Topic: First five chapters from my novel, AMERICAN GIALLO for sale at amazon!
Hey folks, Sonny here, indie moviemaking madman. I've been posting over in the indie movie section, you can check out all the crazy movie stuff here (pics trailers etc)-
But between all the movies I have a novel out now called "American Giallo", about a group of teenage girls that start murdering people in their small town. You can buy it right here-
But for those curious, here's the foreword and the first five chapters, if you find the time, give it a look over!
Giallo is Italian for yellow
Giallo (j-ah-low) derives from the Italian word for yellow, the color that adorned the covers of a series of pulp paperback thrillers that originally flooded Italy in the 1920â€™s. Originally published by the Milanese publishing giant Mondadori, the first books released were mainly imported translations of British "rational-deduction" fictions from the likes of Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie. It wasnâ€™t long before the Italians began to produce their own stories though, usually under false names. These novels, adorned with eye-catching yellow covers, promised readers gory deaths and down-and-out cops or private detectives, who would solve murder mysteries in more or less unconventional fashions. The works of Leonardo Sciascia are particularly well known.
It was in the 1960s that Giallo in cinema began to emerge, turning away from its literature roots, and thanks to the deteriorating ethics of the times, the films were often bloody and lurid, featuring killers with black gloves and trenchcoats who often murdered beautiful, disturbed woman. Mario Bava is considered the grand-father of the genre with his Hitchockian 1968 film, La ragazza che sapeva troppo or The Girl Who Knew Too Much. Many agree that it was director Dario Argento who raised the films to a true art-form. Known as the Alfred Hitchcock of Italian Cinema, his movies like The Bird With The Crystal Plumage (L'uccello Dalle Piume Di Cristallo) and Deep Red (Proffondo Rosso) set a new standard in the Giallo genre.
Many of the modern slasher films of the 80â€™s such as Halloween and Friday The 13th were greatly inspired by Italian Giallos.
Giallo however is not a fixed genre. The term itself doesn't indicate, as genres often do, a particular kind of plot. It functions in an extremely flexible manner and has been known to include gothic horror, police procedurals, crime melodrama and even conspiracy, the term has been become a conceptual category with highly moveable and permeable boundaries that shift around from year to year.
Giallo to this day remains to be a body of work that resists generic definition. Featuring graphic sex, violence, drug abuse, fetishism, insanity, sadism, buckets of shooting blood, but most importantly a general tone of amorality- yet, some still come off as being strangely beautiful, psychedelic, and meaningful.
Giallo is utter trash to some and legitimate art to others.
Kevin Darvis hated Augusta County.
As he drove through the town in his dadâ€™s pick-up truck, morning sun blasting in through the windows, he looked around at the rectangular strip malls, the fast food restaurants, the mass production stores; all devoid of any color or life, and he realized that driving through Augusta was like moving through a giant commercial.
Maybe he was just grumpy because heâ€™d woken up at four in the morning, Mondays through Fridays he delivered the newspaper to most of the town, sure, he got two hundred and fifty dollars in his pocket at the end of every two weeks, but it was hell on his social life, heâ€™d end the days in bed by 10 oâ€™clock most of the time. It was better than working where all the other teenagers worked though, which included either Joes greasy restaurant or the local fast food places.
Heâ€™d moved to Augusta when he was just a kid, but the memories of his old town and friends were still etched into his memory. He often wondered what things would be like if he was still there. Granted, his new life wasnâ€™t bad, far from it, he was well known among his peers, had a best friend and he was pretty well liked; but this place- this place was so monotonous. It was too small to be a city but too big to be a town. It was in the middle of America, surrounded by trees on all sides and was thirty minutes from a city that was bigger and thirty minutes from a town that was smaller.
It wasnâ€™t always like this, heâ€™d arrived just in time to witness it happen, heâ€™d watched Augusta as it had been swallowed up by big name companies. He could even remember the adults complaining as they gave in to buy-outs and sell-outs, as the big stores replaced the small mom and pop shops. The town seemed to lose whatever identity it had possessed. A few straggling survivors had stood up to progress, like Joeâ€™s Restaurant and Samâ€™s Corner market, amazingly they were still going strong, but as Kevin drove around the town, all he could see where the shopping centers full of familiar names and large signs that were identical to a million other signs in a million other places.
As he got into the suburbs he noticed the early signs of Halloween, a skeleton looking out from a window here, a paper skull hanging from a tree there. Soon the decorations would begin to get more elaborate; people took their decorations seriously in Augusta County.
He knew inside the houses people were beginning to stir in their beds. Alarms were going off, pop singers were crooning out from radios, teenagers were jumping into showers and parents were rubbing their eyes and grumbling.
Kevin Darvis pulled his fathers Ford F-150 into the drive-way, jogged up the cement steps at the front of his house (his house looked identical to all the other houses on the street) and went in. Immediately, the smell of bacon and eggs hit him and he reeled a bit from it. He never could manage to eat a big breakfast and the smell alone was too much for his finicky stomach. Heâ€™d eat some cereal, just to make his mom happy, then heâ€™d be on his way.
The house was still closed up, dusky golden sunlight was just starting to filter through the shut curtains. His little brother and sister hadnâ€™t come downstairs yet so things were still fairly quiet. The only sound he could hear was the clanging of pots and pans in the kitchen.
