Wish n' Well

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
Mink is a 16 year old high school student who enjoys listening to Alice Cooper, anything that has to do with werewolves and doodling when she should be studying. Thing's arn't particularly easy for her though, she's a little over weight and has major self-esteem issues and being bullied and isolated by her high school peers doesn't help. Her father died 3 years ago and since then her mother went way down hill; drinking herself numb and dating scumbags. She even lost the family home and forced them into a sleazy, run down trailer park.
When all the pressure becomes too much for her to bare, Mink stumbles upon a strange old wishing hidden just outside of her school. She makes a wish and laughs it off. If only it were that simple right? Well maybe it is...
“Make a wish,
Pay the price,
And everything,
Will be nice.”

Submitted: June 04, 2015

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Submitted: June 04, 2015

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“She was a visionary and she stood up for what she believed in and that’s why Rosa Parks is my idol.” Keisha concludes with lackluster, tossing her report on the teachers desk.

“Alright, good job Keisha.” Mr. Bombersback nods, looking at his clipboard. “Up next we have… Mink.”

“I don’t want to read mine.” I mutter, slinking down into my desk seat.

“The oral presentation is half the grade.” Mr. Bombersback frown, glaring over his glasses at me. I glance down at my report and sigh, slipping out of the desk and slinking up to the front of the class. All eyes were staring at me and it made my knees wobbly and my stomach ache. I clear my throat and pull my hoodie closer to skin.

“I wrote my report about Alice Cooper.” I say softly, my eyes grazing over my report.

“Who’s she?” Someone questions.

“It’s a guy..” I mumble, casting a glare out at the sea of sneering high school faces.

“Is he a fag?” Another person questions and a few obnoctious laughs ring out.

“No, he’s an kick ass rock star.” I defend.

“Mink,” Mr. Bombersback grouches. “The assignment was to write about an American hero, not an ancient mediocre musician.”

“Alice Cooper is my idol and he’s my hero.” I say, clutching the report tightly in my hands.

“That’s not the assignmest and you know it.” Mr. Bombersback insists, pointing for me to take my seat. I narrow my eyes as I slink back towards my desk.

“Surprised you didn’t write about werewolves again Mink.” A voice teases. Every one cracks up laughing and my face flushes dark red.

“You can all go to hell!” I shout, grabbing my things and stomping for the door.

“Office.” The teacher states, reaching into his desk to fill out a refural.

“Already on it.” I retort, slinging the door open and slamming it shut as I enter the hallway. “Freaking jerks! I hate them! I hate them!!” I make my way down the empty halls, stomping and cursing under my breath.

I walk into the office and slump into one of the chairs next to Mrs. Klingler’s desk. She glares over at me but doesn’t say anything, continuing to type at her computer. I shake my head and let my eyes skim through my report as I wait for someone to bring my refural down to the office.

Alice Cooper is my idol and my hero.

Considered the Godfather of Shockrock, Alice Cooper came to fame in the 1970’s with his unique brand of ghoulish stage shows and twisted sense of humor lyrics.

Alice was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011.

When he’s off stage you can usually find the 67 year old rocker golfing in Arizona where he lives with his wife.

Alice is a devout Christian and often donates money to churches and charities.

He’s a wonderful person despite his strange looks.

My father is the one who got me into him. When my father died 3 years ago, Alice Cooper’s music was like a way for me to stay connected to my father. I listen to The ‘Coop’s great songs and I remember my father.

I fold up my report and stick it into my handbag, shaking my head. A girl from my Lituriture class walks in, grinning cruely at me as she hands Mrs. Klingler my refural. I look away, turning my nose up.

“I want to go see Mr. Robinson.” I mutter, looking over at Mrs. Klingler. “Let him deal with this please?” The old woman rolls her eyes and picks up the phone. She punches in a few numbers and holds the phone to her ear. I watch, getting nervous the longer the other end of the receiver continues to ring.

“Earl, I have Mink down here in the main office with another refural.” Mrs. Klingler mutters, glancing over the pink paper in her hand. “She was supposed to write an essay about a Great American Hero and instead she wrote about Alice Cooper…. Alright, I’ll send her back.”

