“Does this lipstick match my eyeshadow?” Regina spun around in her chair, away from the mirror, to pout her lips at her twin sister, Rena, who was standing on her bed, lacing up her boots.
“Who cares if they match?” Rena jumped off the bed, running her fingers through her unbrushed hair and bouncing over to Regina’s side of the room. “What matters is whether or not the lipstick tastes good.”
“It’s not flavoured.”
Rena laughed, picking up the tube of lipstick and flicking off the lid. “Everything has a flavour if you’re not a coward , ” She exclaimed, and, with that, she took a bite of lipstick, removing almost half of it, chewing on it thoughtfully as her sister screamed at her.
“Rena!” Regina screeched, snatching it back and holding it protectively to her chest. “That was brand new!”
Rena grinned, unremorseful, showing off two rows of lipstick-stained teeth. Regina sighed, putting the cap back on and putting it back in the drawer of her desk, pushing it shut.
She looked her sister up and down, one eyebrow raised. “Are you really wearing that to school?”
“What’s wrong with my outfit?”
Regina crossed her arms. “It’s identical to mine! The only differences are the colours and the fact that I wear it so much better than you!”
It was true, Rena was wearing a green, black and silver short-sleeved dress that was identical in every way except colour to Regina’s red, white and gold one.
Rena blew a raspberry, marching over to their shared closet and pulling out a denim jacket. It was stained with colours that would never wash out, and was one of the ugliest jackets either of them had ever seen, but that was why it was her favourite.
She pulled it on and grinned again, an unchewed piece of lipstick falling from her lips and landing on the carpet. Rena crushed it underfoot. “See, now we look different! Plus, my boots are so much cooler than yours. Hey, what if I pulled out someone’s intestines and wore them like a scarf, would that suit me?”
Regina ignored that last part, but still wrinkled her nose in disgust. “Rena, your boots don’t even match! One’s green and one’s pink, they don’t go together at all. ” She pinched the bridge of her nose and spun around, picking her phone up from the dresser. “Did I absorb all the fashion sense in the womb, you… early 2000s reject.”
“Is that the best you got, you wrinkled duck’s penis?”
“Okay, that one was weird, even for you.”
Rena pouted exaggeratedly, slouching. “Uh, everyone knows a duck’s penis looks super weird, it’s like, common knowledge or something.”
“It is most certainly not common knowledge, you’re just a weirdo.” Regina then began to scroll through her phone, eyes lighting up slightly.
Rena straightened up, moving to see what her sister was looking at. It was exactly what she’d expected it to be – a picture of a school schedule, one that most certainly wasn’t hers.
“Ugh,” Rena groaned. “You’re looking at Logan’s schedule again . Isn’t that a bit stalkery? You complain when I talk about all my future crimes, and yet you do this? Hypocrite. I hate you.”
Regina glanced up. “Okay, first of all: you, like, go into such graphic detail about how you’ll murder people and eat their hearts, it’s disgusting. And, second of all: you cannot talk. You literally ate a photo of Dee, like, yesterday, and it definitely wasn’t the first time you’ve done that. You shouldn’t eat paper, you Queen of (eating) Hearts”
Rena blew another raspberry, wrapping her fingers around Regina’s wrist and beginning to drag her sister towards the bedroom door, picking up her school bag on the way. It was neon green and horrifically ugly, as expected. There were dozens of ripped stickers stuck to the straps.
“C’mon, Gina, we’re gonna be late for school. You can think about Logan and have some alone time later.”
Regina raised an eyebrow. “Have some-” Her face twisted in disgust when she realised what Rena was referring to. “Rena, what? No, I’m not- that’s gross! I don’t wanna talk about that, you’ve got to stop bringing it up!” She yanked her hand out of her sister’s grip, but Rena just shrugged.
“It’s a natural human thing, nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, I recently-”
“Nope! No, no, nope. I refuse to listen to this.” Regina picked up her backpack and slung it over her shoulder, before placing her fingers in her ears and screwing her eyes shut. “La, La, La. I can’t hear you!”
