Gothic Friends

Gothic Sister_1.jpg
*Gothic Friends*

"Urgh,” I cracked a window to the outside world, good its not spinning, maybe a little wobbly but Dr Wobbly’s not so bad, not compared to Mr Spin.
What the heck happened last night? Lots of booze, that's for sure. Number two, where am I? Not my curtains, seagulls? I freed a hand to push some of the hair out of my face, my fingers hit something round which dragged on my cheek, what the? Then it all came crashing back, Trixie, Gothfest and Rory! The heat on my back, he didn’t, we didn’t did we?

Cautiously I used the hand under the covers to check on the er position under the duvet. I found clothing that seems to be on me, phew, not naked at least. More details started to seep into my consciousness, snoggin’ Rory outside, silliness inside, more lip stuff in the room, shit.
An urgency in my bladder prompted an exit from the covers and retreat into the little room. A look in the mirror revealed a less than pretty sight, last nights make up, well the remains of it smeared across my face, a pink rats nest of hair and a bruise? Closer inspection revealed it as less of a bruise and more of a love bite, just below my ear and another on my shoulder, Jane’s gonna kill us both.

I peeked out into the main room, the subject of my er, affections was sprawled across the whole bed, giving a rather good impression of sawing logs. What to do? Right, clean up, shower, repaint the face and get dressed, coffee would be good. Its a plan I guess and any plan is better than no plan, right?
"Someone had a good night eh lass,” our landlady offered with a wink.
"Erm yeah, any chance of coffee this morning?”
"Aye lass, full breakfast?”
"Could I just get egg on toast please?”
"Fried or scrambled?”
"Scrambled I think.”
“’Appen you won’t be only one wi’ a sore head this mornin,” she chuckled before leaving me to the juice and cereal.
"How can you look that good after last night?” Rory asked as he seated himself at the breakfast table.
I dug in my bag and plonked a packet of Ibuprofen, (a surprisingly useful addition to the handbag Jane insisted I should carry everywhere unlike the tampons, I mean what use are they to me?) on the table.
"Er thanks Trix, good night mind.”
"It had its moments,” I allowed, is he going to say anything, does he even remember?
"Um Trix?” he leant forward.
"Ah, surfaced have we,” our over jovial hostess interrupted, "Full English?”
"Without mushrooms?”
"Full English, no mushrooms, drink?”
"Erm tea please.”
"You know where the juice is.”
"So?” I hinted, "You were gonna ask something.”
"Was I? What was it, oh yeah, you okay going back to Chessy on your own? I'll pay, I mean that was the deal right?”
Well talk about a put down.
"So how are you getting back?”
"I'm going down to Hull with Joe and Becca, gig tonight then I'll get early train back to Chessy in the morning.
"Er right, I guess so,” dumped for a tit head in a top hat.
"Thanks Mrs Simmonite, I'll pick it up about four.”
"Okay lass, have a good day.”
"I'll try.”
Well, with the ‘dumping’ over breakfast we decided to go our own ways from the off, Rory keen to meet up with Joe whilst I actually wanted to do a couple of the Sunday programme gigs. So whilst Rory set off with his bag – presumably to go in the usurpers car, I arranged with our landlady to collect mine closer to departure time. I clomped down to the road, the first gigs aren’t till lunch of course so I decided on a walk around to the beach.
I'd just cleared the bridge when my phone started trilling, I dug it from my bag, caller I.d. suggested it was my sister.
"Janey,” I sighed.
"You sound pissed Trix,” she observed.
"Your boyfriend dumped me.”
"He what?”
I found a bench by the quayside to continue the conversation.
"He gave you money to get back?”
"Forty quid.”
"Is that enough?”
"He reckons it was only like thirty each coming up.”
"You got extra if you need it?” my sister queried, surprisingly concerned.
"I'll manage, got a few quid left on my card.”
"Look if you get stuck call me right.”
"You never used to be bothered,” I mentioned.
"I never had a sister who looks about sixteen before either. Seriously Trix, ring me okay, we’ll be back home about seven thirty anyhow.”
Sixteen? How can I look sixteen.
"Erm, about that, I can’t go home like this, I was gonna blag a bed off Rory but...”
"Bugger, I forgot about bringing Zak back,” she admitted, "Look call when you get to Sheffield and I'll meet you at Chessy station, you’ll have to stay at work again.”
"Okay, thanks sis.”
"Take care Trix, see you later.”
"Yeah, you too.”
It was still only half ten when I finished looking at the submerged beach (the tide was in) so I got a coffee on a cafe near the pier before climbing the Khyber Pass to the famous whale ribs on the hill top.
"You’ll have to take it from the other side,” a now familiar voice opined.
I looked past my phone to see Ray and Amanda a few feet away.
"Morning, just doing the tourist bit again.”
"Gis it here,” Ray suggested, "Might get you in the shot.”
"Thanks,” I allowed passing my phone over to him.
Compared to my attempts at selfy taking Ray was a whizz, on just a couple of minutes I had a veritable portfolio of shots of me and a couple with Amanda and even one with all three of us.
"On you’re own again then?” Amanda queried.
"Abandoned actually,” I advised.
"It happens,” I shrugged.
"What happened? Things looked hunky dory last night.”
"I think I might’ve scared him off? Anyhow he’s going off with Joe and his missus later so I'm single Sally again.”
"Sounds like Joe’s influence,” Ray suggested.
"What do you mean, I know they’re friends, well and you guys.”
"Lets just say that Joe and Bec’s have er, opinions.”
"What Ray means is that they don’t like certain parts of the ‘Goth’ community, vis anyone not in their own ‘sect’ of Gothness.”
"Like me?” I suggested.
"Yeah,” she agreed.
"But he’s been quite nice to me.”
"Because you were with Rory, his favoured disciple.”
"What about you guys?”
"Oh we’ve known him for years, we’re not inner circle though, we just meet here, we might see them at a few other events, but not regular like the others,” Ray advised.
"So what’re you gonna do now Trix? You okay getting home to where is it? Sheffield?”
"Chesterfield, he’s given me the fare but I thought I'd make as much use of the pass as I can first, there’s a gig at the fleece and one at the Duke of York I want to catch.”
"Bram and the Stokers?”
"Yeah, they sound like fun.”
"Mind if we tag along?”
"Thought you’d never ask!”
We were in the ladies at The Fleece.
"Do I look sixteen?”
"I’d’ve said eighteen. Guess that was Rory?”
"No my sister, well half sister sort of, its complicated, anyhow she said I look sixteen.”
"I'm guessing you’re not eighteen either?”
"Twenty three,” I admitted.
"Well for what its worth, lose the piercings, let your brows grow back and you’d easily pass for sixteen.”
"Joy,” I sighed.
"Most girls would be pleased.”
"I guess, I did wonder why I was getting carded all the time.”

