The Evil Daria Vignettes

 

As collected from the PPMB

( part three )

 

 

Hospital, by NightGoblyn

Quinn sat in the hospital room holding Stacy’s cold, pale hand. After removing the bullet and getting the bleeding stopped, the doctors had pumped her stomach. Somebody had given Stacy a slice of pizza with God only knew what on it . . . the doctor had tried to explain it, but Quinn really hadn’t been paying attention.

Stacy’s parents had come and gone, extracting a promise from Quinn to call if their daughter woke up. Normally, their lack of concern would have outraged the redhead, but for now she was just numb.

“How is she?” Jane asked as she entered the room.

“Same.”

“Quinn,” Jane said, looking at the floor nervously, “I wanted to let you know . . .”

“No,” Quinn said, cutting Jane off. “I don’t care what she’s done, I’m not going to leave her for you.”

“Quinn,” Jane said again.

“First, I could never do that to Stacy after all she’s done for me. Second, Daria would kill both of us . . . maybe literally. Third,” Quinn paused and looked up at Jane with tired and hollow eyes, “you don’t love me, Jane. You’re just another person desperate to get in my pants.”

“I’m sorry,” Jane whispered.

“We’re all sorry.”

--

“Damn shame is what it is,” Detective Williams said, shaking his head. “Couple of nice girls like that, caught up in all this crap.”

Williams glanced over at the man standing next to him, and felt a twinge of envy. The bastard’s suit was magnificent and probably cost as much as Williams paid in rent for a year. The man regarded him silently, and motioned for him to continue. Williams sighed to himself and started walking down the hospital corridor to the exit.

“I need a smoke,” he muttered. The other man followed him outside and fired up an expensive smelling cigar while the detective fumbled out one of his generic menthols.

“Your professional opinion, detective?”

“We already arrested the cook at the pizza place she ate at,” Williams replied with a shrug. “Kid claims he knows nothing about it, says it’s some kind of conspiracy . . . something about illegal aliens, I dunno.”

“And?”

“Can’t charge Rowe, girl was whacked out on shit that would kill either of us dead as doornails. Kid’s got an iron constitution, I’ll give her that. Your daughter was clearly acting in self-defence. We’re gonna want a statement, but the DA has already said that we’re not pressing any charges.”

“Thank you, Detective.” The bastard in the magnificent suit smiled and walked off across the parking lot to a small red sports car. The top lowered as he approached, revealing the driver.

“Lucky bastard gets a hot mistress, too.” Detective Williams shook his head and stubbed out the butt of his cigarette. Time to get back to work, that Simmons kid had some questions to answer.

 

Willow Wind, by NightGoblyn

 

You were my everything. I was dirty, and useless, and vapid, and horrible, and . . . perfect. Perfect, for those few brief seconds when you would look at me and smile. And now, that may never happen again.

"Miss Morgendorffer?"

Quinn looked up, and saw a doctor standing in the door.

"Miss Morgendorffer, I suggest you go home and get some sleep."

"But . . ."

"Miss Rowe's parents gave us permission to contact you if her condition changes. Frankly, after talking to her father I'd be inclined to call you before them anyway. Please, go home and get some rest."

"Why won't she wake up?" Quinn asked plaintively.

"She doesn't want to, at least not yet," the doctor said gently. "The EKG shows normal brain activity, and we no longer have her sedated. Between pumping her stomach and the nearly complete blood change she received during surgery all of the contaminates were cleared from her system. Obviously we don't have any way of knowing whether she's been damaged psychologically . . . but physically there's no reason she shouldn't be awake right now."

Quinn nodded and stood, hovering over Stacy as if loathe to leave her side.

"I'm going to check on my sister before I go," she said.

"Come along, then. I was about to kick out her attendant as well."

Quinn followed the doctor to Daria's room, where Jane was dejectedly slumped over in a chair.

"Miss Lane?" the doctor said.

"Mmm?"

Quinn tuned out the exchange and stared at her sister. Daria's breathing was even, but her face was pale and waxen. She occasionally twitched, but for the most part seemed calm and relaxed. Quinn watched Daria breathing, in and out, and something started to happen. Somewhere, deep beneath the already cracking ice of Quinn's mind there was a flare . . . a spark . . . a tiny, tiny flame.

If I'd known what Stacy was going to do, I'd have held you in place. Her love is the only thing that was holding me together . . . but now I have something new. My hate.

"We'll be releasing her in the morning, we want to observe her overnight," the doctor finished. Jane nodded absently and headed for the door.

"Jane," Quinn said, "can you give me a lift home?"

"Sure," Jane answered with a shrug.

A little while later, Jane pulled into the Morgendorffer driveway and chuckled nervously. "This didn't work out so well the last time."

"I guess not," Quinn said, "do you want to come in for a little while?"

"Ok."

Jane followed the redhead into the house and upstairs to her room. Quinn stopped and stared at the ugly maroon stains on her carpet, and then started sobbing. She turned and grabbed Jane, pressing her face against the taller girl's shoulder and weeping loudly.

"Quinn, it's gonna be ok. They're both gonna be ok."

"How?" Quinn said, her voice muffled by Jane's shirt. "My big sister and my lover tried to kill each other, Jane. How is that gonna be ok?"

"I . . . I don't know." Jane whispered, hesitantly putting her arms around her best friend's sister.

"Jane?" Quinn asked, in a tiny voice.

"Yeah?"

"Will you . . . hold me?"

"I am holding you."

"No, Jane . . . I . . . I need you."

"But you said," Jane started, her voice dying when Quinn looked up at her. Quinn's face was streaked with tears, and she bit her lower lip. Her eyes bored into Jane's, full of weakness and need.

"Jane . . . I need you to punish me."

Jane closed her eyes, raw need warring with her loyalties. It was a short fight, and the winner was obvious on her face as she leaned down to kiss Quinn. Had she opened her eyes, she might have seen the sudden spiteful glee that flickered across the younger girl's face just before their lips met.

--

"Thanks for the ride, Mack."

"No problem," Mack said gently. "You sure you want me to bring you here and not your place? Or mine . . . I could put you up and feed you chicken soup all day."

"That sounds wonderful," Daria said with a smile, "and I'm very likely to take you up on it, tomorrow. Today, I'm going to go plant a boot in Jane's ass for abandoning me at the hospital."

Daria smiled and waved as Mack pulled away, and then she turned and walked up to the Lane house. Her jacket was draped over her shoulders, concealing the huge white bandage covering her shoulder. She pushed the door open and walked in, calling out but receiving no answer.

Grumbling under her breath, she stomped upstairs and pushed open Jane's bedroom door. The room was empty, and quiet except for the low hum of Jane's laptop. Daria walked into the room, glancing around to confirm Jane's absence, when the scene on the computer screen caught her attention.

Daria slowly lowered herself to the bed, and stared at the computer screen. The live video feed from her little sister's room. Jane and Quinn, tangled and asleep on Quinn's bed. Slowly, Daria reached out with her good hand and clicked . . . stop recording . . . play back.

 

Lifeline, by Brother Grimace

 

"Everyone just forgot all about me."

"I... know...how... that... feels..."

Evie sat in the front passenger seat of the powder-blue Volkswagen New Beetle, Tiffany seated next to her, and stared out at the front entrance to the Greater Lawndale Regional Airport. "After they took Daria and that girl who stabbed her to the hospital, the police were talking to everybody. Nobody talked to me."

Tiffany just let her talk.

"My... mother... was so drunk, her husband just took her off to some hotel - and my sister Quinn-" She said the words as if she'd eaten excrement. "-she and her... new girlfriend... went upstairs. They acted as if they didn't even know that I was still in the house - that's why I just came out and sat on the steps. There's nothing here for me..."

She opened the door; a moment later, she had her suitcase and her backpack - it's sad that my entire life is in these, she thought wistfully - and closed the door behind her.

"Where... will... you... go...?"

"I don't know... I have somebody to call, I think..."

"You... can... stay... at... my... house... until... Quinn... comes... to... get... you..."

Evie had gotten used to Tiffany's voice with remarkable speed; the laconic pace didn't even draw an annoyed glance. "Quinn's not even thinking about me right now," the young teen said, shouldering her book bag. "Thanks for the ride."

"Wait... here's... some... money... so... you... can... eat... and... you... can... call... somebody..."

Evie looked at the Asian girl with amazement as Tiffany pressed three surprisingly crisp twenty-dollar bills between Evie's long fingers.

"If... you... want... me... to... come... and... pick... you... up... to... go... back... to... Quinn's... house... ... here's... my... number..."

The young redhead just looked back from Tiffany to the money in her hand, and back again. "Thank... thank you."

"You're... very... pretty... but... all... of... Quinn's... relatives... are... pretty... You... should... have... a... makeover... but... not... much... maybe... a... new... skirt..."

For the first time since she had arrived in Lawndale, Evie Morgendorffer let a laugh slip out; she bit it back quickly, and nodded. "Maybe. Thank you, Tiffany."

"No... problem..."

As Tiffany watched the third Morgendorffer walk towards the main terminal, she silently thanked Providence for the sudden whim of driving over to Schloss Morgendorffer. She happened to arrive just moments before the police did, and sat in her car while pandemonium reigned for about forty minutes.

She saw how dejected and alone the tall, young redhead looked as she watched people pass by her back and fourth without sparing her a glance, and the sad, lost-puppy look in her eyes that all but begged for someone - anyone - to just notice that she existed...

Tiffany remembered reading Androcles and The Lion when she was younger; it was a good lesson for learning how to deal with people. If you show someone the most simple gesture of kindness in their darkest hour, even if it takes a lifetime... they will remember.

A little life insurance never hurts, she thought, and turned the wheel of her car. The way things are going... having helped Evie Morgendorffer out a little may just be the smartest thing that I've ever done.


*****

The phone sitting directly in front of the very tall Vietnamese man in the immaculate Air Force uniform rang.

"College of Military Studies, Office of the Assistant Dean, Master Sergeant Tran Noc speaking."

A small, sad voice came out from the other end, and Paxton Tran Noc listened for a moment. "One moment, please - I'll put you through."

*****

"This is Trainor."

"M-Major Paula..."

Brigadier General Paula Trainor suddenly went rigid; her eyes became thin, cold slits as the sad sound of a voice from her past came through the phone.

"Evie..."

