An envelope dropped from out of the air in front of Toby as he walked home one late summer afternoon. He looked down and saw his name, Toby Rayfull, on the envelope. Toby picked up the envelope and looked up. He saw nothing above him that could have dropped this letter. He opened the letter and read it while walking down his block and up to his front door. Congratulations Toby Rayfull! You’ve been accepted to the Evil School of Evil, the premier private highschool of the Evil and villains of tomorrow. Previous graduates have gone on to do great things, taking power and gaining influence throughout the world. At the Evil School of Evil you will learn many things - not only about the running of an evil empire, but you will also grow as a person and learn things about yourself. Your journey to a more evil tomorrow begins today. Enclosed is you Freshman schedule and a list of required reading materials. Please have a parent or guardian complete the enclosed paperwork for your September enrollment. Sincerely, H.L. Martheson Principal Evil School of Evil Toby nearly tripped over the front step of his porch as he finished the letter. His mother opened the front door and smiled to welcome him home when she saw him looking intensely at a letter in his hand. “What is it, Toby?” she asked. “Uh, I think...I don’t know,” Toby stammered. He handed the letter to his mom. “I think it must be a joke but I don’t know who would come up with that type of a joke.” Toby’s mother looked at the masthead on the letter and said, “Oh, Toby, I’m so proud!” She hugged her son and then motioned him into the house. She closed the door behind them. “The Evil School of Evil - that is so great, Toby.” “Wait, this is for real?” Toby asked. “Yes, yes, of course. It’s where your father and I went to school together.” She looked at the other pages enclosed. “Oh, look, you have Mr. Grouge for ‘Elaborate Speeches’. And they’ve shortened the name. When we were in school it was ‘Elaborate speeches to give your enemies before you kill them’. Oh, and it looks like a new class was added: ‘Constructing devices and traps that work the first time.’ I’m sure they’ll shorten that when your kids are at school there - gosh, your father could have used a class like that.” Toby’s face had a deeply incredulous look. “Mom, you and Dad are villains?” “Why, yes, Toby. How do you think we afford this nice house and your dad’s island lair?” “I just thought it was a vacation home kinda thing.” “Nope, nope. We’re totally evil. And you are the next in line. I’m so proud. A whole family of evil. I was so afraid you’d grow up to be good - you’ve never cheated on a test or even stolen lunch money from kids at school.” “But, I am good,” said Toby. “I’m not evil - I’m just a regular boy.” “Don’t be silly, Toby. Clearly, the Evil School of Evil has detected some evil in you. You don’t get admitted just because your parents are alumni. Just wait until your father hears about this. He gets back from his latest secret mission tonight!” “Um, I think I’m going to go to my room now,” said Toby. He was trembling when he said it and eager to get away from his mother. “Oh, of course, Toby. I’ll just get online and order your textbooks. And tomorrow we can take you shopping for a more appropriate wardrobe - do you like black or silver better?” Toby’s mother was beaming still. “Uh, I don’t know,” said Toby. Toby nearly ran up to his room. He shut the door and jumped onto his bed. He had no idea what to do. In one day he learned that his parents were evil and all the nice things he enjoyed in life came from evil. He looked at his bedroom tv and xbox and felt tempted to throw them out the window. Someone had been hurt or taken advantage of so he could have an xbox. And now, it turned out he was evil, too. He’d never done anything horribly bad but apparently he had the capacity for it. He felt like he didn’t know his parents or himself at all. Toby got up off his bed and grabbed his school bag. He dumped all of his books on his bed and grabbed clothes from the closet. He stuffed in two changes of clothes. He opened his fake-book box and grabbed all of the cash out of it. Only twenty-five dollars. He looked around his room - he had to have something to sell to make some cash. His xbox games wouldn’t get him much but he did have some pokemon cards from when he was younger. He rifled through them looking for the rare ones and shoved those in the front pocket of his backpack. He had a few old comics that might be worth something and an ipod that’d get him at least twenty dollars. He crammed these into his backpack, too. There was knock at his bedroom door. His mother opened it without waiting for him to respond. “Honey, I think -” she stopped