Prom Baby! – Word count: 34,960

“All right, girls,” Mr. Jaworski said, sitting down behind Mr. Collins’ desk. “I guess the first thing we’ll do is take attendance.” It took almost half an hour for Mr. Jaworski to call out all the names of the girls in the class, noting that Elizabeth was missing. “OK. Now that we’ve done that, let’s all read our textbooks quietly to ourselves.”
“But we don’t even have textbooks,” Amy said. “Mr. Collins usually just talks to us about his own experiences with the female reproductive system.”
“Well, I’m afraid I can’t do that,” said Mr. Jaworski, pushing his glasses up his nose.
“Because you don’t want to get arrested, like Mr. Collins?” Caroline asked.
“No,” Mr. Jaworski said, shifting uncomfortably in his seat, “because I’ve never been with a woman.”
Lila turned to Jessica and mouthed “Awkward!”
“You’ve never been with a woman?” Jessica asked loudly.
“Well, no,” Mr. Jaworski said, blushing.
“What about a man?” asked Dana Larson.
“No, of course not,” he said. “Girls, I think this line of questioning has gone far enough. How about we finish up class a little bit early today?”
“Well, that certainly worked in our favor,” Lila said, walking with Jessica out into the sunshine. “I’m tempted to skip class for the rest of the day. I could use a nap.” She yawned.
“I know, let’s go to the beach,” Jessica said. “We can nap and tan!”

* * *

“Mr. Collins!” cried Elizabeth, pressing her hands against the glass that separated them. “How awful!”
Even though Mr. Collins had only been in the Sweet Valley jail for a few hours, he already looked pale, gaunt and defeated. He listlessly sat down in a plastic chair and picked up the telephone receiver next to the window, under the watchful eye of a guard.
Elizabeth picked up her own receiver. “Mr. Collins! How are you holding up?”
“Not very well, Elizabeth, I’m afraid,” he said. “Thank you for coming to visit me.”
“Of course,” she said, taking in his orange jumpsuit, sunken eyes and greasy hair. “All the other kids at Sweet Valley High wanted me to tell you that we all support you, Mr. Collins.”
Mr. Collins managed a faint smile. “Thank you, Elizabeth. I really appreciate it.”
“And we’re doing everything we can to get you out of here,” she babbled on, trying to ignore the tattooed inmate one spot over who was making come sort of crude gesture at her, one that involved his tongue.
“My trial is tomorrow, Elizabeth,” he said sadly. “I hope there is some way to get me out of here.” He lowered his voice and subtly jerked his head at the tattooed man. “I’m already this guy’s bitch.”
Elizabeth gasped. “That’s awful!” she said.
“I just can’t imagine who would want to turn me in,” Mr. Collins said. “I thought all of you girls were happy with the attention I was giving you.”
“I think it’s Suzanne Devlin,” Elizabeth said earnestly. “But Jessica thinks it was someone from Big Mesa.”
Mr. Collins snapped his fingers. “Of course!” he said. “I knew nobody from Sweet Valley High would turn me in.”
Elizabeth nodded. “This has been going on for years, Mr. Collins,” she said. “I’m sure if it was anyone from Sweet Valley High, they would have turned you in ages ago.”
“But Big Mesa … Elizabeth, I have to tell you something,” Mr. Collins said. “Can you keep a secret?”
Elizabeth gave him a playful frown. “Mr. Collins, you’ve been touching me inappropriately for years. You know I can keep a secret.”
Mr. Collins smiled. “Remember how this whole mess got started?”
“Yes,” she said. “The girls from Big Mesa formed a pregnancy pact.”
“Exactly,” he said. “And, well, when I heard about it, I headed over to Big Mesa straight away. I thought I could offer some help.” He paused, taking a deep breath. “Elizabeth, I’m the one who impregnated 75 underage girls.”
Elizabeth gasped. “All of them?”
Mr. Collins nodded. “All of them. I didn’t want to say anything, because I’m aware of the huge rivalry between Big Mesa and Sweet Valley High,” he said. “But I didn’t expect it to get so out of hand – and I didn’t expect the girls at Sweet Valley to get so swept up in the teen pregnancy craze. Don’t get me wrong – it’s been great. Until now.”
“So you really think that one of those girls from Big Mesa turned you in?” Elizabeth said, not realizing her left hand had unconsciously balled into a tight fist.
“That’s the way it looks,” Mr. Collins said.
“Well, fuck this shit,” Elizabeth said grimly. “I was trying to stop a war between Sweet Valley and Big Mesa, but things have just gotten a lot more personal!”