"I... I got to go home," Evie said, leaning against the wall of the closed phone booth as she spoke. "I - I've got a home, and a mother, and sisters... but they don't want me..." She slid down to the floor of the booth, holding onto the receiver as if it were a rope tossed from a life raft. "Nobody wants me..."

"Evie... tell me where you are."

 

Jail Bait and Switch III, by NightGoblyn

 

Burnout Girl balanced herself on the bench and unzipped the pillow case full of chicken feathers, snickering as Shaggy clambered up on another bench across from her and hefted the five gallon bucket of liquid adhesive. They were standing on either side of the door, waiting for their victim to enter.

“You guys don’t need me here anymore,” Scarlett said, “I’m gonna go get my clothes out of my locker and change, ok?”

“You’ve got the camera set up, right?” Shaggy asked.

“Yeah, it’s running.”

“Sweet,” Jen said, still snickering.

Rolling her eyes, Scarlett headed out the back door and started circling around the football field towards the school. Every second step she tried to pull the low-riding jeans higher up on her hips, every fifth step she tugged at the hem of the pink baby doll t-shirt.

How can she dress like this? I feel half-naked, and if I step wrong or move too fast something is going to fall off. Shaggy is such a pig. Scarlett allowed herself a small smile. He’s cute, though. I wonder if he was joking when he said those things about me . . . oh, well . . . it doesn’t matter anyway. I can’t date him, it’d mess up our friendship, and I don’t know how Jen would take it. I think she still kind of

Scarlett’s train of thought was broken when she was seized from behind and lifted completely from the ground. She took a sudden breath to scream, but a strong smelling cloth pressed against her mouth and nose before she could cut loose.

Some kind of knock-out stuff, I can’t breathe it.

She started jerking back and forth and kicking her feet as her assailant pulled her into the shadows underneath the bleachers.

“Too busy to talk to me,” someone muttered in her ear. “Too busy playing dress-up with those other degenerates. I thought you were different, but you’re just as bad as the rest of them. My parents were right, all of you public school girls are just painted whores, but don’t you worry: I know how you can be purified.”

Scarlett struggled harder, blood pounding in her head and lungs burning for air. Her assailant dropped her to her feet, lowered his right arm to her midsection, and jerked sharply. The sudden force drove the air out of her lungs, and she reflexively inhaled.

Oh, no.

The darkness crowded in from all sides, and then there was nothing.

 

Backfire, by NightGoblyn

 

Lime green.

The walls and the ceiling were painted lime green. Green was also a good color to describe the fuzzy feeling in her head. Scarlett’s stomach lurched and she sat up, looking around wildly. Someone shoved a white plastic bowl into her hands and she vomited into it; long, body wracking heaves that almost deafened and blinded her.

She sat the bowl on the thin carpet and struggled to sit up.

“Stay down,” a voice said. It was a woman’s voice, high pitched and nasal. It was accompanied by a wet washcloth.

Scarlett wiped her face and looked up at Janet Barch, her science teacher.

“You almost had some trouble there, missy. Good thing I showed up,” Ms. Barch smiled thinly, “your attacker ran off before he could be held accountable for his actions . . . just like a man.”

“Did you see him?” Scarlett asked in a shaky voice. She hadn’t seen her attacker, but the voice had seemed really familiar. It was somebody she knew . . . she just couldn’t put a name or face with it.

“No,” Ms. Barch said, sounding disappointed. “It was dark under the bleachers, and he took off as soon as he saw me. I would have shot him, but I was afraid I’d hit you by mistake.”

“Thanks,” Scarlett said weakly. She glanced around the room, guessing that she was in the teacher’s lounge.

A door opened and Mr. O’Neill walked in. He was shirtless, and his head and hands were covered with feathers, with the exception of a hand shaped clear space across the top of his face.

“Skinny!? What happened to you?”

“Oh, just a prank by some high-spirited students,” he answered, laughing nervously. He glanced over and saw Scarlett and froze. She glanced down at herself, realizing she was still dressed up in her Quinn-a-like outfit.

“Oh, my . . . what happened to you?” Mr. O’Neill turned his head sideways and narrowed his eyes.

“She got attacked by some man, down near the football field,” Ms. Barch answered.

“That’s horrible,” Mr. O’Neill said in an oddly flat voice. “Miss, did you happen to borrow that outfit from Quinn Morgendorffer?”

Scarlett slowly shook her head.

“Oh,” Mr. O’Neill said. “Maybe you should come by my classroom tomorrow, after school. If you’ve been attacked you probably need counselling. I’d be happy to talk to you, ok?”

Scarlett shook her head again, slightly more vigorously.

“I’m afraid I’m going to have to insist. Otherwise, people might get in trouble.”

Scarlett’s eyes widened.

“Skinny?”

“And after I’m through . . . counselling . . . you, you can join Janet’s take back the night class. It sounds like you might need it.”

“Hey, that’s not a bad idea,” Ms. Barch said.

 

Hot Off the Press, by NightGoblyn

 

“God, I wish I had a mirror so I could show you the look on your face.”

Daria looked up from Jane’s laptop, and saw Lynn standing in the door into the room.

“Jane is my best friend,” Lynn continued in a mocking tone, “she’d never, ever betray me.” Lynn reached inside her letterman’s jacket and pulled out a folded newspaper. She flipped it open to show Daria the headline.


Daria Dumped for Younger Model
Not So Funny Now, Are You?

“Quinn tricked her,” Daria said, looking away.

“Four or five times, from my count.”

“It’s not Jane’s fault.”

“I’m sure she felt a sense of civic duty to remain after she tied Quinn to the bed.”

“JANE IS MINE!” Daria roared.

“She’s never made noises like that for you,” Lynn said with a smirk.

Daria leapt from the bed and reached under her green coat, finding an empty pistol holster.

“That’ll be down in the LPD lock-up, remember? I’ll have to go pick it up, later.” Lynn walked across the room and put one hand on Daria’s shoulder. “But I’ll give you an ‘A’ for effort. It feels good, doesn’t it? Let the anger out Daria, let the rage flow. Lash out, hurt the people that hurt you . . . punish them . . . make them suffer the way you’re suffering.”

“No, that’s not me,” Daria whispered, closing her eyes.

“No, but it is me. And every day, in every way, you’re becoming a little more like me. Look, I’m going to leave you to deal with Judas and Lolita. I’m heading to Oakwood for a day or so, I want to find out what the Maverick is up to. Ciao, sis.”

Daria opened her eyes and Lynn was gone. She reached into the pocket of her letterman’s jacket and pulled out her cell phone.

One crisis at a time.

The phone rang until voicemail picked up. Daria hung up on the voicemail and hit redial.

“What?” the voice on the other end of the phone snapped.

“Evie,” Daria said, sighing with relief. “Thank God, where are you?”

“Why do you care?”

“Because you’re my kid sister, and I put a hell of a lot of effort into finding you. Our first day home together I got stabbed and sent to the hospital. Not how I envisioned your welcome home party.”

The line was silent, but Daria could hear the young girl breathing.

“Evie, please tell me where you are. I’ll come pick you up and we’ll have a nice lunch and really talk. I wasn’t myself when we were in Houston. Please give me a chance to get to know you.”

“I want to know what the hell is going on around here. You people are crazy.”

Daria laughed, the chuckle turning into a broken sob.

“Daria?” Evie asked, concerned in spite of herself.

“Evie, please. I really need to talk . . . I’m going to tell you everything, even if you end up not wanting to hear all of it.”

“I’m at the airport. I’ve got a friend . . . she offered to help me, I told her I’d think about it and call her back.”

“After we talk . . . if you want to call her . . . you can.”

“I’ll meet you outside,” Evie said, and broke the connection.

Daria sighed and wiped her face.

Jane and Quinn can wait.

Daria left the room and kicked open Trent’s door.

“Give me the keys to the Tank,” she said flatly.

“Hey, Daria.” Trent sat up, still half asleep. He grabbed the keys off the nightstand and tossed them to her. “Good to see you again, how’s your sister?”

“In ascending order of age: suspicious, vindictive, and wicked.”

“Mmm,” Trent said, and dropped back off to sleep.

 

A Bold Statement, by NightGoblyn

 

Warm, soft, comfortable. Jane wallowed in the heavy feelings, barely touching the realm of consciousness. She rolled over and bumped into warmth, and casually put her arm around a trim waist and snuggled against her bed partner.

Bed partner?

Jane’s heavily lidded eyes slowly opened, revealing a sea of flame-red hair drowning the pillow in front of her. Jane’s brow creased in confusion for a second, and then her heart skipped a beat as her eyes widened.

Oh my God . . . what have I done?

Jane jumped out of Quinn’s bed and ran around the room collecting clothes. She was mostly dressed and hopping up and down on one foot, trying to pull a boot on, when she noticed the bedside clock.

Fuck. I was supposed to pick Daria up at the hospital nearly two hours ago.

Quinn watched Jane panic and dress through half-open eyes, pretending to sleep until the dark haired girl had sprinted out of the room and down the stairs. A moment later, Quinn heard the car crank and tires squealing as Jane took off down the road.

With a small smile she climbed out of bed and put on her bathrobe. She fished around in the sheets and found Jane’s red thong and tossed it into her laundry basket.

I may frame that later, after laundering it. I think I’ll call it ‘Agony and Ecstasy, a Jane Lane Original’.

She snickered quietly to herself as she sat at her vanity and turned off the screen saver on her little pink laptop. She clicked the button to stop the recording, and then industriously trimmed the video down to just the parts she wanted to keep.

I remember when my laptop first picked up that wireless signal. I thought it was just the neighbours or something, but Stacy said the signal was too strong. She spent nearly two weeks trying to crack into it before she finally gave up and called Upch . . . Charles.

“Thanks, Charles! I’m in!” Stacy grinned down at the computer screen and started typing furiously. “Uh, huh. Yeah, bye.” Stacy pulled her earpiece out and dropped it to the floor next to her cell phone.

“I can’t believe you called him,” Quinn said, shuddering slightly.

“He’s not so bad once you get to know him,” Stacy answered with a shrug. “Besides, you should thank him next time you see him, he gave me the idea for like . . . half the things we’ve done together.”

“You tell him about what we do?” Quinn asked, her eyes widening.

“Not everything,” Stacy said, “but enough to keep him interested in helping me out on technical stuff. He’s really into hearing about us . . . I can tell.”

Quinn squealed and covered her face, simultaneously amused, mortified, and turned on.

