The Witch

The Witch by Jean Thompson

Book: The Witch by Jean Thompson Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jean Thompson
matter with you, are you constipated?”
    â€œNo, leave me alone.”
    â€œIf you don’t eat, you can’t poop. Do you have a fever? Let me feel your forehead.”
    â€œLeave me alone!” She ran upstairs and locked her door even though she wasn’t supposed to and texted Marilee to say she couldn’t hang out. She turned the fan beside her bed up high so she couldn’t hear anything, put the pillow over her head and fell asleep.
    Her eyes opened up to darkness. She could tell it was late. She went to her bedroom door and looked out. The faintest light came from downstairs, the light over the stove that her mother left on all night. The television was off. Jason’s door was closed and dark.
    Janice used the bathroom down the hall and examined herself in the mirror. She brushed her hair and made her bangs poufier. She used the lipstick and black eyeliner she kept under the stack of towels, turning this way and that to see how she looked from different angles.
    Back in her bedroom she locked the door again. She turned on the computer and the pink-shaded lamp next to her bed. The computer screen blinked and brightened. She typed in the address, then sat back to read. After a minute she typed in:
    Hi, what are you doing?
    He wrote back a minute later:
Nothing much. Waiting on u. Turn on yur camera.
    OK.
    It was always sort of a shock when his face came swimming up under her fingers, so close. He grinned at her.
Hi beautiful.
    She shook her head like she didn’t believe it.
Hi yourself.
    How iz my Candy girl?
    Bored. Today just sucked.
    Aww. How about I find me some candy to suck on?
    She giggled. Candy was the name she used with him, not Janice, which was a stupid name that she imagined had a smell to it, like the inside of her house, which always smelled like cooked carrots. He said that Candy was perfect for her because she was so sweet. He said his name was Geronimo, like the famous Apache war chief. He was kind of bullshit but also kind of cool.
An thats what people yell when they jump out of airplanes, Geronimo!
    Why?
    I dont know y they just do. Like here I come mofos ahmo mess you up!
He was a little crazy, she liked that.
    Geronimo bent over his keyboard. She had told him they had to type everything so nobody at her house would hear.
Tell me what was so bad today.
    Just stuff like my mom. Shes always on my case.
    I bet she iz jealous. She iz not a pretty young thing like u. PYT!
    Geronimo said he was twenty-five, but he was probably older, just like Janice said she was fifteen but she was really younger. He was sort of fat in the face and he combed his hair up into a little blond tuft. If she had met him for real, she might not have thought he was anything special, but this was different. She typed:
    Ha ha ! My mom is so not pretty! I don’t look like my dad either.
    Maybe they adopted u?
    LOL! That makes sense. They just went out and got a kid so they had somebody to boss around.
She didn’t really think that. There were pictures of her and her mom in the hospital when she was just a little lump in a blanket, then other pictures of her baby self gradually turning into her now self. But she liked the idea of it. It made a better story.
    Geronimo was somebody new she’d met. There had been these other guys who she didn’t like as much because they weren’t online as much or they were just creepy. Geronimo was always there. He said he had a job with computers, he fixed different people’s computers, he knew how everything worked. Then, for fun, he hung out on the computer! The camera showed part of the room behind him. It looked like an office, with shelves and messy piles of paper. He kept one of those giant-sized soft drink cups on his desk and drank from it through a straw.
    Now he was typing something long. It came up a line at a time:
    Don’t let them. Boss u around. You need to live yur own life. Not be told everything u. Do is wrong. Because they want

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