Devil on Sea

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Would You Like To Dance?

Chapter 13
Would You Like To Dance?

Mary was her normal self, for the first time in a long time. Normally she struggled to fight through the regiment of drugs the staff at the home gave her daily but today her anxious mind was unusually quiet and Mary was able to take stock of her surroundings.

An empty room with nothing but a bed and a chest of drawers? She thought in confusion. Slowly, memory and realisation of where she was swam into watery focus in her hazy mind. I'm still in the home mum and dad put me in. Mary didn’t know when her parents had put her in here but she could sympathise with the why; even if she still felt the resentment of betrayal.

It wouldn’t be so bad if there was hope, but these cold walls are devoid of them. The drugs they force down me just make me sleepy, and when was the last time I actually received any treatment? Mary couldn’t remember but it seemed she no longer received treatment of any kind, beyond the pills, and they seemed mainly just to stop her giving the doctors and nurses a hard time. She remembered flashes of therapy from when she first arrived; a brown weather-beaten couch, an elderly and kind black doctor whose face seemed to match the cracks in the sofa, rows upon rows of books. She couldn’t remember the doctor’s name, try as she might, but she got the feeling she hadn’t seen him in months. An image of her throwing books at him flashed through her mind and shame flushed throughout her body.

‘No!’ She screamed, fighting back tears and jumping backwards on her bed, slamming her fists down, before clamping a hand over her mouth and hoping no-one had heard her outburst. Seconds ticked by in the darkened room and no-one came. The last few times she’d been lucid she had spent it crying; ashamed of everything she had done. Mary was determined not to let that happen again, now the drugs were temporarily clear of her system.

Mary rose from the bed and stood in faint moonlight, thankful she was awake and lucid at a time most people in “The House” wouldn’t be. The halls outside were quiet, with all the residents asleep for the night and only a skeletal staff on call. Mary tiptoed to her door, found it unlocked, and leant out of her room. Looking either way down the corridor she wandered left down the hall, doing her best not to think of anything.

Thoughts can awaken them. Mary told herself, slowly coming to the realisation that her voices were probably going to be a part of her for life forever. Although I’m somehow going to have to learn to work with them. Or I'll forever be caught in-between their battles. As Mary continued down the dark and quiet corridor, puzzling over how to go about such a life change, she began to hear music from a radio. Loneliness settled over her like an itchy blanket and she was overwhelmed with the urge to be rid of it. Desperate for some human interaction Mary hurried towards the sound, no longer caring if she was heard as her footfalls echoed down the hall. As she neared the radio Mary saw, or at least heard, that it was coming from the nurse's office at the far end of the corridor. The shades were pulled shut beyond the office window but Mary could see there was a light on; through the gaps of the broken blinds. She lifted her hand to bang on the window when recognition of the song playing blasted through her mind like a firecracker, and she froze. Cliff Richard’s voice filtered through her ears and her anxiety stirred, instantly.

‘Well, do you wanna dance under the moonlight? Squeeze and hug me all through the night. Oh baby, do you wanna dance?’ As the chorus began Mary fell to her knees screaming, her mind becoming a cacophony of noise. She tried to block out the song by covering her ears but it was too late; Nervy came screaming to the forefront of her mind and Mary lost control again, her two voices resuming their fight as a memory was dragged kicking and screaming to the surface.

‘Do you wanna dance?’ Mary looked at the young man offering out his hand, a hand with nails bitten away, probably from nerves. It was high school prom, the celebration of ending school, and the person asking for a dance was Wayne. Hair fell to his eyebrows in a blonde mess, like a mop recently used to clean up urine. Mary liked Wayne, despite his hair, and had even been invited to one of his birthdays a few years back. Mary liked Wayne because he had never called her Frogger. He’d called her Princess a few times, and always with a rueful smile, but never Frogger.

For the high school prom the school had hired out one of the local social clubs for the evening and there was even beer on tap; for the teachers.

Still, Mr. Rodgers was willing to supply you with a pint or two if you didn’t mind the 50% fee on top, which Mary so far didn’t. As she looked into the pimply face of Wayne, his arm still outstretched, Mary blushed and giggled. It wasn’t her first time drinking but it was her first time being drunk.

‘Come on Princess,’ Wayne pleaded, grabbing Mary’s hand, ‘let’s boogie,’ and pulling her on to the dance floor; Mary didn’t protest.

