“The House”

An ambitious teenager takes on a (para)science fair project guaranteed to cause more trouble than she’s imagined…

She couldn’t think when the subject, or the room, had last actually been called “Home Economics”. Both had certainly undergone a lot of changes over time as people shied away from the rampant un-correctness of it being seen as a “girls only” subject involved with making your own clothes and feeding-and-cleaning-up-after somebody else, usually a husband. These days the class was called “Family and Consumer Science”, and was an elective, taught only for a quarter semester every year because its uptake was just so small. There were usually a few guys who got involved with it, seeing it as a gateway to some kind of career in food service management, and a few girls who either were already excellent cooks and felt like taking a class that would be no effort for easy credit.

“Mrs. B?” Brianna said, standing there and glancing around. The place was empty – there were normally no classes this early in the day. “Mrs. Baldwin?…”

No answer. Brianna was just turning to go when, in the middle of the room, between two of the stainless-steel cooking demo stations, a cloud of black smoke burst up from the floor. Out of it, a moment later, walked Mrs. Baldwin, fanning the air in front of her a little…

“The House” originally appeared in Witch High, an anthology from DAW Books, and has been republished in DD’s ebook anthology Uptown Local and Other Interventions.

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