Its a right pisser when I want to buy some booze. Then it hit me, I don't actually have any I.d. - all my actual I.d. is for Zac Askwith, the real me and that's in my sisters care back in Chessy. All I have now is a bankcard for Z Askwith and the Gothfest ticket in the name of Trixiebell Heartswoon, I probably can’t even buy a drink.
"That was fun!” I laughed as we exited The Duke just turned three thirty.
Bram and the Stokers turned out to be very entertaining, a mix of short skits and comedic songs performed by three lads and a girl.
"What time’s your bus,” Ray asked as we continued through the afternoon crowds on Church Street.
"Four thirty?”
"You should be in plenty of time,” Amanda noted, "Cuppa?”
"Go on then,” I agreed, "This ones on me.”
We left The Monks Haven almost spot on four.
"Well I guess this is goodbye.”
"You’ve got my number,” Amanda confirmed.
"Uh huh, thanks again.”
"I've enjoyed it, you’ve got me looked at stuff differently.”
"That's something I do, different.”
"Come here,” I was enveloped in a hug, "Now you take care Trixiebell Heartswoon.”
"I will, well I'd best collect my case or I'll miss the bus., bye guys.”
"Bye girl,” Ray told me.
"Bye Trix,” Amanda added.
I'll admit to a few tears as I walked back to Ma Simmonite’s for my case.
"Here for the X40 luv?”
"Uh huh,” I agreed checking the time table.
"Been a smash at Saltergate, up ont moors, roads closed, bus is diverting by Scarborough, be about extra half hour before it gets here.”
"Really?” I guess I won’t make the connection in York then.
"Aye lass, ‘appens ‘bout once a month,” my fount of knowledge advised.