Rena hummed in thought, before cupping her hands around her mouth and shouting. “Hey, what if you and Logan fucked !”
Regina screeched in offended horror, eyes opening to glare at Rena, just as their dad, Philip, walked in. There was only a slight look of disappointment on his face.
“Girls, please,” He sighed. “My little Duchess, my precious Princess, what did we talk about?”
“No inappropriate language in the house.” Rena droned, pouting. “But, dad, I was just-”
He held up a finger in front of her mouth. “Now, now, no arguments. You’re going to be late for school if we don’t leave in a few minutes. Your lunches are in the fridge and there’s toast on the counter, you can eat it in the car.”
Rena sighed – though she was mostly annoyed at the thought of school, not their father’s interruption – as Regina smirked victoriously.
“Come on, oh, evil twin of mine, I wanna make it in time to meet Pat before school.”
A few hours had passed since morning, and the twins were in their final period – Mr Sanders’ chemistry class. They were sharing a desk at the back of the classroom, and were both paying more attention to scribbling their crushes’ names in their respective notebooks than to the lesson itself, as usual.
“Regina Prince, Rena Prince,” Mr Sanders called, and the girls looked up in unison. “Logan Berry and Dee Ceite, can the four of you please stay behind after class? I have some things I need to talk to you about.”
Dee and Logan were sat at the front of the room: the two girls having been actually paying attention to the lesson. They glanced back at the twins at the announcement, looking them over and the sisters blushed lightly as they made momentary eye contact.
Dee was very traditionally beautiful, with vitiligo covering the left side of her face, heterochromia, long black hair and an elegance about her that Rena found entrancing. She’d been in the same class as the twins since elementary school, and Rena’s crush had existed for just as long, never fading. Logan had perfectly neat hair that went just past chin-length, square glasses and an intelligence that surpassed that of almost everyone else in the school. Regina was almost certainly in love with her.
Rena leant over to whisper in her sister’s ear.
“Dee looks like such a snack today. I’d let her slit my throat with that eyeliner. I hope she slits my throat with that eyeliner.”
Regina rolled her eyes. “Could you be any weirder?” Rena opened her mouth, but Regina interrupted her before she could speak. “Okay, no, it’s you. Of course , you can be weirder.”
The student sitting closest to them gave the twins a weird look, pulling up the hood of his hoodie, before turning back to his work. In Rena’s opinion, he should have been used to this by now, as he’d been sitting near them all year.
Mr Sanders cleared his throat, and the sisters glanced back at him. He raised an eyebrow, before turning back to the power-point.
“What sounds better?” Regina whispered to her sister. “Regina Berry or Logan Prince?”
Rena hummed in thought, picking at her teeth and flicking a crumb of lipstick to the ground. “Regina Berry,” She decided. “I don’t want people to know we’re related.”
Regina nodded in agreement. “Smart, I don’t want to be associated with you either.”
After a few more words exchanged, they went back to scribbling in their notebooks. Regina had finally decided to make some notes on the lesson they were supposed to be paying attention to, but Rena had instead elected to work on the next chapter of her disgustingly graphic Toy Story 3 fanfiction. It was horrendous, and insanely popular online.
The lesson ended shortly afterwards, and the twins packed up their things, though they stayed in the classroom as their teacher had instructed.
Regina sat on the edge of her desk, crossing her legs and smoothing out the skirt of her dress. She and Rena had chosen to sit by the window, so she often stared out at the seemingly endless forest at the edge of the school grounds. The thick tree branches created a dense canopy of leaves that her eyes couldn’t breach, and she often found herself wondering what lay beneath them. It was unspoken rule across town that nobody entered the forest – people went missing there, on practically a monthly basis – but she and Rena had often stood at its edges, wondering what adventures lay beyond.
She shifted closer to the window. It had been raining earlier, so there was condensation creeping at the corners. A smile played at the corners of her lips as she pressed her finger to the glass and doodled a heart.
“What do you think Mr Sanders wants?”
