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Mature Content Filter is On
(Contains: strong language)
(Three weeks later.)
   The timbre explosions of slamming lockers barely penetrated past the
membrane of Veronica's thoughts.  She walked slowly through the crowded
hallways of Westerburg High School, her mind in some distant, faraway place.
She felt as if her life had entered the twilight zone.  The unspoken truth
about J.D., Heather, Kurt, and Ram lay floating on the turbulent seas of her
conscience.  Now that J.D. was gone, the cross was all hers to bear.
Every now and then Veronica could hear Heather Chandler's cold voice spiraling
somewhere in the cacophony of cafeteria noise.  Sometimes, out of the corner
of her eye she would see the tail of J.D.'s long, black coat disappear around
some corner.
   "It's like the school's haunted or something," someone said.
   Veronica jumped at the words and looked around quickly.  Heather McNamara
walked up to her wearing a red and black cheerleading outfit.  Veronica stared
at her, her pale face shot through with horror.
   "What do you mean?" she asked, feeling her heart flutter with guilt for
the umpteenth time this month.
   Heather pulled her frail fingers through her thick fall of long, curly,
blond hair.  She shrugged, "I don't know, the school just feels weird.  So many
people have died this month, it's like everyone's walking around in a twilight
zone episode or something-especially you Veronica."
   Veronica winced and looked down at the shiny, dark floor.  Her distorted
reflection stared back  
   "Losing J.D. has really taken its toll on you," Heather continued, basking
in the bliss of ignorance.
   "Yeah," Veronica whispered, barely able to supply sound to the word.  She
felt her whole body churn with uneasiness.  A locker door slammed next to her,
and she jumped with the noise.
   "It's been rough.”
   A derisive, female voice wafted its way across the emptying hall and
Veronica looked up.  Heather Duke, all dressed in red and surrounded by her new
entourage, stood grinning like the Cheshire Cat in Veronica's direction.  
Veronica frowned, and Heather McNamara cringed like a guilty child.
"I gotta go, Veronica," she said sheepishly.
After all the hell Heather put Heather through, she still groveled her way
back into the coolest, albeit revised, clique in school.  The beaming grin
on Heather Duke's face never failed to declare her victory over Heather
and over all the other gullible minds of the student body.  Veronica
watched angrily as Heather went over to Heather.  She half expected to see
Heather Duke strap a leash and collar around Heather McNamara's neck.
"Oh, hello Veronica," Heather Duke called disdainfully from across the
way.  Her greeting was followed by a chorus of bitchy snickering, and Veronica
felt her annoyance flare.  While Heather McNamara crawled back to Heather on her
hands and knees, Veronica had remained determined to stay as far away from her
as possible; hence, lessening her status in the school hierarchy and making her
the perfect food for ridicule.  Despite everything that had happened, Veronica
found herself thinking that if J.D. were still alive, Heather Duke wouldn't be.  
She probably would have committed "suicide" weeks ago.  
Veronica watched the group saunter off towards the cafeteria, and
considered telling J.D. that he could blow the school up after all.  She
snickered nervously at the thought.

* * *

   Heather Duke had taken up almost all of Heather Chandler's old habits.  
Veronica sat down at a table in the cafeteria and watched as Heather had one of
her lackeys forge some sort of note to give to a poor, unsuspecting soul as a
cruel and nasty joke.  Way back when Heather Chandler was Queen, the prime
victim of such torment was Martha Dunstock, a quiet, 220 pound junior whom
everyone had dubbed "Martha Dumptruck" because of her excessive weight.
   For her reign, Heather Duke had chosen the lowly Stuart Salinger, an
outcast freshman who was shaped like a scarecrow, and who looked like he had
stepped right out of some "Revenge of the Nerds" movie.  The funny part was
that not even the nerds of the school liked Stuart; nobody did.  Sometime in
mid-December he came to Westerburg a scrawny, middle-class geek, and was
trampled underfoot by everyone, the Heathers above all.
   Veronica rested her head on her hand in mild boredom and watched through
her dark sunglasses as Heather McNamara ran to slip the phony note on to
Stuart's lunch tray.  Veronica yawned.  This had all been done before; the
whole day-to-day scenario of high school played like a broken record.  She
had saved the school from certain death only a few weeks earlier; but it was
like nothing had ever happened.  Sometimes she found herself wishing for another
rebel to come along in a long, black coat, riding a Harley Davidson and smoking
like a chimney.  J.D. was a once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon of nature.  The Devil
sent him to take out the trash, and Veronica had chased him away before he even
had a chance to break out the vacuum cleaner.  Now she sat in his old seat, in
the back corner of high-society cafeteria life, wishing she at least had a dust
buster.
   Stuart slumped down at his lonely table with his carton of milk and tray
of slop and tater tots.  His limbs seemed to collapse inward from lack of
nutrition or something, and he slouched as if he were taking cover from unseen,
flying objects.
