Welcome To The Freak Show
Cheerless #1. Sabrina the Teenage Witch and all other characters are © Archie Comics / Hartbreak / Paramount / Whatever.
This work of friction - I mean, FICTION (awful, I realise) - is © myself.
[WARNING: a LOT of dialogue (and plot) from this and the next chapter is directly from the show, but rest of the story builds on it; I promise, starting with Chapter 3 it all comes from my brain (for better or worse), which is why I'm posting Chapter 3 at the same time.]
Shoot, now I've done it - I hit her. I can't believe I just HIT her! Okay, so maybe I hate her stupid guts, and her stupid face, and everything about her freakly personage - or maybe I don't, but... I just crossed over the threshold from passive-agressive banter to physical violence, and... how do I feel? Sorry. The remorse surprises me because I hate her, and at the same time I'm surprised to be surprised. Do I really think I'm above feeling awful for striking somebody, just because it's that loser? More importantly, I know I don't really think of her like that anymore, so why do I still feel like I have to pretend? Why am I such a terrible person and how did I get this way?
...y'know, I'm getting WAY ahead of myself here. Let's take a step back.
My name is Libby Chessler. Hi! I'm a Junior at Westbridge High, and I'm Queen of the school. Conceited much, you say? I don't think so; I've been voted Homecoming Queen three times, so it is kind of a literal thing. I also have the best hair, the most expensive clothes, the hottest guys salivating over me, and everybody - students and teachers alike, even the Vice Principal - are like putty in my hands. Make no mistake, I rule around here - in fact, to lower my self-image by any significant amount, I'd have to be delusional. What? Just being honest.
But while all that's important - because I'm important - it's not really what this is about. It's about that constant thorn in my side, that royal pain that just won't seem to disappear no matter how much she should.
Sabrina Spellman; A.K.A., Freak Of The Century.
One day, almost two years ago, that bizarre little bimbo just waltzed into MY school, smiling at everybody like she was made of daisies and daffodils, and ruined my life. Well, maybe not totally, but she took a good size chunk of the fun out of it. She didn't fall in line like the rest of the peons here; she stood up to me, questioning my logic and motives as if anyone else's mattered. Who the hell does she think she is?! That boundless optimism, good nature, blonde hair and dimples... how annoying.
And, as if her mere putrid presence wasn't annoying enough, she seemed to find new and exciting ways to embarrass me like, every day. How did I end up serving lunch duty out of nowhere? How did I end up wearing two different colour stockings when I KNOW I put on a matching pair that morning? I couldn't even explain some of the weird pranks she pulled, but even though she was very rarely openly hostile toward me, I still knew she was behind it all, I'm sure of it... the sugary sweetness was all a facade. She had it in for me, almost as much as I had it in for her.
The freak attracted other freaks, too; that nonconformist freak with the frizz problem who thankfully disappeared after Sophomore year, and The Amazing Nobody who currently follows her around like a little lost puppy. That one actually had the nerve to try out for OUR cheerleading squad - as if! But I don't care if she hangs out with THEM...
How did she get her claws into Harvey Kinkle? Oh sure, he might only be second string on our beloved football team, and he might not be the brightest crayon in the box, but I wanted Harvey. He's so down-to-earth, so calm and collected... and cute as a button, of course. That smile! Oh, but no, of course Miss Goody Two-Shoes had to steal him away from me, because nothing's ever easy for Libby. I have to maintain being this gorgeous AND compete against that backwards dweeb for what should be mine by default? Where is the justice, I ask you?!
Again, I digress; I've long ago written off Harvey as a lost cause. I mean, if he actually sees something in Safreakna, he must be damaged goods, right? Even though they've kinda been seeing other people lately, he still seems to be immune to my charms... um, not that I'm trying to use them on that sawdust-head again. That ship has sailed. I wish it'd come back to port, though...
Wait, wait, wait. I keep doing that. It's not about Harvey; well, maybe it started there, but it's so much more personal now. It's about Sabrina, it's always been about Sabrina. She infuriates me like nobody else can, but though I can give you an itemised list longer than "The Waging Of War" of reasons she should be banned from the human race, I still can't tell you why she gets under my skin that way. There's just something strange about her, I've always sensed it - I just can't figure out what it is or why it bothers me so much. Why am I, Libby Chessler, almighty ruler of the Westbridge halls, so easily aggravated by that mouth-breathing, yupwardly-mobile, bleached-blonde, self-righteous, pandering, holier-than-thou FREAK!?
...okay, we're back. I was overheating and that's not healthy; needed to take a break, did some yoga breathing. I'm better now. What was I saying? Oh, right - actually, I got off-topic again without realising it - oops! Yes, this is about Sabrina, but more specifically it's about this fight: about why, after all the barbs, jibes, insults and other fun, I finally just up and smacked her one... and why, even though its been a LOOONG time coming, I wish I hadn't.
~Chapter 1: Welcome To The Freak Show~
If I were to really think back, I guess all of this started just before Christmas, when we were trying to decide the best way (mine) to spend the Alumni money; I thought a new throne for the Homecoming Queen was a worthy cause, but the little toe-head had to come up with an idea of her own. What on Earth is a "poetry bash", anyway? Since Vice Principal Kraft and Mrs. Quick couldn't agree on my idea, we had a stupid little campaign, and of course, with a little bribery - I mean, persuasion, everyone chose wisely (me). Although we've always been unpleasant to each other, she said something to me that day that stuck in my mind, right as Mr. Kraft was counting up my votes and I was just about to shift into full-blown gloat mode:
"Why don't you surprise us all by CHANGING and doing something good and kind for once?!"
