""Beneath the pressure of torments such as these, the feeble remnant of the good within me succumbed. Evil thoughts became my sole intimates-the darkest and most evil of thoughts.""
-Edgar Allan Poe, The Black Cat

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Night of The Senior Prom

Based on DarkMedia City's Friday Fright's theme:  Dance of the Dead or Undead

I roll over on my back and watch the sun creep its morning presence through the strung up torn sheets used as a sorry excuse for drapes.  This morning I didn’t care, because for the first time since Mama and I moved to this dead beat town to live with Granny I feel human again.  
“When the sunbeam gets to the large crack in the middle of the ceiling I’m gonna get up.”  I promise myself aloud.  I stretch my thick legs over the end of the same bed I’ve had since I was twelve and think about health class yesterday and learning how the sperm finds its perfect mate.  “Hum, I wonder what Brad’s thinking about right now?”  
I smile at how yesterday’s usual crappy morning turned out to be the perfect day.  I’m sure it’s not every day that Brad Weasley, the all star Senior Quarterback and winner of last year’s State Championship Wrestling Competition, and just about the hottest guy at Valley Hill High, asks an all star seventeen year old nobody from out of town to the Senior Prom. 
I can’t wait to see the look on the cheerleading squad’s starving supermodel wannabe faces when Brad Weasley walks into the dance holding hands with a well fed, never worn lipgloss, never worn nail polish or eyeliner and a never have had their hair cut in fifteen years super babe!   
Holding true to my promise, I get out of bed and pull my stretchy jeans and faded tee shirt from the dirty clothes pile.  Giving some thought to how my frizzy hair looks for the first time since maybe sixth grade, I walk into the bathroom and confirm it looks best in a ponytail, like it does everyday.  
I make my way down the tiny dark hall toward the kitchen and find my usual plate of mile high pancakes covered in loads of melted butter and syrup.  “Morning Mama and Granny.”  I plop down and shovel a forkful of the gooey goodness into my mouth.
Mama looks up from the spread out paper.  “Morning, Tracey Ann.” 
Granny nods and smiles.
“I was just reading here the Senior Prom is this weekend.  Be nice if you were going.”  Mama said.
“I am.”
Mama jumps up from her chair and lifts Granny by the arm and the two burst into a silent square dance.  
“Oh Mama, it’s nothing special he’s just some boy from the football team.”
Mama stops swinging Granny around and staggers over to me and pats her right hand on top of my head.  “Tracey Ann, going to your Senior Prom is a big deal, it’s a dance you’ll remember the rest of your life.”  
The week went as slow as molasses dripping from a tree, but Saturday finally arrived and I couldn’t wait for six o’clock to come and to watch Brad Weasley pull into the driveway in his red hot Mustang.
I made my way down the hall and into the sitting room where Mama was watching the same episodes of I Love Lucy she watches every Saturday night and Granny was crocheting the ugliest blanket I have ever seen.  “Is that for me, Granny?” 

As usual, she just nods.
I spin around once and clear my throat.  “How do I look?”
Mama waits to mimic a line with Ethel before taking her eyes off the television.  “Tracey Ann, you will knock them all dead.”  
Granny looks up, nods and goes back to crocheting my ugly blanket.
Sick of listening to Mama repeat every word of I Love Lucy, including Lucy’s annoying whine, I get up from the couch and peek through the worn drapes.  “Mama, I think my date forgot to pick me up.  I’m gonna walk down to the school.” 
I grab the cool vintage handbag I found at the second hand store with my dress and swing open the front door.  “Good night, don’t wait up.”  
“Tracey Ann?  I’d be careful if I were you.”  Granny never looks up from her crocheting.  “Things ain’t been right in this town ever since, oh what do they call them, showed up.”  
“I will Granny.” Geez, when she does talk she says the weirdest things. 

The closer I get toward the end of the block, thumping music fills the empty street and when I turn the corner every window of Valley Hill High is flashing like the disco floor from that old fashioned movie Mama makes me watch with her.    
The ear piercing beat of the music along with the thumping lights shoots a tingle of excitement down my spine.  I pull the door open and suddenly it goes silent and I shout into the darkness.  “Hello!”  I take a step inside and the door pushes me further in.  “Brad!”
Using my hands along the locker walls to make my way to the gymnasium I think about turning back and running home.  Then I remember how excited Mama was I was going to the Prom and decide to find out what’s going on.  
I pause outside the wooden doors and adjust my under garments, take a deep breath and smile like Mama always told me to do when I was scared and then count to three before pushing my way in.     
Through the shadowed light, silhouettes of heads fill the gym and soft whispers echo from the walls.  “Tracey Ann, you made it.”  Brad steps forward from the crowd and I’m blinded by the sudden lights.
“Brad, what happened to your face!”  
“This is my face, I wear a mask like all the teenage zombies  do.”  
The cheerleading squad stepped forward and one by one they pulled their starving wannabe supermodel mask off and the last thing I remember is smiling at the site of their sunken eyes and rotting flesh.  
The sound of Mama’s footsteps echo down the hall as she makes her way into the kitchen.  “Tracey Ann, why are you on the floor?
With ease, I twist my head backwards and hold up my morning delight for her to see.  “Mmmm, yummy!”  Starving, I rip the last delicious bit of morsel left clinging to Granny’s thigh bone and shove it in my mouth.  
I can still hear Mama screaming after she slams the front door and decide to let her go for now, because dinner will be here before I know it.  
I twist my head back around and sink my teeth through Granny’s wrist like a hot iron on a cow’s behind.  The crochet needle that was tightly grasped in her hand clings to the floor and I wonder if she finished making my ugly blanket.
Granny’s fingers are as sweet as fresh husked corn drenched in butter and I think about dinner.  “Geez, Mama was right, it was a dance I’ll remember for the rest of my endless existence.” 

