Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Win a Signed Copy of Summer's Hollow!

Only three more days until the release of Summer's Hollow! Are you excited yet? Well here's something to get you more excited: from today until Thursday at 5pm you'll have the chance to enter to win a signed copy of Summer's Hollow! How do you enter you ask? Well since the number three plays a big role in this book you can enter three different ways:

1. Tell me the one thing you love most about my blog (reply with a comment below)

2. Tell me one thing that you would like to see me do more in my blog (reply in a separate comment below)

3. Tell me which of my books/short stories that you love the most so far (reply in a separate comment below)


If you reply with three separate comments then you'll have three chances to win your very own signed, print copy of my first full length novel! Remember you have until Thursday at 5pm. After 5pm I will put all your entries into a hat and draw the winner (might even video tape it and post it if you all are lucky). The winner will be announced on Friday along with the release day post! So get to it and spread the word to all your friends and family!


Monday, April 29, 2013

My Hoodoo Obsession

Recently I've been helping a friend with some Hoodoo fact checking on a book that she is editing. This help that I've been giving her has really made my love for Hoodoo become even more apparent. Most of you know that I am a practicing witch and I draw from many different cultures and practices for my rituals. The main areas that I pull from are Celtic Paganism, Hoodoo, American Indian, and Hindu. Pretty eclectic, I know, but I just love them all so much and I feel that each has its place in different rituals and practices.

Hoodoo is the dominant force is my rituals. I first became intrigued by it when I worked at an archaeology lab. The first project I worked on was cataloging and identifying objects from a dig site. The dig had been earlier that year in Silver Spring, MD at a house that had burned to the ground. This is an archaeologist's dream. This means that even though many of the artifacts were damaged, they were all left behind to analyze. Through the research of this site it was discovered that it was a house they was bought from a slave master after the slaves had been emancipated.

The house belonged then to the Jackson family who still resides in Silver Spring, Maryland (who the property was released to after all excavations and surveys were finished). Among many of the everyday artifacts there were some curious ones found. There were many buttons and marbles scattered throughout the kitchen and basement of the house. There were also strange markings on what was left of the windows; "X"s drawn on the corners of the glass. These markings were also present on many of the buttons, bones, and some of the other artifacts that were found in the house. Many of which showed the letter "J" as well as the X.

Much research was done on these markings and artifacts. It was then discovered that these were all examples of the practice of Hoodoo. The "X"s represented the crossroads which were a place of great power. The "J"s were an emblem of the Jackson family. These markings were used to protect the household. Upon further searching through the artifacts (I swear I spent over a week going through one box) more of these etchings were found on different objects.

I was just a technician at the archaeology lab so I wasn't the one that wrote the reports so unfortunately I can't provide the final accounts of what was found in the house and what all it meant. What was great though is this started my research on the subject of Hoodoo and lead me to use it in my thesis for my first GIS class. Below is the abstract of the thesis:



The religion of Hoodoo is one that is a mix of African culture and the culture of the slaves in the United States. It was mostly practiced during the 19th and 20th centuries after the emancipation of the slaves and is seen a lot in the South, but also in the Mid-Atlantic region. Hoodoo is a religion that is very concerned with space and what a person’s role is in that space. Most of the rituals of hoodoo have to do with containing that space and being able to control it. One of the main practices is the “mojo bag.”  The mojo bag contains many different parts of different elements of the world and it is all wrapped up in a piece of cloth that belongs to the person. These bags are placed in the four corners of the house, thus protecting the inhabitants.
GIS will be used to look at spatial relationships of Hoodoo objects.  In this project I will examine different sites that have Hoodoo artifacts to research similarities or patterns in use of space in term of these artifacts (the contents of these mojo bags) Questions that might be raised during this research are: What exactly is a Hoodoo artifact?  Does the spatial relationship of the artifacts within the site directly reflect the rituals of Hoodoo? Are there regional differences in patterns of artifacts related to organization of slaves? Are there patterns of sites related to the landscape and surrounding areas? To answer these questions GIS maps will be created.
Then there will be a GIS of a particular site, The Brice House in Annapolis, MD, and the spatial relations of the artifacts in that site, which then will go back to the general idea of space and control within the hoodoo practices. There will be a GIS of Virginia and Maryland to show how there is a large smattering of sites in these two states. By using the GIS of the Brice House archeologists will be able to see what the relationship is of the different artifacts within that site, and what they can tell them about the inhabitants of that homestead.