I hop up and start to head deeper into the office, not waiting for Mrs. Klingler to give me permission. I stride briskly past open doors, hoping to avoid catching any of the administrater’s attatenion and warrenting a long lecture.

Mr. Robinson’s door was open and I peek my head in. The tall black man smiles widely at me, a smile that matched the yellow Smily Face pin he wore every day on his suit.

“Girl, quit lurking out in the hallway and get your butt in here!!” He demands with a hearty laugh. I smile slightly and step into his office. “Let me see it.” The bubbly man holds out his hand. I rumage thorugh my handbag and produce the folded up report.

“They wouldn’t let me get past the first sentence.” I mutter, sitting across from his desk as he scans his eyes over the paper. Silence fills the room as Mr. Robinson takes his time reading. I lean back into the cushioned chair and tilt my head back, listening to the clock ticking. Tons of Smily Face objects cluttered the room, things he’d collected and had been given over the years by thankful students. All the positive, smiling faces made the room feel so inviting and safe. The sound of the paper rustling snaps my attenion back to the Smily Faced counciler.

“You know that this wasn’t what you were supposted to write about Mink.” Mr. Robinson says, leaning back in his swivel chair.

“What was I supposed to write about?” I groan. “George Washington? Benjemin Franklin? They aren’t important to me. Alice Cooper is my hero. He might not have invented electricity or freed the slaves… but his music got me through one of the hardest times of my life…”

Mr. Robinson stares at me, grinning widely. Silence passes between the two of us until I can’t take it anymore.

“What?!” I snap, starting to get uncomfortable.

“You know that wasn’t what you were supposed to write about Mink.” Mr. Robinson chuckles, shaking his head side to side. I hang my head and groan in frustration. “You always do what you want to do. Mink’s way or the highway. With that being said, this is a really good report. Well writen and passionate. I can tell Alice Cooper is really special to you. I’ll have a talk with Mr. Bombersback. You don’t deserve to fail.”

“Really?” I smile, glancing up at grinnig counciler. “You’re the best Mr. Robinson!”

“Yeah yeah.” He nods in agreement, stretching his arms over his head.  “Alright, you got 7 minutes till the bell rings. You can sit here but then you get your butt to class. I have to go take care of some business.” He stands and brushes his hands over his gray suit, straitening out any wrinkles. I watch him walk out and close the door after he’s gone. I take out my phone and and scroll through the songs I have downloaded and eventually let Gimme by Alice Cooper play. I pop the little earbuds in so that the music wouldn’t draw attention.

“I know all your desires,

Your heart is so full of pain,

Is there something I can provide?

When you feel like life’s passed you by.

I’m on your side.”

I nod my head to the song, the lyrics striking a nerv. I glance around Mr. Robinsons office, smiling round faces staring back at me. It would be nice is my classmates looked at me with warm smiles like that…

“Don’t you wish you had it all?

Don’t you deserve to have it all?

Kneel down, tell me what you need.”

Why do they all hate me so much? I’ve never done anything to them… I’m a little over weight… I like werewolves and Alice Cooper… I draw crappy cartoons and love scary movies… I’m quiet and shy and but sweet and caring… I’m a good person but they don’t give me the chance to show it…

“Tell me who’s more important than you?

You’re the apple of my ancient eyes.

How could the world be so cruel?

I’ll make you my own precious jewel.

I’m on your side, sincerely.”

I narrow my eyes and drum my fingers against the chair next to me, listening to the lyrics. I’d heard this song many times but right now it seemed to be connecting with me. There was just something intense about it that was drawing me in.

“There is one thing,

I mean, everything has a price.

I really hate to repeat myself,

But nothing’s free.”

“I don’t care.” I scoff, drumming my fingers harder against the chair. Harder and faster, not in rhythem to the song. “I’d do anything to be accepted… I deserve a good life… I deserve a mother who isn’t a sloppy drunk. I deserve to enter my own house without being tormented by my mother’s drunk boyfriends. I deserve to feel welcome and safe in my own home. I deserve friends that I can laugh with and watch movies with. I deserve a boyfriend who has eyes only for me.”

