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Story [Daria] Mysteries of Lawndale

Discussion in 'Non Star Wars Fan Fiction' started by fardell24, Jan 3, 2021.

  1. fardell24

    fardell24 Jedi Youngling

    Aug 31, 2020
    Mysteries of Lawndale 01: Esteem of the Investigator Part 1
    Lawndale, MD
    15 September 1997

    A blue Lexus approached a suburban High School.
    “Girls, I just want you to know your mother and I realize it's not easy moving to a whole new town -- especially for you, Daria, right?” Jake Morgendorffer asked.

    In the back, his daughter Daria, asked “Did we move?”

    “I'm just saying you don't make friends as easily as... uh, some people.”

    Daria looked at her younger sister. “Quinn, for instance?”

    “That's not what I meant... necessarily.” Jake turned the radio off. “The point is, the first day at a new school is bound to be difficult...”

    Daria smirked and took out a device from one of her pockets. She pressed a couple of the buttons and the radio turned back on, with the volume increased. “Speak up, Dad! Can't hear you!”

    “Uh, where was I?” Jake asked. He turned the radio off again. “Oh, yeah...”

    Stacy Rowe saw noticed a cute, athletic, teen, with long red hair emerge from a Lexus wearing a stylish athletic outfit. “Hi! You're cool. What's your name?”

    “Quinn Morgendorffer.”

    “Cool name,” Stacy’s ... fellow Fashion Club member (and President), Sandi Griffin, said.

    “Will you go out with me?” An instantly besmitten boy asked.

    “Not right away, I’m going to take a while to settle in. Find all the clubs that I’d be interested in,” Quinn said.

    Sandi took that as a cue. “Sandi Griffin, Fashion Club President. Your outfit is quite interesting.”

    “Thanks,” Quinn said. Her voice then showed her interest. “Fashion Club, did you say? I’m in!”

    “Cool!” Stacy said.

    “Not right away, there is paperwork to fill out,” Sandi said.

    “Can it be filled out in a day?” Quinn asked. “Best not to waste time.”

    “Of course,” Sandi said, taken aback.

    “Cool, see you later!” Quinn said as she continued towards the school.
    Daria entered the school. Instantly she noticed many things that didn’t seem right. ‘Of course, Highland wasn’t ‘right’ either,’ she thought. Her trained investigator’s eye saw a great many security cameras along the length of the corridor she was entering. ‘There are at least eight. That’s overkill.’
    Another thing was the prominence of the football team amongst the posters advertising the school’s clubs and sports teams. She touched a button in one of her pockets and slowly rotated as the camera hidden in one of her coat buttons took photos. ‘That’s a fifth of that film used,’ she thought when she was done. She then looked for the principal’s office where the new students were to report.

    Daria and Quinn were not the only students to begin at Lawndale High that day. There were at least ten others. After signing them into the enrollment books as attending, Principal Angela Li lead them on a tour of the school.
    “Gosh, Daria, do you have to take notes now?” Quinn asked as they exited the door from the main block to the playing field.

    “You know me, Quinn, insatiably curious,” Daria answered.

    Quinn sighed. She knew that Daria could find a mystery anywhere.

    Later they returned to the main administrative area of the school.
    “As you can see, our Lawndale High students take great pride in their school. That's why you'll each be taking a small psychological exam to spot any little clouds on the horizon as you sail the student seas of Lawndale High,” Li said, saying the school’s name with reverence.

    “S.O.S., girl overboard,” Daria said.

    Quinn sighed.

    A quarter of an hour later, the Morgendorffers were in the school counsellor’s office.

    “Now, Quinn ... what do you see here?” Mrs. Margaret Manson said as she held up a picture.

    “It's a picture of two people talking.”

    “That's right. Can you make up a little story about what it is they're discussing?”

    “They are talking about their activities after school, and whether they could find time to be together during their busy afternoon,” Quinn began...

    Quinn finished five minutes later.

    “Very good, Quinn! Now, Dora, let's see if you can make up a story as vivid as your sister's.”

    “It's Daria.”

    “'I’m sorry... Daria. What do you see in the picture, Dara?”

    “Um... a herd of beautiful wild ponies running free across the plains.”

    “Uh, there aren't any ponies. It's two people.”

    “Last time I took one of these tests, they told me they were clouds. They said they could be whatever I wanted.”

    “That's a different test, dear. In this test, they're people, and you tell me what they're discussing.”

