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PYRAMINX - Chapter 1

PYRAMINX - Chapter 1

By Lela S.

Chapter 1: Conspicuous Cubers




Again, I'm cubing before bed. I know, I know. Solving the Rubik's Cube at this time is just a big bad habit. I mean, wait... it's ALREADY 11:31 PM? WAIT, WHAT?

Before my birthday on May 24, algorithms like (y') U2 R2' U2 R U R' U R2 meant absolutely nothing to me. They were nonsense. Back then, I would have snickered at Rubik's Cubes.

But ever since then, my life changed. And that day was when I became a cuber girl.

On the day of my birthday, I received a mysterious package in the mail. It was addressed to KK3, which is my pen name that I use for secret alternate accounts. Nobody knows about it but me. My real name is Kaia. And I was seriously spooked.

But my curiosity overcame my fear in a split second. I tore open the package as if it was a gift on Christmas Day. I don't know why. It was as if the package pulled at me magnetically. At the time, I didn't know it, but now I know: inside it was a Rubik's Cube.

I was glued to the cube. For the next few days, I stumbled around the house, woozily, trying to memorize complex algorithms from the internet and improve my speed. In one weekend, I had decreased my time from 1 minute 30 seconds, to 30 seconds and change.

Between May 24 and now, June 16, I had managed to get into a lot of trouble. Another girl in my class, Ariana Gold, who's also another speedcuber almost as good as I am, had twisted the corners of almost all of my cubes (I fixed all of them eventually, don't worry) and she even broke one of my 5x5s and 6x6s beyond repair (I bought new ones, and I made sure that she couldn't touch them).

Also, cubes aren't even allowed in most of my classes! The click-click sound of a cube being solved drives all of the teachers crazy. For me, that sound is a lullaby. The teachers just confiscate all of my cubes one by one by one as if they don't have a care in the world. It infuriates me. I hate it.

But now I'm listening to music while solving the cube, looking at a poster of algorithms on my wall while my hands turn effortlessly. My eyes are growing droopy but they still sparkle with excitement. This is the only time where I can cube without being restrained by anything or anyone.

And my times keep getting faster. 29 seconds, 28, 27... it's getting harder to shave off mere milliseconds nowadays. But I keep going. Yawn. I fell asleep. The cube was still in my hands as I woke up. And that’s pretty much how every day went. I dismissed the random cube package without a thought.

So as the days passed, I just minded my own business around school. I wasn’t really a nerd or anything like that. I mean, I got A’s on every subject except music. I was more of a gamer girl who played Minecraft 12 hours a day and solved the Rubik’s Cube the other 12 hours of the day.

Yeah. And it goes without saying that when I met a boy at school who could solve the cube faster than me, I was impressed. Really impressed.

I was sitting at my desk, trying to beat the challenge of solving the cube in under 20 seconds, and I had a small crowd watching me. My best friend Blaze, two gamer guys named Flynn and Nick, my sworn worst enemy Savannah, and some other random kids. But the kid that caught my eye was a boy named Clay.

Clay was tall, with shining silver eyes. He also had a cube in his hand. Something about him… intrigued me. I had no idea why. But I brushed it off. After all, you must never leave a cube unsolved, and I had one in my hands.

Day by day, for hours at a time, I practiced and practiced. 16.535 seconds. 13.936. 9.178. Over the course of a few months, my times got faster and faster. When my best time hit less than five seconds, 4.978 seconds to be more specific, I dropped dead.

Just kidding! But I almost fainted. My best time dropped directly from six seconds flat to four seconds and change. And that night, I knew, with permission or not, I would enter a competition. A Rubik’s Cube competition. I hadn’t broken a record time yet, but I had a feeling I probably would soon.

The next morning, when I went downstairs to eat breakfast with my family, I sat on my chair to find something rustling under my feet. Confused, I looked under the table to find a strange, bubble-wrapped pink package. It was thicker than a normal envelope, but it was the size of one. And then, I read the label on the outside… and I froze.

“Honey, what’s that in your hands?” my dad asked me, obviously curious and completely oblivious to what I had just seen.

“N-n-nothing?” I squeaked. I squirmed in my seat.

“Kaia. Hand it over. Now.”

I reluctantly gave Dad the cotton candy-colored package. As he looked it over, he seemed pretty calm until he read the label. His eyes slowly grew wider and wider, then he dropped the package and stared right at me coldly.

“So you’re invited to the Conspicuous Cubing Competition, or C-Cubed for short? Kaia, I know how much you love cubing, but I never gave you permission to enter this.”

“Daddy, I never-“

“Don’t lie to me. I’m proud of all the accomplishments you’ve made in cubing, but this isn’t something I gave you the permission to do. You’re not allowed to go to C-Cubed. And that is final.”

I could hear something like an edge in his voice. What was it? Hesitation, maybe? Protectiveness? But I had other things to worry about. Like the fact that I WASN’T GOING TO C-CUBED.

My lip trembled and my eyes burned as I tried to keep my tears at bay. Why was I feeling so miserable from not going to a competition that I had no idea of? But why was I not going to the competition in the first place?

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