Hoodoo has become more than just a fascinating practice to study, it has become part of my life and daily rituals. Mojo bags are used heavily by me for both my own benefit and also to help others. Most of my rituals are also Hoodoo based with a mix of my Celtic flavor to them.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Final Countdown

Only 5 more days until Bloody Friday and the release of Summer's Hollow. I'm so excited I can't even stand it! Like I've said many times this book is my seven year old baby. To have it finally published and available to all my lovely readers is just beyond amazing. What's even more amazing is this book is going to be my first print book! Publishing eBooks is pretty awesome too, but there is nothing like holding your own work in your hands. The closest thing I've had to that is a poem that I had published in an anthology when I was 13.

To note, there has been a few slight changes to the final product. There is now a new cover that fit the formatting better for the print book and also I have changed the price for the print book to $7.99. My goal is for as many people to be able to afford my work while still allowing me to make back the money that I put into the book. Making money would be great but like I've said before I don't do this for the money. If I can buy a cup of coffee with my royalties then I will be satisfied. Writing is my passion and I just want to share my passion with the world (or as much of the world as I can).

This week's blog posts will be full of Summer's Hollow goodness. All things witchy, spirity, and bloody will be examined leading up to Bloody Friday on May 3rd. So.... let the countdown begin! 

Monday, April 22, 2013

A Bad Reputation




1
            “So new town, new school… seems like a trend for us,” Emma sighed.
            “Think you can behave in this one?” Ethan laughed as the two of them walked into the school.
            “Behave, whatever you mean?” she laughed.
            “You just have a habit of stirring things up…” Ethan said, “Or rather let things get stirred up around with you… you know how close you were to getting kicked out of that last school…”
            “What like Dad even cares… if he has his way we wouldn’t be going to school…”
            “He wants us to learn other things besides…” Ethan said lowering his voice, “Killing things…”
            “Yeah, yeah… so what’s your first class?” Emma asked as she looked at her schedule.
            “Junior English… awesome,” Ethan said, “You know I’m seriously thinking about dropping out and just getting my GED, it’s not like I need this crap…”
            “Weirdly enough some classes I actually like… first period gym class though is not one of them…” she sighed as she stuffed her schedule in her bag, “You know it’s just all the other stuff that I hate about high school. Freaking football players and pep rallies, cheerleaders and drama geeks... the whole lot of it just makes me nauseous frankly… I’d rather be traveling around on back country roads fighting monsters. High school is so much worse…”
            “Yeah… well have fun in gym class… try not to cause too much trouble your first day,” Ethan said as he walked towards his classroom.
            “Can’t promise you anything, you know these things just sort of happen… I mean you aren’t Mr. Authority on the subject… try not to hit on anyone today…”
            “Can’t promise you anything…” Ethan said as he walked into his classroom.
            Emma laughed and shook her head as she walked to the gym where the gym class took place. Of course she didn’t bother looking at her schedule before she came to school today so she wasn’t exactly dressed for class. Right now she was wearing tight blue jeans and a ACDC black tank top which over it she wore her favorite leather jacket. As she walked into the gym she could feel all eyes on her as she walked up to the teacher and handed him her schedule.
            “So you’re the new girl huh? You’re late…” he said.
            “Sorry, don’t know this place yet, got a little lost,” she said even though that was a lie.
            “And you’re not dressed,” he said handing her schedule back to her as he looked her up and down.
            “Sorry, didn’t get my schedule until today,” another lie.
            “Well we’re playing dodge ball,” he said, “You can play in that right?”
            “Yeah it’s fine,” she said.
            “Good Ms. Carmichael, so put your things down and join the team on the right…” he said.           
            She nodded and then went and put her things down on the bleachers and took off her jacket so that her tank top was showing, along with the skin between her pants and some cleavage. Not the most practical for sports, but it would do. She saw a most of the guys in the class looking at her as she pulled her wavy light brown hair up into a ponytail. She took her place on the right team and then the game commenced.
