Tequila She楬a sort of squeaked then groaned and
says, Oh, aye, theres stuﬀ glittering under the skin. SPD
goes, Let's see let's see.
They could see the different coloured specks shining
just under the surface of the skin and the whole knee
sparkling when the beam of light caught it.
It's Christmas glitter, says Lanna.
Amazing, Panatine whispered.
These guys with tattoos across the way were really
whistling at my bare thigh but Panatine and my group
were just staring at the glistening knee.
It was when she was wee she came horsing in the
scullery, slid on her knees and skinned one deep on these
Christmas cards she was making and the glitter sunk right
in her; they never got it 慬l out her at The Hospital, says
It was the ﬁrst time I'd spoke that day if you dont
count the swear-out-loud when my foot touched the
blood that morning; cause I was mortal though I says: I
can still remember. My fosterdad called
cause it was
just gushing blood and by chance the amb畬ance was up
The Complex. I got put in the back with a really young
girl who was having a premature baby right there and
then. The nurse told me just to watch
the way to the
hospital to keep my mind off my cut knee. The girl was
screaming and screaming and a wee baby girl was coming
There was no talking, then SPD says how the glitter
would sink deeper and go invisible the older
one was watching Lanna lick her ﬁngers and roll the
stocking back up my leg then me sm楬ing and hooking the
strap on the front and Lanna reaching behind.
dont want the glitter to go away,
down the dress.
䅨, but it will, Panatine went. There was a bit of no
talking then Panatine asked if I got teased at school for
having no known mother or father.
I told about a day in geography when we all had to
do a talk about the village where we were born. When my
turn came I'd goes that I didnt know what village I was
born in so the whole class laughed and the teacher
told about how my fosterparents had says
different from when I was wee but it was only before my
fostermum died they explained I was orphaned.
says how my fostermum couldnt have children so
her and Red Hanna fostered me and took in other Special
Girls every summer.
goes about the girl I shared the
bunk with for summer. She always wore suppositories
and changed them three times a day. Eventually she told
me that her father used to attack her every night. She
discovered that if she wore suppositories he couldnt get
her that way and
cuddled her a汬 night.
Just then a ﬁght broke out between the four men
across from us. The one with the tattoos and another
bawled, The Argylls, the two others, The Kosbys. Two
climbed on one and brought him down on a table.
Glasses broke and a man began pushing the neck of a
beer bottle into another's eye, shouting how The Argy汬s
was full of Fenians so he was going to get an eyeball in
the bottom of the bottle to hold up to the light and see
how green it was.
The Slab marched in, held something to his cigar
and chucked it at the feet of the four fighting men.
There was a big bang with screaming and smoke then
the men holding their ears as The Slab charged in and
two other barmen took pick handles to the legs of the
The Slab had thrown one of the big lifeboat fire
works he used. A guy passing says that you wouldnt be
lieve the one with the tattoos had been on a life-support
system since the last weekend.
I could hear Cameo going, so with a汬 the Southern
Comfort drunk Lanna and me bombed it up the stair to
It was She's Mine offof the Wordup album and that
went straight into Just Be Yourself that was only previ
ously available on a twelve inch.
Lanna and me did little routines together with arms
and legs in rhythm and we shook our hair lots. The boys
who had been playing pool were there: the one with the
hair. Smiler was there, loaﬁng about in his leather jacket
with a pint. Lanna and me put our arms round him and
kissed him on lips. We didnt say words just cheekily
sipped from his pint then danced.
knew all the music.
was trying to be ahead of the
beat. My legs followed bass and drums while my arms
and body were guitar or other noises. A whirling arm was
a guitar solo. The boys moved over to us.
The boys bought Lanna and me beer in bottles and
you could hold the bottles with two ﬁngers while you
danced, stopping on occasion to use the goldish lighter
on a Silk Cut or Regal.
I danced with the one boy then the other and Lanna
did too. There were Christmas songs.
The lights came up and you could see the sweat on
You going home? Lanna says.
The boys had a car and were going to a party so
got the steerhide jacket off a chairback and pulling it on
felt the disc in the pocket.
Lanna did my make-up in the toilets and all began
moving into the night. As we ﬁled out, Overdose was
unconscious in the chair helping prop the door open. On
the pavement people were shouting and hanging about.
The King Prawn walked by with a massive carry-out of
bottles in a bin-liner. A one-armed ﬁsherman came up to
Tequila She楬a. They went away together.
Everyone was watching The Lighthouse bar on the
north pier where the police had arrested so many they
were using taxis to take them away.
Lanna and me walked arm in arm behind the boys. I
was famished and they oﬀered so we waited in the queue
outside the baked-tattie shop. They always insist on put
ting meat in mine to fatten me up a bit so I had one with
nothing on it; not even opened! Steam came whooshing
out when I lopped the top oﬀ outside, using a comb from
the guy with the hair and handing it back to him.
Lanna and me ate in the back and the car had a
good stereo; 剅M doing Try Not To Breathe oﬀof Auto
matic For The People. I was listening to the lyrics awful
We were driving out the port, beside the sea to
wards the Back Settlement then below the fallen-down
castle to the sands. Only well-to-do live there, in bought
Snow ﬂakes began to f慬l. Lanna and me stuck our
heads out the same window, biting the ﬂakes and having
hysterics ti汬 we mustve been blue in the face.
