Friday, March 27, 2009

Seniors #5 - Last Chance

Book Description:

Mr. Morley is so nice when he catches Mary O'Connor stealing a test. He doesn't tell. He doesn't fail her. She just has to do him a favor... But helping Mr. Morley isn't as easy as it seems. In fact, it could kill her!

My Description:

First of all, just what the hell kind of favor are we talking about here? Ew, I have a very sleazy picture in my mind right about now. *BARF* Second, I apologize beforehand for all the cursing and violence in this post. On with it!

Quick note: a while back, I posted a list of all the seniors. We now have a new addition and he is a total NERD:

Justin Thompson

Likes - Computers, that special person, the Beastie Boys, Barry White
Remembers - Don't want to remember anything about Shadyside [AMEN!]
Dislikes - Having my face shoved in the toilet, being chased by Ty and Gary
Quote - "You're my everything"

Wow. That's bleak. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

Mary is sitting in the guidance counselor's office because she shoplifted last summer (this little incident was mentioned in a previous book) and seeing the counselor, Ms. Russ, every week for six months is a condition of her probation. Something about that But I'm not dwelling on it, don't worry. Ms. Russ is completely useless and the visit is a total waste of time, consisting solely of Ms. Russ asking Mary if she's ok. Seriously, that's it. After leaving the counselor's office, Mary catches up to Stacy Malcolm in the hall. They chat about Mary's psychosis and then Stacy suggests they hit the mall where Mary shoplifted last summer. Great idea, stupid! NOT. Mary is hesitant, but Stacy says she can't avoid the place forever. And just why the hell not? Visits to the mall aren't necessary to live, Stace. Did I mention I hate the mall? Anyway, they go to Division Street Mall and if you guessed that they head straight for the store that Mary once robbed, you would be correct! Your prize? You have a choice between a half eaten Snickers bar, a copy of R.L. Stine's magnum opus, "The Stepsister 2", or some dead skin flakes from Stine's infamous mole. What? You were expecting gold? Not from this site. It's low brow around these parts. Moving on...I've completely forgotten what I was talking about... Oh yeah, the mall. The girls go inside the store that Mary stole from and Mary acts like a paranoid freak the entire time. I can't really say I blame her, though. As they're browsing the racks, a salesgirl calls out to them and Mary nearly shits her pants because she thinks the girl recognizes her from last year. Turns out the chick is just informing them that two dressing rooms just opened up if they need to try some things on. Phew. Stacy dashes off to try on a sweater while Mary hangs out. She spots some blonde hottie in the doorway of the store, looks away for a moment, and when she looks back, he's gone. She runs to the entrance still holding a sweater she planned to buy and is stopped by the salesgirl because it looks like Miss Mary was about to take off with that sweater. History does repeat itself. Mary manages to choke out "I changed my mind!" and throws the sweater down before running out of the store like the spaz she is. She runs into the blonde guy again, but he's gone before she knows it. I'm assuming he'll be significant later on...

It's now the next afternoon and Mary and Stacy are preparing to head off to track practice to get their jock on. Mary tells Stace that she has to see Mr. Morley about something. Stacy sure loves her some Morley: "Mmmmm-mmm! I wouldn't mind seeing Morley after school, if you know what I mean!" Yeah, we get your meaning, you dirty little harlot. The last time I had a HAWT teacher, I was in elementary school. They all went down hill after that. Anyway, Stacy heads off to the track and Mary makes her way to Morley's classroom. She's in a daze, thinking about how loverly Morley makes her feel: "No-one made Mary feel the way Mr. Morley did. Like she was smart. Special. He never talked down to her the way other teachers did." We're veering into Mary Kay Letourneau territory skin is crawling a little. Ok, a LOT. Mary starts to walk into Morley's classroom, but stops when she sees Trisha Conrad and Gary Fresno making out against some lockers. As we all know, Trisha "stole" Gary from Mary and this whole saga is incredibly dull. Leave it to Stine to water down what COULD be some juicy soap opera goodness. The sight of Trisha and Gary engaging in a public grope fest makes little Mary Jane really sick and full of hatred for the bastards. She turns her attention to Morley's door and walks inside. He tells her he'll be with her in a second and Mary uses the opportunity to admire (i.e. ogle) his good looks for the 5834756th time: "The man is gorgeous, she thought. Tall, muscular, with dark wavy hair, intense blue eyes, long dark eyelashes. Even if he wasn't so incredibly hot, he'd still be the coolest teacher at Shadyside, she thought." *sigh* Get a grip!