The room span and Mary span with it. For an hour she danced and laughed and danced and laughed. All her cares seemed far away and she never noticed that Wayne’s eyes never once left her face. Finally, with her alcohol buzz beginning to fade, Mary made her excuse to escape the dance floor, and to find Mr. Rodgers.

Although I’ve only the change for one more drink, Mary thought as Wayne kissed her hand theatrically, and let her go. She found Mr. Rodgers, a small queue of teenagers beside him, by the bar and he smiled as she approached. He mouthed what Mary assumed was ‘same again?’ and she nodded; receiving a number of annoyed glances from her fellow classmates she’d just cut in front of.

Ex-classmates, she corrected herself as Mr. Rodgers handed her a pint of cold brown liquid, and she him the last of her change.

‘You having fun, Mary?’ A voice asked at her shoulder. She turned to see Craig and she smiled weakly at him, before glancing about to see who he was talking to. Craig was one of the cool kids and Mary was slightly taken aback when she realised it was her he was asking.

‘What? I can’t hear you over the music.’ She shouted, embarrassed by both the question and the long pause she’d taken in answering. Mary made her way for the exit; to escape the noise and the embarrassment. Craig followed her and even sat next to her on a wall in the car park, much to Mary’s surprise.

Am I that drunk or is he following me? She thought as she glanced sideways at him. He had his hair in a crew cut and was wearing a suit much too big for him. No doubt a hand me down from his brother. I wonder if he’ll follow him into the army.

‘Wanna smoke?’ Craig asked, shielding his lighter from the wind as he lit a cigarette and shaking Mary’s thoughts loose. He then did the same with a cigarette in the pack he held outstretched to her.

Does he think I’m someone else? Mary thought, looking around. No-one else was sat on the wall with them.

‘No thanks, but can I bum some of yours?’ Craig nodded and they sat in silence for a moment or two, Craig smoking and Mary drinking.

‘So what are your plans for later?’ Craig asked, breaking the awkward silence that is only possible between two people who know each other’s name, and little else. Mary took a deep drink before answering, still in disbelief that Craig was even talking to her.

‘College, I guess. Or look for some secretarial work? It's not something I've put much thought into, yet.’ Mary confided, holding the cold pint in her hands and shivering in the gentle wind. Craig laughed, amicably enough, but causing Mary to blush.

‘I meant tonight, Frogger. There are a few of us heading back to mine for a few drinks and smokes if you'd like to join? My parents are away for the weekend.’ Craig stood and offered Mary the remainder of his cigarette. She accepted and took a deep drag, almost proud that Craig had called her by the nickname that had haunted her throughout her school years. ‘Just let us know by the end of the night, okay? So I know how many to organise a cab for.’ Craig walked back into the club as Mary dragged deep on the smouldering butt, in an attempt to calm her nerves and shake the confusion from her mind.

Have I just been invited to a party by Craig? Mary thought, staring in disbelief at the pint in her hands before downing the dregs and walking, with a slight drunken lurch and nicotine head rush, back into the club.

No sooner had Mary entered back into the club than Wayne grabbed at her hand again. He pulled her, giggling, to the centre of dance floor and soon there was a circle of dancers around them, clapping in time to the music. Mary blushed a deep rouge as Wayne twirled her round and around, blurring her vision more than the alcohol had. She laughed freely for the first time in front of all her peers, something she’d never done after the frog incident, and they all laughed along with her.

Are you sure they’re laughing with you? Came the ever present anxious part of her mind. Mary ignored it with ease as a rush of nicotine soon completely clouded her mind. The rest of the night then became a blur as the alcohol washed away her memory; and the voices.

Where am I? What’s going on? Mary though in fear as she felt something heavy draped around her neck. Head spinning around, and the world slowly following, Mary looked around the insides of a noisy taxi. Wayne had his arm around her and Craig was sat opposite, smiling sweetly at her as the cab rocked too roughly for Mary’s liking. There were two other girls in the taxi with them, both talking to each other in the loud hushed voices of the drunk. A brief moment of panic set in before Mary remember about the party planned at Craig’s.

They actually invited me. It wasn’t a joke! She smiled at the joy of being accepted and snuggled in against Wayne, her eyelids drooping heavy. She never saw him wink at Craig, or the momentary look of disappointment on Craig’s face.

