My Best Friend is a Prince from Another World



Pt. I, Ch 6: “That’d be nice, but computer geeks are probably just as much girl repellent there as h


June 1st
William Jennings Bryan High School
Cafeteria, lunch break

“That was pretty crazy,” I said to Joel. We hadn’t had a chance to talk about the tour afterwards; Count Dormer had offered to take his family out to dinner after while I’d headed home.

“You mean the trip on Saturday, right, not the American History class?” Joel joked, and after a pause, “Yeah, maybe. I mean, kind of the craziest thing was how normal everything was, right?”

“Not for me. Flying carriages? Cool, but not normal. Dragon skeletons which looked like they could have eaten a T-Rex for dinner? Scary, and definitely not normal.”

“Malls. Preppy kids in uniforms,” Joel countered. “I’m not sure what I was expecting, but that wasn’t it.”

“I guess.” I thought for a minute. “So does that mean you’re going?”

“I’m not sure, but I’m leaning towards it. Being Crown Prince, and later King, I could do a lot to help my family, and it sounds more fun than getting a real job here.”

“You’re not worried about whatever has been killing off the royal family there?”

“Of course, I’m worried,” said Joel, “but it’s not like there aren’t things to worry about here. It’s only been about a month since they closed school early because they were worried about riots.” He was talking about after the Rodney King verdict; there hadn’t been riots in New York, like there had been in Los Angeles, but we’d all been sent home mid-day out of concern.

“Yeah, it’s no picnic here,” I replied, “but that stuff isn’t personal.”

“Neither was the bomb, but I’ll bet you remember drills ducking your head in the hallway of P.S.11 just as much as I do,” said Joel.

“Ok, Ok.”

“Besides,” said Joel, “I bet kings get all the girls.”

“Wouldn’t you be worried more about being stuck in an arranged marriage?”

“They seem way too modern for that.”

“I really need to borrow that history book from you. We saw one really big, modern city,” I said, and shook my head. “How do you know the whole world is like that?”

“I don’t, and you can keep the history book. But this,” and here he made a wide gesture with his arm, “sucks.”

I shrugged. “At least it’s the devil we know.”

“You should have more of a sense of adventure. I can ask Dormer if they can sponsor you or whatever, you should come.”

“Hull suggested the same thing,” I shook my head, “and it’s crazy. I’ve got a hard enough time here, why start over?”

“You’d be the exotic foreign student with a Prince for a best friend. Even you could get a girlfriend with that going for you.”

“That’d be nice, but computer geeks are probably just as much girl repellent there as here. Look, just send me a postcard when you settle in,” I said, and tried to change the subject. “How is your final paper for American History going?”

Badly, it sounded like; he’s picked from a list of suggestions and didn’t care much about the Constitutional convention. I’d had the opposite problem; I’d sold the teacher on my topic, but as usual it was turning into a long narrative without any real thesis.

I had biked that day, and Anne had practice, so we didn’t see each other after school; the next day, when we talked, and I told her about the trip she seemed relieved to hear that I’d turned Hull down and amused that their first emperor shared the long form of my first name. She seemed a bit on edge around Joel after that, and with finals and a few papers left to do, we were all very busy.


The last few weeks of the school year seemed to take forever. Big papers for English and American History, finals in most of my classes, and my only two close friends avoiding each other did not make for a pleasant time.

Then it was summer, and Joel had to study for the entrance exam — more out of pride than necessity, since he would be sponsored if he did poorly — and he disappeared into that. Anne went off to her sports camp, and I didn’t really know anyone else well enough to keep in touch over the summer. A little ways into July, I left town myself - to spend three weeks at the academic “camp” which my folks had shipped me off to the year before.

The prior year I’d gotten a low-end 286 laptop to get me to agree to go, essentially a bribe to allow my parents a few kid-free weeks. My brother, being fonder of the outdoors, had been spending a big chunk of his summers at a more traditional outdoorsy camp for several years. The one I attended was at a college campus in suburban Connecticut. Much to my surprise, I’d enjoyed it, and looked forward to going this year. While there was nothing computer-related, the classes were fluffy and entertaining, and I’d had some luck talking to girls which I’d never had at home.

This year, I’d asked my parents if I could do the full double session of 6 weeks, but it was important to them that I went along for the family vacation to the cabin in upstate NY, so I was there for three weeks again.

Anne had sent a letter while I was at camp and I felt a little bad about just having sent a postcard back. Still, I’d see her at the end of the summer, and it sounded like as usual she was having fun. Joel sent a postcard. Slightly odd-sized, it had a picture of a dragon on it and sure enough, it was one someone had brought back from the other world; his note didn’t say whether his folks had bought it on the tour or if he’d asked Dormer to get it for him.


About the author


  • California, USA

Bio: Amateur SF/fantasy writer. Professional computer geek. Something of a grouchy old man, but mostly harmless.

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