Fun grows big, and Violet grows within.
That what I felt as I sat on the back of Shockwave’s bike, riding towards the Black. I needed to tell all the Killjoys something before I disappeared off the face of the earth forever. Something big, but not flashy. I imagined me just standing on top of a car, gathering some attention, but I shook my head at the thought. I needed something big. Maybe standing on the top of the roof or lighting a car on fire… That might work.
“Fun, you spacing on me,” Shockwave said as we sped through the desert. She had her head turned towards the road, but I know she was looking at me from the corner of her eyes.
“It’s nothing, Shockwave. You just need to concentrate on the road ahead of you,” I joked, knowing this fourteen-year-old knew more about driving than me. “You still wanna know all those question’s answers?” I asked, nudging Shockwave.
She nodded quickly, still keeping the bike steady. “First why you’re here in Zone 5. Then where the guys are.”
I sighed, trying to make this sound at least normal and non-girlish. “I walked here.”
“No shit, Sherlock. Why’d you walk way out here?”
I smiled at Shockwave’s term. “Uh, the, um, guys and I had a disagreement, and uh… I kinda… Left,” I said, biting my lip.
“What was the reason, Fun? Why the fight?” Shockwave asked, not sounding prying at all.
“I, uh… You know Violet Rage?” I asked, receiving a head nod.
“Yeah, she and I got stuck in some hole sometime ago by a bunch of Dracs, but we made it out. Why bring her up?”
“Well… Uh, I don’t know how to put this,” I mumbled, biting my lip and drawing blood. “You know how I like Party Poison?”
Once again, a head nod. “Where’s this going Fun…?” Shockwave asked, sounding concerned.
“Well, she and Party are together, you could say, making me, uh, jealous, and, uh… She’s pregnant, and I know she fucked Poison for attention, but she’s telling me that it was Tim, and---“
“Who the heck’s Tim?” Shockwave asked, interrupting me and causing my train of thought to crash and scatter.
“I don’t know, but she said she was raped by him, possibly making her pregnant, but I know she fucked Poison for attention, little attention whore… And then she thinks she’s part of the guys, and it’s… It’s a bitch, you know?” I finished, hoping I didn’t sound stupid.
To my dismal, Shockwave started laughing, still keeping the bike straight. “You’re kidding me, right? Tell me your joking,” Shockwave said, turning her head to her left, looking at me through the corners of her eyes.
I bit my lip and shook my head. “I’m not joking, Shockwave.”
“You retard. Did you ever think Rage was telling the truth?” Shockwave asked, raising an eyebrow at me, still keeping the bike unnaturally straight.
“Well, no, but---“
“Not buts. How much do you like Poison, Fun?”
I sighed. “I like him so much it hurts like hell when I talk about him, like now.”
“Have you told him that you like him?”
“Uh, no, but I think I’ve made it clear enough that I like him.”
“Fun,” Shockwave sighed, shaking her head. “Have you ever thought about how thick-headed Poison can be?”
“He can be thick-headed?”
“Yeah, just look at him when he’s sober but bossing everybody around. He’s oblivious to things,” Shockwave stated nodding once.
I thought a moment, realizing what Shockwave had said was right. I mean, I did show Gerard I like him, but he was always pushing around people, oblivious to me. I sighed. “You’re right, Shockwave.”
“I know I am. You’re so blinded by blind love that you forget this isn’t high school, Fun. I mean, I don’t even know what high school is, but it seems like a good metaphor. And about you leaving the guys and Rage… You need to go apologize to them, especially Rage.”
“No, Shockwave, I can’t. I’m not going back there,” I said, looking to my right, at the Black fast approaching. “I can’t,” I repeated.
“Fun, never say never. You can go back, just have good intentions towards the guys. As for Rage, be careful, cause she could be a ticking time bomb, but you need to be patient and calm, as antagonizing as that may be,” Shockwave said, making my idly wonder how she ever got such a big vocabulary.
“I did go to some school, Fun. I was in eighth grade when I left Battery City, remember?” Shockwave said, making me realize that I had thought aloud. “It’s not like I’m that dumb…” Shockwave frowned.
I hugged her as she pulled to a stop. “Don’t worry, Shockwave, you’re not dumb. Hey… Wait. What day is it?” I asked, looking around.
“It’s Thursday, Fun. I was coming to the Black to meet up with everybody else to storm Battery City, remember?” Shockwave said, nodding towards the group already forming and talking. “I needed to get a mask ,too. Don’t wanna die without a mask on, ya know?”
I shook my head. “You really shouldn’t be doing this Shockwave…” I said, not wanting her to die.
Shockwave waved her hand dismissively. “Ah, Fun, don’t worry, I’ll be all right. It’s you that you need to be worrying about.” With that, Shockwave turned on her heel and walked towards the Black. “Don’t forget what I said!” she called over her shoulder, waving a goodbye to me.
