When you are a little child, there are no choices. You may and shall do all the things you can in a day. You can be whoever you want, or all of them. A princess, a boy, a Zulu queen or Esmeralda; they are all going to take turns being you but you’ll be free to take them all on at any time. There are no choices for little children. They may have ice cream but perhaps only after supper but they never have to stop and them stop themselves from doing what delights them. As you grow up you are presented with choices. That sounds like a gift but really it is the loss of freedom. Will I work late and impress my boss or go to dance class? Will I walk out on this person who I don’t much like or will I try harder with them? Will I wear this dress to work or will they care too much? Will I? Little children have no choices. They have everything in their tiny hands.
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.