Welcome again to YAFF Muse: blog rounds. The ladies of YA Fiction Fanatics have come together for YAFF Muse. To have a little fun, explore different styles of writing and to give you some kick-butt shorts to read. Enjoy!
“Happy Birthday, dear Cassidy, happy birthday to you!” Everyone sang.
With a smile, I bent down and blew out sixteen leaping flames. My family and friends cheered. Okay, so the birthday party was a little lame, but I wasn’t exactly popular. At least my family showed up.
“Time to open presents,” Mom said, tugging me toward the table where the gifts were stacked up.
“Oh my god! You got me an iPod Touch. I can’t believe it.” I managed to give her a rib-cracking hug before moving to the next gifts.
I opened packages with clothes, jewelry, gift cards, and posters for my room, when I spotted one last present. A large box, decorated in green and red tissue paper.
Aunt Marge shook her head, encouraging me to open it. She watched my every move, as I slid my finger between the paper and the tape. Then came the cardboard box. I removed the stuffing, and found several wooden, Mexican dolls, sitting there.
Okay, not quite what I expected. In fact they were ugly as hell, but no way would I hurt her feelings.
“Thank you Aunt Marge.” I fake smiled.
A sigh escaped her lips. “I’m glad you like them. I’ve had them since I was your age. I needed to make sure they went to someone who’d take care of them.”
“Why don’t you bring your things upstairs, while I cut cake,” Mom said.
Once in my room, I set the gifts on my bed. Except Aunt Marge’s Mexican dolls, which I placed on top of my bookshelf. Out of sight, out of mind.
The next day, I pretended to stare at my science book, a diversion from Brittney’s feet kicking the back of my desk. God, I hated her.
“I hope you didn’t pay for those highlights, Cassidy. They look like someone took a piss in your hair,” she said, leaning forward to whisper in my ear.
Shyloh and Trina giggled. Shit. Why did they have to sit behind me today?
“I brought a sack lunch and saved the bag. If want you can use it to cover your head.” Brittney tugged on my hair and I shrank lower in my seat.
I wish someone would kick her ass. Or better yet, tear her up into little pieces and mail her back to her family. Then maybe school wouldn’t suck so much.
When the bell rang for last period, I raced from the room and headed for the bus.
Mom met me at the door. “So, how was it?”
“Same crap, different day.” I frowned. “Why can’t you home school me?”
Mom touched my cheek. “Because, I need to work. But if you want, I can call the school and complain…”
Yeah, that’d help. Instead of getting picked on, I’d get my ass kicked instead. “Just forget it.”
“Damn it,” I said when I crawled from bed the next morning. Tiny splotches of red stained my carpet and trailed to my bookcase. And I knew that color. Candy Apple Cocktail, my fingernail polish. Which meant my sister ,Sarah, had been in my room.
Grabbing my fingernail polish remover from my dresser, I doused a cotton ball and scrubbed the carpet.
“Mom, tell Sarah to stay out of my stuff!” I hollered down the stairs.
Once dressed, I grabbed a bagel then headed for school.
The halls were crowded with the usual people. Jocks standing against lockers, cheerleaders trying to impress them. Quiet people like me, hurrying past hoping to go unnoticed.
When I got to my locker, I entered my combination, grabbing my books for first hour.
“Hey Cassidy,” Spencer Tylen said, leaning against the wall.
I glanced back to see where his “jock flock” was at. But they were gone. “Um-hey.” The earth must’ve ended because Spencer did not talk to girls like me.
“Listen, I wondered if you had a date for homecoming yet?”
God, was he serious? Okay, he wasn’t smiling or laughing. My heart thumped around in my chest like bumper cars at an amusement park.
He touched my arm. “So what do you say?”
“Yes,” I answered, trying to keep from screeching and jumping up and down.
Then he grinned. “Psych! You’re the third girl I’ve done this to today.” He hurried down the hall laughing. His friends came around the corner, giving him high-fives.
Tears burned my eyes. Guys like him deserved to be mauled by wild dogs. With no dignity left, I trudged to first hour.
By the time I got home from school, my mood worsened. I tossed my book bag on a chair and sat down by Mom to watch the news.
“Don’t you go to school with that girl?” Mom pointed to the TV screen where a picture of Brittney Forester was on the screen.
“She was murdered last night. They said that whoever did it mailed pieces of her back to her family.” Mom’s face looked disgusted. “Sick people.”
My skin broke out in chills. “I’m going to get my homework done.” I hurried upstairs, wondering what in the hell happened. It was too much of a coincidence.
My gaze fell on wads of fur littering my floor, and tiny red marks across the carpet. I followed the trail to the bookcase where the Mexican dolls sat. No way. I sat on my bed, flipped on the TV and watched as the screen shifted to breaking news. On the screen was a picture of Spencer.
“High school senior, Spencer Tylen was killed this afternoon on his way home. Police are saying that he was attacked by wild-dogs. A search is already underway for these animals. If you see them please call…”
Just then the phone rang. “Cassidy, it’s Aunt Marge,” Mom called.
Picking up the phone, I said, “Hello.”
“I see you’re getting some use out of my gift.”
A smile formed on my lips. “Yes.” My gaze fell to the dolls. “They’re the best present I could’ve asked for.”