The Night Zoe & Michele Raised Hell


"I...that's none of your business," Michele said, twisting away so that Zoe couldn't see her blush. She felt Zoe's eyes on the back of her head.

"None of my business, huh?" the other girl said. And then she swept the plastic glasses into the sink. "If you say so. But why are you back here then?"

"I told you why."

"I don't buy it. I think the real reason is you can't get me off your mind. You're crazy about me. Right?"

"No!" Michele wanted to leave the kitchen but Zoe was in the way. The kitchen light behind Zoe's head framed her in shadow. She moved in close now, smelling like tequila and perfume. "Prove it. Give me one kiss and tell me you don't like it."

"Why would I do that?"

"For old time's sake?"

Michele realized she was staring at Zoe's lips. "I'm drunk," she said. "You're drunk."

"Perfect excuse. Kiss me."

Their lips were only a few inches apart. Michele recognized the look in Zoe's eyes; it was a look that said, "Don't let me down."


And as they both leaned in...

That's all Michele could remember.


It was morning. Michele opened her eyes and sat up, not in her own bed. There was no sign of, wait, there was the sound of the shower, and steam coming from beneath the bathroom door.

Putting her hands over her face, Michele groaned. Oh my god, she thought. What happened last night? The last thing she remembered was—no, she didn't want to remember the last thing she remembered.

Her head was killing her. And her stomach...

"Oh no."

Bolting out of bed, she kicked the bathroom door open and just barely made it to the toilet in time, throwing he arms around it like a ship's mast in a storm and sticking her head in the bowl.

Peering around the shower curtain, Zoe watched. "Good morning, sunshine," she said. "Guess this means a morning quickie is out of the question."

"Die," Michele said, slumping next to the toilet. She felt marginally better now, although it was a low bar. Zoe pulled the shower open wider, inviting her in. Michele wanted to wash away the gross feeling, but didn't want to get in while Zoe was still there. Her face must have given it away, because Zoe glowered.

"So that's how it is," she said, turning the water off. "You're a piece of work."

"Me? You got me drunk and—"

"You got yourself drunk, I didn't force you. What, are you ashamed?" She threw the towel at Michele. "Self-loathing lesbians are really boring you know."

"I am not self-loathing. I don't loathe anything."

"Canned pears."

"Anything about myself."

"Why the attitude then? Shit, give me that towel back, I'm dripping on the floor."

Throwing the towel, Michele kicked off her panties (the only thing she'd put back on last night) and got into the shower. "The problem is—this water is freezing!"

"Jiggle the right handle if you want it hot." Zoe's voice came from the bedroom. "I get it: You're upset about your boyfriend or whatever. But he's not here, right? Out of sight, out of mind."

"That doesn't make it okay. Wait, did we really...?"

"Really what? Fuck all night?"

"Yes, did we really—holy shit, now the water's scalding!"

"There's no pleasing you. Are you really telling me you don't remember?"

Wiping soap out of her eyes, Michele squirmed. "No," she admitted. Zoe, standing in the bathroom door, began laughing. Michele blushed even harder. "It's not funny! I blacked out."

"It's so funny you wouldn't even believe it. It would serve you right if I never told you what really happened last night...but oh, all right, you can stop worrying, I'm just messing with your head. Nothing happened. You passed out first."

Sagging with relief, Michele leaned against the shower wall.

"But you definitely wanted me," Zoe added. "I could tell."

A denial was on Michele's lips before she was even done hearing what Zoe said. But then Zoe yanked the shower curtain aside, startling her. The other girl stood fully dressed and looking shockingly alert for a woman who should have been in an alcohol-induced coma after the last 24 hours.

"Hey," she said. "What you said last night, about how you wanted to know if there's any way to undo what we did as kids? If you really meant it, I think there's something we can try."

Michele looked up from drying her hair off. "Are you sure? Last night—"

"I said it was a terrible idea, and yeah, it is. But if it's what you really want..."

"You'd do that for me?"

"Kiddo, I'd do just about anything for you. Why do you think I started all of this in the first place?"

For a second Michele was speechless. Then Zoe grabbed her wrist and said, "Get dressed. Follow me."

Across the hall was the second bedroom, with the padlock on the outside. Now sober enough to be properly curious about it, Michele peered over Zoe's shoulder as she fumbled with the key. She wasn't prepared for what was on the other side.