Morley turns his attention to Mary and asks her what's going on. She says she's having a bad day and it was made even worse by the fact that she just saw her ex-bf making out with some other chick. I don't know why you would want to tell your teacher these things. It's nice to have someone to talk to and everything, but that's what your friends/family are there for. Your teacher doesn't need to know about your ex-boyfriend sticking his tongue down another girl's throat! Morley seems to know quite a bit about Mary's life: her job, her shoplifting incident, the fact that her father left her family five years ago. They finally stop talking about her personal life and start discussing classwork. He asks her if she's ready for the midterm tomorrow. When she says "I guess I am" he tells her how difficult it's going to be. A second later, he says he's going to get some coffee and he'll be right back. While he's gone, Mary spots a manila folder on his desk labelled "Social Studies Midterms" You idiot, the teacher is right around the corner!!! She quickly slides one of the test papers out and slips it onto her lap. Just as she does, she turns and spots Morley standing in the doorway. Ouch. She silently panics, wondering if Morley saw her, but apparently he didn't. He just gabs a little about how there wasn't any coffee left. Are you asleep yet? My eyes are barely open, this is so boring. I don't care about coffee or how hot Mr. Morley's ass looks in those jeans! I want blackmail! Mary realizes this is her chance to get the hell out of dodge before Morley figures out what she's done so she tells him she really needs to get to track practice. He gives her a little smile and says "See you tomorrow. Don't stay up too late studying." I don't care how hot he is...I get the creeps everytime he speaks!

It's two days later and Mary is sitting in Morley's class waiting for him to return the graded midterms. Everyone else seems really nervous, but Mary isn't--she cheated, after all! Morley takes a sip of his precious coffee and begins handing out papers. He saves Mary's for last and her heart nearly stops when she sees it. He hasn't graded it at all. He simply wrote "Mary--please see me after class. Mr. M." Oh SNAP. The bell rings a few minutes later and Mary waits for everyone else to leave before heading to Morley's desk. She asks why he didn't give her a grade and he replies "I think you know the answer to that, Mary." Mary plays stupid, pretending she has no idea what he's talking about. As if that ever works. Morley continues: "I know what you did, Mary. I know you cheated. You took a copy of the test home, didn't you?" Mary says she studied really hard. Oh I bet you did, dear. Morley just stares at her until she cracks and says she did it, but she'll do a makeup exam or something. Morley says he knows she's been under a lot of pressure, but this is serious stuff. He's acting like she blew up the White House or something. Mary begs him to let her take the test over and he finally laughs a little like he's thought of something she can do. People, this entire exchange is just seriously creepy. I'm surprised he hasn't dropped his pants yet. Morley explains his plan: "Do you know Mr. Wise?" Mary says yes, he's the physics teacher and Morley goes on: "Well, Mr. Wise is very absentminded. A few months ago, he borrowed my best sports jacket. He said he needed it for a science conference he was attending that evening. The thing, and it's so ridiculous really, but Mr. Wise never returned my jacket. In fact, he started wearing it practically everyday. I really want the jacket back, but I'd hate to embarrass him by asking for it. This thing has gone on for so long now. I think he forgot the jacket isn't his. I'd really love to have that jacket back and- No, I just can't. It's too silly." Mary interrupts this ignoramus to ask him what he wants and he finally spits it out: "Well, okay. I'm thinking, Mary, that if you could just get that jacket for me from Mr. Wise's classroom-" Come on! You're a grown man and you can't ask for your own stupid jacket back? Give me a break! And I hate how he keeps giggling about this like it's some big secret mission. Puke. He continues talking: "You didn't let me finish, Mary. You'll also have to write two makeup papers for this exam-" Mary cuts in to ask if she gets the jacket and writes the papers, will he turn her in for cheating and he says no, but he doesn't wanna see her cheating ever again. I think she learned her lesson, El Creepo.