The house party was loud and full. Kids as young as 15, and as old as 25, were dotted around the house, filling up every room Mary wandered through. Alcohol was bountiful and there was always someone willing to hand out cigarettes, in one room or another. As Mary followed Wayne around the large house she noticed there was even a bong being shared by three people in one of the downstairs bedrooms.

This place is a mansion! She thought in drunken wonder.

‘Wanna take a hit?’ Mary looked at Wayne who nodded at the bong, eyebrow raised in question. Mary threaded her arm through his and shook her head vigorously. She wanted to but at the same time the idea scared her. She let Wayne lead her gently out of the room, Mary still slightly unsteady on her feet. She had stopped drinking at the social club, despite both Craig and Wayne offering her a can or bottle numerous times since arriving at Craig’s. She wasn’t refusing cigarettes though and her throat was beginning to get a little hoarse from the chain smoking she took part in when she had first arrived. The occupants of the taxi stood at the front of Craig’s house waiting for the other taxi to arrive and passing round cigarettes of differing brands.

Mary coughed fitfully, shaking her arm free of Wayne and holding her fist to her mouth. A wave of vomit rode up her throat before cascading back down, leaving a burning sensation in its wake.

‘Water,’ she croaked at Wayne before waving him away and staggering to the kitchen, half bent. Craig was stood in the kitchen talking to a girl who was sat on the fake granite counter top. At the sight of her he smiled, made his excuses to the girl, and came over looking concerned. The girl shot Mary an angry territorial glance before jumping down from the counter and stalking out of the room, leaving the two of them alone. Mary looked around for Wayne in drunken confusion, but saw he hadn’t followed her.

‘You okay, Mary? Need anything?’ A voice asked and Mary whipped her head back round to look at Craig, concern etched across his face.

‘Have you got any coke?’ Mary asked instantly, with nerves making her forget about wanting water. Craig raised his eyebrows in both shock and confusion. Mary blushed when she realised what she’d just asked for, ‘I mean the fizzy kind. To drink.’

‘Yeah, but would you rather not have a beer?’ Craig asked as he shook the half empty bottle he was drinking at her. Mary, like all good teenagers do, finally caved in to peer pressure. As she drank from the bottle she locked eyes with Craig.

His lips have just been drinking from this. His soft soft lips. Mary swallowed, hard, causing her to gag and then cough; spraying beer in Craig’s direction before she managed to turn her head away. He laughed in response,

‘You forget how to drink there, Frogger?’ Mary passed him back the bottle and blushed, still coughing slightly. As she went to say thanks she found Craig’s lips on her own and her eyes shot open wide with surprise.

They were as soft as I imagined, Mary marvelled, despite the firmness of the kiss. She melted as he placed a hand on the nape of her neck and pulled her in closer. It felt like minutes passed when in reality it was barely two seconds before she found herself gently pushing him off. She blushed sheepishly and lowered her head.

‘Sorry.’ Mary looked up, surprised by Craig’s apology

‘No, no. You did nothing wrong! It’s just…’ Wayne walked into the room, laughing. When he saw how close the two of them were standing together, and the flustered look on Mary’s face, the laughter died.

‘Is everything okay, Mary?’ He asked her, causing Mary to instantly feel torn. Wayne had been so nice to her all night and the kiss from Craig now felt like a betrayal.

Why is my head spinning and my heart racing? Is this love? She thought as her head flipped between the two boys, both looking at her intently.

Mary, you’re drunk and high on nicotine. The rational side of her mind spoke up for the first time today, with the tone of a parent finding their child conversing with the dog at two a.m. in the morning.

‘Yes, I’m fine.’ Mary muttered, shaking her head, ‘Sorry. I need some air.’ She pushed past Craig and skirted Wayne as he stepped forward, making it out of the kitchen and into the back yard; leaving the two boys sizing each other up. Between the loud music and the closed kitchen door she heard little but it was clear they were arguing. She sat, smoking the remains of a still-lit cigarette she found on the back steps, with her back to the room, when the kitchen door opened. The words “…bet’s still on” drifted through the open door with Wayne before it slammed shut and he sat down alongside her. They sat in silence momentarily, watching a drunken girl have a conversation with a rose bush. The girl appeared to be displeased that it would attack her, when all she had wanted to do was smell its alluring scent.