* * *

Lila dropped her beach bag just inside the front door and climbed the stairs up to her bedroom. Refreshed from her nap and in a better mood than she had been in days, she realized she was actually looking forward to seeing her baby.
“Hello,” she sang out as she entered her room. But there was no sound to greet her, no crying or laughing or babbling. “Baby? Where are you?”
She had made a crude crib on the floor out of throw pillows and silk blankets before she left for school, but the baby wasn’t in it. Startled, Lila felt her dark heart grow three sizes as she realized she was actually worried about the infant.
“Calm down, Lila,” she said to herself. “It’s going to be OK. He couldn’t have gone very far.”
But as she searched Fowler Crest and failed to find any sign of the baby, Lila’s panic surfaced again.
“Where are you?” she cried out loud. “Oh, please, please don’t be lost!”
“Lila, is that you?” a voice called from the study.
“Daddy?” Lila asked, cracking open the door. “You’re back from Paris already?”
“I caught an earlier flight,” he said, crossing the room to give his only daughter a stiff, impersonal hug.
“Daddy, I can’t find the baby anywhere,” Lila said. “Did Eva take him out?”
“You said they sent the wrong one, didn’t you? I had Eva drop him off at the post office. Your new baby should be arriving tomorrow,” Mr. Fowler said. “The adoption agency said they were terribly sorry about the mix-up.”
Lila’s eyes widened. “Do you think I can still catch Eva?” she asked, hurrying toward the door. “I think I’ve changed my mind!”

* * *

Enid’s heart was in her throat as she got closer and closer to Big Mesa. I’ve killed before for Elizabeth, she reminded herself. I can do it again.
She pulled her car into a parking spot downtown and tried to determine the best course of action. At this time of the afternoon, most of Big Mesa High’s students would be at school, engaged in all sorts of after-school activities. Still others would be grabbing a burger and a milkshake at Big Mesa’s local hangout, the Fairi Burger. She decided to head there first.
Locking her car, Enid dashed across the street to the diner. It looked suspiciously like Sweet Valley’s own Dairi Burger, but douchier. She hoped no one would recognize her as a Sweet Valley High student.
The restaurant was relatively quiet, with groups of students sitting here and there, sharing a plate of fries or a thick milkshake. “Holy shit,” Enid said under her breath. “Everyone in here is pregnant.”
“Enid!” a voice called from across the restaurant. She slowly turned around.
“Hugh,” she said, putting on a fake smile and joining him at a booth. Thank goodness he’s by himself, she thought.
“What are you doing here?” Hugh asked his girlfriend. “I wasn’t expecting to see you until tomorrow.”
“Oh, I, uh, ran out early,” she said, picking up his crumpled straw wrapper and playing with it. “It’s been a stressful week, so I’ve been smoking a lot.”
“Well, shit, baby,” Hugh said, running a finger over Enid’s cheek. “I don’t have anything on me right now.”
Enid shuddered at Hugh’s touch but tried not to let it show. “That’s OK,” she said. “Hey, have you seen Elizabeth?”
“Elizabeth Wakefield?” Hugh asked.
“Of course Elizabeth Wakefield,” she snapped.
Hugh shrugged. “Not since last time we all went to the movies or did something else equally boring,” he said.
“I heard she was coming out here to confront some guys from Big Mesa over Mr. Collins’ arrest,” Enid said. “Are you sure you haven’t seen her?”
“Yes, I’m sure,” Hugh said, gently kissing Enid’s cheek. “How is it that I’m not repulsed by you, like all the other guys around here?”
“I don’t know,” Enid said, pulling away. “Listen, I’ve got to find Elizabeth. She could be in serious danger!”
“I’m sure she’s fine,” Hugh said.
“Hugh, I like Elizabeth,” she said. “I don’t want anything bad to happen to her.”
“Well, I like her, too, baby. She’s a nice girl.”
“No, I mean I like like her,” Enid said. “More like I’m obsessed with her.”
“What?” Hugh said loudly, taken aback by Enid’s admission. “I always thought it was kind of weird that all you wanted to do on dates was park outside of the Wakefields’ attractive split-level ranch, smoke crack and gaze up at Elizabeth’s window, but I didn’t think you actually had feelings for her!”
“Well, I do,” Enid said hotly.
“I don’t believe this,” Hugh said slowly. “Are you breaking up with me?”
“I guess so,” Enid said. “If you’re making me choose between you and Liz, I choose Elizabeth.”
“You bitch!” Hugh spat. “I suppose you’re going to buy all your meth from Elizabeth now, too?”
“Of course not,” Enid said, tugging on her hair. “I’m still going to buy from you. I’m just not going to pay you in sexual favors anymore.”
“That’s not going to work for me, Enid,” Hugh said, his face darkening. “And I’m afraid I’m going to have to sound the alarm that we have a Sweet Valley bitch in our midst.”
“Hugh, no,” Enid gasped, jumping up.
Hugh stood on the table. “Attention, everyone! This bitch right here is from Sweet Valley High!”
Enid’s eyes widened in horror as a mob of Big Mesa students headed toward her, screaming and brandishing stainless steel cutlery. She dodged one or two slow pregnant girls, then aimed a high roundhouse kick at a huge guy, who fell to the ground, screaming. Running for the door, Enid grabbed a root beer bottle off a table and smashed it against a petite girl’s head, breaking it off into a jagged weapon. She used it to fend off several more boys and backed up to the door.
“Which one of you bitches wants to get shanked next?” Enid screamed. She backed out of the door, then, once she was safely outside of the Fairi Burger, sprinted toward her car.
“That was close,” she said, catching her breath and leaning her head against the steering wheel. She could only hope she would find Elizabeth soon.

