Read after Black Sun 12.
Point of View: Narrator
Featured Characters: Margrit Berkshire, Angela Mercy, Julian Hollinger, Silvia Whelan, Bella Wilburn, Paolo Martinez, Scott Berkshire
Word Count: 2193
Margrit hosts a sleepover.
“Ugh, I can’t believe the whole yard is covered in mud. How are we supposed to do witchcraft without a proper fire circle?” Margrit huffed, snatching up a sequined bronze pillow from her favorite recliner before plopping into the seat herself. She hugged the pillow to her chest and cast a morose look toward the bedroom window, where a fine drizzle of rain beat against the glass with a soft patter. The weather was unusually overcast and wet for an early September evening, forcing Margrit’s long-awaited camp-out sleepover to move indoors. None of her four guests seemed to have a problem with this, though; despite the redhead’s complaints about how cramped they’d be, her bedroom suite was bigger than some apartments. Only Silvia would happily trade plush carpet for pine needles and hard dirt, and that girl literally called the woods home.
Margrit, for her part, was mainly concerned that her lavishly decorated bedroom wouldn’t provide the proper atmosphere for her newest obsession. When the weeping skies had forced a change of plans, the girls had settled on a movie night instead. The Craft was the first thing all of them could agree on. It satisfied their four out of five vote for a thriller, but wasn’t too scary for Julian. Unfortunately it only served to make Margrit even more eager to try hexing her enemies or uttering creepy chants.
“Did you completely miss the entire point of the movie?” Angela rolled her eyes as she ejected the Blu-ray and snapped it neatly back into its case.
“Magic to make yourself beautiful, powerful, and loved? I am failing to see the downside here,” she proclaimed, shaking the pillow at Angela. She flicked her scarlet curls over her shoulder.
Angela cast a significant glance at Julian. The girl was standing near the window, staring out into the storm and idly twirling her Color Guard baton. It was clear from her pursed lips that she was pretending not to be amused with the conversation; when Angela waved to catch her eye, the brunette just shrugged and grinned. With a dramatic groan and a mouthed Traitor, Angela flopped back on the sofa.
“Someone back me up here,” she demanded. “I can’t even.”
“I don’t know, Margrit. Mad with power, never knowing who to trust, unforeseen curses and consequences…” chimed in Bella, rolling over onto her stomach and giving the younger girls a wry smile. She and Silvia were sprawled side-by-side on Margrit’s king-sized canopy bed, last year’s high school yearbook open between them.
“I don’t need criticism from our resident Isabella Swan,” retorted Margrit.
A chorus of groans echoed around the room. Even Julian pulled a face.
“No one is going to miss that tired-ass old joke,” muttered Bella. “Twilight is done, Margrit. Get over it. If this shit follows me to Merrywood, I swear to god I’m changing my name.”
In two weeks, Bella would be gone, officially starting classes at Merrywood Community College. She and Margrit’s older brother were making the trip together, since they’d both chosen the same school. Meanwhile, Silvia would be entering ninth grade. This was the first time the fourteen-year-old had been invited to join one of their group’s get-togethers, mainly at Angela’s insistence, but she was fitting in well so far. Before the movie started, Bella had been pointing out some of the faces and names and giving Silvia a lowdown on the social cliques at Silent Pines High School. It looked like where they were losing one member of their posse, they’d gained another. A freshman kid wasn’t Margrit’s first choice to replace Bella in her Court of Queens, but she was eager and ambitious. And she’d been attached to Julian for years now.
“Don’t be offended, Bella. Breaking Dawn wasn’t that bad.” Margrit shifted in her chair and looked smug, pleased that she’d turned the tide of conversation. “You’re just angry that your namesake chose Edward in the end.”
“EVERYONE is angry that she chose Edward!” Angela blurted, swiftly exchanging one crusade for another. She jumped to her feet and took to pacing, waving her hands animatedly as she ranted. “Jacob was actually a good guy. He and Bella had chemistry. In scenes with them, Bella even seemed human sometimes, and—Arrrrrrrrgh, I can’t believe Meyer completely retconned everything that was amazing about Jacob and Bella with one stupid bluurrrgghh!”