All the seats were taken so I parked my case at the end of the shelter and hopped myself onto the wall to wait – at least its not raining. An impromptu performance by a band outside the station, a sort of lively brass ensemble had me entranced, they were clearly quite accomplished and there were several girls going round with collecting tins. Not my usual choice of music but I waggled my feet in time to the tunes barely noticing the time passing, half past, quarter to.
Beep, beep!
I identified the source, a newish saloon with Amanda at the window.
"I thought your bus was at half past?”
I hopped off the wall and walked over.
"It’s supposed to be, apparently there's been an accident and everything’s diverting via Scarborough.”
"Bugger,” Ray allowed from inside the car.
"We’ll just have to go straight down the sixty four,” Amanda told him.
"Well have a good journey,” I told them before turning to resume my wall wait.
"Trix, do you want a lift?”
I turned back, "I'm okay.”
"Don’t be so daft Trixie, come on get in,” Ray ordered getting out himself.
"I can’t, you live miles away.”
"We can easily go that way,” Amanda told me.
"Okay then but only as far as York, I can get my train from there.”
"Get in then.”
Ray fetched my bags and put them in the boot while I struggled with the logistics of seatbelt, boobs and skirts.
I don’t get to travel by car much, neither me nor Jane has wheels, Mum’s got an ageing Micra that she uses to go to Gran’s and fetch the shopping. Who knew that new cars are so quiet and spacious? As we were already in Whitby it wasn’t much effort to get turned around and head down the coast road, we were largely ahead of the Gothfest traffic so made good time.
Amanda kept up a continuous stream of conversation, a conversation that was largely one sided as she recited tales of her workplace, Nottingham University and other ‘Goth’ gatherings they’d attended. Sometimes Ray would get a word in but more often than not he just nodded along. We caught more traffic after Scarborough and more again at Malton, apparently the normal Sunday homeward bound coast traffic.

I guess we’d been going about an hour and a half, maybe a bit more when I was vaguely aware of us joining a multi laned road.
"I guess we must be near York,” I suggested.
"About ten miles back,” Ray supplied.
"But my train.”
"We’re taking you to Chesterfield Trix, no arguing okay,” Amanda told me.
I guess I don’t have much choice in the matter.
"Any chance of stopping for a wee?”
Janey’s phone rang for a moment before switching to voice mail. We were heading towards Sheffield before I realised I needed to call my sister.
"Er hi Jane its um Trixie, I've got a lift back to Chessy, can you pick me up at the usual place by the hotel? Should be there just after eight. See you later. byeee”
I hate voicemail but for once I was grateful for it as it avoided any awkward conversation on Rays car with my saviours listening.
"You can drop me at the Ibis my sister’s meeting me there.” I advised.
"If you’re sure we can take you all the way home,” Ray told me again.
"You’ve already come out of your way, no the Ibis is fine.”
"I meant what I said Trix,” Amanda added, "If you fancy going we can take you to Canterbury.”
"Thanks, I'll think about it.”
I recognised the end of the bypass and directed Ray to the Ibis where he swung into the car park.
"Here we go then.”
"Thanks again, here, towards the petrol,” I offered Rory’s forty quid to my chauffeurs.
"Don’t be daft girl,” Ray told me.
"But you’ve brought me all this way,” I protested.
“Keep it Trixie, we were coming nearly past the door anyhow, I'm sure there are more important things you can use it for,” she curled my hand back over the notes. "Now just you take care and listen to your sister!”
It felt awkward and wrong, wrong as I've been brought up to pay my own way and awkward having my offer rejected.
"Er I will, thanks.”
"And don’t be shy of calling right?”
"I won’t, thanks for this and you know, up at the festival.”
"Its been fun,” she countered with a waggle of her decorated talons.
"Here you go Trix,” I sensed Ray had been waiting for a break in our goodbyes.
I waited with my case for them to depart, I waved when Ray tooted and then they were gone leaving me alone in the Ibis car park.
Amanda watched the girl in her door mirror as they waited to join the traffic, "You think she has somewhere Ray?”
"Dunno love, is there even a sister, it was convenient that the phone apparently went straight to voice.”
"Oh I think there’s a sister, she’s mentioned her a few times over the weekend.”
"Wishful thinking?”
"Could be,” Amanda allowed.
"Look luv, you can’t mother hen every waif and stray, short of inviting her to ours you’ve done everything she’d let you.”
"I still can’t believe Rory dumping her like that, just wait until I see him next!”
"You want to get Chinese?” Ray asked, that usually calmed her down.

