One

Sidney Carvel groaned as her alarm clock screamed at her. She attempted to block out the sound with her pillow but could still here the nagging noise. Defeated, she sat up in bed and begrudgingly glared at her tormenter, a Minnie Mouse clock. The beady little eyes of the rodent seemed to taunt her.

"Fuck you, Minnie!"

She slapped the mouse hard on its head and the ringing finally, finally, stopped. Minnie grinned at her and Sidney could have sworn there was a devilish glint in her eyes.

"You're lucky you're my second favourite Disney character," she spoke to the inanimate object. Minnie said nothing.

Sidney dragged herself out of her comfy bed and walked over to her dresser, stepping on something small, hard, and painful.

"Ouch! Shit! Frick!" She glanced down at the weapon. "Sam! How did one of your friggin' Lego's get stuck in my room?"

All she received was an angry 'language' from her father.

The teenager huffed, rolled her eyes, and hurriedly threw on some close she found on the floor. Sidney then raced down the stairs, limping a small bit due to the immense pain she was in.

"Morning sweetie," her mom greeted her as she skidded into the kitchen.

"Hey Ma," was all Sidney uttered before sitting down at the table and digging into the food.

"Be careful, you'll choke," her dad warned.

"Yeah, we wouldn't want that to happen now would we?"

Sidney stopped her inhalation just long enough to give her younger brother one of her dirtiest looks. His bright blue eyes, the only trait the two siblings shared, taunted her from his spot at the opposite end of the table. Sidney found for the millionth time what it would've been like if she were an only child. Peaceful.

"You ready for your math test, son?" Sidney's' dad inquired at Sam.

By 'math test' her dad meant small-inexplicably-easy-questions-that-just-so-happened-to-have-numbers-in-them quizzes.

"Uh huh!" Sam nodded his head cheerfully. "I studied really hard all weekend long!"

Their father smiled and, seemingly satisfied with the answer, went back to his book. Sidney craned her head a little to see what he was reading this time.

'The Exhausted Guide To Turnips!'

Sidney had no idea there was an entire book dedicated to turnips of all things, but it made sense for her dad to come in contact with it. Her dad was… different to say the least. He always found books and articles that he seemed to enjoy, but didn't make sense to Sidney at all.

Sidney scarfed down the rest of her cereal in record time and bolted back to her room to pack her bag for school.

School. She hated school. Well, that wasn't fair. It wasn't that she hated school, that's too strong a word and there are other plenty of hateable things (her brother for example). No, she didn't hate school. If it wasn't for this 'learning' place she wouldn't have met her best friends and art class wasn't so bad. She just disliked it. Strongly.

Lugging her heavy, now filled, backpack back down the stairs, she couldn't help but feel… weird. As if something was going to happen. She didn't know why, it was just a gut feeling. Although, her gut feelings weren't always correct, like the time she decided it would be a great idea to befriend that stray dog she met (that ended up getting her twenty two stiches and a scar she still showed off to this day). But her gut feeling did sometimes work, that's how she met Lee. So it was kinda 50/50.

"Sidney! The bus is coming over the hill!"

Sidney was yanked out of her thoughts when her mother called her. "Okay Ma! I'm coming!" She jumped the rest of the way down the stairs, only stumbling a little bit.

"Bus is coming into the yard!"

"Thanks Ma, I'm here.

"You're late!"

"Can it, Sam."

"Mom!" Sam wailed. Sidney rolled her eyes.

"Don't roll your eyes at me!"

Sidney glared at her younger brother, wondering how they were even related.

"Kids, the bus…" their mom ushered them.

"Kay, bye Ma. Thanks." Sidney ran to the bus and hopped on, taking the same seat she always did, the first on the left. Her brother bounced on and the bus took off.

The dark haired teen slumped against the slightly cushioned seat and closed her eyes as the low hum of the bus filled the silence.

That was one of the great things about being the first ones on, there were no screaming children for about ten minutes. But the draw back was that you had to wake up really early. Well, not extremely early, but for a growing teenager six o'clock was the same as the crack of dawn. Sometimes she really hated living on a farm.

The bus hit a bump and Sidney bounced a little in her seat. Gotta love those uneven country roads.

Veronica Brynn sighed as hot water cascaded over her tired body, waking her up just enough. She smiled dreamily as she remembered the last fragments of her dream. The blond girl leaning in, her breath in visible little puffs in the cold air. The way she tilted his head before leaning in to kiss Veronica, their kiss becoming more heated-

"Veronica! You'd better hurry up if you want to be on time for your father to drive you in for school!" her mother called out, breaking her out of her thoughts.

