An original short story by Ronald Joseph Rossmann Jr.
Holley Weane was the ultimate mean girl.
Mommy and Daddy bought her anything she wanted, mostly to keep her and her whiny voice as far away from them as possible. By the ripe old age of eighteen, she was imbued with more silicone than the entire Kardashian clan combined. She dated the captain of the football team, Dirk Derringer, drove a brand new Ferrari, and was the fashion guru of that little town called Eerie. Holley’s father was the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, and her mother; a former beauty queen.
Of course, time and a hefty devotion for certain libations had taken their toll. You see, mommy dearest had many loves above her darling daughter, but none more than her friend, Jack Daniels. It caused a festering resentment which motivated Holley to despise anyone who could achieve a contentment in life that was void from hers. So, to relieve a secretly broken heart, she and her troop of Stepford friends would perpetually torture anyone that didn't measure up to their Gold MasterCard standards.
Their favorite victim was Gertrude, the resident nerdette, who Holley mercilessly picked on for the past three years now, every day without relief or good reason. You see, Gertie had the nerve to value her school work and integrity over Pandora bracelets, obscenely bejeweled iPhones and the religion of Designershoeism. She dressed plainly because her mom worked hard for everything they had, what little that was. She actually had to shop at Goodwill for regular attire, not to dress trashy chic like her mindless, hipster peers.
The fall dance was coming soon. It had been a crisp October. The fallen leaves left a thick covering on the school grounds. Holley was going to be crowned the Autumn Princess and had just purchased the most expensive frock her pre-inheritance could buy. It was a pearl white lace dress, with green satin piping, custom made just for her. She would be the absolute belle of the ball yet again. While discussing all the ways she was going to run up her parent’s credit cards with her dippy disciples, Gertrude made the unfortunate mistake of walking by the stone bench where they were sitting.
“Was the thrift store closed today?” Holley mocked. “Did you finally resort to outright dumpster diving?”
Gertrude continued to walk by, acting as if she couldn't hear her.
“I was talking to you freak!” Holley springs up and growls, blocking any hope of escape. “You can’t be as deaf as you are fashion blind!"
Gertie looks down at her feet, and figures, they'll talk their crap, mock me, and get bored…I can take it.
“Look at me, you mutant!” Holley demands.
Now there were dozens of students in the quad that day. Do you know not one of them stopped; despite the fact Holley's voice could strip the marble off of a tombstone.
Gertie involuntarily looks up, staring into Holley’s soulless eyes.
“When I speak, you listen…get me, Skank!” Holley bitterly scolds. “Now give me your shoes! If you want to look like a homeless person, we need to complete the ensemble!"
Gertie was dumbstruck. Did she really just ask that? I mean, she’s evil, but this is some next-level shit.
She frantically searches the quad hoping to make eye contact with one person who might actually care but is predictably left wanting.
“No, I won’t!” Gertie mutters, barely able to conjure the courage to resist her adversary.
“Oh really!” Holley counters, her attitude so thick you could serve it in a bowl with oyster crackers! “Girls…”
Like mindless robots, the three debutantes rise, surrounding her.
My God, they must communicate telepathically. Gertie anxiously ponders.
“I’m going to ask one more time…give me your freaking shoes!” Holley barks.
Gertie refuses again, stifling any hint of a tremble through sheer will.
“Fine!” Holley sighs. “We will do this the hard way!”
Suddenly Gertie is off her feet. The girls quickly, in precision unison, flip her up, ripping off her shoes and socks.
What do they train for this? Gertie's mind races.
Within a fraction of a moment, she is mercilessly thrown to the grass, landing face first.
“That is what happens to little creeps who don’t obey the laws of my jungle!” Holley scoffs, callously laughing.
Her girl droids quickly chime in. They walk off, continuing their maddening giggling as they disappear from view.
Gertie gets up, futilely attempting to dust herself off. It is then she realizes she has had the unfortunate displeasure of being dumped in a spot where a dog had dumped earlier.
I am sure that was pure coincidence. Gertie mentally sighs.