At the time, I blew it off as more of her immaturity, as her being a sore loser; I knew she thought I was shallow and self-centered, but what's wrong with looking out for Numero Uno? But that stung a little more than I expected it to; she really thought I didn't have a decent bone in my body. So what did I do? I went over to that freak's hovel to actually say "no hard feelings"; I mean, not that I wouldn't go back to bragging about it in the halls the next day, but maybe just this once I could play nice and shake hands, show her I could at least be civil to my nemesis for fifteen seconds. But not only wasn't she there, but as I'm standing there like an idiot, a stupid bug flies up my nose! See what I get when I try to be diplomatic? Those Spellman weirdos can't even afford fly paper, and I'm the one that suffers!
Later, it got even worse. I was at the pep rally having a, um, conversation with Harvey when I got this horrible pounding headache; it must have been that icky bug, even though Harvey said his aftershave was too strong (I thought it smelled sexy- I mean, nice). After the headache, I had a weird spasm and suddenly I was across the room, and just as they called my name to sit in my brand new throne, I up and went blind, then attacked Mr. Kraft! Even though I don't remember the rest of the night very well, I ended up giving back that throne; I had to explain my bizarre behaviour somehow convenient, and rather than let anyone know I actually went to Safreakna's house on purpose, I blamed the ugly chair. In reality, I guess the fly was carrying some kind of African disease...
Wow, am I bad at staying on track! So yeah, that's what started it: I tried to be the bigger person, and all I got was more misery courtesy of that blonde zit on Westbridge's nose. It made me hate her more than ever before.
The next thing that set me off happened a couple weeks after we got back to school from the holiday break. I was walking through the halls, being admired by my public, when I spotted Harvey on the floor. I was growing bored of being adored (Hah, I rhymed! Damn, I'm just that good!), so I wandered over to find out what was going on. Of course, I spied THEM hanging around him; Sabrina and the Nobody. You know, that second-string cheerleader who always seems like she's giving Eeyore a run for his money... Valerie Birkhead, that's her name. Right, whatever. Sabrina was helping Harvey to his feet, and her little flunky was just walking up.
Just as I got there, I heard Valerie say, "Sabrina, I've gotta ask you something."
She pulled her friend away for a private conference, but I was feeling particularly grumpy about having lost a contest a few days earlier (don't ask). "If it's about your hair," I said, "yes, it DOES look like a woodland creature's home."
"Oh, yeah!" She figeted with it. "Well, I... didn't really have time to fix it this morning."
Before I could rip her a new one, Sabrina opened her excessively-large mouth. "Y'know Libby, speaking of hair, how's your chronic lice problem?"
Passing students stopped and stared. Amazing; just loud enough for everybody in the entire hallway to hear without making any teachers curious. How does she DO that so easily? But she wasn't done.
"I mean, you should be charging those little fellas rent."
ARGH, she PISSES ME OFF!!! What's worse is that she's the only one who can piss me off SO BAD that I can't think of a comeback; no one else but Safreakna. And she'd done it again; I stormed off with them snickering behind me, mad at her and at myself for having nothing witty to throw back at her, ready to rip someone's limbs off and throw THEM back at her instead.
I'm so preoccupied that I almost run straight into Jill.
"Whoa, where's the fire, Libby?"
"In your fried hair if you don't give me space."
She blinked. "Hey, sorry."
"Oh, it's not your fault." I sighed and leaned against the wall; I knew I shouldn't take stuff like that out on my friends, but sometimes it's so convenient, you know? "It's you-know-who and her little pinhead sidekick."
"Ahh." Jill peered in on my face. "What happened?"
"Nothing important. I'm just tired of her existing, already. Can't someone call the freak exterminator?"
Jill laughed, and was about to say something when the bell rang. "Crap, I've got Mr. Rothwell next!" she hissed before fleeing. Yeah, Rothwell was a prick... the only teacher I had to break in before I won him over...
The rest of the day passed without incident, but I stewed about it all night. I tried to enjoy The Slicery, and the mall, and the movie (which I don't remember at all now)... but I couldn't shake that vague anger the freak left me with until I went to bed.
But it came back the next day when I saw them again.
"I'd like to thank the two of you for always travelling together," I said, full of false cheer. "It helps me insult you that much more efficiently."
"Libby," Sabrina shot back, "you'd better run along. Aren't you late for your..."
To my surprise, Birkhead finished her thought. "Future Bitter Divorcees of America meeting?"
Okay, I admit to blinking. "My worst nightmare. Freaks in Sensurround." But at least I had a response this time.
Do you see it? Right there? It was escalating, and she was getting better at it than I was. It's not bad enough she had to step all over my fun in the first place, but she had to be WINNING! And that little freakazoid must have spread some kind of rumour about me, because a couple days later everybody was laughing at me and pointing at my face; I never did find out why. But it's all just par for the course, I guess. We always fire insults back and forth like that, and it doesn't really feel like the day's started without a good session of Sabrina-bashing, so even though I was so unbelievably pissed I generally took it in stride.
That's when it got ugly... almost as ugly as her.
~END Chapter One~