Saturday, October 17, 2009
Sally Seaschell squats on a fire hydrant outside the OTB at 54th Street and Second Avenue, clumsily rolling her second fat joint of the day. The first one, smoked immediately upon waking, was two hours ago. As she grows increasingly impatient waiting for her Uncle Morty to show up, Sally decides to kill time by numbing the few brain cells left in her fierce yet fragile looking body.
“Hey Sammy, you gots some papers?” Sally calls out to the pizza delivery boy from Ray’s next door.
“No baby, but you’se got some pussy for me?” Sally licks the glue on her E-Z Wider Ultra Lite and stares the young dude down.
“Why don’t you go suck your own dick, you stupid-ass motherfucka!” Sally bursts out laughing and proceeds to take a deep drag on the joint. As she blows the smoke out into the chilly December air, the shadow of a large man engulfs her petite frame. As if in slow motion, a hand reaches out and grabs the joint out of Sally’s fingers.
“Couldn’t wait for me, huh?” He raises it to his lips and takes a long toke. He is about 50 years old but looks 70. His hair sticks up in three directions and is colored fright-white. A large beer belly protrudes over a straining red-leather belt buckle hooked into its last hole. Tacky plaid pants race down his legs stopping short at a spanking brand-new pair of white leather Belgian loafers (a stoned purchase after a good day at the track).
“Sorry Uncle Morty, but that’s life. Now could you quit bogarting the joint?” Sally slaps her uncle on the ass and makes her way into the now open OTB. “Get yer ass in here, ya old fart. You owe me 250 bucks from yesterday, and with your luck I could be here all fuckin’ day!”
Sally and her Uncle Morty spend the winters doing the OTB scene until the spring, when he runs a pretzel stand at Aqueduct Raceway. Sally had dropped out of school and started dating a small-time dope dealer. After spending three months doing nothing but getting high and arguing with her mother, Sally decided to take her summer pretzel-selling job and make it her daily grind. Uncle Morty was thrilled to discover that his niece was not only a good worker but a pot-hound as well. Sally thought she had hidden her habit, but one day, as she took a drag behind the stand, Uncle Morty surprised her and demanded she hand over the joint. To her chagrin, he proceeded to smoke the whole thing. From then on, the two of them have steadfastly split their time between selling snacks and sneaking tokes.
Sally is on line at window C waiting to put down $50 on Tenderfoot, a favorite in the first race of the day. Uncle Morty watches yesterday’s returns on the TelePrompTer while sizing up a way-out-of-his league blonde with a visibly snotty disposition. Sally stands out in the crowd. Except for the few true horseracing aficionados, the majority of the crowd is made up of over-40 losers in varying degrees of physical and mental disarray.
Standing 5 feet 7 inches with severely dyed blonde hair usually parted down the middle and worn in pigtails, Sally has the unusual habit of wearing her pretzel-stand uniform even when off-duty. The uniform, day-glow blue piped in chrome yellow, resembles a 60’s airline hostess outfit that seems to be saying, “…coffee, tea or me?” Over it she wears a suede coat with a huge fake fur collar that she bought at Domsey’s Vintage Warehouse. Her mother hated that she wore vintage clothing, saying it made people think the family was too poor to go out and buy a new coat at J.C. Penney. Sally wouldn’t touch anything from J.C. Penney with a twelve ft. pole.
She is constantly reapplying frosted pink lipstick, purchased weekly at Woolworth’s, three tubes at a time for about five bucks. “Give me fifty on Tenderfoot to place in the first,” Sally says, as she pulls out a lipstick and starts smearing it all over her lips, occasionally pausing to catch her reflection in the window in front of her. Grabbing her ticket, Sally winds at the teller and slowly spins toward Uncle Morty. Unfortunately, Morty is standing next to the Bain of her existence; her cousin and ex-true love Skip.
“Wha’s up baby?” Skip says, as he reaches out to envelop Sally in a big bear hug. “Nothing but the usual shit,” Sally answers, struggling to escape his grip.
As a teen, Skip was a complete and utter outsider—fat, nerdy, often beat up before, during and after class. When he couldn’t take it anymore, Skip transformed himself into a lean, mean machine with a little help from the local gym and the willpower to avoid Twinkies. Skip’s nose was broken four times in high school, but instead of disfiguring him, it made him look like an eccentric character from Greek or Roman mythology. He balances his big frame with an effortless grace and gives off an air of sullen sexuality.
Sally was in love with him and considered him visual masturbation. The cousins had a brief affair on her Sweet Sixteenth birthday. Skip had begged her to fuck him, and Sally had been doing a pretty good job resisting, until he inevitably said “…but I love you.” Sally, thinking she might not hear those sacred words again and desperate for love, any love, succumbed to his pressing advances and had the worst deflowering in the history of sex. Skip came too soon and Sally didn’t even come close to a climax at all. Afterward Skip rolled off of her, got dressed and walked out of her life for the next year. This is the first time she’s seen him since then and to make matters worse he’s just gotten married to her ex-best friend Nikki!
“Where is she?” Sally asks Skip as she re-applies her lipstick for the two hundred and second time that day.
“She’s at the bank machine,” Skip answers.
“Typical, I didn’t think you’d be spending your own money!”
“It’s just a loan, bitch! I always pay her back!” Skip’s face is getting redder as his fists quickly grow white. He storms away from Sally who is still screaming at him and his steps turn to leaps.
“How you payin’ her back fucker? Like you paid me back? With a $300 trip all alone to the abortion clinic? You wouldn’t even take my fucking phone calls and I had to borrow the money from my best friend’s mother, who is now your mother-in-law! I fuckin’ hate you Skip!” Sally starts to cry and as the tears roll down her face, all she can do is shake and hope to God that lightning strikes him dead one day, but even that isn’t good enough.
Skip walks outside and finds his bride Nikki waiting for him at Ray’s. She’s eating a slice dripping with grease lubricated mushrooms and devours it as if each bite might be her last.
“Hi, baby!” Nikki eagerly offers as she kisses Skip hard on the mouth, leaving them both with pizza stained smiles.
“Did you get the money?” Skip asks suddenly, the smile on his face turning to a look of concern.
“Boy, do you have a one-track mind! Yes, I got the money. My last hundred dollars! You better not screw us up, Skip!” Nikki has finished her pizza and is wiping her mouth clean when she notices Skip going through her purse.
“Can’t you even wait for me to give it to you? How greedy are you?”
“Baby, there’s a sure horse in the second and I’ve only got five minutes to place my bet.” Skip holds Nikki’s hands now and stares her straight in the eye. “If I win, I promise we’ll do whatever you want and have the day all to ourselves. No betting, no nothin!”
“No coke?” Nikki starts to tremble slightly, but continues her questioning.
“Are you gonna go get high if you win? I don’t want you goin’ down to Avenue C and coppin’ no fuckin’ crack again! Cause if you do it’s over, I can’t take this shit anymore!”
“Listen baby, I promise you on the holy fucking Bible, nothing will ever come between you and me again. No horses, no coke, no nothin’!” As he finishes his sentence Skip grabs Nikki and holds her in a long embrace. He then pulls the five crisp $20 bills out of her purse along with her bankcard. “I’ll be back honey, just sit here and wait.”
Sally stands in front of the TelePrompTer nervously cheering on the horse she and Uncle Morty just bet on, when Skip walks back into the OTB.
“You chilled out yet, baby?” Skip is stroking Sally under the chin and crumples the five twenties in his sweaty palms.
“I’ll be chilled out when you get the fuck our of my face.” Sally replies, but Skip is already out of earshot and placing his bet. Sally follows him to the ticket window and taps him on the shoulder.
“Why are you here?” Sally is in Skip’s face and squeezes his arm so tight it leaves fingerprints in his skin. “You know, I loved you and you had to go and fuck it all up!”
“Listen, I came here today to say I’m sorry, not to mess with your head. Anyway, you’ll be seeing a lot more of me from now on ‘cause I owe the boys up on Broadway too much money,” Skip says as he pulls his arm free from Sally’s viselike grip. “Listen, if my horse comes in, I’m gonna give it all up for you, baby! I swear! No more betting, no more horses! No more fuckin’ nothin’!”
Sally knows better than to fall for that bullshit line again, but something about Skip’s beautiful blue eyes forces her to temporarily lose her senses. She falls into his arms as he gives her a deep and somewhat meaningful kiss. Sally clutches Skip as if in fear for her life. As the race begins, a crowd circles around the TelePrompTer. After a few minutes of heart-pounding excitement, Skip’s horse comes in first, but Sally and him are kissing so hard they don’t even realize the good news ‘til they come up for air.
“We won baby!” Skip dances around Sally and then lifts her up in the air. A crotchety old man in a beat-up blue corduroy coat mumbles “fuckin’ kids” as he tries to get out of their way, but Skip puts Sally down square on his foot.
“Get offa’ my foot ya fuckin’ kid,” he yells, but Sally and Skip are already rushing out the door and right into Nikki.
“What the fuck are you two doing?” Nikki is pissed and Skip is obviously shagged. Caught with the goods. In the doghouse. Dead on arrival.
“Listen Nikki, I just ran into her, I didn’t know she was gonna be here.”
“My bleedin’ ass you didn’t. You’ve been dying to get back in her pants ever since we got married!” Nikki is much smaller than Sally but her diminutive size doesn’t keep her from getting smack up in the other girl’s face. “He’s mine now, bitch, not yours. So move your tired, tacky ass along before I have to kick it straight across the motha-fuckin’ street!”
“You know what Nikki? You’re paranoid, and he’s not even worth it!” Sally spins around and heads back into the OTB toward Uncle Morty, who is busy with his bookie placing a side bet on the fifth race and motions her away. Tears start welling up in her eyes. All she wants to do is get away from there, but as she sinks her hands into her pockets to pull out her weed stash, she strangely comes up empty-handed. Digging deeper, she also realizes her wallet is gone.
“Shit!” She thinks. Maybe she dropped it by the ticket windows, but when she goes back to look, it’s nowhere to be found. Then she realizes where both the pot and the money have gone. Straight into Skip’s scum-sucking hands when he was bear hugging her, telling her how sorry he was.
She races out of the OTB, but Skip and Nikki are long gone. Sally pulls out the one thing left in her pocket, the pink frosted lipstick. She sits down on the fire hydrant where she started her day and for the next five minutes applies coat after coat of pink frost to her already frosted for the rest of eternity lips. She looks down on the street and spies the roach from her morning joint lying in the filthy gutter. Oblivious to the grotesque grit that lines Second Avenue, Sally lifts it to her mouth and pulls a purple Bic lighter out of her pretzel uniform.
“Fuck it!” she says as she lights the roach and takes a deep toke. A chill race’s down her spine and a heavy sigh seeps from her throat. Getting up she pulls down the hem of her impossibly short dress and stares down the block in search of Skip, Nikki, somebody. Anybody.
“Yo, baby! I’m still waiting for some of that pussy!” It’s the delivery boy from Ray’s again, only this time Sally doesn’t curse him out. Instead she smiles and whispers “thanks” as she heads back into the OTB to get Uncle Morty to drive her home. The thought of another day like today doesn’t hit her until she catches Morty’s eye and he gives her a lascivious stare. For some fucked up reason, it all seemed perfectly normal and for Sally Seaschell, that was enough.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Margo Magimarka was known in her crumbling, dilapidated building as "the peculiar lady who lives down in the basement, apartment BE3D." Margo was unnaturally oblivious to this title since she considered her daily existence to be anything but peculiar. In her eyes, even the strangest circumstances appeared normal. Her best friend and roommate, Caramel Cadava, befriended her as best as a best friend could; "Margo is just doing things her own way!" she would explain when the two got into a particularly sticky situation.
Caramel was a recovering cappachino and cocaine addict one day, a completely off the wagon cheebah, booze and Prozak consumer given to severe bouts of manic depression the next. Margo got into the majority of her bad situations with Caramel, like the time they wrote a bad check to the Beverly Hills Hilton and got picked up by the cops and thrown into the L.A. Correctional facility until Caramel's ex-husband/dealer finally came and bailed them out. He also got them both hooked on heroin, something neither of them had ever tried before.
They drove cross country in two weeks flat, stopping only to gas up, pick up and shoot up, roughly in that order. They dumped the ex-husband somewhere around St. Louis. He had run out of drugs and they had run out of patience. Besides, something had happened back in Phoenix that neither Margo nor Caramel had expected. One night, as they were both sitting in the front seat and the ex was nodding out in the back, driving along blackened stretches of highway with only the stars above their head to guide them, Caramel leaned over towards Margo and for no obvious reason, kissed her quite sweetly on the lips.
"What was that for," asked Margo, half amused, half annoyed.
"I just wanted to kiss you. I never kissed a girl before."
"Did you like it," Margo whispered, half intrigued, half scared to death of what Caramel might say.
"I liked it very much. In fact, if you don't mind, I'd like to try it again."
"Who's stopping you?"
They pulled the car over on the side of the road and proceeded to have the most intense sex either of them had ever experienced. It was as if everything made sense for the first time. When they had finished, they put their clothes back on and drove the car back onto the velvet highway, knowing that nothing would ever be the same. That was almost sixteen years ago. When they had gotten back to New York, Caramel moved into Margo's and they began what can only be described as a tumultuous relationship. Both of them were major potheads and unbelievably over the top in terms of what one might perceive as a sane reality.
As roommates and lovers they lived a life long argument over who did what to whom and why was that there when it should be over here? Everyday chores became melodramatic dilemmas. Margo would say this and Caramel would say that. Their seldom-combined decisions quickly escalated into catastrophic situations. Margo liked the lights on all the time. Daytime and (especially annoying to Caramel) night. Caramel had a habit of inviting strange women over and then forgetting about them until Margo would encounter them in the shower the next morning and get completely freaked out, or turned on, depending on her mood.
Strangely though, they loved each other and even when living together became unbearable at times, some strange sudden adventure would divert their lives and force them into a whole new direction than the one they were previously heading. It was just one of those days when their conflicting degrees of eccentricity were threatening to lash out and cause havoc, that they had decided to go to Girl Bar and have a little fun. Ten hours, twenty drinks, five Xanex pills, and a whole lotta cocaine later a little fun had escalated into a full scale kidnapping and a lot of explaining to do.
Fondu, like Margo and Caramel, was also known as a confused tornado capable of doing a tango with the wind. Fondu lived across town from the other two women in a huge, sunny loft that she had completely redone herself. It served as her studio, dance space and all-over living area. She worked as a photographer by day and an avenger by night. The dictionary defines the word avenge as; "to punish one who has wronged oneself or another." It wasn't that Fondu had a death wish or something. She didn't walk around packing quarters in an old pair of pantyhose looking for trouble. Trouble found her. It was as if she was a life-sized magnet for disturbance. When she encountered it, she dealt with it. If someone just happened to get hurt or even killed, so much the better as far as she was concerned. One less asshole to worry about was always a good thing.