She picks her glasses off the ground, which now have a sizable scratch on the left lens.
Well, it has to get better from here! She muses, limping to class.
Despite her stoic exterior, she is weeping so hard inside, it shakes her essence.
Is there any justice in the world, anymore?
Do girls like Holley ever get what they deserve?
She faced the entire day barefoot. Not a single teacher noticed because then they would have had to ask questions. When the school day finally ended, Gertrude trudged home. She arrived at her trailer. Her mother was still at work, another double shift at the diner. As for her father, well only God knows where he is. He left to get cigarettes about twelve years ago.
However, all of that is little concern to Miss Holley; admiring herself in a mirror in the comfort of her plush, million dollar mansion accompanied by her dopey disciples. She finds that she cannot keep focused on her beauty, something that usually comes with great ease. No matter how she tortures Gertie, makes her the mock-fest of Eerie High, she still keeps coming back, like a roach or bad acne.
How can she remove this thorn from her perfectly toned and tanned flesh? She silently considers. If she can't be shamed away…maybe she can be scared away!
But Holley must do it alone. Her gal pals don't exactly do well with secrets. There is no governor between their ears and mouth, much less anything else.
But what could she do to scare such a pathetic creature? She Mulls. I mean her normal life is frightening enough as it is!
Then it comes to her. Only one thing has truly terrified the children of Eerie, a tale that is the last resort of discipline among the quaint cookie cutter families in this miserable little town. As much as they try to deny it as teens, it still gives them a major case of the willies. That horrific fable of the monster that hunts and haunts Eerie Cemetery.
Could she really, truly pull it off?
Well, if evil were dollars, Holley would be one rich, little princess. Come to think of it, Holley is one rich, little princess.
Fast forward to the night of the Fall Ball. Holley's plan was working flawlessly. Gertie had accepted Brad's invitation to the dance. She was hesitant at first, even suspicious, but Brad poured it on thick and won her over. It was the Cornerback’s best performance ever; off the field, that is. Gertie would be clueless to Holley and her suitor's collusion. In fact, she was so, utterly smitten with her new admirer; Gertie bought herself a dress from the Mall just for the occasion. It was dark crimson red with spaghetti straps, hemmed up high enough to show off her stunning legs. A visual that made Holley cringe.
Savannah, Holley’s best friend and art major had come through. She eagerly showed Holley the illustrations of what her creature would look like carefully sculpted on Dirk. Savannah wasn’t like the other dimwits; she actually possessed sentience, evil sentience, but sentience none the less.
Hours before the dance, Holley donned her own eloquent gown and made a quick call to her blond squad, to gather them to her side. Soon after their arrival, Holley finally unveiled her plans. They snickered as each gruesome detail was revealed. Dirk arrived minutes later in his massive Hummer to escort the well manicured motley crew to their destination.
At the Cemetery, Savannah put the finishing touches on her fabricated freak with only minutes before Gertie and Brad were supposed to arrive. Dirk looked as horrendous as Holley had conceived. Taking his spot among the tall grass and thickening fog, Holley safely concealed herself behind the Hallow's old, abandoned shed. Waiting in absolute comfort, in Dirk’s vehicular overcompensation, she had the best seat in the house. The rest of her crew flocked to the other edge of the field, hidden by the mist but still able to see from their distance. Savannah pulled away, quite satisfied in her craftsmanship. All that was left is the waiting.
Brad should be here by now! Holley annoyingly stirs.
The cold begins to make its way down Holley's spine, plaguing her skin with thousands of goosebumps. The wind howls, battering the high grass over and over again. The fog continues to thicken; visibility slowly decays to total darkness.
“Now ten minutes have passed!” She scolds her diamond encrusted watch.
Holley doesn't know what is more prevalent, the chill of the night or the ire in her gut. The wet wind dampens her obscenely expensive gown. She finally exits her royal chariot, standing in the grass as her pristine satin heels are mercilessly corrupted by dirt and dew.
Where the hell could they be!
