Ch 12. High School Ritual: Progress Report (SepSceneWriMo)

Four high school students encounter an evil spirit. Thoroughly cliched and hopelessly derivative.

Exactly one week after the ritual, Vanessa settled into her plush La-Z-Boy and rocked back and forth. Everything was according to plan. Chad’s life was going to spiral downwards without football to keep him afloat, and that girl with the green hair would probably have a very entertaining nervous breakdown now that Vanessa stole her rodent.

She stopped rocking. But that other guy. The one with the dirty black hair. What happened to him? He was cursed, too. But she hadn’t seen him at all. Well, she thought, settling back into the chair, he certainly wasn’t the type she would deign to notice. He really should visit a tanning salon…

She hoisted herself out of the chair and went over to the vanity. She thought it might be time to check in with the spirit and see how things were progressing. She lined up her garden stones, lit the incense, and inhaled deeply. She tripped back to her easy chair and collapsed into the cushions. Her room swirled away before her eyes…

…and  when her vision cleared, she was back in the vast chamber with the altar, which the smoke was still hovering over. She tiptoed back to the hall where she had originally awakened.

There were still roses and lilies, which looked and smelled as though they had just been freshly plucked. That stinky rodent she stole was sitting next to one of the vases and chewing on the corner of some papers. He tried to scamper away when he saw Vanessa, but she pulled the paper out of his teeth—it was Chad’s football scholarship letter. She tucked it into her blouse and snatched Mr. Squeaks up by the scruff. She grabbed some flowers too, for an offering, hoping the spirit would appreciate the gesture and give her some more favors.

Vanessa approached the altar and bowed. She held up the kicking Mr. Squeaks and waved him around. “I brought this,” she said, “and these,” laying down the paper, mouse and flowers.” I hope you like them.”

The voice emanated from the smoke. “What have you been doing?”

“I, um, well, Chad lost his scholarship, just like I wanted you to help me with. And I stole that girl’s rat.”

“Is that it?”

She stuck out her lower lip and bit it. The third guy. She had been hoping to be the one asking questions. “I’m not sure what he’s been doing. I haven’t seen him.”

“Do you want power or not, Vanessa?”

If Vanessa was capable of shame, she would have been embarrassed that the spirit had read her innermost desire. “Um, only for doing good, of course.”

“The power is inside the inner chamber. But you cannot gain access without the three sacrifices. You have brought us two. Bring us the third sacrifice.”

“But I don’t know where that loser is! Aren’t you supposed to be helping me?”

“Do not make us angry, Vanessa.” The voice seemed to rumble from all corners of the great chamber.

She backed up. “I’m sorry! I’m sorry… Okay, where do I find this guy?”

“Ask yourself, what did the other two sacrifices have in common? That will lead you to him.”

She twisted her face around. “I don’t get what a rat and a scholarship have in common?”


She got dizzy and blinked and woke up in her room. She was annoyed. Things had been going so smoothly up until this point.

And now she was gonna have to track that weirdo down.

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