To cap off her display of rage, the blonde dropped to her knees and face-planted into a beanbag chair with a sinking crinkling sound. Everyone could still hear her muffled monologue as she carried on cataloging her OTP’s defense.
“That’s it. We need a new obsession.” Julian gave the belly-flopped girl a wide-eyed, worried stare. “Something good enough that Angela doesn’t need to smother herself.”
Margrit’s face lit up. Before she could speak, Julian shook a finger at her. “Don’t you dare say Fifty Shades! Or we’re going to smother you.”
Angela lifted her head to scowl, spitting her hair out of her mouth.
“Fuck yes, anything but another Margrit series, please. Just because you like being a crazy bitch with the hots for serial killers and cold emotionless dicks doesn’t mean the rest of us have to suffer,” she said flatly.
The slim lines of Margrit’s eyebrows rose. She leaned forward in her seat to hiss at Angela, “And just because YOU have a dark Adonis for a boyfriend right now doesn’t mean you can act like an uppity whore about OUR romantic choices.”
“Not our choices,” Bella corrected in the same moment that Silvia wrinkled her nose and asked, “What’s an Adonis?” That boyfriend being spoken about happened to be her older brother, and she wasn’t sure if he’d just been insulted or complimented.
“It’s an allusion to a Greek god’s supreme hotness, but you’d have to be as old as Emily Brontë to ever use it,” explained Angela. She shot Margrit a wide, toothy smile. “What’s the matter, Margreeeeet? Not having any luck charming boys of your own with all those ancient snakes in your hair?”
The insult had its desired effect. Margrit rose slowly and purposely from her chair, balled up her fists at her side, and gave Angela a look so sour she could’ve been sucking on lemons.
“For your information, I have my eyes on Owen DeWhitt and I KNOW he’s into me.”
A clatter from across the room had Bella glancing up from her yearbook.
Angela and Margrit were now so wrapped up in slinging insults back and forth that neither caught Julian cracking herself in the face with her own baton, nor the awkward look as she scrambled to pick it up. Even Silvia was too busy glancing back and forth between the arguing duo with excited interest. Bella was the sole witness to the peculiar behavior.
The older girl chewed ponderously on one of her nails before catching herself and glancing down at her fingers. Sighing, Bella slipped off the bed to cross the room, sidestepping Margrit’s emphatic gestures. As she passed Julian, she leaned to whisper in her ear.
“That wasn’t subtle at all.”
Julian grimaced and plopped down next to Bella on the cushioned window seat. Balancing her baton on her knees, she let her head tip back against the cool glass pane with a clonk. The sound of the rain was almost enough to drown out the bickering of their friends. Almost. Julian tilted her head towards Bella, her expression so world-weary that Bella had to laugh.
“You’re not going to tell them, are you?” she pleaded.
“Hey, you’re keeping my secret, I can keep yours.” Bella teased, bumping her shoulder against Julian’s. Then a more concerned look fell over her features. She dropped her voice lower. “Except… you liked him, didn’t you? How many times are you gonna step aside for—”
This time it was Julian who laughed.
“It’s not like that,” she interjected. “Sometimes you just know it’s not the right time or person. And I don’t want anyone avoiding a chance at sparks and fire just because of some crazy best friend code of ethics. …Besides, if they knew they’d try to fix it and there’s not anything for them to fix.”
“That sounds like Julian-speak for ‘These bitches can’t mind their own damn business.'”
Julian’s second round of giggling was interrupted by a heavy thud and Angela’s frantic squealing. Silvia screamed Julian’s name, clutching one of the bedposts. At some point the shouting match had escalated and Margrit now had Angela pinned to the floor. The blonde flailed, desperately trying to free herself before a dirty sock was shoved into her mouth.