The living room was brown carpet, there was a leather sofa, big screen TV, family photos on the walls, he walked through it all, passed the staircase to the kitchen, which was white tiled and gleaming.
His mother kept things clean, his father paid the bills. Kevin had always figured he belonged to be a typical, American family.
Kevin was about to discover just how dysfunctional his life really was. Like a lot of things in life, there was darkness there.
Mom was at the stove, making breakfast, dad was sitting at the table, his face hidden behind a newspaper.
â€œCutting it a little close ainâ€™t you sport?â€ His father asked him as he entered.
â€œYou say that every morning,â€ Kevin grumbled, walking to the refrigerator.
â€œYeah well you cut it close every morning, Iâ€™ve been late to work a couple of times because of you.â€
Someone woke up on the wrong side of the sofa this morning, Kevin thought, taking out a carton of milk and getting a glass bowl from the cabinet beside his mother. Despite giving birth to three children his mothers figure was still slim. She did â€œTae Boâ€ all day and was always watched what she ate. She was always counting calories and stuff. Kevin thought it was ridiculous.
Just who was she worried about looking good for anyway?
He glanced down at the bacon and eggs sizzling in the frying pan and his stomach rolled.
â€œWe told you that you could only get this job if it didnâ€™t interfere with your schoolwork and if you got my truck back in time.â€
Kevin sighed, he didnâ€™t feel like arguing right now. He turned around to say something when his mother cut in and beat him to it, â€œHe is on time Stephen. If you donâ€™t like him taking your truck he can always take my car,â€ - and in that one brief moment, something happened.
His father looked over his newspaper with eyes full of rage, and if you asked Kevin, he wouldâ€™ve sworn that the man was about to spring over the table and strangle his mother right there.
Kevin had never seen his dad look at anyone like that before, not ever and it shocked him.
His mother didnâ€™t say another word, just turned around and kept cooking the eggs.
My God, Kevin thought, what the hell is wrong with my parents anyway?
The tension between his mother and father had been obvious. His dad had slept on the sofa for the past three weeks. Kevin thought it was just another fight though, no big deal. Theyâ€™d eventually make up and things would go back to normal.
But now he realized something really bad was going on. They hardly ever spoke to each other anymore and when they did talk they just ended up fighting. Kevin handled it by staying away from them as much as possible and his younger brother and sister were still to young to realize what was going on but for the first time he considered the possibility that maybe his parents werenâ€™t going to work things out, that maybe this was going to turn into something he never dreamed of.
Not my family, this couldnâ€™t happen to my family, could it?
Then Peter and Nancy came charging down the stairs, their feet thundering like a stampede.
â€œI want Kangeroos!â€ Nancy screamed, hanging her pink book-sack over her chair.
â€œI want Kangeroos too!â€ Peter announced, hopping into the seat next to Kevin.
Nancy quickly turned to him, â€œHow come you always want what I want?â€
He frowned, â€œI donâ€™t!â€
â€œYouâ€™re both getting eggs and bacon.â€ Their mother told them simply and they unanimously groaned with disappointment.
Kevin watched his mother as she placed plates in front of them, she looked tired and drained. She moves so slowly, he thought sadly, when did she start moving so slowly and lifeless?
â€œBut Kevin gets Kangeroos!â€ Peter declared angrily.
â€œHeâ€™s older than us!â€ Nancy yelled at him.
How unhappy is she? Kevin asked himself.
She used to sing when she cooked breakfast, she used to smile. Kevin could remember that. How long ago was it?
Now, she had more wrinkles than he remembered her having and her hair had gray strands running through it.
How old was she anyway? Forty-three? Forty-four?
Kevin couldnâ€™t remember the last time heâ€™d told her he loved her.
He looked at his father, face hidden behind the paper.
â€œMom!â€ Nancy squealed, â€œPeter keeps making faces at me!â€
Kevin blinked and looked at his younger brother who had his tongue out his mouth and his eyes crossed.
Kevin gave him a quick but light slap to the back of his head and Peter looked up angrily. He saw something in his older brothers face though, saw something serious and decided that big people stuff was going on here, stuff that he didnâ€™t understand. So he just went ahead and ate his breakfast.
Kevin squinted at his father.
My God, he thought as it finally hit him.
Was it already over between them? Were they simply living together for the sake of the kids?
He looked back and forth between them, his mouth open slightly, his head swimming.
His parents didnâ€™t love each other anymore. It was obvious to him now. As a matter of fact it seemed like they hated each other. But when? How in the hell had he missed this?
No, he thought, his mind panicking. Not my parents, not my family, please, I donâ€™t want to be put through this.
He thought about his dad moving out, he thought about visits on the weekends and custody battles and-
â€œYou put gas in it right Kevin?â€ His father asked him, taking a moment to sip his coffee. â€œI better not have to stop to put gas in it.â€
Kevin swallowed and realized that heâ€™d actually poured his cereal. â€œI put ten bucks in,â€ he explained.
Quickly, his mother turned off the water to the sink and spun around, drying her hands frantically on a small, pink, rag.
â€œDo you know what youâ€™re doing for Halloween Kevin?â€
He looked at his mother. It seemed like she didnâ€™t want his father to say anything to him, he felt like he was in the middle of a strange battle of tug-o-war.