* * *

Jessica hummed to herself as she relaxed in a long, leisurely bath. The water barely covered her pregnant stomach, but she didn’t even mind the cool air raising goosebumps across it.
“Enid’s so fucking stupid,” she said out loud, laughing to herself. “But thanks to her, we’ll finally be rid of those Big Mesa bitches once and for all.”
And then, the only thing standing in Jessica’s way of being crowned prom queen was Elizabeth. But she’ll be easy enough to take care of, Jessica thought. A little bit of meth and she’ll be tweaking so hard, there’s no way anyone will vote for her!
There was a knock at the bathroom door. “Jess?” Elizabeth said through the door. “Are you in there?”
“Yeah, I’m just taking a bath,” Jessica said. “You can come in, if you want.” Elizabeth cracked open the door and stood in the doorway. “Well, come in and shut the door!” Jessica shrieked. “You’re letting all the steam out!”
Elizabeth coughed as she shut the door behind her. “Aren’t you burning up in here?”
“Not really,” Jessica said, closing her eyes and relaxing into the bubbles surrounding her.
“Well, you were right,” Elizabeth said grimly. “It was someone Big Mesa who ratted out Mr. Collins.”
“Oh, that’s terrible,” Jessica said, sounding as if she didn’t really mean it. “Can you pass me the bubble bath?”
Elizabeth handed the bottle to Jessica, who unceremoniously dumped most of it into the water. “You know, I’m supposed to stop the war between Sweet Valley and Big Mesa, but this makes me so angry, I just want to go down there and take them out myself.”
“No need, Liz,” Jessica said, waving her hand. “Enid’s on it.”
“Yes, Enid,” Jessica said. “You saw what she did to Rick Andover.”
“Yeah, but, Enid’s not really like that, Jess. Rick startled her, that’s all,” Elizabeth said.
“Enid’s like that for a little bit of speed,” Jessica said. “I bribed her.”
“You did what?” Elizabeth tried to cross her arms defiantly over her chest, but her swollen stomach and breasts made the gesture difficult.
Jessica shrugged. “I told her to go down to Big Mesa and take care of them for me,” she said. “Oh, come on, don’t look at me like that. Bruce was useless, so I had to get someone with some real balls.”
“Jessica, you’ve sent Enid on a suicide mission!”
“I just told her you were in trouble and needed rescuing,” Jessica said matter-of-factly. “That and a bump was all it took. Honestly, don’t look so surprised.”
Elizabeth stood staring at her twin, her mouth wide open. “I can’t believe you,” she said finally. “This has got to be one of the lowest, most underhanded things you’ve ever done–”
“I could name 137 more just off the top of my head,” Jessica offered. “Oh, and I might have told Enid that you might, you know, make out with her or something if she kills everyone in Big Mesa.”
“I’m going to find Enid,” Elizabeth said sharply, turning on her heel. “And you had better hope that when I do, she’s still alive.”


Lila raced through the streets of Sweet Valley in her lime-green Triumph. She had to find Eva before the baby was shipped back to Africa!
She ran a red light, then made a sharp left turn. The post office wouldn’t be open much longer, Lila realized. “Hang on, little baby,” she said out loud. “Mama’s on her way.”
The Triumph’s brakes squealed loudly as Lila pulled into a space and threw the car into park, jumping out without turning off the engine. She ran as fast as she could to the glass doors of the post office. “Almost there,” she panted, leaping for the door handle just as Eva came through it on the other side, knocking Lila to the ground.
“Miss Lila?” Eva asked in heavily accented English. “What are you doing here?”
“I’ve come to get the baby back,” Lila said, holding out a hand to Eva so she could be helped up. “You haven’t shipped him yet, have you?”
“Oh, no, Miss Lila,” Eva said, her face falling. “I just now sent him off.”
“Crap!” Lila exclaimed, pulling on the door handle. But it was no use. “Locked? But I’m Lila fucking Fowler!”
“They just closed, Miss Lila,” Eva said. “But you are getting another baby tomorrow. Isn’t that what you wanted?”
“I want this baby,” Lila said, her hand pressed against the door. Inside, the lights of the post office clicked off one by one. She couldn’t see a single person behind the counter.
“It will be OK,” Eva said, gently placing a hand on Lila’s shoulder. “We will go home and I will make you a special chocolate cake, OK? That will make you feel better.”
“No, it won’t,” Lila said, a lone tear slipping down her cheek. “Eva, we’ve got to get him back!”
“But the post office is closed,” Eva reasoned. “They are already sending him back.”
Lila turned around, sniffling back a sob. “No, they aren’t,” she vowed. “If I have to blow these doors off their freakin’ hinges, I’m getting him back.”

* * *

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11 2009

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  1. coffeeatlukes #

    OMG, I love the Fairi Burger!

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