October 13, 201X
Nathan’s party was today and as soon as school ended I started dreading it. For the past week I’ve forgotten to take the side entrance but Steven decided to walk me out of school today so I decided to take it. He seemed a bit impressed. Since he always complains about the crowds, and the press of people when leaving and entering through the main doors I thought he would like the side door. Steven always sounds a bit poetic but today he just looked thankful.
It was all downhill from there, though. We exited into the parking lot, I mean the nice parking lot not the one behind the school. And of course Nathan was there. I thought the party was at 7, but there Nathan was loading his friends into Jeep like it was a freaking clown car. Steven stopped when I did and we watched Nathan pull out of the parking lot and started driving in the direction of our house.
“Do you want to go to the hardware store with us?” he asked me.
I knew I couldn’t go because I had to help with the party but the hardware store? There was really no reason my friends would go to a hardware store immediately after school so I just had to ask.
“Why would we go there?”
“Willis said that he’s got some nice spraypaint and there’s no cameras there so we’re going to test it out,” he explained.
I froze, really trying to come up with an excuse. Since I had none I knew that I would need to actually tell the truth. That I actually just didn’t feel comfortable spray-painting anything, especially in a public place. Even if they didn’t have cameras I know I can’t do something like that. But just before I was about to come out and tell him why I couldn’t do it I remembered a perfect excuse.
“Sorry my parents are out of town and I need to be at home.” I told him, and that was sort of true. Mom and Derrick are staying at a hotel today because of Nathan’s party so they really aren’t in town.
He told me that was cool and started walking in the direction of the hardware store and I just continued to the bike rack. Even though I needed to help Nathan out with his party I didn’t head there at first. If I was going to help with the party and be forced to hang out above all the noise I needed to do my homework first. But don’t worry diary on my way to the Y I made sure to grab this gem for the lyric of the day…
These nightmares always hang on past the dreeeeeeams - Impossible Year//Brandon Urie
I know Kelly and the other do their homework like the day they’re due, but I don’t like to do that. In the morning I like to have just enough time to do my makeup, get dressed, and eat breakfast before I have to leave. Actually I don’t even know how Lowell managed to do his homework because he wakes up like fifteen minutes before school starts and just sprints to the door. That’s exactly what I don’t want to do, that’s why I always do my homework right after school.
And besides the Y isn’t that bad of a place to hang out. The receptionist is really cool so I know even if a jerk comes in and starts being mean I have someone in my corner. Nelson’s known me since I was eight and we talk every time I go to girl scouts.
But when I got there he was busy with paperwork and I was just sitting at one of the bright orange tables doing my homework and trying not to burn my eyes on the neon. It may have just been the atmosphere but my homework went pretty slow today. I found myself tipping back in the cyan backed chair and staring at the clouds out the window. I hoped that it being cloudy would mean that not too many people would come to Nathan’s party, but I knew that wouldn’t matter. Last year there had been a thunderstorm during prom and the gym was still packed.
Though it being cloudy would just make anyone spray painting less visible. When I finished my english homework I was wondering why I didn’t just go with them. I wouldn’t have to actually spray-paint it, but it would have just been nice to hang out with them. But instead I decided to act like a freaking brownie and go to the YMCA to do my homework. Gosh, I really need to grow up.
Once I had at least tried on all of my homework I biked back home. And I peddled slower and slower as I got closer to the house. I knew Nathan’s friends would be in the house and there was really no reason I should be going home. But Mom had told me to help Nathan set up the party, so I would.
I got inside and what do you know Nathan was there. And all of his friends were there. I heard them in the living room when I came in. The sound of all those people gave me an idea. If Nathan had so many people over then they could just help him set up. Since he already had all the help he needed I just went up the stairs to my room.
It was actually a little scary diary. It was like Natan appeared out of nowhere, smiling. And by this point I know that when Nathan’s smiling it’s not going to be a good time for me.
“Hey Naomi,” he said, “You’re back from school?”
“Yeah,” I whispered, there was no point for me to really answer though and I don’t really know why he even asked. It was obvious that I was back from school.
“Great, can you go make the snacks and set the drinks on ice?” he said, then pointed backwards down the stairs, “The stuff is in the kitchen.”
To try to prevent things from getting too awkward I laughed, but I think we both could tell it was very forced, “It looks like you have enough help already down there though.”
He shrugged, “Nah we’re just hanging out, this party’s in our house so it’s our family that has to prepare for it. Thanks for being a team player.”
Good thing I’m such a team player, diary because I got to prepare the snacks for Nathan’s party. The party that I wasn’t even allowed to go to. Such a team player.