   Veronica cast her gaze at Heather and her lackeys, who watched with
gleaming eyes as Stuart unfolded the mysterious note.  His brown eyes widened
beneath his round-rimmed glasses and he nearly choked on his tater tot.
And then suddenly, his gaze crashed with the lenses of Veronica's black
sunglasses.  
   "Shit," Veronica muttered, hearing Heather laughing in the background.
   Stuart looked from the note to Veronica and then back again.
   "Goddamnit," she cursed as he feebly got up from his table and started
towards her.  She held her head, and gave some thought to bolting for the door.
Heather was almost drooling at the pure perfection of it all.  Undoubtedly she
had conjured up some sexually perverse fable about how Veronica was hot for
Stuart's muscle-denied body.
   "Hhhh-hi Veronica," he stammered, pushing his glasses up the bridge of
his beak-like nose.
   "Hi Stuart," she said, her voice a monotone, expectant, extension of her
bored thoughts.
   Stuart handed her the note, which she took shamelessly to glance over.  
Heather had no creativity.
   "I didn't write this," Veronica stated, combing her fingers through her
dark hair, ignoring the death of hope in Stuart's face.  His pale-sickly cheeks
flushed with embarrassment, and his eyes glazed over with horror.
   "Heather Duke wrote it," Veronica said plainly, not wanting to give
Heather the satisfaction she craved.  Poor Stuart had that old, familiar look of:
"I-just-totally-humiliated-myself-and-am-now-the-laughing-stock-of-the-whole-
school."
   "Oh," was all he could say.
   Veronica handed him back the note, and he hesitated briefly before
slinking back to his table.  On the way there he became aware of Heather's
laughter, and his shoulders slumped even further inward until they disappeared
into the sides of his bony torso.
   Veronica took a deep breath and lowered her sunglasses so she could glare
at Heather, whose green eyes sparked back at her.  Veronica scowled.  She
glanced at Stuart again, who seemed inches away from hiding under the table, and
then she glanced at some of the other familiar faces.  Keith and Courtney, a
pair of country-club snobs, gave her sly, knowing looks as though they were all
set to start circulating the rumors.  Veronica's frown deepened, maybe she
wasn't a Heather anymore; but she wasn't going to serve as the brunt of the
jokes either.
   "Oh that was hilarious, Heather," Veronica said, approaching the creature
in red who had once been her friend.
   Heather flashed her a charming grin, "A total laugh riot," she replied.
   "Was the joke on Stuart or on me?" Veronica asked knowingly.  She hated
the way Heather and her clique all seemed to share the same line of telepathic
communication.  They snickered in unison.
   "What's your damage, Veronica?" Heather Duke retorted, hugging her disdain
to her like a member of the football team.  "You should be used to the company
of losers, everyone knows you associate yourself with the scum of the school."
   The clique found this funny.  Even Heather McNamara laughed; it was either
play along, or be ousted and ridiculed.  Veronica felt her anger flare.  She
gritted her teeth and tried not to let it show that Heather could get to her.
   "Face it, Veronica," Heather continued, "You totally fell off your
pedestal when Heather died.  You started hanging around with Martha Dumptruck,
for godsakes.  You're not cool anymore, you're a tragedy."
   More laughing.  Veronica swallowed hard and tried to control her rage.  
She wanted to kill, and she chided herself for admitting it.
   "And what makes you cool, Heather?"  She snapped, "Is it your winning
personality?  Or the fact that you're just a cheap imitation of Heather
Chandler?"
   The smile fell off of Heather's alabaster face.  Veronica watched semi-
delighted as Heather's cheeks flushed with fury.
   "Veronica, can you only defend yourself by taking blows below the belt?  
How sorry is that?"
   "The only thing sorry here, Heather, is you," Veronica snarled.
   For a moment Heather looked genuinely enraged, and then her expression
changed totally, and she laughed.
   "God, Veronica, how lame you've become!  At least when J.D. was alive
there was still hope for you."
   The very mention of J.D.'s name sparked an inferno of anger.  She could
feel the hate for Heather churning inside of her fiery body, turning itself,
over and over like a pig on a skewer.
   "And what do you mean by that, Heather?" Veronica growled, no longer able
to suppress the flames from moving into her face.
   "Did I hit a nerve, Veronica?" Heather bantered, "J.D. was too cool for
you, you couldn't handle him; everyone knows that.  It's a pity you drove him to
his suicide."
   Veronica felt her head start to spin violently as she realized that this
was the popular opinion of the school.  No one here knew what J.D. had really
planned to do; they all thought the extravagance of his suicide was just part of
his rebellious nature, that deep down he was just lovesick, and she was at
fault.