“It’s huge,” Stacy continued, smirking at Quinn’s reaction.

“You did not!”

“I thought about it, before me and you. Maybe I just have a thing for redheads.”


Quinn sighed sadly and directed the program to burn to DVD. She picked up a photo of herself and Stacy together and lightly brushed Stacy’s image.

You took care of me. Now, you need me to take care of you. The doctors will get you well, and I'll make sure no one will dare hurt either of us again.

She put on fresh lipstick and waited for the DVD to eject.

You were the one that figured out that Jane was the one monitoring the cameras. I’d figured Daria, but you were right . . . she probably didn’t want to watch little sister getting her freak on. I hope Jane enjoyed the show, because now she’s the star.

The DVD ejected, and Quinn pulled it out of the tray. She left her room and walked down the hall to Daria’s, opening the door and walking into the dingy little cell. She pressed her lips to the top of the DVD, leaving a perfect impression with her lipstick. With a smirk, she put the DVD on Daria’s pillow and left the room.

You will learn . . . there is nothing you have that I cannot take away from you.

 

Inferno, by NightGoblyn

 

Stacy yawned and stretched, glancing around the unfamiliar room. It was small, and sort of funny shaped, and she was lying on a really narrow bed. Everything was white or pale green.

Hospital.

Stacy sat up and started to carefully check herself for wounds and was unable to find anything untoward, aside from an odd tingling on her forehead. She climbed out of bed and frowned down at the ugly hospital gown.

A nearby cupboard held a change of clothes, thankfully including socks and underwear. She pulled her denim jacket out and stared at the blood-stained rip on one side. She reached over and carefully poked herself in the ribs, but the skin seemed whole and unscarred.

Weird.

She tossed the ruined jacket onto the bed and walked out into the empty hall. She glanced into the rooms as she passed them, and most of them were empty as well. One contained a twisted little man with a hooked nose and largish ears, whose eyes seemed to glitter in the semi-darkness of the room. Not liking the look of him, she hurried on.

She was beginning to feel tired when she finally reached the nurses’ station.

“Hello?”

Stacy walked around behind the deserted station, and found everything neatly arranged and stacked, with a barely warm cup of coffee sitting near one of the chairs. Frowning to herself, Stacy walked to the elevator and pushed the down button. After a moment, the elevator opened and Stacy stepped inside. As the doors closed she noticed another person in the elevator, and turned to speak to the girl.

Stacy stifled a scream and jumped, pressing her back against one wall of the elevator.

“Hello,” Sandi said with a small smile, “I’ve missed you, sweetheart.”

“You’re dead,” Stacy stammered, “I killed you . . . twice.”

Sandi shrugged and pressed one of the buttons on the elevator. With a whine, the elevator began moving downwards. She seemed none the worse for having her throat cut and then being burned. In fact, the only real change was a stylish maroon scarf she wore around her neck.

“You’re dead.” Stacy said again.

“Yes, although it is rude to keep going on about it,” Sandi said, a slight hint of annoyance in her voice.

“Sorry,” Stacy said reflexively.

“I forgive you, Stacy. This time.”

The elevator dinged and the doors opened. Sandi walked out and stopped, turning back to Stacy with an expectant expression.

“What?”

“This is your floor, sweetheart.”

“My floor?”

“Yes, the ninth floor,” Sandi said with a nod. “Although I understand there was quite a bit of competition . . . several of the other floor directors wanted you badly. But when the man on floor number nine speaks up, everybody listens.”

Stacy slowly stepped out of the elevator and glanced around, finding herself in the school hallway near Mr. O’Neill’s classroom.

“Why is the high school in the hospital?”

Sandi laughed merrily and headed off down the hall, gesturing for Stacy to follow her. Having nowhere else to go and nothing else to do, she did. The pair almost passed the popular bathroom, when Sandi paused and pushed the door open.

Stacy looked inside and saw Brooke, Tori, Tiffany, and Daria fixing their make-up at the Fashion Club mirror.

“That’s our mirror!” Stacy said, suddenly angry. Brooke and Tori completely ignored her, and Tiffany seemed to smirk slightly at Stacy’s reflection. Daria reached under her jacket and pulled out a huge pistol, spinning to point it at Stacy.

Sandi pulled the bathroom door closed. Stacy faintly heard the crack . . . crack . . . crack of the gun being fired, but it seemed to come from a long ways off.

“This way,” Sandi said.

They walked into the cafeteria, which seemed strangely empty. Usually it was filled at lunch times, but now only half the tables were occupied and most of them were no where near filled. Stacy scanned the thin crowd and her heart skipped a beat when she spotted Quinn.

Quinn was wearing a little black dress with knee-high black leather boots. She was eating a salad, using both hands to move the fork from the plate to her mouth. After a second, Stacy realized it was because her hands were cuffed together. Quinn also wore a thick leather collar, the leash attached to it being looped through the belt of the girl sitting next to her.

“Jane,” Stacy seethed, taking a step forward. Sandi’s hand on her shoulder stopped her forward momentum cold.

“Quinn was completely shattered after she lost you,” Sandi said sadly. “She didn’t have anybody else to turn to, but you were right about Jane. She was waiting for her chance to swoop in and take her.”

“Lost me?”

“If it makes you feel any better, Jane is being hurt right now as much as you are. She wants Quinn all to herself, but Daria uses her to reward her most trusted followers. She even makes Jane watch, sometimes.”

“Reward?”

Sandi turned and gave Stacy the ‘stop being stupid’ look that Stacy had learned to hate so much over the years.

“Somebody does something nice for Daria, they get to fuck Quinn. Now do you understand?”

“Even men?”

“Mostly men,” Sandi said, rolling her eyes. “While it may certainly seem that all the girls at Lawndale are gay or bi, I promise you that the vast majority of them are not.”

“She hates men.”

“I guess she regrets crossing her sister, now.”

“I’ll kill Daria, and Jane, and everyone that’s hurt Quinn,” Stacy said as the tears began tracking down her face. “I’ll kill all of them, I’ll save her, I’ll . . .”

“Do nothing,” Sandi said snidely. “You’ll watch her suffer, and you’ll suffer. Goodbye, sweetheart.”

Stacy ignored the sound of the lunchroom door slamming shut as Sandi left and walked across the room to Quinn and Jane. She sat in the empty seat next to Quinn and the hopeless, shattered look in her beloved’s eyes broke her heart.

“Quinn?” she whispered. “Quinn?”

No one saw her weeping. No one heard her screaming. Stacy, surrounded by friends and enemies, was all alone . . . on the ninth floor.

 

Karmic Chew Toy, by NightGoblyn

 

Scarlett sat on her bed, leaning against the wall and staring up at the ceiling. She held her pet mouse in her lap and petted him absently. Jen sat to her right with one arm around her waist, and Shaggy sat to her left with his arm across her shoulders.

“I’m so sorry,” Shaggy said quietly.

“Not your fault,” Scarlett murmured.

“We talked you into it, it is our fault,” Jen said.

“I agreed, and I knew it was wrong. This is my karma.”

“Setting up O’Neill for a prank does not deserve almost getting kidnapped,” Shaggy said forcefully.

“Three-fold rule.”

“I don’t mean to be offensive,” Jen said, “but that is total crap. You are like, the best and most moral person I know. Don’t you get karmic credit or something?”

“I have a good life, and I like my friends.”

“Wow,” Shaggy said, “I didn’t think I could be more guilty. Are you part Catholic or something?”

Scarlett shrugged slightly, and continued to stare at the ceiling.

“We’re going with you to O’Neill’s room,” Jen said.

“No, he doesn’t know the two of you were involved. I’ll take whatever punishment he’s got cooked up, don’t worry about it.” Scarlett sighed and shrugged again. “He probably just wants me to write an essay or something, and then he’ll make me watch a video about sensitivity.”

“Maybe he really does want to ‘council’ you about being attacked,” Shaggy suggested. “That’d be punishment enough.”

“You didn’t see the look on his face,” Scarlett said with a shudder. “He wasn’t mad or anything, he just seemed sort of blank. It was really creepy . . . I think even Ms. Barch got a little freaked.”

“Hey, what happened to your Quinn outfit?” Jen asked. “I kept my Stacy outfit, I thought we could use them again this Halloween.”

“As soon as I got out of the teacher’s lounge I ran to the bathroom and changed. I left those clothes on the floor . . . I couldn’t even look at them.”

“Oh.”

“I wore my boots home without socks because I forgot to bring an extra pair.”

“You’re really freaked aren’t you?” Shaggy asked quietly.

Scarlett closed her eyes and nodded silently.

--

Ted walked down the stairs into his basement with his backpack slung over his shoulder. He walked past all the woodworking tools and the forge, to the door in the back of the basement. He pulled a key out of his pocket and unlocked the door, revealing a set of stairs.

Closing and locking the door behind him, Ted took the stairs deeper into the heart of the earth. He came out in a large room . . . his personal space. He ignored most of the contents of the room and walked to a large wardrobe and pulled its doors open.

The insides of the doors were covered with photographs of a red haired girl wearing all black, or Lawndale High gym clothes in a few shots. The shelves contained other objects; a couple of Ruby Gloom dolls modified to look like the girl, a black sweater, a few earrings, a manikin head with a red wig, a partially used lipstick, and too many other things to count.

Ted unzipped his backpack and pulled out a couple of clothes hangers, a pink baby doll t-shirt, and a pair of low cut blue jeans. He carefully smoothed out and hung the two pieces of clothing, then pulled a pair of socks out of the pack and tossed them on a shelf with a couple of pair that were already present.

He reached into the pack again and pulled out a pair of white, low cut panties and carefully inspected them. Satisfied with the results, he grabbed a couple of push-pins and hung the underwear from the front of a shelf.

Reverently, he closed the doors of the wardrobe and headed back upstairs. It was almost time for dinner, and his mother was making meatloaf. Don’t want to be late for that.

 

Confessions, by NightGoblyn

 

The doorbell rang.

Again, the doorbell rang.

Upon the third ringing of the doorbell, Jane slowly pulled the front door open and peered out.

“Jane?”

“This may be a bad time.”

Tom frowned at what little of Jane he could see through the barely open door. Her hair was standing up in all directions, her eyes were bloodshot, and he was pretty sure he could smell pot.

“Ok,” he said. “But I’m available if you need to talk.”

“Tom,” Jane said as he turned to leave. “Come in, if you can deal with me in this state. I . . . I think I’ve screwed things up really bad.”