I stood there, wondering how I was going to tell the guys and Rage I’m sorry when the Death Machine pulled up.
I don’t know why Party was silent after I said ‘I love you’, but he was. I know he wasn’t angry, but…
“Party?” I tested, wondering if he was angry or sad or whatever. “Please say something.”
Party sighed. “I love you too Vi, but…” he trailed off, and I blinked, still confused.
“What? What is it?” I asked, tilting my head.
Party sighed again. “I love you the way you were, Violet. Without the unconcluded pregnancy. I almost wish you weren’t pregnant so I wouldn’t have to worry about you even more than I do already, with your broken arm and your asthma…”
I nodded, understanding what Party was saying. I touched his right arm with my right arm, which still hurt like hell but was making me used to the pain. “Hey, if it makes you feel any better, I’ll go and buy a pregnancy test if they have any. That way, I’ll be able to tell if it’s true or not, okay?” I said, looking at Party looking at me.
Party nodded and smiled, making both of us feel relieved. “Please, that would be awesome. Where would we raise a kid anyway? I mean, how too? I like sleep, even though I don’t get much…”
I laughed, smiling at what Party was implying. “Don’t worry, if I am pregnant, I’ll have Shot Fire look after them while we’re off roughin’ it,” I said, still smiling and turning back to the road, pushing my hair behind my ears.
We sat in comfortable silence until we reached the Black. I felt my eyes widen at the sight of the Black. Every Killjoy must have gathered there, ready or preparing for the fight tomorrow. I saw all different kinds of masks and sunglasses, and I couldn’t help but let my jaw drop. It was an amazing sight, seeing everyone out here in Zone 5.
As soon as I got out of the car, somebody put their hands over my eyes. My breath became shallow and quickened, but the person that had their hands over my eyes, blinding me, either didn’t hear or care. I heard, “Walk,” in a low voice, but I couldn’t discern who it was. I began to step forward, being guided through the throngs of Killjoys by the mystery person. My heart was beating a thousand miles a minute, and my breath was shallow still. Finally, when I had walked fifty-nine steps without turning, I recognized the smell of the Black.
“Please,” I said in a shaky voice, still scared out of my mind, “Don’t hurt me.”
The hands fell from my eyes, and the guys were around me, looking a little more calm than I. I breathed a sigh of relief. At least if I was going to be in trouble, the guys could help me.
“Hey, guys,” I heard a shy voice say, and I turned around to face a nervous-looking Fun Ghoul. He was biting his lip and shuffling his feet on the dusty floor.
I narrowed my eyes at the sight. “If you’re expecting an apology, don’t hold your breath,” I said, my voice suddenly strong and like little daggers, slicing the air and hitting Ghoul’s skin, making him look down at his feet.
“Well, uh, that kinda why I got you guys in here,” Ghoul said, looking us all in the eye, then looking down. “I wanted to apologize… To you, Violet,” with this he looked at me, “for thinking you had sex with somebody for attention, and to Poison,” he turned to Party, “because I’ve been a total ass ever since Violet got here. To the rest of you, too, because I’ve been a bigger ass for my actions and walking away from the group.”
I blinked. This is the most I’ve ever heard Ghoul say, and this was pretty sincere. I didn’t fall for it, though. “Oh really? You just expect us to believe you, just like that?”
Ghoul looked back down at the ground. Party came up behind me and put a hand on my shoulder, making me look at him. There were feint signs of tears and sadness in his eyes, making me cringe inwardly. It always sucked to see Party hurt… “Maybe we should believe him, Vi,” Party said in a whisper, me not daring to tear my eyes away from Party’s. “You don’t know him like I do, and he’s really sincere right now.”
I blinked and felt ashamed of myself. Why was I always the ass hole in the end…? I sighed, looking back at Ghoul, who was looking at me but put his head down when I turned to him. “Fine,” I grumbled, and he rushed to give me a hug, 6 inches shorter than me.
I sighed again and awkwardly put my hand on his shoulder. The guys came around and hugged Ghoul and I, and I couldn’t help but feel a little queer and claustrophobic in this massive group hug. I began to breathe shallow, and Party caught this, telling the guys to stop the hug and let me go.
I took a huge breath as the guys released me, and thanked Party. Now to look for a mask of my own, I thought, walking away from the guys and peering through windows and doors at shops. Party came and grabbed my shoulder, making me stop but not react the way I had Tuesday. I turned to Party. “Well, are you going to help me find a mask?” I asked, and Party nodded.
“You need something that screams your name, you know?” Party said, walking beside me and looking through the spaces for something that could possibly ‘scream’ my name. Party gasped and his face lit up as he turned into a store to his left, me following him in.
