Another week, another release... Or should I say re-release? Anyway, tomorrow I am releasing Beauty's Only Skin Deep for the second time. Unlike Kill the DJ, this is just a re-release. I cleaned it up a bit and got a new cover. I didn't add anything new, except a preview of Election Year 2050. I don't want to ramble on, so, here's the first chapter of Beauty's Only Skin Deep:
I walked up to the building nervously, clutching my rosary. White Grimm High School. I’d be spending nearly every day here for the next four years. I might as well make the best of it.
I turned around. My best friend, Meg, was running toward me.
I grinned. “Meg! Hi! How was your summer?”
Meg and I had been best friends since kindergarten. Despite that, we had never hung out during the summer. On the day after summer break started, Meg and her family would leave for the Hamptons. They wouldn’t come back until the day before school started.
“Oh, it was fine.” She smiled as she said, “I had a boyfriend while I was there.”
“What? Oh my gosh, tell me everything!”
“Once we find somewhere to sit. I don’t want anyone to hear. I don’t need any kind of reputation on my first day of high school.”
“Ok, tell me at Penny’s after school.”
Meg nodded. “Alright.”
We stood next to each other and stared at the big building in front of us.
I looked at Meg. “Are you ready?” I asked.
Meg shrugged. “I have no choice, do I?”
I smiled as I shook my head.
“Alright then, let’s go.”
And with that we entered the building, merging into the crowd of hundreds of students.
As the bus pulled up to the curb, I gaped at the gigantic brick building in front of me. Above the front doors, there was a plaque that said, “White Grimm High School”. I watched as all the students seemed to walk in pairs or groups. There wasn’t a single student walking alone. White Grimm was a small town. Apparently, there were less than twelve hundred people living here. I was probably the only new student.
Not paying attention, I backed up off the seat. I bumped into someone.
“Hey, watch it!”
“Sorry,” I mumbled.
The girl’s look softened as she said, “I’ve never seen you around before. What’s your name?”
“Brittany,” I answered.
“I’m Tiffany,” She stepped back to let me get off the bus in front of her.
“Nice to meet you, Tiffany.”
“Are you new?”
“Where are you from?”
Tiffany looked elated as she said, “Los Angeles? Wow, that’s great! I’ve never met anyone from California. Most of the students were born here. We’ve all known each other since kindergarten.”
“Great,” I said sarcastically. My worst fear had been realized.
“Hey, if you need someone to eat lunch with or something come find me, ok?”
I smiled. “Alright, I will.”
Tiffany smiled back as she said, “I’ve got to go. Bye.”
As I walked away from Brittany, the new girl, I thought about what I had just done. My friends and I had been the most popular girls in school for the last two years. We weren’t the type to invite the new kid to sit with us. But that had been junior high. We were high school freshmen now. We were at the bottom of the food chain. Brittany was pretty and we needed all the help we could get.
I walked over to my friends, Judy and Betty, and asked, “Have you figured it out yet?”
“Figured out what?” Betty asked.
“What Judy and I talked about on the phone last night.” I turned to Judy. “Judy, I told you to call Betty after we got off the phone last night!”
“I’m sorry. I forgot,” Judy told me.
I sighed. I was exhausted even though it was only 8:50 am. “Last night I told Judy that her and you need to find out who the most popular girls in the school are. That way we can become friends with them, and as a result, we are also the most popular girls in school.”
“Oh, that’s a clever idea,” Betty said.
Judy pointed to two girls standing by the auditorium doors and said, “I think that it might be those two. Everyone keeps looking at them and a few people went up to talk to them. Besides, look at how beautiful they are.”
I nodded. They were beautiful. I immediately decided that I didn’t like them.
Judy said, “Alright, so we’ll observe them for a few days. Make sure that they really are the most popular girls. Then we’ll figure out a way to hang out with them. Right, Tiffany?”
I shook my head. We didn’t need to observe them. I already knew that they were the most popular girls. It was obvious. I could tell that they were. And I told Judy and Betty that.
“What do you mean you can tell?” Betty asked.
“Look at them. Everyone loves them.”
Betty nodded slowly as she said, “I love them and I don’t even know them.”
“I know, me too!” Judy agreed.
This wasn’t right. My friends weren’t supposed to like these girls more than me. But even as I told myself that I hated them, I could feel a growing admiration for them.
