Abby enjoyed being the center of attention. In art class, when they did scrapbooking, she reigned over all with her clever decorating skills. In swimming club, she was the fastest swimmer of them all. And every lunch time, she was surrounded by her loving friends, sharing lunches and secrets.
Abby knows about everyone. Her loyal friends were very talented in snooping, spying, and discovering everything about everyone. This gave Abby much to hold against her peers, and it assured her that she would have everything she ever wanted… forever.
So when it came to her tenth birthday party, Abby’s mother told her over dinner that she could stay out at their lake house for the weekend, and she could bring anyone she liked.
Abby intended on bringing all her friends, as per usual.
The lake house was out of town, and very secluded. Abby didn’t fancy having her parents around, and though it took much convincing, she managed to get the house to herself all weekend. No interruptions, or parental guidance.
“As long as you’re careful, Abby,” her mother said, scraping the last helping of dinner up for Abby to eat. “I don’t like the idea of you being all alone down there.”
“I won’t be alone,” Abby replied, her nose turned up at her food. She folded her arms firmly. “My friends will be with me.”
Abby’s parents exchanged a glance, but didn’t say anything.
“Well, we can send some food with you to eat. And you have our number… who exactly will be going?”
“Caitlin, Hayley, Ella and Mary,” Abby replied, picking at the food on her plate. Her parents exchanged a look again.
“And we’ll have to pick them up?” her mother asked wearily.
“Of course!” Abby replied, looking almost shocked. Her mother grimaced, before nodding in agreement.
“Well, let them know. We’ll take you all down on Saturday morning.”
As the week went by, Abby’s excitement couldn’t be quenched. Her friends were just as eager to join her at the lake house. They were so immersed in the planning of their extravagant weekend that they almost didn’t notice the new girl— a shy, timid girl, with black hair, and a cute smile. For someone so shy, she was barely noticed. But Abby noticed, because Abby was the best at everything, and now, that title was being threatened.
The new girl, named Lana, didn’t try to stand out. But in art class, when they did portraits, she awed everyone with her watercolor painting. In swimming club, set a new record for the entire class. And every lunch time, she was glared at by Abby and her friends. Until Abby had a brilliant idea.
Abby approached Lana, a sickly sweet smile on her face.
“Hey there!” she greeted, making Lana startle from her lunch. A lunch, Abby noticed, that looked so much better than her own.
“Why are you sitting over here all alone?” Abby asked, and Lana avoided her gaze.
“No one wants to sit with me,” Lana admitted. And Abby knew that all too well, for it was Abby who warned everyone who attempted to befriend her to leave her alone. Abby, who had everyone’s secrets ready to spill. Abby, who didn’t like not being the best.
“How about you sit with me?” Abby asked finally, and Lana looked surprised.
“Really?” she asked, and Abby nodded.
“Come on! We always sit over here,” she said, gesturing to her table where her friends waved. They had the best view of the football field from their table.
So Lana scurried after Abby, like a lost puppy promised food. Abby cooed over her lunch, offering to swap some of her own, and complimented her art from class. Lana blushed and beamed and felt more content than she had all week. It had been rather daunting to come to a new school all alone, and now, someone was giving her a chance.
“It’s my birthday this Saturday, and I’m having a huge party at our lake house,” Abby said finally, tucking her brown hair behind her ear and smiling smugly. Next to Lana’s effortlessly gorgeous, shiny black hair, Abby felt rather drab.
“Oh…” Lana trailed off, nodding politely. Abby continued to look around at her friends, smiling.
“Would you like to come?” Abby offered, and Lana’s eyes widened with excitement.
“Really?” Lana gasped, and Abby smiled.
“Of course! It’s going to be so much fun!” she insisted. Lana was overjoyed.
“Yes! I’d love to come!” Lana exclaimed.
And so, the following Saturday morning, Abby and her mother drove to pick up all of her friends. First they stopped at Caitlin’s house, who jumped into the very back, where the fold down seats were. Then Hayley joined Caitlin in the back too.
When they picked up Ella and Mary, they squished into the middle back seat, leaving one more seat for Lana. Abby took the front passenger seat… because it was a special seat for only the best.
When they stopped outside Lana’s house, Abby’s mother looked shocked when Lana came running down the driveway, bags in tow.
“Oh! I wasn’t expecting this…” her mother said, and Abby rolled her eyes.
“I told you Lana was coming,” she said. Lana opened the back door.
“Hi Abby!” she cried. “Should I just put my bags in the back?”
“Sure, just on the ground,” Abby replied lazily. Abby rounded to the back, where Caitlin and Hayley were sitting, and carelessly dumped them at their feet. One of the bags hit Hayley’s toe, and she let out an annoyed, “Ouch!”
But Lana didn’t seem to notice, her excitement coursing through her.
With everyone ready to go, they drove out to the lake house.
Upon arrival, it was late afternoon, and Abby was itching to stretch her aching legs.