“Yes I’m on your side,

Sincerely.

I’m the only one that cares.”

My fingertips start to throb from the involuntarily drumming. The song ends shortly and another automatically begins to play.

I’m on your side,

Sincerely.”

The words whisper into my ear. I jump up, taking the earbuds from my ears and looking around. Only happy Smily Faced objects occupy the little office. I glance down at my phone, feeling slightly unsettled. I turn the music off and toss my phone back into my handbag and head out into the hall.

I push open a door in the back of the office and step into a hallway filled with lockers and open class doors. The bell would be ringing in a few minutes so I decide to head to my last class of the day. I glance over my shoulder every once in a while, my footsteps seeming louder than normal. I stop at a drinking fountain and lean over it, taking a few sips. My heart was racing and I wasn’t sure why. I contiue on my way to Creative Writing.

The last 50 minutes of class seemed to crawl by. We were supposed to be working on a free-verse poem about nature but I was doodling instead. The other kids in class were partnered up, chatting noisily. I doodle a skull with bleeding eyes and draw a snake coiled around it.

When the bell signalling the end of the school day finally did ring, I remained in my seat. I was adding a few cracks to the skull, trying to give it an aged look. I wasn’t a terrible artist, you could always tell what my doodles were. I’d seen worse drawings than mine but I’d also seen better. Way better.

“How’s your poem coming along?” Mrs. Ash questions, leaning against her desk.

“Good.” I lie, closing my spiral notebook.

“What did you write about?” Mrs. Ash asks with genuin curiosity. The 60-something-year-old teacher was one of the only people in the school who enjoyed my odd taste in things. Other kids would write about their boyfriends and flowers and other beige, boring things. CREATIVE writing was supposed to be for the creative. I could write about mermaids and werewolves and demons and all the other macabre things I loved and I usually got A’s.

“Rats.” I mutter, plugging my ears with my earbuds and thumbing through the list of songs in my phone. “The plague and stuff.”

“You ok Mink?” Mrs. Ash questions, crossing her arms over her chest.

“Yeah.” I nod, sliding out of my desk and tossing my hand bag over my shoulder. She could tell that I wasn’t feeling well but she didn’t pressure me. She just have a soft smile and watched me walk out of the classroom.

The halls were mostly clear now, everyone was outside waiting for their buses. I turn my music up as loud as it goes, drowning everything else out. I take notice of posters hanging in the hallway.

“Join the debate club! You know you want to!”

“Can drive, bring in canned goods for people in need!”

“Halloween Fall Ball is 2 weeks. Get your tickets ASAP!”

Halloween school dance? Boy, that sounds fun… I’d love to dress up in a big, fancy dress and walk in on someone’s arm. Mom would never give me money for a dress or tickets… Not to mention I don’t have a date. I wouldn’t want to go and stand by the wall on my own anyway.

I push open a set of glass doors towards the back of the school and bounce down the steps, heading home. I liked taking the back way because I could avoid most people. The sun was shining and it was rather warm out. I frown, unzipping my hoodie but leaving it on. I always wear a hoodie when I’m out, no matter how hot it is, my arms are chubby and I hate for people to look at them…

I walk through the gates of the trailor park, cutting through lawns and climbing up the the short stairs and opening the trailor door. I keep my earbuds in but turn the volume down way low. Mom was sleeping on the couch, her newest boyfriend lounging in dad’s favorite reclining chair and watching football. He eyes me as I walk in, his hair messy and matted. I keep my gaze low and slip my flip-flops off near the door.

“Kid’s home.” Ron says, using his foot to nudge my mother awake. She snorts and sits up, groaning groggily. She grabs a bottle half full of beer and takes a quick drink.

“Hey Minky.” She greets, firing up a cigarette.

“Hey.” I mumble, walking over to the fridge and looking inside. Couple cases of beer, sandwich pickle chips, mustard, milk and a few unidentifiable plastic containers. I close the fridge door and walk over to the cabinet and make myself a PBnJ.

