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Nethilia
Oct 17, 2012

Hullabalooza '96
Easily Depressed
Teenagers Edition


Romance, you say? Then I'm in.

Oh, and please give me a flash rule.

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Nethilia
Oct 17, 2012

Hullabalooza '96
Easily Depressed
Teenagers Edition


Second Chances (To Make First Impressions)
[1468]
Flash Rule: Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy from Pride and Prejudice

Mary-Jo’s first impression of Cameron Williams was he was really cute. The second was he was a real jerk.

Right after she’d sat down at the empty desk besides him, he sneered, “Are those Payless brand shoes?” like she should be ashamed they were even on her feet. Then a blonde girl named Jessica Thompson—of course her name was Jessica—squeaked “Ew, she’s wearing poor-kid sneakers!” loud enough it took Mr. Jacobson five minutes to get the class settled down from laughing. Mary-Jo spent all forty-five minutes of class with her feet shamefully tucked under her seat, wishing her family had the money for real Adidas.

By lunchtime, every seventh grader at Bankside Academy knew Mary-Jo could be spotted by her off-brand sneakers. She spent lunch sitting alone in the farthest corner of the lunchroom, nibbling on her sandwich and fighting tears.

Mary-Jo decided right then she would earn every year of her full scholarship at this fancy private rich-kids’ school—and she would not say another nice thing to Cameron Williams the whole time. Even if he was the cutest boy in their grade.

*~*~*

Cameron got back his mid-quarter geometry test with 57/100—See Me! in sharp red pen and knew he was in for it. Coach Holloway lectured him for five minutes that he didn’t care how good of a basketball player he was; if he didn’t have a passing grade by quarter’s end, Coach would suspend him himself.

“Mary-Jo Kenner’s a tutor,” his best friend Robert mentioned as he drove them home from practice. “I hired her for Algebra last year and she got me to a B from a D-minus. Thirty bucks a session. And she’s pretty.”

The next day in third period English, Cameron sat down by Mary-Jo as casually as he could muster. “Hi,” he said, hoping she’d forgotten the thing from three years ago.

Within seconds of her look he knew she hadn’t forgotten a drat thing.

“Uh, Robert said you tutor. Do you think you could help me with—” he stammered.

“Drop dead, Cameron Williams,” Mary-Jo hissed, before making a show of crossing the classroom and sitting besides Tammy Brooks. His crush Jessica started laughing shrilly, and Cameron hunched down in his letterman jacket and wished the floor would swallow him whole.

Four straight weeks of professional tutoring—three times a week, two hundred dollars a session—got him to a middling C. But Cameron couldn’t put the way pretty Mary-Jo’d held a grudge against him out of his mind.

*~*~*

The moment Mary-Jo saw Cameron Williams walking towards her at lunch, she waited for some obligatory platitude, like everyone in their two-hundred person graduating class had done her since class ranking was announced. Even Jessica Thompson had said congratulations with an plastic-doll smile.

Instead, he set a cream colored envelope on her Chemistry II book. “I’m holding a party two nights after graduation,” he mumbled. “See you there. Maybe.”

“Girl, we have to go!” Tammy said once they were alone again. “Bobby Kepler took me to last year’s party. The Williams have full membership at Ivy Meadows Country Club, and I don’t know if you’ve ever been to Ivy Meadows—”

“I haven’t been to any country club,” Mary-Jo said, a little sharper than she meant.

Tammy fiddled with her straw in the tense silence. “Anyways, if Cameron gave you a direct invite, he really wants you there.”

Mary-Jo looked down at her three-year old Keds. “I don’t know how to dress for some fancy rich-kid party.”

“I’ll doll you up like at my sweet sixteen last year. Just…y’know, think about it, okay?”

Two nights later, as Mary-Jo doodled in the margins of her valedictorian speech’s rough draft, the invitation envelope caught her eye. She tilted the card so the embossing and gold lettered cream paper caught the lamp light, until her second-youngest sister Emily rolled over and mumbled it was probably half past midnight. Then she found the RSVP card, checked Yes, I’ll attend, and wrote 2 Guests.