Right away Michele recognized the magic circle painted on the bedroom floor. The wood was stained such a deep red that it was nearly black from having blood poured on it again and again. Books of every shape and size filled the shelves, some so old their spines had cracked, some so new they still smelled like a bookstore stock room.

Other shelves held all sorts of bells, cups, knives, statuettes, bones, bottles, bowls, and even stranger objects. And all manner and shape of candles, most of them black, but some white, red, and deep purple too.

On one side of the room, on a dais made from milk crates covered with a black cloth, sat a gold-colored statue of a figure with wings and horns almost as tall as Michele, its eyes seeming to wink whenever the light hit them. Letters inscribed on its base spelled:


Turning in a circle, Michele looked at everything and said, "What...IS all of this?"

"Grown-up magic," Zoe replied, picking a book from the shelf and leafing through it. "Don't step in the circle."

"How long did it take you to collect all of this?" Curious, Michele touched a flat brass knife, then picked up a heavy silver bell to give it a small test ring.

"At least this long," Zoe said. "Do you remember what the phase of the moon was ten years ago? Never mind, I'll look it up. Hey!" She snapped her fingers. "Pay attention."

Michele blinked. She'd caught herself staring into the eyes of the winged statue and for a second hadn't been able to look way.

Turning, she looked at the page of the book Zoe held out to her. "Is this the...magic...we want?"

"I think so," Zoe said, nodding. "If you're sure you want to do this?"

Swallowing, Michele said. "Yes. I'm sorry if it hurts your feelings. I never realized you did all this for...anyway, yes, I'm sure."

Closing the book, Zoe nodded. "Then we can do it tonight."

"Wouldn't tomorrow be better?"

"Tonight's Devil's Night. That's the best time. But we shouldn't do it here. Outdoors will work better. You remember Cemetery Hill, on the east side of town?"

Michele nodded.

"We'll meet there just after sundown. Sound good?"

Michele nodded again, even though she wasn't entirely sure that it did. Still reading, Zoe looked at her out of just the corner of her eye and added, "And Michele?"


"I'm sticking my neck out for you here. Don't let me down."


Brushing her hair out of her face, Zoe knelt on the cemetery grass while Michele kept watch. "Tell me if anybody is coming," Zoe said again.

Beds of dead, gray leaves crunched under Michele's feet whenever she moved. The grassy hillside had grown patchy over the years, and the taller headstones had started to tilt, and it seemed nobody was keeping the place up anymore. It had been at least 100 years since anybody was buried here.

Michele said, "I don't mean to complain—"

"And yet..."

"But do we have to be here?"

"You can't do these things just anywhere," Zoe said. She was tracing a wide circle in the ground with the point of a knife, her brow furrowed as she worked to make the characters around the perimeter just right. "Outdoors is best. Isolation is best. And a place with ceremonial importance is best. Can you think of anywhere else?"

"Last time we did it in your mom's basement."

"Last time I didn't know what I was doing. A lot's changed since we were eleven."

Not enough, Michele thought, as she handed Zoe a Tupperware container full of blood. She imagined it looked like the same purple container from when they were kids. But of course it couldn't be.

Any moment now Michele expected someone to catch them in the act, but there was nothing around except leaning trees and the spokes of the cemetery's iron fence. Tomorrow night this place would be full of teenagers, but now it was curiously empty, as if somehow everyone knew they would be here.

Pouring the blood into a wooden chalice, Zoe filled the rest with water and a splash of vodka ("You can barely taste it after that," she explained), then poured everything else into the circle. The hungry cemetery dirt swallowed it up.

"This place always creeped me out," Michele said. Zoe shook her head.

"Not always. You used to love coming here to play hide and seek, remember? We got in trouble once because you hid too well for anyone to even find you."

Michele blinked. She had forgotten about that. Once she really had loved places like this, and Halloween, playing Bloody Mary, and scary movies on late night TV. Zoe was the one who would always get scared, even though she acted brave beforehand. It wasn't until that Halloween night in the basement things changed.

"Are you ready?" Zoe said. She held out a book; Michele recognized it as the same one they'd copied in the library ten years ago, although this version was bigger and heavier. She found pages toward the back marked for her. "This is it?"

"The whole thing. Hey, you okay?" Zoe touched Michele's chin and lifted her face up from the book. "We don't have to do this if you don't want to. If we back out now, it's all the same."