   "I drove him to suicide?!?" Veronica hissed, feeling a dull ache throb its
way into her head.  She knew her mouth had dropped open, but she was so goddamn
angry she couldn't even feel her body.  There was actually a red tint to
everything she saw, as if some cheesy B-movie director were orchestrating her
life at the moment.  Heather looked so triumphant, and all Veronica could think
of was killing her.  A vision of Heather Chandler lying in her satin coffin
flashed across Veronica's eyes, and then she heard him.
   At first it was just a whisper, like a memory echoing off the walls from
weeks before, and then his voice was against her ear, feathered and sarcastic,
as if he had never blown himself up to begin with:
   "Wish you had that gun right about now, don't you darling?" he said.
   Veronica's spinning, red, world came to a crash landing at the sound of
his voice.  His VOICE!!  His raspy, wicked, maniacal voice!  Where the hell did
it come from?!  
'Get a grip girl,' Veronica thought, glancing around, and then
pinching the bridge of her nose between her fingers.  She was getting too
excited, some chemical imbalance must have been kicking in.
   Heather was still beaming.  "The truth hurts, doesn't it, Veronica?" she
said, "Poor J.D., what a waste."
   "Oh the humanity," sneered one of the others.
   But Veronica had gone deaf to Heather's remarks; reality had just gotten
terribly weird.  She kept thinking to herself: 'calm down, you're hearing
things.'
   And then he spoke again, as if he were right next to her:
"Don't kid yourself, dearest, your hearing is perfectly fine."
   Veronica gasped sharply; she tore off her sunglasses and scanned the room
in a near panic.  It occurred to her that someone was doing an impression of
J.D. just to torment her.  But no one looked like the guilty party.  Dread and
horror ignited inside of Veronica's body.  She was losing her mind in the middle
of the caf!
   On the opposite side of her his voice came again: "Don't you think this
school is in need of another suicide?  It's been three weeks!"
   Veronica whirled around, and saw nothing out of the ordinary.  Heather
Duke grimaced as if Veronica were a mental patient who had been let out by
mistake.  Veronica was beginning to wonder if that was the case.  Either that,
or she had just fallen into the twilight zone.
   "Veronica!" Heather snapped, annoyed at being ignored.
   Veronica came back to reality long enough to see the irritated expression
chiseled into Heather's white flesh.  And then her gaze drifted beyond Heather,
and settled over a figure in black leaning against the "feed the world" table.  
It seemed as if Veronica had to manually focus her vision before it came in
clear enough to see every detail right down to the eyebrows.
   J.D. grinned, and gave a casual wave.
   Veronica's breath slipped out of her lungs and failed to return.  Her eyes
grew bowling-ball huge, at the sight of the apparition before her.
   "Greetings and salutations," he sneered, raising his wicked eyebrows.
   "God, Veronica, what's wrong with you?!" Heather demanded, as Veronica
watched J.D. nonchalantly light a cigarette.  Peter, who was preaching to no one
in particular about giving away their extra tater tots, coughed when he inhaled
J.D.'s smoke; but as far as seeing J.D. directly in front of him-Peter seemed
clueless.
   Heather frowned even deeper, "You look like you've just seen a ghost or
something."
   J.D. laughed at the irony and drew in a lungful of smoke.
 "You gotta love her!" he remarked in delight.
   Veronica felt her head grow light as the rest of her body sunk into a
nauseous, sickening stupor.  She couldn't tear her eyes away from where J.D. was
slouching.  He should have disappeared or something, the way the ghosts of a
guilty conscience were supposed to do.  But he didn't.  Instead he flicked his
ashes in Peter's direction, and smirked all-knowingly.  Heather followed
Veronica's gaze to see what she was gawking at, but J.D. shook his head.
   "She can't see me Veronica," he purred, "I'm here for your eyes only."
   "Get a grip girl," Heather growled, echoing Veronica's thoughts, "What
little reputation you have left is plummeting rapidly."
   Veronica managed to pull her eyes off of J.D. long enough to see Heather's
disgust, and feel her own utter horror welling up in her throat.
   "Oh my god," Veronica choked from somewhere deep in her gut.  She had to
get out of the room before she collapsed and died of shock on the floor.
   This wasn't happening.
   She whipped around and forced her legs into motion, vaguely hearing
Heather's bitch-queen protests as she tumbled out of the caf and into the hall.  
Veronica's head was doing somersaults on her shoulders as she scampered down the
empty hallways of Westerburg.  The main entrance was too far away, so Veronica
hoisted herself up the stairs and burst into the girl's room.  Luckily, it too,
was empty.
   She practically fell into the sink, splashing her beet-red face with cold
water.  The sudden, icy temperature against her feverish flesh made her insides
churn, and, feeling violently ill, she stumbled into the stall to retch up the
emptiness in her stomach.  Her whole life seemed to flash before her eyes as she
hugged the john.  And then logic began to creep its way into her head,
threatening to rationalize everything she had just seen in the caf.
   Veronica tried to collect herself.  She had just gone mental in front of
her worst enemies, and had probably ruined her reputation more in that moment
than Heather could have done in a week!
