other boys today. Eventually, the other boys learned their lesson and gave up.
Jack then pocketed his money, and I stood up. He stood, and kissed me. I smiled, and Piper winked at me.
Genie shooed away the littler boys, who were gaping at me.
Havoc and David came back inside, and Havoc told Jack, "Jefe, Conlon is coming." She didn't even bother with me.
Jack and I ran outside. So did nearly everyone else. The little kids, though, stayed inside.
Conlon was storming forward, silver eyes blazing. He gripped the arm of a girl who looked like she'd run through Brooklyn naked, in that she was beaten black and blue, her clothes were torn, and she had a black eye. She was Hispanic, I could tell from her dark hair and eyes, and her dusky tan skin. She had a newsie cap in one hand, and her extensive hair was dirty and ragged.
Jack crossed his arms. "Spot, you bettah have a reason to've soaked a broad."
Conlon stopped short before him, but instead of the normal spit-and-shake that would have been a newsie greeting, he just glared at everyone.
"No me tocas!" The girl shrieked in Spanish as Conlon tightened his grip.
"Me newsies caught 'er round the 'Hattan bordah." Conlon said, ignoring the girl. She couldn't have been more than thirteen or fourteen. "Said 'er name is Maria."
"Your point?" Jack demanded.
"I could 'er on da Brooklyn Bridge," Spot insisted. "An' she was disguised as a boy. Me newsies t'ought she was an intruder, an' soaked 'er."
"And you're bringing her to me?" Jack demanded incredulously.
"You've got broads in 'Hattan," Conlon said, and shoved Maria at us. Havoc caught her as Marai cursed in Spanish, calling Spot all sorts of bad names. "I can't leave 'er in Brooklyn."
Maria said something in Spanish.
Havoc translated this as, "She can't understand you, but she knows you're talking about you. And she wants you to go jump off the Brooklyn Bridge."
Conlon looked at Jack as if that proved his point.
Havoc and Genie and Piper and I took Maria inside as the boys continued to talk.
"Ven," Havoc told Maria. "Te traeremos ropa nueva,"
Genie went to explain to the younger boys who Maria was, and Havoc and Piper disappeared into the girls' room, to look for clothes for the Hispanic girl.
"Do you speak English?" I asked Maria.
Maria shrugged. "A leetul," she said in a heavy accent. And I thought Havoc had a heavy accent.
"Where are you from?" I asked.
"Colombia," Maria said. "My perrents died, and brohtherr and me came to United States."
"Where did you learn English?" I asked, grabbing a brush from where Genie had left it after a bit of primping.
"I live in Mexico for two yearr." Maria said. "Brohtherr live in Harlem."
"Is he still out there?"
Maria shrugged. "He join gang, and I not seen him since."
I pulled the brush through her thick hair. "Do you miss him?"
Maria's voice went quiet. "Evehree day."
"Couldn't you visit him?"
"I try. Gang jefe try to stab me."
Havoc came back with an armful of clothes and said, "You need a nickname,"
Maria peered at her. She didn't understand.
Havoc understood. "Un apodo."
Maria nodded. "How do I get a neekname?"
"I think something along the lines of 'Spic.'" Piper muttered. Maria smiled, because she knew it was a joke, though she might have only understood one word. Havoc, though, glared at Piper.
"No le dices nada," Maria said before Havoc could open her mouth. "No era con mal intento,"
Well, apparently the Spanish and the Hispanic are very different.
"Esperanza," Maria said. I don't know what it means, but Havoc nodded.
"I like it," Genie announced, and I smiled.
"Anza for short?" I asked, and Maria's brows furrowed in confusion.
"Short?" She held her hand out, palm down, like she was measuring height.
"No," Havoc explained. "Porque es mas facil, te llamaremos Anza. Esta bien?"
Maria smiled, and nodded. It's not a traditional newsie name, I guess, but it's a nice name. Well, maybe it's a traditional newsie name in Spanish, but not in English.
Jack came back inside, and told us that Maria would stay in Manhattan, at least for a little while. We told him her new name. He agreed, it's a pretty name.
But I ran outside to catch up with Conlon.
"Spot!" I called.
He was walking away, towards the Brooklyn Bridge. HE turned when he heard me.
"Yeah, doll?" He asked.
"Don't call me that," I said as I slowed to a stop.
"Can I 'elp you?" He asked, one eyebrow raised.
"Have you seen Anita lately?" I asked. "She disappears sometimes, and she says she goes to Brooklyn."
Conlon looked at me. "Maybe I've seen 'er, maybe I 'aven't. Eidah way, it ain't yer bidness, is it?"
"She's my friend," I argued. "It is my business."
Spot glared at me for one more moment before saying, "I seen 'er once or twice. Don' tell 'er I told you, else I'll have to shut her up once she comes rantin' an' ravin'." And with that he was gone.
Anita hasn't been to Brooklyn?
Or, maybe she has and Spot isn't telling. I don't know what to think. Normally, I would as Anita's aunt, which is who she lives with, but her aunt is really mean, and she probably wouldn't tell me anything even if she did know something.
More later. Ma's coming.
So? Whaddaya think? It's mostly just the beginning of drama; I'll get to the actual drama later on.
Also, help support the KONY 2012 campaign: Joseph Kony and his crimes must be stopped, for the good of Uganda and the world.
That these crimes have been committed right under our noses only makes it worse.
Save the world, one problem at a time.
Make Kony Famous.
Make Him Visible.
Stop at Nothing.
Fight for Justice for Uganda's Children.
We are Shaping Human History.
-Lucy Conlon, Fanfiction author, proud supporter of the KONY 2012 campaign and the Invisible Children Inc.
What You Do or Do Not Do Will Forever Change the World