The sound of a phone ringing interminably woke Fondu from a dream-tranquilized sleep. She had been dreaming about bunnies and how one day they would mutate into human size and proceed to rule the earth with their wise wisdom and good fortune. Paper money would be replaced with Easter candy and the president of the United States would be a wild black hare with a penchant for wheat grass juice and James Brown. Fondu had just been introduced to the heads of the rabbit state when the unceasing ring became impossible to ignore. Fondu picked up the phone and immediately recognized the perpetually agitated and marijuana mangled vocal tone of Margo, a scene diva she had met three months ago when she photographed her for Fuct Up Magazine, a new, hip downtown bible for those in the know.
"Margo, do you realize it's only seven-thirty on a Saturday morning?" Fondu croaked into her pale blue cordless phone trimmed in day-glo yellow vinyl with a pale green antenna.
"Fondu-du, get up and dressed. Caramel and I are on our way over and we have a fierce surprise!"
Click! The phone went dead in Fondu’s slightly startled ear as she helplessly sank slowly back into her pillows. She wondered what sort of surprise those two crazy chicks had in store for her. The last time they pulled something like this was about three weeks ago. They were short on their rent money and had asked Fondu if they could borrow it from her and work to pay it off. Fondu, stupidly, felt sorry for them and agreed to hire them to assist on a shooting she was doing for Implant Magazine. The rag was aimed towards the silicone crowd and Fondu had assembled an amazing array of pneumatic but completely plastic female specimens ranging in almost every artificial bust size available.
The shooting went smoothly, but when the girls started to get dressed in their own clothes most of them noticed they were missing either the money from their wallets or jewelry from pocketbooks. Fondu immediately went to question Margo and Caramel. At first she couldn't find them, but after some careful searching she found the pair hiding in a closet in her bedroom, the only closed off part of her loft, sharing a bottle of cheap vodka that they swigged like ship wrecked sailors cut off from water for weeks. She made them fork over the stuff they had stolen and gave it back to the appreciative but still suspicious models. Why should she trust them now after they had pulled all that? They still owed her five hundred dollars to boot! But Fondu had the curiosity of a cat with more than nine lives. She wanted to find out what was up, so she threw caution to the wind and decided to go along for the ride.
As she reached for a Camel filter, she threw open her floor length faded muslin curtains revealing the twenty-five foot high windows that comprised the entire front street side of the loft. Flicking on her JVC vintage boom box to top Schooly D volume, Fondu then shed her black cotton bathrobe and danced naked in the sunshine that spilled across the bleached wood floors that she had just varnished herself a few weeks ago, until Margo's eggplant convertible pulled up and she honked Fondu back into reality.
Fondu raced over to her intercom. It rang just as she pressed down on the talk button.
"Margo, is that you?"
"Du! You’re probably not even dressed yet! I'm coming up!"
Margo motioned for Caramel to get out of the car and join her. Margo's shoulder length blunt cut brown hair hung over one side of her eyeglassed face and she was constantly pushing it out of her view with a pink suede Carlos Falchi gloved hand. Not exactly overweight, Margo was tapered, and usually attired in some pugnacious ensemble. Today it was an Istante orange velour mock turtleneck dress, kind of tent shaped with tiny shoulders and a flared hem. She was tall, and the dress only went a bit below the knee, making her appear much bigger than she really was. Her legs were covered in two-year-old Versace mesh tights worn over a second pair of plain black ones. She had on pink suede knee high boots that matched her gloves and was schlepping a clear plastic tote bag the size of a small children’s pool.
Caramel was a bit less conspicuous in a several seasons old long black velvet empire cut Donna Karan dress that dragged on the floor even though she was wearing six inch high heeled green lizard skinned sandals. Her hair was bright orange, an even more unbelievable shade than the one Lucy sported. It was cut into several long scabrous strands that were twisted and tormented into a distressed series of sinewy spider web like masses. Her hands were bare and she was holding a flask in one and an almost microscopic, smoked next to nothing roach in the other.
The two of them bore a strange resemblance from afar to the cast of Absolutely Fabulous, but the similarities ended there. There was nothing funny about these two desperate characters, full of so much weird twisted hate and demented love towards themselves that they were incapable of acting properly towards another human being. They were buzzed in and ran up the six flights of crickety, lop-sided steps leading to Fondu's apartment.
When her front door bell rang, Fondu tore her naked splendor away from the front windows and put her robe back on before she let Margo and Caramel in.
"Hey girl's! Was' up?" Fondu asked through puff's of her Camel, in a tone reminiscent of a game show contestant.
"Not much in the usual sense, but a lot in the unusual. Now get dressed! We've gotta go," Margo ordered.
"Why won't you tell me was' up?" Fondu continued, almost pleading.
"MOVE IT FONDU!" Margo barked.
Margo was serious; something must really be up thought Fondu. She hurried off to the bedroom to change and Caramel allowed herself the early morning luxury of rolling a fat fresh blunt from Fondu's pot jar that was prominently displayed on the green marble kitchen counter.
"Do you want a drag of this dear?" Caramel yelled into Fondu as Margo impatiently marched towards the bedroom to see what was taking her so long.
"Come in here and look at this girls!" Fondu suddenly screamed out to Margo and Caramel who ran into the bedroom as quick as they could.
Fondu was perched on the thin ledge outside the large open window in her bedroom wearing nothing but an old red denim Sprouse jacket, silver vinyl panties and five inch black vintage Clergerie pumps.
"I just flicked my cigarette ash and I can still see the flame burning in its ember!"
Fondu took one final glance at the sky before she pulled herself back into the window. Her unusual actions and even stranger attire surprised Margo, who was privately contemplating whether or not Fondu was stoned already. She was. In a few seconds all three were perched out the window, sharing a joint and flicking the ashes to the ground below, entranced by the glowing embers slowly making their way towards earth. It seemed like time had stopped and maybe for just the briefest second it had. Suddenly, without speaking, they crawled off the window ledge and walked out of the apartment. The three of them squeezed into the front seat of the eggplant convertible and took off for Margo and Caramel's apartment.
As they were driving, Caramel kept staring down at Fondu's reflective crotch in an almost confrontational way. Fondu could finally ignore it no longer.
"Do you have a fucking problem, Car-A-MEL?"
"I was wondering if you simply forgot your skirt or were just stupid?" Caramel inquired in a rather curt manner.
"Neither of the above," Fondu shot back. "I couldn't find one of my own that didn't bore me so I thought I'd borrow one of yours!"
Sure enough, the moment they walked through the door of # BE3D, Fondu headed straight for their closet and assessed the fashion situation at hand. After a brief hunt, she came across a short chocolate horsehair wrap skirt that closed around her tiny behind like the thick armor surrounding an armadillo. She then joined the other two in the living room.
"Now listen Fondu, what we’re about to tell you can go further than this apartment. In fact, if you tell anyone, it could be the end of us all."
"What the fuck is goin' on Margo?" Fondu snapped.
"We kidnapped a fifteen year old lesbian from Girl Bar last night!"
It was Caramel who finally made the confession, as she blurted out the truth while basking in the resin of Margo's smoking eyes.
"You what?" Fondu shrieked.
"We got really fucked up last night and when we woke up this morning there was some twerp dyke in the trunk of the car!"
"How did she just end up in your car? Don't you remember how it happened Caramel?"
"I don't remember a fucking thin..."
"I do, " Margo cut in.
"I'm all ears," Fondu offered as she pulled out a red spray painted metal stool and sat down for Margo's sure to be interesting story.
Wilson Dick approached the young girl cautiously, as if he were in a cage with a dangerous, underfed animal. In her condition, the smallest motion, no matter how caring the intent, might be taken the wrong way. She was paranoid. Psychotic. Cocaine, and way too much. She had always been an extreme kind of girl, you know, the first to try anything. At first she would study the hardest, then party the hardest, fuck the hardest and lie or steal the hardest. Doing a few toots now and then was considered normal amongst her big sister's friends, but in her case a few toots usually led to an eight-ball, sometimes more.
In the past two years, this overly experienced fifteen-year-old had transformed from a shy, virginal junior high school prom queen into a radically expressive sophomore. Politically unmotivated and falsely enlightened to the more illicit pleasures available to the more advanced teen-age mind by her older sibling and ultimate corruptor, Skipper, who started by getting her younger sister so stoned on her thirteenth birthday that she fell face first into her birthday cake to the shock of her recently divorced mother who was constantly on the verge of a nervous breakdown anyway. It only took a few nights out with big sis and her gang of coke spoon waving friends to begin the disintegration process within this underage victim who now saw anything and everything through her coke straw. Straw vision. The worst hindsight of all because it only leads to a bottomless pit of despair.
She was prone to muttering "I can handle it" to anyone who might still be listening and that number was rapidly shrinking. Big sis soon kicked little sis out of her drug posse and she was forced to fend for herself. She got into the newly burgeoning East Village punk scene and was soon another one of the quarter begging kids with green hair in front of The Gap on Eight Street even though she still lived at home with her mother on Sutton Place. One day, at a CBGB hardcore matinee where she was watching her favorite band Scab perform, and generally allowing her girlish frame to be thrashed around the mosh pit, she met someone who would change her entire life. At first she thought the tall skinhead with piercing blue eyes and the huge silver hoop hanging out of a spit curdled lower lip was the most feminine boy she had ever met. When "he" introduced himself as Cate, she came to the quick conclusion that it was just the most androgynous looking girl she had ever seen.
"What's your name," Cate asked her in the middle of the mosh pit while fifty or more bare chested pre-teen boys savagely slammed around them.
"My name is Marisa," she screamed but her cry was quickly stifled by Cate's lips covering her own and forcing her slick tongue past surprised, clenched teeth. They kissed for almost five minutes until Cate pulled her off the dance floor and into a dark corner where Cate, a local coke dealer, shoveled white powder up Marisa's nose for the rest of the show. That was a year ago. They moved in with each other when Marisa finally got up the nerve to get out of her house. Cate supported them through her drug earnings while Marisa acted as her runner and sometimes receptionist, entertaining the never ending flow of skin-heads that came through their front door both day and night.
That was how she met Wilson. He was a small time dealer compared to Cate and usually scored his stash from her and then sold it for a few bucks more. He had fallen instantly in love with Marisa, who now hated boys and refused to give him the time of day.
It was Wilson who was now standing before Marisa who had been locked up in her and Cate's apartment doing one eight ball after the other for the past three days. She had started to freak out and tried to attack Cate with a knife in a paranoid fit, convinced that Cate was a gigantic bee trying to sting her for more blow. Cate had run screaming out of the apartment and bumped into Wilson on the street. Sensing a possibly scandalous situation that might draw the police, Wilson agreed to help Cate out and go talk Marisa down.
"Listen Marisa, I know what your going through," Wilson said softly.
"If you did then you would get me some more coke!"
Wilson reached into his pocket and pulled out a small, half-gram vial of cocaine. Deliberately brushing it against her face as he walked past her on his way to the bathroom, he lowered his eyes into Marisa's greedy stare without exuding any pity for this sad creature. As soon as he reached the john he lifted the toilet seat and held the vial over the cold white porcelain bowl. He slowly unscrewed the lid, then stopped and simply dropped the whole thing into the now flushing receptacle. As he flushed her unobtained treasure to oblivion, he thought to himself that the sound of the water splashing against the toilets walls echoed quite nicely with her deafening screams that were mostly calling for his terminal banishment somewhere in the hottest depths of hell.
She bolted from her crouched position behind an easy chair in the living room and lunged towards his figure emerging from the bathroom, slapping him across his stoned face, expressionless and devoid of the least bit of caring. She bit his nose but he felt nothing. Then she retreated mysteriously, ending her attack as if she knew that even if she killed him a victory would never be won.
Marisa ran like a rat back behind the chair, shrinking in fear, trying to cover her face with jagged pieces of a broken mirror that had fallen victim to an earlier outburst. When Wilson walked out of the apartment he kissed Marisa's shaking body on the forehead goodbye even though the teeth marks that ran across his nose looked and felt like newly laid railroad track. Reaching deep into his pocket again, he found another vial of cocaine and threw it on the chair she was hiding behind. He left without looking back, only hearing the first snot filled snort emitted from Marisa and her scavenger like nostrils. Such an ugly, unappealing sound snorting cocaine is.
"Where are you going, asshole?" Marisa sobbed.
"I need a fuckin' drink. I'm goin' to Girlbar," answered Wilson.
Cate and Marisa would have to fend for themselves he decided as he walked out of the building and past Cate without saying anything. Cate ran back into the building but almost got trampled by Marisa who had changed her clothes and was running out of the apartment house after Wilson.
"Marisa, where the fuck are you going?"
"GIRL BAR!" Marisa screamed behind her back as she continued to race down the block in search of Wilson and hopefully more coke.
Margo Magimarka was standing in the center of her living room slowly, and quite methodically recounting the events of the past evening that lead to the kidnapping of a fifteen year old lesbian. She had changed into a long yellow chiffon halter dress underneath which she had layered a thin silk jersey turtleneck. She was barefoot and her toenails were each painted a different shade of the rainbow, starting with red and ending with purple. Margo was smoothing down the front of her dress furiously with one hand while the other kept picking at something on her forehead that wasn't really there.
"It all started because Caramel wanted to get high. As usual!"
"Fuck you Margo! You're such a fuckin' bitch."
"But I'm telling the truth, aren't I? AREN'T I?!"
"Now shut the fuck up and let me finish telling the story, O.k.?"
"So like I was saying, Caramel was in the mood to get high, and you know easily persuaded I can be..."
"Yes Margo," Fondu answered. "We all do. What kind of drugs were you going to get?"
"Coke. What the fuck else. You know old Hoover head has to have a few bags every now and again to keep her in a good way."
"Like I said before Margo...fuck you!" Caramel shot at her supposed best friend and then retreated for the toilet where the sound of her snorting up what was left of the coke could be heard rooms away. Margo stopped talking and looked towards the bathroom. Fondu couldn't figure out if Margo was more concerned that Caramel might hurt herself or if she was finishing up the last of the coke and not saving any for her.
"Would you forget about her Margo? Finish telling me what happened!"
"Alright," whispered Margo, slightly out of it but soon snapped back into reality.
"We got all dressed up and went over to Girl Bar. There’s this guy I know there named Wilson who sells blow. Not the best shit, but for forty a gram you really can't complain. Anyway, Girl Bar is strictly a lesbian hangout, as in, no guys allowed. Wilson is the one exception cause the owner has a toot habit and likes to have somebody in the house for some of her regular customers who also like to indulge. Caramel and I got there around ten o'clock and we each ordered a drink. I had a Kamikazee and Caramel had a Kahlua and cream."
"Could you skip the minute details and cut to the chase Margo?" Fondu asked, a bit impatiently.
