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31. The Evening: Sarah and Jocelyn

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

The Evening: Sarah and Jocelynne

avatar on 2024-05-27 16:01:50

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“Are you alright?” Sarah asked.

“I feel… strange.” Jocelynne 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?”

Sarah was slightly taken aback at the suggestion, not because she didn’t want to but because Jocelynne’s demeanor had swung so rapidly. The two were having some casual chatter when Sarah’s daughter suddenly went pale, like all the energy had been drained from her. She was slow and sluggish for a good half a minute before the color returned to Jocelynnes face, and without missing a beat she now wanted to practice cheers?

“Come on, Mom, I know you’re great at cheerleading,” Jocelynne prodded. “I have so much still to learn from you! I need to do everything I can to be a good cheerleader, won’t you help me?”

Sarah relented, she couldn’t resist her daughter’s pleading face, and the two exited through the back door.

“Oh!” Jocelynne gave a small shout of surprise as she bumped into her sister on the way out. “Hey Zoe, we were just going to work on some cheerleading. Do you want to join us?”

Something about the casual invitation made Zoe slightly nauseous, like it was an omen for something deep and foreboding. She shrugged it off. “Thanks, but no thanks. I’m going up to my room.”

Zoe did go up to her room, but continued to watch from the upstairs window, as Sarah ran Jocelynne through her paces. The new cheerleader seemed to stumble a bit at first, but the longer she worked the more natural she became, until she looked even more the cheerleader than Sarah. Athena’s spell should have taken away some of what made Jocelynne into Sarah’s little protege, but it appeared that Jocelynne was just absorbing it back directly from the source.

The two went for nearly an hour, matching each other move-for-move, giggling, clapping hands, trying new techniques. Whatever illusion Zoe had that this woman was somehow her mother and not Sarah McMillan was broken, as it looked like there were simply two teenagers in the back yard.

But then they took a water break, and as Sarah gulped down her water, she began to change. The shine in her hair dulled. Her arms grew soft and her face rounded. It was odd, it looked like she was getting older, weaker, but it wasn’t like when Jocelynne changed. With each shift, Sarah appeared yet more sure of herself, like she was growing into who she was supposed to be. A mom. Zoe’s mom. Jocelynne’s mom.

Sarah put the water bottle down on the patio table and gave a smile that revealed laugh lines she hadn’t had before.

“Ah,” Sarah said, “your mother doesn’t have the endurance or the flexibility that she used to anymore, but I sure do have a daughter who loves cheerleading. I think I’ll leave the running and jumping stuff to you.”

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