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Prom Baby! – Word count: 41,666

“Oh,” Lila said condescendingly. “Well, when you see Jessica, tell her to come find me, OK? I can’t wait to show off little Rich!”
“Sure, Lila,” Elizabeth said. “I’ll be sure to tell her.”
Lila turned away, searching for someone else to brag to. She started in Amy’s direction, but Elizabeth caught her arm.
“Lila, wait,” she said. Lila turned a curious eye to her. “After the prom queen is crowned, get out of the gym, OK?”
“Why would I want to do that?” Lila asked. “That’s when the fun will just be getting started!”
“That’s when the fun will just be getting started for Big Mesa,” Elizabeth said darkly.
“What are you planning?” Lila asked, trying to control her voice so it wouldn’t give away the note of fear that sounded in her head like an alarm.
“Let’s just say we took a page from John Pfeifer’s book,” Elizabeth said ominously.
Lila’s face turned pale. She tightened her grasp on the baby and started to slowly back away from Elizabeth. “You’re crazy,” she said. “You’re really fucking crazy.”
Elizabeth sighed. “I know we just rebuilt the gym and all, but Jessica’s right – we need to teach Big Mesa a lesson. And the only way to do it is to wait until they crash our prom, then lock them all in the gym and blow it sky high.”
“Elizabeth, do you realize what you’re talking about?” Lila said, her eyes wide. “I hate Big Mesa as much as the next person, but really only for their poor sense of style and cheaply manufactured hairpieces.”
“I know what I’m talking about,” Elizabeth snapped. “But when they decided to mess with Mr. Collins, that was the last straw.”
“The thing with Mr. Collins is over,” Lila said gently. “He’s free. Look, he’s standing right over there, chaperoning the dance.”
“What, has motherhood made you the voice of fucking reason?” Elizabeth asked sharply.
“Back off, bitch,” Lila warned, shifting Rich over to one hip so she could free up her pimp slapping hand.
Elizabeth clapped a hand over her mouth. “Oh my god, Lila, I’m so sorry,” she said, quickly coming to her senses. “I guess I’m just kind of on edge and hormonal.”
“You’d better be sorry,” Lila said. “Don’t think that just because you’re pregnant I won’t smack you in the mouth.” She hurried off to join a very pregnant Amy.
Elizabeth turned back to the stage, her eyes welling up with tears. She had allowed herself to get caught up in the feud with Big Mesa, and now she had put the lives of her friends in danger! I have to find Randy Mason and get him to disarm the bombs, Elizabeth thought, looking around frantically. But Randy was nowhere to be seen. Of course! Randy’s a first-class nerd. There’s no way he’d show up to the prom.
Scanning the room one last time, Elizabeth caught sight of her twin, who had just entered the gym. “Jessica!” she called, running toward her twin. “Jess!”
Jessica took one look at the baby in her sister’s arms and rolled her eyes. “What do you want?”
“I need you to watch her,” Elizabeth said, thrusting Hanna toward Jessica. Jessica reluctantly accepted her and held her at arm’s length. “I have to go find Randy Mason!”
“What do you want to talk to that geek for?” Jessica asked, sniffing the air around her. “Liz, this baby smells like poop.”
“Well, she probably crapped herself when she heard me warning Lila about our plans to blow up the gym,” Elizabeth said. “Make sure to get her to Todd and Ken and that they all get out of the gym safely. Oh, and take that crown off before you go over there, because Todd’s running for prom queen and he really wants to win.”
“Todd’s running for prom queen?” Jessica asked, laughing. “Like that’s going to happen.”
“I have to get Randy over here to disarm the bombs,” Elizabeth said. “We can’t blow up the gym! It isn’t right. Besides, it will start off a chain of events that will lead to armageddon.”
“Wait, what? Elizabeth Wakefield, we have been planning this slaughter for hours. You can’t give up now!” Jessica cried.
“Jessica, I realize now that I was wrong in wanting everyone from Big Mesa to die for what they did to Mr. Collins,” Elizabeth said. “Lila helped me see that.”
“Now I know we’re in an alternate universe,” Jessica said. “Lila Fowler helped you see the light?”
“Just get everyone out of the gym, Jessica,” Elizabeth said, grabbing the Jeep keys from her sister’s hand. “And hurry!”

