The Evil Daria Vignettes
As collected from the PPMB
( part one )
Editor’s Note: These vignettes were crafted by many hands, and they mostly fit together into a cohesive story. When putting this together I considered tweaking things here or there to make them fit better, and ultimately decided that preserving the original authors’ voices was far more important than any minor plot holes. Similarly, I strongly considered re-arranging the vignettes into apparent chronological order and then decided that the original presented order was important to the flavor of the narrative that developed. So, in the end I left everything as is, except for the occasional type-o I corrected; although I did take the liberty of adding titles to the vignettes that were untitled.
All of the original authors have been credited. If anyone doesn’t like the title I’ve provided, wants to edit and resubmit a vignette, or simply wants to have their piece(s) removed drop me a PM and I’ll take care of it.
It was a long, wild ride and I enjoyed every bit of it.
- the NightGoblyn -
A cruel story runs on wheels, and every hand oils the wheels as they run.
The Hook, by NightGoblyn
"I don't think I like this," Jane
said, "I just don't get a good feeling from the idea."
"That's the problem with artists," Daria smirked, "you're always feeling when you should be thinking."
Jane's eyes narrowed.
"Look," Daria said, "aren't you tired of being on the outside? Tired of being mocked and ostracized by a group of people that collectively have less than half your IQ? Tired of watching them getting praised for their mediocrity and rewarded for their blind obedience?"
"Well . . . yeah . . ."
"I need you, Jane." Daria said, looking her friend in the eyes. "I can do this without you, but it'll be a whole lot harder and a whole lot less satisfying. You're my best friend, the one person I can trust to watch my back. I trust you, Jane. Do you trust me?"
"Amiga . . ."
"Say yes, Jane. Say yes and by next month we will rule Lawndale High with an iron fist. Say yes and we will make our enemies crawl. Crawl."
"I trust you." Jane said in a small voice.
"Good." Daria nodded decisively. "First thing we need to do is fix your grades. I can't have you stressing over every quiz and test."
"Ok, you want me to bring my books over tonight?"
"No," Daria said, grinning. "Is Ms. Morris still after you to join the track team?"
Trading Up, by NightGoblyn
Brittany Taylor strolled down the hall in her usual fog of cheerful contentment. As she passed the locker row she saw a new student and paused to be friendly.
"Hi!" she said, "I'm Brittany!"
"I know," the girl said with a smirk, "we had this conversation already, I'm Daria."
Brittany frowned and looked the girl over. She didn't look like Daria but the voice was the same, and Daria had never, ever lied to her.
"Here," Daria said, handing her a small wire cage. "I brought you something, Brittany." Brittany looked in the cage and saw a small white mouse. It looked up at her, squeaked in terror, and hid itself under the wood shavings at the bottom of the cage. The mouse looked oddly familiar.
"Anyway, I have to go." Daria pulled a yellow and blue letterman's jacket out of her locker and put it on. "See you at school tomorrow."
"Um, bye." Brittany said, frowning at the hiding mouse.
Fashionably Motivated, by NightGoblyn
Quinn lounged on her bed, casually flipping though the newest copy of Waif. She looked up with annoyance when her door opened, and then her jaw sagged in horror.
Daria stood in the door frame, leaning against one side and giving her sister a smug grin. She still wore her Docs, but the rest of the outfit was gone, replaced by a cute green dress and a letterman's jacket. The manstopper glasses were also gone, and Daria's hair had a slight curl to it. Quinn blinked and looked again, and realized that her sister was even wearing make-up . . . not alot of make-up, but just enough to highlight and blend.
"Oh, God." Quinn whispered.
"Quinn," Daria said, her grin twisting into a smirk, "my dear, beloved, baby sister. I came to show you my respect."
"You've always been my only worthy opponent." Daria walked into the room and leaned over the bed, looming over her sister, "I just wanted you to know, from me, that I'm going to crush you. The Fashion Club will be less than nothing, and you're going to have to join the Math Club if you want guys to notice you. Do you understand me?"
Quinn's eyes got huge, and she made a strangled squeaking noise.
"Of course, there is another way." Daria said with a shrug, and then turned to leave the room. She made it to the door before Quinn found her voice.
"Join me," Daria said, turning back towards Quinn, "with you by my side I will be unstoppable."
"What do you need me to do?"
"You already have Stacy licking your bootheels, and if you make a strong showing Tiffany will fall in line. With you in charge of the Fashion Club I won't have to worry about Sandi nipping at my ankles."
"What do you want me to do with Sandi?" Quinn asked, "She isn't going to just step down quietly."
"I'm sure you have plenty of ideas about what to do with Sandi," Daria answered with an evil grin. "I'll give you room to maneuver on this, but get it taken care of, understand?"
Quinn nodded slowly as her sister left the room.
Daria walked down the hall and into her bedroom, where Jane was sitting on the edge of the bed talking into a cellphone.
"That's what I heard, Sandi." Jane said, "You and I may not get along, but the last thing I want to see is Quinn Morgendorffer in charge of the popular people. Uh huh, yeah . . . you're welcome."
Daria and Jane smirked at one another.
Checking the Black Queen, by Brother Grimace
"Jodie... there are going to be
changes around here," Daria said, idly flipping through the pages of a
yearbook as she leaned against the wall while Jodie looked up from her desk
with wide, stunned eyes. "I think we all know that I'm smarter than you. I
think you know that, if I decided to get involved in just a few activities...
and I actually asserted myself in class, I'd be head of the class in a
Jodie managed to not gulp audibly as Daria tossed a lock of her auburn hair in a way that reminded her of Joan Collins, back from the 1980's. "That's not what you should be worried about. What you SHOULD be worried about is that, as soon as your parents find out that you're not going to be valedictorian - and I promise, you won't be and that they WILL find out - they're going to put you under so much pressure to do better in school that your brain will fry... if they don't just pull you out and send you to Grove Hills... remember Graham, Lara and Cassidy? Oh, they'll love seeing you back."
Daria took a cinnamon bear from a small glass dish on the desk and held it between her fingres, warming the candy as she rolled it between her digits. "In either case, you'll be under so much pressure to be the all-perfect Queen of the Negroes that you'll snap, try to find your way out - and there'll only be one way out of that kind of pressure..."
Jodie finally let her frustration boil over. "What do you want?"
"Well... last year you were Homecoming Queen," Daria purred, nipping the feet of the cinnammon bear with an elegant snip of her teeth. "I'd like to try that. Tell all of your little friends, and all of their little friends, that you aren't running this year for the Court and that they should vote for me."
"Is there anything else you want?"
Daria flashed a brilliant smile at her. "You know, you always seem to be so busy, I don't know how you manage to have a relationship with Mack. I know that there must be many of times when he's wanted you there after a game to support him, but you had to be the studious type and get your homework done, or Student Council, or some other little thing."
"You want Mack...?"
"Well, it's not as if you're putting him to any proper use - and that, Jodie, is a real shame. He turns eighteen next month... so athletic, handsome, and in his sexual prime... I bet fifteen minutes with him at full tilt will relax me more than listening to Barry White while I'm popping Diazepam."
Daria leaned forward, and Jodie actually shivered at the look on the auburn-haired girl's face. "Just tell him that you can't deal with a relationship right now, Jodie. Better yet - tell him you're tired of catching him glancing in my direction, and if he's that interested in me, then why doesn't he just go and ask me out? I'll take it from there."
"You absolute bitch."
"Not yet... but I'm working on it," Daria laughed softly. "See you in class, Jodie."
Ms. Li’s Little Red Folder, by Dennis
"Ah, Ms. Morgendorffer," Ms. Li
looked down over her glasses at Daria, seated on the other side of her desk.
"I've been meaning to have a little chat with you."
"Good," Daria said, not in the least daunted. "Because I've been meaning to have a little chat with you."
At this, Ms. Li's eyebrows rose. "Well, I think it can wait. Ms. Morgendorffer, I'd like to draw your attention to—"
"Yes, yes." Daria cut in. "I'm antisocial, misanthropic, verbally abuse my fellow students, and made Mr. O'Neill cry again. That's not relevant."
"I don't think—" Ms. Li stammered. "I think... I decide what's relevant here."
"Not in this case, you don't," Daria said. Face impassive, she withdraw a red file folder from her backpack. "This is what's relevant." She slid the folder across the disk. Ms. Li snatched it. As she read the content, her eyes widened in horror.
"Grade fixing, union busting, environmental hazards, dangerous work practices, misappropriation of funds, and outright embezzling," Daria said with a Mona Lisa smile. "And, for toppers, a record of inappropriate student liaisons going back a decade."
"What! This is preposterous!" Ms. Li sputtered, but the shock in her eyes gave her away.
"I'm not surprised you bagged Jesse Moreno," Daria said clinically, applying the coup de grace, "but Tommy Sherman must have been paralytic."
Stunned beyond words, Ms. Li reached for drawer, but Daria was too quick for her. Seizing her hands in a suddenly iron grip, Daria looked right into Ms. Li's eyes. "You're not going to add murder to your list of crimes. I've got multiple backups of all the files, one of which is stored with my lawyer and will be opened at the reading of my will."
"Your mother will be disbarred for this," Ms. Li snapped, feeling the tide shift in her favor.
"She would, if her firm was involved. Do you take me for an idiot?" Daria's cold voice broke over her, washing her out to sea. "And don't bother to try anything with Jane. She's protected too."