She doubted she’d enjoy herself. But Tammy liked glamming her up, and Emily would adore going somewhere high-class for her fifteenth birthday.

*~*~*

“I can’t believe you invited Mary-Jo Kenner to your graduation party,” Cameron’s girlfriend Jessica sneered as soon as she saw Mary-Jo talking to Robert by the buffet.

“Is there a reason you think I shouldn’t have invited her?” Cameron said, setting his drink down.

“She was there on scholarship.” Jessica sneered the last word.

“So?”

“So she’s not really like the rest of us. Ew, she even brought her baby sister.” Jessica huffed loudly. “I bet Tammy bought her clothes again. She’s so classless.”

Cameron thought someone else was classless. He was able to speak with Mary-Jo for a few minutes; she was cool but pleasant, which was the best he could hope for given their past and probable future.

He and Jessica broke up six weeks after he started college, and he deleted every one of the twenty pleading messages she left on his voice mail.

*~*~*

Mary-Jo came back from Monday’s classes with a voice mail waiting. “Hey, this is Cameron Williams. I saw your flyer on the library message board and I really need math help. Call me back with a good time for you.”

She groaned, hoping it wasn’t the Cameron Williams as she left a message at the number left. When she saw it was indeed him waiting for her outside the main campus library Friday at six-fifteen, she thought about going straight back to her dorm and standing him up. But his sixty bucks meant she could eat more than once a day next week. She walked up, waited for him to recognize her, and let him uncomfortably remember their first meeting long ago as they walked to the study room.

He was wholly lost about calculus, but she knew how to help people lost in calculus. At the end of the hour, she knew he’d remember everything she’d taught. She wasn’t a math major for nothing. “Leave a message if you need another session next week,” she said the second the hour was up.

“Yeah, sure. Thank you.” Cameron fidgeted a bit. “Would you like to go to the café off-campus? They make the best French pastries.”

“I can’t really…” Mary-Jo mumbled without looking at him.

“I’ll pay.”

Fine. He still owed her for the shoe thing.

Fifteen minutes later over lattes and eclairs, Mary-Jo asked what she’d pondered since they’d re-met. “What’re you doing at a state college?”

“Both Dad and Grandpa were alumni. What about you? You’re smart enough to go wherever you could’ve wanted.”

“I went where I got enough money to cover costs. No scholarships, no college.” Her words came out bluntly. “And there would have been no Bankside without one, if all the titters and ‘poor kid’ whispers for six years didn’t clue you in. Five kids doesn’t leave a family much money for college. Or expensive name-brand shoes.”

Cameron looked away. “I’m sorry for what I said to you in seventh grade,” he finally mumbled. “I was a stupid, rude kid, and I should have said I was sorry years ago.”

Mary-Jo blinked rapidly. There’s what she’d wanted to hear as a gawky twelve-year-old. “Apology accepted.”

“Thank you. Do you really have four siblings?”

She nodded. “Me, Emily, Jane, Lydia, and Paulette. All girls. You?”

“I'm an only child.”

The two of them got lost in conversation until the café’s closing hour. “Meet there next week?” Cameron asked as they pulled up besides her dorm hall.

Mary-Jo fidgeted. “I can’t afford eating there weekly.”

“My treat every time, then,” Cameron said, and there was a dimple in his cheek when he smiled.

*~*~*

Three years after they went from study-dates to just-dates, Cameron proposed to Mary-Jo just after Valentine’s Day. She could barely stammer out her yes through her tears. His parents booked the Ivy Meadows clubhouse for an October wedding. All four of Mary-Jo’s younger sisters were bridesmaids.

Mary-Jo wore pale pink flats under her five-thousand dollar dress at the reception.

Cameron didn’t tell anyone his new wife had bought them secondhand for ten dollars.

*~*~*

Bankside Academy Class of 2005 - Ten-Year Reunion! the marquee on the hotel sign read.