"Yes, Mom!"

She hastily rinsed the remaining soap out of her hair and turned the shower off. She shivered at the loss of heat, wrapping her arms tightly around her as she stepped out of the tub.

After quickly drying herself off, she put on the outfit she had planned the day before; long black legging with a cream coloured tank top, and a cute cashmere sweater.

Veronica padded out of the bathroom and into her room where she put her frizzy hair in a high ponytail.

"Veronica!"

"Just a sec, Mom! I'm almost done!"

The teenager looked around for her bag, finally finding it under her bed, and raced to the entryway where her dad was waiting.

"All ready to go, Princess?"

Veronica smiled and nodded, "Yup!"

She hugged her mom good-bye and walked out the front door and into her dads' pickup.

"Thanks for driving me to school today, Dad. I really appreciate it."

Her dad smiled at her. "Of course. Anything for my girl."

There was a beat of comfortable silence in which Veronica stared out the window, watching the trees and the occasional house whiz by. A few crows flew in the sky.

"So, are you excited for your birthday party?" her dad asked her.

She turned her head to him, an enthusiastic grin spreading across her face. "Yes," she squealed. "I can't wait until Friday! We're going to watch every Disney movie, apart from the sequels, in chronological order!"

"That's a lot of movies for one night, are you sure you can fit it all into that period of time?"

"Of course we can! We'll make time. And if not then we'll just watch all day in the morning too! I'm so excited! I wish it were Friday already!"

"Only five days away," he father reminded her, making butterflies swarm in Veronica's stomach.

"I can't wait! Soon I'll be sixteen! Sixteen! Do you know how long I've waited for?"

"I'm guessing close to sixteen years?" her fathers' eyes were alight with amusement.

Veronica shook her head as she smiled at her father. "Well duh!"

"If it's so obvious then why did you ask me?" her father countered.

"I don't know!"

Her dad chuckled and glanced back to the road, where they were coming into town. "So, who are you inviting again? Was it Kid and Presley?"

"Sid and Leslie," the dark haired teen corrected. "Why do you insist on getting their names wrong every time? I've known them since first grade!"

"Because it's fun to see you get worked up over it every time," her dad grinned at her. Veronica huffed and turned back to the window. The butterflies flitted around in her belly every time she remembered that she was almost sixteen, she was so thrilled.

While some kids in her class would love to have elaborate sweet sixteen, Veronica didn't. She wasn't really into big parties with her closest one hundred friends. She was content to have small parties with her closest two friends, Sid and Leslie. The three of them had been inseparable since they first met.

It had been the first day of school and Veronica, having been homeschooled for kindergarten, had never been more terrified in her life. There were so many kids hanging around at the playground when her mother and she pulled up to the school. She almost asked her mother to turn around and go back home, but she forced herself out of the van and, after a hug from her mom, she walked timidly to the playground.

There were kids of all ages there, some were her age while others looked older and taller. The little girl had been ringing her hands, a habit she had developed whenever she was stressed or nervous, when a voice made her jump from behind her.

"Hiah!"

She had whirled around, a shriek pursing from her lips. In front of her was a short, plump girl. She had short, dark hair that Veronica couldn't decide if it was black like her own or just a dark brown. Her green t-shirt was covered with dirt and she had two rips in her jeans. When she smiled Veronica noticed that there was a gap in between her two front teeth. She was holding onto a backpack with a Batman symbol on it.

"Oh, sorry. I didn't mean to scare ya. I just wanted to say hi. I'm Sidney! Do you want to be friends?"

Veronica, who was in a bit of shock, nodded.

"Great! Now I have two friends." She gestured to a girl behind her. "That's Leslie. My other friend. You can be her friend too! C'mon!" Veronicas' new friend, Sidney, grabbed her hand and led her over to the other girl, Leslie. Leslie had long brown hair that was tied up into a braid and vibrant green eyes. She had on a dark, navy blue sweater and black leggings. "Hi," she said flatly.

"H-hello. I'm Veronica."

Veronica jolted from her memories when her dad pulled into the school parking lot. "Have a great day!"

"You too." Veronica responded as she climbed out of the truck.

"Happy Monday," her dad waved and Veronica stuck out her tongue before shutting the door and walking inside the school.

Leslie Anderson slammed her locker door shut with a loud clang.

I hate Mondays.

She turned on her heel and strolled down the hallway to the lobby, hauling her binder along with her. The speakers overhead were playing some irritating song about being who you are and not caring about what others think about you. Yeah, because that's what every teenager was thinking about right now. She chuckled darkly.