Seeing all her avenues close, Ms. Li capitulated. "What. Do. You. Want," she almost hissed.
"Well, a cut, of course." Daria laughed, a chilling sound. "But mostly what I want is free rein."
"Free rein?" Ms. Li asked, confusion and horror dripping into the pause between the words.
"To do what I want. I've got fifteen more months in this place, and I intend to own it. You taught English before you became principal. Surely, you've read The Chocolate War."
Ms. Li nodded slowly, too horrified to speak.
"Well, Brother Leon" Daria sat back and crossed her arms, "just call me Archie Costello."
Fashionable Plotting, by vlademir1
Quinn and Stacy lay together on Stacy's
Quinn: It's time Stacy, tomorrow we implement the plan.
Stacy (trepidation clear in her eyes and her voice):The plan?
Quinn: Yes, the plan. We have all the dirt we really need, and the time has come. The winds of change are blowing, we need to drop the ballast before it completely cripples us. You know you've wanted to be rid of her far more than the rest of us anyway.
Quinn: Trust me.
Quinn gently kissed Stacy's forehead.
Quinn: None of it will be traced back to us, and she'll get hers for how she has treated you for the last seven years. It's time to move up.
Stacy burst into sobbing tears. Quinn wrapped her slender arms about her friend, they had at least another hour before Stacy's mom would be home.
* * *
Late that evening Quinn quietly entered her sister's room.
Quinn: It's done. Within ten days Sandi might be able to get that guy from the UFO convention to talk to her.
The only sound for the longest time was Daria's laughter.
Checking the Red Princess, by Brother Grimace
Daria watched the door close behind Quinn,
and picked up the cordless phone. "She's gone," she said into the
phone. "Got the video?"
"Oh, yeah," Jane smirked, sitting in her own bedroom, her brand-new iBook open in front of her with a crystal-clear image of Quinn and Stacy sharing a kiss as they lay on Quinn's canopy bed. "From all five cameras, complete with four-channel sound. I love this next-generation video equipment."
"Not as much as Quinn's going to hate the purchase price for it," Daria laughed, thinking of how wide and horrified Quinn's eyes would get when she found out that she was going to go out on a pair of dates with Charles Ruttheimer... and the only rule set down would be that both of them had to be alive and unmolested - BOTH of them - at the end of the evening. Of course, should the two come to some agreement of their own accord...
And she WOULD go along with it. Quinn wasn't stupid... and when Daria explained everything to her tomorrow at breakfast, she'd agree. Reason?
Because Daria wouldn't just post the video online - knowing Daria, she'd post little snippets online. Thumbnails. Five-second clips. 30-second MP3's of what Daria would consider 'the good parts' of Quinn and Stacy's... friendly little afternoon in Quinn's room - things that would have the effect of embarassing Quinn over and over and over... and ensure a healthy profit margin when she sold the entire video on those limited-use DVDs. If she ever had to. If she ever needed to.
If she just wanted to totally screw Quinn over just before Homecoming of Quinn's senior year. Just for shits and giggles, you know. Oh, and Stacy?
Sorry, sweet pea. Sometimes you're the windshield, and sometimes - you're the bug.
Daria knew her sister. You ever try to stick a knife in my back so you can be the Queen of Lawndale High, and - well, why spoil the surprise? Just behave, enjoy your spot as Princess... and we'll all get along just fine.
Just as long as you remember that this is my world - and you get to dress fashionably while you're in it.
Less Cheerful than Expected, by NightGoblyn
"Hi, girls." Daria said, glancing
around the locker room. The cheerleaders all looked at one another nervously,
and no one spoke. Obviously, the rumors had already begun to circulate.
Brittany was conspicuous by her absence.
Daria's expression darkened, and her glare stabbed one of the cheerleaders with an almost physical force. "Hi, Angie."
"Hi, Daria," the girl answered, "Um, did you want to try out for cheerleader?"
"Oh, hell no," Daria said, looking amused. "I have no desire to spell out letters with my arms and then jump around so horny boys can try to look at my crotch."
The cheerleaders all looked at one another again, and then Angie said, "Um, then why are you here?"
"I guess you heard about the Fashion Club implosion?"
"And Brittany's recent romantic tragedy?"
"And how records regarding three members of the cheerleading squad and the Glendale abortion clinic were recently leaked to the school paper?"
"What!?" Angie said, turning pale. Behind her, a couple of the other girls had to catch Lisa as she fainted.
"Oh, wait." Daria glanced at her wrist watch. "I'm sorry, that hasn't happened yet . . . and it won't, as long you stay in line."
"In line?" Nikki asked.
"Yeah," Daria said with a smirk, "in line. Do your little cheers and keep your heads down. Any plans you had about going after the fashionistas in their moment of weakness . . . drop them. Any plans you have regarding me or my clique . . . forget them. Am I understood?"
Daria waited a moment, and then repeated, "Am I understood?" She smiled beatifically at the sudden and rushed agreement.
"Good, good. If there's anything else, I'll be in touch."
Square Root of Blackmail, by Brother Grimace
Alfred Phelps sat at his desk, sipping a
particularly good brand of black tea from Ceylon (he knew the country's name
was Ski Lanka, but he waxed nostalgic for the days of the old British Empire
when he had his breakfast). He set the cup down and enjoyed his
orange-raspberry marmalade on English muffins when the door to his classroom
opened, and Daria walked in.
"Good morning, Mr. Phelps..."
The British-born math instructor immediately went on guard, and his hand dropped down casually to a spot beneath his desk, where he kept a voice-activated tape recorder. "How can I help you, Miss Morgendorffer...?"
Daria smiled as she sat casually on the edge of his desk. "I wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your math class. I understand that Quinn enjoys your classes, too... especially the afterschool tutoring sessions?"
Phelps felt a flush of scarlet in his cheeks at the way in which Daria mentioned the sessions; even though he KNEW that there was nothing between Quinn Morgendorffer and himself - and that there was zero chance of that occuring, given his tastes of romantic conquests - the insinuation of professional misconduct offended him deeply. "Miss Morgendorffer," he said imperiously, rising from his seat, "I believe that you need to leave this room right now."
"Why? Will you have your way with me like you did with my sister?"
"That is a blatant and obvious LIE!" he snapped off. "How DARE you accuse me of that?"
"Well, which of the students DO you want to bed down with? Me?"
"My friend Jane?"
"Yes-" Phelps but off his reply as his eyes went moon-sized, and he slapped his hand over his mouth as he slumped back into his seat.
"That's all I wanted to know," Daria smirked, taking the uneaten half of Phelps' muffin, and smeared a liberal portion of marmalade on top before turning to head for the door. "Oh, by the way - here's a little something for you."
She tossed the microcassette from Phelps' recorder to him, and he caught it with an amazed look. "They work better with a cassette inside."
Daria then held up a digital recorder. "Maybe you should upgrade. This one doesn't need a tape at all. Have a good day."
The light seemed to go out of Phelp's eyes as Daria sashayed out of the classroom.
Rude Awakening I, by LSauchelli
"EEEEEEP!" Quinn screamed at the
top of her lungs.
She opened her eyes as she calmed herself between quick breaths. Only a dream, only a dream. She looked around and sighed slowly. A freaky nightmare.
She shifted a little and turned to her bedside table and turned on the light. She was still trembling.
She blinked as she noticed something next to the lamp. A Picture.
She extended her hand with a frightened expression in her face. She took a quick look at it.
"Oh my gosh... Who?" She turned the picture around and scowled. "Sandi" Her face darkened.
Now it was personal. She would crush the bitch.
Nervous Illness, by legendeld
Sandi walked in her front door and dashed to her room before
any of her family spotted her.
She quickly stripped out of the ruined clothes, scowling at the paint stains on the back of her pants and blouse. That wet paint sign hadn't been there when she sat down.
:What is going at that school?: Sandi thought as she dressed.
She thought back to the glares and looks she had been getting all day and it sent a shudder down her spine. Something was happening and if it involved Daria Morgendorffer then she didn’t want to be on the wrong side, seeing as Daria would set her sister up as head of the fashion side of the school, that left Sandi swinging by a very short rope.
"I'm not a fool. There's no way I'm going after Quinn let alone Daria." Sandi said out loud as her sense of self preservation kicked in.
:I think I’m feeling a little under the weather.: Sandi thought feeling relief at her plan.
She let out a cough and started practicing being very ill.
:When it’s over I’ll just start kissing up to Daria and hope she’ll throw me some scraps.:
Rude Awakening II, by Brother Grimace
you're the only girl I could ever see being with," Mack said, taking the
LHS letterman jacket that he never wore and putting it over her shoulders.
"I want you to wear it, so everyone will know that you and I... we're the
"Man, ditch that 90210 stuff," Trent Lane barked, brushing Mack aside. "Hey, babe. Wanna ride? We can head out to the park; I wrote a new song for you, and I can play it for you -
A beautiful silver Aston Martin pulled into the parking lot, stopped right in front of the threesome, and Tom Sloane, dashing beyond belief in his evening suit, stepped from the car. "Darling - when you're finished with the children, come along. Dinner with Mother and Father is at 6:15 sharp on the estate, but I thought you'd enjoy a quick spin beforehand."
"Can I, like, drive?"
"That's why I brought the work car. I thought you'd enjoy getting her up to speed."
Sandi strolled over to the driver's side and allowed Tom to open the door for her; as she got in, Tom smiled at the two forlorn-looking young men on the sidewalk. "Wealth. It has its advantages."