"Sorry, I didn't mean to bore you," Margo replied, with more than a hint of curtness evident in her voice.
"I spotted Wilson the moment we got in."
"Where was he?"
"In the bathroom. I went in to see if he might be doing some blow in the stall's, but that ballsy mother fucker was sitting in one of the sinks getting his crank stoked by some redheaded bitch in a tacky "Cher" looking leather outfit."
"I thought it was only lesbians at Girl Bar?"
"It is, but some girls will do anything for a coupla' free lines."
The sound of the bathroom door opening creaked into the living room and both Fondu and Margo got up to see what Caramel had been up to. Caramel had obviously been getting high in the toilet as her wide-eyed expression and shuddering stance clearly bellied. She was half dressed and the scent of fresh vomit wafted nauseatingly through the air.
"Caramel! Did you finish all that blow at once?" Margo yelled at her freaked out lover as she rushed past her into the bathroom and licked the coke residue off of the top of the toilet bowl seat where Caramel had been snorting it. Fondu just stared at the two of them first in shock, then in disbelief. Finally in disgust. She walked into the kitchen and fixed herself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich while she waited for Margo and Caramel to stop fighting over the last few specs of cocaine and resume telling her exactly why they had an unconscious fifteen year old in the trunk of their car.
Wilson Dick walked down the street towards Girl Bar with no idea Marisa was hot on his tail. He swung through the doors and kissed a few of the regular's hello before he retreated to the bathroom to do a quick line. An enormously large breasted red head with unnaturally curly hair was sitting on top of the sink adjacent to the stalls and beckoned him over.
"Hi honey," the flame haired wolverine sighed as Wilson hopped up on the sink and sat next to her.
"Hi honey," he whispered as he folded his arms behind his head and looked down at her fingers fumbling at his crotch through lowered lids. The sound of a creaky, stiff zipper cuts through the dark room and as the redhead lowers her face to his cock, Wilson closes his eyes only to see nothing but a big, black space offering nothing, especially to him.
Marisa is a few blocks behind him, walking like a zombie on speed through the dark street. She encounters newfound embodiments at sharp and fast intervals. One moment she was caught up in a fit of giggling, the next sobbing like a baby. She would cringe at the sight of anything too brightly lit, shrink away from the slightest touch. Just when she thought the street was about to swallow her up whole, she saw Girl Bar and made her way through it's doors and past the crowded bar you hit right when you walked in.
Marisa stumbled up to the bar and asked the short, bleach blonde headed dyke behind it if she had seen a guy come in.
"The only guy who comes in here is Wilson."
"Do you know where he is," Marisa mumbled through crusty white lips.
"He's in the john, over there to your left."
Marisa forgot to say thanks and slowly made her way into the bathroom. She walked in on some badly dyed redhead giving a blowjob to Wilson. He opens his eyes after hearing the door open and motioned for Marisa to go into one of the stalls until he was finished. She did what he said and the head resumed until Margo walked in. Margo starts cursing' out the girl who sits up with a mouthful of cum dribbling out of her clenched teeth and Wilson is still shaking from his orgasm.
"What the fuck do you want Margo?"
"Who's this fuckin' redhead? Get her the fuck out of my sight before I have to pull a few of her feathers out!"
"I'm leavin'! I got what I want anyway!" the redhead spits at Margo as she jumps off the sink and pockets the vial of coke that Wilson had just handed her. When she had left Margo hopped up on the sink and sits next to Wilson.
"You gotta anymore shit baby?”
"Nope...just my own stash and I don't share that shit with anybody."
"Oh come on Wilson, can't you share just a little bit of it. I'll pay extra...if I have to," Margo pleaded as she began to rub his cock that was still hanging limp out of his unzipped fly.
"Don't bother," Wilson says as he swats away her hand and shoves his dick back into his pants.
"Now if you'll excuse me Margo, I have some business to attend to."
Wilson hops off the sink and walks towards the last stall which mysteriously opens after he knocks on it and he steps in. After a few seconds the sound of to people sucking up lines can be heard coming from behind the stall. Margo moved a bit closer and listened to what sounded like an extremely fucked up young girl begging Wilson for more drugs. Shit! Margo thought as she spun around and darted out of the toilet and joined Caramel back at the bar who was just finishing her fourth drink and was popping a coupla' Xanex's to "stay even."
"What's up Margo, you look pissed," Caramel slurred through sips of her just arrived fifth drink.
"Wilson won't sell me any blow. He's in the toilet right now finishing up the last of his shit with some strung out bitch!"
"I don't know, but I'd sure like to kill her!"
"Let's go see if we can change his mind," Caramel offered, almost falling off her barstool in the process. The two of them tripped back over to the bathroom and headed straight for the second to last stall. They got in, closed the door behind them and climbed on top of the toilet bowl so they could look into the last stall. The sound of a body being slammed against the thin wall echoed through the room and when Margo and Caramel peered over it they were met with the sight of a half stripped girl being pumped mercilessly by Wilson. One hand was clamped over her silently screaming mouth while the other held her twisting torso tightly against the plastic slab. A vial of cocaine lay on its side on top of the toilet paper dispenser; slowly spilling it's contents with each slam of Marisa's body. Caramel and Margo looked at each other and pondered what to do next.
Caramel climbed off the toilet and ran out of the stall. She returned about two minutes later savagely wielding an ice cold six pack of Coca-Cola.
"Where did you get that?" Margo asked.
"I borrowed it from the bartender. I have to give it back though when were through."
"Through with what? What are you going to do?"
Caramel climbed back on top of the bowl and swung the six-pack over the wall, flat on Wilson's unsuspecting head. He fell backwards, releasing the girl who looked up at Caramel and screamed. That's when Caramel smacked her in the face with the six-pack, effectively knocking her out just as cold as Wilson.
"Caramel...what the fuck have you done?!"
"I did," Caramel smiled as she scooped a mound of coke up her eager left nostril, "what I had to do."
"Well don't be a fuckin' hog...give me some!" Margo demanded as she shimmied off the bowl and stepped around to the last stall, practically stepping on Wilson's head as she lowered her nose down to the toilet dispenser and made like a human vacuum cleaner.
Fondu popped the last morsel of what was definitely a delicious peanut butter and jelly sandwich into her increasingly dry mouth. As she licked the last little nut off her jelly stained lips, she searched in vain through the refrigerator for anything resembling a beverage.
"Don't you guys drink anything besides fucking tequila?" Fondu screamed into the living room. Margo and Caramel had slightly chilled out and were sharing a sedative and a couple of shots whilst sprawled out on the couch.
"There's some Pharmalat in the cupboard du-du."
"What the fuck is fucking Pharmalat?"
"It's milk that you don't have to refrigerate. It's always fresh!" Margo answered, sounding like a commercial, looking like a mess.
"Haven't you ever heard of fresh milk? What am I supposed to do? Drink warm milk?"
"Why don't you put an ice cube in it and shut the fuck up! Who the hell wants to listen to you complain? Let Margo continue the story," Caramel whined as she poured herself another blast of Cuervo Gold and spilled half of it down her chest when she lifted it to her lips.
"Alright, where did we leave off? I think you had just walked in on your dealer getting off in the john..."
"With some sleazy redhead," Margo continued. She then went on to tell the rest of the story. About hearing the young girl, getting Caramel and Caramel hitting Wilson and the young girl in the head with the Coca-Cola six pack and knocking them both out. Margo stopped for a second and nervously pulled a cigarette from Fondu's pack of Camel Lights and slowly lit it before she spoke again. She looked at Fondu for almost a minute before she parted her dry, chapped lips and said;
"I swear to god! We never planned to kill him Fondu!"
"But you did...didn't you? Are you sure the girl’s still alive?" Fondu questioned them, suddenly feeling ill at ease around two people that had just casually committed murder.
"You've got a point," Margo said as she pulled her car keys out of her pocket and handed them to Caramel.
"Honey, go check on the girl and see if she's still among the living," Margo asked Caramel, who grabbed the keys in a huff and stalked out the door without saying anything.
"If she's still breathing, maybe you outta' bring her into the apartment?" Fondu blurted out before Caramel got all the way through the front door. Margo nodded in agreement and motioned for Caramel to hurry up.
"Since when are you so fucking concerned Margo?" Caramel shouted behind her back as she slammed the door shut behind her.
"Yeah," Fondu said, "why are you so worried now? It seems to me that this is what you've been leading up to all along. After all, you do have a bit of a problem keeping your nose clean."
"Fuck you, Fondu," Margo snapped back defensively.
"Fuck you too...now tell me how he died."
"After we had stolen all his blow, Caramel noticed there's a window above the first stall. So she climbs across the top of the stall until she can reach the window and unlock it. I dragged the girl out of the last stall and into the first. Then I lifted her up over my shoulders and Caramel pulled her up the rest of the way right through the window. Then she fell on the floor, unfortunately, and Caramel went to get my car while I climbed back down and took one last look at Wilson. He had obviously tried to get up and leave the stall but he must have slipped on his own blood or something because when I came back to check on him his head was in the toilet bowl and he had drowned to death."
"Isn't that a lovely picture. What did ya' do then?"
"I ran out of the club and hopped into my car which Caramel had waiting in front of the club..."
"With the girl securely in the trunk."
"Good go Margo! Have you flipped your fucking lid? Not only are you responsible for a murder but now your guilty of kidnapping. Why did you have to take her anyway? Why didn't you just leave both of them behind?"
"Caramel thought she was cute and wanted to bring her home to play with."
"Are you for fucking real? Doesn't she get enough pussy?"
"Shut up Fondu, I'm sorry if you’re just jealous of how adventurous we can be!"
"Adventurous is one thing Margo, murder is another!"
The front door swung open and Caramel filled the entranceway, her arm draped around a surprised looking but awake teenager in varying stages of undress. Fondu and Margo just stared at each other, both unaware that their mouths were hanging wide open in unison. Out of nowhere, and quite unexpectedly, the young girl spoke.
"I'm fuckin' hungry! And if you don't want me to get into a bad mood then I suggest finding me something to eat besides Lucky Charms! O.k.?"
"Do you have a name miss thing?" pondered Fondu.
"Yeah. My name is Marisa. What the fuck is it to you?"
Margo walked over to the defiant little woman and punched her hard in the face.
"Just my luck," Margo seethed as she uncurled her fist and smoothed down her skirt. "I have to kidnap a bigger bitch than me!"
Cate had been waiting for Marisa for almost twenty-four hours now. This was getting ridiculous. Anything could have happened in the condition Marisa was in, and Cate feared the worst. She walked over towards CB's and asked a few of the kids outside if they had seen Marisa. None of them had, but then Cate remembered Marisa saying she was going to Girl Bar, so she headed over on foot as fast as she could.
Everyone was still talking about how Wilson had been found dead in the toilet and that Margo Magimarka was the last one seen running out of the john. The Police had been there and everything. Only problem was nobody knew where Margo and her psycho girlfriend Caramel lived because they were always getting kicked out of one apartment after another. Cate asked if anybody remembered seeing Marisa? A short, old dyke with bleached blonde hair, wearing a fuschia sweatshirt with a unicorn on it and a visible tattoo of the word Shay spelt out on her neck in very fancy script who Cate had once sold drugs to remembered seeing Marisa come in last night, right before Margo and Caramel had gotten there.
"She was really fucked up, right?" the old lady said.
"Yeah...she was totally coked out. Where did she go..."
"I saw her go in the bathroom. I never saw her come out though."
"But I thought they only found one body, Wilson's?"
"Yeah, but maybe your girlfriend left without anybody seeing her."
"Or," Cate whispered, half to herself, "Margo knows where she is. Does anybody know who this Margo is?"
"I know where she works, when she shows up that is," offered the bartender, a short old dyke who also had the name Shay tattooed on her neck, while pouring a round of shots for the entire bar. "My name is Bambi...me and Margo go back a long time."
"Where?" Cate asked, curiosity rising in her voice.
"Listen honey, what's yer name? Why you lookin' for such a fucked up piece of shit like Margo anyway?"
"I'm sorry, but you've got to trust me. She has something very important of mine."
"I ain't no fuckin detective, but you look like your telling the truth," Bambi earnestly replied. "She works the phone sex lines over at the Chelsea with that cunt trannie Miss Demeanor."
"I know Miss Demeanor. I thought he, I mean she, hated straights?" Cate wondered. Miss Demeanor was a known drug dealer who had worked out of the Chelsea for the past five years now.
"She does, but a few of her girls walked out on her last week and Margo and Caramel have been filling in. Margo does most of the work from what I hear though cause Caramel is so fucking out of it all the time you could poke her with a fire brand and she probably wouldn't feel a goddamn thing!"
Everyone broke into fierce laughter, stopping only when the bartender lifted her shot and everyone else followed suit, downing shots of clear but lethal liquid in a single second, satisfied but soon hungry for more. Cate sensed it was time to leave.
"Thanks for the info, gal. I'll check you later!" and with that said she sauntered out of the bar and headed west down Eighth Street towards the Chelsea Hotel and hopefully an answer.
Marisa had come to and was now sitting cross-legged on the floor with a sock stuffed in her mouth and almost half a roll of gaffers tape indelicately wrapped around her head to keep it in place. Caramel was sitting in front of her, smoking a joint and combing the kid’s hair with a Mason Pierson brush.
"How the hell are we gonna feed her if her mouth's all taped up?" Fondu asked Margo.
"I don't care if the fucker starves. I've gotta get ready to go to work."
"Where are you workin' these day's Margo. You still fuckin those rich guys you meet in the club?"
"I don't fuck at all anymore. I do it without having to do it and I still get paid for it!"
"Oh right, tell me another one!" Fondu shrieked as she fell on her side laughing at a suddenly quite serious Margo.
Margo ignored her and went into the bedroom to change. When she emerged, almost an hour later, Fondu had removed the gag and was feeding the girl out of a can of cold Chef Boy Ardee. Caramel was asleep on the couch and Margo was getting more pissed with each passing second. She had changed into a black leather dress with a tight pencil slim skirt that buttoned all the way up the back to a high collared, extremely dramatic neckline. The sleeves were bare and she was wearing long green leather gloves that also buttoned all the way up. Black fishnets were worn over pink tights and tucked into red leather pumps that zippered down the front of each toe. Margo walked into the middle of the room and just stared at Fondu and the girl.
"I see you refuse to listen to me Fondu!"
"Margo, don't you think your coming on a little too strong," Fondu bristled, annoyance traceable in her tone.
"No, but I think you are!" Margo snapped back like a turtle pushed into a corner. Then she took a few unsteady steps towards Fondu until she was less than an inch away from her face. The stench of plaid perfume on her breath hit Fondu like a wet towel, but she stood strong, not giving the domineering Margo even a centimeter.
"Listen Fondu, either play by my rules or don't play at all. You can't just walk away from this...you know too much. I can't have you out there running around and spilling your guts to anybody willing to listen!"
