Even before what happened, everybody knew that they were evil girls. Weird girls. They never washed their hair people said and they always wore the same thing and they smelled like wet paper. Corby Fletcher said he saw Sadie once at four in the morning on the football field lighting candles naked and touching herself on the fifty yard line. They used to cut their wrists I heard. And worship the devil. Once in gym class, Francine bled in the pool and they had to close it down for a week.

My brother was a great man — a brave man and he went to high school with those girls. He said he smiled at them in the hallway because he felt sorry for them and didn’t think that they were so bad. He said one of them was even pretty and that once she had passed him a flirtatious note in study hall but that he got nervous and didn’t respond and the next day she ignored him in the hall and that was that. He said things like that happened in high school all the time and that when I was older I’d understand.

People called them the devils or the spooks or the weirdos but my brother never did.

They killed 18 people and wrote fuck on the lockers with blood and then put three bullets in their heads. Bang bang bang. Someone wrote a song about in the eighties and it was a hit. They made a movie about them too but it was a cheesy one with bad stuff and corny dialogue. It was called Teen-Age Sacrifice. It played on Lifetime. Phoebe Cates was Sadie and Mia Sara was Piper and Claudia Wells was Francine. My brother was played by Judd Nelson. In the scene where he dies, my mom cried. I remember. She said Mr. Nelson got Phil down perfect. So handsome, she said. Sometimes in my memories of Phil, I see Judd Nelson. There are only a few thing that I remember, but they are all warm and good things.

There’s a plaque up at the school now. It has all 21 names — including the killers. This was controversial at the time, but now I see it’s only fair. They were just poor babies too.


One Response to “Poor Babies (short prose by Eddie O’KEEFE)”
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