Jessica felt a tight pain in her abdomen and looked down. It took her a minute to remember that she hadn’t just gained 10 pounds and was actually pregnant – and about to give birth!
She pulled herself up into a sitting position, looking around in a daze. The gym had nearly emptied out, with just a few stragglers remaining. “I have to find Elizabeth,” she groaned, clutching at her stomach. “She’ll know exactly what to do.”
Squinting, Jessica caught sight of her twin being led outside, propped up by Enid on one side and Mr. Collins on the other. Elizabeth was struggling against them, trying to turn back toward Jessica, and Jessica knew that despite the fact that she had been a total bitch to Elizabeth all their lives, Elizabeth was trying to get to her twin.
“Elizabeth! I’m over here!” Jessica called loftily. “I need you to come carry me out of here!”
“Jessica!” Elizabeth called back, straining against her captors. “You have to leave right now! The gym is going to blow up any minute!”
What is she talking about? Jessica wondered. Why would the gym blow up? She shrugged and lay back down, waiting for Elizabeth to break free and come to her rescue.
“Jessica! I’m serious!” Elizabeth screamed as Enid and Mr. Collins led her out the door. “I can’t help you right now!”
“That’s impossible,” Jessica said out loud. “Elizabeth always helps me when I need it. She’ll find a way.”
A pair of designer pumps clattered into Jessica’s line of sight. “Jessica, didn’t you hear Elizabeth? We need to get out of here!” said the voice attached to them.
“Oh, Lila,” Jessica said, laughing nervously and trying to ignore the pain in her lower stomach. “I’m just, you know, chilling out.”
“On the gym floor?” Lila said disapprovingly. “We had the same problem with one of our cleaning ladies once. She was a total drunk!”
“I’m not drunk,” Jessica said, laughing off her friend’s accusation. “I’m just tired. This dance has been such a bore, don’t you think?”
Lila bent down, extending a hand to her friend. With the other, she held on tightly to her baby. “Come on, let’s get you out of here,” she said.
“Is this a trick or something?” Jessica asked, reluctantly grabbing Lila’s hand. “You’re never this nice.”
“What, I can’t be nice to my best friend?” Lila asked. “Jessica, I’m shocked.”
“So am I,” Jessica admitted as Lila helped her to her feet.
“I might think my wealth, fabulous sense of style and imported child make me superior to you, but it’s not like I want you to die,” Lila said. “Amy, on the other hand? Maybe. She’s a total skank.”
“She really is,” Jessica said, shuffling along next to Lila. The pain kept her from moving at a faster pace, but Lila kept by her side nonetheless. “Plus, she’s not even that pretty.”
“Oh, no way,” Lila agreed, giving Jessica an encouraging smile. “She is nowhere near as gorgeous as either one of us. I’m pretty sure her baby is going to come out with total slutface.”
Jessica nodded enthusiastically. “Thanks for helping me take my mind off all this, Lila,” she said sincerely, gesturing toward her stomach. “I had no idea it was going to hurt so much.”
“Oh, it’s nothing,” Lila said, wincing in pain as Jessica gave her arm a tight squeeze, nearly cutting off the circulation to her hand. “Just don’t let anyone know how nice I’ve been to you lately, though. It will just ruin my reputation.”
* * *
A pile of bodies had amassed behind Todd, each one of them expertly punched. It seems I’ve finally got my shit together, he thought. I’m making up for that day on the beach when I failed to defend Ken.
Maria had, surprisingly, taken out quite a few guys herself, pausing just once to squirt out her kid and throw it to Winston, who was watching the fight from the sidelines and having a panic attack.
“Just a few more,” Todd said, nodding at Bruce, who kicked some chick in the face, then dragged her over to his pile of unconscious women.
“This is awesome!” Bruce yelled to Todd. “Violence is, like, the all-natural roofie!”
Todd shook his head in disgust. Girls, he thought. Gross.
“Everyone, stop!” called a voice from behind them. “Just stop!”
“Elizabeth?” Todd asked in confusion, turning around. In letting down his guard for that split second, he took a hard right hook to the face, falling to the ground with a loud thud.
* * *
Elizabeth scanned the parking lot in horror. Some of her Sweet Valley classmates had fallen, but many of them were still fighting. For some reason, Winston was guarding a pile of babies. She watched in surprise as Lynne Henry gave birth, then ran her baby back to Winston, passing off the baby as if it were a football before running back into the fray.
“Todd!” she screamed, catching sight of him laying face-down in a pool of blood.
“Don’t worry about him,” Mr. Collins said soothingly. “I never really liked that kid anyway.”
“Mr. Collins, can you take care of Elizabeth?” Enid asked. “I think Bruce and Maria need my help.”
Mr. Collins nodded, easing Elizabeth to the ground. She screamed out in pain.
“Jessica’s still inside!” she panted. “Please, Mr. Collins, go help her.”
“Someone else will get her,” Mr. Collins said. “She’ll be just fine. Are you ready to push?”
Elizabeth shook her head. “No, Mr. Collins, I – I have to stop this fight. Terrible things will happen if I don’t!”
“Like what?” Mr. Collins asked gently. “I know you’re a total control freak, but this fight is not your number one priority right now.”