Tom entered the house and followed Jane up to her bedroom, where the marijuana smell was much stronger. She picked up a bong and a lighter and glanced at Tom questioningly.

“No, thanks. I’m trying to cut back.”

Jane nodded and took a heroic hit off the bong, and then stood with her eyes closed and held her breath. Tom glanced at his watch, and about two minutes later she exhaled explosively.

“Had me worried.”

Jane chuckled weakly and put the bong and lighter on top of her dresser. She sat on the edge of the bed and gestured for Tom to sit next to her.

“So, what’s up?” he asked.

“Well, you remember when we first hooked up and I explained the ground rules to you?”

Tom nodded.

“You and I are together, and sometimes I fool around with Daria,” Jane said. And I don’t ever mention Evan in front of you. God, I’ve turned into an enormous slut.

“Yes, and I think there was some bait dangled in front of me about a potential three-way,” Tom replied with a smirk.

“Daria was in the hospital last night.”

“Is she ok?” Tom asked, looking surprised.

“I guess, she’s not there now.”

“What are you not telling me?”

“I was supposed to pick her up this morning.”

“And you overslept, and you think she’s mad at you?”

“I overslept in her sister’s bed, and I think she knows about it.”

Tom’s eyebrows shot up.

“She’s my best friend, and I banged her little sister like a drum,” Jane slumped back against the headboard with a defeated expression. “She’ll never forgive me.”

“Think about how I feel,” Tom said with a shrug. “Doesn’t this mean you cheated on me, too?”

“Oh, God.” Jane covered her face with one hand.

“Well, was she at least cute?”

Jane dragged her laptop over and clicked open a few folders, bringing up a photo of a pretty redhead.

“I think I know her,” Tom said, peering at the picture. “So you got some too, huh?”

“What?” Jane asked, blinking in confusion.

“Oh, she went out with a friend of mine. Passed it up to him on the first date, and the obnoxious moron wouldn’t quit bragging about it.” Tom gave Jane a slight grin, which slowly faltered under Jane’s icy expression.

“I completely forgot that you go to Fielding.”

Tom quirked an eyebrow at Jane and looked deeply confused. He realized that Jane was nowhere near as stoned as he thought she was, and he’d probably just overplayed his hand.

“You must be referring to the guy that raped her.”

“What!?” Tom said, jumping angrily to his feet. “Mark isn’t like that, he’d never force himself on a girl.”

“Well, I guess it’s not force if they’re doped to the gills,” Jane snarled back, “is it? Or maybe you rich boys just think that us commoners should consider your dicks a blessing, shut our mouths, and open our legs.”

“No, shutting your mouth would be a waste,” Tom said, and immediately wished he could call back the words before Jane heard them.

“What do you mean by that, Sloane?” Jane asked, standing and balling her fists.

Before Tom could answer he felt a hand clap onto his shoulder.

“This guy need to go, Janey?” a raspy voice asked from behind him.

“He needs to go to Hell,” Jane snapped.

“Right.”

Tom felt himself steered out of the room, almost completely lifted from the floor. He craned his head back and was shocked at the strength being displayed by the scrawny man behind him.

“Some advice,” the man said as he deposited Tom on the doorstep. “You stay the hell away from Janey, or I’ll be the least of your worries. Got it?”

Tom started to nod and the door slammed in his face.

Well, I blew the hell out of that. Maybe I can go find Daria and see if she needs some comforting. Jane and I were getting bored with each other, anyway. Yeah, that’ll sell.

 

The Talk I, by NightGoblyn

Daria parked the Tank in front of a small coffee shop on Dega Street and climbed out of the van, Evie following along behind. Daria had driven the whole way with her left hand in her lap, obviously favouring her wounded shoulder. Evie had noted the jagged, blood stained hole in the letterman jacket and that her sister had ditched the clingy green dress. Now she was wearing a black t-shirt and pair of black shorts; the way the clothes strained over her chest and hips it was obvious that they’d been bought for someone with a much lankier build.

They sat at a booth in the corner and were immediately approached by a waitress with a blue Mohawk and enough piercings that she apparently spent her spare time face-diving in the spare parts bin at Deuce Hardware.

“Tarbaby for you, what’s for your new girlfriend?”

“My sister will probably want a menu,” Daria said, “and I’ll also be having a ham on rye, extra mayo.”

“Sure thing, hon.” The waitress dropped a laminated menu on the table and walked away.

“Come here a lot?”

“Only when I want to be alone,” Daria tried to shrug and grimaced in pain.

“I’ll take that as a yes,” Evie said with a smirk. The waitress returned and Evie placed her order, then turned to look at Daria expectantly.

“So,” Daria said, sipping her coffee. “You want to know what’s going on around here.”

“Yeah.”

“It’s a really long answer,” Daria said with a sigh. “You got any simple questions that I can field as a warm-up exercise?”

“Why did Mom put me in an orphanage?”

“My guess is she didn’t want Dad to know that she’d had two kids by another man. I’m presuming that you and Quinn have the same father because the two of you look quite a bit alike. Quinn she could pass off, but two girls that are obviously sisters and looked nothing like their supposed father?”

“I got that, but why an orphanage? Why not an adoption agency? I could have had a real family instead of growing up in little-kid prison.”

Daria opened and closed her mouth several times before she could answer. “I don’t know. I could speculate, but I think we should ask her.” Daria suddenly frowned. “Where the hell are Dad and Helen, anyway? How did you get back to the airport?”

“She was stinking drunk, and Jake took her to a hotel after you and that other girl got hurt. I sat around the house by myself all day, and then Quinn came home with Jane and they went upstairs and started . . . um . . . I got the idea Jane was your girlfriend or whatever.”

“She was,” Daria said, staring moodily into her coffee cup.

“Oh.” Evie suddenly felt slightly uncomfortable. Subtle barbs and scathing sarcasm were one thing, but from the look on Daria’s face she’d just jabbed a fresh wound completely by accident. “Anyway, I hitched a ride back to the airport. I called my friend Paula, and she offered to wire me money to fly up to where she lives. I haven’t decided what I want to do, yet.”

Daria pulled her glasses off and stared at them intently. After a few moments she put them back on and looked up at Evie.

“It all started when I got contact lenses,” Daria said, “I think that was probably it. I discovered that I could be pretty if I took my glasses off.”

“I wish I had contacts,” Evie grumbled.

“We’ll get you some, if you decide to stay with me. You have to understand who I was then, Evie. I saw everything in terms of black and white, right and wrong. I was a strict moralist and held myself and everyone around me to an extremely high standard.”

“And you couldn’t handle a little vanity?”

“Basically. My friends tried to talk me though it and they succeeded, mostly. It still bothered me, though. I was sitting around at the local grunge bar when some guy offered to buy me a drink.”

“So you said no, right?”

“I said yes. Some small part of my mind just revolted, and I wanted to . . . I don’t know. I wanted to break a few rules. This had been building up for a long time, the whole vanity thing was just the last straw.”

“Teenage girls are supposed to break rules, right?” Evie asked with a smirk.

“Don’t get any ideas,” Daria answered, giving her sister a dark look. “So I let this guy buy me a drink. He had to go up to the bar and get it for me, since they’re pretty good about checking IDs at the Zon.”

“Please tell me this isn’t going where I think it is,” Evie said.

“I drank about half the drink, and we talked. He was smart, and witty, and pretty good looking. He went to the local preparatory academy, told me he was slumming so he could meet some real girls.” Daria laughed bitterly and took another sip of her coffee. “I passed the other half of the drink off to a waitress as she walked by, while he wasn’t looking. I didn’t want him to think I could hold my alcohol, but I was getting pretty light headed and dizzy.”

Evie frowned and said nothing.

“He wanted me to go back to his place with him, but I wasn’t about to go to a strange guy’s house by myself.”

“Thank God.”

“So we had sex in the alley behind the bar.”

Evie winced at the bluntness of the statement, the dry matter-of-fact way it was said contrasted with the self-loathing she saw in Daria’s eyes.

“I woke up at home the next day with the mother of all hangovers and tried very, very hard to forget what had happened.”

“You didn’t catch anything did you?”

“Nothing that a surprise miscarriage didn’t fix.” Daria took another sip of her coffee. “There was a hurricane, did a lot of property damage. Jane and I got trapped on the roof with a couple of other students. I really thought we were going to die, and apparently the physical and emotional stress set me off. I went to the emergency room when I started having the most god-awful cramps I’d ever had in my life, and . . . .”

“I’m sorry.”

“Thanks,” Daria said, smiling weakly. “I went to go talk to Mom about it the next day, at her office. I heard her having sex with her boss from the hallway outside. I just stood there and listened . . . all I could think about was that my mother was a whore, and so was I. Maybe things could have been better if she’d had the miscarriage instead.”

Evie swallowed. Daria had been right before . . . this was more than she wanted to know. It didn’t really explain the depth of the craziness she’d witnessed, or the apparent number of participants, but Evie was starting to get the idea.

“The senior partner at the law firm found me standing in the hallway, and took me to his office. He gave me a drink and we talked. Well, he talked and I mostly listened.” Daria finished off her coffee and waved to the waitress for a refill. “The things he said made a whole lot of sense, at the time. I should take what I want, be loyal only to myself, trust no one. People are animals, morality is chains forged by the powerful to control the weak.”

“De Sade,” Evie cut in. “It’s the same sort of philosophy that he promoted in Justine and Philosophy in the Bedroom.

“You’ve read de Sade?”

“Some,” Evie said with a shrug, “it’s not all porn, by the way.”

“Mmm,” Daria answered. “Anyway, I went home and thought about it. The next day I found out that I had a twin sister that Helen had hidden from me. Her name was Lynn, and she lived in Oakwood. I called her and invited her over.”

Evie looked slightly confused, but didn’t interrupt.

“She attacked me, and knocked me out. She kept me drugged and tied up, and took my place at school. She did horrible, evil things . . . she hurt people, and made them suffer. Really, though . . . I can only blame myself.”

“Why?”

“Because there is no Lynn. I’m Lynn . . . or she’s me . . . or something. She does all the things that I always wanted to do but was too moral or ethical or scared to allow myself. I’m the evil one. I’m Evil Daria, and I am the cause of all of this.”

 

Martinis and Brain Bleach, by NightGoblyn

“Hi, Amy . . . come on in.” Jake stepped aside so his wife’s younger sister could come into the house. He closed the door and went back to the couch where he’d been sitting and steadily drinking a pitcher of martinis before the doorbell rang.