            She actually lasted pretty long, not that she had much practice with dodge ball, but she was good at dodging other things. The whole dodge ball thing during gym class she thought was so clich├ęd but it was obvious that this was the one thing that the gym teacher didn’t have to put that much effort into. The class went by fast and she noticed quickly that the boys were all paying her attention and talking to her while the girls were all whispering about her and giving her snide looks. Well there went that good first impression, she thought was they all wrapped up the games and headed off to the locker rooms.
            “Hey, it’s Emma right?” a boy suddenly said behind her.
            “Yeah… how’d you know that?” she asked.
            “Saw your name on your schedule…” he said as he handed it to her, “You dropped it.”
            “Thanks… and here I thought you were just stalking me,” she laughed.
            “No, not exactly the stalking type,” he said, “I’m Rick by the way…”
            “Well Rick it was nice to meet you… but I have to get to my next class. Don’t want to be late.”
            “Something tells me you don’t care if you’re late…”
            “Wow maybe you are stalking me Rick…” she smiled as she turned and walked away. She could feel his eyes on her as she walked.
            Emma then walked out of the gym and back into the hallway thinking about how that first class wasn’t so bad, despite making a sort of a spectacle out of herself. She hoped the next classes and the rest of the day would go well too. It suddenly changed when she was stopped by a girl in the hallway who was wearing a cheerleading uniform.
            “Carmichael  huh?” the girl said standing in front of Emma.
            “Yeah… I’m Emma,” she said standing there, “And you are?”
            “Julie… you were in my gym class… do you need me to show you around?” she asked in an almost condescending tone.
            “I think I can probably manage… just heading to physics lab now…” Emma said.
            “Well I’m heading that way I’ll show you…” she said as she took Emma’s arm and Emma took all her might not to bat her away.
            “Fine…” Emma said putting on a fake smile.
            Of all the people to be friendly with or at least fake friendly she didn’t want to be friends with this cheerleader. Emma was also pretty sure that this was one of those girls that was whispering about her and giving her snide looks.
            “So where are you from Emma?” Julie asked.
            “All around really…”
            “And why are you starting in October?” she asked.
            Emma sighed, “We move around a lot because of my Dad’s job… this was just when we got here…”
            “Okay… so what’s your deal? What do you like to do for fun? Play any sports or anything?” Julie asked.
            “No… no sports or clubs… I tend to move around a lot so there’s really not time for me to get into things. More of a stay away from school activities kind of person…” she sighed, “We’re getting close aren’t we?”
            “Yeah right up here…”
            “So you’re a sophomore right?”
            “Yeah… and you?” Emma said trying to be friendly.
            “Junior… and I’m very involved… cheerleader as you can see, and I heard you met my boyfriend already?” Julie said and now Emma understood why Julie was talking to her.
            “Oh… Rick right? Yeah I dropped my schedule and he picked it up for me… he seems nice,” Emma smiled.
            “Yeah he is, and he has a soft spot for new kids…” Julie said her hand tightening on Emma’s arm, “Started last year himself, his Dad’s in the army…”
            “Well then we have something in common, our Dad’s moving around a lot,” Emma said, “So this is my class I think… it was nice meeting you Julie,” Emma said smiling a real smile now.
            “Likewise…” she said as she walked off, “Oh and Emma a word of advice next time you come to gym class and you’re gonna be jumping around, don’t wear something so skimpy…”
            “Well thanks for the advice,” Emma said sarcastically, “I’ll remember that for next time…”
            “Yeah you do that Carmichael ,” Julie said giving her that same snide look from earlier.
            Emma sighed as she walked into the physics lab as the bell rang. She sat down in the back, not wanting to talk to anyone really, but of course some boy sat himself down at her table. She spent the class like most of her past classes, not paying attention. Instead she was thinking about how she had somehow already made an enemy. She knew Julie’s type; her type was the reason she almost got kicked out of the last school. She knew that Julie was going to try to make her life a living hell. She also knew that she wasn’t going to stand for it and she already knew how to press Julie’s buttons.

