Sunday, March 17, 2013

Bella Cinderella by Summer Day (Venice Beach Hall = freakshow) #Two


Venice Beach Hall = freakshow
    If Jewel had been dreaming, she’d awakened to a nightmare.
    Her half-siblings practically ruled the school and the whole place seemed to be filled with more than the usual amount of miserable looking teens wearing dark clothing.
    Jewel went to the office to sign in.
   “You’re looking very cheery today,” the office manager, Mrs Parks, noted. She even wrote it on Jewel’s form next to her name, age and other details; smiles a lot.
    “I’ve allocated you a home room,” Mrs Parks said. “I think you’ll enjoy the company. We have two new boys today – both of them total hotties if you don’t mind me saying so.”
   Jewel didn’t.
   She slunk into her seat in the back row of home room and pulled out her copy of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. She figured she should do some research and she may as well start at the beginning then work her way up to Twilight.  Jewel was comfortable in her seat surrounded by a small selection of dozing teen vampires (some curled up in the rafters, others slumped on chairs and tables) and a few other ‘normals’ like her. Some of the vamps had notes from home giving them permission to sleep most of the day. It was discriminatory to apply normal rules to the nocturnal. The nocturnals collected their class work at the end of the day and simply worked through the night and delivered it to their teachers the next morning.
     There were also kids at Venice Beach Hall who were trapped in the school district and couldn’t transfer out of VBH for fear of being branded ‘discriminators.’ As long as you had type O generic (safe blood) and resided in the district, you were required to attend Venice Beach Hall. It was deemed perfectly sound. As Miranda told Jewel, “don’t worry dear, no one would dream of biting you there. Your blood is hardly sweet enough.”    
     VBH wasn’t so bad, although the d├ęcor was more like Dracula’s castle. The cafeteria gave a choice of real food as well as various blood snacks. They were supposedly made with animal blood but it still grossed the average humans out.
     Jewel had her head immersed in Dracula when she walked straight into Riff Martin in the lunch queue. Riff was the new boy. At first she thought he was a vamp because he wore black and had dark circles under his eyes. After Jewel knew him better, she realized he stayed up all night mixing music. Riff was kind of tall and skinny which made him appear quite hungry.
    Jewel jumped when he said “hi.”
    “It’s okay,” he said. “I’m not gonna bite you. I just… moved here with my aunt. She’s the guidance counselor but don’t tell anyone. She said she’s never been so busy – already. Vamps have a lot of issues. I didn’t think this place would be so… creepy,” he said as an afterthought. Then he smiled politely.
    “Right, sure, well, it is,” Jewel said.
     The last time a hot boy spoke to her, at her previous high school, Jewel had made the mistake of going out with him. The next day at school the rumor went around that Jewel had tried to bite him. It was so untrue, but students had heard her stepsisters were vampires and bullied Jewel accordingly. Perhaps it would be better here, Jewel thought.
    “So, you take music?” Riff asked.
    “Oh, yeah.” Jewel was carrying her music notes and Riff was holding his guitar. He wanted to ask more but he had to be at practice.
    “Well, I gotta go. See you in class then,” he said, picking up a bottle of soda.
    “Okay,” Jewel replied. Riff was kind of a nerd by anyone’s standards but he was also warm, friendly and mysterious. Jewel hoped she’d see him again.
     The lunch room was crowded as Jewel took a seat. Her stepsisters were gathered in a bunch gossiping about a new guy called Marco. They waved her over but when Jewel moved towards them Charity mouthed, “just kidding.”
      Jewel shrugged. From where she was seated, she could hear their conversation.  
     “He’s totally not normal. Have you seen how hot he is?”
     “Sure,” Vanity replied. “I think he’s a vamp.”
     “I don’t,” Charity said, “I saw him buy a sandwich…”
     “Yeah but did you see him digest it?”
     “He’s so rad I don’t care. Either way, I’m going to get with him at the party.”
     And that’s how the conversation continued.
     Jewel thought she’d spend lunch alone, and pulled out Dracula again. She was up to a very descriptive part when the boy in question, the topic of the day, Marco De Marco, sat down opposite her. Everyone talked about how handsome and cute Marco was and they weren’t kidding. Since the start of the new semester, he’d been considered one of the hottest juniors ever. He had light brown hair (Patience described it as ‘caramel’) and warm brown eyes. Girl vamps followed him everywhere in groups, even the sleepwalking ones woke up and slumped along to catch a glimpse of him in class. (On the other hand, Riff apparently flew under the radar. Being supposedly ‘normal’ was less than appealing to the majority at VBH).       
     Jewel continued to read; she was pretty shy and hoped to just endure her first days at a new school by flying under the radar.
      She hadn’t counted on Huck and Ruby.
      “Hey,” Huck said, “well look at you, another normal.” He introduced himself, “My real name is Huckleberry,” (Ruby laughed) but everyone calls me Huck, and this is Ruby.”
      Jewel’s new friends were witty and smart, making jokes over lunch about how they ended up at Venice Beach Hall (both expelled from other schools for ‘anti-social’ behavior). Lunch flew by as they spoke.
      Meanwhile Jewel’s stepsisters, Patience, Vanity and Charity, sat on the other side of the cafeteria discussing Marco De Marco and various possible themes for their Masked Birthday Bash.
     They came up with suggestions like: Vixens and Vampires, Secret Agents and Vampirical Assistants (but argued about the fact that girls shouldn’t always be relegated to assistant status) and finally settled on an Undercover Sucker theme. All three girls wanted to go as various different Bond girl vampires but they worried that gave the wrong impression.
    “Perhaps it’s time we presented a more academic image,” Patience suggested.
    They thought about this for a moment. The Minchin girls never studied and laughed at those who did.
    “We’re so wealthy,” Vanity sniggered, “we’ve had two whole centuries to consolidate the income from mom’s marriages. In any case, we’ll never have to work at all now because mom has married one of the richest men in Los Angeles.”  
     “I cannot wait to raid our step’s closet – apparently she’s into vintage.”
     By this time, Marco De Marco and his friend Giovanni had left the cafeteria without looking up at Jewel or her new friends.
    Jewel was glad. She didn’t want to draw any more attention to herself. It was bad enough that she was obviously a normal.
     “Word on the street is that Marco is European. Of course, there’s something exotic about him, but in a school full of freaks, who’d notice?” Ruby whispered.
     “Hey, we heard you’re related to the Minchin sisters.”    
     “Not by blood,” Jewel cringed.
     “Lucky you,” Ruby said. “By the way, we’re coming to your place on Saturday – big birthday party.”
     Huck leaned in, “Well, we weren’t technically invited, but we’ve decided to crash it anyway, since everyone’s wearing masks and our blood doesn’t appeal!”
     Jewel started to laugh. She’d forgotten how it felt to have friends.
     “Well, I’m inviting you – both of you.” Suddenly Jewel didn’t care what her stepmother said, she knew she’d have to fight back or risk being beaten into submission.
     “Awesome,” Huck said. “We’ll come early. You could use a stylist.”