NOTE: To British readers, tenth grade is the equivalent to Year 11.
SECOND NOTE: This story is not intending to ruin any school's name; it is fictitious.
Karen Beck (aged 15 at the time, a High School sophomore) was transferred to Arapahoe High School in January, 2006. By this time Colorado was snowed over but the transfer went ahead. For over a year she had been a student of Heritage High School, also located in the suburb city of Littleton but the schools were over two miles apart. Karen had friends at Heritage, there was no doubt about that but was never "up-there" like she always wanted. Still, she was happy. Until, that is, she was transferred.
No-one knew exactly why she left, but most people blame Karen's parents for always fighting with the school. She could go to any school; she had the smarts but was made to go to Arapahoe under her parents' wishes. Karen had attempted to keep in contact with her friends but failed as the weeks drifted on.
She was no longer being invited to parties or sleepovers or even the modest get-together. Karen really had no choice but to start making friends at Arapahoe; who knows what would happen if she didn't. This wasn't a completely bad thing though because now she could be "up-there" like she'd always wanted.
Alice Gardner, Jen Kowinsky and Michelle Burwin were not nice people, but they were "up-there" in the Arapahoe crowd. They were smart like Karen, joining Arapahoe immediately after leaving middle school. The three girls were never seen alone, always in their "official" group, with added girls and/or added boys (for fun fun fun!) around Littleton and Denver. In a small way, every boy in the school wanted one of them; Alice for her long chocolate brown hair, Jen for her curly blonde hair and Michelle for the shorter but gentler chestnut hair but the girls rarely took any notice unless the boy himself was "worth it".
It was because of this that the girls managed to cause an incident in 2005, while they were still ninth graders. Dan Berrick, an intelligent but ugly, unpopular boy became obsessed with Michelle. He was writing to her, calling her non-stop which even earned him a warning from the authorities and several failed psychological tests in Denver. All he really wanted was some sort of communication with her, and he became more desperate. Most people lived out their lives normally during this ordeal, even the girls until Michelle blew it. She was fed up of Dan's constant pestering proposals and everlasting efforts. She encouraged her wide group of friends to upset and depress Dan to the full extent, which was done well by all parties involved.
Dan's life was blown wide open. He committed suicide in June 2005; no-one cared. This was, of course thanks to the plot by Michelle of having him labeled a criminal, but it cost herself and a vast majority of her friends respect from the faculty and "lower" students. They've never done something as bad as that since then, but their reputation as emotion batterers got worse.
Karen didn't start school again until March due to the creamy Colorado snow. Two miles or so seemed like a lot when it was freezing and the roads were clogged with snow so Karen was spared those aggravations. Arapahoe aims itself at academic goals, so at least Karen and the school had something in common (although, in reality she was up for anything as long as everyone was fine with it.) Karen was taught trigonometry in the month or two she was in mid-transfer which she had managed to grasp and even help friends who didn't get it (like they were going to be builders anyway). She was smart with things like this and moderately pretty too but not pretty enough to always be taken seriously, to be listened to or to be with.
Karen made friends with a small group of friends in her first two weeks; but they're not important enough to learn the names of since Karen dropped them out of her life. Remember, she wanted to be "up there". It didn't take long for her to spot Alice, Jen and Michelle who were talking to a group of boys when she first saw them. In a small way, she stalked them for around two weeks, after which they failed to notice her. She was about to give up on finding her true calling before something amazingly coincidental happened.
It turned out that Brad Strom, one of the many boys the trio of girls continuously hung around with had a "thing" for Karen. Since his confidence barrel is always fully loaded, he swooped in and asked her out. Of course, Karen wasn't attracted to him (she was actually attracted to a boy in her algebra class named Kenny but he wasn't "up there") but she saw it as a great opportunity. She hung around with Brad all the time and they were often seen together around Littleton but she rarely met up with Alice, Jen and Michelle. This disappointment led to their breaking up in late March, but neither were depressed about it; Karen because she didn't like him anyway and Brad because he got himself a nice new hottie a week later.
It was at this point, Karen started hanging around with the nasty trio. At the start, she clung on to them and listened in and sometimes talked to them back. Of course, she gained a few strange looks from them and sometimes they walked quite fast but wasn't that part of it? She wasn't invited to their parties or sleepovers yet but she knew it would only take a couple of weeks.
One week however, they greeted her. Alice asked her about the algebra assignment, Jen asked what she had done and Michelle the same thing, with the one white flower in her hair
A flower for Dan
Something had to be up of course, Karen knew these people weren't nice but once she started talking to the boys, all doubt washed away. I am popular, she thought and I am the best!
The girls did not like Karen. They thought it was clever setting up Brad with her but the plan backfired, and so did the ignoring plan so they planned to pretend to be her friend.
"This always works." Alice had started, "Remember Jennifer Wools back in ninth grade?"
"Yeah!" replied Michelle. "She wouldn't come in for a week."
The three girls giggled at this memory which somehow they were never punished for.
"Or that guy…" Jen pondered, "Ryan Jackson."
"The two other girls laughed, Ryan Jackson was a boy who liked Jen at the start of tenth grade and had the fake treatment done to him. He was heartbroken when he found a note exposing the plot. He lost his heart and his trousers, which the girls' male friends had stolen and ripped to shreds during Gym. To the girls of course, he deserved it. He was a geek, why else?
So they pretended to like Karen, but never gave her any "privileges" like get-togethers. After all, she was only a fake friend and there are no fake privileges. Karen attempted herself to try something a few times, but the girls ignored her at these times. Sadly, Karen was becoming their clone, copying the same tight jeans and sweaters (tight again), the way they sat, the way they walked, talked and their musical interests which could range from the happy depression of the likes of James Blunt to the overly manufactured cries of My Chemical Romance. All for nothing, but Karen thought she had arrived and soon lost contact with her Heritage friends. And the worst part of all, the charade stayed on for nearly two months.