   "Oh God," she muttered, both horrified and stupefied by her own behavior.  
She could have sworn she heard Heather Chandler's voice like a distant ringing
in the outside hall:
   "Transfer to Washington, transfer to Jefferson, no one at Westerburg's
gonna let you play their reindeer games."
   It took Veronica some time to catch her breath before she managed to pick
herself off the less-than-spotless bathroom floor.  She felt trembly and dizzy,
and decided right then to cut out of school early and go back to bed.  Her blue
stockings had been smudged with some form of girls' room grime, and there was a
fresh run disappearing up into the shadows of her new skirt.  Definitely time to
go home.
   "Shit," she groaned, stepping wearily out of the stall and over to the
sink.  Her face still felt like fire had been set to it.  She turned on the
water and started to wash the sickness away when she heard the bathroom door
open.  With her luck at the moment it was probably Heather and her lackeys come
to watch the rest of the show.  
   The pungent aroma of cigarette smoke coiled around her as she bent to cup
the cool water to her lips.  It tasted like rust.
   "That was a true Kodak moment, Veronica!" he barked, "Pity I didn't have a
camera!"
   His voice was as raspy and dramatic as ever.  Veronica's heart thudded
against her rib cage, but she didn't lift her head.  Instead she stared at the
water as it spiraled down the drain, and wondered if that was her life going
with it.
   "You're not really here," she said uneasily, dreading to hear an answer
of any kind.
   J.D. snickered.  "Quite the contrary darling, I am very much here."
   "You're dead," Veronica insisted, the strength in her voice pushing into
the lipstick-smudged porcelain of the sink.
   "Of course!" J.D. sneered, "That's the beauty of it!"
   Veronica looked up and stared into the mirror her face now a sickly,
horrified white.  J.D.'s reflection appeared behind her own.  He looked the
same-well, almost.  His handsome, chiseled face was the color of alabaster, his
narrow eyes as deep black as pure, polished obsidian, and together, his features
looked just a tad more supernatural than they should have, had he been alive.
But everything else was the same, long, black coat and all.  He took a long drag
on the cigarette and the end glowed orange.
   "You're a figment of my imagination!" Veronica cried, whirling around to
face him.  "You blew yourself up!  You killed yourself!  You're dead!  D-E-A-D,
dead!"
   J.D.'s linear lips curled into a wry smirk.  "Well, it's a comfort to know
you can still spell at a time like this; however darling--" he paused, stared
at Veronica with the slits that served for his eyes, and exhaled smoke into her
face.  She coughed and turned away.
   "How can you be so sure?" he finished, meeting her incensed gaze
steadily.
   "You are NOT here!!!" she screamed, thrashing at him with her fists,
trying to chase his ghost, or his memory, or whatever the hell he was away.
   "Get the fuck away from me!  You are not here!!"
   J.D. let the smoking cigarette hang limply from his lips as he grabbed
Veronica's flailing arms.  She froze when he touched her; his grip was so icy,
so chilling.  For a moment she just stared, horrified, into his black eyes.
   "If I weren't here Veronica, could I do this?  Hmm?" J.D. asked,
tightening his grip on her wrists painfully.  Veronica gaped at him a moment
longer before she began struggling and pulling away, screaming over and over
again at the top of her lungs: "Let go of me!!"
   J.D. let her squirm awhile before he released her as an amused cat would
its prey.  Veronica stumbled back against the clammy, tiled wall; her breath
coming in hard, short gasps.  She glowered hard at J.D.-he raised his eyebrows.
   "What are you doing here?" she moaned, raking her hands back through her
shoulder-length hair.
   A small, unfamiliar voice answered her from behind J.D.: "Umm, I have to
go-to the bathroom?"
   J.D. snickered and moved aside so that Veronica could see the short, oval-
shaped freshmen that had just entered the room.  Her eyes were wide and stunned
behind her thick-lensed glasses, she looked completely befuddled.  Veronica's
mouth dropped open as she exchanged mortified looks with the girl.
   "Now who looks psychotic?" J.D. sneered, "She can't see me, Veronica,
you're the one ranting and raving like a lunatic all by yourself in a high
school bathroom!"  He laughed, "It's perfecto!"
   "You know what," the girl said, crinkling her nose, "I'll come back
later."
   She opened the door and slipped out quickly, undoubtedly fleeing for cover
to some nearby classroom.
   Veronica slid down the wall to sit on the cold floor.  She pressed her
hands to her throbbing temples.  "God!" she moaned, "I've gone completely
insane!"
   J.D. lit another cigarette with the end of his first one.  He threw the
butt down and sparks scattered outward as it hit the ground.  Veronica
watched listlessly as the cigarette bounced under the door of a stall and rolled
out of view.
