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Prom Baby! – Word count: 30,027

Jessica dropped to her knees in the sand, exhausted. She wasn’t badly hurt, but some of her classmates were. Roger was helping a badly bruised Winston to shore. Blood was flowing from Jean’s cheek, and her best friend, Sandra Bacon, was missing a front tooth. A rolled-up sock was hanging out one of the legs of Bruce’s Speedo, but he seemed otherwise OK.
“Did you hear that bitch?” Jessica fumed. “They’re going to crash our prom.”
“Let them fucking try,” Bruce said.
Todd was comforting Ken, who was clutching his ribs. “I panicked,” Todd said. “All those times I’ve punched people – I can’t believe I froze.”
“I can,” Bruce said snidely. “You always were kind of a weenie, Wilkins.”
“We can’t let them get away with this!” Olivia cried. “Does anyone have a plan – a real plan – for dealing with these Big Mesa jerks, once and for all?”
Jessica glanced at Bruce. “Well, we do have a secret weapon,” she said.
“What?” Penny asked, wiping sand off her baby bump.
“Enid Rollins,” Jessica announced.
“You’ve got to be joking,” Sandra said, spitting another tooth into the sand.
“No, it’s true,” Bruce confirmed. “That bitch is crazy. Give her some meth and tell her Big Mesa’s after Elizabeth Wakefield, and she will take some motherfuckers out.”

