Mistaken Identity

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic
It's late August and Jody Simpson is excited that her best friend Teri Morgan is coming in for the weekend from Atlanta. The two used to be cheerleaders ten years ago at McHale Central High School in Columbus, Ohio, and plan to attend the first football game of the season. They then intend to hit some of the hot nightclub spots in the city for some dancing and fun and spend the weekend together.

But their plans go terribly wrong when a gang of punk-clad teen girls mistake them for a couple of biker chicks who've sold drugs at their school. The girls soon march the women into the woods toward the end of the game, intending to end all drug sales from biker women at their high school.

In another struggle-for-survival thriller, as in the previous "Cowgirl Down" and "The Initiation" series, Jody tries to escape and survive the sinister intentions of the girls after the huge girl leader severely beats and drowns her friend. But in order to survive she must first cross the Scioto River and scale the banks and woods alongside it, avoiding the strong currents and dam. Brutal confrontations with two much larger girls will determine Jody's fate in the end.

Submitted: September 12, 2016

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Submitted: September 12, 2016

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Jody Simpson stood in front of the full length mirror of her bedroom closet, studying the contours of the blue denim on her svelte hip.  She ran her fingers along the seam of the tight fabric, turned and gazed at her firm buttocks.

She had just purchased the dark blue Levi’s (with the double-lined yellow pocket design), after losing five pounds over the summer, and planned to wear them later to the high school football game . . . and then out to one or more of the Columbus nightclubs.She was meeting her best friend Teri Morgan at the ticket booth at 7 p.m.

Jody and Teri had been cheerleaders at the school ten years ago and planned to attend the first game of the season for old time’s sake.  Teri had just arrived from Atlanta where she worked as a news journalist for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Jody was the marketing director for a local art gallery, where she had sold several of her paintings in the past year.

Jody and Teri had been best friends since the first grade. And they always did everything together growing up, whether they played with their dolls, performed in dance recitals or attended school dances and proms.  Both were exceptionally attractive and slim, though the blonde Teri was a couple inches taller.  Jody’s most distinguishing traits were her frizzy light brown hair and azure blue eyes.

Jody turned and admired how the jeans looked from her other side.She performed a couple provocative poses in the mirror, pursing her lips for emphasis, and stroked her fingertips across her shapely posterior.

The jeans looked sexy on her and fit perfectly.  She slipped on a studded black belt, pink sleeveless blouse and boots and headed for the bathroom to apply the finishing touches of eyeliner and makeup.

Jody hadn’t seen Teri in nearly a year.  She was staying at the Sheraton at Capital Square near downtown Columbus.  Jody planned to have Teri follow her after the game and park her rental at her apartment.  The two would then hit some local night clubs and have an intimate slumber party, catching up on each other’s love lives.

Jody’s cell rang.

“Hello.”

“Hey there, girlfriend,” said Teri.  “You ready for a big night on the town?”

“Yeah, I can’t wait,” said Jody.  “I wonder how many people will recognize us at the game.”

“Who knows?  It’s been ten years.  Can you believe it?”

“No, I can’t, but I haven’t changed a bit,” said Jill.  “Kidding.  I’m just really excited that I lost five pounds this summer, and two sizes in my jeans; I now weigh one hundred eight, just like when I graduated from high school.”

“That’s great.  And I’m sure you’re as hot as ever.”

“You, too,” said Jody.  They both laughed.

“I’ll see you at the game,” said Teri.

“Great.”

The game was being played at McHale Central, the high school from which Jody and Teri graduated in 2005.  Jody could still remember the fight song and the endless rants of, “Go Lions.” Cheerleading had been a blast and the old squad occasionally got together for drinks.  But it just wasn’t the same without Teri in town, which is why she was so excited for her weekend visit.

Jody walked out the door of her apartment at six-thirty, checking the lock before leaving. She lived on the first floor of the unit and was always concerned about theft, not that she lived in a bad area.  She just had numerous valuables, including several computers, tablets, art collections and jewelry inside, and didn’t want them stolen.

