A/N: This is the first of thirteen small posts that go along with a halloween flash fic prompt being posted at The Canvas. (Flash fic for those of you who are unfamiliar with the term are pieces written within an hour and are edited within five minutes). For thirteen days straight, I will be posting a part of this story. Just to let everyone know, I will be going back to my other stories and might even work on them during this challenge, but I've been busy lately buying a new car. (It's very stressful, so don't mock me.) Plus, it's the playoffs, so I'm distracted almost everynight with baseball. My whole life is behind, so don't think I'm just slacking on fic. That said, I hope you enjoy this post and the larger piece it is a part of. Thanks! Prompt #1: When it appears that you have killed the monster, never check to see if it's really dead.
Prompt #1: When it appears that you have killed the monster, never check to see if it's really dead.
Double, Double – Toil and Trouble
Birthday cakes and presents were all well and good, but, as Elizabeth Imogene Webber turned thirteen, she wanted something a little more juicy for her birthday; she wanted to live life on the edge…or as close to it as an underage minor could…and she wanted to make sure that she never forgot the day she became a teenager. So, with that in mind, she had planned her own celebration. Armed with an all black ensemble, a flashlight, cigarettes, a baseball bat, and cab fare, she had set out for the most notorious residence in Port Charles prepared to announce to the world that little Lizzie Webber was no longer a child; she was on the verge of becoming a woman, a force to be reckoned with, and it felt damn good.
Getting into the Quartermaine property had been easy enough. Perhaps it was because her family was friends with the wealthy Q's or better yet she liked to think it was simply her highly motivated personality, but, whatever the reason, she slipped into the gardens that surrounded the mansion and wound her way towards her destination without even a breath of noise being left in her wake.
It was really quite simple really. After all, the family only had one pet, a spoiled, rather ugly looking mutt that was treated better than the servants who dedicated their entire lives to the rude aristocrats, and she knew the dog wouldn't give her presence away. So, confident in both her plan and herself, Elizabeth smirked at the knowledge that what she was about to do would crush little miss Emily Bowen. The girl was new in town, recently adopted by the Quartermaines, and she hated her. She hated the ease in which her classmate had been accepted when she, someone who had lived in Port Charles her whole life, still struggled to make friends. She hated that the other girl had gotten a chance to have a second family when she had wished for that very thing since she was old enough to understand the simple nursery rhyme which told young children to wish upon a star. And she hated Emily for the simple fact that the girl was a goody-goody, something she never had been and never would be, and her actions that night would prove it.
Glancing around the patio, she made sure that she was still undetected. Although the moon had been shining brightly that night, it was fall in upstate New York and a storm front was moving in, its clouds shielding her and the things around her from the moon's silver light. It didn't really matter though. The night before when her family had been on the Quartermaine estate attending the family's newly conceived and already dreaded Halloween party, Elizabeth had outlined a map of the place in her mind, and she knew where each and every target for her anger was located. Smiling smugly, she glanced up at the cloud-muted stars, shook out her rich, thick chestnut curls, and took a deep, steadying, preparing breath. It was time.
With a heave of her petite form, she lifted the wooden bat over her head and let it go sailing through the crisp night air until the movement was slowed and then practically stopped by contact. At first, she had considered simply using her foot, but her shoes were too new, too harsh and cruel in appearance to waste on such childish objects such as jack-o-lanterns, so she had opted for her next door neighbor's bat, stealing the kid's prized possession when he wasn't watching and laughing gleefully when she had heard him crying from her bedroom later that day when the sissy hadn't been able to find it. As she heard the pumpkin in front of her explode with the force of her blow, a grin of pure satisfaction lit up her beautifully mischievous face, and a wave of pleasure coursed through her, especially since she knew that particular pumpkin had been the brat Emily's favorite.
However, she couldn't dawdle for long; she had much too much work ahead of her. So, with the determination of the truly innocent, she set to work obliterating each and every jack-o-lantern decorating the Quartermaine property, knocking over other festive, holiday displays on her way around the house.
Big pumpkins, small pumpkins, it didn't matter. Whatever their size, they were destroyed, and she relished each and every splatter of squash and seeds along the house's various patios and verandas.
Orange pumpkins, partially green and not fully ripe pumpkins, the dark hid their true coloring, but her undiscriminating eyes wouldn't have cared either way. They had to go, one way or another.
Spookily carved or prettily painted, she smashed them one and the same, giggling quietly to herself as she continued along her way and watched the destruction occur. Sure, it would have been nice to leave some form of calling card that screamed her name, but she wasn't stupid, and she sure as hell wasn't naïve. She'd rather enjoy her triumph privately than spread the word and find herself nose deep in hot water where no more pranks could be pulled. After all, she had just legally turned a teenager, and, while this might be her first foray into vandalizing, it sure as hell wouldn't be her last. Lizzie Webber had a sick sense of payback and revenge, one that she was sure would be enacted again and very soon. Someone would annoy her, piss her off, or offend her, and then she would make sure they got their's, no matter if they realized she was the bringer of all things unpleasant or not. Anonymous or identified, it would still be sweet, and, with the delicious taste of revenge spreading through her small form, who needed chocolate birthday cake or a candle topped brownie? Certainly not her.
