Eddie Zavanella was going to pay. Prudence would make sure of that. He was a horrible, rotten boy and he needed to be punished.
It all started on Valentine’s day. Prudence had been trying to gather the courage to go over and give Eddie his handmade Valentine. She had had a crush on him since second grade when she sat beside him the whole school year. She adored his black hair and deep blue eyes. He had a crooked smile with perfect teeth. He was tall and lanky, which the other girls made fun of but she thought it was beautiful. Even still after eight years of unrequited love. He never went anywhere without his posse of friends so it was hard for her to get him alone.
She knew full well what his friends thought of her. She’d heard them many times making remarks about her behind her back. She couldn’t help that she was extremely nearsighted and needed to wear glasses. She also couldn’t help the fact that puberty had brought some unpleasant friends to her face and all the oiliness in her hair. She was doing the best she could.
She decided the best way to give him his Valentine was to slip it into his locker. That way he would know how she felt and no one had to watch her bear her soul.
Just hours after she had dropped off her token she was wandering off to lunch when she noticed that there was raucous laughter coming from around the corner. She followed the sound and froze when she saw it. Eddie was at his locker, her Valentine in his hand. His group of friends and a couple other people were leaning in to take in all her secrets. They were laughing so loudly that everyone in the hall was looking at them, trying to figure what was going on. Prudence felt her face grow hot. Eddie looked up and saw her standing there. An evil grin spread across his face.
“Hey look, everyone. It’s my not-so-secret admirer.” Everyone was laughing like that was the funniest thing they had ever heard. Prudence was mortified. She could feel her face getting red, accentuating her cystic acne. Her glasses started to slide down her nose, slightly obscuring the scene. She couldn’t move, she didn’t know which way to go. “You wanna give me a kiss, Zit Face?” Eddie squawked. He laughed along with everyone else at his own insult. She finally turned to run. They followed her. She tried to keep her head down, she didn’t want them to see her tears. They kept chanting “Zit Face! Zit Face!” at her as she ran out of the school. She walked all the way home.
The next day she stayed home from school. Luckily it was Friday so she had a few extra days before she had to face anymore humiliation. Her mom had seen her tear stained face when she got home from work the evening before. She didn’t ask any questions, she just left her alone to stew. When Prudence told her mom she wasn’t going to school her mom just shrugged and went to work. Prudence wished her mom would have at least patted her on the shoulder, or something. Anything.
As Prudence sat on the couch, five hours into some reality TV show, there was a knock on her front door. She grudgingly pulled herself up off the couch and went to the door, not even bothering to clean herself up first. When she opened the door her heart sank. It was Madison Keen, one of the girls who was reading the Valentine over Eddie’s shoulder, shameless laughing.
“Hey Prudy Prude, I’m here to drop off your homework from today. Wouldn’t want your grades to slip. You might as well get the most out of your education since your looks won’t be getting you anywhere. Unless you plan to join a freak show.” She gave Prudence a smug smile and extended her hand with the homework in it. Prudence snatched it out of her hand. Madison gave her a mock hurt face. “That wasn’t very nice. But what can you expect from a walking oil slick. Your welcome.” Prudence just slammed the door in her face.
That was enough. Prudence was seeing red. They couldn’t treat her like this and just get away with it. They had another thing coming. Prudence ran upstairs to her room and found what she needed. Last summer, when her Aunt Ida came to visit, she had brought her a gift. Her aunt told her to only use it if it was absolutely necessary. Well revenge was completely necessary at this point. Prudence was not going to put up with this. She pulled the book of spells off of her book shelf and looked for the best one to cast on Eddie. She needed him to pay for starting all of this. He was the reason they all felt brave enough to taunt her like this. If he had just been nice about it and kept it to himself he wouldn’t have to suffer. Now, it was too late.
She finally came to a spell that was perfect. All she needed was something he would eat, a little bit of blood and to summon a demon. There were instructions so it didn’t look too hard. She placed the book on her bed and went to get a pair of scissors. She needed to prick her finger to give the demon some blood. She grabbed a towel as well to catch any mess. She pulled some fruit snacks out of her backpack and sat cross legged on her bedroom floor. She had the towel underneath her while she brought the sharp point to her thumb. It was painful but instant. Her thumb bled liberally. She rubbed her thumb on her forehead and read the summoning chant out loud three times.