"What's the problem Margo? Just why did you bring me here then...you knew I wouldn't let you hurt this poor girl. For Christ’s sake, she's only fuckin' fifteen!"
Caramel was beginning to wake out of her stoned stupor and slowly dragged her ass over to where Fondu and Margo were visually menacing each other.
"What the fuck is goin' on? Can't a girl get a little sleep around this joint?" Caramel yawned and sighed at the same time, resembling a dog in a bad state of repose.
"Shut the fuck up Caramel and go get my friend from the bedroom!" Margo barked and Caramel obediently wagged her tail and scurried into the other room.
"Who's your friend Margo? You got some kinda fuckin' attack dog back there?" Fondu said as she began to back up a bit. Marisa had also started to creep away from Margo, but just as she had crawled almost a foot away, the heel of Margo's red leather pump came blasting down on Marisa's foot, causing her to stop and cry out in pain.
"Leave her the fuck alone Margo!"
"Make me, fucker."
"You know, I think I just figured out why you brought me over here."
"Let's hear it Sherlock."
"Cute Margo. You dragged my stupid ass over here so you could set me up for all this...didn't you?"
"Yes. And no. At first Caramel thought you might actually get into having a little fun with this bitch, but I reminded her how pissed you got when we stole all that shit from the models at your shoot. I knew you wouldn't be cool. That's when I got the idea to set you up not only for her kidnapping but for Wilson's murder as well."
"And how were you planning to do that," Fondu asked, masking the nervousness rising in her throat as her eyes darted nervously about for a way out of there.
" To be perfectly honest, we were going to kill you and the girl. But first, your going to write a suicide note implicating yourself for her murder as well as Wilson’s...."
"But there must be witnesses at the bar who saw you go in the bathroom after Wilson. Shit, you left his body there! Your fingerprints are on the Coca-Cola cans! They'll never believe that I killed them!"
"Look over on the coffee table Fondu."
Fondu glanced over at the old mahogany chest that served as the girl’s coffee table. Sitting upon it was a dented, bloody six pack, gleaming in the harsh fluorescent light spitting out of the tacky chandelier hanging from the low ceiling. Then she looked down at Marisa who was still being pinned down by Margo's foot.
"I'm not touching those fucking Coke's! You'll have to kill me fucking first!" Fondu screamed and then made a mad leap across the room, flying as if in slow motion over the couch and tumbling onto the hard wood floor behind it.
"CARAMEL! Where’s my friend!" Margo shrieked as Marisa simultaneously sank her teeth into Margo's black fishnet encased legs. Margo tried to buck her away but Marisa grabbed hold of her even tighter and wrapped the rest of her limbs around her body until she was immobile. At that exact moment Caramel casually sauntered into the room, toking on a spliff with one hand and carrying a large, shiny black gun with the other.
"I've got your friend Margo!" Caramel stuttered as she lifted the weapon up from her side and held it out to her. Without realizing where anyone was standing anymore, Fondu threw caution to the wind and flung herself back over the couch. As she bounced off of the cushion and fell to the floor, Caramel spun around in surprise and pointed the gun at Fondu.
"Caramel don't," Fondu yelled, practically frozen in fear.
"Do it Caramel!" cut in Margo as both she and Fondu tried to get to Caramel first. Caramel took a step back, fumbling with the gun, not realizing if she was still pointing it at Fondu or at Margo. Marisa had managed to get up and all the way over to the front door. Just as she turned the knob the sound of a gun going off exploded through the air. As Marisa turned around, she was met with a sight she really hadn't expected.
The Chelsea Hotel hasn't changed much in the past thirty years since Edie Sedgwick wrecked her own, special brand of havoc upon the establishment. Miss Demeanor, a huge fan of Edie since way before her sex change, had moved into the place for just that purpose; to cause even more trouble than Edie had. In the past ten years of living in a crowded, single room with the bathroom inconveniently located down the hall, Miss Demeanor had caused so much more damage to the hotel and her own reputation, it's a wonder she hadn't been kicked out years ago.
Her saving grace was agreeing to set up a phone sex service right out of her neighbor's spacious four-room apartment a few floors above. They split the profits fifty-fifty and paid off the telephone operator in the hallway who had to field the almost four hundred calls that came in each day. Eventually Miss Demeanor even got to upgrade her room to one with a bathroom actually in it.
Usually Miss Demeanor hired her drag queen friends to work the lines. As they breathed heavily on the lines with a variety of upper and lower class gentlemen, desperate to get off over the phone, the majority of the "girls" filed their nails, reapplied their make-up or ate endless bags of Wise onion and garlic potato chips. Once in awhile, if the caller was sexy enough, they might actually really masturbate along with them, but most of the time the caller came a few minutes into the call, which suited Miss Demeanor just fine. That way they were able to take more calls and make mo' money.
Everything had come to a crashing halt though last week when Miss Demeanor hadn't been able to pay her employees and one by one they systematically walked out on her. Miss Demeanor had spent the weeks pay on a drug binge with Margo and Caramel, who in return for her generosity, promised to fill in for the missing "chicks with dicks" as Margo so lovingly referred to them. Things had gone smoothly for the past few days, and the three of them managed to handle almost every call that came in. But that was two days ago. Not only had Margo and Caramel failed to show up yesterday, but now they were almost an hour late for today and the phones were already ringing off the fucking hook.
Miss Demeanor had overslept. Her roommates Virgil and Veruca had just gotten their asses out of her bed and left the apartment so she could get to work. She had just finished dressing her bony, six foot one frame in a lemon chiffon ruffled robe that was barely covering a floor length stretch satin nightgown colored a pale shade of lime. As the four phones rang around her she blankly stared into the mirror that hung above the small sink on the right side of the room and patiently tried to get her huge, false eyelashes to stick to her glued lids. When the final lash was in place, Miss Demeanor applied a few coats of glossy peach lipstick and rubbed the excess across her already fuschia rouged cheeks.
"God, I look like shit!" Miss Demeanor slowly sighed, turning away from her image in the mirror only when she heard a rather rude sounding knock at her door. She got up and belted her robe shut as she made her way towards it.
"Goddmmit Margo! You can't keep showing up late for work...I'm counting on you," Miss Demeanor said in a pissed tone as the door swung open revealing neither Margo or Caramel. Instead, she came face to face with a tall, skinny skinhead chick that didn't exactly look like she was paying a hospitality visit.
"Who the fuck are you?"
"Never mind who the fuck I am...are you Margo?"
"Do I fuckin' look like Margo? Your gonna have to leave, I've got work to do," Miss Demeanor shot back as she tried to shut the door in this scary looking girls face, but before she could make a move, the girl had shoved the door open and invited herself in. Miss Demeanor tried to run to the other side of the room but a well placed foot caused her to trip and fall hard onto the floor with an embarrassing thud.
"Listen up you fucking freak...my name is Cate, and whoever this Margo bitch is, she kidnapped my fucking girlfriend!"
"But I'm not Margo, she just works for me!"
"Then the two of us," Cate said as she pulled a small gun out of her jacket pocket and held it next to Miss Demeanors trembling head, "are just gonna have to sit here and wait for that piece of shit to show up."
Marisa couldn't quite believe what she was seeing. Margo was standing in the center of the living room holding both hands up to an open mouth, frozen in shock, silent screams curdling from her numbed and eerily quiet throat. Next to her, lying flat on the floor by Margo's feet, very much alive and unwounded was Fondu, shaking from fear and relief all at the same time. Both of them were covered in blood, looking as if something had thrown up all over them. Yet the patterns of red were delicate and almost painted, spinning tiny webs of blood splattered stains upon their skin and clothes, reflected in Marisa's eyes like glistening beads of scarlet moisture in the midday sun that was spilling through the windows of the living room.
On the floor lay Caramel, her copper taffeta dress bunched up under her chin, which was the only part of her face actually recognizable. Strangely, the gun was still in her hands. It must have backfired thought Marisa as she released her hand from the doorknob and slowly walked over to where Fondu and Margo were standing. Margo had by this time slightly regained her composure, and was inching closer to Caramel. When she reached her, Margo bent down and brushed the hair out of her blown off face, trying to capture some sort of last memory of the person she had called her lover and best friend. At the same moment Marisa placed her hand on Fondu's shoulder and helped lift her up off the floor. They looked down at Margo who was still staring at Caramel's body and then turned around to leave.
"Where the fuck do you two think your goin'," Margo hissed through clenched teeth as she pulled the gun out of Caramels still grasped fingers and pointed it straight at the surprised girls.
"That fucking gun is useless Margo," Fondu said as she took babysteps towards the door, Marisa's sweaty hand locked into her own.
"I don't think so," Margo shot back as she raised the gun above her head and shot a hole straight through the ceiling. The gun was obviously still potent, the shot that backfired probably due to a weak casing.
"I'm sure your upstairs neighbor just loved that little display!" said Fondu as she stopped dead in her tracks and pushed Marisa behind her. Margo motioned for the two of them to come closer. They hesitated until Margo fired the gun for a second time, forcing them to speed things up a bit. As they approached Margo she too took a few steps toward them until all three met in the middle of the room, Caramel's bloody carnage resting peacefully behind them.
Margo raised her free hand to Fondu and grabbed a chunk of her hair. As Fondu was dragged forward, Marisa tried to make a run for it, but the sound of the fourth shot echoed reverberantly across the room and straight through her left leg. As Marisa collapsed just a foot or two shy of the door, Margo effortlessly lifted Fondu up by the hair and tossed her casually aside, like a watermelon pit being spit out of her mouth. Fondu landed against an old metal desk that Caramel had salvaged off of the street a few weeks ago, hitting it with such force that it fell on it's side and spilled the contents of it's drawers all over the floor surrounding her.
"The two of you have pushed me just a bit too far," Margo caterwauled as she walked over towards Marisa and pulled the girl screaming by her shot leg across the room to where Fondu had crash-landed. She took a step back from the two dazed and injured girls and stopped to glance at her blood splattered reflection in the mirrored wall behind the couch, letting her lips slowly curve into a slightly demented smile that bore no trace of satisfaction or regret.
"Look at my fucking dress! Do you know how hard it is to get bloodstains out of leather? Now I've gotta put on a new outfit! Shit, even my fuckin' shoes are ruined. You two bitches are gonna pay for this, but it'll have to wait till I get back from work. Until then I guess I'm gonna have to lock you up. I hope you understand it's for your own good, but you probably won't. Then again, I really don't give a flying fuck what you think!"
Margo turned away from the mirror and headed back towards the girls. She grabbed Marisa first, who was clutching her bleeding thigh and trying to revive Fondu who was not only unconscious, but also seemed to be having a difficult time breathing.
"I think you really hurt her," Marisa sobbed, but Margo's only reaction was to continue pulling her away from Fondu and towards a closet next to the front door.
"I hope I fuckin' killed her," Margo offered in return, her eyes glazed over with a look of insouciance that rammed a cold dagger of fear straight into the center of Marisa's heart. She tossed the girl into the dark closet, amidst a dozen pairs of worn out shoes and musty boxes full of memento's long since worth remembering. Margo then stomped over to Fondu and dragged her across the floor by her hair. As she pushed her still unmoving frame within the tight boundaries of the darkened closet, Margo aimed one final kick into the tight quarters, smacking Marisa so hard in the mouth that two of her teeth came flying out in an avalanche of blood and saliva.
"Now if you'll excuse me," Margo barked sarcastically, "I have work to do!"
Cate was looking around Miss Demeanor's room at the Chelsea for any sort of clue that might give her a clue as to Marisa's whereabout's. The only thing she had come up with though was Miss Demeanor's carelessly hidden stash of Special K. that had been wrapped in several layers of plastic zip lock baggies and quite amateurishly taped underneath the rotting porcelain sink. Cate, being no stranger to illegal substance herself, and extremely curious about the effects of K., had snorted up a few bag and was now sitting in the middle of the room tripping her fucking face off. Miss Demeanor, sporting several deep purple bruises and a very unfriendly laceration across her left cheek was sitting in the middle of the couches unmade pullout bed, blindfolded and smoking a True Blue menthol with an unsteady, shaking hand.
"I hope your having fun Miss Thing, because this is certainly not my idea of a good time," Miss Demeanor cranked through streams of ejaculated smoke that curled out of her lips and into the air surrounding her like a dense, deep, fog.
"Let's put it this way. If you consider this fun, you're gonna have one helluva time later if I don't find Marisa!"
"Now shut the fuck up before I have to stuff a pair of your crusty panties down your throat!"
Cate wasn't quite sure what was happening anymore. The K. was dragging her underneath an imaginary layer of water splashing inside her brain. Miss Demeanor was taking more and more notice of her inability to deal with the drugs effect. Although she couldn't see anything she was still able to hear Cate knocking things down as she got up and tripped around the room, every few seconds cursing under her breath.
"How long does this shit last for?" Cate screamed, but she was met with amused silence.
"Listen up freak...do something, anything to make this fuckin' shit stop! Please, I don't think..."
"Open the window, get yourself some air girl!" ordered Miss Demeanor. Cate rushed towards the balcony windows and swung them wide open. As Cate began to take in a much-needed breath of air, Miss Demeanor stood up from the bed and ripped off the blindfold. Then she charged towards her captor with as much strength as she could muster. Cate heard the footsteps coming and was about half way turned around when Miss Demeanors opened palms smacked into the small of her back and tumbled her over the short, black painted iron railing, seven floors up from the street. Miss Demeanor didn't even lean over and look over the edge to see Cate flop on the ground. Instead she shut and locked the rickety old windows and walked back into the apartment as if nothing had happened.
On the pavement below, Cate's twisted and blood soaked body had crashed through the buildings canapé, leaving the bottom half of her body in a crumpled heap upon the sidewalk, the top half spilled like a pile of garbage on the street. A cab pulled up in front of the carnage and it's heavy door swung open, narrowly missing Cate's unmoving frame. It was Margo, dressed to the nines and smoking furiously from a foot long black lacquered cigarette holder. She looked down at the dead girl in disgust then turned her head up towards the ripped canapé, slowly scanning the windows reflecting sunlight through her own thick, black shades.
Margo shut the cab door just as it roared back onto the street and tried to step over the bloody mess in her path. A crowd of unsurprised onlookers had converged, and the word suicide kept popping up in separate conversations trying in their most blase' New York manner to get to the bottom of things without having to get involved. Margo spun around and shot them all a look as she sailed through the Chelsea's front door.
"Move it along people! This is New York City, not the fucking Bronx Zoo. It's just another dead body. No biggie!" and with a flick of her well-manicured hands, she waved off any reaction and reported to work. Late, as usual.
Fondu broke out of her unconsciousness like a butterfly emerging from its cocoon. An invisible layer of phlegm seemed to cover her entire body, forcing every movement she made to take longer than it should. As one shaking finger poked at her eye socket, the other touched the gigantic bump that had risen on the back of her head. Struggling to her feet in the pitch-black closet, Fondu simultaneously shoved open the closed door, allowing a flood of pink lampshaded light to spill into the cramped musty quarters.