Suddenly the auditorium doors opened.
“Come on, ladies. Let’s make our entrance and show White Grimm High School just how great we are.” I said as I positioned myself between Judy and Betty.
Lauren-Anne and I took our seats in the middle of the auditorium. We weren’t like the teachers’ pets, who liked to get front row seats, but we weren’t like the cool kids who sat in the back rows either.
Everyone around us was chattering excitedly, catching up with friends. When I say “friends” I mean the kids that you like, but don’t like enough to hang out with outside of school.
Everyone grew quiet as a woman walked toward the stage. I could see why. This lady looked mean. Even so, she had a strange beauty about her.
“Good morning, White Grimm High School. Welcome to the school year of 1955 and 1956. I am your principal, Ms. Ruffinio.”
Oh boy. No wonder everyone had stopped talking so quickly. Ms. Ruffinio was supposedly evil. She paddled kids for the smallest reasons. If she caught you running in the hall, you’d get the paddle. If she found out you didn’t bring your homework or textbook to class? Paddle. If you talked during an assembly? Paddle. If you talked while she was talking during an assembly? You’d get the paddle ten times.
There was also something extremely suspicious about her. She had been married three times. All three of her husbands had died mysterious deaths.
Ms. Ruffinio talked for a long time. Mostly about rules of the school and what was expected of the students. After a while, she said, “Now a word from two of my favorite students. Welcome, Marylin and Beverly, the founders of the Charm Club!”
The auditorium exploded into applause. I looked at Lauren-Anne curiously. What was so special about these girls? I mean, sure, they were beautiful. But that was about it.
“See? I told you everyone loves them.”
I turned around to see Tiffany Thomas talking to Betty Rhodes and Judy Stipes.
Judy nodded. “We should try to sit with them at lunch.”
“Yeah, the thing about that is I told some new girl she could sit with us at lunch.”
“What?” Judy cried.
I turned back around when Betty glared at me, clearly telling me to mind my own business.
There was a new girl? We hadn’t had a new kid in town for years. If there had been a new kid everyone would have known. After all, there were only three schools in White Grimm. The elementary school, the junior high school, and the high school. And why would Tiffany invite her to sit with them? Tiffany wasn’t the kind of girl to invite anyone, let alone a new kid, to sit with her.
“Welcome back everybody and welcome freshmen.” One of the girls said. “For those of you who don’t know us, I’m Beverly, and this is Marylin.” She pointed at the girl next to her. “As you all know, White Grimm High School opened four years ago, my classmates and I were the first freshmen in the school. We had never been in a high school before, so it was up to us to shape this high school and make it the way we thought a high school should be.”
Marylin spoke next, saying, “During our first week of high school Beverly and I decided that we wanted to find model students. Students that showed how every high schooler should be. And that’s how we created the Charm Club. Girls in the Charm Club should have beauty, poise, grace, and be well-mannered.”
I tried not to laugh. Obviously, they didn’t have to be smart if they thought that poise and grace were two different things.
“We had students from every class joining. Everyone wanted to be a part of the Charm Club. However, we could only take in so many students.” Marylin pointed to a group of girls in the front row. They stood up and waved to the rest of the auditorium as she said, “These are the girls who joined us last year. And every year, after the seniors in the club graduate, we have room for new girls to join. This year we have four spots available. We’ll be taking applications all week, and on Friday night we will call you to let you know if you’re in.”
In unison, Beverly and Marylin said, “Thank you, and stay charming!”
Ms. Ruffinio took the microphone back from Beverly and Marylin and said, “Thank you, ladies. I see many wonderful young ladies in the sea of students this year, and I look forward to seeing you at the first meeting.”
I looked at Lauren-Ann. Ms. Ruffinio was in the Charm Club?
“Schedules are being handed out outside. Find the table serving the students whose last name starts with the same letter as yours. Thank you.”
As we got up to go find out what our schedules were, Lauren-Anne asked me, “What was that all about?”
“I don’t know, but I don’t want to have anything to do with it.”
Well, I hope you liked the first chapter of Beauty's Only Skin Deep, be sure to preorder the ebook. Like, Kill the DJ, you cannot preorder the paperback, but it will be available for purchase tomorrow.
Preorder the ebook:
Everywhere else: https://www.books2read.com/killerheels