She was almost finished; there was just one pumpkin left on her imaginary map, and, as she felt her baseball bat slice through the air and land with a resounding slap against the holiday themed squash, she knew she wouldn't be able to leave yet. Although it might be smart to trust her instincts and believe in them, Elizabeth had to make sure that she had enacted complete and utter destruction to the Quartermaine family's decorations. Plus, she admitted with a devilishly cute roll of her eyes, she wanted to see the beauty of her hard work and carefully planning. So, with that thought in mind, she cradled the pumpkin juice stained bat under her left arm, reached around to her back pocket for the small flashlight she had stashed there, and turned the tiny light on, casting a soft illumination upon the shadowed and eerily silent patio outside the mansion's den.
Big mistake. Huge. Ginormous. Criminal career ending.
"Staying to gloat?"
There he was – Jason Quartermaine – all six foot, two inches of him, and Elizabeth had to curse her young body as it betrayed her in that moment, flushing not with embarrassment but with attraction. The man before her, seemingly wise and mature to her at the much older age of eighteen, was wearing only his pajamas, a leftover pair of Port Charles High gym shorts he had from when he was a student there, and she found she couldn't even mourn the fact that she had been caught, orange handed.
If revenge was a Hershey bar, Jason Quartermaine was a two pound brick of Belgian milk chocolate, and the thirteen year old found herself wanting to taste him.
The thought in and of itself surprised her. After all, she had never had a boyfriend before, not because boys weren't interested in her but because she found them all annoyingly immature and slightly repulsive with their greasy skin and braces, but, as she watched the older guy before her cock his head to the side and glare at her with the most profound looking cobalt eyes, she knew it was simply because she had been saving herself for this moment. She was now officially a teenager in every sense of the word.
When she still didn't answer him and continued to stare, his annoyance turned to worry and he took another step towards her, his brow furrowing in concern. "Are you alright?"
Her crisp tone has his eyes sparking with anger again before she even had a chance to blink her long, thick raven lashes a single time.
"Then answer my question," he demanded of her, stalking forward until she had to tilt her chin up to meet his gaze. "Why haven't you left yet? Are you staying to gloat? Are you going to camp out here all night and then watch as my little sister and grandmother come out, see your handiwork, and become crushed?"
She grinned snidely, surprising herself with her audacity. "It wasn't the plan, but, if you insist, I'm sure I could rearrange my schedule. After all, it sounds fun."
"What's wrong with you? You're just a kid," Jason dismissed with a perturbed scoff. "Shouldn't you be at home in bed clutching your favorite doll…or something?"
"I'll leave that to you," she returned smartly, earning herself another glare. With it, the idea coursed through her mind that the man before her had no idea how attractive he was when he glowered. She had a feeling Jason Quartermaine wasn't upset often, and damn that was a shame. He was even sexier when he was pissed off than when he was smiling. "So, if there's nothing else," she drawled out, turning around to walk off, "I'll just be…"
Before she had a chance to leave, her had her by the scruff of her shirt. "Not so fast, Elizabeth." She heard him pause and could almost imagine him tipping his head to the side in consideration. "That is your name, right?"
She shrugged noncommittally.
"Alright, be like that," he agreed, releasing her, "but that's what I'm going to call you all day tomorrow."
That got her attention, and she swiveled around quickly to observe him. "What the hell are you talking about?"
"You and me," the eighteen year old motioned between them. "We're going to spend all day together tomorrow cleaning this mess up that you made, and then, when we're done, you're going to help me go out and buy enough pumpkins to replace every single one you destroyed. Consider it your punishment."
She knew it was pointless, that he would never return the gesture, but she found herself flirting with him. "You know that sounds kind of kinky, Quartermaine. Not that I'm complaining, but…"
"You're a brat," he told her, lifting his hand to cover his mouth and hide his amusement. Elizabeth could have had a stroke then and there and died happy. She had made a much older and very sexy man laugh.
"What can I say? It's all a part of my charm."
"Do you need a ride home?"
"I'll call a cab," she answered, already starting to walk away. "See you tomorrow afternoon."
"Morning," Jason corrected her. "Tomorrow morning, Elizabeth."
As she disappeared back into the gardens surround the mansion, the thirteen year old brunette found herself, for the first time in her life, liking her name. Whenever anyone else said it, it came out as if her presence alone was a burden to them, but, with Jason, she heard something else, something of value. Sure, he might never see her the way she saw him. After all, she was technically jailbait, but maybe someday they could be friends, real friends which would be a first for her.
Actually, on closer inspection, the whole night had been a night of first. She had committed her first felony, smoked her first cigarette, snuck out of her house for the first and what would surely not be the last time, performed her first act of vandalizing, and she had formed her first crush. Already, her birthday was starting off with a bang, so maybe this year would be different than all the rest. Maybe she'd finally get what she had always wanted for her birthday – acceptance.
It wasn't love and it wasn't independence, but it was a start, and, at that point in her life, Elizabeth would take just about anything. Jason Quartermaine had no idea what he had just gotten himself into, and, luckily for her, it was too late for him to back out. With an added bounce to her step, she slipped off the gated property and made the long trek back to the main road where she could hail a cab, her second cigarette pursed between her two full lips, its cherry glow lighting her way back home.