Morley tells Mary that she doesn't have to get the jacket today, but if she wants to, he happens to know that Mr. Wise is busy with the physics club and won't be in his classroom so Mary can just creep inside and grab it. What the fuck? If Morley knows Wise isn't in his room, then why the hell can't he get his own damn jacket??? This makes no frigging sense! *sigh* Mary hurries down the hall to Mr. Wise's room and sneaks inside. She spots the jacket hanging beside a few lab coats and heads straight for it. Just as she grabs it and turns for the door, Mr. Wise enters the room. This chick can't catch a break. Mr. Wise flips out, grabs the jacket, and asks her what she was doing. She explains that Morley wanted her to get the jacket back for him and Mr. Wise says that it's HIS jacket, not Morley's. He then tells Mary that stealing a teacher's property is a serious offense (no it isn't. Not when the teacher is an asshole and totally deserves it.) and Mary will need to see the vice principal on Monday morning. Mary pleads for Mr. Wise to talk to Mr. Morley first and he agrees only because he thinks it will incriminate her even further. What a smug piece of shit! The teachers at this school are addled, man. When they arrive at Morley's room, they see that he's gone.

Mary jogs home to call Mr. Morley and ask just what the hell is going on. She finds the phone book and looks him up. The bastard lives on Fear Street, of course. *eye roll* She gets really nervous and almost chickens out, but finally dials the number. He answers after several rings. Mary cuts right to the chase: "Mr. Morley! I got caught!" He pretends that he doesn't know what she's talking about so she explains. Then he says "Well, I'm not surprised. I mentioned how absentminded he is. I guess I was right. He DID forget the jacket isn't his." Whatever. Mary goes on to say that Wise thought she was stealing the jacket and plans on reporting her to the vice principal. Morley shrugs this off: "Oh, for heaven's sake! That man does everything by the book. Mary, calm down. There's nothing to worry about. It's too bad I had to leave school after we spoke--I had to take care of something right away. Had I been there, you wouldn't be in this jam." Had you been a professional about the situation, she wouldn't be dealing with this stupid shit! Mary is relieved to hear him say that because she thinks he'll talk to the vice principal and everything will be ok. But Morley is a stupid jackass and tells Mary that the v.p. probably wouldn't believe their story. Then this idjit has the audacity to say this: "Well, I do have a reputation among the faculty as a champion for the students. You know, being understanding and sympathetic. Some teachers are quite envious of my rapport with the students and their respect for me." This guy's head is stuck so far up his ass I can't even believe it. I mean, CHAMPION FOR THE STUDENTS?!?!? Are you fucking kidding me?? He's desperately trying to come up with excuse after excuse for involving Mary in something that she should never have been a part of. This isn't about some stupid jacket. I don't even know what the hell is going on, but it pisses me off! As if you couldn't tell *wink wink* I think I need a moment to remind myself that this man does not exist and none of this actually happened. Moving on... Morley tells Mary that the v.p. probably won't believe her story because it's a well known fact that Mary got in trouble for stealing once before. YOU TOLD HER TO TAKE THE JACKET, YOU IDIOTIC FUCK! This man is unbelievable!! I don't care if he's fictional! This is bull! He used the fact that Mary completely trusts him to his advantage. Grrrr. The conversation carries on for a few more minutes and Mary starts to completely freak out because she doesn't want to get into trouble and she doesn't want Morley to get fired. Who gives a fuck at this point? He should never have been hired in the first place. He says that they should meet at his place at ten tomorrow morning to discuss what they should do. There is no discussion! You should act like a fucking adult and confess that you TOLD HER to take the jacket. This is not her fault, you donkey! And the fact that he's inviting a student to his house where they'll be totally alone is a red flag. But Mary ignores this because she's sure Morley will be able to think of a good plan and this entire ordeal will be over. Poor deluded girl.

