Kimmie was sitting on the steps at the back of the house. The sun was going down and the shadows where creeping in. Esther sat down beside her on the mossy stone.
'Here, it's yours.'
Esther took the bottle and examined it. "Frank's triple distilled." The blank bottle with the black on white letters. I love this, she thought tenderly and stroked the glass.
'You want to mix it?'
'Then you'll have to provide for that. I spent my last on that bottle.'
'Come on,' Esther jumped upright. 'Let's go to my place.'
She hesitated for a moment and looked back.
'Go on,' Kimmie encouraged her. 'A prize well won.'
Esther loosened the cap and took a swig. Burning and numbing. It was grand!
They strolled through the derelict garden. An oil drum lay half sunken in the grass, someone had tossed a broken bike over the fence. There was a pet cemetery in one corner. Stick and string crosses stood silently beside painted stones.
'Have you seen it?' Kimmie asked while they stared. Esther took another sip and passed the bottle, she shook her head. 'Wait, well... think I heard it. Once.'
'A growl?' Kimmie asked with a smile.
Esther nodded and then quickly shook her head again. 'No!'
'Don't be shy, everyone has at least heard it.'
Esther reached for the bottle and was glad to get it back. It was really hers, a treasure.
There was a hole in the scratchy hedge. Already the streetlights where casting their yellow light through from the other side. After listening for a while Kimmie went through, followed closely by Esther.
The neighborhood they shared was isolated. Far away from the city. Far away from the docks. The river and the train-tracks where nearest. After industrial. Industrial was a place long abandoned. A bare wasteland filled with broken factories. Junkies had once gone there to die, now it was the place where the dog came from.
The houses here where average, nothing special. A few streets where old people lived, silent couples without kids. People who left each other alone.
Esther walked the white tiles to her blue front door. She had a key but it was unnecessary, the door was open. 'I...I think i forgot to lock it,' she said, nervousness creeping in her voice.
'Really? I know this is a boring street, but that's kinda pushing things.'
'Yeah,' Esther smiled weakly. She was listening intently for some sound. A sign of life inside. But there was nothing. It really was nothing, things where safe.
It still costed her another full minute to cross the welcome mat though.
Kimmie said nothing. If she found anything strange, it didn't show.
Inside was big and bare. White and blue with new, fake wood everywhere in optimistic lightness. Little spotlights and dimmer switches, cleverly hidden light sources.
'The kitchen,' Esther said. Now that they where here, she felt herself relax. This was now her place again, now that all was well.
Kimmie looked around and jumped on the cooking island, smoothing down her short, black skirt.
She really does look like a cheerleader, Esther though while she took two glasses from a wall cabinet. With her loose, small black top. I can see the straps from her red bra. Her flat belly and bare back on display. Black sneakers with black laces, bare legs. She looked at herself in the tall glass of the winter-garden, quickly looking away again. Nothing too see, look away.
Esther shook herself a little. 'I didn't say anything.'
'I thought I heard something.'
'Like...what?' Esther had to really restrain herself from looking at a particular shadow. A strangely deep shadow beside the metallic giant that was the fridge.
'Ha!' Kimmie swung her long legs playfully. 'I'm cheating. I know you talk to yourself a lot.'
'And how do you know that?'
'I sneak around after dark and spy on people.'
Esther spilled some orange juice and looked up. 'That's...kind of creepy.'
Kimmie shrugged. 'I get lonely.'
Esther sighed. Why? Why couldn't the only visitor ever to come by be a normal person? But she sighed and shrugged. There where after all creepier things. And creepy was always better than nasty and mean.
'And you cry a lot,' Kimmie gestured.
Esther bristled as she handed Kimmie her drink. 'Hey!'
'What? You also cry in school where you think no-one is watching.'
'We go to the same school?'
'Yes. I've seen you in class.'
'I hate my class!', Esther blurted out. Her cheeks reddened and she had to look away.
'I know,' Kimmie said curtly and took a sip. 'This is good. You mix this up for yourself when you've had a bad day. Which is most of the time and when you have a bottle.'
'Are you my stalker?'
'A stalker,' Kimmie corrected her. 'But I like you best.'
'You have a big house and a cute face.'
'Ha, Ha.' I hate my face.
'...and it's nice to be needed.'
'I don't need you!', Esther guffawed. This was getting ridiculous.
Kimmie stretched her long arms above her head. 'Oh, you don't? You rage around the house with haunted eyes every night. You're lonely and weak.'
'And you are strong and happy I suppose?'
'I'm lonely too, if you must know. But yeah, I get to beat people up who annoy me. I don't let them steal my schoolbag.'
Esther shrunk against the counter with the sink, ashamed and a little afraid. 'You saw that?', she whispered.
'Three girls, a year above yours.' Kimmie remembered it almost fondly, staring up at the ceiling fan. 'They chased you into that alley and then they made you kneel for them. You let them cut your hair to pieces, really? Was that necessary?'
'It grew back and I didn't mind.'
'Did you have to laugh apologetically while they maimed you?'
Esther took a huge gulp and swallowed a delicious dizziness. Her hands where tingling and her stomach was cold. 'I hate them...I hate me, what does it matter? I don't care.'
Kimmie looked at her for a little while and Esther endured. She was used to people staring. 'Maybe it's the T-shirts you wear,' she stated.
'I like them.'
'Really? Marilyn Manson, Cradle of filth. Do you listen to that stuff?'
Esther laughed. 'Not Cradle of filth, I only liked the print on that one. But I have Marilyn's albums.'
'Do they make you depressed.'
'I am depressed.'
Kimmie jumped to the floor. 'Can we go up to your room?'
Esther frowned. 'If you like...'
'Because it's up too high and I've never seen it.'
'I keep forgetting you're a creep.'
'If you keep calling me that, I will call you a Goth.'
'I lack the make-up.'
'You have the style, my dear.'
Esther laughed, it felt strange.
'You want me to paint your hair black?', Kimmie asked as she walked ahead towards the stairs.
Is this smart? Esther asked herself as she followed the other girl up the rounded steps. She could be a serial-killer. Suddenly she remembered what last night had turned up and racing the steps three at at time. 'Wait! Don't open the door! Wait!'
You need to be logged in to comment