Wednesday, September 8, 2021

WIP-It Wednesday for September 8, 2021

Posted by: PG Forte

 PG Forte: I've been working on a short Halloween story--part of the Revenge is Sweet Halloween short story Anthology, which will be available September 25th. Here's an unedited sneak peek:

“Fuck my life,” I think to myself. Or maybe I say it out loud; I can’t be certain. I’m hanging out in the school cafeteria, waiting for my chance to grab some lunch, and if the startled looks being sent my way are anything to go by, I might have spoken. Then again, it could be that the growling of my stomach is louder than I’d thought. Either way, who cares? I’m hangry and I don’t give a shit.

It’s my senior year of high school, the year I’d been waiting for all my life—or, at least, since that miserable day in kindergarten when I was first introduced to the concept of punching down. Even at five-years-old I understood that being anywhere other than at the top of the heap meant getting kicked in the face by those ahead of you. But am I feeling the joy now that I’ve finally made it to the ladder’s top rung? Hell no! At seventeen, my life totally sucks.

I guess you could say things started going wrong when my mom got sick. But then she died, and everything got exponentially worse. My dad lost his mind, which left me with no parental support worth mentioning. So, yeah, big surprise: I made mistakes. Although I prefer to think of them as small errors in judgment. Unfortunately, not everyone agreed with my definition of small.

Anyway, one thing led to another, and that’s how I ended up spending my senior year in this gulag that masquerades as a private, all-girls school; living completely at the mercy of my stick-up-her-ass aunt; and permanently in the crosshairs of a principal who hates me. Between them, they’ve decided that the best way to keep me in line is to pile on the extracurricular activities. And, no, not the fun kind.

D’you wanna know what the worst part is? It’s that they’re going to end up thinking their stupid plan worked, too. Which is not the case. The truth is, I’d already decided, all on my own, that it was time for a change. Getting tossed out of my last school, nearly being arrested, and losing most of my friends in the process was all the wake-up call I needed. But do you think anyone believes me when I tell them that? Not a fucking chance.

Personally, I’d’ve thought being forced to wear the same butt-ugly uniform each day was punishment enough for anything I’d done wrong. But, in order to ensure that I do exactly what I—swear to god—was going to do anyway, they’ve got me working before school, after school, and even during what’re supposed to be my free periods. Helping out in the classroom. Mentoring the younger kids. Do I look like Mother Teresa? Imma give you a hint: the answer is no.

To be honest, I’m not even sure what they’re doing is legal. Doesn’t matter, though; my aunt’s made it crystal clear that as long as she’s paying my bills, I can either argue with her decisions or I can eat. But, legal or not, it still isn’t right. And I’m getting pretty sick and tired of things that aren’t right.

Specifically, I’m tired of things not going right for me. I used to have friends. I used to have fun. I used to be fun, for that matter. But that seems like a lifetime ago. Now, I’m the butt of everyone’s jokes, the girl least likely to succeed at anything. Well, other than getting into trouble, I guess, because like I said, that’s what most people think of when they think of me. No one appears to have gotten the memo that this version right here? This is the new and improved Cara Matthews. The one who will succeed, who’s not just a screw up. The one who gets to have whatever she wants now. If only…

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