Jody noticed her jeans were a bit stiff as she made her way down the apartment steps.  Of course, they were new and jeans always felt stiff off the rack.  But they cut into her upper thighs, which felt a little uncomfortable, and hugged her hips like a glove.  She was still proud of herself for losing the weight and wanted to show off her new slimmer figure.  Who knew?  Maybe she’d see one of the guys from her graduating class at the game and strike up a new romance.

“Hey, Jody,” some guy said, just before she got in her car.  He wore a red sleeveless shirt.  His blonde hair cascaded to his muscular deltoids.

“Hi, Jim.”  She had met Jim at the pool this summer.  The two had gone on a couple dates.  Jim was an architect who had helped design one of the new office buildings downtown.

“Any plans this weekend?”

“Yeah, I’m meeting a friend from out of town.”  Jody was standing by the open car door of her red BMW, her left elbow propped against the top of the window.  Jim stood on the sidewalk, ten feet away, his T-shirt soaked with sweat.

“I’ve been jogging,” he said, as he pulled his shirt up and wiped sweat from his nose.  Jody goggled at his six-pack abs.

“That’s always good,” she said.  Silence ensued for several seconds. 

“Well, it was good seeing you.  Maybe we can get together sometime.”

“I’d like that,” said Jody.  She smiled, plopped inside her car and started the engine.

She could’ve kicked herself for that last comment, as that would encourage the guy even more.  She liked Jim but he seemed a bit possessive during the short time she’d known him.  And she really wasn’t all that attracted to him.

Jody hadn’t had a boyfriend in more than six months.  Her last boyfriend, Joel, had cheated on her after two years of dating.  Jody had since gone out with several other men besides Jim, but hadn’t met anyone she really liked.  Maybe she’d try Match or eHarmony after Teri went back to Atlanta.  She’d heard some good things about those dating sites.  Several friends had met their husbands on them.

The high school was only six miles away.  As Jody approached the school, slowing to a crawl in her bimmer, she saw it teeming with teens.  Families would be arriving soon.  A cop walked in front of her car and halted traffic as a mob of people crossed the street.  The game was against Pickerington Central, one of their chief rivals.  The Lions versus the Tigers.What a matchup.  A real catfight.

After the crowd passed, the cop signaled her forward.  Jody pulled into the school driveway and made her way to the far parking lot.  She drove up and down several aisles before settling for a spot near the center.  She grabbed her purse, locked her door and starting walking toward the ticket office.

The air was pleasant and warm with a slight breeze.  Jody kept a sweater in the car in case it got cooler later on.August evenings in Ohio were notorious for scorching you during the day and cooling off like fall at night.

Throngs of people walked along the wide sidewalk leading to the ticket booth.  A couple young boys ran past her—one of whom launched a water balloon.  Instead of hitting another boy, the balloon splashed against the sidewalk behind a group of girls. Jody heard one girl say, “Children must play,” as she looked back briefly, then focused again on her iPhone screen.

As Jody neared the ticket booth, she saw Teri standing to the left of it.  She wore jeans and a white blouse, with the sleeves rolled up at the elbows. Teri waved with a big smile.  She sported a bronze tan. The two hugged after Jody meandered around a group of girls, who had stopped walking to stare at one girl’s phone screen.

“How are you?” said Jody.  “I’m so glad you’re here.”

“I’m great. I just finished a big news story I’d been writing, so it’s a huge relief to get a weekend free.”

“That’s great,” said Jody.  “I’ll get the tickets.  My treat.”

“You don’t have to do that.”

“But I want to,” said Jody.  “Call it a homecoming gift from me.”

“Okay, I’ll get the drinks and snacks.”

“It’s a deal.”

Jody stood in line at the ticket booth, which ran several rows long.  Beyond the ticket booth, a medley of boisterous chatter emanated from the bleachers.  Ten minutes later, she paid the twenty dollars for both tickets and made her way back to Teri.

“Where do you want to sit?” said Jody.

“How ‘bout midfield if it’s still available.”

“Perfect.”

The two walked toward the bleachers. A group of high school boys motioned them on, smiling as the two walked through the gate.  Jody didn’t even want to think what the boys had on their minds as they followed them in.  Maybe the tight jeans weren’t all that appropriate at a high school football game.  She’d worn them more for the nightclubs they were going to after the game.

Jody and Teri climbed the bleacher steps and sat down near the back railing at midfield. Across the field, the bleachers for Pickerington Central were starting to fill up.

