Damsel In Desire
“Suck it in, bitch.” Jade laced the corset and yanked until everything but my memories were squeezed out of my body.
Sarah tugged on her costume, “We’re gonna party like it’s nineteen ninety-nine tonight.” Her words were slurred as she wiggled her hips into the fluffiest skirt on the face of the earth.
“I was five in ninety-nine.” Were corsets supposed to make you lightheaded? I shook off the black spots, “How many shots did you have?” Empty bottles of vodka and gin were scattered across the dressing room.
“Only one,” Sarah hiccupped. We stared her down until she rolled her eyes. “Plus eleven-ish.” I was beginning to agree with her method of repressing problems.
“Is this because Lucas is coming tonight?” Jade asked.
“If he wants to come he can ask that whore.” Sarah spat. I met Jade’s worried expression; Clearly, we had found the source of her drinking problem.
I reached out and she swatted me away.
“Just don’t.” Her body was swaying and tears started to form in her eyes. “I’m sorry, I just need a minute.” She stumbled into the supply room with Jade on her heels.
“Happy Halloween,” I mumbled and finished pinning my hair into Belle’s iconic look. Most girls dreamt of being a princess but my reflection only made me loathe myself. The yellow corset pushed my boobs up higher than the empire state building and framed every curve.
A dozen thoughts raced through my head and all of them led to one roadblock, Jason. I wasn’t supposed to want anything that he could offer but for some reason, I was stuck in an endless loop of desire.
“Party time!” Kitty poked her head into the door and looked around, “Where’s Cinderella and Jasmine?” Her bubble-gum pink hair was laying delicately over her shoulders. The slutty rendition of Sleeping Beauty sashayed her way over to me.
“In the back.”
Kitty sighed, “That only leaves one option. We have to kill him.”
“We can’t do that.”
“You’re right, we’ll have to get a chainsaw.” I couldn’t help but laugh at the amount of determination on her face. Although we could probably get away with blood splattered princess costumes on one night of the year It wasn’t a well thought out plan.
“Go party, I’ll check on the girls.” Kitty slapped my ass and pushed me out the door.
Suddenly I was enveloped by psychedelic lighting and creepy decorations. The store looked like Friday the thirteenth on steroids with floating ghouls and blood fountains. I tried to hold back my laughter when Slutty Snow and the seven whores walked by.
I hadn’t been to a Halloween party since the first semester of college; Cynthia whatever her last name was dared me to go to third base with Chase Derm. That night still haunted me.
I made a bee-line to the punch fountains and tried my best not to scoop up any slimy eyeballs.
“What are you even supposed to be?” One of the girls chugged the punch and went back for seconds.
“A playboy bunny.” Her friend wiggled her ass and shook the cotton ball tail towards the congregation of men across the room. I rolled my eyes and tried to find someone I could actually talk to.
It wasn’t long before my target was required. I downed my leftover punch and went in for the kill.
“Funny meeting you here,” Ethan smirked.
“Well, I do practically live here.”
“Details.” He ran his hand through his hair and my stomach fluttered. I could barely handle wanting one man; How would I survive wanting two?
“So what are you trying to pass for?” I asked.
“Isn’t it obvious?” He spun for my amusement, “I’m Prince Charming.”
I scoffed, “You wish.”
Ethan chuckled and lifted my hand to his lips, “At least one of us lives up to their costume, Beauty.” Heat rose to my cheeks as the lights flickered off; Darkness fell over the room.
“Any idea what’s going on?” Just as the words left my mouth a familiar song floated through the speakers. Flashbacks to the summer my father left crept into my mind; My mother insisted on watching her favorite movie for weeks to somehow mend the pain.
Ethan stared at the ceiling, “What the fu-” Before he could finish what we were both thinking a massive chandelier illuminated the room and the phantom himself took the stage.
The butterflies in my stomach mutated as I realized who was under the mask. His hair was slicked back and an aged suit clung to his body.
I leaned over to Ethan, “If I signed a letter of consent would you stab me?”
“Are you asking me to murder you?” Jason’s smirk made me feel like I was staring down the barrel of a gun and if I didn’t look away soon my head would explode. His offer echoed in my mind while I watched him address the crowd and welcome them to the party.
Before I could gather my wits the moment was over and Jason was halfway across the room and getting closer. Adrenaline flooded my body and I did the only thing I could. Run.
“Hold this, thanks.” I handed Ethan my punch and hauled ass to my fellow Princesses.
“There’s my whore!” Sarah giggled and clung to my neck. “Listen, I’m sorry I was so cranky earlier.”
I couldn’t help but chuckle at her intoxicated behavior, “I forgive you.” She placed her finger to my lips.
“Shhhh, I love you.” And then her lips crashed against mine. Prying a trashed Cinderella off was far more difficult than I thought. After Kitty and Jade finished their photo shoot they helped me break free.
“Why does your tongue taste like vanilla?”
Sarah giggled, “Why do you taste like Jason, or should I say The Phantom?” Her laughter turned into menacing cackling. My brain finally imploded as I made eye contact with my two mentally present friends. I knew that there was no reason for me to taste like him but yet what she said still struck a chord inside me.