Mary wakes up the next morning at 8:45. She quietly dresses which leads to our first outfit description of the book: black pants, black boots, and a fuzzy green sweater. Not horrible, I suppose. She tiptoes quietly around the house so that her mother won't wake up and ask her where she's going so early. She catches a bus to Fear Street. The day is cloudy and rainy which makes this trip to Fear Street even more crappy. She finds Morley's house and knocks on the door. She notices that it's slightly ajar so she peeks inside and spots that blonde guy from the mall. Wha? Mary is shocked, but not so shocked that she doesn't notice that the guy is even hotter up close: "Tall, around six feet two. Lean, but muscular, she noticed as she took in his black T-shirt and faded blue jeans. And that soft, wavy blond hair, a little messy. His sea-green eyes gazed intensely at her." Ooo la la. Mary tells him that she's looking for Morley and he introduces himself: "I'm Rob Emerson, by the way. I work for Morley. Odd jobs around the house, that kind of thing." They're probably lovers. Who lets their handyman hang around the house while they're gone? Mary asks when Morley will be back and Rob says it should only be a few minutes. They go inside and sit on the sofa. Mary mentions seeing him in the mall and he remembers her also. Rob offers her something to drink (once again, he's acting like the place is his) and goes into the kitchen to get her some water. Mary gazes around the living room and sees how shabby it is. Snobby much? When Rob comes back, he explains that Morley is an old friend of the family and is allowing him to stay in his guest cottage until he figures out what he wants to do with his life. They chat a bit and Rob ends up asking Mary out. She agrees and silently squees because Rob is such a hottie; she'll forget about Gary for sure. Rob says the only problem they might have is Morley might be weird about them dating. Because they're totally lovers! Rob says "I'm not sure how much to tell you. But there's something you should know about Morley-" Before he can finish, though, Morley enters. Crap. He acts pretty pissed at Rob, but shuts his trap when he sees Mary. Rob takes his exit at Morley's insistance and Morley asks Mary if she wants some coffee. She says no so all the more for him. He needs to lay off the caffiene; it's affecting his ability to function as a normal human being.

They go into his office and Morley actually says something that makes sense: "I'll tell Mr. Wise and the principal that I asked you to take the jacket. I'll explain my side and hope for the best." That sounds too good to be true and, sadly, it probably is. You KNOW he's going to lie to save his own ass. He goes on to say that this situation makes ANOTHER problem he has more difficult. Mary is immediately intrigued and asks him what's wrong. She's so eager to please this piece of crap; it's pathetic! This other situation involves another teacher named Ms. Wilson. Morley doesn't like Ms. Wilson, who is a fellow social studies teacher, because she's a big meanie. He's had problems with her from day one: "Let's just say she hasn't been very generous to me. She refuses to give me past lesson plans, petty stuff like that. I don't understand it. I'm very pleasant to her." Ms. Wilson = HERO. Morley says that Ms. Wilson is trying to get him fired; he thinks she's just jealous. No, she's probably figured out what a perv you are and how everything you do is just WRONG. But if it will help your overinflated ego to say she's just jealous, go ahead. Morley goes on to say that Ms. Wilson even wrote a letter of complaint to the Board of Education all about Mr. Morley. Unfortunately, she never mailed it. She just uses it to threaten him. Finally, Morley gets around to explaining why the situation with Mr. Wise might affect the situation with Ms. Wilson: if Ms. Wilson gets wind of the Wise situation, she'll probably send that letter. We all know where this is going: Morley wants Mary to get that letter. That doesn't make any sense whatsoever--Ms. Wilson can easily type another letter! It's now painfully obvious that Morley is simply trying to make Mary look bad, but Mary is so enamoured with this fucktard that she doesn't care. He acts as if he couldn't possibly ask Mary to do such a thing, but she insists because Morley is her beloved and she doesn't want him fired. GAG! Mary leaves a few minutes later and when she turns back, she spots Morley glaring at Rob who is just standing outside like a moron with his little toolbelt on like he's one of the Village People (there was one that wore a toolbelt, right?) These two are so gay for each other...I love it.