“Well, if it isn’t the infamous Party Poison,” a voice said, and the voice turned into a person. She was short, shorted than Ghoul, and was very tan. She wore a white shirt under a black leather jacket, black boots, and a pair of cutoff shorts. She had a nice face, but she did look a little like a bird with the way she looked at you. The short lady hugged Party, and he hugged back, smiling with his eyes closed. I couldn’t help but feel a pang of jealousy.
“You moved shops, Sign,” Party said, pouting, and the short lady punched him in the arm, smirking.
“And this must be Violet Rage,” she said, releasing Party and turning to me. “Pleased to meet you. Name’s Neon Polish, but you can call me Sign. ” With this, the lady stuck out her hand and shook mine. “Party’s always talking about you,” she added, making me feel lighter than how I do when I’m running.
I smiled at Sign. “Thank you,” I said, already liking this lady. She turned and motioned for Party and I to follow her. She led to a back corner of her room, and I noticed two bins full of masks. “Whoa,” I said, scanning the bins.
“Whoa is right, “Sign said, nodding towards the bins. “Masks found all over the Zones. Luckily most of these were from old Killjoys, wanting to retire, however Killjoys retire. Some are life after death though. It’s a shame at what Korse does to people…” Sign trailed, then snapped back to attention. “Well, tell me if you like anything, because I’ll be glad to give it to you, free.”
“Really?” I said, feeling happier than I was at age five. “That’s amazing, Sign. Thank you, really.”
“Oh no prob. Just tell me before you leave, ‘kay hon?” Sign said, and I nodded. “Good. Good luck finding a mask.” Sign turned and left Party and I looking through the bins.
“Man, some of these are really cool,” Party said, placing a mirrored mask back in the bins. “Almost make me wish I didn’t have this baby.” Party patted his yellow mask.
“Oh, but it defines you, Party Poison. It ‘screams’ your name, loud,” I said seductively, kissing Party on the jaw. He smiled and I kissed his smiling lips. Party ran his tongue over my bottom lip, and I didn’t even think before letting him in my mouth. Party tasted so good I didn’t want him to leave.
We finally broke apart from the kiss, breathing in air as calmly as we have before. I winked at Party and searched through the bins more. I pulled out a mask that I fell in love with. “Party, what about this one?” I asked, showing him the mask. It was a simple-shaped mask, with no harsh curves or straight lines. The whole thing was painted a deep red, redder than Party’s hair. Black detailing had outlined the eyeholes and outer lines of the mask, with grey words written all over the mask, most angry and cursing the world. Purple stripes broke up the words sporadically, and green lines ran horizontal across the mask. It was amazing.
Party smiled and nodded. “It’s perfect.” He took it from my hands and placed it on my face, where it fit the contours of my cheekbones and temples. Party ran off for a moment and returned with a mirror, about the size of my head.
I gasped at my reflection in the mirror, seeing my face with the mask. I didn’t look like Jennifer Cosby, or a girl for that matter. I looked like Violet Rage, a true Killjoy. I felt my eyes grow hot, and I blinked them back to keep them from falling. “I look like Violet Rage,” I said, lightly touching the mask and breathing calmly.
Party nodded. “Now to go tell Sign,” he said, taking my hand and dragging me to Sign, where she was fixing a stack of books. “Look,” Party said to Sign, making her turn around to face me.
“It looks amazing on you, Violet, “Sign said, touching my mask lightly. “It’s all yours.”
I hugged Sign, mask still on. “Thank you,” I whispered, finally feeling oddly complete with my mask. I felt my eyes grow hotter than ever, and a tear escaped the lidded prison.
Sign let me go and wiped the tear away from my face. “Good luck tomorrow,” Sign said, and Party and I turned back to the main hallway of the Black.
“Party…” I said, still loving the lightweight feel of the mask against my face.
“Hmm?” Party said, turning towards me and kissing my on the cheek.
“I need to dye my hair and get the pregnancy test,” I said flatly, looking for a space that may have purple hair dye. Ah, yes, the little hole in the wall by Shot Fire’s place…
“Okay, Vi, but you better return within the hour,” Party said, making me sad that he was leaving, but relieved that he wasn’t going to be standing right outside the door while I took the test. I walked off to that little hole in the wall, searching for a box of hair dye. I found one, paid for it, and went to another store in search of the fate decider. I found one, not so cheap, in a dinky shop, but with a trusted name. I ran to the bathroom to dye my hair and take the test.
I dyed my hair first, letting my hair dry by the BLI hand dryer in the wall somebody had jacked from Battery City. Once my hair was dry, I creeped to an empty stall and took the test.
It took that little piece of plastic to develop, but what I saw I almost couldn’t somprehend.