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30. The Evening: The Goths

29. The Evening: Tiffany and Karyn

28. Susan McMillan Comes Home

27. Kyla Ren

26. The New Mrs. Gibson

25. The New Head Cheerleader

24. Obtaining Melissa

23. Sarah and Linda

22. Kyla Recovers

21. Sarah in the Band Room

20. Kyla in the Band Room

19. Tiffany Meets Them at School

18. The Next Morning

17. Confrontation Avoided

16. Linda Eavesdrops

15. Sarah Fixes Jon's Room

14. Tiffany Confronts Kyla

13. Tiffany's Thoughts

12. Melissa Wanders

11. Aftermaths

The Evening: The Goths

avatar on 2024-05-27 16:00:22

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“Cheer is powerful,” Melissa intoned to her new Goth friends. “Cheer is important. Without Cheer, everything else in the school will start to crumble, and she who controls Cheer, controls the school.”

“So Jocelynne…” Athena let the thought hang.

“Yes, Jocelynne is extremely important.” Melissa finished Athena’s thought.

Athena exchanged a glance with Zelda and the two girls gave one another a nod. “Then it’s good we have you here, with all your knowledge of cheerleading, you can--”

“I can’t!” Melissa cut Athena off with a shriek, then took a breath. “I’m sorry. But I’m done with that part of my life. I’m not a cheerleader anymore.” She looked down, focusing on Athena’s knees. “I don’t want to ever be a cheerleader again.”

“Okay,” Athena brought up a hand, as if to say ‘I’m unarmed.’ “That’s okay, you don’t have to do that. You’ve already been very helpful. And besides, we do have a plan B, after all.” Athena gave Melissa a comforting smile as she clasped hands with Zelda.

A line of magic reached out from the two clasped hands, arcing through Athena’s bedroom window and over a dozen suburban rooftops before reaching back down and landing in the Gibson’s back yard, where Zoe Gibson was spying through the window on her new sister, and on her new mother.

“Are you in position?” Athena’s voice rang in Zoe’s ears, and Zoe’s ears alone.

“Yes,” Zoe whispered.

“What’s going on over there?” Athena again.

“It’s weird. Sarah’s acting like she’s my mom now. But, like, really acting like my mom. She even looks like her a bit, but it’s definitely Sarah.”

“Where is Jocelynne?”

“The two of them are chatting on the living room sofa. I haven’t cast anything to listen in because, well, yesterday Sarah was the most powerful witch in the school and I don’t want to mess with that. But if I didn’t know any better I’d say it was just like any mom and daughter having girl talk.”

“Alright. Well, plan A is out, are you ready to try plan B?”

Zoe breathed in through her nose. “Are you ready for plan B? Are you sure you can control it?”

“Zoe, this is me you’re talking to,” Athena assured her. “Do it.”

Zoe clasped her hands together, index fingers out like she was miming a pistol, aligning her fingertips to the line of magic that extended back to Athena’s house, and began to mumble words that were not quite in English. The line of energy gathered around her hands, swirling in a circle before shooting its way to the dirt at her feet and tracing its way to the wall, then up the side of the house, then between the cracks in the window frame, and all the way to where Jocelynne sat, legs curled under her on the sofa with one foot dangling over the carpet.

The moment that the beam of energy touched Jocelynne, a wave of feedback ran backwards out to Zoe, collected once more in the swirl around her hands, and shot out to the sky before curving downwards again and making its way through Athena’s window, focusing on Athena and Zelda’s clasped hands, and building there, just for a moment, before climbing up Athena’s arm.

The Goth leader shivered as she accepted the current of energy that Zoe was drawing from Jocelynne, and her black nail polish faded to a pure white. Then a shimmer of shiny peach skin tone made its way from the base of each nail to just before the tip, until each finger had a perfect French manicure. Her black lace sleeves fluttered around her wrists and crept upwards until she had bare arms and lace cap sleeves around her shoulders.

A feeling of unease swept over Melissa as she watched the goth girl’s clothing change.

Athena’s corset in her top lost definition until it was no more than loose fabric that gathered just under her bust in a princess waist.

Melissa shivered at the familiar cut: it was something that she once wore when she was-- no, that wasn’t really her.

The ankle hem of Athena’s black skirt ruffled just as her sleeves had done and they tightened around her calves, smoothing up her legs like a screen protector being applied to a phone, until it had become a pair of skin-tight black leather leggings.

Neither Athena nor Zelda noticed as Melissa physically took a step backwards away from them.

Athena’s boots became patent leather pumps as streaks of balayage wove their way elegantly through her black hair and her makeup changed just-so. Still dark, but now also alluring.

“I have to go,” Melissa was already closing the front door behind her when the arc of energy ended its flow and Athena collapsed into the sofa. This wasn’t what Melissa had wanted when she joined the Goths. She thought she’d found the group that was as far away from the cheerleaders as possible, but what she’d just seen Athena do to herself disturbed her to her core.

The other girls barely acknowledged Melissa’s departure, refocusing on Athena and her change.

“Are you alright?” Zelda asked.

“I feel… strange.” Athena brought a hand to her temple. “I don’t feel hurt, or sick, or anything like that. It’s just like a part of me is missing.” She took a deep breath. “I think I need to do something to take my mind off of it, and then I’ll be better. I’m going to go practice some cheers in the back yard, do you want to join me?”




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