“Sorry to bother you, Jake.” Amy followed him across the room and sat next to him on the couch. “I stopped by the hospital this morning and Daria had already checked out. Is she here?”

“No,” Jake said, refilling his glass and settling back to drink. “Haven’t seen anybody all day. Helen left the hotel and headed straight for the office, Quinn and Veronica were both gone when I got home, and Daria hasn’t made it home yet.”

“Veronica?”

“Quinn’s little sister,” Jake explained. “Helen dumped her in an orphanage after she was born, hoping that I wouldn’t know she was cheating on me.”

“I’m sorry.”

“You know, I never did get around to telling Helen that I’m sterile.”

“I’m . . .” Amy paused and looked at Jake through narrowed eyes. “Wait . . . you’ve always known Quinn wasn’t your daughter?”

Jake nodded.

“Then why not call Helen on her bullshit?”

Jake laughed bitterly and shrugged. “I put up with it because I wanted kids more than anything. To prove to my old man that I could be a better father than he was.” Jake drained his glass and grinned at Amy.

“Is that why you agreed to take Daria from me?”

Jake nodded again. “Daria was a great kid Amy. You should really tell her the truth . . . I think that dealing with Helen is half of what drove her crazy.”

“I am going to tell her the truth,” Amy sighed and filled a glass of her own. “No point in lying anymore, her father knows about her now.”

“I told you he’d find out eventually.”

“Yeah, I’d just hoped it wouldn’t be until after she was eighteen.”

Jake and Amy sat quietly after that, sharing Jake’s pitcher of alcohol.

--

“What do you think about this?” Quinn asked, “I’m trying to change my look.”

Tiffany looked at the outfit her friend was modelling: black leather ankle boots, black leather mini-skirt, and a black cotton tank top that was probably a size too small.

“You . . look . . like . . a . . biker . . chick.”

“Too much leather?”

“Yeah.”

Quinn vanished into the dressing room and came out a few minutes later in a black denim version of the skirt and a dark red baby doll t-shirt.

“Better. Less . . like . . a . . hooker.”

Quinn giggled and ducked back into the dressing room, emerging a moment later in her usual clothes. She and Tiffany went to the check-out counter where Quinn bought about a third of the things she’d chosen to try on.

“How’s . . Stacy?” Tiffany asked as they left Cashman's.

“Still unconscious,” Quinn said, her good mood crashing instantly. “The hospital has my cell number, they promised to call if her condition changed.”

“It’s . . so . . sad.”

Quinn nodded.

“You . . two . . were . . so . . good . . together.”

“Worst kept secret in Lawndale, huh?” Quinn asked wryly.

Tiffany shrugged. “You . . know . . she . . was . . with . . Sandi?”

“Yeah, I know all about that,” Quinn answered bitterly. “Poor Stacy, I can’t believe the way that bitch treated her.”

“It . . was . . so . . wrong.”

“Yeah,” Quinn said. “Have you heard anything from the megabitch recently? It’s like she fell off the face of the Earth. Not that I’m complaining.”

“I . . haven't.”

A few hours later, Tiffany dropped Quinn off at her house. Quinn put down her shopping bags to unlock the door and found that the deadbolt hadn’t been closed.

Great. I hope all my stuff is still here.

She grabbed her bags, swung the door open, and walked into the living room intent on getting upstairs and putting away her new things. She stopped at the foot of the stairs when she heard a deep-throated, feminine moan from her left.

Oh, God. I can’t not look. I’m going to look, I’m going to see Mom and Da . . . Jake . . . and I’m going to have to bleach my eyeballs.

She slowly turned her head. The first thing she saw was Jake’s head leaning against one of the arm rests of the couch. The second thing she saw was the woman on top of him, and even though the woman had her back turned, Quinn could tell that she definitely wasn’t Helen.

Go, Jake.

Quinn smirked until the reality of what she was seeing slammed into her. Jake was having sex on the couch with a short, slim woman. The woman had her long, auburn hair done up in curly wave.

Oh, God. No, please. Oh . . . oh . . . God. Oh my fucking God in heaven, no.

Quinn dropped her bags and stumbled back outside, dropping to her knees and vomiting on the grass.

 

The Talk II, by NightGoblyn

Evie sat and stared at Daria, her sandwich and soda forgotten. Daria focused her attention on her coffee cup, occasionally glancing up at Evie and then back to the cup.

“I’m sorry,” Evie said at last, “but what!?”

“Lynn hurt a lot of people, some of them people that I’d considered friends,” Daria said quietly. “And she twisted some of the things I wanted to do and made them more hurtful than they needed to be. She hates me, she hates everyone in my life, and she wants to make everyone suffer the way she’s suffered.”

“But, you said . . .”

“That I am Lynn. Yeah, I know.”

“So, you’re crazy. Like in a soap opera.”

“Not that dramatic,” Daria said with a small smirk. “I figured it out after a while, there were a lot of logical fallibilities in my situation that just didn’t stand up to prolonged scrutiny. She still thinks that we’re different people . . . she can't admit otherwise.”

“Daria, you need help.”

“I know, but I can’t trust anybody now. I have to put myself back together, because if I show my weakness somebody is going to land on me with both feet and start kicking.”

“You told me.”

“You don’t have any reason to hate me, and I sincerely hope you can help. I’ve read your case file, Eve. You’re brilliant . . . you’re as smart as I am, at least. I can’t out think Lynn, she knows everything I’m doing. Maybe you can.”

Daria’s phone beeped, and she glanced down at it.

“I have to take this,” she said, and left the table.

Evie finished off her sandwich, watching Daria’s frown deepen as she talked on her phone. After a few minutes she hung up and went into the ladies room. Evie was starting to wonder if Daria had gotten lost when the door swung open and she walked back out into the coffee shop.

The first thing Evie noticed was that the t-shirt had been trimmed off to show Daria’s stomach, and the top button on the shorts was undone. The second thing she noticed was that her sister had switched back to her contacts.

“Veronica,” Daria said as she walked past the table. “Let’s go home, and you forget that stupid idea of yours about leaving. I’m your legal guardian, you skip out and I’ll have cops all over the country hunting for you.”

“I wouldn’t leave for anything,” Evie replied, standing and following her sister back to the van outside.

I’ve wanted a family my whole life. Maybe, just maybe, I have a chance at one now. Nothing is going to drive me away from that, not even you . . . Lynn.

 

Sibling Rivalry I, by NightGoblyn

The Tank pulled into the Morgendorffer driveway and parked. Daria and Evie climbed out and started walking towards the front door, where Quinn was sitting on the front steps looking pale and sick. Quinn stood when she saw them, a look of confusion flickering across her face, suddenly being replaced with one of realization.

“God, why didn’t I recognize her hair?” Quinn asked aloud. “Yours is a lot curlier now, anyway. Daria, you don’t know how happy I am to see you!”

Quinn stood and took a couple of steps down the walkway to meet her sisters. Daria met her eyes with a cold expression while Evie stayed a couple of steps back looking wary. Quinn smiled at the young girl and didn’t see the backhand coming.

Knocked off her feet, Quinn landed in the grass and looked up at Daria. Her face twisted with devilish glee as blood dripped from the corner of her mouth. “You look upset, Daria. Did you lose something?”

“I’m going to make you wish you’d never been born, sister dear,” Daria said, glaring down at Quinn.

“Really?” Quinn asked, still grinning madly. “How so? Are you going to show the school videos of me and Stacy having wild, kinky gay sex? Because that’s going to boost my popularity, not hurt it. Maybe you could show them a video of me and some unpopular girl . . . what was her name, again?”

Daria lashed out and planted her boot in Quinn’s stomach, causing the redhead to grunt in pain and reflexively curl into a ball.

Evie stood back and watched, torn in two directions. On the one hand, she really didn’t like watching one of her sisters brutalize the other one . . . even if she did deserve it, a little. On the other hand, one of the earliest and deepest lessons that she’d learned in the orphanage had been to mind her own business. She could see that Quinn had given in and let her hate and anger take over, and that meant she couldn’t be recruited as an ally against Lynn . . . unless . . . .

“Daria, didn’t you need to talk to somebody?”

“Yes, but I’m busy right now.” Daria glanced over her shoulder at the youngest sister. “You have institutional experience, Veronica. In your opinion, should I break her ribs so she suffers more for a longer time or should I break her nose so that her perfect profile is ruined forever?”

“Let me take care of her,” Evie suggested, painting her face with the cold non-expression that she’d worn for so long. “You can move on to important business.”

“Alright, we’ll call it a test of your loyalties.”

Evie and Quinn watched as the eldest sister walked to the front door of the house and entered. As soon as she was gone, Quinn’s wicked façade snapped, and she started weeping.

“Hey, hey,” Evie said, crouching next to her. “It’s gonna be ok.”

“No, it isn’t,” Quinn said. “She took Stacy away from me, and I took Jane away from her. I got my revenge, and now she hates me. You hate me, and Jane is going to hate me, and Stacy’s never going to wake up, and I’m all alone!” The last three words were said in a terrible howl of anguish.

Evie put her arms around the middle sister and awkwardly patted her on the back.

“Daria is so cold and spiteful,” Quinn said quietly, crying on her little sister’s shoulder. “I wanted to be like that, I wanted to be cold and hateful and do what I want and make people suffer because it’s funny. But I can’t . . . she looked so hurt, and I wanted to laugh . . . I want to laugh, so much . . . but all I can do is cry . . . why did I do, it? Why?”

“Quinn, do you love Daria?”

Quinn nodded wordlessly.

“Do you want to make this up to her?”

Again, Quinn nodded.

“Then you have to do exactly what I tell you, understand?”

Quinn hesitated, and then nodded again.

 

Casa Lane: Never Locked, by NightGoblyn

 

Jane left school in a state of deep depression. Daria had been avoiding her all day, going so far as to not even show up at lunch. Quinn apparently skipped school, and Jane couldn’t decide whether to be hurt or relieved. Luckily, most of the school gossip seemed to be about Sandi Griffin, who had been reported missing.

About halfway home she glanced up and saw Daria walking along the sidewalk a couple of hundred yards ahead of her, and Jane did what she was best at: she ran. She closed the physical gap between them in short order and slowed back to a walk.

“Daria?”

The auburn haired girl stopped in her tracks, saying nothing.