Several people looked over at Teri and Jody but didn’t say anything.  Jody knew some people would recognize her before the end of the night.  One man just smiled at her before his kid stumbled at his feet.  The child, who looked about five, pouted for several seconds but didn’t cry.

It was eight o’clock and the game was getting ready to start.  The Lions emerged onto the track around the field as a deafening round of cheers erupted. Jody and Teri clapped. The percussions soon joined the ruckus and the band started playing the fight song.

Pickerington scored a touchdown during the first minute of the game.  A kid named Nicky Schultz took the kickoff and ran seventy yards downfield. Two plays later, the quarterback connected with the tight end on a pass, making it 7 to 0 visitors.

“Let’s get a Coke or something,” said Teri, as the first quarter ended.  “And then we can walk around a bit.” Jody and Teri stood and walked out to the concession stand.  Teri purchased two Diet Cokes.

“Seems like old times,” said Teri, except we’re walking around the field instead of jumping up and down on it.”  She sipped on her beverage through the straw.

Jody laughed.  “I don’t know if I could perform many of those moves today.”

“Oh, you could,” said Teri.  “I can just picture you performing the splits in those snug Levi’s.”

“And splitting the ass out of them,” Jody quipped.

The two walked around the field a couple times, enjoying the balmy air and crowd.  On the visitor’s side, the cheerleaders commenced a cheer which enlivened their fans.  Just as Jody and Teri rounded the far end of the track, they saw a Pickerington player make a spectacular catch near the five yard-line.  Their team scored on a draw play and went up 21 to nothing.  So much for the intense rivalry.  Her team was getting its butt kicked.

Just before halftime, the two women walked to the girl’s restroom at the back of the school. It was the only restroom open to female patrons.  They waited in line for five minutes to use the facilities, then met each other just outside the door.

On the way back toward the action, a group of girls standing on the grass near the walkway started staring at them, making a few off-handed comments. They all chuckled and started chatting amongst themselves.  At first, Jody didn’t hear what they said but was sure it wasn’t complimentary.  The girls watched the women walk past as they headed toward the football track.  Jody noticed that most of the girls were dressed in punk attire.

 The heaviest of the group had dark purple hair.  She wore stretch pants and black boots, with dark makeup around her eyes.  Jody heard the girl mutter “slut” under her breath, but she just kept walking.  The comment was probably directed at her because her jeans were tighter than Teri’s.

“I can’t get over how kids dress today,” said Teri.  She had also noticed the quintet.

“I don’t see too many people dressed like that,” said Jody.  “They looked a little ominous—like they were from a gang or something.”

“Well, let’s stay away from them.  The last thing I need tonight is to get into it with some girl gang members.”  Jody chuckled.

“I don’t think we’d last too long against those girls,” said Jody.  “Did you see the one girl?” Jody spread her arms wide and puffed her cheeks out.  “She had to be at least six-three, too.”

“Yeah, a tall porker,” said Teri.

Jody and Teri laughed about the girl, though Jody usually didn’t make fun of people.  But the girl had called her a slut, as if trying to initiate a fight.  She was just glad Teri was there, and hoped to have a blast this weekend.  They were going to a party in Upper Arlington tomorrow night with some friends.

The women circled the field a half dozen times as the game progressed.  The twilight skies soon gave way to darkness.  As they made the turn on the track toward the home crowd, several guys and women said “hi” to them, recognizing them from the old days.  One woman had graduated with Teri and her.  She was with her husband and two kids.

Five minutes before the game ended—with the Lions now down 42 to 7—the crowd started thinning out.  Only a smattering of people now walked the track. 

Jody and Teri were walking along the track near the scoreboard—fifty feet from the nearest person in front of them.  It was then that Jody sensed someone was following them.  Jody didn’t look behind her and didn’t mention anything to Teri.  But just as they made the turn along the far track, a tall girl emerged from the grass and stepped in front of them.  She glared at Jody.

“I know who you are, biker bitch, and you’re not welcome around here.”

(This is only a sample of story.  To order the rest, go to my bookshelf.  Only 99 cents.


© Copyright 2017 Rick Suttle. All rights reserved.

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