That evening, Mary is getting ready for her date with the flamboyant Rob. Another outfit! "She wore a brown minkskirt and a wheat-colored cropped sweater. Her knee-length brown suede boots looked really cool with that outfit, she thought." Too much brown, baby! Mary walks to Pete's Pizza to meet Rob. Even though the place is packed, she spots Rob right away. She slips into the booth and grins like a lunatic at all the jealous stares she's receiving from some of the girls she goes to school with. Rob is HAWT, after all. Mary is overjoyed when she sees Gary Fresno gazing at her like he wishes he had never left her. In your face!!! Anyway, Mary asks what Rob was about to tell her this morning before Morley walked in and interrupted. Rob says it was nothing which means it was something and immediately changes the subject. They chat about their families (broken) and their pizza (delicious). Then Mary spots Stacy sitting with Ty Sullivan (major asswipe) and asks Rob if he would mind if she went and said hello really quick. He doesn't so she runs over to Stacy's table. They chat for a second, the conversation consisting mostly of Stacy admiring Rob's beauty. *sigh* When Mary gets back to the table, Rob says "Mary! Come on, let's go. We're taking a walking discount." He drags Mary out the door even though she's nervous that they'll be caught. She asks why he did that and he laughs and says he paid while Mary was talking to Stacy. I sincerely doubt that, but whatever. Mary doubts it, too, but that vanishes when Rob kisses her. Memo: Mary is an idiot.

On Monday morning, Mary heads straight for Mr. Morley's classroom. She goes inside and asks if he talked to Mr. Wise. He says that he did and everything has been cleared up. Mary is so relieved, but when she leaves the room, she feels bad because Morley will be in trouble. Oh Mary, snakes like Morley always find a way to slip out of trouble. Like blaming everything on an unsuspecting student. *cough* Mary walks to her locker and as she's opening it, she glances across the hall at Ms. Wilson's room. Mary, please PLEASE don't jeopardize yourself for that asshole!! She does it anyway, of course, digging through Ms. Wilson's desk until she finds an envelope addressed to the Board of Education. She flees the room and rests against her locker until she hears someone call out "Hey! You there! I saw what you did! And you're not getting away with it!" Oh. Shit. Thankfully, it's just a janitor who saw Mary spill some orange juice a few minutes ago and is pissed because she didn't bother wiping it up. And she obviously isn't going to either because she runs off to Morley's classroom. She shows him the letter like a proud child showing off to their parents. He says he told her not to do that, but he takes it anyway of course. It's a five page letter chock full of complaints against Mr. Morley. Awesome. In the first paragraph, it's written that there are two other letters that Ms. Wilson has written and this fact serves to piss Morley off even more. Morley tells Mary that she HAS to get those letters for him and she'll probably have to break into Ms. Wilson's house to get them. You have got to be kidding. You unbelievable jerk! Mary says she can't do that and Morley replies "I'm sorry to hear that, Mary. Because in that case, I'll have to tell the principal that you cheated on your midterm." At this point, she should just let the bastard tell the entire world she cheated. She'll get in less trouble for that then she will if someone catches her breaking into someone's house. Mary, open your eyes!!! Morley the King of Jackasses goes on to say that he'll also inform Mr. Wise that Mary did indeed try to steal the jacket and he was just covering for her. Mary starts to panic because she's on probation for the shoplifting and she doesn't want more trouble. Morley has no sympathy: "Jail is an ugly place, Miss O'Connor." Oh you evil narcissistic motherfu*&er!

After work that afternoon, Mary heads to Ms. Wilson's house. Morley told Mary that Ms. Wilson would be at a faculty meeting until 8:30 pm so Mary should have plenty of time to find the letters. Mary finds Ms. Wilson's house and as she's hiding in the bushes waiting for Ms. Wilson to leave, she starts crying. *sob* Poor Mary. Such a fool! She's startled when she hears someone call out her name. It's Rob and he says he came to stop her before she did something stupid. Ms. Wilson leaves then and Rob tries to convince Mary not to break in. When she insists she has to, he says he'll go with her. They sneak in through the basement window and make their way upstairs. They find Ms. Wilson's office and as Mary searches the desk, Rob searches the file cabinets. Mary finally finds a red folder that contains the two letters. She skims over them and is shocked at what she read. Rob grabs them and reads a few lines aloud: "I don't have the proof I need. But I'm positive that Mr. Donald Morley murdered two students at his previous school. Murdered them in cold blood." What great news. Suddenly they hear the front door open and Ms. Wilson's voice. These scenes always get me--SUSPENSE! Rob and Mary dive into a closet and sit quietly while Ms. Wilson fetches something and leaves the room. They exit the closet and hear Ms. Wilson and her guests downstairs chatting. Rob decides that they should go out the office window, land on the roof of the porch, and run away. Ok, genius, let's see if that one actually works the way you want it to. Someone will definitely hear you two clodhopping all over the porch roof! Clodhop. I'm not sure if that's a word...oh well...enjoy it anyway. Mary makes it out, but Rob is caught. Mary grabs his hands and tries to pull him out the window, but whoever caught him is pulling him back in. He tells her to run so she does. She flees down to the street and hears police sirens the whole way. She sits on a bench in the park for hours until she hears footsteps coming toward her in the darkness. She thinks its Rob, but noooooo. It's Morley: "Rob? Mary, they don't let prisoners out of jail for walks in the park." Uh-oh.