“I’m sorry.”

“Mack gave me a ride home, no big deal.”

“That’s not what I’m apologizing for and you know it.”

“Oh,” Daria said, slowly turning to face Jane. “For what, exactly, are you apologizing?”

“I . . . .”

“You see, I was terribly busy all day Sunday and might have missed what you did wrong. I spent the day over at Tom’s house, trying to help him get over you cheating on him. It was the most obvious, pathetic attempt at pity sex I’ve ever seen, but he’s cute and rich so I pretended to fall for it.”

“You slept with Tom?”

“I wouldn’t say we slept, Jane. Also, I’m afraid I missed lunch today because I was in the men’s locker room with Evan. I told him to call me Jane . . . I was surprised at how hot it was, actually. Then he wanted to know if he could call me Brittany, and that was a lot less hot,” Daria said with a frown.

“You slept with Evan?”

“No, I fucked Evan. You need to pay more attention. I was seriously considering heading over to your place and letting Trent polish my piercings, but he’s had enough attention from me for a little while. So, what did you want to apologize for again?”

“Quinn.”

“Oh, that’s right. My sister and my best friend going at it like rabid minks while I and her lover were unconscious in the hospital. Very poor taste, Jane.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Good,” Daria said, turning away. “I want you to stay in that frame of mind for a little while, at least until I decide how I’m going to punish you. Quinn’s already been punished some, but frankly not enough for my taste.”

“Don’t hurt her,” Jane blurted out, shocked at the depth of her own reaction.

“How is it that she turns everyone around her into selfless sycophants?” Daria mused aloud. “I’ll do as I please, Jane. She will suffer for betraying me, and I’ll see to it that you get every glorious detail. That might even be all the punishment I require of you.”

“Please,” Jane said.

Daria turned back to her, and gave her a slim smile. “I love you, Jane. That’s the mercy you get: the knowledge that no matter what else, I love you.”

Jane watched the shorter girl turn and casually walk away. After taking a few minutes to compose herself, she walked the rest of the way home. She let herself into the house and walked upstairs, pushing open the door to her room. She flipped the light on and froze.

“Hi,” Quinn said softly.

 

Cold Turkey, by NightGoblyn

 

The last bell rang and Scarlett headed towards O’Neill’s classroom with a heavy heart. She almost bumped into Jane Lane on her way out of the school, as neither girl was really paying attention to where she was walking.

“Scuzeme,” Jane muttered as she cut around Scarlett. Scarlett just shrugged in response and walked into the classroom.

“Hey,” Burnout said, waving and smiling wanly.

“S’up, Starlet?” Shaggy asked.

“Why are you guys here? I told you to stay away!”

“Yeah, well . . . about that,” Shaggy said. “We decided that there wasn’t no way we were gonna let our sweet Scarlett get railroaded alone when we could be there to get your back. You stood for us, so now we’re gonna stand for you.”

“Also,” Burnout said, “O’Neill held us after class today and told us we had to be here.”

“Oh, yes indeed,” O’Neill said, walking into the room and closing the classroom door. The three students shared an uneasy glance at O’Neill’s new appearance. He’d traded in his usual pastel oxford shirt for one in stark white, and added a tie to his ensemble. That was the smallest change, though . . . he was now completely bald. Apparently the removal of the glue had necessitated completely shaving not only his scalp but his eyebrows as well.

“So, what’s going on?” Shaggy asked.

“Well, I think the first thing we should do is try to make this a learning experience,” O’Neill answered calmly. “I want each of you to write me a five hundred word essay on what you did and why it was wrong.”

“What about my counselling?” Scarlett asked.

“One thing at a time, Ms. Allen.”

The redhead blinked in surprise. That was the first time the English teacher had ever gotten her name right without referencing a seating chart. Even then he usually mispronounced it somehow.

Thirty minutes later the trio had finished their essays and handed them to the teacher, who began to read over them.

“You may not believe this,” he said as he read, “but I used to be a very strict disciplinarian. There was an . . . incident . . . with some of the students, and Anthony suggested that perhaps my methods were a tad draconian.”

“Anthony?” Burnout mouthed. “Mr. DeMartino?”

Scarlett shrugged.

“My career councillor suggested some therapy might be in order,” O’Neill continued, putting down one essay and beginning to read the next. “My therapist tied my mind in knots, told me it was my fault, and then prescribed several expensive medications.”

The trio shared another nervous glance.

“I have decided,” Mr. O’Neill said, putting the essays into his briefcase, “that Anthony, my career councillor, and my therapist are all full of shit. I spent the weekend locked in my apartment acting like a raving lunatic after flushing my medications. Now, I feel wonderful . . . alive for the first time in years. I have the three of you to thank for that.”

A pin wouldn’t have dared fall and break the silence that descended upon the room when the teacher looked up at his students with a wolfish grin.

“I thank all of you for the written confessions, it make the next step much easier. Mr. Howard, Ms. Peachtree . . . you are both worthless, pot-soaked deviants who have no chance of any sort of successful scholastic career, let alone a place in the adult world. You are both expelled from Lawndale High, effective immediately. Ms. Allen, you are not among my best and brightest but I believe that is because you have not put forth your best effort. You will now do so, am I understood?”

Scarlett nodded.

“Excellent. You will meet me here, after school, every day for the rest of the year to serve your detention. If you show proper diligence and obeisance I may let you off next year.”

O’Neill stood and walked to the classroom door, pausing with one hand on the knob.

“Oh, I almost forgot about your counselling. Janet will be meeting with you during your detention one day a week. After she gets out of the hospital.”

With that, Timothy O’Neill left the room.

 

Almost Everyone, by NightGoblyn

 

“Why are you in my house? Hell, why are you in my room?”

“I didn’t have anywhere else to go,” Quinn said, sitting up and letting Jane’s blanket pool around her waist. She reached up and traced one finger along the side of her face and Jane noticed the black eye and purple bruise on Quinn’s jaw.

“Who?”

“Daria. She backhanded me and when I fell down she kicked me. I think my ribs are bruised,” Quinn sniffled and struggled against the tears. “Then she went into the house and told Evie to keep beating me.” So I cried my eyes out for the little monster. I’d like to thank the Academy, and my producers, and . . . .

“I’m so sorry, Quinn.”

“It’s not your fault, Jane.” Quinn stood and walked proudly to the TV stand where her clothes were neatly folded. “I guess you want me to leave?”

“I . . . .”

Quinn glanced over at the speechless Jane, noting the way the older girl faced away from her and yet the flickering motion of Jane’s eyes betrayed her inner conflict.

“Stacy took care of me, made me feel safe. Now she’s gone, and I don’t have anyone I can turn to.” Quinn turned and walked to Jane, dropping to her knees at the artist’s feet. She lightly grasped Jane’s calf and leaned her head against the outside curve of her hip.

“Q-Quinn,” Jane stammered.

“Please take care of me, Jane.” Quinn said, looking up with wide and guileless green eyes. “You can hide me in another room, Daria doesn’t have to know. I can’t go out into the world by myself.”

“You can stay,” Jane said, “but I’m not going to lie to Daria. She’s my best friend, and I hurt her when I slept with you. She’s really mad at both of us.”

Quinn stood and kissed Jane lightly. “I’ll talk to her, try to make her see reason. She knows how fragile I am now.”

“She spent the last couple of days having sex with everyone I care about,” Jane whispered. “I can’t believe how spiteful she’s gotten.”

“She still needs both of us to make her organization run smoothly,” Quinn said. “She’s still a creature of logic, she’ll see that.”

Jane nodded.

“I’ll be back,” Quinn said, “stay ready for me?”

Jane nodded again, and hated herself a little for it.

Quinn quickly dressed and left the Lane house. Jane watched her walk down the sidewalk from her bedroom window. Just before Quinn vanished from sight a fork of lightning split the sky and thunder shook the house.

“There’s going to be a storm tonight,” Jane whispered to herself. “God help us.”

 

Sibling Rivalry II, by NightGoblyn

Daria sat back on her bed with her hands folded and her ankles crossed and amusedly watched Lynn tearing through her closet.

“What I really wonder,” Daria mused, “is am I here, hallucinating that you’re picking through my wardrobe or am I there hallucinating that I’m on the bed making snarky commentary?”

“If you do not stop that stupid multiple personality crap, I will shoot you.”

“So what evil, dastardly scheme are you up to now?”

Lynn grinned at Daria then turned back to the closet.

“You know, there are several perfectly comfortable black skirts and a few pairs of nice jeans in there. I also have a selection of well worn t-shirts.”

“You dress like a dyke,” Lynn retorted, “and frankly, that’s even off-putting to most girls.”

“You dress like a whore, which is even more off-putting.”

“Seemed to be more off-getting to me,” Lynn smirked.

Daria rolled her eyes.

“Come on, tell me that you didn’t enjoy Tom and Evan. You should take my advice more often.”

“I did, but I didn’t really care for the look on Jane’s face when you were bragging to her about it. I don’t think Tom bothered her, but she really likes Evan.”

“I guess she’ll remember to be loyal from now on,” Lynn answered with a shrug. “After all, you fucked almost every person that she has feelings for, right?”

“Almost?” Daria asked.

“Look,” Lynn said, walking over and sitting on the bed. “I know you think you’re pulling a fast one on me with Veronica, but I promise that you’re not. But you’re trying, and I’m glad to see it. You don’t know how boring it’s been, lording it over these poor simpletons. I have been desperately seeking Holmes, sister dear.”

“You want me to try to undo your schemes?”

“God, yes. There won’t be any more locked closets for you, Daria. I want you to get out there and stir up some rebellion. Make me work for this. Ok?”

“Ok,” Daria said, looking distrustful.

“Good.” Lynn stood and held out a short dress made of purple silk. “Do you think the purple is too obvious? I’m really getting tired of green, but it really brings out my hair and eyes. We both know how important clothes are going to be for this, so give me your opinion.”

“What . . . no, oh hell no,” Daria said, standing and glaring at her twin.

“Starting your rebellion early and unaided, I see.”

“There is no way on God’s green Earth that I’m letting you pull what I think you’re about to try,” Daria grated.

“God has nothing to do with this, or with us,” Lynn answered. “You heard what Mom said.”

“Helen was actually lying for a good cause that time, and you know it.”

“I’m not concerned about Helen, either. Our mother loves us, Daria . . . that’s something we’ve never had before. Our father loves us, and wants us to be about his work.”