â€œBrad Stadey is throwing a party,â€ he explained, â€œ-if I go anywhere itâ€™s probably going to be there. Why?â€
Halloween was Friday, still five days away.
His father cut in, â€œThat Brad kid had a party last night didnâ€™t he? I heard a couple of kids got arrested.â€
â€œHe always has parties,â€ Kevin informed him, as if it was obvious, â€œsometimes cops will run kids in for minors but-â€
His mother asked, â€œIs that the rich boy with the big house on Alexander Street? He lives in Matheson Hills right?â€
â€œThatâ€™s right,â€ his father nodded, â€œhis parents are never home. I always see him driving around in that fancy car of his. Little bratâ€™s never going to have to work a day in his life. Heâ€™s a nuisance, alone up there in that damn mansion all the time, I donâ€™t know who he thinks he is.â€
Then his fatherâ€™s eyes met his mothers, he quickly closed his mouth and looked away. They were coming to close to a conversation and he didnâ€™t want to talk to her right now.
â€œWhyâ€™d you ask?â€ Kevin inquired, just to fill in the sudden silence.
â€œI was just wondering if you were going to be able to take Peter and Nancy trick or treating is all...â€
Kevin smirked and shook his head, â€œI doubt that.â€
His mother shrugged, â€œIâ€™ll take them, I was just wondering.â€
â€œIâ€™m going as Spongebob,â€ Peter informed him, milk dribbling down his chin.
â€œI know,â€ Kevin said indifferently.
â€œI remember a time when kids wanted to dress up as the President for Halloween,â€ his father grumbled from behind the paper.
â€œWell times are different arenâ€™t they dear?â€ His mom came back bitterly.
â€œThey sure are,â€ his father grumbled back, not bothering to look up.
My parents hate each other, Kevin thought again in disbelief. It was so obvious to him now.
â€œFinish up you two,â€ his mom said, wiping her hands off on a dishtowel, â€œitâ€™s time to go to the bus stop.â€
Without another bite the two youngsters leapt out of their chairs and scrambled off into the living room. Kevinâ€™s mom gathered up their dishes and dunked them into the sink.
She put her hands on the edge of the counter and stood there like that, hunched over and silent, as if she was waiting for someone to say something. Then she stormed away angrily. Kevin heard the front door open, heard the sound of his brother and sister as his mom herded them outside, then the door closed and it was dead quiet.
His dad sat there, reading his paper. If Kevin was ever going to find out what was going on between his parents, now was it.
He felt nervous. He and his father had never been close, he was much closer to his mom than he was to his dad.
Now that he thought about it, he realized his father was a stranger to him.
Christ what kind of family is this anyway?
His father never talked to him, never asked him how he was doing, never worried about his grades. The only time he and his father ever talked was when they had something to ask of each other.
Kevin had never realized it but his dad wasnâ€™t really a father, he was just some guy who paid the bills.
This must be what itâ€™s like when your family starts to fall apart, Kevin thought as he stood up.
He left the kitchen, grabbed his book-bag from off the coat rack in the living room and stepped outside into the bright sunlight.
His father never looked up from his paper.
Kevin stepped outside and sighed. The grass on the lawn was bright green and wet with morning dew, the asphalt street beyond was black and hard. The leaves on the trees above him had started turning colors. Heâ€™d always liked the beginnings of Fall, he liked the leaves when they lit up with their colors, their yellows, browns and reds. This week would be the week Fall would hit hard. It would be getting colder.
He crouched on the steps of the porch, dangled his hands between his knees and waited for his best friend, a seventeen year old boy named Grogan Swanson to pick him up.
Pitch darkness. So dark that itâ€™s impossible to see anything but the monsters that lurk in your nightmares.
That is as good of a place to start as any.
Sixteen year old Gaily Belle had black curtains over her windows and aluminum foil over the glass to keep the sunlight out. There was absolutely no light in her room except for the square, red numbers from a digital clock.
Unseen in the middle of the room there was a small bed, with two shapes on it, cuddled together like spoons under a blanket. Gaily was on the left and next to her, hugging onto her as if she was a teddy bear, was Isadore Fresca (called Isa by her friends.) Under the covers, the two girls were completely naked, their soft skin pressed against each other, their legs entangled together.
Except for their soft breathing there was absolutely no noise. It was very peaceful in the room; dark, and quiet, and warm.
Then Gaily Belleâ€™s alarm clock went off.
The sound was gigantic and sudden, impossibly loud, it seemed to fill up in the entire room with mechanic bleeping. Covers were thrown, things frantically jangled in the darkness. There was great commotion and panic, as if no one could figure out what the noise was or where it was coming from.
Isa yelled out, â€œFuck!â€
Gailyâ€™s calm voice followed, â€œTurn it off.â€ But she didnâ€™t feel Isa moving next to her so she stuck her skinny arm out from under the covers and slammed her hand against the clock so hard that it fell off the end-table and tumbled to the floor, coming unplugged in the process.
It got immediately silent again; as quiet and dark as a tomb, just as it had been before.
For a moment it stayed like that, then Isa, who had just begun to drift off to sleep again, felt movement in the darkness beside her. The springs of the mattress squeaked as weight shifted. The covers were thrown back, letting in enormous cold and she heard things being shuffled around. She rolled over to see what was happening but all she could make out were strange shapes and shadows.
â€œWhat the hell are you doing?â€ she whined, eyes open but not seeing anything.