2
            “Hey Carmichael over here!” Julie called as Emma walked into the cafeteria, which where of course her and Ethan had different lunch periods.
            She didn’t want to sit with the cheerleaders but it was either that or sit by herself or buffalo herself onto a table with stranger which she could easily do. Against her better judgment though she went and sat down next to Julie and the other cheerleaders.
            “So what’s with the uniforms?” Emma asked.
            “Pep Rally during 7th period today; there’s a big game tomorrow night against our rivals… you should come with us to the game… I mean obviously we’ll be cheering…”
            “Yeah like I said earlier school spirit isn’t really my thing,” she said as she took a sip of her Pepsi.
            “So what’s your ‘thing’ then?” Julie asked as some of the other girls chuckled.
            Emma sighed she knew that this was a bad idea. She looked over at Rick who was smiling at her giving her an apologetic look, “Well I don’t have just one ‘thing’ I like to listen to music and love drive in movies…”
            “So you don’t have any talents or anything?” one of the other cheerleaders asked.
            “I can think of some talents that you probably have,” one of who she guessed was a football player said smiling and then one of the others gave him a high five.
            “Eww… don’t be a pervert Jeff…” Julie said.
            “So what do you do then? Just hang out with your friends? Or do you not have any friends?” Julie asked turning up her nose.
            “Well yeah I just kind of ‘hang out’ mostly with my brother… obviously I don’t have any friends yet since I just came here… and unlike some people it’s not like I have to money to go out and do whatever I want…” she said bitterly.
            “Yeah I can see that by what you’re wearing… I mean that jacket where the hell did you get it?”
            “Vintage shop down in Alabama…” Emma said smiling, she was proud of the jacket.
            “I think it’s cool… retro stuff always is,” Rick smiled.
            “Shut up Rick,” Julie said.
            “You know I’m getting the feeling this little lunch is more of a ‘let’s make fun of the new girl’ thing… and I’m sorry to say that my feeling don’t get hurt that easily so if you’re trying to drive me away it’s not going to work,” Emma said smiling as she sipped more of her soda.
            “And why would we make fun of you Carmichael? I mean you fit in so well around here don’t you?” Julie laughed.
            “Well I mean haven’t had much time to fit in do I? Plus who cares… it’s high school,” Emma laughed as she decided to stand up.
            “Where are you going?” Julie asked.
            “What, you think I’m going to sit here at your table of conceited rich kids and take you making fun of me?” Emma laughed.
            “Oh come on it’s all in good fun… plus better to sit at our table and have us pick on you than to be outside our table and have you being picked on by everyone…” Julie laughed.
            “Who cares,” Emma laughed, “What don’t you get about that? I don’t care about all this shit… high school is four years! Four fucking years of our extremely long lives where everyone wants to label you to throw you into some category and force you to do all these things that you hate. Well not me. I don’t care what people think of me…”
            “Carmichael you are making a big mistake. You might not care what people think of you, but everyone else does. They will eat you alive out there… the way you are…”
            “The way I am?” Emma laughed as now a good majority of the cafeteria was listening to their conversation, “And what way would that be?”
            “Come on Emma,” Julie laughed, “I mean look at you… you’re so much different than everyone…”
            “And since when is being different a bad thing? If we were all the same things would be boring… I mean look at you lot…” Emma laughed.
            “Well at least we’re not freaks…” Julie said smiling and there was a silence that fell over the cafeteria and the ‘ohs” started.
            “Listen, I’d rather be me any day than be a bitch like you,” Emma said as she turned to leave.
            “Freak!” Julie yelled than Emma felt something hit her back.