Regina jolted in surprise, spinning around and coming face to face with Logan. She was stood beside a grinning Rena, who was making obscene gestures with her fingers that Dee had absolutely noticed by now; she was covering her mouth with a gloved hand as she chuckled. Fortunately, Logan was far too oblivious to notice or understand, saving Regina her last shred of decency. Mr Sanders was nowhere to be seen.
“No clue!” Rena answered for her, hair bouncing with her constant movement. “What do you think, Dee? Do you think he plans to kill us?”
Dee shrugged. “I doubt he plans to murder us, but we don’t exactly have much in common.”
“Yeah,” Regina agreed, looking around again, brow creased. “Where did Mr Sanders go, anyway? I didn’t see him leave.”
“He said he’d be back in a few minutes.” Logan adjusted her glasses. “He also said there’d be two more students joining us, though he didn’t specify who.”
“Wonder if we did anything wrong?” Rena piped up, moving to sit on a desk, swinging her legs. “I mean, yesterday I switched all the science textbooks with the language textbooks and all the English textbooks with the math ones, but I don’t think that’s it.”
Logan gave her a disbelieving look. “Why?”
“I’m a being of chaos.”
Dee looked like she was trying not to smile, and there was a definite fondness in her eyes as she stared at Rena. She looked like she was about to speak up, when the classroom door opened, and all four girls immediately turned in that direction.
Two girls their age walked in: Patricia Foster and Virginia Picani, better known to their friends as Pat and Virge. They’d been dating since middle school, and, if asked, Regina would definitely call them her OTP; she’d helped them get together after all.
Pat was short and liked to wear her hair in pigtails. Her wrists were always covered in hair-ties, and she mostly wore t-shirts and skirts with a pastel blue colour scheme. Her girlfriend, Virge, was her complete opposite – tall and lanky with short purple hair and a black and purple colour scheme. The pair were holding hands when they walked in, and Pat squealed when she spotted the four crowded around Regina and Rena’s desk.
“Regina!” Pat exclaimed. “Rena! Logan! Dee! My four favourite people!” She paused, before giving her girlfriend a smile. “Apart from you, of course, angel. Oh, and apart from my moms, too! But, other than that you’re my favourite.”
Virge gave a small smile back, squeezing Pat’s hand.
“Patricia, Virge.” Logan pushed her glasses further up her nose. “I assume you’re also here for Mr Sanders? He mentioned there were two more people coming.”
“Yup!” Patricia exclaimed, half-dragging Virge over to the group. “I dunno why we’re here, though.”
“Neither do we,” Dee said. “But he said he’d be back soon. I wonder if we’re in trouble.”
Pat’s expression dropped, her eyes widening. “We’re in trouble?” She squeaked. “I don’t wanna be in trouble! What-”
“I doubt we’re in trouble, Pat.” Virge interrupted, hesitating for a second before pressing a reassuring kiss to the back of her girlfriend’s hand. “You haven’t done anything wrong; all the teachers love you.”
“Aww!” Regina squealed, grinning widely. “You guys are, like, couple goals.”
She tried not to glance at Logan, she really did, but she failed, of course, and the two made eye contact, before looking away in unison. Her plight was obviously noticeable, as Patricia giggled and Dee snorted. Rena made another obscene gesture that everyone politely ignored, though Pat glanced away uncomfortably.
About a minute passed, and the classroom door swung open again, Mr Sanders finally stepping back inside. There was a large ink stain on his shirt that hadn’t been there before, and he was carrying himself differently. It was... uncomfortable, to say the least.
He smiled – flat and lifeless – as he looked them over, stepping closer.
“Girls, it’s good to see you again.”
Logan raised an eyebrow. “It’s only been a few minutes, Sir.”
There was a whole minute of silence following that, and even Rena was fidgeting uncomfortably by the end of it.
“You know what,” Mr Sanders broke the silence, stretching and cracking his back. “I’ve never been very good at this part – I'm not much of an actor – so let’s just get this over with.” And, with that, he unhinged his jaw, and three inky black tentacles shot out from the back of his throat, each coated with spikes.