Morley is wearing a trench coat, classic flasher attire. He tells her that Rob is in jail and asks her if he should bail him out. What an ass. Morley says he'll bail Rob out if Mary hands over the letters. Unfortunately, the letters are back in Ms. Wilson's house. This pisses Morley off in a major way and he says he shouldn't do anything for either Rob OR Mary because they were "too harebrained" to do anything he asked. He grabs Mary by the shoulders and she begs him not to do this. He says "Don't what, Mary? Don't do what Ms. Wilson accused me of? Don't add you to the list of students I murdered?" Morley says he'll give Mary one last chance (tying in to the title of the book; isn't that clever?) and she should meet him in his classroom at lunchtime the next day to find out what she'll have to do. HATE.

That night, Mary is lying in bed thinking about how stupid she was to have ever trusted and looked up to Mr. Morley. At least she finally recognizes this. The sound of her phone ringing breaks through the silence. It's Rob. He says he's been worried about her and that he can't tell the police anything about Morley because Morley has decided to bail him out. He goes on to say that Morley will post bail the following afternoon around lunchtime. Mary realizes that Morley won't post bail until AFTER she has agreed to do whatever he asks. Sick!

The next morning, Mary is at early track practice. Her coach is pissed because Mary is being slow: "Now that the anchor's finally here we can begin." A bit of a bitch? I'd have to say so. Mary totally bombs in practice because she's preoccupied with thoughts of her sadistic social studies teacher. It's finally time for her FATEFUL (it adds the drama!) meeting with Morley. She sits down with him in his classroom and he explains what he wants her to do. And it just proves that this guy is batshit CRAZY. His sister (with whom he doesn't get along so well) just moved to town with her two children, ages 7 and 3. He says that she often leaves them alone so that she can go out and "husband-hunt". He's told her numerous times that this is very irresponsible (as if this freak knows anything about responsibility) but she refuses to listen. What does he want from Mary? "I want you to help me teach her a little lesson. She'll stop leaving the kids alone when she learns how dangerous it is. I know my sister is planning to go out tonight. So I want you to go over to her place and bring the kids to an empty house down the block." You frigging loon! Do we really have to involve innocent kids in this shitty mess? Mary says that he is asking her to commit a felony and he replies "It's only a crime if you intend to harm the children." I guess scarring them for life isn't considered harm? He continues: "Then later, I'll show up and tell my sister where the children are. But only after she's been taught a good lesson." GOOD GAWD. Mary completely loses it, screaming that she can't do something like that. He tells her that it will actually be a good deed because she'll be doing those kids a favor. I'm pretty much speechless at this point. He says that Mary really isn't in a position to object to the plan. He hands her a keychain with two keys: one to his sister's house (how the hell did he get that?) and one to the rental house where she'll take the kids. That afternoon, Mary makes the mistake of running to Ms. Russ, the counselor, with her story about Morley. She gets the response we all expected: "Honey, listen. It's been a tough year for you. But making up stories about Mr. Morley--blaming HIM for your troubles--won't help at all." This son of a bitch isn't going down, Mary. Just kill him, dismember him, and bury him in the Fear Street Woods where no-one will ever find him. He won't be missed! I can't believe how far into this story I am mind is officially diseased.