“Oh my god, I almost forgot,” Elizabeth said, reaching into her cleavage and pulling out a rumpled sheet of paper. “Here’s my article for The Oracle. It’s a first-hand account of what it’s like to be a pregnant teenager, and it focuses on making pregnant girls feel really, really bad about themselves for being such weak-minded sluts. I hope I didn’t miss deadline.”
“I think we can manage to squeeze it in,” Mr. Collins said, looking at Elizabeth’s breasts in amazement. “You got anything else in there?”
A large rumble sounded from below them. “An earthquake?” Elizabeth asked, a note of worry sounding in her voice. “I hope Olivia stays clear of any large kitchen appliances.”
“I don’t think it’s an earthquake,” Mr. Collins said ominously, pointing at a horned creature that had sprung from a crack in the earth.
“Oh, no!” Elizabeth cried, clapping a hand over her mouth. “I didn’t stop the war in time! It’s the antichrist!”
“The antichrist,” Mr. Collins repeated. “Are you sure? That looks like the devil to me. There is a difference, you know.”
“Well, whatever,” Elizabeth snapped. “I’m pretty sure this ghostwriter has absolutely no knowledge of religious matters and really shouldn’t have started down that path to pad her word count. But look, it’s not really that important.”
“I guess not,” Mr. Collins agreed. “Devil, antichrist – either way, it’s bad news.”
“Mr. Collins,” Elizabeth said, gripping him firmly by the shoulders, “you have to help me deliver this baby right now.”
“I don’t know, Elizabeth,” he said reluctantly. “At one time, I would have said your nether regions were the most fascinating thing on earth, but this whole devil thing looks really interesting.”
Elizabeth let out a slow breath. It looks like I’m on my own, she said, willing the baby to come.
* * *
Randy worked frantically, trying to disarm the bomb hidden under Mr. Cooper’s desk, but it was no use. He only had a minute and fifteen seconds left, and without being regularly flashed by Elizabeth Wakefield, his concentration was shot.
“I shouldn’t have left her in the gym,” he muttered, carefully snipping a wire and holding his breath. When it didn’t cause the whole room to go up in flames, he let it go in a sigh of relief.
If I don’t get this taken care of in the next few seconds, I’m going to have to book it out of here and hope everyone else made it out of the gym themselves, he thought. Oh, who am I kidding? I should have just locked them all in the gym and let the bomb blow. They’ve all been assholes to me my entire life. I’ll never forgive them for making fun of my “Physics is Your Friend” T-shirt in sixth grade. Never.
A sudden rumble that sounded like thunder rolled up from the ground beneath him, and Randy felt the earth rise and fall in response. “Another earthquake?” he asked himself out loud. “Well, this certainly complicates matters.”
He pushed his glasses up his nose and concentrated his best on disarming the bomb. Things didn’t look good, he realized. If he wanted to save himself, Randy had to get the hell out of Sweet Valley High immediately!
* * *
“Almost there, Jessica,” Lila said encouragingly, even though they were still a good way from the doors leading outside.
“Ouch, Lila, this really fucking hurts!” Jessica cried, pausing to catch her breath as another wave of pain swept through her body. “I don’t think I can make it.”
“Yes, you can, Jessica,” Lila said firmly, pulling her friend closer to the door. “If you don’t make it out of here, who will I go shopping with? Who will I make feel inferior because she can’t afford the latest designer fashions from Paris? Who will go to the beach with me dressed like a complete whore and try to pick up much older men who really should be wary of picking up hot jailbait?”
“Point taken,” Jessica said through gritted teeth. Jessica felt the gym floor rise and fall under her feet. “What was that?” she cried in alarm.
“I’m sure it was nothing,” Lila said calmly. “Maybe Robin Wilson fell on her fat ass.”
“Maybe,” Jessica said doubtfully. “Or maybe it’s just like … my dream!”
“What dream?” Lila asked.
“The dream where satin, I mean, Satan, came up out of the ground looking for Elizabeth,” Jessica said. “We’ve got to find her!”
“Satin, yuck,” Lila said, pulling a face. “I much prefer silk.”
“No, not satin – oh, never mind,” Jessica said. “Just get me to Elizabeth – as fast as you can!”
On Lila’s arm, little Rich began to cry. “Oh, shit,” Lila said. “I’m not used to this. Whenever he cries, I usually just hand him over to Eva.”
* * *
The few Big Mesa students who were still standing, as well as the Sweet Valley High kids in the midst of the parking lot scuffle stopped short, staring in awe at the fissure that had opened up in the pavement. The parking lot was divided jaggedly in half, with all of the conscious Big Mesa students on one side and the Sweet Valley students on the other.
The devil winked and pointed at Bruce with both index fingers. “What’s up, dude? Haven’t seen you in a while!”
They know each other? Elizabeth thought, pausing in mid-push. I guess it makes sense. Bruce is kind of a dick. And for some reason, I find that totally hot right now.
She resumed pushing, her hair plastered to her head with sweat. Screaming, she felt the pressure on her lower body release, and suddenly there was a new voice screaming alongside her. Mr. Collins quickly glanced over at Elizabeth, then resumed staring at the devil, fascinated.
“Thanks to Elizabeth Wakefield, I have returned to earth!” the devil screamed, throwing his head back and letting loose an evil-sounding laugh.