Most Likely to Slay All Day
"Cold was the steel of the axe to grind for the boys who broke my heart." - T. Swift
INT. A Very Cluttered, Very Closet-Sized Bathroom
She cuts her bangs sitting in the bathroom sink with a set of kitchen shears. Stainless steel blades guaranteed to cut through everything.™She snips and snips and snips again. Steady and smirking, she shakes the fallen hair from her face and adjusts her pony just right, pleased with herself. It's a good look. She uses the same weapon to cut her beat-up racing tee off at her waist, just enough to make sure he could see the flash of her belly ring tonight at motocross. Black hoodie, on. It's the only way she's going to make it out of the house. Scissors in the backpack, just in case. Sunglasses (even indoors) if she feels like it. One more sip of the beer she remembered was still sitting on the back of the toilet. One more look in the mirror (always) and she's out the door.
EXT. A Moody Suburban Street Just Past Dusk
She reapplies cherry lime lipgloss when she's anxious (at least 37 times a day on average). She keeps the same glossy variety in the front left pocket of her black jeans at all times. If she doesn't have it there, she grabs the one from her backpack. If she doesn't have it there, she goes back for it. She feels the buzz of a notification and pulls her phone from the same jeans to check her messages from him.
Time for a texting close-up: her chipped green nails on the cracked screen of her cell phone (it's always cracked):
Hey you. When are you heading over there?
He almost responds.
But doesn't actually send.
Another text comes in from her sistah, the LYLAS BFFFFFFF times infinity variety. She clicks over to:
Hey girl, hey. Get ready faster. Let’s goooooooooooo. [insert a fun variety pack of emojis here]
Working on it, woman! [party emoji + inside joke emoji] Just got in the car. Text you when I get there.
INT: The Most Common Used Red Cavalier for Millennial Girls in the Early 2000s
She checks her phone quick first then puts on lipgloss before putting on her seatbelt. She double checks her phone again. Nothing. Hmmm. She pulls out of her driveway and then slams the breaks about a house-and-a-half up from her. There's a shadow in the street. Or at least she thinks there is, was. It fades before she has time to panic. This reminds her of the time he surprised her at the park with a pizza (that was pretty cold by the time her made it to her but a nice gesture, and he included a 6-pack of Mike's Hard Lemonade so that was a real bonus). But that was also the day that she spent the afternoon convinced that there were shadow people lingering in the tree line. To his defense, she was acting ridiculous about it, but that's because she saw shadow people lingering in the tree line. He tried to convince her it was how her eye reflects light and how it must be a rare condition or ability of some sort she should really look into. Ugh, asshole. Or was that a compliment? Sometimes she was more attracted to him because she couldn't tell what his intent was. She knew that was probably a bad sign, but she stayed with him anyway.
EXT. A Dusty Parking Lot Outside the County's Prized Grandstand Building
She pulls onto the gravel for motocross. It's packed so it takes forever to find his truck. She pulls up far enough away that it could seem unintentional, but close enough to keep an eye on it. She knew he'd be here. The bikes are roaring so most of the crowds have flocked to them by now. A good time for a smoke break on the way in. She is antsy without hearing from him so she reapplies her lipgloss and texts him again:
Here. Did you make it yet?
Weird, or weird timing?
She looks behind her where she heard it, but there's nothing back there. She's not alone though. Faceless clusters make their way around her, but it's just that no one seems to notice her. She's not in anyone's orbit. Alone in a spread-out crowd, waiting for her best friend to call. Waiting him to care, the boy that she's sure must be thinking about her whenever she's thinking about him. And then there's that chance he isn't, so every once in a while in those moments she buckles and finds a good excuse to reach out to him. It's a stretch that doesn't seem to be panning out, but she's chooses to stay in the dark. She doesn't want to take a hint.
INT. Her Actual Living Nightmare
The night has this heavy feeling that it will stick with you forever, heavy like the footsteps that she starts to track above the chorus of engines in the distance. The roar of lullaby static was disrupted by him. She knows he's back there, hopes so. She freezes because she feels someone. The cars continue to beam in and disperse. The lights play tricks on her. The shadows reappear. Shifty and taunting. She feels eyes on her, or something, something that kind of warms her cheeks and weirds her out. She feels like her stomach is dropping out of her uterus. She panics so she picks up her pace toward the raceway, checks her phone for the time to make sure this is all real and, of course, layers on another glossy coat to her lips (not knowing yet that it is no use; she will not be kissed tonight). She hears him call out to her playfully and then she sees him. The shape of his mannerisms play out in murky resemblance. God dammit, he's a shadow puppet, shit. Really, IRL. Shit. And on top of that, no one has text her back! Ugh. There is really nowhere for her to hide now (or get help apparently) because he knows that she knows that he's not who he said he was. She feels stuck in a fog, with some kind of building pressure on her lower back. It's sinister. He must sense that she's another imposter, too, if he's coming after her. Good thing she's prepared.
Sidenote: sis spent no time between feeling that shadow monsters are real and researching the best way to wipe them out. We're talking hours of deep cut, seedy web searches, "how to slay a shadow" video results, ample practice in the mirror and even a library visit. And this is coming from someone who refuses to put down rat poison or even ant tramps. So she has put in the work and she knows what she's working with, which honestly is why this shadow has taken so long to mess with her. She had no idea it was him until now but now she knows she must make an impression.
The pressure builds and he takes hold of her, spinning her into oblivion, triggering a blow-chunks-after-the-kamikaze-ride-kind-of-carnival-sick. But despite her stomach, she can handle it. She's not having it today. She reaches behind into her backpack and pulls out her trusty blade and without a second thought, proves how utilitarian a solid pair of cutters can be. One slice is all it takes, and the girl with guts maims a monster (who is also the mystery man she most likely loves) with the same scissors she used to cut her bangs in the bathroom. I guess life really isn't all lipgloss and motocross.
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