Kobra overhears something he shouldn't and tells Lady Madness about his past.
It doesn’t sound so bad but being on guard is the most boring thing in the world. You’re expected to just sit awake for an hour looking out into the desert. There’s nothing to do because you’re supposed to be keeping guard so you can’t read or anything. Screaming Revolver always cheats by waking up someone to talk to her. Most of the time it’s Agent Anarchy and one time Party Poison woke up making Screaming Revolver very happy until her hour ended. I don’t have the guts to wake anybody up until it’s their turn.
The first person to be on night guard was Agent Anarchy while the rest of us fell asleep. After forty-five minutes everybody apart from me and Agent Anarchy were fast asleep. So I thought…
Another five minutes and I heard someone sit up “Agent Anarchy, can I tell you something?” It was Screaming Revolver.
I shifted uncomfortably. I think Screaming Revolver reckoned everybody was asleep but I was still wide awake. I wondered about sitting up and telling them that I was still awake but to be honest, I was curious to know what she wanted to tell her.
Agent Anarchy replied “Of course you can.”
“Do you promise not to tell anyone else?”
“Yes, I promise.”
“Especially not Party Poison, I need to tell him myself.”
“Look, I already know you’re in love with him.”
I raised my eyes, impressed. She wasn’t as clueless as I once thought.
Screaming Revolver was quiet before saying “It’s not that I’m in love with him. You see the thing is I already told him I loved him. And he told me he loved me too.”
“Isn’t that a good thing?”
“Well it was until we woke up the next morning. I went downstairs all chirpy and Party’s at the table with this massive hang-over and he’s saying things like ‘Oh my god I was so drunk last night that I don’t even remember what happened!’”
“So he doesn’t remember telling you he loved you?”
“That’s not all he doesn’t remember,” Screaming Revolver whispered “It was three months ago. I knew he was drunk but I didn’t think he was that drunk. And we… Well, we…”
“Spit it out!”
“We had sex.”
Agent Anarchy gasped and if I hadn’t wanted to give my game away, I’d have gasped too. My brother had had sex with Screaming Revolver?
Agent Anarchy was even brighter than I was because she said something I hadn’t realised “Wait! You’re three months pregnant!”
“It’s Party’s baby,” Screaming Revolver told her “And don’t ask if I’m sure because he’s the only person I’ve had sex with.”
“Who did you say the baby belonged to?”
“I didn’t. When I told people I was pregnant, nobody cared. I was going to say I was raped or something… But people were too busy about thinking how we’d adapt to a killjoy baby to even think about who the Daddy was.”
“And Party doesn’t know?”
“Of course not! He doesn’t even remember doing it with me. I want to tell him the truth but I’m so scared that he’ll think I’m lying to get his attention.”
“Party wouldn’t think that.”
“Well how am I supposed to tell him? That I love him and oh by the way, you don’t remember but you knocked me up?”
“Well maybe not exactly like that. Remind him about the morning when he was complaining he couldn’t remember anything about the night before. Talk him through it, all the details until you get to the part where you had sex.”
“Do you think he’ll believe me?”
“It’s worth a try. Now try and get some sleep.”
“No, I should take this shift…”
“I think you need to rest for a while, think about what you’re going to say to Party.”
Screaming Revolver went back to sleep while Agent Anarchy climbed through all of us until she reached the person sleeping next to me. I hadn’t really noticed who was sleeping either side of me; they both had their backs turned to me. Agent Anarchy shook the person next to me and whispered “Lady Madness, it’s your turn to stay on guard.”
Lady Madness yawned and sat up “Okay, you can go to sleep now.”
“I plan to.”
I felt that Agent Anarchy had told Screaming Revolver to sleep, simply because she’d wanted to wake Lady Madness. This was unfair of Agent Anarchy but it was even more unfair of me to jump to conclusions.
I pretended to be asleep for a while but I felt bad about Lady Madness sitting up next to me, looking around nervously. On my first night guarding I had been terrified, I was certain that something bad would happen while everyone was sleeping and that I wouldn’t notice. Nothing bad has ever happened to us while we’ve camped yet but you never know.