He went around the car, and opened the door to get in. "Gentlemen..."
Sandi opened her eyes, and stretched herself in bed. Oh, that was an excellent dream, she thought. Now, as soon as those boys realize that I'm the only real catch around here and stop falling all over... ewwww...
She suddenly realized that she was laying in a large, wet spot. Oh, come on. They're all attractive boys, but I'm not that into them - am I?
Lifting the sheet, Sandi pulled her hand up - and screamed as she saw that it was covered in blood! "GAWD!" she shrieked, leaping up - and as she did, she heard the solid THUNK! of something hitting the wall-
She looked over at the wall - and her eyes went wide as they locked on the open, empty eyes of her Persian cat, it's head laying on its left side as the eyes looked sightlessly back up at her!
Sandi woke up screaming, drenched in sweat and shaking! "It was a dream, that's all," she said, letting her breathing slow as Fluffy, awakened by her scream, yowled in protest and then curled back up against a sweatshirt. "A bad dream... a horrible, horrible dream... one of those double-dreams, like in the scary movies... But you're okay, Fluffy... you're okay..."
She stood up and began to turn towards the door - when her eyes locked on the now-open window... and the object hanging fron a string on the window lock.
It was a scrunchie.
Volcanoes began to explode behind Sandi's eyes as she went to the scrunchie and held it in her hand. She knew who this belonged to.
So, this is how it begins, Sandi thought grimly, This is how you're going to do it. Fine. I'll put that carrot-topped bitch so far in check that she'll have numbers on the top left side of her forehead.
I wasn't going to go after Quinn - but after this... Tomorrow, I'm going to take her five-dollar ass out and make change.
Unsupport Group, by NightGoblyn
Jodie sat in Mr.
O'Neill's classroom after school and tried to work a crossword puzzle. It was
hard . . . her mind kept drifting back to the conversation she'd had with
Daria. The look in her eyes . . . what had happened to make her so angry? Daria
had always existed in a cloud of irritation, but her conscience had always kept
her in check and had sometimes even driven her to acts of charity.
The other reason she couldn't concentrate on the puzzle was sitting across the room, weeping into a lace handkerchief. Everytime Jodie saw Brittany she was crying, and normally she'd have tried to find out what was bothering the usually bubbly cheerleader. Not today, though. Today, Jodie wasn't really in the mood to find out what horrid thing Daria Morgendorffer had done to Brittany.
The classroom door opened and another cheerleader came in, the tall one.
"Brit?" she asked.
"Nikki?" Brittany said, looking up from her desk. "Oh God, you can't see me like this!" Brittany's sobbing became louder and more high pitched as she covered her face with her hands. The other cheerleader hurried over and tried to comfort her friend.
"Look," Jodie said, "are either of you going to tell me why we're here?"
"I thought you invited me," Brittany said with a hiccup.
"This is some kind of sick joke," Jodie snarled, and stood to leave. When she turned towards the door she saw Sandi Griffin.
"Ladies," Sandi said, "we need to talk." Sandi walked into the room with a dignified stride, every inch the royal-in-exile. Jodie's eyes narrowed when she saw the heavy make-up around Sandi's left eye.
"What about?" Nikki asked.
"Duh," Sandi said, rolling her eyes, "the enemy of my enemy is my ally and all that. We've all been made victims, the victims of Quinn's cousin or whatever."
"They're sisters you idiot," Jodie said, "and I don't see what we can do about it anyway." Jodie sighed and looked depressed. "Daria has us exactly where she wants us."
"She's holding secrets over our heads," Sandi said, "that's her strength. If we come clean about our secrets she won't have any hold on us anymore."
Nikki snickered darkly. "Easy for you to say, we already know your secrets."
Sandi flushed and looked at the floor.
"She took my Kevvie!" Brittany keened, and began sobbing again.
"What!?" Jodie said, "She told me she wanted Mack."
"Quinn and I used to juggle four or five guys at a time," Sandi muttered, "I'm sure she's planning on doing the same thing."
Jodie's eyes burned as she refused to cry. The most gut wrenching part of this is that Daria was right, she had been neglecting Mack. She didn't appreciate him until he was gone, and now he was going to be part of that bitch's man-harem.
"Well," Nikki said, "there are four of us and one of her. We could kick the crap out of her."
"Two," Jodie said, "don't forget Jane. Besides, I don't think violence would help . . . she'd just find some way to get back at us."
"A wise observation, Miss Landon." The girls in the room looked around with shock as Ms. Li's voice came out of the intercom. "Plot all you want about Miss Morgendorffer, if you can bring her down I'll applaude you. Touch one hair on her head and I'll see to it that none of you attend school in Carter County again."
Strategic Retreat, by Brother Grimace
Dr. Kyle Armalin
was smiling as his silver Suburban passed into the city limits of Arlington,
Virginia. He reached for his can of root beer - one of my last, he promised
himself - and drained it dry.
Thank God in Heaven I had to come into Disneyland East and get all of this paperwork cleared up, he said to himself. Ever since he resumed his rank of Colonel, the people he was boot to had been dogging him to get his butt in for a few days and take care of a few things - for example, the problems with his pay. Apparently, someone was feeling a bit magnanimous, and he was going to be receiving the balance of pay from when he was reduced in rank to Major (thanks to that bastard Bakeson) to when he had his eagles returned to him.
Damn - this General Trainor really wants me to be happy with her being in charge, Armalin mused, pulling to a stop behing a minivan with five nuns and a young woman inside. Especially if she's getting me several years of back pay for what Bakeson did. Hey, look - someone might be in trouble, if the nuns are guarding her like that.
The best part - it gets me the hell away from Lawndale High School. Screw the seminar - any good Marine knows when to get the hell out of Dodge, and that Morgendorffer has something big planned for every in sight. Oh, well - out of sight, out of mind.
He had made sure to go over every single inch of his baggage, personal effects AND his vehicle before he left - even going so far as to use his... special gifts... to thoroughly go over everything a second time. I must have someone watching over me, he thought. Nothing planted on me or my vehicle.
Nevertheless, he decided to have the vehicle left at the Marine Headquarters vehicle pool for a Level 1 security sweep. It never hurt to be sure.
Thank God I got out when I could, he said to himself as he pulled off behind the nuns. "Whatever's about to happen back there - I do not want to be a part of it."
Nightingale, by NightGoblyn
at the door. Still half asleep, Trent wandered over and pulled it open,
expecting to see Daria and not being disappointed in his assumption. Then his
eyes widened when he took in the short dress, curled hair, and mischevious
"Whoa," he said.
"Whoa, indeed." Daria replied, and stepped into the house. "Trent, I was hoping I could ask you for a favor."
"Sure, Daria." Trent answered warily.
"I still feel so bad about losing my belly-button piercing. Do you think you could go to Axl's with me tomorrow so I can get it re-done?"
"Oh," Trent said, feeling relieved. "Sure, Daria. That'd be cool."
"Thanks," Daria said, and then reached out and lightly ran her fingers down the middle of his chest. "It was my first . . . piercing. You made it good, so I wanted you to be there when it happened again." She smiled and headed for the stairs, putting a little sway into her walk.
Trent watched her leave, his jaw hanging open. I don't think the clueless act is going to help anymore, he thought to himself.
Daria pushed open Jane's bedroom door and walked in. Her friend was laying on her bed, propped up on her elbows and poking at her laptop, with her left leg stretched out and covered with ice packs. Daria could hear Stacy and Quinn's voices coming from the speakers of the small computer.
"Hey," Jane said, glancing around. "I'd get up, but I stupidly pulled my calf at practice today."
"You're still watching that?" Daria asked, nodding towards the computer.
"I'm editing it," Jane answered, blushing slightly. "You asked me to, remember?"
"You gave me everything I needed yesterday," Daria smirked.
Jane frowned and started to sit up, hissing in pain as her injured muscle spasmed.
"Be still," Daria said, sitting on the edge of the bed. "How bad is this?"
"Not too bad," Jane said, "I'm supposed to take turns icing it and rubbing it down, but it's sort of hard for me to reach so I've just been icing it and icing it. It's supposed to be walkable by tomorrow and I'll be running again by the middle of the week."
"Let me," Daria said, moving the bags of ice and carefully massaging the muscle. "You'll remember to stretch next time, won't you?" Daria teased.
"Yeah," Jane said, half closing her eyes. After the cold ice, Daria's hands felt like they were fresh from an oven and the pain in her leg faded to a dull ache. She lazily watched the activities on her computer screen while shamelessly enjoying the massage. Abruptly, her eyes flew open.
"Daria, that's not my calf."
Her peripheral vision was obscured by a mass of curly auburn hair, and Daria whispered in her ear, "Hush, and watch my sister."
Lie Mein, by NightGoblyn
noodles are really good," Mack said.
"I've always thought so," Daria answered, "I like to eat here when I don't want people to bother me. It's not a popular hang out."
Mack nodded and continued eating his dinner.
"Still bummed out about Jodie, huh?"
"Yeah," Mack sighed, "she had some kind of idea that I had designs on you. I don't know why."
"And I glance around the nice restaurant in which we are having a private dinner and cannot help but agree," Daria said, smiling slightly, "there's no reason she should think that at all."
"I always thought you were attractive," Mack said with a shrug. "You're smart, observant, witty, and well read. That, and any idiot with eyes could see how beautiful you were under that jacket and glasses. But I didn't have any plans, I was happy with Jodie."