Now what? I pulled the handle out and dragged my luggage out of the roadway. The encroaching dark and a cool breeze had me give a shiver, where’s Janey?
"Trix? That you?” the dark figure enquired from the direction of the hotel entrance.
"Heya sis,” I shivered.
She trotted over to where I was perched on the case, where I'd been for three quarters of an hour.
"Geez Zak, your freezing, why didn’t you come in?”
"Trixie,” I noted.
"Okay, Trixie, so why are you sat out here, didn’t you get my text?”
"Whatever, come on inside, mum’ll kill me if I let you get pneumonia.”
"If I turn up like this she’ll kill me anyway,” I noted as we headed towards the welcoming lights of reception.
Of course I know, as Zak, the girl on reception, Chelsey Hall – somehow last week I missed meeting her – too busy hiding in the attic. We waited until she finished her phone call before Janey prodded me forward.
"Chelse, this is our new chambermaid, Trixie.”
Chelsey is nice enough but I find her a bit easy to judge – she eyed me up and down critically, "Well Magda’ll be happy.”
Hang on, I thought that was just for last week?
"Trix, this is Chelsey our night manager.”
"Er hi,” I almost whispered.
"Welcome to the wonderful world of hospitality Trix,” she smiled offering a hand which I limply shook, "Like the tat.”
"Er thanks.”
"I'm putting her in 501 okay? I'll get her sorted with uniforms and stuff then I'll push off.”
"Sure Jane.”
"Trix?, come on up.”
"Chambermaid again?” I squeaked once we were in the tiny room I spent last week occupying.
"Well it makes you staying here legit and helps us out too.”
"But I won’t be Trixie after tomorrow,” I pointed out.
"We can say you changed your mind about the job.”
"Whatever, I can really do with a shower.”
"Okay, I'll sort you out some uniforms, you eaten?”
"Not since lunch.”
"I'll see what I can find.”
By the time I was showered Janey was back with the familiar uniforms and a couple of pre packed sandwiches.
"Sorry its not much.”
"Better than nothing,” I shrugged, "How was London?”
"Noisy and expensive, what’s that on your neck?”
I futilely tried looking, "Where?”
"Just below your ear, its a love bite!”
"Oh er that.”
"Was that Rory?” she demanded.
Was it? I think so but my memories of last night are a bit blurry.
"Possibly,” I allowed, "We got a bit pissed last night.”
"The bastard!”
"I think maybe I led him on a bit?” I winced in expectation of an onslaught.
"So he makes out with a floozy then dumps her hundreds of miles from home, he better have a good excuse,” she spat.
"I'm not a floozy,” I whispered.
"I need to go home, mum’ll wonder where I've got to, I'll see you tomorrow – cute pj’s.”
"They are yours,” I mentioned.
"I do have good taste don’t I, oh it might be an idea to tone down the make up a bit for work.”
"Ah, so you are back Trixiebell.”
"Er yes Magda,” I allowed.
"Is good, we make a good team eh?”
"I guess.”
"Come, we have to start the deep cleans today.”
And so my new career as live in housemaid at the Ibis restarted.
"You haven’t made things any easier have you?”
"I thought they’d just come off with that remover stuff.”
We were sat in Maccy D’s on the retail park, Rory’s treat did he but know it. Well a girls got to eat, Magda’s a right slave driver. For the last half an hour I've been relating the events of the weekend to my sister, not the gigs particularly but the rest.
"Ut uh, no chance.”
"We could cut them short?”
"Possibly but they’d still be glued on, nope your stuck with them until they’ve at least grown out a bit.” she let go of my hand and returned to her fries.
"Shit, how long?”
"How long’s a piece of string, couple of weeks maybe?”
"So I'm stuck with these talons for a fortnight?”
"At least.”
"I can’t hide them from mum for that long,” I sighed looking at the miniature artworks on my fingers.
"You can keep the room at the hotel while your working there.”
"As Trixie.”
"Well she’s the one with the job.”
"But we can lose the rest of this stuff right?” I flapped a lock of pink hair at her.
"Might as well keep it until we can get rid of the nails.”
"For why?”
"Well for one you still need to be Trix, and people might recognise you as Zak.”
"Chelse, people round town,” she suggested.”
"I can stay in the room.”
"Oh get real, you need to eat and stuff, nope Trixie has to stay until Zac can come back.”
"Can I at least get rid of this?” I offered my tattooed wrist.
"I'll ring Dawn and find out, it is pretty cute Trix.”
"Not on me it isn’t.”
"Maybe we can tone the make up down a bit?” she suggested.
"You reckon?”