            She turned around to see a plate of fries on the ground, ketchup now on her leather jacket. Emma shut her eyes a willed herself not to straight out punch Julie in the face. She brushed off the fries and what ketchup she could.
            “You know bitch that was a really bad move,” Emma said, “Just watch yourself…”
            Emma then stormed out of the cafeteria, her first day at school taking a turn for the worst. She stormed over to her locker and shed her leather coat to see the ketchup on the back. She quickly took out a rag that she had in her locker and wiped all the ketchup off of it that she could. She then put the jacket in her locker chilly now that she was only wearing a tank top.
            “Dammit…” she said as she rubbed her hands on her shoulders.
            Suddenly she felt a presence behind her and a hand that reached out with a flannel shirt in its hand. She turned to see Rick standing there holding a shirt as well as that same apologetic look on his face.
            “What you didn’t want to revel in your girlfriend’s act upon me,” she said crossing her arms.
            “Hey, waving the white flag here… Julie can be a bitch sometimes I know… she’s just threatened by you that’s all. A hot new girl comes in and takes all the attention off of her… she goes into defensive mode, “Now here I know you’re cold…”
            “Thanks,” Emma sighed as she pulled on his flannel shirt, “Won’t Julie be pisssed that you’re fraternizing with the enemy?”
            “Eh what she doesn’t know won’t hurt her… plus I’m not a little dog that follows her around all the time. I Might be one of those boring ‘rich kids’ you were talking about but I do have a heart and I can see that you could maybe use a friend right now.”
            “Well thanks Rick, but I meant what I said… I really don’t care what people think of me and I don’t need to have all these friends. I have my brother and me and him we stick up for each other…”
            “Well your brother can’t always be there… and maybe you don’t want a friend but I have your back if you need it… so that you don’t have to have ketchup thrown on you again… which by the way I’ll have paid to be dry cleaned…”
            “You don’t have to…”
            “Well I want to,” he smiled, “And I don’t want this whole thing to deter you from eating in the cafeteria or coming to the Pep Rally this afternoon…”
            “Well I don’t get scared away that easily Rick…” she smiled, “I think you would’ve realized that by now… though you should be happy that I didn’t punch her in the face for trying to ruin my jacket.”
            “Yeah I saw that look in your eyes… and I know you could’ve easily knocked her out, you could probably take me as well…” he smiled.
            “Well anytime you want to fight me just let me know,” she smiled.
            “So you’re still going to the Pep Rally right?”
            “Well I was under the impression that it was mandatory otherwise I’d skip it…” she sighed, “Not my scene at all…”
            “I’d like to see you there though… don’t think of going for you. Think about going there to see me…” he smiled.
            “Well then I guess I have to go then… I mean you did give me your shirt so I don’t freeze my ass of… these halls are freaking cold!”
            “Yeah, they don’t turn on the heat until like November,” he smiled, “By the way keep it, it looks good on you…”
            “And your girlfriend doesn’t mind you giving me your clothes?”
            “Once again I’m not just defined by my girlfriend, and second she doesn’t have to know,” he said as he walked away, “So see you at the Pep Rally?”
            “Guess so,” she sighed as he walked backwards down the hall then smiled as he turned and walked forward.
            Emma touched the shirt that she was wearing and then suddenly got an idea of how to get Julie back. It was obvious that Rick was starting to have a crush on Emma and she was going to use that to her advantage. She wasn’t going to wait though to use the advantage. If Julie was going to embarrass her in front of everyone than she was going to embarrass her in front of everyone and where better to do it? The Pep Rally of course.