    “Oh ... I see, All right, then. It's a guy and a girl and they're discussing... why a herd of beautiful ponies that had been running free across the plains were now captured and held in a rodeo arena...” Daria smirked.

    After the Psychological exam (by a quack, Daria suspected), the Morgendorffer siblings went to their classes. Daria went to history.

    It was clearly American History. “Class, we have a new student joining us today. Please welcome Daria Morgendorffer. Daria, raise your hand, please.”

    “Well, Daria! As long as you have your hand raised...” Mr. Anthony DeMartino chuckled evilly. “Last week we began a unit on westward expansion. Perhaps you feel it's unfair to be asked a question on your first day of class.”

    “Excuse me?” Daria asked.

    “Daria, can you concisely and unemotionally sum up for us the doctrine of Manifest Destiny?”

    “Manifest Destiny was a slogan popular in the 1840s. It was used by people who claimed it was God's will for the U.S. to expand all the way to the Pacific Ocean. These people did not include many Mexicans, nor Native Americans.”

    “Very good, Daria. Almost... suspiciously good. All right, class. Who can tell me which war Mainfest Destiny was used to justify?”

    Daria watched as a teen in a football uniform answered the question with the name of a war over a century later. She took down the notes.

    Football players unable to answer history questions properly.

    A moment later followed by

    Also applies to at least one cheerleader.

    “Either someone gives me the answer, or I give you all double homework and a quiz tomorrow. I want a volunteer with the answer. Now!”

    Daria raised her hand.

    “Daria, stop showing off!”

    ‘Of course.’

    The Morgendorffers were having dinner. “... so for now, I’m vice president of the Fashion Club, member of the Anime, Chess and French clubs and on the tennis and track teams and that’s it,” Quinn said. She lowered her voice. “They don’t have a sparring team, can you believe that?”

    “Sounds like well-thought out decisions, honey,” Jake said.

    “As long as you can join the pep squad and mathletics teams later – if you want. Never know how much we can handle till we try, though,” Helen Morgendorffer said.

    “What about you, Daria? How was your first day?” Jake asked.

    “There is no Mystery Club. Also, my history teacher hates me because I know all the answers, but there are some interesting idiots in my class.”

    “That’s great!”


    “I mean..”

    “Daria, your father's trying to tell you not to judge people until you know them. You're in a brand-new school in a brand-new town. You don't want it to be Highland all over again. As for the Mystery Club, perhaps you can make one?”

    “Perhaps,” Daria said.

    “Is that all?”

    “It boils down to trust.”

    “Exactly. It all boils down to trust. Show a little trust.” The phone rang and Helen answered it.

    “I hope that’s not the Italian or checkers clubs, badminton team or booster society again!” Quinn said.

    “Hello? ... Yes. ... Uh, yes, she's my daughter. ... I see. Listen, will this require any parent-teacher conferences or anything, and if so, is this the sort of thing my assistant can handle? ... Okay, great. Bye!” She hung up. “You girls took a psychological test at school today?”

    “Yeah?” Quinn answered.

    “Daria, they want you to take a special class for a few weeks, then they'll test you again.”

    “Oh,” Quinn said.

    “It seems she has low self-esteem,” Helen said.

    “What?! That really stinks, Daria!” Jake said.

    “Easy, Jake. Focus. We tell you over and over again that you're wonderful and you just... don't... get it!” Helen said, she slammed her fists on the table. “What's wrong with you?!”

    “Don't worry. I don't have low self-esteem. It's a mistake,” Daria said.

    “I’ll say!” Jake said.

    “The school counselor is a quack. I have low esteem for people like her.”

    “Now, Daria, how did you get that impression?”

    Daria looked her mother in the eyes. “She kept mispronouncing my name.”

    As her daughter walked off, Helen began to think about it.

    Daria was out in the yard, taking notes when Quinn came out. “Starting your investigations already?” she asked.

    “Yes, you did notice the irregularities at the school?”

    “You mean all the cameras?”

    “Not just the cameras, the prominence of the football team in the in-school advertisements,” Daria said.

    Quinn thought for a moment. “You’re right.”

    “Lawndale may not be the ordinary suburb that Mom thought it was.”
  2. fardell24

    fardell24 Jedi Youngling

    Aug 31, 2020
    Esteem of the Investigator - Part 2
    16 September 1997
    Daria was annoyed at the Self Esteem Class already. The teacher was droning on, espousing New Age crap: “Esteem... a teen. They don't really rhyme, do they? The sounds don't quite mesh. And that, in fact, is often the case when it comes to a teen and esteem. The two just don't seem to go together. But we are here to begin realizing your actuality...”

