Length: 1-5k words
Notes: First person POV, so the tenses are fucked beyond belief- we’ve got the general past-tense narration, the present-tense inserts, and the past-perfect section in the middle. I am so sorry for any bleaching your brains may have to endure on my account.
Play Pretend by Culumacilinte
It’s funny how they never guessed we were the same girls from the zoo the year before. I mean, yeah, the hair’s different and the clothes are different, but so was theirs’. If Vince Noir (‘cos yeah, we’ve not forgotten his name, nor that jazzy freak paedo friend of his, Howard) could change his name to Obsidian Blackbird McWhatever and wear ripped up fishnets to go to a goth club, surely Neon and Ultra could exchange their neon and netting for black velvet and leather and become Anthrax and Ebola. It’s all a lark to us, really, me and Kat (did you really think our names were Neon and Ultra? Seriously?); maybe next year we’ll go for the hippy look and change our names to Rainbow and Galadriel. But maybe not, really; I’m really a bit fond of washing, when it comes to that, and that rather precludes the whole hippy thing.
God, he was so eager, Vince, when he saw us at the Black Spider, it was pathetic. Kat (or Anthrax, I suppose, for the purposes of this story) had turned to me with a little lift of one eyebrow, the slightest hint of a grin showing the sharp caps over her canines.
‘Remember that one, Annie?’ She’d murmured, leaning close so that her fangs teased against the shell of my ear, and I’d very nearly grinned in response. If we hadn’t been in the Black Spider I would’ve, but it’s not a properly gothic thing to do, grinning. She’d nodded over to a beautiful boy, skinny as a rake with teased black hair, clad in a leather miniskirt and silken leggings. I’d recognised him in an instant, of course- that Vince who’d fronted for Kraftwerk Orange, who’d made such trouble for us. I’d tilted my head to one side, blinking around the white contact I wore in one eye.
‘Course I do.’
‘Reckon we play with him a bit?’
And of course I’d agreed, because I know Kat, and she’s mine, no matter how many boys or girls she may amuse herself with. And she does so love to play, Kat; the woman’s got a sadistic streak a mile wide. I suppose I’m only fortunate she uses it to my advantage as well. So she’d given him a little look, and he’d come sashaying over, all hairspray and glitter, and gave us this cool little look from under his eyelashes that you could just tell he’d been practising in the mirror for ages.
We’d nodded, every inch of us perfect, practised disdain. ‘Ebola,’ I’d drawled, and Kat next to me had lazily tongued her vampire fangs, muttering ‘Anthrax.’
‘Genius! I’m, ah, Obsidian. Obsidian Blackbird McNight.’
Obsidian Blackbird McNight my arse, I’d wanted to say, but I’d held myself back. He’d slung a skinny arm ‘round Kat’s shoulders then, had leaned close, and I could smell the fizzy alcopop odour on his breath. Poser. No proper goth drank alcopops. They’d done their job, though, for I could see the slump of his shoulders and the too-bright shine of his eyes.
‘What would you lovely birds say if I told you I was a warlock?’
We’d exchanged a look at that, and Kat’s eyes sparkled with wickedness. You’d never guess it from the way she acts in public, but Kat has the most fantastic grin, and she uses it all the time when we’re alone; wide, teeth-baring smiles that crinkle her eyes at the corners and make me smile in turn. Then, though, she’d just lazily twirled a strand of hair around her finger and shrugged, looking unimpressed.
‘I reckon we’d have to see some proof, innit?’
And of course you all know how well that went. Complete twats, the both of them, though the ridiculousness of Howard with his paunch and his moustache trying to be a goth had been enough to try our self control.
Back at the flat now, Kat collapsed against the wall, laughing giddily. ‘My god, what complete wankers!’
I looked over at her with a tired little smirk. ‘Still, working out a date with the midget and the gorilla might’ve been a bit much, yeah?’ I mean, they weren’t terrible, really- Naboo had hooked us up with some really wicked stuff. Not grass- apparently his usual- ‘cos goths, after all, don’t smoke weed- but it was potent as hell. They were a right laugh, anyway- better than Vince and bloody Howard.
She just shrugged and blew her fringe out of her eyes with a little upward puff of breath. ‘Hey, at least you got the human one, Annie. Though the gorilla wasn’t a half bad DJ, was he?’
‘Aww…’ She shoved herself away from the wall, falling gracelessly into my lap and grinning up at me, affecting a ridiculous, mock-sorrowful face. ‘Are you pouting? Tired of having to share me, is that it?’
I bit her lightly on the nose. ‘World doesn’t revolve around you, dear.’ I informed her lightly, and she smirked again, a pleased little breath hissing through her fangs.
I kissed her soundly for her impertinence, letting her suck my tongue into her mouth and nip at my lower lip; I did always enjoy kissing her when she had her vampire teeth in. Wouldn’t call it a fetish as such, but I do appreciate a bit of blood. I grinned against her mouth when her hands tangling in my hair knocked off the undersized bowler I wore as Ebola.
‘Twat.’ I murmured softly, and she smiled, her arms around my neck.
‘Yeah, but I’m your twat.’
She wriggled awkwardly, adjusting herself on my lap, and leant up to trail delicate fang-points along my neck. I shivered a little, and she grinned into the crook just under my neck. ‘Yeah.’
I thought for a moment, staring up at the velvet-draped ceiling as Kat nibbled absently on my neck. Admittedly, it did take a moment to organise my thoughts, as Kat nibbling my neck was high on my list of things I absolutely loved in this world. ‘How d’you fancy “Rainbow” as a name?’ I inquired after a pause.
Kat’s eyelashes fluttered against my throat as she blinked in apparent confusion. ‘What?’ She asked, lifting her sleek black head to regard me dubiously. I laughed silently to myself, and shook my head, pressing a little kiss to her forehead.
‘Nothing.’ I murmured, ‘Now come on- I want to get out of this corset.’