There was a small â€œclickâ€ and the flame from a lighter flickered on. Isa saw Gaily for one brief moment, sitting on the edge of the bed, naked with small beads of sweat dripping down her white skin, covered in flickering shadows, her hair so dark that it was almost the color of the blackness in the room, it was short and hung in strands around her crystal blue eyes, she still had her make-up on from last night, it was smeared on her chin and across her cheeks. Gaily was a skinny girl, with bony arms and bony legs. Her bare breasts were nothing but small nubs on her chest. She always had pimples on the side of her nose. In school they called her anorexic.
Gaily lit up a cigarette that was hanging out the side of her mouth, then the lighter blinked out and it was dark again. The neon red cherry from the cigarette floated in the air, motionless. That small red dot was the only indication that Gaily was even in the room.
â€œI have to go to school,â€ Gaily said slowly and exhaled.
â€œNo we donâ€™t,â€ Isa said immediately getting up on her elbow, â€œwe donâ€™t have to do anything we donâ€™t want to do.â€
Gaily turned slightly, Isa couldnâ€™t exactly see this, but she felt the bed move. â€œPrincipal Chester called my parents in Chicago yesterday and told them how much school Iâ€™ve missed. They called and said if I miss another day theyâ€™ll come back and Iâ€™ll be punished.â€
Isa snorted, â€œWhat the fuck do you care?â€
â€œI donâ€™t want to be punished,â€ Gaily explained numbly, then she reached out and clicked on the small lamp next to her, â€œand I especially donâ€™t want them to come back.â€
Light exploded across the room.
There were clothes strewn all over the floor, panties hung from the corners of picture frames, bras were dangling from the top of the dresser, there were so many posters on the walls that you couldnâ€™t see the actual paint anymore. Most of the pictures featured hard-core rock groups, names written in dripping blood or crossbones, they were the kinds of bands that screamed into microphones and urinated into the audience. The closet door was open, most of the clothes inside were black shirts and pants.
Isa closed her eyes tight and spun her face away from the lamp, â€œShit!â€ She yelled as if the light was burning her. She frowned and shoved a pillow over her face.
Gaily turned her head and looked at the girl, â€œStop being such a baby Isa, going to school isnâ€™t going to kill you.â€ There was an ashtray on the nightstand beside her and she flicked her cigarette into it
Isa moved the pillow from over her face and smiled at her friend. Isaâ€™s full name was Isadore Rosa Fresca. She was fifteen, undeniably pretty and cute, her eyes were big, brown, and dark. She had small, orange freckles on her cheeks and a nose ring in her right nostril. Sheâ€™d dyed her hair bright red three months ago, and it was all over the place right now.
â€œI canâ€™t believe your parents threatened to punish you, theyâ€™re good parents to worry about you like that.â€
Gaily let out a long puff of smoke, then flicked ashes onto the brown carpet. â€œMy parents arenâ€™t good parents.â€ She turned and looked at Isa, â€œJust because they feed me and keep a roof over me doesnâ€™t mean shit.â€ She turned away and grumbled under her breath, â€œThey just feel like theyâ€™re doing their job, thatâ€™s all I am to them, a job. How in the fuck would you even know what a good parent is anyway? Youâ€™re mom doesnâ€™t give a shit about you.â€
Isa didnâ€™t say anything, just stared at Gailys white back. She could see the dimples of her spine running down in a line. She was used to Gailys sudden outbursts, but it still hurt her feelings. She rolled over, hugged the pillow to her breasts and said very softly, â€œYou know, sometimes, itâ€™s like you canâ€™t stand being around me. I donâ€™t even know why you act like youâ€™re my friend.â€
Gaily paused for a moment. Sometimes Isa was way too sensitive. She took a slow drag from her cigarette, then sighed, â€œIf I couldnâ€™t stand being around you I wouldnâ€™t have eaten out your pussy last night would I?â€
Isa exploded out into laughter. She moved the pillow over her face again and laughed into it, embarrassed.
Sheâ€™d known Gaily all of her life and the girl could still say things that would shock her.
Gaily never talked about what they did when they were alone, not to anyone. It was their secret. When they were done Gaily would just roll over and go to sleep, even when Isa would hug her and kiss her gently on the shoulders, she would say nothing. She acted like it never happened.
â€œYou think your parents would punish you if they walked in right now and saw us in your bed naked?â€ Isa asked, poking her face from around the pillow.
Gaily shrugged, â€œI donâ€™t even think theyâ€™d notice.â€ The springs of the mattress squeaked under her as she slid out of the bed. Her sixteen year old body hidden in the dark, she began to search the floor for her panties, â€œWhy donâ€™t you call Eulailie? Tell her to come and pick us up.â€
Isa sat up, the blanket fell off of her breasts. She was fifteen but much more developed than Gaily was. All the boys in school asked her out on dates, even the seniors, but she knew they thought she was just a slut and an easy lay. They seemed to think that way about every girl with big breasts.
â€œDo you think itâ€™s ok what we do Gaily? I mean-â€
â€œIâ€™m going to take a shower Isa,â€ she answered, ignoring her and sliding a long t-shirt over her head, â€œcall Eulailie for me huh?â€
Isa swallowed. She was sorry that sheâ€™d tried to talk about it. They never talked about it, she shouldâ€™ve known that by now.
