Rhymes with Witches


Also by Lauren Myracle


PUBLISHER’S NOTE: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

The Library of Congress has cataloged the hardcover edition as follows:

Myracle, Lauren, 1969–Rhymes with witches / Lauren Myracle.

p. cm.

Summary: High school freshman Jane believes that she would do anything to be popular until she is selected to be in the school’s most exclusive clique and learns that popularity has a price.

ISBN 0-8109-5859-7

[1. Popularity—Fiction. 2. Cliques (Sociology)—Fiction. 3. Witchcraft—Fiction. 4. Conduct of life—Fiction. 5. Interpersonal relations—Fiction. 6. High schools—Fiction. 7. Schools—Fiction.]

I. Title.

PZ7.M9955Rh 2005



paperback ISBN 978-0-8109-9215-3

Originally published in hardcover by Amulet Books in 2005

Copyright © 2006 Lauren Myracle

Designed by Jay Colvin

Published in 2006 by Amulet Books, an imprint of ABRAMS. All rights reserved.

No portion of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, mechanical, electronic, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the publisher. Amulet Books and Amulet Paperbacks are registered trademarks of Harry N. Abrams, Inc.

Amulet Books are available at special discounts when purchased in quantity for premiums and promotions as well as fundraising or educational use. Special editions can also be created to specification. For details, contact [email protected]

115 West 18th Street

New York, NY 10011

For Laura,

the original Bitch,

who couldn’t be a bitch if she tried





roll over

about the author


Thanks to Tobin Anderson for inducting me into the world of the weird. Thanks to Laura Pritchett, Todd Mitchell, and Jack Martin for helping me make the weird even weirder. And thanks times ten to Susan Van Metre, who tempered weirdness with vulnerability, spookiness with humanity. Susan, you are the cat’s meow.

I so shouldn’t have worn this thong. It was hiking up my butt, and there was nothing I could do about it because there was no way to subtly reach up and yank it out. “They’re comfortable,” Mom had said. Then, “Well, they do take some getting used to. But Jane, if you don’t want panty lines …”

Thanks, Mom. This was the wedgie from hell.

“I’m thinking maybe board shorts and a red tank top,” Alicia said.

I shifted on the hard cafeteria chair. My new dress, the one that demanded no panty lines, wrinkled under my thighs.

She was interrupted by a high-pitched yowl as a rangy butterscotch-colored cat bolted from the kitchen. It leaped over one table and skidded down another, sending a plate of spaghetti crashing to the floor. Cries erupted as people jerked out of its way. Chairs screeched.

“Get out! Get

The cat bounded through the wide double doors. The cafeteria lady flung her spatula, and the cat jumped sideways and tore down the hall.


“Jesus Christ,” Alicia said. “You’d think we could have one day—

“They’re cats, Alicia. Not spinning-head girls from


“Whatever,” she said. “But it’s driving me insane.” She stabbed a fresh noodle and demanded, “So will you? Sign up after lunch?”

“I’m not trying out for cheerleading,” I said.


I put down my garlic bread. Alicia was not nearly as clever as she liked to think she was.

“I’m kidding,” she said. Her face showed her regret, although only for an instant. Being real with each other wasn’t something Alicia and I knew how to do very well. “But how are you going to, like, rise above it if you never even make the effort? I’m serious. Don’t you ever just want to be more than who you are?”

A new disruption sent ripples through the crowded cafeteria, saving me from having to answer. It was the Bitches, Crestview’s elite, strolling majestically through the doors. They filed in according to rank: first Keisha, who was a senior; then Bitsy, a junior; then Mary Bryan, a sophomore. A lull fell in the hum of eating and talking, and then conversations swelled back up. Brad Johnson’s laugh rang out, shouting, Look at me! Look at me! Sukie Karing smiled hard and waved. “Over here!” she called. “I saved you guys seats!”

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