Authors: David Fumarola and Katie Reiter
Publication Date: October 11, 2011
Genre: New Adult (Humor/Thriller)
Sometimes the ugliest monsters come in the prettiest packages... Victoria Frank is the picture of teen perfection – she’s talented, witty, and ruthless – but being queen of tiny Geneva, NY isn’t enough. Tired of merely designing the perfect outfit, she sets out to design the perfect person. But by the time she realizes beauty is only skin deep, she’s already unleashed her monster on the world. Now it’s a race against time to stop the vile creature from destroying her life, and she has to do it in the most evil place of all – high school. After ditching her horrifying creation in L.A., all Victoria wants is the perfect senior year, but it becomes impossible when the dreaded beast shows up in her own backyard. Armed with a new body, a new attitude and a new name, M turns the school hierarchy on its head. But when M suffers the embarrassment of a lifetime and sets her sights on revenge,
our queen bee finds herself pitted in a cat fight to the death where kid sisters, boyfriends and tiaras are all fair game. It’s a twist on Frankenstein unlike any before, with an ending so explosive it’ll leave your bowels quaking.
EXCERPT (“Salted Wounds”)
“Ok,” I said, folding my arms and sitting back in the booth. “I get it; you’re a bad ass bitch. Now what the hell do you want?”
She set down her burger, ketchup and onions spilling out where she had taken a bite. The greasy graveyard on her plate made me want to vomit. I had spent a good portion of my life avoiding crap like that. Not only was I trying to stay skinny, but that stuff goes straight to your complexion.
“What’s the rush, Victoria? Believe me; we’re going to be seeing a lot of each other from now on.”
“Yeah,” I snorted, “right.”
“And your tone! What would your mother say if she could hear you?”
“You don’t know crap about my mother!”
“Well, I know she raised a shallow, manipulative mess.”
I couldn’t keep my anger inside any longer. Still, I didn’t want to cause a big scene, even if we were in a trashy diner. I reached out and grabbed her plate, sliding it toward me. I grabbed the salt and twisted off the top. Then I flipped open the burger and dumped the contents of the entire jar onto the beef patty. I smiled and slid the plate back to her.
The wretch shook her head. “Now what was the point of that?”
“It made me feel better.” My smile turned into a grin.
She sighed and pushed the plate toward the edge of the table, where the waitress could collect it. “This conversation’s starting to bore me,” she said, “so I’ll cut to the chase.”
“Well?” I asked impatiently.
“I need your help.”
I scoffed. “You need a lot more help than I can give you.”
“You mean more than you already gave me,” she said, her eyes squinted in contempt.
“Exactly,” I said coldly. “If you need some help getting out of town, I’d be happy to oblige.”
She laughed. “Oh, I’m not going anywhere, Victoria. In fact, I think I’m going to settle in here.”
“Why?” I asked in disbelief.
“I’m sick of being alone,” she said, seemingly honest. “I just want friends. I want to be normal.”
“You’re never going to be normal, you freak.”
“Well, that’s not entirely true. That’s where you come in.”
“What do you mean?” I asked as the waitress grabbed the plate. She made a face at us when she saw the salt covered food, but she didn’t say anything about it.
“Are you ready for the check?”
“Yes,” I said quickly, shooing her away with my hand.
“You broke my heart, Victoria. So did Dr. Kunst. Why does everyone want to hurt me?”
“Not everything’s about you,” I told her. “Sometimes things just don’t work out.”
“You sound like Dr. Kunst,” she said harshly.
“He sounds like a smart man.”
“Not really,” she replied with a smile. “Like you, he underestimated me.”
“So what? You want revenge just because a couple of people didn’t have room for you in their lives?”
She gulped down the rest of her iced tea and then slammed the cup down on the table. Luckily it was plastic, so it didn’t break.
“Nobody understands. All of you have had such easy lives. My own parents didn’t love me; they had their own affairs to consume themselves with. You didn’t love me; you just wanted me to be your real-life Barbie doll. Dr. Kunst didn’t love me; he just wanted me to be his youthful distraction. I have no idea what it’s like to be loved. I want to know. I want to be like everyone else.”
“Wah wah,” I said, wiping the fake tears from my eyes. “So your life sucks. Get over it. It’s not going to get any better by complaining about it and getting back at the people who hurt you.”