* * *

Enid sat on the hood of her car in the Sweet Valley High parking lot, sipping out of a beer bottle and fingering her homemade shank. When Big Mesa came, she’d be ready.
Behind her, the sounds of Dana Larson’s crappy band drifted out of the gym, along with laughter. “They’re all in there having fun,” Enid said glumly. “Elizabeth is in there having fun. But I’m stuck out here, tweaked out of my mind and waiting to unleash some hell on those assholes.”
It’s a good thing I’m not pregnant, she thought, trying to fight back the pangs of jealousy that struck whenever she thought about all the advantages the other Sweet Valley students seemed to have. None of those bitches are in any condition to fight. And my body’s probably too full of toxic chemicals to support a parasite of a baby anyway.
Aside from the sounds coming from the gym and a snippet or two of Winston’s dead baby jokes, all was quiet in Sweet Valley. “It’s like the calm before the storm,” Enid said, tipping back the remainder of her beer and swallowing it in one long gulp. She tossed the bottle at Bruce’s Porsche and watched with satisfaction as it dented the passenger-side fender. Reaching into the backpack beside her, Enid grabbed another beer and twisted off the top.
She watched for a while as headlights moved in the distance, none of them coming toward Sweet Valley High. She wondered how many Big Mesa students would show up and when. “I’ll be ready,” she vowed. “I’ll be fucking ready.”


“Randy?” Elizabeth called desperately, pounding on the front door of a small but tidy-looking house on the outskirts of Sweet Valley. “Randy, are you home?”
After what seemed like an eternity, a petite woman with glasses answered the door. “Can I help you?” she asked.
“Mrs. Mason, is Randy home?” Elizabeth asked. “I’ve got to talk to him.”
“Oh!” Mrs. Mason said, brightening up immediately. “You must be his virtual girlfriend. Please, come in.”
Elizabeth stepped inside. “Oh, I’m not his … virtual … girlfriend, whatever that is. I’m not any kind of girlfriend,” she said apologetically.
Mrs. Mason smiled. “Of course. I’m sure that’s not what the kids are calling it these days. Cybersex buddy?”
“Um, no,” Elizabeth said uncomfortably.
“I didn’t know girls around here were so easy,” Mrs. Mason said, eyeing Elizabeth’s stomach. “I mean, I have to admit I was a little bit worried with all the time he’s been spending on that computer he built, but at least he doesn’t have to worry about getting someone pregnant.”
“Mrs. Mason, I’m a classmate of Randy’s,” Elizabeth said. “I’m sure he and I have never even spoken to each other before, but it’s important that I talk to him right now. Millions of lives could be at stake!” Mrs. Mason still looked unmoved, so Elizabeth pulled the Wakefield card.
“Oh, of course!” Mrs. Mason said immediately. “He’s in the basement.” She cracked open a nearby door and yelled, “Randy, there’s a real live girl here to see you! And it’s a Wakefield twin! The slutty one!”
“That really narrows it down, Mom,” Randy called back. “And quit joking. I’m in the middle of a very important Warcraft raid.”
“Randy, I’m serious,” Mrs. Mason yelled, her voice much louder than what Elizabeth would have anticipated she was capable of producing. “Quit jacking off and get up here!”
Elizabeth blushed, but waited while Randy reluctantly climbed the stairs.
“What do you want?” he asked her sullenly, pausing at the top step.
“I need you to help me disarm the bombs in the gym,” she said. “We’ve decided against killing everyone at Big Mesa.”
Randy shrugged. “I can do it, but it’s going to cost you,” he said.
“Sure,” Elizabeth said. “I’ll do anything.”
“Anything?” Randy asked, raising an eyebrow. He turned to his mother. “Mom, get out of here!”
“Fine, dear,” she said. “Would you like something to drink, some tea or maybe a soda, Elizabeth?”
“Um, no thank you,” Elizabeth said. “We really have to get back to the prom.”
“Oh, Randy,” Mrs. Mason said, clasping her hands together. “She wants to take you to the prom!”
“Mom, you’re seriously cock-blocking me right now,” Randy complained.
“All right,” she said pleasantly, heading into the kitchen. “Let me know if you need anything.”
As soon as his mother was gone, Randy turned his attention back to Elizabeth. “Boobs,” he said.
“Excuse me?” Elizabeth asked.
“You heard me,” he said. “Jessica showed me her boobs to get me to build the bombs, so you’ve got to show me your boobs if you want me to disarm them.”
“Oh, all right,” Elizabeth said, exasperated. “It is for the greater good.”
She pulled up her dress, revealing a dowdy set of maternity underwear.
“You’re going to have to do better than that,” Randy said.
“I have to take off the bra, too?” Elizabeth said, a note of protest in her voice. Randy nodded. “Damn, you’ve got better game than Bruce Patman,” she said as she quickly flashed him.
“You really think so?” Randy asked, pleased.
“Sure,” Elizabeth said. “Now, come on!”

