Authors: Cecily von Ziegesar
Tags: #Young Adult Fiction, #Girls & Women, #Lifestyles, #City & Town Life, #Action & Adventure, #General, #Thrillers & Suspense, #JUV001000
There’s blood on thy face
—Macbeth, William Shakespeare
Ever wondered what the lives of the chosen ones are really like? Well, I’m going to tell you, because I’m one of them. I’m not talking about models or actors, royalty or reality show stars, cult leaders or the undead. I’m talking about the people who are
born to it
—those of us who have everything anyone could possibly wish for and who take it all completely for granted. The ones who literally get away with murder.
Welcome to New York City’s Upper East Side, where my friends and I live, and go to school, and play—and sometimes kill each other. We all live in huge apartments with our own bedrooms and bathrooms and phone lines. We have unlimited access to money, booze, antique weaponry, apocalyptic poisons, the best carpet cleaners, bespoke luggage, Town Cars, and whatever else we need. Our parents are rarely home, so we have tons of privacy and unlimited opportunities to commit outrageously messy crimes. We’re smart, we’ve inherited classic good looks, we wear fantastic clothes, and we know how to party. Our shit still stinks, but you can’t smell it because the penthouse is decontaminated hourly and then sprayed by the maid with a refreshing scent made exclusively for us by French perfumers.
It’s a luxe life, but someone’s got to live it… until they die.
Our apartments are all within walking distance of the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Fifth Avenue, and the single-sex private schools, like Constance Billard, which most of us go to. Even with a hangover and a charley horse from last night’s killing spree, Fifth Avenue always looks so beautiful in the morning
with the sunlight glimmering on the bobbing heads of the sexy St. Jude’s School boys.
But something is rotten on Museum Mile….
shooting daggers at her mother in a taxi in front of
firing up a joint on the steps of the
, his lacrosse stick at his feet.
spending a killing on new school shoes at
. And a familiar, tall, eerily beautiful blond girl emerging from a New Haven–line train in
Grand Central Terminal
carrying a duffel bag large enough to stuff a body into, and a violin case, even though she doesn’t play. Approximate age: seventeen.
By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes
. Could it be?
THE GIRL WHO LEAVES FOR BOARDING SCHOOL, GETS KICKED OUT, AND COMES BACK TO HAUNT US, OR WORSE
is back from boarding school. Her hair is longer, paler. Her blue eyes have the depth and mystery of a closet so full of skeletons the door won’t close. She is wearing the same old fabulous clothes, now in rags from fending off bewitched boarding school boys and the stakelike icicles of long New England winters. This morning
’s creepily jubilant laughter echoed off the steps of the Met, where we will no longer be able to enjoy a quick smoke and a cappuccino without seeing her waving to us with one of her victims’ severed hands from the window of her parents’ penthouse apartment across the street. She has picked up the habit of biting her fingernails bloody, which makes us wonder about her even more, and while we are all dying to ask her why she got kicked out of boarding school, we won’t, because we’d really rather she stayed away. But
is definitely here to haunt us.
Just to be safe, we should all synchronize our watches, warn the doorman, change the locks, and keep a baseball bat or golf club handy. If we aren’t careful,
is going to win over our teachers, wear that dress we couldn’t fit into, eat the last olive, have sex in our parents’ beds, spill Campari on our rugs, wrench out our brothers’ and our boyfriends’ hearts, strangle us in our sleep, and basically ruin our lives and piss us all off in a major way.
I’ll be watching closely. I’ll be watching all of us as we drop like flies. It’s going to be a wild and wicked year. I can smell it.
reruns all morning in my room so I wouldn’t have to eat breakfast with them,” Blair Waldorf told her two best friends and Constance Billard School classmates, Kati Farkas and Isabel Coates. “My mother cooked him a piece of fried liver. I didn’t even know she knew how to use the stove.”
Blair tucked her long, dark brown hair behind her ears and swigged her mother’s fine vintage scotch from the crystal tumbler in her hand. She was already on her second glass and planned on drinking several more. Anything to ward off the murderous rage that threatened to overcome her. Her forehead got all wrinkly and unattractive when she was mad.
“Which episodes did you watch?” Isabel asked, removing a stray strand of hair from Blair’s black cashmere cardigan.
“Who cares?” Blair said, stamping her foot. She wore her new black ballet flats—very bow tie proper preppy, which she could get away with because in an instant she could change her mind, smudge her lipstick, tease her hair, and put on her trashy, pointed, knee-high boots and that murderously short metallic skirt her mother hated.
: escaped convict meets rock star sex kitten.
“The point is, I was trapped in my room all morning because they were busy having a gross romantic breakfast in their matching red silk bathrobes. They didn’t even take
.” Blair took another gulp of her drink. The only way to tolerate the thought of her mother sleeping with
was to get drunk, very drunk, and imagine them both dying from the Mad Cow bacteria in their fried liver.
Luckily, Blair and her friends came from the kind of families for whom drinking was as commonplace as a bloody nose or a surgical scar. Their parents believed in the quasi-European idea that the more access kids have to alcohol, the less likely they are to abuse it. So Blair and her friends could drink whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted, as long as they maintained their grades and their looks and didn’t embarrass themselves or the family by puking in public, pissing their pants, or ranting in the streets. The same thing went for everything else, like sex or drugs or murder—as long as you kept up appearances, you were all right.
But keep your panties on. That’s coming later.
The man Blair was so upset about was Cyrus Rose, her mother’s new boyfriend. At that very moment Cyrus Rose was standing on the other side of the living room, greeting the dinner guests. He looked like someone who might help you pick out shoes at Saks—bald, except for a small, bushy mustache, his fat stomach barely hidden in a shiny blue double-breasted suit—or someone you’d pay to finish off that filthy rich great-aunt who refused to die. He jingled the change in his pocket incessantly, and when he removed his jacket, there were big, nasty sweat marks on his underarms. He had a loud laugh and was very sweet to Blair’s
mother. But he wasn’t Blair’s father. Last year Blair’s father had run off to France with another man, who could have been a very handsome psychopath for all Blair knew.
Although the private-label wine they produce at their chateau is excellent.
Of course none of that was Cyrus Rose’s fault, but that didn’t matter to Blair. As far as she was concerned, Cyrus Rose was a completely annoying, fat
who deserved to die—by strangulation perhaps, after getting his bulbous neck stuck in the cord of his horrible red silk bathrobe.
But not tonight. Tonight Blair was going to have to tolerate Cyrus Rose, because her mother’s dinner party was in his honor, and all the Waldorfs’ family friends were there to meet him: the blue-blooded Basses and their sons, Chuck and Donald; the tragic widower Mr. Farkas and his daughter, Kati; the 1980s slasher film producer Arthur Coates, his grave-digging wife, Titi, and their daughters, Isabel, Regina, and Camilla; dead English royalty offspring Patty and Roger Scott Tompkinson and their son, Jeremy (who hadn’t actually shown his face, but was probably just getting high in the maid’s bathroom); Captain “Kill or Be Killed” Archibald, his wife, Mrs. Archibald, and their son, Nate. The only ones still missing were Mr. and Mrs. van der Woodsen, whose teenage daughter, Serena, and son, Erik, were both away at school.