* * *

Elizabeth’s twin sense was telling her Jessica was in trouble, but she tried to ignore it. “What is there to be afraid of?” Elizabeth asked herself out loud, shrugging off the chill that ran down her spine. “It’s a gorgeous day, the sun is out, and my best friend is about to come over and bake some cookies with me.”
As Elizabeth bustled around the kitchen, getting ready for her girls’ night in with Enid, she couldn’t help but wonder where Jessica was. Maybe I’ll call Lila’s house, she thought. At least that will make me feel better.
Elizabeth dialed Lila’s number and waited. After a few minutes without an answer, she hung up the receiver. She began to pace the floor and wonder why she cared about Jessica so much. After all, Jessica was a total bitch to her on a daily basis.
Elizabeth heard a car pull up outside and peered out the kitchen window. Her face fell when she realized it was just Enid.
Elizabeth greeted her friend with a solemn face.
“What’s wrong?” Enid cried, concerned. “Did someone hurt you? If they did, I’ll go after them. Really, I will.”
“No, it’s not that,” Elizabeth said. “It’s Jessica. I just have a feeling that something’s wrong with her.”
“There are a lot of things wrong with Jessica,” Enid said, counting each of Jessica’s faults on her fingers as she named them one by one. “Sociopathy, narcissism, irresponsibility, promiscuity–”
“I know all that,” Elizabeth said. “What I mean is, I feel like she’s in some sort of trouble.”
“Oh, Jessica’s always in some sort of trouble,” Enid said.
“I don’t know,” Elizabeth said, shaking her head. “I feel like she’s taking this Big Mesa thing too far, and I think it’s going to lead to something very serious.”
Enid started twitching. “Liz, let’s just get to baking, all right? I need something to do with my hands.”
“Of course,” Elizabeth said warmly, handing her friend a mixing bowl. “I’m sure Jessica will be fine. I shouldn’t be so worried about her.”
“She never worries about you,” Enid said darkly, opening a bag of flour. “You know, I could hurt her for you, I mean, only if you want me to.”
“No, that’s OK.” Elizabeth carefully measured out some chocolate chips. The sight of them repulsed her. “She is my twin. I love her, no matter what.”
Enid’s left eye involuntarily opened and closed. “I don’t have to love her,” she said. “In fact, I kind of hate her.”
“Enid, that’s not very nice,” Elizabeth said reproachfully. “I don’t let Jessica talk that way about you, even though she says you’re boring, and a drip, and ugly. And a drug addict. She’s also wondered about your sexuality on more than one occasion.”
“Oh,” Enid said, viciously digging into the bag of flour.
“But I told her you were completely asexual,” Elizabeth said.
“I am not asexual,” Enid said evenly.
“Really?” Elizabeth asked, tilting her head to one side. “I could have sworn you were.”
“Elizabeth, are you fucking blind?” Enid asked, her voice rising.
“Enid, you know full well that the only blind person we’ve ever had in Sweet Valley was Ken,” Elizabeth said. “And he was magically cured.”
“The scrapbook, the barrettes – Elizabeth, I love you,” Enid cried. “Haven’t you noticed? Or have you been too busy pretending to be in love with Todd?”
“I have not been pretending to be in love with Todd!” Elizabeth countered. “Have you seen how many times I’ve cheated on him?”
“Yes!” Enid shouted. “And I’ve been hoping that one day you’d cheat on him with me!”
Enid stepped back, breathing heavily, her hands balled into fists at her sides.
“Enid,” Elizabeth said gently, “maybe we should have this discussion when you’re not tweaked out of your mind.”
“You’ll never love me now, will you, Liz?” Enid said sadly. “Not with Bruce’s baby on the way.”
Elizabeth sighed in exasperation. “It’s not Bruce’s baby!” she said. “And don’t worry, Enid. There will be plenty of time for sexual exploration. Maybe when we go off to college. Or when I run off to England and become a wet nurse or something. Whenever I finally decide to lose my virginity, even though we all know I’m about as slutty as Jessica already.” She laid a hand on her friend’s shoulder. “But right now, I’m concerned with my baby. And the teen pregnancy prom. And writing up a really good article. And saving the world.”
“Well, then,” Enid said, her jaw set in a firm line, “let me know whenever you finally have some time for your so-called best friend.”
Elizabeth watched Enid leave. She then threw the remains of their cookie dough into the trash can and leaned against the counter, holding back a sob. I didn’t mean to get into a fight with my best friend, even if she is kind of creeping me out these days, what with the barrette assassinations and sudden romantic interest in me, Elizabeth thought. When did life get so complicated?
“Liz?”
“Jessica!” Liz cried, running into the front hall. “What happened to you? Are you all right?”
“It’s nothing,” Jessica said. “I’ll be fine.”
Elizabeth put an arm around her twin’s shoulder. “Your bikini top looks like it’s been ripped to shreds,” she said, concerned. “Did you have a run-in with Bruce?”
Jessica shook her head. “Big Mesa.”
Elizabeth guided her twin to the kitchen table and sat her down. “Tell me everything,” she said.
“Liz, are you baking chocolate chip cookies?” Jessica said, eyeing the ingredients on the counter.
“I was,” Elizabeth said. “But Enid and I had a fight, so I threw away all the cookie dough.”
“You threw away cookie dough?” Jessica screeched. She jumped up from the table and started digging through the trash, emerging with a handful of dough that she began chewing on. “We were all at the beach, talking about Bruce’s asscrack, I don’t know, when out of nowhere, a huge gang of Big Mesa students came in and just swarmed us.”
“That’s awful,” Elizabeth said, taking a seat. “Is everyone OK?”
“Jean’s pretty cut up, and Winston has two black eyes, but we all made it out alive,” Jessica said. “I’m not so sure we’ll make it though the prom, though.”
“What do you mean?” Elizabeth asked, alarmed. She felt like her heart had taken a giant leap up into her throat.
“They’re going to crash our prom,” Jessica said. “And we have to be ready.”
Elizabeth shook her head. “Jess, this is getting out of hand,” she said. “Don’t you see? You’re the only one who can stop it.”
“Why would I want to stop it?” Jessica asked, narrowing her eyes. “I like watching those Big Mesa bitches get their asses handed to them.”
“Jessica, in a few short days, you’re going to be a parent,” Elizabeth said, gesturing to her sister’s stomach, which seemed to be growing by the second. “Don’t you want your baby to have a better future?”
Jessica rolled her eyes. “Don’t you think you’re being a little bit dramatic?”
“Jessica, if we don’t stop this war between Sweet Valley and Big Mesa, the world is going to end,” Elizabeth said.
“Riiiiiight,” Jessica said sarcastically. “And you like to say I’m the dumb one!”
“I can’t explain to you how I know, but you’ve got to believe me that it’s true,” Elizabeth said. “We have to bring peace to Sweet Valley.”
“And what’s going to happen if we don’t?” Jessica said. “The world just ends – poof – like that?”
“I’m not sure exactly how it will end,” Elizabeth said. “Maybe a huge earthquake that topples refrigerators and kills hippie teenagers. I don’t know.”
“Sounds boring to me,” Jessica said. “At least this fight with Big Mesa is exciting. And anyway, don’t worry about it. Bruce and I will take care of it.”
“Oh, good,” Elizabeth said, breathing a sigh of relief. “I knew you’d see things my way and stop the fight.”
“Stop the fight?” Jessica laughed. “No, we’re just going to unleash the most powerful killing machine Big Mesa’s ever seen – Enid Rollins.”

* * *

“Enid, it’s me,” Elizabeth said. “Please pick up the phone. OK, if you’re not going to pick up the phone, please give me a call as soon as you get this. It’s really important.”
She hung up the phone and stared at it, worried. She hoped she could get to Enid before Jessica and Bruce did. After five minutes, Elizabeth picked up the phone and dialed Enid’s number again.
“Enid? It’s me again. Elizabeth,” she said. “Listen, I know you’re upset with me, but I really, really need to talk to you. If you call me back, I’ll – I’ll let you touch my boob, all right? It’s already been tainted by the hands of Bruce Patman, so I guess I can give you that, at least–”
There was a loud, piercing buzz as Enid picked up the phone. “Really? You’ll really let me touch your boob?” she asked eagerly.

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11 2009

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