Regina yanked Logan out of their way just in time, as did Virge with Pat. Dee managed to dodge the third on her own, as Rena was too busy staring at their teacher with curious horror and possibly even minor jealousy to notice.
Dee grabbed the back of Rena’s jacket, dragging her away from the monster and scrambling closer to the back of the room with the rest of the girls. Their teacher was stood between them and the door, they were cornered.
“What the fuck are you?” Rena asked in slight awe. Dee sighed, moving to grab the shorter girl’s wrist, ready to drag her out of danger again if necessary.
Mr Sanders chuckled darkly, the appendages retreating back down his throat. An ink-like substance dripped from his eyes, ears, mouth and nose, his hair was also coated with it, having been splattered by the ink-covered tentacles.
“Does it matter?” He said smoothly. “You’re going to die anyway.”
The inky black liquid moved to coat his left arm, turning it into a much larger and much more menacing appendage with a giant claw at the end. It then jolted forward in a burst of speed, stretching inhumanly, snatching up Regina and tugging her towards him. She screamed, naturally, and even the monster winced at the ear-splitting sound.
“There’s no point in struggling.” He held her in place. “There’s no one close enough to hear you.”
His jaw unhinged again, but the black liquid formed hundreds of razor-sharp teeth instead this time, and he used his human arm – which was still abnormally strong – to move her head to the side, baring her neck.
She continued screaming and wriggling, and multiple black limbs had to burst from his chest to keep the other girls from trying to help her. The appendages were sticky like slime, and held the girls to the wall with no room for movement
“You’ll make a delicious meal.” He cackled deviously, moving slowly to savour it, his teeth just inches from her throat.
“No! No, please-” Regina begged, before being suddenly interrupted by a figure bursting through the window and landing at her feet.
It was a second storey window, making it slightly more impressive.
The figure stood up straight, revealing herself to be a woman with a messy ponytail, leather jacket, sunglasses and two large daggers, one in each hand. She used them to quickly slice off the appendages protruding from his chest, freeing the other girls and causing their teacher to writhe, scream and drop Regina.
Logan and Rena grabbed her arms immediately, tugging her back to the slightly safer area.
“Remy Starlight.” The monster hissed, in a voice that most certainly wasn’t their teacher’s. “We meet again.”
She sighed loudly, irritated, dropping one of the daggers and pulling a large needle full of dark red liquid – blood, perhaps – from her pocket.
Then, before anyone, even the monster, could react, she plunged the needle into his neck, injecting all of its contents with one swift move, before yanking it out and stuffing it back into one of the pockets of her jeans, looking only mildly inconvenienced.
The monster screamed in intense pain, falling to his knees, and, a few moments later, gallons of inky black liquid gushed from their teacher’s face – a horrifying sight, honestly, some of it even splashed on the terrified teenagers. It didn’t take long for it to finally finish leaving his body, and Mr Sanders collapsed to the ground, barely conscious. Remy hardly even reacted though, slicing her palm with the dagger she still held, and letting a few drops of blood hit the bubbling pool of ink. It hissed for a few moments, before dissolving entirely, and there were a few moments of silence before she turned to the teenagers, wiping a drop of inky blood from her face with her thumb and giving all six of them a simultaneous gay crisis.
“Are you girls okay?” She asked, picking up the dropped dagger and sheathing both of them, placing a hand on her hip. “None of you were bit, right? ‘Cos that would be, like, super bad.”
Logan was the first to speak up.
“Uh… no? I don’t believe so.”
Remy nodded slowly, humming in thought, before turning to the man on the floor, watching as he began to regain consciousness.
“Jeez, Tommy, I leave you alone for less than a day and you get possessed? That’s not very ‘chosen one’ of you.”
Thomas coughed, stumbling as she helped him up. “I’m not the chosen one, remember? That’s… that’s kinda the point.” His voice was rough, and traces of the inky liquid dripped from the corners of his mouth.
He looked up at his six stunned students, giving them a rather sheepish look.
“I’m sorry for that, girls. That’s not exactly how I wanted to introduce you to this.”