Prom Baby! – Word count: 20,277

Elizabeth’s jaw dropped.
“I know it’s a lot to ask,” Todd said quickly. “But you’re the only person at school who knows what’s really going on between me and Ken. And you’re a really special friend. It would mean so much to us if you would do it.”
“Todd, I’m really flattered, but I can’t,” Elizabeth said sincerely. “You know what, though? I’m sure Enid would be happy to help out.”
“Does that mean either Ken or I would have to stick our … in Enid?” Todd made a face. “Oh, no. God, no.”
“Todd,” Elizabeth said, placing a hand condescendingly on his shoulder, “maybe it’s time to come out of the closet. Tom McKay sort of did, and look how well that turned out!”
“Elizabeth, are you sure you won’t do it?” Todd pleaded. “I really, really, really, really want to be prom queen.”
“You know you’re in for some stiff competition, don’t you?” Elizabeth said wryly.
“Is that supposed to be some sort of double entendre dick joke?” Todd asked, placing his hands on his hips.
“What? No!” Elizabeth exclaimed, shocked that Todd would even entertain such an idea. “All I meant was that Jessica is going for prom queen, too. And you know how she gets.”
“Yes, I know, I know. She’ll let nothing stand in her way,” Todd said ominously. “And she’ll cut a bitch for trying.”
“Be careful,” Elizabeth advised. “Treat your punch cup as if it’s a Bruce Patman roofie party and don’t let it out of your sight!”
“A Bruce Patman roofie party sounds like fun,” Todd said with a wink. “He is pretty hot.”
“His boob-touching skills leave something to be desired,” Elizabeth said. “Not that I would know. Anyway, just be careful around Jessica. If Ken got into another car accident and temporarily lost his eyesight again. Or…”
“Don’t even say it!” Todd gasped. “That’s just too horrible to even think about.”
“I’m sorry,” Elizabeth said. “I didn’t mean to upset you. Just be careful.”


Jessica pushed through the crowd that had gathered on Sweet Valley High’s football field.
“What’s going on?” she asked Lila, breathlessly.
“Looks like some kids from Big Mesa spray-painted the football field, too,” Lila said, pointing to the field, which now read SVH GLADI-GAY-TORS.
“And look at this!” said a fuming Elizabeth, coming up alongside them. She was waving the latest copy of Big Mesa’s school newspaper. The headline read “Exclusive: SVH’s Male Population 100 Percent Gay” – and it was right above a photo of Todd and Ken locked in a passionate embrace.
“No wonder Ken wouldn’t have sex with me,” Jessica said, miffed.
“Jessica, they’re saying that the reason Sweet Valley High has less pregnant girls than Big Mesa is because all of our boyfriends are gay!” Elizabeth raged.
“Well, speak for yourself,” Lila said, smirking. “It’s YOUR boyfriend in the photo.”
“Less pregnant girls? Can they even count?” Jessica said angrily. “There are at least 137 preggos here – at least!”
“Yes, and you’re looking rather chubby, Liz,” Lila said. “At least I don’t have to eat for two.”
“I don’t even eat for one,” Elizabeth snapped.
“Yes, and it makes you very cranky,” Jessica said. “Hey, Liz, stop by the vending machine and get me a bag of Cheetos, OK?”
Todd joined the girls. “Can you believe this?” he said sadly. “Now everyone knows.”
“Oh, by the way, Todd, I heard Tom’s looking for you,” Lila said. “Something about a three-way?”
“Wilkins!” Bruce barked from behind the crowd. “You told me that date rape kit was for Jessica and Elizabeth. You also told me that the anal bleeding I was experiencing was from hemorrhoids!”
Jessica started to laugh. “Now you know how it feels, Bruce.”
“You!” he snapped. “Shut up!”
“Oh, calm down, Bruce,” Lila said. “You were practically asking for it, wearing those tight pants and all.”

