Length: 1-5k words
Notes: I’ve added notes at the end explaining the songs and some of the other references, since they might be a bit obscure. The links at the start of each section will take you to youtube videos of the songs in question – think of it as a fic with its own soundtrack.
Five Songs Anthrax Used To Hate by justjen
I’ve added notes at the end explaining the songs and some of the other references, since they might be a bit obscure. The links at the start of each section will take you to youtube videos of the songs in question – think of it as a fic with its own soundtrack.
It’s such a cliché. It gets played in every goth club they go to, like it’s some kind of theme tune.
When the sparse drum beat kicks in yet again, Anthrax rolls her eyes and yells, “Fuck this!” She stalks out, leaving Ebola trailing behind her; they’re already outside by the time the lyrics kick in.
White on white translucent black capes
Back on the rack
Bela Lugosi’s Dead
It’s early enough that they can catch the bus home. Ebola gets a kick out of shooting evil looks at the other passengers. Next to her, Anthrax puts her feet up on the seat, toying with the buckle on her platform boot.
Back at the flat, Ebola pours two glasses of shiraz and sticks a video tape in the machine.
“A video?” Anthrax snorts over the top of her wine glass. “What is this, 1999?”
“It’s not out on DVD yet,” she explains, and hits ‘play’ on the remote.
They’re half an hour in when she realises that Anthrax has moved closer on the couch, close enough that they’re touching from shoulder to calf.
“Eileen Daly is my goddess,” Anthrax whispers, as they watch Lilith Silver and her friends discussing vampire mythology in Club Transylvania; Bauhaus plays low in the background, and Anthrax hasn’t once passed comment.
The next time they’re out, the familiar beat and stuttering guitars start up again. Ebola gets ready to leave, but when she looks round, Anthrax is smiling up at her, the tip of her tongue playing with one porcelain fang.
“Want to watch that film again?” she whispers in Ebola’s ear. There’s a scene I want to recreate.”
“I don’t care what anyone else thinks – he’s not a goth!”
Anthrax doesn’t seem to care how loud her voice is, much to the annoyance of the other customers in the record shop. To be honest, Ebola finds it kind of irritating, but she’s not going to be the one to tell Anthrax to keep it down.
Marilyn Manson shrieks over the speakers, not quite loud enough to be heard over Anthrax’s defiant ranting.
“Soft Cell did it miles better, anyway.” She marches over to the counter and puts both hands flat on it, leaning over to try and intimidate the sales assistant, who can’t be more than seventeen years old. He has the good sense to cower a little; anyone with half a brain should know to get out of Anthrax’s way when she’s angry. “Turn this crap off if you want us to buy anything.”
The boy actually whimpers a little; Ebola hides a laugh behind the Sisters CD she’s holding. He splutters something about the manager picking the songs, not him, so Anthrax bats out a hand, knocking over a promo display for the Marilyn Manson album in question.
Deciding it’s time to intervene, Ebola steps up and grabs her hand.
“Let’s go,” she sneers, wrinkling her nose at the sales assistant. “This is a waste of time.” Before Anthrax can protest, Ebola drags her out of the shop.
Out in the street, she knows Anthrax is getting ready to shout at her, so before she can get a word out, Ebola pushes her against the wall and kisses her forcefully.
“I love it when you’re angry,” she whispers some moments later.
“Fuck off, you soppy cow!” And Anthrax kisses her just as hard.
She’s laying back on the bed, eyes closed, listening to her new CD, letting the hypnotic beat pulse and build and hearing her own heartbeat respond.
When the door slams, it’s like her heart stutters, and she sits up, breath suddenly coming quick and shallow.
Anthrax already has a disdainful sneer in place when she walks into the room, hands on hips.
“Not this trippy hippy pagan shit again!”
Ebola just sits there, watching Anthrax roll her eyes, the short PVC skirt and high-heeled boots she wears a stark contrast to Ebola’s own long, flowing dress. She’s left her hair down today, and it curls loosely around her shoulders. Her face is free of make-up, and she knows Anthrax thinks she should put more effort in, but there’s more to all this than black lipstick and corsets, she knows.