On my way into the kitchen I made sure to keep my head on a swivel. Nathan’s friends were already in the house and I just needed to get into the kitchen, do what I needed to do and get back to my room. But Nathan’s a guy of his word I guess. All the stuff for pigs in a blanket, mozzarella sticks, chips and dip, and even instant brownies were laid out on the counter. At least Nathan treats his friends nicely.
I wanted to put on an audiobook but knew it wouldn’t be a good idea. That incident in the library taught me a lot about situational awareness and that I probably shouldn’t put even one of my senses to sleep when there were enemies nearby. So I made the snacks in total silence, with only the occasional wincing from every sound that came from outside the kitchen doors.
Even though I was really bored while doing it all I’m really glad I did it. Because before the kitchen door even opened I heard the unmistakable sound of footsteps that weren’t Nathan’s coming closer. Thanks to that I had some time to prepare myself, mentally that is, for the fact that my peaceful cooking would end and I would be stressed. But that I would be okay, and before long I could go to my room.
“Hey Nano!” It was Gwen and she was acting like my friend for some reason.
No matter how she acts Gwen is not my friend so I didn’t say hi back. I knew Nathan would make me remake the food if I burnt any of it. So while the cheese was frying and the brownies were in the oven I concentrated on pouring out the chips and putting the salsa and cheese dip into bowls.
“Can I try a mozzarella stick?”
Again I didn’t answer but she reached over my shoulder and grabbed one anyway. And strangely she dipped it in the cheese sauce. I was almost laughing at her for enjoying something so weird but she ate it before anyone could come in and see her.
It seemed like she had opened the floodgates. Soon Nathan and everyone he had brought over was hanging out in the kitchen, not helping of course, they’re too good to help me. No diary, they were just sitting on the counters, leaning against the oven, you know generally impeding my cooking in every way they could. Actually it got so bad, with Benji almost knocking over the bag of chips three times, that I wished Mom was there to help me out. I hate that Derrick makes her do all the cooking, but she would have been very useful today.
I had to say excuse me to Nathan three times before he moved away from the oven and I was lucky that the brownies didn’t burn. Maybe I shouldn’t have been so polite. I wonder what he would have done if I just pushed him out of the way. When I got back and my hands were being burned through the oven mit I had put on, Micheal was leaning on the counter where I had set up the cooling rack. And even though I know Micheal isn’t anywhere near my league it was really, I don’t know like a reality check when he didn’t even budge a bit for me. Instead I had to reach behind him to get the cooling rack and work in the only corner of the kitchen that they weren’t occupying, and try to do everything as best as possible. The only thing worse than being in the house while Nathan was hanging out with his friends was having him yell at me with them there too, it’s the ultimate embarrassment.
Once I was done cutting up brownies, pouring out all of the cips, and frying all the cheese sticks I was going to do up to my room and hope that my lock worked but of course Nathan stopped me before I could go.
“Hey before you go upstairs can you put the drinks on ice, they’re in the fridge?” somehow he was able to recreate that town parents use when they ask you to do something. Like they expected you to do whatever they said or else there would be trouble.
I obeyed him. Taking one of the ice buckets Mom uses for dinner parents from the cabinets and started filling it up from the freezer. It took a good few minutes and I honestly wondered if we would run out of ice, but eventually the bucket was full. But God help Nathan if he ran out of ice during the party, because I sure wasn’t going to.
And I only tell you about that small act of rebellion to make sure you know I’m not a total wimp, diary. I swear that yes, I’m actually fourteen and in my first year of highschool. But I actually flinched when I saw what Nathan had left in the fridge for me to put on ice. Beer, Blue Moon to be exact. I even saw some light stuff thrown in there. Even though I never make my discomfort super noticeable Nathan still noticed somehow and just had to laugh.
“You thought we’d be drinking capri sun?” he asked me, and I hope that Michal’s laugh was forced.
My face burned and I’m just glad that skin’s too dark for them to see me blushing. I put the drinks on ice though and tried not to make too much of a scene about it. Nathan was right though, I shouldn’t have been so surprised about the beer. My real question is where he got it. Though I heard that some grocery stores in Olympia don’t require an I.D. for alcohol sales. Those places must make a ton.
I tried not to focus on the beer as I put the drinks on ice. Instead I focused on the wide variety of soda and water he had bought. He had coke, and sprite, and even some white claw and fanta. For those people who didn’t want to risk getting drunk. Because if your parents even catch a whiff of alcohol on you, there’s a guarantee that the entire town will know.