“No. If you want it to get better then you need to be proactive. You have to do something to change it.”
“That’s exactly what I’m doing.” She smiled at me deviously.
“No. You’re bitching at me, thinking it will get me to feel sorry for you.”
“Well, I can see that it’s not working.”
“Wow, you’re so perceptive.”
“There’s no need to be facetious.”
“Wow, that’s a pretty big word for a chick with a second grade education.” I rolled my eyes.
“I told you, I’ve been catching up.”
“In more than one department.”
“Hey,” she said. “It’s not my fault if boys find me desirable. What am I supposed to do, turn them all down?”
“No, but you’re not supposed to screw all of them either. That’s what we kids today call a ho-bag.”
She laughed. “Just because you’re afraid to explore your sexuality doesn’t mean everyone else is.”
“What the hell is that supposed to mean?”
“Oh, come on, Victoria. You don’t think I’ve figured out you’re a virgin by now?”
“Jesus, you say it like it’s a bad thing,” I said, looking around the diner. “And keep your voice down.”
“Sorry, I didn’t realize it was such a touchy subject for you.”
“It’s not!” I insisted. “But unlike you, I don’t want the entire town to know about my sex life, or lack thereof.”
“Speaking of the entire town, that’s what I need your help with.”
The grumpy waitress brought the check to our table and walked away without saying a word. She didn’t go back to the counter. Instead, she went outside, and I could
see her lighting a cigarette through the window.
“What do you mean you want help with the entire town?”
“Well, I told you I wanted to know what it feels like to be loved.”
“And you want to love the whole town? Ew, way to be gross.”
“No, you imbecile, I want the whole town to love me.”
I couldn’t help but burst out in a fit of laughter. It took several minutes for me to finally regain my composure. “And just how do you expect me to pull that off?”
“Well, there’s no greater sign of love than to be elected by the people.”
I looked at her sideways. “I’m not sure I follow you.”
“I want to be Prom Queen.”
Once again I was seized by an uncontrollable fit of giggles. “It will never happen,” I said through laughs. “I’m popular, not a miracle worker.”
“You underestimate yourself, Victoria.”
I shook my head in disbelief. “Even if I could do it, there’s no way I’m helping you. Not after what you’ve done to my family.”
“You really don’t think it’s the right thing to do?”
“No!” I blurted out in amazement. “The right thing to do would be to kick your ass and send it back to the flames of hell from which you came.” “That’s too bad,” she said in mock despair. “I was hoping you could be reasoned with.”
“Sorry to disappoint.”
“I guess that means I’m just going to have to resort to threats.”
I gulped. I wasn’t really scared of her, but I had seen the trouble she could cause. “What do you mean?”
“Well, just because your sister is gone doesn’t mean there aren’t other people for me to play with.”
My stomach felt hollow. I was glad I hadn’t eaten anything; otherwise I might have thrown up.
“Who should I start with? There’s Avery. She’s pretty eager to get away from you. Or maybe your dad? He’s been pretty lonely lately, too. Maybe he could use some company. Then there’s always Elliot…”
“Stay away from him!”
“Well, I’ll only have to concern myself with him if you make me…”
I sighed in frustration. “If I do this, if I help you, do you promise to leave me and my family alone?”
“If you help me win Prom Queen, and get the student body to respect and love me, then yes, I will leave you alone.”
I was running out of options. I didn’t know what to do. The police weren’t going to believe me. There was nothing I could do to her without getting arrested myself. I had to just do what she wanted and hope she would go away.
“Fine, I’ll do it.”
“Then I’ll see you at school on Tuesday. I hope you make the most of that Monday. I’d hate to come back to those nasty Sloppy Joe insults.” My own personal demon slid out of the booth and stood up. “You made the right decision, Victoria. Elliot is too pretty to let something bad happen to him.”
She turned and walked out of the diner. I grabbed the check and clenched it in my
hand. I was sick of paying for her mistakes.
David Fumarola has been writing as long as he can remember, and getting the stories out of his head and onto the page is the only thing that gives him peace of mind. Katie Reiter enjoys writing in her spare time, as well as cheap wine, teen drama and hipster safaris. They met as teenagers interning at the Albany Times Union and have been writing together since 2009. Skankenstein is their debut novel.
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