â€œAll right Gaily,â€ she answered meekly, covering herself back up. She reached for the cordless phone on the nightstand next to the bed.
Eulailie Lenore came to slowly and drearily, not exactly realizing where she was.
The sun was bright above her, it seemed to stab at her eyes angrily, everything had a yellow tint around it. She breathed in morning air that was dense and wet, the sky was a dawn blue; it stretched out forever, disappearing over the pointy tips of the houses across the street. With a groan, she sat up and looked at the lawn.
She realized that she was laying on her front porch.
â€œFuck,â€ she grumbled trying to get to her feet, what in the hell am I doing out here? Her legs were wobbly and unstable, her neck had a serious crick in it and there was an awful taste in her mouth.
She saw her car in the drive-way, parked perfectly. Did she drive home last night and pass out before she got to the door? She seriously doubted it. Had someone driven her here and dropped her off? Maybe Isa? She couldnâ€™t remember shit after taking those damn pills.
Wiping her wet face, she opened her front door and went into her house. Her parents and her big sister were still asleep. She thanked God that sheâ€™d waken up before they did. She wasnâ€™t sure how she wouldâ€™ve explained herself.
Sheâ€™d have to take a shower, she had to go to school today, there was no getting around it. The Principal called her parents yesterday, told them how many times sheâ€™d ditched. If she missed one more day she wouldnâ€™t be able to go out at all, much less to Bradâ€™s Halloween party on Friday. She had to beg her parents to let her go.
She slowly climbed the steps to her bedroom and stopped to look at the clock hanging in the hallway. It was only 7:00 A.M., she could still sleep for a good thirty minutes before Anna called her.
She stumbled into her room and collapsed onto her bed. She laid there, eyes closed, her head throbbing. Everything seemed to be spinning around her. Sleep began to tug at her.
It was then that she became aware of a dull throbbing in the soft spot between her legs. It was more than a throbbing, it hurt down there.
Before she had a chance to dismay over it the phone rang.
She groaned miserably, reached clumsily for the receiver and brought it under the covers, â€œYou bitch,â€ she said immediately, knowing that it was either Isa or Gaily, Anna never called until exactly 7:30, she knew how much Eulailie valued her sleep. â€œI donâ€™t have to wake up for another twenty minutes.â€
â€œDonâ€™t be so crabby,â€ Isaâ€™s voice came back happily, â€œItâ€™s not my fault you feel bad.â€
â€œIt is to your fault, you couldâ€™ve stopped me from drinking so much last night.â€
Isa snickered, â€œYou looked like you were having fun, why would I want to stop you from having fun?â€
Eulailie put her hand against her head, â€œIâ€™m only smoking weed from now on I swear to God I am.â€
â€œYou said that last time.â€
â€œI mean it this time,â€ she stuck her head from under the covers and looked around. There were clothes strewn about her room. Her curtains were shut but the dawn light crept in through the thin material. Outside the birds were just starting to sing.
Eulailie hated birds, they were loud, and noisy, and useless, just like people.
â€œWhy the hell are you calling me so early anyway? You two arenâ€™t coming to school today are you?â€
â€œWe have to, Principal Chester called Gailyâ€™s parents and told them how much school sheâ€™s been skipping.â€
Eulailie exhaled, â€œFat bastard, he did the same shit to me.â€
She put her free hand under the blanket and felt the inside of her left thigh. It was sticky. Had she had sex at the party last night? She couldnâ€™t remember. It certainly felt like she had.
Isa asked, â€œSo are you coming to pick us up?â€
Eulailies throat was raw from all the vomiting sheâ€™d done. She could still taste the alcohol in her mouth.
â€œYeah,â€ she grumbled, sitting up slightly, â€œIâ€™ll pick you up, just be ready by eight.â€
Isa guffawed, â€œEight? I wonâ€™t even have time to take a shower.â€
â€œWell youâ€™ll just have to come to school greasy.â€
Isa giggled, â€œIâ€™m not greasy.â€
Eulailie fell back down onto the bed and stared up at the circular patterns on her white ceiling. â€œDid I have sex last night Isa?â€
Isa guffawed, â€œGod Eulailie you can be such a slut sometimes.â€
â€œThis isnâ€™t funny,â€ Eulailie whined, rolling over onto her side, â€œI canâ€™t remember.â€ She kept rolling until she got to the edge of the bed, then she stretched her arm down, searched under, and patted the carpet until she found a pack of wrinkly cigarettes
â€œWell you were hanging all over Vinnie,â€ Isa answered as if it might be something important.
Eulailie quickly shoved one the cigarettes between her lips, it hung off her bottom one as she opened her mouth in disgust, â€œVinnie?â€
Isa laughed, â€œYep.â€
â€œShit,â€ Eulailie grumbled as she sat up. For a moment, her head vibrated from pain. She tightened her eyes and sat cross legged until it subsided, then she gripped the top of the window, which was located perfectly level with her bed and slid it open. The air outside was damp and warm. Yellow leaves from the branches outside pressed up against the screen. There was a large oak tree right beside the house, she often used it to sneak out of the house at night.
â€œDo you have any idea how I got home?â€ She lit up the cigarette and blew the smoke out of the window.