"Well, yeah. I mean, sure there were times I felt disappointed, felt like I was always second or third on her list of things to get around to, but I . . ." Mack paused. "You know, I really didn't like feeling like I was something on a list to be checked off."
"Be Student Council President, maintain GPA, date captain of the football team?" Daria asked, quirking an eyebrow.
"Yeah," Mack said, staring down at his plate with a gloomy expression. He glanced up in shock when he felt Daria's tiny hand on his.
"I'm going to end up juggling a lot myself in the near future," Daria said, "I'll have to if I'm going to take and hold the position I've been denied for so long. I just want you to know that you're not on my list, Mack. Going out with you is something I'm doing for myself, and I've put a lot of other important things on hold to do it. You're important to me, and I'm grateful I got an opportunity with you."
Web of Gossip I, by NightGoblyn
Andrea stood at the mirror in the designated unpopular girls' restroom and touched up her eyeliner. She smirked at herself in the mirror and contemplated the idea that she spent just as much time preening in the mirror as any of the Beautiful People did, but to such a different effect. She loathed the hypocrites, but now the tides they were a-turnin' and she wasn't sure how she felt about it. It warmed Andrea's little black heart to see Jane and her girlfriend sticking it to Beautiful People, but the pair had dropped to their level to do it. She'd never exactly looked up to the notorious Partners in Crime, but she hated seeing any outcast sell out and join the enemy.
Andrea glanced at her watch and murmured, "Speaking of the enemy . . ."
Right on time, the door to the bathroom opened and one of the Queen Bees of the Beautiful People came in.
"Um, hi, or whatever," she said nervously, "let's get this over with so I can get out of here. The lights in this bathroom make my complexion look bad."
"I agree," Andrea said, glaring down at the younger girl. Andrea reached into her purse and pulled out an envelope from 24 Hour Photo, and started to hand it over. At the last second, she pulled the envelople back and said, "Money."
The girl rolled her eyes and pulled the roll of fives and tens out of her pocket and handed it over. "It's all there," she said, "go ahead and count it."
"I believe you," Andrea said, taking the money and handing over the envelope, "after all, you don't know what else I've got in my purse, do you?"
She glanced up at Andrea nervously, then opened the envelope and flipped through the pictures. "I didn't know anything like this even existed."
"Funny," Andrea said, smirking. "Neither does she. He slipped a little something in her drink . . . he called it the 'Chez Pierre dessert menu' and I didn't ask him any questions."
The other girl matched Andrea's smirk and tucked the envelope away in her own purse. "It was nice doing business with you," she said, and left.
"I don't think our business is done yet, sweetheart." Andrea said, and turned back to the mirror. She had just finished with her lipstick when the door opened again.
"Oh my Gawd," the new girl said, "the lights in this room are like, so unflattering to my complexion."
"So I've heard," Andrea answered, capping her lipstick and dropping it in her purse. "What do you want, Princess?"
"Puh-leeze," the girl answered, "nothing from you. Gawd, haven't you even heard of color?"
"I'm good with black and blue," Andrea growled.
"Yeah," she said nervously, "look, I heard you buy information, and I've got some for you." The girl unzipped her backpack and pulled a small shoebox out of it, handing it to Andrea. The goth girl opened the box and thumbed through the photos and notes that were in it.
"And the microcassettes?"
"Have on them exactly what I told you they did."
Andrea nodded and reached in her purse, pulling out a roll of fives and tens. She peeled off a couple of the tens and then handed the rest of the roll to the girl.
"Well," the girl said, pocketing the cash. "Nice doing business with you, and stuff. Bye."
Andrea watched the girl leave, a small smirk playing on her lips. After a few seconds, Tori Jericho stepped out of a nearby stall and joined Andrea at the mirror.
"Is it good stuff?" she asked.
"Oh, it's very good stuff," Andrea replied, pushing to shoebox across the sink. "Happy birthday, sis."
Tori's smirk grew. "I guess I'd better go make some new popularity predictions, huh?"
A Simple Request, by Brother Grimace
The only way
that Charles Ruttheimer could describe it was to compare it to the scene in Excaliber,
when Sir Percival saw the vision of the Holy Grail.
I may never see it again in this lifetime - or the next - but I know it is out there. That's something that no one would ever destroy, or make a copy of. There can only be one... otherwise, it totally obliterates its worth.
Daria had allowed him to see sixty seconds of the tape. That was more than enough time to know - as if he hadn't been absoultely certain ten seconds into the viewing - that it was absolutely, positively, without doubt the actual, genuine article.
It was enough to allow him to give her access to his own Well of Souls. He had lain EVERYTHING out for her. EVERYTHING.
It was the sort of compilation that could be assembled only by years of activity, wealth far beyond the imagination of any teen reality star with a privileged life and no desire to do more than fornicate, party and change one's look more than a chameleon in a kaleidoscope, and the single-minded dedication and resolve to a cause found only in religious leaders, despots looking to achieve empire, and teenage boys trying for that first sexual experience.
It was The Archive.
And now... Daria Morgendorffer knew about it.
I almost wish that people at Lawndale High HAD studied, Charles laughed, taking a long, refreshing drink of ice-cold chocolate milk. If anyone makes a move on her, if anyone brings out ANYTHING on her... well, they'll learn how the peace was kept here on Earth for almost sixty years of nuclear capability by rival nations.
Mutual Assured Destruction. If ANYONE attacks her, she'll destroy EVERYONE.
And the price for giving the Crown Princess of Hell the playbook for Armageddon?
A quite reasonable price, indeed. One that Daria Morgendorffer would never have expected... and she had come to bargain with a most delectable selection of treats and pleasures, indeed. She had never seen that he would have asked for this... and almost out of reflex and a vestigal sense of shame, she had almost refused.
But everyone must eventually capitulate to someone, and so, even the great Daria Morgendorffer had agreed to his terms. She now had the means to effectively bring the Apocalypse to Lawndale High.
The price of eternal power over all that she could see?
"I'll give you back what you lost long ago. From now on, they will call you by your proper name.
'The name 'Upchuck' will never be spoken again.
You... are Charles Ruttheimer."
Dark Councillor, by NightGoblyn
Daria walked through
the rain, wet and miserable. The bus stop was only half a block from her
mother’s office, but by the time she arrived she was shivering and soaked
She stopped under the building’s awning and took off her bulky green jacket and tried to squeeze the water out of it. She put the damp jacket back on and dried her glasses on the hem of her t-shirt. With a small sigh, she pushed the door open and walked into the building.
It was late, and most of the lights were out. The man at the security desk started to stand, but sat back down with a smile and a wave when he recognized Daria from her previous visits. She waved back and walked to the elevator.
She took the elevator to her mother’s floor and headed down the hallway to her office. She hated to bother her mother at work, especially when she was working late, but she really needed some motherly advice. Her mother’s parenting was a matter of quality over quantity . . . she didn’t pay much attention to her daughters, but when she did wonderful things could happen.
Daria reached her mother’s office door, reached out to knock, and froze with a look of stricken horror on her face. There were . . . noises . . . coming through the door. Noises that Daria hadn’t heard since she was a little girl, since before Quinn was born and her family had lived in that horrible little apartment with thin walls.
As a child, she’d found the noises comforting. According to her reading, most parents weren’t as physically intimate as they were before the child was born, a statistic that could be linked to other marital problems. She’d always been pleased that her birth hadn’t hurt her parent’s marriage. Now, the same noises made her stomach clench painfully.
She felt a hand on her shoulder, and a man whispered, “Come with me.”
Beyond caring, she let the man steer her down the hall and into a different office. He pushed her into a chair and poured a small glass of amber fluid for her, placing it on the desk in front of her.
“You’ll want to just hold that for a minute, warm it up with your hands,” he advised, sitting behind his desk. She looked the man over, mechanically noting his excellently tailored suit. His dark hair was shot through with grey, and his face had what one might call character lines. His dark eyes burned with amusement.
“Makes you sick, doesn’t it?” he asked.
Daria nodded mutely and picked up the drink. She held it with both hands to warm it, as the man had suggested.
“Yeah, me too,” he continued, “now don’t misunderstand me, because I say this with all due respect, but your mother is a hot piece of ass. She’s smart, determined, and sexy . . . everything a man looks for in a woman. But I’m not the one in there right now, and it’s because I’ve got something Asshat doesn’t. You know what that is?”
“Decency?” Daria asked. “A basic respect for the sanctity of marriage?”
“You’re funny, kid. I like that.” The man chuckled and lit a cigar. “No, what I have is patience. We all know that Helen is going to drop your old man as soon as kid sister heads off to college, so why jump now and potentially cause all kinds of legal problems?”
Daria stared at the man, her jaw open in shock.
“What?” he asked, grinning at her. “The way Helen talks about you, I’d have thought you knew all this by now. You are the smart one, right?”
“Not as smart as I thought,” Daria muttered. She sipped her drink, and sputtered a little as it burned its way down.
“You’ll get used to that, just sip it slowly and enjoy it,” he said, “one thing I can’t abide, somebody that drinks a fine scotch like it’s soda.”
“I can’t believe you’re sitting here saying things like this about my parents,” Daria said, anger finally chipping through the shock. “I can’t believe I’m sitting here listening.”
“I’m telling the truth, and that’s why you’re listening,” the man said, jabbing at Daria with his cigar. “It took me a long time to figure this out, but as young as you are you’re starting to grasp it on your own. You are the smart one, Helen is going to be proud of you.”
