Veronica had just moved in next door, and Chloe could never help how much she stared. She was the hottest girl in school, or so the boys said, of course. They said it was cause of her dark hair, and her I don’t give a fuck attitude, and her distinct impression that she had banged some guys, but she just hadn’t banged any of them. She was new to the town you see, so of course the statement came with the unseen word. Yet. Ofcourse, this promiscuity was yet to be seen by Chloe. That’s why she watched her all the time from her window with her huge binoculars she had gotten for her 12th birthday for birdswatching. But today she couldn’t. It was too dark, and rainy. The only way she could see across the expanse of their combine yards was in between flashes of lightning.
She had honestly given it up to a lost cause, thinking Veronica would close her curtains in the wake of the storm, but instead she saw her undressing, and then, amazingly, laying naked to watch the rain. Chloe stood fixed in front of the window, not sure why, rubbing at the crotch of her jeans. It would fall totally dark and her room and her would light up like a firework, the sight scorching her eyes. She was seeing stars unrelated to the sky. When it lit up again, a sign was in the window.
KNOCK KNOCK it said, and thunder crashed loudly overhead. Once it cleared, she heard the knocking at the door. She jumped like she hadn’t for the lightning.
She was home alone, and the knocking persisted. She made her way downstairs, unaware of how to answer the door. She knew who it was. When she opened it, she was weirdly surprised to see Veronica clothed. She was dressed in a long army jacket and big combat boots, and she grabbed at Chloe.
“Come on!” She said, tugging at her wrists. Chloe was barely dressed, but she grabbed some rain boots and let herself be pulled along, laughing for some reason as her socks got wet. Yelling
“Where are we going?”
“To a sacrifice!” She called over the thunder, and they ran together through the rain, into the nearby woods where the canopy sheltered in the smallest way. Deep into the woods they stopped running, out of breath and still laughing, Veronica still holding her hand. Chloe was wet, and happy to be draggedalong. She had decided to just go along with the night as it came, fast and hard and strange. This girl could be the death of her.
They came to a secret place surrounded by pine trees, inside it was dry needles on the ground and safe haven from the wind. The circle of pines had one at the center, keeping the rain and the moon and stars out as well. Veronica fell onto the pine needles and pulled Chloe with her. They laid next to each other, close, while the thunder raged on around them.
“So, is this the sacrifice?” Chloe asked, eventually, her voice a whisper. They had been staring at each other, instead of up, for a long time.
“No,” she said quietly “That could come later, unless you think you are ready?” She had lifted herself up onto one elbow. She had an eyebrow raised at her, surprised. The distance had closed even more between them. Chloe said she was ready.
The rain suddenly stopped, and they stepped out from the pines into the balmy air, smelling the dirt worms and earth. In the moonlight, was a huge animal. A massive rack of antlers stood atop the moose’s head, locking eyes with them in the night. It did not, could not move.
“An animal sacrifice?” Chloe said, aghast.
“What did you expect?” Veronica said, eyes wide and almost embarrassed finally letting go of Chloe’s hand. She felt their connection wane immediately and she wanted it back, craving touch like she never had before. Chloe reached for it back and there was a charge between them.
“I don’t know, like cute and metaphorical with crystals or something.”
“Well I’m sorry I’m not that kind of girl.” Veronica looked away, angry, tugging at her hand. Chloe held on.
“I’m not saying no.”
Veronica’s eyes turn back, she gripped Chloe’s hand bringing it to her body. She pulled the two of them together, and Chloe didn’t know holding her would feel so good.
“Oh please, Chloe,” Veronica said “don’t tease.”
Chloe snapped her eyes shut, and wondered what she wouldn’t do for that voice.
“Doesn’t it need to be goat or something?”
“Anything with horns or antlers works.”
“And then what?”
“And then we bathe in his blood before making love, obviously.”
“Oh.” Chloe said, reasoning with herself more than Veronica “That’s not so bad.”
Lauren Olesh is a queer writer, comic, screenwriter, and poet. She is a recent graduate of the North East Ohio Master of Fine arts program. Lo is currently working on her novel, Growing, and a graphic memoir about her uncle’s untimely death. She works retail during the day, loves walks in nature, and all things witchy. She has been published in Eleanor a Zine as well as The Daily Drunk.