Isa sighed, â€œI canâ€™t help you with that one either, I heard you passed out by the pool.â€
Eulailie tried to remember, tried to put the puzzle together. She remembered going to the party with Isa and Gaily, remembered drinking the shots of Vodka, remembered the pills. She decided not to tell Isa that sheâ€™d woken up on the porch, she didnâ€™t want anyone to know about that.
â€œWell, Iâ€™ll see you later,â€ Eulailie said with a sigh â€œI better go get ready.â€
â€œOkay,â€ the other girl said happily, â€œI hope you remember if you got laid last night or not.â€ One last giggle, then she hung up.
Eulailie looked out the window for a while longer. When she finished the cigarette she pushed the butt through a hole in the screen then rolled over to the other side of the bed. She picked up a bottle of perfume off the floor and sprayed the air with it, when she figured the air was clean she got out of bed.
There it was again, a sharp pain between her legs.
She limped over to her dresser and looked at her face in the stand-up mirror.
Her short purple hair was up in all directions, still stiff with hairspray. Her slim pale face was puffed up from sleep. She spotted a bright brown hickey on her neck and a black mark under her left eye, it was small, it looked like makeup but she knew it wasnâ€™t.
â€œShit,â€ she grumbled, rubbing her hands across the mark. Everything felt numb.
Good thing she never saw her parents in the morning, they didnâ€™t have to wake up for three more hours. Sheâ€™d have to keep the hickey hidden from them though, she didnâ€™t need any more grief.
â€œWhat the hell did I do?â€ She asked herself again, looking at that mark under her eye.
She didnâ€™t want to but her eyes focused on a particular picture on her dresser, she hated looking at it, but sometimes it seemed to have a magnetic effect on her. It was located right between her goth Barbie (made by her one day when she was bored) and black lava lamp. The picture was of her older brother in his football uniform, smiling and posing for the camera. He was handsome, she had to admit, looked like the all American guy. Of course he wasnâ€™t, he was one of the biggest assholes sheâ€™d ever known but still, she wondered how different things would be if he was still around.
She picked up the frame and felt an overwhelming urge to spit on it, but she managed to hold herself back.
â€œIt was easy for you,â€ she said to it, â€œ-all you had to do was die.â€
She put it down, then carefully and wearily went back over to the phone.
Annabel Lee was seventeen years old. She was a very responsible young lady. Heavier than most girls in her school, she was quiet, respectful and courteous. Lately however, sheâ€™d begun to understand, just like all teenagers do at one point or another do, that she was being smothered by the world around her.
Sheâ€™d just taken her shower and was sitting down in front of her make-up combing her hair. After, sheâ€™d call Eulailie to make sure sheâ€™d be able to come and pick her up. Brad Stadey had thrown a party last night and Eulailie never missed one of Brads parties. Hopefully Eulailie hadnâ€™t gotten too wasted, she didnâ€™t feel like riding the school bus, she was too old for school buses.
Eulailie would give her a ride to school but she hardly ever stayed for classes, sheâ€™d go to Gailyâ€™s house and hang out there until school was over, then all of them would make the trip to pick her up. Theyâ€™d usually tell her about how much fun theyâ€™d had while sheâ€™d been stuck in classes.
Anna often felt left out and jealous. It was her parents fault, they made sure that she went to school everyday, they gave her an early curfew, she couldnâ€™t talk on the phone past ten, she couldnâ€™t go out anywhere without finishing her homework.
She hated it. She hated them.
She was still combing her long, blonde, hair when the phone on her dresser rung. She looked at it and wondered who it could be. Nobody ever called her this early in the morning.
â€œHello?â€ She asked slightly bewildered as she put the phone to her ear.
â€œItâ€™s me Anna,â€ Eulailies rough voice came back.
â€œJesus,â€ Anna chuckled, â€œyou sound like shit.â€
â€œI feel like shit. I wish you wouldâ€™ve came to the party with us last night, you couldâ€™ve kept me out of trouble.â€
Anna started combing her hair again, â€œKeep yourself out of trouble,â€ she chuckled, â€œbesides you know how my parents are.â€ She slammed her brush down onto the table and it made a loud clunk sound. She regretted it the instant she did it. Everyone else in the house was asleep and she didnâ€™t want to wake them up.
â€œWhat was that?â€ Eulailie asked.
â€œI hate my parents,â€ Anna grunted, as if that explained something. She sighed, rolled her eyes and started combing her hair again.
â€œWhatâ€™d they do to you this time?â€ Her friend asked her, smiling on the other end of the phone.
â€œWhat donâ€™t they do? I can never do anything, Iâ€™m seventeen years old for Christ Sakes, I mean shit, my sister gets to do more stuff than I do and sheâ€™s only twelve!â€
â€œMad because they didnâ€™t let you go to the party?â€
Anna closed her eyes; it was too early in the morning for this.
â€œSo you coming to pick me up or what?â€ She asked, wanting to change the subject.
â€œYeah, Mr. Chester called my mom and told her how many days I missed, so Iâ€™m grounded for like, three weeks. I still get to go to the Halloween Party though.â€
Anna exhaled, â€œSee? Youâ€™re punished and you still get to go out.â€
â€œItâ€™s not like my parents want me to go, I mean if you werenâ€™t so damn chickenshit you could have some fun to.â€ Eulailie remembered the sticky stuff on her thigh.
Yeah fun, she thought.