“Figure what out?”
“Loyalty has to be earned,” the man said, leaning back in his chair and ticking the points off on his fingers, “Homo Sapiens is just another species of animal, and morality is a gleaming chain forged by the powerful to keep the weak in line.”
“That’s not true,” Daria said.
“Really?” the man leaned across his desk. “Let’s take it point by point. In what instance should loyalty be automatic? Loyalty to your nation, tribe, or religion? I promise you, my dear, that the leaders of those bodies are not worthy of loyalty.”
“I was thinking something smaller, like family or friends.”
“Ah, familial loyalty, a fine example of which is being provided for us just down the hall. Do you think you somehow owe allegiance to your mother for birthing you or your father for impregnating her? I highly doubt they performed the acts that led up to your birth with you in mind. Your sister? My understanding is that you share nothing in common with her save genetics, and there’s a good chance you only share half of much of that as you think you do. Nothing to get misty-eyed over, in my opinion.”
Daria’s thoughts swirled, she took another sip of her drink and winced at the burn as it slid down her throat. The heat was pleasant in her stomach, though. Between the drink and the heady aroma of the cigar her nausea had passed.
“Friends,” he said. “Yes, there you can find loyalty. But test them, always test them, and always be ready for treachery. Birds fly, fish swim, and humans betray.”
“That’s a bleak view.”
“And you, I suppose, are a starry-eyed optimist?”
Daria took another sip of her drink, noticing that the burning had lessened.
“Next point: we are all animals, it just so happens that we’re animals with a highly developed brain and thumbs. You’re not the religious type, are you? Please tell me you don’t believe all that seven days nonsense.”
Daria slowly shook her head. “I really haven’t made up my mind what to believe. I know that what most people say about God and religion sounds pretty stupid and self-serving.”
“That’s the thing to understand,” the man said with a wide grin, “just remember that something that is stupid and self-serving today will still be stupid and self-serving two thousand years from now and you’ll see what my problem with religion is based on.”
“You already grasp my first two points, although I think you don’t want to admit it. It’s the third one that’s giving you pause. Helen has always described you as her little crusader. She says you have a very well defined idea of right and wrong, and that you judge harshly.”
“She also says that you frequently don’t live up to your own standard. You mostly don’t notice it, but when you do notice you get all depressed and irritable until you inevitably use that sharp wit of yours to figure out an explanation of why what you did wasn’t really wrong after all.”
“I’m not like that!”
“Aren’t you? I’ve never met a person with a strong moral code that wasn’t either self-deluded or an idiot, and you are certainly not an idiot. I’ve heard all the stories, Daria. You ruthlessly enforce your morals on others, but rarely yourself. When you do, you try to come out looking like a martyr.”
“My mother said that?”
“No, not in so many words. Helen still clings to some moral and ethical baggage, most people do, and that makes her admire and envy you. It’s because she’s blind to the damage that you’re causing yourself.”
“How many times have you seen something or someone that you wanted and fought a war of indecision against yourself, only to walk away defeated and empty handed? You have been made into your own warden, in the prison of your own mind. Look at the world around you, everywhere there’s corruption and vice,” he paused to take a puff from the cigar, “but what if it wasn’t corruption and vice? What if our self-imposed chains were the real corruption, and denying ourselves was the true vice.”
“What do you mean?”
“When the lion kills the antelope, is it murder? When the cuckoo hides her eggs in another bird’s nest, is it fraud? When a bear takes honey from a beehive, is it theft? When a hairless ape has sex with her boss, is it adultery?”
Daria’s nausea returned, this time caused by what she could only think of as vertigo of the soul. She finished her drink, and this time it didn’t burn at all.
Last Flight of the Fashion Club, by NightGoblyn
show downs are held at high noon, Quinn thought. On the other hand,
tradition is best left to old fogies.
The sun was barely over the horizon, and a chill mist hung in the air around Lawndale High School. There weren’t many students in the hallway at this hour, and the few that were moved. Quinn and Sandi strode down the center of the hall, side by side and just a couple of feet apart. Stacy walked two paces behind Quinn and one pace to her left. Tiffany mirrored Stacy’s position, but was to Sandi’s right.
The Fashion Club moved, and the student body of Lawndale stepped aside. The students, and even a couple of faculty members, could almost see the dark clouds swirling over the four girls. Nobody wanted to be at ground zero when that tornado touched down.
People are staring at me, Sandi thought. Things have gotten worse than they were at the beginning of the week. I don’t know what it is, but Quinn’s torpedo is already in the water. Sandi tossed her hair and smiled. It doesn’t matter. That copper topped bitch can’t have anything on me that I can’t survive. Too bad she can’t say the same about me.
She looks too smug, Quinn thought. She thinks she has something on me, but she can’t. Nobody knows, nobody. Quinn turned her head slightly so she could see Stacy in her peripheral vision. It’s our secret. Nobody knows. Not even Daria.
The Fashion Club turned as a unit and filtered into an empty classroom, going through the door in the old order of precedence: Sandi, then Quinn, then Tiffany, and Stacy last.
“I suppose you’re wondering why I called this emergency meeting of the Fashion Club,” Sandi said.
“I was assuming you were going to announce a fashion sabbatical and step down as President,” Quinn said, crossing her arms and leaning against the teacher’s desk.
“Hardly,” Sandi said, quirking an eyebrow. “It has come to my attention that a member of the Fashion Club has broken the first and most important rule of the Fashion Club. One of us has been going on dates and having sex.”
Quinn froze, and adamantly didn’t look directly at Stacy. She could see her out of the corner of her eye, and recognized the look of stricken horror painted across the panicky brunette’s face. Stacy was about to crack.
“As we all know,” Sandi continued, “it’s never fashionable to be a slut.” Sandi pulled an envelope from 24 Hour Photo out of her back pocket and handed it to Quinn. “Well, most of us know that, anyway.”
Quinn flipped open the envelope and started thumbing through the pictures. She could feel the blood draining out of her face as she saw picture after picture of herself, doing things that she knew she had never done. Having things done to her that made her stomach clench and her hands shake.
“I remind you of a Saturday, almost exactly one year ago, that Quinn did not pick up the phone for our post-date conference call. As I recall she gave us some lame excuse about getting caught outside with her cousin or whatever and getting grounded.” Sandi smiled maliciously. “Earlier this week I was given those photos, which show what she was really doing that night.”
I remember that night, Quinn thought, still staring at the photos. I went on a date, got a horrible headache and he dropped me off at home. It was really late . . . if he took me home early, why was I home so late? Why was I laying on the ground behind the bushes when Daria got home? Oh, God.
Quinn turned and dropped the envelope on the desk and vomited into the nearby trash can. Someone stepped up behind her and pulled her hair back out of the way.
“Oh,” Sandi said with a sneer, “that’s attractive. You’re out, Quinn. We don’t have room in the Fashion Club for whores.”
Stacy looked from the couple of photos that had spilled out of the envelope, to the beautiful mane of bright red hair she was holding so that Quinn could be sick without dirtying it. Then she turned and looked at Sandi. Somewhere in the depths of Stacy Rowe’s mind, a switch was flipped. A rusty lever clanged over, and a cog spun and fell into place. With a soul shivering screech, the spill gates on her mental dam lifted and seven years of bitterness and hatred flowed free.
Sandi ducked just in time for the student desk to fly over her head and smash out the window behind her.
“You complete, total, thundering, mega-bitch,” Stacy screamed. “I have put up with your shit for seven years without batting an eye, but how dare you attack Quinn?”
Stacy stepped forward and punched Sandi in the face hard enough to knock her off her feet.
“Do you think she asked for that?” Stacy screamed, “You know how much she hates being touched by men.” Stacy took another step forward, looming over the girl lying at her feet. She reached down and grabbed the front of Sandi’s shirt and lifted her to her feet.
“Stand up, bitch!” she screamed into Sandi’s face. “I’m not ready to start kicking you, yet.”
Daria and Jane stood near their lockers and watched with shock as Coach Gibson and Mr. DeMartino staggered down the hallway, carrying a struggling and blood spattered Stacy Rowe between them.
“Put me down!” Stacy screamed as they turned the corner, “She’s not dead yet!”
“Are we responsible for that?” Jane asked.
“Not directly, nor in any indirect way that can be traced to us,” Daria answered.
“We should go see what happened,” Jane said.
“Got your camera?” Daria asked with a smirk as the Partners in Crime headed down the hallway.
They walked into the abandoned classroom and looked at the wreckage. The teacher’s desk was over turned, most of the student desks were shoved up to the walls. Two of the windows were broken out. Quinn sat in one corner, sobbing uncontrollably. Sandi lay battered and unconscious in the opposite corner. Tiffany stood near the chalk board with a deeply confused expression.
“What just happened?” she asked.
“Darwinism,” Daria answered.
Jane started over to check on Quinn, and paused when she saw the photographs strewn across the floor near the overturned desk. She picked one up, looked at it, looked at Quinn, and did some mental math.
“Amiga?” she said, handing Daria the picture.
Daria’s bored expression hardened. She walked across the room and knelt next to her sister.
“Quinn,” she said quietly.
Quinn looked up at Daria, and her normally perky expression was gone. In its place was a mask of cold hate. She reached out and took Daria’s hand, and kissed it.
“I have done all that you asked, and now I come to you for justice,” Quinn said, then leaned forward and whispered a name in Daria’s ear.
