"I want to go with you," said Tori. She stood in front of Jade's car. Jade was getting inside.
"No, I've got to do it by myself," said Jade.
"No, you don't," said Tori. "Whatever's going on, you can't just go rushing in by yourself."
"Look, I appreciate the offer, but I'm going to deal with this on my own," said Jade as she put her car keys in the ignition.
"I'm not letting you go," said Tori.
"Get out of the way," said Jade. She turned her key and the car engine revved up.
"No," said Tori. She planted her feet in front of Jade's car.
"Let me go," said Jade.
"No," said Tori.
Jade groaned. "Fine. Get in."
"I knew you'd come around." Tori hopped into the passenger seat. Jade peeled out of the Vega's driveway. "So what's this all about anyway? Who's that girl?"
"I don't know," said Jade.
"You don't know?" said Tori.
"No idea." Jade stepped on the gas and the car accelerated towards the end of the street. Tori braced herself as the car tore down the street. Eventually, Jade stopped when the car got to a red light. This sent Tori flying forward. She almost his the dashboard.
Tori adjusted her hair. "Well what do you know about her?"
"I know she's been hanging around the school," said Jade. "I first saw her when I was editing my script."
"So that was about a month ago," said Tori.
"Almost, a month," said Jade. The light turned green and she shot off. Tori had to brace herself again.
"Okay, you've been seeing her around the school," said Tori. "Has she been doing anything when you see her?"
"She called my play boring," said Jade.
"She called your play boring?" said Tori.
"Yep." Jade his another red light. This time Tori was ready and didn't react so dramatically. "I figured she was part of the junior actors program, but weird things happen when she's around."
"Like what?" said Tori.
"Like she's always disappearing," said Jade.
"Disappearing?" said Tori.
"I once chased her down the hallway and she was just gone," said Jade. "There was no place for her to hide. She just vanished."
"Okay, that's kind of spooky," said Tori. "But maybe there's a rational explanation."
"Maybe," said Jade. "Maybe we can beat it out of her."
"Do you think," said Tori. "Well is it possible that she was the one responsible for...you know, switching the knives?"
Jade shrugged. "It's possible. It's also possible that Sinjin just messed up. I'll say this, after all the weird things that happened when she's been around, I wouldn't put it past her."
"I see." Tori looked forward at the road. Jade slowed down and her car was now traveling the speed limit. Soon, they reached Hollywood Arts. Jade parked in the front lot and the two got out of the car. "What's the plan?"
"I don't know," said Jade. "I guess we should find her."
"Okay, that's a start," said Tori. "You think she's in the Blackbox Theatre?"
"That's as good a guess as any," said Jade. The main doors to the school were locked. However there was a side door that either wasn't locked or the lock didn't work. No one was really sure. The lights turned on automatically when they walked inside. They were motion activated. The school was empty. Tori and Jade couldn't see anyone. Not one student, or janitor, or teacher. It was kind of eerie really. The two continued slowly to the Blackbox Theatre. When they got there, the room was dark, but it illuminated as soon as they stepped inside. "Hello! Anybody here?"
There was no response. Tori turned to her. "What do we do now?"
Jade shrugged. "No idea. I guess let's wait here until she shows up."
"Well what if she doesn't show?" said Tori.
"I think she will," said Jade.
"But what if she doesn't?" said Tori.
"I don't know!" said Jade. "I'm sorry, that was too harsh."
"It's okay," said Tori. "It's fine. We all lose our cool from time to time."
"I don't know, it's just lately I feel like I've been getting madder and madder at the people around me," said Jade. "I don't mean to. I know you and Beck want to help. It's just I'm under a lot of stress and I already have a short fuse."
"I get it," said Tori. "I get mad easily when I'm stressed."
"Come on," said Jade. "You've got an endless reservoir of patience."
"No I don't," said Tori. "I once got mad at Trina for-"
"Everybody gets mad at Trina," said Jade. "The fact you don't do it all the time shows you've got the patience of a saint."
The two heard a young girl's giggling coming from behind the stage. "Did you hear that?"
"Yeah," said Jade. The two hopped on the stage. "Who's there?"
"We heard you," said Tori. Still no answer.
"If you don't get out from wherever you're hiding, we're going to find you and make you wish you'd just showed yourself to us." More giggling. "Is something funny?"
"Yeah, you two," said the voice.
"We're not going to be so funny when we find you," said Jade.
"Yeah," said Tori. "Now come out and face us, or we'll make you regret it."
"Very intimidating," said Jade.
"Thanks," said Tori. She punched her hand in a show of force.
Then the girl stepped out onto the stage. "Yes, very scary. My teeth were chattering back there."
"You've finally decided to show yourself," said Jade. "I guess you're not such of a coward after all."
The girl smiled. "So you two are here, but where's you other friend? You know, Joanna."
"You little brat!" Jade lunged at the girl and slapped her over and over again. She didn't give the girl any break. Jade's hand was getting sore, but the girl just smiled at her. Her face wasn't even turning red. Tori ran up behind Jade. She grabbed the little girl's shoulders and shoved her to the ground. Jade got on her knees straddling the girl's body. She was now punching and scratching the girl. Still, the girl smiled. There was no sign of a scratch or a bruise on her body. Jade shook out her hands. "Jesus Christ! Are you made of steel or something?"
