Pretty Little Monster

Pretty Little Monster

By:  Bella Moondragon  Completed
Language: English
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It’s all fun and games until a body washes up…. Beth Monroe just wants to make it through the summer baseball season without being the constant target of her brother Shane’s jokes, but he is relentless, and she’s ready to lock herself in her room and hide. Until the new girl shows up. Halley appears in small town Barryville like a ghost. No one knows where she came from or anything about her past, not even her last name. When she gives Beth a piece of unsolicited advice that, “It’s what’s on the outside that counts,” Beth changes everything about herself. By the time Beth realizes she’s becoming a monster, it might be too late, and Halley has already sunk her claws into Beth’s best friend Ryan—who might’ve been something more if Beth had opened her eyes a little earlier. As Halley’s past catches up to her, Beth realizes there’s more to this mysterious girl than she realized. Can she stop Halley from revealing her true, monstrous nature to Ryan before it’s too late?

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I enjoyed this short story.
2023-06-23 10:33:52
51 Chapters
Chapter One
The first baseball game of the season was always memorable, though this summer it would be mundane compared to what the rest of the hottest months of the year had to hold. Later, as they pulled the body out of the lagoon on the east side of the ball park, Beth Monroe would remember back to that first game, when everyone was innocent and her worst worry was whether or not her shorts made her thighs look big. By then, Beth would long for the simplicity of life in small town Barryville 1993, before everything came unraveled.Before the new girl appeared, out of thin air, out of the shadows near the parking lot, out of a nightmare, Beth Monroe had thought her biggest problem was the fact that her older brother Shane, a senior, captain of the football team, and the shortstop on the Babe Ruth baseball team their dad coached, was an asshole who did everything he could to humiliate Beth to the point that not a single guy in their entire high school would ever da
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Chapter Two
Beth turned and glared at her friend, but the crack of the bat had her eyes readjusting as Sammy connected, sending the perfect pitch flying toward the fence in center field. Clearly, the opposing team hadn’t been sprinting in practice because it seemed to take forever for the Silverton field man to get himself to where the ball had landed. By then, Shane, who’d doubled before Kyle came to bat, was jogging into home, and Sammy was rounding second.Holding her breath, Beth set her pencil aside and watched the third base coach, one of the other dads, wave Sammy to third. Finally having retrieved the ball, the center fielder, whose arms were as big around as barrels, rocketed the ball to his cutoff man. It was going to be close.Sammy slid into third, a plume of dust clouding Beth’s view as the third baseman, a lanky guy whose curly hair stuck out around his cap in every direction, reached in for the tag. The ump was righ
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Chapter Three
Andi had schooled Lexy in the correct lyrics of the new hit by Tag Team while Beth appeased the plumber by day, umpire by night who still didn’t seem happy with their performance. Luckily, it was the final inning, and they’d all be out of there soon enough. She was ready to get in the minivan and crank up the air conditioning, not that she wouldn’t have to stand around and wait for her dad to load everything up and go over the game with his assistant coaches for a half an hour before he finally headed home. She desperately wished her dad would just let her take the car. She’d had her permit for a few months. But her parents would never let her drive the car by herself until she was fully licensed. Next year, her dad had told her. But then, next year her brother would be in college. This was likely their last summer for Babe Ruth League ball. A pang of sadness hit the pit of her stomach, and her eyes automatically searched for Sammy. This was the su
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Chapter Four
The stairs creaked beneath her feet as Beth felt her way along the bannister, a can of Dr. Pepper in her free hand. Whoever decided it was a good idea to put the light switch at the top of the stairs had been an idiot, and while Beth realized said idiot probably died over a hundred years ago, she really wished the people who’d renovated their house right before they bought it five years ago would’ve considered fixing this problem with the light.And put a bathroom on the second floor.She reached the top step and fumbled for the cord that hung from the ceiling in the narrow hallway that ran past Shane’s closet of a bedroom to hers. Finding it, she gave it a tug and then breathed a sigh of relief at having reached the top without tripping and tumbling to her demise. Of course, the way the stairway curved, she would’ve probably hit a wall before she broke her neck, but reaching the top of the stairs always felt lik
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Chapter Five
