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Cricket the Early Years Part 15

"Sarah has another Halloween Party. Marcia, Naomi and Rebecca are invited."
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Marcia wanted to call Naomi after she talked to Sarah, but it was easier to talk to Rebecca and Naomi at school together. As she drifted off to sleep, her mind raced with many thoughts and questions. She knew Ralph would be around at the party. Sarah still held a grudge against Marcia. The Halloween party would certainly test the relationship between the two girls.

She slept badly tossing and turning all night. When she woke in the morning, she felt more tired than when she went to bed. She slowly ate her breakfast and asked her mom for a ride to school. As she entered school, her backpack seemed to weigh a ton. She walked to her locker, threw her backpack in it and slammed the door.

Naomi and Rebecca saw Marcia as she slammed her locker door. They approached her slowly. Naomi opened her locker to put her books and coat away. The girls went to their classrooms and started the day. As the day went along, Marcia's demeanor brightened.

Just before lunch, Marcia saw the results of a math test and vocabulary test. She had perfect scores on both. That pleased her very much. Her resolve to be the best worked.

Lunch came and Marcia's friends sat with her. She ate quietly, as she listened to the chatter around her. One of the girls talked about Sarah's Halloween party. She perked up when she heard that. She needed to talk to Naomi and Rebecca about it.

She spoke quietly to Naomi and Rebecca, "Let's get away from the lunchroom. I have something to ask you." The girls left the lunchroom and went outside.

"What is going on?" asked Naomi. Rebecca listened intently.

"I got a phone call last night from Sarah. She wants us to attend her Halloween party. I told her I needed to talk to you, before I gave her an answer."

"That is strange that she wants us to be there. There is something amiss here. Do you think she is setting us up for a prank?" Naomi asked.

Rebecca asked, "Why are you suspicious of Sarah?"

"Her last Halloween party got busted up by three girls who crashed the party. They dressed alike and put crickets everywhere. It really started the feud between Marcia and Sarah."

"That sounds like a fun time really. Crickets won't hurt you."

Marcia spoke, "They did no damage and the party was a great success. Sarah was angry because she got out played."

Rebecca laughed. "Will you go to the party with a better prank this year or see what she has planned?"

"We should go to the party. I have a few thoughts about things we can do, but not until she plays her hand," Marcia told the girls.

They shook their heads and agreed to go to the party. Marcia smirked. She had ideas, but needed to select two that would be easy to pull off. The girls had to be with her for any of the pranks to succeed. Marcia felt better about the party.

The rest of the day went quickly. Marcia and Naomi walked home and talked about the party. They talked about pranks. What could they do to make the party fun? There were several things, which Marcia pondered. Some were messy, but others were more mysterious.

When Naomi and Marcia sat in Marcia's room, they made a list of things they could do. Marcia had some great ideas. Naomi wrote down what Marcia thought. She also added to the list. In less than an hour, they had a long list of things. Now it was a matter to pare down the list.

The list had the following pranks:

1. Glitter bombs
2. Hide and seek. Marcia is seeker but she goes home instead.
3. Marcia stuck in tree. When they go to get help, she leaves.

These looked like good pranks, but she wanted two good pranks. That would be all she needed. She still thought Sarah had revenge in mind when she invited Marcia to the party. Marcia felt she had to be ready in case Sarah tried something. Sarah won once by getting Marcia thrown out of school. That was enough.

After school the next day, Marcia called Sarah, "Hello Sarah, I am calling about your party. Naomi, Rebecca and I will attend. We want to be there. Thank you for inviting us."

Sarah thanked Marcia. She filled her in on the details of date, time and place. There was some small talk, but it was civil. When they hung up, Marcia knew there was more. Sarah held something back and Marcia would go ahead with her pranks.

Marcia called Naomi, "We are set for Sarah's party. I talked to her and she gave me the information about date, time and place. I sensed there was something else, but it was left unsaid."

"That does not sound good. Have you decided what pranks you will play? I think it will be glitter bombs and the game hide and seek. That will work best. Rebecca and you will have to help me with both of them."

"I know Rebecca and I have to help. We will be ready. This will be the best yet. I am glad I will be on the best side of the night. We will be ready to have fun."

"We will talk more about the party at school. We still have two weeks to get ready. That should be plenty of time."

Marci and Naomi stopped talking and hung up the phone, as her mom entered the room. She got up from the table, but her mom stopped her.

"What is going on, Marcia? Did you talk to Sarah yet?"

"Yes, mom, I talked to Sarah and told her that Rebecca, Naomi and I will be there. She was happy to hear that."

