Four high school students encounter an evil spirit. Thoroughly cliched and hopelessly derivative.
After the game, Natalie waited for her mother to pick her up under an orange streetlight on the curb a good distance away from the football field. She crossed her arms, bit her lip, tapped her foot, jiggled her leg—any movement to help keep from crying before she got home. Orange lights were so ugly. Everything looked uglier under an orange light.
She threw herself in the car and buckled herself in without saying anything.
“So how was the game?” her mom asked, turning on the signal and looking left and right as she pulled out of the school parking lot.
Natalie crossed her arms again and stared out the window. “It was good.”
“Well, who won?”
“My school’s team.”
“Oh, that’s wonderful! I’m sure everyone’s having a big celebration tonight! Why didn’t you want to hang out with Katie–?”
“Who cares, Mom? It’s just a dumb game! I wish I hadn’t wasted my time going!”
“Natalie, what’s the matter? Did something happen?”
“I’m fine! Just drive!”
She said goodnight to her parents as soon as they got home, blaming a headache from all the noise and lights.
She locked the bathroom door. Staring at herself in the mirror, she watched globs of mascara and black glitter eyeliner melt and swirl around the whites of her eyes in the flood of tears. She sat on the floor, pulled up her knees, and cried.
If she weren’t such an idiot, she never would have gone to the game, and she never would have tried to speak to Chad.
After a couple of minutes, she picked herself up off the floor and finished getting ready for bed. She sat in front of her pet mouse’s cage, who just woke up. Mr. Squeaks was washing his whiskers and stopping periodically to sniff the air. She offered a pellet through the bars and, taking the pellet, he held it in both paws and rapidly munched it.
Under her old, faded bedspread, she turned one way, then the other. Her head was pounding from the game and her crying. How come reality never matched her expectations? Look at Mr. Squeaks. Mr. Squeaks never acted like he expected anything that hadn’t happened before. Why couldn’t she be more like Mr. Squeaks?