The coven was flanked with a weird assortment of electric fences to stop free-balling punters and other like-minded enemies from breaking onto the grounds. Often, obsessed young goths and desperate patrons would find themselves rashy and red from self-flagellation and masterbation; tortured with dreams and desires of one of the young, stripper-witches and try come on all romantic by attempting to visit her during non-operational hours. They were in reality, just another sleazy sad-case who actually believed their latex lovely of choice had a crush on him. Unbelievable.
The entire place was built onto a protective sigil created especially by Di. She’d burnt it into the ground initially and you could trace the path like a labyrinth to reinforce its power in the nature of her spell which they did monthly or when they came across an intruder. That would be after the Coven castrated them. Added to that, Di and the girls had planted a ring of enchanted black palm trees, charmed with alarms that would literally raise hell, should anybody unexpected do anything untoward at the Coven Club. Zombie animals, to be specific were conjured up automatically by disturbed palms in such incidences. They were generally the dearly deceased cats, rats, dog, ferrets and toads of the Coven girls. They’re familiars, much loved in life and pined for in death, so the loyalty, if postmortem, was astounding, as intruders would frequently find out and regret upon their sudden demise to dozens of bloodthirsty dead critters.
Perdy had once climbed one of the back palms in the middle of a sensationally hazy and hot afternoon to pick coconuts. When she had reached the top, she’d found all the fruit was covered in soft white fur, quite unlike the traditional brown course nuts she was used to. She’d pulled a couple down and taken them back to show Di and the girls. Di’s own dark eyes lit up and she went to fetch something to crack the thing open. Returning with a flourish and a mallet, she explained, ‘This is something I’ve read about and learned from my voodoo friends. Never seen it before but I think our little zombie farm is the cause of this. Burying the deceased beneath a bewitched palm has this effect. The blood spilt by our undead dogs and cats seeps into the soil, up the shaft of the palms and turns the coconuts white, almost as though they had been shocked and…’ she paused for dramatic effect, ‘turns the milk of the coconuts,’ she brought the hammer down hard on the nut, ‘blood red.’ Red milk and bloody coconut mash, spilt all over the table. It was truly horrific, as though Di had just bludgeoned the head of an albino, baby monkey. The girls all gasped and shrieked, some covered their eyes and Perdy’s stomach lurched. Most of the girls had scarlet spatters on their faces and outfits; they looked like they’d witnessed a murder. Di laughed low, picked up a bloody looking shard of coconut and nibbled on the fleshy part. ‘Well ya see somethin’ new everyday, don’tcha? Help yourself babies.’ And she wondered off humming to herself.
Perdy sat on the edge of the water well, her legs swinging and she looked down into the dark, long hole that went on forever into the ground. the rain was pouring and her frail body was glitching and fizzing with electricity, painful enough to make her numb, cold body jolt and her lungs gasp in shock. She was in the forecourt of the Coven now, she’d been sitting there with all the others just itching, scratching and doing everything she could do to not tear her skin off in front of the other witches. It wasn’t them, it wasn’t the club or the stripping or the new name or the new places and faces. It was inside of her. Perdy was certain of it. One of those fuckers from her night terrors had found its way into her at the Coven Club which was, let’s face it, basically a wifi hot spot for demons with the number of vortexes getting opened up with each seance, spell and seduction. She didn’t stand a chance from the beginning. Why Lady Di had even opened the door to her, she would never know. Di had a nose for foul play and if the way she felt her ribs split right now, was anything to go by, well why the hell hadn’t Di seen that Perdy was the Heathrow of hellfire demons? The bastard was inside her chest, scratching away at her internals.
Being with Jake felt like dying and being born again all at the same time. It was like opening your eyes under water; it hurt but you knew this was a way to see things that was different to anything else. You couldn’t breathe, it was warm as bath water, it made your blood feel electric, elated, like you were coursing with some unknown and inconsequential drug. She was celestial gold inside the leather of Jake’s jacket, wrapped around him, feeling his heart beat, feeling everything inside his flesh, feeling his abdomen, the bones of hips and his chin pressed into the top of her head.
