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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/entry_id/997169-Cursed
by Seuzz
Rated: GC · Book · Occult · #2193834
A high school student finds a grimoire that shows how to make magical disguises.
#997169 added October 31, 2020 at 12:19pm
Restrictions: None
Previously: "A Bitch Slap

Curse someone? Kelsey Blankenship is the first girl to come to mind, and not just on account of what happened the other night at Meghan Farris's party. She's a rich, snotty, boastful, condescending, preening and overweening bitch who is long overdue for a karmic comeuppance. And if this internet "curse" turns out to be the feather that finally breaks the scales of justice and brings the roof down on her head? Well, that would be awesome.

So even though Kelsey is one of Eva's and Jessica's friends, it's her name that you text back.

And maybe they see the justice in it too, for Eva texts back, Lol, followed by DONE!

But that's when fear seizes you by the heart and throat: Done what? you wonder. To Eva you hurriedly text: Shes not gong t knw I did it is she?

No its all anonymus.

That satisfies you for maybe thirty minutes, until you remember that you were able to use the curse tag itself to track it back to Josiah. Dread grips your chest as you check x2z throughout the rest of the night. But you don't see any sign of the "curse" thread being extended, so maybe Eva thought better. It's not a good idea to get crossways with Kelsey.

* * * * *

Keith comes by your house Sunday afternoon so you can work on an assignment for Mr. Hawks together. Both of you, it turns out, are smarting a little from that run-in Saturday afternoon with Mia DeWitt and Andy Tackett, and you decide to work together writing some short papers for class on the movie you saw. Fortunately, Cravenmoor has already been out a week and is already up on pirate sites, so you're able to watch it again while stopping it, rewinding it, and arguing about it together. You're not exactly proud of the paper you end up writing, but you bet it'll score you a better grade than the C+ you got for the last paper you wrote, on an old piece-of-crap detective movie from the forties.

After the weirdness of the last couple of days, Monday starts out refreshingly boring. Kelsey rather pointedly ignores you in Mr. Walberg's first period class, but that's normal for her. Mr. Hawks frowns and twitches his eyebrows when you hand your paper in second period, but that's normal too. Third and fourth period are also normal. Not until lunch time, which you take out on the grassy front quad with a larger group of friends, are you even reminded of the events of last weekend.

"Heard you tried melting the Wicked Witch of Westside last Friday," Carson Ioeger cackles. It's raining, so your group is huddled under the eaves outside the library instead of stretching out on the grass. James Lamont is sitting between you and Carson, so you have to look around and past in order to ask Carson what he's talking about. "You dunked Kelsey in the punchbowl at a party."

"I didn't 'dunk' her," you retort. "Though I wish I had."

"Wishes and fishes," James snorts. "You wouldn'a had the guts."

"Will's too much of a gentleman to do anything like that," Jenny Ashton puts in from farther down the line.

Carson's guffaw is asthmatic. "Sure. He's a gentleman! That's how come he dresses in top hat and tails wherever he goes."

"The point is—!"

"The point is he dunked Kelsey good and hard," Carson interrupts Jenny. "The point is we all wish we'd been there to see it."

"Wishes and fishes," you retort, turning James's sarcastic aside against his friend.

"The fuck is that supposed to mean?" Carson demands.

You glower at being caught. "Ask your boyfriend," you grumble back.

* * * * *

The point, you decide later, isn't that you splashed a full cup of punch all over Kelsey Blankenship, and the point isn't that Carson and friends wish they'd been there to see it. The point is that it's a topic of conversation at school. You're so used to being ignored—except by a select group of bullies and lowlifes—that it didn't even occur to you that people might be talking about you and the incident. And of course, if they were talking about it in the school itself, they would be talking about it online. So you spend your seventh-period study hall prowling the various social media sites to see what news you can pick up.

