After the death of her mother, a girl, NANCY, finds herself consumed with guilt and her family on the verge of self-destruction. Her father has become an alcoholic. Her younger sisters are growing increasingly violent. And after finding herself dead on a canyon floor, Nancy comes back different.
The title of this one is about as generic as it gets. It’s been some time now since I originally conceived this story, but damned if I’ve ever come up with a better name for it.
I think a while back I got it in my head to make my own version of my favorite comicbook characters, repurpose their general themes and concepts into something more modern and less comicbooky, as it were. And I think that, in this case, I’ve created this strange mashup of the Incredible Hulk and Spider-Man. This young girl burdened by guilt and all these negative emotions who only wants to be liked and accepted at school. But a freak accident unleashes all of her inner demons in a very physical manner.
Be sure to join me each night over on Twitch to chat along as I type like a monkey at a keyboard.
It’s morning. A girl, NANCY, wakes to the sounds of a new day. Tired and drained from the same dream like almost every night–recalling the death of her mother in a horrible accident–she finds peace in the tranquil soft light and sounds of her room in the early morning before the chaos of an alarm, children, and a not entirely sober man knocking at her door ruins it all.
Nancy struggles to get ready in the morning as her family gets in the way. Her younger sisters (TINA and CLAIRE) occupy the only bathroom. She has to get them dressed, fed, and ready for school. And she is struggling to get her father’s head in the game so he can get to work and she herself can get to school.
The world is alive and bustling as Nancy and her friend, CARRIE, walk to school. They engage in generally light-hearted conversation, observing the world around them. The tediousness of high school life and the existential crisis of adulthood.
Nancy’s daily slog through school involves her forever watching a ticking clock that seems to slow with every minute. She’s a bright girl in need of a distracting challenge, or at least the cocky surety of a girl too smart for her own good. When she’s come to a test that she’s completely blanked on, she struggles to race against a now speedy clock.
Nancy and her friends–a slightly expanded group from before– have lunch together, watching the sea of students as they converse. They return to their earlier conversation of drifting through life, how things will change once they’re out of school, of how change is inevitable despite no matter how much some might fight against it. Boys catch their attention, for better or worse. Word of a party that weekend in Black Star Canyon spreads. And then a fight breaks out.
The girls rush to where the fight is and find that Nancy’s younger sister is coming to blows with a boy from her own class. Nancy attempts to get her to stop but she only lashes out at her. And then the teachers arrive to break it up and send both students off to the school office.
Nancy is left to spend the rest of the day stressing about what will happen to her sister and how their father will react to everything. When she arrives home long before her sisters. Nancy retreats to her room where she takes in the silence and attempts to drown out the world with her collection of various trinkets and games and toys and music that help bring a little peace in trying times. But her mind keeps slipping toward her sister and the fight at school. Eventually her sisters return home.
As Nancy prepares dinner, she and her sister dance around the issue of the fight at school for as long as they can. But when Nancy can’t tolerate her sister’s apathy toward life, school, and all the small things Nancy has to worry about, she snaps. They begin to argue and say things that can’t be taken back.
Later that night as Nancy attempts to do her schoolwork, their father returns home drunk and furious about what occurred at school earlier that day. He flies into verbal and physical rampage. He’s too sick, tired, and old to deal with his own life while also having to deal with this nonsense. As things are about to grow violent, Nancy can’t stand to listen to this anymore. She storms out of her room and tears her father apart with harsh, carefully selected words so as to wound him and send him slipping away to his own room.
Nancy can’t sleep. Her thoughts and her father’s drunken snoring keep her up. And then a soft knock at her door stirs her from such things. It’s her sister. They talk and apologies are made, bringing a bittersweet end to the day.
Saturday proves a long day of silence as Nancy, her sisters, and father hardly make a sound. Her father only slugging through the house to get to the fridge for another beer. Her sisters silent and distracted by their electronic devices and TV. It’s a sickening silence that chokes their house and sets Nancy on edge. And when a small accident has everyone at each other’s throats, Nancy can’t take it any longer and runs off.
Nancy finds comfort in her friend, Carrie, staying with her for the duration of the day. And when night comes, she’s convinced to head on up to Black Star Canyon for the big party.
The party is in full swing in the depths of Black Star Canyon. Fun is had by all. Cliques are on equal footing. Good vibes fill the chilled air. And Nancy is learning to relax and enjoy herself. That’s when a boy, MANNY, decides to make a move and she lets herself get carried away and the two wander off together.
