Author: Luisa Perkins
•4:08 PM
This is part of Brillig and Kate's fabulous Soap Opera Sunday program. See their blogs for a list of other gripping stories! (Most of the others are not fictionalized, like this one is.) To read Part One of this story, click here.

After Jill left, Laura cleaned up the wreckage on her bed so she could finish her homework. Twee hopped out of Laura’s shirt pocket, unfolded himself from thumb size to cat size, and settled down on Laura’s pillow for a protracted grooming session. Laura grabbed her Norton Anthology and gave the cat a nudge. “Move over, Twee. I’ve got to do my English.”
Twee licked his left hind foot, ignoring her ostentatiously. Laura sighed and pulled the pillow out from under him, landing him in an undignified sprawl on the bedspread. Swishing his tail, he righted himself and waited until she settled herself on the bed with her pillow behind her back, then climbed on her lap and started kneading her stomach.
“How long are you going to let Jill believe that she’s actually doing anything with that stupid fake grimoire?” he growled.
“Oh, Twee. You’re being an awfully good sport.” Laura stroked Twee’s fog gray fur until he purred in spite of himself. “I don’t know. We’ve lived here five months, but I still feel like I don’t really know anybody. Everyone in this excuse for a town has known each other since kindergarten. Why should they let someone into their perfect little social circle all of a sudden at the beginning of junior year?”
“Because you’re the prettiest, kindest, smartest girl ever.” Twee’s imitation of Laura’s mother was uncanny. Laura laughed hard and scratched under Twee’s chin.
“Seriously. The reason Jill is friends with me is exactly because I’m an outsider. There’s no way she could have gotten any of those preppy girlfriends of hers to try doing magic; they’d think she was bonkers. And she knows I won’t be running off to spill her secret. Whom would I tell?”
“But why do you need a friend when you have me?” Twee blinked his glass green eyes at her petulantly. Laura set her anthology aside and hugged him close.
“Don’t be jealous, you big goof. I don’t know why. I just do. And it’s worth it to lend her a little of our power for a while. Hopefully she’ll lose interest in the magic thing soon anyway. Please?”
Twee purred in her ear. “You know I can’t refuse you anything—not that you should push your luck.”

Jill sidled up to Laura in gym the next morning. “I have a plan,” she announced under her breath. “Cut third period and meet me in the Debate Room.”
Laura made a face. “I can’t cut Orchestra. I’m challenging for first chair today. What about lunch?”
“No, I’ve got a Girl’s League meeting. The Asilomar trip is coming up.”
“So let’s just talk in History.”
Jill rolled her eyes. “Fine. This is obviously not as important to you as it is to me.”
Laura looked over at Ms. Gormley, who was demonstrating the correct technique for a volleyball serve to the rest of the class. “Go to the locker room right now,” she whispered. “I’ll make sure Goreface doesn’t notice. I’ll meet you there in a sec.”
“How will you do that?”
“Just trust me. Go!”
Jill backed out of the gym, picking up her pace as she got closer to the door.
“Twee, don’t get mad,” Laura muttered. Flea-sized and shut in the locket around Laura’s neck, Twee grumbled. Laura could tell it was really just for form’s sake, though.
She grabbed a fistful of reality from behind her back and wove it into an airy screen that would let the class forget for a while that Jill and Laura existed. She tossed it over the group of girls. As it settled, she ran into the locker room to find her friend.
“Okay, spill it,” Laura commanded. Jill had hidden in the equipment closet; they were both perched atop of a pile of gymnastics mats.
Jill’s eyes gleamed. “Remember that debate tournament down in Fresno that Mr. Jack decided we shouldn’t do?” Laura nodded. Jill went on. “I never told my parents that it had been taken off the schedule. They still think we’re going.”
“Fresno and San Francisco are in opposite directions from here,” Laura pointed out.
“Oh, really?” Jill was too excited to maintain her sarcasm for long. “Just let me finish. All we have to do is what we always do for tournaments—with a twist. You tell your mom you’re sleeping over at my house Friday night; I’ll tell my parents I’m sleeping over at yours. After school on Friday, we take a Greyhound Bus to San Francisco and check into the guys’ hotel. We can hang out late Friday night, watch their game against Golden Gate on Saturday morning, then take the bus home. Then we’ll walk back to the school, and my mom will come pick us up, just like usual. It’s perfect.”
Laura could feel Twee vibrating with irritation; she grasped the locket to hide it while she thought. “It is perfect,” she admitted with a grin. “I told my mom the Fresno tournament was cancelled, but she’ll never remember. Have you ever taken the bus before?”
“No, but Ruth Tamson’s sister does it all the time to visit her boyfriend at Hastings. I’ll cut third period and walk downtown and get a schedule. We can look at it in Speech.”
“How much do you think the hotel will cost?”
“Don’t worry about it. If you can cover your bus ticket and food, I’ll spring for our room.”
Laura hated being dependent on her friend’s charity, but knew she couldn’t afford the trip otherwise. “I’ll pay you back,” she offered.
Jill waved her hand. “Whatever. Now, praise me for being a genius,” she ordered.
Laura’s enthusiasm was wholehearted. “You’re a total genius. Let’s call the guys after school and tell them!”
“For sure. We’ll use Mr. Jack’s office phone so it doesn’t show up on my parents’ bill.”