"OK, anything else going on with the party? No crickets will be seen like last year, right?"

"No mom, I am over that."

"Good, off to bed with you now."

Marcia walked to her bed quickly and breathed a sigh of relief, when she closed the door. She did not like deceiving her mom, but she had to in this case. The pranks were not serious, but her mom would have prevented her from doing them. She had to stay one-step ahead of Sarah.

Marcia went off to school the next day in a good mood. She made her choices two glitter bombs and the game hide and seek. She had to talk to Naomi about the pranks. She thought of Rebecca helping, but decided she was too close to Sarah's brother. She might use her to get an idea of Sarah's plans.

Naomi and Marcia chatted about the upcoming party with Rebecca. After Rebecca left to join some other friends, the planning began. Naomi knew some older boys who could get two glitter bombs. They would use them inside the party area. Sarah's house had an area that set up easily for parties.

They had to devise a way to trigger the bombs after they left the party. That was a difficult thing. They needed some sort of timer. A standard kitchen time would work. The question was how it could work. Naomi thought about it.

"Maybe my friends who got the bombs would help rig the timers. We would not have to do anything but set up the bombs. That was easiest."

"That sounds good. I want to just get the bombs and plant them."

"What will we do about the other prank?"

"That is easy. After we plant the glitter bombs, I call my mom to come get us faking that you and I are sick. When we are done with the call, we suggest playing hide and seek. I volunteer to seek first. When everybody hides, Rebecca, you and I walk out the door to my mom's car and go home."

"Wow that seems so easy."

"Yeah I know. Sarah and her friends will hide for a while and wonder why I have not found them. When they realize I am not there, she will be angry, but not able to get back at me or us."

Lunch was over. The girls went back to class smiling, their party plans set. All they needed now were costumes. Marcia thought that maybe last year's costumes might still fit. If they did, it was ideal. The same three witches showed up again and havoc ensued.

While Marcia and Naomi walked home, she explained her thoughts about costumes. Naomi thought it was a great idea. The original costumes were like robes and were large to start. Their moms could tailor them to fit. They had to get Rebecca to like the costumes.

Marcia said, "My mom can talk to her mom and they will work it out. It means no one has to spend money for a costume. That always works."

The girls continued to chat and throw banter back and forth. The girls were happy. They had agreed on the Halloween Party pranks. With less than a week before the party, they needed to keep busy. Naomi called her friends to get the bombs with timers. They promised that they would have them by the party. The costumes alterations proceeded well.

Rebecca came to Marcia's house for a final fitting of her costume. As she sat in Marcia's room, she told Marcia about Sarah's plans.

"Sarah plans to confront you near the end of the party. She wants to prove for the last time, she is better than you. Her brother Ralph will not be home. I am not sure what she will do, but it won't be good."

"That's OK. I am ready for anything she will do. I have plans of my own. She won't win at her party."

"How can you be so sure?"

"You will have to wait until the party. Not everything is ready. We will have a good time. Sarah will be the loser that night." Marcia felt sure of that.

The week of the party seemed to drag. Each day could not end fast enough. Naomi brought the glitter bombs to school Thursday before the party. Marcia carefully wrapped them. She carried them home in her hands. Naomi walked with her. They put them in the witches costume pockets. Marcia and Naomi had a bomb each.

Friday was quiet. The girls planned to arrive at Marcia's house early in the day. They would have fun before the party. They brought sleeping bags to spend the night. If the party was short, they planned to watch movies at Marcia's house.

As the time approached for the party, the girls ate a small meal. They cleaned up. They dressed in their costumes. Their masks fit perfectly. It was impossible to tell who each witch was. The plan worked. Naomi and Marcia had their additional toys. Mom called the girls to take them to the party.

When they arrived at Sarah's house, Marcia found that the house contained an enfilade of rooms. Each of the rooms connected to the next. The main party room was halfway through the house. Marcia and Naomi set the bombs on the floor behind some small fake decorative plants. They would spray almost the whole room, when they exploded. They set the timers for ninety minutes.

Marcia watched the guests, as they arrived. There were many of her old friends from her prior school. They seemed to be Sarah's friends now. That did not bother Marcia. With her new resolve, they were unimportant. When almost everyone was there, Sarah appeared at the top of the stairs and descended into the waiting throng.

The party gathered around her. Marcia, Naomi and Rebecca stood outside the throng. They watched, as Sarah greeted everyone. When Sarah approached, she brushed Marcia aside. She marched into the main party room where refreshments waited.