The brunet turned the corner and almost bumped into someone.

"Sorr-," she cut herself off when she realized who it was.

Courtney Spencer.

"Oh. You," was all she uttered before brushing past the living Barbie doll.

"Hey!"

Leslie almost growled at the whine.

"Watch where you're going, Freak!" Leslie could practically see the bitch flipping her fake blond hair over her shoulder with disgust. She clenched her hands and kept walking, not giving Courtney the satisfaction of answering.

The teenager tried to calm herself down, taking deep breaths and letting each one out slowly as she briskly walked to the library.

Fucking Courtney.

Leslie didn't know what is was about Courtney but she didn't like her. Maybe it was the fake nails, fake blond hair, and fake smiles. Maybe it was the fact that the bitch could be shaking your hand with one grasp and stabbing you in the back with the other. Whatever it was, Courtney rubbed Leslie the wrong way.

Leslie pushed her way through the double doors that led into the school library, searching for one of her friends. She immediately spotted her and made her way towards the table Sid was seated at.

"Hey, Stranger!" Sid grinned as Leslie sat across from her. "So how are you this fine Monday morning?"

"Fine," Leslie answered flatly, digging out her welding homework.

"Glad you're still sticking to your normal cheerful self!" Sid smirked and Leslie did her best to hide her smile. "And what is that I see?" Sid leaned closer, her eyes narrowing in mock speculation. "A smile? You may want to get that checked, heaven knows what it'll do to your snarky, tough street cred."

Leslie tried her best to glare at Sid, but found it impossible. "I hate you."

"You and me both, kid," Sid muttered.

Leslie did her best to ignore that.

Leslie finally stared down at the remaining questions on her sheet. "You want to help me? If you can."

"Of course I can help you! How hard could welding be?"

Leslie raised an eyebrow and Sidney's face cracked into another smile, one that lit up her whole face.

"Okay," Leslie read over the question. "What do Welding Mask Signs look like?"

"Bright green!" Sid exclaimed.

Leslie shook her head. "No. They are blue with a welding mask in the center."

"Oh. That was my next guess"

"Sure it was," Leslie moved on to the next. "What are ultraviolet rays?"

Sid brightened up. "Oh! Those would be purple rays that come from the sun!"

The dark haired teenager stared at her friend for a few seconds. "Thanks, Sid. I'd be lost without you."

"I know."

Leslie rolled her eyes and the two of them went back and forth like that until the bell rang and they headed off to their next classes.

Leslie plopped down at the lunch table, startling Veronica who was reading a book and hadn't noticed her. She let out a little shriek.

"Don't scare me like that!"

"Like what? Sitting down?"

"You know what I mean!" Veronica scrunched her nose in frustration.

"Sorry. So how was band practise?"

"It was fine for the most part, but Danny kept kicking my seat. It got really annoying."

"Then tell him to stop," Leslie answered simply.

Veronica shook her head. "No, I-I… that would be too confrontational. People scare me."

Veronica rolled her eyes. Ronnie could be so timid at times. Sometimes it was adorable, but sometimes Leslie just wanted Veronica to grow a spin for a second and say what she wanted to. But she knew that wouldn't happen anytime soon.

"How was your math test?" Veronica asked.

"About as well as any test can be really. I hate math."

"You seem to hate a lot of things. Why math?" Veronica bit into her sandwich.

"Because," Leslie fumbled for the right words. "It's just hard. I guess it's just not my forte."

Veronica nodded. "That makes sense. For me, I struggle with science. I just can't seem to grasp it. Like, I can understand some parts, but not all of it."

"Yeah. School sucks."

"Don't say that. School is important. We'd all be idiots without it."

Leslie found herself begrudgingly agreeing with Veronica. "I guess. Not my favourite thing in life, but not the worst."

Veronica beamed and they both started eating their lunches.

"Sorry I'm late, gals, the stupid line was like a million miles long! And it is not easy carrying soup down the stairs."

Both Veronica and Leslie turned at the voice, already knowing who it belonged to.

Sidney sat down carefully and gently placed her cream of mushroom soup on the table.

"That's okay!" Veronica cheerfully said.

"Thanks. I know you'd be lost without me," Sid smirked, glancing briefly at Leslie before going to town on her lunch.

The three of them finished their food quickly, each of them having to leave early for different reasons. Veronica because she had a band meeting, Sid had a test to do since she didn't do it last Friday due to having the flu, and Leslie because she needed help with her math. Not that she'd let any of her friends know. If they knew how much she struggled with math, they'd make a big deal of it. And Leslie hated that, as she hated many things.