Something about Ryan’s tone sounded different, like he wasn’t really all that happy for her, and she wondered if he had something against Sammy. He wouldn’t be the only guy who felt that Sammy’s opinion of himself was a little unwarranted, but Beth couldn’t remember ever hearing Ryan say anything bad about him before. Her eyebrows knit together as she tried to determine how to respond. Should she thank him for the compliment, even if it might’ve been laced with sarcasm, correct him for essentially calling Sammy an ass hat, or explain why his reasoning was wrong? In the end, she did what she always did in similar situations and obliterate any twinkle of hope from her miserable existence.“Actually, once he said that, he walked over to a group of popular girls.” Beth could hear the misery in her own voice. “God, you should’ve seen the way Carly Lyles draped herself on him.” She shook her hea
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Chapter Six
Away games always had her phone ringing, and Beth had decided long ago that she would always take whoever asked first, but she’d taken her friend Brittany who normally hung out with Lexy and Andi as much as she did Beth. Since she’d started a job this summer at the local grocery store, working as a cashier, Brittany was a lot busier than the other girls. Despite the calling of dibs by Andi earlier in the week, they both understood. For Brittany, sometimes being a little bit older could be a drag because she had to work so much, but at least she had her driver’s license and could drive them around the square—when she wasn’t working or grounded.The next Tuesday the game was away again, and she’d taken Lexy after a rock paper scissors battle to the death between her bespectacled friend and Andi. There hadn’t been any tears at the resolution, but there had been some narrowed eyes and veiled threats. Beth assured And
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Chapter Seven
The booth was relatively quiet for most of the game, and Beth was able to concentrate on the game for once. While she didn’t like to think her friends were upset at her or each other, at least Mr. Cooper didn’t have to turn and shout at them about the score being wrong. He did have to ask the people in the bleachers to keep it down a couple of times, however, and by the second time, Beth began to realize there was a lot of chatter going on down there. She had no idea who it was, however, because of the way the scorekeeper’s booth was situated. The fan was drowning out all but giggles now and again and the high pitched din of muffled conversation.It wasn’t until Brittany made her way up the stairs halfway through the seventh inning that any of them got a clue. “Hey chicas!” she announced, her blonde, curly hair a little saggy since she’d come from work but otherwise looking pretty and put together. “How&rsq
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Chapter Eight
The silent reverie was broken by the sound of three sets of feet on the ladder. “Oh, my God!” was about all Beth could understand, but she knew she’d be filled in soon enough.“She did look like a ghost, just standing there all still,” Lexy agreed. Beth reached over and flipped the ball button on the scoring machine and then recorded the pitch in the scorebook. The girls resumed their seats, and Beth shushed them, afraid Mr. Cooper would get on to them as well.“She was beautiful, though.” The revelation came from Andi, but Beth kept her eyes forward, locked on the game. Just what she needed—another gorgeous girl to swoop in and make her feel like a loser.“Her lips are so red and pouty…. Her eyes are gold,” Lexy added.“Do you have a crush on her?” Andi laughed, elbowing the other girl.“Maybe&helli
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Chapter Nine
The sound of his voice caught her off guard, and goose flesh sprung up all over her arms. If it wasn’t for the sound of her friends “oh, my God-ing” to her left, Beth would’ve thought she was asleep, that the question had only taken place in a dream.She turned her head to see Sammy standing in the dimly lit parking spot, the moon illuminating his perfect face as he waited for a response. Behind him, Robby and Michael lingered, their arms crossed as they watched, a goofy grin on Robby’s face while Michael looked much more serious.“What was that?” Beth asked, still unable to process what was happening. How in the world was it possible that Sammy was actually asking her out? If this was true, it was a miracle form heaven….“I said, would you go out with me? I mean… I want to go ask Carly out, but these two assholes keep telling me there’s not a girl in
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Chapter Ten
Evelyn was up when they snuck in the back door; even her dad tried to avoid making any noise for fear it would wake Beth’s younger sisters, Dani and Lavender, and Evelyn would come undone. But Lavender, who was three and named after her mother’s favorite color, was standing in the kitchen in her Rugrats nightgown while Evelyn filled a sippy cup with tap water.“We won!” Richard announced, patting Lavender’s head. She smiled up at him but didn’t say anything, and Evelyn shushed all of them.“Don’t wake Dani up,” she insisted. Her sisters’ room was far away from where they were standing, across from the living room, in the front part of the house, away from the kitchen, nestled between the parlor and her parents’ bedroom. It was as if whoever designed this house had no blueprints and just started walling spaces off.“Sorry,” Richard replied, op
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