‘He kissed me.’ Mary finally uttered in the monotonous tone of a historian. The words hung there, like Judas at Jesus’ funeral, as the now broken silence returned as an awkward one.

‘Did you kiss him back?’ Wayne asked, kicking the step with the back of his foot. The drunk girl in the garden had moved away from the rose bush, sucking on a finger, when she tripped and fell over a garden gnome. This caused both Wayne and Mary to giggle, dispelling some of the awkwardness between them.

‘I think so. I mean. I don’t know what I mean. I do know I feel guilty.’ Mary glanced at Wayne shyly before focusing her attention back on the girl in the garden. She had begun to argue with the gnome now, something about it being in cahoots with the rose bush and how if she called her daddy they’d both be sorry. The gnome didn’t reply, which seemed to enrage her even more.

‘Guilty? How so?’ Mary turned to look at Wayne, the faint buzz of alcohol and nicotine softening his pimply features.

‘Yeah. As if I’d betrayed you, somehow. But that’s..’ This time Wayne’s lips interrupted her, and this time she really did kiss back. His lips weren’t as soft as Craig’s but the experience was just as pleasurable; more so when she thought of Wayne himself. There was a thud and the slurred phrase,

‘I warned you Mr. Gnome! You and the bush! Not even Snow White can save you now!’ Which was soon followed by a loud belch. Their kiss was broken by giggling which soon turned into raucous laughter. They both turned to see the drunken girl kneeling on the grass, clasping her mouth in shock, and mumbling apologies for being “so rude” to a gnome now on its back and missing a head.

Mary and Wayne wandered back into the house, holding hands. Most of the party goers were winding down and as they walked from room to room they found people passed out in numerous positions and places; including one lad snoring whilst simultaneously taking a piss in a pot plant. Wayne had the sense to put out a blunt someone had fallen asleep holding, although not before taking a quick drag himself. He offered Mary some, and whilst her resolve wavered, again she stood firm and shook her head. When they found Craig snoring in the lap of the girl he’d been talking to before, she stroking his hair and glaring at them suspiciously, they decided to find somewhere to crash for the night. Investigating upstairs they found numerous rooms with differing numbers of bodies, most of them snoring with drunken gusto. They came upon a large set of oak double doors with a hastily written sign hung on the handles. “Keep Out!” and signed by Craig. Wayne listened at the door and when there were no noises from within he opened one of the doors, slowly. The room was empty and it instantly became apparent, as Mary peeked inside, that this was Craig’s parent’s bedroom. Wayne went to turn on the lights when Mary grabbed his arm and shook her head, barely visible in the light from the hallway; she closed the door behind them and the darkness of the bedroom enveloped them.

This isn’t a good idea, Nervy thought, what were they arguing about before? Mary ignored the voice; she was intent on not having this moment spoilt.

‘So.’ Wayne asked, Mary barely able to make him out, but eyes slowly beginning to adapt.

‘So.’ Mary replied with trepidation and her heart racing. She’d never spent a night in another boy’s house, let alone with another boy in the bed. Mary didn’t know what would happen next but she did know what she wanted again. She took two steps forward in the dark before standing on her tiptoes and kissing Wayne on his cheek. She smiled at him in the twilight as he slid his hands around the arch of her back; drawing her in for another kiss. Before she knew it they were tugging at each other’s clothes, kissing forcefully, and slowly making their way towards the barely visible bed. As they neared the foot of the bed, both of them mostly naked, Wayne tripped and landed heavily on his back; the mattress springing under the force. Mary giggled and through the light of the moon she saw his erect manhood for the first time as she pulled off the only item of clothing he was still wearing.

Oh dear God! It looks like witch’s nose! It scared her a little but the thought forced her to stifle a giggle. A course of excitement tingled down her spine and she sat down next to him on the bed; her small breasts illuminated in the moonlight.

Mary, don’t. Something’s not right. The urgency in this thought made Mary pause. This wasn’t the usual anxious voice she heard; this was the new one that commanded respect.

‘Are you sure?’ Wayne asked and Mary heard him swallow hard. She slowly nodded before realising he could barely see her, so mumbled some form of agreement. Then, before letting any more doubts surface, she kissed him gently and then rolled on to her back. She then shuffled back on the bed, until her head was resting against the pillows. Wayne followed, arms and legs either side of her and shuffling like a crab. She almost giggled again until she saw his arched form in the light and she had to stifle a scream.