   J.D. leaned over the sink to stare in the spotty mirror.  He had a
reflection.  He wasn't some mythological vampire or anything like that, and
unfortunately he probably couldn't be repelled with sunlight, or holy water, or
something easy.
   "I'm playing with a new look, Veronica," he said matter-of-factly.  "Tell
me what you think."
   Veronica glanced up, still holding her head.  Her pretty face twisted
upward, utterly perturbed.  The whole room was spinning and there was J.D., a
walking dead man, talking about a new look?  Oh the humanity.
   J.D. pulled his fingers, all ten of them, back through his choppy, black
hair, and as he did so, the hair lengthened until it fell past his shoulders.  
Veronica squinted in confusion.  It was all too weird.  J.D. turned to her,
long, black hair now framing his china-white face.  "Well?  Is it me?"
   "I didn't know fashion was an issue in Hell," she muttered.
   J.D. scoffed at her and puffed on his cigarette.
   "Why are you haunting me?" Veronica whimpered, "I mean, are you haunting
me?  Or have I lost my fucking mind?"
   J.D. brushed a couple of wisps to the left, and then to the right,
ignoring her.
   "Goddamnit J.D.!  Why are you here!?" Veronica shouted.
   "Because I can be," he answered, still studying his new hair.  "I like
it!" he declared, turning to her and grinning devilishly; "It'll go great with
the horns."

* * *

   "Dear Diary,
   "My ex-boyfriend has come back from Hell to make my life a living one.  
I don't know what to do.  I've made a complete ass out of myself in front of the
whole school, and now everyone thinks I'm a total nutcase.  J.D.'s everywhere I
go.  He won't leave me alone.  He's not just some grotesque product of my guilt-
ridden mind; yet at the same time, I'm the only one who sees him!  Is he a
ghost?  A demon?  Satan himself?  He won't tell me, he won't tell me one goddamn
thing!  This is all a big joke to him.  He sits next to me in class and
ridicules everything and everyone with that demonic wit he always had-and then I
burst out laughing-at nothing-in the middle of class.  The whole student body
agrees that I should be attending Cleavesburg Mental Institution instead of
Westerburg High.  I walk through the hallways, and people part like the Red Sea.
I've become the walking plague, and J.D. is reveling in it all.
   "He's sitting there now telling me how history class is so much more
interesting when you don't have to pay attention to it.  I'm not crazy.  You
have to believe me.  J.D. is haunting me from beyond the grave, I can't get rid
of him.  I killed the sonofabitch once-I can't do it again, he's already dead!
I ask him over and over again why he's here.  He says "The future's not ours to
see."  What future?!  Ours?  Or mine?  He shouldn't have a future anyway-he's
dead!
   "Heather is having a field day.  J.D. may have dug the grave for my less-
than-flawless reputation, but I put myself in it.  I try to ignore J.D.'s
harping presence, but he always shows up when I least want him to.  Stuart
Salinger walked up to me the other day.  He was wearing a long black trench coat
similar to J.D.'s, and he had gotten his ear pierced like J.D., although it had
gotten all infected and was covered in band-aids.
   "I wanted to crawl into a corner and die.  The whole school thinks I'm a
baskethead, and on top of that Stuart Salinger is trying to force-feed me his
scrawny, little heart!
   "J.D. was amused.  In fact, he was downright delighted that Stuart was
copying him to win my attention.  And then Stuart asked me to the prom.  I
wanted to scream.  I said: "Stuart, I'm not going to the prom."
   "Stuart looked upset-I wish he would just find someone else to bother,
someone who is not being tormented by her dead ex-boyfriend.  J.D., who was
present, as usual, clapped his hand over his heart in mock devastation.
"Oh, God, Veronica," he cried in that Jack Nicholson twang of his, "Can't you
see what you're doing to this little guy?!"  He gave me that wise-ass smirk and
pinched Stuart's gaunt cheeks like some overly affectionate grandmother.  
"You're chewing up his heart and spitting it back into his face!"  Stuart only
scratched at J.D.'s spectral touch as if it were a bug bite.  Of course he was
completely unaware that J.D. was even there to begin with, so when I screamed
"I'm not going to the prom," at J.D., Stuart thought I was screaming at him.  
And I wasn't!
   J.D. is making me a fucking lunatic!  I tried to tell Stuart I was sorry.  
His face was blood red with embarrassment.  He looked like he was going to hide
in his oversized coat as he attempted to explain to me why he had just asked me
out.  J.D., of course, stood behind him, making all of these mock-sympathetic
expressions that I couldn't help but snicker at, and once again Stuart got the
wrong impression.  I told him that I was sorry.  That I wasn't snickering at him
as he was telling me his sad life-story; but I think it was beyond saving at
that point.  That poor kid.  He should just steer clear of me; it would do his
self-esteem a great favor." -Veronica Sawyer
Mature Content Filter is On
(Contains: violence/gore and strong language)
The weight of the gun pulled on Veronica's trembling hands,
getting heavier by the nanosecond.  She tried to look strong,
to not show the fear that coiled deep within the sinews of
her muscles but the tremor in her voice was a dead give away:
"Let's start by putting the bomb down on the ground."