“Make me one.” Ron barks.

“Me too.” Mom chimes, leaning back on the couch, a cloud of smoke hovering over her head. I pull my lips back in a tight frown but make two more sandwiches. I just want to come home and relax but I always have to take care of my mother and her slob boyfriend.

“Don’t forget to crush potato chips up in mine.” Ron grumbles. I roll my eyes, grabbing a handful of off-brand BBQ chips and crushing them over his peanut buttered bread. I crunch a few potato chips as I finish up my mom’s and Ron’s sandwiches. I grab 2 long-neck beers from the fridge and set it all down on the coffe table.

“Thanks sweetie.” Mom nods at me with a tired smile. Her eyes were blood shot and rimmed with dark circles. After dad died mom went down hill. She started drinking hard, smoking 2 packs a day, had to take a job at a local factory which exhausts her and she started dating scumbag after scumbag. She sold the house where we lived with dad and moved us into a run-down trailor park. Half the time I have to take care of her and her boyfriends, making them dinner and cleaning up after them. She’s always drunk and out of it…

I take my PBnJ back to my room, closing the door behind me. I flip on a box fan before flopping down onto my bed, letting my handbag thump to the floor. I eat my sandwich, staring at my TV screen even though the TV wasn’t on, listening to music on my phone.

I hate how terrible life had become.. Things were so great when dad was alive. Mom was happy and normal, we would go out to restaurants as a family, we had money for name-brand groceries… I fold up the paper plate my sandwich had been on and bitterly toss it across the room.

A tapping from the window causes me to jump, startled. A familiar face peers in at me, her purple lips smiling. I lean across my bed, lifting the window.

“Hey Minky.” Bree greets with a cheshire cat smile.

“It’s Mink.” I correct, cringing.

“Ok, hi Mink.” Bree laughs, rolling her eyes. “What cha up to?”

“I just got home from school.” I mutter, pulling my hoodie closer to my body. 

“Righteous.” Bree nods. She lived a few trailors down with her boyfriend Ricky. The 2 of them were full of tattoos, peircings and constantly smelled like pot. “You have $10 I can borrow? Need a little gas money.”

“I don’t have any cash.” I mutter, telling the truth.

“I swear I’ll pay ya back.” She vows. I’d already lent her about $40 and I hadn’t seen a penny come back. I had hoped I was making a friend in the beginning but it became apparent that they were just using me. 

“I really don’t have any cash.” I mutter, pulling the window back down. I close the curtain and groan unhappily, lying down on my twin mattress. I stare up at the ceiling, listening to the combination of the noisy box fan and The Beatle’s Yellow Submarine.

Life sucks…

/\\

I sit up with a loud yawn, looking at my phone. It was 6:32am, time to get up for school. I drag myself out of bed and throw on a pair of jeans, a clean cami and my signature black hoodie. I grab my handbag and take it with me into the bathroom, where I apply deodorant and brush my teeth. I sneak through the livingroom where my mother and Ron were passed out in front of the Televison, picking up my flip-flops and slipping out the door. I lean against the railing on the stairs while I slide my flip-flops on.

I plug my earbuds in and sigh, on my way to school.

-/\\-

It was lunch time. Most students were either still in class waiting for their lunch period or at the cafeteria. I on the other hand was munching a bag of chips in the B hall bathroom. I hated going to the cafeteria and sitting alone so I just chose to hang out alone in the bathroom. It was almost better than the cafeteria really, no one really ever come into this one and I could listen to my music.

I was sitting on a toilet in a stall, pants on, nodding my head to the beat of Have a Drink on Me by ACDC and working on my poem for Creative Writing.

Rats, rats, oh the rats,

Clawing, gnawing, creeping, crawling.

Fur so black,

Eyes Dark red,

Feel them crawling,

In your head.

Rats, rats, oh the rats.

I hesitate to check the time, lunch was almost over. I hum softly, closing my spiral notebook and shoving it back into my handbag. I walk out of the stall, walking over to the bathroom sink. I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and then quickly avert my eyes. I hated seeing my reflection… I hated everything about me… I wash my hands so they don’t smell like Salt and Vinegar, hearing the voices in the hall. Students were coming back from lunch, signalling the end of my 30 minutes of solitude.

