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A steady dripping echoed through the empty stalls of the girl’s bathroom on the second floor of Westbrook High. Below the peeling yellow wallpaper and chipped porcelain sinks, a lined piece of notebook paper with a smudged shoe print across the top lay motionless on the floor. Across the bottom, the small print craved to be read. The door swished open quickly and closed with a snap. A pair of glossy red stilettos clicked across the filthy tiles, over to the sink and stopped. Supporting a thin, tall creature with a blond mane of hair and a pointed nose, the heels turned to the mirror. The woman retrieved a silver case from her bag and glided it smoothly onto her thin lips, leaving them coated in red. With a sigh, she bent down and plucked the notebook paper off of the floor. She hasn’t found it. The woman thought with a frown. With a sniff, she clicked her red heels out the door.
On the other side of the school, Missy Owens, a plain girl with a soft smile and naturally wavy brown hair remained invisible. She wrapped her scarf tighter around her exposed neck and buttoned her denim jacket as the breeze attempted to uncover her. She carved a small heart into the soft wood of the bench planks with her pencil, tracing the grooves over and over and over. Sitting apart from the other students, Missy remained alone.
Lockers slammed with metal echoes all down the hallway. On the tiled floor, papers swooshed around as feet trampled over top and kicked them from place to place, herding them like sheep. The red heels peeked around the corner from the end of the hall, in an attempt to be discreet. They observed as the Missy girl bent over her locker, that mass of hair blocking her face as she lifted her bag to her shoulder. The woman the shoes carried glanced around then her arm shot out, closing around the twig of an arm attached to a Miss Bridgette Lewis. Bridgette stumbled along, her deep red curls flinging every which way as she was totted around the corner by the red heeled woman.
“Hey what’s your deal?” Bridgette squealed. “I almost broke my ankle, lady!” Smoothing her slim pencil skirt, she looked up and froze. This woman did not look like someone to mess with. With a cough, she straightened her jacket and fixed the strap on her bag. “So, what was that exactly? Do you need help or something?”
The woman looked down on Bridgette, grateful for the extra five inches provided by those heels of hers. She licked her lips, trying to hide her amusement.
“Do you know that Missy Lewis girl?” She asked with an air of general curiosity. Bridgette nodded with a sniff. “I was wondering if you could do a little favor for me.” She told Bridgette in the form of a question but it was clear to Bridgette that it wasn’t a question at all.
“Well, I guess I could, Miss.” She replied sulkily expecting she would have to be nice or something. “What is it you want me to do?”
“Perfect.” The woman flashed a smile then proceeded to instruct Bridgette in what she was to do. She pulled out the piece of notebook paper from a folder and handed it to Bridgette while simultaneously turning her around and giving her a push down the hall. Trusting that Bridgette would do her job, the woman quickly sidestepped into a classroom with an emergency exit and strutted out into the fall air, on her way to finish this little plan of hers.
Bridgette clutched the paper in her thin hands, a feeling of importance filling her even though she had no idea why she was doing what she was doing. She approached Missy as she was almost to the door. From behind, Bridgette shot her foot out to Missy’s ankle, hooking it sharply with her black heel. As Missy went crashing to the floor, papers flying out of her arms, Bridgette acted quickly and shoved her piece of notebook paper in with several of the others. She bounded towards the door now, turning back to flash Missy a smile. Missy looked up through her hair, pain flashed in her eyes as they locked with Bridgette’s. As Bridgette walked towards her shiny black convertible, the image of Missy lying on the floor echoed across her mind but she shook her head trying to shoo it away. Once she turned up her radio and felt the familiar pull of her car, all thoughts of Missy were erased from her brain.
A few blocks from the school, the red heels snapped up the sidewalk, approaching a set of tall leaded-glass doors. The woman pulled out a key and swiftly had the door open. She rushed around the house, heels clicking across the wooden floors, pulling all the curtains tightly shut. She hurried down the basement stairs, tossing piles of papers randomly around the floor. Finally my revenge. Eyes open wide, hands reaching up to tug at her long locks, and tongue licking the lips of a slightly wild grin; the woman darted back up the stairs. Knowing she had little time left, the woman slithered out the back door and crept to the side of the house. She yanked the hose out of the bushes and snaked it into the open window at the base of the house. With a chuckle, she hurried back into the house and turned off the remaining lights. Suddenly, with a clicking sound, the woman heard the front door being opened. She whipped around the corner into a small hallway hiding herself from the light washing inside. Missy closed the door with a snap and the woman heard her short intake of breath as the darkness swallowed them up again. Trying to silence her heels, the woman slid around the corner and hand out, began creeping along the wall when she suddenly felt Missy’s fingers brush hers. She whipped her hand back and dashed back behind the corner just before the foyer lights clicked on. Back against the wall, she held in her breath as she listened to Missy hanging up her bag along with her keys jingling. Missy crossed into the kitchen completely oblivious of the woman crouching in the shadows only feet from her. After just a moment, Missy padded back directly in front of the hall where the woman hid, her back facing her. Missy opened the basement door and gazed down the dark stair steps. Cautiously, she lifted her foot to take a step down. The woman shot out of her hiding spot and hooked her shiny red heel around Missy’s ankle. She went crashing down the stairs and the woman heard a satisfying shriek. She quickly slammed the door shut and scrambled outside over to the hose. Grasping the knob with her thin fingers, she managed to turn the water on. The woman stood up, straightened her hair and dress, and strutted to the sidewalk where she took a seat on the cold concrete steps of the house.
By the time Missy’s father pulled into the driveway, it was late. He turned off his headlights and pulled the key out of the ignition; the motors’ rumble dying out to silence. Creases of confusion covered his forehead as he approached Margaret Mason, the wife of his most recent conviction. She wore those distinct red shoes as she always did but they were scuffed and tattered. Her usually flowing locks of blonde were slightly frizzy and out of place. Around her eyes were the remains of smudged black eye makeup and her customary red lipstick was not colored in the lines. She looked up, staring through him with wide wild eyes as he approached. With a low sick chuckle, she spoke.
“Hi, Mr. Owens. How was your day?” Still unsure, he checked his watch.
“What are you doing here Margaret?” he asked flatly. “You aren’t allowed to be here.”
“Oh well, you know, I just wanted to pay a visit to your daughter. Missy was it?” She smiled “Lovely girl.” Mr. Owens didn’t even take the time to respond. He rushed up to the door, knowing it would be unlocked but praying he would need his key.
“Missy?” He shouted into the empty house, frantically searching. No reply. He went running towards the kitchen but slipped outside the basement door. Looking down, he saw his reflection across the floor, his pale face looking back at him. Hand closed around the basement door handle, he yanked it open. What he saw made him choke, unable to speak. Water, just water – dead still. In the middle, Missy – just Missy. Knowing it was too late, he rushed outside to Margaret, but she was gone. Her frayed red shoes sitting atop a crumpled piece of notebook paper were all that remained in her place.