Tune in next week for Clever Trevor, Part Three!
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On 12/8/07 , Dedee said...

This is so interesting. I can't wait to see how it turns out!

On 12/8/07 , summershine said...

Very interesting story. I wonder if their plan will work.

On 12/8/07 , dawn said...

Interesting, I am looking forward to part 3 next week.

On 12/8/07 , Syar said...

Oh noes! Magical, hormone-driven hijinks. :-) This is such a fun read.

On 13/8/07 , Fourier Analyst said...

Magic or not, they're gonna get in trouble! Fun read!

On 13/8/07 , Jen said...

I love this so far! Is this your genre, Luisa? YA? I'm in the process of sending out a paranormal YA right now.

On 13/8/07 , Luisa Perkins said...

Thanks, all! I'll reserve the right to quote everyone for the paperback blurbs. ;)

Jen, I don't know what my genre is. My published (and out-of-print) novel is YA. I've been getting feedback on my current project that it feels YA, though I always imagined an adult audience for it. Maybe it's because there's no explicit sex and very few polysyllabic latinate words in it; I'm not sure.

I read Tolstoy and Colette as a 13-year-old, and now that I'm 40, I am happy reading everything from Maurice Sendak to Stephenie Meyer to Robertson Davies (Jasper Fforde is a particular favorite!!). My reading tastes defy classification; I have yet to see how this quirk will affect the marketability of my writing.

On 13/8/07 , Annette Lyon said...

And so the drama begins . . . Can't wait to see how it develops. (Juicey? Disastrous? Hmm.)

On 14/8/07 , Anne Bradshaw said...

Fun story. Are you writing as you deliver? Or is it all done and we're getting installments?

On 14/8/07 , Adriana Velez said...

"I've got a scathingly brilliant idea." Can't wait to see how this trip turns out.

On 14/8/07 , Luisa Perkins said...

Anne, I am writing as I go. I know how it all happened in real life, of course, but we'll see together what happens next. It's been a fun break from my other projects!

On 15/8/07 , Canadian flake said...

wow this is really amazing...can't wait to see what happens next.

On 16/8/07 , Brillig said...

Oh, you wicked little things. I can't wait to hear the trouble you two get into next. Are Simon and Colin worth it? (Duh, of course they are!!!)

Can't wait for the next installment! (Sorry it took me so long to come by and read this one...)

On 16/8/07 , rjlight said...

I have to agree I think YA is your genre tambien. Adults read Harry Potter too! This is great! I want a little Twee by the way.

On 16/8/07 , Luisa Perkins said...

Greetings from Cleveland (which is why I haven't posted yet this week)!

Thank you all. I think you'll love what's coming up THIS Sunday....

On 18/8/07 , Christie said...

Hope Cleveland is fun! Looking forward to the next chapter...

On 19/8/07 , Kateastrophe said...

I love, love, love that you are writing a story for SOS. Such a fabulous idea and such FABULOUS writing!