3
            Emma sat on the edge of the bleacher close to the door of the gym that was on the far left. She sat on the end and there were people next to her that were all spirited out and what not. She sat there still in Rick’s shirt with her tank top underneath. As they announced the players from the different sports teams she just sat there impatiently waiting for her turn to pull her little stunt.
            She gripped the edge of the bleachers with her hands that were half covered by the shirt that was too big. At one point she was Julie’s eyes on her as Julie cheered on with the rest of the cheerleaders. Ethan was nowhere to be found and she figured that he had probably just decided not to go. She hadn’t made much effort to go find Ethan though for what she was planning to do. She smiled to herself as she thought about it, as the football team was now introduced.
            She sat there teetering back and forth as the other team members were announced and one by one ran out of the door by which she was sitting near. At last the captains were announced along with Rick who then came out and Julie and the cheerleaders cheered for him the longest. Emma then stood up as he was standing right near her. He smiled at her and she smiled back.
            Julie and the other girls stopped cheering right as Emma suddenly kissed Rick on the lips. To her surprise Rick actually kissed her back for a second before she got off of him. Only half of the gym could see what was going on, but the whole gym fell silent except for the other football players chuckling.
            “Um…” Rick said as he looked at her.
            “Go on…” she smiled as she waved him on to the go onto the court with other members of the team.
            Emma then looked over at Julie whose face was now beat red and she looked like she was about to cry. Emma just waved at her and then headed out of the gym laughing to herself. She half expected Julie to follow her as she walked out but she knew that for Julie reputation was everything and if she would never allow herself to make a big scene that made herself look bad. Emma was still surprised that Rick had actually kissed her back she had expected him to push her away to cause from making a bigger scene than necessary.
            One thing was for sure, she sure did make an interesting impression on the student body on her first day of school. Emma was walking to her locker to get out her things when the Pep Rally let out and people streamed into the halls. She could feel the stares on her as people past by her, but she knew this would all die down eventually just like things always did in high school. It was so worth it to get Julie back for what she did in the cafeteria at lunch.
            Of course who came up to her in the hallway though as she stood there, Rick who had a confused look on his face, “So… what was that exactly?” he asked.
            “Well I was under the impression that, that was a kiss…” she said, “Why are you here, don’t you have practice or something?”
            “Yeah but I have a minute to kill until I have to be on the field,” he said, “Look Julie and I are together okay, and I’m guessing you don’t care about that…”
            “Oh I care,” she said closing her locker, “That’s why I did it…”
            “Wait what...” he said confused as the cheerleaders including Julie started walking down the hall.
            “Look sorry I dragged you into this but the way to getting Julie back for all the crap that she did to me was to get her where it hurts…” she said as she pulled her bag over her shoulder.
            “So you used…” he started to say but didn’t get to finish as Julie stomped over to them.
            “What the hell do you think you’re doing?!” Julie asked as she pushed Emma against the locker.
            “So violence is the next stage then?” Emma laughed as she easily pushed Julie off of her.
            “That’s my boyfriend whose throat you just had your tongue down!” Julie yelled.
            Emma shrugged, “He didn’t seem to mind…”
            “Julie look stop this…” Rick said.
            “No! I won’t have her try to seduce you!” Julie said as she stopped and saw the shirt that Emma was wearing, “Why the fuck is she wearing your shirt?”
            “Well see your boyfriend is actually a decent person so after you defaced my jacket he gave me this to wear so I wasn’t cold…” Emma said.
            “Take it off!” Julie said as she then pulled on it and it ripped.
            “Now look what you’ve done,” Emma said smirking, “You’ve gone and ruined a perfectly good shirt… you’re boyfriend’s shirt no less.”
            “Julie please, we can deal with this later…” Rick said.
            “Yeah Julie please…” Emma said in a mocking tone.
            “You bitch! You fucking whore! You can’t just come in and steal people’s boyfriends!” Julie yelled.
            “Are we done with the name calling? Cause I have places to be,” Emma said starting walk off but Julie then slapped her in the face.
            There was a silence that now filled the now crowded hall because everyone had just heard that smack. Rick held his breath as Emma rounded on Julie the torn shirt now on the crook of her arms.
            “Bad, bad move,” Emma said as she couldn’t take it any longer and punched Julie in the face and she went down to the ground.
            Emma then pulled the shirt back up and adjusted her bag as she then turned and walked down the hallway as both Rick and the cheerleaders bent down to make sure that Julie was okay. Luckily for Julie Emma didn’t her that hard. As she walked outside people stepped away from her. So not only had she labeled herself as an apparent boyfriend stealer but she was also labeled violent.

