15 minutes later Mack pulled up his white Plymouth Valiant in front of a small two story house with a ramshackle yard. Quinn and Kristen got out. “Eeeewww!” Quinn said.
“They say that her mother works double shifts at the hospital to meet the mortgage repayments,” Mack said as he got out of the car.
“Ok,” Quinn said.
Kristen rang the doorbell. Soon afterwards the door was opened by a teen with long blonde hair which covered one side of her face.
“Hi, Mack. What brings you and your friends here?” she asked in a soft and relaxed voice.
“Somebody would like to join the Computer Club and Jodie said that you handle the membership applications,” Mack said.
Jennifer was then in thought. “Oh, come right in, please don't mind the mess,” she said.
A few minutes later, Mack, Kristen and Quinn were sitting at a breakfast bar as Jennifer served them diet sodas.
“So, you are Quinn Morgendorffer right? I heard about the new freshman Geek, but I had to see for myself,” Jennifer said.
“Yeah,” Quinn said.
“Your sister is a sophomore, right?” Jennifer said.
“She isn't popular, is she?” Quinn asked.
“There is no way she could become popular, with that attitude of hers,” Jennifer said.
“Thank goodness,” Quinn said.
“That's not the way I would have put it,” Mack said, responding to Jennifer.
Jennifer shrugged. “Anyway, when she came into history class, Mr DeMartino asked her about Manifest Destiny.”
“What did she say?” Quinn asked, eager for any 'dirt' on her sister.
Jennifer began to explain what occurred in History class...
Daria came into the classroom.
“Class, we have we have a new student
joining us today. Please welcome Daria Morgendorffer. Daria, raise your hand, please,” Mr Anthony DeMartino said.
Daria raised her hand.
Daria! As long as you have your hand raised... “ Mr DeMartino chuckled. “Last week we began a unit on westward expansion. Perhaps you feel it's unfair
to be asked a question on your first day of class.”
“Excuse Me?” Daria asked, nonplussed.
“Daria, can you concisely and unemotionally sum up for us the doctrine of Manifest Destiny?”
“Manifest Destiny was a slogan popular in the 1840s. It was used by people who claimed it was God's will for the U.S. to expand all the way to the Pacific Ocean. These people did not include many Mexicans.” Daria said, concisely and unemotionally, albeit with rather thick sarcasm.
'Wow, that is concise,' Jennifer thought.
Mr DeMartino was surprised “Very good, Daria. Almost... suspiciously good. All right, class. Who can tell me which war Manifest Destiny was used to justify?” He looked to someone in the class whom was wearing a football outfit. “Kevin! How about you?”
“The Vietnam War?” Kevin Thompson asked.
“That came a little later, Kevin... a hundred years
later. A lot of good men died in that conflict, Kevin. I believe we owe
it to them to at least get the century right!
“ Mr DeMartino said, (more than) annoyed at Kevin's stupidity.
“Uh... Operation Watergate?” Kevin asked.
Mr DeMartino was even more annoyed.
End of Flashback
“Interesting, but that Kevin sounds rather stupid!” Quinn said.
Oh, Stupid does not begin to describe it. He doesn't get it through his thick head that I don't like being called Mack-Daddy!
” Mack said.
“You know him?” Quinn asked. 'of course he does,' she thought.
“Unfortunately, yes. It's also unfortunate that he's the junior-varsity Quarterback,” Mack said. Jennifer left the kitchen (unnoticed by Quinn and Mack, but not by Kristen)
“So you are on the team?” Quinn asked.
“As a running back,” Mack said.
“Ok,” Quinn said. She noticed that Jennifer was gone. “Where's Jennifer?”
Jennifer entered her bedroom and opened a drawer immediately to the left of the door. She grabbed one of the Computer Club membership applications and then went back downstairs.
“Here is the membership form,” she said, handing it to Quinn.
“Thanks!” Quinn said. She began to fill it out.
20 minutes later, Quinn had finished filling out the form. She handed it back to Jennifer.
Jennifer read over the form and then placed it in her backpack. “I will show it to the office in the morning, but as far as I am concerned you are now a member of the Lawndale High Computer Club,” Jennifer said.
“Yes!” Quinn squealed. “When is the next meeting?”
“Wednesday at Lunch, it will be in the main computer lab,” Jennifer said.
“Cool,” Quinn said.
The Valiant pulled up in front of a two story house larger than Jennifer's but smaller than Jodie's. Quinn got out of the car and immediately thought that it looked rather foreboding. She could see black curtains in two of the upstairs windows, to the right of the front door. “So why did Cindy not want to come here again?” she asked Kristen.
“Andrea creeps her out,” Kristen said.
“Now her house is giving me the creeps,” Quinn said. “Like an icky feeling that I can't describe.”
“You and me, both,” Mack said as he got out the car.
“Let's get this over with,” Quinn said as she walked towards the front door.
Quinn rang the door bell. About 10 seconds later the door was opened by a Goth chick whom looked more Gothic than Kristen did. Quinn could see why she would creep Cindy out.
“Who are you?” she asked, looking at Quinn.
“Andrea, this is Quinn Morgendorffer,” Mack said.
“I would like to join the Programming Club,” Quinn said.
“Oh, come right in,” Andrea said, without preamble.
