Mail Chimp

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Chapter Two of 'Terminally Pretty'

The cover I am trying to acquire...

Pet watched the tail lights sail down the block until she was sure he was gone, and then waited another five to see if he returned. Finally satisfied that she could let her guard down a bit, she sat with her back to the wall and exhaled heavily.

A plan was forming. Summer school was coming up, and she could ostensibly stay with a friend for the duration. But to do this, she would have to tell her parents a contrived story about how she flunked out of Algebra II. Not that she had a problem lying to them, but Pet hated to be thought of as weak. Failing a math class, or even pretending to, was humiliating.

However, weighed against a potential summer of unbridled hedonism, it was a relatively small dash of ignominy to suffer through. And maybe there would be a bridle involved after all, she thought. The very idea made her insides hurt in a good way.

A few red-faced moments with her parents in exchange for a much more delicious form of humiliation down the line. It occurred to her that it was odd that people selectively embrace pain, instead of facing it everywhere in its entirety. Disappointing her parents was something she felt to her core. Being beaten and verbally abused felt like feathery tickles by comparison.

As much as she was into cutting, Pet wore most of her scars on the inside.

She decided she would call her mom later and say she was staying at a friend's house, maybe for the weekend. There was still the last week of school to attend. Yearbooks to be signed. A report card to be forged.

She never thought she would make it to graduation. The shock of moving not only to a new town, but a small and drab one, was the last nail in her metaphorical coffin. Pet had been suicidal for the past six months or so.

That was why she saw what had happened as an opportunity. It was finally time live life a little. No matter what happened, she'd be fine with it. Death, prison, murder. Bring it on. It was win-win for her, and that was the only way she played. Even though she was from Vegas, she never gambled. If there was a chance of her losing at something, she didn't even consider it.

That made her a good deal more cunning than her peers in their transplanted home in sleepy Placerville.  Pet had been pissed when they'd gotten off of the plane to find a dusty old monochrome berg filled with dimwits and stereotypes. She almost expected to hear the lonesome cry of an eagle, and see tumbleweeds rolling down main street.

It was not at all how she had pictured California.

The worst part was that she was so alone. Pet had left behind all of her friends, her safety net and support group. She wanted to be back among people like herself. Instead, she went to school with a bunch of kids who wouldn't say shit if they were standing in it.

She brightened a bit when she remembered the emergency care package she had hidden from herself at the bottom of her purse. Today definitely qualified as an emergency.

It was a fat joint of sensimilla, her last, from the only other person in town that she got along with, her gothy overweight pot dealer Kate. It was wrapped in foil, and taped to a cassette case with scotch tape. She went to the altar room and got the boombox, bringing it to the bedroom. Pet lit the joint as she pressed play, and she was instantly transported to a better world.

A world she alone ruled.

The opening strains of Slayer's "Evil Has No Boundaries" filled her ears, and a faint smile danced across her lips. Sleepy from the day's excitement, she climbed beneath the flowered bedspread and smoked with her eyes closed. As she drifted off to sleep, Pet imagined four pair of talented hands grasping her in the dark.