They say that when Ms. Right and her three daughters go inside their house they scream like banshees. They say that when they’re done being good, moral citizens, helping people in church, they become demons. They say that when all four of them are out of sight they become witches. They say that their tanned skin becomes grey and decayed, that their clothes become black lace, and they go to their sanctuary to worship Zee. Zee, you ask, is to herself and followers a deity and leader. Women who want to follow in her footsteps obey her every command…all steps in Zee’s plan to “purify” mankind…
December 20th, 1974
Her veins popped through her skin, the tendons in her neck straining. Her skin became laced in a type of black thread, like vines. Her eyes became completely red like a possessed person, like some demon. Her mouth grew in size, the teeth she bore becoming sharper and longer.
I stared at her, Zeena Lauren, as she changed into her true form. She had started out in the girl’s bathroom as your “average” teenager, with maybe a hint of exotic. Tan, freckled, blond hair streaked with white and black-from the Halloween party a few months back, she’d gone as Frankenstein’s wife and the dye still wouldn’t completely wash out; we had agreed her hair was possessed. But Zeena’s normality had disappeared in a split second, and the only way I could tell it was still her was the way her eyes stared at me, the way her blazer still fit, and the way she stood, one hand on her hip.
“Z-z-zee,” I stuttered, clenching my fists till my knuckles became white. “T-turn back. S-someone might see.”
She rolled her eyes. “Pandora, Pandora let your box of evil open more. You gotta try this out. It’s soooo amazin’,” she purred.
I bit my lower lip. “Someone might come though, what if they see you-” I stopped mid sentence, not wanting to offend my best friend. “Like this.”
She made her you’re-ruining-all-my-fun face, pouting too. “Aw Pan, let’s just try you. Maybe you can turn into this too. My momma’s book says that it could be in your blood.”
There’s that southern accent again. She loves to pull that, try to be sweet. But she knows that I know that her accent has long since disappeared after moving from Texas to here, California. I still remember the attention she got for her accent. All the kids in our class loved it but I hated her "southern belle" additude. It made my skin crawl. That two years before 1974....was before we became best friends forever.
I closed my eyes, filtering out the sound of bones crackling. Though, it has never really got to me like it has to her victims.
“Zee, change back. Now.”
“Ugh. Fiiiine. You are such a whiner,” she said but smiled as the reverse process was less grotesque and more divine. She became Zeena Lauren again. “There, happy?”
“Yes, now let’s get to Biology class before Mister Sanders decides to get serious about teaching again.” I cracked a small smile, reassuring that I was alright.
“Oh I hope not,” she laughed. “Class today we’ll be learning about how the earth works. Please sit up straight and sharpen those number two pencils. Learning is good for you,” she tried at a middle-aged man’s voice, channeling our laid back Biology teacher.
“Come on darling, we’re missing the fun,” I laughed and we linked arms, walking out of the girl’s bathroom.
As we exited (singing some song I don’t quite recall) into the empty halls of our school I noticed something from the corner of my eye. Zee. She was staring at something. It seemed like one of the butterflies that we had studied last semester. Its wings seemed to shimmer and shine. But not for too long.
“What was that?” I asked, worry masking my face.
She gave me one of those blank stares, not blinking, not moving. I broke free from our chain and stepped back, placing a hand to my bejeweled glasses, my knee-high boots making a squeaking sound. The butterfly suddenly stopped flying, its wings somehow dying out, and soon the beautiful butterfly was on the ground, its wings sucked of their once gorgeous pigment. I stared, bewildered at the creature and then slowly back to Zeena.
I didn’t speak. I didn’t have too. Nor did she have too.
But she did, her perky self reviving, cutting the silence. “Come on Pan, let’s get to class. What if your prediction is right my witchy friend? We’ll be doomed to detention…though meeting Kyle is something I’d like…what about you? Any guy catches your wicked eye...You’re such a…”