The party was in a big bungalow with an enormous
brae for a garden. Inside I danced and banged the record
player. I was given a can of Tennents. Some boy goes that
his parents owned the house and they were away in a
country. He turned and says to me about a university.
How he designed houses there then what house I would
in his south accent. I says, One where
you couldnt hear men go to the toilet. I was in stitches.
The guy wouldnt dance so I did with Lanna and the boys.
When Lanna and me talked to them we put our hands on
their shoulders and shouted in their ears. They had the
names John and Paul, like disciples.
People were chucking snowballs at the steamed-up
windows and one pane of glass smashed. Me and Lanna
ran out and chucked snowballs. The boy whose parents
owned tried to stop it but there was a big snowb慬l ﬁght
right through the house. A huge snowman was getting
built in the modern sc畬lery.
It snowed so thick it stuck to faces. Girls were using
trays for sledges. Outside the Paul got me by the legs and
tried to give me a ﬁreman's lift. We fell and I couldnt get
away for being in hysterics. He kissed me on the mouth
and as he did it my mouth was the only warm bit I could
feel. I skelpted him with snow down the neck. I remem
bered and my hand shot to the pocket but the computer
disc was safe. There was a dead exciting running snowball
ﬁght with whole gangs screaming and laughing then I
walked back up to the bungalow with the Paul.
In the scu汬ery Lanna was kissing seriously with the
John and people were putting a smiley face on the snow
man using assorted veg from the cupboards. Lanna put
her arm round me and goes how perished I was.
Two girls were ga汬ivanting topless and Lanna whis
pered, Tarts. Some boys and girls from high school were
having showers together and screaming cause others were
throwing snowba汬s into the steamy bathroom. The boy
who lived there had been tied up and locked in a cup
board where they found skis and the boy had gone fast
asleep. Some girls were skiing a slalom down the garden
and smashing into the fence.
One of the topless girls walked right up to us and
says, Theres another shower if yous are shy.
It was a wee shower room oﬀ a huge bedroom. The
bed was covered in coats and jackets and a boy and girl
sound asleep. There were dryish towels so Lanna and me
got in and locked the door. Everything came off and as
per usual we got in together to save time. We tried not to
get hair wet and soaped each other, laughing when she
lathered the felt tip on my shoulder then the glittering
knee. I washed in myself again that day and Lanna put
her hand up on the tiles to wash right in her. Lanna says
about wishing she was bigger in the chest and I goes that
I had nothing to beat there and I was thin as a lat. We
dried selves then dressed bumping each other in the little
Through the house a lot had gone and there was
noise from one bedroom. Cans and bottles were every
where and crisps or nuts crushed into carpets. There was
broken glass under a window and the big smiling snow
man in the scullery where some were sti汬 drinking.
The John and Paul had claimed a bedroom with
electric ﬁre, candles and some cans of Tennents. They had
a pack of cards.
Let's play Strip Jack Naked, I blurted out.
We drank at the cans then eventua汬y they got me
down to the basque thing and one stocking but Lanna
was topless with just the skirt and ankle chain. The males
only lost shirts and socks. I was getting that bit rampant.
With a candle Lanna showed them my glittering
knee and they both touched the skin with their ﬁngers.
Then she slowly lifted the basque from behind to show
them the felt tip. Shadows were jumping on the ceiling
and I felt sick. Lanna got me by the hand and took me
into the bed. Night night and God bless, she says.
I woke. Getting oﬀof the bed I stood on Lanna who
was on the ﬂoor with both boys. In the to楬et I locked the
door and boaked three times.
I ﬂushed the to楬et and did my teeth with someone's
brush. Through the scullery the ﬂoor was ﬂooded with
inches of water. I drank out a milk carton then started to
greet. Lanna came from the bedroom with the steerhide
jacket and put it round my shoulders. She started footer
ing about, getting one stocking back on and straightening
them; right enough they were in a proper kerfufﬂe. Lanna
says, Come and watch
as she left.
I sniffed. I felt the computer disc in the jacket
pocket. I used the goldish lighter on a Silk Cut.
Oh Little Star of Bethlehem, offof Delay
plucked up courage to take a keek in that
room: In candlelight Lanna and the two disciples were
bare on the bed doing everything. With her teeth together
Lanna goes, It's
rampant. I watched a good while and
a ﬂush of rampantness went across me. I turned back to
the scullery and sat alone. Waves of something kept going
across till my face felt numb. There was freezing water at
my stocking feet. The carrot that was the snowman's nose
had fallen out. I touched the computer disc in the pocket
and you just knew it had that message from Him on it.
It was only saliva I boaked up in the sink. I ran the
tap. In the to楬et I used the toothbrush twice. I helped
myself to some talc, putting it here and there and that.
Back in the scullery I took the milk carton out the fridge,
had a swallow, then crossed the passage to that room, put
the milk carton by the bedside and crawled in with the
three nude bodies.
I let them do anything to me and tried to make each
as satisﬁed as I could. I concentrated on the diﬀerent
positions. Later, cooried with my face near the window,
all three of them were at my behind, and as the wave of
something went across so strong I was smiling, I stared
up and out. The dark sky above the port was empty of
any little star.
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