* * *

Jessica scanned the room for Todd or Ken, still holding the baby at arm’s length. “Ugh, I really don’t like babies,” she said to it. “We need to find one of your daddies so I can go dance.”
“Oh, Jessica!” a voice sang out behind her. “There you are! I’ve been looking all over for you.”
“Hello, Lila,” Jessica said through clenched teeth, turning around.
“You’re on baby-sitting duty now, I see,” Lila said, juggling her own baby from one hip to the other. “Where’s Elizabeth? Plotting to blow up the rest of us?”
“No, she’s going to stop it,” Jessica said. She wrinkled her nose as a fresh wave of Hannah’s stench overtook her. “Apparently you talked her out of it.”
“I just told her she’d gone batshit fucking insane,” Lila said. “Anyway, have you seen my baby? This is Richard. I call him Rich for short. Isn’t he just the cutest?”
Jessica shrugged. “I guess so. Hey, Lila, you do realize he’s–”
“Of course I do,” Lila snapped. “I’m not blind. Do you have a problem with it?”
“No,” Jessica said, surprised at the ferocity of her friend’s tone. “Don’t be so sensitive.” She scanned the gym once more and was relieved to see Ken by the punch bowl. She was saved from having to listen to Lila’s incessant bragging. “Gotta go, Lila. There’s Ken, and I’m sure he’s dying to have … this … back.”
Without giving Lila a chance to respond, Jessica made a beeline for Ken. “There you are,” she purred, momentarily forgetting that her sex appeal no longer worked on him.
He paused in mid-pour. “Oh, hey, Jessica. What’s up?”
She grinned sexily. “I think you’re missing something,” she said, holding Hannah out to him.
“Oh, right,” he said, smiling at the baby. “Here, I’ll take her. Thanks for watching her for us.”
“No problem,” Jessica said, batting her eyelashes. “I just love babies.”
“Uh, yeah,” Ken said. “They’re great.”
“So, are you enjoying the prom?” Jessica asked, pulling the top of her dress down slightly so Ken could get a better look at her cleavage.
“It’s a lot of fun,” he said. “Todd and I have been dancing like crazy. The Droids are sounding really good tonight.” He rocked little Hannah to the beat of the music. “Maybe she’ll inherit some of Dana’s musical talent!”
“Or your football talent,” Jessica said. She seductively placed a hand on Ken’s bicep.
“Oh, I don’t think so,” Ken said. “I’m pretty sure Todd’s the biological father. Maybe she’ll be good at basketball.”

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11 2009

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