Monday, September 8, 2008

The Second Evil, or “Avoid Scalding Water”

So, I finally got my hands on the rest of the Cheerleaders series – I recapped the first one July 3, so if you want to get updated, you can look that one over.

The second book in this classic volume starts off with little Ronnie wearing a fake raccoon coat. I don’t care what they were doing, it really doesn’t matter, who wears FAKE. RACCOON. Here’s a little bit of awesome Fear Street cattiness:
Suki Thomas was giving Gary Brandt a sex ed class in study hall;
Horrified whisper: She was kissing him?
Haha, cause that’s how far you can get in Shadyside. Suki, you slut!

Okay, I’ll tell you what they’re doing. Kimmy, Debra and Ronnie are going to visit Corky, to pull her out of her depression and get her back on the cheerleading squad. Meanwhile, Corky is watching her sister claw her way out of the grave … this goes on for a few chapters, but ends up being a hallucination. A boy then randomly chases her out of the cemetery.

Debra, Kimmy and Ronnie rescue her, if she in fact needed rescuing. Who is this random boy? Sidenote: Ronnie also wears an opal ring. What 16 year old wears furs and opals? Each of them condescendingly asks Corky in turn: How ARE you? Because really, the only way to make people feel better is to condescend to them. Debra is obsessed with the occult and insists the evil is still out there. Corky thinks she’s crazy, until Corky, while pouring scalding water into mugs, starts pouring it all over her arm – ouch!

Corky is also now dating dry-lipped, needy Chip (see previous Cheerleaders recap), who went out with her sister before her untimely death. Chip of the hot dry lips comes to see her after she’s out of school for a week and wants to wrestle. He thinks she’s crazy for thinking she was possessed by evil, even though he was possessed not 2 months earlier. He does agree to visit Bobbi’s grave with her, which is kinda nice of him. While they’re there, Corky sees a woman floating out of Sarah Fear’s grave.

Turns out, she hadn’t, just an ordinary girl who does gravestone rubbings (wtf?) at night. Her name is Sarah Beth and she has an old lady voice (creepy). They all go to a coffee shop, where Chip orders a Coke float with chocolate ice cream. Because he’s 10. At least the other girls stare at him when he does this, otherwise I’d think this was normal for teens in the 90s.

Sarah Beth gives the backstory of Sarah Fear’s death. She married the grandson of Simon Fear (although according to Party Summer, his two young daughters were de-boned, so how grandchildren?) Anyhoo, they lived on Fear Lake, and her husband died of pneumonia, which is an uncommonly ordinary death for a Fear. Two years later, she was on a pleasure boat with her brother, her niece, her nephew and a servant, and the boat capsized on a calm clear day, killing them all within a 5 minute swim of the shore. Apparently Sarah Fear and the servant had been lovers, which can only happen in the old-timey Fear Street books. Sarah Beth seems nice, but has a crazy smile and evil gleam to her eyes. I’d say that’s pretty suspicious.

Corky goes to a cheerleading practice, and instantly proves she shouldn’t be there by hearing a girl scream that no one else can. She runs away, and runs into her mystery man from the cemetery. He chases her, saying he’s the evil spirit - ? Funny joke, guy. Turns out he’s Jennifer’s brother Jon Daly (Jennifer previously dead and possessed by evil), and he thinks Corky killed Jenn, not the evil spirit, and would follow her until he proved it. Excellent plan, telling her all this, Jon.

Later that night, Corky sees Jon and Sarah Beth dancing over Sarah Fear’s grave. Creepy. While taking a science make-up, all the dead specimens come alive in the class and attack her, including a skeleton hand. She runs away, only to find Chip dead in the wood shop, having cut off with hand with a power saw, then apparently standing there til he bled to death. Seriously, Corky, I’d be so far out of this town by now – at some point you just cut your losses and run, you know?

Not Corky, though. She’s got spirit! Next cheerleading practice, Corky notices Kimmy’s doing great, because she even managed to lose some weight. Good for you, fat Kimmy. Maybe your life will be better now! Debra, Kimmy and Corky break into the Fear mansion to call the spirit of Sarah Fear. Debra does some stuff with candles and chanting, very occult-y. Then, a dog appears in the middle of the floor, not a ghost. That scene was soooo random. They decide to go see Jon Daly, and find out he’s been missing for two days, since the grave-dancing night. So they go see Sarah Beth, and find out all her mail is addressed to Sarah Fear!

But she’s not the old evil Sarah Fear, just a descendant by the same name. She tells them more about old Sarah – before she drowned, she almost died from illness, then got better overnight. After this, she went from a nice young woman to a total bitch. Several people at her home were found brutally murdered. When Sarah Fear and her boating party were drowned, their bodies appeared to have been scalded to death – so this is a theme.

Jon is then found, drowned in Fear Lake. So, of course, they go cheer at game! Only Kimmy is supposed to catch Corky off the pyramid, but doesn’t. She just lets her fall. Allegedly. Paralysis and scalding water are the big tip-offs to a Cheerleaders Evil book. Corky breaks her arm.

Corky goes to have a nice hot bath and discovers that Kimmy has joined her in the bathroom. You think she’d start to avoid hot water after everything she’s been through. So, the evil moved to Kimmy the night at the cemetery, and has been killing people Kimmy didn’t like – like Chip for dumping her. Kimmy tries to drown Corky, but Corky bashes her with her cast and drowns her instead. The water begins to boil, and think green goop pours out of Kimmy’s mouth and goes down the drain. Kimmy comes to … and remembers nothing! All is forgiven!

Until the next morning, Corky gets a note in the mail … IT CAN’T BE DROWNED. Dammit!

Good suspense, R. L. I’ll give you 4 pom poms out of 5 for that one. Coming soon: The Third Evil.


Anonymous said...

So what, does the series just go on until every character is dead? Like a less clever version of And Then There Were None?

LAK said...

I know I was a bit younger in the 90's....but I can't remember my cousins being super cool like the girls raccoon coats-fake or real and no opal rings. Those would have been some super-cool hand me downs!