Being with Jake felt like the slow, toxic poison of an overdose and the delicious moment before you take that first hungry bite and the saliva pours from the tiny ducts deep in your mouth. it was breathless again and it hurt so much to look into the sun, to look into his eyes and feel his reflection burn into her retinas and change the way she worked inside.
"Do you remember a girl who called herself Perdy, from your school?" - I ask.
The dark haired woman in front of me goes from smiling and standing up straight in her frumpy denim shirt and jeans combo. Her eyes narrow and she she crosses her arms protectively over her chest, ’ Yeah. We went to school together for a few years. She was a total bitch. She kissed my boyfriend. Talked shit about me and my friends. Long blonde hair, right? Yeah, Perdy or whoever she was. She didn’t speak to us much. Just like, left one day and then freaked everyone out ‘cause she was really missing. Probably on drugs or dead now, right? Haha… that’s why you’re here?’
"Do you remember a girl who called herself Perdy, from your school?"
This guy is thin and blond and at in a shitty bar, drinking in the afternoon. “Perdy, yeah, yeah. I dunno why, we weren’t friends or anything but yeah, she was in my school and in a few of the same classes. She was really good at English. I remember she just stopped coming one day, though. The teachers were really pissed off at first but then they told her folks and they didn’t know where she was, neither. Everyone kind of just didn’t make a big deal out of it for a couple weeks, which is weird I guess. Just assumed she was partying or whatever, maybe with a guy or something. My parents would’ve freaked if I’d done that. Just took off. Then everyone kind of went into a panic and tried to find her but it’d already been so long… who knows where she went. Her parents didn’t get in trouble about it, neither. I remember seeing them around town at shows and stuff after that. Nothing. Think they’re still there. Hey, you find Perdy? What happened?
'Your daughter, Perdy, where is she?'
Mrs de Palma looks at me hard. She’s beautiful, if older but there’s nothing much else to her. Her eyes are blue and shallow, full of a low-heated anger, i assume because of the position she is in, the camera that is on her, because of me and how i have interrupted her easy world.
"Perdy left us. The police know, they found the messages on her c-c-c, on her laptop and they suspect she’s somewhere overseas. It was in the papers. That’s all the information I have for you, what you already know. They told me not to blame myself, that girls do this sometimes. I wish I could tell you more but I suspect everything you found online is all you’ll need. She left, she’s gone. It’s b-b-b-been ten years and nothing. I tried to find her. Do you know what it’s like? What is this all about? I have nothing to tell you! You tell me where she is! You tell me! I thought this was an interior design piece! Lies! You’ll say anything to get in h-h-h-here. I think you should leave. That wasn’t my fault. We don’t know where she is.’
you lay there, painted and entirely
lovely in decadent black ink
and white sheets,
like rusty smoke, spills
over the pillows,
catching the wings
of ghostly tobacco
you breathe sagely
through your nose
it is summertime again
so many seasons,
it is impossible not to match
this familiar heat
with your warm flesh.
golden, tanned, striped black;
you are an orb spider
lazy and languid
from your nest
the world stopped
for weeks and still,
still it stops still
in my mind.
the heart recalls
of what it was
to have my love,
my adrenalin for
you, run my
in those tiny afterlives
we made each afternoon
Perdy felt like she was watching the cool kids have fun while she sat on the side-lines. She kind of cared what they were doing which was apparently so great but she also really didn’t. Teenage apathy lapsing into longing and anguish; normcore was a nightmare.
Uno smiled and reached out to her with her long wet, slender arm. Even when she was all messed up, sleep deprived and provoked by an insane voodoo man, she still looked great. Her huge blue eyes were pooled in shallow blood, sinking into her skull. When she batted her eyelashes, they stuck together in little clumps and her whole seduction technique became disturbing and even more appealing. Uno had a way of making sick, dead things look delicious.
Perdy woke up to girlish giggles and a warm bubbling sound. She’d passed out in the green house again, a tiny jar of blood honey stuck over her forefinger and before she really opened her eyes, she imagined the sound to be coming from pastel haired mermaids, who had somehow swum their way up through a series of secret underground caves, to surface at Uno’s dreadful swimming pool. Her mind dipped into a dark place and she imagined the same mermaids floating, bloated and belly up in the water, halos of red mist outlining their pulpy, white bodies, eyes open, staring and bleached from the sun.
