When the lights dimmed and the familiar red lips and white teeth glowed on the screen, the audience erupted into cheers, and Leta felt that surge of excitement in her belly, the thrill of sitting in the dark with strangers sharing an experience that made them all seem like friends.
Best friends Agnes and Leta have a Friday night ritual. They spend an hour trying on different lipsticks, experimenting with eyeliner, and torturing their hair before they head off to the Cineplex for the midnight showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. That was always the routine, until Agnes started dating Roger, and left Leta behind. But between Leta’s awkward first kiss; her crush on Tom, the cute guy at the movie theater; and her absentee dad, everything feels so out of control–she could really use her best friend right now. Can Agnes and Leta find their way to a new and better friendship?
In this short story by New York Times bestselling author of The Diviners, Libba Bray revisits a time when we all felt stuck somewhere between childhood and adolescence.
Word Count: ~12,000
“It’s Just a Jump to the Left” was previously published in the short-story collection, Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd.