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Prom Baby! – Word count: 12,711

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Elizabeth awoke with a start. Her sleep had been fitful; she’d tossed and turned the whole night. But the dream she’d had was so vivid, it seemed almost as if it had been real. Elizabeth had had prophetic dreams before. Last time, it was about a psychotic killer who looked just like the twins but with dark brown hair and had a penchant for knives. Elizabeth lay in bed and shuddered with fear, thinking about crazy Margo, who had tried to kill her and take over her identity. And then Margo had a twin, and SHE tried to kill us! Elizabeth thought. What are the fucking chances of that?

But this dream had been different, Elizabeth reminded herself. It was full of hope.

Elizabeth was in her room, putting the finishing touches on her teen pregnancy article, when an angel appeared to her.

“Do not be afraid,” the angel said. “Your holy womb will soon be filled with child.”

“My… my holy womb?” Elizabeth asked.

The angel sighed and rolled her eyes. “Are you not Saint Elizabeth of Sweet Valley?”

Elizabeth nodded.

“Well then, yes, your holy womb,” the angel said. “Although you are a virgin, you will conceive a child, the son of God.”

“Oh,” Elizabeth said, looking down at her hands, which were folded carefully in her lap, as if she were trying to protect her holy womb. “Well, about that…”

“You are still a virgin, aren’t you?” the angel asked.

“No, not exactly,” Elizabeth said. “Mr. Collins said it doesn’t count until I turn 18.”

“Elizabeth,” the angel said, sighing and pressing a hand to her eyes in exasperation, “we were really counting on you.” The angel removed a clipboard from her robes and leafed through the pages attached to it. “What about Jessica? Do you think her cherry’s been popped yet?”

“Definitely,” Elizabeth said. “Have you met Jessica? But if Satan’s looking to spawn, she’s available.”

“All right,” the angel said, pacing the floor. “Elizabeth, I’m going to need you to lie for me.”

“Oh, I can’t do that,” Elizabeth said sternly.

The angel whirled around and grabbed Elizabeth by the collar of her shirt. “Yes, you can,” she snapped. “I’m not taking the fall for this. No one has to know you’re secretly a skank. You’ll keep your mouth shut, I’ll keep my mouth shut, and no one will be cast out of heaven.”

“But I don’t even want a baby,” Elizabeth protested. “If I have one, how can I look down on all the other girls at Sweet Valley High? They’ll be the ones patting me on the shoulder!”

The angel lifted her eyes as if in prayer. “God, please give me the strength to deal with this stupid bitch,” she said. “Your role as condescending bitch at Sweet Valley High is the least of my problems right now.”

At that exact moment, Elizabeth felt a strange heat in her holy womb, and then the angel was gone.


* * *


From behind the bathroom door, Jessica could hear the muffled sounds of Elizabeth gagging and puking.

“Ugh, gross,” she muttered to herself.

Jessica turned up the sound on her stereo, but she could still make out Elizabeth’s heaving sounds. Finally, after a few minutes, she started pounding on the bathroom door.

“Knock it off, Elizabeth!” she screamed. “I’m trying to listen to the new Jamie Peters single!”

Elizabeth cracked open the door, and Jessica could see her face was a strange shade of green. “I’m sorry,” Elizabeth whispered. “I’m not feeling very well this morning. How’s the Jamie Peters song?”

“It’s great,” Jessica gushed. “It’s called ‘Maybe I Am Having an Inappropriate Relationship With My Daughter.’”

Elizabeth smiled weakly. “I’m sure it’s really good. I think I’ll stop by to see Andrea and remind her that incest is not cool.”

Andrea Slade was the daughter of famous musician Jamie Peters, who lived in Sweet Valley, a celebrity mecca. When they first moved to Sweet Valley, Jessica was convinced that Andrea was not Jamie Peters’ daughter, but was in fact his lover! Although all involved parties insisted it wasn’t the case, Jessica still had her doubts, and Elizabeth couldn’t pass up the opportunity to preach to a fellow student.

“I don’t know,” Jessica said thoughtfully. “Sometimes I think Steven has the hots for me.”

“Jessica! He’s our brother!”

“I know, but don’t you think it’s weird that he’s always slapping me on the ass?” Jessica asked. “Don’t be jealous, Liz. It’s really unbecoming.”

“I’m not jealous,” Elizabeth said, before holding her head over the toilet and puking some more.

“So why are puking up your guts, anyway?” Jessica asked, leaning against the door frame and examining a perfectly manicured hand. “Hungover?”

“No,” said Elizabeth. She wiped her mouth with the back of her hand. “I’m not sure what’s wrong with me.”

“Well, don’t get used to it,” Jessica snapped. “I’m the bulimic one and you’re the anorexic one, remember? It’s how people tell us apart.”

“I haven’t eaten anything, Jess,” Elizabeth said, gesturing toward the toilet bowl. “Look, it’s just bile at this point.”

“Oh my god!” Jessica exclaimed. “Elizabeth, I bet you’re pregnant!”

Elizabeth laughed. “Jessica, I can assure you I’m not pregnant,” she said. “If I got pregnant, who would look down on all the other pregnant girls at Sweet Valley High?”

Jessica’s eyes flashed. “You’re lying,” she said. “You’re trying to become prom queen! I knew it! I knew you would try something like this! You’re always trying to ruin everything for me!”

“I don’t even want to be prom queen,” Elizabeth insisted. She gagged again but managed to keep herself from puking.

“You always do everything before I can do it, even the stuff I want to do! We were supposed to get our period on the same day – the same day, Elizabeth! But no, you had to go and get it first!”

“You got laid before I did!” Elizabeth exclaimed. “I let you lead the way every once in a while.”

“All right,” Jessica said, forcing herself to calm down a bit. “I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. Maybe you’re pregnant, maybe you’re not. I won’t abuse you – mentally or physically – until we know for sure whether you’ve got something growing in your womb. Let’s go get a pregnancy test.”

“Jessica, I can barely leave the bathroom right now, and you want me to go out to the store?” Elizabeth leaned against the sink and steadied herself.

“Yes, I do,” Jessica snapped. “Now put on some clothes that won’t make me ashamed to be seen with you and let’s go. I’ll drive.”

All the way to the drug store, Elizabeth worried. What if Jessica’s right? What if that dream was real and I really am pregnant?

“Here we are,” Jessica said, pulling the car into a space directly in front of the doors. “Time to find out if you’re hiding something from me.”

“I’m not hiding anything from you,” Elizabeth insisted, fighting off a fresh wave of nausea as she slammed the Jeep door behind her.

Strangely enough, Jessica led the way right to the aisle where the pregnancy tests were located. Elizabeth glanced around furtively to make sure no one from Sweet Valley High was in sight. She’d heard a lot of them had been hanging around the pregnancy test aisle lately.

“This one’s good,” Jessica said, picking up a hot pink box. “You can use it really early and it’s still accurate.”

“How do you know?” Elizabeth said, giving her twin a knowing smile.

“I may have taken one or two,” Jessica said breezily. “It can’t hurt to know for sure, right?”

“OK, fine, get that one, then,” Elizabeth said. She crossed her arms over her chest and shivered. “I really, really hope it’s negative,” she added under her breath.
“Hurry up, Elizabeth,” Jessica called over her shoulder as she headed toward the cash register. “The sooner we get home, the sooner we find out whether or not I hate you.”

The cashier scanned the box and frowned at it as the machine beeped loudly. He scanned it again, and once again, a loud beep sounded. Elizabeth looked over her shoulder frantically. If anyone from Sweet Valley High saw her buying a pregnancy test…

“Oh, no,” Elizabeth groaned, tugging on Jessica’s sleeve.

“What is it?” Jessica snapped, whirling around.

“Look over there.” Elizabeth pointed at the door. “It’s Todd and Bruce!”

“Todd and Bruce?” Jessica asked, confused. “What are they doing together?”

Elizabeth had an idea what they were doing together, but as Todd’s beard, she was sworn to secrecy. “They’re just friends,” she said quickly. “Just friends, nothing sexual at all. Todd totally loves the cooch.”

Jessica gave her an odd look. “I mean, they usually can’t stand each other.”

“Well, they are in that fraternity together, Phi Epsilon,” Elizabeth said. “As unlikely as it seems. Oh, and when I say fraternity, I mean ‘fraternity’ with quotes.” She winked at her sister, and Jessica shook her head.

“I still don’t see what you’re getting at, but whatever,” Jessica said, turning her attention back to the cashier. “Besides, they haven’t even noticed us. I think they’re heading for the lube.”

“I’m going to have to do a price check on this,” the cashier said apologetically. “Hang on one second.”

“Hurry it up,” Jessica snapped. “We haven’t got all day.”

The cashier pulled a large, conspicuous microphone out from behind the counter and spoke into it. “Price check, I repeat, price check needed at register one. It’s a home pregnancy test, brand ‘You’re Fucked,’ and it’s for the Wakefield twins. I repeat, the Wakefield twins are buying a home pregnancy test. It’s actually a two-pack, so they may both be with child. Again, one of the Wakefield twins may be knocked up.” He paused, then added, “Probably Jessica.”

Jessica shot him a dirty look.