“Some day,” Daria answered, “and that day may never come, I'll call upon you to do a service for me. But until that day . . . you will have your justice.”
Daria stood and stalked towards the door. “Lane, with me. Nobody hurts Quinn. Nobody but me.”
Jane paused a moment to scoop up the rest of the pictures and then hurried after her friend.
Aftermath, by NightGoblyn
Quinn sat in the
wrecked classroom and stared at nothing with empty eyes. Tiffany had wandered
out shortly after Daria and Jane left. Sandi was still unconscious in the
She'll kill him, or worse, Quinn thought. Good.
Quinn pulled herself to her feet and looked around for the pictures. Her stomach clenched again when she saw they were gone, but she vaguely remembered seeing Jane pick them up before leaving. Hoping her memory was right, she walked across the room and looked down at Sandi. Quinn cleared her throat once, and spit a wad of flem onto Sandi's face.
"Bitch," Quinn muttered.
Quinn walked out into the hallway and rinsed her mouth in a water fountain. A stray thought went through her mind: Stacy.
Quinn ran to Ms. Li's office. She skidded to a halt outside, and reached for the door knob. Stop, she thought, think, Morgendorffer. Barging in without a plan won't help either of you. She closed her eyes and immediately saw herself being defiled. Gritting her teeth, she forced the images away and tried to think clearly. Gossip over the last couple of weeks. Daria's sudden and abrupt change of character. Jane rejoined the track team. Mack and Jodie broke up, and Mack was rumored to be seeing Daria. Daria and Jane were both cutting classes, they'd been bragging about it.
Bingo, Quinn thought. There's only one way she could be causing this much chaos and getting away with it.
Quinn opened the door and walked into Ms. Li's office. The first thing she saw was Stacy, with her arms and legs strapped into a straight-backed wooden chair. The principal stood in front of the girl, red faced and angry.
"Do you know what you've done, Ms. Rowe?" she hissed.
"She's done nothing," Quinn said flatly. "Sandi fell down a flight of stairs, and we were trying to help her. That is what happened."
"Preposterous!" Ms. Li shouted. "Get out of my office this instant, or you will be joining your friend here in being expelled."
Quinn pushed the door shut and advanced towards Ms. Li. "There will be no expulsions. You will call a doctor for Sandi, who was badly hurt when she fell down the steps. I have been terribly traumatized and need to go home, so Stacy will take me there. No one will be punished for anything. Do I make myself clear?"
"Alternative school," Ms. Li said, "Yes, that's what you delinquents need."
Quinn's eyes narrowed, and she pulled her slim pink phone out of her pocket.
"I guess I'll just have to call Daria and tell her what's going on," Quinn said, still staring at the principal.
Ms. Li looked as if she was being forced to eat spoiled meat.
"I'll go see to Ms. Griffin," she snapped. "I hope she wasn't hurt too badly by falling down the stairs. I don't want to see either of you in my office when I get back, or the deal is off."
Quinn watched the principal storm out of the office and quickly moved to free Stacy's arms from the chair. While Stacy unstrapped her legs, Quinn opened the cabinet behind Ms. Li's desk and pulled the surveillance tape for the classroom that the Fashion Club had used for their final meeting.
"Quinn," Stacy said quietly.
Quinn turned to her friend with tears shining in her eyes. "Get me home, Stacy. I'm going to fall apart in a second."
Rude Awakening III, by vlademir1
Lawndale in a dimly lit, nondescript motel room the scion of one of that towns
most important families sat naked and strapped to a chair.
Female voice#1: Come on my boy, time to wake up.
From behind bleary opening eyes we see a vague silhouette, then hear the sound of a slap as the view shifts 80 degrees.
Female voice #1: I said wake up.
The view shifts forward and spins to show the scene from a semi-overhead view. We see there are actually three vague silhouettes surrounding the boy.
Female voice #2: Perhaps we dosed him too heavy.
Female voice #3: No. See, he's waking up already.
Female voice #1: So he is. Now that he's here and awake, I think I'll leave the rest of this to you two, he victimized you as well.
We see a flash of auburn hair as she opens the door and leaves. Followed soon after by the roar of a car engine coming to life and driving off.
* * *
Outside we see Daria nod to someone in a car who then leaves as she enters an adjacent room.
* * *
Inside the room Charles sits at an array of video monitors watching the monochrome green feeds from the next room.
Daria: Thank you for handling this for me.
Charles: What exactly are they going to do... the possibilities are making me queasy.
Daria: Nothing permanent... Tori and Brook will just have some fun with him, enough to make him think quite a lot before he tries something like he did again, but this video will let me bring him and hopefully Fielding Academy under my wing. Watching him suffer might make Quinn feel better as well.
The Forgotten, by NightGoblyn
Jen took a long
drag off the joint and then passed it to Shaggy. She held her breath and
watched him take a drag, and then offer the joint to Scarlett. She shook her
head, and Shaggy passed the joint back to Jen. Jen exhaled, coughed, and then
carefully stubbed out the cherry on the half remaining joint. She tucked it
behind her ear and looked at her friends. They were sitting under the bleachers
at the football field - one of the few places at Lawndale that you could go
without having a camera on you.
"Ok, now we can talk," she said.
"There are bad things going on," Scarlett said pensively.
Shaggy exhaled with a mighty racking cough, and after a moment to compose himself said, "I hear the Beautiful People are imploding, nothing bad about that."
"It's not the way things are supposed to happen," the redhead said with a frown, "this isn't right, I can feel it."
"Yeah, she's right," Jen said with a crooked grin, "everybody knows the outcasts are supposed to stay outcasts and never, ever bother the Beautiful People. You know what? I never was a big fan of Insane Jane Lane or her bitchy little sidekick, but I just can't stop laughing about what they've done to the so-called social order around here."
"Yeah," Shaggy said, "screw the Beautiful People, up with the outcasts."
"Speaking of which," Shaggy continued, "have you seen Glasses Morgendorffer lately? She needs a new nickname . . . maybe Hooters Morgendorffer or something."
Jen and Scarlett looked at one another for a moment and then simultaneously said, "Pig."
"Glasses isn't the sidekick anymore," Jen said, "and I wonder now if she ever was. You remember how Jane used to just glom onto people if she thought they'd like her? She always was a follower, just too crazy to get in line with all the other followers like Dumb-as-Heckler and Woe."
"Glasses is definately the alpha of that relationship now," Scarlett said. "You can tell by looking at their auras."
Jen and Shaggy looked at one another for a moment and then simultaneously said, "Goth."
"You know what I think?" Shaggy said. "I think now is an excellent time to carve our own little niche in this hellhole. Everything is up in the air, and I could stand a little vertical social movement . . . especially if it put me in a position to deal out a little payback."
"Sounds like a lot of work to me," Jen said. "You sure it's worth it? We're pretty comfortable right here on the bottom."
Shaggy and Scarlett looked at one another for a moment and then simultaneously said, "Slacker."
"I think things have been permanently put off track," Scarlett said. "I'm not opposed to a little improvement of social standing, but I can't condone your payback schemes, Shag."
"That's cool, Starlet. Me and Burnout Girl can take care of that end, you just hang back and give us some amoral support, ok?"
Before the little redhead could answer, the trio heard a siren approaching at high speed. A moment later, an ambulance swooped in and parked in front of the school and the paramedics jumped out and jogged inside.
"Let's go check it out," Jen said.
"Go ahead, I'll catch up," Scarlett said. She watched her friends walking back towards the school and sighed quietly to herself. She knew they didn't take her seriously, but that didn't change the fact that she knew something was seriously off kilter. It was like some malicious greater power had reached down and twisted something, and now the world had become an armageddon of dominoes.
Armageddon of Dominoes, she thought to herself, and pulled out a notepad to write down the idea. That'll make a good poem.
Networking, by NightGoblyn
Daria sat at the
kitchen table, typing on her laptop. Occasionally, she’d stop, frown, and then
start typing again. She minimized the window she was working in when she heard
footsteps on the stairs.
“Daria,” Stacy said from the kitchen door.
“We watched the video, me beating up Sandi.”
“I’d like a copy of that, if you don’t mind.”
“I want to talk to you about that, actually.”
Daria took a swallow from her cup of coffee and sat back in her chair. She gave Stacy a nod, inviting her to continue.
“You told Quinn that you’d find the guy that did those things to her.”
“I’ve already got somebody working on it.”
“I know you’ve already got plenty of people for muscle, but if you want one more let me know.”
“I’d rather you stayed here with Quinn.”
“She’s the moon in my night sky, Daria. Somebody hurt her, and if you can make him suffer for that I’ll owe you more than I can pay. She’s always going to be my first loyalty, but beyond that I’ll be yours to command.”
Daria nodded. Her cell phone rang, and Daria answered it.
“Talk. Excellent, Charles.” Daria frowned slightly into the phone. “Get me everything you can find, I want what he had for lunch yesterday, photocopies of the Mother’s Day card he made in preschool, and everything in between.” Daria’s eyes briefly flicked to Stacy and then away. “I’ll give you another sixty seconds. If you find me something good, I’ll consider bonus time. Good.” Daria hung up the phone.
“Was that about the guy?” Stacy asked.
“Yes,” Daria said, “and I accept your proposal. For now, tend to Quinn.”
Stacy nodded and left the kitchen, heading back upstairs. The phone rang again.
