Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1971728-The-Silver-Cross
Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Horror/Scary · #1971728
A story about friendship, peer pressure and lycanthropy. . .
It was the day after Lucy's Confirmation. She felt so excited that she couldn't resist talking about it in the lunchroom with her friends.

Unfortunately, her friends were not particularly interested. "So, you're excited because you went to church?" said one girl with disgust.

Lucy felt a little bit embarrassed, "Well. I did get an entire day off from school for it."

"So what?" That came from Mabel Lee. And it mattered, because Mabel Lee was the most important girl at that table and possibly the most important girl in the entire Middle School. Being allowed to sit at her table in the cafeteria was an honor not to be taken lightly. "I can think of a million places I'd rather be then church and even school is one of them."

Lucy was put off. Thinking quickly, she groped for a comeback. "Also," she said, "my relatives were there and they gave me expensive presents."

That helped. Especially with the emphasis on "expensive". Everyone at the table became interested. "What kind of presents?" asked Mabel.

"Well, my grandmother gave me this chain." Lucy pulled the chain out from under her shirt to display.

"It's a cross," said Mabel with disgust.

"But it's sterling silver," Lucy bragged. That got a great many oohs and ahhs from the table and even Mable was forced to look a bit impressed.

"Well, that's real nice, Jesus girl, but let's see--" everyone could tell that Mabel was trying to change the subject. "Hey, look who's over there. Isn't that Cornelia Wilks?"

Cornelia Wilks was a girl that nobody in the school liked. She was slightly fat, had a face that was acne ridden and her front teeth stuck out. At the moment, she was paying for her lunch and was about to carry her tray to her table.

"This is good," said Mabel. "Jesus girl, do you have your camera phone?"

"Yes," said Lucy, "but-"

"Good. Record this, will you?"

Lucy didn't know what else to do, so she turned on her camera and watched while Mabel walked up to Cornelia and deliberately crashed into her tray. Cornelia fell to the ground and her lunch went flying into a pile.

Eveyone in the cafeteria laughed. Well everyone exept a few people like Cornelia and the caferia aid. And for that matter, Mabel wasn't laughing because she was pretending to be angry with Cornelia. "Why don't you watch where you're going, you clumsy bitch!"

And also Lucy was not laughing. She couldn't help feeling sorry for Cornelia, but she reminded herself that she was lucky to be on Mabel's good side.

* * *

While Lucy was walking home from school that afternoon, she happened to meet Cornelia on the street. She couldn't resist saying something. "Um. . .Hello."

Cornelia scowled. "What do you want?"

"I. . . was wondering how you were doing."

"She's doing fine," said a boy coming out of the shadows.

"Yeah. Fine," said another boy.

Lucy didn't like the look of either boy. They both looked too old to be in middle school. One had long spiky hair and the other had his head shaved almost bald. What was Cornelia doing with people like that?

"What are you?" one of the boys asked. "Cornelia's friend?"

"Hardly." snapped Cornelia.

"Well, look," said the other boy with a leer. "The three of us are going to hang out tomorrow at the park. We'll have a few beers. Maybe even get a little high. Wanta come?"

"No!" said Lucy. The boys were both laughing now, but Cornelia had a frosty expression. "Cornelia," said Lucy, "don't you think you should stay away from people like this?"

"What do you care?" asked Cornelia. "You hate me anyway."

Lucy didn't have an answer for that, so she walked away.

* * *

Lucy wasn't sure what to do next. She felt she had to tell someone what she knew, but if she told her parents or one of her teachers, she'd be a snitch. She ended up doing something kind of strange. She told Mabel the next day at school.

Mabel laughed. "Cornelia's hanging with a couple of guys who get high? What next?"

"Well, don't you think we should do something?"

"Pot damages brain cells," said Mabel dismissively. "Cornelia probably doesn't have anything to damage."

At this point, Lucy realized that telling Mabel had been a mistake, so she was about to walk away. "Wait," said Mabel. "Do you really want to do something?"

Lucy nodded.

"Well, how about tomorrow night, you and I go to the park and check out those three. Just the two of us."

Lucy wasn't sure she liked the sound of that, but she agreed.

* * *

That night, Lucy and Mabel met at the park. It was a dark night. A black fog crept along the ground almost as if it were alive.

"Are you ready?" whispered Mabel.

Lucy nodded. "I think they might be somewhere over there."

Indeed, in a corner of the park, they saw a faint light. There were definitely three people gathered around it. The two girls approached the light very cautiously. Then, they gasped, because the three people were definitely Cornelia and the two boys, but all three of them were naked.

"This is too good!" said Mabel. "Let's take a photo."

But just then, the three turned and faced them. A huge cloud of the black fog passed between them, and as the three stepped out of the fog, they were changed. All three of the people no longer looked human, but like giant black cats.

"Ohmygod!" said Mabel, "what's going on? Why are they coming this way."

"Well, well," said one of the cats stepping towards Lucy, "what have we here? Dinner?"

"Wait," said another one. "This one looks like Cornelia's friend. Should we spare her?"

"No way," said the third one. Lucy could tell it was Cornelia because the voice was slightly feminine."These people treat me like dirt. Let's devour them."

"Oh no! Please don't do that! Cornelia, you can sit at my table in school. I'll be your best friend." Mabel was desperately trying to hide behind Lucy.

Lucy was also scared, but she was showing it differently. She was nervously fidgeting with the silver cross on her neck. After repeatedly doing this, she pulled the cross out from under her shirt. This produced a loud growl from all three cats and they backed away.

It took a moment to register. "You're afraid of this silver cross," realized Lucy. Whether because it was silver or because it was a cross, she couldn't tell, but as Lucy held it out in front of her the cats stayed clear.

"Great!" said Mabel. "They can't hurt us if we've got the cross. Let's get out of here."

"We cannot hurt you, if you wear that cross," said one of the cats to Lucy directly. "Leave us and let us have the other one."

Well, that was actually a tempting offer, but Lucy wasn't going to take it.

"I won't leave unless Cornelia turns human and leaves too, as a human."

"Well," said one of the male cats, "that is up to Cornelia."

"Why would I want to do that?" growled Cornelia.

"Because," said Lucy, "These things--whatever they are--are evil. I think I know how you got involved with them. Nobody else was ever kind to you, so you went with these people. I'm sorry. From now on, I promise to be your friend." Then, she reached over and embraced the big cat that was Cornelia. And as she did this, she felt the giant hairy neck change into the small smooth neck of a girl.

Cornelia was sobbing, but Lucy held up her cross at the other two cats and yelled, "Get lost!""

Then, she turned to Mabel. "If you ever pick on Cornelia again, you'll have to deal with me."

Mabel scowled and walked away.

"Why did you do that?" sobbed Cornelia.

"Because," said Lucy thoughtfully holding her cross, "I have to start being a better Catholic."

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