A loud splash from outside caused her to actually open her eyes and she sat up, struggling to pull on the tank top she had unconsciously discarded in the middle of the night, some time during her honey induced stupor. The greenhouse was hazy and thick with heat, meaning it was probably around mid-day in the Cloud and which also meant she had been passed out for close on 24 hours or at least since around the point where she’d gotten bored and left yesterday’s party to find the greenhouse and another tiny fix of the perfect, the pure, blood honey. She looked along the aisles of carnivorous plants, snapping and waving in the hazy, green and purple heat, searching for her shades. Eventually she found them being guarded by a swaying prey mantis, it’s horny front forearms tinged pink with hormones and temperature. She politely picked the sunglasses up from the little shaman’s clasp, and walked unsteadily over to the glass door, leading outside to the pool and imaginary mermaids.
The sight that greeted her was akin to the feeling one first enters when they begin the toxic nightmare of a hungover morning snooze. It was what could only be Kinky Slizz, the infamous Voodoo King who’d she’d been hearing about ever since she arrived in Nowhere. And maybe even before because to be honest, seeing those glazed red eyes buried in the hard black flesh; she felt she and every other addict had met with this man before. Maybe not in the flesh, as she was now about to but all those wild children like herself who had toyed with fire in the dark, sidled up to the edge and seen what was waiting for them there, it all came down to the very essence of King Kinky.
The imaginary mermaids dissipated along with Perdy’s hangover as she took in the two floating forms; the black prince of darkness, Kinky Slizz and the ethereal white beauty of Uno, yin and yang, supine and entwined on an enormous pink lilo. They were laughing and whispering, doing lines of pink honey dust off an ornate silver tray through one of Uno’s pretty gold straws.
The children of the blood honey-glazed generation were elite and few, noticed by the rest of the world by the tell-tale signs of stigmata. Pink-tipped angels touched by heaven and fallen from grace to the turquoise abyss of Uno’s cesspool. This is how Perdy found the Queen and King of Darkness; the black Jesus and his broken blonde angel.
The signs of stigmata from the drug had begun to set in and their eyes bled delicately as did their nostrils now and then. It is one thing to witness the horrific presence of an evil power but quite another to see that same power descend into madness and mania.
'Hey.' Perdy said flatly, her eyes rolling behind her shades as the two vamps jumped and splashed on their lilo, laughing.
trying to explain
madness and dreams
who has only ever
seen it but not
dared to go inside
is like trying
to tell blind people
how exactly colours contrast
the language i was
given is too poor
to explain those things
the best thing i
can do is tell you
that it is possible
to be on fire
and to live forever
loving everyone and everything
is a daily revelation
that breaks my heart
because i cant feel
so much all the time
and that death is not the end
im barely here, but im so
glad that i am sometimes
in tiny ways
boys in black t-shirts
rolling their eye black into demon holes
chewing the ends of my hair
whispering for a light
sing lies and unsung things you meant
undying love from the undead
feeling your waze through
hot salt steam from the sand and sea
and hotter, blacker stare of every boy
i remember from before
who makes you mean anything
mean everything to me
over and over
your eyes roll and i ride
worried and glancing over to my side
while you pass out and on over and over
did i mention you look a lot older now
older than before, more so than ever
and you’ve cut all the black smoke of your hair off
and you chew on mine and smoke sage
committing your own soul to hell
over and over again, inhale
i think you fell and failed somewhere
you plead a lot now, ‘cause words are
so breathless, nobody can really hear them
you’ve never loved anything more and
death is not the end
even though, it is
and you cant deny the symmetry the stars
awarded us, you’re not bigger than that
that blood is real, death is the end
better than fiction, this is not pretend
i sleep in the thinnest air, the thinnest skin
covered in the peachiest fuzz
a tiny unwedded veil of protection
the veins are subterranean blue threads
knitted in knots, loose and unraveling from our fingertips
behind my eyes you still exist
you’re all the boys in black t-shirts
underground and understood up straight again
my love of nothing, nothing, nothing at all