Just then a slow growl swims among the gales. Turning quickly, Holley scans her surroundings, but the line of sight is limited to mere inches. The bulky mist has consumed her. The growl gets louder. She frantically looks around drenched in the aggressively dank whipping drafts. Fear has replaced frustration, crumbling her seemingly indestructible pretentiousness. She moves closer to the shed. The growl is now immense, filling the atmosphere and gnawing at her resolve. She feels her way to the entrance of the haggard structure. Finally finding the door, she opens it, swiftly but clumsily sliding inside. The growl shakes the dilapidated building. She can barely see inside her makeshift sanctuary but somehow identifies a shovel lying on the dirt floor. Her breath quickens, as does her heartbeat. She retrieves the antique spade, holding it up above her soaked and soiled mane. The growl thunders once more.
Suddenly the shack shakes violently, and the boards begin to vibrate loose. Rusted nails break free, raining to the ground. The mist invades through the gaps in the derelict structure. It drowns Holley’s feet as it carpets what little flooring there is. The growl reverberates endlessly, assaulting her ears and infecting her mind with terror.
Then, just as it seems the chaotic Aria will rise to a horrific crescendo, it all stops. Silence intercedes, muting the darkness. The world abruptly becomes motionless with air stale and stagnate. Only her labored breathing and pounding heart can be heard. This inappropriate peace offers no comfort as she begins to violently weep. Her grieving callously interrupted by the growl’s return. It is slow and subtle at first, but this time, the direction is acute.
It is coming from behind her!
She can feel an arid breath on the back of her neck. It has been inside with her the whole time. She didn't run from it, she ran into it. Tightly gripping the wooden handle of the shovel, its splinters dig deep into the palms of her hands.
“Hello, Holley, you look absolutely delicious the evening!” The growl unbelievably mutates into a menacing voice.
How does it know her name?
A scaly hand begins to graze her arm rising to her shoulder and back down to her wrist. Her bare skin recoils at its touch. She can't turn around. The sheer horror has completely paralyzed her.
“I have waited for such a long time!” It chuckles with a laugh that would beleaguer death itself.
She musters all of her strength, preparing to turn around until she feels a sharp pain in her wrists. The spade slips from her feral grip. Looking down, she beholds both her hands, laying on the ground still clenching the garden tool. She can't scream; the pain is outweighed by numbing panic. Blood spews onto her dress, leaving random cardinal patterns starkly contrasted against its snow white lace.
Her neck is jaggedly pierced, flesh torn like saturated tissue. A chunk of skin and muscle is violently pulled free. She screams, still frozen in terror, her howls echoing throughout the neglected shed. It only excites her attacker who drags its talons across her cheek just below her eye. Blood and tears stream down her face, mingling with the life gushing from the wound wrapped around her neck.
Suddenly, she is lifted off the ground. Her battered form silhouetted against the peeking moonlight visiting through the few rotting boards that compose the ceiling. It roars with delight as she is viciously spun around and then dropped to the musty ground. Her stomach and face impact the hard dirt simultaneously.
Its muzzle bites down into the mid of her back, burrowing deep as rows of teeth engulf her spine. She can feel the bone snap in its monstrous jaws. It jerks back up as a fountain of blood, and shredded anatomy ascends into the air, glistening in the fading moonlight. Awash in a gruesome mix of fluids, Holley lays there, unable to comprehend which has more dominance, the abject dread or inexplicable agony. The creature roars in sanctimonious gratification.
It bends down, hovering above her. What little starlight is able to transcend the bleakness illuminates its abominable features. A man with the face of a serpent, opal eyes, and tarlike hair. Holley’s blood stains a protruding snout. It’s long, spear-like fangs peer out and mock her. A forked tongue blissfully runs the length of its blood-soaked muzzle, savoring every drop. He is wearing rags for clothes, barely covering his reptilian body. Holley gargles in her own fluids.
“Now, you will know what it is like to be a monster!” It snarls. “A fate that isn’t too far from what you already are.”