The door to the bathroom creaks open and a couple of chatting girls walk in. They each give me a look and the blonde one leans into the red head and whispers something. They both share a laugh before standing in front of the mirrors and fixing their make-up. I hustle out of the bathroom and make my way to class.

I hated the way girls could stare at themselves in mirrors for such a long time… I couldn’t stand to see my reflection in the glass doors on trophy cases in the hall or in those little circular mirrors in the upper corners of the hallways. Even catching a glimpse of myself in shiny cookware or any other reflective object really bumed me out. When I wanted to wear make-up I always used a little portable compact mirror, that way I only saw what I was focusing on.

After reading through chapter 34 in World History and filling out a question sheet for an hour, the bell rings and I’m off to literature class. I stop my my locker to deposit my history book but the girl who has the locker next to mine was in the way. She was talking to someone cute guy, twirling her hair and laughing obnoxously. I stand there for a few seconds, waiting for them to notice me.

They don’t.

“Um, excuse me.” I mutter quietly, pointing at my locker.

“Oh, sorry.” The girl says, inching away from my locker. I nod and spin in my locker combination, placing my heavy history book on the top shelf. I slam my locker shut, startling the brain dead couple busily tasting each other’s tonsils. “Oh my god, why did you do that lardo?” The girl questions, narrowing her eyes at me.

“Close my locker?” I muse, raising an eyebrow. “Gee, guess I just didn’t want anyone to steal my history book.”

“Hey, watch the attitude cow.” The blonde’s macho, football playing boyfriend growls. 

“SCREW BOTH OF YOU!!” I snap, balling my hands into fists and gritting my teeth. The entire hallway grows quiet as everyone cranes their necks to get a look at who’d just screamed.

“You little bitch.” The jock scowls, reaching out and shoving his big hands innto my chest. I’m forced back a few steps, my knees suddenly wobbily. The jock grins widely and feints at my face and I duck back, my legs giving out on me. I fall flat on my ass, feeling the hot sting of tears at the corners of my eyes.

“You’re the bitch!” I counter, busting into angry tears. “All of you!! I hate you all!!”

“What’s going on?” A rough voice barks, piercing the croud of students that had gathered around to watch the fight. It was Mr. Bombersback.

“This fat cow started it!” The blonde girl defends her boyfriend.

“Get to class.” Mr. Bombersback points at her. He then points at the jock and me. “Let’s go, both of you.” I stand up off the floor, brushing dirt off my pants and wiping my eyes dry. Mr. Bombersback starts to escort us to the office. “I talked with Mr. Robinson Mink. I’ll tell you what I told him, high school is here to get you prepared for the real world. In the real world you must do EXACTLY as you’re told and if you don’t you get fired. You failed your report.” I start to protest as we arrive at the office and get cut off.

“What happened?” Mrs. Klingler questions with an exasperated expresion when she sees me.

“These two were fighting.” Mr. Bombersback announces.

“I wasn’t fighting!” I inform through grit teeth. “I was just putting my history book away and when I closed my locker it scared his bimbo girlfriend!! So they called me names and I snapped at them then this prick knocked me onto my ass!”

“Language Miss Mine.” Mr. Bombersback warns.

“He hits me and knocks me down and I’m the one in trouble?!” I question in disbelief.

“I didn’t hit you when you fell.” The jock scoffs.

“You shoved me!” I shout, backing away.

“Mink, you need to calm down.” Mrs. Klingler orders softly. My heart beat was racing and I was having a hard time breathing. I back up, wiping my damp eyes with my hoodie sleeve.

“I can’t.” I mutter under my breath. “I can’t take take this anymore...” I turn towards the open office door and bolt. I could hear Mr. Bombersback shouting but I couldn’t hear what he saying. Nothing sounded right. It was like I was underwater, I could hear but everything was muffled.