It's now time for Mary to kidnap the kids. This entire scene has to be the most uncomfortable one I have ever come across in any Fear Street novel EVER. It's just so WRONG. She rings the bell and a little boy answers. He's the 7 year old and his name is Jimmy. Mary asks if his mother is home and when he says no, she replies "My name's Laura. Your mom has asked me to baby-sit for you and your little sister." Jimmy points to his little sister, Judy, and says he's usually the one who has to take care of her. Heartbreaking much? Mary feels absolutely horrible, but she goes inside, scoops the little girl up, and tells both children that they're going to go to her playhouse down the street. They all go inside and Mary finds a box of children's books so she reads to them. Mary asks if their Uncle Donald *barf* ever reads to them. Jimmy says he doesn't have an Uncle Donald and Mary says "Sure you do. Your mom's brother. He's a teacher at Shadyside High." But Jimmy is insistent: "I don't have ANY uncles." Could this situation possibly get any worse?? Jimmy continues: "My mom doesn't have any brothers. And my dad doesn't either. So that means no uncles, right?" What the hell?!?!? Then whose children does she have? Mary hears sirens wailing in the distance and is sure that the police are coming for her. She jumps off the couch and tells Jimmy that she has to leave, but any minute a nice policeman will come and help him and his sister. Then she dives out the door and runs.

Once Mary reaches home, she is furious with Morley and hell bent on getting her REVENGE. Finally! As she nears her house, she hears someone say her name. It's Rob and he has some incredibly shitty news for Mary: "Mary...Mr. Morley is going to kill us. It's true. I confronted him when I got out of jail. He admitted to trying to ruin your life. He told me he thought it was fun!" Mary desperately wants to tell the cops, but Rob says they'll never believe them because Mr. Morley is so well-liked in the community. They can't use Ms. Wilson either because she's fleeing Shadyside. Damn. I loved her! Oh well...easy come, easy go. Rob goes on to state the completely obvious: Mr. Morley is crazy and has been for quite some time. He hadn't seen Morley in a while and thought he had changed. Not even close, apparently. Rob says that they have to kill him before he kills them. Mary STILL wants to go to the police. I thought we agreed that you're really stupid, Mary. So let someone else make the decisions for once! Rob says it won't be difficult to off Morley. He pulls out a small bottle of 'instant poison' and hands it to Mary. He says just a few drops will kill a person and it will simply look like Morley had a heart attack. Mary will have to do it because Morley no longer trusts Rob. Rob tells Mary that she can do it tomorrow at school; it's a holiday of some sort, but Morley will be there working on a project. Mary says that she does have track practice so it would be convenient. Run a few laps, kill someone...all in a day's work. Rob tells Mary to put a few drops in Morley's coffee thermos and it'll all be over. Then he kisses her and takes off.

Inside, Mary received a phone call from Morley. *sigh* "It's Morley. You failed me again, Mary. You didn't do what I asked." Mary protests that she did exactly what he said, but those children weren't who he said they were. Morley refuses this: "And you believed a seven-year-old child, didn't you? You believed a little boy, rather than me?" I'd believe a rock before I'd believe you. No, I don't care if that makes no sense whatsoever. Morley continues to say that Mary disobeyed him and she owes him big time: "You owe me, Mary. Owe me big. We'll discuss this further tomorrow. I'll be in my classroom all day working on a special project. I want you in my room at one o'clock sharp. Do you hear me?" He hangs up and Mary decides that she's just gotta kill him. Sounds reasonable.

The next morning, after Mary gets dressed, Rob calls. He tells her she has to go through with everything so they'll both be safe. She asks where he's been staying and he says he rented a room in a boardinghouse in Waynesbridge. Hmmm...I wonder what Rob is hiding. Because it's gotta be something... He tells Mary he'll meet her in Morley's classroom after it's all over. She hangs up and just before she leaves, she buries the bottle of poison in the trash. NOOOOO! Stacy arrives then and Mary hops in the car. Stacy asks Mary if she wants to hit the mall later, but Mary blows her off. She manages to get through track practice without any problem even though she feels totally zombified. Afterward, she trudges to Morley's classroom. He isn't there so she sits down to wait for him. She spots a notebook lying open on his desk and reads a few pages. She's shocked: he's written down all his plans to ruin her. And NOW she wants to murder him. Make up your mind, woman!

Mary sprints all the way home to pick up the bottle of poison. When she gets back to school, Morley is still MIA. She quickly dumps a few drops of poison into his thermos, stirs, and sits down to wait for him. If this piece of crap doesn't drink that damn coffee, I'm setting Stine on fire. She goes to the restroom and when she returns, Morley is sitting at his desk. She plays it cool, talking about her grades and working up the nerve to ask him for help studying. HA! Mary wills him to drink the coffee and he finally picks up the thermos and takes a few big gulps. "I'm practically out of coffee. You know how I love the stuff." Oh we know... He stands and says he's going to brew another pot in the teacher's lounge. But before he can leave the room, he says he feels sick. Then he accuses Mary of poisoning his coffee before collaspsing to the floor. Dun dun dun! Mary grabs the notebook off his desk and shoves it in her backpack. Then she stands around waiting for Rob to haul his sorry behind to the school.

Rob arrives a few minutes later and things get a little confusing for my feeble mind. Rob says it's odd that Morley took off without his thermos. Then he picks it up and takes a big sip. He looks at Mary and says "Wow, it's hard to believe Morley's big psychological experiment is over." Excuse me? "He's fascinated with how people deal with moral issues. How they react when pushed to their limits. It's so interesting. So he told you that everything you've been through has been part of the experiment? Starting with him leaving that folder of midterms on his desk? I thought that was brilliant. A student's worried about her grades. The midterm exam sitting right on the teacher's desk in a folder. The teacher leaves the room for a moment. Does the student swipe a copy of the midterm or not?" Pardon my French, but just what the fuck is going on? Mary finally speaks: "Apparently, if that student is me, she takes it. And Mr. Morley let me know everyone was in on it--Ms. Russ, Ms. Wilson, Mr. Wise, the lady with the two children. You. Everybody knew about it. Everybody but me." You've got to be joking. You MUST be screwing with my mind! Rob says he feels badly about his part in it, but he's Morley's assistant and it's part of his thesis for his psychology degree. Ok, I need to calm down. Surely Stine will NOT allow this crazy ass book to end so mundanely... Mary's eyes fill with tears and she says that Rob shouldn't have let Morley be so hard on her. Rob says he's sorry and oh, by the way, just where is Morley anyway? Mary tells him to look behind the desk. Now it gets good again...

Rob is shocked to see that Mary did indeed kill Morley. Rob is surprised because that bottle he gave Mary only contained water, not 'instant poison'. But after Mary read Morley's journal that he so carelessly left open on his desk, she realized that she had been played all along and she wanted revenge. She decided to perform a little experiment of her own, running home and fetching a vial of poison her mother (who is a nurse) keeps in a medical supply kit. What the hell would you need poison for in a medical supply kit? Ok, whatever, who cares! Rob's mouth drops open as Mary tells him that she dumped all of the poison into the coffee. Rob slumps to the floor as well, having drank the coffee himself. Mary looks down and says "Your experiment worked, Rob. You and Mr. Morley taught me that a person can be pushed too far." BURN.

Stacy comes galloping into the room then, yapping about the mall. What is it with this dingbat and the fucking mall?! She stops and screams when she sees the lifeless bodies lying at Mary's feet. Mary says "You remember Rob, don't you? And you know Mr. Morley, of course." Stacy asks if they're dead and Mary kills my soul with her answer: "No. But they'll both have amazing headaches when they wake up." Mary explains about Morley's experiment and says that she had to get them back for it so she made them think they had been poisoned when in fact they had only received a big dose of sleeping meds. *sigh* The last line of the book comes from our darling Mary Jane: "Don't you know I'll do anything for science?" Well, now I do.

Conclusion? As much as this book INFURIATED me, I have to admit that I enjoyed it. Although some of the scenes made me feel like I needed to scrub my brain with bleach and steel wool to remove the grotesque images.

Next time: I need a break from the Seniors for a bit so I'll be doing "Goodnight Kiss". Everybody loves a vampire.

Attack of the Jack-O'-Lanterns (Goosebumps #48)

PUMPKIN POWER! Nothing beats Halloween. It's Drew Brockman's favorite holiday. And this year will be awesome. Much better ...