Nancy and Manny both find themselves at the mercy of hormones and stupidity, with Nancy falling prey to an accident that leaves her dying on the canyon floor. A death she can’t help but welcome with open arms.
Nancy wakes up late Sunday afternoon, having somehow not only survived her own death but also making it back to her room. Flashes of the night before. Visions of her own death. Of the awful things she saw in the abyss.
After cleaning herself off, she finds herself alone with her Father. He is sober, tired, and broken. After staying up waiting for her last night, mind seized on his greatest fear–that he might lose his little girl like he lost his wife–he now understands how low he’d fallen, how his behavior had driven Nancy away. He’s sorry, but knows that what’s been said and done can’t be taken back. He wants to fix things before it’s too late.
Nancy and her family head down to the shore for a brief day out. And as her sisters enjoy the beach, Nancy stays with her father. He tells Nancy how proud he is of her. That they’re only here because of how strong she is. And as ill as she’s feeling, she does her best to enjoy the rest of the day.
The next morning is a blur as Nancy kickstarts her routine as if nothing happened. Carrie is concerned about what came about of the other night and Nancy eases her mind. But her mind is on edge for other reasons, as if every nerve is alight. And in school, Manny won’t stop staring at her with a look of shame and fright.
Nancy attempts to speak with Manny about what happened that weekend, to tell him that she’s disgusted by his behavior, but that she’s okay and mistakes happen. But the boy is terrified of her and does all he can to avoid her.
As the week continues, Nancy finds her body and mind falling to pieces. She can’t focus on her life at home. She can’t focus in class. And the strange things happening to her body only put her on edge even more. It’s as if her body is falling apart and she’s going crazy.
It was between classes when Nancy suddenly finds herself at odds with Manny’s angry and nasty girlfriend, CELIA. They get into a heated argument there in the girl’s restroom. And in her agitated mental state, Nancy doesn’t hesitate to attack the girl.
After speaking with the principal about what had happened, her Father arrives to pick her up. They talk briefly on the way home, but she says little and returns to her room. This isn’t a cry for help.
Since she was only defending herself, Nancy isn’t suspended like her sister. But her classmates seem repulsed by her. Not just by her apparent physical deterioration, but by the rumors of what happened in the restroom. And it’s Carrie who has to fill in the blanks. And Nancy is terrified of what she hears, of the berserker rage she went on.
Nancy has to walk home alone that day and finds herself at the mercy of the girl–who has been suspended under threat of possible expulsion–and a group of friends. They attempt to teach the frightened girl a lesson, but something happens. Nancy goes berserk again. The friends flee as Nancy, in her rage, rips Celia in half like a phonebook. When Carrie happens to come across the scene, she finds Nancy standing over the girl’s bloodied body. Nancy covered in gore and blood and crying. But somehow feeling more like her old self.
The girls hideout until they’re sure that they weren’t followed. Nancy cleans herself up and is eerily calm, which only has her friend more concerned. Nancy explains how she’s felt so overwhelmed by her raging emotions lately. Somehow after what’s happened, it’s as if her head has cleared. She’s not sure what’s wrong with her. And together they head to Manny’s house for answers.
The girls learn that Manny killed her that night and, after deciding not to run, had his grandmother resurrect Nancy using an old ritual. His GRANDMOTHER tells of a story where this happened before. And how things went horribly wrong when a young man, her brother, failed to maintain control of himself by refusing to satiate the hunger.
And as Nancy gets her answers and the cops continue their hunt for her, Celia’s lackeys resurrect their fallen friend with a similar ritual. But due to several factors, Celia is instead revived as a twisted beast wholly consumed by rage. She immediately slaughters her lackeys. And then, she goes about both satiating her rage and luring out Nancy by attacking Nancy’s family.
Nancy is left with a decision to make. She can either continue living as the cursed being that she is, having to feast on living human flesh to maintain control of her own mind and body, or allow herself to be put down.
But when she learns of Celia’s resurrection and the attack on her family, the choice is made clear. It’s time to fight.
Nancy and company return to her home to find it a war zone. Cops and neighbors butchered or wounded. Homes destroyed. Cars wrecked and scattered. And it’s here where the two beast-girls slug it out in a final battle until only Nancy is left standing.
With nothing but death and destruction left in her wake, Nancy parts ways with her friends and what’s left of her family as police backup arrives.
Sometime later, Nancy finds herself on the run. She’s changed her appearance and name in an effort to maintain a low profile. She is no longer hiding her emotions. Instead, she is in full control of her inner demon. But she must still feed. And if she has to feed, it’s on those who deserve it.