He looks like a beast with a stunted fifth leg! The fright soon passed and his face swam into view in the twilight. He was back kissing her, and she him. She felt his hard manhood against her leg as he ever so slowly rocked back and forth. He soon positioned his erection over her crotch and Mary felt it nestle amongst her thin bush of pubic hair. Again, he slowly rocked back and forth, kissing her mouth and occasionally one of her breasts; moaning slightly. Mary broke off the kissing and swallowed audibly. She reached down and took him in her hand. He moaned slightly causing her to grip him tighter. Slowly, with him still rocking back and forth in her hand, she began to direct him towards her opening. All of a sudden Wayne moaned loudly and thrust; Mary’s hand and belly becoming warm and sticky.

We warned you. The commanding voice from before thought dryly, unlike Mary’s hand.

‘Sorry.’ Wayne muttered shamefully in the dark.

What? What just happened? Mary thought in urgent confusion, as she lifted her hand away from the rapidly becoming flaccid piece of meat it was still holding. As she looked at her moist hand in the moonlight it slowly dawned on her what had happened. Mary knew the general order of sex from school and a magazine her brother Mark had shown her once, in an attempt to freak her out. It seemed, though, that Wayne had skipped a few of the steps normally involved in sex and jumped the gun. She flicked her hand, slightly disgusted, and Wayne gently rested on top of her; penis still infrequently twitching.

‘If Craig asks will you tell him, you know, that we did it?’ Mary didn’t know what he was talking about, as he nuzzled against her breast sleepily. She looked around for something to wipe her hand on and for a moment was tempted to use Wayne’s hair. Instead she opted for one of the drapes around the bed.

Bet’s still on mean anything to you now, Mary? The thought, from the rational side of her mind, drifted slowly across the forefront of her mind and she fought back a wave of vomit. Mary burst into quiet tears and another familiar voice inside her head, began to talk,

I knew this would happen. I just knew it! You should have listened to us! Mary lost control and anger took over. She beat at Wayne’s chest and clawed at his face, leaving long red marks down his cheeks. In the process of curling up into a ball her knees made contact with his shrivelled testicles, causing him to moan in pain and roll off her. She kicked out and pushed him to the floor, before she followed him off the bed. Silhouetted in the moonlight she proceeded to kick him over and over again, screaming insults all the time with two voices arguing inside her head; one urging her to calm down, the other telling her where to kick. Mary then gathered up her clothes, stormed into the en-suite bathroom, and locked the door. She sat against the door crying, not hearing the knocking on the door, only the voices inside her head.

Mary woke fitfully from the doze and looked around a bathroom slowly filling up with dawn’s glow. She didn’t know how long she had sat there, naked in the bathroom, but she awoke with a numb-bum and a pounding head. The voices in her head had gone quiet and she caught a glimpse of her tear-stained face in a mirror. Memories of last night surfaced and she gripped the clothes in her hand tight; so as to stop her punching the mirror beside her. Slowly, with a growing hangover, she dressed unsteadily and left the bathroom. The bedroom was empty and the rising sun shone through the open curtains; a clock on the floor displayed the time as 6:32, albeit upside down. Mary looked at the empty crumpled sheets with disgust, then saw a dark stain on one of the drapes and felt bile rise in her throat. She quick marched out of the room and managed to fight the urge to slam the door shut behind her. She made her way downstairs quietly but it seemed everyone was still sleeping; bodies were lain about in rooms as if the scene of a horror film.

Nothing like the horror I went through. She thought as she padded down the stairs with barely contained seething rage. She reached the front door and unlocked it as quietly as possible when a familiar voice called out, making her skin crawl.

‘Mary! Please! Wait.’ She turned to see Wayne sat in the kitchen, a cup of coffee in hand. Rage, shame and fear brewed inside of her and, although she couldn’t see it through the red mist, they were all etched on his face too. ‘I’m so so sorry. Please, let me explain.’

As far as we’re concerned, you’re dead to us. She thought as he made his way over to her slowly, professing apologies as he neared and all of them deaf to her ears. When he reached her, Mary smiled up at him disarmingly and he faltered. She took the cup of coffee out of his hand and thrust it in his face. Before he could react, she was gone. Luckily for Wayne the coffee was cold. It was the same drink he’d brewed hours before; not long after he’d left the bedroom. Mary never saw him again.

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