It sounded good.
J.D. raised his eyebrows the way he always raised his eyebrows,
mockingly, knowingly, menacingly.  He kicked at the bag that was
already lying near his feet.  The bomb was on the ground.
Veronica glanced down nervously.
"I knew that!" she yelped,
"I knew that . . . okay, now put your hands on your head."
J.D. squinted his narrow, black eyes.  Veronica knew he could
see right through her, intelligent, psychotic bastard that he was.
"You didn't say Simon says," he purred, the blue light of the
high school boiler room melting over the pallor of his wicked face.  
Veronica gaped at him, she had the gun; but he wasn't listening
to a goddamn thing she said!  If anything, he looked mildly
amused at the attempt she was making to stop him.  
Veronica's mind raced.  Maybe she should just shoot him now?  
But she didn't want to kill anymore-the plan was to bring
J.D. in to the proper authorities.  Unfortunately he'd
probably blow himself up before he'd let that happen.
It was obvious to J.D. that Veronica had not planned anything
farther than the wonderful display she was putting on for
him at this very moment, so he decided to take over.
He lunged at her suddenly--knocking the gun from her
hands with ease-it clattered loudly to the concrete.
Panic took hold of Veronica as J.D. grabbed her face
harshly between his hands, and held her there for a
moment, as if deciding what to do with her.  Veronica's
breath came hard, rasping from her throat.  For a split
second she thought he was going to kill her.  J.D. had
no remorse.  He was ready to blow the school up with
everyone in it; there was no reason to spare her life
at this point in time.  Besides, she had broken up with
him a few days earlier, he was bitter.
Veronica's heart pounded in her chest, and then J.D.
yanked her face downward, slamming her forehead into
his knee and throwing her back against the wall.  Her
head crashed into the concrete and she collapsed to the
floor.  Everything spun before her closed eyes; it
seemed as if her brain was about to explode.  She heard
J.D. walk further into the boiler room, gun and bomb in
hand, but Veronica just couldn't bring herself to move.
The incessant stomping of feet above her head was probably
the only thing that kept her conscious.  She thought of
the 250 students holding the pep-assembly directly above
where J.D. was planting the bomb.  She couldn't let him kill
them all.
Slowly Veronica dragged herself to her feet.  Her vision
blurred, and she could feel the warm, red wetness of blood
trickling down her cheek.  Quietly she unhitched the fire
extinguisher from the wall and began to creep up on her
psychotic ex-boyfriend.  J.D. was crouched down by the boiler.
He had already taped the lethal box to a metal pipe and was
in the midst of setting it.  Veronica stifled her breathing
as she saw the timer begin its countdown: one minute, forty-
three seconds.  There was no time.  She had to stop him now
or they were all going to die.
With as much strength as she could muster she swung the
extinguisher at J.D.  He heard her at the last second and
whirled around.  The heavy, metal cylinder caught him in the
shoulder blade, knocking him to the ground.  The gun went
skittering across the floor. Scrambling for it, her head
still dizzy with pain, Veronica lost her balance and stumbled.
J.D. caught her as she tried to regain her footing and tackled
her to the ground.  Veronica cried out, trying to fight him,
but he was too strong.  He grabbed her roughly by the shoulders
and yanked her to her feet, slamming her already-sore back
against the hulking boiler.  For a brief moment Veronica froze
as her gaze met his.  His black eyes sparked at her and then
his mouth closed over hers impulsively.  Veronica struggled
fiercely against him, but he only fought her harder.  She
heard fabric ripping.  Once upon a time she had enjoyed his
kiss; he was too cool, too sexy to refuse; but that, she
realized, was all a lie.  J.D. was sick; he was a murderer,
he was the goddamn Devil in disguise who, with only the
arch of an eyebrow, lured her into bed and then into
murder.
Veronica brought her knee up hard into his groin.
J.D. stumbled back sharply, doubling over in pain.
Something had finally worked on him.  Veronica made a mad
dash for the gun that was lying next to the wall.
She seized it, and just as she did, J.D. threw himself into
the aisle next to the boiler.  As he did so, he purposely
crashed into a stack of empty tar cans, sending the large,
metal barrels flying in Veronica's direction.  She shielded
herself as a can grazed her shoulder.  The noise was deafening,
but no one in the gym above could hear one decibel of
what was going on below.
Veronica made it to her feet, the gun just barely steady in her
hand.  Suddenly everything was frighteningly quiet.  
Where was J.D.?  It was almost like he had vanished.
Veronica stole a quick, nervous glance at the bomb as she passed,
she had less than a minute. Her heart thudded painfully against
her chest.  Where the hell was he?!?  She checked slowly down all
three aisles, keeping the gun aimed in front of her.  She had to be
cautious even now, otherwise it could all blow up in her face.
