2012: Crime is the Best Part

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Read after Black Sun 017.

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Point of View: Narrator
Featured Characters: Angela Mercy, Julian Hollinger, Eric Mercy
Word Count: 809

Angela gets woken up for a birthday surprise.


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“OH JESUS FUCK WHAT!” Angela screamed, bolting up in her bed only to have the loud horn noise go off AGAIN and a handful of confetti tossed in her face. She sputtered, furiously slapping torn up pieces of paper out of her hair.

“Haaaaappy Birthday! As of 3:07 AM you are officially FIFTEEN! What do you wish for?!” Julian stood above her, horn in one hand and in the other; a giant garment bag and a brown shopping sack.

“More SLEEP.” The blond flopped backwards, dragging her blanket up over her head as Julian laughed and start hopping. The giggling was so infectious and the jostling got so bad, Angela herself erupted in to laughter.

Then her bedroom door swung open. “What’s going on in here?!” Angela’s father lingered bleary-eyed and confused, with his hair all disheveled and a table lamp raised in his hand. After a few squinting blinks he seemed even more bewildered. “…Julian how did you get in here?”

“You’re naked, Mr. Mercy.” Julian responded with a reciprocating wide-eyed blink over her shoulder.

The man cursed out under her breath, followed by his hurried steps down the hall and the slamming of his bedroom door. Julian choked back another round of laughter.

“Your Dad sleeps naked!

Angela groaned. “Grooooooss, don’t acknowledge it, just pretend it doesn’t happen!” She finally sat up though, just in time for Julian to plop next to her in the bed. The giant white garment bag was tossed at the foot of the bag, while Julian opened up the brown one. The first thing she pulled out was a pint of Cherry Garcia and a spoon. Both of which Angela snatched out of her hands in and instant.

“I kneeeew you wouldn’t wake me up at fuck-o’clock without the proper snackriface.” she kissed Julian’s cheek before popping the lid off and shoving a spoonful in her mouth. A happy sighed followed.

Julian laughed again. “I couldn’t let you kill me on the most important day of the year. So what do you want, Quinceañera Queen? Anything in the world – as long as it doesn’t get us picked up by Sheriff Polk AGAIN. We’ve got to be out get-of-jail-free cards by now.”

“What? But crime is the best part of birthdays!” sulked Angela. While she pouted, Julian stole her spoon to dig in to the ice-cream herself. Angela was given a shrug of the shoulders and the wordless response of get over it, pick something legal. “Fiiiine.” the older girl huffed. “I WANTED to steal your Dad’s credit card, skip school and go on a shopping spree bu-”

A little gold card was yanked out of Julian’s back pocket and thrust in front of Angela’s face. On the bottom in raised letters read a familiar name.


“I said anything that doesn’t get us picked up by the Sheriff. I didn’t say light crime and truancy was off the table.” Julian grinned. “We have to get it back to his office before he gets off work, though. Otherwise we are guaranteed to be buried alive out in Devil’s Wood.”

“You are the BEST! What do you think; a diamond tiara or a HORSE?”

“How about just some new clothes for school so I don’t spend the next twenty years grounded? You’ll get a tiara on a different birthday.”

“Gasp! Is that a promise?” Angela batted her eyes at her best friend, who just rolled her own. “Okay, so what else is in the bag? And THAT!” she pointed at the end of the bed. “Give me.”

Julian’s grin went wide again as she reached across the bed and snatched up the white garment bag. “The surprise part of your birthday! If you’re going to be Queen for the day, you might as well dress like one and get that silly fashion photo shoot you’ve always wanted. Wearing a pretty dress and in your fancy new wardrobe Dad’s gonna murder me over.” She unzipped it, flashing a generous portion of peachy-pink taffeta and gauzy sheer layers. “It’s the ugliest thing I have ever seen.”

“I looooove iiiiit!” squeaked out Angela to gather it up and hug it. “I love yoooou! Do you have any idea how much?!”

“You might not love me so much when you find out who the photographer is.”

“What- oh fuck is it Paolo? Fucking Paolo!”

Another laugh was the response.

“Man, I can’t even be mad. Well, his ass better be awake because I want gorgeous pics from sunrise to sunset.”

“On it!” Julian chimed back. Angela rolled out of bed as Julian pulled out her cellphone to thumb out a text.

“Hey, you think Caleb will notice me in this dress?”

Julian snorted. “I think aliens on the other side of the Milky Way are going to notice you in that dress.”


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