“Beat you to the lake!” she cried, taking off running. Lana dashed out of the car, racing after her, the other girls streaming out in tow and following. Abby’s mother was left to carry all the bags inside, as the girls launched themselves into the lake in their clothes for an afternoon swim.
When they finally came back, Abby’s mother scolded them for their carelessness.
“Now you’ll catch a cold!” she said. “Quick, grab some dry clothes and go for showers.”
Abby pouted. “I thought you were going to leave us by ourselves!” she questioned, hands on her hips.
“I will when I’m sure you’ll be responsible,” her mother replied. “Now, you have food in the fridge, and I left my number pinned there too. Don’t leave the lake house. Behave, and be careful.”
Abby rolled her eyes. “Yes, I know!” she moaned.
“Okay, well, I’ll go now. But have those showers,” she insisted, before kissing her daughter goodbye and leaving the girls to have full run of the house. Abby smirked at her mother’s retreating back as the door clicked shut, and turned to Lana.
“So, what should we do now?”
The girls spent the afternoon going through Abby’s room. Many things were left at the lake house, so there were many things the girls had never done with Abby before. She had board games, and dress up clothes, her own television and a bookcase filled with DVDs. The girls had plenty to do until their stomachs began to rumble and they all filed downstairs for some food.
Lana was hesitant to let Abby cook— at home, she wasn’t allowed to touch the oven or stove, but Abby was insistent that she knew how to cook pizza. Thankfully, it turned out alright, and it was eaten very quickly.
“It’s sort of scary, being here all alone,” Lana said, peering out of the windows. The trees, which were not in the slightest bit scary during the day, were intimidating with their sharp branches casting shadows at night. The sight of Lana, nervous and timid, gave Abby a great idea.
“We have a Ouija board in the attic!” she announced, her voice low and mysterious. Her eyes twinkled excitedly. “We should play with it!”
Lana was very hesitant, but the other girls agreed with Abby. So reluctantly, Lana followed Abby to the attic, where they found the board, dusted it off, and bought it back to the kitchen. Laying it on the countertop, the girls gathered around.
“I’ll take the Planchette, you can take notes,” Abby said, pushing a pen and paper to Lana, who gingerly took the pen in her hands.
“I call forth any spirits. Reveal yourself!” Abby said firmly, waiting. The girls waited, looking around.
Lana watched with curious eyes.
“Lana, you try,” Abby urged, and Lana stared wide eyed at her.
“Uh…um… okay,” she said finally. “Uh… are you here with us?”
Suddenly, the Planchette moved to ‘yes’. Lana screamed with horror, but Abby rolled her eyes.
“Are you kidding me?” she snapped. She then looked at Hayley. “What are you doing?”
She looked down at the Planchette, at where Hayley had moved her hand to yes. Lana was still white faced, and Abby realized she was a true coward, as well as an idiot for thinking that the Planchette actually moved.
“Abby, stop trying to scare me!” Lana said finally. “Take your hands off the Planchette… I want to try for myself.”
Abby shuffled back, allowing Lana to move to where she was. Lana, now in control, asked,
“Did Abby just move the Planchette?” Lana asked. Hayley reached out and moved the Planchette to ‘no´.
“Who are you?”
No way that Lana was this stupid, right? What was she trying to attempt?
Hayley spelt out her name, and Lana turned to Abby.
“The ghost’s name is Hayley!”
Abby scoffed, rolling her eyes. “Well duh! Hayley’s right in front of you, moving the Planchette!”
Lana’s face paled.
“What are you talking about?”
“Hayley? Tall, dark skin?”
Lana shook her head. “There’s only us two here, Abby.”
Abby, frowned. She felt anger begin to bubble. Her mother always told her this too.
“No, Hayley, Caitlin, Ella and Mary are all here. They’re always with me. Why can’t anyone else see them!”
Lana turned back to the board, her face one of confusion.
“How many of you are there, Hayley?”
The Planchette moved to four.
“And you’re all ghosts, yes?”
The Planchette moved to yes.
Abby stared ,wide eyed and in disbelief. Lana slowly turned back to Abby.
“You can see dead people,” she said.
But no. It couldn’t possibly be true. Abby didn’t see dead people. Abby had friends. Abby was popular. And her friends made her popular. Her friends always found out other people’s secrets.
But how could they do that? How could they find out the most private details of someone’s life without getting caught? Unless they were dead, and invisible to others…
Abby wasn’t popular. She was just a hated, crazy psycho. Yes, she had the upper hand. But she was feared for always talking to herself. Feared for what she might do next.
“Abby, I want to call my mom,” Lana said finally, scrambling to her feet and heading to the phone. Abby glared at Lana. Her jealousy had never been so strong until now. Lana, who would tell everyone the truth. Lana, who knew Abby’s darkest secret. Abby was the keeper of secrets. She couldn’t afford to be ruined by someone like Lana.
She turned to her girls, her friends, the ghosts, and said,
“She left the connection open. I don’t plan on ever closing it. So… go and make her life hell.”
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