The suddenly soft look on Zoe's face calmed Michele's pounding heart. "Yeah, I'm okay," she said. "Thank you for this. Really."

Zoe smiled. "You do my part this time," she said, pointing to the book. "And I'll do yours. Ready?"

Michele nodded.

A dozen candles glowed around the circle and Michele knelt to spread the book on the grass. The letters on the page came into sharp relief.

"In nomine Dei nostri Satanas Luciferi excelsi. In the name of Satan, the Ruler of the earth, the King of the world, I command the forces of darkness to bestow their power upon me..."

The words came easily, as if she'd been practicing them for years. Zoe recited the four names and rang a black bell that she'd prepared specially for tonight. Then she sipped from the wooden cup and gave the rest to Michele, who drank it in one go. The hard burn of the alcohol covered up the sludgy organic flavor of the blood.

Suddenly she realized something. "Damn it, I didn't write down my wish!"

"You ditz." Zoe produced a piece of lambskin parchment folded over twice and closed up with wax. "I took care of it. I even sealed it for you. It's better that way."

Wind rustled the pines, and somewhere the cemetery gate creaked on its hinges, like an old movie cue. Michele took the paper. "What about yours?"

"I don't need one. Tonight is all about you."

The candle flame lapped at the edge of the parchment as Michele held it out, and it curled at the corners, the smoke trailing up into the night air. Here goes nothing, she thought.

The parchment flared and burned and turned their faces orange in the darkness, and Michele tossed it into the circle so that the ashes mixed with the spilled blood, and then they waited. Somewhere in a nearby yard a dog was going mad with barking, and if Michele strained she could hear the rattle of it running to the end of its chain and back.

"How long is it supposed to take?" she said.

"It depends."

"Isn't there one more part? Maybe we should—"

"Just be patient. If it worked, I'll know. In fact..." She paused, as if listening for something. "Yeah, okay. It's time." She turned back to Michele. "Step into the circle."

Michele blinked. "But you always said—"

"Do you want to do this or not?"

"If you're sure..."

Michele hesitated with one foot in the air before breaking the circle and then stepping all the way in. The candles all blew out. She jumped. The burnt remains of her wish swirled around her feet, whipped up by the breeze.

"Now what?" she said.

"Now nothing," said Zoe. "You're stuck."

Michele blinked. "What does that mean?"

"Just what I said. You can't leave the circle. Don't believe me? Try to step out again."

Michele tried. She couldn't. For some reason every time she came back up to the line she was able to put a foot across it. In a few seconds she was red faced with the effort. "What the hell? What did you do to me?"

"You did the whole thing yourself," Zoe said. "I was over way over here."

She leafed through the book again, planting a finger on it when she finally found the page she wanted. Michele tried again to walk away but still couldn't do it. "Zoe? Zoe! Hey! What are you doing now?" she said.

"What's gotta be done, kiddo." Very, very carefully, Zoe erased some of the markings in the circle. "You remember the other part of the wish I made for you back then? I wanted us to be together forever. Now that you're finally back, I'm not letting you go again."

"Let me out of here!"


"I hate you!"

"You love me," Zoe said, stepping almost gingerly through the gap she'd made in the circle, careful not to let her body pass over any intact part of the line. "You've always been in love with me. Aren't you tired of denying it?"

Standing up straighter, Michele said, "Believe whatever you want, just let me go."

"I'm not keeping you here. I told you, you did all this yourself. You've always done it yourself."

"That's such bullshit."

"Kiss me and I'll set you free," Zoe said.

Michele hesitated. "If I kiss you I can leave the circle?" she said.

"I didn't say I'd let you go, I said I'd set you free." Zoe brushed the hair away from Michele's face. "We both know the real reason you came back here."

"I came back because I want to reverse the spell we cast as kids."

"But you don't even believe in magic. You never did."


Zoe cupped Michele's face in her hands. Again Michele found she had a hard time looking way. "Come on, kiddo. Just a kiss. Don't you want to?"

"I...don't know what I want. You always told me, ever since we were kids."

"We're all grown up now. Here's your shot. Decide."

Zoe's lips looked cherry-red. Michele imagined them tasting sweet and fresh, and somewhere in the back of her mind a key turned.

Leaning in, she took Zoe by the face too and pressed her mouth to hers. Zoe melted into Michele's arms. They both still tasted like the blood potion, but Michele didn't mind; when Zoe's tongue danced against hers it made her think of sweet chocolate and fresh fruit and dark rooms.