* * *

The Sweet Valley High student body was still reeling from the attack on their football field, as well as the article exposing Ken and Todd’s relationship. All over the halls at school, students were talking about what kind of action to take next.
“I heard the Big Mesa students are going to start picking us off, one by one,” Enid said to Elizabeth on their way to the lunchroom. “It’s probably just a rumor, though. Caroline said it.”
“I’m afraid it’s no rumor,” Elizabeth said sadly. “They called for our execution in their last editorial.”
“Elizabeth, you know I’d defend you to the death, right?” Enid said eagerly. “I’d die for you.”
“Thanks, Enid,” Elizabeth said. “You’re a great friend.”
They sat down with Olivia, Penny, Roger and Todd, who were all discussing the Big Mesa attack.
“Bruce is trying to gather up a guerrilla army,” Todd was saying. “He’s recruited half the football team so far. Including Ken.”
“My cousin does like to solve his problems with violence,” Roger said. “I told Bruce he should maybe just try to arrange peace talks with the most wealthy boy at Big Mesa, but he just punched me in the face and told me to get back into the basement.”
“This is out of hand,” Elizabeth said firmly. “Todd, you’re not thinking about going along with Bruce, are you?”
“I don’t know,” Todd stammered. “I would like to repeatedly punch someone in the face.”
“I’m with Bruce,” Olivia said. “I’m secretly filled with rage.”
“I’ll do whatever Elizabeth wants me to do,” Enid said fervently. “I’d take a bullet for her.”
Behind her, Elizabeth heard a commotion. She turned to look and saw none other than her own twin standing on one of the cafeteria tables.
“Are we going to let those skanks from Big Mesa get away with calling us uptight, infertile and gay?” Jessica yelled.
“No!” the students yelled back.
“Are we going to let those Big Mesa bastards systematically execute us?”
“Tonight, we fight back!” Jessica yelled. “This is no longer about their bad perms, dollar-store weaves and morbid obesity. This is about killing Big Mesa before they kill us!”
“Justice!” yelled Ken, his voice rising above the shouts of the crowd.
Jessica stopped and stared at Ken, her hands on her hips. “No, Ken, this is not about justice. This is about the opposite of justice. Although I have no idea what it’s called.”
“Injustice!” yelled Todd, coming up out of his seat and raising a fist in the air.
“Injustice!” the crowd echoed.
“Have you gone crazy?” Elizabeth hissed, pulling Todd back down into his seat. But she could already see a bloodthirsty look in his eyes.
“Oh, no,” Roger said as Bruce joined Jessica on the table. “This is only going to get worse.”
“Guys, I’ve loaded up my Porsche with enough date-rape drugs to take down Lois Waller and Robin Wilson, back when she was fat,” Bruce yelled. “That’s about as far as I’ve gotten with my plan, though.”
“I know!” Jessica exclaimed. “We could slip roofies into the Big Mesa drinking water supply, then start punching those bitches while they’re all unconscious!”
“Jessica, you’re talking about hurting and killing pregnant women,” Elizabeth said, standing up. “This has got to stop!”
Jessica snorted. “Look, I don’t need you to lecture me on anything else from now on,” she said. “You’re just as bad as those Big Mesa sluts. Maybe even worse, since you try to act like you’re not like them at all. At least they own their sluttiness.”
With that, Jessica flounced off the table and out of the cafeteria, leaving a mob of frenzied, bloodthirsty teenagers in her wake. Winston grabbed a baguette from one of the lunch ladies and lit the end on fire, turning it into a torch. Aaron Dallas, Ronnie Edwards and Barry Rork followed suit. Elizabeth watched in a daze as the cafeteria emptied out.
“What’s going to happen, Todd?” she asked, turning to her pseudo-boyfriend with fearful eyes. But it was too late. Todd had already been swept into the crowd.

* * *

“Mom? Do we have a turkey baster?” Jessica yelled from her bedroom.
“Yes, dear, there’s one in the drawer next to the stove,” Mrs. Wakefield called back.
Elizabeth looked up from her homework, her brow furrowed. What on earth does Jessica want with a turkey baster? she thought. Oh, well. I shouldn’t worry too much about it. It is her turn to cook dinner tonight.
“Honey,” Mrs. Wakefield said, sitting down across the kitchen table from Elizabeth with a mug of coffee in her hands, “we need to talk.”
Elizabeth gulped and shut her history book. “What is it, Mom?”
“I’ve noticed you haven’t been looking like yourself lately,” Mrs. Wakefield said. “I’ve been staring at you and staring at you, trying for the life of me to figure out what’s different. Is there something you want to come clean about?”
“Well, Mom, I – I’m sorry I didn’t tell you sooner,” Elizabeth said meekly. “I was just scared.”
Her mother sighed. “Elizabeth, you know how we feel about the way you dress,” she said. “From now on, no more super-tight shirts, OK?”
“No more tight shirts?” Elizabeth said, looking down in confusion. Sure, her stomach – and her breasts – had gotten larger, but she hadn’t noticed how tight her shirts were until now. Her pink button-down blouse was stretched almost to the breaking point.
“We have to tell you and Jessica apart somehow,” Mrs. Wakefield went on. “She’s the one who dresses like a slut; you’re the one who dresses like a senior citizen.” She patted her oldest daughter on the arm. “I’m glad we had this little talk.”
Elizabeth breathed a sigh of relief. Her mother didn’t suspect anything!
Jessica came into the kitchen in search of the turkey baster. She rummaged around in the drawer until she found it, then cracked open the refrigerator and took out some leftover macaroni and cheese.
“How can you do homework at a time like this, Liz?” she asked, shoveling cold macaroni into her mouth with her hands. “Tonight is a big night!”
“What’s going on tonight, Jessica?” Mrs. Wakefield asked, turning in her seat so she could watch her youngest daughter pig out.
“Yeah, what’s going on tonight?” Elizabeth repeated, crossing her arms over her chest.
Jessica rolled her eyes. “Only the biggest fight Sweet Valley High has ever seen!”
“That’s nice, dear,” Mrs. Wakefield said mildly. “Elizabeth, maybe you should go. Your father and I hardly have time to ourselves anymore since you and Todd have cut back on going out together.”
“But Mom–” Elizabeth protested.
“And no sooner do I get you out of the house than Steven shows up from school,” Mrs. Wakefield said. “Honestly, kids.”
As if on cue, the twins’ older brother, Steven, burst through the back door. He was 18 and a freshman at Sweet Valley University, which was inexplicably located 45 minutes away. Like his father, Steven was tall, dark and handsome. And like his father, he one day aspired to be a shitty lawyer.
“Hi, Mom,” he said, hugging Mrs. Wakefield. She returned the hug with little enthusiasm. “Hi, Jessica, Elizabeth,”
“Hi,” the twins said in unison.

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11 2009

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