Dawn Brazil
​​Young Adult Author

MASS HYSTERIA 

YA Science Fiction Standalone Novel, unpublished...


  
I time my laugh to spill perfectly from my lips.

Except, the sensation rises from my abdomen like gravel tumbling through my mouth. Stacy turns in her seat with her lips pursed tight. She shakes her head. The other girls stop giggling. Their purrs of laughter in deep contrast to my piercing cackle.

They frown in unison - everyone but Stacey. She has an ‘I’m sorry I got you into this mess, hun’ look on her face. Though lacking in most social skills, I’m easily able to read their expressions: ‘What the hell was Stacey thinking bringing the schizoid?’

I’m painfully aware something is off with me. On a scale of weirdness, I’m not Pinhead. I’m more Carrie, without the powers. I’d change this perception of oddness I convey, but I don’t know where to begin to work on myself.

So I don’t.

Glancing around the table, I attempt a quick recovery. “I have a dog, too. He’s the cutest little Pomeranian.”

My words are met with oohs and aww but Stacey shakes her head once, slightly. I don’t know why she does it. I’ve hit a cord with these girls. I block her shaking head and the bombardment of senseless information streaming through my mind and continue talking. “He’s a handsome little fur ball.”

“I love dogs,” one of Stacey’s friends says.. “My Jax is too freaking cute.”

 “My little FeFe is too adorbs. What’s your dog’s name, Elizabeth?” Melissa, the closest girl to me asks.

“Norman Bates. He’s a  -”

“You named your dog Norman Bates,” Melissa says.

“Yes. He -”

“Like, isn’t that the crazy dude from that movie? The one who cross-dressed like his mom and like killed everyone?” someone else asks.

“Yes, it’s - ”

“It’s kinda weird…Well, a lot weird that you named your dog after a homicidal maniac.” Melissa says. No one speaks after her comment. They all stare in opposite directions.

I almost laugh at their reaction but stop myself. A rush of useless information hurries through my head: the song streaming over the speaker in the restaurant is by Colbie Caillat; approximately twenty-five people have walked into the restaurant since we arrived; More women than man eat here; our waitress has a build-up of dandruff she tries to cover with a bad hair dye...

I shake my head discretely. They act like I told them I’m naming my first born Freddie Krueger.