    ‘That makes no sense! ‘Realizing your actuality’?’ She thought. She raised her hand. “Excuse me. I have a question.”

    “Sorry, question and answer time is later.”

    “I want to know what ‘realizing your actuality’ means.”

    “It means... look, just let me get through this part, okay? Then there'll be a video!”

    ‘That’s annoying!’ Daria thought. She began writing that the teacher didn’t know what he was doing, but she was interrupted.

    A girl seated behind her with chin-length hair, three piercings in her ears and wearing a paint splattered red jacket over a dark grey outfit leaned forward and said; “He doesn't know what it means. He's got the speech memorized. Just enjoy the nice man's soothing voice.”

    Daria turned around. “How am I supposed to follow him if I don't know what he's talking about?”

    “I can fill you in later. I've taken this course six times.”

    Quinn approached a large house. “Here it is, 512 Grandstaff Drive.” She went up and rang the doorbell.

    The door was opened by a young boy with brown hair. “Hi!” he said.

    “Hello, this is the Griffin’s right?”

    “That’s right,” the boy answered.

    “I’m Quinn. Is Sandi here?”

    “I’m Sam. Sandi is in her room with Stacy and Tiffany. Up the stairs and in the room to the left.”

    Quinn flounced in, quickly taking in how the Griffin’s living room appeared. (She didn’t notice as much as Daria would have, but there were times in Highland that she had noticed something that Daria had missed.)

    Stacy waited nervously for Quinn to arrive. “She’s late!” Sandi said, looking at the clock on her computer screen.

    “She is probably taking her time trying to find the house,” Stacy said.

    Sandi used her glare of disapproval on her.


    However then, there was a knock on the door. “Hello?” It was Quinn.
    “Come in, we’re, like, just about to start,” Sandi said.

    “That’s great!” Quinn said.

    Daria was walking with her new friend, Jane Lane. As they entered a Lawndale neighbourhood that appeared to date from the turn of the century Jane said, “So, then, after the role-playing, next class they put the girls and the guys in separate rooms and a female counselor talks to us about body image.”

    “A classroom full of guys and a male teacher?”

    It didn’t take a genius to guess, “Nocturnal emissions.”

    “I don't get it, Jane. You've got the entire course memorized. How come you can't pass the test to get out?”

    “I could pass the test, but I like having low self-esteem. It makes me feel special.”

    Half an hour later, Daria relaxed as she and Jane recovered from their success at stopping a bank from foreclosing on the Lane’s. “So your parents, when did you last see them?” Daria asked.

    “Let’s see, Mom a few weeks ago. She stayed for a couple of days. Dad at the beginning of summer. He just stayed overnight,” Jane said. She saw Daria’s concern. “Don’t worry, Trent and I can look after ourselves.”

    Daria looked around at the rather untidy house and Jane’s lean figure. ‘The house needs attention, but she looks well nourished.’ She decided to change the topic. “So you said that you’re an artist?”

    “Yes, but what is with the third degree, Daria?”

    “Force of habit.”

    “Habit?” Jane asked with a slightly worried tone.

    “I find mysteries and I solve them. I have done so since I was seven or eight. I surprised some detectives, one of whom offered to help me hone my skills. I have lost count of the mysteries that I have solved.”

    “Cool,” Jane said.

    “For instance, yesterday I noticed something ‘off’ about the school,” Daria said. She told Jane her observations about the school, including the cameras, the advertising for the football team and her suspicions about Mrs. Manson. “ I told my sister, Lawndale may not be an ordinary suburb.”
    “I agree, they are obsessed about football here,” Jane said in response.

    “That explains that, but I have a feeling that there is more to it.”

    “You know, there are a lot of odd occurrences at the school. Maybe you could explain them.”

    “Tomorrow, I will spend more time among the other students,” Daria decided.

    “Maybe I could help you, the Watson to your Holmes, if you like.”

    “It would involve extracurricular activity. I intend to form a Mystery Club.”

    “Jane Lane, artist extraordinaire, and Mystery Club Vice President. Sounds Good.”
  3. pronker

    pronker Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jan 28, 2007
    Intriguing beginning. I like the characters, even if I'm unfamiliar with canon. Looking forward to seeing where you take this! :)