â€œLook Anna, you didnâ€™t miss anything, I mean, nothing really happens at these parties anyway, just a bunch of drunk, high, teenagers trying to screw each other.â€
â€œI wouldnâ€™t really know would I?â€ Anna grumbled back, â€œIâ€™m so sick of this, they control everything I do. They donâ€™t even talk to me, all they do is nag and yell.â€ She changed the tone of her voice to fit her parents bickering, â€œ â€˜Take that make-up off, you canâ€™t wear that outside, no, you canâ€™t have your lip pierced, stop leaving your stuff all over the place, donâ€™t slam the door, clean up your room, you canâ€™t take the car, you have to be home by eleven, you have to take your little sister with you.â€™ â€ She looked up, â€œI hate my life Eulailie, I really do.â€
â€œDonâ€™t say that, be glad you have parents that care about you.â€
â€œThey donâ€™t care about me, they just have to take care of me because Iâ€™m their daughter.â€
â€œWell anyway,â€ Eulailie sighed breaking the tension, â€œguess whoâ€™s coming to school today?â€
Anna scoffed, â€œNot Gaily and Isa,â€ She finished up her hair and put the brush on her dresser, â€œI canâ€™t even remember the last time Iâ€™ve seen them in school,â€ then she added, â€œyou either for that matter.â€ She got up and walked across the room.
â€œYeah, well, Principal Chester called Gailyâ€™s parents too. He must really be cracking down on skipping.â€
Anna looked into her closet to find out what shoes she was going to wear, â€œI wonder if she got punished.â€
â€œNo telling,â€ Eulailie sighed then she grumbled, â€œI havenâ€™t been to school in so long I canâ€™t even remember where my books are.â€
Anna laughed, but Eulailie was telling the truth, she was hoping that they were in her locker, but for all she knew they were in her room somewhere, buried under some clothes.
â€œWell look Anna Iâ€™m going to go now, I have to take a long, hot shower. I feel funky.â€
Anna looked at her black sneakers with the red laces, â€œHangover huh?â€
Eulailie thought about the pain between her legs. â€œSomething like that. Bye, Iâ€™ll see you in about thirty minutes.â€
â€œOkay,â€ Anna said then clicked the button to hang up. She put her finger by her bottom lip and decided that sheâ€™d wear her black ones. She sat on the bed and slipped them onto her bare feet then picked her school bag off the floor and slung it over her shoulder. She was going to sit on the porch until Eulailie showed up. Her family was going to be up in a few minutes and she hated dealing with them.
She wasnâ€™t lying when sheâ€™d told Eulailie that she hated her life. She hated everything. She hated the way her parents tried to suffocate her and never let her be herself. She hated the fact that they gave all the attention to her sister Colleen instead of her. She hated the way all the other kids in school spurned her and lied about her.
Anna stood in front the mirror and looked at herself. She was heavier than most of the girls in her school. She was wearing a black tank-top and black pants. There was a black spiked collar around her neck.
She hated a lot of things, but mostly she hated herself because she was so ugly.
She hurried out of her house before her parents woke up. They never asked her why she wasnâ€™t inside in the morning.
She sometimes wondered if they even knew she was gone.
Kevin Davis stood up as his best friend, Grogan Swanson pulled up in his rust ridden green Station Wagon with itâ€™s squeaking doors and spider-webbed, cracked windshield. The radio was blaring rap music so loud that it could be heard a block away; the stereo system in the car actually cost more than the vehicle itself.
Kevin held his nose as he slipped into the vehicle, it always smelled like pot, which was Groganâ€™s favorite drug. Kevin stayed away from pot as much as possible.
Grogan was a skinny boy with a long nose and a blonde goatee. He wore his hair was up in crazy spikes, usually wore dark sunglasses that prevented anyone from seeing his eyes, because they were usually bloodshot, he had no manners, he burped and farted and cursed whenever he felt like it. Everyone said that he was crazy. Kevin agreed, but it was a planned craziness, Grogan would do anything for a laugh. It was his way of getting attention.
Theyâ€™d been friends since Kevin had moved to Augusta, the two of them had developed a weird kind of reputation in their school, well, mostly Grogan had the reputation, Kevin was usually just along for the ride.
The sunlight glimmered off of everything, even off the rims of Grogans sunglasses. It was so bright that Kevin couldnâ€™t seem to stop his eyes from squinting. The multi-colored trees flew by above them, smattering dots of shadows across everything. Despite it being so late in October, it was going to be a beautiful day.
â€œYou shouldâ€™ve came to the party last night,â€ Grogan said as the car crept down Poplar Street.
Kevin looked out his open window lazily, he saw other high schoolers walking along the sidewalk. â€œWhat happened?â€ He asked, trying to sound interested but the image of his mother hunched over the sink angrily invaded his mind.
â€œAll the girls were rollinâ€™ off of Ecstasy, they were freaking everyone.â€
Kevin hung his arm out the window, felt the pressure of the wind as it forced itself against his skin. â€œSo I take it you got laid?â€
Grogan grinned, he had crooked teeth but strangely they matched his image, on anyone else they might appear ugly, but on Grogan they fit in just fine. â€œWhat the hell do you think? You know I wouldnâ€™t be this happy unless I got to stick my penis in a girls vagina.â€
â€œNow what girl would let you do that?â€ Kevin asked skeptically.
The car stopped abruptly at a red light and Grogan looked out the window as if he wasnâ€™t going to answer.
