This week’s word on Trifecta was

cheap adj \ˈchēp\

1 a : purchasable below the going price or the real value

b : charging or obtainable at a low price <a good cheaphotel> <cheap tickets>

c : depreciated in value (as by currency inflation) <cheapdollars>
2 : gained or done with little effort <a cheap victory> <talk ischeap>
3 a : of inferior quality or worth : tawdry, sleazy <cheapworkmanship>

b : contemptible because of lack of any fine, lofty, or redeeming qualities <feeling cheap>

I’m picking right back up after A Mask in the Necessary storyline.  To read the rest in order, click on the Fiction link at the top of the page.  I really want to go back to magical things happening, but that story didn’t seem quite done enough.  Plus, as one commenter (my sister, for those keeping track) mentioned, the ‘bad guy’ doesn’t just appear that way… how did they get to be the bad guy?  Not to mention, is he really bad?

A few questions – does this seem at all realistic for a high school scene?  Characters/events/etc?  I’ll be honest – I drifted, oblivious, through highschool with very few interactions with the ‘mean girls’, and, unfortunately, in those few interactions, it wasn’t me they went after, because they go after the one least able to defend herself.  Like hyenas.  Moving on.  What kind of vibe are you getting from new-character-Katie?

Link up or read some of the other responses over at Trifecta.

The picture below is titled “Defeated Dragon”, hopefully it works with the story as well as it did for me.  Check out more of Daniel Dociu’s work by clicking on the image.

It wasn’t worth it.

She told them I was just a spiteful wannabe, lying to hurt her.  Her coterie of hangers-on flocked to comfort her – so hard to be so beautiful, so popular.  Lesser beings use their cheap, nasty words to hurt you.  So hard to be Jennifer.

I cringed at the whispers and glares.  I slunk, eyes glued to my cafeteria tray, towards the already seated Joanna. 

I stumbled.  I looked around in surprise, having barely prevented myself from face-planting in my food.  A football jock met my stare blandly, pulling his foot casually back under the table.

I slammed my tray down and slumped over in my seat.  “We should have gone there for lunch.”

Tears prickled behind my eyes.

She smiled sympathetically and waved a carrot stick at me.  “It’s tough, but she only wins if you run and hide.”


I gasped as the mess of creamed corn and mashed potato dripped down the back of my neck and soaked into my shirt.  The girl behind me, I recognised as one of Jennifer’s posse who had avoided eye-contact with her during the fight.  Her empty tray hung limp in her fingers, and, though she had a pleased smirk plastered over her face, I couldn’t help but notice the unhappiness in her eyes.

“You-“ my voice broke.  I give up.  She backed up in alarm when I stood up.

Joanna swung around the table and stood toe to toe with the girl.  “Did this get you back into her Royal Highness’s good graces, Katie?” she snarled.  She thrust her chin forward like a fist, causing the girl to stumble back a step.  She lowered her voice.  “If your brother could see you now.”

Katie jerked back as though she’d been slapped, her face crumpling. 

I pinched the bridge of my nose, willing the tears back.  “Joanna, stop.”


“She’s winning anyways.  Don’t sink to her level.”


I left, blurry eyed.

I didn’t see Katie leave in the same state.

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  1. Nice segue! Yep. Still couldn’t pay me to go back……….

  2. Mean girls, ugh! It seemed authentic to me. And I liked Katie.

    I wasn’t the one getting picked on either, but you seem to have captured it realistically; at least in my view.

    Why are kids so mean?

    • thanks 🙂 as to why? who knows? because they can? because they have to learn how it feels to have someone do that to them before they understand the reasons for being nice? It’s a pack mentality, for sure, and heaven forbid you don’t run with the pack.

  3. The scene was believable to me. I’m so happy school days are over. I’m with Tikk Tok – no money could make me go back 🙂

    • I’ve never quite understood that expression – high school, the best years of your life. I certainly hoped it wasn’t true when I was in high school, and was proven right 🙂

  4. Thanks for linking up with us. This is certainly realistic for a high school scene. You capture the spitefulness very well, but I also like how you take the time to capture the sadness in Kate’s eyes. There’s always a lot more going on behind the scenes that we think. Nice job. Hope to see you for the weekend challenge too.

    • I’d like to believe that the bully is not always as strong as he/she would like to appear. Doesn’t condone the actions, but certainly changes how you see the person.

  5. Good job Lexy. I’ve read all the installments in the order they were written and trying to keep track in my head. Once you have the whole book down I intend to go back and re-read.

    Keep up the great work.

    • thanks 🙂 I’m really hoping it will all come together in some coherent book form!

  6. I loved the interaction at the end between the three girls, and how Katie proves to be as vulnerable as her victim. One thing – point of view question. You are exclusively writing in first person limited, but at the end, you specifically have the narrator say “I didn’t see Katie leave in the same state”. As a reader, I’m wondering, “Well if you didn’t see, how do you know now?”

    That could be answered a number of ways, and if I’m SUPPOSED to wonder it, then you’ve set the scene perfectly. But if the point is really that the two characters are both devastated for different reasons, then the POV thing is distracting.

    • that’s a good point. I probably could have left that out – I’m hoping that even without it, it’s clear that Katie isn’t the heartless bully in this situation, but I liked the imagery of bully and bullied leaving equally upset. Hard to communicate that with first-person.

  7. From what I remember, and my memories are as an outsider, this felt real to me. Katie seems conflicted as hanger’s on sometimes are. She appears to have chosen a side she isn’t as comfortable with as she’d like.

    I’m sorry I couldn’t go back today and read the previous chapter(s) of this story, but I like this one. The tension felt realistic and I thought it was well written to the point JesterQueen pointed out. (I also wondered how she knew, or if it meant Katie left looking smug.)

    • the unfortunate thing about flying under a bully’s radar is that you have to do things you might not be so proud of… definitely the situation Katie finds herself in.
      I’m glad you enjoyed it on its own, without the background of the other parts. I definitely need to revise that last line, because, yeah, unless mc is a time traveller, it doesn’t work.

  8. Excellent piece of blogging gold, my friend. Well done.

  9. I think that was very believable. Good job. 🙂

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