short in the middle of her sentence. Toby still had his hand buried in his backpack. His mother moved over to his bed and yanked open his backpack. She saw the clothes and comics. “Just what do you think you’re doing?” she asked. “I’m leaving, that’s what I’m doing!” Toby said with more bravado than he had expected to come out. “I’m not evil! And I don’t want to go to a school for evil people!” “Don’t be silly, Toby. You’ll love school. You’ll meet new friends and have a blast - and sometimes, a literal blast.” She giggled at her own joke. “Besides, without schooling when that evil side of you comes to surface, you’ll just fail at your endeavors and wind up in jail. Do you want to go to jail?” “I’ll fight it - I won’t do anything evil, ever! Get outta my way,” Toby said as attempted to push by his mother. “By the Violet Bands of Greneeshu!” Toby’s mother shouted. She gestured and Toby wound up wrapped up in what looked like translucent violet branches. His arms were pinned to his side and his legs were wrapped together. She gestured again and he was floating in the air a foot above his bedroom floor. “Toby, you will not run away. You will go to school and you will follow your family’s legacy. There is no discussion to be had on this, do you understand?” “Mom, what are you doing?” Toby asked. “I went through the magic track at school. This is what I do. I just never thought I’d have to turn it on my son. Damnit, Toby, why did you make me have to?” “You could let me go,” Toby said. “No, you’re staying like this until your father gets home. If we have to make a serum to force you to like school, we will. No fighting it!” His mother gestured again and sent him hovering in front of her and down the hall. She sat him at the dining room table. She left the room in silence and went into the kitchen. Toby could hear the sound of her slamming pots and skillets on the range and the sounds of her chopping food was much louder than usual. His runaway attempt had failed again. When his father came home, his mother rushed to the front door to meet him. Toby heard them go into the living room and couldn’t hear a word they were saying. They must have been whispering. When they emerged from the living room and came into the dining room, Toby saw that his mother was mad and his father was relaxed. “Your mother tells me you don’t want to go to the Evil School of Evil,” Toby’s father said, sitting at the chair opposite Toby. Toby only nodded in response. “Look, son, I wound up there a year late because I was like you. I didn’t want to be evil and I fought it as hard as I could. But you know what? My freshman year at a regular high school was hell. Freshman year for anyone can be hell, but it is extra bad for those of us with evil inside of us. “Every time I was teased, I had thoughts about hurting those kids that were downright disturbing. Biology class was awful for me as I was evil scientist inclined. When it was time to dissect frogs, I couldn’t help but think of how cool it would be to have a frog with a rabbit’s head. I hated myself every day for being like that. “But you know what happened? When I went to the Evil School of Evil as a Sophomore, I learned that it was just normal for some of us to think and feel that way. And I learned to control it and harness it. For my senior project, I weaponized apples - made fairy tale apples look weak by comparison. And everyone needs weapons, especially governments. You’d be surprised how few government officials went to the Evil School of Evil. It is okay to be evil, you can be legitimately wealthy, too.” Toby looked down at the violet bands still around him and sighed. “But I don’t have evil thoughts right now, dad.” “You will, son, you will. And it’ll be that much worse if you aren’t around your own kind. Trust me. Go to the Evil School of Evil for at least one year. If the evil never manifests, you can go to regular school as a Sophomore.” “Okay, dad. But just one year,” Toby said. “Can I be released now?” “Of course, son.” And so began the heroic career of Toby Rayfull. He attended the Evil School of Evil for four years without a single evil thought inside him. When he realized he needed to fight the bastards in his Freshman class for the good of the world, he stayed at that school. He learned every up and coming villain’s weakness. No one saw it coming. The son of two famous and successful villains became Spectacular-Man. It was a story that would change the face of evil and embolden the good. Now we look at the tales of Spectacular-Man’s early upbringings and realize we can be anything we set our minds to. Our destiny is not written in stone. Every person on the planet can find a lesson to be learned from Spectacular-Man.