â€œYou know I donâ€™t kiss and tell.â€ he said snobbishly.
â€œCome on,â€ Kevin laughed, knowing Grogan was going to tell him regardless.
â€œSusan Anthony,â€ his friend answered.
Kevinâ€™s mouth gaped open a little; now he was interested. â€œSusan Anthony? That little straight â€˜Aâ€™ girl that hangs out with the cheerleaders?â€
â€œThe honor roll girl, President of the Key Club, Kellyâ€™s best friend?â€
Grogan shrugged again, â€œSheâ€™s in love with me, what can I say?â€
Kevin shook his head and closed his eyes. He put his fingers on the bridge of his nose. He couldnâ€™t believe what he was hearing.
â€œDid you hypnotize her or something?â€
The car jerked forwards and got going again, Grogan was driving with one hand, the other was hanging out the drivers side window. â€œNah,â€ he chuckled shaking his head, â€œI mean, she was there, I was there, we were in the back room by ourselves, we got to talking.â€
â€œTalking?â€ Kevin laughed, â€œGrogan you and the girl have never made eye contact before. Shit, youâ€™re like a different species.â€
â€œShe was on drugs.â€
â€œSo-â€ Kevin started, shaking his head a bit, not exactly believing what he was hearing. He didnâ€™t really know what to say. Susan Anthony wasnâ€™t exactly a popular girl, but everyone knew who she was. She was probably the smartest girl in school, a real goody-goody. She showed up at all the parties with her friend Kelly; who was a cheerleader and a known slut, but the girls were the exact opposite of each other.
Susan, so far as Kevin knew, never even had a boyfriend before.
â€œSo-?â€ Grogan asked back, turning the car onto Franklin Avenue, â€œSo, what? Finish your sentence you wiener.â€
It was Kevinâ€™s turn to shrug this time, â€œSo are you two like a couple now or what?â€ One side of Groganâ€™s mouth curved down. â€œHell no. I got the hell out of there before she even woke up.â€
Kevin narrowed his eyes at his friend.
â€œI mean, what the hell would a girl like her and a guy like me talk about? Sheâ€™s kind of boring.â€
Kevinâ€™s eyebrows arched downward, â€œWait, after you guys had sex you didnâ€™t see her at all? You just...what? Snuck out the room while she was asleep?â€
Grogan seemed to think for a moment, then he nodded, â€œYeah thatâ€™s about right.â€
Kevin shook his, â€œWell what are you going to do when she tries to talk to you today. You do know that she is going to want to talk to you today right?â€
Grogan tightened his lips, â€œIâ€™m just going to avoid her.â€
Kevin covered his face with his hand.
â€œWanna hear the worst?â€
Kevin peeked at him through his fingers.
â€œI think she was a virgin.â€
Kevin, still with his hand over his face, shook his head and looked away from his friend. . â€œItâ€™s all right man, I got it all planned out. Iâ€™m going to fix this.â€
â€œHow are you planning on fixing this Grogan? You took the girls virginity then snuck away while she was sleeping!â€
Grogan grinned and nodded his head proudly, â€œIf I see her, or if she wants to talk, or whatever, Iâ€™m just going to act like nothing happened.â€
Kevin looked out the window.
â€œDude!â€ Grogan yelled, â€œTrust me. She ainâ€™t gonna tell anybody what happened, sheâ€™ll be too embarrassed. If I just like, not look at her, or not talk to her, I donâ€™t think sheâ€™ll even try to talk. Besides, it was her fault as much as it was mine. Itâ€™s not like sheâ€™s going to be hurt or anything.â€
â€œGrogan,â€ Kevin interrupted, holding up his hand, â€œif she was a virgin, sheâ€™s going to want to talk to you. Girls always fall in love with the guy that takes their virginity.â€
Grogan lowered his dark glasses and looked at Kevin with his brown eyes. He turned his attention back to the road. He cleared his throat and said, â€œYou could have gotten laid thatâ€™s all Iâ€™m saying.â€
â€œChrist man I think Iâ€™m better off without it.â€
Grogan shouted, â€œHey! Thatâ€™s a sin! All guys need to get laid. You know what you should do? You should try to fuck Mrs. Scotts.â€
Kevin smirked, â€œThat Science teacher?â€
â€œHell yeah man, everyoneâ€™s screwing her.â€
Kevin looked out the window again, â€œThatâ€™s just rumors man. Sheâ€™s married.â€
Grogan turned another corner. â€œI heard Davey Barrows did her last week while her husband was at work. So did Richard Buraâ€™s.â€
â€œThatâ€™s bullshit,â€ Kevin returned, â€œI canâ€™t even believe you listen to what those idiots tell you.â€
They got to Elk Street and took a left.
â€œYou believe what you want. Iâ€™m telling you though, Mrs. Scotts is a freak and sheâ€™s fucking half the guys in our school...but anyway-,â€ Grogan sighed, he let the steering wheel spin through his hands, â€œ-whatâ€™s up with you?â€
Kevin paused for a second then said, â€œI think my parents are going to get divorced.â€
Grogan flinched and the car swerved a bit, quickly, he straightened it out, then looked at Kevin in amazement, when he didnâ€™t say anything more Grogan knew he was serious.
â€œJesus,â€ Grogan muttered, shocked, â€œand I thought I was in trouble.â€