As Anthrax taps her foot, waiting impatiently for a response, Ebola gets up on to her knees. She drops her hands to the bed and begins to move, cat-like, towards Anthrax.
Ebola hides a smile as she watches Anthrax lose her scornful sneer, taking an uncertain half-step backwards. She reaches the edge of the bed and slips easily to her feet. With Anthrax in those ridiculous boots, she’s lost her height advantage, but she doesn’t need it. All she has to do is fix Anthrax with her heavy-lidded gaze and move slowly towards her, small steps in time with the pulse of the music.
When she’s inches away from Anthrax, and they’re standing eye to eye, breathing the same little pocket of air, she allows herself a lazy smile. Her breathing has slowed to the time of the music, and she is very aware of the rise and fall of her chest. Anthrax, she notices, is breathing much more quickly, sharp white teeth worrying at her lower lip, hands fluttering at her sides, unsure where they should be.
Ebola seizes the opportunity and grabs both her wrists, eliciting a sharp gasp of surprise as she forces Anthrax’s hands behind her back. The movement pulls her closer, her corseted chest pressing against Ebola’s own. Ebola holds her gaze, unblinking, until their lips are millimetres apart. She sees the expectation in Anthrax’s eyes, and holds here there a moment longer. She angles her head a fraction to the right, thrilled that Anthrax daren’t even move in to meet her, and holds off still, until she’s certain Anthrax has just about stopped breathing. Then it’s as if the space between them never existed.
She holds on to Anthrax’s wrists as they kiss, listening to the involuntary moans that sound from the back of her throat. The music builds until she can practically feel it under her skin, and she loosens her hands, sliding them until they’re splayed across Anthrax’s back. Anthrax responds eagerly, one hand on Ebola’s hip, the other sliding down to her arse, squeezing hungrily. She stops for breath and smiles; Anthrax doesn’t smile back. So Ebola slowly walks them both back to the bed, spinning them at the last minute so that Anthrax goes down first, making the mattress bounce when she falls. Ebola climbs up over her, knees either side of her hips. When Anthrax slides her hands on to Ebola’s thighs, Ebola grabs her wrists again and pins her arms to the bed. Carefully, she leans down to kiss her again, mercilessly hard, until she leaves Anthrax gasping and gulping for air.
Eventually she moves aside and tugs on Anthrax’s corset.
“Get this shit off,” she snaps. Anthrax obliges without a word, quickly casting each item of clothing aside along with her boots. Ebola makes no move to help her; just peels off her own dress.
When she’s done, Ebola, motions for her to kneel on the bed again. She does so, watching Ebola warily. Ebola moves around to kneel behind her, and she can sense just how tense Anthrax is.
She moves until she’s aligned herself as close to Anthrax as she can without actually touching her – as she breathes in, her nipples graze against Anthrax’s back. Ebola runs the tips of her fingers up Anthrax’s arms, feeling her shiver under the ghost-like touch. She dips her head and brushes her lips over one bare shoulder, watching the way the goose-bumps rise one her skin.
Just when she seems to be getting used to Ebola’s delicate caresses, Ebola reaches around and places both hands over Anthrax’s breasts. She pulls Anthrax back against herself, so that they’re pressed flush together.
Ebola focuses on the noises and half-formed words that Anthrax makes as she works her hands, keeping her movements in time with the music, tracing a wandering path down, down. Soon Anthrax is leaning heavily against her, unable to bear up under the teasing. Her hands lift up and behind, tangling in Ebola’s hair; when she pulls too hard, Ebola’s teeth bear down on her shoulder and Anthrax hisses with pain and delight. Her sharp nails scratch lightly over Anthrax’s hips, but she becomes mindful as she moves lower, probing the warm flesh to find the places that make Anthrax squeal and writhe against her hand.
When the noises and the wriggling get too much, Ebola sneaks one hand away to touch herself; not as hard or as much as she gives Anthrax, but she feels like she could almost come just listening to the groans and whimpers and curses coming from Anthrax’s lips.