Mary-Jo squeezed Cameron’s hand as they walked to the Sunlight Ballroom. “Who’s going to be the most floored that I’m ‘Mrs. Cameron Williams’?”

Cameron grinned. “Definitely Jessica Thompson.” He glanced at the black strapped sandals she was wearing. “You always wear the prettiest shoes.”

“Got them at Payless. Don’t announce it to everyone in the room.”

Cameron huffed. “Will I ever live that down?”

“I plan to tell our children the first thing their father ever said to me was my shoes were cheap.” Mary-Jo kissed his cheek. “And I took years to forgive him.”

Nethilia
Oct 17, 2012

Hullabalooza '96
Easily Depressed
Teenagers Edition


Weird Fish-tishes
(100)

"Arrr. None of ye get it," Captain Pegwood drawled irritably, his fingers brushing along his girlfriend's side at the transition from soft pale skin to scaly blue. She looked enough like their masthead to make even the bilge rats share side glances.

"But," First Mate Winslow questioned, "if she's yer lover, then how do ye..."

Marine giggled, the sound more like a burble. Her tail tip flicked. "What we do together, human, doesn't need the 'fish' part on top. Be a little more creative."

All twenty-eight crew members of the Sea Ribbons shivered down to their core of their timbers.

Nethilia
Oct 17, 2012

Hullabalooza '96
Easily Depressed
Teenagers Edition


Last minute sign In.

Nethilia
Oct 17, 2012

Hullabalooza '96
Easily Depressed
Teenagers Edition




Seattle Squad's gonna rain on your entire whack rear end, upside down, summer in loving January parade.

ETA: Alterna-Toxx. Should I gently caress up, gently caress my avatar up.

Nethilia fucked around with this message at 05:51 on Feb 18, 2018

Nethilia
Oct 17, 2012

Hullabalooza '96
Easily Depressed
Teenagers Edition


BFF
[999]















Nethilia
Oct 17, 2012

Hullabalooza '96
Easily Depressed
Teenagers Edition


(12:28:36 AM) newtestleper: I'm just gonna pick whatever Neth does and beat her

Wolpertinger it is.

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Nethilia
Oct 17, 2012

Hullabalooza '96
Easily Depressed
Teenagers Edition


Seattle vs. Wellington Brawl
Nethilia vs. newtestleper
Cryptid: Wolpertinger
Theme Word: Chaos


Discordia
(978)

When the smoke cleared from the pentagon’s center, the five members of Northwest High School’s Pagan Club didn’t have a clue what the thing they’d summoned was, exactly. It was alive, which means they’d probably got the spells right, but that’s all they knew.

“Wow.” Lloyd leaned in for a closer look. The thing snuffled at him. “It’s like a rabbit and quail hosed in the backwoods of Bavaria and their bastard offspring knocked up a vampire deer.”

Tootie grabbed the thing by what was the closest to the scruff, holding it out at arm’s length. It made a hissing squeak, showing cat-sharp teeth. “Let’s take it to my house. Mom can suss out what it is.”

“We probably shouldn’t take a summoned beast to a vet,” Jonas said. “Especially something summoned in Lloyd and Yancy’s strange ritual. I’m not even sure you should be holding it.”

“It’s not strange,” Lloyd started. “It’s Discordi—”

“It’s all pagan,” Tootie cut Lloyd off. “Where’s that old cat carrier of yours?”

Beastie twitched its nose.

Tootie turned lime green. “gently caress!” she yelled and let go. Beastie opened its wings just enough to mostly land on two of its four feet.

Jonas doubled over laughing.

Kathlyn threw the oracle cards at Yancy. The O of Orange landed on Beastie’s head between the horns; it whuffled annoyedly and flicked its ear. “This is the last time we let you two lead the monthly rituals! I’m not even an accordion!”

“That’s Discordi—” Yancy protested.

“First of all,” Kathlyn fussed, “I’m Wiccan, and second—”

Beastie’s nose twitched.