At the third summon the room started to pulsate. It got slightly darker and the temperature seemed to drop. Prudence looked around her room in anticipation. She heard the sound of something very heavy hitting the floor in the living room. She jumped, spinning around quickly, feeling the vibrations off the sound.
“Hello Prudence.” She whipped her head back around to see a demon staring straight into her eyes. She jumped back with a squeal. It wasn’t as big as she thought it would be, it appeared to be about four feet tall. It was really just a floating head with smoke for a body. The head was horned and the eyes were completely white. It had no nose but it had a wide mouth with tiny, sharp teeth. It was all black. “What have you summoned me for?”
“I need your help to put a spell on a boy in school.” She said right away.
“Sorry, I don’t do love potions.” The demon seemed bored.
“I don’t want him to fall in love with me I want him to suffer.”
“What’s the difference?”
“I want to make him pay.” Prudence gave the demon a determined look.
“Alright then. Do you want him to die a horrible death or to just fall asleep and never wake up?” The demon lowered itself to get closer to her face. Prudence thought about the question for a moment.
“A coma would do nicely.” She sat up on her knees waiting for instruction.
“Dull. Alright, what will you give me in return for the power to complete this spell?”
“My cat.” Prudence felt a little guilty but she hated Eddie more. “He’s under the bed.”
“Very well.” it paused, assessing. “I have what I need. Make sure you bury that thing before it starts to stink. You have twenty four hours before the magic wears off. Good luck.” And with that it vanished.
Monday morning came bright and early. Prudence had the fruit snacks and a card all ready for Eddie. She was going to trick him into thinking she thought his jokes were funny too and that there weren’t any hard feelings. Once he ate the fruit snacks he would cease to be an issue. Unless someone just happened to kick him in the nuts. That was the one catch of the spell, there had to be a way to undo it. At least she got to pick how.
She decided the best way to do it was to just walk up to Eddie and hand them to him herself. She put on her best fake smile and pushed herself forward. Her back was sweating by the time she reached him.
“Hey Eddie, I just want you to know, no hard feelings. It was pretty uncool of me to put you on the spot with my valentine so I’m sorry. Would you forgive me if I gave you my favorite fruit snacks?” She reached out and offered them to him. He looked at them then looked at her. He looked at his buddy to the right then back at her.
“Yeah sure, thanks.” He took them and put them in his pocket. She watched the fruit snacks journey, hoping they would get eaten soon. “I gotta get to class…” And he left her there.
All morning she had been waiting to hear if something odd had suddenly happened but she wouldn’t get her revenge until lunch. She sat on the opposite end of the cafeteria of Eddie, as usual, and watched him intently, as usual. He finally pulled the fruit snacks out of his pocket and tore them open. As he was about to put one in his mouth Madison, who was sitting next to him, nudged him and put her hand out. The look on her face said, ‘are you going to share?’ He pulled them close to him and shook his head. She tried to get them from him but he playfully dodged her. She almost got them but he shoved them all into his mouth at once and chewed them all together. Success. Prudence couldn’t stop all the giddiness inside. She was smiling. She looked down at her food and tried not to stare at what was going on at Eddie’s table. Then the yelling started.
Prudence looked up just as everyone else was looking in the direction of Eddie and his friends. Eddie looked like he had fallen asleep and they couldn’t seem to wake him up. Madison was screaming in his face and slapping him trying to get him to wake up. His buddies had run to get a teacher. There was pandemonium in the cafeteria and Prudence was loving it. No one paid any attention to what she was doing, which was absolutely nothing. She finished her meal, disposed of the trash and walked out of the lunch room and to her next class.
By the end of the day Eddie was the most well known guy in the school. Everyone felt so bad for him. Well they should, thought Prudence, he’s never going to see the light of day again. She went to her locker to get the rest of her books before going home. Madison just happened to be waiting for her there, leaning up against Prudence’s locker with her arms crossed. She had a suspicious look on her face.
“Well, well, well.” Madison drawled.
“What do you want, Madison?” Prudence sighed.
“I know it was you, you little bitch. What did you do to him? He only passed out after he ate your disgusting fruit snacks.”