I run out the main school doors and through the parking lot. I stop running once I’d reached the edge of the parking lot, leaning against a street light and trying to catch my breath. My heart felt as if it might leap out of my throat and my legs were weak and shaky. I couldn’t go back into the school and I couldn’t go home till after 3pm. The school would try to call my mother but luckily she hadn’t paid the phone or cable bill in a few months. What should I do? Where can I go?

Something runs across my foot and I shout, looking down. There was a black cat trotting across the parking lot. I rub my eyes with my fist, leaning down, holding my hand out.

“Here kitty kitty.” I call, voice quivering a bit. The sleek cat turns its head, bright blue eyes staring back at me. “Come here kitty, I won’t hurt you.” The cat slowly pads over to me, sniffing my extended fingers. I smile when the fluffball lets me stroke his back. I scoop the big cat up and hold him against my chest, petting his soft fur. He purrs contently, his body vibrating. “I’m glad I found you.” I mutter, petting his little head. “I’m having such a horrible day.” The cat continues purring and eating up the attention I was giving him.

Suddenly his little ears swivel and his head pricks up. He squirms in my arms and hops down, taking off running.

“Wait!” I call out, following after the big, black cat. He sprints through the tall grass, heading towards the patch of forest that bordered the west half of the school. It was protected by a thick chain fence though and I thought for sure that the cat wouldn’t be able get to the other side. I trail him as he stalks the perimeter of the fence. He stops and paws at an opening in the fence, slipping through to the other side. “Kitty no!” I call, lacing my fingers through the chain link fence. He stops and sits, tail flapping back and forth. I wiggle my fingers, calling to him but he just sits and stares at me from the other side.

I turn my attention to the opening in the fence. I grab the chain link and pull it back as far as I can, realizing I could probably fit. I get down on my hands and knees and crawl through. The cat stands up as I do, now on the same side of the fence as him. He begins to jog off and I follow, careful not to trip over downed tree limbs and tall roots. The cat hops over obstacles, glancing over his shoulder occationally to make sure I was still tripping along after him.

There were more and more trees and their colorful canopies blocked out a lot of the sun, making it darker and cooler. I squint my eyes, having a hard time seeing the sleek black cat in the dim lighting. The sound of crunching fall leaves filled the air. The cat steps out into a clearing where an old well stood alone. He hops up onto the ledge of the circular, stone well. I step up to it, running my hand down the cat’s back while taking a quick looked down into the well. It was dark and I had no idea how deep it went.

“You shouldn’t sit there kitty.” I mutter, rubbing his head softly. “It would be terrible if you fell in…” I walk around the well, observing my surroundings. I’d never heard of there being a well near the school. Something like this should have been pretty well known as at least an urban legend. There was a small bronze plaque on the side of the wooden beam that held up the roof.

“Make a wish,

Pay the price,

And everything,

Will be nice.”

I snicker, shaking my head side to side. If only life could be so simple, toss a coin, make a wish and everything comes true. Still, I fumble through my hoodie pockets, looking to see if I had any spare change. I stick my hands into my jean pockets, finding nothing. I sigh, having nothing to donate to the odd, isolated well.

“Just my luck.” I chuckle, burring my face in my hands. “Could have all my dreams come true and I don’t have a flipping penny!!” The black cat nudges my arm with his head and I glance at him. Something was glinting in his mouth. I take a small gold coin from his mouth and examine it. One side had a snake that circles the edge of the coin, bat-like wings spead out in the center. The otherside had some weird symbols and a fingernail moon. I look at the black cat who stares back at me, blue eyes wide.

This was all so weird… This old wishing well was so close to the school yet no one seemed to realize it existed. I scan my eyes over the bronze plaque again.

Make a wish,

Pay the price,

And everything,

Will be nice.”

I then glance down at the odd coin in my hand. I run my thumb over it’s surface a few times, staring down into the well. The black cat purrs softly as it stares down into the well next to me. I take a deep breath and hold the coin in my fist.

