Jen Air: Spite Them

This is basically just a scene I wrote that I haven’t been able to place anywhere yet.  It may appear in the future in the new novel I’m working on, or as part of another story.

The set up is that Kaya, possibly with Sayuri’s help, have convinced Jen to leave the lighthouse and go to a party (or gig or something), reluctantly of course.  But while there, the blonde spots an old nemesis…

Jen Air: Spite Them

Jen turned around and gasped, remaining frozen for almost a full second before realising that she hadn’t been spotted yet.  There was time to escape without anyone being hurt, but where to?  There was only another second to decide.  The only place she could reach in time was the buffet table, and so she dived under it.  On her knees, she lifted the cloth very carefully and looked out to see Candace punching another woman’s fist.  She hadn’t noticed.

But Jen did notice something – she felt there was a little less free space down than she had anticipated.  Twisting her neck, she saw little Tenley sat under the other end of the table pulling out an earphone as the girl regarded the blonde elder curiously.

“What are you doing down here?”

The pre-teen stuck out her tongue and blew a raspberry.  “I can’t stand all this really old music they listen to.”

Jen shifted her gaze into nothing as a confused and slightly pained expression passed over her face and she mouthed quietly, “Weezer are old…?”

“Uh-huh.  What are you doing down here?”

The blonde shook her head, supposing that some explanation was in order considering how strange her actions would seem to anyone observing them.  She nodded, “That’s Candace Mullins.  She used to bully me in school.  And out of school, and wherever she found me, really.”

“I thought Kaya used to bully you?”

“She did sometimes, for a while.  But Candy was always the ringleader,” the blonde explained as she narrowed her eyes across the room, “and she hasn’t changed one bit.”

“I see,” Tenley said, thoughtfully drumming fingers across her lips before she crawled and leant in, whispering conspiratorially, “do you want me to kill her for you?”

“What?” Jen gasped, genuinely shocked.  “No!  You… you can’t kill someone just because they’re not very nice.”

Ten cocked her head, obviously thinking hard, then asked, “Why not?”

“Well, because…” Now Jen had to think hard.  Because it would make you no better or worse than them… because even bad people had friends and family who cared about them… she couldn’t think of a good way to put it although her feelings stayed the same.  In the end she just said, “Y-you just can’t, okay?”

“Okay,” the girl accepted, but still quizzical then asked, “So, what do you do?”

Jen had been dreading that question.  She had no plan and no answer prepared.  “You…” she tried to think, and then it came to her like a lightbulb going off in her head. “You spite them,” she smiled.  “That’s what.”

“Spite them?”

“Yes.”

“By hiding under the table?”

“I admit it looks bad but trust me – It’s a better plan than getting into a confrontation that wouldn’t benefit anyone.  Especially not me.”

But Tenley shook her head.  “I think my way is a lot simpler,” she said, sighing with a hint of pity.  “Okay, look, why don’t I just rough her up a little?  Let her know not to mess with you.”

“I… I suppose you could…” actually there was really no doubt that Tenley could do that – although small in size, the girl had been trained to fight since she could crawl, and was as strong as everyone else in the building combined.   The question was whether or not she should, and that Jen wasn’t so sure about.  She couldn’t shake how strange it felt turning to someone much younger and littler than herself for help, and although she thought a moment that it would be funny to see her nemesis knocked out by a little girl, she realised there were other things making her hesitant and uncomfortable about the whole idea.  “What happens if I bump into her again and you’re not around?” The blonde sighed.  “No… you were right – I shouldn’t be hiding here.  I’ve got to stand up to her myself… let her know I’m not so easy to push around.  Thank you, Ten.”

Jen crawled out, and Ten didn’t know exactly what she had done but whatever, she knew she had done good.  And, to her surprise, she felt good too.  As she put her earphones back in, she thought that maybe, from now on, she would try to help a lot more people with their problems and giving them advice, since she was obviously so good at.

Then she heard swearing, a loud smack, and thud… someone seemed to have gone flying across the room and the music stopped.  Tenley shrugged and just thought, oh well… you can’t help them all.

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