J.D. was nowhere.  The panic had already set in.  If she didn't
get him to stop the bomb now, everyone was going to die, she
and J.D. included.  Veronica doubled back approaching the bomb
that was counting away the seconds of her life.  'Shit!' she thought.
'Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit!'
She aimed the gun again down the aisle with the bomb, and her heart
jumped as a dark, lurking figure emerged from the shadows unexpectedly.
J.D. looked more nervous than pissed; his plan had gone sour on him,
and it was all her fault.  He pulled a switch blade.  The very glint
of it was menacing and Veronica flinched even though she held the gun.
"You think just because you started this thing you can end it?!" J.D.
shouted, his raspy voice like sandpaper on her ears.
"I'll kill you, I'll fucking kill you I swear to God," she cried, feeling
the few remaining seconds pressing down upon her like the dreaded weight
of J.D.'s body.
"How do I turn off the goddamn bomb asshole?!"
Anger flashed through J.D.'s soot-smeared face.  "Fuck you!!" he cried,
flipping her his middle finger.
Veronica squeezed the trigger of the gun, aiming haphazardly at his
offending hand.  She had to show him she was serious-there was no
time to fuck around.
To both their surprise the bullet severed J.D.'s finger clean off.  
Blood started to stream everywhere, ribboning down both of his hands
as he tried to staunch the bleeding.  
"Shit!!" he cried, slumping to the floor, pain searing its way into
his face.
"It's all over J.D.--help me stop it," Veronica stated, trying to
sound somewhat in control.
J.D. ignored her.  His breathing had become heavy and enriched with pain.
He pulled a rag free from the burner and swathed his blood-gushing
hand in it.  
"You want to clean the slate as much as I do," he panted, trying to get
a grip on the agony that had severed his nerve endings.
"Alright, so maybe I am killing everyone in the school-cause nobody
loves me!  Let's face it alright?  The only place different social
types can genuinely get along with each other is in Heaven!"
Veronica shot another glance at the bomb, urgency gripping every muscle
and brain cell in her body.  "Which button do I press to turn it off?!?" she
snarled.
"Try the red one alright!?" J.D. retorted, getting to his knees.
Veronica cast her gaze at the little black box; all three of the buttons
were red.  
"Seriously," J.D. continued, unaffected by the threat of explosion,
"People are gonna look at the ashes of Westerburg and say 'Now there's
a school that self-destructed not because society didn't care, but because
the school was society!'"
He took a moment to think this over, his eyes sparkling psychotically.
"That's pretty deep huh?"
"WHICH RED BUTTON!?!" Veronica cried.
J.D.'s eyes dimmed, something evil playing across his face.
"Press the middle one to turn it off, if that's what you really want."
Veronica glared at him.  "You know what I want babe?"
"WHAT!?" J.D. barked, lunging at her with the knife.
Veronica barely had a chance to think about her reaction.  She pulled the
trigger, and the gun exploded once.  J.D. cried out.  She couldn't really see
where the bullet had hit him, it was all happening too fast.  
Still on his feet, he had lost control and plunged the switchblade directly
into the dynamite of the bomb itself.  The timer started screaming a high
-pitched beeping sound, but the numbers themselves had stopped with only four
seconds remaining. In the same moment, Veronica fired again.  J.D. fell back,
grappling for support of any kind.  He stumbled against the boiler, but couldn't
keep himself standing.  His legs gave way beneath him, and as he crumpled to the
ground he pulled some sort of lever down with him.  Steam shot out everywhere
from the pipes with a deafening, snake-like hiss. Veronica watched,
the pressure on her heart releasing gradually with the steam from the boiler.
"Cool guys like you out of my life," she murmured.
The pep assembly was still going on as Veronica emerged from the hellish
depths of the boiler room alone, her hair matted, her face sooty and bleeding.
She never thought the site of her classmates could give her so much comfort.
It was uncanny, but at least they were safe-for now.
Her head was still spinning as she made her way quietly through the
hallways and out the main entrance of Westerburg High School.  She started down
the red-carpeted stairs, and winced at the pain swirling around her sore body.
Thoughts of an ending to all this chaos had barely entered her head when she
heard the door open behind her.
"Color me impressed," he said.
Veronica's breath stifled in her lungs as she whirled to see J.D. slowly
making his way towards her.  He looked just as bad as she did, with his
bruised face and the blood-soaked rag wrapped tightly around his 4-fingered
hand.  He smirked at the sight of her horrified expression as he faced her on
the stairs.  He was clutching his long, black coat around his wounded body
with his good hand, and Veronica could see he felt pain in every step.
She almost felt bad she had shot him.  She had saved the school, maybe there
was still a chance for J.D.?  It was a ridiculous idea, and she wondered why she
had thought it.