As Fondu stepped out of the closet, a pile of obviously expensive frocks fell from the pole above her head, covering her for a moment in a myriad of Ozbek's, Gaultiers and Prada's. She violently shook her head to regain some sense of reality, but it continued throbbing, not unlike a severely pounding heart under the influence of way too much cocaine. Then she looked back towards the closet and noticed a slim trail of blood slowly oozing out of it, stopping short against the lime shag carpeting that covered Margo's entire living room floor.
"Oh my God! Marisa!" Fondu blurted out as she raced back into the closet and carefully dragged the young girl’s immobile body out into the living room. Marisa was half awake, aware only of her pain and the searing bullet hole ripped into her flesh. She was muttering incoherently, forcing fractured words through wads of stale spit and two extremely loose teeth that hung by a thread of flesh from her bleeding gums.
"Marisa...can you hear me?" Fondu queried, as she grabbed a black chiffon Dolce blouse and tied it's flamboyantly ruffled sleeves around her bleeding leg.
"Listen Marisa, I don't know if you can make out what I'm saying, but we don't have much time to get out of here. I have no idea how long we've been out of it, but Margo could come back at any moment and I have a feeling her plans for us are less than positive!"
Marisa retardedly opened her eyes and looked straight into Fondu's. Without warning she spit up a small pool of blood, shooting her two front teeth out of her mouth like bullets in the process. She didn't utter a word, but Fondu could tell what she was thinking.
"Don't worry...everything is going to be O.k." Fondu said softly. "I hope."
Ignoring her own injuries, she lifted Marisa up into her arms and deposited her on the couch. After a bit of inspection she realized that Marisa's wound was only on the surface, not quite as bad as all the blood lining the bottom of the closet might make it seem. Fondu stripped Marisa of her bloody clothes and pulled an outfit of Margo's out of the closet. She then went into the kitchen and found a half drunken bottle of Tequila, which she liberally splashed across Marisa's wound, causing her to sit up and scream.
"I'm sorry honey, the only other thing I could find was Lysol."
Fondu then rewrapped the wound and dressed Marisa in an emerald satin shift dress that broke exactly at the knee. She then went back to the closet and pulled out a pair of old, worn Doc Martens, which she tightly laced up on Marisa's feet. Without thinking, Fondu peeled off every stitch of clothing she had on and walked over to Margo's full-length mirror that hung behind the couch. Marisa struggled to prop herself up on weak elbows as she stared at Fondu, staring at her own reflection. With one, crooked finger, she was trailing a connect the dot's like line across the dozen or so bruises that covered her naked flesh. She then turned to Marisa and joined her on the couch, lowering her head into the girls trembling bosom, wrapping stiff arms all the way around her tiny waist until both hands locked together.
It was almost five minutes later when Fondu broke from their embrace, stood up, and walked over the closet for the last time. She pulled out a gun-metal-gray nylon overcoat that she wrapped across her vixen like frame and cinched with a thin black suede belt that was lying on the floor at her feet. She pulled on a pair of electric blue patent leather knee boots that zipped all the way up the back of her strong, lean legs. A black suede riding helmet with a threadbare strap was soon fastened upon her head, and a pair of trim, perforated leather driving gloves with electric blue piping became the finishing touch.
Before she walked back to Marisa, she pulled a yellow leather shearling coat off the rack and quickly put it on her. She then helped her hobble up on unsteady legs and the two of them began to limp out of the apartment. As they reached the front door, Fondu spied the keys to Margo's eggplant colored convertible lying on a table next to the answering machine. She scooped them up and opened the door, pulling Marisa behind her as fast as her wobbly leg would allow. They reached the street and Fondu headed them in the direction of the car. Once Marisa had been securely strapped in, Fondu revved up the engine and pulled the tiny, sleek vehicle into the flow of downtown rush hour traffic.
"Where are we going," asked Marisa through missing teeth as she reached her hand across to Fondu and took hold of her thumb, slowly stroking it then gripping it so tight the skin began to turn white.
"First were going to get your ass to an emergency room so..."
"NO! I can't go to the hospital! I'm underage, they'll want to call my parents and I ain't goin' through that shit. Besides, it doesn’t feel so bad anymore, and I'm not bleeding as much," pleaded Marisa as convincingly as she could. Fondu looked at her uncertainly and then pulled the car down Ninth Street where she parked it by the pay phone on the corner.
"Then if you’re feeling up to it, I have another idea," Fondu said.
"What is it?"
"I'm gonna call my friend at Girlbar and ask her to tell me where Margo is working. Then we're going to pay that bitch a little surprise visit!"
"Are you sure Fondu? That crazy bitch tried to kill us. I mean, shit! She's got a fuckin' gun!"
"Yeah. I know. But I've gotta plan," Fondu seethed as she hopped out of the car and called her friend. About a minute later she returned to the driver's seat and restarted the motor.
"So where are we going?" Marisa asked, almost casually.
"To the Chelsea Hotel. Margo works as phone sex operator for Miss Demeanor there."
"Who the fuck is Miss Demeanor?"
"Somebody even more fucked up than Margo," Fondu replied as she pulled the car off Ninth Street and down Second Avenue.
"I thought we were going to the Chelsea?" asked Marisa.
"We are," Fondu answered," but first we're going to make a little pit stop."
Shay O'Neal hadn't slept properly since the age of eleven. That was when she had first gotten the "gift" of her period. To other girl's her age, this signified some magnificent right of passage, but to Shay it cut much deeper. It meant that for the past eleven years she had really been a girl and not an "ugly boy" as her foster parents continuously mocked her.
She hadn't been to school a day in her life. Her parents kept her locked up in the house most days where her only education consisted of stale episodes of Sesame Street from which Shay developed an early hatred for muppets, be they puppet's or people.
Her "parents", Nancy and Porter O'Neal, sold speed to the neighborhood junkies that jammed the St. Marks Street below their black curtained window, which remained shut even when the temperature sat at a hundred degrees and the air conditioner was on the fritz.
When they weren't selling, they were doing, eventually doing a whole lot more than they were making. This led to a lot of fights and broken furniture, and the inevitable onslaught of physical and verbal abuse aimed at Shay. It had been after one such beating that Shay awoke to find a trickle of warm red blood trailing from her vagina, deep down onto the bottoms of her leg's. She couldn't understand why she was bleeding, but scared instinct told her to run into Nancy and Porters bedroom where she woke each one up with bloody fingers rubbed against sleeping faces.
Porter immediately freaked and smacked Shay down into the floor with a well-aimed palm and a pointed plea for privacy since he had just been about to go down on the missus.
"So fucking what? You finally got your fuckin' period. Don't expect a party or somethin'," Porter blasted but Shay had already crawled back up into their bed and was now straddling the bottom of Nancy's legs, quite like a terrified infant.
"Shay, don't be such a shithead...O.k.? Go to the bathroom, get some Charmin, and then shove it up your snatch till all the blood dries up. Now let your father and I have a little privacy before he has to kick you in your sorry ass. O.k. honey?" Nancy said as she yawned, stretched her arms behind her head a spread her legs as Porter dove into her crotch like a pearl diver off a cruise ship.
Instead of shoving a bunch of Charmin into herself, Shay opted to finally try some of the shit that she watched her parents snort up all the time from the broken a million times and reglued enamel teddy bear cookie jar that sat smack in the middle of the kitchen table. She left a trail of blood as she cut a silent path for the kitchen. When she reached the cookie jar she lifted its head off as quietly as possible and pulled out a few, small glasine envelopes. One contained a white, rocky powder. The other, a smooth beige dust. She poured out the beige substance first onto her tiny, trembling hand and then counted to three before she let her nose descend and suck it up. She wanted to block this bloody, bleeding mess between her legs for good; maybe this was the answer.
That was the first time she ever tried heroin and almost the last. She quickly passed out only to be discovered an hour later by a fix starved Nancy. They couldn't take her to the hospital because then the child welfare authorities would be notified, so Porter dragged the unconscious pre-teen into the bathroom and poured about a liter of scotch down Shay's throat, forcing her to projectile vomit almost immediately. He then submerged her into ice cold water, which would have put the kid into shock, if he hadn't pulled her out almost the second after dumping her in.
She didn't try it again for almost a year, simply for fear of having to repeat the bathroom scene with Porter again. Nancy decided that maybe it was time to send Shay to school, at least that way she wouldn't be around the drug traffic that paraded through the house all day. At school, the uneducated Shay was tortured by her classmates and hardly tolerated by her teachers who didn't have the time or the budget to deal with a girl so slow that at first they thought she might be retarded.
It was a few days after her twelfth birthday. She had just gotten her first kiss from someone named Libby during lunch in the schoolyard. She had been hoping to get kissed by Peter O'Neil, the boy who steadfastly ignored her for the past three years of school even though he sat in front of her in almost every class due the alphabetical proximity of their names. Instead it had been Libby, the shyest, nerdiest girl in class, who was already almost six feet tall and wore a size thirteen shoe. Shay had at first recoiled in horror, then in embarrassment when a group of the other kids who had witnessed the event started screaming "LESBO'S" at them.
The two girls joined hands and ran back into building where they hid in the bathroom. Shay pulled out a bag of dope she had swiped from home and split it open. Just as Libby was about to protest, Shay dipped a straw into the baggie and took a few quick toots. Then she handed the straw to Libby and took hold of her arm, twisting it until tears started streaming down the tall girl’s face. With her free hand, Libby placed the straw into the packet and stuck her nose above it. She did one, teensy-weensy snort but Shay hit her with her other hand in the back of the head so Libby dipped in for a few more. Then, high as a kite, Libby sat back and looked a Shay and smiled for the briefest second before she keeled over and O.D.'d in the toilet stall.
Shay got up, high as a kite, but not dead and walked out of the bathroom. Not once looking back. She went back into the yard and walked straight over to Peter and kissed him quite firmly and very hard straight on his surprised lips before he pushed her away and called her a freak. When she had turned around to walk away one of the boys threw a baseball at Shay that hit her so hard in the back of the head she blacked out for almost four hours. When she woke up in the nurses room with a bump on the back of her head the size of a cantaloupe, she decided never to return to school again. It was only a matter of time before they tied Libby’s over dose to her.
She cut school for the next year, and started hanging out with a bunch of black lesbians on the West Side piers. That was where she had first met this hot chick with a cheesy name and a very temporary taste for the dog. She had been fourteen for about three months now and hadn't found it any different from the past three fucked up years of her life. Fondu was sixteen and had been exercising her own wild streak while periodically living on the streets for the past two years. She had been surviving on the charms of older, much wealthier women whom she met at a spot called Girlbar.
Shay and Fondu had a very brief affair that ended with a lot of finger pointing, pathetic posturing and a badly broken arm suffered by Shay when she had the nerve to make off with Fondu's cash stash late one night. Shay retaliated by moving out and in with one of Fondu's "girlfriends", a forty seven year old bartendress at Girlbar with a penchant for young, thuggish girls, named Bambi. That had been almost ten years ago. Imagine Shay's surprise when the doorman buzzed up and announced that a Ms. Fondu was here to see her.
"What the hell do you want after all this time," Shay asked Fondu as she opened up the front door and let her in. "If Bambi finds out you're here she'll kick both of our as..."
"She's the one who sent me."
"Bambi said that you knew Margo Magimarka. You used to fuck around with her."
"I knew her from the bar. Once, when Bambi and I were fighting, I moved in with Margo and that whacked out girlfriend of hers...Caramel."
"How long ago was that?"
"About a year or two ago. Hey, listen. Why am I telling you all this shit anyway. I don't want no trouble with Margo. She's a sick fuckin' bitch. She almost killed me once."
"Why didn't she?"
"Because I knew her weak point."
"And what the fuck would that be," Fondu practically barked as she edged close enough to Shay so that she could almost make out what cologne she was wearing. Marisa had been waiting outside in the convertible but she quickly grew impatient and hopped out of the vehicle, heading for the front door of the small house Shay shared with Bambi in Long Island City. The front steps made a rough squeak as she pounded them to the top, alerting Shay and Fondu that they were about to receive a visitor. As Marisa opened the door and made her grand entrance, Shay pulled a shiny, silver pistol out of her skirt and held it by it's white pearl handle about an inch away from Fondu's head.
"Who the hell is she," Shay screamed into Fondu's ear.
"Her name is Marisa."
"Is she your new piece or somethin'?"
"Fuck you Shay!"
"Right back at you bitch...now tell me who the fuck this kid is!"
"Margo kidnapped her from Girlbar two nights ago. Then she and that fucking crazy roommate of hers tried to pin the blame on me."
"Why didn't you just leave?"
"Because Caramel had a gun. One thing led to another and she shot herself accidental..."
"Accidentally? She wasn't that crazy."
"The gun backfired or something. Anyway, then Margo gets hold of the gun and shoots Marisa and the next thing I know I'm unconscious and waking up in a closet covered in blood."
"So why'd you come here. Why don't you just get out of town till the shit blows over."
"Because this time Margo's really snapped. When she finds out were not dead or dying in her fucking closet and that we've stolen her precious convertible she'll come looking for us, and I don't plan on living my life on the run forever."
"So what do you want me to do? I don't want no shit with Margo!"
"Then tell me what you were going to tell me before we were interrupted," Fondu spit at Shay as she quickly shot an annoyed look at Marisa who had taken a seat on the couch and was thumbing through a year old copy of Vogue. "Tell me what Margo's weak point is."
"Margo isn't completely a lesbian."
"What the fuck do you men?"
"Margo is married. Has been ever since Bambi's known her."
"How long is that?"
"Well Bambi's fifty-seven in a few weeks, and she's been the bartender at Girlbar for the past thirty years," Shay replied matter of factly. "According to her accounts, Margo first made the scene about twenty years ago in nineteen seventy four at the tender age of twenty five. She had just left her husband of the past two years and their newborn girl triplets. She had become very depressed after the kids were born and couldn't handle all the extra work involved with having three children."
"Couldn't the husband of helped out," Marisa suddenly popped in, her question getting ice cold stares from both Fondu and Shay.
"Well excuse me!" Marisa answered herself with a mock tone of disgruntlement, once again, burying her head into a Herb Ritts editorial of Claudia Schiffer looking even more boring than a Barbie Doll.
"The husband wasn't too wealthy. At the time. In fact it was almost a year after Margo had moved in with this weird couple, I think she was doing both of them. The husband actually won the fucking lottery! The lottery for Christ’s sake, it was too much. Margo heard about it and decided she had lived the bi life for as much as she could get out of it and showed up on his doorstep one Sunday morning as him and the girls were getting into the Volvo to drive to church." Shay stopped for a moment and realized she was still holding the gun next to Fondu's head. Slowly, she lowered it and deposited it back in her skirt.
"Sorry 'bout that Fondu."
"It's alright. Finish the story, the suspense is fucking killing me."
"O.k. So the husband takes one look at her schlepping up the driveway dressed like some sort of East Village freakazoid and he shoves the kids into their baby seats and then climbs into the front and starts the engine. Just as Margo reaches his window, he spits out of it and then starts screaming at her. He practically runs her over as he pulls out of the driveway. Margo freaks out and tries to get in the house, but she sets off the alarm by accident and gets picked up by the cops. She keeps telling them it's her house, but since she has no I.D. on her they book her for attempted burglary and ship her off to some correctional facility.
The catch is that it's all the way in Los Angeles, which is where Margo ended up spending the next three years of her life. When she got out she successfully sued her husband for divorce and by sacrificing custody and all visitation rights toward the children she walked away with a cool million in cash. She got a modest apartment in Sacramento and actually led a normal life for a few months until she met Caramel."
"What happened then," asked Fondu and Marisa at the same time. Fondu had joined Marisa on the couch and Marisa had put down the Vogue as she listened to each verbal drop that poured out of Shay's mouth.
"Caramel ignited some kind of crazy spark in Margo that she had never experienced before. Caramel got Margo into Martini's and expensive clothes, even though Margo never let her know that she had close to a million bucks in the bank."
"Did Caramel have any of her own money," wondered Fondu.
"Tons. She was a trust fund baby since the age of sixteen. Margo played poor and let Caramel pay for everything. Margo really got off in using her that way, and Caramel was so out of it she never figured it all out. She was on a monthly allowance, which they usual blew by the middle of the month. Then they'd charge Caramels credit cards to the max. Once they did that they would start passing bad checks. The police finally picked them up, and Caramels ex-husband bailed them out. A month later they were living in the village as lovers. Caramel bought a co-op, and the two of them slowly but surely became the fucked up drug addicts that they are today. When I met them they were strung out on qualludes and cocaine. I had just had a falling out with Bambi and had known Margo and Caramel from hanging out at the bar. They saw the fight and offered me a place to live. I moved in that night and quickly found out that I wasn't going to be any ordinary roommate."
"What do you mean?" asked Marisa as Shay joined her and Fondu on the couch.
"Those two bitches turned me into their fucking slave. Shit, they almost had me wearing a black vinyl maid’s uniform and a leash! I was there for almost six months before Bambi felt sorry enough for me one day and came over there and kicked Margo's ass. Caramel might have been able to stop her but she was passed out somewhere in the apartment, fucked up as usual. That's when Bambi told me all about Margo's other life and how she met Caramel. You see, Bambi was the reason Margo had moved into the city and left her husband in the first place."
"Why," Fondu whispered, as she leaned closer to Shay, who had just lit a Marlboro from her hard red pack and was taking a slow, steady drag.
"Margo and Bambi have been lovers, on and off, for almost the past twenty years."
"What the fuck are you talking about," Fondu shrieked.
"Bambi went to school with Margo's older sister Constance. When Margo was seventeen she let Bambi, who was twelve years older than her fondle her in the bathroom when Bambi had walked in on her while she was going to the bathroom."
"Why was Bambi at her house? Did her sister still live at home at the age of twenty nine?" pondered Marisa.
"She was visiting the family because Constance had just been killed in a car accident a few days earlier. Margo immediately bonded with Bambi, and when her life became too much for her after the triplets she went looking for the only person she knew in a world she had always wondered about. It wasn't like Margo had always been a closet lesbian. It was more like she had this insatiable hunger to be different. Bambi wouldn't let her move in though. She likes her privacy too much. The only reason she let me move in is cause she knew I wouldn't get too possessive. Also, I don't mind sharing her left-overs...if you know what I mean."
"I know what you mean," answered a visibly annoyed Fondu.
"Don't get jealous sweetheart, there's always a place in my pussy for you!" chuckled Shay. Marisa moved closer to Fondu and placed a sweaty hand on Fondu's stockinged leg poking out from the gray nylon trench dangerously belted over her curvaceous body.
"I see you two are a bit of an item after all," purred Shay as she took notice of Marisa's hand now groping Fondu's thigh. "Anyway, on with my little story. Margo develops this freaked out relationship with Bambi, which was nipped in the bud when she turned me into her and Caramels little love slave and Bambi had to beat the shit out of her. Ever since then Margo's only come to Girlbar when Bambi isn't on shift."
"Well that's where she fucked up on the night she kidnapped Marisa," Fondu cut in.
"The bar changed shifts while Margo was in the bathroom killing the coke dealer. When she ran out she didn't realize that Bambi had seen her run out. When I saw Bambi a little while ago she mentioned that some tall skinhead girl had just been there looking for someone named Marisa. She told her to go and look for Margo at work in the Chelsea. So who's the skinhead chick Marisa?" Fondu asked in a puzzled and pissed tone.
"Cate who?" screamed Shay.
"Cate...Cate, who gives a fuck!" Marisa mumbled.
"I give a fuck Marisa! Who the fuck is Cate? Fondu verbally slammed into Marisa as she brushed the girl’s now trembling hand from her leg.
"Cate is my girlfriend."
"Shit Marisa! Why the fuck are you coming on to me if you've got a girlfriend? What do I look like, a traffic signal that says use me! Fuck me!'
"I'm sorry Fondu, I didn't mean to lie to you...it's just that you never asked."
"Just shut up Marisa, I don't need to know another thing," Fondu shot back as she got up from the couch with Shay and walked into the kitchen where she pulled a cold bottle of Cuervo Gold out of the fridge, opened it, and downed a quarter of it in one smooth gulp.
"Are you O.k. Fondu," Shay asked, almost sincerely.
"Yeah," Fondu said. "It's my own fault falling for every fierce girl I meet."
"Like you did with me, huh?"
"Stop flattering yourself Shay. You weren't my first and you were hardly my last. Now would you do me a favor?"
"Yeah. Sure. What?"
"Well I've heard your story, and while I more than appreciate the inside look at Margo's life, I was wondering if we could get back to the original question at hand."
"Of course sweetie...what was it again?"
"What is her fucking weak point!" Fondu screamed through tightly clenched teeth.
Shay grabbed herself a beer out of the fridge and motioned for Fondu to join her over at the kitchen table. In the middle of it was a badly damage and put back together again teddy bear cookie jar. Shay carefully lifted the head up and placed it slowly on the table. Out of the jar she pulled a vial containing a white substance and poured a little bit onto her finger, which she quickly shoved up her nose.
"Coke? Her weak point is coke? said Fondu.
"This isn't coke Fondu, it's K.," Shay replied through extremely pinned eyes and devilishly curled lips. "Margo loves her drugs, but the one she can't handle is Special K. It makes her lose it like she's on a really bad acid trip. Once I saw her almost try to fly off the roof of her building. Caramel barely saved her. She never did the shit again."
"So what are you telling me?"
"We've gotta get close enough to Margo to switch her coke stash with K.," answered Shay.
Fondu looked her seriously in the eye, then got up from the table and pocketed the vial of K. She walked into the living room and pulled Marisa who had once again buried her head in Vogue up off the couch and out the front door. As they reached the convertible, Shay came running out and stopped them.
"Where the fuck are you going?" Shay asked.
"We've got to hide out somewhere and come up with a plan."
"Don't bother," Shay said casually.
"Cause I already got one!"
Margo knew something was up with Miss Demeanor from the moment she let her in. Not only were Miss Demeanors hands shaking, but she also noticed that there were bruises on her arms and her make-up had the appearance of being smeared. Margo forced her to take a step back from the doorway and lunged into the messy apartment.
"What the fucks been goin' on here? This place is a disaster area...did you have a friggin' party and forget to invite your best friend?"
Margo had gotten all the way over to the two huge swinging windows and without hesitation threw them open, letting in a cold blast of sobering air. Then she walked over to mini-fridge, pulled out an ice-cold pint of Stoli, and chug-a-lugged it until all that was left was the echo at the bottom of the bottle.
"Did you see the dead body on the street below?" Margo asked, almost a little too nonchalantly. "Some skin head girl must have thrown herself out the window! I hope it wasn't yet one more stupid sacrifice to your goddess Edie Sedgwick?"
"Though shalt not take the name of Edie in vain!" Miss Demeanor countered, completely serious and totally ridiculous at the same time. She crossed the room and stopped in front of Margo who had put the empty bottle of booze back in the refrigerator and was now lighting a cigarette that she had perched in a half a foot long black lacquered holder. Miss Demeanor pulled a Bic lighter from the depths of her polyester pants and placed it underneath the hand-rolled tobacco perilously pushed into this overly dramatic cigarette holder.
"Thanks for the light. Now would you mind telling me what happened?" Margo asked as she took hold of Miss demeanor's hand, led her to the unmade sofa bed and sat the two of them down to talk. Miss Demeanor considered telling Margo about the skinhead chick and how she had shown up looking for some girl named Maria. About how she had done enough K. to knock out an elephant and then how she pushed her out of the window, never once looking down to see the body. She looked at Margo who was staring at her impatiently, that all too familiar grimace of annoyance that Margo seemed to have a master’s degree in giving. The very thought of her reaction made up Miss Demeanors mind instantly.
"I had a wild party here last night...everyone was on K. You can just imagine the shit that went on!"
"K.? You know how I feel about that shit!" shouted Margo who had risen from the sofa and had walked back to the fridge where she pulled out the empty Stoli bottle and disgusted, threw it against the wall.
"You know I sell K. Margo!" Miss Demeanor wailed. "Just because it makes you sick doesn't mean me and my friends can't enjoy ourselves."
"Well do me a favor and get rid of the rest of the shit that you and your drug abusing friends left spilled all over that table over there. By the way, do you have any blow?"
"Of course I do. It's in the bathroom. Taped on the back of the john."
Margo raced into the toilet and Miss Demeanor cleaned up the K. and breathed a sigh of relief. The sound of Margo snorting up in the bathroom ricocheted through the room, and soon Miss Demeanor was sitting on the cracked tile with Margo cutting up lines that trailed at least eight inches or more across the toilet floor.
"We've gotta get to work soon," said Miss Demeanor, a sudden streak of responsibility rearing it's ugly head.
"O.k., O.k. Just let me do one more line," Margo breathlessly retorted as she slumped her head against the cold tile for another toot.
Fondu, Marisa and Shay had been squeezed together in the front of Margo's convertible for almost thirty minutes now. Fondu was cursing at the engine while Shay fiddled with the multitude of unintelligible dashboard instruments. Marisa was examining her two missing teeth that left a gap almost an inch wide in the front top row of her mouth. The car would start for a second, then slowly piddle out and die. As she tried for the thirty-first and absolute last time, Fondu looked evenly at the key turning in the ignition, as if she were staring at a pot about to boil over. On cue, the convertible rolled over and then quickly died.
Shay was the first to hop out of the car. Marisa opened the door and slowly dragged her wounded leg with her. Fondu hopped up on the seat and kicked in the front window with the high heel of her boot, spraying a cascade of splintered glass all over the front seat and the hood of the car. As she brushed a few shards off the front of her tightly wrapped coat, Fondu leapt from the driver’s seat and landed effortlessly on the black street. She walked around the car and stopped when she reached Shay.
"Now what the fuck are we supposed to do?" Fondu asked.
"We'll just have to find ourselves a more reliable set of wheels," Shay replied in a second flat. "Follow me."
For the first time in the past few hours, Fondu forced herself to take a good, long look at Shay, and to her delight and amusement, noticed that she had developed into a beautiful, wild looking young woman. Her hair was cut into several, severe layers, very Vidal Sasoon in style, tinted a more modern and less sixties shade of day-glo blue. Her eyebrows were bleached gone, and her lashes had on about twenty layers of goopy, day-glo green mascara, some of which had dripped down to her cheeks below and stood out starkly against her milk white skin.
She stood about five foot four but was given an added boost thanks to well stacked and quite clunky six inch heeled lace up boots that were too tough looking to be girls, but too stylishly self damaged to actually be combat boots. She had on a form hugging sleeveless tube of black lycra encasing most of her body over which she layered several different shades of day-glo colored netting that took the shape of a tight tank top, a short, puffy skirt, and futuristic looking arm bands and leggings. The only piece of jewelry adorning her was a ragged piece of twine that she had looped through a baby pin shaped like a blue Smurf.
Fondu and Marisa followed Shay across the street and down the block until they reached a shiny new condominium that stuck out in this dilapidated neighborhood like an unfriendly and certainly unwanted reminder of the haves and have nots. Shay burst into the buildings lobby, much to the dismay of a tall, almost goofy looking doorman that she welcomed as Alvin.
"Was’ up Alvin!"
"What the hell are you up to Shay, are you trying to get me fired?" Alvin retorted, a tad uncomfortably.
"This is my friend Fondu, and her...her...her friend Marisa. They got into a little bit of trouble with Margo, and I promised to help them out."
"What am I supposed to do?"
"Let me borrow your bike!"
"No fuckin' way Shay!"
"Please Alvin, I promise I'll be careful."
"Remember what happened last time...when you drove my car through the garage door?"
"Dad's insurance paid for it! C'mon Alvin. You’re my big brother, it's almost like your goddamn responsibility to help me!" Shay shouted at Alvin just as a well heeled and overly manicured woman breezed into the building with a yapping miniature dog trailing on a long strand of leash behind her. The woman made the mistake of giving Shay a second look and before anyone knew what hit them, Shay had swung back her fist and popped the lady smack in the nose. Alvin rushed to help her but the dog had gone beserk and was jumping up at his legs and furiously biting them. Shay walked over to Alvin's desk and grabbed his jacket. She gave it a good shake, heard the clanking of keys and motioned for Maria and Fondu to follow her back out onto the street.
"So where's his car," Marisa asked.
"It's not a car, it's a bike," returned Shay.
"How the fuck are we all supposed to fit on one motorcycle?" queried Fondu, a bit annoyed but curious all the same.
"You'll see. Follow me round the block to where he parks it."
As the three of them tore off, Fondu nudged Shay with one more question.
"I never knew you had a brother. How can you fuck your own brother over like that?"
"Listen Fondu, do you want my help or not?"
"Of course I do."
"Then stop asking so many fuckin' questions. Alvin and I haven't really gotten along since I left home. My foster parents took him in when his mother, a junkie customer of theirs, slit her boyfriends throat open and got taken in by the police. They used to make Alvin cut up the speed. If you gotta know, he blames me and a bunch of my shithead friends for giving my foster mother a heart attack one night."
"Listen...accidents happen. That's all I'm saying. Look, there's Alvin's bike!"
Fondu had never seen anything like it in her life. Marisa had.
"Oh my god! It's Colonel Klinks side car motorcycle from Hogan Heroes," muttered Marisa as Shay lept on the bike and stuck the key into the engine. True to Maria's word, the cycle was a classic World War II vehicle with an attached sidecar big enough for one person to comfortably sit in. It was painted Army green and was striped on the sides with thick strokes of yellow and red.
"Move yer asses ladies, Alvin might discover his jacket is missing, and we don't want to wait around for that!" Shay bellowed as Fondu and Marisa, still staring at the bike in disbelief, walked in a daze towards it. Shay twisted the key and the engine roared to life just as Marisa settled into the sidecar and Fondu had straddled the seat directly behind Shay.
"Put this on," Shay said as she handed a pair of thick goggles bound by round tubes of black rubber. She then handed Marisa a helmet that had a very sharp looking spike sticking six inches up in the air stuck straight on the top. Shay herself had donned a sixties motorcycle helmet, starred and striped like an American flag. “My brother may be a giant asshole," Shay yelled as the cycle took off down the street," but I sure dig his fuckin' style!"
All three girls laughed hysterically and stuck their faces a little bit further than normal into the wind rushing against them. Fondu clutched Shay tighter than was really necessary, inspiring Shay to take one of her arms and reach it back behind Fondu's butt, which she then stroked appreciatively. As they drove past the condominium, a squad car pulled up just as Alvin ran into the street, chasing his fist after his sister and her two mysterious friends.
Margo had spent the past four hours talking dirty on the telephone. The last thing she wanted to do was take another phone call. This would be her fifty-second call and she was over it, but Miss Demeanor had gone out to the Chinese restaurant down the block for Moo-Shoo pork and had left strict instructions that every single call should be answered in her absence. Margo rolled over on the sofa bed and reached over to one of the three phones littering the foot of the bed. She picked up the receiver from the phone in the middle, and in her most seductive voice, purred hello.
"Yeah. Who's this?"
"It's me Shay."
"Shay? I can't believe Bambi actually let you out of her sight long enough to give me a ring! How have you been honey?"
"I've been better. Listen, I need to see you. It's an emergency."
"What's the matter, you need a fix don't you? How come you only call me when you want to get high you little bitch!?"
"Margo, you got it all wrong. I don't wanna get fixed, I wanna get fucked!"
"Really? Well that's a different story. Could you come over and meet me here at the Chelsea?"
"Of course. But meet me in the lobby. I don't want Miss Demeanor to see us together. She might tell Bambi."
"Good thinking. But where will we go?"
"I've got an idea. Meet me in the lobby in ten minutes and I'll let you in on it. Margo?"
"Is Miss Demeanor there?"
"No, she's down at the chinks picking us up some dinner. I'll leave her a note and tell her I'll be gone for about an hour."
"Margo, one more thing."
"I can't wait to eat your pussy."
"Stop it, your getting me all worked up. I've been faking orgasms for the past four hours with impotent assholes. I'll see you in ten!"
Shay hung up the payphone and walked back over to the motorcycle, which was parked in front of Grey's Papaya on Twenty-third Street. Marisa was munching on a hot dog and Fondu was sucking down a large coconut/pineapple juice.
"Did she go for it?" Fondu asked as she wiped her mouth clean of white juice foam.
"Just like I knew that big, bad slut would!" Shay answered as she grabbed the unfinished portion of Marisa's hot dog and shoved it down her own mouth.
"Hey, that was my fucking hot dog!"
"Fuck you and shut up!" Shay shot back as Marisa bolted back into the store and ordered another dog. When she had finished it she walked back out where Fondu and Shay were discussing their plan of action.
"I'm meeting her in the lobby. When we leave the building, Fondu goes in and uses the key that Marisa will steal from Miss Demeanor to get into the room and switch the coke for K." said Shay through sauerkraut stained teeth.
"How the fuck am I getting the key from Miss Demeanor?" Marisa asked.
"Miss Demeanor is down the street at that greasy egg roll hut getting some din-din for her and Margo. Go down there with Fondu and use your imagination, but hurry up. We've only got ten minutes."
Fondu and Marisa looked at each other and then walked down the street. Before they were more than a few steps away, Shay called for them to stop.
"Here you might need this, " Shay said as she handed Marisa her shiny silver pistol. "Don't use it though, just threaten the bitch. I don't want this neighborhood swarming with fuzz until after Margo has bitten it."
Marisa took hold of the gun and for the briefest second contemplated holding it up to Shay's face and slowly but sweetly pulling the trigger. But Fondu grabbed her arm and the two of them silently marched towards the Chinese restaurant as Shay crossed the street and took a seat in the lobby of the Chelsea Hotel to wait for Margo.
Miss Demeanor was sitting in an unoccupied booth of the otherwise extremely crowded restaurant. Because of the crush, her order was taking longer than usual and she was trying to pass the time by flirting with a rather gnarly UPS guy with a goatee almost seven inches long. Miss Demeanor winked at the brown uniformed dude who batted his lashes back and then moved his seat right next to hers. They had just begun to strike up a conversation when Marisa and Fondu stumbled into the restaurant. Miss Demeanor had met Fondu once at a party at Margo's, but she didn't recognize the young girl with her.
"Hi Fondu. What’s shakin'?"
"Hello Miss Demeanor. I'm fine, how are y..."
"Cut the crap Fondu," Marisa ripped in. "Is this bitch Miss Demeanor?"
"Marisa, why don't you chill the fuck out!"
"I asked you if this was the bitch we're looking for. Now, IS IT?"
"Yeah, it's her," Fondu whispered.
"What the fuck is your friends problem Fondu?" asked Miss Demeanor.
"I ain't got no problem, but you sure fucking do!" Marisa replied in place of Fondu, who was slowly, steadily taking baby steps backwards. "Now give me your fuckin' keys, or I'll have to do something we'll both regret."
"Hey little lady, why don't you take it outside," the UPS man suddenly cut in.
The rest of the restaurant had now stopped eating and was paying attention to the confrontation taking place in the front booth. Marisa looked at the UPS guy in disgust and pulled the shiny, silver pistol out of her yellow shearling coat. She shoved it into his belly and smiled as she stared into his shocked eyes.
"I've had a really crappy day mister, and you're getting in my way!"
The gun exploded into his brown, polyester shirted belly and the restaurant erupted in a seismic wave of fear and panic. Miss Demeanor had bolted from her seat and was standing in front of Fondu who had grabbed a fire extinguisher and was blocking the front door from her exit. Fondu couldn't believe what Marisa had done. This was totally uncool; someone outside must have heard the gunshots.
"Marisa! What the fuck is up with you? Are you crazy?" Fondu yelled as Marisa turned around and came at her and Miss Demeanor with the gun pointing at them from her extended arm.
"Just a little bit Fondu, just a little bit. Now give me your fucking key's you piece of shit, before I give you what I gave your friend."
"Oh my god! You're the girl that crazy skinhead was looking for. You're Marisa aren't you? I've got to warn Marg...."
The second shot reverberated through the room, sending those who weren't already hiding under their tables, scrambling for cover. Miss Demeanor had taken most of the bullets explosion in her face, sending chunks of flesh careening through the air like bleeding frisbees before her body slunk with a thump to the floor. Fondu was in a bit of shock, covered for the second time in twenty-four hours with somebody else’s blood.
"Fondu, grab the keys, we've gotta get the fuck out of here!"
Fondu ignored her, still holding onto the fire extinguisher as tears began to flow out of her eyes.
"FONDU! I said grab the goddamn keys. NOW!"
Fondu looked up at the girl that only a few hours earlier she had thought she might be falling in love with and shook her head with repulsion. Then she lifted the extinguisher and shot it straight into Marisa's surprised face, forcing the girl back against the far wall with a stream of pulsating foam. Marisa dropped the pistol and Fondu threw the extinguisher at her, knocking her flat on the ground. Fondu picked up the gun and then bent down to Miss Demeanors bloody carnage where she fished her keys from inside of her bra cup. Before she threw open the door, Fondu looked back at the freaked out restaurant goers and gave them a slightly sincere smile before she waved goodbye and ran out of the door and down the block towards the Chelsea.
When she had reached the hotel door, she turned around and saw three cop cars in front of the restaurant. After a few seconds there was the sound of gunfire and Fondu knew in her heart that Marisa had most likely just been shot and killed. She would of never gone along peacefully. It just wasn't her style. Fondu looked into the lobby and breathed a sigh of relief when she saw that Shay and Margo weren't sitting there. She entered the building and headed for the elevator, which she rode up to Miss Demeanors apartment and the final phase of Shay's plan.
Margo and Shay were walking hand in hand around the block when Shay noticed the cop cars racing up Eight Avenue and pulling around the corner on Twenty-third Street. Without hesitation she grabbed Margo's hand tightly and steered them in the opposite direction of Twenty-second Street.
"Let's get some ice-cream Margo."
"O.k. sugar, but you're all the cream I need."
Shay got a double cone, pistachio on top, cherry jubilee on the bottom. Then she figured out how to get Margo to go back to the Chelsea. After taking a few licks of the cone as she walked out of the store, Shay pretended to trip and fell on top of Margo, knocking her to the ground and smearing her face and upper torso with gobs of gooey, melting ice cream.
"You stupid bitch! Can't you watch were you're goin'!" Margo seethed as she stood up and wiped what she could off her leather-encased chest. "Now we'll have to back to the Chelsea before we go to your place to fuck. What a fucking bore!"
"I'm sorry Margo, I didn't do it on purpose. Hey I've got an idea. Let's get some blow before we go to my place. You know how I love to fuck when I'm high."
"I knew you were just looking for drugs. All right you little shit. Let’s go back. You can wait outside in case Miss Demeanors back from the restaurant."
"No problem Margo."
They walked back to the Chelsea and Margo didn't even look down the block at the congregation of lost souls surrounded by cops and TV crews in front of the Chinese restaurant. She didn't even notice the three bodies, covered from head to toe with blankets that were being carried out and into waiting ambulances where they would then find new homes at the county morgue.
They rode up the elevator in silence and Margo walked through the door just as Fondu had hidden herself in the closet between a pink fake fur coat that Miss Demeanor used to where even in the summer and a shoe tree overflowing with size thirteen vintage pumps in a wide variety of heel heights. She held her breath and waited for Shay's signal. It sounded like Margo was alone, then she heard her call.
"C'mon in Shay. Miss Demeanor ain't even here."
"Maybe she got lucky."
"Fat chance, that troll is so ugly she scares herself. Listen, why don't you cut us up a few lines while I go to the bathroom and change my blouse. Hopefully Miss Demeanor has something decent to wear. I think there's some coke in the refrigerator, in the butter dish."
"O.k.," Shay answered as she watched Margo go into the bathroom, shut the door and run the tap water. She went to the fridge and pulled out the coke from the butter dish hoping that this had been the stash that Fondu had switched with K. Suddenly Margo paraded out of the john barechested, a towel being rubbed against her freshly washed and now unmade face.
"I look like shit without my mascara, don't I darling?" Margo sighed as she approached Shay who had just finished cutting up seven long, lean lines.
"You look beautiful."
Margo impulsively took Shay in her arms and gave her a deep, long kiss, which almost forced her to throw up the hot dog she had earlier swiped from Marisa. Then Margo released her and picked up a straw lying next to the blow. Like a hoover she snorted almost three lines in a few seconds, not once stopping to refuel for air. Without uttering a word, it was apparent that something was terribly wrong. In fact, Margo had almost sensed it when she had picked up the straw and raised it to her left nostril. There was also the fact that this whole Shay thing seemed a little too convenient. Something had to be up. The savage twitch that struck the back of her brain was the final signal.
"What the fuck did I just snort Shay!" Margo barked as she threw herself at Shay.
Shay jumped out of the way allowing Margo to collide with the floor instead of her intended prey.
"I gave you coke Margo, what do you think I gave you."
"If you had given me coke, my mouth would be numb by now. And it sure as fuck isn't!" Margo moaned as she struggled to prop herself up on unsure elbows that gave way the minute she had achieved some sort of balance. "I'm gonna get you, you little fucker!"
"No Margo, a friend of yours is gonna get you first. Fondu! Come out, come out, wherever you are!"
Fondu barreled out of the closet and shot full force into Margo. The two of them collapsed in an unrehearsed ball and rolled around on the floor until Fondu stood up and plunged her heel into Margo stomach, forcing her back in shock.
"Give me the bag Shay," ordered Fondu.
Shay handed her a paper bag that Fondu proceeded to place over Margo's head and then scotch taped tightly shut around her neck. The K. was taking effect on Margo and she had begun what would turn out to be the worst trip of her life. She flailed and jutted about the room as Shay and Fondu scrambled to escape being brushed by her.
"Enough with this shit," Shay said as she grabbed the freaked out Margo and punched her unconscious. She lifted her over one shoulder and took hold of Fondu's hand with her free one.
"Let's get the flying fuck outta' this shit hole," Fondu said as they walked through the door and ran down the stairs instead of taking the elevator. As they approached the lobby, Shay dropped Margo and each of the girls threw one of their arms around her. Then they simply waltzed through the lobby drawing the attention only of the hotel cat who tried to rub against Shay's leg until Shay in a typically loving mood, kicked the poor little critter clear across the room. They kept going until they had reached the motorcycle across the street and had dumped Margo upside down into the sidecar.
"You don't have to finish this Fondu. I know how you feel about killing people."
"Listen Shay, we've come this far. I don't think I could go back now even if this could all be erased somehow. But it can't. "
"I'm really into finishing it now, Fondu. I never realized how much I hated Margo until she kissed me back there in the Chelsea. I thought about how I could have ended up dead."
"I think the cops shot her. She just couldn't resist the power of having a gun. It completely freaked her."
"Are you O.k.?"
"It's alright. She didn't love me. She was too in love with being wild, with not having to take orders or follow any rules."
"Funny, that's how we live our lives. How come were not dead?"
"I don't know Shay. I really don't know. I'll tell you one thing though."
"As soon as we finish up with Margo, my avenging day's are over. I plan on settling down. Way down."
"Lookin' for some company?"
"I thought I was, but Marisa kind of made me a bit distrustful."
"Trust me Fondu...I won't hurt you again."
"Why?" Fondu asked as she turned her head away from Shay because she had started to cry.
"Because," said Shay as she pulled Fondu's face against her own, "I love you."
The two of them kissed for what seemed an eternity, breaking their embrace only when Margo's once immobile frame sprang back to life and started kicking at them from behind.
"Let's do it," Shay stuttered as Fondu pulled out the shiny, silver pistol and swatted it as hard as she could against Margo's bagged head. Then the two girls hopped on the bike and drove it across Twenty-third Street and then up Eight Avenue to Fifty-seventh Street and Seventh Avenue where they parked the bike and carried Margo down the stairs of the R subway station. Ignoring the lady in the booth, they hopped the turnstile, roughly pulling Margo over it, and then ran down the subway stairs dragging Margo by her feet behind them.
"We've got to be quick, Du! Someone's bound to call a cop."
"I know. Wait! Listen! I hear a train coming..."
"Then hurry up!"
