(Author's Note: I've noticed a lack of Northanger Abbey fics floating around here recently, and, brought on by a fit of inspirationional madness, came up with this monster of a decidedly strange stripe: Why You Oughtn't To Watch Scary Movies - an updated Northanger Abbey, set in the present day, where Catherine Morland, "horrid" novel reader extraordinaire, bound for Bath and thence to the decidedly less-than-spooky Northanger Abbey with the charming Henry Tilney, quiet Eleanor, and bossy General, becomes Kitty, the normal, horror-film-obsessed, college-bound teenage girl, who takes her Spring Break with the Tilney family to their home - Northanger.

Beware, I intend to take warranted liberties with the plot in updating it - certain things, like the Bath assemblies, don't always translate too well and, as already noted, I've changed Kitty's obsession with "horrid" novels into horror flicks. But please don't burn me for it! I intend to stay in the spirit of Jane, and hopefully produce a tongue-in-cheek little parody. Please R&R!)


If I were to describe Kitty Morland to you in a single word, it would be normal. The sort of normal that, if not varied by the 18th year of one's life, becomes the burden of a 9 – 5 job, a grey cubicle, Styrofoam coffee cups and an endless train of malfunctioning printers, faxes and copiers. The sort of normal that would be called comfortingly routine at best and mind-numbingly, stomach-churning-ly, heartbreakingly stupid repetition at worst. That sort of normal.

The wonder about Kitty's normality was that she didn't mind, really. Her stock was so thoroughly normal – for, in the Morland family, the past seven generations of men and husbands had been well-regarded lawyers and the past seven generations of women and wives had been stay-at-home mothers – that being un-normal had a bit of a stigma to it, really.

That being said, one of the few interesting facts about Kitty, born Catharine, Morland, was that she was the second eldest of a sprawling family of eight. The poor girl only had two years of something like attention before Mrs. Morland popped out triplets, and so, from a very early age, became fairly independent. She loved Sesame Street but hated Barney, played with both Barbies and Jimmy's Power Ranger action figures, ate mud and worms like any good toddler, threw nicely timed hissy fits, and looked like a perfect angel when she was asleep.

By the time she reached Kindergarten, Kitty, no child prodigy, had mastered the basics of the alphabet, and could count to three. Though her parents and teachers saw the spark in her and, while not wholly unintelligent, she was incurably headstrong, and willfully resisted learning like any good student. She excelled at kickball, dodgeball, and tag, and had a strong arm, which she made great use of in making the kids who transgressed her good nature cry.

Of course, while it seems her natural athleticism would make her extraordinary – it didn't. She was a good goalie for her town's soccer team, a determined sprint freestyler on the local USS swim team, and a fair hand at doubles tennis, but not the athlete that is lifted on their teammate's shoulders, gets the winning points, or has articles written about them. Sports for her, at least at the beginning, were a way of avoiding schoolwork, piano lessons, and the silly tea parties her classmates threw. She ran, swam and volleyed her way through elementary school tolerably well, made friends, had fun, and generally pleased her parents.

Junior high, and the changes that came with it, was a complete shock. Suddenly, Kitty found that sports were just there to keep her thighs skinny, her abs toned, and her rear end shapely. She started wearing a bra when she filled out enough to merit it, she grossed out when she discovered she'd spend one week a month for the next forty years bleeding and having her insides twisted in knots, and was shocked to discover that boys didn't have cooties. Kitty painted her nails, discovered the glory of chick-flicks, slumber parties and Truth-or-Dare, and managed to scramble herself into a boyfriend by the second week of 8th grade.

The next step, high school, passed in an utter blur. Kitty managed a B average, to the delight of her parents and teachers, was in detention less that five times, played the second string of Varsity soccer, swam her way to 7th in the state in the 50 free and 4th in the 100 free, and managed to be 9th on the ladder of the Tennis team. She sang (badly) in the chorus, stick-figured her way through Art, and, in all other extracurriculars, did tolerably. Socially, she had her little group of friends – a mixed bag of Jocks, Nerds, Gamers, Nice People, Thespians, and general Misfits – who kept each other out of the worst trouble and got themselves into minor mischief and mayhem when the occasion called for it.

Of course, like all good teenagers, Kitty had a strong penchant for cheesy and occasionally bloody horror flicksof any sort, and took delight in each an every manifestation. Her parents sighed, but knew that teenage girls would be teenage girls, and knew that she'd eventually stop swooning over the various twists and turns and frights. Kitty, however, had no intention of stopping.

Now, in the all important category of looks, Kitty was … normal. She wore a size three, had a 26 in waist, and a figure generally deemed attractive. Her face was plain and undistinguished, save in an abundance of freckles and a slightly bent nose. Her hair gave her an ungodly amount of trouble, so she sheared it all off to the ears in her junior year. A fit of independence had left her with more piercings than she wanted in her ears, but she kept them for old time's sake. She didn't love Abercrombie or Target but shopped there anyway, at least when she had the money for the former and if not, the latter suited her just as well. She wasn't a prom queen but she didn't hide in the stands either; she had a date when she needed one but not usually between.

When the time came … Kitty applied to normal colleges. She didn't want to go to a huge school, but not a small one, either. She wanted to get out of Connecticut, but stay in New England. She knew she couldn't get into an Ivy, but, at the same time, didn't want to go to a state school, either. Thus, when the acceptance letter came from Pulteney, a mid-size liberal arts school two hours north of home and safely out of state, she knew she had found her match.

So, with this portrait of Kitty Morland in mind, I present her to you as she was on her last night in her own room …