Putting the drinks on ice was the last thing I needed to do and once it was done I practically teleported back to my room, it was that fast. And I’m so glad for that because as soon as I got my door closed and sunk into my black striped sheets I heard the front door open and the voices downstairs got louder. So now I’m here, diary. In my room, sitting on bed, Satin’s with me of course but I hope his elephant ears don’t pick up too much noise.
Me? I’m just trying to listen to music and trying to block out the noise. The telltale sound of glass breaking just exploded from the stairs. I’m going to have to “help” Nathan clean all this up tomorrow morning. And by “help” it’ll probably be like with the snacks with Nathan and whatever friends are left over hanging out while I do all the work. It’s going to be hell diary, isn’t it? And I’m too done with everything to care about swearing right now diary….Hold on, my phone just buzzed I should check. It might be Mom telling me goodnight.
Spoiler alert diary, it wasn’t Mom. It was Charlie asking me if I want to walk to Juniper Place with her for the meeting tonight. This party came so quickly I completely forgot all about the meeting tonight. Mom asked me to stay for the party though, she asked me to bond with my brother. But something tells me Nathan doesn’t want to bond with me. So why am I even here, diary? I didn’t ask for Nathan and this party but I did make a commitment to Charlie and the cult. And right now I know which one sounds more appealing. I’ll see you when I get back, diary.
Alright diary, it’s four am and the party is starting to die down downstairs. I’m back in my room, though I’m laying down right now because frankly I’m really tired. Before I left I made sure to change. Going to Juniper Place is essentially a hike, but I really don’t know the intersection between proper hiking attire and satanic cult outfits. Most of my clothes are black or maroon or white so I think I have a bit of an advantage in that regard.
I ended up going for fleece black lined pants and my bleach art black hoodie. The one I burned a flower pattern in with bleach. It’s great and I really thought it would be a good thing to wear for both the meeting and the hike.
Charlie met me at the park gate. Her hair was pulled back in a low ponytail and she was wearing baggy hiking pants, a black tank top, and a neon yellow sweater. I guess she wanted to make sure everyone in the woods could see her in case something happened.
“You made it, I heard your parents are out of town, is that why you were late?” she asked me as we got on the trail.
The woods at night were actually pretty peaceful, and I really didn’t want to ruin the atmosphere by talking about Nathan and his party.
“I don’t want to talk about it.”
Charlie got the message and we just continued our walk in silence. But not uncomfortable, it was just peaceful. At the first turn I saw a chipmunk sleeping in the brush. Since I didn’t know what it was at first I had to move the brush away and let the moonlight illuminate the small animal half buried in the dirt. It was pretty cute but I had to physically stop Charlie from stopping to pet it. Honestly I don’t know what she learned in those mandatory girl scout forest safety classes. Everything in the forest could have diseases! And she’s just trying to pet a wild animal. If this is what Satan is preaching I’m not so sure about all of this.
Once we got to Juniper Place all of the candles were lit and hanging out on the roots of the trees again. Only this time the candles weren’t red, they were white. Which means, dear diary, that someone, probably Evelyn, had replaced all of the red candles with white ones. And there weren’t just five or six of these small white, real candles! There were like thirty or fourty scattered throughout the woods leading up the clearing. Their smoke mixed together with the almost minty smell of the pine forest and made the air taste like a christmas fireplace.
Once we were inside the clearing there were even more candles, like twenty more just resting on the ground. Honestly with all her girl scout duties and school work I’m surprised Evelyn has enough time to both scatter and light a bunch of candles in the woods. And speaking of Evelyn she and the rest of the clutists were hanging out when Charlie and I walked in. (Can I call it walking in when we were all outside?) Instead of the organised circles and blood pouring of the previous night, everyone was just leaning again trees, staring at the candles, and basically just talking to each other. Charlie was right I guess, it is sort of like girl scouts.
Evelyn came up to us once we were in the clearing. She was carrying a yellow Dollar General bag, but for some reason I didn’t think that it was discount merchandise in the bag. We greeted each other and I really hope it wasn’t as awkward as I thought it was, I let Charlie do most of the talking anyway. After the pleasantries were out of the way Evelyn reached into the bag and pulled out what looked like two american girl dolls, though they were pretty mutilated. Their clothes were stripped, showing off their greyed out skin and sharpied out faces. And they had a bit of heft to them too, the one she handed to me was much heavier than any American Girl doll I had ever held.
“Thanks?” I said to her, trying to smile.
“Don’t worry,” Evelyn laughed, “All will be explained in time.”