They plunged into a semi crowded subway terminal, and headed straight for the edge of the tracks. As a horrified group of onlookers began to cluster around them, the two girls lifted Margo above their heads and thrust her onto the tracks below. Fondu brandished her gun and fired a shot into the ceiling, quickly dispersing the shocked crowd around them. Shay turned around just as the R rammed into the station and looked down on the tracks as Margo was sliced into three neat pieces. Fondu had already made a race for the staircase, so Shay quickly followed suit.
The rest of the people on the platform were becoming unparalyzed from their fear and a few had actually begun to chase after Shay and Fondu. A cop on the other side of the platform had seen the whole thing and was racing up the opposite staircase, hoping to beat the girls to the top where both stairs met and let out. The girls and the cop reached the top step at the same time; the only difference being Fondu was quicker on the draw. As she pulled the trigger, Fondu grabbed Shay with her other hand and threw her into a burly gentleman wearing a yellow linen suit. The cop pulled his trigger exactly as Fondu's bullet tore a hole into his chest, but instead of hitting her, it hit the man in the yellow linen suit whom Shay was now hiding behind.
"Shay, are you alright?"
"Yeah. C'mon, we've gotta get the fuck outta' here," Shay replied as the man in front of her fell dead to the floor. "I know, that cop probably called in the accident. This place will be swarming with cops any minute!"
The girls ran past an odd assortment of dumbfounded commuters who had just witnessed these two over styled young women mercilessly kill one of New York's finest. A large fisted construction worker who was standing closest to Fondu made a jump for her as he screamed "You fucking cop killer!” narrowly missing her by a foot. She kicked him in the face with her high-heeled boot, but he grabbed hold of her leg as she tried to pull it away. The more she struggled, the tighter his grip became, so Fondu leaned over and simply unzipped the boot, allowing her foot to slide out as he fell back on his ass.
"I'm fucking coming, this ain't easy ya' know!"
Shay and Fondu ran up the stairs and were about to hop on the motorcycle when they discovered it was missing.
"I fuckin' hate New York!" Shay screamed.
"I do to. That's why we're leaving," Fondu answered as she stepped out into the passing traffic and hailed a cab. Much to her shock and delight, a checker immediately pulled up and whisked the girls down to Margo's apartment where they told the driver to wait. Once inside they ravaged Margo's wardrobe and shoe collection, then turned the apartment upside down looking for whatever hidden drugs and cash they might turn up.
Shay found seven rolled up one hundred-dollar bills tucked into Margo's green wool pinstriped Gaultier blazer and a bottle of Cuervo between her matress and the box spring. Fondu turned up four vials of blow taped underneath the kitchen sink, and a bank card that stupidly had the code written down on the back of it, probably in case Margo or Caramel forgot it in a drunken stupor. Next to it was her checkbook, which Fondu also pocketed. They left the apartment, hopping over Caramels now stinking two-day-old carcass, and retreated to their yellow chariot waiting at the curb.
"Driver, could you please take us to the nearest Citibank," Fondu asked in the sweetest of tones, wondering just what they might find in Margo's bank account. When they got their, Fondu practically pulled Shay's arm out of its socket as she roughly negotiated her from the cab and into the thankfully empty cash machine vestibule.
"Here, you do it," Fondu said as she handed Shay the card. "The code is written on the back."
"Why can't you do it..."
"I'm too nervous, besides, it's your turn to do something risky."
"What's so risky about seeing how much money Margo has in the bank?"
"Cause if you don't do it now I might kill you!"
"Alright! All right! Hold yer horses for shit's sake," Shay laughed as she grabbed the card and looked at the code before she slipped it into the machine. She pressed in the code and then when the menu appeared, selected balance inquiry and took hold of Fondu's hand as they both shut their eyes and counted to three.
"One," said Shay.
"Two," said Fondu.
"Three," they said in unison, opening their eyes and squinting as they focused on the bright white numbers illuminated by the wide, glowing blue screen.
"I don't fucking believe it," Fondu whispered.
"Neither do I," sighed Shay.
They each stepped closer to the screen and slowly rubbed their eyes. The figure was close to two hundred thousand dollars. The girls recovered as best they could and took out the daily limit of five hundred dollars. Then they left the bank machine and told the taxi driver to take them through the Lincoln tunnel where they checked into a cheap motel a couple of minutes into New Jersey. They downed the bottle of tequila and Fondu immediately fell asleep, but Shay couldn't, she had too much on her mind.
There was no way they would be able to withdraw all that money through the machine. The cops would discover Caramels dead body in Margo's apartment, and when they couldn't find Margo they'd most likely freeze all her assets in case she was on the lam. She had to figure out another way to get that money. Shay tiptoed to where Fondu had dropped her coat and searched it for the bankcard. When she came across the checkbook as well, an idea immediately sprang into her head.
She put both the card and the book into her own pocket and then she stripped off her clothes until she was naked. Shay silently crept into bed with Fondu who was also naked. Their bodies touched and reacted in the only way they knew how, by making love. When they finished Fondu fell back asleep, while Shay lay awake, counting the hours until dawn as she practiced forging Margo's signature over and over again.
At exactly two minutes before seven A.M., Shay slunk out of bed, put on her clothes, and left the motel in a taxi she had called a few hours earlier so as insure a clean get away. At nine A.M. she strode into her bank and casually deposited a forged check from Margo for one hundred and ninety five thousand dollars. Then she went to the Chelsea Hotel, and checked into Miss Demeanors room since it was now available.
At exactly ten thirty-six, Fondu woke from a deep, troubled sleep in which she kept seeing the same innocent little rubber duck being sliced to bits by a manic child dangerously wielding a pair of long bladed scissors. Instead of finding Shay lying next to her she found a pad of cheap motel stationary on which the name Margo Magimarka had been penned almost a thousand times in hard pressed, fading blue ink.
She tried to cry but no tears came out, so she decided to face the inevitable and looked in her pockets to see if anything was still there. Just as she thought. It was all gone. The card. The checkbook. Whatever money she had. She was stranded in New Jersey, the most god-forsaken state on the entire planet, with a twenty-dollar bill in her pocket and a broken heart for the second time in twenty-four hours.
"What the fuck is this? Dump all your shit on Fondu day?" Fondu said aloud, as she struggled back into her clothes, zipped her boots and ran to the receptionist to find out where to catch a bus back into the city. She got directions then went back to the room to put on some make-up. She dropped her lipstick on the floor and when she bent down to pick it up she came across a carbon copy of a deposit slip made out for one hundred and ninety five thousand dollars. It was a CitiBank account under the name of Shay O'Neal, and the bank was located at Fourteenth Street and Fifth Avenue. Clutching her only clue left in the world, Fondu slapped on some lipstick and hightailed it out of there.
After a miserable hour long wait for a bus, probably coming from Hell by the looks of it's passengers, she was soon back in Manhattan trying to figure out just where that little bitch Shay had disappeared to. She wouldn't have been stupid enough to go home and she couldn't have gone to Margo's because the place stank so badly. She had enough money on her for a hotel, a good one. She could also take out five hundred dollars a day with the bankcard, which meant she might be out living high on the hog. But that wasn't her style, thought Fondu, who then came up with an idea on how to locate her. She'd wait for her on the day Margo's check would clear at her bank. Knowing Shay, she would show up the minute the fucking bank opened.
The check would clear in two days. Fondu went back to her apartment, paranoid at first, but then realized the cops had no reason to look for her. She quickly settled into one of her own robes and rolled herself a joint out of her pot jar in the kitchen. Then she went into her bedroom and pulled her emergency money out of her mattress, only to find out she had already borrowed it a few months ago.
At least she had this place. If she wanted to, she could just stay here, and go back to her old life. If she wanted to. The adventure of the past three days might have seemed insane at first, but now as she saw herself drawing closer to a finish she became filled with an adrenaline that she had never experienced before. There was no way she could go back to being the same person she was before. No fuckin way. Her soul wouldn't allow it.
Shay had spent the first night waiting for the check to clear indulging in a bag of K. She found taped behind the bathroom mirror and chasing it with a bottle of gin some hot babe from down the hallway had brought over as a welcome present. Of course they had sex, and naturally Shay rolled the bitch for all she was worth. She had never expected the chicks boyfriend to show up and beat the crap out of her until she forked over the diamond ring Shay had tried on but neglected to return and the hundred and the twenty dollars she had stolen out of her pocket after they had sex.
After he got his girlfriends shit, he fucked Shay in front of her for the next seventeen hours, while the girl took all of Shay's belongings, especially the money and the bankcard.
"Can you believe this dumb bitch has her code written on the back of the card!?" the girl chortled.
"You sure are a dumb shit," her boyfriend said to Shay as he pummeled her unconscious with his cock.
By the time she had woken up and dragged her badly beaten body downstairs, the pair had long since checked out, and all the lobby attendant could offer were a few clean towels and a bar of soap. Shay stumbled back to her room and prayed that they hadn't touched her I.D. and the coke she had taped behind the bathroom mirror after finding the K. there. Sure enough, it was there, and Shay settled onto the bed after locking the door, clutching the I.D. and snorting one vial after the other for the next fifteen hours. She counted down each hour that passed until she had gotten to seven A.M. Shay exhausted the last vial and stood up to get dressed, unaware of the fact that she had been profusely bleeding all over the sheets from her vagina the entire night.
Shay was white as a ghost, shaking from the coke and weak from the loss of so much blood. Still, she donned one of Miss Demeanor’s borrowed black leather dresses and fumbled with a pair of ridiculously high black suede open-toe sandals that had a five inch strap, starting at the ankle and working it's way up her leg like a slave chain. Devoid of make-up, her dyed day-glo blue hair gave her an ill pallor, giving her the resemblance of a circus clown on its deathbed. As she exited the hotel, she realized she had no money, so clutching her I.D. card she blindly made her way down to the bank, sprinkling errant drops of blood from between her legs every few feet.
It was a harrowing journey, as she drew stares from people who weren't even really there, talking herself through coke-induced demons and the sins of her own mortal flesh. She practically spilled through the bank's glass doors, and was so out of it when she handed the teller a withdrawal slip for one hundred and ninety thousand dollars, that the woman called her supervisor who escorted Shay downstairs to the offices to make certain she was sure about what she was doing.
After an hour and a half of determined and at times obviously out of it commentary, the supervisor signed the back of the withdrawal slip and asked Shay how she would like the money.
"In hundreds shit head...and make it snappy. I've got a schedule to keep."
A half-hour later she was riding the escalator up from the basement and walking out of the bank as innocent as a lamb.
"Now," she thought. "I've got to blow this fucking town!"
She took a taxi to the Chelsea and paid with a crisp hundred-dollar bill.
"Keep the change...asshole!" Shay bellowed with a curt flourish and slowly dragged her banged up body through the lobby, up the elevator and safely behind the locked door of her room. She immediately fell asleep, not waking up until she heard a key turning in the lock a few hours later, forcing her up and out of sleep.
"Who the fuck is it!"
"Who do you think it is you stupid bitch!"
"Oh my god, Fondu. How did you find me?"
"I waited for you outside of the bank this morning and followed you home. By the way, it looks like you had a nasty accident. Could your Karma be catching up with you?"
"Fuck you Fondu. I should have killed you in that hotel room when I had the chance."
"You mean when you were making love to me? You're no better than Marisa, maybe even worse. Why'd you say you loved me?"
"I meant it...then I thought about the money, how much it was worth. I ain't never seen money like that before. Shit, I would never get to see money like that the way my fuckin' life was goin'."
"Give it a rest Shay! Two hundred thou' is more than enough for two people to split, but you had to be greedy. Now you get nothing," Fondu said with the most even tone Shay had ever heard a person speak with.
"Can't you see I'm really fucked up, Fondu? Some guy almost killed me and now you wanna rob me blind? Have you no fucking heart?"
"That's funny. I didn't think I used to have a heart. It keeps getting broken all the time, but after you, I found it again. I came to the conclusion that the only person I could trust to love me was me."
"Oh, isn't that just too fucking beautiful! You've gotten so profound Fondu."
"And you've just gotten stupider. Now you must pay."
Fondu walked closer to Shay who had shrunk back in the sheets of her bed, wringing the ends until her knuckles were white and her expression petrified.
"I love you Fondu...I really do. Give me another chance and you'll see! I can change. I'll give you all the money. It's right here next to me in these two Sloans bags. You can even count it if you wan..."
"Shut-up Shay," Fondu said through a smile as she reached the plastic sacks of cash and picked them up with her right hand. Then she sat down on the bed next to Shay and planted a single, simple, sweet kiss on her bruised lips, which softly kissed her back. Then Fondu pulled Shay's shiny silver pistol out of her coat and placed the tip of the barrel into the other girls left eye and slowly pulled the trigger as she shielded her own face with a pillow.
"I love you too, Shay. Now piss off."
The sun was just beginning to set as the MGM Grand jet burst out of Kennedy airport on it's way to Los Angeles. The flight attendant was milling about, propping pillows, pouring Bloody Marys and explaining to people how to recline their chair to the fullest. A hot new TV actress was cuddling with an even hotter married movie actor while a guy in a tasteless Versace suit kept trying to reach his office on the cell phone. One of the pilots had just walked through on his way to the john just as a very wealthy older woman wearing a Chanel suit had snorted a line of coke that she kept hidden in her beautiful antique Tiffany locket in plain view of anyone who happened to be looking.
Oblivious to all this sat a lone young woman. She was sitting alone in a window seat and reading a book on Tibetan Buddhism, concentrating on a chapter dealing with meditation. As she closed the tome and shut her eyes, she imagined that she was the airplane and the clouds were supporting her as she flew to her new destination. A place where nobody knew her name. A place where she could start over. Soon it would all be over, and with the money she had safely tucked into her knapsack between her feet she was at least certain of a comfortable beginning. Suddenly the flight attendant interrupted her dream and Fondu opened her eyes as a woman with way too much mousse in her hair and a visible pantyline questioned her awake.
"Excuse me Miss Fondue, is that really your name? F-O-N-D-U-E?"
"It's F-O-N-D-U. Fondu without the e on the end."
"Oh. Isn't that special."
"Yes, isn't it. Would you like something miss?"
"I was just wondering if you'd like the vegetarian plate or the chicken?"
"What do I look like to you?"
"What do you mean?"
"A vegetable or a piece of meat?"
"I'm not sure! This is a trick question, isn't it?"
"Oh, you're a bright one."
"I got it...CHEESE!"
"Very good honey, now do me a favor."
"Yes Miss Fondu without the e on the end. What will it be?"
"Shut the fuck up and get the hell outta my face before I have to burp you, you stupid piece of ignorant shit."
With that Fondu closed her eyes again and thought about her life approaching in California. Land of oppurtunity. Land of fame. Land of...Land of assholes! Fondu thought to herself as she fell into a deeply determined sleep, unaware of anything but her own destiny.