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Surprise

Based on Vamplit Publishing's theme: Celebrations Gone Wrong

The passionless sex should have been the first clue and the dead silence a warning sign.  Even after the seventeenth first kiss with a gentle caress down the back, followed by two weeks of hot and steamy sex and then silence, Jenna still had high hopes of ending her loneliness.  

She believed staying up all night connecting with would be suitors online would one day lead to her finding Prince Charming and falling madly in love and living happily ever after.  To Jenna, all the late night commercials featuring online dating success stories was proof enough to her that she too would one day be one of them.  
As the first sign of dawn peaked through the half opened blinds the alarm blared Jenna from her sleep.  “Geez, the morning comes quick.”  She rolled onto her left side, hit the snooze button and smothered her face into the overused pillow. 

Remembering today was her bosses’ birthday and she had unanimously been selected by her peers to provide the cake, she plopped her feet on the floor and walked zombie like to the shower. 
Feeling revived, Jenna slid the crimson colored gloss across her lips and like every morning, read aloud the sticky note stuck to the mirror.  “Today’s the day.” She smiled back at her image.  “If it worked for Mel Fisher, it’ll work for me!” 
She slid the closet door open and stared at the thirty shoe boxes neatly piled high.  “I think I’ll wear leopard today.”  Being five foot ten, Jenna loved wearing eight inch heels.  She felt they showed off her long slender legs and that they gave her one up on the competition. 
Before leaving for the bakery she decided to check her inbox for messages from last night’s connections.  While waiting for the computer to boot up she sat down, crossed her legs and closed her eyes.  The computer dinged and she saw that one message was waiting.  Jenna crossed her fingers and whispered, “Please, please, please be the one.”  
After clicking the mouse once, the screen became alive with vibrant colors and a flashing red envelope with white letters that read, “Surprise!”  

She clicked on the link that said, open here, and read aloud.  “Congratulations!  At midnight tonight you are an official one year member of MatchMadeInHeaven.com!  In celebration, we have a surprise for you.  Tonight at midnight be sure to sign in and download our very special surprise gift box.  We guarantee you’ll find your soul mate or we’ll gladly refund your entire year’s membership fees.”  
Jenna jumped up from her seat.  “Sorry Mel Fisher, but tomorrow is the day!”  
The clock seemed to be stuck at 4:30 for over an hour.  Jenna thought if her coworkers didn’t stop chattering about what they were doing over the week-end with their husbands her head would explode.  The only solace she had in surviving the next thirty minutes was thinking about her surprise tonight and that come Monday morning she’ll be the one endlessly talking about what she and her future husband would be doing over the upcoming week-end.  
“So Jenna, what big plans do you have?  Another on-line date?”  
Jenna turned her stare away from the clock and toward Marcy’s direction.  The cocky smile on her face washed Jenna’s resentment away.  “It’s a surprise.”  Jenna smiled.  “You all will just have to wait until Monday to find out about it.”   
Marcy laughed.  “You know Jenna, there are other ways to find a husband.  You’re a pretty girl and redheads are the thing now.  You should try getting out and being seen.  Hey, I know us girls are stopping by TJ’s after work for a drink.  Why don’t you join us?”  
Knowing her Grammy would be disappointed if she didn’t make her usual Friday night stop with a bucket of chicken and wanting to spend a couple of hours sprucing up her make-up and hair before midnight, Jenna declined.  
Besides, she preferred the intrigue of meeting someone new online and building a relationship before meeting for the first time in a cozy restaurant over the instant face to face disappointment of someone in a bar spewing out drunken lies through liquored breath who was only interested in a one night stand.
The anticipation of finally meeting the one and only in her life drove Jenna wild with speculations.  Would he have dark hair or blonde?  Would his eyes be green or blue?  What if he were rich beyond her wildest dreams and what if he had the body of a Greek god?  All the what if’s were making her heart race as she entered her password and delicately touched the enter key.    
There in her inbox was a red box with a white bow that said click here.  Jenna paused before accepting.  Colorful confetti streamed down the screen with the message, we searched for a soul mate for you and we’re sorry to say we will be refunding your membership fees.  
“What the hell!  This is all wrong!  Today was my day.”  Jenna flew out of her chair and ran into the bathroom sobbing.  
Jenna tossed and turned for hours wondering if her loneliness would ever end when suddenly she noticed the computer was casting a strange green glow.  “What the?”  
She sat up and walked toward the desk and hit the enter key.  “Jenna, I have been searching for you my whole life.  Please won’t you join me in a world where love has no boundaries and life is infinite?”  
Jenna placed her palm against the green glowing hand print on the screen and screamed as inch by inch it pulled her soft flesh into the screen, melting it down into millions of megabytes.    
Come Monday morning, Marcy turned her computer on and saw she had one message waiting.  When she clicked on the red envelope she was shocked to find Jenna had quit for she was now happily married and traveling around the globe.

Total word count:  996