Ch 23. High School Ritual: A Change of Plans (SepSceneWriMo)

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

Vanessa hopped across the baseball field on the foot wearing a shoe. But the shoe had a heel and she tipped over into the dirt when she bent over to pick up the other shoe. She sat on the ground and pulled on the shoe, glaring across the field. She silently declared war. Well, a bigger war.

Changes had to be made. She wasn’t going to make any progress with that greasy loser, nor did she want to spend any more time on him than she already had.

(As Mikhail had predicted, a random guy released her from the locked field, whom she gave her number to, just in case things didn’t pan out with Chad.)

That night, she performed her usual ritual in order to appear in the other world before the spirit. She had grown to love it; it was her very own palace, with its smooth halls, vases of blooming red flowers, the scent of incense. She wielded powers there that she could only dream about using in real life. But that was going to change very soon.

The last time she was there, she had trapped the rodent inside a tall vase because he tried to bite her. She went to the alcove where she stashed him and the scholarship papers.

“Oh, ratty ratty,” she sang as she turned the vase upside down. She shook it and looked inside and shook it upside down again.

She threw the vase down as hard as she could and it shattered around her feet. Of course that green-haired freak’s rat would escape! Just like she escaped having any friends! Just like that other loser—wait a minute.

She pulled down her lip with her fingernail. Those two had been hanging out a lot all of a sudden. Birds of a pathetic feather. If one came, then the other was sure to turn up.

Vanessa wasn’t looking forward to telling the spirit that she lost the rodent. But there was something else she could do. She rolled up the waistband of her skirt a little and entered the chamber of the spirit.

When she approached the altar, the smoke was spiraling around ominously. She sensed its irritation with her. But she held her head up and clacked her high heels extra loud to cover her nervousness.  

The spirit asked, “Have you brought us the third sacrifice?”

She cleared her throat and twirled some hair. “I, um, have a better idea.”

“Where is the third sacrifice?”

“The third sacrifice comes with the second sacrifice.”

“Remind us of the second sacrifice.”

“Well, since the rodent decided to step away for a minute, I’m gonna bring the girl here. And if I bring her, the other one’ll show up.”

The smoke above the altar seemed to darken. “We know the animal is missing. We usually punish liars. But because you have proven yourself in the use you have made of the limited powers we have already granted you, we will accept the new sacrifice.”

Vanessa’s head dropped with relief. What a disaster she just avoided! She bowed—hiding her little smile—and promised that she would bring the girl within the week.

“There is a caveat, Vanessa.”

What’s a caveat, she wondered.

“To bring to her to this chamber, you must ensure she doesn’t wake up.”

Vanessa smiled openly this time. “Does that apply to the rodent too?”

“Make it apply to whomever you wish.” The smoke disappeared.

34 thoughts on “Ch 23. High School Ritual: A Change of Plans (SepSceneWriMo)

  1. I see all the hallmarks of a technically-sound writer, such as semi-colons and the proper use of ‘whom’. This daily-writing challenge is definitely going to take you to the writing achievements that you truly deserve. I believe in you, Hetty. Keep going!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You know, in editing a piece yesterday I decided the best thing any of us could do for our work is catch the word ‘was’ on its way out. I never noticed how it softens up the narrative until I read myself and was like Oh…Maw…GAWD.

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      1. Rewrite with a real verb. Glen was sitting on the bench when Bill returned. Glenn stood, Glen offered a hand, Glen did anything but was sitting. In fact Glen remained on the bench exactly as Bill left him, blah blah blah. The other bit is the pot and kettle syndrome.

        Liked by 1 person

              1. No, it’s epidemic in how we tell personal stories, how we were raised, all that. Jimmy was kicking billy is what you’d tell your teacher about the playground incident. How the teacher would tell their moms. Here’s a clue about its lack of impact in the written word. Jesus was hanging out in this boat. Jesus was busting up fish and bread. Jonah was arguing with a whale. Moses was waving his walking stick at the ocean. Was is casual and conversational and not as confrontational. Okay Mrs Brown, Jim kicked Bill and I sent him to the office for it. Well, your little jimmy was kicking Billy and we can’t have that so I had to send him to the office.

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  3. “That night, she performed her usual ritual in order to appear in the other world before the spirit. She had grown to love it; it was her very own palace, with its smooth halls, vases of blooming red flowers, the scent of incense.” – I like this detail. It gives Vanessa a bit more depth, like she’s growing in spiritual depth. This makes me like her in a way, and I like complicated villains rather than one-dimensional villains.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I never really considered giving her a dimension, so thanks for pointing that idea out. This month has been a mixture of planning and seat of the pants, but I wrote an ending to the story a while ago, a stupid joke ending. Now I’ve got to revisit that entirely.

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        1. How dare you make me work, don’t you know how lazy I am? Anyways, I had an idea of what I wanted, so I made a numbered list to thirty and filled in details here and there. I had all sorts of ambition to have it mostly done early which went out the window immediately. So I have to steal time here and there, and sit on my seat and come up with something every day, and shape the list as I go.


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