The kiss only lasted a second or two but Michele came up from it panting and red in the face. She waited for the world to end. It didn't. Zoe beamed at her, the biggest and most unembarrassed grin she'd had since they were kids.

"I really did that, right?" said Michele. "It's not magic?"

"You always told me magic isn't real," Zoe said.

They kissed again, slow and sweet, then hotter and faster. Zoe tangled her fingers in Michele's hair. The wind settled down, the leaves and the trees becoming as quiet and respectful as the graves around them. This really is a beautiful place, Michele decided. Why was I ever scared of it?

The grass in the circle seemed soft and comfortable as she lay down, pulling Zoe with her. Zoe's skin was smooth and soft too. She kissed a spot underneath Michele's ear that drove her wild, and Michele giggled and kicked. "How'd you know I like that?" she said.

"Word got around in high school," said Zoe. "So did you."



"I love you."

"I know," Zoe said, kissing her again, lying on top of her so that their bodies fitted together like hand in glove. Michele was aware suddenly that she was lying in the bloody spot they'd made in the grass, but she figured the hell with it. She saw too that the black candles were all blazing again; maybe they'd never really blown out?

She let Zoe take her top off. The bare ground felt good against her naked back. So did Zoe's mouth as she kissed her way down the front of Michele's body, teasing the spot between her breasts as Michele sighed, content, lacing her fingers at the back of Zoe's head and licking her lips as the other girl's trailing hair tickled her naked skin.

"Slower, slower, slower," she whispered.

"All you like to do is wait," Zoe said, but reduced her pace, painting Michele's body with sweet, sensual kisses while her fingertips traced her up and down, back and front. Every few seconds Michele grabbed her and pulled her up for another kiss and then released her, breathless, to continue exploring, crawling down to where she tugged Michele's jeans off and deposited them over a nearby tombstone for safekeeping.

The night air felt good on her body. Everything felt good, as a matter of fact. Eager goosebumps covered her from head to toe and Michele groaned in gratification every time Zoe kissed them.

When Zoe's mouth finally closed on one of Michele's breasts and gave it a long, sucking kiss she pushed upward with her entire body and groaned so loud that she worried someone might hear:

"Ohhhhh fuck...more."

Zoe's mouth was wet and hot. The breeze picked up and Michele almost couldn't stand the war between the heat of Zoe on top of her and the chill of the night air. Her fingers tore at the cemetery grass, digging furrows into the lawn.

Her tongue dancing across Michele's flesh, Zoe sucked her friend's breasts one at a time, filling her mouth with Michele's body. Michele rocked and ached and stammered. She pulled at the other girl's clothes, nearly tearing them in her haste and flinging them away without attention to where they landed. The feeling of their naked skin touching made her throb deep down inside.

Zoe pushed Michele's hair back again. "You don't know how long I've been waiting for this."

"Yes I do," Michele said, clasping Zoe's hand. "I'm sorry I was afraid."

"S'okay. I'm a scary girl."

"Not to me."

"Just wait."

Keeping the pressure light but firm, Zoe put her hand between Michele's legs and rubbed her warm, wet pussy through the fabric of her panties, taking Michele's breath away immediately.

"Oh, oh, oh..." was all she could say as she hung onto Zoe's shoulders for support and reminded herself to breathe.

"Still want it slow?" Zoe said, her smile flashing white in the dark.

"Maybe just a little faster...just a little more."

Despite the cool night, Michele became damp with sweat. Zoe kissed her thighs and Michele flopped back, writhing on the cemetery grass. As Zoe kissed higher up her legs and flicked the crease where her thigh joined her body with the tip of a tongue Michele suddenly started laughing and found she couldn't stop.

"What's so funny?"

"I just remembered," said Michele. "Last time I fucked Malcolm I ran off without letting him finish me. Now it kind of feels like you're swapping in for him."

"Not so worried about mister boyfriend anymore, huh?" Zoe said as she slipped Michele's panties down.

"Well, like you said, I don't see him around." Michele threw her arms back and enjoyed the sheer awfulness of what she'd just said. "Besides, this is special. This is more than—OH!"

"What were you saying?" Zoe said, pausing before pressing her mouth back down to between Michele's legs.

"Nothing," Michele said, stammering. "Don't pay attention to what I say. Just keep doing it. Oh, oh, please, please keep doing that."

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