“Well, well, well,” came a voice from behind the twins, “looks like one of you lovely ladies is in some kind of trouble.”

“Mind your own fucking business, Bruce Patman,” Jessica growled.

“Maybe it is my business,” Bruce said, winking at Elizabeth. She blushed and looked down, gagging slightly. “You know, Jessica, if you’re looking for someone to father your child, I’m available.”

“I’d rather fuck Winston Egbert,” Jessica retorted.

“Well, don’t say I didn’t offer,” Bruce said. “But don’t worry, there are plenty of other girls at Sweet Valley High just begging for my seed.”

“Oh, gross,” Jessica said.

“And, Jessica,” Bruce said, flashing her a smile, “think of the child support money you’ll be missing out on.”

“He does have a point,” Elizabeth interjected. “You do love money.”

“Well, Bruce, your money isn’t any match for a celebrity baby daddy,” Jessica snapped. “Just wait until you see who knocks me up.”

“So, Todd, what are you and Bruce doing here?” Elizabeth asked, trying to change the subject before Jessica and Bruce came to blows – or blow jobs.

“Todd here is putting together his first date rape kit, and he came to me for guidance,” Bruce said, slapping Todd on the back. “I’m so proud.”

Jessica snorted. “You’re, like, the worst date rapist ever. You couldn’t even close the deal with me.”

Bruce ignored her. “But Todd is being kind of shy. He still won’t tell me who the lucky girl is.”

“Oh, you’ll find out, Bruce,” Todd said, laughing nervously.

“I get it, bro,” Bruce said. “You don’t want Elizabeth to find out what she’s in for. Just a tip: Take her out on the motorcycle first, crash and wait for her to turn into this one over here, then give her some red wine in a paper cup. The paper cup is very important. I know it’ll look like you’re slumming it, but trust me, they get drunk faster. Then you can touch her boob.”

“Got it,” said Todd, eyeing Bruce up and down. “How much wine would it take if you were, say, twice the size of Elizabeth?”

“Dude, don’t go for Robin Wilson or Lois Waller,” Bruce said, making a face. “No fat chicks.”

“It’s not for Robin or Lois,” Todd said.

“Well, I’m impressed, Todd,” Bruce said. “Taking on both Wakefield twins at once? Even I’ve never tried that!”

The cashier finished ringing up their purchase, and while Elizabeth paid, Jessica snatched up the plastic bag with the pregnancy test in it. “Come on, let’s get out of here,” Jessica said. “If I’m around Bruce Patman for one more second, I’ll be the one puking.”




“Well?” Jessica said through the bathroom door. “Anything yet?”

“I’m still trying to figure this out, Jessica,” Elizabeth called back. “It says to pee on the stick, but I’m not sure what that means.”

“Just breathe on it,” Jessica advised. “Wakefield twins don’t have bodily functions.”

“Oh,” Elizabeth said. “Are you sure?”

“That’s what I’ve done every time I’ve taken a pregnancy test, and they’ve all been negative,” Jessica said authoritatively. “Breathe on it, then wait three minutes.”

“All right,” Elizabeth said. A second later, she emerged from the bathroom. “I just can’t look, Jess.”

“Fine, I’ll do it, then,” Jessica said. “Let me know when three minutes is up.”

“See, this is why you should wear a watch,” Elizabeth said.

“A watch?” Jessica scoffed. “Yeah, if I want people to think I’m boring. Besides, everyone in Sweet Valley knows the party doesn’t start until I get there.”

While they waited, Jessica sat down on her bed and leafed through an issue of Ingenue. An ad toward the back of the magazine caught her eye.

“OK, Jessica, it’s been three minutes,” Elizabeth said. “I’m so nervous.”

“Me, too,” Jessica muttered, reluctantly putting down the magazine and heading into the bathroom.

Elizabeth sat on Jessica’s bed, her arms wrapped across her chest. Any second now, I might hear some news that will completely change my life, Elizabeth thought. I just hope I’m ready.

You bitch!” Jessica screamed, bursting through the door and waving around the pregnancy test. “You’ve totally ruined my chance of being prom queen!”

Elizabeth stared at her sister in shock. “It’s … it’s positive?”

“Of course it’s positive,” Jessica spat. “You’re just so perfect, aren’t you?” She threw the test down on the floor in anger.
“Oh, no,” Elizabeth moaned, putting her head in her hands. “This is terrible.”

“You’re damn right this is terrible,” Jessica said evenly. “How am I going to face Lila and Amy and everyone else at Sweet Valley High? I’ll be the laughingstock of the entire school!”

But Elizabeth couldn’t concentrate on Jessica’s words. All she could think about was the terrible, unexpected thing that had happened to her – and who the father might be.


* * *

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11 2009

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