"You really fucked me up pretty bad, Veronica," J.D. said, his shallow
breathing spliced between his words.
"You got power, power I didn't think you had."
He almost looked humbled before her, as if she had won his respect on a
higher level.  And then his devious eyes glittered knowingly, and he opened his
coat.
Veronica felt her hope sink like the Titanic.  She winced deeply at the
sight of the bomb strapped to J.D.'s torso.  He raised his eyebrows and smiled
at her:
"Slate is clean."

* * *

"Dear Diary,
It's not over.  I stood on the steps of Westerburg High watching J.D. like
some sort of Christ figure, arms outstretched, as he embarked on his final
suicide mission.  The constant beeping of the bomb strapped to his chest
was like some sort of derisive hallway chatter going on behind my back;
mocking me.  I thought my two-week long trip to Hell had finally ended,
that I could finally get on with my life.  I have to ask if protecting
my less-than-wonderful classmates was the only way to preserve myself,
in more ways than one?  
"It's funny how J.D. turned himself into some sort of martyr, dying so I
could live, so everybody in that gymnasium could live.  Was that his way of
cleaning the slate?  I have to wonder.  He didn't commit suicide to destroy
himself, I know that much.  I stared into his black eyes and he grinned at me,
ready.  For what?  Heaven?  Hell?  Would the ghosts of those we killed, of
Heather, and Kurt, and Ram claw at his demented soul in some fiery pit under the
earth?  Or was J.D. ready to spread his black wings and fly? From what he said
in those last few chaotic moments, I have to question if J.D. even believed in
death?  From the very beginning he used death as an instrument; killing people
was like spring cleaning to him.  He had an agenda, one he never let me in on.
"Yes, I watched him die.  I stood there in his ashes after he exploded and
thought I could finally proclaim my freedom.  Now I'm not so sure.
As in death as he was in life, J.D. is a predator on my mind.  I can't get
him out of my head.  To make matters worse, I loved him once.  And I keep
thinking maybe there was another ending that neither one of us took advantage
of?  Was J.D. beyond saving?  He must have been.  Even he knew that.
"No one at Westerburg knew quite how to handle what J.D. had done.  I
mean, c'mon, Heather Chandler drank liquid-drainer, Kurt and Ram shot each
other, but J.D. exploded.  That's not something the school could just glaze over
with some mushy cafeteria love-in.  Most people looked for someone to blame.
'A nineteen year old boy just isn't capable of doing something so horrific on
his own'  Ironically, because he was dead, J.D. was no longer the Devil in
disguise, he was the innocent victim.  Then again, no one knew that J.D. was
a murderer, or that he had originally intended to blow up the school instead of
himself.  I haven't said a word, I'm as much a part of this as he was, it's my
ass on the line too.
"Troubled youth.  It's all such bullshit.  Part of me thinks J.D. was
perfectly sane in his insanity.  He had everything figured out to the Nth
degree.  He knew what he was doing.  Of all the funerals I've been to in the
last month, J.D.'s was the worst.  Father Ripper presided, as usual, and J.D.
would have delighted to hear himself eulogized as an "innocent victim of
society's sins."
"I can't believe how they turned this whole thing on its head!  J.D.
wasn't the victim!  He was the mastermind behind this whole fucking nightmare!  
This is exactly what J.D. wanted, I'm sure of it.  This was the proof he needed
to tell me and the rest of the world that he was right.  We're all fucked up.  
We're all the sick children of "a society that degrades us," of a society that
nods its head at any horror we can think to commit.

"I keep envisioning J.D. in front of me, arms stretched out in victory,
waiting for the final moment.  I thought that I was the winner then, ready to
light my cigarette with his pain.  His eyes sparkled, more alive in those last
45 seconds than I had ever seen them.  It was almost like he had been injected
with some divine sort of knowledge.  I half expect him to pop up in the middle
of history class one day and tell me about it."    --Veronica Sawyer
Sorry I haven't been on! Happy Halloween, guys! Note me if you wanna RP?
c:
Hello, all you wonderful internet people!
How are you all?
I'm good, I'm good.
So, sophomore year is going pretty well, I like all my teachers.
Choir is fun, we're singing Double Trouble from Harry Potter! :D
And I recently got obsessed with Heathers (the movie and the musical)!
So, tomorrow we need to sing a full song in front of everybody and I don't know if i could do it.
advice?

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very-fangirl
Veronica Sawyer
United States
Just a girl who dreams to be Veronica Sawyer one day
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:iconskylark9i:
Skylark9I Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for watching! :) (Smile) 
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:iconspoopybuttperson:
Spoopybuttperson Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2014
its been a while my friend
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:iconvery-fangirl:
very-fangirl Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2014
Yes it has. Hello.
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:iconspoopybuttperson:
Spoopybuttperson Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2014
hi c:
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:iconvery-fangirl:
very-fangirl Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2014
hiiii
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