Holley fades into unconsciousness, the mixture of pain and horror are too much to bear. It finds the shovel by Holley’s broken form. Lifting the spade, it rams the blade into its chest with astounding force. The rusted metal rips through, savagely exiting out the back. The creature slumps forward collapsing onto a wall as it takes its last horrendous breath. Holley falls into darkness, no longer breathing, or aware of anything. The world fades to black and time stops.
Death arrives…but not for her!
She wakes, standing in the middle of the cemetery, with no memory of where she is or how much time has passed. All that remains is an unmistakable hunger. Darkness flows effortlessly through her veins, a pulsating evil warming her like a soft down blanket. She smiles with a sense of satisfaction, never experienced before, her long, sharp fangs scraping against the sides of her mouth. Peering through the still night, the fog retreats from her presence, unveiling the remnants of her beloved beneath her.
He has been torn apart, pieces everywhere. Holley can sense his blood in her mouth. She steps back momentarily startled but absent of any substantial fret. Strewn all about is every one of her fembots, disemboweled and dismembered in the most gruesome of fashions. Instead of panic, shame, or sorrow, she is filled with a great sense of horrific pleasure. She giggles in gratification and then roars loudly. The curse amplifies evil, beyond comprehension. It has not transformed Holley but revealed the monster she always was.
Suddenly a truck rolls up and Holley spins around. She hungers for Gertie.
Brad and the little geek have finally arrived!
She lurks through the tall grass, using the fog and darkness as a cloak, unaware of she has fully become. Even if she was, I don't think it would matter. Her brittle hair flies free in the air, intertwined with mud and cobwebs. Green eyes glow with the anticipation of her next kill. This time, she will remember it in all of its gloriously gruesome detail.
Her missing appendages have returned, now covered in slimy scales leading to loathsome claws. Skin transformed from a silky pale to a rough and leathery, emerald hide. Her face is infected with the same reptilian pattern etched deep into her expression.
She is beautifully terrifying!
Little did she know, Holley’s plan had already been revealed to Gertie. She didn't know Brad had a crush on Gertie since the sixth grade. He had been waiting for the moment to admit it but never had the confidence. Holley's plan finally provided his in. When they met at her door, he immediately confessed his admiration and then Holley's evil plan.
They arrived ready for Holley's elaborate trick. Brad pulls in about twenty to thirty feet from the shed. He'll play along to throw Holley and her goon squad off. Gertie has already slipped out of her dress into her jeans and leather jacket. She tucks a can of pepper spray into her pocket.
Nice girls can play dirty too! She plots.
Brad leaves the vehicle and heads toward the shed to meet his pretend demise.
“The truck has stalled let me see if there are any tools in the shed out here!” He calls out to Gertie, ensuring it is loud enough for all to hear.
“I'll wait by the truck, but be quick; it’s epic-ally creepy out here!” Gertie shouts.
Their act is well rehearsed. Brad quietly calls out to Holley, but there is no answer. Then some of the ground fog clears and he sees the gory remains surrounding his feet. Startled, he stumbles backward, tripping over a fresh corpse.
“Oh my God!” He gasps.
Before he can say another word, a sharp pain encircles his neck. He looks down as blood pours from his throat down his freshly pressed tuxedo shirt. His head rolls off its neck, plopping onto the ground. The rest slumps to the dirt.
He never even knew what hit him!
Holley licks her elongated talons and giggles, stomping on his skull with full force, crushing it between her toes.
“Ooooh, that feels nice!” She coos.
Gertie is still waiting by the truck becoming increasingly impatient. She glances over the hood but doesn't see Brad. Moving towards the front of the vehicle, she wants to call out his name, but that will ruin the payback. Suddenly something hurtles towards her, smashing on the hood, soaking her in a warm liquid. She steps back to realize she is drenched in blood. Brad's severed head lies oozing on the hood of the vehicle. Before she can scream, Holley cackles loudly, standing proudly in the middle of the field.
“Way to get a head, Gertie!” She giddily mocks.