“How would you know what Jason tastes like?” I glanced back to where the menace himself stood. He was doubled over in laughter with my good ole pal Ethan. Traitor.
Kitty grabbed Sarah before she could topple into the fountain.
“You like him don’t you?” Sarah wagged her finger in my face. “The Phantom is inside your mind.” Suddenly she was waving her hands around like a mad woman.
“That’s not true.”
“Just admit it, Tara. You want to surrender to his darkness.” She slurred.
“I do not.” The sudden urge to defend myself shot through me.
“Don’t do it.” Her hand caressed my cheek, “He’ll just stick his disco stick into another whore and knock her up with his satan seed.” Sarah’s eyes were cold and broken; I almost wanted to go through with Kitty’s plan.
That night Sarah’s mask finally fell off and revealed the shattered girl underneath. The one who was dumped by her high school sweetheart for someone else. I watched Kitty help her into Jason’s workroom and listened to the melody of The Music of The Night.
Jade cleared her throat, “She ran into Lucas yesterday at the gynecologist’s.”
I furrowed my eyebrows, “Why-”
“He was with Amy.” Understanding crashed over me.
“I’ve got to go talk to her,” I started making a way through the crowd but Jade pulled me back.
“Let her sleep this off first.” There was no sleeping off a broken heart but there was also no talking your way out of it; I nodded.
There was nothing else to say until several Cherries bounded over to us and demanded we joined them in a game of truth or dare. By the time Kitty returned we were already wading through an ocean of secrets.
“Kitty, come play with us!” The leader of the group pulled Kitty down to our level. “You’re just in time for Tara’s turn.”
“Wouldn’t miss it for the world.” Kitty elbowed me as I narrowed my focus on the devil sitting in front of me. Red horns poked out of her hair and matched the pointed tail flowing out her backside.
“Who’s the father?”
She laughed, “I pick dare.”
“Fine,” The suppressed anger finally boiled its way to the surface. “I dare you to tell us who knocked you up.”
The leader spoke up, “It’s the game, Amy.”
Her jaw locked and I was absolutely sure a hundred ideas to kill me were rushing through her sick brain, “Luke Diggs.” Once the words fell from her perfectly painted lips I felt my veins burning.
“He was Sarah’s boyfriend.”
“What can I say,” She shrugged, “I’m just hotter.” My brain shut off and in seconds I was at her throat.
“You bitch!” Someone clawed at my body. I felt my hands tighten around Amy’s throat; A twisted grin itched at the corner of Amy’s mouth. “You knew what he meant to her!”
Before I could commit first-degree murder someone grabbed me by the waist and yanked me away from life in prison.
“Well,” Amy straightened out her hair, “That was a little over dramatic.”
I wiggled in the arms around me, “Let me go!” My feet dangled above the floor as the person carried me away from the crowd.
“Not until you calm the fuck down.” Jason’s arms tightened around my waist as I kicked. “You’re acting like a toddler.”
“You don’t know what she did!”
“Nothing that Luke didn’t let her do.” I didn’t want to hear his logic; I just wanted to finish strangling the bitch. My fists smacked against him.
“You don’t understand.” I cried. “She didn’t care.” I fought down the sobs forming in my throat. “She made him leave.” My fight began to dwindle and Jason put me down.
“Why are you taking this so hard?” He pushed a stray hair from my face.
I shook my head, “Doesn’t matter.” I tried to walk away but Jason pulled me back.
“You don’t have to tell me but you need to understand that no one can make someone do anything that they didn’t already want to do.” His eyes locked onto mine and tried to decipher my outburst.
“Maybe,” I said, “But that doesn’t mean they should get away with it.” I pulled myself out of his grasp and wandered through the crowd. It didn’t take long for Kitty and Jade to find me chugging vodka in the backroom.
“Not you too,” Jade took a seat next to me as I finished the bottle. “At this rate our next girl’s night out is going to have to be at an AA meeting.”
Kitty handed me another bottle and Jade glared at her, “So why’d you go psycho bitch?”
I had stopped trying to make sense of my rage and retreated into the forgotten corner of my brain so when Kitty asked a perfectly reasonable question all I could do was mumble the words to Britney Spears’ Toxic.
They exchanged a glance and I’m sure the idea of committing me into a mental asylum crossed their minds.
I swished the Vodka around and around until I began to feel nauseous, “That was the song playing when I walked in on my dad fucking some girl.” The buzzing in my ears sounded an awful like the chorus.
Jade wrapped around me, “You should have choked the life out of her.”
I giggled, “Why the hell are we pretending?”
I could tell that my drunken thoughts were confusing the fuck out of my friends.
“I was scared of the dark until I was twelve,” The table in front of me was blurry, “I was afraid that a monster would snatch me up and drag me to hell. But there are no monsters, just really shitty people.”
My throat burned for the hundredth time. “We’re the monsters.” I met Kitty’s worried gaze, “Maybe it’s time I drag someone to hell with me.”
The only thing worse than becoming a monster was falling in love with one and not being able to stop yourself. I groaned as my eyes focused on the person standing in front of me; I didn’t even notice Jason walk in.
My eyes rolled into the back of my head; A familiar sensation tingled over my skin and I knew who had caught me.