A New Duckling

Today, in a very upper-class neighborhood, five of the neighborhood’s rich female residents are having lunch together in a fancy restaurant. Their names are Miona, Nella, Fawna, Tabeeza, and Keeka. They are a social clique known as the Swans.

The Swans are very, very popular. They are always invited to the most exclusive parties and have a strong influence on the opinions of the neighborhood’s other residents. All of the neighborhood’s other female residents want to be Swans.

Today, the Swans are discussing the possibility of giving another woman the opportunity to be a candidate for Swan membership. Currently, there are no candidates. The most recent candidate was Keeka, who is now a Swan.

Typically, the Swans refer to Swan candidates as Ducklings. However, for unspecified reasons, Keeka was referred to by the other Swans as an Ugly Duckling during Keeka’s time as a Swan membership candidate.

Candidates for Swan membership have to go through a mandatory hazing process in order to become Swans. This hazing process involves having to do whatever the Swans tell the candidate to do.

During Keeka’s time as a candidate for Swan membership, the other Swans subjected her to all kinds of tortures, including, but not limited to: making her carry all the Swans’ shopping bags during the Swans’ daily shopping spree; making her brush the Swans’ hair; making her clean the Swans’ entire mansions; pouring a bucket of very cold water on her; sticking used gum in her hair; making her crawl around on her hands and knees and bark like a dog in a crowded restaurant; pouring a bucket of mud on her; destroying all her clothes; making her eat a bar of soap; making her wear a plastic pig nose over her real nose at all times for an entire year; making her eat nothing but peanut butter, which she is highly allergic to, for an entire year; making her eat bugs; pouring a bucket of ants on her; drawing derogatory comments on her face, using ink that is very, very difficult to remove once applied; drawing a bullseye on her forehead, using that same ink, then making her stand in a very crowded public area while the Swans pelted her with tomatoes over and over again, trying to hit the bullseye; stealing her car, then destroying it; making her drink toilet water; and pouring a bucket of tar on her, then covering her with feathers.

Keeka was utterly miserable during her time as a Swan membership candidate. She is now greatly looking forward to subjecting someone else to the hazing process.

At the moment, in the restaurant, the Swans are discussing potential candidates: various rich women who live in the neighborhood. Keeka is fine with the idea of any of those women being selected, as long as Keeka can get to torture the chosen candidate, much like the other Swans tortured Keeka.

“Actually, I’m thinking we could do an unconventional selection this time,” one of the Swans, Fawna, says.

“What do you have in mind?” another Swan, Miona, says.

“Perhaps we can select that woman I met at Keeka’s party last night: Keeka’s friend Sabrina,” Fawna says.

Keeka is stunned. “Sabrina Sentera?” Keeka says.

“Yes,” Fawna says. “I found her quite charming. She has a lot of the qualities we look for in potential candidates.”

“But she’s not rich!” Keeka says. “And she doesn’t even live in the neighborhood!”

Seeing how obviously upset Keeka is by the idea of her friend Sabrina potentially becoming a Swan makes the other Swans even more interested in going forward with this idea.

“So what?” one of the Swans, Tabeeza, says. “Those were never prerequisites for Swan membership candidacy.”

“I agree,” another Swan, Nella, says. “Let’s vote on it, shall we?”

Of course, Keeka is outvoted.

“Then it’s settled: we’ll select Sabrina to be the next Duckling,” Miona says.

Keeka, trying to see a bright side to this situation, says: “At least I’ll get the opportunity to subject Sabrina to lots of torture. I’ve got all kinds of ideas as to what we could do to her. I know she’s highly allergic to cherries. So I was thinking that we could-”

“Actually, I’m thinking we should abolish the hazing process,” Fawna says. “It’s really ridiculous and unnecessary, isn’t it?”

“What?” Keeka says, outraged. “Are you serious?”

“I agree with Fawna,” Tabeeza says.

“As do I,” Nella says. “Let’s vote on it, shall we?”

Of course, Keeka is outvoted.

“Fantastic!” Miona says. “We’ll let Sabrina know she’s been selected tomorrow, in a selection notification ceremony.”

Later, Keeka returns to her mansion, annoyed. She just wants to spend the evening with her live-in boyfriend Orvel and temporarily forget about what transpired in the restaurant.

Keeka enters her bedroom, looking for Orvel. Much to her surprise, she finds Orvel cheating on Keeka with Sabrina on Keeka’s bed.

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