>It's been a couple days since Star did that weird dance whose very motions seemed to speak to some sort of forbidden nature, her wand pulsing with a virulent emerald beauty
>Jackie, never one to fret over the trivial things, much less Star's antics, paid it no mind.
>The effects were subtle, even to Jackie herself. A few extra bites here, an extra sip there.
>But as she rode her trusty skateboard home on that cloudy Friday afternoon, something was definitely different.
>With each sidewalk seam her board's wheels bounced over, a shiver seemed to pulse through her midsection. The closer she got to home, the more these shudders began to associate.
>Jackie had taken an extra bag of chips at lunch, something she had done numerous times in the past. But it had always meant that, even by dinnertime, she wasn't exactly famished.
>As she rolled up to her front door, fished her set of housekeys out of her helmet, and opened the door, she shouted and announced her presence.
>Silence. Mr. Thomas would be out of town until Sunday night, and the hardworking Mrs. Thomas was prone to staying a while after work to shore up some unfinished business.
>Jackie leaned her skateboard against the entryway wall and trotted briskly to the kitchen, eager to find something to tide over her protesting stomach until dinner.
>Throwing open the fridge, as is customary for teens her age, her survey stopped midway down the racks.
>A cheesecake, adorned in strawberries certainly fresh from the neighbor's garden, sat immaculately in the very center of the fridge. Its flowing surface sat nearly a foot wide; Mrs. Thomas had used her special 11 inch pan usually reserved for special occasions.
>Her gaze breaking from the lightly moist cream, Jackie quickly fetched a plate, a fork, and a knife from the kitchen drawers.
>She cut herself a modest piece, and carefully lifted it from its glass throne, being careful not to let it break apart.