“I still don’t believe that man is my father.”

“He’s always been my father, that’s why I’m the favourite.”

“My parents always prefer my sister to me, even when she’s a figment of my imagination,” Daria muttered, rubbing her temples. “And, you’re trying to get me off track. Put the dress back in the closet and get the hell out of my house. Get the hell out of my head.”

“Make me,” Lynn snarled.

Lightning stabbed the sky. Thunder rolled through the deepening dusk. Daria swung first.

 

Too Many Damn Redheads, by NightGoblyn

 

“Quinn?” Jane asked, answering the telephone.

“I only dressed like that once,” Scarlett snapped, “and I don’t even look that much like her. My hair is darker red for one, and she’s like two inches taller than me.”

“Do I know you?”

“Not really,” Scarlett sighed, “but I need your help, if you and your friend have any loyalty for the people that work for you.”

“I knew the wheels would come off eventually,” Jane muttered.

“What?”

“Nothing, who are you and what’s your problem?”

“My name is Scarlett, we have a couple of classes together.”

“Redhead, goth, hangs out with Burnout and that other stoner?”

“Yeah, that’s me. We’re in serious trouble with O’Neill because of the prank that Burnout and Shaggy pulled. Do you have any leverage that might make him cut us some slack?”

“On O’Neill?” Jane booted up her laptop and started scrolling through folders. “So, does this have anything to do with him being bald now?”

“Yeah, he also went off all his psych meds.”

Jane gave a low whistle. “Do not tell me what you did. What kind of trouble are you in?”

“I’m not in any trouble I can’t just deal with, but Burnout and Shag got expelled. They’re not great students but they were passing, and you can’t survive without a high school diploma.”

“Well, a lot of the dirt I’ve got on him revolves around the fact that he’s on meds and hasn’t reported that to the school board. I’ve got something on him instigating a riot a few years back, but the reports are sort of fuzzy. Oh, and he's a member of the Communist Party USA.”

Scarlett sighed sadly.

“Look, I’ll talk to O’Neill tomorrow and see what I can pull out of my hat. Ok?”

“Thanks, Jane.”

“You’re welcome. So, what was this about dressing like Quinn?”

“I don’t want to talk about it, please. Just . . . if you’re her friend you might want to warn her to be careful. Somebody tried to kidnap me while I was dressed like her. She probably has enemies and stuff, right?”

“Yeah, she does,” Jane answered, thinking of Quinn and Daria and wondering how that little talk was going.

“Ok, thanks again.” Scarlett hung up.

Jane sighed and put her phone back down, glancing up sharply when a tall, thin redhead pushed the door of her bedroom open.

“You should knock,” Jane said with a glare, “I might have been naked or something.”

“I’ll take that under consideration,” Evie said with a smirk, “since I’m the only Morgendorffer sister that isn’t interested in seeing that.”

“What’s your crisis, Evie?”

“I was hoping we could talk some more,” Evie said, sitting cross-legged on the carpet. “I want to know more about my sisters, and you seem to be the one person they both trust.”

“Normally I limit people to three questions,” Jane said with a smirk, “but this time I’m just going to insist on the immunity from prosecution.”

“Right, if I’m asked you didn’t tell me anything.”

“What do you want to know?”

 

Deja Who?, by LSauchelli

 

"Is something wrong, Tom?"

The boy blinked and then looked up, just then noticing that her sister, Elsie, had entered his room. "What are you doing here?" he asked, annoyed that she had interrupted him from whatever he was doing.

The girl sighed heavily, "Just checking on you, brother. You seem... distracted, as of late."

Tom rested his head on his pillow and looked at the cracks on the ceiling. "Not more than usual" he said and then smiled a little. "It's just that..." His voice trailed off into nothingness.

After a few moments, she said, "What?"

He looked at her and frowned. "Just thinking, about Daria, and Jane, and Mark, and this whole mess."

"Anything new?"

"Not really, just opened my eyes a little I guess." He seemed to realize something at that moment. "Daria, I thought I hadn't met her before, you know?"

"You didn't know her?"

He shook his head. "Not face to face, no. I... just knew what people told me, I know she set up the whole mess with Mark, but I now know that it was an act of revenge."

She didn't seem interested in why Daria would want revenge on Tom's friend. "When did you meet her?"

He either didn't hear her question or didn't want to answer it right away. "And Jane, she always talked about Daria. Actually, all she talks about is 'Daria said this,' 'Daria did this,' 'listen to what Daria told this moron.' I should've investigated a little more before getting myself into this mess."

Elsie raised an eyebrow. "Jane seems to have a thing for Daria."

He took a deep and ragged breath before replying, "oh, she has one. Very bad one. But she's upset because she slept with Quinn, Daria's sister."

"You're having second thoughts about this whole vendetta?"

"No. Definitely not. It's just that... Daria came yesterday, when there was no one home but me. It was an interesting experience." He furrowed his brows as if in deep thinking. "I know Daria from before, I'm sure of it. But I just can't picture her face." Realization suddenly came to him. And he understood how screwed up the world really was. In a matter of seconds, Elsie noticed how his face turned so pale that she almost thought he was dead.

He panted. "
OH. MY. GOD."

 

The Storm Breaks, by NightGoblyn

Warning: The following vignette is rated R for language, adult situations, semi-consensual activities, and heavily implied (but not explicitly described) sexual activities that may be considered 'squicky'. Oh, and there's a RHPS reference.

Quinn walked, and thought about the conversation she’d had with her brand new little sister a couple of days before.

“Quinn, do you love Daria?”

Quinn nodded wordlessly, hoping that Eve didn’t see through her charade.

“Do you want to make this up to her?”

Again, Quinn nodded.

“Then you have to do exactly what I tell you, understand?”

Quinn hesitated, and then nodded again.

“Daria isn’t in a good place right now. She feels like everyone she loved has betrayed her . . . her parents, you, her friends at school, and Jane.”

“We have,” Quinn said quietly.

“You have to stop fighting her, Quinn. We have to make her feel safe again, and then maybe she’ll calm down and we can help her. Ok?”

“What’s wrong with her? I mean, aside from going to bed one night as a milquetoast cream-puff and waking up the next morning as the most amazing mega-bitch ever?”

“Some bad things happened to our sister, Quinn. You’re going to have to wait until she trusts you enough to tell you herself, but believe me when I tell you that she needs us more than she’s ever needed anyone.”

“I’ll do what I can, just point me in the right direction,” Quinn said.


“Poor baby found out Mom was schtupping her boss and came unglued,” Quinn muttered. “I’m the one that got drugged and used as a living sex doll, and you don’t see me wreaking bloody vengeance on the world.”

Thunder boomed again and the wind picked up. Glancing around nervously, Quinn began walking faster.

“You need to go talk to Jane,” Eve said. “The two of you are going to have to regain Daria’s trust. She’s going to need her support network, her family and friends.”

“Jane abandoned me this morning,” Quinn said, turning the waterworks back on.

“She probably just panicked,” Eve said soothingly.

“Ok, I’ll talk to her and see what I can do to patch things up.”


“Or at the very least solidify my hold on her,” Quinn said with a quiet chuckle. “That girl is so hooked on me she can’t even look away when I’m in the room. Her heart is going to break in a million tiny pieces when Stacy gets out of the hospital and I drop her back in Daria’s lap.”

She was still half a block from home when the rain began to fall. She sprinted the last bit, running down the empty driveway and stopping under the overhang at the front door. She dug out her house keys and let herself in, closing and locking the door behind her.

She stood in the living room, soaked and shivering. Her hair was plastered down around her head and shoulders, and her sopping clothes clung to her body.

I feel like a drowned kitten, not exactly how I want to look when I go confront Sister Dearest. Whoa, hey . . . look at those. Must be cold in here.

Giggling quietly to herself, Quinn walked upstairs and into her bedroom. She made a beeline for her closet and started stripping off her wet clothes. She dumped them into the laundry hamper and opened the closet door, looking for her big comfy robe.

“I kept wondering what it was you had that let you mind-control all those poor boys . . . and girls,” Daria said from behind her.

Quinn squeaked and spun around, seeing her sister lounging casually on her bed. Daria was wearing black stockings that ran to few inches above her knees, and there was a long expanse of white thigh between the top of the stockings and the hem of her dress. The dress was purple silk and it flowed smoothly over Daria’s curves, accentuating rather than concealing.

“I always knew it wasn’t your personality,” she finished with a smirk.

“Ha-ha, Daria.”

“You look,” Daria’s eyes flickered down for a second before returning to Quinn’s face, “cold, sis.”

Quinn flushed bright red with embarrassment as she crossed her arms over her chest. Daria started looking her over slowly, and Quinn dropped her eyes to the carpet.

So much for seizing the high ground and waging the war to end all wars. Once again, Daria has the upper hand . . . I guess I better play kitten again. I just wish she’d quit looking at me like that, it’s creepy.

Daria stood and walked . . . no, slinked . . . over to Quinn. Quinn didn’t realize she was moving backwards until her bare ass made contact with the clothing hanging behind her.

“Quinn, I think it’s time you came out of the closet,” Daria said with one of her infernal smirks, and reached out for Quinn’s hand.

“I’m not giving you my hand,” Quinn said sullenly, “you just want to stare at my tits some more.”

“What if I do?” Daria asked, her smirk turning into a small smile.

“Oh my God, you’re gross,” Quinn said, shuffling another half step back into her closet. “It’s not funny, Daria. I mean, ok . . . we both like girls and stuff and that’s cool. We could go out girl watching together or something. Wouldn’t that be fun? We can go to the mall, maybe take Stacy and Jane, and rate all the girls that walk by like the football players do.”

Oh, God. I’m babbling. I’ve got to take control of the situation or Daria’s going to win. I don’t know what she’s after, but I’m not going to let her have it. Not unless there’s some way I can turn it against her.

“But, Quinn . . . aren’t I pretty?” Daria asked, spinning in place.

“Yes, you’re pretty. Now go away so I can get dressed, you’re freaking me out.”

“Am I prettier than Stacy?”

“What!?”

“Stop being a scared little girl hiding in her closet for a minute. You’re the President of the Fashion Club, the most desired girl at Lawndale High, and a predatory lesbian. Forget that I’m your sister for a minute and look at me.”

Quinn looked at her sister for a moment, and then narrowed her eyes. Without realizing it she took a step forward and dropped her arms, and examined Daria from top to toe.