4
            “So I saw your little spectacle…” Ethan said as he came into the living room where she was watching the Twilight Zone.
            “You know they never seem to get anything right on this show…” Emma sighed as Ethan stood behind her, “I mean werewolves don’t turn into wolves those are skinwalkers… gosh…”
            “Emma… don’t avoid the subject,” Ethan said.
            “I’m not… just making an observation,” Emma smiled, “So which spectacle are we talking about?”
            “The one when you made out with a football player in front of practically the whole school,” Ethan sighed crossing his arms.
            “Oh that… don’t worry I don’t like him or anything… just getting back at his girlfriend,” she shrugged, “Wow you were actually at the Pep Rally…”
            “Yeah some cheerleader I met told me to come… but that’s beside the point… so you kissed this guy, who is taken to get back at his girlfriend? Is this by any chance the girl that poured a plate of fries on you during lunch?”
            “Yatzee,” she said as she flipped through the channels, “She made a fool out of me in front of everyone so I wanted to do the same to her…”
            “Well so much for making a good first impression…” Ethan said, “By the way whose shirt is that?”
            “Rick’s… forgot that I was wearing it,” she said looking down.
            “Who’s Rick?”
            “The football player… Julie’s boyfriend, he was nice enough to give it to me after my jacket got covered in ketchup,” she said nonchalantly.
            “Nice Em, real nice… so not only are you making an enemy you’re screwing with a guy who’s actually being nice to you,” Ethan said.
            “I’m not screwing with him, just with Julie… he’s better off without her anyways,” Emma said.
            “So you like this Rick guy?”
            “No… I mean he’s nice, we could be friends…”
            “Yeah I doubt he wants to be friend with you after this,” Ethan said, “And how did the shirt get ripped and why do you have a mark on your face?”
            “Ethan are we playing 20 questions here or something?” she asked finally turning to him.
            “Emma… did you get into a fight?”
            “Yep… but don’t worry she’s alive…” Emma said, “I punched her in the face and didn’t use all the strength that I could’ve…”
            “And you wonder why people don’t like you Em…” he said shaking his head.
            “Hey I did nothing to Julie or any of her little cheerbitches okay? I was nothing but nice and honest and somehow that deserved me being called a freak and a slut and a bitch. Then made me look like a complete loser because I didn’t want to sit with them as they called me names and made fun of the way I dress? Yeah all my fault…”
            “You didn’t have to retaliate…” he said.
            “Yeah right, this coming from you? You’ve been in more fights than I have… by the way how did your first day go?” Emma asked, “Cause I heard a rumor about a mysterious new guy who was making out with a cheerleader in the janitor’s closet…”
“Yeah well at least I wasn’t making out with someone in front of the whole school…”
“Face it Ethan, we’re not the good ones okay? We don’t follow rules we can’t lie low or
blend in…”
            “Hey don’t label me in with you,” he said, “I don’t make a spectacle out of myself…”
            “Whatever, it’s high school Ethan, things happen then people get over them and we all move on until there’s another scandal…” Emma said, “I’m not worried I’ll be back to being the freak who keeps to herself in no time…”
            “Since when do you keep to yourself? I wish you would sometimes…” he sighed.
            “Whatever at least thing with me are never boring.”
            “That’s true but your idea of not boring is fighting and throwing yourself at guys…” Ethan said rolling his eyes.
            “Ethan you realize there is a reason that we will never fit in with these people right? We’re not like them… we don’t care about the latest styles or about getting good grades or about the freaking football season. We’re too busy making sure that all their asses are safe to care about that stuff. And yeah maybe I don’t handle things as well as I should but all of it is so fucking trivial…”
            “You know I agree with you, but can you just tone it down please? I don’t need to deal with people talking about you. I know you don’t care what people say about you, but I do,” he sighed.
            “Well thanks for caring Ethan but I can take care of myself and you’re right I don’t care what people think of me. But don’t worry I’ll tone it down. I already showed everyone what I’m capable of so I don’t think they’ll mess with me anymore,” she said but she really had no idea how wrong she was.