“I wish my life was better.” I convey quietly. “I wish that I could be beautiful and that all the jerks at school loved me and respected me. I wish that my mom would stop dating loosers and move us out of that trashy trailor park. I wish that I could have men eating out of the palm of my hand. I wish I could meet the perfect guy and fall in love. I wish that I had my dad back. I wish my life was… Perfect…” I finish, flipping the odd coin into the well. I watch it quickly fade into the inky darkness. A faint splash was audible. I step away from the well and gaze around.

I don’t know what I was expecting, lightning or smoke or a fierce wind or something but there was nothing. I laugh, unzipping my hoodie and laying it on the ground. Welp, I have a couple of hours before I can go home. I lie down  on top of my hoodie, staring up at the canopy of colorful fall trees. The yellows and oranges and browns melt into one another. The black cat leaps down and curls up next to me, purring softly. I stroke his soft fur, my eyes growing heavy.

-_-\\/-_-

It was about 5 when I woke up. I sit up with a noisy yawn, the blue eyed cat stretching and arching his back. I glance at my phone then curse, struggling to my feet. I shake the grass and dead leaves off my hoodie before putting it back on and making my way back through the forest to the fence. I slip  through the opening and regain my barrings.

The black cat walks a few steps behind me. I stop and wave my hands at him.

“Shoo kitty.” I mutter. “I can’t bring you home, my mom won’t let me keep you.” He doesn’t retreat though. I stomp my foot at him and shout but he just stares up at me adamantly. I shrug and continue on my way home with the cat on my heels.

I tromp through the trailor park gates and hike through unoccupied yards. As I approach the 5 stairs to our trailor, Bree comes around the corner.

“Minky, hey.” She greets, waving her hand. “You’re home late, did you have detention or something?” She laughs at her own lame joke.

“I’m exhausted Bree.” I mutter, climbing the stairs to my trailor.

“I just came by to ask if you have $10.” She says, getting to the point.

“I’m tapped.” I mutter.

“Oh? Well I wanted to pay you back for lending me cash but all I have is a $50.” Bree mutters, reaching between her breasts and pulling a 50 dollar bill out. She shrugs and extends her hand to me. “Here, just take the whole thing. Interest, I guess.”

“Wow.. Thanks.” I mutter, taking the $50. The black cat hops up on the railing of the stairs, his tail swishing.

“Hey, you guys get a cat?” Bree questions, eyeing him.

“He followed me home.” I say, patting the cats back.

“Like a dog.” Bree laughs. “Hey, you want to come down to my trailor and watch a movie? Ricky’s working till 11.”

“You want to hang out.. with me?” I question, raising an eyebrow.

“Totally.” Bree nods. “We’ve never really hung out or anything. I’ve always just hit you up for cash, I bet you thing I’m just a bum huh?” She laughs again, her dirty blonde hair bouncing.

“M-maybe another time.” I say, clutching my handbag. “I have a lot of homework to do tonight.”

“Ok, just pop in any time ok?” Bree grins at me, waving as she walks off.

“That was weird.” I mumble to myself, looking down at the $50 in my hand. I turn to the cat, his wide blue eyes staring at me. “You have to stay out here kitty.” I tell him, tucking the $50 into my hoodie pocket before opening the trailor door slowly. The cat bolts in before I can stop him. “Wait!” I shout involuntarily, rushing in after him.

The living room was full of tall card board boxes and mom was no where to be seen. I cast my gaze around, reading the Sharpie-written labels.

Kitchen

Bedroom

Bathroom

“Uh mom?” I call, peeking into one of the bedroom boxes and seeing a bunch of my mother’s clothes.

“You’re finally home!” My mother’s voice sounds from down the hallway. She steps out from her bedroom, looking sober with a wide smile painted across her lips.

“What’s going on?” I question, pointing at the stacks of boxes. “Are we in some kind of trouble or something?”

“No silly.” Mom laughs. “I got a call from a big-wig company called Wish n’ Well. They offered me a job as sales manager! And I accepted!!”

“Sales manager..?” I inquire skeptically. “Did you even apply for a new job?”

“Well no.” Mom admits, shaking her head. “But Minky I’ll be making an adverage salary of $123,150!”

