October 26th
Sleep Tight, Bitch
by kelsey mclaughlin

It wasn’t Megan’s actual birthday. That was Tuesday. She, her little brother Jake and her parents went to Benihana and got shrimp thrown into their mouths to celebrate that day! Tonight was her big slumber party, an even more important occasion than the day she technically turned 13.

Megan scanned the attic where all of her girlfriends would be spending the night. The streamers streamed, the balloons floated and there were plenty of blankets and pillows. “Yas kween,” she thought to herself. “This party is going to perfect. So much better than Brenda’s or Nadine’s or anyone in my grade’s.”

The guests arrived one by one with attractively wrapped presents in tow. All of her guests were accounted for but one… And Megan prayed that that person would just not show. But while Megan’s dad served the hungry and newly teenaged girls pizza, the doorbell rang. It was her. Angela Goodie. She was at the back door and her long black hair blended in with the night sky. Her back was always slightly hunched and her skin was a bright white. Megan’s mother forced her to invite Angela because the strange girl had moved next door a month earlier.

Angela slunk inside. “Happy birthday Megan.” Her voice was like sandpaper, like she’d been smoking since she’d popped out of the womb. “Now where do I put the loot?” She held up an oddly shaped object that seemed to be breathing. It was covered in a cheesecloth and loads of brown string. It stuck out like a sore thumb among all the other presents, much like the way Angela stuck out among the healthily colored young girls.

Megan led the party to the front staircase. Her foyer was covered in wall-to-wall mirrors, as her mother really liked the 90s. Angela halted before she got to the room.

“I need to use the little girl’s room. See you bitches upstairs,” Angela said before she scurried to the back of the house.

“Who says ‘little girl’s room?’” Nadine commented.

“She’s weird,” said Brenda.

Once in the attic they changed into their PJs, each girl’s camisole and short set more frilly than the next. Except for Angela, who wore a burlap nightgown that went up to her chin and down to her feet.

“So girls, what boys do we like, huh? Who gives us a tickle down there?” Angela was laying on her stomach with her face in her hands. The other girls sneered at her in disgust.

Megan swooped in to change the subject. “Let’s play… Girl Talk!” Everyone squealed and Megan set up the board game Girl Talk, where everyone is at the mall and gets pimple stickers if they draw a bad card. It came to Angela’s turn, so she picked up a card and her face dropped. Megan saw the card and yelled, “Oooo Angela got the compact mirror! That’s good, that means you get to look into it and remove one pimple!”

Angela’s eyes widened, her white face began to perspire and time slowed down as Megan handed her the compact mirror. The other girls stared at her expectantly so she opened it slowly and screamed in pain. “AHHHHHHHHH!!!”

Angela sprung up and ran to the bathroom. Everyone in the attic looked extremely confused… Megan was so angry at Angela for making her party weird. She announced that they would be watching Sixteen Candles and tossed Girl Talk aside in hopes of moving on from the bizarre event.

Several minutes later Angela returned with a red welt on her face. “Hey girls, what’s the VCR cookin’ up for us tonight?”

“What the hell happened to your face, Angela?” Misty asked.

“Ohhh, this? It’s- a hickey! My boyfriend’s, uh, Garp! He came to visit because I guess he “needed to feel my sweet touch on his body.”” Angela was doing air quotes. “Yeah, he’s obsessed with me.”

“Your boyfriend sucked on your face?”

“That’s what they do! Ha!” Angela scanned the room. Everyone had fallen silent.

Suddenly, there was a jarring TAP TAP TAP from outside. All the girls screamed and Angela joined in a split second after she saw everyone else doing it. “Oh- Ahhh!!!”

“Oh my God it’s a bat!” Megan yelled!

“Gross! Bats are disgusting!”

“Oh my God, I bet it’s a ghost!”

Suddenly the girls heard a giant thud. It seemed to be coming from downstairs. Megan slowly led the gaggle of terrified party guests down the stairs and found Kristen laying in the bathroom entrance knocked out cold. When they came closer they saw that the bathroom was full of fresh blood.

“There’s a killer in the house!” Megan screamed! She and two other friends dragged Kristen upstairs. They bolted the door shut and everyone huddled together in the furthest most corner of the room. That’s when the window burst open, letting in a gust of wind. The girls screamed in terror and held each other tight.

The bat that had been taunting them swooped in and flew through the girls setting off sheer panic. Then it flew to the ceiling and perched upside down. It seemed to be rummaging for something. Yes, it was! The bat revealed a toothbrush in its little paw and descended from the ceiling to Angela’s shoulder. Angela took the toothbrush.

The bat looked Angela straight in the eye and said with a haughty British accent, “Your mother sent me to deliver your toothbrush, madam. You know how she care about hygiene.”

“Ha… Yeah.” Angela was embarrassed but her cheeks remained ungodly white.

“What the hell, Angela! Are you some kind of freak!” Megan was panting with fear.

“I’m not a freak!” Angela sighed. “Fuck it. I’m a witch. Ok? Are you happy now?”

The girls retreated even further from her and held each other tight.

“The mark on my face isn’t a hickey, although I do have a boyfriend named Garp. He’s a vampire.” Angela stared off dreamily thinking about her cold blooded man, then snapped back to the present. “But, whatever! Witches get burnt when they look into mirrors. Other than that though, I’m totally normal!”

“Normal?” cried Megan. “You have a talking British bat as a pet!”

“And you killed someone!” Kristen was pale but conscious now. “All that blood in the bathroom. Whose is it?”

“Ugh, I didn’t kill anyone! It’s mine, Jesus! I got my fucking period.” Angela pulled out a cigarette and lit it with a flame she made appear from her thumb. “Look, witches are just like you bitches. We menstruate too.”

“I can’t believe you smoke. How do you even buy those?” one girl inquired.

“I’m fuckin’ 89 years old. Witches have a life expectancy of 650 years, so grade-wise I’m right with you girls.” There was a massive pause. Angela looked over at the TV where Sixteen Candles was still playing. “Jake Ryan, ay? What a hunk!” Another giant pause.

“Fuck this. I’m gonna go to an axe throwing bar with Garp.” Angela gathered her stuff and turned to Megan. In a sincere tone she said, “Megan, I’m really sorry I ruined your party. Thank you for inviting me. It meant a lot.”

The young witch walked to the window and began to climb out. She held her arm out at a 90 degree angle, turning back to add, “I got you a frog. If you don’t like it, you can return it.” A broom shot through the night sky into Angela’s hand. She and the bat rode off into the night.

And none of the girls ever looked into a mirror the same way again.

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