5
            “Can we talk?” Rick said as she walked up to her locker where he was waiting for her at lunch.
            “What about?” she asked as she took some books out of her bag and put them into her locker.
            “Like you don’t know… come on I know a place we can go,” he said as he gestured for her to follow him.
            She sighed as she closed her locker and followed him as they walked down the pretty empty halls. They ended up going to the woodshop classroom which was also deserted. He sat down at one of the tables and motioned for her to sit down.
            “You know I’m really not one for these long serious talks… look I’m sorry if you felt that I used you…” she sighed.
            “Well Emma you did use me…” he said, “And to think that I actually liked you…”
            “Rick come on, you barely know me,” she sighed her worst fear coming true; she didn’t want this guy falling for her.
            “And yet you already have me interested in you… took Julie two years,” he said.
            “Why are you with her?” she asked.
            “Cause it’s the way things go right? Head captain of the football team dates the Head cheerleader right?” he half chuckled.
“And she’s hot…”
“Well that too… and honestly she’s not that bad of a person…” he said though smirked,
“Though I thought you weren’t a bad person and yet here we are…”
            “I’m not a bad person… I just don’t let people walk all over me. Like I said high school is one part of our lives, one little part and it shouldn’t define you as a person…” she said.
            “Yeah well sticking your tongue down my throat in front of the whole school is pretty bad…”
            “You didn’t seem to mind,” she laughed.
            “Hot girl like you kisses me of course I’m gonna kiss you back,” he laughed, “But still I’m with Julie… well for now anyways… haven’t talked to her since after you punched her… which by the way I convinced her not to go to the principal on.”
            “I don’t need you to help me,” she said taken back, “And she started this whole thing anyhow…”
            “Was she in class this morning?”
            “Yeah she was but she brought some bogus note saying that she could sit out… I barely even hit her she’s so dramatic… but her mission was accomplished cause all the cheerleaders hate me now… along with a lot of the school…”
            “And that doesn’t bother you?” he asked.
            “Not really… I don’t know any of the people here why should I care what they’re whispering about me behind me back?” she shrugged.
            “Oh if only I could be like you,” he sighed, “I care what people think, hence why I kind of need to ask you to stay away from me okay?”
            “Yeah I get it, don’t want people to think we’re sleeping together while you’re with Julie…” she said.
            “Though how long me and Julie are going to stay together I don’t know… she was pretty pissed at me too after the whole incident. Plus I heard she was crying in a bathroom stall in the locker room this morning…”
            “Well looks like my plan worked than,” she smiled and he gave her a look, “Sorry… do you want me to lie to you and say that I’m sorry that I did it to her?”
            “No… but I’m serious about us not talking anymore okay? You might not care if people talk about you behind your back but I do and I have enough on my plate with the season winding down and school’s giving me offers… I don’t need drama…”
            “Hey drama just kind of follows me okay? I mean you saw Julie was the one who started this whole thing…”
            “Well I’m warning you Julie doesn’t let up, you just made yourself the enemy of the most popular girl in school…”
            “Sweet, well I’ll cross that off my bucket list,” she said rolling her eyes, “Well go on then get out of here, go back to being the golden boy. I promise I’ll just act like nothing ever happened okay?”
            “Good… that’s good,” he said, “Then maybe after football season we’ll see where we both are…”
            “Yeah, sure…” she said knowing that she had no interest of dating this guy, “Well I guess I won’t be seeing you around then?”
            “Uh huh,” he said as he started towards the door, “Just be careful Emma okay?”
            “But being careful is so boring,” she smiled.
            “Yeah and I guess we know you’re not boring,” he said smiling as he walked out of the wood shop room.
            Emma sighed, she could say all she wanted about how all this didn’t faze her, that she didn’t care what people thought about her and everything but it didn’t change anything. She was here less than two days and she already made an enemy with the most socially powerful girl in school and alienated herself from the most influential guy. This broke all her records at the last schools by a mile.
            “Well shouldn’t this be an interesting school year,” she sighed as she waited until Rick had walked all the way down the hall and then she headed out as well.

(Because you know you're singing the song right now)