One lunch break in early June changed everything. Karen was not in the blame; in fact it was such a stupid thing to be angry about but with Alice Gardner, nothing is forgotten. Things would've been better if the boys had intruded the trio's plans, done something less demeaning.
Alice came into the school exceptionally happy. It had been her birthday and she had had one drunken excuse for a party, which Karen was of course, absent from but best of all, she got the jeans she had been saving for; $150 from a place in Denver. Light blue with certain fade-outs and tight around the hips and (dare I say it) vaginal area, like all the boys wanted. Not that Alice had any trouble with boys, but she probably wanted the school to be flooded with drool or something. She was even nice to Karen till lunch.
Today's special was Borscht. A Ukrainian soup made from beetroot which gives it a fine
red colour. It does have quite a flavour being a vegetable soup although not really a favourite among Arapahoe students. It was this Eastern Europe cuisine that Karen ordered. The same Eastern Europe cuisine was spilled over Alice Gardner's new jeans. One second she was reaching over with her spoon and…plop. Everyone knows jeans don't wash well, especially Alice Gardner who yelled at Karen for about five minutes before Karen ran off crying. The charade was over, but Karen's dreams of being High School popularity princess were over. Or, at least that would be the case if Alice didn't opt for revenge.
Karen feared what the next day would be like, but had to go in to finish her social studies assignment. This is where there is a twist. The trio's gang of puppets/boys weren't teasing her and the girls weren't laughing at her. Instead they said hello as usual and some chit-chat about school. Except one step up.
"Karen, I'm sorry about yesterday." Alice muttered, sounding sad.
"No, really-", Karen was cut off.
"We were wondering if you'd like to come to my sleepover on Friday?"
Of course she couldn't refuse. She just thanked them and went off to class, smiling all the way. She had arrived. The trio scuttled to the bathroom, to discuss their plan.
"I have the keys." Alice started. "They're all you need to get up there."
"Do you have the "scary" part?" Michelle asked Jen.
"Sure. It's all ready." Jen replied as the three laughed. They would deal revenge.
The four girls got a lift to Angelo's CD Store on Littleton Boulevard in Brad Strom's car. Karen and Brad had patched things up since their fake relationship so nothing felt uncomfortable. Karen would've felt uncomfortable if she wasn't blinded by the total rush of power currently flowing through her. Alice asked Brad to stay outside for a moment while the girls went inside.
"We need something for the sleepover." Alice told Karen as they went inside,
"Yeah." Karen replied.
"Something…hard? Or something soft?" Michelle asked, at which the girls laughed.
"How about this guys?" asked Jen, who was already at the new rock section with Fallout Boy's From Under the Cork Tree in her hand.
"I've heard it's good."
"It's on sale too." Alice said. "Let's get it."
They left the store and got back into Brad's fairly stochy car to Alice's house; the den. Karen was already overly excited as you might have guessed and she wasn't even a Fallout Boy fan.
The girl's watched TV and got a bite to eat until eight pm when they got their sleeping stuff ready, which was actually quite grand compared to what a boy would expect at a sleepover (nothing). The new CD was played to a fairly loud volume; after all, Alice didn't want her precious plan screwed up by her Mom telling her to shut the music off. The girls were being nice to each other (as they often were) and to Karen, who was sat between Michelle and Jen-
We're always sleeping in, and sleeping for the wrong team
-at the moment. At around ten pm, Alice informed Karen of her mission.
"At these sleepovers Karen, we do things. We do things whether we like them or not." She grinned, but not a friendly grin, but a satanic grin. "Michelle will do her task first, followed by yours which will be decided later." Michelle sighed and walked into the bathroom.
"Now!" yelled Jen, and she locked the bathroom door with Michelle inside with a key.
"Oh no! Let me out" screamed Michelle with a strange sort of phony chord in it.
"This is your task." said Alice, with very little if any enthusiasm. Michelle shut up and the others sat back down.
"It's time for ghost stories!" said Alice excitedly.
"My turn!" eeped Jen. "On time, not far from here, was a man who was very frustrated. He hated life and cursed many people but he seemed to be cursed himself. So he hung himself in the attic and now he haunts the attic for good."
"That's no scary!" piped in Karen.
"Oh really?" asked Alice, "Then prove it."
"What?" asked Karen."
"Go into the attic for 15 minutes without being scared."
"O…ok." Karen came back.
They let Michelle out of the bathroom who didn't really look phased at all. They went to lead Karen up to the attic. Alice tugged the rope and let down the small set of stairs.
"The light cord is directly above you. Good luck." she grinned with more of a Satanist look than ever. Karen slowly walked up the steps, and heard the immediate closing of her one way out and a few giggles from the trio. "It's directly above!" yelled Alice. Karen reached up and pulled the cord.
What she saw next changed her life. The hanging body, with its dismembered face staring at her, swinging in the slight wind brought up by the entrance. Karen screamed, the last thing she heard was "You're scared of that, Jeans-Wrecker?" and the footsteps and laughs heading back into Alice's room.
"Didn't you have a fourth friend today?" asked Mrs. Gardner.
"She's in the attic." Alice replied.
"Alice, don't let your friends in there."
"Fine, we'll go and get her." She sounded as if she intended to keep her in there all night. They pulled down the cord to the loft and called first.
"Ok, Karen you learnt your lesson."
There was no reply. Mrs. Gardner walked up and looked around. Karen was shivering and muttering to herself repeatedly. Mrs. Gardner's comfort would not help, she was stuck.
Now Alice wears two flowers in her hair.
Note: This story uses Fall Out Boy lyrics which were not written by me etc.