The living room was sparsely decorated, with throw rugs on the floor and paintings on the wall. The stairs to the second level were at the back of the room, adjacent to the door to the kitchen. On the TV was a paused scene of blood being splattered. Quinn saw the TV and fought back the nausea that appeared in her throat. “Eeewww! What is that?” she asked.
, I recently bought the tape,” Andrea said.
“Yuck!” Mack mumbled.
“Ick, Andrea!” Kristen said.
“Fine, I'll eject it!” Andrea said, getting the hints from her guests. She picked up the VCR remote and pressed eject. She then picked up the TV remote and muted the resulting static. Finally she used the stereo system remote to start a previously paused CD. “Hip, Hip to be a square...
” It was Huey Lewis and the News' Hip to be Square.
Andrea danced to the beat for a short while before pausing the CD again.
“Come on, the stuff is in my room,” Andrea said.
“Okay...” Quinn said, as Andrea started going up the stairs.
The upstairs corridor was dark, with the only light coming up the stairs, from a window at one end of the hallway and a slightly open doorway opposite the stairwell. The sound of dripping water could be heard from the bathroom, making the place seem even more eerie. “That faucet needs to be repaired,” Andrea said. “Only one of many things wrong with this house,” she added, as she lead her guests towards her bedroom.
“There isn't a ghost, is there?” Quinn asked. Andrea simply unlocked her bedroom door (marked Andrea's Lair Enter at Own Risk) and opened it.
Andrea's room was all black. Black curtains, black walls, black carpet, black ceiling, black bed covers. Just about the only things that weren't black were the power outlets and various other items, including some decorations. There was a heavy smell of incense and red candles burned in various locations around the room, including around Andrea's computer set-up. “Are those cases custom made?” Quinn asked.
“Yes. Cost my parents a bundle too. They are now making noises about me needing to get a job. Like, I don't have enough to deal with already,” Andrea said. She opened a drawer below one of the computers and took out a Programming Club membership application form.
She gave it to Quinn.
“Thanks!” Quinn said. She sat at the computer desk, and began to fill it out, whilst Andrea opened her bar fridge (hidden next to the computer desk) and took out four sodas.
“List the the Programming Languages that you have any level of skill in,” Quinn read. 'Ok,' she thought as she started writing down the languages that came off the top of her head.
Quinn completed the form and handed it to Andrea. Andrea read it and signed it. “You are now a probationary member of the Programming Club,” she said.
“Probationary?” Quinn asked.
“I will test you on your proficiency in the languages that you listed, prior to giving you full membership,” Andrea said.
“Ok,” Quinn said. 'That's not so bad,' she thought.
“You can come over tomorrow and I'll start by testing you on BASIC,” Andrea said.
“That will be ok,” Quinn said, warily. 'Best to get it over with as quickly as possible,' she thought.
“Good, I'll see you here, tomorrow before 4:00,” Andrea said. It wasn't a question.
“I will be here,” Quinn said. Being in the Programming Club was worth being in the Hecuba's creepy house many times a week.
Mack's Valiant stopped outside a large red brick house on Glen Oaks Lane. (Larger than the Hecuba's but smaller than the Landon's). Quinn and Kristen got out. “Bye, Mack. I'll see you at school,” Quinn said. Mack waved and drove off. Quinn looked at the drive way. Her father's Lexus was there, but her mother's SUV wasn't. 'She was always a workaholic,' she thought.
“Come on, I'll introduce you to my father,” Quinn said as she walked to the door.
“What about Daria?” Kristen asked.
“Most likely she would be in her room,” Quinn said. There was an uneasiness in her voice that told Kristen that Daria's room would be unusual.
'Cannot be any more unusual than Andrea's surely?' she mused.
“I must warn you, he is prone to going into rants,” Quinn said.
“What sort of rants?” Kristen asked.
“Oh, about his teenage years...” Quinn said.
Jake Morgendorffer was reading the paper in the kitchen when Quinn and Kristen entered from the living room.
“Daddy, this is my new friend, Kristen.”
“Hi, Quinn, Kristen.”
“Hi, Mr Morgendorffer,” Kristen said.
“You're Goth?” Jake asked.
“What of it?” Kristen asked.
“Nothing,” Jake said.
“It's not 'nothing' Daddy,” Quinn said, wondering where her Father was going with his questioning.
“I have heard a lot of things about Goths,” Jake said, in thought.
“A lot of those things may not be true about me,” Kristen said. 'Although they may be of Andrea,' she thought.
“Great!” Jake said.
Linda Griffin arrived home from her job at KSBC (as Vice-President of Marketing). When she opened the front door she saw her daughter Sandi sitting on the couch, moping. She entered the house and slammed the door. “Sandi, what is wrong?” she asked, her tone implying that she expected an answer, pronto.
“Hi, Mother,” Sandi said. She sighed and then began to tell her mother about Quinn, her geekiness and her popularity.
Once Sandi had finished telling her about Quinn and the changed situation at the school, Linda put her hands on her hips and gave a disapproving look. “Sandi, I told you. If you loose control, you need to get back in control!”
“But how, Mother?” Sandi asked, with exasperation.
“You know the social dynamics of that place better than I do. You figure it out!” Linda said.
“Ok,” Sandi said, as her mother went up the stairs. ''Typical Mother, she gives me general advice but not the specifics!' she thought. She knew she would have to sleep on the problem. She heard her brothers fighting in the den. 'What are they up to now?' she pondered. She then went towards the den.