“Noooooo, that’s your brother’s gross smelly gym sock—”
“We’re getting too old for this!” Julian practically threw herself off the window seat to wrap her arms around Margrit and drag her off of Angela. When Margrit struggled, she smacked her in the shoulder. “Stoppit! When I’m DEAD you’re only going to have each other, so you’ve got to cut this out before one of you is killed!”
“Whoa! Hot chick fight.” The sudden and unexpected male voice made every girl in the room freeze and turn to stare at the bedroom door.
“Why the hell is Paolo here?!” exclaimed Angela, picking herself up off the floor. Paolo gave her a wide grin. All of them knew that look. They were steeled for some horrible, filthy comment—but just in time, another interloper shoved him out of the way and barged right into Margrit’s room.
“We’ve come to get Bella,” Scott Berkshire answered, curiously peering around until he found what he was looking for. He snatched up Bella’s backpack from the foot of the bed and ruffled Julian’s hair in one smooth motion. Julian furiously threw his arm aside while Bella rose from the window seat with a laugh.
“Scott, I’m in my PJs,” she protested, but she didn’t look terribly surprised to see him.
Margrit, meanwhile, dashed over to the doorway and stretched her arms out straight to either side. The corner of her mouth twitched when Paolo rested his chin on her shoulder. A moment later, he yelped when her foot stomped down on his toe.
“I beg to differ,” Margrit told her brother archly, ignoring Paolo’s whimpers. “This is my last night with Bella. Go do your stupid shit with someone else.”
“Sorry Margrit, the Society of the Silent Town calls. We’ve got to pass the torch on to Chris and Charlie tonight.”
Nonetheless, Margrit didn’t budge. Not until Scott hefted her and tossed her like a ragdoll at her own bed. Silvia just barely had enough time to roll out of the way as Margrit flopped and bounced on the mattress with an angry shriek. Bella didn’t look even the slightest bit sorry. She simply wiggled her fingers in a wave as she followed the boys out the door. Just before she disappeared around the door frame, she paused and mouthed at Silvia: Good luck.
“What’s the Society of the Silent Town?” Silvia asked when the dust had settled, situating herself in a safer spot on the floor with a giant throw pillow. Julian grabbed her sleeping bag from a nearby armchair and stretched out beside her.
“It’s an old tradition,” she explained. “When the high school was built, a bunch of students started a super secret club. And they do things. Mysterious secret things.”
“It’s just an excuse to find creepy places to drink and get high,” Angela cut in. When Julian shot her a look she shrugged. “Don’t get all twisty-face at me, Judge Judy. They’re the ones with the best weed.”
Julian rolled her eyes with an exasperated sigh. “What if Sheriff Polk catches us with that stuff? One day we’re actually going to get arrested!”
While Julian and Angela bickered about the likelihood of their inevitable incarceration, Margrit grew increasingly pouty. Finally, she hopped back to her feet and clapped her hands loudly to get their attention. Mid-sentence, Julian looked up at her from the floor, putting her chin in her hands.
“Screw their stupid secret club,” declared Margrit, once all their eyes were back on her. “We have one of our own and I think it is about time that we initiate Silvia properly.”
Silvia threw her arms in the air, her face lighting up with excitement.
“I’m one of the pack now!? I’ve been learning SO much already about being an Alpha Girl! What do I do?!”
Pleased with the response, Margrit put her perfectly-manicured hands on her hips.
“We’re going to go claim a trophy of our own,” she told them.
“This sounds like some of that crime Julian was worried about. I’m in!” Angela’s face broke out in her patented Cheshire grin.
Margrit immediately launched into an explanation of her wicked scheme. Julian cast a surreptitious glance around as the girl orated to her captive audience. As soon as she was sure the coast was clear, Julian sneakily reached across the floor to dig her phone out of her bag and thumb out a quick text.
hey owen, you’re about to get kidnapped by a coven of hyper alpha girls
YOU @ 10:04pm
R U N A W A Y
YOU @ 10:04pm