Jessica drifted back to consciousness slowly, groggily aware of existance once more. She worked her
crust-filled eyes open, trying to look around but found he view blocked by a heavy cloth caught over
her head and covering her face. Trying to reach up and move it failed, as she suddenly noticed she
was bound up tight to a chair, arms pinned to her sides.
"Unnnhhh. Fuck. Probably Shawn, that kinky bastard, hope they didn't leave me in the hotel room like
this", she muttered to herself.
After several minutes of wiggling and straining against the cords lashed around her, she gave up and
slumped a little against them, realizing she couldn't get out on her own. "Hey, any of you guys
there? Party's over and I gotta serious hangover, this isn't funny."
The sound of light footsteps across a wood floor echoed faintly in the room, and a quiet female voice
whispered "I'm here."
"Oh! Who is that? And can you get me out of this damn chair?! It's getting uncomfortable" whined
The footsteps stopped off to Jessica's side, and the voice got a little louder. "Awww, you don't
recognize me Jess? That hurts, I thought we were friends?"
"Sammy? Is that you Sam? Ugh, how'd you get in here, I thought the party was for just the team and
cheerleaders. Get me out of this damn chair. And get this thing off my head!"
"It WAS for you guys, last night. Then you got drunk and threw up and passed out as usual, and I just
happened to be staying in the same hotel, walking down the hall while they tried to drag you out to
their car and figure out what to do with you." The footsteps started again, slow and measured,
around behind her to the other side. "They were so happy when I offered to drive you home, one less
vomit-scented issue to deal with. But I couldn't abandon you with them, we're good friends right?"
Suddenly without warning, the cloth was snatched off of Jessica's head. Looking around, it was
obvious they weren't at the hotel anymore. This was probably once a living room, but that was a while
ago. Fire damage had destroyed most of the furniture in the room, eaten away most of the wood
paneling to expose the support studs inside the walls. What wasn't completely destroyed by the fire
was spread out over the bare plywood subflooring, mold and mildew growing on it from having been
soaked down by the firemen. Samantha strutted around in front of her, and casually tossed the thick
pillowcase aside to land in a bucket full of liquid with a splash. Jessica looked up at her, then
quickly looked away.
"At least we WERE, before the fire! Remember? We did everything together! Cheerleading camp,
sleepovers, we even talked about what college we were going to go to. We were always together, BFF's
right? I wanted to spend forever together with my best friend, did everything to be like you."
Samantha took a few steps then stopped, and whispered "I wanted to be you, you were perfect."
Her voice took on a hard edge, getting louder as she continued. "But then the accident happened. It
took me months to recover, and when I got back you couldn't stand the sight of me and left me. It
killed me inside, but I could almost understand. I couldn't stand to look at myself still. But then I
got back to school, and the other kids made fun of me, shunned me and called me names."
Samantha stopped and sniffled, her breath quivering as she tried to calm down. "And you. My best
friend, you joined in with them! Couldn't have anyone see you being nice to the freak, could you,
would hurt your reputation!"
She grabbed Jessica's head and turned it to face her. "LOOK at me! You called me a monster and spit
on me, laughed at me!" Jessica opened her mouth to respond, but her voice caught in her throat. The
terrible manic look in Samantha's eyes, looking out at her from her burned and scarred face, froze
her to the core. All she could do was wimper and shiver.
Samantha stepped back again, fists balled tight at her sides so tight her fingers turned white. "You
laughed at me! Told them all how much I wanted to be with you and be like you, and how that could
She relaxed a little, and a tiny smile started in the corner of her mouth. Her voice softened, and
she giggled lightly for a second. "But you're wrong. I've figured it out. Nobody will make fun of me
anymore, cause they won't want to hurt your feelings. You'll understand me, we'll have all the time
in the world together, and everyone will leave us alone."
With a spastic lunge, she snatched the pillowcase out of the bucket and pulled it back over Jessica's
head. The cold fluid it was soaked in burned her eyes and she yelled in pain and surprise. It gave
off fumes that burned her mouth and lungs as she inhaled. She struggled hard against the cords as she
panicked, realizing that she had to get loose. The smell and taste she recognized as gasoline.
"I realized if I can't be like you, you could be like me, we'd be the same and I'd have you back
forever. My perfect Jess. Well... almost perfect."
Jess heard Samantha repeatedly trying to get the lighter to light, and she began to scream.