Jess opened the door to her house, slinging her backpack over the couch once she stepped inside. The fiant smell of mashed potatoes drifted towards her and she smiled. For once, her mother had made dinner for them to eat together. It seemed that after her father left her her mother had stopped caring. Just this little gesture made her happy.

Jess walked into the kitchen and saw her mom. She was placing a plastic container, full of mashed potatoes, into the fridge.

"Jess, hon, I made dinner for you later. I ran into Mrs. Crenshaw earlier today, the one from across the street, you know? And she asked if you could play with her daughter, Phoebe. I told you could. I'm going to be working late tonight so I didn't want you to be bored here alone."

Her mother turned from the fridge to look at Jess. The brunette girl smiled for her mother, not wanting her to think that she did the wrong thing in thinking of her.

"Thanks, Mom. I'm sure that Phoebe's a fun kid. Never really saw them much, except for school."

Her mother smiled back, getting the hint that she didn't want to do this.

"Jess, I don't want to let Mrs. Crenshaw down. She's busy making dinner and things and I don't want Phoebe in her way just because you're not there."

Jess was quiet for a moment, understanding.

"Her relationship's not the best with her husband. She doesn't need to be stressed any further."

"I know, Mom. I'll go over there in a minute. Just let me put my stuff upstairs."

"Thanks." Her mother walked towards the door. "If you need me, you know where I work."

Mrs. Winters worked at the drive-in downtown. She mostly worked late-night shifts so Jessica assumed that that was where she was going to be all night.

"Bye, Mom."

"Bye, Jess."

With that, Jess was left to go to the Crenshaws. -
"Come on! Let me show you where Sean's clubhouse is!" Phoebe said excitedly, dragging Jess by her hand.

The little girl seemed excited to have someone to play with. All she wanted to do was show Jess the house and her room and her stuffed dog, Scraps. It was more enjoyable than Jess had originally thought.

"Look! There it is!" Phoebe pointed up to where a rather large treehouse resided in a tree.

Surrounding the area were several marshes and a lake, something Jess thought was pretty cool. As she and Phoebe walked under the house, she could hear the boys talking.

"Fat Kid! What other kind of light is there during the day?" Jess recognized the familiar voice of Patrick from earlier.

"Go away Pete!" A little boy's voice sounded.

"Let's sneak up there. My mom said that they have to let me in, you can get in, too." Phoebe told her.

"Alright." Jess laughed. She let Phoebe climb up before her.

"Question two," Patrick continued. "Is Frankenstein the name of the monster or the guy who made him?"

Phoebe knocked on the board that led inside the treehouse. Before the question could be answered, Jess guessed that this was the 'monster test' Sean and the others had talked about earlier, it was open. Phoebe popped her head inside the house.

"Can't you read?" Sean asked angrily. It was then that Jess noticed the crudely written 'No girls' on the opening. She chuckled. She probably knew more than they knew about monsters with the time she spent in front of a television when her mother wasn't home. Monster movies were always on and she'd made a habit of watching them.

"Mom says you have to let me in the club or else it's prescruption." Phoebe told her brother.

"That's discrimination, Jerkoid. Prescription's drugs and that's what you're on if you think you're getting up here." The board began to shut while Phoebe pleaded to get in the club.

Jess thought quickly and yelled up the ladder, "The guy!"

"What?" Sean asked.

Phoebe had gotten down the ladder and as the opening was being raised again, Jess climbed up and spoke.

"The guy. Frankenstein's the name of the guy who made him, not the monster."

Sean was silent, as was everyone else in the clubhouse. Jess recognized all of the people in there (Patrick, Rudy, Fat Kid, and Sean) except for a little boy with a Confederate Army hat on. She didn't know the dog, either, but she figured that the beagle didn't count as a person.

"I know more about monsters than you'd think." She broke the silence.

"Two ways to kill a werewolf?" Sean challenged.

"Silver bullet and..." She thought of something to say so she'd sound impressive, although she knew that there was only one way to kill a werewolf. "Explosion. Preferably dynamite."

Another wave of silence fell over them. Rudy looked at her as if she'd stolen his spotlight and Sean just looked stunned.

"Sean! Phoebe! Jess! Time for dinner!" Mrs. Crenshaw called from the house.

"Oops, gotta go!" Sean said, getting up off the floor.

Jessica went down the ladder so Sean could get down also. Just as Sean placed his foot on the first rung, Rudy sounded after him.

"Wait! Am I in or what?"

Sean didn't reply.

Jess and Phoebe started to walk back to the house, when something fell on Jess's shoulder. She jumped slightly and looked over to see Sean, his hand previously on her shoulder.

"You wanna join the club?" He asked suddenly. Phoebe ran off towards the house, obviously uninterested in their conversation.

"What?" Jess was taken back for a moment.

"You wanna join the Monster Club? I mean, you seem to know a lot about monsters."

"I thought you said 'no girls'." Jessica teased.

"I did, but you know more than we do. None of us knew the second way to kill a werewolf."

Jess pondered the offer. It'd give her something to do after school when her mother wasn't home, which was mostly every day, so she decided to accept it.

"Sure, I guess." She shrugged. She and Sean were approaching the house now.

"Great!" Sean said excitedly. "I mean, cool. But we're pretty much up there every day so..."

"I get it." Jess laughed. "Thanks."

Sean opened the door, letting Jess go in before him, and shut it behind the two of them.

"I guess I'll be heading home now, Mrs. Crenshaw. If you need me to babysit Phoebe again, I'm pretty much always available."

"Thanks. That'd be great. If I find a time, I'll give you and your mother a call."

"Alright. Bye, Mrs. Crenshaw. Bye, Phoebe. Bye, Sean." Jess walked towards the front door, noticing a leather diary on the table, and opened it.

"Wait!" She heard Sean behind her.

She turned around and saw Sean picking up the diary.

"I didn't catch your name."

"Jessica, but you can call me Jess."

"Oh, ok, uh, bye, Jess." He gave a small wave.

Jess laughed under her breath, gave a small wave back, and began her way home.


Well, I think I'm back on track with this thing! I'm going to try and update it the best that I can now.

Review please! It means a lot!

-Nat