“Really?” I exclaim, my eyes widening.  “Mom, do you even know what a sales manager does?”

“Of course.” Mom nods. “I took a few courses in Business Administration and Technology in college. I’ll be analyzing trends,setting goals and implementing strategies for executing those goals. Piece of cake.”

My mouth drops open. It was like I was looking at a total stranger. For the last few years my mother had been a depressed puddle of boozy blandness. She had no energy and just moped around when she wasn’t passed out or working. There’s light in her eyes again. For once she doesn’t smell like Budweiser.

“You never told me that you went to college.” I mutter, staring hard at my mother.

“It was never relevent until now.” Mom shrugs. “I didn’t do anything with my college degrees until now. You need to go pack your room up, Wish n’ Well insists we move to a fully paid for house in Rushing Rapids.”

“Rushing Rapids?” I reiterate, taking a step back. “Mom, that’s like one of the richest neighborhoods in Shady Moores!!”

“I know!” Mom squeals giddily. “So get busy packing.” I open my mouth to protest and continue bombarding my mother with more questions but am interrupted when the large black cat leaps up onto a tall stack of boxes. Mom eyes him then turns to me.

“He followed me home.” I say, grabbing him and holding him against my chest. “He ran in before I could catch him, sorry mom.”

“We’re going to have lots of room at out new house.” Mom states, reaching out and rubbing the black cat’s soft head. “If you want to keep this cute little guy we can.”

“Wow really?” I squeak, squeezing the cat tight in my arms.

“Only if you go pack!” Mom grins, pointing down the hallway. I turn immediately and walk down the hall and dip into my room. The cat leaps out of my arms once we’re in my room and perches himself on top of my TV. There were a couple of boxes on my bed that mom must have put there. I begin to fill them up with my belongings while listening to music on my phone.

“This is so great kitty.” I say, floping onto my bed which was bare of sheets and pillows. His blue eyes open and stare down at me from atop the TV. “Guess I should give you a name and stop calling you kitty.” As I’m ogling the ceiling, thinking of the perfect name for my new kitty companion Prince of Darkness by Alice Cooper begins to play.

“Prince of Darkness.

Studies the world with hungry eyes.

Ready to baptize you in lies.

Heart of evil, soul of blackness.

Prince of Darkness.”

“Prince of Darkness.” I echo, tasting the phrase on my tongue. “Prince of Darkness. You’d make an excellent Prince of Darkness.” The wide-eyed cat blinks slowly in response to my name suggestion. “It’ll be Prince for short.” He stretching his front legs and yawns, little fangs glinting in the light.

“Minky, the movers are here.” Mom announces, popping her head into the room. “They’re going to load up our things and bring them over to the new house. Come on, we’re going to our new house!” Prince rises to his feet and hops down off the TV, strolling casually after my mother. I sling my handbag over my shoulder and step into the hall.

There were a couple of hot guys, probably in their upper 20’s, escorting boxes outside. When my eye catches with a green eyed hottie, he cracks a neon white smile and tips his ball cap at me. I blush lightly and avert my eyes. Prince rubs up against my leg so I lean down and pick him up.

“Cool cat.” The shaggy guy grins, flexing his chest a bit.

“Yeah.” I nod in return, letting my hair fall onto my face.

“I’m Van.” He says, extending his hand to me. I glance at it but don’t acknowledge it otherwise.

“I’m not falling for this.” I mutter, shaking my head side to side.

“Uh.. what?” Van questions, looking baffled.

“A hot guy like you being nice to a girl like me?” I shoot at him, eyes narrowed. “Your friends probably dared you to be nice to me or something.”

“No way!” Van laughs, grinning widely. “I just wanted to say hey, is that a crime?”

“No..” I mumble, a bit unsure of the handsome guy’s real intentions.

“Minky, are you coming?” Mom calls from the doorway of the trailer. Van and I share once last glance before I step away.

“I’ll see you in a bit Minky.” Van remarks with a coy grin, picking up a heavy box. I cringe at the use of my mother’s nick-name for me. It was ok when she said it but I hated for others to call me Minky…

 


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