It takes you awhile to figure out and find the handles of the usual suspects who'd be talking about it all: not just Kelsey (who naturally is silent about it), but those of her friends and of the girls you are sure would probably gossip about it. But Meghan Farris doesn't talk about it in her party-related posts at Instagram, and neither do any of the people who post replies to her at Twitter or other places. Neither do Chelsea Cooper nor Kendra Saunders, who you are sure would have something snarky to say about Kelsey and her Prescott-related mishap. It's not until you drill down deep, finding the friends of the friends of friends of these people, do you find any talk about it. So it's guys like Charles Hartlein and Christian Padilla, and girls like Rebecca Sykes and Brianna Gould, that are chortling about it online The consensus seems to be glee that Kelsey got humiliated, which cheers you slightly; then you notice that no one seems to know you well enough to even connect you to the incident. Some nine-ball, Christian Padilla says on Twitter when asked who splashed Kelsey, to which Charles replies, LOL. I know who it was but like it matters. With a grimace, you resolve to put the thing behind you and to never speak or think of it again.

Then, after school, the roof falls in.

* * * * *

You stayed late at Keith's request to study with him in the library—he seems to have suddenly gotten keen about his grades—and were trudging out to your truck when he texted you from inside the school to ask you to meet him behind the Agricultural Annex. It was a mysterious request but you complied. (The rain had stopped, though the clouds continued to hang heavily overhead.) You waited patiently there for a few minutes before he texted you again to ask you to wait because he was going to be late, then texted to tell you nvr mind.

Teh fuck do u want?
you peevishly replied.

hidng frm seth, he texted back. ffs, you retorted.

So you've just put your phone away and are bending to pick up your pack when you hear a rush of feet behind and are grabbed by strong hands. You're lofted into the air and rushed toward the old portables that sag and rot behind the school.

You nearly shit yourself, of course, and you nearly shit yourself again when someone calls out, "Hey Seth, where you off to with that thing?"

"Fuck you, man!" a voice shouts back, right in your ear. "None of your fucking business!" He's answered by laughter.

Seth Javits. Basketball player. Bully. Asshole. He couldn't find your friend Keith, so apparently he's settling for you.

And he's got help. "Goddamn, he's heavy," a voice mutters in your other ear as you're hustled into the lane between two portables. "Should tell Roth and them they should come help." Javits retorts with another curse.

They hurl you against the door to one of the portables, jolting every bone in your body, and hurl you against it a second time before one of them reaches past to twist the knob. You are thrust into a gloomy, dusty interior that smells of old wood and metal. A foot hooks you by the ankle and a hand between your shoulder blades pushes you to the floor. You catch it in your knees and elbows, and wince hard.

Then you're grabbed and flipped over onto your back. You've just time to see two faces—the grinning face of Seth Javits, and the frowning face of Darren Green, one of his teammates—before Javits sits on your chest. "Get ready for some fun, Prescott," he gloats at you, and covers your eyes with one hand. "Mask."

You're too frozen with terror to comprehend what is happening. Your eyes are still closed when Seth takes his hand away, and then something solid is pushed onto your face, shutting out all light. You try to twist out from under it, but your neck and every joint in your body seem to freeze. Everything hangs for a moment. Then you feel a great weight pressing down on your face, like an anvil has been set there. Strangely, it is not an unpleasant feeling, and you've just time to think, It's just like going to sleep! before you feel yourself dragged down into a warm, cocooning darkness and know no more.

* * * * *

You feel gross and grimy when you awake, and your clothes are wrapped about you funny. Oh God, you grumble as you clench your eyes shut and try willing yourself back asleep. Did I pass out in my clothes again? You've an acrid headache, and you'd like nothing more than to push yourself back into unconsciousness. Woke up too soon, you mumble to yourself.

But the pain flattens and evaporates after a minute or two, leaving you in a state of wakeful exhaustion. You pry your eyes open and blink at the world. It is dingy and ugly, and it takes you a moment to realize you're staring at a twisted pile of broken school desks while laying curled up on your side.

The fucking hell? you wonder as you sit up with a frown. I'm in one of the portables! How the fuck did I—?

Then it all comes back to you, like a thunderclap. The text from Keith; Jeremiah James following you out to your car; Javits and Green grabbing you from behind; Jeremiah leaning into your car and putting a thing to your face.

You retch with wonder and horror as these and other memories swirl and merge in your head. You're shaking hard as you take your cell phone from your bag and turn the camera on.

Kelsey Blankenship, a stricken expression on her face, blinks back at you from the screen.

Next: "Dress Reversal

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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/entry_id/997169-Cursed