Gertie spins around to see her nemesis only yards in front of her. Holley jumps, sailing through the air and landing on the top of the truck. The roof buckles under the impact, windows shattering, showering Gertie with glass. She tries to shield the barrage with her arms, but the fragments shred her jacket, down to the flesh. Holley jumps down.
“Don't make 'em like they used to, huh Gert!” She scoffs.
Holley grabs Gertie and with one fluid movement casts her into the air. She lands hard among the decrepit monuments. Covered in a second skin of blood and muck, she tries to push herself up.
“It's been one hell of a day, Gert, I gotta tell ya!” Holley chides, sprinting towards her. “Friends have been dropping in all over the place!”
She tackles Gertie, sitting on her chest and gingerly moving the hair from the horror of her face.
“Well Gertie, here we are again,” Holley sighs. “You looking up to me and me looking down on you.”
“What the hell happened to you?” Gertie gasps, trying to break free, trapped under Holley’s weight.
“Well, Gert, I had a bit of a makeover,” she casually explains. “Do you like the new look?”
“It's definitely an improvement,” Gertie mocks, trying to catch her breath!
Holley laughs. “Cute, I wonder if you taste as funny!”
“Your jokes are getting worse,” Gertie struggles.
“Funny, so is your day,” Holley chuckles.
“Bite me, you freak!” Gertie snaps.
Probably not the best choice of words at the moment.
“My pleasure, Pet,” Holley coos, quickly sinking her teeth into the side of Gertie's face.
She snaps back ripping off a sizable hunk of flesh and muscle. Gertie screams as the pain shakes her to the core.
“Now, now,” Holley explains as she chews, “after all, you asked me to.”
Gertie's fear and pain mutate to anger.
“Try that again, Bitch, and you will wish you were dead!” Gertie roars through the anguish.
“Been there, done that!” Holley interrupts.
Holley strikes again, embedding her teeth into Gertie’s throat. She chews on it like a cow masticating fresh grass.
“Seconds are even better,” Holley mumbles through her meal, winking.
Holley pulls up, swallowing hard. Gertie tenses in pain. She turns her head and sees a broken piece of tombstone lying on the ground, the top half of a granite cross. Her hand finds away to her jacket pocket, trying to desperately find the spray.
“Now, I have enjoyed our time together, Gert, but…” Holley explains, “…I do literally have to eat and run.”
Gertie finds the can with her fingers as Holley raises her right arm to deliver the final blow.
“This will only hurt for a second, I promise!”
Gertie pulls the mace from her pocket. She swings it up, closing her eyes and releasing a full stream directly into Holley's face. Holley screams, falling backward. Gertie rolls her off with all of her remaining strength and reaches for the broken marker. Holley falls on to her slide, clutching her head, violently rubbing her eyes. Gertie grabs the stone, lifting and spinning it around. Holley writhes on the ground kicking up dirt and debris.
“You are about to get stoned, Bitch!” Gertie screams.
Holley looks up long enough to see the large piece of granite looming over her head. Gertie drops the stone onto Holley's head, following it down. The weight violently fractures Holley's skull. Gertie raises the stone again exposing the vulgar mess beneath her.
“One more time!” Gertie yells; dropping the stone again until Holley's cranium crushes nearly flat.
The sound is horrific. Blood spews from all sides. Holley's hands jerk as the last moments of her life brutally slips away. The air around them suddenly falls still. Gertie collapses on top of the body, the loss of blood, relentless pain, and exhaustion have finally overwhelmed her. She rolls onto her back and takes a deep breath. Life is fleeing from her. She begins to weep, not for her condition but for Brad. She looks up into the sky. It begins to finally clear. The moon and stars are bright, more radiant than she has ever seen. The fogs rolls away as if being called.
At least she's dead! She reflects, unable to speak.
Gertie closes her eyes; a rush of peace fills her. Her arms and legs warm and then grow very cold.
I wish I could have done more with my life!
She drifts off into oblivion, all thought, and memory cease. The wind rolls over her body, but she is unaware of it. The field is silent, still, as a cemetery should be.
And so the sad story of Holley Weane ends...
Death arrives…but not for Gertie.