So I pretended to wake up and sat up next to her “How long have you been up?”
“Not long,” She whispered, looking glad that I’d woken up “If you want you can go back to sleep…”
“No, it’s okay. First night watches are always creepy.” I glanced around “I don’t think anything bad is going to happen but you can’t be sure, can you?”
Lady Madness nodded. We sat together for a few minutes before she asked “What was your past like then?”
I stared at her “What?”
“Well I’ve told you all about my past,” Lady Madness whispered “I was just curious about yours. It’s okay if you don’t wanna tell me.”
“No, it’s fine.” I took a deep breath. Why was she interested in my past? It wasn’t as interesting as hers! “Well I lived with my Mom and Dad until I was twelve and then they divorced. Party and I stayed with our Mom and stayed with our Dad on Friday nights. This went on for about two years until one Friday Party and I went over to our Dad’s and he wouldn’t answer the door. It was weird because his car was on the drive and everything…
“Party panicked and said that maybe Dad had fainted or had a heart attack or something really bad so then I started panicking. We noticed a window open on the top floor so Party told me to climb up the drain pipe and climb through the window. I was terrified but I was more terrified of losing my Dad so I did it.
“When I was inside, I didn’t automatically look for my Dad. I was scared of what I’d see so I ran downstairs and unlocked the door for Party. He ran into the house and together we started to search every room. We found him upstairs, lying on his bed and for a moment we both laughed because we thought he’d simply fallen asleep. Party started shaking him and telling him to wake up but he didn’t. Party checked his pulse and phoned the police. Our Dad was dead.
“We went back to living with our Mom for another three years. But then the man that murdered our Dad returned. We hadn’t known he was the killer but for some reason, he told us he had. He shot our Mom on the spot and pointed the gun at us. Party threw a hardback book at him which distracted him. In that moment, he grabbed my hand and we both ran out the house.”
I stopped my story there. Lady Madness was sitting up straight and listening carefully “So how did you become killjoys?”
“Our parents were killjoys,” I mumbled “A week after the murder in our Mom’s house; we found the courage to return. Her body was still there but Party said we’d need somewhere to stay. We found a long note from both our parents telling us about how they were both killjoys. How all the business trips they said were going on weren’t real, they were flying out into the desert to try and defeat BLI. The head of BLI was the one who’d killed them both. Party found the address to their old hide out and we both went to check it out.
“When we got there, it was empty. We waited there for days, weeks, months until we realised that no one lived here anymore. Every killjoy that had once lived there was now dead. Me and my brother gave ourselves killjoy names and killjoy costumes and then we rounded up a team.” I smiled “And that’s my background.”
“That’s fascinating,” Lady Madness whispered “It’s way more interesting than my background.”
“No it isn’t. Loads of people share the same background than me. How many people can say they were going to marry Korse?”
“More than you think,” Lady Madness told me “He married this other killjoy before me called Gasoline Revenge. Gasoline Revenge wouldn’t give up her true name to him so he killed her. That was one of the things I was afraid of Kobra. I was scared that on our wedding day he’d ask for my real name and I’ve never given my real name to anyone before. I wasn’t about to give it up to someone that I didn’t even like, let alone love.”
“Only one person knows my name,” I whispered to her “Party knows and I know his but that’s only because we used to be normal.”
“Do you ever want to tell someone?” Lady Madness asked “I don’t mean someone random… I mean like have you ever wanted to trust someone so much that you could give up your name to them?”
“Of course I have,” I told her “I think everyone wants someone they can trust that much.”
‘I want that kind of relationship with you.’ I added silently in my head.
Lady Madness smiled and checked her watch “I think my hour’s over. Should I wake someone else up?”
“No, I’ll stay up now. You can go to sleep.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah honestly, just go to sleep.”
I did something Lady Madness would’ve considered creepy if she woke up. I watched her sleep.