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12. Melissa Wanders

11. Aftermaths

10. Leaving the Gym

9. Jon and the Cheerleaders Face

8. In the Gym

7. Jon's Day

6. Karyn "helps" Jon

5. Bumping Into Sarah in the Hall

4. First Period Honors English

3. It's Kyla's House

2. Karyn's Detour

1. You Are What You Wish

Melissa Wanders

avatar on 2024-02-21 07:45:43

988 hits, 151 views, 3 upvotes.

MC Magic

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Melissa Smith may have been a hanger-on, but she wasn't stupid. She knew what her role was, and that was to be a good cheerleader and to support Sarah. If she followed Sarah's lead, everything would be alright. If she just worked hard to be a good cheerleader, everything would be alright. Not everyone is born to be a leader, some people are born to support leaders. And Melissa was Sarah's support. She relished in that role.

She had relished in that role. Past tense. A moment of hubris, a single overconfident declaration, a step too far in support of Sarah, and now Melissa was no longer a cheerleader. She was just a plain girl in plain clothes. Wandering listlessly down the sidewalk, vaguely in the direction of her own home. What would she find when she got there? Would her parents even recognize the pudgy face, the slumped shoulders that she now carried?

Without a leader to follow, Melissa was lost.

Her feet stopped. She blinked. Lost. Yes, lost like a maiden in the woods at night. Autumn, after the leaves had left all of the branches bare. Under a full moon so that the stick silhouettes were in full relief. Somewhere in the darkness, a raven called.

Melissa smiled. What would that lost girl in the woods do? She would run. She would pick a direction and run. Fear pumping adrenaline through her veins, pumping excitement through her veins. There was something romantic, all of a sudden, in being lost.

So maybe Melissa was lost, too. Off of the cheer squad, in her own metaphorical woods. But, a voice whispered in her mind, maybe it was okay to relish in being lost. To embrace the adrenaline. To allow the darkness of uncertainty to embrace her along the way.

Melissa started running, but she was no longer going home. Where was she going? Her sneakers hit cracked sidewalk and a cold breeze washed over her exposed limbs. It wasn't a hard run like she was used to as a cheerleader, but the sort of run that generally accompanied billowing gowns, gusting winds, and flashes of lightning. Like a montage in a Cyndi Lauper music video. Big and dramatic, more for show than for speed.

Finally, Melissa fell to the ground on a patch of grass, breathing heavily, taking in the scent of the dirt below her. When she stood back up, she was momentarily surprised, but not disappointed, to discover that her run had brought her to the Lake Point Memorial Funeral Home, a tan stucco palace with a Spanish tile roof. She looked around and smiled at the headstones just beyond the building. They seemed somehow inviting. Like Melissa belonged among them.

She dusted herself off and looked at her reflection in one of the windows. Had there always been a human skull printed on her black tank top? Melissa's smile grew. She liked it.

Embracing, once more, the excitement of being lost, Melissa whisked herself into the graveyard, to dance among the dead, and to take comfort in their company.

Hidden from Melissa's view, but close enough that she could see all of these events play out, Athena DeVries adjusted slightly the bat-wing brooch that sat just below her collar. And in doing so, she released just a bit more energy in Melissa's direction. As the leader of the goth coven, Athena knew better than to over-exert herself all at once. But these little nudges, she could already tell, were going to push one of the school's more powerful magic users right into her waiting grasp.

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