"Oh come on Trix, you must admit its been a bit of a laugh.”
"Why couldn’t Rory have just used a picture of you or at least just some random normal girl.”
"You know what he’s like, at least I know what his fantasy woman is.”
"And that's good? That your boyfriend secretly lusts after a Goth porn star?”
"Hey, its good to know the enemy.”
"I really don’t know what you see in him.”
"Lets see,” she started counting on her fingers, "He showers regularly, has a good job, I know his mother, the only other woman he’s slept with is my brother.”
"Seriously, there’s a lot worse out there and I'm sure I can live with wearing a bit of black and heavy make up once in a while.”
I guess my sister won’t be discouraged from Rory and Trixiebell Heartswoon looks to be having an extended life.
I sighed, Tuesday already, I paused to take in my reflection in the mirror I was cleaning, still surprised each time I don’t see Zak there. My phone trilled from my uniforms pocket, not sure why I’m carrying it around, its not like anyone's gonna ring me. Except it was now trilling determinedly.
"Trixie that you?”
"Amanda, hang on, let me get somewhere a bit quieter.”
I stepped into a vacant room, the sound of Magda’s hoovering dulled further when I pushed the door closed.
"Better, you still there?”
"I'm here, just thought I'd see how you were after everything at the weekend.”
"Look thanks again for the lift back.”
"Our pleasure, it was barely out of our way. So how is Trixiebell Heartswoon, is that really your name?”
“’Fraid so,” well for now at least. "My sister got me a chambermaid job at her hotel.”
"That’s good yeah?”
"I get a room and uniforms,” I advised her.
Amanda chuckled down the phone, "Now that I'd love to see, the Goth chambermaid!”
"Its not funny!”
"Sorry, I wasn’t making fun of you, I just had this image of you in that dress we got you for Saturday night mincing around with a feather duster.”
I had to agree, that would be quite funny.
"So anyone notice your labret?”
"Ray? You gotta be kidding of course. The girls at work think its ‘boss’ which I'm guessing is okay?”
"Trixie!” Magda called from the corridor.
"Look I've got to go, the boss is after me, thanks for calling.”
"Like I said, just checking you were okay.”
"Trixie! Ah there you are girl,” Magda stated wading into the room.
"Best go Amanda, bye.”
"Bye Trixie.”
"Boyfriend eh,” Magda stated, "Always they are the trouble. Just some advice, we paid to do linen not chat on phone, leave phone in room eh?”
"Er sorry, I'll turn ot off.”
"Good idea, the manager, she not like the dilly dally, you good girl I see that, you work hard get out of this place, find nice boy, have children. So come, we have more rooms to clean eh?”
"Yes Magda,” I meekly allowed.
I switched off my phone and slipped it back into my pocket and followed her back out to the corridor to continue my polishing.
"Trix!” my sister beckoned me over to the office.
I parked the hoover and joined her, "What’s up Miss Askwith?”
Yeah I know but its company policy and none of the staff know we’re family – I'd like to keep it that way thank you!
She checked to see we were alone before continuing, "I spoke to Dawn.”
"At the tattoo place?”
"Yeah,” she agreed.
She hesitated a bit, "Well there’s a clinic in Sheffield does it but...”
"But what?” I interrupted.
"Well the ink has to settle first, it has to fully heal and the laser treatment is pretty expensive.”
"How long, how much?”
I had a sinking feeling in my stomach that I wasn’t going to like the answers.
"A month,” she paused.
"A month,” I repeated, "Well I guess I can keep it covered, so how much?”
"Maybe a thousand pounds?”
"How much?”
"Well apparently they have to do several sessions.”
"Where am I going to get that sort of money?” I sagged inside, "Any more bad news?”
"I can help a bit, I mean its partly my fault you’ve got it and you’ve got a proper job now.”
"All your fault, and I liked working at the coffee bar, all those nurses you know?”
"Sorry bro.”
"Trixie,” I corrected her, I can’t stay angry at her, never could, we’ve got too much in common, "I guess she’ll have to be around a bit longer.”
Janey pulled me into an embrace, "We’ll sort things out, I promise.”
"What’re we gonna do about mum?”
"Mum?….yes I'm fine….I'm gonna stay down here a bit longer….dunno...I've already rung them...yeah I can probably get some bar work….I will….give my love to you, bye.”
I took a deep breath and once again looked around my temporary abode, will my life ever get back to normal.
© Maddy Bell 29.04.17

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