"That was fun," said the girl. "Now let's switch."
"You'll have to flip me first," said Jade.
"Alright." The girl raised her hand and shoved Jade. Jade was sent tumbling backwards. Tori watched, a stunned look of terror on her face. The girl snaked out from under Tori's hands and got to her feet. Tori tried tackling her, but she flipped Tori over. Tori groaned as she landed on the floor of the stage. "Feeling alright?"
"Buzz off," said Tori.
"I'll do it because I want to, not because you told me." The girl walked over to Jade. Jade was out. She looked over to Tori. She could barely move. "Let's have some fun."
Jade had a massive headache. She was also standing for some reason. She opened her eyes. She was in the middle of the Blackbox Theatre. There were wires around her body, which propped her up. In her right hand was a kitchen knife. It was taped to her. Jade couldn't move her feet. Something heavy was placed on them, keeping them to the ground. In front of her was Tori. She was tied to a chair. "Morning."
"What's going on?" said Jade.
Tori cocked her head to the side. "Ask her."
Jade turned to where Tori had motioned. Standing there was the girl. She was smiling. This wasn't good. "So remember how I said your play was boring?"
"I might recall it," said Jade.
"Well I've just found the way to make it fun," said the girl. "Do you want to know what my idea is?"
"Not particularly," said Jade.
"I was just thinking, that play got really exciting when Tori stabbed Joanna," said the girl. "How exciting would it be if you stabbed Tori?"
"That doesn't sound fun at all," said Tori.
"Not to us at least," said Jade.
"Are you sure?" said the girl.
"I'm sure," said Tori.
"I wasn't talking to you." She pinched Tori's face. "I want to know what she thinks."
"I don't want to stab Tori," said Jade.
"Are you sure?" said the girl.
"Yes!" said Jade and Tori in unison.
"You're a liar," said the girl. "You hate this girl."
"Yeah," said Jade. "But that doesn't mean I want to kill her."
"Really?" said the girl. "She kissed your boyfriend. She keeps getting all the roles you want. She even got one of your plays cancelled."
"That was by accident," said Tori.
"I don't care," said Jade. "Yeah, those stuff made me mad, but I'm not going to play your sick game."
The girl giggled. "See, I know what you want."
"What do you mean?" said Jade.
"It's means I'm in your head," said the girl. "And I know how you feel about Tori deep down. I know all those fantasies you have about her."
"Fantasies?" said Tori. "Do you fantasize about killing me?"
"No," said Jade. "Well only when I'm really mad at you."
"Oh my god!" said Tori.
"I don't want to murder you for real," said Jade. "God."
"All you have to do is move your arm a little bit forward and your dreams would come true," said the girl.
"No," said Jade. "I'm not doing it."
The girl went over to Jade and put her hand on Jade's arm. "Come on. Stab her."
"No!" said Jade. "You're going to have to force me to stab her."
"Don't give her any ideas," said Tori.
"Stab her!" said the girl.
"No!" said Jade.
"Do it!" The girl was hopping up and down. She kicked the floor and her arms flailed around. "You want to do it! Stop lying!"
"Make me," said Jade.
"It's no fun if I do it for you," said the girl. "It's better if you do it."
"Not going to happen," said Jade.
"You do what I say," said the girl.
"No." Jade twisted her body and hit the girl in the face. This time, the girl seemed surprised.
"Don't do that," said the girl.
"You're not the boss of me," said Jade.
"I am the boss of you," said the girl, stepping in front of Jade. "And I'm telling you to stab her!"
"Okay." Jade lunged forward, the knife penetrating the girl.
The girl's eyes widened. "You stabbed me?"
"Real perceptive," said Jade.
"You killed me," said the girl. "I'm dying."
"Hurry it up," said Jade. "I'm tired of your whining."
"You killed me. Is this what it's like to die?" The girl pulled herself away from Jade, breaking off the knife blade in the process, and scurried away to a corner of the stage. She collapsed. "I'm dying. I'm dying."
Eventually, her voice faded. She lay on the floor, blood oozing out. Her face was pale and stared at the ceiling. Then her body began to disappear. It started slowly. Her skin began to break apart and crumbled away. Soon, there was only a pile of dust where her body had been. Jade turned to Tori. "How do you feel?"
"Well considering I was going to get stabbed, I think I'm okay," said Tori.
"At least you've still got your sense of humor," said Jade.
"Hey Jade," said Tori. "You weren't going to stab me?"
"No," said Jade. "Why would you think that?"
"I knew you wouldn't," said Tori. "But, did some part of you want to?"
"No," said Jade.
"Good," said Tori. "So how are we going to get out of this?"
"We'll have to wait for the janitor," said Jade.
Author's Note: I think this ending might be confusing and even a bit disappointing. I feel like I should give some explanation to explain what was going on. Some reviewers guessed that the little girl Jade was seeing is the ghost of her lost childhood. That's partially true. The girl Jade is seeing is a manifestation of her destructive and negative impulses that arose because of her troubled childhood. Now Jade usually channels these impulses into something creative. However, the girl is trying to disrupt that and get her to embrace her worse impulses. I hope that was clear in the story.