“I wish he had shared with you. Then you wouldn’t be standing here annoying me.” Prudence gave her a smug grin, just like the one she received from Madison.
“What was in those fruit snacks, Zit Face?” Madison was fuming.
“Wouldn’t you like to know? I can’t help you. What’s done is done so if you’ll excuse me I have homework to do. I know how concerned you are with my studies.” Prudence slammed her locker shut and tried to stifle a gleeful giggle.
“I’m going to get you for this!” Madison yelled. “I’ll find out how you did this and I’ll fix him. Then you’ll wish you were dead.”
Prudence got home and threw her books onto her bed. She went down to the kitchen and made herself a snack. She took it into the living room to continue her reality TV binge. Her mom came home around five thirty. As they sat down to dinner her mom told her she had to work the night shift since the hospital was so short staffed.
“You think you can handle being home alone tonight?” Her mother asked her.
“I’ll be fine mom.” Was all she said. They finished their dinner in silence. After her mom left, just after seven, she took a shower, grabbed another snack and fixed herself in front of the TV again. Several hours later she was awoken by a strange noise. She had fallen asleep on the couch with the TV still on, now showing infomercials. It must have been pretty late. She got up and turned the TV off then headed up to her room. She stopped when she heard the noise again. It sounded like it was coming from the backyard. She slowly went to the back door to investigate. She looked out the window in the door but didn’t see anything. She felt a little relieved and headed back to the stairs. That’s when the window in the door broke. She ran for it.
She got to her room, shut her door and hid under her bed. She was shaking. She heard footsteps coming up the stairs. Then her bedroom door opened. There were three pairs of feet standing in the doorway. She started to whimper. They came closer to her bed.
“Come out, come out, wherever you are. We know you’re in here. And we know your mom isn’t home to save you.” It was Madison’s voice. Prudence went cold. “Check under the bed.” Madison ordered. One of the pairs of feet obliged. Prudence shoved herself farther under the bed and tried to make herself smaller. A light shone in her eyes, she closed them.
“There you are.” a male voice said. He reached under and grabbed her by the hair. He pulled her out roughly and held her down to the floor. Prudence saw that it was Ricky Berg, Eddie’s best friend. Madison stood over her, her best friend, Ginger, standing next to her. They both had their arms crossed.
“Tell us how to fix Eddie and we’ll only hurt you a little bit.” Madison commanded. Prudence was fighting back tears as hard as she could. She didn’t want to show them how scared she was. She didn’t say anything. Madison sighed heavily and rolled her eyes. “Ricky, make her talk.” Ricky hit Prudence in the face, making her cry out. “Now, tell us. Or there’s more where that came from.”
Prudence started to tear up. She could feel her lip swelling up. “You have to kick him in the balls.” She said.
“Hit her again.” Madison said.
“I’m serious!” Prudence screamed. “That’s how you undo the spell. It’s how I set it up. If you want to wake him up you have to kick him in the nuts.” Madison looked at her for a long minute. Ricky started laughing.
“Are you freaking kidding me?” he chuckled. “That is the worst way to be woken up. You really are a terrible person.”
“Not as terrible as all of you are. He humiliated me and you all went along with it. Maybe you thought there wouldn’t be any consequences but you were wrong! You can’t treat people like this.” Prudence was full on crying now. Ricky, Madison and Ginger all looked at each other. Then they all looked disgustedly at Prudence.
“Let’s go.” Madison said and left the room. Ginger followed her. Ricky looked down at Prudence with a look of half hatred, half remorse. He got up and left with the girls. Prudence just lay there breathing heavily.
The next day Eddie still wasn’t in school. Prudence saw Madison and Ricky but they avoided her. She finally just had to ask why they hadn’t woken him up yet.
“Because, Freak, we just don’t have the nerve to hurt him. Kicking a guy in his manhood can really damage him.” Ricky clearly seemed uncomfortable talking about another man’s junk.
“We just can’t do it.” Madison said. Prudence looked at their faces and almost felt bad for them. Almost.
“Well that sucks I guess.” Was all she said. Madison and Ricky gave her a scathing look. “You really can’t do it?” She asked. They both shook their heads. She smiled at them excitedly. “I’ll do it.”