By this point Charlie had already started playing with her doll, smoothing it’s torn and ripped hair and telling it that it would be fine. Evelyn smirked like the dool would not, in fact, be fine. The girl scout leader looked at the thin, floral watch on her wrist.
“Now we’re just waiting for Micheal.”
I winced and debated saying something. When I left Micheal was still at the party nursing a light Blue Moon and swaying to the music. He didn’t look like he was leaving anytime soon. And it really isn’t my business what Micheal does, but it was already late and I didn’t want to be a zombie tomorrow morning.
“I don’t think he’s coming.” I told her.
By this point Evelyn had turned her attention away from me but her burning intense gaze fixed on me when I said that, she raised an eyebrow, “And why do you say that?”
Even Charlie had stopped playing with her new doll to look at me. I hadn’t wanted to talk about it, but it looked like I had to, “Nathan’s throwing a party tonight and when I left he was still there and still enjoying it.”
Evelyn sighed like her kid was running wild around Walmart. Soon after I told her she went to the center of the clearing and clapped her hands to get everyone’s attention.
“Alright everyone given that everyone who is coming is here I’m going to go ahead and explain what we’re doing tonight,” she held up one of the dolls and yet another dollar general shopping bags. From the bag she pulled out a knife and judging by light reflecting off of the blade it was new and pretty sharp, “I have given you all a shared energy doll that I made. How you use them is pretty simple, think about who has hurt you the most, stab the doll, and they will feel your rage.”
Everyone went up to her and got a knife. I held mine far away from my body. As much as I made fun of Charlie for getting so attached to her doll so quickly I also didn’t want to mutilate mine even further. I looked over at Charlie and saw her eyes shining looking at her knife and knew I had to do whatever I had to do.
Once everyone had gotten a knife and we had placed our dolls on the ground for a better stabbing angle, Evelyn projected her voice again.
“Alright time to get stabbing everyone,” she said, “Oh but are there any questions? Any concerns?”
I kept my mouth shut and everyone else did too. Once Evelyn also keeled down in front of her doll someone swung the first knife. And don’t believe all of the hype diary, Julian didn’t scream when the blood squirted all over him he just jumped up a bit. It was the other people that started screaming when the blood went everywhere.
As it turns out, diary the dolls were filled with little packs of blood sewed directly into the stuffing. Even brushing against the packs sent jets of thick liquid spilling out. And by the amount of blood in each doll I was a bit suspicious. There was no way Evelyn would have access to that much blood, the nearest blood bank is miles away. But anyway I was kneeling close to Julian when I stabbed my doll for the first time. I didn’t really know who I was angry at on my first stab but when the blood started drenching my hands it was somehow warm even though the night was cold. I stabbed it again and got angry, and angrier, and angerier. Eventually even though I was pretty quiet on the outside on the inside I was screaming Nathan’s name. And I won’t lie to you diary I hope he felt every, single, stab.
“You’re really getting into this, huh?” Julian asked me.
Covered in blood I tried to look nonchalant. With a shrug I said, “I guess so, it’s sort of fun.”
He laughed and looked back at his doll and stabbed it, “I just hope you’re not stabbing the conductor, I don’t want him to be too hurt tonight.”
“Why are you so mad at Mr. Lemmons?”
“I don’t know,” he sighed, “He’s just grinding my gears and making everyone obsessed with this stupid competittion.”
“Yeah it seems like everyone’s freaking out about it.”
He laughed bitterly, “Not everyone. I think he’s trying to compensate for the fact that only like a fourth of the school even knows there’s an orchestra competition so I kind of understand.”
We kept up stabbing our dolls and there was so much blood spilled on the dirt that I was sure any ranger that came they would think it was a murder scene. But in the moment I didn’t care. I just kept thinking of Nathan and how mad I was about him throwing that stupid party! Honestly diary I don’t think I could have stopped if I wanted to.
In between jabbs into the doll (it was already looking like a mess of fabric and feeling like a wet rag but like I said I couldn’t stop) I muttered under my breath, “I wonder why Evelyn isn’t at the party. Nathan probably invited her, she’s popular enough.”
Julian made eye contact with me and looked genuinely scared. I turned around and Evelyn was behind me. Maybe it was the late night or that fact that I was holding a knife but for once when I was talking to her I felt confident. And I’m sure the look on my face just dared her to mess with me.
“Simple it’s because I don’t care about being popular. I live by the vow I made three years ago, I live for only myself and Satan.”
Darn diary, do you think she really means that or she’s just trying to sound cool? And if she does you think I’ll ever care that little?
Naomi J. Morgan