A punch bowl sat at the end of one table with bubbling liquid and fog floating out of it. Several plates contained snacks, which looked as if they were body parts. It all looked bloody and gory. Sarah grabbed a cup of punch. She proceeded down the table taking snacks, as she went. The rest of the group followed her example.

All the girls sat in a circle on the floor. They chatted and ate. They started to play little clapping games. The noise got louder and they broke up into small groups. Sarah had her usual clique around her. A few of Marcia's old friends gathered around her.

A few of her friends asked about a prank or two for this party. Marcia denied any pranks. She told them. "I am here as a guest. There is no need for a prank tonight. Sorry, there are no crickets this year."

A loud murmur went up from Marcia's group. After an hour, Marcia found a phone and called her mother. "Mom, I don't feel good. Can you come get Naomi, Rebecca and me?"

"Yes dear, I will be right there in ten minutes."

Marcia went back to the party. She told Rebecca that it might be nice to play hide and seek in the big house. There were plenty of places to hide. Rebecca took the hint and suggested the game to Sarah.

"Everyone, let's play a game of hide and seek. You all hide and I think, um ... um Marcia will seek us all out. Marcia close your eyes and count to thirty slowly."

Marcia stood in the middle of the room and counted. Naomi and Rebecca watched. The groups scattered and found places to hide in the rooms. Marcia reached thirty, opened her eyes and looked around. Naomi and Rebecca waited for her. They went to the table and took some snacks. They filled their bags. When they had enough, they walked out of the house to the waiting car.

As Marcia's mom drove away, the girls chortled. They played the best prank ever. Marcia's mom drove away confused. When the girls got to Marcia's room, they took off their costumes. They sat on the floor and ate all the snacks from the party. They laughed and rolled on the floor.

Meanwhile, Sarah and a couple of her friends saw that Marcia no longer searched. They wondered where she was. They searched and could not find Marcia, Naomi or Rebecca. They were gone. Sarah felt good. She could have the party all to herself. She gathered all the guests in the main room.

Sarah was angry. She planned to start an altercation with Marcia. She wanted to humiliate her if front of her old friends. Instead, Marcia decided to leave. That was even better than Sarah planned. She spouted off at her friends in anger.

Suddenly, from two sides in the room, two kitchen timers sounded loudly. What followed caused the room to erupt in a storm of glitter. It exploded up toward the ceiling, arced over the guests and rained down over them. It was as if a cloudburst of glitter happened in the house.

Some of the girls gasped when the glitter entered their gaping mouths. Others ducked. No one escaped the falling glitter. It stuck to everything and everybody. The only way to escape was under the snack tables or outside the room. Most of the guests ran to other rooms until the glitter stopped falling.

Sarah stood in the middle of the room. She did not move. Her anger rose with each shower of glitter. She knew Marcia was behind this prank. She wanted Marcia there. She wanted to teach Marcia a lesson, but she was gone.

Marcia won again. She outplayed Sarah. The party resumed with everyone laughing at the glitter. They loved the interruption and thought it was part of the party. They wanted more. They asked Sarah for more. This only made Sarah outraged.

Sarah sputtered, "This was all Marcia. She outplayed me. She humiliated me at my own party. This was the last straw."

Sarah ran upstairs from the party and locked herself in her room. Tears ran down her face. She ignored the knocking on her door. She no longer wanted a party. For her the party was over. The guests could go home, as far as Sarah cared.

The guests continued to party. Someone found a radio and turned on music. The girls danced and sang to the radio. The favorite song was 'It's my Party' by Leslie Gore. The guests sang it as it played. This drove Sarah to leave her room. She came into the party room and pushed the guests out of her way.

She stood in the middle of the room and screamed, "It's my party and I'll cry if I want to."

With that, everyone laughed. Sarah sat on the floor and watched her guests. The revelry continued around her. There was nothing, she could do. She shrugged her shoulders and stood. She went to the punch bowl and got a large cup of the bubbling brew. Her friends gathered around her and gave her sympathy and hugs.

The party went on, but Sarah fumed inside. Her mind swirled with thoughts of revenge. She wanted to have her revenge. She wanted to get even. No, she wanted to humiliate Marcia and tear her down. She wanted to reduce her to nothing. She would rip her to shreds.

The only problem was Marcia left the party. How did she do that? Sarah thought, "Marcia knew and planned the game of hide and seek. She set it up and made sure she was gone when the glitter bombs went off. Now I have to ambush her, but how?"

Sarah thought more. The only place to get Marcia was at her school. Maybe her brother would help. She needed to talk to him. He would be back in the morning. For now, she had a bunch of guests to entertain. They wanted to have fun. She was the target of the fun tonight, but Marcia would be a target soon enough.

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