“The outfit wants matching ankle boots, something with a low heel and a pointy toe. You could use some jewellery, too . . . although your make-up is perfect. You’re not wearing a bra, and that’s risky at your size.”

“I’m not wearing anything under the dress,” Daria purred, and took a step forward of her own. The two girls were mere inches apart, and Quinn could actually feel the warmth of her sister’s body.

“I went to Jane’s,” Quinn said, trying to drag the conversation back to safe territory.

“What did she say?”

“She’s sorry, she wants you to forgive her. I told her I’d work something out with you.”

“Will you, now?”

Thunder boomed and the lights went out. Quinn shrieked and jumped, colliding with Daria and knocking both of them to the ground. The room plunged into absolute darkness, and nothing could be seen.

“You’re wet,” Daria said in a teasing tone.

“Yes, it’s raining,” Quinn answered.

“That’s not what I meant,” Daria whispered.

“Daria . . . I . . . no . . . it’s wrong . . . .mmmmm.”

“Shh, let Big Sister take care of you. That’s what you want isn’t it? To be taken care of . . . Stacy took care of you, and when she was gone you went to Jane. You can’t trust them, Quinn. They’re not family.”

“Daria . . . please . . . let go . . . don’t . . . ahhhhhhhh.”

“You’re a victim, Quinn. You were Mark’s victim first, and then you were Sandi’s victim, and then you were Stacy’s victim . . . oh, I watched those videos, by the way. It was interesting the way she let you have all the power the first couple of times, and then she took it all away from you. You need to be controlled.”

“No . . . I . . . stop it . . . don’t touch me like thaaaaaaaaat.”

“Then you wanted to be Jane’s victim . . . but not really. You don’t really care about Jane, but she doesn’t know that. So, for once, you get to be the predator and hurt someone else. Do you like having a victim, Quinn? Is it better than being one?”

“I hurt you, I hurt you. I saw it on your face, and I loved it,” Quinn said, grinding the words through clenched teeth.

“Then I want you to remember that look on my face, and how it made you feel. Because right now, I feel exactly the same way.”

Quinn screamed, just like she had for all the other predators.

 

The Willow Over the Stream, by NightGoblyn

Jane cracked one eye and looked around the room. There was too much light coming in the window . . . she’d overslept. She sat up and looked at the clock, and was dismayed to see it flashing twelve. She jumped out of bed and stopped, seeing Evie sitting cross legged on the floor and sipping a cup of coffee.

“Coffee?” Jane croaked. Evie pointed at the bedside table and Jane saw a steaming coffee cup sitting there. She gratefully picked up the cup and took a long sip.

“I had the radio on while I was downstairs, schools are closed today.”

“Why?”

“About half of Lawndale is still without power, and there’s a bunch of live wires down. People are supposed to stay indoors if at all possible, which is too bad because I’m about to walk home.”

“I’ll go with you,” Jane said, grabbing a handful of clothes and heading for the door. “Let me change out of my jammies.”

“I’ll change in here,” Evie said, “thanks for loaning me the sleep shirt by the way.”

“Not the first time,” Jane answered with a yawn, and headed out to the bathroom.

About half an hour later Jane and Evie arrived at Schloss Morgendorffer, and turned off the sidewalk towards the front door. Jake’s Lexus was still parked in the driveway, but Helen’s SUV was already gone. Just as the girls reached the front door, it opened and Daria walked out.

“Hi,” Jane said nervously.

“Well,” Daria said, looking from Jane to Evie and back. “I’m going to have to start calling you Hat Trick Lane.”

“What?” Jane asked.

“Nothing,” Daria answered with a smirk. She stepped around Jane and Evie and headed for the Lexus, she got into the car and drove away.

“She’s wearing purple now,” Evie said darkly.

“Yeah,” Jane said, “why does that remind me of something? And what the hell is a hat trick?”

“Hockey reference, best I don’t explain it,” Evie answered with a sigh. She pushed the door open and led Jane into the house.

“Well, Daria seems to be none the worse for wear. I hope Quinn is ok.”

“Kitchen light is on,” Evie said, “maybe she’s in there.”

They walked into the kitchen and saw Quinn sitting at the table, dressed in black jeans and a red tank-top. She was tightly clutching a coffee cup in both hands and stared off into the distance with a glassy, absent facial expression.

“Quinn?” Evie asked.

“Quinn doesn’t drink coffee,” Jane said with a frown. She walked over and tried to tug the cup out of Quinn’s grip. The redhead’s grip tightened, but she didn’t react otherwise.

“The cup is cold,” Jane observed, taking a step back.

“Quinn!” Evie shouted, slapping one hand down on the table. With glacial slowness, Quinn’s head turned towards her sister and her eyes focused.

“Good morning, Evie.” Quinn’s voice was flat and raspy. She slowly turned her head, noticing Jane. “Good morning, Jane.”

“What the hell did she do to you?” Jane asked.

“She . . . she touched me.” Quinn’s eyes unfocused as she turned her head back to the wall. “Go away.”

“What the hell?” Jane grumbled, and took a step forward. Evie blocked her with one arm and then sat at the table, putting herself in Quinn’s line of sight.

“Quinn, what did Daria do to you?”

“Nothing,” Quinn whispered.

“You said she touched you.”

“That wasn’t Daria,” Quinn said with a frown. “Hair . . . clothes . . . body language . . . speech pattern . . . not Daria. I’m an idiot, I couldn’t tell Aunt Amy from Daria and I couldn’t tell Daria from . . . whoever that was.”

“Oh, God. When you say she touched you, you mean . . . .” Evie stopped, not wanting to say her suspicion aloud.

“She’s not Daria. She’s not Daria. She’s not Daria,” Quinn chanted, building up to a scream. “She’s not Daria and I didn’t get fucked by my sister.” Quinn’s voice dropped to a whisper. “God help me, I enjoyed it. Not at first . . . but later, I liked it. Wanted it.” Quinn closed her eyes as the tears began to fall.

“Best friend or not,” Jane grated, “I’m going to beat her into paste for this.”

“It’s not her fault,” Evie said. “Quinn’s right, she’s not Daria. She’s only Daria part of the time, anyway. I didn’t want to explain all this, but it looks like I’m going to have to.”

--

Lynn sat in her favourite booth at the café and sipped her cup of coffee . . . it was exactly the way she liked it, strong and black.

“Thinking of heading over to Mack’s house, are we?” Daria asked, sliding into the seat across from her.

“I don’t know,” Lynn smirked, “I’m still worn out from last night. Our little cousin was a lot more energetic than I expected.”

“You realize that you burned your last bridge, right? They’ll never forgive us for what you did to Quinn.”

Lynn yawned and sipped her coffee.

“I’m not going to let you hurt anyone else.”

“You keep making these pronouncements, and I’ve yet to see you enforce any of them.”

“Do you remember stopping by the police department on your way here and getting your gun out of the evidence room?”

“No.”

“I do,” Daria said, pulling the pistol out from under her jacket.

 

Gothnapped I, by NightGoblyn

 

Jennifer tapped lightly on the door.

“Scarlett? You up? Your aunt told me to just come on in.” She waited a moment and frowned when there wasn’t an answer. With a shrug, she pushed the door open and walked into her friend’s bedroom.

“You’re not in here having private girl time are you?” Jen asked with a smirk. “You’re not in here at all,” she said, looking around the room.

The sheet was hanging half off the bed, and Scarlett’s blanket seemed to be missing. Jennifer shivered in the cold, damp air and saw the window was open. Not just open, one of the panes was broken and bloodstained shards of glass were scattered on the wet carpet. Jennifer looked back towards the bed and saw that there were more bloodstains on the pillow.

“Missus Allen! Scarlett’s gone!”

 

Spun Glass World, by NightGoblyn

 

The hospital room was quiet, aside from the occasional pings or beeps of the monitoring equipment. The sound of the storm raging outside could be heard; screaming wind, lashing rain, rolling thunder.

Lightning arced outside and a pair of transformers exploded brilliantly, one of them taking the whole top of its pole off as it detonated. The lights in the hospital dimmed as the back-up generator clicked on and took over from the failed power supply.

Inside one of the machines, a wire sparked once. The connection it provided weakened and began to slowly fail.

--

“Oh, God.”

“Yeah.”

“All this time . . . I had no idea,” Jane dropped into a chair at the kitchen table. “She was pregnant!? Daria!?”

Evie nodded.

“No wonder she snapped. She had a major self-image crisis, followed that up with drunken sex, got pregnant, survived a hurricane but lost the baby, and then found out Helen was cheating on Jake.”

“Where is Jake, anyway?” Evie asked. “His car was here, right?”

“He left with Aunt Amy,” Quinn said quietly. “There’s a note on the ‘fridge. They went to go talk to Daria’s real dad.”

“Her what?”

Quinn looked up at the other two girls and gave them a smile that caused Jane to recoil. “I was right all along, she is my cousin. It might have helped a little if I’d known that last night, but . . . .”

“I’m gonna be sick,” Jane said.

“I’m not,” Quinn answered. “I think I’m past all that now.”

“Um, Quinn?” Evie asked in a worried tone.

The phone rang.

“Hello?” Quinn said, her voice a bad imitation of her usual chipper tone. “This is she . . . yes, of course . . . I understand . . . thank you, Doctor . . . no, that’d be up to her parents . . . ok, thank you for calling . . . I’ll be by a little later, I had a rough night . . . goodbye.”

“Was that about Stacy?” Jane asked.

Quinn nodded.

“Well, what did he say?”

“Her EKG is slowly flat-lining. Sometime during the night she started losing brain activity . . . he says she’s slipping deeper into the coma.”

“I’m sorry,” Jane said, and put her hand on Quinn’s shoulder.

Quinn leapt from her chair, knocking it to the kitchen floor as she backed up against the counter.

Don’t touch me!” she shrieked, throwing the phone at Jane.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” Evie said. “Quinn, it’s ok. She wasn’t going to hurt you.”

“Never touch me again,” Quinn hissed, wrapping her arms around herself. She abruptly fled the room, and a moment later the girls heard the door to her bedroom slam shut.

“Ok,” Evie said, looking pensively up at the ceiling. “I shared what’s wrong with Daria, have you got any idea why she’s flipping out as badly as she is?”

“Yeah,” Jane said sadly. “It started with a guy named Mark . . . .”

 

 

Back To Part Two!

Onward To Part Four!