“Talk,” Daria said, answering the phone. “Really? That’s interesting, Jane. Yes, tell her to wait there, I’ll be along in about fifteen minutes. No, keep her happy . . . I’m interested in hearing what her faction has to say. Alright, bye.” Daria hung up the phone.
She brought the window back up again, and looked it over with another slight frown. After a moment she nodded decisively, and with a few quick clicks of the mouse she turned off the laptop’s screen saver. She angled the computer so the screen could be seen from the kitchen door, then tossed an envelope onto the kitchen table next to it. The return address on the envelope was from The Lawndale Medical Clinic.
Daria walked to the kitchen door and looked back at the laptop one last time. Goddamn you anyway, she thought at her mother. Who knew the city of Houston maintained a tax supported orphanage? Oh, that’s right . . . you did. Guess you thought Dad would figure it out if he had two red haired daughters that looked nothing like him, huh?
She began walking towards the front door and her phone rang again.
“Talk. Nice to hear from you, sir.” Daria stopped at the front door and smiled an evil little smile. “Aside from wanting to thank you for opening my eyes, I’m also going to need some legal documents drawn up soon. Yes, sir . . . some cash, and we can negotiate for certain considerations. Yes, sir. Thank you.”
Daria turned her phone off, dropped it into the pocket of the letterman’s jacket she wore, and headed out of the house.
Capo dei Capi, by NightGoblyn
Daria accepted her plate from the girl behind the counter and joined
Jane at their favorite booth. Sitting across from them was a thin, blonde girl
that Daria recognized from some of her classes.
"How's the thing?" Jane asked.
"Charles is on top of it," Daria answered. She looked across the table and said, "Jennifer, right?"
"Jen is fine," the girl answered, "or Burnout Girl."
"Jen," Daria said, "Jane tells me that you wanted to talk to me."
"We want in," Jen said, munching on her pizza.
"It's good to want things," Daria replied, "gives you something to strive for, a reason to get out of bed in the morning."
"Would that all of Lawndale had but a single neck, so that I could put my boot on it," Daria said with a sigh. "That's what I want, that's my dream. I'm striving for that dream, Jennifer. What are you doing to strive for yours?"
"I came to talk to you."
"Amiga," Jane said, leaning over to murmur in Daria's ear, "remember, not everybody conducts their interpersonal relationships in the ruthless and mercenary fashion common to Clan Morgendorffer."
"Thier loss," Daria said with a smirk. "Ok, let me do this all Socrates style. Jen, what do you want?"
"We're tired of being outcasts. I don't want to be made fun of anymore, and the rest of my friends are also tired of getting picked on. Shag wants some revenge on a couple of jocks, but I told him to cool his jets on that for the moment. I figured we'd talk about one thing at a time."
"Alright," Daria said, "what do you have to offer me?"
"I've got a few friends, and we're good in a fight. I can get you just about any kind of controlled substance you might want to get your hands on. Plus, you'd have more eyes and ears loyal to you."
Daria nodded, looking thoughtful.
"Here's what I'm prepared to offer you at this time," Daria said, leaning across the table. "You can tell people you work for me, and I'll confirm it if anybody asks. That alone is a major step up from where you were. Your friends will have to speak to me on their own, unless they're satisfied telling people that they work for me through you. Tell Shag to talk to me at lunch on Monday."
"Ok," Jen said.
"In return, you will be my eyes and ears. I have a sufficient number of fists at the moment, although I won't forget that you can supply more if necessary. As of now, you are one of my associates. However, it just so happens that my books are open . . . would you like a button?"
Jen blinked at Daria in confusion.
"You've been reading way too many noir novels," Jane chided her friend.
"Do you want a promotion in my organization?" Daria asked.
"Get me a dose of Rohypnol."
Jennifer's eyebrows shot up. "Can I ask why?"
"You can always ask why."
"Because I need a dose. Any more questions?"
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Regrets, by NightGoblyn
Helen was home
late, not that this was an unusual occurance. She came hustling through the
door and into the kitchen, intent on getting the frozen lasagna into the oven
for dinner. She almost didn't see her husband sitting at the kitchen table with
his back to the door.
"Jake," she said, hurrying past towards the freezer, "how was your day, dear? I got held up on some briefs."
"Who's were they?"
Helen stopped and turned, stunned by the venom in her daughter's voice. Quinn stood in the doorway, leaning back against one of her fashion friends. Quinn looked like she'd spent the day crying, and wasn't wearing make-up. Helen realized she hadn't seen Quinn without make-up since she was eleven. Then she noticed the possessive and protective way the other girl's arms were wrapped around Quinn's waist.
"What's going on here, young lady?"
"Good question, Mom. Jake and I have been discussing that."
Helen glanced at Jake, who had so far said nothing and seemed intently staring at something on Daria's laptop. An envelope and small stack of papers were under his right hand.
"Quinn, you don't call your father by his first name," Helen admonished.
"I'll keep that in mind, as soon as I find out what my father's name is."
Helen felt the blood drain out of her face as she staggered back against the kitchen counter.
"Don't hate your mother," Jake said quietly. "Things were really rough there for a few years, when we were both working and going to school, and trying to start a family. We didn't see each other that often." Jake chuckled sadly. "Apparently we saw each other a lot less that I thought we did."
"Yes, please, Quinn. You have to understand how things were," Helen pleaded.
"I strayed myself once or twice," Jake said. "Of course, your mother always knew when and with who, and I turned down a couple of girls that she didn't like. Oh, and I always used protection since we promised each other we would."
Helen flinched at the unspoken accusation.
"This one isn't mine either, is she?" Jake asked, turning the laptop so Helen could see the computer screen. Words at the top of the screen read Houston Orphanage and Shelter: Children Looking for Home, while most of the screen was taken up by the photo of a pretty redheaded preteen with a dusting of freckles and a pair of cheap looking government issue glasses. Her name was listed beneath the photo: Veronica Morgendorffer.
Web of Gossip II, by NightGoblyn
Andrea stood at
the mirror in the unpopular girls’ bathroom and checked her eyeliner. She spent
a minute touching it up, and then freshened her lipstick. The bathroom door
opened, and she glanced in the mirror to see her visitor.
Jane walked into the bathroom and hung a left, pushing all the stall doors open with a series of bangs.
“C’mon, Blondie,” Jane said. Andrea watched impassively as the lanky runner pulled her sister from the stall, across the bathroom, and out the door. A couple of seconds later, the door swung open again and Daria entered. She diminutive brunette leaned against the door and stared at Andrea speculatively.
“What the hell was that all about?”
“You probably don’t want Tori to hear the conversation we’re about to have.”
“First of all, I’d like to congratulate you on how well you manipulated me. You managed to get revenge on the piece of shit that raped both of our little sisters without getting your hands dirty.”
Andrea nodded warily.
“Second, never try to play me like that again.” Daria advanced across the bathroom towards Andrea, her voice dropping to a venomous hiss, “because if you do, I’ll have to tell Quinn, Brooke, Tori, and a few other girls why he knew exactly how to set them up.”
Andrea looked shocked, and then sad. “He swore to me that he wasn’t going to hurt Tori,” she murmured, “and then he laughed at me when he told me that he hadn’t hurt her at all, that she’d enjoyed every minute of it.”
“Maybe you should be a little more careful what information you sell to whom,” Daria said through clenched teeth. “Because right now you are number one on my shit list. This is your chance to convince me to take you off it.”
“I didn’t know what he was doing to them at first, I swear.”
“Sandi is trying to organize the people you’ve been stepping on.”
“Interesting,” Daria said. “Fine, you’ve bought some patience. You’d better have something better the next time I come see you.”
Andrea relaxed as Daria turned with a toss of her curls and opened the door, but the goth teen tensed again when the shorter girl stopped just before leaving.
“You should ask your boyfriend if he has any pictures of you doing things you’ve forgotten,” Daria said.
Andrea stood and stared at the bathroom door for a long time.
One Cut Too Many, by NightGoblyn
slowly down the hallway. She had to walk slowly, her knee was still swollen.
She wasn’t sure which was worse: the knee, her cracked ribs, or the bruises on
Applesauce, she thought to herself. I’ll never eat applesauce again.
That was all she’d had for the last two days, and probably all she was going to have for the next couple of days. Stacy had loosened a lot of her teeth, and if she tried to chew anything she was likely to lose a couple. Stacy . . . had physically beaten her . . . in defense of that cowgirl trash.
How could I lose control of everything so quickly?
She’d had Quinn dead to rights. It didn’t matter that the redhead was drugged to the gills when she’d had sex with the guy . . . she’d obviously enjoyed it. Sandi had been of the opinion that if Quinn couldn’t touch a man without being doped up then that would be one more humiliation Sandi could dump on her.
And after crushing Quinn, Sandi had been planning on running right up her leash and taking out Head Bitch Daria herself.
Not that any of that was going to happen now.
Nikki had said that the whole school knew Sandi’s secrets. This meant that Daria hadn’t seen her as somebody to manipulate and control. Sandi stopped, her brow furrowed in thought. Daria had seen her as a potential rival.
Sandi wasn’t sure what Daria had on Nikki and the other cheerleaders. Her hold on Jodie was an open secret – if Daria seriously competed with Jodie it wouldn’t matter which one came out on top, because Jodie would go up in flames trying. Sandi had been shocked when Ms. Li had defended Daria, but in retrospect she should have expected it. Everybody knew how crooked the principal was, obviously Daria had proof. The whole meeting had seemed pointless after that, and Sandi had simply turned and left.