The music ends just as Anthrax screams, bucking against her hand. She slumps forward on to all fours, leaving Ebola to quicken the movements of her left hand until she can’t hold back a cry of her own. She drops to the side, and Anthrax shifts to lay next to her.
“Don’t call me a hippy again,” Ebola warns when she gets her breath back. Anthrax just snickers and kisses her.
Ebola has a thing for folk music. Call it a guilty pleasure.
None of that hey-nonny-nonny, finger in your ear folk music. But give her a bit of Pentangle, that sort of haunting sound, and she’s quite happy.
Anthrax shrieks with laughter when she finds this out.
They’re in a club, one they’ve never visited before, lured by the promise of live music. Ebola’s been taking to an older woman at the bar while Anthrax queues for the cloakroom; the woman’s got to be about fifty, with waist-length grey hair and an emerald green velvet dress which Ebola’s taken a bit of a shine to.
When Anthrax finally returns and asks (none too politely) what they’re talking about, the woman explains that she’s been telling Ebola about seeing Pentangle play live some years ago.
By the time Anthrax stops laughing, the woman’s gone and Ebola’s on the verge of leaving herself. But Anthrax offers to get the drinks in and Ebola can’t turn down the offer of absinthe.
The first musician takes to the stage a few minutes later; a solo singer with an acoustic guitar.
“If she sings anything about going a-walking one fine May day, I’m leaving,” Anthrax laughs. Ebola rolls her eyes and sips her drink.
The singer looks a little nervous, and mutters into the microphone.
“This first one’s not one of mine. I am stretched on your grave.“ And with that, she begins picking out arpeggios, long hair falling half over her face as she bends over the guitar.
Two lines in, and Anthrax’s eyes widen.
“Isn’t this a–”
Ebola smacks her arm, and she stops talking.
By the end of the song, Anthrax has taken hold of her hand. They sit motionless as the rest of the room fills with polite applause.
It happens more often than you’d think. Smart-arse DJs think they’re being clever and ironic and stick something like this on at least once during the night. The Moshers and Baby Bats think it’s clever and swarm to the dance floor, grinding and writhing like they’re on MTV. The older ones snigger into their Snakebites and talk about how old they feel.
In their corner of the club, Ebola has to listen to Anthrax ranting about how if one more DJ sticks on any more Britney fucking Spears, she’s going to kill someone. She hasn’t even stopped for breath when the chorus kicks in, so Ebola puts down her glass, pulls Anthrax to her feet and pushes her against the nearest wall. It’s impossibly dark away from the dance floor, so no one sees her plunge her right hand under Anthrax’s net skirt and worm her way past stocking tops, until she’s got three fingers inside her knickers.
“I’ll make you come before it’s over,” she hisses in Anthrax’s ear, and moves her hand.
Sure enough, less than two minutes later Anthrax is shuddering, leaning against the wall for support, her eyes half-closed. When she’s done, Ebola removes her hand and licks her fingers clean before taking her seat again, sipping her wine delicately like nothing’s happened. A moment later, Anthrax sits down beside her. Ebola decides not to point out that she’s got her skirt caught in her knickers at one side.
#1 Bauhaus, ‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’. Described by some people as the first recognisable song of the goth movement. Used in at least one scene from ‘Razor Blade Smile’ (see second link) starring Eileen Daly (who is an absolute legend).
#2 Marilyn Manson, ‘Tainted Love’. I actually like this. Not as much as the Soft Cell version, but it’s still a damned good interpretation if you ask me.
#3 Inkubus Sukkubus, ‘Come With Me (Song of the Water Nymph)’. Okay, so some of their stuff is a bit same-y, but it’s not bad. Besides, I’m the sort of trippy hippy goth that Anthrax would hate.
#4 Kate Rusby, ‘I Am Stretched On Your Grave’. The most famous version of this is probably by Sinead O’Connor (which is the one Anthrax knows), but Ms Rusby’s version is incredible. Also, folk music rocks!
#5 Yes, this does happen.