Sid stood up to leave, but bumped right into someone who was trying to get by. Leslie's stomach tightened at the sight.

"Watch it," Courtney scowled.

Sid smiled, a sneer fraying at the corners. "Of course, your Majesty. Wouldn't want to harm you in any way whatsoever." She turned back to her friends. "Later losers! See you after school. Meet in the lobby!" and she was gone, leaving Veronica and Leslie with the devil.

Surprisingly enough, the demon spawn didn't spew loathing to them, but walked right on by which was fine with Leslie.

She turned to Veronica, who was gathering up her things.

"You okay?" she asked.

Veronica glanced up. "Yeah, why wouldn't I be?"

"Courtney just walked past."

"So?"

So? Leslie was taken aback. "You don't care about her?"

Veronica appeared to get flustered. "I… uh… I don't know. I mean, she's just some random person. Heh." She didn't meet Leslie's gaze but she didn't think anything of it.

Leslie, at a loss of words, stood up as well. "I guess you're right," she finally said.

Veronica smiled. "Okay. Well I gotta go to band practice, so I will see you after school. Bye!"

"Bye." Leslie watched her go. She couldn't fathom why Veronica didn't not like Courtney.

Courtney.

She hated that name. She hated her.

Sidney, Leslie, and Veronica laughed hysterically as they exited the theater.

"That has got to be the worst movie I have ever seen!" Sid guffawed.

"I know, right?" Veronica smiled. "That was awful!"

"Definitely one of the worst," Leslie agreed.

"Why did we see it again?" Veronica asked her friends.

"How am I supposed to know? It was Leslie's idea!"

"Oh don't you throw me under the bus! It was all of our idea." Leslie crossed her arms.

"I guess," Veronica nodded.

The trio began walking down the street where Leslie had parked her car. The moon peeked out from behind a couple of clouds and a breeze whispered past the girls. Somewhere in the distance, a car honked angrily. Stores closed up for the night and parents hurried home. The girls walked, side by side, past an alley way. Veronica shivered at the dark and gaping whole.

"You alright, Ronnie?" Sid carefully inquired.

"Y-yeah. I just hate the dark," Veronica muttered.

"Me too."

"Not me." Both girls turned to Leslie. "That's where all the good stuff happens. Murders. Conspiracies. Monsters."

Veronica groaned and covered her ears. "Shut up!"

Sid lightly slapped her friend on the shoulder. "Yeah. Quit it, Lee. You know how scared she gets about things like that." She smirked evilly. "Especially zombies, and ghosts, and spiders, and gunshots!"

Veronica glared at the both of them.

"Sorry," Sidney apologized.

"It's fine."

They all peered into the black, gaping alley way.

"What do you suppose is down there?"

"An alley?" Sid remarked.

"She knows that, dipshit!" Leslie huffed and turned to Veronica. "It probably leads to another street on the other side."

"Okay." Veronica sounded a bit surer.

"Or," Sid gave a maniacal grin. "It leads to an old run down warehouse, where the mafia hide away. And right now, they have a mole amongst them! They have him chained to a pole while they decide what to do with him."

"Stop it, you're freaking me out!"

"The mole begs his men that it wasn't him, that he's innocent. He isn't, but he's a good liar. The mafia has a plan though. They've captured the man's daughter to get the truth out of him. If he doesn't talk, then they'll rip her fingers out, one by one."

"SIDNEY!" Veronica looked horrified.

Sidney immediately quit her story and stepped toward Veronica. "Sorry! I'm so sorry!"

"I-it's okay."

"Okay," Sid uncertainly said.

Leslie placed an arm around Veronica comfortingly. "She didn't mean to scare you."

"I know. I'm just being a sissy." Veronica shuddered.

Sid shook her head. "No you aren't. I'm being an asshole. I'm sorry."

"It's fine. Maybe next time you tell a horror story, you do it in the safety at one of our houses?"

"Will do."

They all nodded, satisfied with the answer.

"So," Leslie spoke. "Home?"

"Yes please!" Veronica exclaimed. "I don't feel safe with all this talk about the mafia."

Leslie smiled sympathetically. "Yeah, me too."

"But wouldn't be cool if the mafia was down that alley?"

"No," the other girls said in unison.

"Think about it!" Sid went on. "One minute you're walking past a street, and the next thing you know, BANG!"

Veronica and Leslie jumped.

"A gun's gone off, and there's a whole that's been shot clean through you!"

Leslie rolled her eyes, Veronica tried to purse her lips tightly together, and Sidney cackled.

That is until a gun went off.