She stopped at her locker, and sighed to herself at the graffiti; someone had spray painted a cross on the front of her locker. She opened the locker and pulled out her light jacket, and then headed for her car.
She was most of the way across the parking lot when a car stopped nearby, the passenger window rolling down.
“Isn’t it a little early for you to be out?” Skylar asked, snickering.
“Yeah,” Brooke chimed in, “hey, Sandi? Bite me.”
The couple started laughing loudly, and Skylar jammed on the gas. The car sped away, leaving Sandi standing in a cloud of fumes.
She limped the rest of the way to her car and dropped into the driver’s seat, nearly in tears. She opened her glove compartment and pulled out a small exacto knife kit, running her fingers over the leather case.
The mockery and indignation hurt, but she knew she could rise above it. Losing to the Morgendorffer sisters . . . sisters, how had she missed knowing that . . . that hurt even more. Sandi didn’t like to lose.
The bruises and cracked bones would heal, even though now she was skirting closer to the true source of her pain. Betrayal.
Two can keep a secret if one is dead . . . one of the Constitution guys said that. There was only one person in Lawndale that knew those things about me. This has your fingerprints all over it, sweetheart. I wonder if she knows . . . I wonder what you told her when she asked about your scars?
Sandi let her fingertips lightly brush the leather, tracing the words that were tooled into it.
The tears fell at last.
Unexpected Shadow, by Brother Grimace
He's too stupid to be a spy..."
Fingers flew across the keyboard as the passage from a novel flew through thoughts; on the desk, a placard of white marble with a bronze plate affixed to the front sat upright, with two quotations etched in beautiful calligraphy:
“Living well isn’t the best revenge – revenge is the best revenge! Yet, better still to have both; comfort, and the blood of an enemy flowing…” – General T. R. Edwards
“Keep your friends close… and your enemies closer.” – Unknown.
For ten years, she’d watched, safely seated in the back of the front row, vapid and beautiful. It was the perfect mask, and it made for the perfect revenge.
Set your enemies upon themselves and allow them to destroy one another.
Divide and conquer.
The old saw – the carrot and the stick. Give them sight of something that they wanted, and they would do anything to get it.
The outsiders wanted to be noticed. They wanted revenge for being ‘outsiders’. They wanted to see ‘the popular kids’ fall on their faces, and show that they were no better than anyone else.
The various popular kids – even Daria Morgendorffer – wanted to show that they were better than anyone else, even to the point of showing that the other sister was so inferior...
Daria was SO simple to play; as the old saw went, ‘Reason and logic are always iffy, but good looks can melt an iceberg.’ She wanted to be noticed, to be wanted, to have guys think about her when they went into their bathrooms when no one was around and imagine just what it would be like with her; she slipped into Quinn’s skin far too easily. She liked being an Evil Queen Bitch…and she really liked the way Mack looked at her; she always did.
Quinn? The delicious irony was that she willingly debased herself – not with that man, but by actually listening to her suggestions… Dogbert was right. Let people destroy themselves… as Sandi did. If she was so stupid as to play along with that older man who liked teenage girls... and slip something into Quinn's drink so the redhead wouldn't protest too much... How could Sandi be so stupid to think that this wouldn't come back to bite her on the behind?
Well... if I send a few photos to the paper... that should take Sandi off the map... and the old man... and Lawndale High will tear itself apart from the top to the bottom.
Andrea played along – she had no other choice. Charles would have been a part of this regardless – the sex was just to seal the deal. If he reneged… he’d never want anyone to see what he allowed to be done to him, so he’d always cooperate. Depending on the level of devestation that the Morgendorffers caused - who knew? She only had one copy of the tape, and depending on how hard he tried to make her scream… she might let him have it back.
Oh, and what Mr. O’Neill’s going to do if I mail a copy of the DVD I burnt of him giving me… extra English lessons… what he’s going to do if Ms. Barch finds out it happened in her classroom the day she went home sick, and he went to pick up a few things for her… Yes, me love you long, long time…
Tiffany Blum-Deckler finished typing, and sat back from her keyboard, an uncharacteristic smile coming across her face. There’s nothing like tossing golden apples into the crowd, she thought, sipping her soda and thinking about the simple words she'd placed here and there over the past several weeks - months, in fact - all time time-bombs, set to go off in someone's mind and look as if it were someone else's idea - because after all, she was so slow, and pretty, and dumb - she couldn't possibly be involved... why is she even being mentioned? She's a pretty fool - an airhead all the boys want to bang - that's all she's good for! She's the perfect friend and hanger-on, because she looks good enough to be seen with, but she's too dumb to ever be a threat...
I can’t wait to see what they do to one another tomorrow.
And all I have to do is sit back, be quiet, look pretty and shallow… and let them all tear each other apart.
Ernst Blofeld would be proud.
Double Addition, by NightGoblyn
“Think we should talk to Trent, get him to do some music for
us?” Jane asked as she worked diligently with her sketch pad.
“I talked to him about it earlier, he said he could probably put something together for us,” Daria answered. Daria lay across Jane’s bed, letting her mop of auburn curls hang over the side. Her boots were propped up on the wall, causing her dress to slide down and show off quite a bit of her thighs.
“You brought up a school project, in the middle of all that?” Jane asked, vaguely gesturing towards her brother’s bedroom.
“A properly baited hook catches fish.”
Jane smirked at Daria over the top of her sketch pad. “You sure have gone from zero to sixty, amiga.”
“What do you mean?”
“A couple of weeks ago you were all ‘boys are beneath my dignity’ and now you’re sleeping with at least three of them.”
“Two, I never let Kevin touch me,” Daria said, “I just wanted his jacket as a trophy. The ironic thing is that Brittany still won’t take him back, because she’s too afraid of me now.”
“Also, I notice how you tactfully leave out the girl I’m sleeping with,” Daria said with a smirk. The smirk grew into a self-satisfied grin when Jane blushed and started concentrating on her drawings.
“You want to head out to the Zon, catch the Spiral show?” Daria asked.
Later, the girls sat at a table listening to Mystik Spiral stagger from song to song.
“You seem distracted,” Daria said.
“It’s that guy, he keeps staring at me,” Jane said, nodding towards a young man sitting near the bar. He was tall and reasonably attractive, and his khakis and sweater gave him the air of someone who was slumming.
“Yeah, I can see you’re upset about that,” Daria said in a teasing tone. “Aren’t Evan and I good enough for you?”
“He’s just looking,” Jane said, “and besides, you get two guys. Why can’t I have two guys?”
“I should say ‘because I’m the alpha and you’re the beta’,” Daria said with a shrug. “but you’re also my best friend. Chat him up, see if he’s worth your time. If he is, you can have him.”
“Of course, I might want to borrow him occasionally,” Daria said, grinning broadly. “Anyway, I’m heading to the bathroom. If you’re talking to him when I come out, I’ll just head home and give you some time to work.”
When Daria came out of the bathroom she saw Jane and the young man conversing. She smiled quietly and headed outside, on her way home. She’d gotten about a block down when her cell phone pinged, and she flipped it open to read the text message.
Texas sucks. I’m in.
Daria smiled quietly and continued home, the slight skip in her walk causing her curls to bounce and sway.
Patterns, by NightGoblyn
Stacy sat in the dimly lit room and watched Quinn sleeping.
You spent the last couple of years trying to undo all the damage she did to me. Now it’s my turn to help while you heal.
The brunette stood and paced quietly around the room, the air cool on her bare skin. She’d been living at the Morgendorffers’ since the day the Fashion Club imploded, only swinging by her house a couple of times to pick up clothes and a couple of her favorite novels. She’d left a note on her bed explaining that Quinn was ill, that she was staying over to help take care of her, and giving the phone number. Her parents hadn’t called. Most likely, they hadn’t noticed she was gone.
She walked over to Quinn’s triple mirror and examined herself in the dim light, turning so she could see herself in profile. The thin white scars across her shoulders and upper back glimmered faintly in the moonlight. Quinn was smart enough to know where they’d come from, especially after Stacy gave her their weapon against Sandi, but she’d never asked about them. Stacy turned to look towards the beautiful four-poster bed.
You are my guardian angel, and I don’t deserve your love. I hate her so much, everything she did to me, and yet . . . even now . . .
Stacy let her fingertips trace the tops of her shoulders.
I’m a victim. It’s all I’ll ever be, and it’s all I’m good for. She may have lied about a lot of things, but that’s one thing she showed me that was true. But maybe that can make us both happy.
Stacy walked across the room and knelt on the floor next to the bed.
Quinn’s emerald eyes snapped open, for a split second full of fear and confusion. Her gaze steadied when she saw Stacy.
“Quinn, can I ask you something? You don’t have to answer.”
“What’s it like? I mean . . . how do you feel about it?”
“Sick,” Quinn said, closing her eyes. “Weak, scared. I still don’t remember it happening, and that makes it worse.”
“You’ve always been in control.” Stacy reached out and brushed her fingertips along Quinn’s cheek.
Quinn nodded, a tiny movement that almost broke Stacy’s heart.
“I’ve always been controlled.”
Quinn opened her eyes again and gave her friend a puzzled look. Stacy reached into her backpack and pulled out a razorblade, holding it up so that it shone in the moonlight. With her other hand she reached back and pulled her long hair to the side, draping it over one shoulder and leaving the other bare and exposed.