Thursday, 30 April 2009
FASHION VICTIM - by Lily Childs
A shocking debut from LilyC...not for the faint-hearted!
I used to say fashion would tear me apart. The clothes I designed were meant for me, but instead I sent size-zero girls down the catwalk to parade in my finery whilst spineless rich women leeched my personal style by buying, performing and presenting themselves in my creations. They drove me completely mad. Yes they did.
I was right. Fashion did tear me apart in the end. In a carefully staged show I arranged for my guts to spill as I took my final step on the catwalk, models towering above my slight frame, praising and applauding me, all glittering in the darkness of my exquisite designs.
I tottered towards the audience - my paying customers, in thigh-length, heeled boots studded with silver charms not unlike those dripping from my wrists, and I threw my arms wide in true Cabaret style. My girls fawned around me as if on heat, and celebrities threw themselves at the stage desperate to touch the models’ feet, their shoes, their stockings, the fabric of the divine creations I had made, which hung off their skin and bones.
I moved forward, the applause was overwhelming. The wry smile on my porcelain white face, a pretty twist at the corner of my mouth belied the fact that I was about to give them the best entertainment of their lives. I’d watched Kill Bill and studied a few hee he haw Chinese martial arts films, with women flying around at impossible speeds, severing heads with bejewelled swords. It wasn’t so difficult rigging up a cape-like, tattered black leather affair to cover my arms – it looked quite the biz, quite the biker-goth style of the season, thank you very much. The built-in contraption which projected stiletto daggers into my waiting hands was rather ingenious, if I didn’t say so myself. Indeed I didn’t say so, but held my hands aloft with the thin blades lying patiently against my palms, breathing in the adoring fans and shaking my head in mock protest at the praise being cast upon me.
I smiled my best ever; my lips crimson and matt, against all the make-up artists’ advice.
‘Don’t do red, darling, it makes you too pale’.
‘Definitely glossy, not matt baby, or the rest of your face disappears and you look just too theatrical’.
Well fuck ‘em. I like red. I like theatrical. My painted mouth is part of the mask I have lived behind all these years.
I threw my head back, the wide locks of my short, curled black hair tickling the nape of my neck. Then I brought myself slowly back to face them once more, my smile erupting into a grin, the stiletto blades hot in my hands as I moved ever closer to the crowd. I stage-stepped towards them and they roared with approval. Vogue, Harpers, skanky paparazzi – their cameras flashed blindingly as I moved amongst the models, reaching up and grabbing the heads of each of my best, my most loyal girls. I kissed every one of them full on the mouth - Kristina, Belle, Alice, Karatori, Anna – all of them. The crowd went wild as my tongue entered the beautiful mouths - at the very same moment that my blades invisibly pierced the jugulars of those regal necks. The gushes of blood seeped unseen into huge, majestic, black-padded ruffs adorning the girls’ throats, designed especially for the purpose and for the wiping of knives.
Clever girls, I loved them – I was so proud of them - they all fell so beautifully, I couldn’t have choreographed it better myself. The audience was convinced it was all part of the show and they begged for more.
Then I saw her; celebrated, no-talent, viper critic, sneering in contempt. This useless wretch was a waste of space but somehow had the ear of every editor across the fashion world, and every commission-paying client. Ella Beatson came right to the front of the floor, and in her own condescending way began to clap very, very slowly. My heart didn’t miss a beat. Instead of gritting my teeth and seething I ran towards her and laughed out loud. Her painted eyebrows lifted as I grabbed her arms and pulled her onto the stage. With the spotlight now on her instead of me, my clothes and my creatures, Ella’s face lit up with a sense of amazement and she began to shimmy about as though she were the star of the show. I giggled. I’d make her the star, if that was what she wanted. I danced over to her as she swayed to the beat, and stretched up my hands to sink leather-bound fingers into her platinum-blond, bobbed hair. I pulled her head down towards me, as I had with my girls and kissed her full and deep on the mouth. When I let her go she drew back and took a shuddering breath.
‘I never knew’ she said, looking at me with desire. The people in front of us screamed at our indulgence and clapped for more cheap thrills. This time Ella bent towards me and she licked my cherry lips before seeking out my tongue with her own. She disgusted me but I took her head in my hands and returned the embrace anyway. The sharp blades flicked easily from their clasps, and I swiftly sliced both sides of her throat without letting go. She began to convulse and my throat immediately filled with her hot blood. The audience suddenly grasped what was going on and there was a tiny moment of silence before someone screamed.
‘Oh my God. It’s real. They’re dead, they’re really dead’.
Then they all started. Mindless, talentless bimbos squealing away like little piglets. I let Ella drop to the floor and watched the carnage as other models, wives, mistresses, girlfriends, would-be designers and celebrity has-beens fought each other to get to the doors. The music – Insomnia by Faithless – came to an abrupt halt, and I called out.
‘Look at me!’
Some of them stopped in their tracks; others poured over themselves to reach the auditorium.
‘Look at me!’ I cried again. This time everyone slowly turned to face me, complete and absolute horror on their faces.
‘You are nothing’ I smiled serenely. ‘You are worthless’.
I was near the edge of the stage, bleeding women around my feet, not a living person within close proximity. But still my audience stood, wide-eyed, stunned, stupid.
‘This is for every one of you’ I said.
‘You are an insult to design. You are an insult to style. You are an insult to creativity, and to my intelligence.’
Tears fell about the place and women wailed in the aisles. I took a single step forward.
‘You are an insult to the female race’.
I grinned, my teeth bloody as several of them collapsed against each other, their silly satins, silks, taffetas and leathers now as out of place and stupid as they all were.
Finally and quietly I said, ‘Look at me. I’m doing this for you’.
I raised my hands once more and the glare of the spotlight, still rotating above us, must have hit the slim steel blades in my palms because everyone recoiled, as one.
I looked down at myself and used the thin knives to tear open the sparkling, silver-thread bodice wrapped tight around my torso, by slicing through the leather ribbon which laced it together. It slipped from my body and I stood there with my breasts on display, my nipples pink and high, perfect and firm – no surgery for me. The little rose-pink organza tutu draped with leather tatters, which hung from my hips, fluttered prettily and I glanced down at my round tummy - it only slightly protruded over the top. I didn’t care – I was proud of it.
I couldn’t walk any further forward on the stage without tumbling off, so I stood where I was, looking around one last time to take in their faces, to enjoy the horror they were feeling. Even as they vomited and wept, they were helpless, edging back towards me like junkies, desperate.
The stiletto blades were still in my hands. Quickly, without further ado I plunged them deep into my solar plexus, then dragged them out to either side, below my ribs. It hurt very badly and I fell to my knees. The screams around the theatre nearly overwhelmed me, nearly stopped me from finishing, but from somewhere came the strength to drive the knives back into my belly and slit all the way down, through the tutu, down to my knickers.
My guts spilled out everywhere, and I was pleasantly satisfied by the heat of them on my hands, before I finally fell into the crowd.
BIO: Lily Childs is a budding writer in the mystery and chiller genre, and is thrilled to have her first short story published on Thrillers Killers 'n' Chillers.
'Fashion Victim' is Lily's subtle response to being thrown off a clothing design course for being 'too nice!' After a seven-year spell in France, Lily now lives on the Sussex Coast with her artist husband and beautiful 5-year old daughter.