Whatever Kathlyn was going to say second was lost in a stream of bubbles tumbling from her lips, resembling a dishwasher erroneously loaded with Dawn dish soap. She slammed her hands over her mouth and coughed up three more bubbles.

Jonas laughed so hard he started wheezing.

Beastie twitched again.

Jonas was still laughing when he hit his head on the ceiling fan. Then he opened his eyes, realized where he was, and screamed.

Beastie snorted delightedly and bounded in circles.

Kathlyn gestured to Jonas, then Lloyd, then yelled something at Yancy that sounded a lot like cursing and looked like a bubble gun malfunctioning.

“I don’t know what you’re—look, we’ll fix it!” Lloyd grabbed his book from the floor. “We’ll look something up, and keep the Beastie here. For now, uh, you three can go home and—”

“I’m not going anywhere looking like I fell in a vat of 1980s dye!” Tootie screeched.

“One step outside and I’ll be in the stratosphere,” Jonas continued to pull himself down by the floor lamp.

Kathlyn’s agreement with Tootie and Jonas was mostly lost in bubbles.

“We could tie weights to your ankles,” Yancy said.

“We are not tying weights to my ankles,” Jonas snapped. “Stop arguing and start fixing!”

“Are you really just going to sit—or float—here all screwed up for who knows how long?” Lloyd said.

Beastie hopped away and started to rub its horns on the nearby end table.

Tootie plopped down on the floor. “Pretty much.” She looked down the front of her shirt. “Oh gods, even my tits are green.”

Jonas laughed, lost his grip on the lamp, and hit his head on the ceiling fan again.

“Who knows how long” turned out to be exactly twenty-three minutes and five seconds, though no one was keeping the time. Just as Jonas dragged himself back near the floor, there was the sound of squealing birds, a smell of slightly burnt popcorn, and then a flurry of multicolored Lego before a girl in Greek sandals and jean cutoff shorts appeared in the same spot Beastie had.

“Blessed Eris Diskordia!” Yancy squealed, and almost crossed himself.

“That’s My name, don’t summon Me too much,” the Girl said, before She saw Beastie. “There you are, you silly thing!”

Beastie squeaked and bound-fluttered over to Her.

She scooped it off the floor with one hand and nuzzled into the spot between their stubby horns. “Have you been down here playing tricksies on the mortals again? Naughty beastie.”

Beastie whuffled back.

“Ah, um--Blessed Lady of Discord?" Lloyd asked. “If it be Your Divine Will, can You undo what’s been done to my friends?”

“For what price?” She wrinkled Her nose exactly how Beastie had.

“Um, we have—” Yancy rummaged through his pockets. “Do you like Skittles? There’s half a bag.”

“Original or Tropical?”

“Uh…” Yancy tried to smooth out the bag.

“Don’t answer.” She grabbed the bag, popped three in Her mouth, chewed, and then nodded. “They’ll do. I’ll fix everything once I remember their name.”

Kathlyn said something in an unsure tone. Five soap bubbles drifted by.

“Of course it has a name,” Eris said. “Just let Me try to forget to remember.” She twirled one of Her multicolored locks a few times, tapped Her feet, then sighed as if She’d forgotten the most obvious thing in the universe. “Apples!” She snort-laughed, and She and Beastie disappeared in a burst of cotton-candy pink glitter, leaving a faint aroma of orange-mango juice.

Jonas thumped to the floor.

There were several seconds of silence. “Um, what the—oh thank the Goddess I can speak normally again,” Kathlyn said, and brushed stray bubbles from the front of her blouse. “The ritual’s over, the—whatever is gone, and everything’s back to where it was.”

“Almost everything.” Yancy jerked his head towards Tootie. “She left Tootie’s hair green.”

What?” Tootie scrambled to the living room mirror. “poo poo. How do I explain this to my parents?”

“Smear some Manic Panic around the bathroom sink and scream at Richard that he’s not your real dad if he asks any questions?” Lloyd said, starting to sweep up the glitter and Lego bricks with his hands.

“Full teen-girl dramatics.” Tootie nodded. “After the last hour, I can definitely do that.”

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